We love to use 14K gold or gold-filled materials when possible to ensure that your pieces last for years to come. We also use gold-plating over recycled brass or gold-plated Vermeil. The material will always be noted in the product description. Gold-plated jewelry essentially has a thin layer of gold (usually 1% or less) bonded over brass, and plated Vermeil is an even thicker and more durable gold-plated option. Gold-filled jewelry is 5% pure gold by weight and involves pressure bonding multiple layers of solid 14k gold with extreme heat over a core of high quality jeweler's brass resulting in a more durable gold product.
We use 14K gold for our stud earrings, as well as some of our dainty necklaces and hoops, and this is the most durable and long-lasting material we use in our jewelry designs. It stands the test of time, will not tarnish or chip and you can wear it all the time (shower, swimming, etc.).
We use recycled brass for larger statement pieces including earrings and bracelets. Brass is a metal alloy of copper and zinc and a great sustainable jewelry option. Today almost 90% of all brass in the world is recycled—our artisan team in Kenya uses materials acquired from local markets and vendors to create our designs. Brass does develop a patina, but can always be brought back to life with polishing (we recommend Brasso).
We use recycled glass beads in necklaces and earrings. The recycled glass beads we source are handmade in Ghana. These African beads are created by compressing glass into a dry grain, and heating the grain so that the pieces form together. The recycled glass is rushed into a porcelain cast. The stem of a cassava leaf is used to make the hole. It is baked in a furnace causing the glass to melt together and cassava stem to burn. This technique has been used in Africa for centuries to make recycled glass beads that are beautiful, unique and sustainable.
In addition to metals, we use a variety of natural materials in our designs like wood, horn and bone. Animal materials that we use are always naturally shed or a recycled product. The bone beads are handcrafted by artisans using recycled cow bone from East Africa. Our horn is reclaimed Ankole Longhorn cattle horn (a breed native to the Rift Valley of East Africa). It is ethically procured, recycled material, which is a byproduct of the local food industry. The wood beads we use are made by hand.