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Tarnishing, allergies and breakages!

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  • Tarnishing, allergies and breakages!

    Hi, I thought I'd get all my worries out in one go!!! I've recently got into jewellery making, with beads on wire - mostly drop earrings and necklaces on tiger tail.

    One issue is that the things I made originally have already tarnished a bit. But they were with very cheap materials (like a dodgy starter kit). Since then I have bought most of my supplies on ebay and have always bought silver-plated. But they are still cheap, the sort of things that are a couple of pounds for 200 earring posts etc. Does anyone know if this is likely to tarnish in time?

    Also, I couldn't say what's in these items. I have my first craft fair in a couple of months. Does it matter? I mean, I saw some funny laws about selling to Canada because of nickel (if that's right) and it's made me panic slightly that since my parts are cheap they might have nickel in or cause allergies. Should I be worried about this? I'm interested what level of quality people buy and if you think this is good enough for a craft fair?

    Also, when I was younger I was pretty good at making beaded jewellery on thread, but they were much more likely to break than the things I make now (and since they were made with seed beads breakages were much more disastrous!). I'm tempted to make these again but am worried if I sold them and they broke. I don't want anyone to regret buying from me so I'm just worried that any of these issues could arise!

    Is it normal policy if you sell online to have a refund policy? I'm guessing you don't at a craft fair? What do you fellow beaders do about all these issues?

    Many thanks for any advice!

    Become a fan of my facebook page and you could win a gorgeous necklace!

  • #2
    here goes!

    Nickel! I'm allergic to nickel and i therefore take a bit more notice to things about this but Silver plated finding are supposed to have very very low nickel amounts (if any) in them, (since this was introduced findings are not as strong!) i usually just mention that they may incllud nickel if asked , and also offer stirling silver so thou allergic to nickel can have their findings changed to stirling silver for extra charge!
    Tarnishing, all silver will tarnish its handy to have some Silvo so u can clean the jewellery but i use plastic seal bags to store my jewellery so that little air gets to them, this is more common with silver plate but all metal does, if u can put them in a air tight box or bags then that will prevent this to some extent.
    Gaurantee, i usually say if it breaks in the next 14 days(some findings i have bought off ebay, i'm not to sure about and i would gladly replace if they broke cus its my fault for buying the cheaper clasps, cullottes etc i have now found a supplier who stocks better quality ones) you could offer this and online offer return within 7 days in original condition etc...

    Hope this helps a bit i did have a load of info on the nickel thing but its handy to just mention this, however those like me who are allergic to nickel often get sts or silver plated depepnding how bad the allergy is (i can wear it for few hours but cannot sleep with any jewellery on)

    Good Luck

    Carly x
    Morgan-Jones Tiaras and Designs


    • #3

      Re. the nickel content, my understanding is (although I'm often proved wrong) that anything bought in the EU must be below a certain % of nickel, so if you are buying from outside Europe you will need to check with the supplier what the nickel content is.

      I usually find that a good run with a soft cloth and a tiny bit of silver polish removes tarnish - to some extent all metals will tarnish to some degree with time, the key is to give everything a ood rub before you put ot out on display.

      Refunds - now, again just my understanding of 'the rules' but if you are selling online you must, by law, comply with the Distance Selling Regultions, which means offering refunds, displaying a postal address on your website etc. Face to face, you must also offer a refund if the item is faulty in any way, although you don't have to if the customer just changes their mind (I do, but have never yet had something returned due to a changed mind)

      Public & product liability is also highly advisable - it will cover you if your customer has an allergic reaction to any of your products, or if some idiot decides to fall over your stall and break their leg etc! There are loads of threads on here with advice on different insurers - it's usually reasonably priced and can, of course, be offset as a business cost on your end of year accounts.

      It's a lot of info to take in when your just starting your business, but once you've got your head round it, it's not too complicated - honest

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      • #4
        If you are selling your jewellery you will need to make sure that the items you use do comply with EC nickel regulations - just be aware that if you are buying from abroad that they might not have the same laws as us, I know that we couldn't buy from one company in the states as they couldn't guarantee that their silver plated findings complied with EC law. If in doubt check with the company that you are buying from or with the ebay seller - or use a company that you know you can rely upon for quality and who are trustworthy. Trading standards do spot checks so it is best to be safe in the knowledge you are using good findings from a reliable supplier, and of course you don't want a customer to have a bad allergic reaction!

        Good luck with everything


        Kernowcraft Rocks & Gems Ltd
        Your Destination For Gemstones & Jewellery Making - Since 1967

        For jewellery making advice, call our friendly team on 01872 573888



        • #5
          I agree with the previous post. You neeed to comply with EU regs regarding nickel content for items that are to come into contact with the skin.

          Many products made overseas do not comply with this as the products are often for other overseas markets. When I have products made I often have to pay a premium nickel free plating etc.


          • #6
            Everyone has given great advice above.

            You really do need to brush up on the legal side of things before you start selling IMHO. Only because it will make you feel more confident too if you know you are doing it all correct and above board.

            I have an article on my website about selling, which has some useful links to all the legal stuff you will need to read up on and other handy advice.


            As for tarnishing - sadly all plated and silver metal will tarnish eventually. The only metals I know that don't would be niobium, titanium and gold. One of the reasons my customers like my titanium and niobium findings is for this reason.

            However, you can also use anti-tarnish tabs and pop those in with all your plated items and that will slow the rate of tarnish right down. I carry anti tarnish tabs on my site if your usual supplier doesn't have them.
            Last edited by ejralph; 06-10-2009, 09:31 AM.
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            • #7
              Thanks for that page, Emma, it's very good. The nickle thing had slipped by me, probably because I haven't sold jewellery for years, and I've always worried about allergic people when making my own jewellery.
              But last week my daughter in law arrived with a packet of Peruvian and Chilean earings. Very eye catching but we haven't a clue what the silver coloured metal is. I've passed on your words of wisdom to her and I'll change the hooks.
              Thanks again


              • #8
                Wow, thanks for all the replies. This place is full of helpful, lovely people! Yes, I do need to brush up on it. Unfortunately, I signed up to the craft stall befor eI even realised this was a potential issue. I guess I need to get myself in gear and quick!!!

                Become a fan of my facebook page and you could win a gorgeous necklace!



                • #9
                  I have quite sensative skin especially when it comes to earrings - I always try a pair out before I use them, just to make sure that they are OK no matter where I have bought them from. There is always the possiblilty that what you have bought may not live up to the claims made about it.