Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some FAQ's about our jewelry creations. Don't see your question here?
What is Chainmaille jewelry?
…the art of weaving open jump rings (opening, weaving, and closing each ring with two pairs of pliars) together ring by ring to create simple to complex woven chain jewelry designs.
The art of Chainmaille weaving has been around since well before Christ’s birth, although there are many different opinions on exactly when (and where) it was invented. Samples of maille go as far back as the Etruscans (who became some of the first kings in ancient Rome). Roman soldiers found the Gauls (Celts) wearing mail shirts, and the Japanese also had mail armor dating back at least 2000 years ago.
From what is known, many ancient civilizations and cultures utilized mail armor from Europe, down to what we now call the Middle East and up north such as the Vikings and as far east as Japan.
The terms “Chain mail”, “Chainmail”, and “Chainimaille” are terms coined in the English language putting the word ‘chain’, (a series of usually metal links or rings connected to or fitted into one another) and ‘maille’, the French word for “mesh” which is said to be derived from the Latin word “macula”, which one of the meanings of this Latin word is “mesh of a net”.
This is a bit more of an unknown. All we know for sure is that the term “chainmail” was coined some time in the 1700’s, and somewhere between the ancient Celts (the Gauls) and our slightly more modern times in which we, generally speaking, no longer need suits of armor containing thousands and thousands of jump rings as protection someone had a light bulb moment!
This is my personal opinion; some brilliant person or people must have thought “hey this would make great jewelry!” and here we are, conjecture firmly in hand!
Haha! Either way, we love it!
The names are what people have named the weaves, meaning the manner in which each jump ring is linked to the next one.
Some of the oldest known weaves are the Persian weaves. We have bracelets, rings and earrings made using the the Persian weaves and their derivatives.
There well over a thousand known chainmaille weaves (although many of those are variations of existing weaves) and possibly even thousands more that are undocumented inventions of creative chainmaillers everywhere!
All of the above.
However, the term “Chainmaille” is considered the “proper” term to use by the majority of people who pursue the art.
‘Chainmail’ and ‘Chain mail’ are widely considered to be ‘layman’s terms’, which is why you will see beginners’ “How to” books using them.
What is 935 Argentium Sterling Silver?
935 is merely an easy way to write the percentage of Fine Silver in the alloy (Argenetium).
This means that it has a bit more Fine Silver in it than traditional 925 (92.5%) Sterling Silver.
…excerpt from Argentium Silver – Official Website
“Argentium Silver was invented by Master Silversmith, Peter Johns at Middlesex University, London. His initial research concentrated on eliminating firestain in traditional Sterling silver, using the element Germanium. Germanium was also found to add further benefits, including tarnish resistance and heat-hardening properties.”
What is 14K Gold-fill?
14K Gold-fill or 14/20 means that the wire manufacturer has taken an alloy (alloy means any two or more metals mixed together), in this case, high quality Jeweler’s Brass and bonded 14K Gold onto it.
Through a carefully regulated process that involves multiple layers of 14K Gold pressure bonded using extreme heat in a process that permanently bonds a thickness of 14K Gold alloy onto the brass wire.
The reason we use Gold-fill is to be able to create high quality fine jewelry using materials that we can both afford and afford to pass those savings onto our customers; all without sacrificing quality for affordability.
The difference is the amount of actual fine material used.
Plating is a microscopic layer of alloy over a cheaper one, temporarily allowing one the look of fine jewelry at a fraction of the cost.
The downside to this inexpensive alloy is that because plating is only a microscopic layer it is easily damaged and rubbed off.
As stated above, “filled” means that there is an actual thickness of the fine alloy (such as gold) that cannot be merely rubbed off.
Maintenance and Care of Argentium Jewelry
Argentium Sterling does not tarnish in the same way that traditional Sterling does.
Traditional Sterling Silver will blacken, Argentium will not; it will merely dull.
This simply means it’s ready for a bath or a bit of a scrub, much the same as we are when we get a little dirty.
If your Argentium creation is only lightly dull and you just want to boost its sparkle, a gentle scrubbing with a soft toothbrush (use only with Argentium), some blue Dawn dish soap, and comfortably warm water will have it shining in no time. Simply air dry on an absorbent cloth and buff with a microfiber cloth and you’re ready to go!
We recommend that you apply makeup, perfumes and lotions and allow them to dry before handling or putting on jewelry.
If that isn’t possible, or is inconvenient at the time (life happens), or if you perspire a lot (like myself), a bit more cleaning might be required for your Argentium creation to start looking its best again.
Sometimes simply comfortably warm water, blue Dawn dish soap and a toothbrush is still enough, the best thing to do is clean as you normally would as explained above, if it’s still just not as bright as it should be, it’s time to change tactics slightly.
Find a disposable cup or bowl, (never clean Argentium or any jewelry in dishes that you eat from) and fill with a tablespoon of Baking Soda and just enough water to make a paste with.
Dip the toothbrush (exclusively used with your Argentium jewelry) into the paste and coat it well, then, holding your jewelry below the level of the sink (this method will spray Baking Soda paste in all directions, best to keep it in the sink), scrub each jewelry piece gently one at a time, for a few seconds, making sure to go down the length of your piece (if it’s a necklace or bracelet).
Yes. It is possible to damage especially Chainmaille jewelry simply because of the nature of the art of Chainmaille woven jewelry.
Chainmaille is created by weaving open jump rings together to create chain jewelry. It is NOT soldered, which, as a rule, isn’t necessary since Chainmaille jewelry, and Argentium as well, is strong on its own.
That being said: DO NOT PULL your Chainmaille jewelry pieces. This applies to wire-wrapped jewelry as well to a certain extent, it depends on the piece.
Again, while Chainmaille can be quite strong, and Argentium itself is strong; with enough force you can pull any Chainmaille jewelry apart.
Make sure you take care in holding your jewelry well and only cleaning a small area at a time to reduce the chance of too much tension due to too much force applied while cleaning.
No. Argentium is a modern Sterling Silver that does not react well to chemical cleaning agents.
Please do not immerse your Argentium jewelry in any cleaning solution other than mentioned above and only use the cleaning cloth we recommend for use with Argentium.
As a general rule there should not be a need for harsh cleaning agents on Argentium, if it gets dirty please see above for more information.
We recommend you use only the yellow “Sunshine Cloth” (a superb Japanese made jewelry cleaning cloth) to further clean your Argentium jewelry.
Hold piece firmly, yet gently, and slowly draw bracelet or necklace through the cloth between your fingers. The same can be done with earrings and rings, or you can gently rub or roll to the jewelry piece inside the cloth between your fingers.
NOTE: the nature of the Sunshine Cloth is that it reacts to genuine Silver, so any type of Silver or Sterling silver will leave black streaks on the cloth.
This is as intended.
Silver will always leave black marks on a Sunshine cloth, regardless of how clean it is. This is a chemical reaction that has the bonus function of confirming your jewelry is genuine while assisting in cleaning.
Contact us as soon as possible by using the Contact Us page or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with you to repair your AGTG Creation.
Unfortunately we only accept repairs on our own AGTG Creations jewelry.