Frequently Asked Questions
Your product questions answered!

How should I clean my jewelry?
Silver will tarnish. Lotions, perfumes and even sweat can cause your jewelry to tarnish faster. Just remember to always clean with a silver polishing cloth and never dip your jewelry. Always avoid sulfur in any cleaning agent since sulfur will will strip your jewelry and the shine.

What is the best way to store my jewelry when I'm not wearing it?
We take pride in the quality of our jewelry, but it is not indestructible! Be sure to take care of your jewelry when you're not wearing it by storing your jewelry in an air tight pouch or baggie. Let sterling silver jewelry be the last thing you put on when getting ready in the morning, and the first thing you take off at the end of the day. If cleaned and stored properly, you'll have your jewelry for generations to come!

What is 925 Sterling Silver?
Jewelry stamped with 925 indicates the piece is in fact 925 sterling silver. This means the item is 92.5% silver mixed with other alloys such as copper to make it stronger.

Does Southern Gates contain nickel?
Don’t worry, none of our sterling silver jewelry is mixed with nickel!

What is rhodium plating? 
Our rhodium plated jewelry contains a thin layer of rhodium over 925 sterling silver. Rhodium is a metal in the platinum family and this plate helps slow down the process of tarnishing. Rhodium plating often creates a slightly darker hue than pure 925 sterling silver. All Southern Gates products are 925 sterling silver and only has a rhodium plate if indicated in the description. Rhodium plating can wear off over time, but that will not affect the quality of your jewelry.

What is gold plating?
Gold plated jewelry has a .5 micron gold layer over base metal. Our gold plated jewelry is always plated over 925 sterling silver. Gold plate can wear off over time, so be sure to care for it properly.

What is 14kt vermeil?
For something to be considered vermeil, it must be a gold plate over 925 sterling silver. Vermeil contains 2 microns of karat gold plated over 925 sterling silver. Vermeil has a heavier and longer-lasting layer of gold than standard gold plated jewelry.

What is 14kt Gold Filled jewelry?
Our gold fill jewelry is manufactured in the U.S. This process fills gold with a base metal. Unlike plating, gold fill is at least 5% gold. A solid sheet of gold is bonded to a base metal which means gold filled will not wear off.