Last month we talked about firescale, now let us discuss another finishing step - Oxidizing Jewelry. When or why do we oxidize our jewelry? How is it different from natural tarnish?
Metals like sterling silver is an alloy that contains other metal such as copper. When the copper reacts to moisture (from our hands) and sulfur (in the air), the sterling silver will tarnish. Typically natural tarnish starts from slight yellow/brownish colors and over time will get more brown then gray to dark gray and eventually black. The rate of tarnish really depends on ones skins' pH and the surrounding environment. Certain chemicals such as sun screen, lotions, or even perfume can expedite the speed of tarnish.
Now a days, many people are not only into shiny jewelry but also rustic, antique or vintage styled jewelry. For us, oxidization is applied to help bring out those texture and stamping to give it that rustic appearance on some of our jewelry (e.g. tree bark rings). Different oxidizing solutions are used on different metals such as sterling silver, copper and/or gold. Some rings are oxidized completely while others are only oxidized on the stamping (See below).
Once they are oxidized, we would clean them up again with sand paper until we get the desired effect.
Both natural tarnish or oxidation darkens the ring. Either way, the darkness can be removed, lighten and/or brighten up by using the specific metal jewelry polishing cloth.
So what else is happening in April? We Monkeys had a few good Easter gatherings over the last two weekends and had enjoyed many fun filled Easter games (Yes, we know Easter is not here yet though thats just the way to meet everyones schedules these days). Following is a sample egg hunt idea for those who is still looking for an awesome game on Easter day.
1) Pick the egg hunt location --> A park or your home. For us we picked the park.
2) Pick out 10 specific spots in that location to hide eggs (e.g. a swing, tree, net, bench, slide, table, etc..) There should be a clue next to each hidden egg for them to solve for the next hidden egg location.
3) The first person who finds all 10 eggs wins the big surprise baskets.
Three main kinds of clues were used in this egg hunt. Example of each type of clue is shown below:
i) Secret Code:
ii) Word Search (Crossing out POP gives you the word --> SWING)
iii) Picture puzzle. We took pictures of a few specific locations. Cut each picture (older kids 8+ pieces, toddlers 2 - 3 pieces) to make a puzzle.
Mother's Day is on Sunday 5/14. It is definitely not too late to plan your special gift for your grandma, mother and/or wife. Our domestic order deadline for mother's day with USPS First Class shipping is Friday 4/21/17. Domestic with USPS Priority deadline is 4/28/17. For international orders, please contact us for rates.
Some of our Signature Mother's Day Gifts are......
A) When do you see Friday comes before Thursday? (An object)
B) What is the Easter bunny’s favorite kind of music? (A type of music)
C) I jump when I walk and sit when I stand. What am I? (An animal)
As usual...answers is at the very bottom.....
A) A dictionary B) Hip Hop C) Kangaroo
Blink Blink.....it's March already! What happened in the last two months! Feels like we have just set new goals for the year and we are already in March ...
Coming off from two trade shows definitely keeps us busy for a few good months! Some orders have shipped, more are on the way!!
While we keep up with our wholesale orders we do also have to keep up with our personalized rings online orders!
Rings on the right (arrow shape) are rings that we have just finished soldering but have not been put in the pickle pot yet. Rings stacked up on the left are rings that just came off from the pickle pot. So what is a pickle pot? Or why do we pickle our rings?
Our pickle pot contains a very acidic solution. Pickling is a metal surface treatment used to remove the firescale (gray or bluish purple color) that surface when metal is heated (e.g. from soldering). Sterling silver and copper contains copper. When heated, copper oxides rise and mix with the air to create this grayish or bluish purple color on the surface on the ring which we called firescale.
We are also working on items to be sold at the Green Scene comping up in April! ....here is a sneak peak of some items we will sell....more photos coming soon!
Q: What has a head, a tail, is brown, and has no legs?
......(scroll to the bottom of this blog post for answer)
Last but not least, don't forget to sign up for the Monkeys Always Look Newsletter to get access to secret sales, free shipping offers, tricks, tips, fun, and an improved sense of humor.
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Sterling silver is an alloy and the .925 marking refers to 92.5 by weight of silver and 7.5 by weight of other metals (usually copper). Fine silver on the other hand is 99.9% silver content and is much softer than sterling silver.
Why do sterling silver tarnish over time? This is due to the other metal (usually copper) in sterling silver. When copper reacts with moisture and sulfur in the air, it causes the sterling silver to tarnish. The rate of tarnish depends on a few factors including skin's pH, the environment (humid/dry) and if it will be exposed to other chemical (lotion/perfume etc.). You can easily remove silver tarnish with jewelry cloth that you can get from your local jewelry or online.
Although sterling silver is harder than pure silver, it is still not the toughest material thus it can still get dents. We do not recommend wearing your silver jewelry to your gym where you will be rubbing your ring against other hard metals (e.g. dumbbell bars). Take your rings off during showers or lotion time would also lower the chances of getting your ring tarnish.
And just for your information, for those who actually prefers the oxidized or tarnish appearance, you can always request for us to help you oxidize the ring just like the picture shown below.
"When one ton of plastic bottles is recycled, almost four barrels of oil are saved. That means there is more oil available for home heating, which in turn helps keep the price down. Furthermore, recycling just one ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space." (reference 1)
Many people are aware of recycling plastic bottles. However, you can also recycle the following commonly used plastics.
- Yogurt container
- Bottle caps (e.g. from juice pouches)
- Grocery bags from grocery stores
- Shampoo, conditioner or body lotion bottles etc...
- Used plastic forks or spoons from take out
You can find recycle centers in your neighborhood once you enter your zip code: iwanttoberecycled.org
Plastic bottle are coded with different numbers as you can see from the image above. Typically those that are labelled 1 or 2 can be recycled. (Reference 2).
Monkeys have decided to participate as a vendor at the upcoming GREEN SCENE event held at the Fullerton Arboretum in April. More information will be provided in case you are interested to check out their plant and garden.
Happy new year to you all! We are already in 2017! Did you get a chance to reflect all your achievements, failure, success, happiness, or tearful moments in 2016? No matter how it went we are sure we have gained and/or grew a little wiser from it. Now that we are at the start of 2017, it is a great time to plan ahead what we would like to achieve this coming year. What are your top three 2017 resolutions? Here are ours...
1) Conserve on water usage. Yes, we have high water bills in California but the rain lately is definitely helping so maybe one day we will not be in a drought and hopefully we will all have a green garden again.
2) Come up with 50 new product designs.
3) Set aside quiet time to read/write each week.
We are actually in Atlanta Georgia Americasmart getting ready for an amazing trade show to kick start the year. Interestingly the weather here is just like California, I know that sounds funny especially when it's Winter here. Well, partly we have been having a lot more rain in California so that for sure helps drop down the temperature. Though no rain and no snow here in Atlanta is great so far :)
We know Winter starts in December but January is typically when it starts to get a lot cooler. So what are some best ways to heat up your home without turning up your heater? Here are some ideas that work well for us at the studio:
1) Close off any unused room. This help contain the heat generated by you or other sources such as fireplace or radiator.
2) Open curtains to allow the Sun shines through. Definitely helps warm up the space.
3) Put down a rug or carpet.
4) Wear socks. There is a saying that if your feet is warm your body is warm.
5) Sip hot water, coffee, or tea. This warms up your body super fast~
It is not too late to order your personalized Holiday gifts form us~
Christmas Order Information
Domestic Orders: Last day to submit the order is 12/12/16 (Monday)
Must select USPS Priority during checkout.
International Orders: Must contact us for rush production and expedited shipping rates. Standard shipping will not arrive by Christmas.
***Please understand that we can not be responsible for any delays caused by the postal office.
It's been a few good productive weeks getting these new jewelry designed, made, photo shoot and listed. This season we focused on finer rustic jewelry, dainty yet can still be personalized. We used material including 14k gold, sterling silver, and some are also set with gemstone (ruby & sapphire). Please click into the gold rings, necklaces, and bangles sections to check them out.
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Here are some snapshots of a few of those new jewelry we have just listed.