Answers about materials, skin sensitivities & jewellery care.

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What does gold-filled mean?

Gold‑filled is a solid layer of gold which is mechanically bonded to a base metal. The gold layer in gold‑filled jewellery is 5 to 10 times thicker than gold plating and looks the same as solid gold.

Even with daily wear, gold‑filled jewellery can last from 10 to 30 years. Up to 10 times thicker than gold plating but a fraction of the price of solid gold? We think gold‑filled is pure genius.

What does 14ct gold mean?

Gold is quite a soft metal and is generally alloyed (mixed) with other metals like copper and silver to make it more durable for jewellery making. The purity of gold is measured in carats (spelled karats in the US). Pure 100% gold is called 24 carat gold, shortened to 24ct (or 24K in the US).

Different countries have different standards of gold purity. In Australia you’ll mostly see 9 carat and 18 carat, but 24 carat gold jewellery is rarer.

Nine carat means it’s 9 parts gold out of 24, or 37.5%, and is stamped with a tiny 375 so it can be identified. Eighteen carat gold means it’s 18 parts gold out of 24, or 75%, and is stamped 750.

Our gold at Sugarberry Shimmy is mostly manufactured in the US where 14 carat is the most common gold purity. If you look carefully, you’ll see a tiny 1/20 14K stamped on your earring hooks and quality tags on
your bracelets and necklaces. That means they’re 14 carat gold‑filled and the gold layer makes up at last one 20th of their weight.   

See above for more on what gold‑filled means.

Is rose gold plated?

Nope, rose gold is not plated, it’s real gold. All gold that is not 24 carat is an alloy (mix) of gold and other metals – see above for more on that. For rose gold, that soft pinky colour is achieved by mixing more copper and less silver in the alloy.

We’ll have rose gold jewellery in store soon and it’ll be 14 carat rose gold‑filled, meaning it’s made of a solid layer of 14ct rose gold which is bonded to a base metal so it’s extremely durable. See more on what gold‑filled means above.

Can I get my jewellery wet?

Yes! You can get our pieces wet, including the beads and the metal elements. However, some caveats apply…

Don’t wear your Sugarberry Shimmy jewellery in swimming pools, the ocean, or in the shower or bath.

Chlorine, the force of ocean waves and soap and shampoo build-up can all damage your jewellery or leave it looking less than fabulous.

Have a read of our jewellery care page for more on looking after your pieces.

I have sensitive skin. Will I be allergic to your jewellery?

Our jewellery is made of glass seed beads with 14ct gold‑filled, sterling silver or stainless steel findings (see above for what gold‑filled means). Our stainless steel ear wires are made of 316 surgical stainless steel.

Sugarberry Shimmy jewellery is 100% nickel-free – we've checked every single bead finish!

Each product page lists the materials in the 'Materials, weights + dimensions' toggle section.

If you’re generally allergic to gold, silver or stainless steel, you’re likely to develop an allergic reaction to our standard jewellery. However, we'd be happy to source some special ear wires just for you in a hypoallergenic metal like niobium. Contact us and we'll work out a solution for you.

We use only the finest quality materials in our pieces. In the unlikely event that you develop an allergic reaction to your Sugarberry Shimmy jewellery, please let us know.

Does beaded jewellery require special care?

A little, but it’s very simple.
See our jewellery care page for our best advice on keeping your jewellery sparkly and fresh
with minimal effort (opens in a new page).

Bonus question: Is white gold plated?

Yes! White gold is an alloy (mix) of gold and silvery‑coloured metals like silver and palladium.

White gold is naturally quite dull, so commercial white gold jewellery is usually plated with rhodium, a bright silver‑coloured precious metal.

Rhodium plating wear offs over time, especially for rings that you wear a lot, so you’ll need to keep re‑rhodium plating your white gold jewellery to keep it looking sparkly white.

We don’t use any white gold in
our pieces because low maintenance and durability are our priorities, and white gold is neither of those. However, if you love that sparkly white look, you might love our gorgeous designs in sterling silver: our Minimalist Single Drop Earrings and our Minimalist Double Drop Crystal Earrings, plus our Radiance Beaded Fringe Earrings range in stainless steel.

If you’re a sterling silver kind
of gal, you’ll be blown away by our easy as pie eco-hack for cleaning sterling silver in a flash. You’re welcome 😉

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