Kara Yoo jewelry is nickel-free and hypoallergenic! Almost all metal used in our jewelry is made in North America, and where possible, reclaimed metal is used.
All of our pieces are handmade from the following materials
Argentium™ Sterling Silver
14K Yellow Gold
14K Rose Gold
14K Palladium White Gold
Almost all of our pieces are hypoallergenic. We define “hypoallergenic” as nickel-free or generally not causing sensitivities to skin. Although we try our best to advise, skin sensitivity varies from person-to-person. Please read more about our specific metals to gain insight.
General Care Instructions
Always store your jewelry in a dry place and separate from other jewelry which could scratch your piece. Cloth pouches or resealable baggies work great.
To minimize tarnish, store your jewelry in an airtight container such as a resealable baggie.
Use a lint-free jewelry polish cloth and gently rub to remove any tarnish or restore shine. Avoid polishing plated items.
Remove all jewelry before taking a shower or using any harsh chemicals such as perfumes, chlorine, hairspray etc. which can cause a dullness in appearance or damage the metal.
Avoid using chemical jewelry cleaners as they are often bad for the environment, your skin and could damage your jewelry if used improperly. Try using mild soap or toothpaste and a soft toothbrush to clean your pieces. Avoid doing this on plated items.
We use sterling silver, Argentium™ sterling silver, and gold-plated sterling silver, all of which are hypoallergenic and nickel-free. All of our silver is made from reclaimed metal, and made in the USA.
Sterling Silver: (Other names include, “925” and “sterling”)
Sterling is an alloy containing at least 92.5% pure silver and the other 7.5% is most commonly alloyed with copper.
Argentium™ Sterling Silver:
Argentium™ Sterling Silver is an alloy of 93.5% pure silver, and a mix of 6.5% copper and germanium. Argentium™ is extremely slow to tarnish under most conditions and is a brighter-white silver than regular sterling silver.
How to Care for Your Silver Jewelry:
To return your piece back to its shiny finish, use a jewelry polishing cloth. If your piece is quite soiled or has dirt in hard-to-reach places, try using mild soap or toothpaste and a soft toothbrush to clean your pieces.
18K Gold Plated Sterling Silver or Gold Vermeil:
Gold Vermeil is sterling silver electroplated with a thin coating of 18K gold. Since the core is sterling silver, gold vermeil is nickel-free and hypoallergenic. If you are not sensitive to sterling silver, it is likely that you can wear gold vermeil. Please be aware that the plating will wear off over time to reveal a sterling silver underlayer. Embrace the new color of your jewelry, or send it to your local jeweler for re-plating.
How to Care for Your Plated Jewelry:
Avoid polishing plated jewelry as you could polish away the layer of gold. Never machine polish or use any chemical jewelry cleaners. To maximize the longevity of plated pieces, store away when at home.
Gold-Fill (other names include “rolled gold” or “gold-fill” or “14/20” or “gold overlay”):
Gold-fill (not to be confused with Gold Plated, Gold Vermeil or Electroplated) wears just like solid gold and should maintain its color for years if cared for properly. A thick layer of karat gold is heat and pressure bonded to a brass core. Because gold-fill contains an actual layer of karat gold, the color lasts significantly longer than gold-plated jewelry. The gold on gold-fill metal represents 5% of the total weight of the material and must meet federal quality standards. All of our soldered gold-fill jewelry is made with 14K gold solder, and not base metal solder, ensuring quality is maintained throughout. Gold-fill is hypoallergenic -- if you can wear 14K gold, you most likely can wear gold-fill jewelry.
How to Care for Your Gold-Fill Jewelry:
To return your piece back to its shiny finish, use a polish cloth. If your piece is quite soiled or has dirt in hard-to-reach places, try using mild soap or toothpaste and a soft toothbrush to clean your pieces. Never machine polish or use any chemical jewelry cleaners on gold-fill.
(other names include “solid gold”):
There are different karats of gold as follows:
- 24K Gold -- Pure Gold, 24 out of 24 parts are gold. Too soft to be functional, so it is alloyed with other metals for durability.
- 18K Gold - 18 out of 24 parts are gold.
- 14K Gold -- 14 out of 24 parts are gold. Kara Yoo fine jewelry is made with 14K gold.
- 10K Gold - 10 out of 24 parts are gold.
Gold comes in various colors like yellow, rose or white. To create different colors in gold, it is alloyed with other metals like copper, silver, zinc, palladium, nickel, etc. All of our gold is nickel-free and hypoallergenic.
14K Palladium White Gold:
We use Palladium White Gold instead of traditional white gold which contains nickel. Our white gold is slightly darker in color. Traditionally, white gold is plated with rhodium for a whiter look. We do not plate our white gold with rhodium as we love the unique shade of Palladium White Gold.
How to Care for Your Gold Jewelry:
To return your piece back to its shiny finish, use a polish cloth. Alternatively, you can bring it to your local jeweler to be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner or steamed. Any dents or scratches can be mechanically polished away by bringing it to a jeweler -- beware that mechanical polishing is abrasive and will take off some gold. Use this technique sparingly. If your piece is quite soiled or has dirt in hard-to-reach places, try using mild soap or toothpaste and a soft toothbrush to clean your pieces.
Brass is an alloy of 85% copper and 15% zinc with a color similar to 14K yellow gold. Brass is nickel-free; however, can cause skin sensitivities with some people.
How to Care for Your Brass Jewelry:
To return your piece back to its shiny finish, use a polish cloth. Alternatively, you can bring it to your local jeweler to be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner or steamed. If your piece is quite soiled or has dirt in hard-to-reach places, try using mild soap or toothpaste and a soft toothbrush to clean your pieces.