Pearls & Crystals
NiobiumNamed for the goddess Niobe, this magical metal is Holly Yashi’s signature material. Like gold and silver, niobium is an element from the natural world. It is rare, precious, and has the working qualities of fine silver. Niobium is extremely strong yet remarkably lightweight, and though naturally a dull grey in color, it possesses a chameleon-like capacity to retain a wide range of vibrant hues. When submersed in a salt-water bath that is charged with an electric current, the niobium oxidizes. The radiant colors unique to the Holly Yashi designs are the metal’s own permanent oxide—not dye or paint—and they will never rub off the jewelry. It is the perfect metal to work with and to wear!
Caring for Your Niobium Jewelry
Fingerprints, body oil, lotions, perfumes, and hairspray can all make your jewelry look dull, but niobium can easily be cleaned. To restore your jewelry to its original brilliance, gently buff with glass cleaner or soapy water and a soft cloth. Since many of our pieces are hand treated with tiny glass beads to create our jewelry’s patterns, never use an abrasive material for cleaning, as it may damage the finish.
Niobium is completely hypoallergenic, leaves no residue, and with proper care will never tarnish or fade.
Sterling SilverSterling Silver is most popular in its use with jewelry, but you may recognize it in other household items such as embellishes on serving dishes, sculptures, and picture frames. Holly Yashi uses only the highest quality, 925 (92.5%) sterling silver, a standard for the jewelry industry.
Caring for Your Silver Jewelry
Tarnishing, or a darkening of the surface of the metal, is more likely to occur when the silver is not used frequently. What a good excuse to keep wearing your favorite sterling silver Holly Yashi piece! To minimize tarnish, store your jewelry in a dry area. Wiping off your sterling silver jewelry after you wear it will get rid of any lotion, perfumes, or make-up that may have transferred from your skin, and will help to prevent tarnishing.
Should tarnishing occur, gently buff your jewelry with silver polish and a soft cloth or use a silver cleaning solution dip. Never use an abrasive material for cleaning.
Gold FilledGold filled metal refers to a paper-thin sheet of brass sandwiched between two thick layers of 14 karat gold. Gold filled (or “rolled gold”) is an extremely high quality alternative to karat gold. It’s 300% thicker than vermeil or gold-plating and provides the “look and feel” of karat gold at a far more reasonable price.
Caring for Your Gold Filled Jewelry
Your gold filled jewelry should retain its beautiful luster without any special care. But, if your favorite piece needs a little brush-up, you can regularly wipe your jewelry clean with a soft polishing cloth to restore its shine.
Since many of our pieces are hand treated with tiny glass beads to create our jewelry’s patterns, never use an abrasive material for cleaning.
Gold OverlayGold overlay has been used since ancient cultures existed and since then has been found in many artifacts, used as coins, and worn as jewelry. Holly Yashi’s gold-overlay simply refers to a solid brass base finished with a thin surface layer of 24 karat (k) gold. It is extremely durable, easy to take care of, and almost impossible to break. Gold overlay is an alternative jewelry option which lets people with metal allergies wear our jewelry comfortably.
Why do we use gold overlay ear wires?
Aside from providing the beautiful luster of gold at a reasonable price, our gold tone ear wires are 24k gold over a sterling silver base. They help our customers avoid classic challenges of silver, such as tarnishing, skin sensitivities, and allergies to the nickel content sometimes present in silver. Holly Yashi only uses sterling with the lowest possible nickel content (trace amounts no more than 0.01%), exemplifying even the strictest regulations of the highly regarded European Union metal standards.
Caring for your gold overlay ear wires
If desired, a polishing cloth can be used to wipe down the earring’s gold overlay ear wires or gold overlay snake chain necklaces to remove unwanted build-up from lotions, make-up, or hairspray.
CopperCopper is the 25th most abundant element in the world. It is the oldest and most widely used metal in jewelry and has aged with us through time. Holly Yashi loves copper for its versatility, rich color, and unique palette.
One of copper’s most distinctive traits is its ability to change colors and deepen its warm glow over time. This process is embraced by Holly and her designs are handcrafted to allow copper’s natural aging to occur and be glorified. If you notice your jewelry changing appearance on its own, do not be alarmed; it is only copper’s natural aging process occurring.
Caring for Your Copper Jewelry
In addition to being easy to wear, copper is also extremely easy to clean. In order to maintain copper’s radiance, prepare a mixture of warm water and a few drops of mild soap. Then, dip a soft rag into the solution and wipe your copper clean. Rinse with clean water and dry gently with a soft cloth.
Warning: All of the unique designs created with copper jewelry at Holly Yashi have an added patina which gives the piece a vintage feel. Do not use any strong cleaning solutions or any polishing solutions because it will remove this special patina (but a little dish soap and water is ok).
“Antiqued” and Verdigris-finished BrassRecently, Holly has brought brass back to play a prominent role in her collections. Brass was one of her very first metals but, after working with it for nearly thirty years, Holly has introduced two new finishing treatments: “antiquing” and verdigris.
Even if you missed out on Holly’s first designs three decades ago, you can still pretend that your new brass jewelry has matured with you since the early ‘80s because of its retro style. “Antiqued” brass is a finish that gives the metals a rich, bronze feel and allows you to add a vintage look to your wardrobe.
As it ages, brass naturally assumes a beautiful living patina that richens into a verdant green. At Holly Yashi, we embrace the natural aging of our metals and work to enhance this process. We developed our “living finish” for our high-quality jeweler’s brass to emulate the beautiful, aged look, different from the “antiqued” brass, that gives this metal its naturally occurring vintage charm. Doing this helps our jewelry have its own unique appearance and, alongside our handcrafted methods, this process allows for individual, one-of-a-kind earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.
The patterns that emerge from this finish are part of a natural aging process for brass, and their irregularities are normal for this handcrafted process. This unique finish will evolve and change when touched and exposed to the elements. Do not worry if the verdigris finish comes off; it will return. That is the magic of this finish.
Caring for Your “Antiqued” and Verdigris-Finished Brass Jewelry
We strongly recommend that you do not clean your “antiqued” or verdigris brass jewelry and, instead, allow it to age naturally. Our verdigris finish has no lacquer or protective coating and is meant to richen and change with time and use. Any sort of abrasive cleaning will damage this unique finish. If it does come off for any reason, remember that it will return if left out in the open air. The earring ear wires may be cleaned with alcohol and a cotton ball.
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Pearls & Crystals:
Swarovski Elements: CrystalsSwarovski crystals have a magical and sparkly quality to them that reflects the dazzling spirit of Holly Yashi jewelry. Just as the creator of these crystals, Daniel Swarovski, was inspired in 1895 to mimic the Aurora Borealis in his crystal, the designs that come from our studio are also stimulated by the beauty of the natural world surrounding us.
At Holly Yashi, we’ve partnered with Swarovski to include the world’s highest quality of crystals in our collections. Swarovski crystals are not only revered for their quality, but also for their inexplicable beauty. These dazzling crystals can be found in many of Holly’s original designs as well as in several prominent fashion houses around the world.
Caring for Your Crystal
Crystal can also become dulled by body oils, lotions, perfumes, and hairspray. To wash your jewelry, use warm soapy water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth. Do not use an ultrasound cleaner.
Swarovski Elements: PearlsSwarovski’s crystal pearls are coated with real nacre—the same substance found in natural pearls—so they have the weight, luster, and feel of real pearls but for a fraction of the price. Because of this coating, Swarovski pearls change to reflect the temperature of the wearer’s skin, much like real pearls do.
Unlike other, lesser quality imitation pearls, the finishing on Swarovski pearls is not susceptible to damage caused by perfumes, lotion, or perspiration, and the pearls themselves are resistant to scratches.
Caring for Your Crystal Pearls
To give your pearls the longest life possible, be sure to wipe them clean with a slightly damp, lint-free cloth after wearing. This will help to prevent residual build-up. If necessary, you can clean them occasionally with water and mild dish soap and rinse immediately with fresh water. Do not soak the pieces. Cleaning these delicate jewelry pieces in an ultrasonic cleaner will be too rough on them, so this form of cleaning is discouraged.
Bohemian GlassBohemian glass originated in the small Czech region of Bohemia in the 13th century and has since become famous for its colorful, richly decorated, and delicate characteristics. This sparkling beauty enraptured Holly, and her timeless designs with Bohemian glass are certain to dazzle you as well.
Caring for Your Bohemian Glass
Bohemian Glass can be cared for by washing in lukewarm water and non-abrasive soap. Be sure to dry your jewelry with a soft cloth immediately after it has been washed.
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Semi-precious StonesHolly’s designs use a wide variety of genuine semi-precious gemstones, including Amethyst, Garnet, Peridot, Labradorite, Iolite, Citrine, Carnelian, Hessonite, Opal, Onyx, Turquoise, Chalcedony, Sunstone, Moonstone, Pink Moonstone, Mother of Pearl, Paua Shell, Cape Amethyst, Amber, Smoky Quartz, Blue Topaz, Smoky Topaz, Freshwater Pearls, Cubic Zirconia and more. Each stone is a unique gift from the earth and it is natural for them to vary ever-so-slightly in shape and color. We take care to include them in our collections, and every stone used is faceted by hand.
Caring for Your Gemstones
To best care for your semi-precious stones, clean them in a solution of water and a few drops of mild dish soap. A soft toothbrush and a few gentle strokes are all that is needed to clean into tight corners, but be sure to keep the brush away from any metal parts of the jewelry to which the stone may be attached so as to avoid scratches. After brushing, rinse your jewelry in clean water and dry it with a soft cloth.
(To learn more about the stones we use and birthstone jewelry, click here.)
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