For 200 years metal craftsmen
have known the art of mechanically
bonding gold and silver to a reinforcing metal
to produce Gold-filled and Silver-filled material

Gold and Silver
Gold and Silver have been precious commodities of exchange since before recorded history. Besides the scarcity of gold, and its intrinsic beauty, one reason for the high demand is its malleable character, allowing skilled craftsmen to stretch and form it into the myriad shapes of fine jewelry.

When mined, gold is soft, and some people say unattractive in color. For commercial use it is alloyed, which means other metals are added to provide strength and color variety. This is called Karat Gold. Karat golds of various colors and shades can be obtained by combining other metals with fine gold.

A pre-dominant amount of nickel in the alloy is used to produce white gold, while copper gives red, and silver results in green. Various percentages of other metals such as zinc, palladium, cobalt, etc., also affect the color and physical characteristics of the Karat gold.

Sterling Silver
Sterling silver is composed of 92.5% fine silver, with a balance of copper added to increase its malleability and to tone down the brilliance of fine silver.

Twenty-four Karat gold is 99.9% pure; 12 Karat gold is almost 50% pure gold. Karat gold and Sterling are measured in troy ounces, which are approximately 10% heavier than the standard (Avoirdupois) ounces in common use. Troy ounces are broken down into (20) pennyweights and pennyweights into (24) grains. This standard of measurement is used for all precious metals.

For 200 years metal craftsmen have known the art of mechanically bonding gold and silver to a reinforcing metal (such as bronze or nickel silver) producing Gold-filled and Silver-filled material. This filled material provides many of the desirable features of solid Karat Gold and Sterling. The beauty of the precious metal is retained in the outer layer and the layer of reinforcing metals makes the product both economical and durable.

We offer filled or solid materials in our Custom and Trophy Belt Buckles, allowing you to have our fine workmanship in a price range to fit your budget. The materials most commonly used are 10 Karat gold filled (10K gold over jewelers bronze) and Sterling filled ("Sterling Filled," our trade name for Sterling silver over nickel silver). An alternative to Gold Filled is Jewelers bronze, which polishes to a luster comparable to yellow gold. This material itself has a distinguished history in the jewelry industry.

We hope this explanation of the materials available will help in your decision to order your Custom or Trophy Belt Buckles from us at Skyline Silversmiths.