Gold Filled - is a thick layer of gold, usually 14K-18K mechanically bonded to either sterling silver or brass. It is usually 5-10x thicker than Gold Plate, making it more durable and will last a lifetime if taken care of. It is a great option for the look of real gold without the premium price.
Gold Plate - is a thin layer of gold that is bonded to base metal through the process of dipping the metal. Over time and wear, the plating will wear away leaving the exposed base metal.
Vermeil - the same idea as Gold Plate but using Sterling Silver as the base. You will pay more for vermeil than gold plated because of the metal they start with. This technique is good for jewelry that will not be worn everyday.
Sterling Silver - is a soft metal that contains 92.5% sterling silver and 7.5% of other metal (usually copper) to harden it. Sterling silver is a great metal for hand-stamping because it allows deep impressions when stamped. Sterling Silver is often noted as 925. **Sterling Silver can tarnish when left out in the open but is also easy to clean.
Base Metal - can be a variety of alloys such as copper, brass, aluminum, red brass, etc. On occasion we use some of these metals in our designs but never for earring posts.