Let us be clear : you deserve to treat yourself right. Sadly I got to understand this myself only years after I gave birth to my first child. You know what they say, better late ... well, they are right!
I got my ears pierced when I was 6 and since that day I have been a fan of any kind of earrings but mostly the jinglier the better! Over time I have been through phases though. Like that good few years when I would avoid the dangly kind - those teeny weeny fingers gripping anything jutting out - see what I mean? Or before that during my teens when my hormones would play against me and I would desperately try to keep all eyes off me by crossing any sort of colours off my shopping list. Anyway, whatever the sort, I have most of my life hooked to my ears some cheap antique looking brass findings often resulting in red itchy tender lobes. Until that time back in 2015 when pregnant with my second child I suddenly realised what was getting utterly important to me was to look after myself and respect my body. More money invested in the right stuff, more comfort for my body, less chances to cram my closet and feed the charities with poor quality fashion accessories. More value for myself, for my community and for my planet. It came as a package.
I started to look at the jewellery with a different eye always reading the labels and favouring those punched with a silver mention. Naturally when came the time to set up my jewellery business I had to make a similar decision. Since day one of the Lopsided Studio, all my earrings have proudly sported sterling silver findings - 95% of them sourced here in Scotland, another thing I am very proud of (note to myself : draft a post about it). Opting for sterling silver is a better guarantee of durability and comfort* provided you know how to care for it. 1/ Yes. You will have to be careful when storing your jewellery (see FAQ on how do I care for my jewellery). 2/ Yes. You will have to polish it occasionally because the alloy tarnishes over time - no harm though but it will look sloppy if you never rub it. 3/ Yes, you will have to add that extra money to get it. Sterling silver is an alloy made of 7.5% base metal and 92.5% pure silver. It is a member of the precious metals family. It does not flake. It is valuable. It is lightweight and comfortable. It pairs beautifully well with polymer clay.
For all those reasons, I have never had any second thoughts about my decision to use sterling silver in my findings and hearing about my customers' gratitude has also reinforced my belief that no matter the kind of art or craft, what makes it more valuable is the thought we put in it.
* I have heard a few people reporting some sensitivity with sterling silver but the vast majority of us acknowledge it is the most comfortable option.