Quality Findings?

Q: Would someone please list in order from cheap to expensive, the terms used for the quality of findings? For example, I take it that goldtone are the least expensive, then what is next...gold plated? Gold filled? What is the best? What about for the silver looking metals?

A: Goldtone & silver tone are about the same price & quality. Next would come plated - gold plate is usually a little more than silver plate; quality depends on what the base metal is and how thick the plating is. Gold filled would be the next step up in "gold"- the cost/quality depends on the composition of the fill, the base metal & whether it is filled on both sides (for sheet metal). Sometimes the fill is as low as 12K, & once I saw 18K. Vermeil is gold plating on sterling - quality will depend on thickness of plating, but what I've seen seems to be a pretty high karat gold, and even when it rubs off, you will have a "precious" metal left. Finally, you have the solid gold alloys, the cost & value dependant on karat - 10K the cheapest (and considered "costume jewelry" by many), 14K (most common--OK for most with metal sensitivities), 18K (the lowest K that many Asian immigrants will accept as "real" gold!; also OK for most who are extremely sensitive to base metals); 22K is usually used for clasps on 24K chains, but is very soft and rarely available; 24K is pure gold, and too soft for most uses, more of an "investment" jewelry-- again, popular with 1st generation Asian women: it's something to pass down to daughters and a hedge against poverty in one's old age.... Does anyone know of a source for the plain nylon earwires and posts? They seem to be all that I can wear, except for sterling silver, and my local sources dried up several years ago. As far as earwires are concerned, I will never use anything but sterling silver or 14kt gold filled. It just is not worth using anything that will cause a reaction on the skin. Both S.S. and gold filled are about the same price not expensive at all. I can't ware anything that has nickel in it and most of your customers can't either and besides what is the point of doing a beautiful piece of bead work and putting it on a cheap nickel earwire. This is so weird, but my personal body chemistry will not allow me to wear silver or gold. When I do, they both turn my skin black and people tell me I am dirty, LOL. No kidding. So, I use the good findings for everyone else and switch to the cheap ones for the jewelry I keep for myself. I can wear any kind of cheap metal with no problem.