Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of metal and techniques do you use in your jewelry?
When creating my designs, I use the products and materials that are best suited to complement each other. Materials you will most frequently see I use are natural semi-precious stones, gold filled or vermeil chains. My hand cast pendants can have a Sterling silver, brass or white metal base but are always heavily plated in14kt, 18kt gold or .925 Sterling silver.
1. Gold-filled jewelry is jewelry composed of a solid layer of gold (typically constituting at least 5% of the item's total weight) mechanically bonded to a base of either sterling silver or some base metal. The related terms "rolled gold plate" and "gold overlay" may legally be used in some contexts if the layer of gold constitutes less than 5% of the item's weight. Gold-filled is often referred to as "sweat-proof" jewelry.
2. Gold vermeil, whilst similar to gold plating, has some key differences that make it distinctive. Vermeil is a technique originating in the 19th century, where gold was applied to sterling silver. Gold vermeil is also made through the gold plating technique but requires a thicker layer of gold. For some reason Vermeil is getting a bit of a bad rap these days from people wanting to sell you expensive plated steel or even gold filled products. Vermeil has been around for centuries for a reason - it is long lasting and beautiful. Vermeil can tarnish with time but it can easily polished back to it original beauty.
3. Gold plated jewelry involves a thin layer of gold electroplated onto a base metal, such as brass or nickel. The gold content is minimal, usually around 0.05% of the total weight. While gold plated items can be affordable, they may wear off more quickly with regular use, exposing the base metal beneath.
4. Enameled jewelry is an ancient technique that dates as far back as the 13th century BC. It is a glass powder or paste that is applied to metal, then fired in an annealing oven to bake the glass onto the metal. Enamel refers to a coating applied to the metal of a piece of jewelry. It is applied as a paste or powder and then heated to extremely high temperatures of more than 1500 degrees to fuse the metals with the powder, creating a colorful coating that would not be possible with metals alone. Enameling is mesmerizing - to see powder turn into glass and then cool is really magical. Its one of my favorite mediums.
Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Wax casting
5. I am a jewelry designer and jeweler. Many of the pendants and enamel you see are my own designs. Some are cast from handmade pieces I have created at my bench, while others I have created using the lost wax process. I carve and shape blocks of wax into models and then encase these pieces into a plaster- like medium known as investment. The investment is heated to extreme temperatures to incinerate the material, creating an impression of the desired form - and voila - there is a one-of-a-kind piece that can then be replicated.
What kind of stones do you use in your jewelry?
Knickerbocker Lane designs use natural stones have color variation– just like you see in nature. That is what makes our pieces special! I love gems and incorporate them into most of my designs. You will see a range of natural elements including Mother of Pearl, Moonstones, Sapphires of all colors, Pearls, Lapis, Agate, Jade, Opals, Turquoise, Kyanite, Malachite, Amethyst, Moonstone, Rubies, Emeralds, Sapphires, and Poli Diamonds- to just name a few. You will see all of the beautiful colors in nature's rainbow in my jewelry. Customers may see slight variations from the images shown on the site because the stones and enamel used for our designs are unique to each piece and handmade in small batches. We work hard to ensure our pictures capture accurate images of the natural beauty of each piece but please be aware that there can be color variations and there can be slight differences depending on your computer or phone’s resolutions, filters, apps etc.
Where is your jewelry designed and made?
Who: Lucia Rambusch-Adam. Creator - Designer - Maker.
Where: Denver CO, NYC, NY, & Portland Maine and suppliers from around the globe.
How: Thoughtfully assembled piece by piece in my studio or with the support of my fellow artisans and resources.
How do I care for my Knickerbocker Lane jewelry?
Knickerbocker Lane Jewelry is meant to be worn, loved, appreciated and celebrated! With a little care and these tips, you'll ensure your jewelry lives its best life for decades to come. Please use a little TLC and common sense when wearing and caring for your pieces. Let’s keep these beauties safe!
Tips for wearing and caring for your pieces:
Keep It Clean
Regular cleaning is essential to prevent the buildup of dirt, oils, and cosmetics on the jewelry's surface. To clean most of our metal jewelry, you can use a mild dish soap or a jewelry cleaning solution. Mix a small amount of soap with lukewarm water and gently scrub the jewelry with a soft toothbrush. Rinse it thoroughly under cool water and pat it dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Avoid Abrasive Materials
Abrasive materials like rough fabrics or abrasive cleaning tools can scratch the gold layer and diminish its shine. Store jewelry separately or in a soft pouch to prevent scratching.
Polishing and Buffing
Sometimes metal jewelry can lose its shine over time due to wear. You can use a jewelry polishing cloth to gently buff the surface and restore its luster. Avoid excessive polishing, as this can wear down the gold layer.
Use Care With Semi-Precious stones:
Generally, semi-precious gemstones are hard stones making them durable, easy to wear and clean. Semi-precious stones can be cleaned with warm soapy water. Dip your stone into the water for a few seconds and use a jewelry cleaning brush to softly remove any build-up around the stone. When putting on jewelry with semi-precious stones, never place pressure directly on the stones themselves.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Avoid Harsh Chemicals Harsh chemicals, including chlorine, bleach, and other strong cleaning agents, can damage the gold layer and the base metal of the jewelry. Ideally remove jewelry before swimming, cleaning, or using any chemicals.
Store Safely & Properly
Because Knickerbocker Lane jewelry is handmade and often in small batches, we recommend that you should store it in the dust bags provided with your shipment and keep your jewelry in a cool, dry place to prevent tangling and protect it from exposure to air and moisture.
Rotate Your Jewelry
Wearing the same piece of jewelry every day can lead to more wear and tear. Rotate your collection to distribute the wear evenly across your pieces
Use the Right Cleaners
Before you go applying home remedies like toothpaste and ammonia it's important to brush up on what will and won't work for the different gems in your collection. When in doubt, most commercially prepared jewelry cleaners are safe but extra care should be taken with particularly sensitive gems like pearls, enamel, porous semi-precious stones and amber.
Minimize Contact with Moisture: Moisture
When trapped under the jewelry, moisture can lead to tarnishing. Avoid wearing jewelry in heavy humid environments or while exercising, as sweat can accelerate tarnishing. If the jewelry does get wet, make sure to dry it thoroughly.
Limit Exposure to Products
Perfumes, lotions, and makeup can contain chemicals that may react with the metals in your jewelry, causing tarnishing or discoloration. Apply these products before putting on your jewelry to minimize contact.
Check for Loose Stones
It’s a good idea to inspect your jewelry. Checking occasionally for loose stones, clasps and other important part of your jewelry. If you notice anything lose you should not wear it and have it checked by a professional or consider if necessary, have it repaired.
If your jewelry becomes heavily tarnished or discolored, consider taking it to a professional jeweler for cleaning and polishing. They can safely restore its appearance without damaging the gold layer.