ABOUT NUNN DESIGN PRODUCTS
Nunn Design products are hand crafted in the United States from teams of generational craftsmen. The quality and innovation of the Nunn Design Findings is what sets our brand apart from other findings companies.
Nunn Design Casted Pewter
Nunn Design bezels, beads, beadcaps, charms flat tags and rings are only cast in the United States of America using the pewter alloy NL7. This alloy’s constituents consist of 95.75% Tin, 2% Antimony, .25% Copper and 2.00% Bismuth. The higher percentage of tin has always been the hallmark to indicate the higher quality pewter alloys.
All pure Tins have trace elements. The grade of Tin used by our USA alloy manufacturer uses .005% lead to make our casting alloy. This trace amount is the same amount of lead that is used to coat the inside of your canned goods sitting in your kitchen cabinet. According to best industry practices, the terminology of “lead-free” is used to describe the metal content of the Nunn Design pewter castings.
Conflict Minerals Act
The 95.75% of tin that makes up NL7 pewter is mined in Peru. It is the intention of our suppliers to continue to drive its supply base to a completely DRC-Conflict Free status and to be able to provide information from its suppliers in Peru with respect to the Conflict Minerals Act.
Nickel Content of Nunn Design Pewter
There is 0% nickel content within the NL7 pewter used Nunn Design castings.
California Proposition 65
Products offered for sale by Nunn Design®, including the full line of cast pewter designs; do not require labeling under Proposition 65. As of November 1, 2011, all chemicals present in products sold by Nunn Design® are either not listed in Tables A (22 CCR 12705) or Table B (22 CCR 12805), or are present in such small traces quantities so as to qualify as exempt from labeling under the Safe Harbor provision of the Act.
“If an exposure subject to the Act can be shown to be less than the specific regulatory level, the responsible person has “safe harbor” from warning requirement and discharge prohibition.”
Proposition 65 – Development of Safe Harbor Levels, February 2001
Nunn Design Brass Findings
Nunn Design bangles, bead caps, ear wires, earrings, findings, jump rings and rings are crafted in the United States of America from solid brass and plated in the same process as our cast findings. Please see product details for specific information.
Nunn Design Plating
Nunn Design Findings are electroplated using precious metals; copper, 24k gold and .999 fine silver. The process of plating is very involved and requires many steps. Each painstaking step is what adds to the quality that Nunn Design is known for. All of the Nunn Design Findings are plated in the USA.
Here is an outline of the many steps that we meticulously execute to achieve the standards that you have come to expect.
1. Once the lead-free pewter findings are cast and the brass findings formed, the findings are placed in large lead-free tumblers with pre-finishing mediums and tumbled thoroughly. This process allows for smoothing of the edges and surfaces of all the findings and thus easier to plate.
2. Next the findings are thoroughly washed to remove any dirt and oil in preparation for the electrolytic solution baths that they will be placed in. Electroplating is a process where the findings are places into an electrolytic solution within a tank and an electrical current is placed within the solution to have the precious metals adhere to the pewter and brass surfaces. Tanks that hold these solutions are frequently inspected to the best of our ability to make sure they are free of any contamination.
3. The initial plating of all the Nunn Design Findings is a layer of copper. The copper plating seals the surface of the findings and creates a barrier prior to the precious metals being applied.
4. For the Antique Gold, Antique Silver and Sterling Silver plates that Nunn Design offers, we plate over the initial copper layer with a minute amount of nickel. This is a critical step in the plating process because it allows the precious metals to have a smooth, non-coarse surface in which to attach. After the second plating, we then plate with precious metals; 24k gold and .999 fine silver.
5. After applying the precious metals, the findings are rinsed, rinsed again and then dropped into boiling hot water. Findings are then placed in a dryer to fully remove any moisture.
6. The final plating process consists of applying a water-based acrylic antiquing solution to provide a blackened relief. Findings are then placed in a tumbler with finishing mediums. This final step is what provides the Nunn Design Findings with its precious metal finish. Although we try to be consistent in the finished results, it is impossible to have each piece come out exactly the same.
To learn more about cleaning the Nunn Design Findings and why it is important, please read: How & Why it is Important to Clean Nunn Design Bezels. Tutorial + Video
To learn how to care for tarnished Nunn Design silver plated findings, please read: How to Care for Tarnished Silver Plated Jewelry Findings
To learn how to care for tarnished Nunn Design copper plated findings, please read: 5 Ways to Clean Tarnished Copper Jewelry Findings
For the Antique Copper plate that Nunn Design offers, the plating process is slightly different. The initial plate of copper that is coating the findings is 50-60 mils thick. It is then chemically blackened and vibed within a tumbler with finishing mediums to relieve it of any excess blackening. It is rinsed three times and dried. Next the findings are coated with a water-based acrylic to protect the copper. The final step consists of heading back to the tumbler for a final vibe. The plating for the Antique Copper Findings is nickel-free.
Nunn Design Earrings and Ear Wires
In addition to the copper findings, Nunn Design earrings and ear wires are plated nickel-free. The only step that is different in the Nickel-free plating process is within Step #4. After the initial plate of copper that is placed on the pewter and brass findings to seal the metals, the findings are “flashed” in a second lead-free acid copper tank. This “flash” layer of copper plating is what allows the precious metals to adhere to the finding’s surface. Earrings and ear wires are then plated using 24k gold and .999 fine silver.
Antique Silver-plated earrings and ear wires are plated with the .999 fine silver and then dipped in a bath of liver of sulfur to darken them. They are tumbled to relieve them of excess darkening.
Antique Gold plated earrings and ear wires that are plated with the 24k gold are coated with a water based antique finish and are tumbled to relieve them of excess darkening.
Sterling Silver plated earrings and ear wires are plated with .999 fine silver. Once plated with the precious metal a chromating process begins to prevent the sterling from tarnishing. Findings are then rinsed, dried and coated with an acrylic base for the finished results.
Once the nickel-free earrings and ear wire findings are rinsed and dried, they then go through a final water based acrylic wax coating bath to provide a final finish that does not yellow.
Nickel-free plating is far more expensive due to the intensive steps that it takes to plate with the two layers of copper. The second “flash” of copper is very delicate and the person plating must be very sensitive to the precision timing that it takes to get the nickel-free plating just right.