by Barbara van Look, Marketing Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and BeadsĀ®

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads is updating the descriptions for all of our plated beads and jewelry-making components in an ongoing effort to give customers the most accurate and up-to-date information on metals and finishes. You will find that a number of items formerly labeled as "plated" or "colored" are now described as "finished."

All products labeled as gold-, silver- or rhodium-plated must contain that particular precious metal in order to be called "plated." "Plated" items must have a standardized plating thickness of 0.5 to 1 micron of the plating metal (gold, silver, copper, etc.) over the base metal. A micron (or micrometer) measures one millionth of a meter, thinner than a human hair. All items covered with less than 0.5 to 1 micron of plating are called "finished." This range indicates how different metal platings have different thickness requirements, according to law and industry standards.

Customers will find that these new standards are being applied to all plated items offered at Fire Mountain Gems and Beads. We will continue to review the plated items until all product descriptions are updated to meet the new standards.

The chart below lists the different finishes and their abbreviations. Customers will see these abbreviations in catalogs, product descriptions on their packing lists and invoices, as well as the labels on individual items. We will continue to review our plated items until all product descriptions are updated to meet the new standards.

Finish Abbreviation
Brass finish BRF
Brass-plated BRP
Copper finish CPF
Copper-plated CPP
Gold finish GLF
Gold-plated GLP
Gunmetal finish GMF
Gunmetal-plated GMP
Silver finish SLF
Silver-plated SLP

View additional abbreviations here