Le Gioie Srl


FAQ: Frequent Asked Questions

Are chains Made in Italy?

Yes, sure! We made a conscious choice and we are proud that all the chains we produce are manufactured in our Milan factory, using the best raw materials (99,7% pure aluminium and copper), of European origin and highly selected . In our work, the choice of raw materials is fundamental because this determines a high quality final result.

Which is the difference between aluminium, light alloy and copper chains?

ALUMINIUM: 99,7% pure metal (raw base: grey), light and soft, covered with colouring (anodizing / anodic oxidation or painted) in various finishes, always nickel free. Cheap price.

LIGHT ALLOY: not anodized aluminium metal, but treated so that it can be galvanized in various finishes, both with nickel and nickel free. Average price.

COPPER: 99,7% pure metal (raw base: reddish), heavier and more resistant than aluminium. It can be painted and/or galvanized in various finishes (gilding, nickel plating, silver plating, antiquing, gunmetal, palladium, rose gold, etc ...), both with nickel and nickel free. More expensive price than both aluminium and light alloy.

What is the ideal intended use for each material?

ANODISED ALUMINIUM: This material is particularly suitable for costume jewellery items (bracelets, necklaces, bijoux, fashion accessories, etc.) because it is very light and versatile.

GALVANIZED LIGHT ALLOY: This material is particularly suitable for accessories intended for leather goods, clothing and footwear (shoulder straps for bags, accessories for clothes, accessories for shoes, etc ...) because it is a very light material, but resistant and with a precious (galvanic) finishing.

GALVANIZED COPPER: This material is heavier than light alloy. It is suitable for small chains that must be resistant (shoulder bags for small evening bags or clutches), since some models can also be welded. The finish is precious (galvanic).

Which are the differences between the various chain finishes: raw, anodic oxidation, galvanic, painting and enamelling?

RAW: aluminium or copper (99,7% pure) which do not require any further finishing process.

ANODIC OXIDATION or ANODIZATION: it is an economic treatment suitable only for aluminium chains. It is a chemical process by electrolysis in which the aniline powder colours dissolve in hot water. The choice of superior quality raw material is crucial. The aluminium we use is 99,7% pure and requires special preliminary treatments that make it even brighter after the treatment. Anodic oxidation requires a high degree of cleaning of the surface to be treated. During the treatment, a real surface transformation takes place in the raw material, in fact the oxide film obtained is transparent and extremely porous, suitable for capturing coloured powders. The final step allows to close the pores and fix the colour. Anodizing is nickel free, therefore particularly suitable for bijoux and costume jewellery.

GALVANIZATION / PLATING: for light alloy and copper. It is an industrial process consisting of coating a raw metal with a thin layer of another metal. The raw chains are then immersed in a galvanic bath and crossed by electric current which, passing from one electrode to the other, brings metal particles on the surface. In this way chains become gilded, nickel-plated, silver-plated, etc ... This treatment can be nickel-based or nickel-free to prevent any nickel allergy due to direct and protracted contact with human skin. Be careful because not all “nickel free” platings are the same. There are in fact 2 qualities of nickel free: a cheaper one (with a cheap white bronze base) and a more precious one (with palladium-listed on the Stock Exchange and susceptible to price changes, but more resistant than white bronze).

PAINTING: coloured coating with epoxy thick paint (from 25 to 35 microns) carried out on aluminium or copper chains. Nickel free.

ENAMELING: handmade decoration process with coloured enamels, on already treated chains with anodizing or galvanizing

Can chains be further protected?

Yes, with protection A (antioxidant). It is a special protective paint that extends the duration of anodizing and galvanizing on chains. It has a thickness that may range from about 8 microns to 15 microns and the variability depends on the operator's manual ability. Nickel free

What is the duration of galvanic or anodizing process?

It depends on many personal and environmental variables. It is recommended not to expose chains to: humidity, atmospheric phenomena, crashes, rubbings, scratches and abrasions. Metal surfaces in contact with epidermis (due to the acidity of skin, sweat, perfumes, etc.) and / or assembled with other acid or alkaline surfaces (e.g. treated and tanned leathers, plastics, synthetic fabrics, adhesives, etc ...), may cause chemical reactions that might damage finishing.

How to clean chains?

Usually, chains can be cleaned with a soft cloth, moistened with water. Chains will return to shine like new, removing any surface matt patina or fingerprints. Other damage due to degeneration cannot be recovered.

Can leather tanning damage chain put on bags, shoulder straps, shoes or clothing?

If leather tanning is a guaranteed quality and is not recently treated, there is no problem. Otherwise and only under certain conditions, a chemical process might occur due to the acids of leather tanning. They could react and damage the colouring or galvanic surface treatments, especially if packed in non-breathable material.

Are chains under current international regulations?

Of course, all chains, materials used and surface treatments comply with all the international regulations currently in force.

What does nickel free mean?

Nickel free surface treatment. Nickel is a very common metal used as a base for many galvanic treatments. Those who are sensitive to nickel may have a skin reaction. For this reason, there have been various regulations, the first in 1994 (94/27 / EC), which limited nickel use in objects intended to be in contact with skin. Be careful because not all “nickel free” platings are the same. There are in fact 2 qualities of nickel free: a cheaper one (with a cheap white bronze base) and a more precious one (with palladium-listed on the Stock Exchange and susceptible to price changes, but more resistant than white bronze). This treatment is specially requested on chains intended to be used for costume jewellery (bracelets, necklaces, bijoux, fashion accessories, etc ...).

Is nickel free anti allergic?

The most suitable term to use is not anti allergic, but hypoallergenic, that is, it is capable of limiting allergies and reducing allergenic risks. To date, the reference standards for nickel are the following and establish their release limits:

Regulation (EC) n. 1907/2006 (so-called Reach Regulation) - articles 67-73 and Annex XVII, n. 27

Legislative Decree 14 September 2009, n. 133 - art. 16 (Penalty discipline REACH Regulation)

Standard EN 1811: 2011 Reference test method for the release of nickel from all assemblies which are inserted into pierced parts of human body and articles intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with skin

Standard EN 12472: 2009 Method for the simulation of wear and corrosion for the determination of nickel release from coated articles.

Is nickel free treatment more expensive?

Yes, but only for galvanic treatments and not for anodizing or painting, because metals that must replace nickel base are white bronze or palladium. Palladium is a precious metal and has a market value significantly higher than nickel. It is even listed on the Stock Exchange (as gold) and suffers relative price fluctuations.

Is electroplating with nickel or nickel free more resistant?

Electroplating with nickel is more resistant because nickel is a harder metal than white bronze and palladium and therefore determines a longer life of plating on chains.