This design makes use of fluted (or corrugated) beads that are composed of 14/20 Gold. That means that 14K Gold is the outer 20% of the bead. If it had been solid Gold, its cost would have been at least 5 times the cost of the goldfilled one. To quote Wikipedia, “Gold-filled items, even with daily wear, can last five to 30 years but will eventually wear through”. I have a pair of earrings that I used 14K goldfilled French earwires on and while I don’t wear them daily, in 20 years of regular wear, they haven’t even a sign of “wearing through”. Gold plating is good enough for costume jewelry perhaps, but not for designs that can be passed on to others with confidence.
As I stated in the narrative for Amazonite, Bone, Ivory and Plastic (please see link), I don’t know for sure the three oval beads are Ivory. They were given to me by an elderly friend who had owned them for a long time and have faint, slightly darker “stripes” which seem like those on true Ivory. If I were to discover how to test them for authenticity, I would lower the price by $50.
The warm color of the organic beads in this piece called for Gold instead of Sterling. Unfortunately, this piece was made when the price of Gold was $1300 an ounce and as I write this, has now exceeded $1400. I tried several combinations of beads but couldn’t eliminate any more expensive metal beads without destroying the integrity of the design (and I am pleased with it, with its glowing roundnesses). Therefore, I must ask what seems to me an unheard of price: $568.