About Peter James Jewelry

Who is Peter James?

This is a question we are asked a lot! In 1971 Peter James was founded by a by James Bess and Peter Moretti, the line was named from their first names.

In 1972 John Peterson came aboard the team and two years later in 1974 Lynette Matson was hired. The two of them met, fell in love and eventually took it over. In 1982 their daughter Erika was born, and in 2006 she joined the team.

About the Designers:

Designers Lynette and Erika are a mother/daughter team, their co-designing brings together their different histories and training, combining to create pieces that are both timeless and elegant while also pushing the envelope when it comes to dramatic flair and style. The hand forged pieces transform wire and sheet metals into wearable works of art.

Lynette Matson

Lynette was fortunate enough to take her first jewelry class when she was 14, she immediately knew it was her life’s passion and pursued learning more and gaining skills from that point on. Lynette is mostly self taught but did received some training from notable artists including Glenn Miller, Michael Good, and Alan Revere.

Erika Peterson

Erika has been drawn to art since she can remember.  Having supportive parents in a creative industry allowed her to experiment and try lots of mediums ranging from painting to photography to ceramics and sculpture.  In community college she narrowed her focus on welded steel sculpture, while continuing to draw and paint. In 2005 she graduated with a BFA in sculpture and painting from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

 About the Product

All our jewelry is made by hand, we mostly use sterling silver and 14k gold filled, however we can produce just about any of our style with solid gold if requested.  We think gold filled is an incredible product, far more durable than plating, and it can be forged and formed, which makes it perfect for our designs.

UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOLD FILLED AND GOLD PLATED

GOLD FILLED:    

Karat gold is bonded to a rod (about the size of a traffic flare) or brick of CDA bronze alloy with silver solder, heat, and pressure.  Metallurgy and magic combine to anneal, roll, and draw these chunks to prescribed gauges of wire and sheet.  Gold filled standards require the karat gold layer to compose 1/20th or 5% of the total weight of the piece, as well as be at least 10K. We use 14k gold filled.

GOLD PLATED:

Electrical currents are used to move positively charged metal particles (ions) through a liquid solution to bond on a negatively charged object.  Put simply, gold ions are a deposited layer on a base metal work piece.  Industry standards tell us 7 microns (a micron 1/millionth of a meter) is the minimum layer thickness in order for a piece to be called gold plate. 

VERMEIL:

This is essentially the same as gold plating, except the base layer consists of 0.925 sterling silver instead of a non precious metal used in regular plating.  The gold must be at least 10K and be deposited in a layer at least 1.5 micrometers thick.

Questions? We'd love to hear from you!