GOLD

Gold jewelry whether 10k, 14k, 18k or 24k is valuable. But what is the difference between 10k, 14k, 18k and 24k gold jewelry anywhere and what is really in a karat. Your gold jewelry has a purity level that is determined by the karat. So let's take a closer look at what this means for your jewelry and how you can determine the best karat weight for your needs.

Why Is Gold Jewelry So Popular

It been instinctively attractive for thousands of years. Gold has been a measurement of wealth and authority since the beginning of civilization and we are instinctively drawn to it. Historically gold jewelry was a convenient means of both displaying your wealth and carrying your accumulated wealth with you for convenient use in times of need. The symbolic significance of gold cannot be underestimated to the human psyche.

What is Gold

Pure gold, or AU on the periodic table, is metallic yellow in color. AU is a very flexible and soft metal in comparison with other elements. There are various other metals that can share the look of pure gold, pyrite for example, traditionally known as fool's gold, but there is no substitute for 14k gold.

Gold Purity and The Karat System

Gold is a very stable metal in that it stands the test of time and is not known to rust, fade, or diminish. Being of the softer metals it is easy to work with and ideal for shaping into beautiful jewelry pieces. Being as soft as it is, when working with gold, jewelers will mix additional alloys with gold to strengthen it and increase its durability. The alloys are typically a mixture of nickel, zinc, copper and silver.

The addition of these alloy metal mixes affect the ultimate color of the gold. You may have seen engagement ring sets that use white gold bands, yellow gold, or other gold colors. These are created by adjusting the ratio of the alloys that are mixed with the pure gold.

The purity of your gold is determined by the Karat weight. Karat is a measure of purity that is measured from 1 to 24. So following this line of thinking 1K gold would be the strongest but contain less pure gold, and 24K gold would be pure gold.

What is the Ideal Karat Gold

So when determining a piece of gold jewelry to buy, you must consider the gold's Karat as an indicator of it's durability and purity. A 10K gold ring for example will contain 10 parts per 24 of gold, and will be especially durable for its additional alloy weight but will represent a lower value from a pure gold perspective. Higher 18K jewelry will provide additional jewelry value significance typical of wedding rings or diamond engagement rings because of it's additional value while still maintaining some of the strength benefits required for ring durability.

14K gold bands and rings are the most popular used today as they represent a compromise between color, durability, and value. A 14K gold engagement ring will contain 14 karats alloy mixed in relation to pure gold. 10K gold wedding bands are less popular but will include some cost benefits that ought be considered. Knowing what your gold karat is will help you choose.



Diamonds - Colour, Carat, Clarity and Cut, The Factors Influencing a Diamond’s Value

Background

When selecting a diamond, most jewellers refer to the 4 C’s:

Colour

Carat or weight

Clarity

Cut

These four factors largely determine the value of a diamond.

Colour

Diamonds come in a range of colours from faint yellow or brown, through to very rare pinks, blues, greens and other colours known as fancies. The best colour for a diamond is no colour, i.e. a diamond that allows white light to pass through it effortlessly and be dispersed in a rainbow of colours.

The best colourless stones carry a grading allocated ‘D’. From here, grades are designated letters ranging all the way through the alphabet down to Z, for diamonds which may be light yellow, brown or grey. Colour gradings are difficult compare/determine without the correct conditions and equipment.

The colour of diamonds is determined by the presence of trace elements present in the atomic structure of the diamond. The more intense the colour, the further the grading descends down the scale.

Some colours occur extremely rarely and are calssified by a different scale. Such colours may include pinks, blues, greens, amber and red. As mentioned above, these colours are called ‘fancy colours’, with classifications dertermined by hue and saturation.

Carat or Weight

The weight of diamonds is measured in ‘carats’ (often abbreviated to ‘ct’), with diamonds being available in various weights and fractions of a carat. One carat is divided up into 100 points such that 0.75 carat is the same as 3Ž4 carat.

The word carat is derived from the carob tree or Ceratonia Siliqua, which produces seeds of high uniformity and consistent weight. Diamonds and other gemstones were originally weighed against these seeds. More recently, one carat (or 100 points) has been standardised at 0.2grams

While size is a major determining factor in the price of a diamond, quality can also play a significant role. It should also be noted that the larger a diamond, the rarer it is, which will also have a bearing on its value.

Clarity

Almost all diamonds contain inclusions (often called birthmarks) which affect its clarity. There are an internal flaws or inclusions. External flaws also exist and may consist of surface irregularities or blemishes which also affect clarity.

Imperfections may not be seen by the naked eye but can be seen using microscopes operated at 10x magnification. Clarity of diamonds is graded using a complex method which evaluates the size, location and visibility of the inclusions.

The fewer the number of inclusions, the rarer the diamond and hence the higher its desirability and value. The type, size and number of imperfections influences a diamonds’ grade. These grades are summarised in table 1.

Table 1. Classifications of diamonds.

Classification

Description

Flawless and Internally Flawless
F1 & FL

Flawless is the highest grade. These diamonds contain no detectable flaws when viewed with a microscope at 10x magnification.
Internally flawless diamonds contain no visible internal flaws when viewed with a microscope at 10x magnification, but have minor surface blemishes.

Very Very Slightly Included
VVS1 & VVS2

The classification is divided into 2 categories. They contain minute inclusions often only seen by experienced graders under a microscope at 10x magnification.

Very Slightly Included
VS1 & VS2

Again, this category is divided into 2 categories. They contain slight imperfections which are still difficult to detect under a microscope.

Slightly Included
SI1 & SI2

Also divided into 2 categories. These diamonds contain slight imperfections that can be seen under a microscope at 10x magnification.

Included
I1, I2 & I3

This category is divided into 3 classes, with increasing number indicating flaws that are more obvious, with some being visible to the naked eye.

Cut

Often confused with the shape of a diamond. Diamonds are cut into many shapes, with the shape normally dictated by the shape of the rough diamond. This is only factor that is not dictated by nature.

When cut by a skilled diamond cutter, not only is the resultant diamond a sight to behold, but it is also better able to handle light, producing more scintillation and sparkle or brilliance.

A well cut diamond reflects light from one facet to another and then out through the top. A diamond cut too deep (called a nailhead) or shallow (called fish eye) will allow light to escape through the bottom or pavillion portion.

Diamonds are usually cut with 58 flat surfaces of facets. The size and location (in relation to other facets) are determined by a precise mathematical formula, designed to maximise a diamonds’ brilliance.

Some common cuts of diamond include:


Understanding how to care for your treasured jewelry can make a world of difference in maintaining its beauty and keeping its heirloom quality sparkling for generations to come.
GIA says light and heat can affect a colored gemstone’s durability and color. Just as the sun’s harmful rays can damage our skin, over time and in excess, it can also fade and weaken some gemstones, such as amethyst, kunzite, topaz, and pink conch-shell cameos. Pearls and other delicate materials, like ivory, will bleach under extreme exposure to light. Other gems, especially amber, can darken over time when exposed to too much light.

Excessive heat and sudden temperature changes may also fracture the gem. Heat can easily remove the natural moisture some gems need to keep their beauty. Pearls, for instance, can dry out, crack and discolor. Opals will turn white or brown, develop tiny cracks, and might lose their play-of-color.

Exposure to chemicals can damage and discolor precious metals – gold, silver, and platinum – and may harm some colored gems. Fine jewelry should be removed before diving into a chlorinated swimming pool, or before using household cleaners. Many of these cleaners contain ammonia, and are only safe for diamonds and the more durable colored gems. Chlorine bleach, another common household solvent, can pit gold alloys.

GIA recommends cleaning most colored gems with warm water, mild soap (no detergents), and a soft brush. A pulsed-water dental cleaning appliance and a soft, lint-free cloth can also be used. Be sure to stop the sink’s drain or use a rubber mat in case the stone comes loose from its setting.

Soft gems, such as pearls, on the other hand, can easily be scratched. GIA suggests using an unused makeup brush instead, and warm, soapy water. Lay the pearls on a towel to dry. The wet string can stretch—and attract dirt—so don’t touch a string of pearls until they are completely dry. Pearls worn every few days should be restrung once a year.

Proper jewelry storage is often overlooked. Jewelry should never be tossed into a drawer or on top of a dresser—that’s a recipe for scratches and fractured gems. Most jewelry pieces come in a box or pouch from the store, which is a perfect place to keep them. Sterling silver, for example, should be kept in an anti-tarnish bag or cloth.

Jewelry boxes that feature individually padded slots for rings, and posts for hanging necklaces and bracelets, are also ideal. Like pearls, opals draw moisture from the air. Storing your opal ring or pearl earrings in a dry area, such as a safety deposit box, can actually do more harm than good. When traveling with jewelry, protect the pieces from scratches or other impact damage by padding the jewelry.

Many jewelry stores offer free check-up or professional cleaning at scheduled intervals (once a year is common). GIA recommends consulting a professionally qualified jeweler, such as a Graduate Gemologist, Graduate Jeweler, or Accredited Jewelry Professional.

ANTIQUE DIAMOND CUTS: ROSE CUT DIAMONDS

Diamond cutters in past centuries used techniques that are no longer common today. Often cutting diamonds by hand, they gave diamonds shapes and dimensions that capture the character and essence of their eras. Diamonds cut using the old techniques may exhibit less fire and brilliance, though they sometimes are preferred for their warmer, more romantic glow. In recent times, antique diamond cuts have enjoyed a renewed popularity. Diamonds cut using the old techniques are becoming increasingly sought after and desirable.

The rose cut features a flat bottom with a dome-shaped crown, rising to a single apex. With anywhere from 3 to 24 facets, a rose cut diamond resembles the shape of a rose bud. The rose cut dates to the 1500s and remained common during the Georgian and Victorian Eras.


The Polki Diamonds

Diamond cutting changes a rough diamond into a chiseled angular stone. Since Polki Diamonds are basically uncut, they have far less fire or brilliance when compared to chiseled diamonds. Their beauty is subtle. These diamonds are mined from the earth and retained in their natural form with virtually no modification. Raw and virtually uncut.

Every Polki diamond is unique and we wanted the designs to highlight this ancient stone¹s organic, raw and imperfect qualities. These imperfections are highlighted by coating the under sides of our diamonds in sterling silver before they¹re encased in 14 karat gold and then captured into various settings. This process ensures that all the rough lines are accentuated and reflect through each stone. Fourteen karat gold is the perfect metal to case these stones in because of its pale gold colouring which complements the grayish Polki hue. The casing mimics the shape of each stone which once again captures its naturally raw shape. The setting of each piece has carefully been designed to throw the entire spotlight on the diamond, settings are delicate and simple, uncomplicated just like the naturalness of the stones.

Polki diamonds are evergreen and are right for all ages and occasions. These very beautiful diamonds are very honorable when received with a pure heart...

The art of using Polki Diamonds in jewelry has been a tradition for centuries in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat in India. In Rajasthan, wedding jewellery and family heirlooms are considered incomplete without these uncut beauties.

The Polki Diamond maintains its value in all markets internationally and are a great investment.




What you need to know about jewelry metals

There are several metals used in the creation of fine jewelry. By knowing information about the different metals, their benefits compared with each other and their unique qualities you will be able to make a better and more informed decision about purchasing your jewelry.

The metal types commonly used to make jewelry include gold, platinum, titanium, silver and stainless steel. Metals including rhodium and palladium are also used with jewelry.

Below you will find information about each of these metal types, together with information about which metals are best for particular types of jewelry.

Gold

old is the most popular choice for men's and ladies wedding rings and engagement rings. Gold is also very popular in dress rings, earrings, pendants, necklaces and bracelets.

There are two things to consider when looking at gold. First, which gold carat to choose and second, the gold color or the combination of gold colors available.

Gold carat

There are several carats available for gold.

The carat is the gold content of the metal. The carat measures the proportion of pure gold mixed with other metal alloy to make up the final metal.

he carat of gold is represented in many countries by the abbreviation ct. Carat can also be called karat, represented by kt or K.

You may notice that carat or ct is also used to measure the weight of diamonds and gemstones. Although the same name is used, the two measurements are measuring different characteristics of jewelry.

The gold carats normally used in men's wedding bands are 9ct, 14ct and 18ct.

The higher the proportion of gold used in the final metal, the more valuable and expensive the metal will be. So all other things being the same, an 18ct ring will be more expensive than a 14ct ring and a 14ct ring will be more expensive than a 9ct ring.

Gold

ct gold contains 37.5% pure gold (375 parts per thousand parts).

14ct gold contains 58.5% pre gold (585 parts per thousand parts).

18ct gold contains 75% pure gold (750 parts per thousand parts).

he remainder of the metals is made up of a combination of alloys, different metals which can help to give the metal its unique appearance, such as a different color.

Other gold carats are used in different parts of the world including 10ct, 22ct and 24ct. It is generally considered that 22ct and 24ct gold are too soft to be used to make men's wedding rings.

10ct gold (417 parts pure gold per thousand parts) is very similar to 9ct gold and the reason why some countries use 9ct and other countries use 10ct is due to historical reasons, rather than one being superior to the other.

Jewelry is normally stamped with a marking to show the type of gold.

For 9ct gold the stamp will normally be either the number 375, 9ct, 9kt or 9K.

or 14ct gold the stamp will normally be either the number 585, 14ct, 14kt or 14K.

For 18ct gold the stamp will normally be either the number 750, 18ct, 18kt or 18K.

The stamps only indicate the carat of metal. They do not indicate the color of the metal. So for example an 18ct yellow gold ring would have a stamp of 750 as would an 18ct white gold ring.

9ct, 14ct and 18ct gold are each relatively hard and durable metals and are suitable for use in all types of fine jewelry. Gold is also suitable to be used in jewelry that is worn on an every day basis.

When choosing jewelry, particularly rings, many people consider the hardness and durability of gold to be used in their ring.

Metal hardness is measured by what is called the Vickers scale where harder metals receive a higher Vickers score than less hard metals.

9ct has a Vickers hardness of 120 and 18ct has a Vickers hardness of 125. This shows 18ct as harder, but the difference is so slight that in practical terms 9ct and 18ct are much the same in terms of hardness.

There is another difference that should be considered when comparing 9ct and 18ct. 9ct is more difficult to bend and is a little more springy and therefore a fine 9ct ring may be less likely to bend out of shape than a fine 18ct ring. However, if the ring is of a good sturdy construction neither metal will be likely to bend out of shape.

Gold colors

ext you need to consider the color of gold.

Gold is available in several different colors. The most popular is yellow gold, followed by white gold and rose gold, though other gold colors are sometimes also available such as bronze, red and lime gold.

ewelry can also be made using a combination of different gold colors. These jewelry items are sometimes called two-tone, three-tone or multi-colored gold.

The gold content of yellow gold is measured in the same way it is measured in for example white gold. So an 18ct white gold ring contains 75% pure gold, just as 18ct yellow gold contains 75% pure gold.

The difference in color between yellow, white and rose is determined by the metals used in the alloy mix.

s the color difference is due to the metal components in the alloy mix, the color of yellow gold and rose gold will not chip, fade or wear off with age.

Yellow gold is made by mixing pure gold with alloy metals such as copper and zinc.

Rose gold is made using a mix of pure gold with alloys including copper. The copper provides the rose-reddish color.

White gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals such as silver and palladium.

raditionally nickel was used in white gold, however, nickel is no longer used in most white gold made today as nickel can cause reactions with some people. We do not use nickel in our white gold

When white gold rings are new they can be coated with another white metal called Rhodium. Rhodium is a metal very similar to platinum and rhodium shares many of the properties of platinum including its white color.

The rhodium plating is used to make the white gold look more white. The natural color of white gold is actually a light grey color. The rhodium is very white and very hard, but it does wear away eventually. To keep a white gold ring looking its best it should be re-rhodium plated approximately each 12 to 18 months. Most local jewelers are able to rhodium plate jewelry for a cost effective price.

s each gold color contains the same proportion of pure gold all gold colors with the same carat weight when measured on the Vickers scale have the same Vickers score.

There can be a difference in color between the different carats of gold.

18ct yellow gold is more yellow than 9ct yellow gold with 18ct yellow gold having a richer golden color making 18ct yellow gold a more popular choice of yellow gold than 9ct for ladies engagement rings.

9ct rose gold has a darker rose-copper color than 18ct rose gold which has a more subtle rose color.

9ct white gold and 18ct white gold have a similar white color (as normally both have a rhodium plating finish.

When comparing the price of the gold colors in the same carat, white gold is normally a little more expensive than yellow gold and rose gold. Yellow gold and rose gold normally have approximately the same price.

hen trying to decide between the gold carat types there are three things to consider.

  1. The metals performance with every day wear
  2. The difference in color between the 9ct, 14ct and 18ct gold
  3. The difference in price between the gold carats.

In practical terms, 18ct generally holds up to everyday wear better than 9ct and tends to look better than 9ct as it ages over the years. This is one of the reasons why 18ct is normally preferred for ladies engagement rings rather than 9ct.

8ct is the superior metal for lady's and men's wedding rings provided that the ring is not a lightweight construction (Gillett's Jewellers rings are a good construction). However, 18ct is more expensive than 14ct and 9ct, which is usually fine for ladies engagement rings, though in a large men's ring the 18ct price can be a noticeable difference.

9ct, 14ct and 18ct are each suitable equally suitable for use in dress rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets and necklaces. Many people choose 9ct and 14ct for their earrings and pendants due to its lower price.


Titanium
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itanium is a natural element which has a silver-greyish-white color. Titanium is the hardest natural metal in the world. It is very strong, three times the strength of steel and much stronger than gold, silver and platinum and yet is very light weight. Pure titanium is also 100% hypo-allergenic which means that it if safe for anyone to wear as it will not react to your skin.

Titanium provides several unique factors that make it a good metal for jewelry. It is very strong, more dent, bend and scratch resistant than gold, silver and platinum, is lightweight and importantly offers an exotic array of colors which other metals simply do not.

ne factor to consider with titanium is that titanium cannot be soldered, which means that titanium rings cannot normally be resized.

Titanium rings made using pure titanium can normally be cut-off the finger in the event of an emergency, though they are more difficult to cut-off than gold, silver or platinum rings. Aircraft grade titanium rings normally cannot be cut-off in the event of an emergency.

Titanium is popular in earrings and bracelets for both ladies and men.

Quick Reference - What types of jewelry are suitable for titanium?
Ladies engagement ringsTitanium engagement rings are available, though because titanium cannot be soldered, the prong setting styles common in engagement rings cannot be made using titanium. The range of titanium engagement rings available is therefore significantly limited compared to gold and platinum engagement rings. Titanium engagement rings cannot be resized in the future, because the titanium cannot be re-soldered.

Ladies and men's wedding ringsTitanium is an increasingly popular choice for wedding rings. Although the same metal is recommended for use in both a lady's engagement ring and wedding ring, some ladies are preferring to wear titanium rings with their 18ct engagement rings. Titanium wedding rings cannot be resized in the future, because the titanium cannot be re-soldered.
EarringsTitanium is suitable to be used in earrings. Some titanium earrings are now available. The range available is normally smaller than for gold and silver.
Pendants and necklacesTitanium is not commonly used in pendants and necklaces due to the inability to solder titanium, limiting the shapes and designs that can be created.
BraceletsTitanium offers a lightweight alternative to gold and is more affordable for use in bracelets, making it a popular choice for men's bracelets. The color of titanium is also appealing to men and often matches the color of men's watches. View

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Platinum

Platinum is a white metal, but unlike gold it is used in jewelry in almost its pure form (approximately 95% pure). Platinum is extremely long wearing and is very white, so it does not need to be rhodium plated like white gold does.

Platinum is very dense and heavy metal, so a platinum ring will feel heavier than an 18ct gold ring.

latinum is, however, significantly more expensive than gold. With all other things being the same, a platinum ring will be approximately twice the price of an 18ct white gold ring.

Platinum is a prestige choice and is often chosen for its sophisticated appeal and popularity amongst the rich and famous.

Platinum is normally not used in the full range of jewelry products due to its higher price.

latinum is mainly used in ladies engagement rings, ladies wedding rings and men's wedding rings.

Platinum can also be used to make dress rings, though it is not commonly used to make earrings, pendants, bracelets or necklaces.

Quick Reference - What types of jewelry are suitable for platinum?
Ladies engagement ringsPlatinum is suited to ladies engagement rings. It is an increasingly popular choice. Platinum engagement rings can be resized in the future.
Gillett's Jewellers can custom make platinum engagement rings
Ladies wedding rings

Ladies who wear platinum engagement rings normally choose platinum wedding rings.
Platinum wedding rings can be resized in the future.
Gillett's Jewellers can custom make ladies platinum wedding rings.

Men's wedding ringsPlatinum is suitable for men's wedding rings, though it is significantly more expensive than other metal options, making it less popular for men's wedding rings. The choice of men's platinum wedding rings will normally be more limited than with gold wedding rings.
Gillett's Jewellers can custom make men's platinum wedding rings.

Dress ringsPlatinum is suitable for men's and ladies dress rings, though it is significantly more expensive than other metal options, making it less popular for this type of ring. The range of platinum dress rings will normally be limited..
Earrings, pendants, bracelets and necklacesPlatinum is not commonly available in these types of jewelry due to its increased expense.


Palladium

Palladium is a white metal which is has a silver-grey-white color and is similar to platinum. Palladium is one of the metals that is part of the platinum group of metals. The platinum group metals share similar chemical properties.

Palladium is well suited to use with engagement rings and wedding rings.

A few short years ago the price of palladium was actually higher than platinum, however, the price of palladium is now lower than platinum, making it a more affordable option.

Quick Reference - What types of jewelry are suitable for palladium?
Ladies engagement ringsPalladium is not recommended for engagement rings. Palladium has only relatively recently begun being used in engagement ring designs, so the number of palladium engagement ring designs will normally be smaller than for other metals.
Ladies and men's wedding ringsPalladium is recommended for wedding rings
Dress ringsPalladium is suitable for use in dress rings, though the number of palladium dress ring designs will normally be limited.
Earrings, pendants, bracelets and necklacesPalladium is suitable for use in earrings and pendants, though it is rarely used to make these items.


Silver

Sterling silver is a white-grey colored metal which is less expensive than gold, platinum and titanium.

Silver is a softer metal than gold, titanium and platinum and does not have hardness that the other metals do.

Silver is a popular metal for use in jewelry such as earrings, pendants, bracelets, necklaces and dress rings. It is best used for jewelry that will not be worn every day for an extended period. For that reason it is usually not recommend to be chosen for ladies and men's wedding rings, and is not suitable for ladies engagement rings.

Silver is also more prone to oxidisation, sometimes causing the silver to turn black. The silver jewelry can easily be made to look like new again if you use a silver jewelry cleaner (available from most department stores) or if you have your jewelry cleaned by a local jeweler.

Quick Reference - What types of jewelry are suitable for silver?
Ladies engagement ringsSilver is not recommended for engagement rings.
Ladies and men's wedding ringsSilver is not recommended for wedding rings
Dress ringsSilver is suitable for use in rings that will be worn as dress rings. These rings are generally not worn every day for an extended number of years. The range of silver dress rings for ladies and men is often quite wide and they include simple silver rings, diamond silver rings and gemstone silver rings.
Earrings, pendants, bracelets and necklacesSilver is a very popular choice for earrings as it is very cost effective and has an appealing color.


Tungsten Carbide

Tungsten carbide, also referred to simply as tungsten, is a very hard, strong and durable metal. It's also quite heavy.

Tungsten has a characteristic unique to this special metal - tungsten is highly scratch resistant.

Unlike gold, platinum and even titanium, tungsten rings do not scratch with everyday wear like the other metals do.

It is technically possible to scratch tungsten, though only with objects that are harder than tungsten. So that leaves diamonds, sapphires, rubies and ceramic. Though unless you dragged the tip of a loose diamond along the tungsten, the metal will stay scratch resistant.

Having a wedding band that's scratch resistant offers a lot of advantages.

Tungsten always looks new and bright and shiny. Tungsten offers what's referred to as a permanent polish, which means that it doesn't need to be re-polished. So, it doesn't need the polishing maintenance that gold, platinum and titanium rings do.

Tungsten stands up to the wear that even the roughest husbands can dish-out, making it a popular choice for men's wedding rings.

Tungsten has an appealing color which almost all men like. The tungsten color is a grey-white color, similar to that of white gold or titanium.

Tungsten is particularly popular in men's wedding rings.

The range of tungsten jewellery is generally more restricted than for other metals.

Tungsten rings cannot be resized (as tungsten can't be cut and resoldered), so it's important to have your finger size accuratley measured before buying a tungsten ring.


Ladies engagement ringsTungsten carbide is not recommended for engagement rings. Tungsten carbide is a hard metal to work with making it not suitable for use in most engagement ring designs.
Ladies wedding ringsTungsten carbide is not normally used for ladies rings, as most ladies choose the matching metal used in their engagement ring
Men's wedding ringsTungsten carbide is becoming popular for use in men's wedding rings. The range of tungsten carbide wedding rings is normally more limited than for gold and titanium.
EarringsTungsten carbide is not readily available in earrings.
PendantsTungsten carbide is not readily available in pendants.
Bracelets and necklacesTungsten carbide is not readily available in pendants.


Stainless steel

Stainless steel is a metal not traditionally used in fine jewelry, though its popularity in dress jewelry is increasing.

ainless steel is a relatively hard and durable metal. It is particularly popular in men's bracelets, necklaces and men's dress rings.

The range of stainless steel jewelry is generally more restricted than for other metals.

Ladies engagement ringsStainless steel is not recommended for engagement rings
Ladies wedding ringsStainless steel is not normally used for ladies rings, as most ladies choose the matching metal from their engagement ring
Men's wedding ringsStainless steel is generally not recommended for men's wedding rings. A wedding ring needs to last for a very long time, and stainless steel is not as durable as other metals used in men's wedding rings. Stainless steel can be used in men's wedding rings though the range of stainless steel wedding rings is normally more limited than for gold and titanium.
EarringsStainless steel is not readily available in earrings.
PendantsStainless steel is now often used in men's pendants and some ladies pendants due to its appealing color and lower cost.
Bracelets and necklacesStainless steel is becoming increasingly popular in men's bracelets and necklaces due to its appealing color and its lower cost.


Anniversary Stone Guide


anniversary stone guide











PEARLS



round pearlsRound Pearls are rarely perfect spheres unless they are of gem quality or imitation. The longer the pearl remains within the oyster or mussel the more chance there is of it developing an irregular shape.

Contrary to the images portrayed in films very large round pearls are uncommon - and expensive. Even pearls nucleated with a shell bead have a hard time keeping their shape as they grow.

off round pearlsThe term off-round is used to describe pearls which are 'roundish' to the eye but have a slightly oval or flattened shape. They can still have excellent qualities in terms of lustre or lack of blemish.
Oval Pearls

oval pearlsAre sometimes known as rice pearls. It comes from the very early days of Chinese freshwater pearl production when large numbers of low quality pearls entered the market and were derided as 'rice-crispies' after the cereal.

Oval pearls can form when two pearls in
the same mollusc join together.

Baroque Pearls


baroque pearlsMost natural wild pearls were off-round or baroque (a general term for irregular shape).
Bead nucleated pearls (pearls seeded with a round shell bead) may develop a tail on one side.

The most valuable baroque pearls are South Sea and Tahitian. Due to the length of time under cultivation a high percentage of the pearl harvest is baroque.

Button Pearls


Many people think of an oyster or mussel producing one pearl. In fact a mollusc may create over a dozen pearls depending on how it is seeded. Some of these are button pearls, so-called because of their shape - round on one side and flat on the other.

button pearlsThough unrelated to button pearls, America once had a thriving industry producing mother-of-pearl buttons for coats and jackets. Plastic killed the industry but American mussel shells are still exported to Japan for nucleating seawater pearls.



Keishi Pearls
are accidents which happen when the mollusc rejects the nucleus and grows a 'free form' pearl.


Parl Colours


Pearls come in a variety of colours. Natural colours are mainly down to to the breed of mollusc. Other influences include diet, water temperature and pollutants.

pearl colours
No-one can predict or control what colour pearls will be produced in any hatchery.


Black Pearlsare rarely jet black but blue, green, grey, aubergine, peacock and more. Green is the predominant colour.

black pearls
Naturally coloured black pearls come from the pearl farms of French Polynesia (Tahitian pearls) as well as Indonesia and the Phillipines.

Except for freaks, there are no natural black freshwater or Akoya pearls though these may be dyed or irradiated to simulate black pearls. The majority of 'black' pearls are treated in some way - it doesn't harm the pearl.







Biwa Pearls


The term 'Biwa' derives from Lake Biwa - a large freshwater lake near Kyoto in Japan. This was once the focus of the Japanese freshwater pearl industry. In the 1980's pearl production ceased due to industrial pollution.



Stick pearls like those shown left are sometimes called Biwa pearls.



Biwa became a generic name for all freshwater pearls regardless of their shape. Technically it is incorrect to call pearls Biwa unless they actually come from Lake Biwa.









A Guide to Pearl Qualities and Grades

Buying pearls can be confusing - there are many myths, misconceptions and misleading pieces of information, One thing is certain. The romantic image of the pearl fisherman diving off the side of a small boat to harvest pearls from the ocean floor is gone. Wild pearls still exist but are difficult to find. Nowadays, pearls are cultivated in freshwater lakes and rivers or seawater rafts.








Order Status
Has my order shipped?
How do I change quantities or cancel an item in my order?
How do I track my order?
My order never arrived.
An item is missing from my shipment.
My product is missing parts.
When will my backorder arrive?
My Account
How do I create an account?
How do I edit my account information?
How much is my shipping?
I forgot my password.
How do I return my product?
I received the wrong product.
What is your return policy?
When will my order ship?
Shipping and Returns

International Shipping
Do you ship to my country?
What are my payment choices?
When will my order ship and what are my shipping charges?
What is the return policy?
Guarantees
Quality Guarantee
Privacy Policy
Security
Pricing and Billing
Do I have to pay sales tax?
I have a question on my charges.
I need a copy of my receipt/invoice.
When will my credit appear on my account?
When will my credit card be charged?
Buyer's Guide
How do I buy/redeem a gift certificate?
How do I find my product?
How do I navigate the site?
How do I use a coupon?
Additional Support
How do I contact you?


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