We created this Jewelry Guide to help you understand the terminology used in describing jewelry. Here,you´ll find all you want to know about precious metals, gemstones, and of course, the incomparable diamond. It also contains some of the basic information you should know before buying any jewelry, including general information about caring for your jewelry, the diamond 4C's and how to buy a diamond, descriptions of precious and semi-precious stones and the properties of different types of metals. This jewelry guide will not make you an expert, but it should help you become more comfortable in evaluating and choosing jewelry.
Diamonds are a woman´s best friend and one of the most sought out piece of jewelry. That is why it is important to know the basics of diamonds before purchasing them or any jewelry item containing diamonds. Primarily, No two diamonds are alike, which makes ones more valuable then others. The 4Cs are the universal method for assessing the quality and value of any diamond, anywhere in the world. They are cut, color, clarity, and carat.
Diamond carat weight is the measurement of how much a diamond weighs.
One "carat" = 200 milligrams.
Each carat can be subdivided into 100 'points.' This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. A jeweler may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat by its 'points' alone. For instance, the jeweler may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats as a 'twenty-five pointer'. Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as 'one point zero eight carats'.
Diamond prices increases with carat weight, because larger diamonds are more rare and more desired, for example in an engagement ring. Even so, two diamonds of equal carat weights can also have very different values (and prices) depending on three other factors of: Clarity, Color, and Cut.
The following is the GIA color scale, which is very commonly used in the United States:
|GIA color grade
||Stone looks absolutely clear, with no hint of color to the eye in color grading or mounted
||Some color tint is visible during grading. Mounted in a setting, stone appears colorless. GHI color diamonds are considered very nice diamonds for fine jewelry.
||Yellow or grayish tint is obvious during color grading. Mounted, this stone still shows a tint of color
||Obvious yellow or grayish color
||Bright, remarkable color - usually blue, pink, yellow
Diamonds evaluated on color are graded on this GIA system from D-Z. Basically, the less color a diamond contains, the more valuable it becomes. D contains the least color, while Z Contains the most.
Basically, evaluating diamond clarity involves determining the internal characteristics of these diamonds, mainly inclusions and blemishes.
||Clear stone, free of all flaws, even under 10x magnification
||No inclusions visible at 10x magnification
||Very Very Slight Inclusion #1
||Tiny inclusions are extremely difficult to find, even under 10x magnification
||Very Very Slight Inclusion #2
||Tiny inclusions are very difficult to find, even under 10x magnification
||Very Slight Inclusion #1
||Minor inclusions are difficult to see under 10 x magnification
||Very Slight Inclusion #2
||Minor inclusions are somewhat difficult to find under 10x magnification
||Slight Inclusion #1
||Inclusions are easy to see under 10x magnification. These diamonds are considered "eye clean" since inclusions can not been seen with the naked eye. In larger diamonds very very small inclusions may be visible and still be classified as SI1.
||Slight Inclusion #2
||Inclusions and/or blemishes are easy to see at 10x. These diamonds are considered "eye clean" since inclusions can not been seen with the naked eye. In larger diamonds very small inclusions may be visible and still be classified as SI2.
||Inclusions and/or blemishes are obvious and rather easy to see without magnification.
||Inclusions and/or blemishes are obvious and easy to see without magnification
||Inclusions and blemishes that are obvious to the unaided eye
Even though some stones may be low on the Clarity scale (For example, I1-I2), their value can still increase due to their Carat weight, color and Cut.
A Diamond´s cut grade is really about how well a diamond's facets interact with light.Cut is crucial to the stone's final beauty and value. The better symmetry it contains means more interaction with light, which raises the value of the stone.
This is the GIA Cut Scale for standard round brilliant diamonds in the D-to-Z color range from Excellent to Poor.
Despite the immense popularity of diamonds, colored gemstones have been among the most popular and expressive forms of jewelry. The bright and different colors of the gemstones give each a unique personality, and personal tastes in color often dictate preferences for particular stones. People revered Sapphires, Rubies, Emeralds and all kinds of gemstones long before diamonds were found. Today, gemstones are still loved for their beauty and personality.
Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby are the only three colored stones that are considered precious stones. They have retained their prized positions among jewels due to their extraordinary colors and extreme rarity. Precious gemstones with good color and large size are very hard to come by. Because of their rarity, it is common to use stones with inclusions and blemishes in jewelry.
A semi-precious gemstone includes any gemstone other than sapphire, emerald or ruby. The value of semi-precious gemstones can vary depending on the availability of the mineral; natural black opal, for example, is hard to come by and more valuable than most other semi-precious stones. As a rule, however, semi-precious stones are always more plentiful than precious stones. That makes it easier to find large, well-colored, very clean stones appropriate for jewelry. In addition, the wide range of colors available makes semi-precious stones the choice for people who want to create their own look with their jewelry.
From the time gemstones were discovered, they were believed to have mystical powers and attributes that could be passed to the wearer. About 2,000 years ago, writers began pairing each of the stones and their attributes with the months of the year and the signs of the Zodiac, and with time, the mythology of birthstones evolved. People were expected to share the attributes of the stone related to their sign of the Zodiac or month of birth.There are actually many birthstone lists in use today, the most prevalent one having been adopted in the twentieth century to sort out some of the confusion. However, some months still have more than one birthstone, and some people prefer to use the lists attached to the signs of the Zodiac.
Below is the Birthstones Chart for your reference:
Gold has the longest and most storied history of all precious metals. It is soft enough to be worked into interesting shapes. Its warm color and scarcity gave it great value in early civilizations. It´s been the foundation of many monetary systems, and remains important to our economy, even today.
Pure gold is considered too soft to make into everyday jewelry as it bends, scratches and wears away with friction. Therefore, gold is alloyed with other metals to keep its shinning glow but with added strength, durability and range of colors. To create white gold, gold is alloyed with nickel, silver and palladium. Alloying gold with copper creates Red gold. Most yellow gold containsvarying amounts of nickel, copper, and zinc.
The percentage of pure gold in an alloy is measured in karats (kt). Below is the chart to breakdown the conversion:
> Karat = Gold %
> 24 karat 100% gold
> 18 karat 75% gold
> 14 karat 58.3% gold
> 10 karat 41.6% gold
Gold is generally measured/weighed in grams or ounces. All real gold jewelry must have its karat age clearly stamped on it.
Silver was found shortly after Gold was discovered. It is the most plentiful of the precious jewelry metals. When silver is polished, it achieves an almost glassy shine, so it was used to create sacred items and jewelry. In its pure state, silver was considered too to retain a crafted shape or design, so it was alloyed with other metals for increased strength. Silver is mostly alloyed with copper today. The best-known alloys are Sterling (92.5% silver) and Britannia (95.8% silver). Naturally and coolly shinning silver is forever loved in fine and affordable jewelry designs.
Gold Filled is an elegant form of jewelry that combines a base metal with layers of gold, bonded by a chemical process. Compared to gold plated jewelry, Gold Filled jewelry is much more valuable since its created to last a very long time by neither flaking, nor changing colors. Gold plating is inexpensive jewelry that only lasts a very short time depending on the amount of usage. It is recommended to not shower with gold-filled jewelry so your pieces can last for even longer.
Basic Jewelry Care
While the jewelry Ruby Jewelry NY sells is created to last, it will last longer with proper care. This means not only using caution when wearing jewelry, but also making sure it is cleaned, repaired and stored in a proper manner.
Wearing: Caring for your jewelry starts with proper wear. It is important to know when to put your jewelry on and when to take it off. Put jewelry on after applying makeup, perfume and hairspray. Skin oil can build up over time and dull the appearance of gems and pearls, so handle them as little as possible. Remove your jewelry if you are going to do manual labor, even housework. A bracelet can easily break or bent if it catches on a hook. Gemstones and diamonds can chip or crack if they are knocked against a hard surface. Harsh solvents used in cleaning are dangerous to any kind of jewelry, especially to pearls.
Cleaning: It is best to have your jewelry cleaned by a trained professional at least once a year to keep it looking its best. Between professional cleanings, there are a few things you can do to keep your jewelry clean.
Diamonds - It´s not so hard to clean diamonds at home. Use commercial cleaners that are mild and ammonia based to clean your diamond jewelry yourself. Be sure to put your jewelry in a bowl or if you want to wash them over the sink, put a strainer or colander over the drain to prevent them from falling down the drain. Gently scrub away any grime, especially around the prongs or setting where buildup is likely. Avoid touching the diamond as much as possible.
Gemstones - Cleaning gemstones is easy. Simply soak the piece in a bowl of warm, soapy water for several minutes and then use a soft, non-metallic brush to remove any grime. If you use a jewelry cleanser, make sure it is non-abrasive. Don't use harsh chemical cleaners. Heated and irradiated stones generally don't require special care when cleaning, but diffused stones could become lighter if scrubbed too hard. Also, the oil on an emerald can be stripped away by cleaning, making the emerald change appearance. If this happens, simply bring it to your jeweler for re-oiling.
Metals - You can use rubbing alcohol to dissolve some of the stickier grime for mounting. Do not use alcohol for any kind of pearl jewelry. Soap and water and a soft brush will take care of most of your cleaning needs. Make sure the brush is VERY soft when used on metal, especially gold, which can be scratched easily. Use a soft cloth that won't leave fuzz or threads behind to dry and buff your jewelry once it is cleaned.