In every gold alloy, there are 24 units that we refer to as “karats”. A jewelry piece numbered 24 karat gold is 100% pure, undiluted gold.
WHAT DOES 24 KARAT GOLD MEAN?
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 10KT GOLD AND 10CT GOLD?
If you’re not a jewelry connoisseur, terms such as ‘karat’ and ‘carat’ can easily be confusing. Both are measurements in the jewelry industry, but what’s being measured is very different. In its proper use, carats represent the weight of diamonds and other precious gemstones.
Across the globe, sellers attribute gold differently. The proper attribute applied to gold is “karat” abbreviated with “k” or “kt.” In countries outside of North America, “carat,” abbreviated “c” or “ct” is used in its place despite it being inaccurate.
WHAT IS THE NATURAL COLOR OF GOLD?
Unmixed pure gold is a deep yellowish-reddish hue.
CAN PURE GOLD BE WORN AS JEWELRY?
24 karats a.k.a. pure gold is not used to make gold jewelry because it is very soft and too fragile for everyday use. Instead, pure gold is mixed with other metals such as silver, copper, nickel and zinc to improve its strength.
DOES GOLD JEWELRY TARNISH?
Pure gold or 24K gold does not react with oxygen, which means it is unlikely to tarnish. However, many pieces of gold jewelry have other metals mixed in, causing the gold to become discolored over time.
Can gold tarnish? Yes, but not pure gold.
WHICH KARATS ARE BEST FOR JEWELRY?
The most popular mixtures of gold are 14K, 18K, and 22K, but 14K and 18K are the most ideal for jewelry.
Let us explain...
24K Jewelry (100% pure gold)
Being the highest karat of gold, it’s easy to assume that 24K is the “best” gold to buy, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Pure gold is easily scuffed and bent, so it’s impractical for use as everyday jewelry.
22K Jewelry (92% gold and 8% alloyed metals)
Even a minimal mixture of only 8% alloyed metal makes 22 karat gold a much sturdier and longer lasting option than pure gold. Even then, it remains the softest form of mixed metal and requires careful attention to prevent scratches.
18K Jewelry (75% gold and 25% alloyed metals)
This is the most common combination of gold and other metals and a very durable option. 18K jewelry pieces tend to have a darker yellow tone than 14K because of the higher gold content.
14K Jewelry (58% gold and 42% alloyed metals)
This alloy offers more resistance to wear and tear than either 18K or 22K gold. If you have an active lifestyle (daily exercise, sports activities, etc.) then 14K jewelry is a great choice.
WHAT IS WHITE GOLD?
Designed to imitate platinum, white gold it is typically formed by adding 25% nickel and zinc to pure gold. The less the karat, the more “white” it will retain because the karat increases by the addition of more pure, yellow gold
WHY IS WHITE GOLD JEWELRY PLATED WITH RHODIUM?
White gold jewelry is rhodium-plated to make it look whiter, enhancing its brilliance and giving it a more durable surface.
HOW TO TEST GOLD JEWELRY?
Fake gold can look amazingly real, even a seasoned gold buyer is sometimes tricked. No worries, there are some tell-tale signs that you can check before you invest in gold.
1) Inspect the piece of jewelry for haze. If the gold item appears dulled or dull instead of shiny, there is a chance it is unauthentic.
2) Look for a hallmark. This mark is the manufacturers stamp on a gold product and it is also a guarantee that your metal is of the correct pure gold purity.
3) Stay up-to-date on news about gold, do your homework and research the current price of gold. If something seems to good to be true i.e a very inexpensive price for gold, it often is.
4) Use a magnifying glass to check out its gold texture. For example, fake gold has a layered look when viewed through a magnifying glass, whereas real gold appears to have a straight to smooth finish.
5) The magnet test can help you find out if your jewelry is fake or real gold. Simply place a small magnet on the piece of jewelry your testing. Imitation gold and other alloys will attract the magnet.
IS REAL GOLD ALWAYS MARKED?
Real gold jewelry will always be marked with some type of indication that it is gold. This mark will vary based on the origins, issuer and time period in which the piece originates from.
In rare instances, a piece of very old gold jewelry does not feature a hallmark indicating karat weight because of excessive polishing by the previous owner. Repeated excessive polishing will remove even deep engraving marks.
HOW TO CLEAN GOLD JEWELRY?
Small, terry cloth towel
1.This is how you clean gold jewelry with water and dish liquid.
Fill a dish with warm water (not boiling water). Add a few drops of dishwashing soap into the water. Place the jewelry into the water mixed with dish liquid and let absorb for 15 minutes. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and start to polish the jewelry surface delicately. When cleaning your jewelry with a brush, do it carefully with light pressure in order to avoid scratches and damage to the jewelry. Rinse the jewelry under running warm water. Now the most important part: take a terry cloth towel and begin to blot the jewelry thoroughly.
2. How to clean gold jewelry with a cleaning tablet
Fill a dish with warm water. Place a dishwasher tablet in the water and let it dissolve completely. Soak the jewelry in the water for no longer than 10 minutes. Take the jewelry out of the water. Take a soft-bristle toothbrush and begin to stroke the jewelry carefully with light pressure. Rinse the jewelry under running warm water. Dry the jewelry properly by blotting it with a piece of cloth. Place the jewelry on a dry absorbent cloth for a complete drying
HOW CAN I KEEP MY YELLOW GOLD LOOKING GOOD?
1. Your gold jewelry tarnishes much faster if it’s left out in the open and exposed to oxygen. To avoid this, you must store pieces in an airtight, closed container.
2. Invest in a nice jewelry box that will keep all of your jewelry in separate compartments. This will reduce the chances of gold pieces being scratched by rubbing up against one another. To help remove moisture from your jewelry box, include a silica gel packet.
3. Avoid direct exposure to heat or sunlight as it may dim your jewelry's color
4. Avoid exposing your gold jewelry to sea salt, chemicals, alcohol, fruit acid, vinegar and chlorine, e.g. swimming pools or hot tubs.
5. Avoid exposing gold jewelry to hair sprays, make-up, lotions and creams. This can dim its beautiful, bright gold color.
6. Remove gold jewelry when cleaning with harsh chemicals like chlorine, acids, and sulfur compounds.
7. When washing your hands or bathing, remove gold jewelry to prevent soap scum from building up on the surface.
IS GOLD JEWELRY RENEWABLE OR NONRENEWABLE?
Gold is a non-renewable metal, which means that it cannot be replaced naturally, unlike the renewable resources which are replaceable via ecological cycles.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PURE SILVER AND 925 STERLING SILVER?
Pure silver a.k.a fine silver contains 99.9% silver content, while 925 sterling silver is typically 92.5 percent silver. Pure silver is a very soft metal that makes pure silver unsuitable for jewelry making, as it can easily scratch and change shape. Copper and other metals are intentionally attached to pure silver in order to make silver tougher and more durable for jewelry use.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STERLING SILVER JEWELRY AND 925 JEWELRY?
Sterling silver is an alloy made up of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent consists of other metal alloys such as zinc, copper or nickel. Then the question remains: what is 925 silver? It's exactly the same thing as sterling silver. Both sterling silver and 925 silver are combinations of the same silver alloys with the only key difference being their names.
HOW DO I KNOW THE PURITY OF MY SILVER JEWELRY?
Sterling silver purity relates to an alloy's 92.5 per cent silver content. To authenticate its purity, silver metal typically travels to a laboratory for inspection. However most of the sterling silver jewelry created nowadays has a “.925”, “Ag925”, “Ster” or “Sterling Silver” stamp to prove the jewelry's authenticity. Even though there are instances where a pseudo mark exists and either the metal is not silver or the purity is not as listed. False marks are very uncommon.
HOW CAN I TEST STERLING SILVER JEWELRY?
Here are some straightforward ways to verify that your jewelry is genuine 925 sterling silver:
A) Magnet Test
Magnets have no impact on true silver. If a magnet is able to pull your jewelry with its magnetic pull, it's not made up of 925 sterling silver.
B) Jewelry Marks
As we mentioned earlier, authentic 925 sterling silver jewelry will have jewelry marks such as “925”, “.925”, “Ag925”, “Ster”, or “Sterling Silver” embedded somewhere on the jewelry item. If you can not find a marking, that is a big indicator that your silver jewelry is probably silver toned or silver plated jewelry i.e. not authentic silver.
Please note, this test is not 100% conclusive since a stamped jewelry item will sometimes contain a pseudo mark. This is sometimes used by devious people to trick jewelry consumers into purchasing pieces with inflated prices. Although not in accordance with government regulations, unmarked jewelry is sometimes authentic but this is unusual.
C) Acid Test
Purchase a silver testing solution kit. They are relatively affordable and easily available online. Next, find a file and start to file away at a small part of your jewelry in a discreet area. Next, add a few drops of testing solution a.k.a nitric acid to the spot. If the color of the acid turns a creamy white, the silver is pure or 925 sterling. If the acid color turns green, it's either fake or silver plated. Be cautious and always wear gloves and goggles when working with chemicals.
HOW DO I CLEAN STERLING SILVER JEWELRY?
Typically, a jeweler's polishing cloth (with two layers of cloth in different colors) bought from a jewelry store is sufficient. To clean sterling silver jewelry, don't use any hard object; even a rough paper towel might scratch the surface. Silver-dip is a commonly used cleaning solution for 925 jewelry. For half a minute to a minute, submerge all of your silver jewelry in the solution and then rinse with water. Before using silver dip, make sure your silver jewelry is not plated with any other metal or else you will damage the plating.
WILL STERLING SILVER TARNISH?
Pure air and water does not impact silver, though it tarnishes quickly when exposed to air containing high levels of ozone, hydrogen sulfide or sulfur. (In the past 200 years, the amount of sulfur in the atmosphere has increased, meaning silver tarnishes faster than it did in pre-Industrial times.) Tarnish can easily be removed, however and does not degrade the metal the way oxidation process known as rust destroys iron.
WILL STERLING SILVER RUST?
Will sterling silver rust? The short answer is "No." Silver is one of the best alloys for jewelry because it is strong, malleable and easy to work and clean. It will tarnish when exposed to nitrogen oxides in the air, but there are things you can do to prevent this from happening.
HOW LONG DOES STERLING SILVER LAST?
For decades, solid sterling silver ought to last. Most sterling silver pieces can hold up amazingly well over the decades, even with normal, gentle polishing. The sterling silver jewelry pieces you purchase today will last long enough to pass down to your great-grandchildren.
CAN I WEAR STERLING SILVER JEWELRY IF I'M ALLERGIC TO NICKEl?
Yes, just make sure the jewelry is pure sterling silver, not nickel-plated. Sterling silver jewelry with rhodium plating includes a layer of nickel between silver and rhodium often as an adhesive. As an alternative, buy high-polished silver jewelry if you have a nickel allergy.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PLATING ON SILVER JEWELRY?
Unlike gold and platinum, pure silver is unpredictable and oxides rather quickly. Therefore, silver jewelry is usually plated with another metal to protect it from tarnishing. There are two kinds of plating for silver jewelry: nickel and rhodium plating. Nickel plating has a whitish look and rhodium plating has a darker tint to it. Rhodium is commonly used to plate white gold and platinum jewelry because of its high price tag compared to nickel.
WHY DO SOME OPT FOR UNPLATED JEWELRY?
Some choose to leave their silver jewelry unplated. Highly polished 925 jewelry, for example, has no plating rather its surface is machine-polished to make it shine. This is to protect the wearer from possible negative allergic reactions.
WHAT IS ITALIAN SILVER?
The term “Italian silver” or “Italian sterling silver” does not refer to a type of silver. It concerns, instead, the level of craftsmanship. Italy has a long tradition of quality jewelry production respected around the world.
HOW DOES STERLING SILVER COMPARE TO WHITE GOLD & PLATINUM?
A similar shimmering, gray look is found in sterling silver, white gold and platinum. Sterling silver, however, usually has a brighter tone than the two other metals.
Platinum is a delicate metal that quickly scratches. Both white gold and sterling silver are much tougher, scratch-resistant metals.
Sterling silver is the least expensive of the precious metals, making it a more affordable alternative for those who want high-quality jewelry without a dramatic price tag.
Sterling silver is not a heavy metal. In fact, it is the lightest of all precious metals. While some people like the impression of heavy jewelry like platinum and gold, sterling silver is lightweight making it a sensible & comfortable choice for everyday wear.
CAN STERLING SILVER GET WET?
Yes, you can (if you know it's sterling silver). In general, water does not damage sterling silver. However, water does cause silver to oxidize (darken) faster and the kind of water and the chemicals in it determine how much silver color will change.
A. Shower Water
Shower water is generally fine - there aren’t any super harsh chemicals in tap water that would severely react with your sterling silver jewelry. The soap and water can even help wash away any residue from your skin and dirt in the air that can cause your silver to appear dull.
B. Swimming Pools
Swimming pools are a hazard. They usually contain chlorine and sterling silver reacts to chlorine. Depending on how much chlorine is in the water, if you swim regularly, you must also clean your jewelry frequently.
C. Hot Tubs
In hot tubs, there is even more chlorine, plus it's hot. At higher temperatures, chemical reactions escalate, so try to remove your silver jewelry before jumping in. If not, you could find a color change for your jewelry that will require a lot of extra care and cleaning.
D. Salt Water
Salt is corrosive and can also leave residue on your jewelry which needs removing. Take off your silver jewelry before getting into a pool, if you can. If you forget, try to rinse it with clean water immediately and completely dry it afterwards.
E. Hot Springs
We suggest not wearing your silver jewelry in any kind of hot spring. They often contain a lot of different minerals, especially sulfur. Jewelers use sulfuric acid to purposely oxidize silver jewelry, so you could be in for a major color change.
HOW DO I STORE MY STERLING SILVER JEWELRY?
It is very important to store sterling silver jewelry correctly when it is not in use. The perfect place to store sterling silver jewelry is a cool spot, away from any sunlight. Heat and light will turn silver jewelry yellow and cause it to tarnish quickly. Even indoor light sources like florescent light or light bulbs alter the color of silver jewelry over time. If you intend not to wear a piece for a long time, place it in an air-tight bag and keep it in a secure drawer.
CAN STERLING SILVER RINGS BE RESIZED?
Sterling silver rings are unique in that it is an alloy of 92.5% silver, the remainder being copper. The sterling silver content keeps the metal malleable and able to be shaped and formed for ease of resizing.
WHAT DOES VERMEIL MEAN?
Gold vermeil is an electroplating process that deposits a microscopically thin layer of gold onto a sterling silver base. Sterling silver is 92.5 percent pure silver, mixed with fine copper to make it harder and tarnish resistant, which is ideal for jewelry wear.
IS VERMEIL JEWELRY 24k GOLD?
No, vermeil jewelry contains more gold than gold-plated pieces, but yellow vermeil is still not solid gold a.k.a. pure 24k gold. Vermeil gold is sterling silver with a gold coating.
IS GOLD GILT & VERMEIL THE SAME?
Gilding is a decorative technique for attaching a very thin coating of gold to solid surfaces such as metal (most common), wood, porcelain or stone. A gilded object is also described as "gilt".
Gold gilt classified as vermeil has to adhere by certain requirements. Not all gilded items meet these requirements:
1) The gold used is 10 karats pure or higher.
2) In addition, the thickness of the gold layer is at least 2.5 microns.
3) Further, the seller must disclose any other metals besides silver contained in the item's core.
IS VERMEIL GOOD QUALITY?
True vermeil jewelry with thick 18k gold plating is a good choice if you are looking for the highest quality, demi-fine jewelry.
VERMEIL VS GOLD PLATED?
The two types of plating most commonly found in jewelry are vermeil and gold-plated. While gold-plated jewelry may last a long time, vermeil plating is more durable than gold-plated. The quality standard for vermeil is 10 micro-inches of gold, whereas gold-plated jewelry uses ounces of thickness in its measurements.
VERMEIL VS GOLD FILLED?
Vermeil has a higher gold content at 22K (90%) and gold filled has a lower 14K (58%) gold content.
WHAT DOES 10k VERMEIL, 14k VERMEIL, 18k VERMEIL & 24k VERMEIL MEAN? WHICH IS BEST?
Vermeil jewelry is usually labeled with a mark such as 10k vermeil, 14k vermeil, 18k vermeil, 24k vermeil or another karat weight. This simply refers to how much pure gold content there is: 24k is 99.9% gold content, 18k is 75% gold content, 14k is 58.3% and 10k is 41.7%.
Higher karat weight is not always better; pure gold is very soft and intense in its yellow color, so mixing it with other materials strengthens the gold, increasing its durability. Injecting pure gold with other metals also changes the hue of the gold so the yellow tone is not so overly saturated and harsh.
HOW LONG DOES VERMEIL JEWELRY LAST?
Vermeil jewelry pieces are a great option. Vermeil is a much more resilient metal when compared to other gold-plated options and can last for years.
WILL GOLD VERMEIL TARNISH?
Although gold vermeil will not tarnish like silver, it may become dirty and its luster may diminish slightly with wear. Like all other metals, vermeil will eventually need sprucing up via a replating process to restore the dull metal's attractiveness.
IS GOLD VERMEIL WATERPROOF?
Water is detrimental to gold vermeil jewelry. Keep your gold as dry as possible to boost its life and longevity. Getting it wet once or twice probably won’t be catastrophic, but repeated exposure could start to fizzle out your jewelry's luster.
CAN VERMEIL JEWELRY BE REPLATED?
Yes, upgrading the plating on gold vermeil pieces is as simple as any other metal plating process. As a general rule, the replating must adhere to vermeil’s standard thickness of 2.5 microns to classify as vermeil metal.
CAN VERMEIL RINGS BE RESIZED?
Yes, vermeil rings are often sized up or down. A jewelry alteration such as resizing a vermeil ring is a simple process for most metal smiths and relatively inexpensive.
WHAT IS PLATINUM VERMEIL?
Platinum vermeil is an electroplated layer of platinum on top of sterling silver.
VERMEIL VS STERLING SILVER?
Sterling silver is a bright, white metal coated with purer, more expensive metals like rhodium to make it resistant to tarnish. Vermeil is basically sterling silver coated with a thin layer of gold. This prevents the silver from tarnishing.
HOW TO CLEAN VERMEIL?
To prevent tarnishing, wipe gold vermeil jewelry after each use. The buildup of body oils, cosmetics and smudges can cause jewelry's luster to fizzle out. Avoid wiping gold vermeil items with gritty fabrics that may scratch the surface of the jewelry or harsh chemicals that can strip the gold coating. Only use a soft cotton cloth or microfiber fabric to gently wipe down the pieces with warm soapy water.
HOW DO I CARE FOR MY VERMEIL JEWELRY?
Protect your vermeil jewelry by avoiding the use of strong chemicals when cleaning vermeil, antibacterial soap or detergent and cleaners containing bleach. Other substances that may potentially damage vermeil jewelry pieces are chlorine bleach (common in some pool treatment products), certain acids in household cleaning products, acids contained in some cosmetics, sweat and body oils. Prolonged exposure to sunlight or heat can also cause damage.
HOW DO I STORE MY VERMEIL JEWELRY?
Store your vermeil jewelry by keeping it separate from other jewelry pieces. Try to store it in a ziplock bag or in a hard carrying case in its own compartment without any contact with other pieces.
WHAT IS BRASS MADE FROM?
Brass is an alloy that will last for many years and has a beautiful, unique color. It's made from copper and zinc.
WHY IS BRASS JEWELRY PLATED?
Plating is a finish applied to jewelry after it is cast. Plating creates a barrier between the metal and your skin. Brass jewelry is often plated with other metals to help the surface resist corrosion or discoloration from hard water spots and chemicals in the air.
WILL BRASS JEWELRY RUST?
Brass jewelry will not corrode or rust. It contains zinc and copper, both of which are non-corrosive metals. Sometimes aluminum is added to reinforce its corrosion-resistance.
IS BRASS JEWELRY EASY TO CARE FOR?
Brass is a durable and affordable metal for creating jewelry that will last you many years. It is highly resistant to corrosion, so brass designs do not require constant maintenance similar to other metals.
HOW SHOULD I STORE MY BRASS JEWELRY?
The best way to store any type of jewelry is in a cloth bag. This will keep dust and tarnish off the piece and stop it from being damaged.
CAN I SHOWER WITH BRASS JEWELRY ON?
Special coatings on the surface of brass, in particular, zinc-plated and lacquered brass, offer complete protection against discoloration and tarnishing under normal use. So yes, you can shower with your brass jewelry on. Just don't take off your jewelry and jump into a swimming pool, as many metals are not compatible with chlorine or salt water.
Micro Pave vs Pave
Micro Pave vs Pave: Pave refers to any size stones set in the band; micro pave requires all stones be the same size and are generally smaller in weight than the stones used in a pave.
Pave vs Channel
Pave vs Channel: Pave settings are held in position by small beads or prongs, whereas channel settings use groove cut into the band.
Pave vs French Pave
Pave vs French Pave: Each setting has a slight difference in design, with the French pavé setting featuring a V-shaped cut under each stone to increase the visibility of the stone
Pave vs Prong Setting
Pave vs Prong Setting: Pavé settings feature small beads or micro-prongs, which hold each of the small stones securely on the surface of a piece. Shared prong settings look similar to pavé settings, but use shared metal prongs to hold adjacent stone in place next to each other.