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Some Common Jewelry Questions

What is my birthstone?

There are several different lists of birthstones. Following is a list of some of the most commonly accepted birthstones.

January - Garnet
February - Amethyst
March - Aquamarine/Bloodstone
April - Diamond
May - Emerald
June - Alexandrite/Moonstone/Pearl
July - Ruby
August - Peridot/Sardonyx
September - Sapphires
October - Pink - Tourmaline/Opal
November - Topaz/Citrine
December - Blue - Zircon/Turquoise

What is the difference between 10, 14 &18 karat gold?

24 kt = 99%
22 kt = 91.66%
20 kt = 83.33%
18 kt = 75%
14 kt = 58.33%
10 kt = 41.66%

What does .925 mean?

This is another method of marking sterling silver and refers to the percentage of silver 92.5%).

How is gold colored?

Varying the alloys creates the various colors of gold. Red has more copper, green has more silver, and white has nickel or palladium added.

What are the 4 Cs?

The four Cs are Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat weight.

What is the difference between created and simulated stones?

Both are manmade stones. Created stones are chemically the same as the natural stone. Simulated stones are stones that are made of a material other than what it is attempting to copy. Cubic zirconium, lab-grown corundum, lab grown spinel and glass are common materials used to simulate gemstones.

What is stress fracturing?

Stress fracturing is a problem associated with white and lower karat gold. Gold of 10 kt or less are susceptible. White gold often has this problem. Stress fracturing is caused by chemicals that dissolve the alloy out of the gold which, of course, weakens it. This can cause an item to suddenly just break for no apparent reason. This is most often seen as a prong tip on a white gold setting that is suddenly missing. Chlorine is one chemical that can cause this problem. Never soak your jewelry in strong cleaners.

Why does my fine jewelry turn my finger black?

This is most often not a problem with the quality of the metal. Whenever a metal is ground into a fine enough powder, that powder is black. If the hand cream or makeup that you are using contains any abrasive materials, this will rub on the piece of jewelry and create a black smudge. Many of the materials used to color makeup are mild abrasives.

Submitted by:

Gary Haag

Gary Haag has been designing and creating fine handcrafted jewelry for over 20 years. For more information about selecting and caring for your fine jewelry visit, The Gary�s Gold & Silver (http://garysgold.com)


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