Jewellery Basics

Metal Types

There are a variety of metals choices available for jewellery. Whether you like the allure of platinum or the range of options with the classic gold, you will find a number of stylish pieces, sometimes even combining the two metals. Today, alternative metals like sterling silver, titanium, and stainless steel give you additional options in look, strength, price, etc. Each choice has its own qualities, so base your choice on the ones that you value most.

Platinum

Platinum is generally 95% pure and does not tarnish or lose its rich white luster. Platinum is the heaviest of all the precious metals weighing approximately twice as much as karat gold. Its purity makes it hypoallergenic, perfect for people who are sensitive to the alloys used in gold. Platinum is also known for its strength and pliability, just one gram of platinum can be drawn into a fine wire over one mile long.

Gold

Pure 24 karat gold is rarely used in jewellery because it is too soft for frequent wear. Gold is mixed with alloys like copper, silver, nickel, and zinc to give different colours, strength, and durability. Gold's purity is measured in karats, which indicate out of 24 parts how many parts are gold. For example, 18kt gold contains 18/24 gold and 6/24 alloy, while 14kt gold contains 14/24 gold and 10/24 alloy. Gold is traditionally seen in yellow and white colours, but can also be available in rose or green on occasion.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is usually 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. Silver is much more plentiful than platinum or gold and is much less expensive. It takes on a much higher polish than any other metal, but it does tarnish. The tarnish can be removed, but silver requires much more care than other metals.

Titanium

Titanium is a light, strong, and corrosion-resistant metal. Titanium offers you seven times the strength of platinum at about 1/3 of the weight. It is the hardest natural metal on earth and therefore offers more scratch resistance than gold or silver. In addition, titanium is also hypoallergenic. When ordering titanium rings, be extra sure about your ring size. The biggest drawback of titanium rings is that they cannot be sized by traditional ring sizing methods.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a low cost alternative to traditional metals. It is naturally hypoallergenic and will not rust or tarnish. Stainless Steel will not break or bend under normal usage and is stronger than any other alloy.

Coloured Gemstones

Buying a coloured gemstone is often a very different experience than buying a diamond. Gemstones are bought based on favourite colours, wardrobe matches, personality, and fashion trends. While gemstones are judged using the 4Cs, just as diamonds do, each is judged separately. For example, a sapphire is compared to another sapphire, but wouldn't be compared to an emerald or aquamarine. Choose your gemstone jewellery based on your personal preferences.

Shape

We sell a number of different shaped gemstone jewellery. Some of our most popular shapes include round, marquise, oval, pear, princess, and baguette. 

Cut

Gems are cut in a variety of different ways. Transparent stones will often be cut with facets. Unlike diamonds, the facets are planned to maximize the colour. Other stones like jade, opal, and onyx will be cut into a smooth domed shape known as a cabochon. While still other stones like cameos are intricately carved.

Colour

Gemstone colour is different from judging the colour of a diamond. Every gemstone has a range of colour that runs from light to dark and more vivid to less vivid, with a small range of colour considered preferable. All of the families of colour are represented by gems of different types.

  • Red: Mozambique, Garnet, Ruby,
  • Pink: Rhodolite, Garnet, Pink Sapphire  
  • Yellow: Yellow Sapphire, Citrine
  • Green: Bloodstone, Emerald, Jade, Peridot
  • Blue: Aquamarine, Blue Chalcedony, Blue Spinel, Blue Zircon, Lapis, Blue Sapphire
  • Purple: Amethyst, Tanzanite
  • White: Akoya Pearl, Freshwater Pearl, Mabe Pearl, South Sea Pearl, White Spinel, White Topaz, Moissanite, Opal
  • Brown: Smoky Quartz
  • Black/Gray: Tahitian Pearl, Onyx 

Clarity

Gems also have internal characteristics called inclusions. Some gemstones are known for having many inclusions like emerald or for having few inclusions like citrine. Each gemstone will be graded for clarity differently.

Like diamonds, gemstones are measured using carats. A carat is equivalent to .2 grams or .007 of an ounce. Unlike diamonds, each gemstone has a different density which greatly contributes to the weight of the stone.

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