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Archive for June, 2009

Shopping Jewelry – Do And Don’t Do

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Jewelry is often the preferred gift for all people and all occasions. If you do intend spending some money on jewelry however, it is wise to do your homework first. Not every item of jewelry is suitable for all-people can be quite particular about the type of jewelry they wear; some people for example, think that pearls are unlucky and so they refuse to wear them.

Although most jewelry salespeople are quite honest and upfront about their merchandise there are those whose day is not complete unless they manage to scam the unwary. So it makes sense to understand some of the industry terms for jewelry and to be aware of the quality of the item or items that you wish to purchase. If something is sold simply as gold, then what it really means is 24 karat. Because it is so soft 24kt gold is usually mixed with other metals to harden it. Any item that is sold as gold, but is not 24kt should have the karat attached to it. If the vendor tells you that they don’t know the karat or that it’s 18kt but not marked, then be on the safe side and don’t buy it. Platinum is a precious metal that is usually more expensive than gold-it is often mixed with other similar metals such as palladium and rhodium. The markings that are used to denote an item as platinum are different to the markings used on gold. They are based on the amount of thousand parts platinum per piece, the more parts, the more valuable-and expensive, the item.

Gemstones occur naturally, but some are created in the laboratory-they appear the same and have similar physical and chemical properties. They do not have the rarity of natural gemstones and are, or should be, less expensive than naturally mined stones. Imitation gemstones, on the other hand, resemble natural gemstones in appearance, but that is where the resemblance ends. Gemstones may be measured by size of weight or a combination of the two-like precious metals they are measured in karats.

The quality of diamonds is based on their color, cut, clarity and karat. The clarity and color of a diamond is graded-find out what criteria is used in grading the clarity and color of any diamond you may be intending to buy. The weight of a diamond is measured in karats. Natural pearls come from oysters and mollusks, cultured pearls imply some sort of human intervention in the process. Natural pearls are quite rare and so most jewelry that is made from them is either cultured or imitation pearls. The value of cultured pearls is based on its size and the quality of the coating which gives a pearl its luster. Jewelers should tell you whether a pearl is imitation or cultured.

Don’t buy the first item you see, even if it does fulfil all you criteria. You can often get a better deal on jewelry by shopping around. Many people now buy jewelry items over the internet-if you do this then make sure that the item is accompanied by the relevant criteria as listed above.

Pearl Jewelry – Gift From Ocean

Friday, June 19th, 2009

The magnificent luster and delicate translucence of the layers of a pearl imparts an exquisite charm to it. It has therefore been valued as a precious gemstone since ages. The value of the pearl in jewelry is determined by a combination of all the attributes i.e. the luster, color, size, lack of surface flaw and symmetry. Among those attributes, the most important factor of pearl quality according to jewelers is luster. If however for the pearls under consideration, all the factors are equal, the larger the pearl the more valuable it is. The most precious pearls are the large, perfectly round pearls. They are rare and are therefore highly valued. Usually the shape of a pearl decides as to which jewellery item it is suited for. Teardrop-shaped pearls are used in pendants and earrings. Irregular shaped pearls are often used in necklaces. The variety of designs in pearl jewelry is innumerable.

Pearls are found in eight basic shapes: round, semi-round, button, drop, pear, oval, baroque, and ringed. Perfectly round pearls are the rarest and most expensive, and are generally used in necklaces, or strings of pearls. Semi-rounds are also used in necklaces or in pieces where the shape of the pearl can be disguised to look like it is a perfectly round pearl. Button pearls are like a slightly flattened round pearl and can also make a necklace, but are more often used in single pendants or earrings where the rear half of the pearl is covered, making it look like a larger, round pearl. Drop and pear shaped pearls are sometimes referred to as teardrop pearls and are most often used in earrings, pendants, or as a center pearl in a necklace. Baroque pearls have irregular shapes and this is what makes them unique and interesting. The appeal of baroque pearls lies in the fact that they do not have standard shapes. Generally they are used to make necklaces. Ringed pearls are characterized by concentric ridges, or rings, around the body of the pearl. All varieties of pearls have their own charm and can be put to several imaginative uses while making jewelry.

In fact, natural pearls are much more valuable than cultured pearls because of their rarity. Imitation pearls are the least expensive. To check whether a pearl is natural or cultured we have to perform an X- ray on the pearl. Cultured pearls will show a perfectly rounded core whereas naturals will have an irregular core. This is because when a pearl is to be cultured the farmers insert the grit, (usually a polished piece of mussel shell); it is always perfectly round, so as to produce a more expensive, perfectly round pearl. If the centre is not perfectly round, the jeweler can recognize that it is genuine, and will rate it at a higher value. Jewelers can easily identify imitation pearls. Some imitation pearls are simply made of mother-of-pearl, coral or conch, while others are made from glass and are coated with a solution containing fish scales called essence d’Orient. Imitation pearls may look good initially but they do not have the same weight or smoothness as real pearls, and will lose their luster with the passage of time.