Wedding Rings – Careful What you Choose

Achieving Balance

Jewelry designers spend their lives trying to be creative while keeping in mind what may be in vogue today may not be fashionable 40 or 50 years from now. They try to balance their designs keeping in mind what the market demands with what they have in mind. When it comes to shopping for wedding rings, be careful what you choose as not everyoneʼs taste in jewelry is the same. Toss a man into the mix and choices may become questionable — fortunately, there are some options available to have balance.

Engagement Ring Sets

When you were shopping for the engagement ring, you may have noticed many sets of rings where the designer has created two rings fitting together to look as one. The jewelry designer will often create the engagement ring so that it will look perfect alone on the finger as a solitaire. After that is done, the designer will create the wedding ring to wrap around the engagement ring and they will be offered for sale as a set. This may create a problem if eventually the future bride and groom opt for matching wedding bands.

There are so many wedding band sets available from which to choose, as well as beautiful designs, that the task of selecting wedding rings is a tough one. This is the reason why, when shopping for wedding rings, you need to be careful what you choose.

If you purchased a modern design, multiple-diamond engagement ring, chances are the mounting design will clash with any other style of wedding ring except the one specifically designed to fit with the matching ring.

In the jewelry trade, very often the ladies will prefer to purchase the gentʼs wedding band. This may create a problem if she prefers matching wedding rings if her engagement ring will not fit with a band.

When it comes to choosing wedding rings be careful what you select. What is a person to do? You might keep things simple by choosing a solitaire diamond mounting or the popular three-diamond princess mount. Most matching wedding ring sets will fit with these designs and solve the problem.

Simple Matched Set

Wedding bands are quite simple in their designs. Generally, they are made of white and yellow gold with the white gold part on the top where it will get exposed to abrasion as white gold is harder and will not wear so fast. If the wedding bands are made of yellow gold, they are probably made of 10k  gold which is harder than 14k.

Recently titanium has entered the market for wedding rings as it is tarnish free and much harder than gold. Platinum is a metal that has been used in the manufacture of rings for many years but none of these white metals are able to match the warmth of gold for some reason.

Keep these thoughts in mind as you shop for wedding rings and be careful what you choose. You must keep your wits about you because you are entering uncharted territory by shopping for the engagement and wedding rings.

 

 

Colored Diamonds

What are colored diamonds?

This is a good question! While shopping for a diamond engagement ring, all of the diamonds I see are white or colorless, so where is the color? I don’t see it. This is the reaction many people have when the subject of color arises in a discussion of diamonds. Here is how I explain it.

Some of the colored diamonds, such as pink or blue, are very rare. Depending on the intensity and hue of a diamond’s coloration, a diamond’s color can either reduce or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are lowered in value as more yellow hue is detectable, while intense pink or blue diamonds (such as the Hope diamond) are very rare.

Most diamonds are free of any color but a diamond may contain a few atoms of nitrogen that can show up as a yellow or brownish tint. This effect is present in almost every diamond. In only the rarest of diamonds it is undetectable and these are the the highest-quality diamonds sometimes called blue white. In contrast to yellow or brown hues, other colors such as pink or blue are very rare and demand a much higher price.

Colored diamonds with a bright, yellow color are referred to as canary diamonds. A variety of impurities can cause other diamonds to have yellow, pink, blue, red, brown, green, and other shades. Diamonds with unusual or intense coloration are referred to as “fancy” in the diamond industry.

Gemologists have developed a vast array of color-grading systems to classify diamonds. The 4 C’s — color, cut, carat weight and clarity, are all studied while the diamonds are graded. These experts spend many years learning their trade in their quest to assure the diamonds they classify meet the stringent benchmarks of diamond certification.

Many years ago I worked as a manager of a small jewelry store where the owner of the store had a clientele who were quite well off financially. Over the years the owner had given into their wishes and whenever a holiday or special anniversary or birthday of one of their wives or partners arose he would bring in from the wholesalers an assortment of diamond rings, and especially canary yellow diamond rings for their perusal. Although our regular inventory was of a fine quality, these special rings were something else again. Our customers appreciated the effort to fill a void by making a purchase or two and went out of their way to thank us. The news of this spread around the city and our store became the envy of the other jewelers.

 

Fine Jewelry – It Can Be Addictive

Where Do Addictions Come From?

Some people have no interest in jewelry and others cannot get enough of it. What is it about jewelry that makes us so fascinated with precious metals and gemstones that some of us will spend a small fortune to adorn ourselves with rings, earrings, bracelets, watches and pendants?

My dad was a jeweler and watchmaker and sold fine jewelry and watches from a small store. His skills as a watchmaker were unbelievable. When I was seven years old, I would leave the school I attended as soon as we were released and run as fast as possible to his store about one mile away. I would wash the windows, run a few blocks to the post office to pick up the mail, empty the waste baskets and finally, with the chores done, I would stand by his watchmaker’s repair bench and watch him repair watches.

By the time I turned 10 years of age I was taking old clocks apart and putting them together again. I had a small table in our bedroom I shared with my two other brothers. My dad sold many cigarette lighters that were popular at the time. The men and women were returning home from the war and these made good gifts. I offered to repair these lighters when they came in for servicing. Dad bought me a service kit for $10 and I repaid him with my services.

The First Hint on a Lifetime Addiction

It was within this atmosphere that I developed my interest in precious metals and gemstones and fine jewelry of all kinds. I learned how to repair jewelry and resize rings. I loved to look into diamonds with my powerful eye loupe and see the colors and shapes of emeralds and especially opals.

My dad obtained a service contract with an electric power company to service their clocks. These clocks were used to turn on and off the power for the different districts around the nearby city. This was before the time when solar switches were invented. I did the servicing of these clocks.

I left school at 16 and began to learn my jewelry trade under dad’s teaching. Over the next two years I became quite adept in repairing watches, engraving and learning the jewelry business.

Ours was a coal-mining town. Our part of the country was suffering because the coal was no longer used as fuel for trains and diesel was coming into its own. In a short time the jewelry business was dead and I decided to join the Canadian navy to see the world. I still was fascinated by the business and after a few years in the navy my girlfriend and I married and Irma and I raised our four children. I worked for the next few years in the jewelry business.

The British Crown Jewels

While serving on a destroyer in the navy we visited Plymouth, England and were given a few days off to visit London. On a tour of the Tower of London we viewed the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. It was incredible as the diamonds were huge and extremely brilliant. At that time we could stand very close to the security case, probably three feet away. I could have stayed there for hours!

A few weeks later, we visited Amsterdam and a tour brought us to the Diamond Cutters of Amsterdam Corporation. This was the company that actually did the cutting of the Cullinan Diamond (the largest diamond ever discovered) and we were shown the glass replicas of the diamond that were cut from that stone.

A Diamond Cutter at Work

Our guide brought us to the work area where diamonds were being cut and polished by hundreds of workers. We were able to closely watch as the diamond polishers did their exacting trade. It was thrilling for me to see!

So over the years, fine jewelry has been an addiction of mine. I find it tough to pass by a fine jewelry store without spending time studying their display of gems and watches.

I am always interested in people who load themselves up with jewelry. Rings on every finger, multiple bracelets and neck chains. Some people love the bling! Have you ever noticed that the same people will select the fanciest eyeglass frames as well? I suppose this can be classed as an addiction of a sort. Whatever we want to call it, being able to have been around fine jewelry all of my years has brought me a lifetime of enjoyment.

 

 

What Is Real 925 Sterling Silver Jewelry and How To Identify It

 

Beauty From The Earth

925 Sterling Silver is silver that has been extracted from the earth, refined to a purity of 925/1000 or 925 parts out of 1000 and classed as pure silver. Raw silver must go through a refining procedure to extract other metals and impurities from the ore to clean it. Once the percentage of silver content of the metal reaches 925/1000% purity it will be certified and stamped as 925 Sterling Silver.

Silver is generally found in an ore called Galena, the main source of lead. Other metals such as copper, gold and zinc may be present as well.

Extracting the Ore

When the ore is extracted from the earth it is first put through a crushing machine that will crush it into a fine powder. Smelting is the process by which a metal is separated, either as the element or as a simple compound, from the ore by heating beyond the melting point, ordinarily in the presence of oxidizing agents, such as coke, air, or reducing agents. Once the metal is refined to reduce the impurities and other metals what remains is 99.9% pure silver. What is left over is gold and platinum.

Pure silver is too soft to be used as is; therefore, a small amount of copper may be added to harden the silver. So now the question, What is Real 925 Sterling Silver Jewelry and How To Identify It? can be addressed.

Goods containing silver must be marked with the content of silver in the piece. Jewelry containing sterling silver must be stamped either sterling silver or 925.

Silver Electroplating

Silver-plated goods are products that have been coated with a thin layer of silver by way of electroplating . The product is coated with a thin layer of a less costly metal. This product cannot be marked sterling or silver but may be be marked as silver plated.

Flatware such as knives may have a stainless steel blade attached to a sterling silver handle. The individual parts must be identified with the sterling silver stamp and the blade must be stamped stainless steel.

Durability

Pure silver will not tarnish but it is too soft to be used in silver bracelets or silver flatware. When copper or iron is added to the pure silver the ability of the now 925 sterling silver to tarnish comes into play and the goods must be cleaned on a regular basis. Durability must take second place to silver purity.