Hand made jewelry is jewelry that is made by hand without the use of machines molds or casting. In a hand made piece of jewelry all materials must be shaped formed and assembled. Machine powered cutters, drills, and lathes can be used as long as they are operated manually, and guided by the artisan’s hands.
Hand made jewelry is the benchmark for craftsmanship in fine jewelry as it requires highly skilled labor to manually control tools materials and temperatures to accurately work platinum and gold. In this video you can see a high quality handmade necklace being made featuring a rare black opal called the “Midnight Sun.”
Karat is a term used to indicate gold purity. Pure gold is 24 karat. The legal standard is to stamp gold jewelry with markings such as 10KT, 14KT and 18KT. The Karat stamp indicates the purity of the metal. The number preceding the KT marking indicates how many parts out of 24 are pure gold. The alloys mixed with gold are added to control durability, color and the cost of fine jewelry.
If you desire strong yellow color from your jewelry, 18 karat gold will give you the richest yellow appearance. The disadvantage to 18kt is that it is not as durable or cost efficient as 14kt. Opinions vary about the most desirable karat from culture to culture. In America 14kt has become the most popular gold used in jewelry today due to its cost and durability. In western culture Jewelry made from 10kt has become synonymous with discount and lower end jewelry and is often brittle and difficult to repair.
Pennyweight is the standard unit of weight used for measuring precious metals. The Penny weight or dwt., is a division of a troy ounce the official measurement that gold and other precious metals are valued by. There are 20 Pennyweights in a Troy ounce. A pennyweight, or 1dwt as it is known is equal to 1.555 grams.
A ring shank is the body of a ring. The term is most often used in association with the erosion or wear that takes place on the lower portion of the ring. Jewelers will usually inspect the “shank” of your ring to be sure that it is not wearing too thin. Wear on a ring shank is most often caused by contact with hard surfaces or the constant erosion that takes place when a ring is worn against another ring.
When a ring shank has worn too thin a jeweler can cut away a portion of the ring and replace it with new metal of similar metal. This process is known as adding a quarter shank, or a half shank.
Did you ever have that sinking feeling when you look down at your ring that it may be a missing a stone? Every day countless people discover missing stones in jewelry. A feeling of panic followed by frantic searching and grazing ensues. Many hours are then spent attempting to remember all of the places that as stone may have dropped out in prior days.
In some cases lost stones are small and inexpensive, in others they can be as significant as a Diamond Engagement ring or an heirloom passed on by a loved one. Whatever the stone, in most cases the loss is avoidable.
Over time precious metal erodes. The constant scuffing against harder surfaces ultimately leads to the thinning of the prongs and channels that secure your gemstones. Then one day while your car is squawking for you to put on your seat belt, you reach behind you, and rip it forward oblivious to the fact that you have hooked a prong on the upholstery. As you drive merrily down the highway your diamond slowly jiggles free from your ring.
Now that I have completely terrified you there is a solution. See your Jeweler! A qualified jewelry expert can look at your fine jewelry and determine if detrimental wear has occurred. Most fine jewelers will provide this service at no charge, and recommend the repairs and maintenance necessary to keep your jewelry healthy. If prongs or channels need to be repaired or replaced they will advise you. In the most extreme situations, they may even recommend that the stones be remounted. When this happens you will have to make a financial decision as to whether the stones warrant a new ring.
Establish a relationship with a knowledgeable trusted jeweler. It is important that you work with professional jewelers who can properly identify important issues and not recommend expensive unnecessary repairs or remounts when they are not warranted.
Have all frequently worn fine jewelry cleaned and inspected annually.
Be careful with delicate pieces and prongs around abrasive surfaces.
Develop a relationship with a trustworthy knowledgeable qualified Jeweler.
Platinum (Pt ) is a very rare malleable precious metal that is coveted for its use in jewelry, Industry, and as a monetary instrument.
The word platinum is derived from the Spanish word “platina”. Its earliest ornamental use dates back to pre Columbian times however platinum was not used ornamentally in Europe until the late 1700’s. Early platinum work was very difficult to accomplish due to its extreme melting point at of 3215 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gold on the other hand has been used ornamentally since the beginning of recorded history. Ancient statues, coins, and jewelry can be traced back to nearly 6000 years. Gold, (Au) is a precious malleable metal that is the predominant metal used in fine jewelry and is commonly used in Industry, and as a monetary instrument.
What Is White Gold? In order to understand white gold we must first understand “Karat Pure gold is mixed with other metals to create the 10KT, 14KT, and 18KT white gold used in jewelry. To create white gold, pure gold is alloyed with copper, nickel, and zinc, which lends it the white color and add durability needed for jewelry making. After melting the metals together the newly formed white gold maintains a slight yellow cast . To offset the yellow tint, white gold jewelry is plated with a precious white metal rhodium.
Platinum used in Jewelry has a higher content of precious metal, typically 95% pure. For this reason platinum will retain its naturally pure white color indefinitely. Its high level of purity also makes it heavier and considerably more valuable than its counterpart White Gold.
Contrary to popular belief platinum is actually softer than white gold and can endure many years of wear without showing the signs of fatigue that white gold jewelry exhibits. It is also significantly more expensive for four primary reasons.
Platinum typically trades at a significantly higher price than gold. Platinum used in jewelry weighs approximately 70% more than similar volume of 14kt white gold.
Platinum is 95% fine versus 14kt white gold purity at 58.5%.
Platinum melts at 3,215 F compared to gold at 1,948 F making it very difficult to work with.
Rose gold, or pink gold is created by alloying pure 24KT gold with copper. Pure 24KT gold is a rich yellow color by nature and copper exhibits red tones. By melting the two metals together the result is karat gold with a pink rosy tint. In addition to copper, silver is sometimes added to give the metal more workable properties and durability.
Typically 18KT rose gold will consist of 75% pure gold mixed with 25% copper, and 14KT rose gold will consist of 58.5% pure gold with 41.5% copper silver alloy.
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