1. When buying a diamond, everyone starts with the “Four C’s” – Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat weight… What very few people realize that there are dozens of variations within each grade, and every one of those variations can have a BIG effect on the price. Come see us to “Build” your diamond. We can help you accomplish the look you want without killing your budget!

2. What is the difference between 10 Karat and 14 Karat gold (and why should I care)?
Pure gold is 24 Karat. That’s 100% pure gold with nothing else alloyed with it. It’s beautiful, but pure gold is too soft to stand up to every-day wear, so we add other metals (alloys) to the gold to make it stronger and more practical for daily use. The lower the “Karat” number, the more other metals have been alloyed in to strengthen the gold. In the United States the most popular metal purities are 18K, 14K, and 10K. In other countries 22 Karat is used on the high end, and in England and Ireland it is common to see 7- 8 karat gold (which in the USA, cannot even be sold as “gold” because the purity is so low).
The “Karat” number illustrates the difference between the gold content in a given piece and the “Pure Gold” standard, as follows:

  • 18 karat gold is 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloy, 75.0% pure gold
  • 14 Karat gold is 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy, 58.5 % pure gold
  • 10 Karat gold is 10 parts gold and 14 parts alloy , 41.0% pure gold

3. What the purity of gold means to you.
Another consideration is the construction of the piece – how well it’s made. The quality of the construction is a major factor in the strength and durability of jewelry, sometimes even more than the metal purity. Because they are more expensive pieces, the tendency is for the designer/jeweler to spend more time and effort on the details in the higher Karat weight pieces - which often yields higher quality construction.

The reverse is also true - Often, the main reason to use a lower gold purity alloy is to save money on the piece. Money can also be saved by scrimping on the quality of the casting, polishing, and finishing. So, many times, the work is not completed as carefully or not as detailed as the higher gold purities. It is important to work with someone who can help you properly assess whether a piece is well built.

These variations in labor can contribute to significant price differences in similar looking jewelry. It’s not just the metal purity and gemstone values that determine durability and price. It is important to work with a skilled and experienced expert to help you properly assess your needs and selecting an appropriate piece.

*Keeping your jewelry clean is easier than you think.
Your gemstones will tend to get a “film” on them. This film will reduce the sparkle. It is very easy to clean your jewelry at home with everyday household products. In either a coffee cup, or bowl put boiling hot water and add a little dish soap. If your jewelry has NO gemstones this is a great temperature to soak them. The hot water and soap will remove all the built up grease and loosen the dirt. After the item has been soaking fish it out of the water with a fork or something, If the item still has dirt use a soft bristled toothbrush to gently scrub off the remaining dirt. Rinse and you are done
For jewelry with only diamonds- you can also use this very hot water bath. This will quickly and easily remove the dirt, lotion, hair product, or other gunk that will build up under the ring.

For all other gemstones ( but not pearls or other gems that have epoxy), wait until the water is luke warm, tepid but not cold. At this temperature you will not cause harm to any gemstones . This is a quick and easy way to make your jewelry sparkle

4. Store your silver separate from your other jewelry, and store it with an anti-tarnish protective paper, or block. This will greatly reduce the need to polish your silver. Also if you gently wipe down your silver after wearing to remove the acidity of your skin oils, etc, that will also slow down the tarnishing process. A polishing cloth, and polishing paste are easy remedies for tarnished items

5. You don’t have to only wear your “birthstone”. Many years ago the Gem Trade created a birthstone list to sell more gemstones. This was done many years ago. The most popular list was created in the early 1900s. You do not have to like your birthstone, or wear it. You can choose your favorite and say “ this is my gem” or just wear whichever gemstone strikes your mood. Many gems themselves have different “energy” or meanings associated with them. But in the end, just wear what you like. There are no official rules.

6. You do not have to have a diamond for an engagement ring. Diamonds are the traditional engagement ring choice due to their rarity, and durability. But Sapphires and Rubies are close behind them. A colorful diamond is also a great alternative choice to the traditional colorless diamond.