Silver is one of the most revered metals used to make ornaments, jewelry, highvalue tableware, silverware and currency coins. It has one of the highest reflectivities of any metal, which gives it its unprecedented brilliance. Most silver jewelry you will find available is marked "Sterling Silver" or "925 Silver". It is 925 parts pure silver alloyed with either copper or titanium to give it more strength, while at the same time preserving the beauty of the precious metal. The range of designs in silver is extensive; from simple, elegant fine jewelry pieces, to striking and bold costume styles. The metal is most popular with teens and young adults, due to its affordability as against gold or platinum. Silver is a soft, white, lustrous precious metal that was first discovered over 6,000 years ago. While gold was considered the ´perfect metal´, denoted by the symbol of a ´circle´, silver was the closest to it in perfection and was symbolized by a semi-circle. This later gave way to the half moon symbol due to the similarities between the metal and the glow of the moon. In European folklore, silver was regarded as a remedy to various maladies and mythical creatures. Believed to be a repellent against vampires, legend has it that a werewolf could only be killed by a weapon or bullet made of silver. Gold certainly can´t stake that claim.
Given its low cost, you will find a much larger range of jewelry items and designs in silver than in gold or platinum. You can also find ornamental decorative items such as frames, desktop accessories and cufflinks for men in silver. Here are some facts about silver you should know before you make your purchase:
Silver is a soft metal and so it cannot be used in its pure form. It is usually mixed with other metal alloys to make it sturdier. Sterling Silver has a purity of 92.5 %, which means that every 100 grams of sterling silver has 92.5 grams of pure silver and 7.5 % of other metal alloys. Such jewelry will usually be marked "925". Good quality silver jewelry will always be made from sterling silver.
Silver jewelry will tarnish over time. This is because the alloys in silver react with air to create deposits that tarnish the surface of the item. Silver jewelry requires regular cleaning and polishing to maintain its sheen. Well-polished silver has a sheen that is even more brilliant than that achieved by gold and platinum! Most sterling silver jewelry will have a coating of a lacquer to protect it from tarnishing. All coatings will wear off with time, and the jewelry will acquire a dull look if not polished.
Since the beginning of time, gold has captivated mankind with its everlasting, universal appeal. Due to its magnificent allure, it has even been likened to the sun, the giver of life. One sign of gold's lasting value is that it has been used as a currency for over 5,000 years and was often bought in huge quantities during times of crisis. However, certainly the most fascinating use of the sun- metal has been in jewelry. The metal´s durability has made it a symbol of lasting love and heritage, and it is passed down from generation to the next. Till date, Indian brides must wear no less than 24 karat gold on their wedding day, to mark a lifetime of happiness and good luck.
Colours of Gold
Yellow Gold - This of course, is the colour of gold in its natural occurance and is perhaps most commonly used in jewelry. To strengthen it, it is usually alloyed with copper or silver. Generally, 14 karat gold is brighter than 10 karat gold; 18 karat gold is deeper than 14 karat gold, and so on.
White gold - A more contemporary version is ´white gold´ which is created by using a nickel or palladium alloy, zinc and copper. It has become very fashionable in recent years as more and more consumers are favouring it over its classic yellow counterpart. White gold may even be plated with rhodium to enhance its appearance. A white gold setting can accentuate the look of white diamonds and give any piece of jewelry a contemporary edge.
Rose gold - When copper is alloyed with yellow gold, it gives it a characteristic pink, blush-like tint, which experts suggest lends a soft, flattering effect.
Know About Karats
Gold´s purity is measured in karats. It is a measurement that indicates the content of gold in a particular alloy. Generally, the higher the percentage of gold content, the softer (and yellower) the piece. Sometimes, gold of a lower karat weight is plated in higher-karat gold to enhance its color. However, gold plating will wear off over time and your jewelry may need to be re-plated.
The ´K´ sign you may notice on a piece of jewelry stands for karat, so if the ring on your finger reads 18K, it refers to the percentage of pure gold in it. The higher the karat number, the greater the percentage of gold in it. Here is a brief guide on karats:
24K is pure gold.
18K gold is equal to 75% gold.
14K gold is equal to 58.3% gold.
12K gold is equal to 50% gold.
Naturally white, the rarest of precious metals and the most secure setting for diamonds and precious stones. Platinum is the perfect choice for an expression of love that will last a lifetime.
Platinum is naturally white so will not cast any colour into a diamond Platinum is usually 95% pure in jewellery so will never fade or tarnish Platinum is hypoallergenic, ideal for those with sensitive skin.
Platinum is 30 times more rare than gold Platinum jewellery is exclusive, a statement of individuality and desired by those in the know.
Platinum's durability and resistence mean your jewellery will last for a lifetime of wear
Platinum does not wear away so it holds precious stones securely
From Fabergé to Cartier, the world's greatest jewellery designers have always preferred working with platinum. Its remarkable pliability allows it to be drawn out to a fine wire, enabling the creation of intricate platinum designs which could not be fashioned from other precious metals.
Gemstones have fascinated mankind for thousands of years. The shades of precious gemstones are mesmerizing – from the rich hues of glamorous Rubies, Emeralds and Sapphires to the opulent Opal or the mystical allure of midnight Onyx, the personalities of gemstones are as fascinating and varied as those who wear them.
There´s nothing more tempting than a jewelry display of a rainbow of brightly colored gemstones. Yet, probe further and you will find that the varieties are many: natural, synthetic, and imitation stones of every color, shape, and size. Can you tell one type of gemstone from another? Here´s a brief guide to help you along while you consider various gemstones.
Natural Coloured Gemstones
Natural stones are those that occur in nature, with no human interference. However, it is wrong to assume that just because it´s natural, a stone it should carry a high price tag. Prices are driven by desirability, quality, and availability.
Synthetic Colored Gemstones
A synthetic stone has the same physical, chemical, and optical qualities as a natural stone. The difference lies in the fact that synthetics are created in a lab. They´ve been around for a long time, but modern technology allows us to grow stones that are difficult to distinguish from their natural counterparts. You may request for a lab certificate that will verify its authenticity before you pay a heavy price for a stone that is passed off as a natural.
Types of Gemstones
Pearls are a timeless classic in the family of gemstones. The body color of a pearl is often modified by additional colors called overtones, which are typically pink or rosé, green, purple, or blue. Some pearls show the iridescent phenomenon known as orient. These noble gems are an expression of wisdom, wealth, purity, romance and mystery. From the pearl encrusted gowns of Elizabethan aristocracy to the chic strands of Coco Chanel, pearls are simply perfect!
Types Of Pearls
How to Pick a Perfect Pearl
Some important attributes to keep in mind while buying pearls are:
Surface Condition: A quality pearl is one that has few imperfections on the surface. Markings and spotslower the quality and value.
Pearls may be generally classified into the following shapes;
Spherical pearls are round, which is traditionally the most desirable shape. The rounder the pearl, the more expensive its price tag
Symmetrical pearls include pear shaped pearls and other shapes that have symmetry from one side to another, but are not round.
Baroque pearls are irregularly shaped pearls. They are often the least expensive category of pearls, but are unique and quite beautiful.
Colour: Pearls occur in nature in different natural colors. The consistency of colour affects the value and price of the pearls, so take care to ascertain that the color consistency of the pearls on a given piece of jewelry is the same.
Size: As a general guideline, the larger the pearl, the rarer and more valuable it is. The diameter of a pearl is measured in millimeters and is of an average size of 7-7.5 millimeters. However, pearls can range from 6mm to over 20 mm.
Matching: Regardless of the quality of individual pearls, it is important that a string of pearls appears uniform and aesthetically pleasing. The more time spent on matching pearls, the higher the cost and better the overall look.
Rarity: Pearls are not cut or polished when removed from the oyster or mussel. Because of this, certain sizes, qualities and colors may be in scarce supply occasionally. The overall health of pearl growing oysters and mussels affect pearl size, quality and availability.
Diamonds are indisputably the most treasured substance on earth. Often considered the ultimate gemstone, they have enthralled people throughout the ages with their magnificent brilliance, timeless elegance and durability. It isn`t any wonder that diamonds have come to symbolize the most exclusive gift you could give your beloved. While engagements and weddings are the most popular occasions to buy diamonds, couples celebrating important milestones in their marriage may also choose to buy a piece of diamond jewelry.
Know Your Diamond
No two diamonds are the same – each diamond is an individual piece of unique beauty. Buying a diamond is an extremely special occasion in itself and can be difficult especially for those new to buying jewelry. It is therefore useful to know some key criteria to consider while buying diamonds. These are commonly known as the 4 C´s: