Error message

Deprecated function: The each() function is deprecated. This message will be suppressed on further calls in menu_set_active_trail() (line 2394 of /home/jewelr30/public_html/includes/menu.inc).

Latest Jewelry News

SI Diamonds

Brilliant Earth - Fri, 08/05/2022 - 16:09

Choosing the right stone for your engagement ring is all about prioritization and finding the right combination of the four C’s: cut, color, carat, and as we’ll discuss today, clarity.

What Are SI Diamonds?

SI diamonds are a category of diamond that contain inclusions within their internal structure. To the unaided eye, these stones may be what jewelers refer to as ‘eye-clean,’ which means that any present inclusions are unable to be seen with the naked eye. However, the inclusions are certainly present and can affect the brilliance of the stone, so it’s important to consider the other grades that will improve a diamonds sparkle: cut and color.

What Does Diamond Clarity SI Mean?

Clarity grades range from Very Included to Flawless and reflect whether a diamond has visible flaws.

In nature, diamonds form as the result of carbon deposits subjected to high temperatures and pressure. As the atoms rearrange themselves to form the crystal structure that is characteristic of the diamond lattice, small impurities can cause flaws in this structure.

These impurities can form different types of flaws:

  • The most common type of flaw are inclusions. Inclusions look like small black spots in the structure of the diamond.
  • Some diamonds develop tiny cracks or feather inclusions. These cracks look like small black lines. They’re not an issue unless they run vertically, in which case they can reduce the durability of the stone.
  • Some stones develop internal cavities. It’s a more serious type of flaw, but it’s also less common. Cavities typically disqualify diamonds from use in jewelry.

To determine where a diamond falls on the clarity scale, a professional will inspect it with a loupe or another piece of magnifying equipment. The standard is to use a 10x magnification level, which means things appear ten times larger than they do to the naked eye.

After looking for noticeable inclusions and blemishes at the 10x magnification level, experts will decide which of the six clarity categories the diamond belongs to:

  • If the stone has no visible inclusions or flaws detectable at the 10x magnification level, it’s a flawless diamond.
  • Stones with slight blemishes but no inclusions are Internally Flawless or IF.
  • A diamond can be Very, Very Slightly Included if inclusions are hard to see but still present. There are two subcategories, VVS1 and VVS2, depending on how visible the flaws are.
  • A Very Slightly Included diamond has minor inclusions. A VS2 diamond has slightly more visible inclusions compared to a VS1
  • If the inclusions and flaws are more noticeable, an expert will likely grade a diamond as Slightly Included. A diamond can be SI1 or SI2 depending on how visible the flaws are.
  • Lastly, diamonds with inclusions that affect the transparency and brilliance of the stone belong to the Included There are three subcategories, including I1, I2, and I3 for these stones.

While SI diamonds rank lower than other clarity ratings, you have to remember that experts use a 10x magnification level to rate precious stones. Included diamonds are the only ones with flaws that are easy to see with the naked eye.

SI diamonds are less valuable than stones with a better clarity rating, but their inclusions, blemishes, and other flaws remain difficult to detect unless you look at a stone closely or use magnification.

This makes SI diamonds an excellent choice for jewelry consumers who are on a budget. While they may have blemishes, they’ll shine just as brightly to the naked eye.

Is SI a good quality diamond?

An SI diamond is a good quality diamond. As a clarity grade, SI, which stands for ‘slightly included,’ is considered an excellent value stone with minimal inclusions. All diamonds, including higher clarity diamonds categorized as flawless, have minor imperfections. Choosing an SI clarity diamond with a good combination of carat, cut, and color is an excellent choice.

What’s the difference between SI1 and SI2?

The difference between SI1 diamonds and SI2 diamonds is minimal. While both have inclusions, SI1 diamonds contain blemishes that aren’t visible to the unaided eye. When examining an SI2 diamond, it is much more likely that you will be able to see the inclusions with a naked eye. Under magnification, inclusions will be blatant in both SI1 and SI2 diamonds.

What’s Better: SI or VVS?

It depends on what you expect from a diamond. In terms of purity, a VVS diamond ranks higher on the clarity scale. The inclusions are not visible to the naked eye and remain hard to notice with a 10x magnification level.

SI diamonds, especially SI2 diamonds, have more noticeable inclusions. These diamonds can potentially have numerous inclusions as well. The inclusions can look larger or darker in color compared to the slight blemishes you might see on a VVS diamond.

However, for those shopping on a budget, SI diamonds, and even SI2 clarity diamonds, can be a better choice.

Clarity is one of the indicators of quality and affects the price of a diamond, but it’s not the only factor to consider. Cut quality, carat weight, and color are also important.

Prioritizing clarity over these other factors isn’t the best way to get the best-looking diamond in your price range. For instance, a VVS diamond will cost more than an SI1 diamond due to its clarity, which means you might have to compromise and get a smaller carat weight or a slightly flawed cut.

Opting for an SI diamond can leave more room in your budget for a larger diamond, a quality cut, or a diamond that is closer to a colorless stone on the color scale. The inclusions will be present but visible if you inspect the stone closely. Choose SI diamonds to optimize a densely set piece, so it dazzles the naked eye.

An SI diamond can seem less desirable than a VVS stone, but you should keep in mind that the inclusions found in an SI stone typically don’t affect transparency and brilliance like with an included diamond. Transparency and brilliance can look even better if you opt for an SI diamond that is near colorless or has a quality cut.

What Do SI Diamonds Cost?

An SI diamond will cost less than stones with a higher clarity rating, but the carat weight remains the top factor in determining the price of a diamond. As a rule of thumb, larger diamonds cost more.

The cut quality and shape are also important. A round cut tends to cost more because it’s more challenging to execute. You should also expect to spend more if you’re after a popular cut. Trends can change, which means prices will fluctuate based on offer and demand for different cuts.

In most cases, a diamond with a larger top surface area will cost more because it can look more imposing in a setting. A diamond with a deeper cut can cost less, even though the carat weight is comparable.

If you look at comparable carat weights, cuts, and colors, an SI diamond will cost less than a VS or VVS diamond. It will also be significantly more affordable than an IF or F diamond.

However, an SI diamond with a higher carat weight, a high-quality cut, and a colorless or near-colorless rating might have a similar price range or even cost more than a VS diamond with a smaller carat weight, a poor cut, or a light color rating.

Shopping around will give you a better idea of what you should expect to pay for an SI diamond based on its carat weight and other factors.

Tips for Buying SI1 Diamonds
  • Ensure the diamond comes with a reliable certificate.

GIA and IGI are well-known institutions that grade both natural diamonds and lab diamonds. When buying an SI diamond, ensure that it comes with a certificate despite its origin.

  • Consider the shape

Some diamond shapes conceal inclusions better than others. Cushion cut, oval cut, marquise shape, or pear-shaped diamonds are the best at hiding any imperfections.

  • Look closely

Evaluate the diamond yourself and ensure a reputable jeweler does the same.

  • Know where the inclusions are

If you don’t have a loupe to check where the inclusions are yourself, all diamonds over 1 carat should have a clarity plot on their certifications that will inform you of where the inclusions are and what type they are. Often times inclusions can be concealed by prongs or other parts of a setting so it’s a good idea to know where they’re located.

For further information on buying diamonds, check out our complete guide to find all the information you need.

Is an SI Diamond Right for Me?

You have to consider what your budget is and what you expect from the diamond. Jewelers often recommend SI diamonds as the best value since the SI rating is enough to bring the price down without taking away from the appearance of the diamond.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all SI diamonds are the same. You should shop around and compare the different options available to you.

An important distinction is to choose an SI1 or SI2 stone. An SI2 diamond will cost less, but the flaws might be more noticeable.

You should also consider where the inclusions appear. Experts will look for flaws and issue a clarity rating regardless of where the black spots or cracks are. Depending on the cut of the diamond, these flaws might be hard to notice.

For instance, you can get an SI diamond with excellent transparency and brilliance by avoiding stones where inclusions are visible from the top. If you can see black spots and blemishes when looking at the stone from the side, it’s sometimes possible to hide these flaws with a ring setting.

The cut of the diamond can also help make inclusions less noticeable. Typically, a cushion cut, oval cut, marquise shape, or pear-shaped diamond will have better radiance despite a few inclusions being present. The round cut is a popular shape, but it’s less forgiving for stones with a few inclusions.

It’s also important to consider what kind of inclusions the diamond has. Two diamonds with the same SI rating can vary in quality. For instance, vertical lines can cause weakness in a diamond’s structure and result in a low-quality stone. You’ll likely get a great deal on this type of SI diamond, but it won’t be as durable as an SI diamond with a few black spots.

Final Thoughts

SI diamonds are an option worth considering for budget-conscious shoppers. These diamonds have a few flaws, but it’s easy to find SI1 or SI2 diamonds with inclusions that remain difficult to detect to the naked eye. Opting for an SI diamond often means you’ll be able to get a larger stone or a higher-quality cut for your money. At Brilliant Earth, all of our diamonds meet Beyond Conflict Free standards that go beyond the normal conflict free commitments to further improve the jewelry industry.

To more about SI clarity diamonds, check out our diamond clarity guide and start shopping our SI clarity diamonds today.

The post SI Diamonds appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Terry Castro, a Proud Outsider in the Jewelry World, Dies at 50

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 08/04/2022 - 18:28
A self-taught designer, he started out selling necklaces on the streets of New York and battled stereotypes, racial and otherwise, throughout his career.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

ID Theft, Fraud, Prison: The Wild Life of a Bishop Robbed at the Pulpit

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 08/04/2022 - 09:00
The police said Bishop Lamor Whitehead was robbed of a fortune in jewelry, the crime caught on camera. But the focus soon turned to him and his past run-ins with the law.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Complete Guide to Red Ruby

Brilliant Earth - Mon, 08/01/2022 - 19:14

It is no surprise that the red ruby is amongst the most sought-after and expensive gemstones globally. And even though there are other red gemstones, only a few of them are as coveted as rubies. Below is a rundown of what you need to know about red rubies.

What is a Red Ruby?

Ruby is derived from the Latin word for red, ruber. Red rubies are also known as blood rubies and are colored by trace amounts of chromium. They are a variety of gemstones with a red color, and they belong to the corundum family. There has always been a high demand for this stone during specific periods in history.

For example, during the height of ancient Rome and the Victorian era in England, Roman emperors and some of the wealthiest people in Europe wore blood rubies to show wealth and power. These days, rubies are still considered an investment stone due to their rarity and value.

What is the Meaning of a Red Ruby?

Today, rubies are a symbol of love and commitment. The old Hollywood red color that rubies exhibit symbolizes all things romantic – think Valentine’s Day hearts, embers from a still-warm fire, and long stem roses. Red ruby jewelry is commonly given as an anniversary gift to celebrate a romantic relationship that has stood the test of time.

For centuries, rubies’ blood-red hue was a representation of life itself. ­­­­­Early cultures treasured the gem and believed they could protect against misfortune, inflammation, and illness. Ancient warriors went as far as to adorn their armor with rubies to provide protection in battle.

Rubies are also July’s birthstone and represents the courageous, happy, and passionate characteristics of those born in the seventh month of the year. And birthstone jewelry has made a comeback! Striking ruby jewelry is a great way to celebrate and commemorate your loved one’s July birthday (or your own!).

How Does a Red Ruby Get its Color?

The trace amounts of chromium determine the color of a ruby. In addition to blood or deep, red-colored stones, there are also pinkish or purplish-pink stones classified as rubies since they share the same chromium content and hue. You may find these less expensive than actual deep red rubies due to their lighter shade and vibrancy.

Inclusions inside the gemstone can also change the color of a ruby. Thus, when a red ruby has no inclusions, it appears more vivid and clear than one with many inclusions.

How is Ruby Color Graded?

Rubies are graded on their saturation and hue. Color saturation ranges from vivid to strong, fair, medium, and weak. Top quality rubies are always graded as ‘vivid.’ Hue refers to the overtones present within a ruby. Red is the most coveted of all hues, but rubies come in hues of slight orange, strong orange, slight purple, and strong purple as well.

Ruby Clarity

The clarity of a ruby is judged on the same scale that diamonds and other gemstones are – by determining how many inclusions (small, black carbon deposits) are present in the stone. The scale is as follows with VVS rubies being the rarest and coveted.

  • VVS – very, very slightly included. Eye clean.
  • SI1 – slightly included. The inclusions present have a slight effect on appearance but little effect on overall brilliance. Eye clean.
  • SI2 – also slightly included. The inclusions present have a slight effect on appearance and a slight effect on overall brilliance.
  • I1 – inclusions are obvious to the naked eye.
  • I2 – prominent inclusions.
  • I3 – many prominent and obvious inclusions.
Ruby Cut

Generally natural rubies are cut in four different ways: brilliant cut, step cut, mixed cut, cabochon cut.

  • Brilliant cut – features triangle-shaped facets are cut symmetrically for the purpose of drawing light into the gemstone.
  • Step cut – often called emerald-cut, this style features facets that run parallel to the ruby’s edge. They look similar to a symmetrically ascending staircase and generally feature smoothed corners.
  • Mixed cut – is a hybrid between brilliant and step cut styles and is the most common cut for rubies. The crown is typically cut to enliven the sparkle and the pavilion is step cut, which actually reduces wastage during the cutting process and helps the color shine through.
  • Cabochon cut – most vintage styles feature this cut of gem that features a domed top and a flat bottom. The top is smooth and not faceted and is highly polished. These are the easiest to manufacture and therefore usually the least expensive.
What is the Value of a Red Ruby?

Several factors determine the value of a ruby. These include the clarity, cut, and color.

There is an increase in demand for these stones, and the prices for red rubies have skyrocketed in recent years. Some of these stones have even been worth more than their weight in gold.

Due to their scarcity and popularity, red rubies are often fraudulently sold as natural red gems. As a consumer, you should be careful about what you buy when buying a red gemstone because many sellers will try to sell lab rubies or synthetic alternatives for top dollar. The only way to ensure you get what you’re looking for is with an appraisal certificate from a reputable professional jeweler. That being said, lab grown rubies are also extremely beautiful and display much fewer inclusions than a natural ruby does, for a much better price.

Where can You Find Red Rubies? Pigeon Blood Ruby 

There are many different kinds of red rubies. However, the most common kind is known as the pigeon blood ruby. It is a type of corundum gemstone that has a very dark red hue. These stones are prized for their lack of color to make them more transparent and valuable.

Burmese Ruby

The most popular red ruby is the Burmese ruby, and the reds range from a dark maroon to a true red. This type of stone is deep red and has more chromium than the pigeon blood ruby. It makes this type of stone a bit less valuable than its counterpart.

These rubies come from the Burmese ruby mines in the country of Myanmar, they produce about 95% of all-natural rubies. In Myanmar, there are two types of rubies: light and dark. Light rubies are more common and generally less expensive than dark ones. Dark rubies are rare because it takes longer to find them, and they tend to be more intensely saturated with color.

Ceylon Ruby

The third type of red ruby you may encounter is the Ceylon ruby. These stones are lighter than the Burmese rubies, making them much less valuable. They also have more flaws due to multiple growths on the same crystal lattice structure.

How Can You Tell if a Red Ruby is Real?

The best way to tell if a ruby is real or not is the ‘too good to be true’ test. Lab created rubies are, more often than not, completely inclusion free, giving them an ‘almost perfect’ look. Natural rubies, unless they are of supremely rare quality, will likely have at least a few inclusions that give the gemstone a depth and uniqueness.

Another way to tell the difference between a lab grown ruby and a natural ruby is to consider its color. Lab grown rubies are often more of a light-colored red. Natural rubies, especially the best ones, feature a deep red color.

When questioning whether or not you have a synthetic (glass, plastic, etc.) ruby, consider performing the rub test. Here are the steps:

  • Rub the stone in question against a smooth (but hard) surface, such as glass.
  • Check to see if the stone leaves any color behind on the test surface.
  • If the stone leaves any color behind it is likely not a natural ruby. As real rubies are extremely durable, they shouldn’t be damaged by testing it against a hard surface.
Final Thoughts

Red rubies are special, rare, and coveted gemstones that represent love and passion. Jewelers have long-since set them in precious metal, crafting spectacular jewelry that makes a statement. Now that you’ve read through the complete guide to red rubies, take a peek at our top ruby jewelry styles.

The post The Complete Guide to Red Ruby appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

What is Rhodium Plating?

Brilliant Earth - Fri, 07/29/2022 - 17:48

If you’re considering purchasing an engagement ring, you may be asking yourself – what is rhodium plating? There’s more to choosing a metal than just its color – applying a coat of rhodium to a ring will add to its durability and luster at minimal cost. To figure out if rhodium plating is right for you and your ring, let’s explore exactly what it is.

What is Rhodium?

Rhodium is a silvery-white metal in the platinum family. It has highly reflective quality that does not tarnish. Rhodium is allergy-friendly, harder than gold, and extremely durable. This metal is idea for jewelry plating as it strengthens the durability and adds a glorious sheen to the metal below it.

What is Rhodium Plating?

Jewelry makers use two methods to plate jewelry – electrical or chemical. The procedure bonds a thin layer of one metal over another one. Plated jewelry allows jewelry makers to produce more affordable pieces, as the thinly plated precious metal sits atop a more common metal or alloy.

Rhodium plating, also called dipping or flashing, creates a durable, scratch-resistant, and shiny piece of jewelry. Jewelry makers usually use rhodium of .75 to 1.0 microns over silver-hued metals like white gold or silver.

Most rhodium plating processes use electroplating. Jewelers clean the original piece with steam cleaning or electro-cleaning to remove any dirt or contaminants that could affect the plating process. After cleaning, the jeweler applies a positive electrical charge to the piece, then fuses a thin layer of rhodium over it.

Electroplating is a precise procedure that can take up to 90 minutes per piece of jewelry. The electric current must be just right, or the plating can turn black and damage the metal below it.

Jewelers should avoid using rhodium plating over 1.0 microns as the brittle metal is prone to cracking. If the layer is too thin, the metal below it can discolor. Jewelry that people wear daily, like rings, needs a thicker layer of rhodium than pieces like earrings or pendants.

Can Jewelers Use Rhodium Plating Over Yellow Gold?

Jewelers can put silvery-white rhodium plating over yellow gold. They can also use rhodium over metals with other colors, like rose gold or copper. Rhodium plating will cover the yellow, completely changing the look of the jewelry. As the plating wears off, the yellow color will show.

Most jewelers won’t put rhodium plating over cheaper metals because rhodium can be costly. Jewelers who will plate brass with rhodium only use a thin layer because brass jewelry isn’t worth the cost of plating with precious metal. If you have rhodium-plated brass jewelry, you’ll know when the plating wears as the brass will turn your skin green.

What is Black Rhodium Plating?

People who like an edgy look to their jewelry can ask for black rhodium plating. Jewelers add black ink during the plating process to give jewelry a mysterious look. This type of plating costs more than traditional rhodium plating and needs more frequent touch-ups to maintain the shiny, black look.

What are the Benefits of Rhodium Jewelry?

Rhodium is a precious metal with attention-getting reflective shine and anti-corrosive properties. Here are a few of the benefits:

  • The electroplating process gives other metals like white gold and silver more shine and protects against daily wear, preventing the softer metals from scratches.
  • Rhodium is easy to clean, unlike some white gold jewelry and other white metal pieces.
  • Jewelry plated with a rhodium solution does not cause skin reactions, opening up more jewelry options for people with sensitive skin and metal allergies. When alloys that react to body chemistry have rhodium plating, they become hypoallergenic.
  • Shiny rhodium plated jewelry does not tarnish, but it does wear out over time.

How Long Does Rhodium Plating Last?

Because rhodium is rare (miners excavate about 20 tons annually), jewelers do not use much of the metal when they plate jewelry. The thin layers of plating need to be replaced to maintain the high shine and protective qualities. While thicker plating lasts longer, it can also make the plating brittle. Thicker plating makes rhodium look like platinum, with its silver color and high shine.

Like other plated jewelry pieces, you’ll need to have your rhodium pieces replated occasionally. Harsh chemicals, like heavily chlorinated pool water and cleaners, can reduce the lifespan of rhodium plating. Some perfumes and cosmetics can damage rhodium and other precious metals, so clean jewelry as soon as you notice any residue.

Pieces you wear daily might need to be replated every 12 to 24 months. The plating process is easy for jewelers, and most can have your jewelry ready for you in a few days. Pieces you wear infrequently might need replating every ten years.

How to Increase the Lifespan of Rhodium Plating

You can extend the life of your rhodium-plated pieces by wearing gloves or taking off your rings when working with chemicals. Remove your jewelry before you go swimming and when you wash your hands and put on your jewelry after you’ve applied fragrances and makeup. While water won’t harm the rhodium plating, the friction from towel drying can wear it down.

If you have yellow-gold jewelry with rhodium plating, you’ll notice the yellow color show through as the plating wears. White gold pieces take longer to show as the plating is similar in color. You’ll most likely notice areas with less luster as the rhodium plating wears.

Rhodium Plating FAQs Is rhodium-plated better than silver?

Silver is a soft metal that scratches easily, so most silver jewelry has a small percentage of alloy to strengthen it. The small amounts of copper and nickel cause silver to tarnish. Rhodium-plated silver does not tarnish or scratch.

Sterling silver is lovely on its own but adding rhodium plating ups the value and shine. Rhodium-plated sterling silver costs more than sterling, and the plating makes the jewelry hypoallergenic. As the two metals have similar colors, you can wait longer between replatings.

Is rhodium-plated better than white gold?

Rhodium plating gives white metals a slightly darker tone. It’s extremely durable but does fade so it will need replating once a year. White gold is also durable, has a slightly more silvery finish, and does not require replating.

Does rhodium plating turn green?

Pure rhodium that is nickel-free does not tarnish – it’s also corrosion-resistant and therefore won’t rust. But because rhodium is ultra-durable, it is often alloyed with metals like nickel or copper that can leave behind green marks on your skin.

What color is rhodium?

Traditional rhodium is a vibrant silvery-white and highly reflective when clean. It’s often used to plate white gold or platinum to not only make the metal more durable, but also to give it a more silvery, attractive color. Rhodium can also be tinted with ink and applied to white metals to give rings a black finish.

Is rhodium hypoallergenic?

As long as it does not contain trace elements of nickel, rhodium is hypoallergenic. It acts as a guard between the metal and the skin to keep it safe. If you have a nickel, gold, or other allergy rhodium is the perfect choice to protect your skin from irritation.

Does rhodium tarnish?

Rhodium does not tarnish. It should be kept clean, however. You can use soap and a toothbrush to gently cleanse your jewelry of dirt or other build up. To protect the integrity of the rhodium don’t wear it when you go swimming or perform other strenuous activities (like lifting weights).

What is the cost of rhodium plating?

Rhodium plating can cost anywhere between $60-150 for an engagement ring or wedding band. The price will vary depending on the quality of the rhodium and the quality of the jeweler’s work.

How do I know if my jewelry is rhodium plated?

Rhodium displays a much more silvery finish than white gold which tends to appear more yellowy. Most white gold in the jewelry industry is rhodium plated and you can always check with a local jeweler whether or not your item is plated.

How often do I need to get my jewelry replated?

Plan on getting your jewelry replated with rhodium once a year for regular use. If it’s a ring and you wear it all the time, you may want to consider getting it replated twice a year to retain durability and ward off scratches.

Final Thoughts

Rhodium is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a true silver finish on their white metal jewelry. It also adds an extra layer of protection to keep your piece of jewelry unscratched. You will need to plan on having your rhodium plated jewelry replated, though, so make sure to consider that cost before purchasing a rhodium ring, necklace, earrings, or bracelet.

The post What is Rhodium Plating? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

APM Monaco Makes the Art of Jewelry Design Accessible to All

JustLuxe - Wed, 07/27/2022 - 21:34

The jewelry industry is a thriving business intersecting with culture, art, and history. One of the most interesting aspects of jewelry is how its function and style evolve over time and from place to place. Today, contemporary jewelry has ta

...

via JustLuxe.com
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Red Ruby: The Complete Guide

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 07/26/2022 - 20:36

It is no surprise that red ruby is one of the most most sought-after and expensive gemstones globally. And even though there are other red gemstones, only a few of them are as coveted as rubies. Below is a rundown of what you need to know about red rubies.

What is a Red Ruby?

Ruby is derived from the Latin word for red, ruber. Red rubies are also known as blood rubies and are colored by trace amounts of chromium. They are a variety of gemstones with a red color, and they belong to the corundum family. There has always been a high demand for this stone during specific periods in history.

For example, during the height of ancient Rome and the Victorian era in England, Roman emperors and some of the wealthiest people in Europe wore blood rubies to show wealth and power. These days, rubies are still considered an investment stone due to their rarity and value.

What is the Meaning of a Red Ruby?

Today, rubies are a symbol of love and commitment. The old Hollywood red color that rubies exhibit symbolizes all things romantic – think Valentine’s Day hearts, embers from a still-warm fire, and long stem roses. Red ruby jewelry is commonly given as an anniversary gift to celebrate a romantic relationship that has stood the test of time.

For centuries, rubies’ blood-red hue was a representation of life itself. ­­­­­Early cultures treasured the gem and believed they could protect against misfortune, inflammation, and illness. Ancient warriors went as far as to adorn their armor with rubies to provide protection in battle.

Rubies are also July’s birthstone and represents the courageous, happy, and passionate characteristics of those born in the seventh month of the year. And birthstone jewelry has made a comeback! Striking ruby jewelry is a great way to celebrate and commemorate your loved one’s July birthday (or your own!).

How Does a Red Ruby Get its Color?

The trace amounts of chromium determine the color of a ruby. In addition to blood or deep, red-colored stones, there are also pinkish or purplish-pink stones classified as rubies since they share the same chromium content and hue. You may find these less expensive than actual deep red rubies due to their lighter shade and vibrancy.

Inclusions inside the gemstone can also change the color of a ruby. Thus, when a red ruby has no inclusions, it appears more vivid and clear than one with many inclusions.

How is Ruby Color Graded?

Rubies are graded on their saturation and hue. Color saturation ranges from vivid to strong, fair, medium, and weak. Top quality rubies are always graded as ‘vivid.’ Hue refers to the overtones present within a ruby. Red is the most coveted of all hues, but rubies come in hues of slight orange, strong orange, slight purple, and strong purple as well.

Ruby Clarity

The clarity of a ruby is judged on the same scale that diamonds and other gemstones are – by determining how many inclusions (small, black carbon deposits) are present in the stone. The scale is as follows with VVS rubies being the rarest and coveted.

  • VVS – very, very slightly included. Eye clean.
  • SI1 – slightly included. The inclusions present have a slight effect on appearance but little effect on overall brilliance. Eye clean.
  • SI2 – also slightly included. The inclusions present have a slight effect on appearance and a slight effect on overall brilliance.
  • I1 – inclusions are obvious to the naked eye.
  • I2 – prominent inclusions.
  • I3 – many prominent and obvious inclusions.

Ruby Cut

Generally natural rubies are cut in four different ways: brilliant cut, step cut, mixed cut, cabochon cut.

  • Brilliant cut – features triangle-shaped facets are cut symmetrically for the purpose of drawing light into the gemstone.
  • Step cut – often called emerald-cut, this style features facets that run parallel to the ruby’s edge. They look similar to a symmetrically ascending staircase and generally feature smoothed corners.
  • Mixed cut – is a hybrid between brilliant and step cut styles and is the most common cut for rubies. The crown is typically cut to enliven the sparkle and the pavilion is step cut, which actually reduces wastage during the cutting process and helps the color shine through.
  • Cabochon cut – most vintage styles feature this cut of gem that features a domed top and a flat bottom. The top is smooth and not faceted and is highly polished. These are the easiest to manufacture and therefore usually the least expensive.

What is the Value of a Red Ruby?

Several factors determine the value of a ruby. These include the clarity, cut, and color.

There is an increase in demand for these stones, and the prices for red rubies have skyrocketed in recent years. Some of these stones have even been worth more than their weight in gold.

Due to their scarcity and popularity, red rubies are often fraudulently sold as natural red gems. As a consumer, you should be careful about what you buy when buying a red gemstone because many sellers will try to sell lab rubies or synthetic alternatives for top dollar. The only way to ensure you get what you’re looking for is with an appraisal certificate from a reputable professional jeweler. That being said, lab grown rubies are also extremely beautiful and display much fewer inclusions than a natural ruby does, for a much better price.

Where can You Find Red Rubies? Pigeon Blood Ruby

There are many different kinds of red rubies. However, the most common kind is known as the pigeon blood ruby. It is a type of corundum gemstone that has a very dark red hue. These stones are prized for their lack of color to make them more transparent and valuable.

Burmese Ruby

The most popular red ruby is the Burmese ruby, and the reds range from a dark maroon to a true red. This type of stone is deep red and has more chromium than the pigeon blood ruby. It makes this type of stone a bit less valuable than its counterpart.

These rubies come from the Burmese ruby mines in the country of Myanmar, they produce about 95% of all-natural rubies. In Myanmar, there are two types of rubies: light and dark. Light rubies are more common and generally less expensive than dark ones. Dark rubies are rare because it takes longer to find them, and they tend to be more intensely saturated with color.

Ceylon Ruby

The third type of red ruby you may encounter is the Ceylon ruby. These stones are lighter than the Burmese rubies, making them much less valuable. They also have more flaws due to multiple growths on the same crystal lattice structure.

How Can You Tell if a Red Ruby is Real?

The best way to tell if a ruby is real or not is the ‘too good to be true’ test. Lab created rubies are, more often than not, completely inclusion free, giving them an ‘almost perfect’ look. Natural rubies, unless they are of supremely rare quality, will likely have at least a few inclusions that give the gemstone a depth and uniqueness.

Another way to tell the difference between a lab grown ruby and a natural ruby is to consider its color. Lab grown rubies are often more of a light-colored red. Natural rubies, especially the best ones, feature a deep red color.

When questioning whether or not you have a synthetic (glass, plastic, etc.) ruby, consider performing the rub test. Here are the steps:

  • Rub the stone in question against a smooth (but hard) surface, such as glass.
  • Check to see if the stone leaves any color behind on the test surface.
  • If the stone leaves any color behind it is likely not a natural ruby. As real rubies are extremely durable, they shouldn’t be damaged by testing it against a hard surface.
Final Thoughts

Red rubies are special, rare, and coveted gemstones that represent love and passion. Jewelers have long-since set them in precious metal, crafting spectacular jewelry that makes a statement. Now that you’ve read through the complete guide to red rubies, take a peek at our top ruby jewelry styles.

The post Red Ruby: The Complete Guide appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamond: What’s the Difference?

Brilliant Earth - Mon, 07/25/2022 - 23:59

In the cubic zirconia vs diamond match, diamonds are the clear winner. When examining both stones under natural light, diamonds show a dazzling bright light (often referred to as a diamond’s fire or brilliance) while cubic zirconia flashes a much more synthetic rainbow effect. Diamonds also have a much higher refractive index and lower dispersion rate than cubic zirconia.

It’s undeniable, though, that diamonds come at a premium price per carat. So, while diamonds may be the prettier and more valuable choice, cubic zirconia is a decent diamond alternative that is incredibly affordable.

Read on to learn more about the differences between diamonds vs cubic zirconia.

How to Quickly Tell the Difference Between Cubic Zirconia and Diamonds

The best way to figure out if a stone is cubic zirconia or diamond is to use your naked eye. Examine the light that emanates from it – a diamond gives off brilliant white light while cubic zirconia will give off a noticeable rainbow of colored light. Cubic zirconia’s rainbow hues look a lot more similar to moissanite, another diamond alternative.

Another way to tell the difference between cubic zirconia vs diamond is to feel how heavy it is. Diamonds are much more heavy than cubic zirconia, so they should feel weighty when resting in your palm.

If the stone doesn’t have any inclusions or blemishes, it’s likely cubic zirconia. It’s extremely rare for diamonds to be completely flawless, so the too-good-to-be-true test is always a good idea.

If your stone has any scratches, it’s cubic zirconia. Diamonds are extremely durable and won’t scratch unless cut professionally.

What Is Cubic Zirconia?

Cubic Zirconia, also known as CZs, are manufactured gemstones that look similar to diamonds. They are colorless gemstones made up of a crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. Most CZs are clear or white. However, their natural colorlessness allows manufacturers to color them with coloring agents.

Is a Cubic Zirconia Real?

Although Cubic Zirconia gemstones are artificial, they are real stones. But they are not real diamonds, which are naturally-occurring, carbon-based gems.

Nevertheless, CZs do occur in nature, albeit rarely. They are sometimes found within zircon, a natural stone with high reflective properties. They also appear in tiny amounts within baddeleyite, a mineral found in black, yellow, brown, and colorless varieties.

In its natural form, the minute crystals in cubic zirconia are unstable stones that decompose quickly into other crystalline structures.

How Is Cubic Zirconia Made?

Every lab makes its CZs a little bit differently. However, making cubic zirconia gems requires hours of extremely high heat and zirconium oxide powder.

Lab technicians melt pure zirconium oxide powder with calcium and magnesium, minerals that act as stabilizers. The mixture is heated at 4,298 degrees Fahrenheit for hours until isotropic crystals form. Afterward, the crystals can be cut, shaped, and polished.

Cubic Zirconia vs Diamond: What’s the Difference?

Although the two stones appear almost the same at a quick glance, there are a few essential differences and elements to consider, including:

  • Composition
  • Appearance
  • Cost
Cubic Zirconia vs Diamond: Composition

CZs are made from the mineral zirconium dioxide and have a hardness of 8.25 to 8.50. CZs stabilized with Yttria are softer than CZs stabilized with calcium oxide.

On the other hand, diamonds are 99.95% carbon. The carbon deposits lie approximately 100 miles below the earth’s surface, subjected to extreme pressure and high temperatures before becoming the coveted colorless gemstone. Diamonds have a hardness scale of 10 on the Mohs scale, making them the hardest known natural gemstone.

Cubic Zirconia vs Diamond: Appearance

At first glance, it is difficult to tell the difference between a cubic zirconia stone and a diamond. However, cubic zirconia is generally less brilliant and reflective than a natural diamond. Under natural light, CZs give off rainbow light dispersions, while diamonds give off white light.

Diamonds also have subtle imperfections that affect their clarity and color. These imperfections occur because they form in the earth from natural minerals. They are subject to inclusions like air bubbles and feathers or internal stress fractures, which can cause cloudiness.

As diamond stimulants, CZs are created from pure minerals and under precise conditions. This process allows for the final stones to be entirely free of imperfections.

Cubic Zirconia vs Diamond: Cost

The cost difference between diamonds and cubic zirconia is significant, diamonds are considerably more expensive than cubic zirconia stones. The average size of a diamond engagement ring is between 1 and 2 carats. Although cut, clarity, and the setting are significant factors in the jewelry’s final price, a 1-carat natural diamond will cost anywhere from $1,800 to $12,000.

On the other hand, a 1-carat cubic zirconia stone costs around $20. Despite their initial cheap upfront cost, cubic zirconia’s inexpensive price tag has downsides. This diamond stimulant has no resale or market value. A diamond will retain at least 50% of its initial value, which makes it a beautiful heirloom to pass down through generations.

How Long Does Cubic Zirconia Last?

Cubic zirconia is considerably less durable than a real diamond. They can be worn daily for between 2 to 3 years and up to 5 years if someone wears them occasionally.

As cubic zirconia stones age, they tend to become scratched and cloudy. Exposure to dirt, oxygen, chlorine, and water will speed up the aging process and increase the likelihood of damaging the stone.

How to Take Care of Cubic Zirconia

Caring for a cubic zirconia stone is necessary and simple. Keeping it clean requires mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Mix a tablespoon of dish soap into a bowl of warm water and dip the CZ jewelry in it to coat the stone. Then, take the toothbrush and gently scrub the jewelry to remove dirt and hard water stains.

Once the stone is clean, rinse off the soap with clean, cool water to remove any soapy residue. Then, pat the jewelry dry with a clean rag or towel.

Regularly and carefully cleaning your cubic zirconia jewelry will help it last as long as possible.

Are Lab Grown Diamonds the Same as Cubic Zirconia?

No. Cubic zirconia stones are synthetic but are not the same as lab grown diamonds. The difference is that cubic zirconia stones are diamond stimulants rather than lab created diamonds.

Lab created diamonds are also synthetic diamonds. However, these stones consist of carbon atom structures, just like diamonds. A lab-created diamond is also grown under conditions that mirror the needs of a natural diamond. This method gives them an optical and physical look similar to natural diamonds.

Lab grown diamonds are almost impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds. They can come in white or colorless hues, as well as pink, yellow, orange, and blue. They will also vary in clarity and cut.

Cubic zirconia stones do not have the same chemical composition, brilliance, or reflective properties as lab created diamonds. Because of their flawless, specific heat conditions, CZs are not as unique as lab created diamonds.

Both cubic zirconia and lab-created diamonds are more affordable than natural diamonds. They can also be insured, although the value will differ drastically between the two gemstones.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to know the differences between cubic zirconia vs diamond so you can make an informed choice about which to purchase. While they are both interesting and beautiful items, diamonds retain much more sparkle and value. If you are concerned about conflict when considering purchasing a diamond, check out our beyond conflict free commitment.

If you already have a stone and you are unsure if it is cubic zirconia or diamond, try inspecting it with what we’ve discussed today in mind. It’ll always be best to bring it in to a reputable jeweler to have it tested, though, so make sure to confirm with a profesh!

The post Cubic Zirconia vs. Diamond: What’s the Difference? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

A Brooklyn Clergyman Is Robbed While Delivering Sunday Sermon

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Mon, 07/25/2022 - 20:37
A trio of armed individuals robbed Lamor M. Whitehead and his wife of more than $1 million worth of their jewelry, police said.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Best Jewelry Picks for Scorpios

Brilliant Earth - Mon, 07/25/2022 - 15:33

We are celebrating Scorpio season!  

Those born between October 23rd and November 22nd belong to the passionate water sign, Scorpio. Known as natural trailblazers, independent thinkers, extremely passionate and keenly perceptive, this water sign knows what it wants – and is sure to go after it. Read on to discover the best jewelry gifts for a Scorpio and learn more about one of the most misunderstood signs in the zodiac!  

What is the Zodiac sign for Scorpio? 

This intense water sign is the eighth sign in the zodiac and is represented by the scorpion. Although they do not like to show it, Scorpios are tender-hearted and may occasionally last out to protect themselves. Much like a scorpion, this sign has a tough outer shell but once you get past, Scorpios are loyal, deeply loving, and intensely passionate.  

What stone is associated with Scorpio?  

The two birthstones that belong to Scorpio are topaz and citrine – the gemstones associated with integrity, love, passion, and purpose. Both topaz and citrine come in a wide array of colors ranging from shades of yellow, blue, red, green, brown, purple, and pink. 

What is Scorpio’s color?  

Black is the power color associated with Scorpio Zodiac. While Western culture may associate the color black with some negative or dark connotations, for much of history, black has been associated with strength, influence, sophistication, and power. Black is also a fitting color for one of the most mysterious signs in the zodiac.  

What are the personality traits of a Scorpio? 

Intensely passionate, undoubtedly forthright, and often the first to set a new trend, Scorpios are commonly mistaken for a fire sign. One of their best attributes is Scorpio’s deep sense of self, which allows them to know exactly what they want and go after it. While other signs may spend time beating around the bush, you can always count on a Scorpio to be direct and face any conflict head on. Their intense nature may seem intimidating to some at first, but under the surface in an extremely soft heart that shows unparalleled empathy, warmth, and commitment to their friends and partners.  

Scorpios passionately pursue their goals, leading them to be some of the most loyal partners and enthusiastic of friends. They do not get intimidated easily and will always persevere any challenge that comes their way, whether in love or in life. Indicative of the scorpion, this water sign often has a hard protective shell at first, but when they decide to put their hearts on display, there is nothing that can stop them from achieving their goals!  

What type of jewelry is best for Scorpios?  

Scorpios’ sophistication often gravitates them towards classic jewelry pieces with a bit of edge. Scorpios tend to surround themselves with others that reflect their passion, sophistication, and forthright nature – which can be seen in their refined jewelry taste. We also recommend gifting a Scorpio a beautiful piece of November birthstone jewelry.   

Scorpio Necklaces and Jewelry Gift Ideas  

Read on to discover some of our favorite jewelry gift ideas for the Scorpio Zodiac in your life!  

Scorpio Diamond Pendant  

A scorpion embossed on a gold disc adorned with three starlike diamond accents empowers this medallion and its wearer with the characteristics of the Zodiac water sign Scorpio: magnetism, passion, mysteriousness. An impression in the symbolic shape of the Scorpio sign is carved into the textured second side while a single flush set diamond shines through from the front to the back, adding versatility to this powerful design. 

Scorpio Constellation Diamond Pendant 

Full of personality and charmingly chic, this Zodiac-inspired pendant features the Scorpio constellation mapped out in glistening diamonds. Perfect for you or the Scorpio in your life, this necklace dazzles like stars in the nighttime sky. 

Siren Huggie Earrings 

These glamorous huggie hoop earrings feature a row of dazzling prong-set diamonds, freshwater cultured pearls, London Blue topazes, and aquamarines set in lustrous gold.  

Diamond Tennis Bracelet  

What better gift to celebrate the sophistication of a Scorpio than a diamond tennis bracelet? This eye-catching tennis bracelet embellishes the wrist with 2 carats of shimmering diamonds individually set in lustrous white gold links. 

Astra Diamond Ring 

This exquisite ring embodies the spontaneity of love with a constellation of periodically placed diamond accents on a lustrous precious metal band. Style this ring on its own or curate your own ring stack.  

Citrine Twist Pendant 

Celebrate the Scorpio in your life with the gift of November birthstone jewelry. This spectacular pendant features a lustrous citrine centered in a delightfully sculptural twist. Discover our full selection of citrine gemstone jewelry.  

Marigold Hue Ring 

This whimsical ring shimmers with citrines and sapphires in lustrous precious metal. Discover our full selection of dazzling November birthstone jewelry.  

Pear Lab Created Diamond Halo Pendant 

This classic pendant features a glistening pear-shaped lab created diamond as its center stone and a dazzling lab created diamond halo that wraps the center gem in an aura of light. 

Premium Akoya Cultured Pearl Bracelet 

Both classic and elegant, this bracelet features a lustrous Akoya cultured pearl held on a delicate cable chain. 

Padma Ring 

Inspired by the aesthetic and symbolic beauty of the lotus petal, this chic ring wraps the finger in lustrous light for an edgy, statement worthy look. 

Final Thoughts 

Which look is your favorite for Scorpios? Let us know your favorite styles in the comments below or on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram

The post The Best Jewelry Picks for Scorpios appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Bulova Sings with Summer Wind

JustLuxe - Fri, 07/22/2022 - 22:50

Bulova expands its Frank Sinatra collection with two new automatic watches

...

via JustLuxe.com
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Pink Opals: What You Need to Know

Brilliant Earth - Fri, 07/22/2022 - 20:20

Pink opals are a popular and common type of natural gemstone. But they don’t show the same ‘fire’ you may initially think of as being characteristic of opals. Generally, pink opals are opaque and a baby pink, coral, blush, or cream color and are known for diverse, vibrant hues in several varieties, the most valuable variety being pale pink opals. The most coveted pale pink opals are sometimes lovingly referred to as the ‘peppermint candy stone.’

Most pink opals come from Peru, though they can be found in other South American countries, the United States, and Australia. They are mined and polished as other gemstones and diamonds are. They make excellent necklaces, rings, earrings, and are often considered to have healing properties.

Pink opals are popular because of their beauty, symbolism, and variation. Read on to learn everything you need to know about these stunning pink gems.

What Are Pink Opals?

Pink opals are a natural type of gemstone that contain palygorskite and chalcedony. Palygorskite is a phyllosilicate that resembles opal, while white chalcedony is a microcrystalline quartz mineral. These opals are also composed of hydrated silica and have a water content that makes up 6-10% of the gem. Iron and aluminum contribute to their natural radiance. And they have higher contents of iron than other opals, which is the component that gives them their distinctive pinkness that can range from bubblegum to a subtly pinky-white.

How Do Pink Opals Get Their Color?

The color of pink opals comes from iron that leaches into the opal over time and produces a pink, red, or orange tint. The more iron the opal contains, the deeper the pink color.

Are Pink Opals Real Opals?

Pink opals are real opals. They are mined from the earth and formed when water evaporates from silica, leaving behind a gel that, over time, solidifies into what we consider to be an opal gemstone.

Imitations of natural opals, however, do exist. They are grown in laboratories and have the same chemical and physical properties as natural, mined opal. So technically, these are also ‘real’ opals as lab grown diamonds are ‘real’ diamonds, they just aren’t physically mined from the earth.

A true imitation opal is synthetic opal. Synthetic opal is created from 25% silica and 75% resin and is therefore not comprised of the same properties as ‘real’ opals. There’s also glass opalite, or opalescent glass, that also should not be considered a ‘real’ opal.

Pink Opal Meaning

Pink opals hold special meaning and energy in spiritual settings. Many people believe that when it encounters one’s heart chakra, it activates and unlocks energy and puts forth calming, tranquil vibrations. Often referred to as the ‘stone of spiritual awakening,’ pink opal helps with self-healing and rejuvenates the body and mind.

Pink opal is also considered to be a meaningful gemstone for someone to hold if they are struggling with a broken heart. They are said to push us to look inwardly, improving our connection with our inner selves. This teaches us not to lean on external factors but to depend and rely only on ourselves.

Opal is also the birthstone for the month of October. While the month is celebrated by all types of opals, a pink opal jewelry could be the perfect unique choice as a gift for someone born in the tenth month (or for yourself!). As a birthstone, it represents loyalty, faithfulness, and hope.

What is Pink Opal Used For?

Pink opal is primarily polished and held as a loose gemstone for spiritual healing purposes. It’s often said that these gemstones can help sooth anxiety by balancing emotions. It can sometimes be referred to as the ‘peace and penance stone,’ as it aids us in forgiving both ourselves and others for past mistakes.

Pink opal is found in jewelry of all types – from expensive designer creations to affordable, simple pieces.

What Are Pink Opals Worth?

These precious gemstones are often sold at price per carat. The value varies depending on the size, shape, and color intensity.

Pink opals are made from copper, water, silica, and iron to create a striking hue of pink. The more that iron and silica are present in an opal’s composition, the higher the value. The finest quality of natural pink opals have the potential to be up to $100 per carat.

Pink Opal vs. Rose Quartz: What’s the Difference?

In spiritual terms, both stones represent love and healing. Rose quartz, however, generally symbolizes passion and romance. Pink opal is more about self-compassion and inner healing.

In gemological terms, rose quartz and pink opal have different physical and chemical properties. Quartz forms primarily from silicon dioxide while pink opal contains silicon, water, copper, and iron.

Final Thoughts

Pink opals are a stunning, naturally occurring gemstone that makes a wonderful gift as a spiritually meaningful stone or in a stunning jewelry design. While they make not be as fiery and brilliant as other variations of opal, they are strikingly unique and universally well-loved.

The post Pink Opals: What You Need to Know appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Which Watches Do Jewelry Designers Wear?

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Fri, 07/22/2022 - 09:02
Six women tell us whether they opt for full-blast bling or understated elegance.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Tiny Watch Movements Are Big at Bulgari

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Fri, 07/22/2022 - 09:00
The luxury brand is planning new uses for its 12.3-millimeter Piccolissimo movement.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Watches With Their Own Little Worlds

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Fri, 07/22/2022 - 09:00
Dinosaurs, gladiators and Adam and Eve are among the figures on timepieces and bracelets from a Bahrain brand.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

High Karat Gold: The Complete Guide to Understanding Gold Quality

Brilliant Earth - Wed, 07/20/2022 - 22:30

Firstly, let’s settle it: Karat or Carat? Carat with a C refers to the carat weight – or size – of a diamond or gemstone. Karat with a K, on the other hand, refers to the purity of gold a jewelry design is crafted with. Karat with a K is what we’ll be discussing today.

Gold is undoubtedly one of the most valuable metals on the planet. Its high malleability and resistance to corrosion make it an excellent choice for jewelry because it can be hammered and shaped into different designs while maintaining its integrity. Read on to learn more about gold and its various purity levels.

Gold Terms to Know
  • Alloy: an alloy is a metal created by mixing two or more metallic elements. Alloys are most often created to strengthen, aid in corrosion-resistance, or alter the color of a metal. For example, combining pure gold with other metals like copper or zinc creates what we know as yellow gold, and adds strength to the metal, making it more durable. White gold is often mixed with nickel and zinc. Rose gold uses a combination of all alloys mentioned above to achieve its distinctive look.
  • Ductile/Ductility: ductile, from the Latin root ‘ductillis,’ refers to malleability – how much can something be stretched while retaining its structural integrity? In terms of gold, ductility refers directly to how much a metal can be deformed or altered without losing its strength. Metals like gold and nickel are extremely ductile and can be stretched into very thin wire.
  • Gold Purity: the purity of gold refers to the percentage of pure gold present. For example, pure gold is mixed with nickel and zinc (and therefore becomes an alloy) to create white gold. A purely gold ring (24 karat, the highest karat gold) could prove to be too ductile for everyday wear.
  • Hallmark: hallmarks refer to the small imprints stamped onto gold jewelry that disclose karat. ‘10K,’ ‘14K,’ or ‘18K’ are often stamped onto the inner edge of an engagement ring or the clasp on a piece of jewelry to call out that the item is created with real gold. Tip: always ensure the gold jewelry that you buy is at the very least stamped with a karat identifier. Company or country-based hallmarks, unique branded symbols, are also often stamped onto high end jewelry designs.
  • Karat: karat refers to the purity of gold. 10 karat gold will have the highest percentage of alloy metals and the lowest percentage of pure gold. 24 karat gold is the highest karat gold and has the lowest percentage of alloy metals and the highest percentage of pure gold.
  • Malleability: malleability refers to a metals capability of being shaped or extended by hammering or forging.
  • Millesimal Fineness: millesimal fineness is a system of denoting the purity of platinum, gold, and silver alloys by parts per thousand of pure metal in the alloy. For example, 50% gold would be noted as 500 on the millesimal fineness scale.

What is a Karat?

Karat is defined as a measurement of the purity of gold. 24 karat (24K) gold is pure gold alloyed with no other metals. 18 karat (18K) gold is crafted with 75% pure gold and 25% other alloys. 14 karat (14K) gold is crafted with 58.3% pure gold and 41.7% other alloys. 10 karat (10K) gold is usually the least pure gold on offer for anything considered to be ‘gold jewelry.’ It features 41.7% pure gold and 58.3% other metals.

As a note, these percentages do vary slightly from jeweler to jeweler as they craft the perfectly toned metal that works for them. Anything branded as a particular karat, however, will be very close to the percentages dictated by the millesimal fineness chart.

Another note that’s worth mentioning is skin irritation. Many people can be allergic to the alloys (such as zinc) used in types of gold jewelry which can cause rashes or other skin irritations. So be careful and inquire which alloys were used to create the piece you’re considering purchasing.

What’s the Difference Between Karat and Carat?

Karat is a measurement of the purity of gold. Metals like 24 karat (24K) and 18 karat (18K) are created with more pure gold than a 10 karat (10K) metal is. Karat is not to be confused with carat, which refers to the weight of a gemstone or diamond.

What Is Gold Purity?

Gold purity refers to the percentage of gold in an alloy. There are two ways to measure the purity of gold. The first method involves karat expressed as a number from 1 to 24 (with 24 being the highest karat gold). The second method is millesimal fineness, described as parts per thousand.

The most common purity measure for gold jewelry is Karat (K), which is measured based on the weight of the gold in an item relative to the importance of all other metals. For example, 18K is 18/24ths pure gold, and 14K is 14/24ths pure gold.

Below is the Millesimal Fineness system, which explains the numbers behind karat and gold purity.

Number of Karats Fraction of Gold % of Gold Purity Millesimal fineness 10K 10/24 41.7 416/417 12K 12/24 50.0 500 14K 14/24 58.3 583/585 18K 18/24 75.0 750 22K 22/24 91.7 916/917 24K 24/24 99.9 999

What Is the Difference Between Pure and High Karat Gold?

The karat is a measure of how much pure gold is used to make each piece of jewelry. Pure or 24-karat gold has 100% pure gold. High karat gold refers to any piece with more than ten karats of pure gold. Typically, you won’t find anything less than 10K gold on market for high end jewelry.

What Is the Highest Karat of Gold?

The highest karat of gold is 24K gold. 24 karat gold is 100% pure and doesn’t contain any other metals, making it the purest gold available. This means that it has zero impurities and is usually softer than lower karats—10K and 14K.

There are many different karat levels of gold. The higher the karat, the fewer other metals added to it during the refining process. 24K use in wedding bands and other jewelry is limited because its softness means that it can’t hold fine details like subtle curves on intricate designs. Thus, 10K gold is the most durable, containing 41.7% pure gold. It’s often used in jewelry.

Does a Higher Karat Mean Higher Quality Gold?

Simply put, no. 24K gold is the highest karat gold, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is of a higher quality. It does mean that there is more gold in it than there is in 14K or 10K and therefore it’s more valuable, but not necessarily better. 24 karat gold is rarely used in jewelry as its very soft. 18 karat gold is the most used for women and men’s rings and fine jewelry designs as it’s as beautiful as it is durable.

How Can You Tell if Gold Is Real?

The best way to tell if gold is real is to bring it in to a reputable jeweler who can test it for you.

If you’re eager to discover if your gold is real at home, look it over to see if it is stamped. Any real gold should be stamped somewhere with its karat measurement (usually 10K, 14K, or 18K). But remember, a stamp doesn’t fully prove a piece’s authenticity, so it’s always best to test in more ways than one.

If you have found a stamp and want to further test if an item is crafted with pure gold, try the water test. Take a bowl or glass, fill it with water, and drop the gold into it. If it floats, it’s surely not real gold. If it sinks to the bottom, there’s a much better chance that what you have is real – true gold is very heavy. Again, the water test doesn’t fully prove authenticity. Ensure you bring it in to your jeweler for a full test before celebrating.

How to Choose the Best Karat for You

The best karat will depend on what you’re looking for and what the gold will be used for.

For items like a ring that you wear on your hands, you’ll want at the very least 18K gold. This is because we so often use our hands, to work, to play, to do chores – it’s quite easy for rings to get scuffed if we’re keeping them on all day. 24K, in this regard, is much too soft. 18K, 14K, and 10K are the best options for everyday use rings.

For items like pendants or earrings, it’s not the end of the world for people choose a design that’s crafted in 24K. As these aren’t items worn on your hands and they generally just rest on your body, there’s less of a chance for them to be damaged.

There’s also a difference in color when considering yellow gold engagement rings with different gold alloys. 18K yellow gold is often a much more deeply saturated yellow/green color often referred to as ‘buttery’, whereas 14K gold is a much lighter, more subtle hue of gold. So, the one you choose will also have an effect on the look of your piece, not just its durability.

The post High Karat Gold: The Complete Guide to Understanding Gold Quality appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Harris Jewelry Will Pay Refunds and Stop Loan Collections to Settle Predatory-Lending Charges

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Wed, 07/20/2022 - 21:14
The now-defunct retailer sold overpriced goods to members of the military with high-interest loans, prosectors said.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

White Gold vs. Silver: What’s the Difference?

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 07/19/2022 - 21:58
White Gold vs. Silver: What’s the Difference?

White gold and silver metals are two of the most common metals. Choosing between the two metals can be challenging because of their physical and qualities. Outside of initial appearance, there are several characteristics and qualities that separate white gold and silver. Keep reading to understand the differences between white gold and silver. Our precious metals guide is a great resource to choose the right metal for you.

Picking out a metal is a very important element in any jewelry purchase. With so many different types of metals it can be challenging to find the perfect metal type.

Ultimately, picking out a metal type comes down to these factors: preference, budget, and the jewelry type you want to wear. Both metals are beautiful and popular choice, but which one is right for you? To help with your decision between white gold and silver, we put together an in-depth comparison between the two.

What’s white gold made of?

White gold is made up of pure gold along with other white metals called alloys. These additional white metals or alloys strengthen the metal itself by making it harder, creating a bright white finish. The metals commonly used in white gold include: nickel, silver, palladium contributing to its unique composition, durability, and appearance.

At Brilliant Earth, our white gold jewelry ranges in carat level between 14-18. Carat level is used to determine purity or the percentage of pure gold within white gold.

To calculate the percentage of pure gold within white gold, simply divide the number of carats by twenty-four. A 14k white gold piece is 58.3% is pure gold and 41.7% other alloys or metals. 18k white gold is 75% pure gold and 25% alloys or other metals.

What’s silver made of?

Silver is a natural precious metal that is very soft and malleable in its pure form. Silver is often alloyed with other metals like copper or nickel to make it stronger, creating beautiful and timeless jewelry. When silver and copper are mixed, the end result is sterling silver containing 92.5% pure silver.

Both silver and copper are hypoallergenic, making sterling silver an excellent option for anyone with sensitive skin.  Sterling silver is one of the most commonly purchased and affordable white colored metals because of its hypoallergenic composition.

Because copper is in sterling silver, it will oxidize over time making it important to polish sterling silver jewelry occasionally to avoid discoloration.

White Gold vs. Silver – The Main Differences Composition
  • White Gold

White gold is made up of pure gold along with other alloyed white metals. The makeup of pure gold will fluctuate depending on the carat level. 18k white gold is the highest composition of pure gold at 75%, while 14k white gold is 58.3% pure gold.

  • Silver

Silver is a softer, more malleable natural precious metal. Silver is commonly alloyed with other metals, primarily copper to create jewelry pieces. The result after being alloyed is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper, making it a perfect combination for beautiful jewelry.

Care and Maintenance
  • White Gold

White gold comes with a rhodium plating, which helps protect your jewelry from scratches, lengthening your jewelry’s lifespan. Rhodium is a metal in the platinum family which protects your jewelry from scratches and other blemishes.

Over time, the rhodium plating can change color from shiny white to yellow. You will need to have the rhodium plating reapplied every few years to keep the shiny white appearance.

  • Silver

Sterling silver will last for years with proper care and polishing. Regular cleaning with mild soap, warm water, and a soft bristled brush can keep your silver’s shiny appearance and prevent tarnishing.

Silver can be worn in the rain or the shower, however it is recommended to avoid excessive humidity, and moisture to prevent discolorations. Avoiding chlorine, harsh chemicals, and even saltwater will help prevent your silver from tarnishing and keeping its original appearance.

Silver is susceptible to scratches and bends due to wear and tear than white gold.

Color and Luster
  • White Gold

White gold’s popularity stems from its mirror-like and vibrant white color, which stands out from other metals. The white color comes from pure gold blended with a variety of other metals. The mirror-like white shine stands out because of the rhodium plating added to the metal for engagement rings and wedding rings.

  • Silver

Silver’s color is predominantly a gray-white hue. Silver jewelry is very shiny and polished because of its composition. It is often a complimentary piece to other jewelry, diamonds, or gemstones.

Cost
  • White Gold

White gold is a more expensive metal because of the gold composition, however, is still an excellent alternative to higher-priced metals like platinum. If you are looking for a classic engagement ring, wedding ring, or a piece of fine jewelry white gold offers great long-term value.

  • Silver

Silver is a more affordable option largely due to more supply available than gold. It provides excellent value for those on a tighter budget without sacrificing sparkle and brilliance.

Durability
  • White Gold

White Gold provides long lasting sturdiness thanks to the protective rhodium coating added making it less susceptible to normal wear and tear and scratches. The carat level impacts the sturdiness and hardness of white gold. The lower the carat level the more durable white gold is because it has less pure gold and more alloy metals.

  • Silver

Silver on its own is not durable and not used by itself in jewelry. Sterling silver alloyed with copper or nickel is extremely sturdy and durable because of the presence of other metals. Sterling silver pieces do not tarnish or scratch easily and can often be worn for a lifetime with regular cleaning/maintenance.

Skin Sensitivity
  • White Gold

Those with sensitive skin may be more susceptible to white gold because of the metal nickel that is found in it. To prevent allergic reactions or further skin issues, purchasing a platinum metal is a great alternative. Platinum is fully hypoallergenic and available at Brilliant Earth.

  • Silver

Sterling silver is hypoallergenic, making it a great option for anyone with sensitive skin or allergies. If you are still concerned about any allergens, you can also request a hypoallergenic coat added to your jewelry.

How to Tell the Difference Between Silver and White Gold

Because white gold and silver look similar, it can be difficult to tell them apart to the naked eye. Here are a few tips that can help you avoid mixing them up:

  • Both white gold and silver come with identifiers to show the purity of the metal. At Brilliant Earth, all of our rings come in white gold, rose gold, yellow gold or platinum. Silver jewelry will have an inscription displaying ‘Sterling Silver’ or ‘925’.
  • At Brilliant Earth, there are no silver jewelry settings for an engagement ring, gemstone ring, or wedding rings due to the intricate settings not available in silver.
How to Choose Between Silver and White Gold: Pros and Cons

Choosing between silver and white gold can be a difficult decision to make. To help narrow down your decision we put together the Pros/Cons of these metals.

Pros of White Gold
  • Common for engagement rings and wedding bands – durable, strong, and perfect for everyday wear
  • Good investment; with proper care, maintains its value for a long time
  • Rhodium coating helps prevent the white gold alloy from being damaged
  • Doesn’t require as much routine maintenance
Pros of Silver
  • More affordable and budget friendly for non-bridal purchases (necklaces, bracelets, earrings)
  • Higher concentration of the metal, leading to more shine and luster
  • Surface itself can slightly change over time creating beautiful patterns and contrasts on the jewelry
Cons of White Gold
  • Reapplying the rhodium coating can be expensive and a long process
    • Brilliant Earth offers a lifetime manufacturing warranty along with comprehensive jewelry insurance to protect your jewelry
    • At Brilliant Earth, a rhodium coating replacement is $125. You can contact our 24/7 customer service anytime using our live chat feature on-site
  • White gold containing nickel can cause skin irritations for those with metal allergies and skin sensitivity
Cons of Silver
  • Sterling silver with nickel can cause allergies or skin irritation for anyone with allergies/sensitive skin
  • Silver tarnishes quickly compared to other metals and requires more routine maintenance to prevent oxidation

FAQs Is white gold better than silver?

Neither metal is better than the other, however it is important to understand what you are looking for when deciding on a metal. Know your lifestyle and personal preferences, coupled with your available budget. There are great options available to suit every budget in both white gold and silver, with both offering a beautiful and timeless look.

Is white gold more valuable than silver?

Overall, white gold’s value over time is a major benefit when considering a jewelry purchase. Because white gold is comprised of mostly gold, it holds greater value over time.

Is white gold more expensive than silver?

White gold is more expensive than silver because gold is the primary metal. Gold is a rarer metal than silver with less supply available in the market.

Which is better for an engagement ring?

White gold is a great option for an engagement ring because of its durability and long-term value. White gold often requires less maintenance than silver and is a more affordable option than a platinum setting.

Final Thoughts

Deciding whether to buy white gold or silver can be a difficult task if you don’t know the differences between the two. We hope this provided valuable insights before making your purchase.

At Brilliant Earth, there are many beautiful options that fit any budget and personal preference to create your perfect look!

The post White Gold vs. Silver: What’s the Difference? appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

VVS Diamonds: What You Need to Know

Brilliant Earth - Mon, 07/18/2022 - 22:48

The four Cs of diamonds are cut, color, carat, and clarity. Each C is as important as the next and finding the appropriate balance between all four creates a diamond that’s as personalized as can be (unless you’re cutting the diamond yourself!). For example, if you’re hoping for the biggest stone possible, you may want to focus on getting a stone with a heavy carat weight and compromise with lower ratings in color or cut. Today, we’ll focus on clarity – now let’s dig into all things VVS.

What Does VVS Mean in Diamonds?

VVS stands for very, very slightly included. This refers to the clarity of the stone and answers the question of ‘how many inclusions are present in my diamond?’ VVS diamonds do contain blemishes, though very few, and appear inclusion-less to the naked eye.

What are VVS Diamonds?

VVS diamonds have very minute inclusions that even experts find difficult to spot at 10x magnification. VVS diamonds are flawless to the naked eye. Due to their high clarity, they are also quite pricey.

What are VVS1 Diamonds?

These diamonds have inclusions that are not visible under 10x magnification. They still need an expert’s keen eye to notice the inclusions even at more powerful magnification. VVS1 diamonds have very few inclusions, mainly in areas that are not easily noticeable such as the pavilion or crown facets.

In addition, the blemishes are very light-colored and thus very difficult to spot. Therefore, most people, even experts, can easily mistake a VVS1 diamond with an IF diamond.

 What are VVS2 Diamonds?

VVS2 diamonds have inclusions that can be spotted by an expert’s keen eye at 10x magnification. Also, VVS2 diamonds have several separate minute inclusions, not necessarily making one significant inclusion. VVS2 inclusions are in areas that are pretty easy to locate, such as in the middle of the diamond’s crown.

The inclusions in VVS2 diamonds are a little darker than those of VVS1 diamonds, thus easier to spot.

VVS Diamond Clarity

Clarity is how clean the diamond is in terms of inclusions and flaws. A flawless diamond is rare and priceless, and the grading and price are lower with the nature, size, number, and location of flaws and inclusions. Diamonds are thus graded according to their clarity as follows:

  1. Flawless diamonds
  2. Internally Flawless(IF) diamonds
  3. Very Very Slightly (VVS) included diamonds
  4. Very Slightly (VS) included diamonds
  5. Slightly Included (SI) diamonds
  6. Included (I) diamonds

VVS diamonds are just a grade below IF diamonds. This grade of diamond is categorized into two groups: VVS1 and VVS2. Graders use several criteria to distinguish between VVS1 and VVS2 diamonds. These criteria include:

·      Number of minute inclusions- A few or several

VVS diamonds are next to IF diamonds in terms of clarity. This means that they have very minimal inclusions; they are almost perfect.

·      Location of inclusions- In inconspicuous or conspicuous areas of the diamond

VVS1 diamonds might even have as little as one inclusion located at a very inconspicuous place such as the pavilion. VVS2 diamonds also have a few inclusions that need an expert eye to spot.

On the other hand, VS diamonds have more inclusions than VVS diamonds. In addition, these inclusions are in more conspicuous areas, such as right below the crown, thus making them much easier to spot at 10x magnification.

·      Color of inclusion- light or dark

VVS diamonds have minute inclusions; thus, they are quite challenging to spot even at 10x magnification. Inclusions in VVS1 diamonds are too tiny to be spotted at 10x; they need a more powerful microscope to be spotted. A VVS diamond mostly has tiny inclusions such as needles, internal graining, and pinpoints. Such inclusions, if not pervasive, do not significantly impact the clarity of the diamond.

On the other hand, VS diamonds have more extensive inclusions that are not hard to spot at 10x magnification. Several VVS-size inclusions together could reduce the clarity of a diamond to VS. Common inclusions in VS diamonds are distinct clouds, knots, or crystals. These blemishes are easier to spot at 10x magnification. They, however, cannot be spotted by the naked eye.

Are VVS Diamonds Good?

The higher the rating on the different grading scales, the better and more valuable the diamond. VVS diamonds rank third on the clarity scale, making them a high-value gem.

However, VVS diamonds have their pros and cons.

Pros of VVS Diamonds
  • They are almost flawless

VVS diamonds barely have any inclusions. The minute inclusions present are usually only visible at 10x magnification or more. Their inclusions can only be noticed by an experienced jeweler with a keen eye. This high level of clarity has a cost implication. VVS diamonds are costly.

  • They are perfect if you want a larger carat size

A VVS diamond is a perfect choice when you want a large-sized diamond because the larger the diamond, the more visible the inclusions are. Therefore, since VVS diamonds have very high clarity, they will still be flawless to the naked eye. Lower clarity diamonds might have inclusions visible if they are cut in large sizes

Cons of VVS Diamonds
  • They are costly – VVS diamonds are very high clarity; hence they are significantly more pricey than other diamonds with lower clarity.
  • They do not always appreciate in value – contrary to what many salespeople tell you to lure you into buying a VVS diamond claiming that it is an investment. Buying an expensive VVS diamond is not necessarily an investment. VVS diamonds, despite their high cost, do not appreciate at the point of resale. This means that if you decide to resell your VVS diamond piece, you might fetch less than what it had cost you. The price that you’re able to resell a diamond at will depend on current trend and status of the market.
  • VVS diamonds look like VS diamonds – VVS and VS diamonds are flawless to the naked eye. Both gems glow alike and are equally brilliant. Despite the similar appearance, the difference between a VVS1 gem and a VS2 gem could be thousands of dollars. The two gems indeed have quite some differences at 10x magnification, but most people care about what they can see with their naked eyes.

A VVS diamond has a similar appearance to diamonds with way lower clarity. As a result, buying a VVS diamond for tons of money may seem unjustifiable when you can get a similar-looking gem at a fraction of the price.

The Difference Between VVS and VS Diamonds

The difference between VVS and VS diamonds is the number of inclusions present, the location of those inclusions, and how large and saturated they are. While VVS and VS diamonds are both eye clean, VVS diamonds offer slightly better brilliance than VS diamonds due to the fact that they have less inclusions – even microscopic ones!

VVS diamonds can also be a bit more expensive than their VS counterparts. But price, of course, will depend more on the combination of cut, color, clarity and carat than just on clarity – so ensure you’re getting a good blend of all.

What to Choose: VS or VVS?

Even after learning the differences between VVS and VS diamonds, it is still not easy to choose between them. This is mainly because the two grades of diamonds do not have inclusions visible to the naked eye; thus, they can both be brilliant and beautiful.

If the cost is not a constraint for you, then a VVS diamond would be your pick since it has a higher clarity. Also, other people would prefer to save on cost and pick a VS diamond since it has no visible inclusion. The cost saved could help to get a better cut, color, or larger diamond. Your choice between the two will be determined by what qualities you hold dear and your financial status.

What to Look for When Buying VVS Diamonds

The most important thing to look for when buying a VVS diamond is its certification. All VVS diamonds should come with a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certification, whether they are natural or lab. The certification should include ‘VVS’ under the ‘Clarity’ section – this confirms that the GIA has inspected your diamond at a very close level and confirmed its clarity status.

Another obvious but important thing to look for when buying a VVS diamond is that it actually appears clean to the naked eye! If you inspect your diamond and it seems eye clean, it may also be smart to look at it yourself under a loupe. A loupe is a small instrument, similar to a magnifying glass, that allows you to look at the internal characteristics of a diamond close up. Any local jeweler will have a loupe that you can borrow to inspect your stone, or you can purchase one online for relatively cheap. Ensure you’re purchasing one with at least 10x magnification!

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, VVS diamonds are an excellent choice for those looking for an eye clean diamond. Look for a VVS diamond that has other excellent specs in terms of the four Cs: it should also have an excellent cut, a color that fits your preference, and a carat weight that aligns with your style.

Ensure that you’re working with a reputable jeweler, and, as mentioned above – make sure that your diamond has been certified by the GIA.

Once you’ve decided which clarity, cut, color, and carat you’re looking for in a diamond, start to consider how you’d like to have it set! VVS diamonds make beautiful diamond pendants, diamonds studs, or diamond engagement rings.

The post VVS Diamonds: What You Need to Know appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Jewelry and Gems Worth Millions Stolen From Brink’s Truck in California

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Sun, 07/17/2022 - 16:01
The value of the missing merchandise, which was headed last week to an International Gem and Jewelry Show event, was unclear. One conservative figure put the value at up to $10 million.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Pages

Subscribe to Jewelry Gallery aggregator - Latest Jewelry News