Jewelry Information

What is my birthstone? What is the difference between 10, 14 &18 karat gold? Enter for answers and more interesting questions.

What is my birthstone?

There are several different lists of birthstones. Following is a list of some of the most commonly accepted birthstones.




















Pink Tourmaline/Opal




Blue Zircon/Turquoise

What is the difference between 10, 14  and 18 karat gold?

Pure gold is 24 karat gold. 50% gold would be 12 karat.

10 kt


14 kt


18 kt


20 kt


22 kt


This chart shows the percentage of gold in various alloys.

The balance of the alloy is generally some mix of copper, silver
and zinc. Nickel and palladium are used in white gold.


What does .925 mean?

This is another method of marking sterling silver and refers to the percentage of silver (92.5%).

How is gold colored?

The various colors of gold are created by varying the alloys used. Red has more copper, green has more silver, white has nickel or palladium added.

What are the 4 Cs?

The four Cs are Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat weight.

What is a gemstone treatment?

A treatment is anything that is done to enhance the appearance or value of a gemstone. If the treatment is disclosed, then you know what your getting. Several treatments have been recognized as industry standards. Oiling Emeralds, irradiating Topaz, heat treating of various stones. Some treatments are not permanent such as oiling emeralds. Some cleaning methods might remove the oil and then it would have to be retreated to bring it back to its original look.

What is the difference between created and simulated stones?

Both are manmade stones. Created stones are chemically the same as the natural stone. Simulated stones are stones that are made of a material other than what it is attempting to copy. Cubic zirconium, lab grown corundum, lab grown spinel and glass are common materials used to simulate gemstones.

How can I tell a real from a manmade stone?

If the manmade stone is a good one, it can be very difficult to tell. A registered gemologist can test the stone and determine if it is real or not. If it seems too good to be true, it might be. The quality of the metal or the age of the piece are not good indicators as stones can be replaced.

What is stress fracturing?

Stress fracturing is a problem associated with white and lower karat gold. Gold of 10 kt or less are susceptible. White gold often has this problem. Stress fracturing is caused by chemicals that dissolve the alloy out of the gold which, of course, weakens it. This can cause an item to suddenly just break for no apparent reason. This is most often seen as a prong tip on a white gold setting that is suddenly missing. Chlorine is one chemical that can cause this problem. Never soak your jewelry in strong cleaners.

Why does my fine jewelry turn my finger black?

This is most often not a problem with the quality of the metal. Whenever a metal is ground into a fine enough powder, that powder is black. If the hand cream or makeup that you are using contains any abrasive materials, this will rub on the piece of jewelry and create a black smudge. Many of the materials used to color makeup are mild abrasives.

What are Quartz and Corundum?

Quartz and corundum are names of minerals. Quite often the various colors of the same mineral are given different gemstone names. Sapphires and Rubies are both corundum. If corundum is red, then it is a ruby. If it is any other color, then it is a sapphire. Sapphires come in several colors including pink, blue, yellow and white (clear).). Different colors of quartz are known by different names. Purple is Amethyst. Yellow is Citrine. Smoky is sometimes mistakenly (sometimes on purpose) sold as Golden Topaz. There are several names for different colors of Tourmaline. Rubellite is a dark pink, often with purple highlights. Indicolite is blue. Emerald, Aquamarine, Morganite and Goshenite are Chrome Green, Blue to Blue/Green, Pink and Colorless forms of Beryl. What’s this all mean? It means that the jewelry and gemstone industry have a language all there own. If a jeweler uses a term your not familiar with, don’t be afraid to stop him/her and ask for an explanation.

What is Ametrine?

Ametrine is a bicolor variety of quartz. Purple Amethyst and yellow to brown Citrine.

What is Moissanite?

Moissanite is another manmade stone. It was discovered in very small quantities in a meteorite crater. It is being sold as a replacement for diamonds. Very hard and very brilliant. Although less expensive than a good diamond, it is still not cheap. The price of production may come down with time. Moissanite has a hardness of 9.25 on the Moh’s scale. Toughness is similar to that of a Diamond.

What about Conflict Diamonds?

Generally speaking, there is no way to tell a ‘conflict diamond’ from any other. The only real way of knowing that you are getting a gemstone that is likely not to have passed through the hands of some warring faction is to buy gemstones that have been mined in North America. For diamonds of 1/3 ct and up I suggest buying Canadian Diamonds. Any good jeweler should be able to get these for you. They have a Polar Bear and a serial number cut into the girdle of the stone (you need a microscope to see it).


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