10 Jewelry Safety Tips to Avoid Damage to Your Jewelry

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Jewelry hazards exist year-round. From falling down drainpipes to flinging off with a winter glove, there are opportunities for a lost ring at every turn.

But summer brings a host of unique challenges.

In honor of rings resting on the ocean floor, bracelets ruined from gardening and gems fallen victim to a wicked game of beach volleyball, here are 10 jewelry safety tips to avoid damage to your jewelry this summer:

When to Remove Your Jewelry

  • Before swimming and strenuous activities. Salt water and chlorine can damage your jewelry. Add sweat to the list when it comes to sterling silver.
  • Before applying sunscreen and bug spray. Lotion can get into the crevices of chains and prongs, and both lotions and sprays create a film on your jewelry, making it dull and dingy.
  • In direct sunlight. The sun can bleach certain materials, especially natural elements and some plastics.
  • In cold water. Cool temperatures cause your fingers to shrink, creating room for your ring to slip off. And when in water, you may not even notice until it’s too late. R.I.P. ocean-bottom-dwelling jewelry.
  • Before going into a hot tub or swimming pool. Chlorine can damage and discolor metals (like gold and platinum) and can slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones.
  • Before gardening. Dirt and small rocks are abrasive. If not cleaned right away, your jewelry can be permanently damaged. Beware the dangers of gardening gloves too.

How to Care for Your Jewelry

  • Clean your jewelry regularly. Your own sweat and body oils can dull the shine of your jewelry. DIY cleaning calls for warm soapy water and a toothbrush.
  • Store your jewelry in a clean, dry place. Keep your pieces in a fabric-lined jewelry case, or in a box with compartments and dividers to prevent pieces from scratching each other. Invest in a safe place to store your jewelry on-the-go, too.
  • Visit your jeweler to check for loose gem stones, prongs and clasps. It’s easy to lose a piece of jewelry or individual stones if you’re not giving your jewelry regular check-ups. Your jeweler will deep clean your pieces for a brilliant shine, too!
  • Get your favorite jewelry insured. You’ll have the peace of mind that regardless of your surf and turf adventures, your jewelry is protected.

The only way to guarantee not losing or damaging your jewelry this summer is to simply take it off and leave it at home!

 

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5 Ways to Make Your Diamond Ring Look Bigger

the addition of Pintrest, people are becoming more design conscious.  With all of the drool worthy pins out there, it can make a diamond ring you received a decade or so ago look tiny.  Thus, the need for an upgrade.

Not everyone has the budget to replace a diamond with a larger one.  If you do, I usually recommend you go up by at least a full millimeter so you can SEE the difference since you are paying the difference.  A 1/4 carat to a 1/3 carat is hard to tell apart unless you have your calipers on you…  Remember, carat refers to weight, not size, so not all 1 carat diamonds are the same diameter.  Old diamond (they are all old technically) can be moved over as a side stone or made into a pendant.

It may be that you do not WANT to replace your original diamond at all.  It has been my experience that men are many times more sentimental about keeping the same diamond throughout the marriage.  Not necessarily because they are being cheapo, but because they believe in “luck” and “streaks.”  Ask a man to tell you about the time he wore the same socks to every ball game for an entire season without washing them…

To preserve the peace without breaking the bank, there are several ways to boost your original diamond’s “presence.”

  • 1. Add a halo.  It adds approximately 2-2.5mm of sparkly to the center of your ring.  I personally don’t like this term–I like “booster ring,” which sounds way more Star Wars–but who can argue with DeBeers?  The final look will depend on your original diamond size.  The diamond in the center can be situated above or level with the other stones.  For those of you in the healthcare industry, a low bezel set center can reduce the normal snagging on latex gloves.  Lifestyle matters too!  There are halo versions with varying stone sizes (usually .01-.03ct each)  This new setting can usually be added to your original engagement ring with some slight modifications.  By adding the halo in white, you can update the look of a yellow gold ring and help your jewelry “blend” in more with your other sterling and white gold/platinum pieces.  Also look for expanded halos and double halos.  I personally find the triple halo to be too much…  An expanded halo means there is empty space between your center stone and your diamond making it look even bigger.  Also check into different prong styles.  Exposed mini prongs have a very different look than the channel set and cocktail setting of the past.  Also there are faux channels with mini milgrain that can lend a vintage look to your ring.  Some halos have stones on the sides of the halo as well.  These add cost, but can be super pretty as well.  Have a fancy shape diamond?  Don’t worry…they make halo heads for them as well!    Estimated cost $600 (depends on stone size and style of course).
  • halo-standard
  • halo-channel-bezel
  • double-halo
  • spaced-halo
  • 2. New head.  Usually a thicker one, perhaps with double prongs or tulip prongs.  Some people don’t like the look of halos, so they opt to boost their center diamond by thickening up their prongs.  8 prong heads (octet heads) give a designer finish to the ring that isn’t available “off the rack” at most stores.  Tulip heads are named for their obvious resemblance to the flowers.  Another advantage to the thicker prongs is more durability for everyday wear and tear.  By the way, if you have had your ring for a decade and never had your prongs retipped or at least checked, you may want to consider a replacement head or service work (retipping) anyway.  Its like getting your oil changed–not glamorous, but necessary for the longevity of your ring..Wide and narrow bezel settings also boost the “spread” of your ring, but I find they tend to make an engagement ring look more casual that its prongy cousins;) Estimated cost $150
  • bezeltulip-princessillusion-head
  • 3. Have an old set of diamond earrings?  Add them as side stones.  Different shapes?  Doesn’t matter!  This one is a little more tricky as there are three options.  Option one: reset original diamond and two earrings into a new setting.  There are a lot of combinations to three stone rings (some of which have way more than three stones lol).  If your original stone and earrings fit into a standard configuation, an off the rack mounting will do the trick.  Estimated cost $750.  Option 2: Add a wrap to your original ring.  This usually only works with solitaires (no side stones).  The wrap extends over the solitaire shank making it look (kinda) like one ring.  It may need to be soldered together to prevent slippage.  Estimated cost start around $400.  Option 3: Add smaller earring diamonds in a custom bridge.  This one is more tricky to estimate a price on since every ring is different.  Adding them in a bypass style can also affect how your wedding band (if you have one) will fit next to your new altered ring.  Estimated cost <600, but talk to our pro’s about the feasibility of this one.  Fun alternative to this is adding a pair of gemstones instead.  Sapphires, blue topaz, etc all look gorgeous next to diamonds!  Same price for labor.
  • 4. Illusion head/plate.  This used to mean white gold diamond cut plate that was used to accent a teeny diamond in a pretty noticeable setting.  There are more modern options to this!  One option is to recreate the vintage box setting.  This illusion setting makes a round stone look bigger, more square, and more vintage.  Estimated cost: Starts at $150.  A free form ring doesn’t make your diamonds look bigger necessarily but by combining it with other medium sized diamonds, it can make the impact of the ring look bigger.  The estimated cost depends on the finished weight of the free form ring (there are stock options and custom options) and how many heads/stones need to be seen.
  • 5. Narrow or pinch the shank.  There is always more than one way to skin a cat, so now we will take our focus off the diamond and put it on the ring it sits in.  A good rule of thumb is this: the wider the band, the small your diamond will look.  Think about a shift dress.  It looks like a straight column.  If you were to add a belt, it would make your waist look much smaller.  The same thing holds true for rings.  If you use a razor (tiny narrow band) shank, your stone will look bigger no matter its size.  Your jeweler will be able to tell you if your original engagement ring shank can be slimmed down (without causing stability issues) or if you can simply transfer your center head and stone to a more narrow base.  Another fun alternative if you don’t want to give up a wider ring is to get a pinched shank that narrows near the stone.  Use caustion because narrow rings fit differently than wider ones so make sure you are fitted for the new ring style and width (there are different s sets of sizers for this reason).  Also, a narrow shank ring is more likely to rotate on the hand if you have big knuckles.  Most people do…A flared or European shank may help counterbalance to solve  this issue.

pinched-shank

narrow-shank

     A LEGENDARY GEM Thousand of years ago, long

A LEGENDARY GEM

Thousand of years ago, long before written history, man probably discovered the first pearl while searching the
seaside for food.

Since that time the pearl has
been treasured as a symbol of wealth and social status. It has been revered for its mystical powers, valued for its uniqueness and sought after for its rare natural beauty.

Medieval knights wore them
for protection in battle, Ancient Romans saw them as the ultimate symbol of power and wealth, Cleopatra is believed to have worn them and the Greeks esteemed the pearl for it’s association with love and marriage

The pearl has made its mark in history and continues to be the cornerstone of classic style, culture and refinement.

 

Pearls are the foundation of the modern woman’s wardrobe.
The elegance of fine pearls is a fashion statement in the work place as well as a night on the town. Fashionable, luxurious and adaptable, pearls enhance a woman’s style.

WHAT IS A PEARL?

A pearl begins its life when a grain of sand or other small foreign object accidentally enters into an oyster’s soft inner body. The oyster tries to expel the foreign object, but when it cannot, it becomes an irritation.

To protect itself, the oyster takes a defensive action. It produces a smooth liquid called nacre, to cover the irritant. Layer upon layer of this silky substance continues to cover the irritant, which
results in a lovely, lustrous gem called a pearl.

CULTURED PEARLS

Cultured pearls are the same as naturally grown pearls. Oysters
are collected and raised in a controlled environment to ensure their healthy growth. When they are mature, an irritant is intentionally introduced. Like all pearls the nacre is produced and the natural process takes its course.

In cultured salt-water pearls, a bead of crushed and compacted mussel shell is places inside the oyster to serve as the irritant. These pearls are referred to as Akoya, (A-coy-ya) which means “salt water” in Japanese. Akoya pearls are somewhat more lustrous and rounder in shapes.

In cultured fresh-water pearls a tiny bit of tissue gathered from a donor oyster, is placed inside
the oyster to serve as the irritant. Unlike the round bead of compacted mussel shell, this natural irritant dissolves into the oyster, leaving behind microscopic nuclei. This means the pearls produced are composed almost entirely of nacre. They are not coated bead, but a nearly solid composition of nacre. Cultured freshwater pearls are available in much larger sizes from their saltwater counter parts. Although available in white, they have the unique quality of all natural colors including apricot, orange and
plum purple. These brilliant gems are grown largely in China, where the process of fresh water cultivating has been practiced since the 13th century.

12 Things We Learned About Love from our Customers

  1. Men want the fairy tale just as much as women. Yes, it’s true. Men come in with stars in their eyes and plans on how they are going to propose and they also want the fairy tale wedding and proposal with the perfect ring.
  2. The anti-dote to couple over-share is to share with them. I have found that couples love to share their stories, but not only that; they also love to hear our stories. I often hear Men coming in and  recounting their love story to other couples that are on the verge of starting their own love story.
  3. Men are as visual as women. Men need to see and feel the diamond, the wax prototype of their ring and then the actual ring itself. It makes it real to them.
  4. Texting is for lovers. We are so busy these days and texting has become the ever-popular way to show and tell when it comes to diamond buying. Snap a picture of the diamonds, text it to your girlfriend, mother, best friend and dog.
  5. Another key to making it last: matching Wedding Bands! This has been a trend this year with our customers. They order custom wedding bands made to match, then each are engraved with special sayings for the other on the inside.
  6. There’s one more reason to be glad you’re not 22. As much as I love to watch the starry eyes as they see the ring for the first time and the hope for the future, I am so glad that I am in my future already and settled!
  7. Never doubt a woman who says she wants a big diamond. When a woman says she wants a Big Diamond, listen to her. I can’t tell you the times the fiancé has come back to reset the ring to make the diamond look bigger or has even come back to exchange the stone for a larger one. It’s a good thing we have a good exchange policy in place!
  8. Good lover = Good Spouse. Don’t believe me? Just ask all the happy couples that we have seen get married over the past year!
  9. Marrying for money is on the downswing. We see all kinds, but what we see more and more are couples who are marrying for love and life instead of want and need.  We love the new trend of marrying because you can’t live without that person instead of marrying because you can’t live without their wallet.
  10. It’s cool to spell out your commitment. When I say spell it out, I don’t mean a prenuptial agreement, I mean spelling it out by saying I love you with words and gestures.
  11. There’s no such thing as traditional partnerships. Sometimes it’s the girls who come in to buy their guys rings. That’s right. Tradition is great, but it doesn’t always work for everyone, we have learned to keep an open mind.
  12. A little patience can go a long way. The key to love is patience. When you sit across from a couple, you watch as they navigate patience with each other during what can turn into a three-hour diamond extravaganza.  When you sit across from a nervous young man buying his first diamond, you must be patient and sit back quietly as they contemplate every detail.  When you sit across from an older man buying his wife of twenty years an anniversary gift, you must be patient as they recount the past twenty years. Patience is what keeps that love together and alive and that is what we have learned most from our customers about love in 2012.

Buy Like A GUY

Unmanly, Unromantic and Completely Unnecessary

ENGAGEMENT RINGS, Man-to-Man

I sat down and had a few conversations with some regular guys to find out what men think about when they’re on the diamond/engagement ring hunt.  I have to be honest…I didn’t expect the conversation to focus on “salespeople” and “trust” as much as it did.  I thought for sure the #1 topic would be price, but I found out that guys want real, live help at the counter and are willing to pay for it.

That’s really cool because the people behind the counter(the good ones) can and do help give you something that you can’t buy online in most cases: peace of mind.  They are your Hired Guns and when a true professional is there to help it speeds up the process and takes some of the pressure off.  So…kudos to the guys in the vid and thanks again!

Under Pressure…Not!

Which brings me to the topic at hand: A lot of men feel pressure when it comes to buying the “right” ring and really not as bad as all that.  I know how it goes…I’ve seen it a million times and it goes something like this:

  • You are in love and spent some time talking to her and looking at ring styles she says she likes.
  • You’ve found a beautiful ring that fits her style and the price is something you can live with.
  • You’re standing in a store that speaks your language and you like the salesperson.
  • All you need to do now is pull the trigger and buy the ring.  Instead you say something like:”I think I’m going to bring her in to make sure she likes it.”

No…no…no…no and NO.  You can and should buy the ring because bringing her in to look at yet another ring is unromantic, unmanly and completely unnecessary.  How do I know?  I asked women who are/were in the market for an engagement ring.  Seems like a no-brainer, huh?

The Survey…

I wrote a very casual survey and submitted it to women with the help of several jewelry store buddies and Facebook fans.  This is the question I asked:

How would you like the ring purchase to go down?

  • I want to pick out the ring and that’s the ring I expect to see when I open the box. (10.1%)
  • I want to show him the general style I like and as long as it’s in the ballpark I’m good. (61.6%)
  • I’ll provide a laundry list and expect him to fill it. (Not in a mean way.  I have to wear this ring the rest of my life!)(6.9%)
  • I want it to be a complete surprise.  I’ll take anything.(21.4%)

Nearly 62% of respondents said as long as you buy a ring that is similar to the style she picked out, you’re good.  If you add the other 21.4% who want the ring to be a complete surprise then you have an 8 in 10 shot at being the man she expects you to be.  Seriously…you know if she’s one of the other 17% so act accordingly.

But still…what if I pick the wrong ring?

There you go again…making it harder than it needs to be.  That’s OK because I have this to share with you as well.  The follow up question to the above was:

If he came home with something different than what I told him to get or hinted at I would:

  • Be disappointed but OK. (54%)
  • Be disappointed and mad. (4%)
  • Love it just the same. (42%)

Only 4% of women will be “mad” if you propose with something she’s not expecting so the risk factor is extremely low.  See?  This is easy.

Go for it!

I grant you this is not the most sophisticated survey on the planet but it is telling.  Feel free to take your own casual surveys as you’re out and about.  Ask women what they think, combine those answers with my results and come to your own conclusion.  Something tells me you won’t feel the need to “bring her in” anymore.

Personally I’d take this info and run with it.  There are so many more important things to do than push off buying a ring with manufactured excuses.  (For example…you can start planning your proposal.)

Beth Owens
Owner/Skatell’s Jewelers

864.576.6434

http://www.skatellsjewelers.com

Gemstone Guide~What to know before you buy

Gemstone Guide~What to know before you buy

ImageGemstone Education
This Gemstone Education defines the five most essential characteristics of Gemstone along with tips for its care. By understanding these characteristics, you’ll be able to shop with confidence.

Color

The color of a gemstone is its most significant characteristic, and many jewelers consider it to be the most vital evaluation criterion. Gemstones are found in all the colors, one can imagine, Color of a gemstone depends on following three characteristics: hue, saturation, and tone.

    • Hue
      Hue is the basic or unique color of the gemstone. In other words, hue is described as the shade, tint or sensation of a color. While almost all gemstones have some shades of other colors, the most valuable gemstones are those that exhibit a pure color and only ‘slight’ hues of other colors in addition to their primary color.
    • Saturation
      Saturation is a measure of the intensity or purity of a gem’s hue or color. A gemstone that is free of gray or brown hues is considered to be strongly saturated and is more valuable than a gemstone with lower saturation. Saturation often decides the cut of a gemstone. A high-quality gemstone cut delivers an even color throughout the stone and exposes the fewest inclusions.
    • Tone
      Tone represents the depth of a gemstone color, ranging from colorless to black. In other words, tone is described as the relative lightness or darkness of a Hue. Gemstone tone is described as ‘light’, ‘medium-light’, ‘medium’, ‘medium-dark’, and ‘dark’. Medium-light to medium-dark tone is considered as most valuable range.
    All the above three characteristics are associated with each other and plays very crucial role in determining the gemstone’s color. The more intense the color, more is the value. This does not mean darker, but intense.

Clarity

Clarity is a term used to describe the absence or presence of flaws inside or on the surface of a gemstone. A flawless gemstone is rare and usually expensively priced. Most gemstones have inclusions, or tiny mineral flaws, that can be seen under magnification or by the careful eye. A gemstone may have inclusions, cracks, spots, clouds, or any other blemish or imperfection.

Clarity is a key factor in determining quality and the value of a gemstone. Inclusions not only distract the eye, but interfere with the behavior of light in the gem, and have a significant affect on brilliancy or sparkle. Generally most minerals contain inclusions and spots but if they do not affect the durability of colored gems then these inclusions or spots will not devalue much for the gems except diamond.

For diamonds, Clarity Grade Scale from F (flawless) to I3 (included 3) is used whereas for other colored gemstones a different grading scale is used. Colored stones have different habits of clarity, so that they are classified into three ‘Types’, which are defined as under:

    • Type I
      Type I colored stones include stones with very little or no inclusions. This category can include Aquamarine, Blue Topaz, Zircon, Morganite, Tanzanite, etc.
      Clarity in the Type I group is classified as VVS (minute to detectable), VS (minor), SI1 (noticeable), SI2 (obvious) or I (included)
    • Type II
      Type II colored stones include stones that often have a few inclusions. This category can include Corundum, Garnets, Iolite, Peridot, Quartz (Amethyst, Citrine, Ametrine), Ruby, Sapphire, Spinel, etc.
      Clarity in the Type II group is classified as VVS (minor), VS (noticeable), SI1 (obvious), SI2 (prominent), or I (prominent, affecting appearance).
    • Type III
      Type III colored stones includes stones that usually always have inclusions. This category can include Emeralds, Tourmaline, etc.
    Clarity in the Type III group is classified as VVS (noticeable), VS (Obvious), SI1 (prominent), SI2 (more prominent), or I1 (affecting appearance or durability).

Cut

A good cut is something that may give a gemstone its beauty and brilliance. A gemstone’s cut refers to its proportions and symmetry. The stone should be symmetrical in all dimensions so that it will appear balanced, and so that its facets will reflect light evenly, which will provide good brilliance to stone. A well-cut faceted gemstone reflects light back evenly across its surface area when held face up. If the stone is too deep and narrow, surface area will be dark and if it is too shallow and wide, parts of the stone will be washed out and lifeless.

While cutting, color of a gemstone should also be taken into account for optical efficiency. If a stone’s color is highly saturated, a shallow cut will allow it to pass more light, while a deeper cut may increase the vividness of a less saturated gem. There is no generally accepted grading system for gemstone cut.

  • Cabochon Cut
    Cabochon Cut
    In the cabochon cut, the upper surface of the stone is smoothed and rounded into a simple curve of any degree of convexity; the lower surface may be concave, convex, or flat. All the remaining cuts have flat facets.
  • Table Cut
    Table Cut
    In the table cut, the facets of the natural octahedron of the diamond are ground to smoothness and polished; one facet, the table, is ground much larger than any other and made the top of the gem, while the opposite facet, the culet, is left quite small.
  • Rose Cut
    Rose Cut
    The rose cut consists of a flat base and (usually) 24 triangular facets—resembling a cabochon with facets.
  • Brilliant Cut
    Brilliant Cut
    The brilliant cut is scientifically designed to bring out the maximum brilliancy of the stone. The crown of a brilliant consists of a table and 32 smaller facets, of which 8 are quadrilaterals and 24 are triangles; the base, a culet and 24 larger facets, of which 8 are quadrilaterals and 16 are triangles. The base and crown are separated by a girdle. The brilliant cut has certain proportions—in general, the depth of the crown is one third the depth of the stone and the width of the table one half the width of the stone.
  • Other Cuts
    Other Cuts
           MazarinCut      OldEuropeanCut     OldMineCut           PointCut             SingleCut

In addition to the above defined cuts, stones are also cut in a variety of square, triangular, step, emerald, and trapezoidal faceted cuts. The use of such cuts is largely determined by the original shape of the stone. Large rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are often cut square or rectangular with a large table facet surrounded by a relatively small number of supplementary facets.

The process of cutting and polishing gems is called gem cutting or lapidary, while a person who cuts and polishes gems is called a gem cutter or a lapidary (sometimes lapidarist). Few gemstones such as pearls and coral (usually referred to organic minerals) are not cut at all and many times left in their natural state. However, it is customary to polish these items, as with all gemstones. The quality of a gemstone’s cut can have a dramatic impact on how it looks but only a small impact on the price per carat.

Size

Similar to diamonds, a gemstone’s weight is also measured in carats where one carat equals 200 milligrams. However, in case of gemstone, this may not give an accurate idea of its size, because different types of stones have different densities Two gemstones of the same carat weight may be different in sizes. For example, a 1 carat Sapphire or Ruby will be smaller than a 1 carat Emerald, though they have the same carat weight, because Sapphires and Rubies are denser than Emeralds. At the same time, a 1 carat Diamond will be larger than a 1 carat Ruby as a Diamond is less dense than a Ruby. Gemstones can also be measured in dimensions (diameter, length, and width).

Illustration of gemstone dimensions (L/W = Length to Width Ratio)

Asscher
Asscher Cut Dimensions

Baguette
Baguette Cut Dimensions

Cushion
Cushion Cut Dimensions

Emerald
Emerald Cut Dimensions

Heart
Heart Cut Dimensions

Marquise
Marquise Cut Dimensions

Oval
Oval Cut Dimensions

Pear
Pear Cut Dimensions

Princess
Princess Cut Dimensions

Radiant
Radiant Cut Dimensions

Round
Round Cut Dimensions

Trillion
Trillion Cut Dimensions

In case of gemstones, larger stones are not always valuable. The rarity at certain size will determine value of gemstones. A gem that is available naturally in weights of 10 carats or more may be less valuable than one that rarely available in large sizes.

Enhancements

Gemstone Enhancement is a treatment process other than cutting and polishing that improves the appearance (color / clarity), durability or availability of a gemstone. This treatment covers heating, oiling, irradiation, waxing, dying, bleaching etc.

There are many ways to enhance the appearance and durability of gemstones. Some of these treatments or enhancements, are permanent where as others are temporary. Gemstone enhancement has become such a common as well as accepted practice that experts believe the vast majority of stones are treated in some way. It’s important to remember that most gemstone enhancements greatly improve the appearance – and hence the value – of a stone.

All gemstones can be divided into 3 basic categories:

  1. N – The ‘N’ symbol appears on the chart only for natural stones which are not currently known to be enhanced.
  2. E – The ‘E’ symbol appears on the chart only for those gemstones, which are routinely enhanced. The type of enhancement covered by this symbol is indicated on the following chart.
  3. Third category covers those gemstones which are treated in a non-traditional manner and that enhancement process or code is not covered under ‘N’ & ‘E’ symbols.

Chart for Gemstone Enhancement Information

B – Bleaching: The use of chemicals or other agents to lighten or remove a gemstone’s color. Pearls and ivory also may be bleached to lighten their color.

C – Coating: The use of such surface enhancements as lacquering, enameling, inking, foiling, or sputtering of films to improve appearance, provide color or add other special effects.

D – Dyeing: The introduction of coloring matter into a gemstone to give it new color, intensify present color or improve color uniformity.

F – Filling: As a by-product of heat enhancement, the presence of solidified borax or similar colorless substances which are visible under properly illuminated 10X magnification.

G – Gamma/Electron Irradiation: The use of gamma and/or electron bombardment to alter a gemstone’s color; may be followed by a heating process.

H – Heating: Heating is one of the most common treatments used to enhance the natural beauty of colored gemstones. It is a permanent process that can dramatically improve the color and/or clarity in a number of stones, including sapphires, rubies, diamonds, aquamarine, amethyst, tanzanite, topaz, tourmaline and other stones.

I – Infilling: The intentional filling of surface breaking cavities or fractures usually with glass, plastic, opticon with hardeners and/or other hardened foreign substances to improve durability, appearance and/or add weight.

Care

Gemstones are generally hard and durable in nature but due to our day-to-day activities, it is expected that our gemstone jewelry get dirty and soiled. Even gems can be scratched, chipped or dulled if not handled correctly. With proper care, they can last a lifetime and can even be handed down as heirlooms to future generations without losing their shine and sparkle. Organic gems like pearls, amber, and coral require special care because they are porous.

Here are some tips that will help you to preserve the life and beauty of your gemstones:

Cleaning of Colored Gemstone Jewelry

Regular cleaning of Gemstone Jewelry is essential to maintain shine and brilliance of gems. On wearing them, they get dirty as you use various skin and body care regimen such as soaps, lotions and even our skin’s natural oils. Even when you are not wearing them, they collect dust. If you are cleaning your gemstone jewelry by your own then it will take few minutes to clean the same but before cleaning, you must be aware about the cleaning at home and cleaning by a professional jeweler:

    • To clean gemstone jewelry, first wipe it with a soft cloth to remove any dirt. You can use a small soft brush such as an eyebrow or lip stick brush, soap and water to clean your gemstone jewelry. Do not use toothpaste or any other abrasive cleaner on stones or mounting. Simply make a bowl of warm sudsy water with a mild detergent and gently place your jewelry pieces in the mixture. Never use boiling or hot water to clean gems. Then brush the gemstones with the soft bristles of the brush while they are in the suds. You will need to make certain that you rinse them clear of the suds after cleaning them. After this process, use a soft cloth or a jewelry polish cloth to pat them dry.
    • You can also use liquid jewelry cleaners which are sold by many department stores. You can find these liquid jewelry cleaners in kit form. You just need to follow all the written precautions and instructions of cleaning. But a Home Ultrasonic Cleaner should be used with extreme caution. It can be used to clean ruby, sapphire, diamond, iolite, amethyst, citrine, garnets, iolite, chrysoberyl, and unadorned gold jewelry but it may damage gems like emerald, pink tourmaline, peridot, pearls, coral, lapis lazuli, malachite, turquoise, and any gem that has many inclusions. When in doubt, don’t use it.
    • It is also a good idea to have them cleaned once a year by a professional jeweler, where he will check security of the settings. He will also give advice for repair of loose or bent prongs which hold your gemstones in place. This will prevent your gem from falling out of its setting and becoming lost. The jeweler will usually give your gemstone a professional ‘shine and polish’.
    • Now-a-days ultrasonic cleaning machines are available to clean jewelry by bombarding it with sound waves. This vibration shakes off dirt, but the vibrations can also cause damage to the gemstone, especially brittle stones like emeralds. Any stone inclusions can be greatly enlarged by the shaking, making the gem less attractive and valuable. For the gemstones, caution is recommended when using the ultrasonic cleaners.

Storing of Colored Gemstone Jewelry

Storing of gemstone jewelry is also important as a gem can scratch another gem, as well as other jewelry pieces. Storage of gemstone jewelry needs following precautions:

    • Gemstone jewelry should be stored individually in a soft cloth pouch to ensure that a gem should not scratch other gems or other jewelry.
    • Gemstone jewelry pieces are best stored in a fabric-lined jewel case or in a box with compartments or dividers.

Wearing Precautions for Colored Gemstone Jewelry

    • You should not wear gemstone jewelry while playing sports, working on heavy equipments or relaxing in a pool or spa (especially if you are in chlorine regularly). Gemstone can be chipped by a hard blow, and even everyday activity can loosen jewelry setting.
    • You should avoid the situation where your gemstones come in contact with chlorine bleach, hair spray or other chemicals because they can pit or discolor the mounting. Put on your gemstone jewelry after using makeup, perfume or cologne, and hair products.
    • If you have old style jewelry, perhaps passed down to you then consider resetting the gems into a modern style jewelry piece. Gems should be worn and enjoyed and not kept locked away in a safety deposit box.

If you will follow the above mentioned caring tips then your gemstone jewelry will always shine and sparkle like a new one.