Many pieces of fine jewelry are crafted from sterling silver. You may have heard the phrase and know that this metal is highly prized, but what exactly is sterling silver? How can you tell real silver from fake silver? These are the basics that will help you understand why sterling silver is so valuable and how to spot the real thing. Continue reading What is Sterling Silver?
Platinum is a popular choice for engagement rings and other jewelry items, and it’s easy to see why. This metal is incredibly strong and more pure than gold or silver, with a resistance to chipping and tarnishing that makes it more enduring. Choosing platinum jewelry is an excellent option, but just like other pieces of valuable jewelry, you’ll need to take care of your items to maintain their optimal beauty.
- Just like gold and silver, platinum will scratch if not stored properly. Keep your platinum jewelry stored in a chamois bag or neatly organized in a jewelry box, not simply thrown in with pieces that have precious stones. However, a polishing can usually restore the scratched metal to a pristine shine.
- Although platinum is very durable, harsh chemicals such as bleach can damage stones and are not advisable to handle when wearing platinum rings. Dirt and grime can also dull your jewelry, so remove your platinum items before performing manual labor.
- Regularly clean your platinum jewelry with jewelry cleaner, a mild soap solution, or a soft cloth to keep it in good condition. You can always bring your items to your jeweler for a thorough cleaning and maintenance.
- Over time, platinum will develop a patina finish. Some prefer this dulled look, but if you prefer a shining finish, you can always polish your platinum to restore its pristine look.
The most reliable way to thoroughly clean your platinum jewelry and keep it in its best shape is to regularly take it to your trusted jeweler for an inspection. A practiced eye will be able to clean away grime or maintain the desired patina.
You’re ready to take that leap: marriage. Choosing an engagement ring that’s perfect for your new fiance can be an overwhelming prospect, but going into this task prepared can actually make shopping for an engagement ring an enjoyable experience. There are certain aspects of the ring that you can select to narrow down the intimidating number of options on the market.
Choose the Right Band
Selecting the right band is the first step. Gold is the most popular option, although the shade will vary depending on whether it is alloyed with another metal. Some actually prefer the lighter shade of a less pure gold. White gold is another common choice, although the plating can sometimes wear off over time. Many jewelers will replace the band for free, but be sure to ask if this is an option before you make a purchase. Platinum provides a bright, silvery finish that will wear with age, although this is often preferred and can even enhance any diamonds set on the ring.
Selecting the Stone
When selecting the gemstone, you can choose from different setting options, including visible prongs or an invisible setting. The gem itself is traditionally a diamond, but many choose a colored gem instead. Keep the personality of the receiving lady in mind when considering the type and size of the stone. Some say that the shape of the stone is the most defining feature, so focusing on that decision could be the most important use of your time.
Knowing the correct size for the ring is a detail that is often overlooked, but being able to slip the ring onto her finger is a magical moment that is enhanced by a perfect fit. Determining her ring size can be as simple as surreptitiously borrowing one of her current rings and asking your jeweler to determine its size.
Get to Know Your Jeweler
Of course, when making such a significant purchase, it’s important to select an ideal jeweler. Price is not always the most important factor here, as you want to be able to trust your jeweler and feel comfortable enough to ask questions. Your relationship with your jeweler will likely be a long-term arrangement, so do not take this question lightly.
As long as you keep the end goal in mind, selecting a ring for your special moment can be an exhilarating experience. If you feel overwhelmed or uncertain, simply ask your trusted jeweler for advice.
Mothers fill an important and irreplaceable role in our lives. As Mother’s Day arrives on May 10th, sons, daughters, husbands, and grandchildren will celebrate the wonderful mothers in their lives. The search for a truly special Mother’s Day gift can be a struggle, but we have some suggestions that can make your search a little easier.
While flowers are an excellent token of love and appreciation, jewelry is a lasting gift that can be worn for years to come. Depending on the preferences of that special Mother in your life, there a wide range of options available.
Diamonds have been timeless symbols of beauty and elegance for centuries, and continue to be the most highly prized gems. Used to show eternal love in both engagement and wedding rings, diamonds can sparkle independently or compliment other stones. Although the appeal of diamonds is apparent at a glance, there is much more to learn about them, from their valuation system to maintenance tips.
A diamond’s value is determined based on four factors: carat, color, clarity, and cut.
A carat denotes a diamond’s weight, with larger stones having a higher carat and value. Although clear gems are the most popular, diamonds do come in every color. Since white diamonds are the most prized, they are graded on their lack of a tint. Those graded D are colorless and carry the highest value. Irregularities and imperfections can diminish a diamond’s clarity, diminishing on a scale from flawless (FL) to imperfect (I). A diamond can be cut into many shapes, and the quality of the cut can determine the brilliance of the stone. A gem with a high-quality cut will reflect light well, sparkling brightly, while a poor cut will appear dull. In summary, a diamond which is relatively large, bright white, flawless, and evenly cut would be highly valued. Understanding the factors that affect a diamond’s value may help you determine your price range when shopping for that special someone or for yourself.
A piece of diamond jewelry is an investment that can last for generations if properly maintained. Caring for a diamond is simple, but important to keep it safe, clean, and undamaged. Some tips for protecting your diamonds include:
Don’t keep your diamond jewelry tossed in with other pieces, as diamonds may scratch other pieces or each other
Remove your diamond jewelry if performing rough work. Although diamonds are durable, they can be damaged by enough force.
Regularly clean your diamonds with commercial jewelry cleaner, ammonia mixed with water, or a mild detergent.
Keep your diamonds away from chlorine bleach (such as in a swimming pool or when using cleaning products) or other chemicals as they can damage the coloring of the stone or setting
Visit your jeweler annually for a professional cleaning and an examination for loose prongs.
The many types of diamonds available vary widely, but they all convey a timeless sense of elegance. Whether a gift for an anniversary, an engagement ring, Valentine’s Day present, or just a token of affection, a diamond necklace, ring, earrings, or other piece of jewelry makes a memorable and enduring statement.
Among the most valued jewels, pearls carry a unique sense of timeless elegance, but these gems occur through a natural process, and therefore must be cared for more diligently than other gemstones. Pearls are the result of an irritant in a mollusk, which is covered in a substances called nacre. This coating builds up over time, creating a lustrous stone that is organic. Since pearls develop a relatively soft surface through this process, they are susceptible to damage from chemicals and other harm. To keep your pearls looking radiant for years to come, there are certain cautions that pearl owners should keep in mind when caring for them.
When putting on your pearls, be sure to add them after applying makeup and perfume, as these can damage them. The moisture from your skin is beneficial for pearls and will keep them from cracking, but too much moisture can damage the string, so refrain from wearing them in the bath or while swimming.
Cleaning pearls is a delicate task and only certain mild soaps are safe to use. Simply wiping them off with a damp cloth can usually freshen them up, and cleaning them gently after wearing them is always a good idea. If deep cleaning is needed, consulting a professional is usually the wisest choice, as most quality jewelry stores provide this service.
When putting your pearls away after wearing them, store them in a soft bag or wrap them in tissue. Be sure to keep them separate from other jewelry, as chains, stones, and clasps can scratch their delicate surfaces. Keeping them in storage for too long can dry them out, so wear them occasionally to keep them adequately moisturized.
Pearls should be strung with a knot in between each one, in case the string should break. To prevent any mishaps and keep the string fresh, strands should be restrung every year, even if you don’t wear them very often.
If diligently cared for, your pearls will last for many years. Unfortunately, once damage has been inflicted on them, it typically cannot be repaired. This makes it imperative that your pearls are correctly maintained, but a consistent attention to their care will keep them looking their best.
Buying a watch is a rewarding experience, but the number of available options paired with the relatively steep price can be intimidating for the potential buyer. You may be overwhelmed and not know where to even start looking, but with the right plan and a bit of information, you can easily choose the perfect watch for your needs.
What you’ll need to consider:
- Purpose – what will the watch generally be used for? Whether you’re aiming to wear your timepiece with a business suit, on hiking expeditions, or with casual clothes will get you started in narrowing down your options.
- Aesthetics – Although your choices may also affect the functionality of the watch, it’s important to bring your personal look into your watch. Choosing your watch band first is a great place to start, and from there you’ll need to keep in mind what look you’re going for.
- Function – Is there anything that you want the watch to do? For instance, do you want it to light up, resist scratching, or include special features like a compass? Depending on what the watch will be used for, you’ll need to ensure that it can function properly for your needs. There are a wide number of specialized watches available, so you may need to research whether there are styles designed for your specific needs.
- Budget – Determine how much you’re willing to spend, as this will greatly affect your options. Remember to consider maintenance costs as well, as some models will require more expensive replacement parts and upkeep.
- Power Source – This may sound like an unimportant detail, but whether your selected watch runs on a battery, spring, or kinetic movements can have a significant impact on the price of upkeep, as well as the maintenance you’ll need to perform on a regular basis.
Before settling on your choice, be sure to check the ratings regarding its durability. Certain brands are known for high quality and can generally be trusted to produce long-lasting pieces. The price tag usually reflects this, however, and it is important to be wary of deals that seem too good to be true, as knockoffs are a common occurrence.
Even with all of these factors in mind, preparing to choose a watch may still seem stressful. Visiting a respected watch store can make the experience easier, as a knowledgeable seller will be able to answer your questions and inform you about available options.
When it comes to cleaning your jewelry, sometimes you just don’t have it in the budget to get it done professionally. Thankfully, the staff at Delton Hayes Jewelers has compiled a list of quick and affordable ways on how to clean your jewelry at home.
Cleaning a Diamond Ring
Hand lotions, hair styling products, and the everyday grime and muck you build up around your ring throughout the day all leave enough of a film on your diamond ring to keep it from looking its best. If you wait too long between cleanings, those materials begin accumulate into a thick layer of gunk on the back of your diamond, blocking light and making the diamond appear dull and lifeless. Diamonds may be the hardest natural substance known to man, but that doesn’t mean that they are the hardest to clean; a quick once-over every day with any old cleanser or cleaning product can bring back their shine and allure. Coatings and other materials used to enhance diamonds can sometimes be removed by harsh chemicals or vigorous scrubbing, so be sure to take care when when cleaning your ring. Some gentle yet effective ways to clean your diamond ring without running a high risk of damaging it include:
- Soak your diamond ring in a warm solution of mild liquid detergent and water. Ivory dishwashing liquid is a good choice, but any other mild detergent is fine.
- Use a soft brush if necessary to remove dirt. “Soft” is the key — don’t use a brush with bristles that are stiff enough to scratch the ring’s metal setting.
- Swish the ring around in the solution, and then rinse it thoroughly in warm water. Close the drain first, or put the ring in a strainer to keep from losing it!
- Dry the diamond ring with a lint-free cloth.
You can also use a wooden toothpick to very carefully push dirt away from the diamond and setting, or if you have one around the house a water-pick is an amazing tool for cleaning your diamond!
Cleaning Unfilled Diamonds
Diamonds that have not been fracture filled can be cleaned with a solution of ammonia and water. Use the gentler liquid detergent solution for fracture filled diamonds, because ammonia might eventually either cloud or remove the coating that’s been placed on the gemstone.
Cleaning Rings with Multiple Types of Gemstones
The method you use to clean jewelry should protect its weakest element. If your ring includes other gems, use a cleaning method that is suitable for the less durable stones. Most home cleaning supplies will list what stones they are and aren’t safe to use on!
Contact us today for more information on jewelry cleaning
If you are interesting in other jewelry cleaning techniques, or you have some neat techniques of your own that you’d like to suggest, contact us at Delton Hayes Jewelers online today.