Search
Education

PRECIOUS METALS

GOLD

Gold has been the inspiration for jewelry since the beginning of time. It's coveted for its gleaming beauty and strong yet malleable nature. Gold will not rust, corrode or tarnish.
Gold is measured in karats, abbreviated as the letter "k" and preceded by a number. 100% pure gold is 24k. However, in its pure form, gold is too soft to be used in jewelry. In order to give it resilience to hold up to everyday wear, gold is alloyed with other metals.
Gold is available in a variety of different karats:
  • 22 karat (91.7% gold)
    While beautiful, it is really too soft for use in jewelry as the gold would literally bend out of shape. You will often see antique 22k gold jewelry in museums.
  • 18 karat (75% gold)
    Excellent for use in fine jewelry with a rich, deep color.
  • 14 karat (58.3% gold)
    Great for use in traditional jewelry.
  • 12 karat (50% gold)
    We do not use nor recommend below 14k as the color is not an attractive, rich hue at this percentage.
  • 10 karat (41.7% gold)
    Although this is the minimum legal karatage allowed to be called gold in the US, we do not use nor recommend it for jewelry.

YELLOW GOLD

At Variety Gem we offer both 14k and 18k yellow gold settings for our diamond jewelry. If you prefer a deep, rich, golden color, we recommend 18k. Many people also enjoy the traditional color of 14k yellow gold. The choice is entirely up to you.

WHITE GOLD

Variety Gem offers 14k white gold settings. Although much whiter in color than yellow gold, 14k white gold has a subtle yellow hue because it is made with 58.3% yellow gold. To increase the white color, rhodium is plated over our 14K white gold settings. (Rhodium is a hard, durable, silvery-white metal.) Eventually, the rhodium plating will wear off. Your local jeweler can easily re-plate the rhodium finish on your jewelry to restore its shiny white color.

Variety Gem also offers an 18K white gold and palladium alloy. The palladium alloy gives the white gold a whiter, platinum-like color. This alloy has the advantage of never having to be plated.

Caring for your gold jewelry
While lasting and durable, gold can become scratched or dented, particularly if handled roughly. Regularly check your gold jewelry for loose prongs or any damage, promptly bringing it to a professional jeweler for repair if needed.

Avoid immersing your gold jewelry in all forms of chlorine, including a pool, hot tub or a household cleaner. Repeated exposure to chlorine can weaken gold's structure, leading to eventual breakage. Soap can build up on gold jewelry causing a dull film and diminishing its gleam. For cleaning, soak gold jewelry in warm water mixed with a few drop of ammonia. Gentle use of an old, soft-bristled toothbrush is useful for more extensive cleaning. After cleaning and rinsing, dry and polish with a soft cloth.
Store your jewelry in a fabric-lined case with separate compartments, or wrap pieces individually in soft tissue paper. Don't take the risk of your jewelry pieces scratching one another.

PLATINUM

Platinum is a popular choice for fine jewelry. It is one of the rarest of precious metals, found in only a few locations around the world. Platinum has a rich, silvery-white color that enhances the natural brilliance of diamonds. It is also well known for its superior durability. Over time, gold wears down, becoming thinner and weaker, while platinum retains its strength.
With daily wear, little scratches in platinum create a luster known as patina. This is a special characteristic of this metal, which many people admire. If you prefer, a professional jeweler can polish platinum jewelry back to its original shine.
Variety Gem uses the finest quality platinum in our jewelry. Our platinum is alloyed with either iridium or cobalt, depending on the manufacturer.


Caring for your platinum jewelry
Platinum is extremely durable and resistant to tarnish and discoloration from chlorine and other chemicals. However, as with all fine jewelry, platinum must be taken care of properly.
Store your platinum jewelry in a fabric-lined case with separate compartments; or, wrap pieces individually in soft tissue paper. Take care not to let jewelry pieces come into contact with one another as this can cause scratches, even in platinum.
Use a soft cloth to polish platinum jewelry. For cleaning, soak in warm water mixed with a few drop of ammonia. Gentle use of an old, soft-bristled toothbrush is useful for more extensive cleaning.

DIAMOND GLOSSARY



  • BRILLIANCE: The intensity of white light reflected through the top of the diamond.
  • CROWN: The top part of a diamond, from the girdle to the table.
  • CULET: The bottom facet at the tip of the diamond.
  • DEPTH: The height of a gemstone, from the culet to the table.
  • DIAMETER: The width of the diamond, measured around the girdle.
  • DISPERSION: The result of white light splitting into all the colors of the rainbow.
  • EYE CLEAN: A term meaning no flaws are visible to the unaided eye when viewed from 12 inches away, with the diamond face up.
  • FACE UP: The diamond viewed from the top of the stone.
  • FACET: The flat, polished surfaces on the diamond. All Variety Gem diamonds have 57 facets.
  • FIRE: When moved, these are flashes of color reflected from within a diamond, resulting from dispersion. Just like a prism, white light entering a diamond separates into all the colors of the rainbow.
  • FLAW: Any external or internal imperfection in a diamond.
  • FLUORESCENCE: The luminescence exhibited in certain diamonds when exposed to ultraviolet light or strong sunlight. Fluorescence is most commonly blue in color, but can also be a variety of other colors.
  • GIRDLE: The narrow band encircling the widest part of a diamond. It may be faceted or non-faceted.
  • INCLUSION: An impurity within a diamond. Inclusions may or may not be visible with the unaided eye. Fewer inclusions ensure a finer clarity grade.
  • PAVILION: The bottom part of a diamond, from below the girdle to the tip of the culet.
  • POLISH: The smooth, shiny finish on the facets of a diamond. Ideal polish is critical for maximum diamond brilliance.
  • PROPORTIONS: The cutting quality relative to the depth percentage, table percentage, girdle percentage, symmetry and crown and pavilion angle. Proportions influence light refraction and reflection within the diamond.
  • SCINTILLATION: Flashes of reflected light from a diamond when it moves. Commonly referred to as sparkle.
  • SYMMETRY: The overall uniformity of a stone's cut, which can range from poor to Ideal. The symmetrical alignment of facets makes for a more stunning diamond.
  • TABLE: The largest, flat facet on the top of a diamond.

DIAMOND CARE



Diamonds may be the hardest substance on earth, but they are not indestructible. While they can be cut or polished only by another diamond, a hard blow can cause them to chip. Never wear your diamond jewelry when doing rough work.

TIPS ON CARING FOR YOUR DIAMONDS

Don't store your diamond jewelry next to other jewelry pieces as this can cause scratches. A fabric-lined jewelry case with separate compartments is Ideal. You can also individually wrap jewelry in soft tissue paper or use jewelry pouches for each piece.
Regularly inspect your diamond jewelry to make sure the setting is secure. Promptly bring it to a professional jeweler if you notice any signs of damage or loosening of the prongs. It's a good idea to have your diamond jewelry examined at least once a year by a professional jeweler. In addition to performing any necessary repair work, your jeweler can expertly clean your jewelry.
Everyday exposure to creams, skin oils, hairspray, household chemicals and other substances can cause buildup that will dull your diamond's brilliance and sparkle. Use a solution of warm water mixed with a few drop of ammonia in which to soak your diamond jewelry. Gentle scrubbing with an old, soft-bristled toothbrush is useful for more extensive cleaning. Rinse and dry with a clean soft cloth.

The Basics of Keeping Your Diamond Clean

So how can you keep your diamond looking its very best? Here are some tips on diamond care:
  • Handle your diamond sparingly, as your fingers provide enough oil from your skin to alter the way your diamond looks.
  • Clean your diamond regularly. A simple plan to keep your diamond jewelry always looking beautiful is to soak the diamond in an ammonia-based household cleaner (such as window cleaner) overnight, once or twice weekly. In the morning, remove the diamond from the cleaner and brush it with a soft, clean toothbrush to remove any leftover dirt. Take extra care to brush the back of the diamond as this will be the area that has collected the most oil and dirt.
  • Be aware that fragile settings and estate jewelry won't take kindly to being scrubbed with a toothbrush, so use a soft touch. Then, just rinse the diamond with water and wipe with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • Don't use harmful solutions. Chlorine or abrasives should never be used when cleaning diamonds, especially those set in jewelry. These erode some of the metals often used in diamond settings, and may loosen prongs, or even dissolve the metal completely.
Sometimes an ultrasonic cleaner is necessary to remove encrusted dirt on diamonds. By sending high frequency sound waves through a detergent solution, ultrasonic cleaners cause vibrating fluid to remove accumulated dirt and grime. However, they can also shake loose stones from their mounting, so this method shouldn't be used on fragile settings, and is best undertaken by a professional jeweler.
Regular cleaning will keep your diamond jewelry in gleaming condition and ready to sparkle on that special occasion.

Tips for General Care

Even though you may wear your diamond ring 24 hours a day, you should still give thought to its care.
  • Don't wear it when you're doing rough work. Even though a diamond is durable, it can be chipped by a hard blow.
  • Don't let your diamond come in contact with a chlorine bleach when you're doing household chores. It can damage and discolor the mounting.
  • Do see your jeweler at least once a year and have him check your ring and other precious pieces for loose prongs and wear of mountings. He'll usually give them a professional "shine-up" too.
Sometimes an ultrasonic cleaner is necessary to remove encrusted dirt on diamonds. By sending high frequency sound waves through a detergent solution, ultrasonic cleaners cause vibrating fluid to remove accumulated dirt and grime. However, they can also shake loose stones from their mounting, so this method shouldn't be used on fragile settings, and is best undertaken by a professional jeweler.
Regular cleaning will keep your diamond jewelry in gleaming condition and ready to sparkle on that special occasion.

Putting Diamonds Away

Even though you may wear your diamond ring 24 hours a day, you should still give thought to its care.
  • When you're not wearing diamonds and precious jewelry, they still require attention. Keep your precious pieces in a fabric-lined jewel case, or a box with compartments or dividers.
  • lf you prefer to use ordinary boxes, wrap each piece individually in tissue paper.
  • Don't jumble your diamond pieces in a drawer or jewelry case, because diamonds can scratch other jewelry-and can even scratch each other.
  • Don't leave your ring on the rim of a sink when you remove it to wash your hands. It can easily slip down the drain.

RING SIZE



International Ring Sizes


Size in MM US & Canada Great Britain Japan France Switzerland Germany
44.1 3 F 4 44 4 14
45.4 3 1/2 G 5 45 1/4 5 1/4 14 1/2
46.7 4 H 1/2 7 46 1/2 6 1/2 15
48.0 4 1/2 I 1/2 8 47 3/4 7 3/4 15 1/2
49.2 5 J 1/2 9 49 9 15 3/4
50.5 5 1/2 K 1/2 10 50 1/4 10 1/4 16 1/4
51.8 6 L 1/2 12 51 1/2 11 1/2 16 1/2
53.1 6 1/2 M 1/2 13 52 3/4 12 3/4 17
54.3 7 O 14 54 14 17 1/4
55.6 7 1/2 P 15 55 1/4 15 1/4 17 3/4
56.9 8 Q 16 56 1/2 16 1/2 18
58.2 8 1/2 R 17 57 3/4 17 3/4 18 1/2
59.4 9 S 18 59 19 19
60.7 9 1/2 -- 19 60 1/4 20 1/4 19 1/2
62.0 10 T 1/2 20 61 1/2 21 1/2 20
63.3 10 1/2 U 1/2 22 62 3/4 22 3/4 20 1/2
64.5 11 V 1/2 23 64 24 20 3/4
65.8 11 1/2 W 1/2 24 65 1/4 25 1/4 21
67.1 12 Y 25 66 1/2 26 1/2 21 1/4
68.3 12 1/2 Z 26 67 3/4 27 3/4 21 3/4
69.6 13 -- 27 69 29 22

To determine your ring size, do the following:

  • Use a piece of string or dental floss and wrap it around the base of your finger.
  • Use a pen to mark the point on the string where the end meets.
  • Use a millimeter ruler to measure the string.
  • Choose the closest measurement to the chart above to find your ring size.

Tips for best results:

  • Allow enough room to accommodate your knuckle.
  • Bear in mind, different fingers on the same and the opposite hand may have different sizes. Therefore, measure the specific finger on which you are planning to wear the ring.
  • Measure your finger at the end of the day when your finger is likely to be largest.
Back to top 
© 1999-2010, VarietyGem Co., Inc.
Designed and Hosted by Planetscape.net  Toll Free (877)-99 -Planet