5 Jewelry Questions Answered

5 Jewelry Questions Answered

At Albert Kaz Jewelry, we feel it is our duty to educate our customers about the world of jewelry.  Everyone should radiate confidence when walking into a jewelry store. If you have ever wondered the difference between an engagement ring and wedding ring or if you should or shouldn’t bond your rings together, worry not, we are here to help! Here are some of the most frequently asked jewelry questions we get here at Albert Kaz Jewelry.

1.  What is the difference between an engagement ring and a wedding ring?

This is the most frequently asked of all the jewelry questions. The engagement ring comes first.  The engagement ring is given during the wedding proposal and symbolizes the promise of marriage. Although styles vary, engagement rings typically have a larger center stone with smaller stones surrounding the center stone.

After the engagement ring comes the wedding ring.  A wedding ring is exchanged between both partners during the marriage ceremony.   Compared to the engagement ring, the wedding ring is typically more modest and simple. Ordinarily, it would not have had a prominent gemstone but would instead enhance the design of the engagement ring. Often times jewelers provide a matching bridal sets that include a wedding ring and an engagement ring.

The groom is also presented with a wedding ring; it is usually a thick band with minimal design. However, due to recent changes in trends, we see more men favoring small diamonds or jewels on their band.

While these rings differ in design and time they are given, there is a similarity. Both rings play a vital role in a marriage. The engagement and wedding ring are more than beautiful pieces of jewelry.  These rings indicate your commitment to one another and should be treated with care and respect.

2.  Should I bond or solder my rings together? Can they be separated later?

New brides frequently ask this question.  Once married, both rings are worn on the same finger.  Sometimes this causes them to rub together leaving scratches and dents on the rings. A solution to the problem is soldering them together.

Soldering is the term used when heating a filler metal between two rings to bond them into one. When done properly, soldering gives the appearance of a single ring, but will not change the structure of the individual rings. Soldering reduces damage caused by rough treatment and lessens the need to constantly adjust the rings.

If you find yourself wanting to wear your soldered rings separately, I have good news soldering is reversible.  Unsoldering a ring requires a professional jeweler to carefully cut the rings apart, file the filler metal down and polish the rings to make them shine again.

3.  How should I clean my gold jewelry?

Gold does not tarnish; however, overtime contact with skin oils, creams, make-up and cleaning products can create the appearance of dull metal. There are a few tricks you can use to help your jewelry stay looking like the day you bought it.
• Take your gold jewelry to your jeweler every three to four months.  Jewelers utilize ultrasonic baths and heat to give gold that sparkle.
• At home, mix warm water with a small amount of mild soap to keep your gold clean. Using a soft cloth, gently wipe the gold. (Keep gold away from chlorine)
• Use a child’s toothbrush, one with soft bristles, to remove tough grime from crevices. (Do not use an adult toothbrush, they are not gentle enough)

4.  What is the difference between “carat” and “karat”?

This is the most confusing of all the jewelry questions.  Although they sound the same, they both mean different things. “Carat” is the term used to measure diamond weight.  One carat is equal to 200 milligrams.

When using the term “Karat” it refers to gold purity. The purest form of gold is 24 “karats” or 24K. Gold that is 24K is rarely used in jewelry because it lacks the durability for every day wear. Jewelers use several different alloys, combining different metals with the gold to give it more durability and different colors.

5.   How does a jeweler handle diamond certification and appraisal?

When buying diamonds we emphasize knowing the four Cs, but there is a fifth C that is equally important: certificate. The diamond’s certificate is a report that grades the four Cs; color, cut, clarity, and carat weight, along with any additional information about the diamond.

The most dependable grading company is the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). While the GIA is the best, it is also the most expensive. When spending money on a diamond engagement ring you should be confident the diamond is worth the price and that is exactly what GIA does.

To get jewelry appraised, you cannot simply walk into a jewelry store and expect an appraisal. An Appraisal requires research, analysis, proper experience and knowledge to make a reasonable and supportable opinion of value.  When getting an appraisal you are looking for an estimate of current value.

Your appraisal should contain a quality analysis, description and valuation of the gemstone or jewelry. The value is determined by the quality of the stone and the current market conditions. The diamond certificate is often used during the appraisal to determine the value of a stone. Due to changes in market value, appraisals need to be updated every so often.

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