|Hand Engraving- -Silver and Gold Cleaning- -Measurement- -Diamonds & Stones
look for these marks of quality
-Depth of cut is extremely important but also an even ‘V’ in the cut,
-it is extremely easy to ‘Scratch’ the metal and difficult to ‘ engrave’
-Look for smooth curves and not jerky on the outside of the cut ‘ V’ wall
-Lines that are continuous and don’t stop and start again
-balance in the design, not only left to right or top to bottom but if there are more than one of a shape then are both the same size ,same curve etc…?
-Are there any sharp ends where the line wasn’t finished well?
Have the lines been buffed out with too much polishing and rounded the top edge of the cut ?
Silver & Gold
-Although Silver and Gold are pure metals they are alloyed with others for strength , resilience or to soften
-If buying Sterling Silver there should be a stamped image on the piece to indicate ‘ Ster’, or ‘Sterling’ or ‘.925’.
-The ‘.925’ indicates that it is 92 1/2% pure silver. The other 7 1/2% could be combinations of copper ,zinc , nickel , tin or ‘whatever’.
-I am partial to Canadian Silver for engraving and Italian Silver for chains ( being a good B.C. West coast Canadian
Native Italian boy ..What do you expect? )
-Gold is also alloyed ,with copper and silver mostly
-There should also be a stamp to indicate the karat quantity, such as 10k ,14k,18k ,22k or 24k. If there isn’t a stamp the item may be gold plated on top of copper, silver or another base metal.
-A stamp is your best guarantee
Cleaning Tips Tricks
Or ‘ How to fight Air and Dirt’Here is a mixture that will clean Jewelry !Works well with gold-filled, brass, German silver , ( nickle ) , and sterling silver
|1 Tablespoon salt
|1 tablespoon baking soda
|1 tablespoon dish soap
|1 cup water
|1 piece of aluminum foil
|1.- Heat water in microwave for 1-2 minutes
|2.- cut aluminum foil and place on bottom of a small bowl ( cereal etc )
|3. Pour the water into the bowl, place salt, soda and dish soap into bowl-(mix )
|4. place jewelry in bowl for 5 to 10 minutes
|5. rince jewelry in cool water and dry with a soft cloth
|6. discard water etc and start frewsh next time
-Lots of good cleaners and lots of gimmicks out on the market. I won’t endorse or knock any product…
I’ll just say the T.V. ad type cleaners may not be as good as some product that a professional jeweler has used for 40 years, so I’d ask them first
-10k has the most strength but also the highest copper content and 24k is the weakest but also is 99.9 % gold
-We find 14k for rings and bracelets offer the highest gold content without sacrificing the needed strength and resilience for these items
-If you don’t have an ultrasonic cleaner it is still possible to get the dirt out and a lovely shine back on your jewelry.
Tarnish can be beaten
by using a store bought cleaner and following the directions but if you want a quick ‘home remedy’ method a soft cloth or a toothbrush, (preferably an old one ), and dish soap or toothpaste will also do the trick ,but read the cautions below carefully.
-Dirt inside all those little areas can also be beaten at home If the item is just gold or silver and/or a diamond then you can heat the jewelry in a glass container on the stove in water and dish soap. Don’t bring it to a boil but just get it warm/hot and clean the crevices with the toothbrush.
Caution with some Tips Tricks
should be taken when applying heat. Although you are dealing with ‘rocks’ most are not very forgiving.If there is an inclusion or crack the heat may split it further just like a cracked windshield, so be careful.
-To be safe you should not heat any stone except diamonds
-Soaps should not be used with : Amber,Iolite,Opals,Pearls or Peridots
-Cleaners should not be used with Amber,Coral,Emerald,Iolite,Opals,Pearls, Peridots,Tanzanite,Topaz or Turquoise.
-Steam and Ultrasonic cleaners can be used with Alexandrite,Diamonds,Ruby, Sapphire, Spinel ,and Zircons.
If in doubt a professional jeweler would obviously be your best bet for your precious and possibly irreplaceable item.
It would be best if you stopped by a jeweler and had your finger sized but if you can’t, then here are some tricks. For Rings, if you don’t know the size you can always trace the inside of one that does fit onto a piece of paper and fax
it to us or wrap a piece of paper strip, ( about the width of a pencil ), around your finger and mark that as well.
For bracelets do the same, measure your wrist loosely and then minus 1/2″,( 1 cm )for the proper bracelet size.
Here are some lengths
for a 1/4″ paper strip not a piece of string ring size inch mm 3 – 1-3/4″ – 44 4 – 1-13/16″ – 46 5 – 1-15/16″ – 49 6 – 2-1/16″ – 52 7 – 2-5/32″ – 54 8 – 2-1/4″ – 57 9 – 2-3/8″ – 60 10 – 2-1/2″ – 63 11 – 2-9/16″ – 65 12 – 2-19/32″ – 67 13 – 2-3/4″ – 70 14 – 2-7/8″ – 73 15 – 3″ – 76 half sizes can easily be figured in metric but change fractions to /32″ for closest guess.
Diamonds and Stones
Precious and semi-precious stones come in many different classifications which increase or decrease the value.
Just like buying a car..type is important but if it’s damaged the value decreases Diamonds adhere to the 4 c’s regulated by the GIA, Gemological Institute of America.
The four ‘C’s are:
-D,E ,F, grade – colorless,
D is extremely rare
-G,H,I,J, near colorless ,
G,H are rare white to white
and excellent color.-I,J,are slightly tinted white
but still reflect light well
-K,L,M, are faint yellow
-N,O,P,Q,R, very light yellow
-S,T,U,V,W,X,Y , are light yellow
-Y,Z, are fancy yellow
A cut will determine to a large degree the brilliance of a diamond . The symmetry of a cut allows the maximum reflection of light. Some cuts available include round, Oval, pear, heart,marquise,and emerald
Diamond Clarity – Tips Tricks
Clarity determines inclusions,(cracks) or flaws the GIA grading scale contains 6 classifications
-F – flawless , no inclusions seen under 10x magnification, extremely rare
-IF – internally flawless -insignificant flaws under 10x magnification-VVS1 & VVS2-very very slight inclusions, difficult to see under 10x magnification.
This is a,’very very good quality’ grade
-VS1 & VS2 – very slight inclusions, minor inclusions under 10x magnification a common ‘very good quality’ grade
-SI1 & SI2 – slightly included -noticeable under 10x magnification but still clean to the naked eye.
Still good quality grade
-I1 , I2 & I3 – obvious inclusions usually visible to the naked eye
The weight of the stone measured in Carat weight,(not the same as Karat used in determining gold content)
Larger stones generally cost more per carat due to their rarity.
For example: a V V S with G-H color and good cut may sell for $1800 per carat if it was smaller than .10 carat weight- (1/10 ct ) and $6300 per carat if it was, lets say, a .90 carat stone, ( 9/10 ct )