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Monday, December 8, 2014

Jewelry Gifts - Everything You Need To Know About Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium, Diamonds, Rubies & Emeralds

There was a popular movie that aired in the recent past where an advertising agency that was trying to market diamond jewelry came up with the slogan, "Frost Yourself".

It was a captivating idea, because jewelry does seem to do just that -add "frosting" or sparkle and excitement to your appearance.

This is obviously one of the reasons why jewelry is a popular gift for just about every occasion. The question that gift buyers face is which is the best jewelry metal and what is the most beautiful, precious gem?

Gold is the most popular jewelry metal and for good reason. Gold is beautiful in appearance, durable in performance and comes with a costly, status-building price tag. Pure gold is, however, not very durable as it is very pliable in this form.

That is why other metals are usually added to gold to add strength and these other alloys also add unique coloring to the finished product. But, even though other metals are needed to add strength to gold jewelry, the higher the content of gold in the piece makes for a higher price.

Traditionally, gold is suitable for engagement and wedding rings, dress rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets and necklaces. The content ratio of gold to other alloys is measured in carats. For example, 18 carat gold is 75% gold, 14 carat gold is almost 60% gold and 9 carats is almost 40% gold.

Again, the more amount of gold a piece has in it, the higher the cost and value. But this higher content of gold makes the piece more likely to bend since pure gold is pliable. It's important to look for good quality construction here if you don't want your expensive ring to bend.

The other metals added to gold can give the jewelry piece unique coloring. Colors available are yellow, white, rose, bronze, red and lime. To achieve rose colored gold jewelry, metals including copper are added. Yellow gold is achieved by adding metals including zinc.

White gold is made by adding silver and palladium. However, the finished product of white gold is actually a bit greyish, so these jewelry pieces will likely be coated with another metal called rhodium. This sometimes wears off though and needs to be re-coated every year or so.

Silver is another metal used in the making of jewelry. But it is not used in making quality engagement or wedding rings because silver is prone to oxidation and discoloring, causing the piece to turn black. You can clean this problem up with some jewelry cleaner, but you wouldn't want to be having to do that regularly with wedding rings worn on a daily basis.

Silver is fine for earrings, bracelets and necklaces that aren't worn every day and can be cleaned occasionally as needed. When new and clean, silver has a bright white, greyish color and so is a popular choice for earrings. It is much cheaper than gold, adding to its appeal.

Platinum is a white metal and is used in an almost pure form (95%). It is very durable and maintains its bright, white color, so it does not need a rhodium coating like white gold. Since platinum is a very dense metal, an 18 carat platinum ring will feel heavier than an 18 carat gold ring.

Since platinum is a very expensive choice for jewelry, it is mostly used for engagement, wedding and dress rings. Some common prices for platinum rings range anywhere from $700 to $6000. Generally speaking, an 18 carat platinum ring will cost twice as much as an 18 carat gold ring.

If you can't afford platinum, but love the look of it in jewelry, you might consider palladium as an option. It is very similar to platinum in looks (it's more white), chemical properties (a bit lighter in weight) and use (engagement/wedding/dress rings only), but it's more affordable. Pricing for palladium rings range from $300 to $2000 depending on carats. Palladium is a more precious metal than silver and does not tarnish like silver. This makes this metal a good choice for jewelry pieces.

As far as gemstones go, the ruby is the most valuable in the present world. That's because it is rarer than any other stone. The deeper and darker the red color, the more valuable a piece it is. It has been said that a 1 carat ruby is worth twice as much as a 1 carat diamond.

However, a lot has to do with the quality of that ruby. Other gemstone authorities have made claims that some rubies are worth 8 times more than diamonds as the carat size becomes larger. Some larger rubies are worth tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars if they possess a very high quality because larger rubies are rarely ever cut.

Emeralds are another beautiful jewelry choice for gift giving. Choosing a good quality emerald is all about the color. The most highly prized emeralds are bluish green to true green (but not too dark) and transparent in color. So a cloudy looking, pale to yellowish green emerald is going to be cheaper and less precious.

And naturally, the larger the stone, the higher number of carats and the higher the price. Common pieces of jewelry containing emeralds may only have fractions of a carat and others may have up to 20 carats. Prices range anywhere from $500 to $3000 depending upon clarity and carats.

So, diamonds, metals and precious gemstones are truly a wonderful gift to humans from this earth made by a loving Creator. And apparently, it's a gift that keeps on giving because people love to give and receive these treasures among themselves in the form of beautiful jewelry pieces. So, go "frost yourself" or someone else and enjoy these wonderful gifts of the earth.

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