Types Of Metals
Silver: Silver is a metallic element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. It is much less expensive than gold but used just as frequently in jewelry making. Silver often symbolizes purity, clarity,
awareness, focus, and persistence. It is also associated with the moon and female energy.
Sterling silver is an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. It is often stamped with the numbers 925. For something to be considered silver, it must be at least 90% silver and 10% other metal. This alloy is stamped with 900. Fine silver (99.9% silver) is far too soft for jewelry but can often be used as a decorative element in silver pieces.
Gold: Gold is a metallic chemical element with the symbol Au and atomic number 47. It is the most malleable of all metals, making it perfect for jewelry making and jewelers all over the world. One gram of gold can be hammered into 1 square meter, and one ounce can be pounded into 300 square feet.
Chemically, gold is unaffected by air, moisture, and even the most corrosive reagents.
Gold has been highly sought after for jewelry making since the beginning of history. In medieval times, gold was believed to be beneficial to one's health. It symbolizes power, wealth, strength, happiness, warmth, love, hope, optimism, justice, balance, summer, sun, and harvest.
Traditionally, the three most popular colors of gold are yellow, rose (pink), and white. Green gold is an up and coming color that is beginning to be found in many jewelry items. Yellow gold occurs naturally and is the purest form of the metal. When used in jewelry making, it is combined with zinc or copper to form an alloy. Other colors of gold are created when different metals are mixed and used to form the jewelry alloy.
White Gold: White gold is an alloy of another white metal (such as nickel or palladium) mixed with gold. Its purity is signified in karats in the same manner as yellow gold. To maintain and/or enhance the white color of this gold, it is often plated with rhodium, which is a shiny white metal with extreme hardness. This coating, however, does wear off in time revealing the original color of the white gold.
Rose/Pink Gold: This gold has a pinkish-rose color and is an alloy of gold and other metals combined - usually copper. The highest karat weight for rose gold is 22K and can be referred to as crown gold. The higher the percentage of copper, the more intense the rose/pink/red tone will be. Eighteen karat rose gold is 75% gold and 25% copper.
Green Gold: The green tone appears when copper is left out of the alloy and is, instead, a mixture of just gold and silver. Cadmium can also be added to intensify the green color.
What is Karat Gold? Unlike a carat, which is a unit of weight used for diamonds and other gemstones, a karat is classified as a unit of purity used to describe gold. The standard starts at 24 karat gold, which is pure gold. In jewelry-making, 24 karat gold is rarely used because the pure form of gold is too soft to hold a firm shape. When gold is mixed with another metal, each karat consists of 1/24th of the amount of gold. Gold jewelry typically falls under the following karats: 22 karat gold (22K) is 22 parts gold and 2 parts other metal or metals, making it 91% gold. 18 karat gold (18K) is 18 parts gold and 4 parts other metal or metals, making it 75% gold. 14 karat gold (14K) is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metal or metals, making it 58.3% gold. 10 karat gold (10K) is 10 parts gold and 14 parts other metal or metals, making it 41.7% gold. This is the minimum karat designation for a metal to be called gold in the U.S.
How To Care For Your Jewelry
The best thing to do is to store your jewelry in a fabric-lined case or pouch. A jewelry box does a great job of separating and securing your collection. You can also wrap each piece in a soft tissue paper if you don't have a case or pouch. This will prevent scratching and tangling. For sterling silver jewelry, use an anti-tarnish bag or cloth to limit exposure to air and moisture.
You want to avoid damaging chemicals. Hairspray, lotion and perfume can damage your precious jewelry. When getting ready in the morning or a night out, set your jewelry aside until you're ready to wear it.
Use only mild cleaners. A great way to clean your jewelry is with warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft bush. Ultrasonic jewelry cleaners can also be used once in a while.
Losing your jewelry is one of the worst things that can happen. When doing any kind of physical activity, its best to just take it off and put it to the side.
Insuring your most prized pieces can be a good idea as well. You never know what can happen.
Essentials For Your Jewelry
Have you ever wanted to make your necklace longer because it was just a bit too short? How about a bracelet or anklet? Rings fit differently over time, so did you ever end up with a ring that became just a little too big? What about worrying about losing your favorite necklace or bracelet? Did you know that there is a solution for all of these things?
Extenders, ring size adjusters and safeties exist to solve all of these problems. A necklace extender is a simple chain with a clasp on one end and a jump ring on the other, that attaches to your necklace to make it a bit longer. Think of it as linking an additional piece of chain to your necklace chain. It's that simple. Extenders are a great add on to any necklace, bracelet or anklet to give it that extra length you desire. They are small, sturdy and are usually unnoticeable. You can add one inch or even up to six inches, you decide. The extender simply clips on to your necklace, bracelet, or anklet and voila. Your favorite piece of jewelry is now a different length.
A ring size adjuster or some times known as a ring guard is a simple add on to your ring that will make it a bit smaller, giving you a snug fit again. There are several different types, which is great because it gives you options. They come in rubber, sometimes plastic and other ones are metal. It is a small piece of material that wraps around the band of your ring to make it a bit thicker, therefore tightening the fit. Most times this is an excellent fix to loose rings at a small price. No need to do anything drastic or expensive to your ring just to size it down a bit.
Safeties are a magical accessory that everyone should have in their jewelry collection. You can attach a safety to your necklace, bracelet or anklet. It is a simple chain with clasps on both ends that attaches to your jewelry and provides extra security in case your jewelry unlatches unexpectedly. It will keep the ends from coming apart and will hold the piece of jewelry in place. It's a wonderful accessory that will save your favorite necklace, bracelet or anklet from being lost. It's almost unnoticeable and you can find ones that totally match your jewelry.