The stones and watches Guide :
The precious metals are: Gold, silver, palladium, platinum, rhodium.
The precious metal alloys are : White gold, pink, yellow, black. Steel, brass, copper.
The veneers are jewelry covered with a thin layer of another metal. This method is used to protect the jewel or to reduce the proportion of very expensive metal: vermeil, gold plated, gold 2 or 3 tones.
Other materials often used in jewelery: Ceramic, leather, ropes, feathers …
Precious metals and their punch:
Gold: its purity is defined by the "Gold Carat". It is pure to 24 carats but is not usable in this form in jewelry because it is too soft. It is necessary to make an alloy with other metals to make it more solid (copper and silver).
The Gold 18 carats (750: composed of 750 / 1000th of fine gold) The state guarantee punch is the eagle head
The Gold 9 carats (375: composed of 375 / 1000th of fine gold) The state guarantee punch is the clover It is therefore cheaper than the 18 carat but its aesthetic qualities remain identical.
The Gold can be in several colors:
- Pink (gold silver and copper alloy (different proportion compared to yellow gold)
- White (gold, palladium, copper and zinc alloy) and then covered with rhodium.
The yellow gold is also available in 2 and 3 tones: yellow gold covered with pink gold or rhodium. It's veneer.
The 925 silver is 92.5% pure silver. Other metals comes for more strength. The main origin are Mexico and Peru. The punch of guarantee of the state is the minerva.
The vermeil: silver (95%) covered with gold (minimum 5 microns). The mass of gold represents 1/20 of the total weight (French law for the appellation "Vermeil") A punching is V-shaped. Do not confuse it with the plated gold, made of brass covered with 5 microns of gold. The vermeil is more precious.
Platinum 950 (95% platinum): rare metal that does not lose its gloss over time. It is often worked pure and because of its strength it is used for the gems crimp. The state guarantee punch is the wolf-dog.
Palladium: Jewelery accounts for 5% of world consumption; Palladium is used for example, in the composition of white gold, which is an alloy of gold and palladium (4 to 5%). It is much rarer than gold. It is light and hypoallergenic.
Rhodium: rare and expensive metal (about 30 000 euros per kilo). It is used in the composition of white gold or for plating silver jewelry to avoid the blackening of it and make the jewel more brilliant. The lifetime of the rhodium layer on a jewel depends on the thickness of the deposit and the care taken to the jewel.
Steel: in recent years there is a trend of metal for women and men. It is often associated with leather and ceramics. It is an alloy composed of iron, carbon, chrome (Absence of nickel for 316L). It can work to obtain aged steels and different colors and textures. It is hypoallergenic and no-corrosive. Very resistant and unalterable, it does not require maintenance.
Brass: alloy composed mainly of copper and zinc, with different proposals whose oxidation is verdigris.
Plating and PVD:
There are different plating: gold plated (on brass), rhodium plated (on white gold), plated palladium (on brass).
- Gold plated: it is brass or copper covered with a thin layer of gold (plating), the brass color being very close to gold. The gold-plated jewelery has a punch, of the creator.
- Palladium plated: this material is obtained by plating a layer of palladium on brass.
- Rhodium plated: material obtained by plating rhodium on white gold.
- PVD: It is a process that covers a metal with a coating of gold or other metal. PVD is a synonym with "physical vapor deposition", a reference to the procedure used to manufacture it. It is found on many different jewels, including watches to give hues to certain pieces (pink gold hue, black hue).
Other materials used in jewelery:
Ceramics: a terracotta-based material belonging to the faience family. More and more trend in jewelry. It is a light, elegant, shiny and hypoallergenic material. Ceramic jewelry is resistant and does not scratch.
- Color: colorless but there are also colored diamonds (pink, blue, gray ..)
- Month of birth: April
- Symbol: Eternity
When acquiring a diamond a certificate comes with it. This applies to diamonds of 0.5 carat or more. However, there is no obligation on the part of the jeweler to issue you this certificate. For the smaller diamonds, information about the characteristics of the diamond is mentioned on your invoice and will be able to authenticate the value of your jewel with the insurers. The certificate Is issued by an independent laboratory setting out the characteristics of a diamond. This is the "ID card" of the diamond. The characteristics are listed according to 4C (indissociable), the details of which are as follows:
In order to judge the value of a diamond, the GIA laboratory has developed various characteristics, according to the international standard, called the 4C rule:
- Carat : Unit of measurement for the weight of the diamond, conversion is the fifth of a gram: 1 carat = 0,2 gram (Not to be confused with the carat gold).
- Color: The color scale of a diamond begins at D (colorless) and ends at Z (light yellow.) We recommend that you choose a diamond whose color is between "D" and "I" .
- Cut : which raises its shine. Refers to the angles and proportions of the diamond. Better is the diamond cut the better it reflects the light. This will increase its brightness. This is called the "fires" of the diamond.
- Purity (Clarity): the presence or absence of inclusions visible or invisible to the naked eye. The purity levels of the diamonds pure with the naked eye are measured under 10x magnification. A purity scale has been established to classify the diamond according to its degree of purity from IF to SI.
The world-renowned laboratories for establishing these certificates are:
- The GIA (Gemological Institute of America). The most important institute in the world.
- IGC (International Gemological Center).
- IGI (International Gemological Institute): one of Antwerp's major laboratories
- HRD (Hoge Raad voor Diamant): it is the representative of the diamond industry in Belgium in Antwerp, world diamond center.
- EGL (European Gemological Laboratory)
Once appraised, the stone can be sealed. The diamond is then enclosed in a transparent box .
- Color: blue but exists in several colors except red
- Month of birth: September
- Symbol: Loyalty
It is the hardest mineral after the diamond. A sapphire jewel is often offered as an engagement gift.
- Color: green (with shades)
- Month of birth: May
- Symbol: hope and renewal
- Color : Red
- Month of birth: July
- Symbol: power (very present among the jewels of royal families)
It is the stone that can have the most value after the diamond. Burma is the 1st producer, Thailand the 1st seller.
- Color: light blue
- Month of birth: March
- Symbol: guarantee of a happy marriage - talisman of sailors
This mineral evokes the sea and belongs to the same family as the emerald (not to be confused with the blue topaz) A beautiful rendering when the aquamarine stone is associated with white gold.
- Color: purple (with shades of tones)
- Month of birth: February
- Symbol: clairvoyance; It chases the evil spirits
It is a variety of quartz and its color is due to its composition including a bit of iron. She is highly represented in the Jewels of the British Crown.
- Yellow color
- Month of birth: November
- Symbol: lucky charm
A variety of quartz, citrine is rarely found in the natural state. It is often the result of a treated quartz or amethyst. The tones varies from yellow to red through the orange ...
To keep all its brilliance avoid leaving the stone exposed to UV.
- Color: «olive green»
- Month of birth: August
- Symbol: protection and happiness
Precious stone also called "olivine" for its color. The first crystals were discovered on the island of Zabargad in the Red Sea by the crusaders. The favorite stone of Queen Cleopatra.
- Color: multiple
- Month of birth: December (blue), November (yellow)
This stone with different colors (golden, yellow, orange) is very successful in its shades of blue (obtained by treatment). In ancient Egypt it represents Ra, the sun king. A topaz of more than 7000 carats is currently on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.
- Color: often pink
- Month of birth: October
- Symbol: soothes the spirits, stone of the muses
Usually colored pink it can take dozens of shades of color. Its name comes from Sri Lanka where it means "mixed colors". Each stone has two clean shades (one lighter than the other) depending on the viewing angle.
The Lapis Lazuli
- Color: intense blue
- Symbol: wisdom and nobility
It contains lazurite giving the color blue. Reduced in powder it is used by painters.
- Color: brown translucent
- Symbol: protection
Quartz in general is a very abundant mineral on earth is declined in multiple colors by radioactive exposure or heating.
- Month of birth: June
- Symbol: femininity and beauty
The pearl is a pearly body that forms inside some shells.
It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that Japanese engineers succeeded in reproducing in a massive way the fine pearl hitherto only accessible to the aristocracy. The commercial success of the cultured pearl quickly spread to the whole world, replacing practically the fine pearl.
The Pearl of Tahiti:
- They are increasingly sought after and French Polynesia is by far the world's leading producer in terms of quality.
- The pearls of the South Seas have a wide variety of colors.
- The colors range from silvery white to the purest gold, pink, cream, champagne, green, blue and yellow.
Classification of Tahitian pearls
The main classification system is the AAA-A system.
The pearls of Tahiti must have a minimum of 0.8 mm thick layer of mother-of-pearl.
- AAA: pearl with no imperfection on at least 90% of its surface. Very good luster at a minimum.
- AA +: pearl representing no imperfection on at least 80% of its surface. Good luster at a minimum.
- AA: pearl representing no imperfection on at least 70% of its surface. Good luster at a minimum.
- A: pearl representing no imperfection on at least 70% of its surface. Minimum average luster.
- 1 : Gold
- 2 : Leather
- 3 : Pearl
- 4 : Blue Topaz
- 5: Sapphire
- 6 : Amethyst
- 7 : Onyx
- 8 : Tourmaline
- 9 : Lapis-lazuli
- 10 : Diamond
- 11 : Turquoise
- 13 : Citrine
- 15 : Ruby
- 16 : Sapphire
- 19 : Aigue-marine
- 20: Emerald
- 25 : Silver
- 30 : Pearl
- 35 : Rubies
- 40 : Emerald
Shape of stones
The most brilliant shapes include between 55 and 57 facets but the lapidary will adapt theoretical notions to the stone in order to get the most light, beautiful and position any impurities in a least visible part .
Types of Clasps
- Hook: single clip at one end of the bracelet.
- Magnetic: it is a simple clasp using 2 magnets for each end.
- Screwed: the clasp is screwed and as it takes two hands to get there, it is mainly used for necklaces. (Not suitable for rigid jewelry because risk of unscrewing)
- Spring: the most common clasp. A small rod pulls backwards along a circular ring. At the other end another ring is inserted into the first
- Toggle: on one side a loop or a ring and on the other a bar inserting in the ring. A little less on the spring but easy to use.
- Lobster clamp or "carabiner": very resistant clasp constituted by a spring mechanism keeping the clamp closed.
- Drawer: two pieces that fit like a "drawer". They open when the outer lever is pushed. Push in reverse to close.
Types of Earring Clasps
- Hook: This is mainly a hook-shaped stem through the earlobe.
- Pushchairs: Like a "butterfly" that slips into the stem that passes through the earlobe.
- Clips: No rod passing through the ear. Earrings that can be used in women who do not have ear pierced with a closure pinching the ear.
- Alpa: on one side a notched stem and on the other, a small piece of metal circular and bulging, pierced with a hole and composed of two lateral tongues.
- Custom: "Custom work" when the customer provides his Gold or his stones in order to make a jewel of his choice.
- Refiner: this is the name that a gold or silver founder, he begins with a mixture of pure 24-carat soft gold to refine gold to a much stronger 18-carat alloy.
- Alloy: A combination of a metal with one or more other elements. Usually to enhance its hardness and to create tints; White gold comes from the alloy of gold, silver, palladium and is covered with a layer of rhodium). The proportion of precious metal in the alloy is called the "title". It is expressed in thousandths.
- Primer: Gold part that supports the gem in jewelry.
- Carat (Stones): Weight unit for stones (1 carat = 0,2 gr)
- Carat Gold: A measure unit that gives the purity of the gold metal. Gold is said to be pure when it is 24 carats. The metal is then soft. For jewelery, gold is mixed with an alloy. The proportion of precious metal is called the "title"
- Cabochon: A cabochon is a precious stone or polished fantasy, forming a dome, but not carved.
- Certificate: It is the "identity card" of a gemstone or a fine stone. The certificate mentions the characteristics of the stone, based on international standards of gemmology. Certificates concerning certified diamonds include purity degree, color degree, fluorescence degree, the polish, quality of size or proportions, Symmetry, dimensions, diameter, height and thickness expressed in millimeters. The certificates are established by gemmological laboratories, the best known being the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) in the United States, the French Gemology Laboratory, HRD in Antwerp, Belgium, specializing in diamond certification.
- Kitten: The head of a ring with a set of claws between which a stone is fixed. This term is used to designate, in everyday language, the set formed by the crimp and the stone.
- Signet ring: Large ring with engraved coat of arms.
- Jewelling: To cover the surface of a jewel with stones; In jewelery, work of positioning the stones on the metal according to a drawing.
- Gemstone: It's the fine stones, ornamental stones and precious stones.
- Punching: the punches mark the golden jewelery in order to identify their origin and the quality of the gold used. (See our section "Metals and their punches")
- Jewelery: the art of highlighting precious stones in opposition to jewelry which puts the metal forward.
- Lapidary: Specialist in precious stones.
- Frame: A jewelery work intended to receive pearls and stones.
- Paving: Set of small stones mounted side by side. The paving produces a mass effect by the juxtaposition of the stones. Need a goof mastery for this technique for an impeccable finish.
- Polishing: Finishing the jewel by a friction action to increase its brilliance.
- Rhodium-Plating: By electrolysis, leave a thin layer of rhodium to increase the brightness of the white gold.
- Crimping: Fixing of the stone on the metal.
- Set of claws: a cut stone fixed on a piece of jewelry using a few metal rods folded over it.
- Set: Fixing a very small gem on a jewel using metal and folded over it like a pellet.
- Closed Crimped: Fixation of a stone by a thin metal plate that surrounds it completely
- Rail Crimped: Consists of slipping the stones between two rails.
- Solitaire: piece of jewelery bearing a single precious stone.