Fools gold; most people are familiar with the term, but what exactly is fools gold? Fools gold is the mineral iron pyrite and naturally has a yellow metallic look which people often times have confused for gold.
Pyrite's name originates dating back all the way to the ancient Romans. When found and struck against steel, pyrite would create a spark, and they derived the name from the Greek word meaning "of fire".
Pyrite can be found in abundance in different levels of the earth's rock formations, as well as being found near many quartz stone veins.
Nowadays, while it's being confused for the rich mineral gold, Pyrite is used in a few commercial industries, such as paper manufacturers, and is used when making the lithium batteries we use in our watches, key fobs, and so much more.
Inc jewelry uses, pyrite has been used, and still is used in the making of marcasite jewelry. Marcasite jewelry has been one of the most classic jewelry designs to ever hit the market since it's huge popularity in the Victorian era, and many vintage pieces still boast the classical look of the mineral.
Hey there everyone, we here at the store hope you're having a great week and hope you all have a happy Easter holiday. My last article had a huge amount of information in it regarding diamonds and the 4 C's of diamond grading. While that is a huge part of knowing what you're buying, it focused on the deep levels of jewelry buying. This time, I wanted to talk about possibly the second most important jewelry purchase you will ever make! I'm talking about the first jewelry purchase.
The first piece of jewelry you buy for your significant other sets the tone for all of your jewelry purchases you will make in the future. You want it to be something that isn't too over the top, but something that will be remembered for the rest of your relationship. Let me explain.
Have no fear! There's no need to get stressed out about your first jewelry purchase. There are almost too many options to count when it comes to a first jewelry purchase. One of the biggest things is knowing your partner. Some guys come in looking for a jewelry piece to give on their first date. While this has huge potential to really score some points, it can be a huge toss up. It's tough to buy a piece of jewelry for someone you might not know all that well by the first date. My recommendation would be to give it a little time, go on a few dates and work on bonding together. After you know her, know what she likes, then you can go for the home-run jewelry purchase.
There is an almost unlimited amount of jewelry selections on the market that could be used for your first jewelry purchase. I'm going to make life a little easier and narrow down your options to a few that I would recommend going with.
In my opinion, a ring for your first jewelry purchase is off limits. It can be seen as moving too fast and that you're rushing into something guns blazing. The better options for classical jewelry would be something like earrings or a necklace. These items can generally be worn with just about everything. We'll talk about another option other than pendants and earrings later on, but first let's look at some of my recommended options in the earring and necklace field. The first would be one of the biggest jewelry trends on the market right now, and that would be colored stone jewelry.
What makes colored stone jewelry a great option? Colored stones have their own unique meaning and make their own statement. A great colored stone option to make on your first purchase would be your partner's birthstone. Many hold their birthstone high above any other gem on the market regardless of what it is, and is a phenomenal first purchase for that reason. The chances of success when that box is opened and she locks eyes with her new birthstone earrings or pendant are pretty high in comparison to just any gemstone.
Pay attention to what she wear when you go out, what colors she wears when she's getting off work, things like that. If she wears a lot of different blues, consider going with a blue topaz or even a sapphire. It's important to notice their style as well. If she like getting dressed up, something on the delicate style might be a good option, where if she likes to go horseback riding or likes to garden or other activities outdoors, something durable is a must. Remember, the goal here is to find something that she will want to wear all the time!
Now, if this really isn't an option all hope isn't lost. While earrings and necklaces are a great option for most people, they're not for everyone. That can be said for everything, so it's good to have multiple options open. Which brings us to my final suggestion, Pandora.
Your stomach might have just dropped. Pandora? As in the super expensive designer jewelry line that everyone wants? Yep, that's the one! Pandora is a fantastic option for a first jewelry purchase. What could be better than starting her with a bracelet and a charm to commemorate your first few months together, and at the same time giving a gift that you can continue to add on throughout your relationship?
When looked at big picture, yes, Pandora can add up and be quite expensive. One thing to remember though is that you don't have to fill it up right away! Start with a bracelet and a charm, this could potentially be the most you spend on the bracelet at one time! Charms range from $30-65 for the most part, and when compared to other options is quite a bit less than you might expect. You could get charms for three different occasions before it adds up to be the same price as that necklace or pair of earrings! But price shouldn't be what you're concerned with right now.
The thing you have to look at is the fact that you now have something to purchase for literally every milestone, every birthday, and every holiday. It's a designer line that is known around the world, so she'll be able to show it off to her friends and family and tell them how thoughtful you were to get her that red heart on Valentine's day, or the suitcase when you took that vacation. This is my absolute favorite option for a first jewelry purchase because it can be worn no matter if she likes to dress up, or likes to be casual most of the time. Pandora can be worn all the time safely and goes with any attire!
Remember guys, every woman is unique and special in her own way and her jewelry should reflect it. Keep in mind that what one woman might like, another might not. That's why it's so important to know who you're buying for! Pay attention to her and what she likes and the styles she's looking at when she casually mentions "Oh I like that!". Of course you have unlimited options when it comes to jewelry, but with these fail-safe options you'll be bound to see her smiling face as she looks up from that first opened jewelry box.
I hope you've liked this latest entry. Remember, you can leave comments below on what we've talked about today, or what you'd like us to cover in the future. Thanks for reading!
Hello Readers of the Weekly Nugget!
I will be standing in a close friend's wedding this summer and this week I went to pick out a bridesmaid dress. The bride had chosen coral as the color theme for her wedding, and we are all wearing a different shade of this lovely color. The dresses were so bright and pretty that it inspired me to learn more about coral.
Coral is a living organism that lives in the ocean, and even makes up some of the fabulous reefs we know. Certain species of coral is sought after for its durability and it's bright colors of pinks and red, and parts of these coral are polished to a shining glow and made into the coral jewelry we know today! Coral was one of the first gems used for adornment. Along with pearl, coral is the only other organism used to make pieces of jewelry which is one thing that makes it an interesting gemstone.
Coral is a plentiful gem that is available in many widespread areas around the world. Some of these areas include our home the United States, France, Italy, Morocco, Ireland and in the Mediterranean Sea. It is believed by sailors that the gem would protect them from rough seas so they take it on voyages with them for safety. Ancient Romans and Persians believed coral would instill wisdom and cure madness. In India it was crushed into powder and eaten to be used as an aphrodisiac for lovers. Romantic, but obviously we do not encourage this!
When wearing your beautiful coral pieces of jewelry be gentle with it as rough wear will easily damage it. Do not wear it everyday and be sure to protect it from scratches. For proper cleaning of your coral jewelry never use a high heat steamer or ultrasonic cleaner. Warm soapy water is the best way to clean it. Follow with a polishing cloth to bring out the luster and shine.
If you have a piece of coral jewelry ladies, get it out and show it off! Coral is so lovely and unique it deserves to be shown to the world!
Thanks for letting me share some of the beautiful things about coral with you!
We're happy to announce that later this month, along with the new Spring Pandora collection and Disney charm collections, we will also be welcoming in Pandora's Essence collection.
Pandora's Essence collection is a style of bracelet that has been out on the market for a few years now, but until now has been only carried by Pandora Stores. They have made the move to expand the market and now independent jewelers such as ourselves can now carry the line.
Just what is Essence?
The Essence jewelry line is a bracelet concept created by Pandora to express yourself in a brand new way. The Essence bracelets are smaller bracelets with the same concept as the charm bracelets, with nearly as many styles available.
The charms available for the Essence bracelets all carry a unique name, and a unique meaning. The charms have a variety of different designs, stones, and come in both sterling silver and 14 karat gold. Each charm has it's name and meaning engraved on the side of the charm, so you can show your personality and spirit. Is someone you know heading out on a new adventure? There's an Essence charm to signify life's journey. From friendship, to courage, to love, there are no shortage of Essence charms available.
We're excited about welcoming in essence, as well as learning more about the line in the next few weeks. During release, we'll add more information on the huge selection of Essence charms and bracelets that will be available.
A diamond is one of the most interesting, beautiful, and complex things found on earth. Formed almost completely from the element carbon, a diamond is produced by the right amount of pressure meeting the right amount of heat thousands of feet below the surface of the earth in the geological portion of the globe known as the mantle over a time frame that dates back millions and millions of years. A diamond is renown for being the hardest material found on the planet, and when placed in the hands of a skilled diamond cutter, one of the most captivating.
The process for taking a rough mineral and turning it into the brilliant gem we know and seek is a complex and interesting process. Only a small portion of diamonds mined are actually cut and polished to be used in the jewelry, where most are used in other factory or manufacturing settings where the hardness of the stone is used. While few diamonds make the cut to be used in jewelry, a large portion of the diamonds that are nice enough quality to be cut for jewelry making purposes are smaller than 1/4 carat. Many people don't realize that when they hold a 1 carat diamond in their hands, or wear one on their finger, that one out of every million diamonds is of good enough quality to be used as a diamond of that size. So if you're the proud owner of a 1 carat diamond, your stone is literally one in a million. How amazing is that?
That briefly summarizes what makes a diamond so unique in it's formation, which brings us to the part that many jewelry lovers are familiar with, the 4 C's of a diamond.
The answer to this question is subjective. Just like when actually grading a diamond, you can ask 100 different diamond and jewelry professionals and may get a lot of different answers. The same can be said asking someone who is looking to purchase a diamond. I can't tell you how many different times a customer has expressed the desire to find the highest clarity diamond available, and the next customer is looking for a diamond that is ideal-cut quality, and isn't overly concerned with clarity. The fact is, you can get a diamond with outstanding color and clarity and the diamond can be poorly cut and have it's brilliance effected. On the flip side, you can have the best cut diamond in the world and have crystal-formations or black carbon spots inside the diamond that can make it cloudy and unattractive. The key is finding a balance that you're happy with. You may sacrifice some clarity for a better cut diamond, and vice versa.
Let's start our journey into the 4 C's with color.
Color can be one of the easiest, and at the same time most difficult things to decipher for a diamond grader. A diamond color scale starts at the letter D being the highest grade, colorless. Very few diamonds receive this grade because of how difficult it is to consider a diamond to be absolutely colorless. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a diamond that maintains a color grade of Z is so yellow in color, most people would consider it to have a fancy yellow color, as you can see in the picture below.
As you can see by the picture, a great portion of the color grades are jumped over. What makes color grading a diamond so difficult is that the color differential between each individual color, when looked at in succession, can be very, very minuscule. For this reason, on some grading reports, a diamond may receive a color grade of "G-H Color" because the grader cannot differentiate between the two colors on the scale. This is not very common, as most graders can decide which color the diamond is closest to, but it does happen. One thing we can do as graders, is look at a diamond under two or three difference light sources to make sure that we are seeing the diamond in every possible way to make the best and most accurate decision. What light you're observing a diamond in, whether it's natural sunlight, florescent or LED lighting can make a huge difference on what you see as far as color.
Why is color so important to a diamond? This answer is one of the easiest to understand. If you asked 10 people what they thought the color of a diamond should be, all 10 would probably say "white" or "clear". If a diamond has a strong yellow tint, you will notice it fairly easily. If we put a diamond with an F color grade next to a diamond with a J color grade, nearly every customer would assume the F color diamond would be the better all around diamond just based on looking at it with the naked eye. It's for this reason that many people consider color to be such a huge part of the diamond grade, because it is usually the first of the C's that is picked up on, just by looking at a loose diamond out of a parcel, or opening up your ring box for the first time.
Cut, in my opinion, may be the most important of the 4 C's when it comes to grading a diamond. A diamond, when cut properly, will sparkle in any light and be brilliant no matter what angle you are viewing it at.
When looking at a diamond, all the flat surfaces on the stone are called facets. A normal, round brilliant cut diamond will have 57 facets, including the very top facet which is known as the table. Without getting too technical with the process, diamond cutters have calculated what a diamond's perfect, or ideal, cutting proportions to be, including how many facets are present on a diamond.
As you can see by the illustration above, a diamond with a cut that is considered "shallow", where the diamond may be on the wider side, but has less depth, the light will pass through the table, or the remaining top portion of the diamond called the crown, and pass through the diamond and exit the bottom of the diamond, which is known as the pavilion. On the other hand, if a diamond is cut too deep, the light will refract on one side of the pavilion, but will escape out the other side. Either way you look at it, if you diamond is letting light escape, it is taking away from the brilliance of your stone. In the center of the picture is an illustration of an optimal, or ideal cut diamond. You can see that the light enters the top of the stone, refracts through the stone and hits the pavilion facets and exits through the top. This cycle of light in the diamond is what makes your stone sparkle, and what makes your diamond as beautiful as it is. A well cut diamond can somewhat mask other flaws like clarity characteristics or even a slightly lower-than-average color grade. Does every diamond have to be ideal cut to be brilliant? No, but you will be able to see a noticeable difference in the stone brilliance if it is.
Clarity is the most subjective item on the grading scale, and is often why diamonds are said to be like fingerprints. No two diamonds will have the exact same characteristics in regards to clarity. There are a handful of different characteristics that can be found within a diamond, and each one can effect the grade of clarity on a diamond not only by how large they are, but also about where they are located at in the stone. An internal imperfection on a diamond is called an inclusion, while an outer characteristic would be called a blemish on the stone, and each effect the grade of a stone in it's own way.
Clarity is broken down into 6 different grades, with Flawless being the highest, Internally Flawless(IF) being the second, followed by, in order; Very Very Slightly Included(VVS), Very Slightly Included(VS), Slightly Included(SI) and Included(I). Each step on the clarity scale also has sub categories. These are mainly found starting at VVS and continuing down the line from there, and are numbered with either a 1, 2, or 3 with 1 being the highest of the numbers and 3 being the lowest. For example, If you have an SI2 diamond and an SI1 diamond, the SI1 diamond would be considered to have the higher clarity grade. The sub-grade of 3 is typically found in I clarity diamonds, and would describe a diamond with the lowest possible clarity grade.
the picture above gives a brief description as to what to consider on each clarity grade. I won't get too detailed on different types on inclusions and blemishes on this entry, but we will be covering that in a future blog post.
As you can see, VVS diamonds have next to no flaws internally and are some of the best diamonds available. IF and F diamonds are considered to be the highest clarity grades, but the amount of diamonds that carry such a grade are very, very rare and the price tag that goes along with them are incredibly high in comparison to some of the other options, where you may still not be able to easily see the inclusions. From experience, when people think of a diamonds quality they immediately think of clarity. Some view a diamond with a lower clarity grade to be a poorer quality diamond, even if it is above average in other areas, where sometimes a diamond with a slightly lower clarity grade and higher color and cut grades might be more attractive to the naked eye. Internal inclusions of the diamond can be incredibly difficult to see, even under a microscope. This is where the inclusions placement in the stone enters the fold. A diamond with a large inclusion in the center of the stone will be less attractive than one with the same size inclusion found at the edge or to the side of the diamond. In that same line of thought, a diamond that has black carbon inclusions will be less attractive than a diamond with the same inclusions that are white in color.
To follow up one of the most difficult diamond grades to understand, we will finish up this entry with possibly the easiest to understand. Carat weight, simply put, is how large the diamond is. A diamond is weighed in units known as carats. It takes 5 carats worth of diamond to equal a gram, making diamond one of the most expensive materials on earth based on weight.
As you can see by the illustration, if a diamond is well cut, we can estimate a diamond's weight just based on the millimeter width measurement of the stone. If a diamond is cut deep, or shallow, it will make a difference in the weight being less or more respectively. This is possibly the biggest factor in a diamond price. As I stated earlier, the chances of a diamond being mined and cut/polished to be at 1 carat as a finished stone are literally one in a million. Now, imagine what the chances of finding a 5 carat diamond of that quality are! Because diamonds of this size are so rare, the price of the stone goes up substantially when getting into 1 carat and larger stones, and you may even begin to see the increase in price margins grow larger starting as small as a half carat.
What Does All This Mean?
This post has covered a ton of information, and I hope you've enjoyed learning about one of the most precious of all substances found on the planet. The one thing that you should take away from this post is that there are a ton of factors when it comes to not only grading a diamond, but when it comes to how it's priced as well, where all of the 4 C's need to be taken into perspective.
We've seen two diamonds of 1 1/2 carats each carry price tags of $995, and $10,000 just based off how they were graded. The $995 diamond was obviously very, very poor quality, not only in one category of grading, but more than likely most of or all of them, while the $10,000 diamond was outstanding quality all around. You could probably find 1 1/2 carat diamonds that would fit into any price in between these two stones, just based off how they are graded, and they all have their own unique properties. Everyone has their own view on what the most important quality for a stone to have is, and you now have the information in front of you to make sure you choose the right diamond for what you're looking for.
Thanks for reading, and we'll be back with another article next week!
This Week's Author
This week's author, Bryan Jeske has been a member of the Gold Rush staff since 2010. He has graduated with accreditation from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in colored stones, jewelry essentials and diamonds. He is one of the store's fine jewelry experts and specializes in Pandora and diamonds and diamond grading.
Pictures and diamond information resources found online at GIA.edu
We're excited to introduce a new feature on our ever-expanding website. Once a week, one of our staff members will share with our website viewers a blog post that will include one of many different topics.
We are hoping to incorporate not only informative articles about gemstones, gold, coins and jewelry, but also jewelry trends from around the country. Some of the biggest trends worldwide can be found by examining what some of the most popular and well known trend-setters around the world are wearing and endorsing.
Of course, we will have great topics that we have covered in other areas in the past on our website, like what the different karats of gold mean, diamond grades and much, much more. The jewelry world is full of rich information that can help put your mind at ease when purchasing, selling, or appraising fine jewelry.
We look forward to sharing all new information with all of you and are excited for your feedback. Check back later this week for our first article!