I am Your Target Tuesday.
Rich and rare were the gems she wore, and a bright gold ring on her hand she bore. –Thomas Moore
All over the world, ladies are known to love jewelries and these they use as a fashion and status statement.
As smart stewards, what do we need to know about jewelries?
Types of Jewellery.
There are various metals and stones that are used in making jewelries, the popular one being the gold, but I discovered that there are several other types a listed below:
These metals and stones are used in the creation of fine jewellery after mixing with other materials, by been informed about the different metals and stones, their benefits compared with each other and their unique qualities you will be able to make a better and more informed decision about purchasing your jewellery.
Gold is the most popular choice for men's and ladies wedding rings and engagement rings. Gold is also very popular in dress rings, earrings, pendants, necklaces and bracelets.
There are two things to consider when looking at gold. First, which gold carat to choose and second, the gold colour or the combination of gold colours available.
What is gold carat (ct)?
The carat is the gold content of the metal, this measures the proportion of pure gold mixed with other metal alloy to make up the final metal.
The higher the proportion of gold used in the final metal, the more valuable and expensive the metal will be.
Popular Carat available is as follows:
9ct gold contains 37.5% pure gold.
14ct gold contains 58.5% pure gold.
18ct gold contains 75% pure gold.
22ct gold contains 91.6% pure gold
24ct gold contains 100% pure gold
The remainder of the metals is made up of a combination of alloys, different metals which can help to give the metal its unique appearance, such as a different colour.
Gold are normally stamped with markings to show the type of gold as follows
For 9ct gold the stamp will normally be the number 375, 9ct, 9kt or 9K
For 14ct gold the stamp will normally be the number 585, 14ct, 14kt or 14K
For 18ct gold the stamp will normally be the number 750, 18ct, 18kt or 18K.
For 22ct gold the stamp will normally be the number 916, 22ct, 22kt or 22K.
For 24ct gold, the stamp will normally be number 1000, 24ct, 24kt or 24K.
It is important to note that Gold does not tarnish and lasts forever, but the other metals in the alloy will tarnish.
What is gold colour?
This refers to the colour of the final metal after it has been mixed with other alloys and metals. The several gold colours available are as follows:
Yellow: This is the most popular and is derived by mixing copper and zinc with the pure gold metal.
Rose: This is derived by mixing copper with pure gold metal
White: Derived by mixing pure gold with silver and palladium
Now that I know about carat and colour, what should I consider when it’s time to buy?
When trying to decide between the gold carat types there are three things to consider.
The metals performance with every day wear
The difference in colour between the 9ct, 14ct and 18ct gold
The difference in price between the gold carats.
In practical terms, 18ct gold generally holds up to everyday wear better than 9ct and tends to look better than 9ct gold as it ages over the years.
Platinum is a white metal, but unlike gold it is used in jewelry in almost its pure form (approximately 95% pure). Platinum is extremely long wearing and is very white. Platinum is a very dense and heavy metal and it is heavier than gold, invariably it is more expensive than gold.
Silver is a whitish grey coloured metal, it is less expensive than gold, platinum and titanium. Also, it is a softer material than gold, titanium and platinum and does not have the hardness that the other metals do. It is important to know that silver is not suitable for everyday use as it is prone to oxidization which sometimes causes it to turn to black.
Like gold, diamond is the most popular choice for men's and ladies wedding rings and engagement rings. It is also very popular in dress rings, earrings, pendants, necklaces and bracelets. Diamond is a transparent crystal which is hard and comes in various colours.
There are four things to consider when buying a diamond, this is known as the 4C’s of diamonds and this stands for Cut, Clarity, Carat and Colour.
Cut: The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance that is the better a diamond is cut, the more sparkle it will have.
Clarity: Diamonds are mined and so have imperfections therefore diamonds with few or no imperfections have high grades of clarity.
Carat: Like gold, carat for diamond measures the weight of the diamond.
Colour : A diamond colour grade actually refers to the lack of colour i.e. this is the level to which a diamond is colourless, in other words, white diamonds that has no colour has higher grade and is more expensive than those that have colours.
This is a crystal; it is a six sided prism gem stone with a broad range of colour red to pink, like red, purplish-brownish red and dark deep red. The premium of all these colours being the pigeon blood red gem in terms of hardness and pricing factor, it is second only to diamond.
This is a gemstone whose physical property is similar to the ruby, but it is slightly stronger and harder than a ruby. Sapphire gems are most commonly found in a range of blue shades.
Do I need to buy Jewelries? How much do I need to spend?
Jewelries are bought for everyday use and also for special occasions, what should determine how much I spend on it?
Every day where - I will advise as smart stewards, do not spend a fortune on every day wear, always work with a budget when you have decided what type of jewellery you are going to buy and be on the lookout for bargains. My personal advice is to buy gold for everyday wear as they do not tarnish, but then the grade that is advisable is the 18 ct.
If you can’t afford gold for now, there are several other metals that are gold plated (Romania gold, Brazilian gold). They are durable and more affordable, who says you can't mix gold with gold plated provided you don’t have expensive skin that reacts to gold plated jewelries
Special Occasion - If you are buying jewellery for any special occasion, the smart steward guide is to look for good bargains and buy within a budget. If you are buying a wedding band and accessories for wedding, remember that you are going to wear the band for a while; therefore, it is advisable you go for non-plated gold, if you can afford it, and if you are adding precious stone to it, diamond is advisable but as SS if it’s not within the budget, go for what you can afford; you can always trade in and upgrade as your finances improve.
Where can I buy jewelries?
There are several places you can buy jewelries. From certified retailers in several stores to the everyday lady that sells, but some countries are synonymous to destinations for buying jewelries. If you are planning to visit Dubai on vacation, it is good advice to visit the gold souk and make some purchases. Italy is also another great destination and in Nigeria, there exist gold markets in Kano, Kaduna and Abuja where gold is sold based on weight.
Ensure you buy originals and that the full weight in terms of carat has not been tampered with. Kindly note that if you are buying diamond, you need the certificate as some retailers will not buy it back from you if it is not certified.
Do jewelries appreciate? Are they good form of investment?
As stated earlier, jewelries are made from precious metals and stones and they are a store of value. As we all know, jewelry are valued based on the grade and weight of the metals and stones used in making the jewelry.
As with all investment, the value appreciates and depreciates, so a piece of gold earring, necklace, bangle, or ring bought in year 2000 depending on the carat will probably worth more in year 2015 based on the spot price of the metal, which can fluctuate on the global market demand and supply for gold.
On a larger scale some precious metals and stones are traded on major stock market.
How do I preserve my jewelries?
Let's consider jewellery preservation under two sub-topics:
When storing, keep each piece of gold jewellery separate from your other jewellery to avoid scratches. If the jewellery is a delicate gold chain, hanging it from a hook will keep the chain from getting tangled. Another alternative is to stretch the chain out onto tissue (soft) or anti-tarnish tissue used in selling the jewellery, roll up the tissue, then place the roll in your jewellery box, lying flat. This will keep the chain from getting knotted as well as slow down the chemical process that results in tarnish. You may also want to put it into a plastic bag and squeeze as much air out of it as you can before sealing the bag (unless your gold jewellery includes some gem stones; those gems need exposure to the moisture in the air to maintain their luster).
To clean gold jewellery that does not include any soft gemstones, pearls, or crystals put the gold jewellery into warm sudsy water containing a few drops of mild dish washing liquid such as sunlight, morning fresh etc., and rub gently with your fingers or a cotton swab. For more abrasive cleaning (only if needed), brush lightly with a soft baby toothbrush. Rinse your gold jewellery thoroughly with warm water and dry with a cotton cloth.
Before storing, let the gold jewellery lie flat and air dry completely, overnight if possible. Moisture speeds the tarnishing process so it's important to make sure your gold jewellery is dry before putting it away.
Once the jewellery is dry, if it looks dull, rub it gently with a jewellery polishing cloth. Use a clean cloth, or a clean section of a previously used cloth, so that the gold is not scratched. To avoid creating a pattern, rub with the polishing cloth in varying straight lines, not in a circular motion.
Do not submerge jewelries that have gem stones within them in water. Rinse the jewellery with a cloth dampened with plain water and lay the pieces upside down after cleaning so any remaining moisture won't soak into the setting.
Occasionally you can get your jeweller professionally cleaned by a goldsmith to make it sparkle. Goldsmiths have professional cleaning materials and machines to make the jewellery come out as new but this will come at a cost though.
Picture Credit: Stylepk
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