|Frequently Asked Questions About Jewelry
|I would like to break the norm this month and dedicate this space to frequently asked questions. There are so many misunderstandings, misconceptions and lots of misinformation that comes my way from time to time that I’d like to address a few of these issues. So let’s get started.
Q: Why do I sometimes get black marks from gold jewelry?
A: All gold is alloyed before made into jewelry. The alloys can react to certain household cleansers, cosmetics, medications and some high acid foods such as orange juice and tomato sauce. Next time this happens, try to remember what you have to eat or used lately that may have caused the alloy to react. Sometimes just a simple cleaning can help to remove any lotions or residues. Just remember it is not the gold but the other metal used to alloy the gold that caused the black marks.
Q: I get a rash under my wide band. What can I do?
A: Most of the time I have found that rashes under a ring are caused by trapped water and chemicals between the finger and ring. Always remember to remove the ring and dry both your hands and the ring completely. This simple process can stop most chapping and rashes before they start.
Q: I have a lot of old gold at home. Can I use it to make something new?
A: Because the jewelry you have has probably been sized or repaired it will contain gold solder. When the gold is melted this solder may cause pits in anything the gold is used for. These pits are potential week spots in the new jewelry. For this reason I highly recommend not using “old gold”. Also casting requires 2 to 3 times more gold than the actual finish produce. However, if you are making a nugget, porosity is not a problem so as long as you have enough it is fine to use your gold.
Q: I have a ring with 14KP stamped inside the band and another ring with 585 stamped inside. Are they real gold?
A: 14KP stands for 14 karat plumb. The word plumb means exact, like a plumb line is used to determine if something is exactly straight. 585 also represents exact 14 karat. 8, 10, 12, 18 and 22 karat weights will have different numbers because of the percentage of alloy in the gold.
Q: How often do I need to have my jewelry checked and cleaned?
A: Anytime is the right time but the minimum should be every 6 months. There are a lot of home use cleaners that will remove surface dirt but to really get a truly clean ring, pendant or bracelet, a good cleaning by a jeweler is recommended. Also a professional can check for signs of wear that are not noticeable to the untrained eye. Just like a car, maintenance is needed to keep your jewelry beautiful and lasting.
Q: Why do I need to update my jewelry appraisals every 3 or 4 years?
A: The diamond, gemstone and gold market changes. Most jewelry will appreciate in value. Even though sentiment has no price tag, if your appraisal is not updated and a loss occurs, you may not be able to afford to replace your lost piece or pieces. It is better to be safe than sorry.