Jewellery Makers Australia

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FAQ

Know your Diamond

  1. Tell me about the 4 c's of Diamonds.

    OK, the 4 C's of Diamonds are Colour, Clarity, Cut & Carat Weight. They are like the ingredients section of a good curry recipe and every Diamond has individual characteristics that like the curry, gives it its personality and 'flavour'.

  2. How does Colour work?

    Basically the less Colour a Diamond has the better it is. The colour scale starts at D and ends at Z. D being the top of the scale and Z the bottom. Diamonds are considered white until about colour I (eye) then they gradually gain more and more colour until they end up either Yellow or Brown. Both Yellow and Brown Diamonds are prized for their unique appearance and are cut to the same standards as white Diamonds. There are other colours too such as Pink, Blue, Green etc all of which command a high price and are very rare especially the Pinks which come from the Argyle mine in Western Australias Kimberley region. Once again, check out the links section for more info.

     

     

  3. So what about Clarity then?

    Right, Clarity is the term used to indicate the number of inclusions or marks within the Diamond or rather how clear the Diamond is. The more inclusions, the less sparkle. Inclusions can be white (clear) or black and have many forms. Usually the better the Clarity the higher the price. Below are the different Clarity grades;

    FL

    Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.

    IF

    Internally Flawless: no internal flaws, but some surface flaws. Very rare.

    VVS1-VVS2

    Very Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemmologist.

    VS1-VS2

    Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.

    SI1-SI2

    Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions more easily detected under 10x magnification.

    I1-I2-I3

    Included (three grades). Inclusions visible under 10x magnification AS WELL AS to the human eye.

  4. Why is it important to have a well cut Diamond?

    It's all about how the Diamond handles light. If a Diamond is well or properly cut then all the light that enters it is bounced (tech term is refraction) around inside and thrown back out the top. It's all about proportion and getting the angles right. If a Diamond is cut either too deep or too shallow, light (sparkle) is lost out of the sides and it appears flat and dull. This is all a bit basic and there is lots more info. available online. Check out the links section if you want to know more. 

  5. Carat weight is like the size, isn't it?

    Well, sort of. Carat (CT) weight is the term used to desribe the physical weight of a Diamond or any other gemstone for that matter. One Carat = .2 of one gram. Using the example of a perfectly cut diamond, a one carat Diamond measures 6.5mm in diameter and a 1/2 carat (.50ct or 50 points) measures 5.2mm.

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Precious Metals

  1. What's the difference between the different types of gold and Platinum?

    Pure Gold is 99.9999% pure. Pure Gold is too soft to make jewellery out of. Pure Gold is 'alloyed' with copper & silver in differing propotions to make 22 carat, 18 carat, 14 carat & 9carat.

  2. So what's the difference between the different carats then?

    Ok, different carats are identified by a number representing the amount of pure gold in a particular alloy. These numbers are actaully percentages. For example, let's say that 24 carat (ct) is 100% pure gold. The number stamped on the piece would be 1 meaning that it was 100% pure. 9ct gold is 37.50% pure gold and is represented by the number 375. 18ct gold is 75% pure and stamped 750. 22ct is 91.60% pure and stamped 916. This number is valid whether the gold is yellow, white or rose (pink). European countries use 14ct (58.50%, 585) for a lot of jewellery. The reason for this is it is a good compromise as far as budget is concerened. 14ct has good strength and good colour too. It's more expensive than 9ct but less than 18ct. For the extra money you would pay for 14ct against 9ct is far outweighed by the benefits of using it. It acts and looks more like 18ct than 9ct and it'shard to tell the difference between it and 18ct when looking at it on face value. JMA recomend 14ct gold for guys rings for the reasons I have just given.

  3. OK then, I get it. So should I choose 18ct for an engagement ring but maybe 9ct for a wedding ring?

    You are right about the 18ct but not the 9ct. The two alloys are like chalk and cheese. 18ct is harder and more durable than 9ct hence if you wear them next to each other they will wear each other away fairly quickly. Yes, two 18ct or two 9ct rings wil also wear each other away but nowhere nearly as quick as two different alloys will. The other side to it is the colour difference between them. They just won't look good.

  4. So it's ok to wear the same golds together but which should I choose and why?

    Here's some logic for you. Hopefully you will be married for 50 years or so, therefore you obviously want the one that will last the longest. Here's the logic. The two main alloys (other metals that pure gold is mixed with to give a specific carat) of jewellery quality gold are copper and silver. Both copper and silver are softer than gold. Therefore the alloy which has the highest amount of gold in it must be the hardest and most durable. This logic holds true up to and including 18ct. 18ct will outlast 14ct which wil outlast 9ct which will outlast silver. If you are worried that 18ct is too expensive then take the cost of the ring and divide it by 25 years, then divide that figure by 365 days and you wil get a cost of how much that extra security and durability has cost you in real terms. E.G. You can have ring A in 18ct for $5000. You can also have ring A in 9ct for $4000. Ring A in 18ct over 25 years will set you back $200 a year or 55 cents a day. Ring A in 9ct will be $160 a year or 45 cents a day. Not much difference really, in fact it's $40 a year or 11 cents a day. Makes sense to go with 18ct, logical really.

  5. Why is a Platinum ring so much more expensive that 18ct Gold.

    Good question and easily explained. Platinum is more dense and more pure (95% or 950) than 18ct Gold meaning that you need more Platinum than Gold to make an identical ring. It is very roughly 1.5 times more heavy. E.G. Hypothetically lets say that 18ct Gold costs $100 per gram.  If you need 10 grams of 18ct gold to make a ring then you need 15 grams of Platinum. Given that Platinum is approx. twice the price of 18ct Gold ($200 per gram), the ring in 18ct would cost $1000 and in Platinum it would cost $3000.  Hope that makes sense. The pros of Platinum are that it will outlast Gold which is immaterial as a Gold ring made well will last for 60 odd years and Platinum will last 100!

    Platinum is hypo-allergenic because of its purity and it does not oxidise in fesh air unlike silver or gold.

  6. What about Titanium for a gents wedding ring then?

    Titanium is a very hard, lightweight and super strong metal. It was used on the Space Shuttle because of its incredibly high melting point (1725 degrees Centigrade, 3000 degrees Farenheit. Gold melts at 1065 degrees Centigrade, 1950 degrees Farenheit). It is great for gents rings but there is one rather big snag. Titanium cannot be cut in the normal sense of the word. It can be miiled or cut with a laser but not with a blade or saw. The snag bit happens if you have to get the ring off in a hurry and your finger is swollen for whatever reason, maybe you broke it or a bee stung you but either way it's swollen and you can't get the ring off! So you see the snag now? Having said that, what are the chances off that happening? It's up to you but to help you decide an average Titanium wedding ring costs about $350 for any size, shape or width. 

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