It's what you don't know, right?  So here's some information to help you get it right when you're trying to do your best. 

    Q: What's the difference between sterling silver jewelry and silver jewelry?

       A: Sterling silver has been alloyed. It is 92.5% silver.

    Q: Why is my silver ring marked 925?

         A: Refer to the above Q & A.  92.5% sterling silver is purity stamped as 925.

    Q: Why is my silver pendant marked 585? 

        A: Because someone made a mistake! Back story: in almost every country but the U.S. the metal is stamped with it's purity as a                  percentage. In the U.S. the standard for gold is referred to as karat."Pure" gold is considered 24 karat (24k) although it actually isn't pure.  So, 14k means 14 parts gold.  Here's the math, (don't be afraid): make the fraction 14 over 24. Do the division: 14 divided by 24 equals 58.5%. Voila!  A 14k ring is marked 585 in most countries. Now, back to the question: The most likely answer is that the person who made the pendant didn't change the mark in the wax before casting and making the pendant. The other possibility is that the pendant is white gold. 

     Q: Doesn't yellow gold have more gold in it than white gold? 

     A: Which weighs more: a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers? Trick questions!!!  If they have the SAME measure then they're the SAME.  A pound is a pound and 14k is 14k. 

     Q: So what's 18k?  

     A: Apply what you learned: 18 divided by 24 is 75%. This means 18k is 75% pure gold and is purity stamped 750.  Similarly, 20k is 83%, or 830, and 22k is 92%, or 920. 

    Q: Well, my ring isn't stamped at all, does that mean it's fake!?

        A: If it was sold by a reputable jeweler chances are it is exactly what they told you. Here's the law in the U.S., only if a piece of jewelry is stamped with a purity mark (a metal mark like 14k) THEN it has to also have the maker's stamp. There doesn't have to be any mark at all; it's an IF...THEN situation. 

    Q: So what's IRID mean?  It's stamped on my mother's wedding ring.

        A:  IRID is an abbreviation for iridium, a metal that belongs to the platinum group of metals. Platinum was the standard for wedding             rings for a very brief time.  WWII brought an end to that standard when platinum, a very rare metal, was strategic and for military use; it is integral to the function of spark plugs. 

    Q: I'm allergic to gold! 

    A: No, you're not. Gold is an element and so we are not allergic to it. You are allergic to the other metals in the alloy. Remember the 58.5% gold alloy in 14 karat gold; the remaining 41.5% is an alloy of other metals and at least one of those metals is what you are actually allergic to.

April 16, 2013 0 tags (show)

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