Category Archives: Gold

The difference between 10k, 14k, 18k, and 24k gold.

Weekly Wednesday Jewelry Lesson

The karat weight of gold is simply a measure of how pure a piece of gold is or how pure the gold used to make a piece of jewelry is.  Jewelry is normally made in 10k, 14k or 18k gold, because 24k gold, which is pure gold, is too soft to hold the structural integrity of the piece of jewelry.  Jewelers make the 24k gold less soft and easier to make jewelry from by adding alloys such as silver, copper, zinc, nickel and others to the pure gold.

When you have 10k gold you have a metal that is 10 parts gold and 14 parts alloys.  This makes the product approximately 41% gold.  A product that is 14k gold has 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloys and is approximately 58% gold.  Finally a piece of jewelry that is made in 18k gold is 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloys, which means it has 75% gold in it.

There are a few ways to tell the difference between 10k, 14k, and 18k.  The easiest way is to look for a stamp on the gold somewhere.  The stamp will say 18k or 18kt or it may even say 750 instead of 18k.  In Europe, most gold is stamped with the percentage of the product that is gold, so when you see a stamp that is 585 it is 14k and a stamp that is 750 it is 18k.  You can also tell by looking at the metal itself.  The deeper the yellow of the metal, then the more gold there is in it.  You have to be careful, because some jewelry is made of a base metal that is coated in gold and it has a deep yellow look, but it has basically no gold in it at all.

karat-scale

There is also white gold, which is coated with Rhodium after it is made.  White gold has a natural color which is a whitish yellow and the rhodium is used to make it bright white.  When making white gold most jewelry manufactures use nickel or palladium as the alloys to turn the yellow gold to a whiter metal.  They do that because nickel and palladium are naturally occurring white metals.   As the ring is worn the rhodium will wear off and need to be reapplied every 6-12 months.

This is our fun facts for the week, we hope you learned a little something about the karat weights of gold!

 

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The Dog Days Can Cause Damage

Sunblock

Sunblock and tanning lotion buildup can tarnish your jewelry over time

Summer is in full swing which means lots of fun outside. It also means you should take a little extra care for your jewelry. As I mentioned in an older post, it is important to keep your jewelry clean to preventing tarnish keeping it beautiful for years to come. One of the main culprits during summer months can be a buildup of sun block or sunscreen, so we suggest you remove your prized pieces before you apply.

A second concern was actually the catalyst for this post. As my Uncle Doug planned the opening of his pool earlier this month, we hooked up the filter, made sure the water level was correct and then he said our last step was shocking the pool with the chemicals and the pool would be swimmable. Now I don’t know how many readers have been around when shocking a pool, but that intense chlorine odor is as much a smell of summer as a charcoal grill. Dumping those chemicals triggered a question. If those chemicals are what make it safe for us to swim, what must it do to a piece of jewelry? I did a little digging and here’s what I found out.

above ground poolThe technical term for what chlorine does to jewelry is “stress induced corrosion”. Chlorine damage is mostly seen in white gold due to nickel added making the gold white. Most white gold contains nickel which is why some people have an allergy to white gold and can only wear a higher purity rating. This chlorine damage can occur in yellow gold but is much more common in white.

The stress points, when prongs are bent over a stone, are where the chlorine does its damage. Chlorine works on the nickel resulting in microscopic cracks in the metal. Stress in the metal is a primary culprit here as this can also happen with yellow gold pieces. With enough damage, the joining of the nickel (or other alloy metal) is degraded enough for the crack to actually separate and a prong can break off. The same thing can happen on the band of a ring when there is stress in the metal, perhaps from a jeweler hammering the band during sizing.

If you think your jewelry has had chlorine damage, stop by your local Kranich’s Jewelers location where one of our on location jewelers will be able to make your piece as good as new

For questions about caring for your jewelry during summer months or for more on any specific piece offered at Kranich’s Jewelers, visit Kranichs.com or call 888.944.4575 and we will be happy to help you.

Why Should I Clean My Jewelry?

Most people wash their cars, vacuum their carpets or dust their furniture. Why do we do this? Sure we like things that look nice, but in each of these cases, the actions usually extend the life of the item you are cleaning. Washing the car extends the life of the paint job. Cleaning carpets makes them last longer before replacement and dusting your furniture helps remove the airborne contaminants that your furnace filter may have missed which can cause excessive wear on your furniture. Proper care is your responsibility whey you own beautiful items and this also applies to jewelry. Over time natural oil from skin, airborne contaminants, lotions and moisture all contribute to tarnish of your jewelry

So now that we know why we should clean our jewelry, let’s look at how to go about cleaning it. First, before cleaning your jewelry yourself, check the setting of the jewelry making sure it is secure. You don’t want to be cleaning your piece and have a stone falling out. If you notice a problem with your piece, take it to your local jeweler where they can repair your piece and will probably even clean it for you.

Kranich's Jewelers Jewelery Cleaner

Kranich's Jewelery Cleaner is available at all Kranich's Locations

If you are close to a Kranich’s Jewelers location, I suggest asking one of our associates for a container of our Kranich’s jewelry cleaner. We even give you a brush to help get those problem areas you may encounter, but if you are a do-it-yourselfer, I have found some interesting methods on the internet and here are a few of them.

When cleaning diamonds, pour vodka in a glass bowl and swish the jewelry inside. If it is very dirty, use a soft toothbrush to clean these problem areas. Gold can be cleaned using a cup of warm water with dish soap and 2 tablespoons of household ammonia. Let your gold jewelry soak in the mixture for 10 minutes and then use a soft cloth to wipe the jewelry dry.

An interesting method for cleaning silver uses a glass casserole dish. Line the bottom of the dish with aluminum foil and add two tablespoons of baking soda, a tablespoon of salt and boiling water inside the casserole dish. Add the silver jewelry and let sit until water cools. Remove the silver pieces and buff them with a soft cloth

One final thing to consider is when should you bring your jewelry to a professional jeweler? A good rule of thumb would include any antique or delicate jewelry. There are certain methods available to professional jewelers that are simply not available to the public making it easier for them to restore your investment to its former beauty. When in doubt, just ask your local jeweler. Professional cleaning is often inexpensive and at some retailers is even included in the price of your original purchase.
Kranichs.com

For questions about caring for your jewelry or for more on any specific piece offered at Kranich’s Jewelers, visit Kranichs.com or call 888.944.4575 and we will be happy to help you.

Mom, Momm, Mommy!!

I’d like to share with you an oldie, but goody. Here is a post originally appearing back in Feburary that is important as the days come closer to Mother’s Day.
Mother’s day is right around the corner. May 9, 2010 keeps inching closer and closer, so the question this year is what to get for your mom this year. Should you get flowers, a nice dinner, or maybe something that will last a little longer? That’s where we can help. This year, why not get Mom one of our beautiful Mother’s rings?

But that gets me wondering, where this whole idea of a mother’s ring came from. After a little digging around the net, I think I have an idea of the origin. According to the Wikipedia entry, the rings originally came from a simple piece of birthstone jewelry. Way before you were born, Mom would have worn a ring that had just one birthstone in it, hers. After the first born son came into the world, Mom got an update. The rings became two bands joined by the son’s birthstones and after each new son came into the family, Mom’s ring would be replaced with a new ring with an additional birthstone for the new baby. Eventually, the birthstones became less focused on a son and expanded to all of Moms kids. So the first born son would have his birthstone, but his sister was also represented on Moms ring.

Today, a mother’s ring comes in many different styles sometimes including stones not only for her children, but sometimes even her grandchildren. The mother’s rings are often given to a mother or grandmother upon the birth of a new child or grandchild, sometimes as a new ring or to replace an old one. They are also very popular around this time of year when you are looking for something that she will love on Mother’s day.

In the days leading up to May 9th, be sure to keep an eye on Kranichs.com. Try our custom mother’s ring builder. Join our email list, become a fan on facebook and follow us on twitter where we regularly release money saving coupons. We will definitely be having some special promotions on our mothers ring jewelry that will equal savings for you.

For questions about our custom mother’s ring application or for more on any specific piece offered at Kranich’s Jewelers, visit Kranichs.com or call 888.944.4575 and we will be happy to help you.

Irish Eyes are Smiling

As many of you know, tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day. So what better time than now to talk about the traditional piece of Irish jewelry, the Claddagh ring. Here at Kranichs, you can get the timeless beauty of this traditional ring, but what symbolism does it hold? For more on the subject, here is a link to the Wiki page and a clip from a different dreamy vampire.

For questions about any specific piece offered at Kranich’s Jewelers, visit Kranichs.com or call 888.944.4575 and we will be happy to help you.

You Don’t Need a Special Occasion for Simon G.

Special thanks to Brooke and Violet at Simon G. Jewelry for getting us access to this great new video from one of our favorite designers.

For questions about fashion jewelry from Simon G.  or for more on any specific piece offered at Kranich’s Jewelers, visit Kranichs.com or call 888.944.4575 and we will be happy to help you.

Trade-ins, They’re Not Just For Cars Anymore

I just found a great article over at the Pocono Record dealing a marked increase in customers who trade in their old and broken jewelry towards new pieces or even cash.  Remember that you can trade in your old jewelry here at Kranich’s where we would be glad to help you.  Special thanks to Melanie Vanderveer for this informative article.  I’ve included an excerpt below.

“Gold is at record or near-record price, so if you are desperate for money, sell your gold,” said Kathy Kristof, author of “Investing 101” and a syndicated financial columnist featured in the Pocono Record. “But I suggest that people think about trying to sell it for the jewelry value rather than the gold value, if possible. You only get a fraction of the value on the gold.”

Knowing what you have is important, and getting an appraisal can help you to decide if you really want to trade the gold for cold, hard cash. Sometimes selling the jewelry, rather than just the gold, is the way to go, according to some experts.

“You should get an unbiased appraisal by an expert that doesn’t want to buy it from you,” said Dr. Lori, a nationally syndicated columnist featured in the Pocono Record and certified fine art and antiques appraiser. “If you know what your piece is worth and you are getting a good deal, then go ahead and sell. But you really need to know what you have and how much it is worth, and then negotiate.”

Remember that if you would like to have your jewelry remounted or just have some old jewelry that you aren’t wearing or even broken jewelry, give us a call at Kranich’s Jewelers.  We would be glad to help you with all of your jewelry needs.

For questions about how to trade in your jewelry or for more on any specific piece from Kranich’s Jewelers, visit Kranichs.com or call 888.944.4575 and we will be happy to help you.