Non Traditional Engagement Rings- Pearls

Centuries ago pearls that were equal in shape and size was one of the most valuable things one could own.  Pearls were referred to as the “Queen of the Gems”. Pearls peaked in their popularity during the Roman Empire and of all the different cultures, pearls were considered the most valuable by the Romans and Egyptians. Pearls were so expensive into modern times that only the rich and the famous could afford to wear it. That changed however with the production of simulated pearls in the 1900s by three Japanese men, Kokichi Mikimoto, Tokichi Nishikawa and Tatsuhei Mise. Eventually Kokichi Mikimoto bought out the rights of the other two and started a huge business of pearl culturing. It took many years for cultured pearls to be accepted and today it accounts for nearly 95% of the world production. It is only a few Middle Eastern countries which still have a preference for natural pearls today.

Although the demand for natural pearls has decreased over time it still carry a hefty price tag, and people still see them as wonderful, classy gifts and accessories. Their timeless beauty is what makes them such a gorgeous alternative as an engagement ring.

Rhodium plating

Rhodium plating is a process that coats a fine layer of rhodium over white gold, platinum, and silver rings to increase their durability and shine.

Rhodium plating is not permanent, and it will wear off in time. The wear time depends on how frequently the jewellery is worn and how it used. The thickness of the rhodium plating also determines how quickly it will wear off.  For example, a pair of earrings may retain their plating for many years, but a wedding ring which is exposed to daily wear usually requires another plate in 1-2 years. If the initial plating was extremely thin, an additional plating on a wedding ring may be needed in a few months to one year. There are a few simple steps to help ensure that your rhodium plating lasts longer.

Constant rubbing of your hands will accelerate the process of wearing the plating down. If you have a career in a medical profession where you constantly have to wash your hands and rub them together, the plating will wear faster. If the rubbing of your hands is unavoidable, consider wearing your rings on a necklace around your neck. Some chemicals may also react to rhodium plating and is advisable to either take of you rings while working with it or wear gloves. Rings that are loose and constantly spinning and rubbing against each other will wear the plating down. If your rings are spinning a lot it might be time to have your finger measured by a jeweller and have the rings adjusted.

Caring for your pearl engagement ring

Caring for your pearl engagement ring

Always remove your ring before you take a shower, bath or go for a swim.

Pearls are a organic gemstone that are vulnerable to acid, alkaline and extremes of humidity. To preserve your pearls radiance it is best to remove a pearl ring before applying lotion to your hands or when applying hair products or perfume.

Pearls are exceptionally cohesive and shock resistant but may scratch when come into contact with sharp object or other gemstones.To reduce the risks for scratches, store pearl rings in a separate soft pouch.

Avoid ultrasonic cleaners. If your pearl ring needs to be cleaned, wipe with a soft damp cloth and a very mild soap and then wipe dry.

It is best to remove your pearl rings before performing any household chores which could expose the pearls to cleaning chemicals. Likewise, pearl rings should be removed before engaging in intensive activities which could expose the pearl to hard knocks or blows.

Expect a pearl engagement ring to develop a deep luster with time. Pearls are organic materials, and they will gradually absorb oils from the skin. Over the years, these oils will enhance the natural patina of the pearl. There is no set lifespan of a pearl, it all depends on how the pearl has been cared for over the years.

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Palladium, Platinum or White Gold

Palladium

Palladium is one of the world’s rarest metals, palladium  can be used to create that special  wedding band that’s high in quality and, relatively speaking lower priced metal. With the increase in the price of gold and platinum, palladium is one of the best choices for those with a lower budget who don’t want to sacrifice quality or beauty.

Palladium is similar to platinum in that it’s hypo-allergenic and keeps well over time. It’s strong and never tarnishes over the years. It doesn’t require plating or other metals for protection – it will naturally stay white without regular maintenance and care. While it’s in the same group as platinum and looks very similar, it’s much lighter than platinum which makes it lower in price.

Platinum

Platinum is superior in beauty and quality. It’s the most durable, as well as the heaviest. It is the most expensive option on the market. It never wears out and only needs period gentle washing with soap and water to keep it shiny and bright.

As the rarest of the metals, platinum is one of the most popular choices for engagement rings. While it’s also the most expensive of the options, some designs may not cost much more than a higher end white gold, depending on weight and intricacies. It requires less maintenance than both white gold and palladium, and is the brightest white of all the metals. Platinum compliments any stone but works particularly well with blue and pink stones.

White Gold

Since gold is typically a yellow color, other metals are used to alloy yellow gold into white gold. Palladium is actually one of the alloys used to change the hue of the metal, in addition to silver, copper, nickel and zinc, which work together to make it especially strong and durable. It’s also quite resistant to rust and corrosion.

While the end result may appear silver, there will always be a slight golden glimmer in white gold wedding bands. It’s available in a variety of carats, which allows for a beautiful metal no matter what your budget. Prices and styles vary based on the metals used to produce the white shade and the percentages of each one.Customers with white gold bands must take care when using everyday cleaning chemicals as these rings are more prone to damage from harsh chemicals.

Beautiful and original, white metal is a natural element, which makes it more prone to damage from harsh chemicals. Those with the unique bands must take extra care when using household cleaning products, and should regularly wash their rings to ensure optimal shine and quality. With proper care, this metal is personal and long lasting.

18ct vs 9ct

Most people are aware that you get different carats of gold but if faced with a choice which one should you choose? Pure gold is is a beautiful rich yellow metal highly sought after by humans from the beginning of time. Pure gold is a soft but hard wearing metal that is not really suitable for the manufacture of most jewellery pieces. In some cultures people prefer pure gold or either very close to pure gold, like 22ct gold. Unfortunately they have to pay a price for this financially by making pieces extremely thick and heavy to add strength to the design so they don’t get pushed out of shape when worn.

In the jewellery trade pure gold is alloyed with other metals to add strength and hardness. Depending on the amount of alloys added to the gold will determine the carat. 18ct is 18 parts pure gold or 75%, therefore the stamp 750 inside many jewellery pieces. 9ct gold is 9 parts pure gold or 37.5% pure, therefore the stamp 375 found inside many jewellery pieces.Customers ask us on a daily basis is 9ct more durable than 18ct gold? The answer is a simple no. The reason people believe 9ct gold to be more durable than 18ct gold is simply because there is a confusion between the term “hardness” and “durability”. This brings us to the point that hardness and durability are not one and the same thing. To give a simple example, a glass ball is harder than a rubber ball. Try throwing each onto a hard surface. The glass ball will break, but the rubber ball will bounce and remain intact, because the rubber ball is more durable than the glass one. The glass ball breaks because it is brittle. In the same way, metal alloy can also be brittle, and 9 hard carat gold alloys tend to be slightly brittle, whereas 18 carat gold alloys tend to be more resilient. When you look at 18ct alloys they are almost completely resistant to chemical attack in normal use, whereas 9ct alloys are much less resistant and will go dull or even black when exposed to certain chemicals. 9ct gold is clearly the harder material when compared to 18ct gold but it is this hardness that reduces its durability when it comes to everyday knocks and wear and tear. Any Jewellery sales person who tells you 9ct is more durable than 18ct gold is either leading you astray or like the bigger population simply does not understand the difference between “hardness” and “durability”.