Frequently asked questions of our jewelers:
What does "carat" mean. how much does it actually weigh?
"Carat" comes from the Greek name of a seed, which was first used in ancient times as a measure of weight. A carat weighs seven-thousandths of an ounce, and about 142 of them are needed to make a single ounce. The carat is divided into 100 points, so that when a woman says her diamond is a quarter of a carat, for example, she means it is 25 points.
What came first - engagement ring or wedding ring?
Curiously enough, historians are unable to agree on this. The diamond acquired its unique status as the ultimate gift of love in the late 1400s when the Archduke Maximillian of Austria presented a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy. The use of two rings, however, can be traced back to the time when it was the custom to give the prospective bride a ring at the time marriage was proposed and, to conform to religious requirements, the marriage was delayed until some later time. When the wedding took place, the bridegroom signified that his betrothal assurances were still valid by presenting another ring, a plain band of holy union.
Why is the engagement ring worn on the third finger of the left hand?
It was once believed that the vein of love (vena amoris) ran from this finger directly to the heart. Romantic as this may be, medical science does not support this view. The third finger is more convenient as a matter of protection for the ring itself, since the first and second are too active. The left hand was chosen for the ring because it normally is less active than the right, hence safer. More than 60% of women receive diamond engagement rings before marriage.
What does the word "jewelry" really mean?
According to the Latin and French derivation of the word, it means joy or gladness. Historians say that even back in prehistoric times jewelry was known and regarded as a symbol of happiness.
How are cultured pearls produced?
Following the pattern set by nature herself, an irritant in the form of a mother-of-pearl bead is slipped within the folds of a live oyster. The oyster is then returned to the water and in time covers the bead with layers of nacre, the pearl substance. At the end of the prescribed period, the oysters are taken out and the pearls removed.
What is the name of the eyepiece used by the jeweler in examining gems, jewelry and watches?
This is a loupe (pronounced loop). It's a magnifying piece, normally 10-power, worn by the jeweler over one eye, enabling him to see the minute details necessary for careful and thorough examination.
Why does gold discolor skin?
This is know as gold smudge. The most common reason is metallic abrasion, caused by makeup on skin and clothing. Cosmetics often contain compounds harder than jewelry itself, which wear or rub off tiny particles. Very fine metal appears black rather than metallic. When this dust comes into contact with skin, it sticks, forming a black smudge. Another cause is actual corrosion of the non-gold alloys, silver or copper which is mixed into the gold. Perspiration and smog fumes attach these metals and are evident as tarnish that rubs off on the skin. A suggestion is to remove jewelry often and use absorbent powder, free of abrasives on skin that comes in contact with jewelry. You should remove your jewelry before using soaps, cleaning compounds, or detergents, and clean your jewelry often.
Where did the word "watch" come from?
The word originated with the portable clocks that were carried by the town watchman as he made his rounds. They were first called "watchman's clocks," then "watch clocks," and finally just "watches."
How should i clean my gold jewelry?
Gold is both versatile and very easy to keep looking beautiful for years to come. Its worst enemy, however, is chlorine. Repeated exposure can weaken gold's structure, eventually leading to breakage. Try to keep your gold jewelry away from chlorinated cleaning products, swimming pools and Jacuzzis. To clean, use your jeweler's recommended solution or lukewarm, soapy water. Rinse with clear water, then dry and polish with a soft chamois cloth. For harder-to-clean "gold-only" pieces, your local jeweler can steam-clean them.
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Sat. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.