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Sndgems jewelry guides are easy to use, interesting and helpful guide to buying jewelry onle. Our jewelry guides are indispensable guide to judging jewelry characterstics, distinguishing genuine from imitation, making wise choices, useful to all type of consumers, from professional jewelry to online searchers. Our diamond guides help everyone in viewing diamonds as gemologists, diamond experts, diamond dealers, experienced lapidaries, diamond buyers and online customers. Our diamond guides dissects each aspect of diamond value in detail with a wealth of diamond grading information. Our gemstone guides help everyone in viewing colored gemstones as gemologists, gem dealers, experienced lapidaries, gem buyers and online customers. Our gemstone guides dissects each aspect of ruby, sapphire, ruby value in detail with a wealth of gemstone grading information. Our guides offers step-by-step instructions for how to examine and judge the quality and craftsmanship and materials even if you dont know anything about jewelry. If you're thinking of buying jewelry online this guide is a best place to start. Our guides will help you to know about jewelry details such as finishes, settings, flaws and fakes. Our guides cover diamonds, gemstones, jewelry craftsmanship, treatments, diamond and gems sources, appraisals. There is something for everyone.
A brief look into the History of platinum
Although the modern history of platinum only begins in the 18th century, platinum has been found in objects dating from 700 BC. For the Spanish Conquistadors of the 16th century,platinum was an inferior material and called it “Little Silver”, that was found mixed with gold and was difficult to separate. During the 18th century platinum was a tough challenge to European scientists trying to understand and use the metal. Their difficulties came from the very properties which make platinum versatile and suitable for many applications. Scientists discovered platinum’s extraordinary properties and noted that it did not melt by fire. With its extremely high melting point, many scientists did not know what to make of platinum for many years until 1751 when a Swedish scientist categorized it as a precious metal. In 1803 British scientist WH Wallaston discovered a process of refining platinum, facilitating its commercial use. By 1804, palladium, rhodium, iridium and osmium had all been discovered. Meanwhile Wollaston perfected a method of producing malleable platinum. Ruthenium was discovered in 1844. After the founding of Jhonson and Matthey in 1851, the techniques of separation and refining of platinum group metals and the melting and casting of pure and homogeneous ingots were perfected. Platinum mine production has grown continuously since the Second World War in response to the development of new applications in areas such as the petroleum industry; jewellery; autocatalysts for air pollution control; fuel cells; medical treatments and physical investment products. In 1939 during the second world war platinum was declared a strategic metal and could no londer be used for making jewelry. By 1947platinum was once again used in jewelry designing and lots of platinum jewelry was displayed at the “White Heat” Exhibition in NewYork.
Platinum was used by the kings and queens for ornamental purposes since the reign of King Louis XV1 of France (1780), who declared Platinum as the metal for the kings. He got many platinum pieces designed for him by his fine jeweler Mare Etienee Janety including the famous Ornate sugar bowl. In 1788 King Carlos III of Spain commissioned Francisco Alonso to create an ornate platinum Chalise, which was presented to the Pope Pius VI. Platinum, due to its durability was used in 1795 to create the Metric system of weights during the French revolution in France.At present this Platinum Cylinder is kept at the International Bureau of Weights and measures in Paris , France . In 1884 Peter Cark Faberge, jeweler of the Tzars created the first Annual easter eggs using platinum. In 1990 Loius Cartier was the first jeweler to successfully create platinum jewelry. Cartier jewelry designs had become very popular worldwide among the Royal during the reign of King Edward VII who nicknamed Cartier as the Jeweler of Kings. During the 1930`s Leading Hollywood ladies choose platinum as their preferred metal for designing their jewelry and this trend still continues among the Hollywood celebrities and couples. Read More.
Ancient History of Gold
Gold – this beautiful, attractive and highly precious metal has been known for at least 5500 years. The world gold comes from the Sanskrit word Jval and the Anglo-Saxon word gold. Gold's chemical symbol comes from the the latin word for gold, aurum. Gold is a beauty, scarce, unique dense metal that occurs in a virtually pure and workable state unlike other metals tend to be found in ore-bodies. Gold is also a very easy metal to work with as it can be easily melted. Gold, due to it brilliance and characteristic of permanence i.e it does not corrode nor tarnish, was linked to deities and royalty in early civilizations. Early civilizations equated gold with gods and rulers, and gold was sought in their name and dedicated to their glorification.
Gold's early uses include the creation of shrines, idols and ornamental jewelry for personal adornment. Later the use expanded to household items and furniture of the higher classes like plates, cups, vases and vessels of all kinds. The first use of gold as money occurred around 700 B.C., when Lydian merchants produced the first coins. These were simply stamped lumps of a 63% gold and 27% silver mixture known as 'electrum.’ These Gold coins helped them a lot in trading. Lydia had amassed such huge hoard of gold by the time of Croesus of Mermnadae, the last King of Lydia (570 -546 B.C.) that even today, we still speak of the ultra-wealthy as being 'rich as Croesus.'
Evidence of a gold/silver value ratio dates back to 3100BC in the code of Menes, the founder of the first Egyptian dynasty. In this code it is stated that "one part of gold is equal to two and one half parts of silver in value." This is our earliest of a value relationship between gold and silver. Early sources of gold were from Ethiopia . The Egyptians mined their own gold plus traded with the Nubians to get gold. In ancient Egypt , around the time of Seti I (1320 B.C.), we find the creation of the first gold treasure map now known to us. Today, in the Turin Museum is a papyrus and fragments known as the "Carte des mines d'or." It pictures gold mines, miners' quarters, road leading to the mines and gold-bearing mountains, and so on. Egyptian goldsmiths carry out the first melting or fusing of ores in order to separate the metals inside. They use blowpipes made from fire-resistant clay to heat the smelting furnace. In West Africe gold was traded for salt It was often called the Gold coast by the Portugese.
Spain has a rich history of gold mines. The Phoenicians came to spain about 700BC and traded with the Iberians. Later the Carthanginians invaded spain for gold and silver and later the Romans fought the second Punic war to get control of the gold mines to build their empire. In around 100AD, the Romans conquered Dacia under the leadership of Emperor Trajan to get control of the gold there. When Rome began to flourish, the city attracted talented Gold artisans who created gold jewelry of wide variety. The use of gold in Rome later expanded into household items and furniture in the homes of the higher classes. By the third century AD, the citizens of Rome wore necklaces that contained coins with the image of the emperor.
The Greeks mined for gold throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East regions by 550 B.C. Goldsmiths flourished in mesopotamis, modern Iraq. They made gorgeous pieces og jewelry like burial headdress of lapis and carnelian beads with willow leaf-shaped gold pendants. Use of gold also flourished in the Persian empire, Modern Iran. Persian gold work is famous for its animal art. When the Arabs conquered Persia the build further on Persian gold artwork with modifications.
Archaeological digs suggest the use of Gold began in the Middle East where the first known civilizations began. The oldest pieces of gold jewelry, Egyptian jewelry, were found in the tomb of Queen Zer and of Queen Pu-abi of Ur in Sumeria and are the oldest examples found of any kind of jewelry in a find from the third millennium BC. Over the centuries, most of the Egyptian tombs were raided, but the tomb of Tutankhamen was discovered undisturbed by modern archaeologists. Inside, the largest collection of gold and jewelry in the world was found and included a gold coffin whose quality showed the advanced state of Egyptian craftsmanship and gold working (second millennium BC)
In 1717 the UK Gold standard was established.when the British government linked the currency to gold at a fixed rate. The discovery of gold in the Sacramento Valley in California by John Marshall in early 1848 sparked the Gold Rush, one of the most significant events to shape American history during the first half of the 19th century. A total of $2 billion worth of precious metal was extracted from the area during the Gold Rush, which peaked in 1852. In 1885 miners flocked to South Africa to try their luck and become rich when Australian miner George Harrison found gold ore on Langlaagte farm near Johannesburg leading to the African gold rush. All major countries other than China switched to the gold standard, linking their currencies to gold between 1870-1900.The adoption of the gold standards guaranteed that any amount of paper money could be redeemed by the currency's government for its value in gold. Read More.
Testing For Real Gold, Platinum, Silver, Palladium & Other Precious Metals
Learn how to quickly and easily identify real precious metals from fake one. With little paience and practice you'll be able to easily spot fake and real metals. You can use metal testers as well as have to rely on your eye to observe distinct colors and features that can help you distinguishprecious metal contents from surface plating and fake jewelry metals.
There are two ways of testing metals - destructive and non destructive testing. After that there are three steps like shavings, direct acid on piece or rubb exposed surface on testing stone.
The metal that is being tested is scratched against a testing stone or surface rubbed with a pencil eraser. Non-Destructive thesting there is no need to penetrate into the metal.
Here are some non-destructive testing methods:
Magnet - Magnets can be used for base metals like in non-precious metals that contain nickel or iron. Most metals attracted by the magnet will not contain much precious metal. Gold plated and gold filled jewelry and most imitation/costume jewelry will also be not attracted by magnet and further tests discussed below will be required.
Jewelry items that are very less attracted to magnets will also frequire further tests discussed below. Rhodium plated silver will show less magnetism to a strong magnet.
In this test we need to penetrate into the metal using a jewelers file or cutters to open the piece to see underlying metals. After that any of three tests - shavings, direct acid on piece or rub exposed surface on testing stone.
Apply the 14k acid to the cut of metal being tested.
Direct Acid Test
Direct acid test is to be only used by professionals.
The Needle Acid Test Proceedure
Scratch the piece onto the surface of Testing Stone by pressing firmly an area of 1 to 1.5 inches long so that it leaves a thick visible deposit. Next place a scratch line with a gold test needle next to the scratch line of the metal you're testing. When you begin to drop acid, compare the speee at which scratches dissolve. If the test metal scratch dissolved sooner than the needle scratch then it is a lower karat than the gold needle.
Gold Testing Kit - Acid
Used properly this kit will determine whether or not an object contains precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, palladium, or any alloy thereof.
It is necessary to obtain Nitric Acid (C.P.), Hydrochloric Acid (C.P.), and distilled water to mix the test solutions. A graduated cylinder is recommended to measure the required proportions. These items may be obtained from laboratory or chemical supply houses in large cities, or from the local drug company in smaller cities. Lacy West sells these and other acids in our showroom, but we will not ship them.
Since the testing procedure requires the use of dangerous acids, special care should be taken not to spill or allow acid to touch the skin. If acid comes in contact with the skin, wash the affected area with a mild soap and water as quickly as possible.
For appraisal and testing of gold, silver, platinum, brass, nickel and German silver. Wood case contains three acid bottles with ground glass stoppers and applicators, test stone, set of gold testing needles ,and salts for making Schwerter's testing fluid. Acid must be purchased locally.
Filling the Acid Bottles
Care of your Gold Testing Kit
Scratch the object with a file and apply a drop of Nitric Acid. If the object turns a bright green it is gold plated or gold filled on base metal. If the object turns a pinkish cream colour it is plated or gold filled on silver. 10 karat gold will turn dark brown. 12 karat gold will turn light brown. 14 karat or higher will have little or no reaction.
A test stone can be used to test a streak of metal laid down from the jewellery, or a small groove can be filed on an inconspicuous place of the jewellery and tested.
Finding the Karat of Gold
Testing Below 14 Karat and
Base Metals with Schwerter Salts
Pre-Mixed Test Acids
Using Pre-Mixed Acids with a Test Stone
Using Pre-Mixed Acids on Jewellery
Determines 9K, 10K, 12K, 14K, 16K, 18K, 22K, 24K gold and platinum in seconds. Two-year warranty. Auto shut-off function. LED display. Low battery indication function. Battery operated and fully portable. Maintenance free. Battery is include.
1. Testing for Gold from 20K to 24K
When testing gold from 9-18K, go directly to instructions below. When testing gold from 20-24K, a buildup of test solution on the Reference Gold will have to be removed to obtain the proper results.
Step A - Sharpen the Pencil Eraser and cut off the end with a sharp knife or razor so that it is flat and round. Then place the eraser into the Test Well and firmly rotate back and forth for about four seconds. Brush debris from the Test Well. This prepartation will eliminate the excess buildup on the Reference Gold. For all tests of 20-24K gold, do this step of removing excess buildup on the Reference Gold with the sharpened and blade-cut Pencil Eraser. A dirty Eraser tip will not sufficiently clean the Test Well.
Step B - Go to Item 1 below.
2. Testing Gold from 9K to 18K
Item 1 - Thoroughly clean immersible area of Test Gold with the Gray Eraser (see Do's and Don'ts). Attach Alligator Clip to Test Gold away from immersilbe area.
Item 2 - Loosen the cap of the Test Solution and have a soft paper towel and some Q-Tips handy.
Item 3 - Press Test Yellow Gold or Test White Gold (to match the type of gold that you are testing) and within two seconds, put three or more drops of Test Solution into the Test Well. Quickly squeeze all the air out of the Test Solution Bottle and tighten cap firmly (see Item 6).
Item 4 - Observe that one of the Karat Value Lights is on. Any Karat Light may be lit; this is determined by a previous test or length of time that the unit has been off. After the Light goes out (within one second), carefully immerse enough of the Test Gold into the liquid to start the Testing light, being careful not to touch the reference Gold at the bottom of the Test Well and being careful not to touch the Alligator Clip to the liquid. Hold the Test Gold without moving it until Testing Light goes off. This will take 2 to 15 seconds depending on the Karat value of the Test Gold. User should brace the heal of his/her hand on the unit or on the same surface as the unit rests on. When possible, brace the Test Gold on the inside of the Test Well just under the sufrace of the liquid and be very careful not to touch the Reference Gold at the bottom of the Test Well. It is important that the Test Gold not be moved about in the Test Solution until a reading is obtained.
Item 5 - When Testing Light goes out, remove Test Gold. Read LED Display of Karat Value. Clean Test Gold thoroughly with soft paper towel. Thoroughly wipe the Test Solutin from the Test Well using a paper towel followed by a Q-Tip. If re-testing is desired, see DO'S and DON'TS.
Item 6 - Check to be sure that there is not excessive air in the bottle and that the cap is tightened firmly.
Probably most of the gold plated items referrd to as costume jewellery or fashion jewellery contain gold at the surface which is no thicker than 8 millionths of an inch. Such gold plate is referred to as Gold flash. A large percentage of Gold flash is sufficiently thin and/or porous (microscopically) that the M24 Gold Tester will read through the plate and indicate Not Gold. A thicker plate will read karat Gold unless a portion of the surface being tested is erased with the eraser pencil or filed to expose the metal underneath. The eraser should be used as first choice since it is easier to use and is non-distructive; however; the erase will not work on thick Gold plate.
General Description of Procedure
To determine that an item is Gold plated non-Gold, the user of the M24 must take at least two different readings, including one reading of a surface which has not been erased or filed. The reading of the erased or filed surface will be lower if the metal underneath is not Gold. (To be sure the metal underneath is not Palladium, see the section on Testing for Palladium). The M24 Gold Tester will read as Not Gold if a sufficient area of non-gold is exposed to the liquid but the un-erased or un-filed gold plate exposed to the liquid does have some effect on the reading. This is why the following Precautions are important.
When testing for heavy Gold plate, it may be necessary to use a fast drying lacquer or material such as a clear fingernail polish. The area to be tested must be coasted with the lacquer and allowed to dry. Next, make a file mark in the center of the coating deep enought to expose the base metal. Then test the exposed base betal with the M24 Gold Tester. Do not allow the Testing Solution to touch any part of the Gold that has not been coated.
The vast majority of Gold plate is 22K or better. Most Gold plated jewellery is flash Gold plate and most flash Gold plate is less that 5 millions of an inch (1/8 micron). The M24 Gold Tester will read right through the 22K Gold plate and indicate anywhere from not Gold to 12K Gold. Anytime you get a 12K or lower reading, Gold plating should be suspected. To determine Gold plate simply use the grey eraser on the test site and then inspect for the presence of base metal.
Inspect the Gold colour of items reading 9-12K gold. If they are really 9-12K, they would not have that rich colour of a 22K gold plated item.
There are four basic colours of Gold:
Yellow - most commonThe colours are obtained by the use of two or more varied quantities of base metals. These metals are silver, copper, zinc, and nickel. Not only are there four basic colours but each colour can and does vary the percentages of base metals. As such, there is no specific formula for each colour of gold. This makes for a range of readings in each colour, plus a variation of each colour at any specific Karat mixture.
The M24 Gold Tester can distinguish between Karats of the two popular colours, Yellow and White, by means of colour selector buttons.
Testing for Platinum
Testing for Palladium