Common Misconceptions about Jewellery
Some jewellery stores and designers offer outrageous warranties on their product, such as replacing broken stones, free repairs for life, etc. Typically though, the warranties are dependent on their goldsmith's opinion, and the warranty is void if the goldsmith thinks the piece has been damaged or excessively worn. Of course, the only way a stone or piece of jewellery could ever break is from damage, making the warranty of less value.
The most common types of warranties cover small maintenance repairs, such as stone tightening, claw re-tipping, and re-plating. Others might just cover polishing and cleaning. Usually they'll have small stipulations, like requiring the piece be brought in periodically to be checked. Very rarely would a warranty ever cover damage, or problems resulting from tampering or outside repair.
The general rule is that if a warranty sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Most fine jewellery stores and designers will stand behind their product though if they're made well.
White Gold and Plating
White gold is made by combining pure gold (which is yellow) with white metals (usually nickel) to give it a white color. The color of white gold still has a bit of yellow in it, which varies depending on the mixture. Most designers today plate their white gold jewellery with rhodium, which has a pure white color, so that it'll look more like platinum, which also has a pure white color. The plating will wear off after a while, depending on how much wear and tear the piece gets, or if the piece gets polished or repaired.
Some stores will advertise that they'll do free plating as part of their warranty. A lot of jewellery, though, is made with a brighter white alloy, so it might not be necessary to have it plated. Brighter white alloys of white gold are slightly more expensive, so you usually see it in more high-end jewellery. Adamas has quite a few pieces in stock that don't have a plating, so you could come by and see the difference if you're interested, and we always use the bright white alloy in our custom pieces.
Buying Diamonds Online
Diamond suppliers, such as the ones we use here at Adamas, hand-pick the diamonds they carry. They use their expertise to select their stones based on a complex array of factors which go well beyond the 4 C's. Diamond websites, however, contain vast lists of diamonds that are uploaded automatically.
A common misconception that a lot of customers have is that you can compare diamonds by just comparing the main grading categories, or by looking at pictures of them. There are a lot of factors that you would overlook. For example, the clarity grade doesn't take into account what types of inclusions the stone has, and where they're located. It's much better to have clear inclusions than black inclusions, and it's much better if they're on the outsides of the stone than in the middle.
Also, a lot of diamonds just look different, regardless of how they're graded. The grading system is helpful to get started and to point yourself in the right direction, but anybody who's looked at a lot of diamonds will tell you that it can't replace actually judging a diamond in person. If you want proof of that, try visiting one of the large online diamond websites and do a search among the round diamonds, and search as specific as possible, limiting yourself to only one option in each grading category. You'll get a long list of diamonds that vary a great deal in price. The range in price shows just how much the value can differ aside from the 4 C's.
Qualifications of Goldsmiths
Unfortunately, there's no certification needed for someone to call themselves a goldsmith. Some goldsmiths go to school to learn their trade, but most learn on the job, either from other goldsmiths or through self-teaching. The biggest asset a goldsmith can have is experience. The jewellery field is so diverse, it's impossible for anyone to be trained to handle every problem. Our 2 goldsmiths at Adamas have over 60 combined years of experience, and they still receive jobs where they've never encountered anything quite the same.
A lot of people think that platinum is stronger than gold, which is false. It's actually softer (easier to scratch). However, it's less brittle than gold, so when platinum gets scratched, the metal gets pushed around more, whereas gold is more prone to flaking off. This means that platinum jewellery lasts a lot longer. It takes longer to thin out, and detailing on platinum jewellery doesn't wear off as fast.
There's other pros and cons too:
- Platinum jewellery is more expensive because it's usually almost pure platinum (usually 95%), whereas gold is usually 10 kt, 14 kt, or 18 kt (41.7%, 58.3%, or 75% gold).
- Platinum has a whiter color than white gold, and doesn't change (see the section above about white gold and plating).
- No one ever really has allergies to platinum, whereas a lot of people react to white gold (because of the nickel in the alloy).
- Platinum can get deeper scratches than white gold, which can't be buffed out, whereas white gold jewellery usually comes out looking a lot smoother after being buffed up. The deeper scratches on platinum could still be removed by filing or sanding, but you'd lose some material in the process.
In general, platinum is considered the best metal for jewellery because the pros usually outweigh the cons. But when it comes to pieces that have a lot of weight or surface area, then white gold can sometimes be the better choice.