At Villarreal Fine Jewelers we love creating custom made engagement, wedding rings and other special occasion jewelry in beautiful, lustrous yellow and white gold adorned with diamonds and colorful gemstones. Beauty, Purity and Durability are the attributes that attract gold lovers to its alluring glitter for uniquely personal expression.
The most alluring use of the sun-colored metal has always been in jewelry. The Egyptians, largest producers of gold in the ancient world, equated gold with the sun, the giver of life, and reserved its use for pharaohs only. The ancient Etruscans created meticulously hand-wrought objects using fine granules and threads of gold, a technique still practiced today. To this day, Chinese and Indian brides wear jewelry of 24-karat gold on their wedding day to ensure a lifetime of good luck and happiness. A gift of gold jewelry says love and permanence as eloquently today as in all the ages past.
Gold combines four basic characteristics that make it a universally treasured possession:
Gold’s natural color can be further enhanced by alloying it with small amounts of other metals, yielding a spectrum of exquisite, subtle shades. Metalsmiths are able to create yellow, rose , green and white golds by adjusting the alloys.
It is estimated that only slightly more than 100,000 tons of gold have been taken from the earth during all of recorded history. And although gold can be ground in rivers, seas and land in many parts of the earth, it is not easily extracted. Opening a mind is a time-consuming and costly operation, and several tons of ore are required in order to produce just one ounce of the precious metal.
Look no further than the nearest museum, where gold jewelry, coins and artifacts from ancient civilizations attest to the metal’s enduring beauty and permanence.
Jewelers throughout the ages have preferred gold to all other metals for its beauty and ease of workmanship. Gold can be melted, or shaped, to create any design. It can be alloyed with a number of other metals to increase its strength and produce a variety of colors and can be re-melted and used again to create new designs.
Look for the quality mark. Pure gold, or 24-karat, is generally considered too soft for use in jewelry, so gold is alloyed with other metals to increase its strength.
Eighteen-karat gold is 18/24ths, or three quarters, pure gold.
In the United States, 14-karat gold is used most commonly for jewelry. Fourteen-karat gold is 14/24ths, or slightly more than one-half, pure gold.
Nothing less than 10-karat gold can be legally marked or sold as gold jewelry in the United States.
Look for trademarks accompanying the quality mark. When a piece of jewelry is stamped with a quality mark, law requires that it be stamped with a hallmark or trademark as well. Sometimes the jewelry is also marked with its country of origin. These designations are designed to assure you that you are buying genuine gold jewelry of the karatage marked.
Because gold is alloyed with other metals to increase its strength, it can also be made in a variety of colors. For example, yellow gold is created by alloying the metal with copper and silver; using copper only creates pink gold; white gold contains nickel, zinc and copper; green gold contains silver, copper and zinc.
Pricing is based on four factors: karatage, weight, design and craftsmanship. The karatage and wight tell you how much gold is in a piece, but other crucial factors determining price are the piece’s construction and design. A price based solely on weight does not reflect the work that has gone into the piece. It’s important to remember that each piece of gold jewelry is unique and, if cared for properly, can last a lifetime. Look for quality construction. When buying a piece of gold jewelry, be sure to inspect it carefully. Pay special attention to fasteners or clasps, making sure catches work easily but are secure. Likewise, the backs of pins and earring posts should be strong and firmly attached to the piece, with no soldering marks visible. With gold chain,k lay it flat and make sure the links don’t kink or bend.
Gold is lasting and durable, but it can get scratched or dented if treated roughly. Gold’s worst enemy is chlorine. Repeated exposure can weaken gold’s structure, eventually leading to breakage. Keep your jewelry away from chlorinated cleaning products and out of swimming pools and jacuzzis.
Protect your gold jewelry by storing it safely or keeping it wrapped in a soft cloth when no being worn.
Clean your gold jewelry with a cleaning solution of sudsy lukewarm water , or bring it to your local jeweler and have it steam-cleaned.
Dry polish jewelry with a chamois or soft cloth after cleaning and rinsing.
Keep gold jewelry free from dust, moisture, perspiration and makeup.
Always inspect your gold jewelry for weakness or damage and bring it to a professional jeweler for immediate repair. Your jeweler will be able to restore it for you.
You can buy gold jewelry in many types of stores, and “incredible discounts” are not hard to find. However, the best place to start is with your local jeweler. But to make sure you get jewelry that you will be happy with now and for years to come, follow a simple rule: buy from a professional, someone you can trust. Choose a local retailer who has been serving the community for a number of years and has an established reputation. Ask if the jeweler is a member of Jewelers of America, the national association for retail jewelers. Or look for the “J” mark on the door.
JA jewelers are knowledgeable, and they have a wide selection of fine jewelry that will make putting your gold jewelry wardrobe together easy and fun. They will not only help you with this purchase, but they will be there in the future to answer all you questions and help you with your purchases, repairs, and custom design. JA members have signed and abide by a Code of Ethics, so you can buy with confidence from your JA member jeweler. Villarreal Fine Jewelers – proud members of Jewelers of America, Inc.