Precious Metals & Gems

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The gemstone for January is garnet; for February, amethyst; for March, aquamarine; for April, diamond; for May, emerald; for June, pearl and Alexandrite; for July, ruby; for August, peridot; for September, sapphire; for October, opal and tourmaline; for November, topaz and citrine; and for December, tanzanite, zircon and turquoise. A birthstone is a gem linked to a particular month of the year.

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  • Where does jade come from?

    Q: Where does jade come from?

    A: Jade is derived from a naturally occurring mineral called jadeite, which is collected in locations all over the world, from Alaska to Guatemala and Central Asia. Jadeite comes in several different colors and forms, and it is only known as jade when used as a gem for carving or jewelry.
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  • Where does gold come from?

    Q: Where does gold come from?

    A: Gold comes from almost every continent, with China and Australia the largest producers as of 2015, according to Mining Technology. A team of Harvard scientists believes that gold is formed when two neutron stars collide, according to a report by USA Today.
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  • Where in the world was gold first discovered?

    Q: Where in the world was gold first discovered?

    A: Gold was first discovered in Asia Minor around 6000 BC. One area where gold was found in Asia Minor was ancient Lydia, which is modern-day Turkey.
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  • Does silver-plated jewelry tarnish?

    Q: Does silver-plated jewelry tarnish?

    A: Since sterling silver is an alloy, it tarnishes when it comes into contact with sulfur particles, which are found in abundance in the air. For this reason, all sterling silver jewelry tarnishes, even silver-plated jewelry, according to Simply Sterling of Colorado. Lotions and perfumes may speed up the process.
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  • What are five ways to choose a diamond and determine quality?

    Q: What are five ways to choose a diamond and determine quality?

    A: Determining the quality of a diamond involves the consideration of its cut, clarity, color, carat size and certification. Certification through an accredited organization, such as the American Gem Society or the Gemological Institute of America, lets the buyer know that the diamond being purchased has the qualities that the seller claims that it has.
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  • How hard is a diamond?

    Q: How hard is a diamond?

    A: Diamond is the hardest mineral on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, with a rating of 10, and is four times harder than the next mineral on the chart, corundum, of which sapphire and ruby are varieties. The Mohs scale is the most common system used for this measurement. It is a relative scale, grading the comparative hardness of 10 common minerals and their resistance to scratching.
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  • What does DWT stand for?

    Q: What does DWT stand for?

    A: The acronym "DWT" stands for "diamond weight total," which means the total weight of all diamonds comprising pieces of jewelry, such as rings, bracelets, pendants, watches and necklaces. Due to deviations in diamond weights, some jewelers use other notations, including "CWT" for "carat weight total" and "CTW" for "carat total weight."
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  • What are the common diamond cuts?

    Q: What are the common diamond cuts?

    A: The most common diamond cuts, as of 2014, include round, emerald, princess and radiant. A diamond’s cut is normally determined by the size and shape of the original, rough stone.
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  • Where can I find the price of copper?

    Q: Where can I find the price of copper?

    A: As of January 2015, one place consumers can find the price of copper is NASDAQ, and another is Investment Mine. NASDAQ states that its quote is based on end-of-day commodity futures, and it is focused on high-grade copper. Consumers can also change the time frame reported to view past quotes.
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  • What are the names of green gems?

    Q: What are the names of green gems?

    A: The most well-known varieties of green gemstones are emerald and jade, both of which have high values for translucence and vivid, rich colors. A more uncommon green gem is the green diamond. Alexandrite is an interesting green gem that can also shine pink, yellow or red depending upon environmental lighting.
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  • What are baguette-cut diamonds?

    Q: What are baguette-cut diamonds?

    A: Baguette-cut diamonds are step cut diamonds with a long, rectangular shape. They are mainly used as side stones and come in small weights, usually less than one carat.
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  • What are diamonds used for?

    Q: What are diamonds used for?

    A: Diamonds are worn as jewelry and used in a variety of industrial applications. Diamond is the hardest natural substance in the world, and stones that are too small or do not have the requisite quality for jewelry mounting are often used as drill bits or ground into abrasive powder. Others become tools used to cut and polish gem-quality diamonds.
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  • How can you buy conflict-free diamonds?

    Q: How can you buy conflict-free diamonds?

    A: In order to purchase conflict-free diamonds, a buyer should be knowledgeable about what constitutes non-conflict diamonds, ask questions about a stone's origin and request written proof of a stone's status. Utilizing a checklist of questions can aid in the process.
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  • Is all silver considered sterling?

    Q: Is all silver considered sterling?

    A: A silver alloy is considered sterling silver if the alloy contains at least 92.5 percent silver but less than 99.9 percent silver, which is considered fine silver. Sterling silver contains a minimal amount of other metals that increase durability while maintaining the beauty and value of silver, according to Zales.
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  • What is the difference between platinum and silver?

    Q: What is the difference between platinum and silver?

    A: Platinum weighs more than silver and is much denser. Platinum also has a much whiter and shinier appearance, where as silver appears to have a duller gray appearance. Platinum is much more expensive than silver, because it is more difficult to extract it from the ground,
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  • What type of diamond cut is the most expensive?

    Q: What type of diamond cut is the most expensive?

    A: Heart-cut diamonds are the most expensive style due to the cost and expertise required to manufacture diamonds in this shape. The process of cutting a diamond into a heart shape is difficult and demands a skilled diamond cutter. A heart-shaped diamond is usually larger than one carat because the cutting process is easier with a bigger diamond.
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  • What are types of gold?

    Q: What are types of gold?

    A: The primary types of gold contain different purities, which are measured in karats. Gold overlay refers to items that are made from a non-gold metal that is permanently coated with gold. To be considered gold overlay, the gold weight must equal at least 10 percent of the total weight. Gold is available in yellow, white and rose colors, which are created by mixing it with other metals.
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  • What is gold overlay?

    Q: What is gold overlay?

    A: Gold overlay is a thick coating of gold that jewelers lay over metal jewelry. The process has been around for thousands of years, and jewelry that undergoes this process is more valuable than other types of jewelry that has gold added to it in a different way. In gold-plated jewelry, the gold is plated on top of the metal and doesn't last as long as gold overlay.
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  • What can you clean gold with?

    Q: What can you clean gold with?

    A: One can clean gold jewelry at home with everyday materials, including a toothbrush, dish detergent and water. The overall process is simple and only takes 15 minutes.
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  • Why does silver turn your finger green?

    Q: Why does silver turn your finger green?

    A: Silver may turn your finger green if the silver reacts to acids in the skin or other substances on the skin. This problem arises mostly with inexpensive jewelry, or silver-plated jewelry, as opposed to pure sterling.
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  • Can you break a diamond?

    Q: Can you break a diamond?

    A: Yes, you can break a diamond. Hitting a diamond with a hard blow from a hammer, for instance, is liable to crack, split or outright shatter the diamond.
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