Precious Metals & Gems

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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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  • How is silver made?

    Q: How is silver made?

    A: Silver is usually obtained as a by-product of the process of purifying other metals such as copper, lead and zinc. Silver can also be collected from refining gold or from silver ores. It is usually separated from its ores using a flotation process and then purified by smelting.
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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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  • How can one tell if something is real gold or gold plate?

    Q: How can one tell if something is real gold or gold plate?

    A: The easiest way to tell if something is real gold or gold plate is by holding a magnet up to the piece and waiting for the metal inside the piece to attract to it. If the piece is gold-plated, it is instantly connected to the magnet. If the piece is solid gold, it does not connect.
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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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  • What is the difference between gold-filled jewelry and gold-plated jewelry?

    Q: What is the difference between gold-filled jewelry and gold-plated jewelry?

    A: Gold-plated jewelry consists of a lower-quality base metal coated with a very thin layer of gold through a chemical process, while gold-filled jewelry has a thicker layer of gold bonded to a base metal through heat and pressure. Although both gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry consist of a base layer covered with gold, they differ in the process used to attach the gold and the thickness of the gold.
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  • What is a diamond's streak?

    Q: What is a diamond's streak?

    A: "Streak" is the word used to describe the color of a diamond when it is reduced to powder form. It has nothing do do with an actual streak.
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  • What is a mystic topaz?

    Q: What is a mystic topaz?

    A: A mystic topaz is a chemically treated clear topaz with a shiny, multicolored luster that flashes blue, green, purple and pink. According to Gem Select, some retailers sell mystic topaz labelled as "fire topaz," "Alaska topaz" or "mystic fire topaz." It is inexpensive and durable but prone to cracking when hit with significant force.
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  • Where can I sell my used gold jewelry?

    Q: Where can I sell my used gold jewelry?

    A: Gold jewelry can be sold to direct buyers, mail-away operations, pawnshops, gold parties and traditional jewelry stores. Businesses that are Better Business Bureau accredited are the safest type of business to sell to, according to ABC News.
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  • Where do Swarovski crystals come from?

    Q: Where do Swarovski crystals come from?

    A: Swarovski crystals are machine-cut crystal beads made in Austria. Daniel Swarovski developed the formula in the 1800s. Swarovski crystals are silver in color and are used in necklaces, rings, watches, earrings and bracelets.
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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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  • How can I tell real turquoise from fake?

    Q: How can I tell real turquoise from fake?

    A: To determine whether or not turquoise is authentic, check for uniform color throughout the piece, opaqueness and low shine. Fake turquoise is often made from pale stones injected with dye, which appear overly shiny, clear and streaked, according to BJBead.com.
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  • What are Olympic gold medals made of?

    Q: What are Olympic gold medals made of?

    A: Olympic gold medals are required to be made of sterling silver covered with at least 6 grams of pure gold, according to About.com. Each gold medal must have a diameter of at least 60 millimeters.
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  • How are rubies formed?

    Q: How are rubies formed?

    A: According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, rubies are formed when the mineral corundum is exposed to chromic oxide in metamorphic environments between 1148 to 1238 degrees Fahrenheit. There are also two prominent methods of making synthetic rubies in a laboratory. The flame-fusion method produces a gem with notable imperfections. The flux-growth method produces a synthetic ruby that is nearly indistinguishable from a real one.
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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 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 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 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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  • 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 does a ruby look like?

    Q: What does a ruby look like?

    A: Rubies are bright red precious stones which can be anywhere from transparent to opaque. They are the red version of corundum. According to Minerals.net, rubies get a nine on the hardness scale.
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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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