Precious Metals & Gems

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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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 are the birthstones for each month?

    Q: What are the birthstones for each month?

    A: 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 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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  • 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 is nickel obtained?

    Q: How is nickel obtained?

    A: Nickel has to be mined from ore. It is mined in 23 countries around the world and refined in 25 countries. Some of the countries where nickel is easiest to obtain are Canada, Russia, Cuba, China, Australia and Greece. Major countries that refine or smelt nickel include France, Japan, Norway, Finland and the United Kingdom.
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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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  • Why is gold so valuable?

    Q: Why is gold so valuable?

    A: The high value of gold is driven by three factors: its practical applications, the largely aesthetic desire people have for it and the perceived protection it grants investors as a hedge against currency fluctuations. According to Jerry Bowyer for Forbes magazine, the cash value of all the gold that has so far been extracted amounts to roughly $10 trillion.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 is a canary diamond?

    Q: What is a canary diamond?

    A: A canary diamond is a bright yellow diamond. Though people think of a clear or white diamond when they think of a quality diamond, colored diamonds can be even more expensive.
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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 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 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 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 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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  • 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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