Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Online Ratings: Is rating the seller or the item more important?


See reviews from actual ViridianGold.com customers.
When you shop for items online, what is important to you?  Perhaps you have noticed that many online stores show "customer" reviews of individual items. Some items that you shop for online need to be scrutinized to see if they are going to perform the way you expect.  For instance, if I buy an electronics device which is complex, say a disc drive for my computer, I want to make sure that it hooks up and works as advertised, and that it does not fail in the first few months of use.  So, it is helpful to see what people say about that.  But, a hugely problematic issue with individual item ratings on most websites, is that they are so easily faked.  There is no safeguard to prevent anyone, including the seller, from posting a number of positive reviews of a particular item.

But, for many purchases, the quality of the seller is more important than reading an individual's personal opinion about a particular item:
  • Does the seller honestly describe the items they sell on their website?  
  • If you call them with questions, will you get a knowledgeable and helpful person rather than someone who only works for an organization that is hired to answer the phone for an absent proprietor? 
  • Do they have a reasonable return policy?
  • If you have a problem with the item or delivery, does the company care? 
  • If you need the item by a particular date, are you able to get someone to help you with that?
  • If the item is customized with engraving or special sizing, are you confident it will be done correctly?
  • Do they return phone calls and emails in a timely manner?
  • How long have they been in business, and do they have a good reputation with their customers?
  • Can you trust them with your credit card information and your money?
The above issues relate to the quality of the selling company and are not particular to the item you are ordering.

At the ViridianGold.com company, you will not find ratings of individual items.  Taste in jewelry differs greatly from one person to the next, but everyone would agree on the importance of the above issues relating to the company who is selling the item.  Also, the vast majority of customers do not bother to review an item they purchase, so out of the many thousands of items on our website, even if we offered a review option, only a very few items would show reviews.  That is precisely the reason so many websites fake those item reviews!

Instead, we show validated reviews that come from our actual customers.  Since our store website is hosted by Yahoo Inc. Merchant Solutions, we show customer reviews that can only be obtained from customers who really purchased items from our store.  Each of those reviews are prefaced by the words "By a ViridianGold.com customer via post-transaction survey".  We are not able to edit or delete those reviews, so what you see are also unfiltered. Some customers only reply to the survey by giving us a rating on each of the five categories, and don't enter any written comments--these are counted as "ratings" and those who add comments are counted as "reviews."

By checking those unedited ratings and reviews on our ViridianGold.com Ratings Page, you will find that our customers have had an overwhelmingly positive experience buying from us. These ratings are supplied to us by Yahoo Stores when our customers elect to submit a review form.

We hope you will visit us at ViridianGold.com and experience not only our quality products, but also our outstanding customer service.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The "Illusion Setting" explained


Many of our diamond rings at ViridianGold.com are made with a special type of mounting for the diamond, called an illusion setting.  This type of setting was created to enhance the appearance of the diamond mounted within it.  The diamond is surrounded by a white gold "platter" which contains ridges to catch and scatter the light into and out of the diamond.  The prongs of the setting may be spaced to hold the platter as if it were a larger stone (with the diamond mounted on another set of prongs within the platter), or the prongs may support the diamond within the platter as shown at left. The first type is used in our Diamond Solitaire Engagement Rings #1229 illustrated below.

The intention of such a design is to highlight the beauty of the diamond--a poor-quality stone will actually look worse in an illusion setting!  Diamond pricing is directly proportional to the quality of the diamond, that is, its color, cut, and any impurities embedded within it (called inclusions).  With an illusion setting, a ring with a high-quality, smaller diamond will look better than a ring with a larger, poor-quality diamond of the same price.  Always place a greater emphasis on quality over size when purchasing a diamond--you won't regret it later!

This type of setting can also be made in shapes other than round, such as shown below in our Religious Marquis Engagement Ring #1380.  In this design, three diamonds are used, a larger one in the center and one in each half of the marquis shape. Illusion settings may also appear in pendants, bracelets, lapel pins and other diamond jewelry.

For an engagement ring, a couple may select a ring with a nice diamond mounted in an illusion setting and, years later when they can better afford it, they can have the setting and diamond replaced with a larger stone. Also, many of our rings which are shown on the website with illusion settings may be modified to a traditional setting, so that we or the customer may supply a larger stone.  As always, feel free to call or email us if you have questions about our jewelry.  ViridianGold.com is a full service jeweler, so we can custom size and engrave your ring, too.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hollow/Tubular, v.s. Solid Wedding Rings


Because the price of gold has gone up so much in the last 5 years, we are seeing more gold jewelry that uses techniques to reduce the gold content of the piece, and thereby lower the cost.  One recently resurrected concept is the manufacture of wedding bands which are hollow on the inside.  So, your ring will look exactly like a solid ring, but it will weigh much less, and therefore cost less!  But....

Hollow rings, sometimes referred to as tubular, or "Silk Fit Ⓡ", cannot be re-sized like a solid ring.  And, because they are hollow, they can be easily dented in normal use.  Once dented, they cannot be easily repaired, if at all.  And, they may not even cost less...

For example, I found a size 10, 14K white gold "Silk Fit Ⓡ" band on eBay, listed for $170.  The gold weight is listed as 1.2 grams.  Our 14K White Gold Comfort Fit Gold Band in a size 10 is shown on our website today as $239.00, and the gold weight is 3.1 grams, over two and a half times more gold!  To equalize the price of the hollow ring to our gold price, that seller should have his ring priced at about $65.00 instead of $170.00.  So, it is no bargain, and in fact, is way, way overpriced for the quality of the ring.  Or, looked at another way, if we priced our ring the same way they are pricing theirs, our ring would be selling for $454.00!

The image to the right shows a cross section of different style rings.  Wedding bands on our website are solid all the way through, so the yellow color in the image above is all gold.  In a hollow, or tubular ring, the yellow color in the above image would be just air, or possibly a non-metallic filler, and the black outline is the actual gold, although it would probably be a little thicker than the black line indicates.

A wedding ring is a purchase that will stay with you for a long time, and most of us will notice that our fingers "gain weight" over the years.  If you have a solid band, it can easily be stretched to accommodate your new measurement, but a hollow band would have to be scrapped.  Even if you lose weight, and want the ring reduced in size, that can be done, too. Don't compromise, always buy a solid ring that can be re-sized if needed, and it will last a lifetime--you won't regret that decision.


Monday, February 17, 2014

The Christian Jewelry Shop now part of ViridianGold.com

Silver Fish Ring

The Christian Jewelry Shop website was created by us in 2007 to feature rings, wedding rings and pendants of interest to Christians. We have decided to close that site, and redesign ViridianGold.com, our main site created in 2005.
Child's Pearl Cross Gold Necklace
Back then, our main site did not have much "religious jewelry" on it. However, over the years we have added all of the items that used to be on Christian Jewelry Shop, along with many more, in all price ranges, in our Faith and Family section.

You will find many more Christian items now, such as our Sterling Silver, Ichthus Fish Ring, shown above, which carries the ancient symbol of early Christianity. Other jewelry now available are numerous children's religious items, such as our Child's Pearl Cross Necklace, in yellow 14K gold, including a 15" gold chain (also available in white gold).

As always, you get free shipping, and you can have many items engraved, as well has have our rings custom sized to your specifications.  In addition, many of our Wedding Ring Sets offer discounts when two or three rings are purchased together. Please visit our newly re-designed site, ViridianGold.com and let us know what you think!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gifts for Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Looking for that perfect gift for those special members of your wedding party?  At Viridian Gold, we are pleased to offer a selection of gifts to honor your bridesmaids, maid of honor, best man and groomsmen. Make your selection from affordable items of pearl jewelry, sterling silver jewelry, and non-jewelry gifts, such as small jewelry cases.  For pearl gifts, we suggest our Freshwater Pearl Station Necklace and Earring Set #2092, pictured on the left, or our Pearl Bracelet #3036, which is available in six, pearl color combinations.  For sterling silver bridesmaids' gifts, two of our most popular items are designer Deborah Birdoes' Friendship Heart Necklace #2064 and our Sterling Silver Diamond Heart Locket #5168.

You may also choose from a selection of sterling silver necklaces, bracelets and earrings. 
Charm bracelets, such as our Sterling Charm Bracelet #3073, make wonderful bridesmaids' gifts, or view
our 
CZ Drop Earring and Necklace Set #2179.  And don't forget to check out our Bridesmaids' Gifts page for even more suggestions, including small jewelry boxes and jewelry travel bags.


Cross Pendants also make memorable, wedding party gifts for both bridesmaids and groomsmen ~ choose from a selection of both men's and women's crosses in sterling silver and stainless steel.  For men, may we suggest an engravable money clip, such as our Sterling Silver Money Clip #9055, or a pair of men's cuff links, such as our Titanium Cuff Links #9086.  As always, if you need assistance with your selection, please give us a call ~ we're always happy to help!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Crosses for Children

Child's Budded Cross Necklace We have recently added a number of small crosses which are ideal gifts for children.  These crosses include a 16" yellow-gold-filled chain at no charge.  Options are offered for 14K gold, 14" chains, as well as other lengths, and these can be selected when you order the cross.

Child's budded cross necklace in sterling silverFor instance, at left our Child's Budded Cross Necklace is available in 14K yellow or white gold and is 9/16" tall -- is perfect for a baptism gift.  A colorful alternative is our Child's Dedication Cross, at right, which is made of sterling silver, with a blue or pink enamel interior.  It includes a 14" sterling silver chain, too.

See our Children's Religious Jewelry page for a huge selection of cross pendants and necklaces, as well as earrings, in both sterling silver and 14K gold.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Determining Spacer Bead Size

Many people use spacer beads to separate charms on bracelets, necklaces and charm holders, but figuring out what size to purchase can sometimes be challenging.  At Viridian Gold, we carry a selection of spacer beads, and each bead is available in several different sizes (see: http://www.viridiangold.com/charms.html)

When determining what size spacer bead to purchase, first take into consideration what item of jewelry the bead will be added to - will it go on a chain necklace or bracelet, or a charm holder?  Next, figure out the millimeter width of the item on which you want to add the bead.  If it's a chain, how wide is chain?  How wide is the clasp?  If you are unsure, reach for the nearest ruler.  Rulers frequently have millimeter measurements opposite the inch measurements, and millimeters are what are needed for a chain width measurement.  Place your ruler on a flat surface in a horizontal position, and then place your chain across the ruler in a vertical position.  Make certain you are looking at the millimeters, not inches - now determine an approximate chain width.

The measurement and weight table, found at the end of each spacer bead description on our website, will provide you with information to help you in your selection.  For example, our Round Spacer Bead #8131, pictured above, is available in 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7mm widths.  Take a 5mm bead - the outer diameter of that bead measures 5 millimeters (for inches, divide the 5mm width by 24.5 - the number of millimeters per inch.  The result is 0.20 inch, or approximately 3/16 inch).  The "hole diameter", or bead opening, is also found in the measurement table.  The table tells us that the opening for the 5mm bead measures 2mm.  This is large enough to accommodate a 1 to 1.5mm width chain.  But first check the clasp - if it's wider than the bead opening, you (or your local jeweler) may need to temporarily remove one end of of the clasp in order to place the beads.

Usually, the wider the bead diameter, the wider the hole or bead opening.  Smaller spacer beads are frequently used to separate charms on a charm holder, such as our Safety Pin Charm Holder #8042.  The openings of the smaller beads can easily accommodate the width of the gold wire on our charm holders. You may choose from round, corrugated and roundel beads, such as our Roundel Spacer Beads #8130 - all available in several sizes.  If you are still unsure of what size you need, please feel free to call.  We are happy to assist you with your selection.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Matching a Lost Earring -- A Success Story


Matching a lost huggie earring

Ever lose one of your favorite earrings from a pair, and want replace it with an exact match?  This is a common problem, especially with gold prices having shot up in the last several years.  Why replace an expensive pair of earrings, if you can simply purchase another matching, single earring?  At ViridianGold.com, we have realized that some of our customers are trying to do just that, usually with huggie earring styles.  So, we try to make this process as easy as possible by providing, on our website, photographs and a table of dimensions for each of our earring styles. For most earrings, we include the length of the earring, which is the same as the diameter across, in the title.

Photo comparing a lost earring with a dime
Recently, we had a customer order a single 14K Gold 10.25mm Hinged Huggie Earring, #4163 .  After receiving her order, she contacted us to get an RMA number so that she could return the earring.  As we spoke, I realized that she was trying to match a lost one from a pair, and she did not have a means of making any exact measurements.  So, I asked her to email me a picture of the one she was trying to match, and to include a dime or penny in the photo so that I could determine the dimensions of her old earring.  We could then see if we could locate a match for her.  This process also made me realize that for some of our earrings, the website photograph does not show a perspective which allows you to match the exact shape--in her case, our #4163 earring (on the right in her picture) was horseshoe-shaped, but hers (on the left) was round, so we added a side view to our website's #4163 photograph to show that shape.

After receiving her photo, I could then determine it's diameter in Photoshop by referencing off the dime by using the dimensions given in our Jewelry Dimensions Helper Page, which enables you to compare the measurements and weights of US coins.  From that information, I determined that her old earring appeared similar to our 9.5mm Hinged Huggie Earring, #4076.  So, she returned the #4163 and we exchanged it for a single #4076.  She is now a happy customer, with a matched set!

If you need our assistance in matching a lost earring with a style on our website, please check our selection of gold, silver and platinum earrings to find a similar style, and then refer to the How to Match a Lost Earring page on our website.  Feel free to email or call ViridianGold.com if you need assistance.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dog Tags

We have recently added some new, men’s jewelry for Father's Day ~ among them are several dog tag necklaces (with more coming soon).  After doing a little research on dog tags, I learned that the first military ID tags were issued during the beginning of WWI by the British Army and their imperial forces.  Two round tags, one of red and one of green fiber, were hung around the neck by butcher's twine. 

On December 10, 1906, the Army tags were authorized in the US.  These were aluminum discs that were stamped with the name, rank, company, regiment or corps of the wearer.  In July, 1916, Army regulations decreed that all soldiers be issued two tags ~ one to remain with the body and one to be collected.  Two years later, the serial number system was adopted.*

One common tale regarding notched dog tags that were issued between 1941 and 1970 was that the notched end was placed between the front teeth of casualties to hold the jaws in place.  But the notch was actually to hold the blank tag in place on the embossing machine.*  
During the Vietnam war, US soldiers were allowed to place rubber silencers on their dog tags to prevent the enemy from hearing metallic clinking.  Some taped their tags together with black tape, while others wore one tag around their necks and the second on the lace of one boot.*

Non-military dog tags have become popular over the years.  Some are worn with personal or medic alert information; others reflect religious affiliations or favorite quotes.  At Viridian Gold, we offer a selection of engravable styles in sterling silver, such as our #5098, pictured above, as well as in stainless steel.  You may choose from a simple, unadorned tag or one that is fashioned with a religious motif, such as this Double Dog Tag with Cross #9048, or a patriotic one like our Dog Tag with Eagle Design #9059.  All include a 24 or 30" bead chain.

*Historical information condensed from Wikipedia.org



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Silver Wedding Bands are replacing Gold

Sterling Silver Wedding Rings
With the price of gold at all-time highs, couples looking for traditional, white gold wedding bands are finding that sterling silver wedding rings are an economical, yet high-quality alternative.  Our silver bands are made in the same USA factory as our gold and platinum bands, using the same molds.  This means that the quality is unsurpassed--these are not cheap, flea-market rings that are imported from India or China, but are fully .925 silver, highly polished and free of pits and voids.  To be termed "sterling silver", the silver content must be at least 92.5%, so these rings are marked "STER" on the inside surface to so indicate their fineness.  Over the years, these sterling silver rings will acquire a unique and pleasing patina which is the classic hallmark of quality silver jewelry.

Sterling Silver Wedding BandOur domed, "Comfort-Fit" sterling silver bands are available in widths from 2mm up to 6mm.  We also offer the more traditional, domed half-round style in sterling silver.  Stock sizes are available from 4 up to 15, in 1/2-size increments, as well as custom 1/4-sizes if required. Be alert to unscrupulous sellers of rings who will sell you a 4mm-wide ring, when you actually ordered a 5mm width!  When you purchase a ring from Viridian Gold, you can rest assured that it conforms to the weight and width specifications provided on our website
.
Silver plus Gold Wedding Ring
If you wish to have some gold in your silver wedding rings, consider either our gold & silver milgrain style wedding bands, or our gold & silver brushed style rings.  Both are 6mm wide, and are available in stock half-sizes from 4 up to 15.

Of course, our silver rings can also be engraved on the inside surface, just like a solid gold ring.  Each is individually inspected, and packaged in our Viridian Gold velvet ring box.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rosary Beads, Rosary Rings and Bracelets

Rosary Bracelets
The Rosary, "rosarium" in Latin, means "garland of roses", and is prayed in honor of the Virgin Mary, since the rose is one of the flowers that symbolizes her.  A set of specific prayers, the rosary begins with introductory prayers.  Between those prayers and the closing prayer of the rosary are what is known as the decades.  Each decade consists of the Lord's Prayer, 10 prayers of "Hail Mary...", and a single "Glory be to the Father".  A meditation of one of the "Mysteries of the Rosary" (there are fifteen Mysteries, each of which recalls an aspect of the life of Christ) accompanies each decade.  For most people, "praying the rosary", consists of praying five decades.

Rosary Rings in Gold or Silver
To help those who pray the rosary keep count of their prayers, rosary beads ~ in necklace, bracelet or ring form, are used.  At Viridian Gold, we have a sampling of all these.  Each of our Rosary Rings is available in 14K yellow or white gold, 10K yellow, and sterling silver.  Some of our customer favorites are our Rosary Ring #1010, which is available in two different millimeter widths, 2.5mm and 4mm, and our 5mm Rosary Ring #1059.  Or you can view all of our Rosary Rings in Gold and Sterling Silver.  Each ring is designed with braille-like prayer beads and a single, small cross on the band, representing one decade of the rosary.  All rings can be custom sized.

Our rosary beads are for five-decade rosaries, and are available in sterling silver and 14K gold in a variety of styles, lengths and gemstones.  Take, for instance, our 22" Hematite Rosary #2077, or a beautiful, 43" Pink Freshwater Pearl Rosary #2023.  Both are fashioned with polished sterling silver and genuine gemstones, and most styles are suitable for both men and women.

Rosary Wrap Bracelets
We also offer a sampling of bracelets, such as the one pictured at the beginning of this blog, Pearl Rosary Bracelet #3093.  This is for a single decade rosary, and is designed with 14K gold and pearl prayer beads; it comes with a crucifix and either a miraculous or a communion medal.  If you are looking for one in sterling silver, we carry rosary wraps, such as our Gemstone Rosary Wrap Bracelet #3090.  This is a five-decade bracelet that includes a sterling silver crucifix and a miraculous medal.  It is available with black onyx, rose quartz, or mother of pearl prayer beads.  For further browsing, see our Religious Bracelets.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Jewelry for Lent?


Budded Cross Pendant
For Western Christianity, the first day of Lent, a movable fast that begins forty-six days before Easter, is Ash Wednesday.  For many denominations, this day is commemorated by the wearing of ashes on the forehead in a cross shape ~ a reminder of our human frailty, and of mourning and repentance before God.  The ashes are usually gathered from the burning of palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday, the day that announces Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, also the day that marks the beginning of His Passion.

Lent is a time of preparation for the celebration of Christ's glorious Resurrection, and is marked by prayer, penance, repentance, fasting/self-denial and almsgiving.  You may be thinking, if Lent is such a serious, contemplative time, a time when believers "give up" or "offer up" something for these forty days, why is this post about jewelry?

St Xenia Cross Pendant with Dove
The answer is that, for many of us, our religious jewelry ~ our crosses, crucifixes, rosary beads and the like, are a personal call to prayer, a call to behave as a Christian, a reminder and a statement of who we are and Who we belong to.  So for the next few paragraphs, we'll highlight some of the Christian jewelry our customers have purchased over the years.

Cross pendants: St. Xenia Cross #5525 is rich with Christian symbolism, from the St. Andrews cross adorning the center to the vine design at the base that represents the Cross as the Tree of Life.  A customer favorite, Alpha/Omega Chi Rho Cross #5267 makes a statement that the wearer recognizes Jesus Christ as the Alpha and the Omega, "the first and the last, and there is no God besides me..." (Isaiah 44:6).  To view our wide selection, see Cross Pendants in Gold, Silver, Platinum and Stainless Steel.

Shroud Crucifix Pendant in Tri-color Gold
Crucifix pendants: One of our most beautiful crucifix pendants is Shroud Crucifix in Tri-Color Gold #5438.  A rose gold shroud drapes the arms, signifying that while Christ died on the Cross, He rose from the dead, leaving His burial wrappings in the tomb.  The Sterling Silver Passion Crucifix #5597 is designed with pointed tips that symbolize Christ's Passion.  See Crucifix Pendants in Gold and Silver to view our entire selection.

Rosaries: We offer a selection of 5-decade rosary beads for men and women, and rosary bracelets in both sterling silver and 14K gold.  Rose Quartz Rosary #2189, crafted in sterling silver with genuine rose quartz beads, is but one example.  Customer favorites include Wrap Gemstone Rosary Bracelets #3090 and Rosary Rings in Gold and Silver.

We have not forgotten to include cross and crucifix pendants for children, such as our beautiful, Child's Petite Floral Cross Necklace #2222 and Child's Fleur-de-Lis Crucifix Necklace #2208.  We also offer a selection of medals and pendants for First Communion, Confirmation and Baptism.

Whatever your jewelry preferences for Lent and for Easter, we wish all of our customers and readers a holy and fruitful Lent.



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Jewelry Size and Weight Visualization

We often have visitors to our website call us with questions about size or weight descriptions of our jewelry, especially earrings.  For instance, if you see a hoop earring specified as 18mm in length, what does that really look like?  Pictures of jewelry on our website, and other websites, are never "actual size".  This is because the image will be seen on many different types of displays--tablets, laptops, cell phones, and desktop computers.  Each of these devices will render the image at a different size.  In addition, if the item was displayed as actual size, the viewer would not be able to see important details in it's construction.  Even if a measuring rule is superimposed over the image, the rule will not be actual size, and visualization is still difficult.

Size and Weight of selected USA coins
Item weight is also important for all jewelry items, because the cost and value is proportional to the weight of precious metal.  But, on some items, such as earrings, weight is also critical because a heavy item could be uncomfortable.  In the past, we have dropped some hoop earrings from our website for this reason, because customers would return them, saying they were uncomfortably heavy for their pierced ears.

To assist our customers visualizing jewelry sizes, we have recently added a helper page with a size and weight comparison between seven different U.S. coins, ranging in diameter from 17.9mm to 38.1mm, and in weight from 2.67 grams to 22.68 grams. So, using this information, you would determine that a 3mm-wide wedding band is approximately the width of a stack of two pennies.  Or, as illustrated above, an 18mm hoop earring is about the same diameter as a dime.  If the earring is specified as 2.5mm wide, then you know it is slightly less than the thickness of two dimes.

Regardless of how much information we give our customers on our website, we realize that there is no substitute for actually holding the jewelry item in your hand!  That is why we allow a 30-day return for most items (see our Customer Service Page for details).  Remember, after looking at websites and zooming in on jewelry pictures, your brain could be programmed to expect a larger size piece than it actually is, so use our information to help you accurately gauge jewelry size and weight prior to ordering.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Crown of Thorns Rings

Sterling Silver Wreath of Thorns Ring
Also a popular style for a wedding ring, the Thorns design can either be viewed as simply a beautiful design, or it can carry a deeper significance of the Crown worn by Christ at His crucifixion, symbolizing His suffering.  Sometimes this design is found as a "Wreath of Thorns" ring, so-called because the design only wraps around the top portion of the ring, allowing for custom ring sizing (where the "sizing bar" at the lower portion of the ring is made larger or smaller to change the ring size).

Gold Wreath of Thorns RingsIn some countries of the world, wearing any outward symbol of Christianity is forbidden.   So, for instance, if you are a visitor in one of those places, you may not wear a ring which carries a cross.

For this reason, many Christians will wear a ring with some other kind of symbol, such as the Thorns design.  Not long ago, we sold a matching pair of rings to a woman whose husband travels in Communist China (as a salesman) for that very reason!  He was not allowed to enter company buildings with his former wedding ring, which had a prominent cross in it's design.

Gold Crown of Thorns Rings
At ViridianGold.com, we carry two styles of Thorn rings.  The Wreath style features two intertwined stems of thorns which wrap around the upper 3/4 of the band.  It is available as the economical Sterling Silver Wreath of Thorns Ring , as well as the 14K Gold Wreath version in yellow and white, and in a 10K yellow gold version.

The "Crown of Thorns" style, designed by Brad Ferguson in the early 1980's, is available in both flush and recessed designs, in 14K yellow or white gold.  We also carry matching Crown of Thorns pendants for this style.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Gold Color, Karat Weight and the Klondike Gold Rush

Yesterday morning, on a whim, I checked to see what interesting historical events had taken place on that particular date.  After reading the names of those noteworthy enough to have their births and deaths recorded, I learned that July 17, 1897 was the beginning of the Klondike Gold Rush.  Also known as the Yukon, or Alaska Gold Rush, this event happened  less than a year after a massive quantity of gold was discovered in the Klondike region of the Yukon in August of 1896.  When the news eventually reached Seattle and San Francisco, it triggered a stampede of would-be prospectors to the area, all eager to find their fortunes.

In keeping with history, today's blog is about gold, a dense, shiny metal (that most women love!) ~ a chemical element with the symbol Au and the atomic number 79.  Gold karat, known as K or kt (represented by ct, or carat, in some other countries) is the gold content of the metal.  Pure gold, or 24K, is a deep yellow color, but it is too soft to be used for most types of jewelry.  It is therefore alloyed with other metals, which changes the hardness, color and other properties, as well as the affordability.  When pure gold is non-alloyed, it is 100% gold and is called 24K.  When mixed with other metals, pure gold becomes 18K (75% pure gold), 14K (58.5% ) or 10K (41.7%).  Most jewelry is stamped with a marking to show the type of gold: 10K or 417, 14K or 585, 18K or 750.

Alloy metals used to make 18, 14 and 10K yellow gold are usually copper and silver.  Rose, or pink gold, contains more copper.  Other relatively new colors are green gold, which is created by adjusting the amount of copper and silver, and blue, which is alloyed with iron.  White gold contains white metals, such as silver and palladium, as well as aluminum, zinc and copper.  See our Rose of Sharon Wedding Bands #1518, pictured on the right, for examples of multiple gold colors.

When two gold colors are used in a single piece of jewelry, it is called "Two-Tone" gold, usually yellow and white, such as the Two-Tone Gold Huggie Earrings #4235 pictured on the left.  As a side note, some jewelers and websites carry items that are labeled "two-tone" that are actually yellow gold with rhodium plating.  Rhodium is a member of the platinum family and is actually whiter and harder than platinum.  It is occasionally used to plate, or coat, yellow gold, giving the item a two-tone appearance.  (It is also used to plate white gold to give a more durable finish; and is sometimes used to plate sterling silver to prevent tarnishing.)  Be sure to look for the word "gold" after a two-tone description if you are looking for a piece of jewelry that is composed of both yellow and white gold.  "Tri-Color" gold simply means that there are three colors of gold in the same jewelry item (usually yellow, white and rose), as in our "Tender Touch" Diamond Heart Pendant #5005.  Again, look for the word "gold" rather than "plated", as yellow gold can be plated to give a tri-color effect.

Whichever ever color you like, be assured that the gold jewelry you purchase from Viridian Gold is solid gold.  Any items that have plating as accents are clearly labeled as such.  In addition, all of our jewelry is marked with its fineness (10, 14 or 18K), which is your assurance of quality.