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Jewelry

  1. Fill out the form on the right and get your FREE and INSURED appraisal kit.
  2. When you get the kit, fill the postage paid package with your gold, silver, diamonds, platinum, jewelry, watches, coins & rings and drop it in the mail.
  3. We will appraise your package and call you immediately to offer you the highest payout possible!

Jewelry Overview
Jewelry is a form of personal adornment, manifesting itself as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Jewelry may be made from any material, usually gemstones, precious metals, beads, or shells. Factors affecting the choice of materials include cultural differences and the availability of the materials. Jewelry may be appreciated because of its material properties, its patterns, or for meaningful symbols. Jewelry differs from other items of personal adornment in that it has no other purpose than to look appealing. Items such as belts and handbags are considered to be accessories rather than jewelry.

 

The word jewelry is derived from the word jewel, which was Anglicized from the Old French “jouel” circa the 13th century. Further tracing leads back to the Latin word “jocale”, meaning plaything. Jewelry is one of the oldest forms of body adornment; recently-found 100,000-year-old beads made from Nassarius shells are thought to be the oldest known jewelry.

 

Jewelry is sometimes regarded as a way of showing wealth and might also possess some minimal functionality, such as holding a garment together or keeping hair in place. It has from very early times been regarded as a form of personal adornment. The first pieces of jewelry were made from natural materials, such as bone, animal teeth, shell, wood and carved stone. Some jewelry throughout the ages may have specifically been as an indication of a social group. More exotic jewelry is often for wealthier people, with its rarity increasing its value. Due to its personal nature and its indication of social class, some cultures established traditions of burying the dead with their jewelry.

 

Jewelry has been made to adorn nearly every body part, from hairpins to toe rings and many more types of jewelry. While traditional jewelry is usually made with gemstones and precious metals, such as silver or gold, there is also a growing demand for art jewelry where design and creativity is prized above material value. In addition, there is the less costly costume jewelry, made from lower value materials and often mass-produced. Other variations include wire sculpture (wrap) jewelry, using anything from base metal wire with rock tumbled stone to precious metals and precious gemstones.

 

Jewelry Materials

In creating jewelry, gemstones, coins, or other precious items are often used, and they are typically set into precious metals. Alloys of nearly every metal known have been encountered in jewelry. Bronze, for example, was common in Roman times. Modern fine jewelry usually includes gold, white gold, platinum, palladium, titanium, or silver. Most American and European gold jewelry is made of an alloy of gold, the purity of which is stated in karats, indicated by a number followed by the letter K. American gold jewelry must be of at least 10K purity (41.7% pure gold), (though in the UK the number is 9K (37.5% pure gold) and is typically found up to 18K (75% pure gold). Higher purity levels are less common with alloys at 22 K (91.6% pure gold), and 24 K (99.9% pure gold) being considered too soft for jewelry use in America and Europe. These high purity alloys, however, are widely used across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.[citation needed] Platinum alloys range from 900 (90% pure) to 950 (95.0% pure). The silver used in jewelry is usually sterling silver, or 92.5% fine silver. In costume jewelry, stainless steel findings are sometimes used.

 

Jewelry Finishes

For platinum, gold, and silver jewelry, there are many techniques to create finishes. The most common are high-polish, satin/matte, brushed, and hammered. High-polished jewelry is by far the most common and gives the metal a highly reflective, shiny look. Satin, or matte finish reduces the shine and reflection of the jewelry and is commonly used to accentuate gemstones such as diamonds.

 

Brushed finishes give the jewelry a textured look and are created by brushing a material (similar to sandpaper) against the metal, leaving “brush strokes.” Hammered finishes are typically created by using a soft, rounded hammer and hammering the jewelry to give it a wavy texture.

 

Some jewelry is plated to give it a shiny, reflective look or to achieve a desired color. Sterling silver jewelry may be plated with a thin layer of 0.999 fine silver (a process known as flashing) or may be plated with rhodium or gold. Base metal costume jewelry may also be plated with silver, gold, or rhodium for a more attractive finish.

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