Jewelry is beautiful and captivating, and its value is increased more so with an understanding of the physical properties they exhibit. In this article, we will explore a tiny fraction of these, but in truth, one could talk about this for pages and pages.
Different Jewelry Metals
There are many precious metals which are used in jewelry, and all of them have differing needs. Silver, for example, is very mailable, and so it needs to be handled with extreme care compared to a lot of other metals. Silver can also tarnish, especially if exposed to sulphur. Bronze, on the other hand, is much more durable and long-lasting, and does not tarnish very easily, but eventually will start to turn green after many years if not looked after. Platinum is also highly durable and is a great choice for engagement rings for this reason. Platinum, however, is both rare and expensive for this reason. Gold is perhaps the most popular choice for jewelry. Gold is a fascinating metal. It is virtually impossible to create or destroy, and for this reason, alchemists have historically been fascinated by it, and their search for it gave rise to modern chemistry as we know it, believing it to hold qualities of immutability. Gold reacts with few if any other known substances, and is highly mailable, just like silver, making it ideal for both jewel smiths and dentists alike. Like silver, gold is very easy to scratch due to this mailability, but unlike silver will never tarnish. The value of gold is skyrocketing these days, as it becomes increasingly difficult to find in nature. By some estimates, all the gold currently known to exist could fit within a single TV show studio.
Gems are often categorized via the Mohs hardness scale, differentiating crystalline minerals in terms of their physical durability. Ranked 2.5 on the Mohs scale, a pearl is relatively vulnerable to abrasion, and so should, like silver or gold, be handled with care, and may not be a good idea for everyday jewelry, such as wedding or engagement rings; for this, anything below 7 (around the hardness of quartz) may not be overly suitable for everyday wearing. Amethyst is a form of quartz that ranks on this scale. Topaz and emerald rank 8 on this scale, and are very hard, and corundum-based stones, namely ruby and sapphire rank 9 and are even harder. The hardest, and most difficult to damage is diamond, which is also the most valuable, ranking 10. Diamond, however, is incredibly rare to find in nature, and many diamonds are created synthetically via lab techniques.
Making Jewelry Work for You
As accessories, jewelry needs to fit with the wearer’s overall look and sit within the right context in terms of shape, color, and mood, whether that be selecting cute blouses to present a necklace across an open neckline or styling your hair to contextualize the look created by a pair of earrings.
Understanding Its Value
The value of jewelry is usually determined by three things: size, rarity, history, and how it has been made. The more difficult it is to make, the more expensive it will be, and this is the case the rarer the materials are from which it has been made. This is then multiplied by the size and the number of materials involved in its creation. The biggest values, however, are applied to jewels which have played a role in famous, historical events. These can ascend into the hundreds of millions.
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