Are you in search of the perfect anniversary, birthday, or other holiday gift? One that will leave a fond memory and last a lifetime? Than you’ve come to the right place! For more than 100,000 years people have been creating and adorning themselves with beautiful jewelry and accessories. Shopping for jewelry can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Philadelphia jewelers has been proudly offering the best selection of custom, antique, designer, and locally-made jewelry for years now. Jewelry is more than just a pretty accessory, jewelry can make a statement about your personality, and act as an expression of your preferences.
Of all the jewelers Philadelphia PA has to offer, we’re confident that you’ll be thrilled with our superior selection of gems, bracelets, engagement rings, wedding bands, necklaces, jeweled cuff links, and more. No matter what the celebration or occasion, Philadelphia jewelers has the perfect piece of jewelry for you. You don’t have to travel to Jewelers’ Row anymore to deal with the best jewelers in Philadelphia. You can shop for high-quality jewelry right from the comfort of your own home. In order to help you choose the best piece of jewelry our Philadelphia jewelers have put together a basic jewelry-buying guide for you to use whether you’re preparing to visit the jewelers Philadelphia has or just want to better educate yourself on buying jewelry.
Express yourself with the perfect precious metal
There are many different types of precious metals used to make jewelry, each with its own unique characteristics and connotations. Your Philadelphia jewelers can help you choose the precious metal that best fits your lifestyle and needs.
- Gold – Gold is traditionally used for wedding rings and has been the standard of classic beauty for many years. Most gold comes in both white and yellow varieties. Gold is softer than other precious metals but opting for a lower karat of gold will make for stronger jewelry. Yellow gold will make diamonds look yellow while white gold tends to irritate sensitive skin and will show the flaws of diamonds more. Some gold is rhodium-plated to make it white, but the coating will wear away with time and use requiring periodic polishing. If you’re extremely active or prone to having sensitive skin, gold may not be the right choice for you.
- Silver – Silver is the least expensive and softest of fine metals. It scratches easily and should not be worn daily. However, since silver is so cheap, you can purchase a variety of different pieces to switch out each day.
- Titanium – Titanium is a juggernaut. It’s the hardest of the metals so it won’t scratch, dent or bend easily. Another great fact about titanium jewelry is that 100% titanium pieces are hypoallergenic! But purchase with caution. Because titanium is so strong it cannot be soldered, sized, and if it ever gets stuck on a finger or wrist it is extremely difficult to cut off.
- Palladium – Palladium is a white metal that is quickly growing in popularity among young, active people. Palladium is harder than gold but softer than platinum, and when used in its pure form it is hypoallergenic. You don’t have to worry about your jewelry needing re-polishing either as palladium is naturally white.
- Platinum – Prestigious, expensive, hypoallergenic and elegant. Platinum is heavy and scratch resistant and adds a sense of style and class to any outfit or situation.
Now that you’ve gotten the Philadelphia jewelers help in choosing the right kind of metal for your jewelry, it’s time to talk about gemstones. There are four different kinds of gemstones: natural, lab created, imitation, and enhanced or treated gemstones. Qualified Philadelphia jewelers and gemologists will be able to assist you in recognizing the differences and can test your gemstones that you are unsure about.
Natural gemstones are more valuable because of their rarity. These gemstones are mined from the earth and can come from all different parts of the world. Some natural gemstones, diamonds for example, can be treated to improve or change their coloring. Some common natural gemstones include diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.
Lab Created Gemstones…
Also called lab-grown, manufactured, or synthetic, these gems have the same basic chemical, optical, and physical properties as their natural counterparts. Our expert Philadelphia jewelers can assist in recognizing synthetic gemstones without having to conduct testing.
Imitation gemstones resemble natural gemstones in their appearance only. These gemstones, also called costume jewelry, can include cubic zirconia as well as tinted glass pieces. Imitation and synthetic gemstones should be clearly identified as such and most quality Philadelphia jewelers will do so.
Enhanced or Treated Gemstones…
Sometimes people want to change the color of their gemstones, improve the durability of their gemstones, or help hide imperfections of the gemstones. In these cases jewelers Philadelphia and nationwide can perform these treatments on a variety of gemstones. Some treatments include:
- heating – This common gemstone treatment changes the gem’s color and improves the gem’s clarity and brightness.
- oiling – Commonly used to treat emeralds, this helps hide surface blemishes while adding color.
- irradiation – The pounding of gems with subatomic particles or radiation can produce a better or altogether new gem color, and is often followed up with a heat treatment. This is most commonly done to blue topaz.
- dyeing – In general, the dyeing of gemstones is done by subpar Philadelphia jewelers to hide imperfections or altogether change the gem’s color. Dyeing is acceptable with pearls and black onyx, but that’s about it. Dye can also rub off onto the wearer which is no fun. Be wary of intensely-colored cheap coral, jade, or lapis lazuli as it was probably dyed.
- impregnation and stabilization – Impregnation is the infusion of wax or paraffin into a porous gemstone. Impregnated gemstones must never be kept near heat or the paraffin will melt and the gem will weep. Stabilization involves injecting a bonding agent like plastic into the porous gemstone.
- bleaching – Bleaching is common in organic gem materials like pearls, coral, and ivory, and will not lessen the gem’s value or raise its price.
- coating – Coating has been done for more than two centuries and involves the application of a thin lacquer to improve the gem’s appearance and alter their color. Gemstones like opals may have a coating on their back to add depth or give the appearance of a black opal. Likewise, black onyx can be coated with opal.
- diffusion – This process requires the infusing of chemicals at high temperatures to penetrate gems and change the gem’s color, improve the gem’s color, or create star patterns in the gem.
- filling – Filling is more or a protective process that entails filling cracks and fractures in gems with lead glass or polymer. This is usually done to rubies and can lower their value.
These were just a few of the different enhancements and treatments that can be done to gemstones. Now you should have a grasp of the basics when it comes to picking out quality jewelry but if you’re still stumped our Philadelphia jewelers are ready and waiting to help you choose the perfect piece of statement jewelry.