It started out as a hectic day, to say the least, I was trying to rearrange clothes to accomadate some new furniture. Always a fun job especially when coupled with the fun of washing clothes from a trip south plus the usual clothes. These clothes needed to put away for the winter.

Every time I opened a drawer my cat, Lucy, would jump in and start looking for a secret tunnel to another world she had yet to explore. I would stop the folding and grab her out of the drawer, shut the drawer, and fold enough clothes to make it worth opening a drawer and risk wrestling with Lucy. 

After a few rounds of this I decided to spend some time working on new jewelry. That was a big mistake, sparkly beads that roll around, what cat wouldn't love that? So I dug out a few large beads that were left over and let her go crazy rolling them around. Great I thought, now back to the clothing debacle. I started putting away clothes and there was no sign of my mischevious cat. After putting a few things in one drawer I started to open the one below it. "Gee," I thought, "this one's heavy, I didn't realize I'd put so many clothes in here." I opened it, and, much to my surprise there was Lucy all curled up. "Lucy! You have some splainin to do" I couldn't let her stay - the way the dresser is designed the drawers don't come all the way out - if she got caught behind one we would have to break the thing to rescue her. (I know, who would design furniture like that?) I have another blog about things that are obviously designed by men for a largely female consumer.

I decided to take another break (notice I'll use any excuse to avoid unpleasant tasks) and write a blog - this blog.

I opened my Chromebook (fancy name for laptop) and began to type. So here is some info you might find useful:

  • Gold plated - any base metal that is plated with a thin layer of gold. Since the layer is thin you can get the look of 18, 22 or 24K gold for a reasonable price. I would not recomend this for rings, chains or bracelets you intend to wear everyday.
  • Gold Filled - a much thicker coating of gold (to use this term the gold must be at least 1/20 of the total metal weight). This finish is more durable than simple gold plated - which makes it a good choice for chains, bracelets and rings you plan to wear frequently. I'd still be wary of choosing this for rings you want to wear everyday.
  • Gold washed - a term for a very, very thin layer of gold applied by dipping or burnishing. I see a lot of pendants with this type of finish around the edge and/or on the back to give them more pizzazz.
  • Gold vermeil - this term refers to gold that is chemically bonded to Sterling Silver. It is usually more expensive than simple gold plating because silver is more expensive than other bass metals such as brass or bronze.

A good way to picture the difference between plating and filled is to picture an artery that has no plaque build up (plated) and one that has plaque inside (filled). 

  • Silver - second only to gold, silver is prised for it's malleability and luster. Actually silver is the most reflective metal found in nature! Pure silver is too soft for jewelry.
  • Sterling Silver - named for the British currency "sterling" it is an alloy made of .925 silver and the rest pure copper. It is used in jewelry, and, in the olden days flatware, tea/coffee services, ete. (You can still find these items it's just very, very expensive.)

 Many sterling items have a rhodium finish as an anti tarnish agent.

  • White Gold - this is made by mixing gold with silver metals such as zinc, nickel or silver to decrease the yellow tint of gold. It is often made more lusterous by plating with platinum or rhodium (a member of the platium group, rhodium is highly reflective and much more expensive than platium). In the jewelry industry rhodium is used as a plating to reduce tarnish.
  • Yellow Gold - this metal has been revered for centuries due to it's warm lusterous glow. Pure gold is usually considered too soft for most jewelry.
  • Rose Gold - mixed with copper, this type of gold displays a beautiful pink tint
  • Copper - copper has been used mostly by artisan jewelers, but, is becoming more popular. It can be coated with an anti tarnish material or allowed to age to a lovely patina.

        24k - pure gold, 18k - 75% gold, 14k - 58.3% gold, 10k - 41.7% gold           

No matter which karat you choose all of them make excellent jewelry. 10k is great for people who work with their hands, it's hard and resists scratches more than the others. Be careful of mixing karats, if your engagement ring is 18k and the band is 10k you WILL see a difference in color with the two. Even 14k next to 18k will have a paler shade.

There you have it, you are now an expert (probably not) various metals & finishes and I have learned a few new things, have fun jewelry shopping! 

Well, Lucy (Sweet Child O' Mine), is again awake and dying to walk on my keyboard, NOT. I give up, when she wants affection she will not give up easily so I surrender...

Until next time...