Author: Lesa Catt

Natural vs Freshwater Pearls: What’s the Difference?Natural vs Freshwater Pearls: What’s the Difference?

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You may have seen advertisements or displays of “cultured freshwater pearls” and noticed two things: the appearance of the freshwater pearls was drastically different than that of traditional, white “natural” pearls. The other noticeable difference is typically the price. Freshwater pearls are generally far less expensive than natural pearls.

Aside from their drastic difference in appearance and cost, there are some other major differences between freshwater and cultured pearls. For example, natural pearls occur randomly and spontaneously in the wild—which makes them very rare.

Freshwater pearls, on the other hand, are farmed from freshwater mussels, allowing them to be produced and harvested on a much wider scale—hence the lower price.

Both freshwater and natural pearls come from a living organism, which makes them somewhat fragile. However, freshwater pearls, because of their appearance and lower cost, are often worn on a more casual basis. Natural pearls, with their elegant and timeless style, are usually saved for special occasions.

Natural pearls are often passed down from generation to generation, making them extremely delicate as they are handled and worn throughout the years. In order to keep pearls safe from damage there are some precautions you can take:

  • Restring your pearls every 3 years or so—depending on the level of wear—to avoid a potential break.
  • Avoid wearing makeup, perfumes, or other chemicals when wearing pearls—these can damage the surface of your pearls.
  • When storing your pearls, make sure they are free of contaminates and avoid hanging them for long periods of time—this will stretch and eventually break the silk string holding them together.

Hopefully these tips will help keep your pearls looking beautiful for many years to come. Feel free to stop by the store and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have about your prized jewelry.

Here at Gold Definitions, we believe jewelry is meant to be worn. So don’t be afraid to show off those pearly whites—jewelry, that is!

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Why Should I Restring My Pearls?Why Should I Restring My Pearls?

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Do you have a pearl necklace or bracelet? If so, did you know that your pearls can and should be regularly restrung to protect their beauty and quality?

Stringing pearls is a process by which pearls are carefully threaded onto a silk strand and knotted between each pearl. These knots provide two functions. The first function is practical, in that they keep the pearls from rolling everywhere in the event that the strand breaks. The second function is aesthetic, in that they provide a refined and elegant look by maintaining an appropriate and equal amount of spacing between the pearls.

Over time, however, the silk strand slowly begins to weaken, stretch out, and may even begin to appear dull or dingy from regular wear. These effects not only take away from the beauty of your pearl necklace or bracelet, but they also increase the likelihood of the strand fraying or breaking.

Most experts recommend restringing your pearls every three years or so, depending on their age and their amount of usage. To ensure the longevity of your pearl necklace or bracelet, consider bringing them to an expert and spending a relatively small—yet worthwhile—amount to have them restrung.

Pearls—like diamond rings or other pieces of valuable jewelry—are an investment and should receive proper care. In many cases, pearl necklaces or bracelets are passed down from one generation to the next as symbolic and meaningful family heirlooms. Regardless of whether you received your pearls from your mother or grandmother, or whether your spouse purchased them for you a few years ago, be sure to preserve the beauty and quality of this valuable piece of jewelry through regular restringing.

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The Origin of Wheat Carving and EngravingThe Origin of Wheat Carving and Engraving

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Ring designs are often deeply symbolic, conveying profound significance with small, but important colors, styles, and more. For example, wheat carving and engraving on rings is often represented with a series of detailed hash marks across the width of the ring. Behind such designs as wheat carving and engraving are often rich stories of how humans have interpreted those designs for centuries.

What does such a style symbolize? And how did this style emerge?

Wheat carving and engraving on rings is typically understood to symbolize a bountiful harvest. In the 19th century, farmers’ wives wore rings with this design as a way to signify a successful or productive harvest that year. As one can imagine, doing this was a display of pride and gratitude for the wife and her family. Some have also speculated that wheat carving and engraving on rings emerged during the Renaissance, symbolizing fertility.

Today, this design—found predominately on vintage rings—might be interpreted along these historical lines. However, it might also be understood to symbolize a connection to the natural world. Or, perhaps it could be seen as a tribute to the agricultural background of one’s family.

Whatever ring design you choose, you should know that every design comes full of symbolic significance—whether that be a historically inherited significance or a personal significance you choose to give.

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Why Solder Your Wedding Rings?Why Solder Your Wedding Rings?

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So, you just got married and now you have two rings—an engagement ring and a wedding band—on the fourth finger of your left hand. While some wives choose to keep these rings separate, doing so can lead to both rings becoming damaged. Due to the friction caused by the two rings rubbing and scraping against each other over time, the intricate details of each ring can easily wear out, gradually transforming a clean and beautiful design into a marred and lackluster one.

The best and most common way to protect these two important investments is to solder them together. Generally speaking, soldering is the process by which two metal items become joined together through melting down and adding a filler metal—or solder—into the joint between the two. The filler metal has a lower melting point than the two metal items being joined, so the structure of these two items remains unchanged. This is what separates soldering from welding, a process by which two metal items are joined by being melted together. Believe us, you don’t want to weld your engagement ring to your wedding band!

By soldering your two rings into one with a delicate, yet solid bond, you are choosing to preserve their beauty and quality for years to come. (In addition to preserving these things, it’s simply easier and more functional to wear one “ring” as opposed to two.) When joining your two rings together, be sure that the soldering process meets the following important criteria:

  1. Proper fit: both rings having equal inside diameters
  2. Proper alignment: both rings maintain their individual artistic quality
  3. Proper amount: the rings are bonded together at two points
  4. Proper spacing: the bond should give the appearance of two separate rings
  5. Proper quality: joining the rings with a lasting, professional-level bond

Soldering your engagement ring and your wedding band together is a wise choice. Doing so will enable you and your spouse—as well as future generations—to enjoy your rings as they currently are. Just as you would choose to work hard to preserve your marriage, so, too, you should choose to work hard to preserve the rings symbolizing that marriage.…

What is a Gemologist?What is a Gemologist?

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You’ve probably heard the word “gemologist.” Yet, what, exactly, is a gemologist and what do gemologists do? Simply put, a gemologist is someone who assesses and appraises gem stones. That sounds easy enough, right? Not quite.

According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, gemologists “analyze, describe, and certify the quality and characteristics of gem stones. After using microscopes, computerized tools, and other grading instruments to examine gem stones or finished pieces of jewelry, they write reports certifying that the items are of a particular quality.”

In order to perform these detailed and technical tasks, many gemologists are trained through programs such as the Graduate Gemologist program at the Gemological Institute of America. Various local trade schools also offer training programs for gemologists. Through these programs, gemologists learn, among other things, to evaluate gem stones by the “4 C’s”: color, cut, clarity, and carat weight.

Our very own Lesa Catt, Owner of Gold Definitions, is a highly trained and skilled gemologist. Spending the majority of her time at a workbench with a magnifying glass, she uses different tools to carefully and patiently examine and evaluate gem stones. She uses various tools such as gauges, scales, tweezers, cleaners, testers, and lamps to aid in her work of assessing and appraising gem stones. Lesa, like many gemologists, also works hard to stay informed on industry trends, paying attention to the different factors that influence gem stone pricing in a given year.

Because of their training and skills, gemologists are extremely valuable to have as one’s personal jeweler. For example, let’s say that you inherit a gem stone from a loved one. While you might know what kind of gem stone it is, you likely won’t have any clue as to its condition or value. That’s where a gemologist comes in. After taking your gem stone to be assessed and appraised by a gemologist, you’ll know much more about all of its important characteristics. When it comes to gem stones, turning to the expert opinion of a gemologist is a wise choice.

Choosing Between Different Types of GoldChoosing Between Different Types of Gold

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Basically there are three main types of gold that you should know about. These are White gold, Rose gold and Yellow gold. Each one of these is different in its own way and each can be used in a variety of ways.

Yellow gold

Historically, yellow gold has been the most popular color for jewelry. It was a symbol of wealth. The gold jewellery was often adorned with brightly colored stones. It was also a symbol of royalty. The earliest examples of this type of jewelry are found in ancient Egypt.

Traditionally, yellow gold is more substantial and durable than white gold. It is also hypoallergenic. In addition, it is more resistant to scratches. It is especially recommended for people with sensitive skin.

Unlike white gold, yellow gold has a much softer, more reddish hue. It is less dense and durable than platinum. It also contains a small amount of silver.

The colour of yellow gold alloys is more muted, but it is still a great option for sentimental jewelry. It will not scratch as easily as white gold.

White gold

Unlike yellow gold, white gold has a slightly off-white shade that gives it a vintage look. It is commonly coated with rhodium, which gives it a silvery sheen. It’s also more durable than yellow gold and can be re-plated to extend its life.

White gold is alloyed with metals such as palladium and nickel. This combination of elements makes white gold a stronger metal than pure gold. The alloy also gives white gold its light gray color. It is generally used for jewelry.

White gold is usually plated with rhodium, a reflective metal that adds luster and durability to the jewelry. The coating wears away over time, but re-plating is often done free by most jewelers.

The purity of the white gold depends on the amount of alloy added. A white gold alloy containing 14 parts of gold, nine parts of nickel, and one part of zinc is considered 10 karat. An 18 karat piece contains the same percentage of gold, but the same amount of nickel and zinc.

Rose gold

Unlike white gold and yellow gold, rose gold has a soft pinkish hue. It’s a popular metal for jewelry because of its durability and a romantic look. It’s also a good choice for those with olive skin tones.

Rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper. It’s a good combination because it’s durable and doesn’t tarnish. However, the color can change after a few years.

There are four karats in rose gold: 10K, 14K, 18K and 22K. The higher the karat, the more pure gold it contains. The difference in karats affects the color, durability, expense and composition of the gold.

The most common metal used in rose gold is copper. This is the most durable metal, but it does not make the gold hypoallergenic. This is because the nickel in the metal causes an allergic reaction in one out of eight people.


Compared to gold plated jewelry, gold filled jewellery lasts longer and is more durable. It is also more affordable. It is made by bonding real gold to a base metal, which is usually brass. It is bonded to the surface of the brass with heat and pressure.

It can last for years, provided that it is properly cared for. When storing it, it should be put in a dry and airtight plastic bag. It should not be exposed to chemicals, chlorine, or hot tubs. It should be stored separately from other jewellery.

To clean gold filled jewelry, you should gently wash it with warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush. You can also use a cloth dipped in a warm soapy solution for a few minutes. Then, wipe it with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any soap residue.


Choosing between different types of gold-plated jewelry depends on the type of material that is used as a base. Generally, the base metal is copper or brass. The thickness of the plating is also important. Thin gold plated jewelry will tarnish more quickly than thicker gold plated jewelry. Usually, the thickness of the gold-plated jewelry is between 0.17 and 2.5 microns.

The thickness of the gold-plated jewelry also determines its price. A higher karat weight of gold can cost more. It is recommended to buy jewelry with a nickel-free base. It is also advisable to keep the jewelry in an airtight container to prevent it from getting damaged.

Aside from the thickness, gold-plated jewelry is also affected by chemicals. Chlorine, body oils, soaps and detergents can damage the gold plating. It is important to clean the jewelry frequently to avoid these effects.…