Posts Tagged: ask a jeweler

Ask a Jeweler: A Beginner’s Guide to Diamonds, Part I

We've looked at pearls; now it's time for diamonds. Let's do this.


In the center of tectonic plates are places that remain still and stable as thinner edges of the earth’s crust stretch and swirl around them. These places are called cratons, and they extend hundreds of miles below the surface, ancient bedrock as reliable as Atlas, pushing into the dense mantle that surrounds the core. If you were a mole person, capable of tunneling about 100 miles down into one of these cratons, and you lived sometime between 1 billion and 3.3 billion years ago, you might notice that the temperature and the pressure was just [...]


Ask a Jeweler: A Beginner’s Guide to Pearls

I've gotten a number of questions about pearls lately, so I put together a primer of sorts. Send me your questions here!

Natural pearls form when a parasite burrows into an oyster or mussel. The mollusk, trying to make itself more comfortable, coats the parasite with layers and layers of the same shiny, smooth, comfy material that covers the inside of its shell.  This material, called “nacre,” is produced in the mollusk’s mantle tissue. When the mantle deposits enough layers of nacre around the parasite a little clump forms, and voila—you have a pearl! Because a relatively small percentage of wild mollusks ever need to make a pearl, for [...]


Ask a Jeweler: Nonmetal Bands, Gem Appraisal, and Inherited Damage

1. Could you offer some suggestions for a non-metal engagement ring?

I work as an industrial electrician, and my company has a strict policy prohibiting metallic jewelry (which I am totally on board with, for the record.). For the time being I've pretty much decided not to get an engagement or wedding ring, because it seems silly to pay so much for something that I'd only get to wear a few waking hours a week. I'm ok without the token but … it would be nice to have my reminder that someone cares, especially at work.

As someone who also has a reaction to metal worn for more [...]