Lincoln Jewelers
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FAQ

1. What is the difference between white gold and platinum?

They are two completely separate metals. Gold is normally alloyed with copper, silver, zinc and nickel (depending on the desired color) to add strength to the metal. Platinum is normally alloyed very little (usually with irridium) and at present is the heaviest and densest metal used in the manufacturing of jewelry.

2. Why is platinum so expensive?

The rarity of the metal and the extraction from platinum ore is what makes platinum so expensive compared to other materials used in jewelry. In today's market, platinum jewelry can be 2.5 to 3 times the price of gold jewelry.

3. What is the difference between 10k, 14k and 18k gold?

The amount of alloy that is added to pure gold. Using the European scale of measurement, 1000=pure or 24k gold. Pure gold or 24k gold is seldom used in jewelry because it's too soft. Alloys such as copper, silver, zinc and nickel are added to give the gold more strength and color. The percentage of these alloys are what determines the karat designation and value. 10kt gold is 41.7% gold and 58.3% alloy. Using the American standard of 24k being pure gold, 10k gold is 10 parts gold and 14 parts alloy. 14k gold is 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloy or 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy. 18k gold is 75% gold and 25% alloy or 18 parts gold and 6 parts alloy. The blending of different alloys also determine the coloration of gold, such as white gold, yellow gold, rose gold and black gold.

4. Which is more expensive, white or yellow gold?

Neither. The finished product is the same cost. Some jewelers may charge more for different colors of gold as a ploy.

5. What is the difference between Karat and Carat?

Karat refers to the purity of gold. Carat refers to the weight of gemstones.

6. How often do I need to have my jewelry checked?

Under normal conditions at least every six months by a professional jeweler. The jeweler will check the tightness of your gemstones in their mountings. A loose stone can easily come out of its setting. On a prong set stone, the wear on the prongs needs to be checked, and on channel set stones, the amount (or thickness) of metal holding the stones. In general, he or she will be checking the overall condition of the jewelry. We work on jewelry every day where people have waited too long to have it looked at and stones (sometimes costly ones) have fallen out.  At Lincoln Jewelers, inspection and cleaning is always complimentary.

7. Is there such a thing as cleaning my rings too often?

Not if a professional jeweler performs the cleaning. We recommend bringing in your jewelry to be inspected and cleaned at least every six months.

8. What is the best way to clean my jewelry at home?

Between professional cleanings, most jewelry can be safely cleaned by soaking in quality jewelry cleaner and scrubbed with a soft brush. Since cleaners can sometimes leave a residue, always rinse well and polish with a jewelry polishing cloth. Both are complimentary at Lincoln Jewelers. Caution should be used in cleaning colored gemstones and pearls with some jewelry cleaners. Because of the variables with colored gemstones and pearls, we recommend calling or emailing us and we'll be happy to answer your questions.

9. When I clean my rings at home, they don't look the same as when you do it...why?

With a professional jewelry cleaning we use a commercial polishing machine and buffing compounds to brighten the metals. We use a specialized ultrasonic technique to loosen and remove debris and oils from the jewelry. We then finish with a high pressure steam cleaning.

10. Can gold jewelry be worn every day?

The short answer is yes. Most jewelry can be worn and enjoyed on a daily basis. Environmental elements such as mercury or chlorine will attack jewelry and cause tarnish and deterioration and breakdown of the metals. To be safe, always remove jewelry when around these elements. This includes swimming pools and hot tubs that tend to have high levels of chorine. However, jewelry is an emotional investment and should be worn and enjoyed.

11. Does gold show wear?

Gold, being a soft metal, over time can wear down. This is why it's important to have your jewelry inspected on a regular basis by a professional jeweler.

12. Is it necessary to have the prongs repaired on my jewelry?

Yes, this is very important. How many times have you knocked your ring on a table, desk or had a prong snag on clothing? Worn prongs can cause your gemstone to fall out of its mounting. Prongs can weaken over time from wear and daily abuse, which could cause the prong to be bent and/or broken, allowing the stone to fall out and be lost.

13. How many times can a ring be sized up or down?

Infinitely as long as it's done by a professional bench jeweler and there is sufficient gold in the piece.

14. Does sizing weaken a ring?

No, as long as it's done by a professional bench jeweler.

15. What is the difference between sizing and stretching?

When a ring is sized, gold is added (or taken away) to change the finger size. Stretching is the expansion of the gold. This technique should not be used with rings that have stones set in them. Stretching puts pressure on the mounting, which can cause the ring to distort and weaken the mounting.

16. Why is one diamond more expensive than another if they are the same size?

The quality of the diamond, which include the 4 C's of diamond grading. Please refer to our “Diamond Education” page for more specific information about the different qualities of diamonds.

17. What is the difference between imitation, created and natural stones?

Imitation stones are made from manmade materials.  Created stones are crystals that are grown in a laboratory, simulating natural growth.  Natural stones are mined from the earth in their natural state.

18. What do I look for when shopping for a strand of pearls?

Pearls are available in a variety of colors, both natural and dyed. When selecting a strand of pearls, all pearls should be matched as closely as possible for color, conformity of size, blemishes, luster and origin. The color of the pearls should be matched to the skin tones of the person wearing them.

19. What makes one strand more expensive than another, even when they are the same size and length?

The quality of the pearl, which includes the thickness of the nacor (the coating on the pearl), color, luster and origin.

20. Are there different types of pearls?

Yes. There are natural pearls, which are harvested from the ocean. These are pearls, which occur in their natural state with no intervention from man. Because of their extreme rarity, natural pearls (for the most part) no longer exist.  Cultured pearls or farmed pearls are harvested from oysters that are seeded and placed in oyster beds for various periods of time. The longer they are cultured, the higher the luster and thicker the nacor. Akoya pearls are cultured in salt water, whereas fresh water pearls are farmed in the fresh water of rivers and lakes.

21. How should I take care of my pearls?

Alcohol, found in most jewelry cleaners, is the biggest enemy to pearls since it attacks the coating (or nacor) of the pearl. To prevent damage to your pearls, use a damp, soft cloth and a very mild, weak solution of dish soap. When wearing pearls, they should be the last piece of jewelry you put on when you leave home and the first piece of jewelry that you take off when you return home.

22. Why should I choose an independent jeweler over a chain store?

An independent jeweler is a local owner who has spent years in training and education. He is a technician and not necessarily a sales person. The independent jeweler is more concerned with meeting the needs of his customers. He will make recommendations based on product rather than price. He is established in the community, with a reputation and a high standard of professionalism, integrity and customer loyalty. He offers a very hands on, personalized approach to finding the perfect solution to your needs. A chain store by contrast is made up primarily of sales people with little or no professional training. Their training is in making sales not having product knowledge.