- Diamond Buyers Guide
- Gold Buyers Guide
- Anniversaries and Birthstones
- Gold on Silver
- Jewellery & Watch Care Guide
- Water Resistance
- Watch Movement
Diamond Buyers Guide
Alluring, beguiling, bewitching and captivating.
As the saying goes, "Diamonds are forever"!
Known as the hardest natural mineral on Earth, the word "diamond" is derived from the Greek word "adamas", meaning "unconquerable or indestructible", and are irrefutably the ultimate symbol of romance and love.
There's no denying that size is important when it comes to diamonds. However, it's the combination of the four C's that will determine a diamond's true value: Carat, clarity, cut, and colour. Finding the perfect diamond jewellery requires the precise balance between these four qualities without putting too much pressure on your budget.
Our diamond buyer's guide will equip you to select the perfect diamond jewellery that is just right for you; a timeless treasure that will last a lifetime.
The weight of a diamond is measured in "carats" abbreviated to "ct"; originally derived from the word "carob", in ancient times this seed was used to measure the weight of gemstones.
One carob seed was the equivalent of one carat. Today, a carat is defined as one fifth of a gram (200 milligrams) or, using the point units, 100 points.
For example a 0.50 carat diamond is the same as a 50 point diamond or a half-carat diamond.
As a rule, the larger the carat, the more valuable the diamond. But two diamonds of the same weight can have very different values, owing to the clarity, colour and cut of each diamond. Larger diamonds are rare and more in demand than smaller diamonds of the same quality. A one carat diamond solitaire ring is nearly always more valuable than a diamond ring made up of multiple diamonds that are similar, but smaller, even though they total one carat or more.
The abbreviation TDW describes the total diamond weight, or the total weight of the diamonds in a piece of jewellery where more than one diamond is used.
For example, a ring made up of four .25ct diamonds has a TDW of 1ct.
Referring to the purity of a diamond, "clarity" measures the presence of blemishes known as "inclusions" in a diamond.
Called nature's "birthmarks" or "fingerprints", inclusions like tiny crystals, clouds, or feathers are the natural identifying characteristics of a diamond; the fewer the inclusions, the greater the clarity, and the more valuable the diamond. As the number, size and location of an inclusion affects the flow of light through a diamond, causing some of the sparkle to be lost, clarity is an important measure of a diamond's worth.
Many imperfections are not visible to the naked eye and can only be seen by using a 10-power magnification glass. Diamonds are graded on a scale ranging from flawless to imperfect based on the inclusions present in the diamond. Diamonds with inclusions which are visible to the naked eye are graded I1 to I3.
Diamonds with an SI1 or SI2 rating have small inclusions that are still invisible to the naked eye, but easy to spot with a magnifier.
Diamonds graded VS1 or VS2 are flawless to the naked eye with very minor inclusions.
Diamonds that are graded VVS1 to VVS2 are high-quality diamonds with very, very small inclusions that are invisible to the untrained eye, even with a 10-power magnifier.
Very rare and most expensive, diamonds with no inclusions are called flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF).
The highest-quality diamonds are colourless and reflect light best.
Although many diamonds appear colourless, most have slight tints of yellow or brown which are often impossible to see with the naked eye.
In general, the more colourless a diamond, the more valuable it is. However, diamonds of intense colour, such as pink, blue and red, are considered very valuable due to their extreme rarity. These unusual or intensely coloured diamonds are sometimes referred to as "coloured fancy diamonds".
Fluorescence appears when a diamond is exposed to ultraviolet light, but usually has no effect on a diamond in regular light conditions. On rare occasions, strong fluorescence can alter the appearance of a diamond's colour, causing it to look milky or oily. A diamond with strong fluorescence is usually lower in value than a diamond with little or no fluorescence.
Diamonds are graded on a colour scale ranging from D, colourless and rare, through to Z. A D-grade diamond (blue white) is an absolutely colourless diamond and demands the highest price.
Diamonds graded at E (ice white) or F (fine white) will appear colourless to the naked eye.
Diamonds graded G (white), H (top commercial white), or I (commercial white) are near-colourless and will display a faint yellow tint when viewed against a perfectly white background. The tint is nearly impossible to see once mounted against a metal setting, however, especially if the setting is gold.
Still relatively colourless against a yellow metal, diamonds graded J (top silver), K (top silver), L (silver cape), or M (light cape) are more obviously tinted when matched with a white metal like platinum.
Choice of colour comes down to personal taste. White colours (D-J) look elegant set in white gold or platinum; warmer colours (K-Z) are striking set in yellow gold.
Many consider the cut to be the most important factor when choosing diamond jewellery, as the cut determines the vast majority of a diamond's brilliance.
The cut is the only quality of the four C's not determined by nature, and relies on a skilled craftsman to create the perfect angles, proportions and symmetry of the facets of a diamond, ensuring light is dispersed and reflected creating its sparkle and brilliance.
A well-proportioned cut allows the greatest amount of fire and sparkle to be reflected. If a diamond is cut too deep or too shallow, light escapes through the side or the bottom and the display will be less brilliant. A well-cut diamond is more valuable than a poorly cut stone of the same weight, clarity and colour.
The traditional diamond shape is round brilliant; since a round diamond is symmetrical, it is capable of reflecting nearly all of the light that enters it, ensuring it has the greatest brilliance of all shapes. Non-round-shaped diamonds, known as fancy shapes, include the emerald, oval, princess, marquise, pear and heart shaped cut. Ultimately, the shape of a diamond comes down to personal taste.
Gold Buyer's Guide
"All that glitters is gold!" Gold jewellery is an investment that can last a lifetime, bringing years of pleasure and satisfaction.
Timeless beauty, tantalising and enticing, gold has long been regarded a symbol of wealth and power. First discovered in ancient times, gold is considered one of Earth's most precious metals.
Pure gold jewellery never goes out of style; it retains its value, is long-lasting, can be manipulated into any shape, and has been used for over 6,000 years to make precious jewellery pieces.
Derived from the Indo-European word for "yellow", gold is most notable for its colour. Aside from its extraordinary lustre, gold has amazing physical characteristics, making it ideal for use in jewellery. One ounce of gold (28 grams) can be hammered into just over 17 square meters of extremely thin sheets called gold leaf. Gold does not tarnish or corrode, and can be re-melted and used over again to create fresh designs.
Because pure gold is too soft to handle on its own, other metals are added to the gold, resulting in an alloy; this is a blended mixture ensuring durability necessary for use in jewellery. Most gold jewellery is alloyed with silver, copper, and small amounts of zinc to produce various shades of yellow gold, or with nickel, copper and zinc to produce white gold.
Pink or rose gold is created when zinc alloy is added to gold, while palladium and nickel alloy create white gold, with further enhancement using rhodium plating, producing a highly reflective white surface. Over time and use, the rhodium plating on white gold jewellery may wear off and the white gold will lose its brightness. In this case, it's necessary to have the jewellery re-rhodium plated by your jeweller.
What does 9ct, 18ct or 24ct mean?
Just as gold comes in various colours, it also comes in different purities. The fineness (purity) of the gold is measured in caratage (carat/ct or karat/k, as used in the USA), the term used to describe how pure the gold metal is, not to be confused with carats, the unit of measurement for diamonds and gemstones.
Pure gold is 24 carats, very soft and generally unsuitable for use in jewellery, unless combined with an alloy. The carat indicates how many parts out of 24 in the gold alloy are gold. So, 24ct gold is 24/24 parts gold (in other words, pure gold), and 18ct gold is 18/24 parts pure gold and 6/24 parts other metal. The more alternative metals added to pure gold, the lower the carat.
To break it down even further:
|24ct gold||pure gold|
|18ct gold||75%||18 parts gold, 6 parts of one or more additional metals|
|14ct gold||58.3%||14 parts gold, 10 parts of one or more additional metals|
|12ct gold||50%||12 parts gold, 12 parts of one or more additional metals|
|9ct gold||37.5%||9 parts gold, 15 parts of one or more additional metals|
The majority of our gold jewellery is available in 9ct gold, but we do stock 18ct gold jewellery too. For pieces that will last a lifetime and beyond, buy the highest quality gold jewellery your budget will allow.
Gold on Silver Product Knowledge
9CT SOLID 'GOLD ON SILVER'
9ct Solid 'Gold on Silver' jewellery is made by forming a solid 9ct gold tube that is then filled with a solid sterling silver core. The vast majority of our 9ct Solid 'Gold on Silver' Chains are solid, increasing their durability and longevity.
9CT HOLLOW 'GOLD ON SILVER'
9ct Hollow 'Gold on Silver' items are sterling silver tubing with a layer of 9ct gold infused onto the surface for extra strength and durability. The vast majority of 9ct Hollow 'Gold on Silver' Earrings are hollow, this allows less weight on the ear and a more comfortable wear.
Jewellery & Watch Care Guide
At Goldmark we stand by the quality of all the products we sell, however, it is still very important for our customers to care for their jewellery and watches so as to prevent accidental damage and premature aging.
Despite employing the highest quality production techniques and strong materials, jewellery is inherently delicate and normal wear and tear can often be mistaken for an issue with the craftsmanship of the item. Just like footwear and clothing, rough or regular wear can lead to irreparable damage, so please exercise caution and remove all jewellery before undertaking heavy and rigorous activities or exercise.
Listed below are some general care instructions for all jewellery, along with some more specific tips on keeping other specific types of jewellery and watches in good condition.
General Jewellery Care
- Remove all jewellery before sleeping, exercising or gardening to avoid unintentional damage
- Items should be stored separately to prevent scratching
- Non flexible items are best kept stored flat
- Direct contact with hairspray, perfumes and other chemicals may cause jewellery to discolour
- Special care is needed for hollow items, as they may dent under impact or pressure
- It is recommended that stone set jewellery is not worn while swimming, showering or washing hands
- It is recommended that you have your purchase professionally cleaned every year. If the item is stone set, the settings should also be examined at this time to prevent the loss of a precious stone. Please note that if the setting is pave with a number of small stones, the fine claws may wear down over time due to normal wear and tear. This wear and tear may result in stone/s falling out.
- Quality cleaning products are available from our stores, our sales team will be happy to advise which product is best for your item
- Pearls and Opals require extra care as extreme heat or knocks can chip the stone. Avoid liquid cleaners
- Some of our fashion pieces are delicate and not designed to be worn on a daily basis
Crystal Jewellery Care
Unlike precious stones, such as diamonds, which are set with metal claws to protect them, our lovely crystal jewellery is set in to a special resin. This gives our jewellery a wonderful sparkly look; however it does require special care.
In order to protect the sparkle and to keep your pieces looking as good as new, please follow these few simple guidelines:
- Do not shower while wearing your crystal jewellery. Too much water may loosen the stones and may make them appear cloudy
- Do not swim while wearing your jewellery. Any chlorine or chemicals may affect the shine. Perfumes, creams and some cosmetics could have a similar effect
- Try not to wear your jewellery to bed as some pieces are delicate and damage could occur
- Try not to wear too many pieces together to avoid any abrasion
- Should your crystal jewellery require cleaning, use a soft cloth to polish the metal surfaces and not any jewellery cleaning solutions, as these could affect the lustre of the crystal and loosen the setting of the stones
Gold on Silver Jewellery Care
'9ct Gold on Silver' requires some level of care; wearing any piece of jewellery constantly or even daily may shorten the life span of the piece.
Things you should consider if you have purchased one of our gorgeous '9ct Gold on Silver' pieces:
- Having a limited gold surface it is important to avoid scratching the piece of jewellery as with time the gold surface can wear off and the silver will show through
- Hollow items may dent under impact or pressure, and should be treated with extra care
- Remove all jewellery before sleeping to avoid accidental damage
- Remove jewellery when bathing/showering
- Remove jewellery when swimming as it can damage the piece:
- Swimming pools have chemicals (i.e. chlorine)
- Saltwater (i.e. ocean)
- Direct contact with perfumes, deodorants and hairspray may cause discolouration
- Clean the product using our Elite Jewellery Cleaner and/or the Elite Polishing Cloth. Do not use abrasive jewellery cleaners as these can be harmful to the jewellery
- Do not use jewellery cleaning solutions on '9ct Gold on Silver' jewellery that are set with crystals or pearls as these could affect the lustre and loosen the setting of the stones. The Elite Polishing cloth can be used to polish them gently
- Each piece of jewellery should be stored separately to avoid accidental damage. Non-flexible items should be laid flat when not being worn
- '9ct Gold on Silver' jewellery can sometimes be repaired depending on the extent of the damage
- '9ct Gold on Silver' jewellery cannot be altered (lengthened or shortened)
White Gold Jewellery Care
All our white gold jewellery is rhodium plated to enhance the white colour, which is a standard practice in the jewellery industry. The rhodium plating is a layer of rhodium that is electro plated over the white gold to enhance the white colour and shine of your jewellery. The rhodium plating can wear off over time and may require re-plating.
In order to keep your jewellery looking as good as new, all care should be taken not to damage the item in anyway.
- When dressing and applying make-up, always put your jewellery on last. This avoids any thread catching on claws or clasps which may damage them. Make-up and perfume can be acidic and this acid could affect the lustre of your white gold jewellery
- Remove your white gold jewellery when doing housework so as not to expose your jewellery to harsh chemicals. Chlorine-based detergents, and the like, can have a damaging effect on white gold over time. Don't wear your white gold jewellery while taking a shower or swimming due to traces of chlorine and salt in the water
- When storing your white gold jewellery, if possible, keep your items separate to your other jewellery to avoid scratching and in a soft pouch to help protect it from any oxidization
- Care should be taken when cleaning your white gold jewellery. A soft cloth should be all that is needed as any cleaning solutions can be too harsh and may shorten the life of rhodium plating.
Your watch will require care and regular maintenance to ensure its accuracy and to protect its appearance. It is important to note, however, that each brand and model of watch has its own specific care guidelines and you should always refer to the manufacturer's instruction manual or warranty, provided with your watch.
- Avoid water damage to your watch. Check your watch's water resistance and adhere strictly to instructions. For information for caring for a water resistant watch, see our section on water resistance in our Product Guide section. Should water or condensation spear in your watch face, have it checked by a watch specialist
- Avoid leaving your watch in extreme temperatures as this can cause complications. Generally, extreme hear can shorten the battery life of a quartz watch and extreme cold can cause your watch to gain or lose time
- Avoid contact with chemicals, solvents and gases, which may cause discolouration, deterioration and damage to your watch
- Although most watches are, to a degree, shock resistant, do avoid extreme shock or impact to your watch
- Avoid exposing your watch to strong electric fields or static electricity as the magnetic effect may cause your watch to lose or gain time. For example, wearing a watch to bed watch to bed where there is an electric blanket as it may cause problems with the watch. Generally however, household electrical appliances will not affect your watch
- If your watch has been worn in salt water and is not designed to avoid corrosion, have it checked by a watch specialist
- Watches, including their straps, are best cleaned by watch specialists
- Have your watch checked and serviced regularly by a watch specialist. The manufacturer's instruction manual will tell you how often you should have your watch serviced. All Goldmark stores are able to send watches away for specialist care
Watch Water Resistance
The term water resistance refers to the watch's ability to withstand splashes of water to varying degrees. Water resistancy is tested in "still", or static, conditions. So, if you dive into a pool wearing a watch which is 50 metres water resistant, the pressure impacted upon the watch on hitting the water will be far greater than that experienced at a 50 metre static test. Therefore, the number of metres shown on a watch face does not indicate the depth that the watch can be taken to, but rather the static pressure it can sustain.
Only watches marked "Divers" on the dial should be used for diving, as they fully comply with the international standards for divers watches.
Watch manufacturers use other terms to measure water resistancy:
- A.T.M. (atmosphere), where 1 A.T.M. is the equivalent to pressure at 10 metres below the surface
- Bar, where 1 bar is equivalent to pressure at 10 metres below the surface.
Caring for a Water Resistance Watch
- The buttons on a water resistant watch must not be pressed whilst the watch is under water or still wet.
- Do not pull out the winder whilst the watch is under water or still wet.
- If the case, glass or seal is damaged, the watch should no longer be regarded as water resistant.
- If a watch is exposed to seawater, it should be washed well in fresh water and wiped dry.
Batteries should be changed by the manufacturer or approved service agent so that the seal can be checked and renewed if necessary. If this is not done, the watch will no longer be guaranteed water resistant.
|Water Resistant||50m 5 bar||100m 10 bar||150m 15 bar||200m 20 bar||1000m 100 bar|
|Still Water Swimming|
|Diving (such as into a pool) Swimming, Snorkeling, Water Sports|
|Recreational Scuba Diving*|
|Professional Deep Sea Diving*|
* Only where the watch has a screw down crown.
Once you have an idea about the style of watch you want, you may want to think about its movement. This determines its accuracy.
The movement operates only when the mainspring is tensioned by the winding of the crown. This power is then slowly released from the mainspring as it unwinds which in turn drives the hands of the watch.
An automatic watch has a movement similar to a mechanical watch, but it 'self winds' using the movement of the wearer. A small pendulum or weight in the back of the watch moving as the wearer moves their arm. As the pendulum moves around an axel, tiny gears transmit this movement to the mainspring. The winder or crown is retained as a feature so that the time and date can be altered manually. (It is worth noting that automatic watches may not be suitable for everyone, as they require enough body movement to generate the power required to wind the mainspring sufficiently and thus maintain the correct time). Mechanical and Automatic movements are generally far less accurate than quartz, losing or gaining anything up to 30 seconds/day.
A module powered by a synthetic crystal, made to oscillate by an electric current supplied by a tiny battery. A very precise and accurate time measurement, usually within + or - 20 seconds/month.
An innovative movement of micro-electronics that responds to the wearer's wrist action to store energy, maintaining quartz accuracy. The watch "sleeps" to conserve energy if not worn for 72 hours but wakes up when shaken and immediately returns to the correct time. Developed by Seiko.
A quartz movement but with a solar panel covering the entire watch face, converts light from any source, whether it is sunlight or artificial light, to electrical energy. With regular exposure to light, the "battery" is constantly recharged, thereby allowing the watch to run continuously. The frequency to which the watch must be exposed to light to maintain accuracy is dependent on the model and capacity of the rechargeable battery.