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Jewelry Care Information

Precious Metals:  The precious metals are gold, silver and most of the metals from the  platinum family.  They are all rare, with gold present in only 3.5 parts per billion of the earth's crust, platinum at 45 parts per billion, and silver 75 parts per billion. 

Gold:  The "most precious metal" does not tarnish or corrode, and is very heavy.  Karat:  The fineness or purity of gold is equal to one part of 24 in gold alloys.  The minimum legal standard in the U.S. is 10K, France is 18K, Canada and England are 9K, and Mexico is 8K.  14K Rolled Gold Wire (Gold filled):  Gold filled wire, sometimes called rolled gold, is made by forming a tube of gold and filling the tube with a base metal, usually jeweler's brass.  The content of gold is 5% of the total wire.  There is 100 times more gold in 14K rolled gold (gold filled) than in gold plate.  Gold filled wire is available in 10K, 12K, and 14K, being the best quality and most durable.  Because  gold is alloyed with other metals to increase it's strength, gold comes in a variety of colors.  Yellow gold is created by alloying the metal with copper and silver; using copper only creates pink gold; white gold contains platinum or palladium, zinc and copper; and green gold contains zinc, copper and silver.

Sterling Silver:  Sterling silver has a fineness of 925 parts per 1000 (92.5%) silver and 75 parts copper, which increases the silver's strength.  Sterling is quite malleable and ductile.

Home Jewelry Care:  Regularly worn jewelry needs periodic cleaning to remove films caused by skin oils, cosmetics, and dirt.  A mild soap and water solution used with a soft brush or soft cotton cloth is effective for most jewelry cleaning needs, including gemstones and crystals.  Bleach and toothpaste should be avoided.  Bleach and chlorine can damage and permanently discolor gold and other metal alloys.  Toothpaste can be abrasive and scuff metal and stones.  Chemicals in some commercial cleaning products can damage certain gems, such as pearls, even if considered to be mild.  Even soft brushes used in applying cleansers can damage pearls.  Mild soapy water can clean pearls, however avoid getting strings wet which can cause breakage.   Karat gold and sterling silver should be polished with with a soft cotton cloth or a polishing cloth made specifically made for those metals .  Avoid using paper towels or tissue paper as they can scratch metals.  Ultrasonic cleaners are best used for karat gold jewelry without gemstones.  They are also suitable for some diamond-set jewelry, however the vibrations can loosen gems.  Ultrasonic cleaners should not be used on porous gems such as coral, pearls, lapis or dyed gemstones.

Jewelry should be put on after applying hair spray or cosmetics.  Chemicals present in either may cause damage, especially to cultured pearls.  Precautions should also be taken when doing work that may damage gemstones by impact, causing chips or cracks.

To maintain jewelry, gently wipe off excess make-up and skin oils after each wearing using a 100% cotton cloth..  Store jewelry in jeweler's tissue or a soft bag and wrap pieces individually to avoid scratches.  To help retard tarnish on sterling silver, wrap pieces in jeweler's tissue paper and place inside a sealed zip lock bag.

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