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GUIDE: Everything you need to know about timeless jewellery

For me, jewelry is more than accessories. It may sound cliché, but all the jewelry I wear has a story. It could be a ring I bought to celebrate something I accomplished, a necklace that reminds me of who I want to be or a bracelet I got from someone I love. Every stone sparkles with memories, every chain shimmers with love and every pearl shines with hope.


I invest in jewelry as a way of investing in the future. In moments of darkness, they remind me, like trees, mountains, moss and old houses, that there are objects that have existed before me, seen more than me and will continue to live long after me. In relation to a diamond, my time on earth feels so fleeting, my existence so insignificant and thus my problems so incredibly unimportant.


[...] there are objects that have existed before me, seen more than me and will continue to live long after me.


My latest investment is an 18k gold pendant with a solitary diamond strung on a thin 14k gold venzia chain.


As you can understand, I therefore value high quality when it comes to jewellery. I want to be able to live in them, run carefree into the sea on a hot summer day, roll around in bed, cry in the shower, wash away the Christmas mess and bathe in Miss Dior. At the same time, I want my jewelery to sparkle as beautifully on me as on my grandchildren's children.


I want to be able to live in them, run carefree into the sea on a hot summer day, toss around in bed, cry in the shower, wash away the Christmas mess and bathe in Miss Dior."


I have worked both in the production and sale of jewelery in the past and over the years have learned a lot about what to consider in order to make sustainable and long-term jewelery purchases. I now want to share these tips with you. Below is therefore a small glossary (A-Z) which will hopefully help you navigate the jewel jungle. If you can't bear to read or feel like you want even more inspiration, I've also recorded a YouTube video on the subject which I'll link to below.



GLOSSARY

BIJOUTERIE

Bijouterie is the jewelry that is made of non-precious or less precious materials. These can also be called "Fast jewellery" as a counterpart to "Fast fashion". These are characterized by their cheaper price and poorer quality. However, there are exceptions where bijouterie are sold at high prices despite their base materials. Many fashion houses such as Celine and Dior have jewelery collections that are marketed as "Fashion jewellery" and are very expensive.


CARAT

The weight unit of a diamond* (see definition) is calculated in carats where one carat corresponds to 0.2g. Many people confuse a diamond's carat with its size. The size and weight may have a connection but not necessarily. A diamond's diameter depends more on how it is cut than how much it weighs. A small but well cut diamond can appear larger than a poorly cut diamond with higher carats.

CARAT (GOLD)

Because gold* (see definition) is a soft metal, it needs to be mixed (alloyed) with other metals. "Pure" gold (99.9% gold) is designated as 24K, 18K consists of 75% pure gold, 14K and 9K correspond to 58.5% and 37.5% pure gold respectively. The other percentages are other metals. Before, 18K was the standard for fine gold in Sweden, but today the limit is 9K. In order to be called gold jewellery, the gold content must therefore be at least 9K (can be written 375). A high carat is really only beneficial from an investment point of view as gold does not rise and fall in value like money. 24K is therefore most common in gold bars. For daily use, it is not practical to have jewelery in excessively high carats as these will wear more over time. For example, if it is a chain, I recommend a maximum of 14K.


CUBIC ZIRCONIA

A synthetic stone that shares many properties with the diamond* (see definition). It is colorless in its untreated form but can also be dyed. Cubic Zirconia (abbreviated CZ) is very durable but not as hard as a diamond, despite this it weighs more. Since it is not as rare as a diamond, it is significantly cheaper and was sold very commonly in the manufacture of bijouterie.


DIAMOND

The diamond is the hardest mineral on earth and is thus very durable - hence the expression "Diamonds are forever". Both natural and lab-grown diamonds have small imperfections that testify to their authenticity. Lab-grown diamonds are cheaper than natural ones and can be produced in a more ethical way, which means they are growing in popularity.


FRESHWATER PEARLS

Freshwater pearls are those referred to in English as "Fresh water pearls". These are farmed in fresh water and one oyster can produce up to 20 pearls in its lifetime making them less rare than saltwater pearls. To test the authenticity of a pearl, you can gently rub it against your teeth. If the surface feels rough, the pearl is genuine, but if it is smooth and slides easily over the teeth, it is fake. Freshwater pearls are usually smaller than saltwater pearls and are the least durable of all types of pearls. Avoid bathing, showering, spraying perfume and applying body lotion when wearing the pearls.


GOLD

Gold is a precious metal. There are four types of gold jewellery- yellow gold, white gold, red/rose gold and gold plating* (see definition). Yellow gold and red gold are similar, both contain yellow gold, but the difference is that rose gold also consists of a higher percentage of copper, which results in the red shade. A common assumption is that white gold is more expensive than yellow gold and rose gold with this is not true. The reason for this incorrect assumption is that many people confuse white gold with platinum* (see definition) which is a more exclusive metal but the fact is that when it comes to gold it is not the color that determines the price, but < strong>the karate* (see definition). In its untreated form, white gold is both softer and slightly warmer in tone than platinum* (see definition) and palladium* (see definition).


GOLD PLATING

If a piece of jewelry is gold plated, it means that the piece of jewelry has a core of usually silver* (see definition), steel or brass and then a "coat" of gold* (see definition). Since the jewelry is not gold through and through, the plating will wear off over time, revealing the metal underneath. If you can't afford to invest in solid gold jewelry, I suggest you consider the following - does luster or color matter when the plating wears off? If you want to be able to polish the jewelry and thus preserve the luster even after the gold plating has disappeared, I suggest that you invest in gold-plated silver. If the yellow color is more important, I would go for gold-plated brass. The technology used in plating has improved over the years, and today there are many companies that claim to make gold-plated jewelry that is water-resistant and thus will not lose its color. These pieces of jewelery usually have a steel core and the plating technology they use is called PVD coating* (see definition). Although these pieces of jewelry are significantly more durable, I would not say that they will survive for several generations in the same way as solid gold jewelry.


PALLADIUM

This precious metal is very similar to platinum* (see definition), steel and treated white gold in appearance as it is white with a dark gray shade. Palladium is harder than platinum and is therefore not as easily scratched. Palladium jewelry also does not need to be post-treated with rhodium to maintain its luster. Palladium is 15 times rarer than platinum and is currently classified as the most expensive of the four precious metals.


PLATINUM

Platinum is a precious metal that looks a lot like steel, treated white gold and palladium. However, due to its rarity and density, it is more expensive than gold. This metal therefore weighs more and is harder than pure white gold, which also means that jewelry made of this metal is more durable. Many people prefer platinum to palladium as it is cheaper but at the same time weighs more, which gives platinum jewelery a luxurious heft.


PVD COATING

PVD is short for Physical Vapor Deposition and is a technique used to treat steel jewelry to improve both the jewelry's durability and appearance. The technique involves blasting the gold* (see definition) on top of another metal. The process is environmentally friendly and takes place in a vacuum chamber where high-purity metals are vaporized. The metals react with a gas that allows a layer to build up on the stainless surface.


SALTWATER PEARLS

Saltwater pearls are the most expensive type of pearls. This is because they are the rarest (an oyster = a pearl). They are usually larger than freshwater pearls* (see definition ) and endure more. You can, for example, shower and bathe in saltwater pearls, which is not recommended with freshwater pearls.


SILVER

The cheapest of the four precious metals. Silver is softer than palladium* (see definition) and platinum* (see definition) but harder than gold* (see definition), which means that silver jewelry is well suited for everyday use. Important to remember is that silver will scratch over time and oxidize, which can make silver jewelry look discolored after a while. However, this is easy to arrange at home with silver plaster and a microfiber cloth. Silver can be perceived as almost white in color when polished.


SHELL BEADS

Shell pearls are fake pearls with a core made from the inside of a clam that is pulverized and then shaped into a round pearl. The pearl is then given a mother-of-pearl coating and polished to achieve the same luster as a natural pearl. Shell pearls can come in various colors and are significantly cheaper than salt water*- and freshwater pearls* (see definition) . However, they can lose their luster and color over time just like gold plated* (see definition) jewellery. The advantage of shell pearls is that they are more resistant to sweat, oils, perfumes and creams than real pearls.


This time I chose to focus mainly on material as I believe it is the most important thing when it comes to the durability of the jewelry but there is SO much more to discuss. Hope you enjoyed this post and that it helped you in some way.


Xx

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