10 Myths about jewelry busted
Can you tell if gold is real by biting it? Read below to have this and other common jewelry myths busted!
Diamonds are the most expensive stone
Experts debate this fact, but some believe that emeralds are the most expensive. Others believe alexandrite. However, a 6.04 carat blue diamond was auctioned by Sotheby's in Hong Kong and fetched $7.98 million, setting a record as the most expensive precious jewel of its kind ever sold. It easily surpassed the previous record holder, the .95-carat "Hancock Red" diamond, which sold for $926,000.
Opals bring bad luck
In early times, opals were considered very lucky. The Romans established it as a precious gem and believed the opal was a combination of the beauty of all precious stones. Throughout Roman history, the Caesars gave their wives opal for good luck. Over time, though, opals became associated with black magic, the plague, misfortune and bad luck. Today, with superstitions and myths dispelled, opals, especially black opals, are highly regarded as rare treasures.
Diamonds are indestructible
They register 10 on the Mohs scale – and although only a diamond can scratch another diamond, they can chip or crack if not properly taken care of .
Pearls can be dissolved in vinegar
According to legend, Cleopatra dissolved an extraordinarily valuable pearl in vinegar and drank it to prove to Marc Antony she could throw the most elaborate and expensive banquet of all time. According to modern science, the calcium carbonate in pearls does dissolve in vinegar, but how fast depends on how big the pearl is. If it's crushed it will dissolve more quickly.
A diamond is valued by its color
Although "blue" diamonds are sometimes regarded as the most expensive, there are actually several things that should be considered in combination when purchasing a diamond -- color, cut, clarity and carat weight are all important no matter what the color is.
Paraiba tourmalines only come from Paraiba, Brazil
This is a hotly debated statement in the world of gemology. Although first found in Brazil, these beautiful tourmalines are now also mined in regions of Africa like Nigeria and Mozambique. The Laboratory Manual Harmonization Committee (LMHC), an international group formed by seven major labs to create standardized report language determined that the term "paraiba" can be used to describe the color of the stone, not just its provenance. However, this characterization was and still is controversial. Ultimately, not only the geographic origin of tourmaline but also the quality of the gem is important in determining valuation.
Diamonds are the rarest of stones
Although colored diamonds, called "fancy" diamonds, can be extremely rare, diamonds in general are not. Although some believe alexandrite and red diamonds to be the rarest, The Guinness Book of World Records states that painite is the rarest gem mineral.
Moonstone mines have run dry
This is only somewhat true. The world's main vein of "fine blue moonstone" in Sri Lanka has run bone-dry. Although still available from other mines around the world, these moonstones occur in a variety of colors aside from blue, like white, yellow, gray, pink or green. For example, moonstone has been found in Tanzania, Africa, but it possesses more of a white color. Blue moonstone has also been found in India. However, the sole source for the most brilliant blue sheens, Meetiyagoda in Sri Lanka, ceased production in 1987. Because of this, blue moonstone jewelry is becoming exceedingly rare and therefore more costly.
You can tell if a piece of gold is real by biting it
Well maybe, but it's not a good idea. The truth is, gold is a relatively soft metal and human teeth are strong enough to leave a mark. The purer the gold, the softer it is. However, unscrupulous people have been known to paint lead with gold color to fool buyers, since lead is just as soft.
Gold comes in a variety of colors – yellow, white and rose
While these colors are commonly referred to as gold, the only true gold is yellow. Colored gold is actually a mixed metal compound called an "alloy", made by mixing pure gold with iron, silver, platinum, copper or aluminum creating the various colors often used in jewelry. In fact, all yellow gold, with the exception of 24 karat gold, are also alloys since they're mixed with other metals in different quantities.