Eskew’s Fine Jewelers Knowledge Center

Purchasing fine jewelry, engagements rings, watches and crystal can be somewhat more detailed than expected so we wanted to provide some information for you if you are interested in learning some general themes and terminology. We are here to help you through any and all of your questions and concerns.

There are a number of reasons why diamonds can start to look lack-lustre and lose their sparkle and shine. Anything from dust to skin oils can affect the brilliance of the gems. You can clean your diamonds in a number of ways. A detergent and warm water solution, or a cold water and ammonia mix can help to put the gleam back into your diamonds. You can also get professional ultrasonic machines for the cleaning of your jewelry or you can go to a proper jeweler to get it professionally cleaned.

Carat is the term used to describe the weight of any gemstone, including diamonds. Although the definition of a carat has changed over time, it was standardized in 1913 as 200 milligrams, or 1/5 of a gram. Often, jewelers describe carats in 1/4 increments. Because round brilliant cuts follow exact standards, you can make a good estimate of the carat weight of the stone based on the stone’s diameter. This method of determining carat weight does not work for other cuts or shapes.

The clarity of a diamond describes the presence, or absence, of flaws on and within the diamond. An ‘inclusion’ is a flaw within the diamond. A ‘blemish’ is a flaw on the surface of the diamond. The flaws disrupts the flow of light so some of the reflected light is lost. The clarity grades available are depicted in the following diagram.

Diamonds of all colors can be found in nature. In fact, over 300 colors have been identified so far, however if you include the various shades and hues, the number is limitless. The most common diamond color, ‘white’ or ‘colorless’, is classified with a D – Z rating. The chart below provides an example of how this rating is used.

A diamond has a number of elements to describe the cut and the quality of the diamond. Cut doesn’t refer to a diamond’s shape (e.g. round, oval, pear, etc.) but instead to a diamond’s proportions, symmetry and polish. The beauty of a diamond depends more on cut than any other factor. When light strikes a diamond, approximately 20% immediately reflects off the surface. Of the 80% that enters, a portion will escape through the bottom of the diamond. A well-proportioned diamond will have each facet properly placed and angled so as to maximize the amount of light that reflects back out of the top of the diamond. This reflected light is often referred to as scintillation, fire and brilliance.

The cut grade wasn’t a standard measurement in the industry until only recently, and even that standard is generally only applied to round diamonds. Cut grades can be: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor.

There is no difference between the actual stones with a certified or an uncertified diamond. The only difference is that you have a legal certificate with a certified diamond confirming the details and quality of the gem.

Often referred to as “dipped”, rhodium plating should be done at least every six months to maintain a bright white finish.

You should have your ring checked at least every six months, or if you think you may have damaged the ring in any way. This is a complimentary service Eskew’s Fine Jewelers provides to all our customers. We will inspect and clean your ring anytime you need.

Yes. Make sure and remove any of your gold and silver jewelry before coming into contact with any chlorine; whether it is a household cleaner, pool, or hot tub. Chlorine is your jewelry’s worst enemy. It breaks down the molecular structure of gold, causing cracking and eventually breakage of your jewelry raising the risk of losing your stones.

Rubies, Sapphires, and Emeralds are considered precious gemstones. All other gemstones are referred to as semi-precious.

K is for karat, which is gold purity. 24k is pure gold, 18k is 18 parts out of 24 gold (75%), etc. When K is followed by y or w it just means yellow gold or white gold. 14ky means 14 karat yellow gold. Sometimes you will see k followed by a “p”. This means that it is “plumb” gold. Under the US purity laws some years back, gold must be within 7 parts per thousand of the stated karat. Some manufacturers add the “p” to their stamp to indicate that it is plumb gold (within the newer legal requirements).

White gold is pure gold that is mixed with alloys such as nickel to give it a white color, which is then Rhodium plated to give it a “bright white” appearance. Platinum is pure metal that is naturally “bright white” and much more durable than white gold.

Contact Information & Locations

Our Hours

  • Monday 9:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Tuesday 9:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Wednesday 9:00AM – 7:00PM
  • Thursday 9:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Friday 9:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Saturday 9:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Sunday Closed