Don’t be Fooled by These 8 Jewelry Myths

#1 Diamonds are the rarest gemstones

Kashmir Blue Sapphire Ring
Kashmir Blue Sapphire

Many people believe that diamonds are the rarest gemstone on earth. In reality, there are several gems rarer than diamond. Tanzanite, alexandrite, Burma ruby, red beryl, Paraiba tourmaline, and Kashmir sapphire are all more scarce in abundance than the diamond.

#2 Bigger stone = more expensive

While this can be true for gemstones of the same variety, a 5-carat opal will be significantly less expensive than a 1-carat diamond in most cases. The availability of the gemstone itself, coupled with other important factors like color, cut, and clarity will affect the price of the stone more than carat weight alone.

#3 Antique, Vintage, and Estate jewelry all mean the same thing

Victorian Era Pin
Victorian Era Pin

Wrong! A piece of jewelry can only be classified as antique if it is over 100 years old. Vintage jewelry consists of pieces between 50 years old and 100 years old. If the jewelry has had at least one previous owner, it is considered estate.

#4 Diamonds are indestructible

Diamonds are the hardest known natural material, rating a 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Diamonds are very good at resisting breakage, however, the gem does have its points of weakness. A diamond is not as tough along the cleavage plane. If it is hit in the right spot with enough force, it could chip, crack, break, or even shatter.

#5 Zircon is the same thing as Cubic Zirconia

Zircon gets a bad rap. The gemstone is frequently confused with the diamond simulant, cubic zirconia. This could not be farther from the truth! Zircon is a natural gemstone formed from zirconium silicate. The gemstone is mined in Burma, Australia, and Cambodia. Cubic zirconia is a lab created stone containing crystalline zirconium dioxide. The two stones have completely different chemical structures.

#6 Toothpaste is great for cleaning jewelry

Toothpaste can scratch your gemstone and the gold it’s set in. While great for oral hygiene, toothpaste is an abrasive substance and the common ingredients that make it rank a 2.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. This won’t hurt a loose diamond, but it could have damaging effects for softer gemstones and gold itself, which ranks a 2.5 to 3 on the scale. If you want to clean your jewelry at home, do so with gentle soap and water.

#7 Paraiba Tourmalines are only mined in Paraiba, Brazil

Paraiba Tourmaline & Diamond Ring

Trace elements of copper are responsible for the beautiful blue hue of the Paraiba tourmaline. While this variety of tourmalines was discovered in Paraiba, Brazil in 1987, they have also been found in Nigeria and Mozambique. The name “Paraiba” is a reference to the color, rather than the country of origin.

#8 Gold occurs in three colors

Gold naturally occurs in only one color: yellow. Other popular colors including white and rose gold are created by mixing yellow gold with copper (rose gold), or palladium and nickel (white gold). 

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One comment

  1. I will bet most people did not know everything written above.
    I am taking courses with GIA, and I have learn a lot.

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