Jewelry Buying Guide

Buying jewelry that will look great on you can be a challenging process.  Check out this helpful guide for tips and an explanation of the terms used to describe jewelry.

Gold Jewelry

Gold has been used in jewelry since as far back as 4000 B.C. The word gold, used alone, means all gold or 24 karat (24K) gold. Because gold is soft, it is usually mixed with other metals to increase its hardness and durability.

The karat quality marking tells you what proportion of gold is mixed with other metals. The most common marks for gold jewelry are 18K or 750 (signifying 75% gold), 14K or 585 (58% gold), and 10K (42% gold).  

The addition of copper, silver, and other base metals is what allows for variation in color and carat weight. More gold equals richer more yellow tones and also a softer final product.  Rose gold effect is created by mixing 25% copper with gold.  One of the most common metals mixed in a golden alloy is nickel. It makes the jewelry stronger but can be an issue if you have nickel allergies for which 18 karat purity is recommended.

Golden Stone carries a wide choice of jewelry styles and designs in 14K and 18K gold.   When buying gold jewelry, make sure the item is clearly marked with karat weight and manufacturer, and the total gold weight in grams is described in the receipt.   

Silver Jewelry

Silver remains both a timeless and exquisite metal for any jewelry. Pure silver is not well suited for jewelry as it is relatively soft, malleable and easily deformed. Silver is combined with other metals to strengthen it and make it more durable. Sterling silver is the most common alloy mix found in jewelry and contains 92.5% pure silver, with the other 7.5% of a metal alloy typically copper.


Jewelry made with sterling silver is often plated with rhodium to give it a bright white finish that is a bit more resistant to scratching. When buying sterling silver jewelry be sure the item is clearly marked "925" or "sterling silver" and the total silver weight in grams is described in the receipt.

Pearl Jewelry

Pearls are an iconic compliment to any look from classic to modern. At Golden Stone we carry only South Sea, Tahitian and Fresh Water natural pearl jewelry where the pearls are made naturally by oysters and other mollusks.

Pearls are evaluated according to their size, shape, color, blemishes and orient (luster). Another important consideration when buying pearls is the "nacre" or skin. The longer a pearl is left cultivating in the oyster, the thicker the skin that develops. Pearls that have been cultivated for short periods have very thin nacre; with wear or with exposure to strong perfume or hair spray, they can lose their luster rapidly. Strands of pearls that match in size, color and shape are more expensive than those of pearls that do not match as well.  When buying pearl jewelry, examind the quality of the pearl by checking the luster, sheen and smoothness of the pearl's surface.