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Jewelry Buying Tutorial

What to know when buying Fine Jewelry

What to look for when buying fine jewelry

Fine jewelry is made from precious metals and gemstones gathered from all over the world. At Lustig Jewelers, we select only the finest materials, guaranteeing you years of pleasure with each jewelry selection and the promise that your jewelry will be treasured heirlooms decades from now.

The science of sourcing gemstones, and polishing them into the beautiful jewelry you find in Lustig Jewelers involves expert examination and care.

We’ve created an interesting brief tutorial to acquaint you with some insiders’ information that is sure to enhance your appreciation of your jewelry.

Diamonds and Color

With the exception of fancy colored diamonds, diamonds are valued for their lack of body color. A universal way of communicating the lack of body color is called the Color Grading Scale (GIA). Colorless diamonds are graded on a scale beginning with the letter D and continue to the end of the alphabet.

D-E-F Colorless
G-H-I-J Near Colorless
K-L-M Faint Yellow
N O-P-Q R Very Light Yellow>
S-T-U -V-W-X-Y-Z Light Yellow


Fancy Colored Diamonds

Up until recently, few people outside of the gem trade actually knew that diamonds occur naturally in a rainbow of attractive colors. The entire category of these rare and exciting stones is referred to as Fancy Color diamonds. Pink, green, blue, yellow and orange diamonds exist. Most rarely seen are reds, but they have been discovered too.

Colored Gemstones

Selecting colored gemstones is a joyful task because there are so many choices available to us by Nature. Once you settle on a color of a stone that you want, you need to learn a few terms that will further help you in choosing the right gem for you.

Learn the ways that the jewelry industry identifies colored gemstones.

  • Natural— this stone appears just as it did in the earth. Nothing has been done to it.
  • Genuine— this term can be a bit confusing to some because, it also indicates a ‘real’ stone from Nature, but it could have had a beauty treatment to enhance its appearance. So it can be genuine but not natural anymore.
  • Enhanced— Stones with this declaration have had some man made intervention to beautify them. This is not a bad thing! Many natural (or genuine) gemstones are routinely subjected to treatment to make their color more appealing to jewelry lovers.
  • Treatment is a broad term that can mean heating which changes a stone’s color.
    A stone can also be irradiated. This means that the stone was subjected to irradiation in a controlled environment. These stones are perfectly safe but their color is improved or made more even distribution of color across the stone’s surface.

So you don’t know what kind of colored gemstone you are admiring? All you have to do at Lustig Jewelers is ask! We are committed to educating our customers so that you can appreciate your jewelry even more.


At one time, prior to the 20th century, all pearls were the natural product of marine mollusks. But Mr. Mikimoto perfected the science of culturing pearls early in the 20th century, by implanting a small seed nucleus into an oyster---and the cultured pearl industry was born.

Today, virtually all pearl jewelry is made from cultured mollusks that have been commercially farmed. True, there are still natural pearls that spontaneously develop in bi-valve shells, but those are more of a curiosity today. Pearl culturing is a wonderful industry that has brought pearl fans an amazing range of pearls depending on whether they were raised in salt or fresh water. The type of mollusk also affects the type of pearl including its size and shape, and sometimes its color.

Precious Metals

Metal is an important part of the entire jewelry design. Over time, tastes have changed and metals fall in and out of fashion. Today’s jewelry lovers are more confident than ever, and they appreciate the distinct beauty of each metal type.

Sterling Silver is a precious white metal that has been used in jewelry for centuries. It takes a high polish and that is strikes an important balance between the sparkle of gemstones and the alluring sheen of this metal.

Platinum is a white metal that became popular during the 1920-1930s when aristocrats began styling their important jewelry in this metal. Platinum is rare, and thus more expensive than other metal choices. A trait of this fine metal is that it develops a soft patina over time, and many jewelry lovers find this characteristic particularly attractive.

Palladium is a newer entry to the jewelry metal world. Stylish and price conscious
shoppers today are drawn to the pretty white metal from the platinum family of metals. While it appears similar to the more pricey platinum, it offers great value for consumers.

White Gold has white metals alloyed with yellow gold which is its normal color. The popularity of white gold rose during the Art Deco period (1920s-1930s) as it was an affordable alternative to platinum.

Gold—Yellow Gold is the most sought out precious metal of all time. Ancient Egyptian pharaohs were buried with their warm gleaming gold treasures. Gold is not found in large quantities in all parts of the world, and it is often used as a type of investment because of that.