METAL

What are the Alloy and Plating used ?

La Maison du Carat uses 925 Sterling Silver (hallmarked “925”) as a base metal : sterling silver is a precious metal, but naturally tarnishes after exposure to air. All “La Maison du Carat” jewelry pieces are plated (coated with another metal), to color and to protect the metal from tarnishing due to chemicals, water, skin oils,…

  • Platinum, a precious white metal, is used to give the jewelry a WHITE color,
  • 18-carat gold is used to give the metal a YELLOW color,
  • Rose gold plating is used to give the jewellery a PINK color,
  • And “gunplating” is an alloy used to give the jewelry a BLACK color.

Plating: Gold plating of silver is used in the manufacture of jewelry. Like copper, silver atoms diffuse into the gold layer, causing slow gradual fading of its color and eventually causing tarnishing of the surface.Metal This process may take months and even years, depending on the thickness of the gold layer. A barrier metal layer is used to counter this effect. Copper, which also migrates into gold, does so more slowly than silver. The copper is usually further plated with nickel. A gold-plated silver article is usually a silver substrate with layers of copper, nickel, and gold deposited on top of it.

What is the meaning of “Carat”?

The carat is a unit of mass equal to 200 mg (0.2 g; 0.007055 oz) and is used for measuring gemstones and pearls.

The carat or karat (symbol: K or kt) is a unit of purity for gold alloys.

 

STONES

What is Cubic Zirconia?

Cubic zirconia is a high quality, durable, hard, and optically clear synthetic crystalline substance. It is a man-made material and usually colorless, but can be produced in a variety of different shades. Because of its great similarities to diamonds, cubic zirconia is often used as an affordable diamond substitute. The created stone was first produced in a laboratory in the 1970s, initially to be used in laser technology. After it turned out to be useless for this purpose scientists discovered its great potential for the jewelry industry.

How does Cubic Zirconia compare to diamonds?

Most Cubic Zirconia stones are an excellent diamond imitation for use in jewelry.

The two materials share a great number of similarities and are very difficult to distinguish from one another. The very high refractive index and the cut of Cubic Zirconia imitate the brilliance and fire of the purest diamonds. However, diamonds are naturally occurring gemstones, whereas Cubic Zirconia is a laboratory-created material.

Diamonds are the hardest minerals that exist with a hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale.

Cubic Zirconia is still very hard, reaching a rating of 8.5.

In jewelry, Zirconia is used in rings, necklaces, pendants, earrings, and bracelets and is often set in precious metals, just like natural diamonds.

Are Cubic Zirconia stones synthetic diamonds?

No, they are not. Cubic Zirconia is made of different chemical elements than diamonds. Also its physical properties are different to diamonds. Cubic Zirconia is heavier than Diamond and it is very hard. It can only be scratched by diamond and corundum.

What is the difference between Zirconia and Crystal? Are they both Lab-grown?

Zirconia is a created crystalline imitation of a diamond. It is extremely hard and has a light refraction that is very close to that of a diamond (Refractive Index Diamond: 2,42, Cubic Zirconia: 2,20, Crystal 1,56). Apart from the chemical difference between the two materials, each of them caters to different needs of the fashion and design industries.

Zirconia is almost always set in gold or silver, which doesn’t apply to crystal. Additionally, different application processes are used.

Both materials are manmade and that might be the only real similarity. Zirconia has a crystal structure like diamonds or also metals, which makes it very hard and also heat resistant.

Crystal, as it is used for jewelry and textile applications, is much softer than Cubic Zirconia and not as durable.

The refractive index of Zirconia is much higher than crystal and therefore closer to a diamond. The production process for jewelry with Zirconia and jewelry with crystal is totally different. Zirconia is usually set (prong setting or bezel setting) like diamonds in precious metals. Crystal is glued into jewelry, usually made of non-precious metals, or used in textile applications. In order to increase its brilliance and allow gluing, crystal stones usually come with a foiling on the backside.

 

Cubic Zirconia

Diamond

Synthetic diamond

Crystal

Artificial

Yes

No (mined)

Yes

Yes

Application method

Set

Set

Set

Glued

Hardness

8,5

10

10

6

Refractive index (Brightness)

2,20

2,42

2,42

1,56

 

CARE

Will the brilliance of a Zirconia fade over time?

No, it will not. Zirconia is resistant to scratches by normal cleaning and polishing devices. It is harder than quartz and can therefore not be scratched by sand or dust.

How can I take care of my Zirconia jewel?

Jewelry can easily be cleaned with warm water and a little bit of soap or by ultrasonic cleaning devices.

(Swarovski) Zirconia is a very durable stone that can hardly be scratched by any other material, except for diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. Therefore you do not need to exert extra care when wearing or cleaning your jewelry made with Swarovski Zirconia. Jewelry can easily be cleaned with warm water and some soap. You can also take it to a jeweler who will use special cleaning devices and treatments.