4005 E. Main, Suite D, Farmington, NM  |  505-599-9400

BUYING GUIDE


GEMSTONE ENHANCEMENT CODES

Enhancement: Any treatment process other than cutting and polishing that improves the appearance (color/clarity/phenomena), durability, or availability of a gemstone.

N: The “N” symbol appears on the chart only for natural stones which are not currently known to be enhanced; however, the “N” symbol can also be used for other natural gemstones in the event that a gemstone has received no enhancement and the seller will provide a guarantee that there has been none.

E: The “E” symbol indicates that a gemstone has undergone its traditional enhancement process.

B Bleaching:
The use of heat, light and/or other agents to lighten or remove a gemstone’s color.

C Coating:
The use of such surface enhancements as lacquering, enameling, inking, foiling, or sputtering of films to improve appearance, provide color, or add other special effects.

D Dyeing:
The introduction of coloring matter into a gemstone to give it new color, intensify present color or improve color uniformity.

F Filling:
The filling of surface-breaking cavities or fissures with colorless glass, plastic, solidified borax or similar substances. This process may improve durability, appearance, and/or add weight.

H Heating:
The use of heat to effect desired alteration of color, clarity, and/or phenomena (if residue of foreign substances in open fractures is visible under properly illuminated 10X magnification HF should be used.

HP Heat & Pressure:
The use of heat and pressure combined to effect desired alterations of color clarity and/or phemonena.

I Impregantion:
The impregnation of a porous gemstone with a colorless agent (usually plastic) to improve durability and appearance.

L Lasering:
The use of a laser and chemicals to reach and alter inclusions in diamonds.

O Oiling/Resin Infusion:
The filling of surface-breaking fissures with colorless oil, wax, resin, or other colorless substances, except glass or plastic, to improve the gemstones appearance.

R Irradiation:
The use of neutrons, gamma rays or beta particles (high energy electrons) to alter a gemstones color. The irradiation may be followed by a heating process.

U Diffusion:
The use of chemicals in conjunction with high temperatures to produce artificial color and/or asterism-producing inclusions.

W Waxing/Oiling:
The impregnation of a colorless wax, paraffin, and oil in porous opaque or translucent gemstones to improve appearance.

PEARL FACTS

Because of the rarity of naturally occurring pearls, a process of cultivating pearls was introduced in the early 1900s. In this process, a small bead of polished shell is inserted into an oyster or mollusk to act as an irritant and produce a pearl, which can take up to 24 months. These pearls are referred to as cultured pearls. Pearls are classically elegant and never go out of style.


Types of pearls

Akoya-These pearls were the first type of pearl to be cultured. Japan and China are the main producers of these pearls. They are consistently round, which makes them perfect for strands. Colors range from white to cream, though some can be gray or black.

Freshwater-The freshwater pearl is usually slightly less round, smaller in size, and possesses less luster than other varieties of saltwater pearls. These pearls are usually cultivated in China and provide a value-priced option.

Mabé-(MAH bay) Instead of growing inside an oyster or mollusk like other pearls, the mabé pearl actually grows against the shell of the oyster, creating a dome-shaped pearl. This pearl is harvested, then assembled. The nucleus is removed and replaced by resin, while mother-of-pearl is used to cover the flat back. Mabés traditionally have high luster and lower prices than round pearls.

South Sea-These pearls are cultured in the northern waters of Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. These pearls are considerably larger than akoya pearls and much more sensitive during the cultivation process. South Sea pearls are naturally white, cream, or golden in color.

Tahitian-These pearls are slightly smaller than the South Sea pearl, but are also sensitive during the cultivation process. The colors of black, silver, and gray occur naturally and they are cultured in Tahiti as their name implies.

Color

Pearls are produced in a variety of colors, as noted in the types of pearls. Most range from white, cream, and yellow to pink, silver, and black. Most pearls will have both a primary color, the first color you will notice, and a secondary color, the overtone you notice when you take a closer look. Color variation does not decrease the value of the pearl, but is important when matching pearls to be used in strands, earrings, bracelets, etc.

Luster

A pearl’s luster is the result of multiple layers, also called the nacre (NAY ker), that the oyster or mollusk secreted to make the pearl. The thicker the nacre, the more luster a pearl has. You will notice the luster as the deep sheen that reflects light on the surface of the pearl.

Shape

Pearls come in a variety of different shapes. The most coveted of these is round. Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea pearls are most often the roundest of the pearls. Other shapes can make beautiful jewelry as well, sometimes providing you with different price options.

Surface

Because pearls rely on an uncontrollable environment in which to grow, very rarely will you find a perfect pearl. The surface of a pearl may not always be smooth, often including spots, bumps, etc. The beauty of these pearls may be enhanced by the ability to sometimes be camouflaged during the stringing and setting process.

Size

The size of the oyster or mollusk that a pearl is produced within will have a direct effect on the size of the pearl. The size alone may not greatly impact the price of a pearl, but when you combine it with a perfectly round shape and beautiful luster, the value will dramatically increase.

RING SIZING

We offer custom ring sizing at no additional charge. Most of our rings can be sized, but due to the nature of some designs, not all rings can be sized. When placing your order, an asterisk (*) beside a ring size option lets you know that your ring will be custom sized. Size options without the asterisk are stock sizes. Most custom sized ring orders leave our facility in as little as two business days. Use our convenient Ring Sizer to determine your ring size. Custom sized rings are not accepted for return.


» Download and Print the Ring Sizer (PDF document)


Ring Sizer Instructions:

In order to determine your ring size, we ask you to use the two different ways shown in the document. You may use just one, but we recommend using both in order to cross check the results and minimize the possibility of making a mistake.

First, using the sizer strip you have cut out, place it around the finger on which you wish to wear your ring. Make the numbers face outward and pull the sizer through the slit over the largest part of your finger (possibly your knuckle).

Be sure to pull it tightly for a more accurate sizing. Look at the slit and write down the number that lines up with it.

Second, use your own ring that fits the finger on which you wish to wear your new ring. Place the ring onto the circular sizers. Whichever circle your ring fits most closely with will be your ring size. If it falls in between sizes, go with the larger one.

The number results for both should match. If they do not, we suggest that you use the larger one to insure that you will be able to wear it when you receive it. Please note that your fingers will always measure smallest when it is cold, so you will not want to measure when they are cold.

We offer custom ring sizing at no additional charge. Most of our rings can be sized, but due to the nature of some designs, not all rings can be sized. When placing your order, an asterisk (*) beside a ring size option lets you know that your ring will be custom sized. Size options without the asterisk are stock sizes. Most custom sized ring orders leave our facility in as little as two business days. Use our convenient Ring Sizer to determine your ring size. Custom sized rings are not accepted for return.

THE 4 C’s OF DIAMONDS

Buying a diamond is often a very personal experience. Diamonds can be bought to signify love, significant accomplishments, or milestones in your life or that of a gift’s recipient. Unlike when you buy clothing, electronics, or cars, the features of a diamond may not seem quite so obvious to you. At J A JEWELERS & Co., we would like to change that. The more you know about your diamond jewelry, the more confident you will feel when making your diamond jewelry choices. Take a moment to learn more about the 4Cs and find out how they play a an important role in making your diamond jewelry unique.

Shape
The shape of the diamond is often confused with the cut. J A JEWELERS & Co. carries diamonds that are round, princess, oval, pear, and marquise. Choose the shape that you like based on your style and you cannot go wrong. (See Figure below)

Cut
The cut of a diamond determines its brilliance or sparkle. Each shape will be cut differently. Before a diamond is cut, the location of inclusions and flaws, the natural coloration, and the original shape of the rough stone are studied extensively. The stone facets are then mapped out and cut in a way that maximizes size, shape, and clarity. For optimal light performance, you will want a diamond that is cut neither too shallow nor too deep, like the stones that J A JEWELERS & Co. offers. (See Figure below)

Color
Diamonds are graded based on the amount of color they do or do not possess. The scale runs from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). An absolutely colorless diamond is rare and therefore very valuable. At J A JEWELERS & Co., our jewelry contains near colorless (G-J) diamonds because we feel that they give you the best overall value. (See Figure below)

Clarity
A diamond is distinguished by its natural characteristics, just as a person would be noted for her blue eyes or his brown hair. Notated as a diamond’s clarity, these characteristics can be present on the surface (blemishes) or within the stone (inclusions). The clarity is judged by the number and types of these characteristics and is designated using a scale that runs from Fl, defined as flawless, to I3, defined as inclusions visible with the naked eye. A flawless diamond is truly rare. (See Figure below)

Carat Weight
The unit of measure used for the weight of a diamond is the carat. As a matter of reference, a carat is equivalent to .2 grams or .007 of an ounce. Carat weight can also be divided further by using points. There are 100 points in one carat. So a 1/4 (.25) carat stone can also be expressed as 25 points and mean exactly the same thing. When comparing two diamonds, please note that just because one is twice the carat weight of the other does not mean that it will appear to be twice the size.