Appraising jewelry is not quite as simple as just looking at its beauty with the naked eye. Professional jewelers use a myriad of tools to help them further assess jewelry to take a much closer look at the composition, clarity, and contents or material of the pieces. Here are some of the very important pieces of a jeweler's toolkit that help them make a better determination in assessing a piece of jewelry's value.
It's not always easy to know the difference between a real diamond and a cubic zirconia stone. A diamond tester is a small, handheld tool that can be applied directly to the stone to determine whether or not it is authentic. These tools are usually battery powered and are able to "read" the stone in order to see if it is real by applying heat to the stone using a small probe. Based on how quickly heat passes through the stone, the tool will then indicate using lights or a beeping sound if the stone is, in fact, a diamond. Small scales are then used to determine how many karats the diamond contains based on weight.
You've probably seen most jewelers with a small, round piece of glass hanging from their necks or stowed in their pockets. This vital tool is called a loupe, and it allows them to better examine stones up close. Similar to a magnifying glass, a jeweler's loop can look for cracks and imperfections in stones to help determine the clarity and, therefore, the value. These small tools can magnify stones about ten times larger or even higher to help get a much closer examination of stones in rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. A bright light is shined behind the stone, so the actual clarity and possible cracks can be seen more clearly.
Gold Testing Kits
Gold comes in many forms and its value is determined by how many karats it has and if the item is solid or simply plated with gold. A testing kit is used by jewelers to assess whether or not a piece of gold jewelry is real, as well as how many karats it contains. The kit includes an acidic chemical solution and a stone. The solution is applied with a dropper onto the stone, and then the gold is scratched onto it. This is known as an "acid test," and it's the most common way jewelers test gold jewelry. When the gold is scratched onto the stone, there should be a chemical reaction. Depending on how well the gold holds up to the acid, the jeweler can determine how many karats it contains. The basic rule of thumb is that the purer the gold, the less reaction to the acid will occur. When you go to get an estimated value of your jewelry, remember the hard work and tools it takes to come up with a true, honest value.
For jewelry appraisal services, contact a company such as Fortuna Auction.