Warranty: Limited one-year vendor warranty from date of purchase. Please call 1-800-268-7962. Includes romance card with purchase.
All weights pertaining to gemstones, including diamonds, are minimum weights. Additionally, please note that many gemstones are treated to enhance their beauty. View Gemstone Enhancements and Special Care Requirements for important information.
Pronounced "vermay," vermeil is an electroplating process in which 14K gold or higher is coated over sterling silver. Officially designated by the jewelry industry, items may only be sold as vermeil if they have a minimum thickness of 100 millionths of an inch (2.5 microns) of gold over the silver. Regular gold plating is less than 2.5 microns.
The "vermeil" technique of plating sterling silver with gold originated in France in the 1750s. It differs from "gold filled" or "gold plated" in terms of the thickness or thinness of the microns over sterling silver. "Gold filled" pieces have a much thicker layer, between 15 and 45 microns, which is mechanically bonded to the base metal with heat and pressure. Vermeil is a more expensive version of "gold plated". It does not wear off as quickly as gold plating does. However, over time, vermeil wears off and therefore will require re-plating.
Gold/Platinum Embraced Silver or Bronze:
Our platinum and gold embraced collections feature layers of platinum or gold over sterling silver or bronze for a lustrous, radiant finish everywhere you look and touch.
To care for your plated jewelry items:
Barrel Clasp: Used on most rope chains to make the chain more secure. The barrel clasp looks like part of the chain and twists to get a pendant on and off.
Lobster Claw Clasp: As a traditional clasp style found in bracelets and necklaces, the lobster claw is generally reserved for heavier styles that may need added strength. The closure's shape is more oblong, similar to a teardrop shape, and is controlled by a tip that opens and closes the spring in the clasp. This type is also considered a more expensive finding that can add to the overall value of the jewelry piece.
Magnetic Clasp: The popularity of the magnetic clasp has greatly increased in recent years. It is a quick and easy way to secure jewelry while not having to fuss with a tiny clasp, which can be difficult if you have long fingernails, arthritic hands or other mobility challenges. A magnetic clasp relies on a strong internal magnet that works to pull both ends of the clasp together. In most cases, a magnetic clasp is used for light to medium weight jewelry pieces that do not put excessive stress on the magnet.
S-Clasp: An S-shaped piece of metal that connects a chain by hooking metal rings on each end of the S-shape.
Slide Insert Clasp: This type of clasp is exactly as it sounds. With a box-like shape that is hollow on the inside, the wearer will slide the nearly-flat tab into the box until it clicks, indicating a secure closure. On some jewelry, a slide insert clasp will be accompanied by a side safety catch, which adds strength and security to the clasp. Although this type of clasp is found on both bracelets and necklaces, it is particularly popular on bracelet styles. These types of clasps are often reserved for more expensive jewelry.
Spring Ring Clasp: One of the most common closure types, the spring ring clasp is typically used for light to medium weight bracelets or necklaces. It is round in its design and features a small tip which controls the opening and closing of the spring. The circle then closes around another smaller loop or link at the other end of the strand.
Toggle Clasp: A toggle clasp is a narrow piece of metal, usually designed in the shape of a bar, which is then pushed through a circular ring to act as a fastener. Unlike the lobster claw or spring ring clasps, a toggle clasp is not controlled by a spring. The pretty design is less secure than other closure types, but is usually meant to be a big part of the design and is meant to "show". The clasp is an attractive way to secure a chunkier link bracelet or necklace.
The length of a necklace or chain you buy depends upon a number of factors, including what you will be wearing with it and your neck size.
To measure your neck, wrap a soft, flexible tape measure around the base of your neck. This is the same measurement used for collar sizes in men's shirts. A good rule of thumb is to buy a necklace or chain a minimum of two sizes up from your neck measurement. Thus, a man with a 17" neck would want to skip the 18" size and get a 20" size to ensure a comfortable fit.
Appropriate women's necklace lengths are more dependent upon the style than neck measurement. Knowing your basic neck measurement, though, will help you decide what length will work best with your outfit and create the look you are after.
"Ammolite" is the name for a type of fossilized mother-of-pearl, not be confused with "ammonite", which is the sea creature that lived in the shell.
Ammonites were squid-like creatures that swam the seas more than 70 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. Their shells were constructed into a unique series of air chambers that allowed them to float and move through the water using jet propulsion. Today, these complex chamber walls appear as intricate patterns in the fossils. Ammonites were abundant in all the oceans until they became extinct around the same time as the dinosaurs.
Because each gemstone is a fossil, ammolite is regarded as one of the rarest gems on earth. The preserved mother-of-pearl went through a mysterious geological and mineralization transformation, giving it light refracting characteristics that qualify it today as a precious gem. Ammolite is capable of splitting sunlight into every color imaginable, a fact that illuminates why the stone came to be known as the "Seven Color Prosperity Stone" by Feng Shui masters. Each color in ammolite represents a different layer of the gem material. So, depending on the number of fine layers in the rough, everything from one color to the full visible spectrum will be displayed. The cracking results in a mosaic appearance, sometimes described as "dragon skin" or a stained glass window pattern.
Ammolite is only found in the Bearpaw formation that extends from Alberta to Saskatchewan in Canada and to Montana in the United States. Those found in and around Alberta display the most vivid colors. Ranking 5-7 on the Mohs Scale, pricing is based on size, shape, number of colors present, brightness of those colors, and overall appearance. Each ammolite is unique and the rarest stones show three or more colors.
In 1908, a member of the National Geological Survey team found fossils of ammonite along the St. Mary's River in Alberta. It was not until 1981 that enough high-quality ammolite was discovered to make mining commercially viable. The International Commission of Colored Gemstones officially recognized it as a gemstone at that time.
Ammolite is classified as a "biogenic" gemstone, a distinction also shared with pearls, coral and amber. It refers to the process of its origin, being biological versus geological. Ammolite is commonly impregnated with a colorless hardened substance to increase stability. It has been compared to opal in that it can either be spinel-capped or a natural doublet. The spinel-capped version is very similar to the opal triplet, while the natural doublet is similar to an opal doublet.
The stone was named for Ammon, the ancient Egyptian god of life and reproduction, because the shell of the ammonite was similar in appearance to the ram-headed deity's horns. The Roman historian Pliny the Elder regarded ammolite as the holiest of stones because it was said to evoke prophetic dreams. The Blackfoot Tribe of North America came to know ammolite as the "buffalo stone", as it signified abundance, aided in the buffalo hunt and played a key role in their traditional culture and magic. Within the Chinese practice of Feng Shui, some believe ammolite gives the owner health, wealth and enlightenment. Ammolite was designated as the official gemstone in Alberta, Canada in 2004.
A selection of our jewelry is made of sterling palladium alloy. Palladium is a member of the platinum group of precious metals. By replacing a portion of the copper content used in standard sterling silver with palladium, this proprietary formula renders a precious metal with superior performance attributes. Sterling palladium is five times more tarnish-resistant than standard sterling silver and has strength similar to that of 14K gold.
Palladium has been used as a precious metal in jewelry since 1939, originally as an alternative to platinum for making white gold. Its naturally white color requires no rhodium plating. Additionally, palladium is proportionally much lighter than platinum and is ideal for use in heavier gemstone jewelry. It is a more expensive alloy than nickel, but it seldom causes the allergic reactions that nickel alloy can.
To care for your plated jewelry items: