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 Post subject: What's up with my engagement ring?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:40 am 
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ugh
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I'm taking my ring to the jeweler's tomorrow to be sized, but I also need to figure out what to do about the metal. This was my fiance's grandmother's ring. It appears to be gold, and the inside says 14K. But the metal that's immediately around the setting is a silvery color. It doesn't have a hard line so I don't think it was intentional.

What do you think caused this? I don't know anything about jewelery. My best guess after googling is that it was plated with something and it has faded everywhere except for around the setting.

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 Post subject: Re: What's up with my engagement ring?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:43 am 
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Or it's base metal plated with 14K gold that has worn off around the setting?

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 Post subject: Re: What's up with my engagement ring?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:44 am 
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solipsistnation wrote:
Or it's base metal plated with 14K gold that has worn off around the setting?

That would also make sense! Though I would expect the part touching the finger to fade more than the part that isn't, no? Both the silvery stuff and the gold are equally shiny so it's hard to tell.

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 Post subject: Re: What's up with my engagement ring?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:11 am 
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or maybe they didn't have the technology to make a secure setting that was all gold? (isn't gold pretty soft? i'd think that was just the way they set gems back then.)

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 Post subject: Re: What's up with my engagement ring?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:23 am 
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supercarrot wrote:
or maybe they didn't have the technology to make a secure setting that was all gold? (isn't gold pretty soft? i'd think that was just the way they set gems back then.)

I thought it may have been intentional at first, but the line between gold and silver doesn't really correspond with the design of the ring. It definitely looks like bits rubbed off. Then again, the ring has dust caught in every nook and cranny so I could be missing something or other. I guess I'll just wait to see what the jeweler says.

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 Post subject: Re: What's up with my engagement ring?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:31 pm 
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supercarrot wrote:
or maybe they didn't have the technology to make a secure setting that was all gold? (isn't gold pretty soft? i'd think that was just the way they set gems back then.)


They do and have for a while (like, you know, as long as gold and gems have been made into rings and stuff-- gold IS soft, and that's why you hear of people losing stones from their settings and things like that)... But a gold ring (or watch or other jewelry) stamped 14K (or 18K or 24K or whatever) usually means it's gold-filled (or plated), so the core of the ring will be made of some base metal plated with gold in a very very thin layer. The wearing-off of the plating is called "brassing" (because often the base metal on the inside will be brass), as in "This is a 14K gold-filled ring with some brassing around the setting."

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 Post subject: Re: What's up with my engagement ring?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:01 am 
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Possible it was plated with rhodium? I think a lot of white gold jewelry you buy now is plated with rhodium to look more white.


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 Post subject: Re: What's up with my engagement ring?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:40 pm 
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A lot of gold rings have platinum prongs because gold is so soft. Platinum will hold the stone more securely.

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 Post subject: Re: What's up with my engagement ring?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:08 am 
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The stamp : 10k, 14k, 18k..isn't about plating. It's about the purity of the gold. Most gold is gold + other alloys. the higher the carat, the higher the percentage of gold...but it doesn't mean plating. plating is something else entirely. a gold ring shouldn't show silver. that could mean plating. You could also buy a new gold setting if you have a decent diamond. The place where I got my engagement ring online, JamesAllen.com, for example, sells settings as well as loose diamonds. lots of jewelrs do. You can get a very nice gold setting for a pretty low 3 digit sum. If the diamond is exceptional, it might be worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: What's up with my engagement ring?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:31 am 
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Yeah, I guess my point was that if it looks like there's some brassing, the 14K must really have meant plating, and the ring itself isn't solid...

My jewelry metals knowledge is mostly about watches, which mostly carries over... 8)

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 Post subject: Re: What's up with my engagement ring?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:37 am 
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To my knowledge a plated ring wouldn't be stamped. We were taught to be quite careful about our stamps in metalsmithing. Sterling is the same way.
Or, if stamped correctly, would indictae being either gold plated or gold filled. A plain 14K should be neither of those.

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 Post subject: Re: What's up with my engagement ring?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:14 am 
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helbury wrote:
Possible it was plated with rhodium? I think a lot of white gold jewelry you buy now is plated with rhodium to look more white.

According to the jeweler, that was it - the top bit around the setting was plated and the rest was not. I think some of the edges of the plating got worn off which is why it didn't look intentional.

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