THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS
Here at Pak’s Jewelers, we are true jewelers who manufacture your jewelry from concept to completion.
Anything you desire or can imagine we can custom manufacture for you. We will sketch or render your idea, and upon your approval carve a wax model in-house in our workshop for your review.
Once you approve the wax model, we begin the casting process which involves baking it in a casting oven to melt out the wax and forming a mold, placing it on a vacuum where the liquid metal of your choice (platinum, yellow, white, black, green, rose (red) gold, or silver), is poured into the mold, filling the cavity and forming your design. After cooling, your unique custom one-of-a kind design is now casted in solid metal. No one in the world will have your design unless you so desire.
After casting, the item is then cleaned and polished for setting. Our experienced diamond setters will then hand-set each diamond any style you prefer (pave, channel, bead, flush, prong, tension, etc).
Your item is now ready for polishing, cleaning and finishing!
Most people will never have the opportunity to see their jewelry being manufactured. We invite you to come and witness every step of this precision process whether it is the carving of your wax, seeing the raw metal come out of the casting oven, or viewing the setting of your diamonds.
We at Pak’s Jewelers also know and understand how important it is to be able to trust someone with your family heirlooms. Because of this we always weigh and verify your diamonds, whether you buy them from Pak’s or not, and offer the opportunity to witness the entire setting process to give you peace-of-mind, and establish trust with you, our client. Most stores will send out your diamond and have a third-party set your diamond, or have work done. This opens up the opportunity for loss or theft, or whatever else could happen. In today’s world, not only is this expensive, but very dangerous!
We appreciate and value you, our customer, and work hard with integrity to earn and maintain your trust and loyalty, thus building lifetime relationships with you, our customer and friend.
THE FOUR C'S
Diamonds are graded and priced according to what is universally referred to as the “4Cs”. They are Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight.
There’s no answer to the question, “which is ‘C’ the most important one?” It is a personal preference. All four factors must be considered, and then you must then decide what is most important to you. For example you may have to choose a lower Carat weight in order to find a diamond with better Clarity for the budget you’ve set. Or you may decide to trade a slightly lower Color grade in order to get a stone with a better Cut, etc. Excluding carat weight as a factor, the highest quality attainable in a diamond is a “D” color, IF (internally flawless) clarity stone that is Ideal Cut, meaning it gives off the maximum amount of fire and brilliance. You have to decide, based on your budget, how close to this ideal you wish to come.
How a diamond’s Carat weight affects its value
The carat weight of a diamond is an extremely important determining factor in its value. Diamonds are valued on a per-carat basis. For example, a diamond of exceptionally high quality may sell for $20,000 per carat, while one of lesser quality may sell for $1,000 per carat. So, a three-carat stone could be $60,000 or $3,000, depending on its per-carat price. Diamond values also increase disproportionately as the size of the stone increases. For example, a two-carat stone will not necessarily cost twice per carat than a one-carat stone. It could cost much more, like three times. This is due to the fact that diamonds are more rare in larger sizes, so increases in size can mean disproportionate increases in value. As you take a stone of a particular cut, clarity and color and move its carat weight to the next price category, you may see quite a large increase in the price per carat. This jump gets proportionately larger as the number of carats increases.
How a diamond’s Cut affects its value
A diamond’s cut is a complicated evaluation based on many factors, including depth and table percentages, girdle thickness, crown angles, etc. A diamond’s shape can also affect its value, although usually to a lesser degree than its cut does. The reason for price differences between stones of comparable quality and size is primarily due to their supply and demand at a particular time, as well as the cost of the specialized labor skills needed to cut more intricate, fancy shapes. It is also less time consuming to cut, measure and select small round-shaped diamonds than small diamonds of more complicated shapes.
How a diamond’s Color affects its value
A diamond’s color also has a great impact on its cost. Since ‘‘colorlessness’’ is the most sought-after trait in terms of color, diamonds that are higher up on the color scale (e.g. D, E, F) will have a greater value. If a diamond with a specific cut, clarity and carat weight is moved to the next color grade, it’s possible to see a significant increase or decrease in the per-carat price, assuming all of the other factors are equal.
How a diamond’s Clarity affects its value
Since clarity, or the measure of imperfections or blemishes in a diamond, is so critical, it will of course result in price differences. If a diamond of a particular cut, color and carat weight is moved to the next clarity grade, it’s possible to see a significant increase or decrease in the per-carat price, assuming all of the other factors are equal.
Gold is a chemical element that, aside from its extraordinary luster, has amazing physical characteristics that make it extremely well suited for use in jewelry making. Although it is the most malleable (able to be shaped into many forms) of all metals, gold is so durable that it is virtually indestructible. One ounce (28 g) of gold can be hammered to 187 square feet, in extremely thin sheets called gold leaf. Gold also does not tarnish or corrode. Gold can be re-melted and used again to create new designs.
Because pure gold is too soft to resist prolonged handling, it is usually mixed with other metals to increase its hardness for use in jewelry. Most gold used in jewelry is alloyed with silver, copper and small amounts of zinc to produce various shades of yellow gold, or with nickel, copper and zinc to produce white gold. The color of these gold alloys goes from yellow to white as the proportion of nickel in them increases. Alloys with platinum or palladium are also used in jewelry. Alloying gold with copper creates what is known as pink gold. Since nickel is the most popular alloy used in white gold, it is important to note that some people may be allergic to nickel. People with this sensitivity can avoid problems by choosing 18-Karat gold, instead of 14-Karat (since there is more pure gold and less alloys in 18K), or by choosing platinum settings.
The gold content of a piece of jewelry is measured in karats, which can range from 1 to 24. For example, 14 Karat (14k) gold is 14 parts of gold to 10 parts other metals. The higher the karat of a piece of jewelry, the greater its gold content. This term should not be confused with the term carat, which is measure of the weight of diamonds and other gemstones.
Gold pricing is based on a number of factors, including karat amount (called karatage), gram weight, design and craftsmanship. The karatage and gram weight designate how much gold is in a piece, but are not the sole determining price factors. The craftsmanship and level of detail in a piece are also taken into account. Other important considerations are the piece's construction and design. Higher quality pieces that are well made will last longer, and are usually priced higher.
The most critical thing to look for in buying gold jewelry is the purity of the gold. The higher the gold content, the more valuable it is. The amount of gold in a piece is represented in the karat mark, usually inscribed on the back of the piece (e.g. 24K, 18K,14K, etc.). The European system uses numbers representing a fraction of 1000, so “750” would be 75% gold, or the equivalent of 18 Karat. In addition to the karat mark, every piece of gold jewelry should be stamped with a hallmark or trademark of its manufacturer and sometimes its country of origin. In the United States, 14-karat gold, or 585 parts pure gold, is the most common degree of fineness and pieces are marked 14K. Nothing less than 10K can legally be marked or sold as gold jewelry in the U.S.
Gold filled jewelry is made by joining or bonding (under heat and pressure) layers of a karat gold to a base metal. This 'sandwich' is then rolled or drawn to the desired thickness. Gold-plated jewelry is made by bonding 10-karat or better gold to a base metal. The karat gold content may be less than 1/20, but must be properly identified as a percentage of the total content.The history of gold extends back at least 6,000 years, with references to it being made in both Egypt and Mesopotamia. In ancient times, gold was thought to have healing properties when worn or even ingested. It is even mentioned several times in the Old Testament.
From Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World in 1492 to 1600, more than 8,000,000 ounces of gold, or 35 percent of world production, came from South America. The New World's mines--especially those in Colombia--continued into the 17th and 18th centuries to account for 61 and 80 percent, respectively, of world production. 48,000,000 ounces were mined in the 18th century.
Russia became the world's leading producer of gold in 1823, and for 14 years it contributed the bulk of the world supply. From 1850 to 1875, more gold was produced in the world than in all the years since 1492, primarily because of discoveries in California and Australia. A third increase in gold production stemmed from discoveries in Alaska, Yukon Territory and South Africa. Gold production continued to rise throughout the 20th century, partly because of the improvement in recovery methods and partly because of the continual growth and expansion of South Africa's gold-mining operations.
In the late 20th century, South Africa, Russia, the United States and Australia accounted for two-thirds of the gold produced annually throughout the world. South Africa alone produces about one-third of the world's gold. Today gold is also used in the medical industry, because its infrared detection capabilities make it ideal for being traced throughout the body. And of course, dentists use 13 tons of gold every year inside our mouths!