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Jewelry 101 
A Quick Guide & Glossary

Iris Pallida by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759–1840).png

Minerals, Rocks,
Crystals, & Gemstones: Synonymous or Not?

All of our jewelry is made with high quality gemstones, also known as crystals. We use over 30 different types of crystals in different shapes, cuts, & colors. These incredible, naturally made stones have deep history behind them. Ancient cultures have constructed lore & stories about them & they are well known for their use in holistic medicine. As you can tell these gems have an extensive background! We put together a short guide to introduce you to the different stones we use, the history & mythical stories behind them, & the healing powers they possess ✩☽

What is a crystal?

By definition, a crystal is any special kind of solid material where the molecules fit together in a repeating pattern.

They are formed underground from three-dimensional patterns of atoms!

These fantastic patterns are the reason why crystals are found in many different unique shapes of all sizes!

They are formed by a process crystallization.

Crystallization happens when liquids change their state by cooling down & hardening. As the molecules in the liquid begin to become stable, specific molecules will gather together in a uniform & repeating pattern. & voila! A crystal is formed.

When volcanoes erupt hot lava spews out of them. Once the magma meets the outer surface of the volcano it will begin to cool. The process of liquid rock hardening by cooling is an awesome example of crystallization. Diamonds, rubies, & emeralds are only a few of the valuable crystals that are created this way. 

This isn't the only way crystals are formed! When water evaporates from a mixture, the material left over can crystallize. You will see this happen when the water evaporates from a saline mixture (salt + water) & you are left with salt crystals.

Minerals, Rocks, Crystals, & Gemstones
What is a crystal?
What is the difference between a mineral, rock, & crystal?
What is the difference between a mineral, a crystal, & a rock?

A mineral is a naturally present inorganic element, whereas a rock is a structure made up of 2+ minerals formed together.

Crystallization refers to a mineral's crystalline structure - there are many different types of different crystals

Rocks, minerals, & crystals all pertain to inorganic stones, however, they each have distinct characteristics that set them apart. 

Crystals & rocks are both made of minerals.

Minerals, themselves, are made of a crystalline atomic structure. This highly organized structure is what gives minerals their chemical & physical characterizations.

There are 2,000+ known minerals on Earth & each one has a different crystalline structure.

Color, luster, streak, fracture, cleavage, hardness, & crystal form are all words to describe a mineral's characteristics.

All crystals are minerals, but not all minerals are crystals.

Crystals & rocks are both made from minerals, however ...

Rocks are composites of minerals with a less uniform, non-specific structure.

Rocks are minerals that are part of an aggregated solid.

Crystals are minerals formed into a highly organized crystalline structure. 

Crystals are minerals that are not part of aggregated solid. Crystals are minerals that stand alone.

You can find crystals formed within rocks - a vein of quartz found inside an igneous rock, for example.

A mineral must have monetary & aesthetic value to be considered a gemstone.

A gemstone is a pieces of mineral crystal in its cut & polished form used to make jewelry or other adornments. 

The most common misconception about gemstones is that they are incredibly rare. At one point in time Amethyst was thought to be scarce, but that isn't the case currently. 

The price of the once rare & expensive Amethyst dropped due to how common the crystal turned out to be.

& there you have it, folks.
Although the words mineral, rock, crystal, & gemstone should not be used synonymously, they all play parts within each others definitions.

Crystals& rocks ar bth made of minerals
Cystals are minerals, but not all minerals are
mineral must have monetary & aethetic value

Gold Plate vs. Gold Fill vs.
Gold Plated Stainless Steel

Gold is our favorite type of metal to work with! We use a few different types in our jewelry, all of which are high quality materials. With that being said, it is important to know the differences in the metals in order to choose the piece that is perfect for you! 

We use three different types of gold ❧

14K GOLD PLATE

14K GOLD FILL

14K & 18K GOLD PLATED

STAINLESS STEEL

Gold plated jewelry is made of a base metal that is dipped or painted in a thin layer of liquid 14k gold. It mimics the look of solid gold with an affordable price tag.

Gold-filled jewelry is made of many layers of gold alloy that is bonded using high heat & pressure. This process makes gold filled jewelry much thicker & more durable than gold plate.

Gold plated stainless steel is made two different ways - by electroplating or physical vapor deposition (PVD). This type of gold jewelry is affordable, durable, & hypoallergenic!

A Quick Comparison

Gold Plate
Gold Fill
Gold Plated
Stainless Steel
How is it made?
Electroplating -
A thin layer of liquid gold is
{ dipped or painted }
onto the base metal & bonded using electricity.
Also called bonded gold or rolled gold
Many layers of gold alloy are bonded to the base metal using high heat & pressure.
Electroplating or PVD
Electroplating - a thin layer of gold is bonded to the base metal by applying a direct electric current.
PVD {Physical Vapor Deposition} -
after the gold alloy is treated in a vacuum chamber, a thin layer is deposited onto it. 
Gold Content
Less than 1%
5%
Less than 1%
Affordability
$
Budget-friendly
$$
More affordable than solid gold, but more expensive than any other type.
$
Budget-friendly
PVD Coated can be slightly more expensive than electroplated jewelry.
Durability
The thin layer of gold will flake or wear off quickly.
Very easily scratched.
Can withstand wear & tear. The many layers of gold are much stronger & better bonded to the base metal than the thin layer in gold-plated jewelry. 
Electroplated - gold can flake or wear off quickly.

PVD - very durable! It is 4x harder than chrome, which makes it resistant to corrosion & scratching. 
Highly resistant to sweat, perfume, & other chemicals that would otherwise harm your jewelry on contact
Longevity
Will last up to 5 years with proper care; ~1 year with daily use
Can last a lifetime with proper care; ~10 - 30 years
Electroplated
Will last up to 5 years with proper care; ~1 year with daily use.
PVD Coating
Will last 10+ years with proper care; 3+ years if worn everyday

 
Will it tarnish?
Yes. Once the thin gold layer flakes off the base metal is exposed, which is usually a metal that is easily tarnished, such as brass.
No, it will not tarnish with proper care. Visit our FAQ page for details.
Electroplated
No; the base metal is stainless steel, which will not tarnish.
PVD Coating

No. Gold coating is 10x thicker than electroplated & is highly resistant to corrosion.  
Hypoallergenic?
No. Once the base metal is exposed, it can irritate sensitive skin.
Yes
Electroplated & PVD
Yes

For more information visit these pages on our site ☞