Men's Jewelry FAQ
This FAQ answers the most frequently asked questions about men's jewelry. We've organized into six distinct sections. Scroll down or click a link to jump to the subject that interests you.
- Gems By Color - names used, ordering by color
- Gems By Birthstone - various gems according to birth date
- Gems By Star Sign - gems according to astrological sign
- Jewelry Quality Signs - how to identify quality in gems
- Buying Men's Jewelry - tips on buying gems
- Men's Jewelry Care - how to care for your jewelry
Looking For Inspiration?
1. Gems By Color
Color is a primary factor in selecting gems. Here's a rundown of the basics.
- Black: Obsidian Onyx
- Blue: Aquamarine Blue Lace Agate Lapis Lazuli Sapphire Tanzanite Topaz Turquoise
- Brown: Agate Jasper Tiger Eye
- Green: Alexandrite Aventurine Bloodstone Chrysoprase Emerald Jade Malachite Peridot Tourmaline
- Orange: Carnelian
- Pink: Kunzite Rose Quartz
- Red: Coral Garnet Ruby
- Violet: Amethyst
- White: Diamond Moonstone Opal Pearl Quartz Zircon
- Yellow: Amber Citrine Tiger Eye
Browse the hundreds of jewelry pieces for inspiring examples of real gems in a multitude of colors.
2. Gems By Birthstone
Birthstone is another very popular way to select men's jewelry. Here's a quick guide. First are the Modern and Traditional and then the Mystical and Ayurvedic.
Modern And Traditional
|November||Yellow Topaz, Citrine||Citrine|
|December||Blue Topaz, Turquoise||Zircon, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli|
Mystical And Ayurvedic
The Modern Birthstone list contains the official birthstone list from the American National Association of Jewelers, Jewelers of America. These gemstones were officially adopted in 1912. In the US, this is the accepted list.
The Traditional Birthstone list contains older birthstones and is sometimes combined with the modern birthstone list. These stones reflect societal birthstone traditions, heralding back to the 15th century. (Many jewelers have differing lists of traditional birthstones.)
The Mystical Birthstone list is of Tibetan origin from over a thousand years ago.
The Ayurvedic Birthstone list is from Ayurvedic Indian Medicine - a type of medicine used for over a thousand years.
3. Gems By Star Sign
Many of us will talk about and buy men's jewelry according to star sign. Here's a handy list for believers and non-believers alike.
|Sun Sign||Birthstone||Planetary Stone||Lucky Charms|
|Ruby, Agate, Garnet||Lapis Lazuli||Ruby|
|Garnet, Moss Agate, Opal, Amethyst||Turquoise||Garnet, Hyacinth|
|Rock Crystal, Sapphire, Amethyst, Bloodstone||Aquamarine||Amethyst|
|Bloodstone, Diamond||Jasper||Diamond, Jasper, Bloodstone|
|Sapphire, Turquoise, Amber, Blood Coral, Emerald||Emerald, Aventurine||Sapphire, Diamond|
|Agate, Chrysoprase, Pearl||Tiger Eye||Agate, Emerald|
(Jun. 21-Jul. 22)
|Emerald, Moonstone, Pearl, Ruby||Moonstone||Emerald, Agate, Chalcedony|
|Tourmaline, Sardonyx, Onyx||Rock Crystal||Peridot, Onyx, Amber|
|Jasper, Carnelian, Jade, Sapphire||Citrine||Carnelian, Sardonyx|
|Opal, Lapis Lazuli, Peridot||Sapphire||Opal, Chrsolite, Sardonyx|
|Aquamarine, Topaz||Garnet, Ruby||Aquamarine, Beryl|
|Sapphire, Amethyst, Turquoise, Topaz||Topaz||Topaz, Pearl|
4. Jewelry Quality Signs
True artisans work tirelessly to ensure that your purchase meets the highest standards of quality, whether it has to do with the jewelry itself or customer service.
Ensure all diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones have been carefully selected by certified gemmologists.
When buying/designing your jewelry, pay particular attention to size, cut, quality (color/clarity/treatments), and type of gemstone.
Ensure that all diamonds over 0.50 carats are sold with a diamond-grading certificate.
The uiqueness of the piece you buy adds to its sentimental and monetary value. No two designs can be the same.
- Secure Ordering
Ensure all orders are processed on a secure server that uses Secure Socket Layers (SSL) technology. SSL encrypts all your personal information including credit card number, name and address so that it cannot be read as the information travels over the Internet.
- Fedex Shipping
Have your purchase shipped to you within seven days via Federal Express for orders to the United States and Canada. Have the shipping, handling and insurance included in the cost.
Ensure that your personal information will not be used for any purpose other than to fill your order and that your email will not be given to anyone else.
5. Buying Men's Jewelry
Here are some tips on buying men's jewelry. Generally, the price of any gemstone is determined by: size, cut, quality (color/clarity/treatments), and type. Some questions to ask about quality are:
- Has it been treated? (See treatments listed below.)
- Is the stone natural or synthetic?
- Are there any noticeable scratches, chips or inclusions?
- Is the color even throughout the stone?
- How good is the color? (Is it vivid?)
- If you are buying the stones for earrings or cufflinks, are the stones well matched?
There are many ways that dealers treat gemstones. The savvy buyer asks lots of questions and hopefully tests the results. Here are some treatments to look for:
- Irradiation: It is common to irradiate aquamarine, London blue topaz, emerald, and diamond as well as other stones. This treatment brings out color and removes imperfections. Many dealers know if the stones they are selling have been irradiated. Honest ones will tell you if they are aware of the treatment.
- Heat Treatment: amethyst, aquamarine, ruby, tanzanite and topaz are often heated at high temperatures to enhance color.
- Dye: This is the most common treatment used. On clear stones, dye may be visible in cracks that are darker than the rest of the stone. Sometimes dye appears as a residue that rubs off or white patches. Lapis, rose quartz, amethyst and citrine are often dyed. Black onyx is permanently dyed in normal processing.
- Coatings: Jasper is often dipped in petroleum products to bring out color and to seal it. Emerald is oiled; turquoise is waxed.
- Fake Stones: Some dealers will try passing off fake stones instead of natural ones. There are fake stones for most gemstones on the market. Always ask what stone something is if you are not certain. Honest dealers will tell you. If a stone looks too perfect it may be fake, irradiated or dyed. Avoid Laboratory-made products also known as synthetics.
Tips on buying beads:
- Look for holes big enough to take a stronger thread.
- Where appropriate, ensure beads are evenly shaped.
- If the beads are being sold in a 16" strand - make sure it is 16" - not 14" or 15".
- Look for the best quality stone, if buying real stones.
- Make sure beads are not cracked or chipped by the holes as this tears the thread.
- Look for color good enough to create harmonious necklaces and matching earrings.
6. Men's Jewelry Care
Here are some tips on caring for men's jewelry to protect it from scratches, sharp blows, harsh chemicals, extreme temperatures and sunlight.
- Store jewelry separately so it doesn't scratch other jewelry.
- remove rings when doing household tasks such as gardening and cleaning.
- Put your jewelry on AFTER washing and applying any makeup/hair spray.
- Never wear jewelry while swimming in a swimming pool. The chlorine can cause damage to various gemstones and gold. Gemstones may become loose in their settings and possibly fall out.
- Avoid storing your jewelry next to a heating vent, window sill or on a car dashboard.
- Store jewelry away from sunlight as it may fade the gemstones.
Hardness is based on a gem-trade standard called the Mohs scale. The higher the Mohs scale number, the harder the stone is. The highest Mohs scale rating is 10 (diamonds). Anything with a Mohs scale rating of less than 7 is easily scratched (such as coral, lapis lazuli, opal, pearl, and turquoise). Gold, silver, and platinum are only Mohs 2-1/2 to 4. Always carefully store any fine jewelry.
Be certain that stones mounted in rings are not loose or rattle. The prongs of a ring can and do wear down. If the prongs wear down too much or break, you've lost the stone. Prongs are easily "retipped" by most jewelers to keep the stone secure.
Common stones that are damaged in sunlight (there may be more):
- Amethyst: becomes paler
- Ametrine: may change color
- Apatite: pink variety fades
- Aquamarine: becomes paler
- Aventurine: translucent types often lose color
- Beryl: brown or orange types may change to pale pink
- Celestite: fades in direct sunlight
- Chrysoprase: becomes paler
- Citrine: may change color
- Fluorite: green and purple types change color
- Kunzite: becomes pale or loses color
- Rose Quartz: becomes paler
- Smokey Quartz: becomes paler
If you have bead necklaces such as lapis or pearls, store them flat as silk stretches over time. Most jewelers will restring necklaces or reset stones (for a fee).
Sterling silver will polish up by rubbing or buffing it with a soft cotton cloth or a Sunshine Cloth. If you store silver in plastic bags with an interlocking seal, it will be less prone to tarnish. (Do NOT store pearls in plastic bags!)