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The Top Ten Jewelry Myths; Refuted

Do Opals really bring bad luck?   Are Diamonds actually the rarest gem on earth?  I scoured the internet and looked up the ten most commonly believed jewelry myths out there. Perhaps there are some even you belived to be true?
Let’s burst all those jewelry misconceptions that you may have heard over the years.     
  1. “ Opals Bring Bad Luck”
Opal ring
Opals have long facinated us with their alluring reflective specks of color.  My mothe insisted on having an Opal for her Wedding Ring.    The misconception that Opals bring the wearer bad luck is deeply seeded in ancient storys and folklore.  Their associations with evil superstitions began with tales of whitches and sourcerours to in crease their powers.   Europeans believed Opals resembled the “Evil Eye” siting its likelhys tothe mystical eyes of cats , snakes  and other beasts with ghastly reflecting eyes.   Many of these tales of these Evil stones being used as lazars, or sheilding the wearing in a cloak of invisiblity they became known as stones of theives.  Queen Victoria changed the image for the better though and wore mostly opals during her reign.  Are you ready to add some Opals to your collection?
  1. “All Sapphires are Blue”. 
rose cut gemstone sapphires in red, pink, blue and yellow
  1. “Pearls dissolve in Vinegar”. 
Pearl necklace
Have you heard of the story where  Cleopatra  causually drops her largest pearl into a glass of wine  vinegar and drinks it in order to showcase her immense wealth to her lover Marc Antony.     Now there is some truth to this myth  Cleopatra’s pearl would not have dissolved immediately.    Prudence Jones of Montcleair State University in NJdue  put this myth to the test by conducting an experiment with a 5 carat pearl and vinegar.   Her findings indicated “that a to toe calcium carbonate in a pearls composition thre is a possiblitity that it could dissolve. "that a 5 percent solution of acetic acid, a concentration identical to that of white vinegar sold in supermarkets today, takes 24 to 36 hours to dissolve a pearl weighing approximately one gram. The process leaves a small amount of translucent, gel-like material on the surface." (source
  1. “Diamonds are the rarest gemstone on earth”.  
rose but pink diamond and loose diamonds
One could say that the scarcity of the Diamond was clever marketing by diamond traders, control of the mines meant control of scarcity.  You’ll find that gemstones like Alexandrite,  Kashmir Sapphire, Tanzanite have much rarer specimens but still is not THE Rarest gemstone in the world.  That honor goes to Painite.  (Ever hear of it? Me neither until I lookedit up.).  According to It wikipedia it was “discovered by by British gemologist Arthur Charles Davy Pain in 1951 and recognized as a new mineral in 1957. For many years only one specimen of the dark red crystal was in existence, housed at the British Museum in London, making it the world's rarest gemstone.”
  1. “Antique, Vintage, and Estate Jewelry all Mean the Same Thing”
image of woman perplexed looking
That’s a firm NO, they are not the same.   Jewelry has to be at least one hundred years old for it to be considered Antique.   Vintage Jewelry generally ranges between 50-100 Years old (so your favorite 90’s hoops aren’t quite “vintage” yet).   Estate jewelry has to have had at least one previous owner and contary to some previous beliefs the previous owner can still be alive.  The age of the piece is not considered when it is classified as “Estate Jewelry”.
  1. “Zircon is the same thing as Cubic Zirconia”.
Zircon happens to be my Birthstone, which is December and it is unfortunate that it tends to get a bad rep being confused with the less expensive Cubic Zirconia.  Ziron is a natural gemstone and has the honor of being considered one of the oldest gemstone crystal formations of this Earth.  Findings in Austrailia are said to be 4.4 Million years old. 
Zircons come in a variety of colors, it’s purest for is clear but it isn’t considered the most valuable.  That honor goes to Green Ziron which is considered to be the most rare. 
Chemically Zircons are made of  zirconium silicate  where as Cubic Zirconias are synthetic and grown is a lab.  Cubic Zirconia’s rate higher on the MOHs scale of hardness so they are ideal for costume jewelry or lower cost jewelry pieces. 
  1. “Toothpaste is Great for Cleaning Jewelry”
image of hands using polishing cloth to clean jewelry
Back in the early nineties I was a young teen-ager who was plastering her room with posters of her favorite rock bands.  At some point I had read a “life hack” that said tooth paste was a great alternative for hanging posters and pictures to your wall.  My mother however, disagrees.  When I was forced to scrub the walls  I ended up scratching the paint and leaving a residue behind anyway. 
Don’t even consider using your toothpaste on your jewelry for it is an abrasive substance and will leave subtle scratches on your metal jewelry and can damage softer gemstones.  Best leave the toothpaste for teeth brushing. 
Gentle soap and water will do wonders for your jewelry if your looking for a quick clean up at home. 
  1. Gold Occurs in Three Colors
Yellow gold, Rose Gold, white gold ring
You maybe familiar with yellow gold, rose gold and white gold but Gold naturally occurs in one color which is yellow.  To acheive rose gold copper is mixed with yellow gold and white gold is made with nickel or palladium.  Remember that gold is often mixed with other metals to make jewelry stronger and more sturdy.
  1. The Larger the Stone, the More EXPENSIVE it is
This time “Bigger is not always Better”
There are four main factors determining the overall value of a gemstone or the Four ‘C’s:  Clarity, Cut, Carot, and Color. Therefore, you could compare a cloudy 5 carot cut Ruby Sapphire thats dull in color to a vivid, saturated and brilliant cut 1 carat Ruby.
  1. You Can Tell if a Piece of Gold is Real by Biting it.
woman biting gold coin
I suppose you technically “could” try that but its kind of a bad idea.  Relatively, Gold is a soft metal that human teeth are strong enough to leave a mark on.  The more pure the gold is the softer it is.  Yet you will always find crooked people who merely paint land lead to gold bars because lead is just as soft.  Not to mention you really don’t want to leave teeth marks on your finest jewelry do you? 
So there you have it some traditional jewelry myths debunked.  Yet sometimes its the myths and stories themselves that make jewelry the most interesting. 
Over the years I have had elements of story telling with certain pieces of jewelry.  Often it is the back story to the piece that makes the jewelry all the more meaningful. 
Check out some other favorite jewelry stories from the Aprilierre past. 
Jewelry in the Keys of Life 
Protect Your Magic 

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