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Jewelry Chemistry

This is section devoted to beaders, metalsmiths, and jewelry makers. I've gathered together all of my information relating chemistry and jewelrymaking into one convenient place!

Gemstone Photo Gallery
See photos of rough and cut gemstones and learn about the chemistry of the minerals.

Before You Buy a Rock Tumbler
Learn about the two main types of rock tumblers and get some selection tips and helpful advice to prepare for your first tumble. Links to related resources and support sites are also included.

White Gold
White gold is a popular metal for jewelry. Have you ever wondered what white gold is made of? Here's a look at the chemical composition of white gold and some of the properties of white gold.

Chemistry of Diamond
Part I: Carbon Chemistry and Diamond Crystal Structure. Part II: Properties and Types of Diamonds. There are also links to learn about carbon allotropes, diamond mining, diamonds as gemstones, and geology.

Colored Glass Chemistry
Have you ever wondered how glass is colored? Here's a table of common colorants and a description of processes used to color glass.

Gemstone Colors and Transition Metals
Gemstones are minerals that can be polished or cut for use as an ornament or jewelry. The color of a gemstone comes from the presence of trace...

Gemstone List
This alphabetical list of gemstones includes the mineral names of the gemstones as well as links to photos of the gems.

Gold Alloys
None of the gold used in jewelry is pure gold. Some gold isn't even 'gold'-colored (e.g., white gold). The different colors are due to the presence of other metals alloyed with the gold. This table gives common compositions of the different colors of gold.

How Do Mood Rings Work?
Mood rings have a stone that is supposed to change color to show your emotions. Do they work? If so, do you know how? Here's your chance to find out.

Mood Ring Colors and Mood Ring Meanings
This chart shows the colors of the typical 1970s mood ring and the meanings associated with the mood ring colors.

Cubic Zirconia or CZ
Learn what cubic zirconia or CZ is and how you can tell it apart from diamond.

How To Grow Silver Crystals
All it takes is silver nitrate and either copper wire or mercury to grow these sparkling metal crystals.

How To Make Copper and Brass Cleaner
Use these easy instructions to combine common household ingredients to make your own copper, brass, and bronze cleaner.

How To Make Natural Dyes
These are easy instructions for making your own natural dyes, using fruits, vegetables, and spices. The article is for Easter, but you can also use these dyes on natural and faux pearls and other beads!

How to Make Silver Polishing Dip
Why use elbow grease to remove tarnish from silver when all you need to do is dip it in this easy-to-make nontoxic solution? I've also included some tips for preventing tarnish in the first place.

Metal Jewelry Stamps & Marks
Jewelry made from precious metals often is stamped with a mark to indicate the chemical composition of the metal. These stamps or engravings are called quality marks. Here's a look at what different quality marks signify. Gold, silver, vermeil, platinum, and palladium are included.

Metal Quiz
Test your knowledge of the metals with this ten question quiz. Links about different metals are provided to help you find the answers.

Metals & Alloys Used in Piercings and Body Jewelry
A metal that makes a great necklace could cause serious problems in your belly button! Learn about the metals and alloys that can (and can't) be safely used to make body jewelry.

Mohs Scale of Hardness
The Mohs Scale of Hardness measures how well a substance resists scratching by another material. You can use this scale to test the hardness of rocks, minerals, and crystals, to help identify them.

Perform the Mohs Test
The Mohs test is one way to determine the hardness of a rock or mineral. You can use the Mohs hardness to help identify an unknown specimen. Here's how you can do the test yourself.

Product Summary - Lortone Model 33B Rotary Rock Tumbler
This twin-barrel rock tumbler from Lortone features rubber 3 lb. capacity barrels, a fan-cooled continuous duty motor, and durable metal housing. This summary itemizes the tumbler's features and includes a product evaluation.

Rock & Mineral Chemistry Quiz
Do you know about the chemistry of rocks and minerals? Here's a ten question quiz you can take to test your knowledge.

Rock Tumbler Instructions
Here are instructions for tumbling rocks using a rotary drum tumbler and a vibratory tumbler, as well as instructions for polishing jewelry in a rock tumbler. Helpful tips are included for improving the polish and troubleshooting problems.

Specific Gravity Ranges for Minerals
Specific gravity expresses the relative density of a material relative to the density of water. Here's a table of specific gravity ranges for several minerals.

Sterling Silver
Sterling silver is a popular metal for jewelry, silverware and decorations. Here is a look at the chemical composition of sterling silver.

The Metals
Learn about the group chemistry of metals, including their common properties and locations on the Periodic Table.

Tumbling Jewelry
You can use a rock tumbler to polish and clean your jewelry. Tumblers are great for smoothing rough edges on metal components, such as jump rings and earwires.

White Gold Isn't White
Did you know all white gold is plated with another metal to make it the shiny white color that it is? Here's a look at what white gold is plated with and why it is plated in the first place.

Why is Stainless Steel Stainless?
Learn about the chemistry of stainless steel. This article also includes descriptions of the different types of stainless steels, comments on passivation, and numerous links to sites offering related information.

What Is the Difference Between Cubic Zirconia and Cubic Zirconium?
Cubic zirconia and cubic zirconium are not the same thing. Take a look at the difference between cubic zirconia and cubic zirconium.

Why Do Rings Turn My Finger Green?
Has a ring ever turned your finger green, black, red or some other color? Share your experience. What color did your finger turn? What type of ring were you wearing? Are there some types of rings that work better for you than others?

Why Do Rings Turn Your Finger Green or Black?
Have you ever had a ring turn your finger green or wondered why some people say rings turn their fingers green? The reason this happens is because of the metal content of the ring. Here's a look at what's happening.

Do Mood Rings Work?
Do mood rings really work? Can a mood ring tell your mood? Here's a look at how mood rings change colors and whether they can really tell your mood.

How Long Do Mood Rings Last?
Mood rings change color in response to temperature, which is supposed to reflect your mood. Eventually a mood ring will turn black and stop responding. Here's a look at how long you can expect a mood ring to last and the factors that will affect its lifetime.

What Is Inside a Mood Ring?
Mood rings are rings which have a stone or band that changes color in response to temperature. Here's a look at the liquid crystals found in mood rings and how they change color.

What Is Tibetan Silver?
Tibetan silver is a metal used in many inexpensive silver-colored metal items for sale online, such as at eBay. Here is a look at the chemical composition of Tibetan silver.

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