Jewelry FAQs

Colorado Springs' premier jewelry store is here to help!
Learning about jewelry can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. We are passionate about jewelry and will enthusiastically share our knowledge with you. Visit us at our Colorado Springs location next time you need jewelry questions answered. Johannes Hunter Jewelers is delighted to answer any questions you may have. Meanwhile, peruse our list of most frequently asked questions.

Is white gold the same as platinum?

The short answer is “No, it is not.” Platinum and white gold are distinctly different metals. As you know, gold comes from the earth a rich golden yellow color. To create white gold, white metals such as silver, palladium and nickel are added to the yellow gold to create a whiter metal. The resulting product is then plated with a hard, very white metal called rhodium. Over time, depending on wear, the piece will need to be rhodium finished again to restore its white color. The industry is currently experimenting with new ways to make “whiter” white gold without larger additions of nickel, to which some people are sensitive.  Platinum comes from Mother Earth as a pure white metal. Most platinum jewelry sold in the United States is 90 percent to 95 percent pure platinum with other white platinum group metals such as iridium or ruthenium added to make the finished product stronger and to achieve a brighter polish.

Which is better, platinum or white gold?

One is not better than the other. Rather, it’s a matter of personal taste. Platinum is dense, outwears gold, and turns lightly pewter over time. Platinum jewelry is made of 95 percent platinum whereas white gold jewelry is a combination of natural gold and other alloys. Both gold and platinum will scratch. White gold is less expensive and takes on a warmer tone over time. The prongs of platinum settings are less likely to damage or lose the stone it holds.

What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is an estimation of value formulated by an expert who uses testable and traceable methods. Fair market value appraisals are defined as the amount that an item would change hands for, in its current condition, in its most common market, with neither the buyer nor seller being under pressure to buy or sell and both being aware of the relevant facts concerning the item. In most cases, insurance appraisals are written to reflect what a new item would cost. Therefore, the two types of appraisals can reflect very different dollar amounts for the same item.

Do I need an appraisal?

It depends. If the purpose of the appraisal is to procure insurance, check with your insurance provider. In some cases, an insurance replacement document is sufficient. We are happy to provide insurance replacement documents for items purchased at Johannes Hunter Jewelers. Conversely, appraisals are sometimes necessary to settle property disputes or for estate tax purposes.
Should I insure my jewelry?

Insuring jewelry is a personal choice. Consider these two factors when deciding if you should insure a piece of jewelry: your comfort level with the loss or damage of an item and your exposure to risks. For example, jewelry frequently taken oversees is more exposed to theft or loss. Also, ask your agent exactly what is covered to ensure that loss, damage, loss of stones and theft are all covered.

How do I know I will get the same diamond back when I leave it with you for repair?

Most people, even those with an untrained eye, can identify their diamond’s unique characteristics using new technology. We are delighted to show you your diamond under our microscope so you can see your diamonds unique “birthmarks” when you drop it off and when you pick it up.

Do you send my jewelry out for repair?

Johannes Hunter Jewelers uses an in-house goldsmith for most repairs. For specialized skills like re-cutting a stone, enameling, removing chips, and hand engraving, we rely on a trusted network of skilled designers, craftsman, and technicians with specific expertise in that area.

What is the difference between 14K and 18K gold?

Pure gold is 24K. While it is a very strong metal, it is also quite malleable. For this reason, alloys are added to it to harden it for use in jewelry. The percent of alloys differentiates 24K gold from 18K and 14K. In some countries, a decimal is used rather than karat to notate the percentage of gold. See the table below.

24K | 100% gold | 1

18K | 75% gold and 25% other metal | .750

14K | 58.3% gold and 41.67% other metal | .583
What is the difference between carat and karat?

Carat is a measure of weight. Karat refers to the purity of gold.

How is the value of a color gemstone determined?

Color is the most important factor in determining value—taking into account not only hue, but also saturation and tone. However, color preference is very personal. 

Do colored gemstones have the same kind of grading system as diamonds?

Not yet.  Colored gemstone grading is more complex and a standardized grading system is currently in development.