Jewelry Q&A

At Citrus Studio, our experts are dedicated to keeping you informed and up-to-date on the latest trends in jewelry. We’ve compiled a list of common questions about fine jewelry with answers from our team. Read on to learn more!

Q: What metals are used in an alloy with gold?

A: Silver, nickel, palladium, and copper can all be used to make 18k, 14k, and 10k gold. By adding different measurements of alloy, you can produce different colors of gold, like white gold or rose gold.

Q: What is the difference between white gold and yellow gold?

A: White gold contains nickel within the alloy and is plated with rhodium (which is a sister metal to platinum). Because of its nickel content, it tends to be stronger than traditional yellow gold.

Yellow gold is the true color of gold and gives a classic look to rings, necklaces, and more. But deciding which is better is a matter of personal preference!

Q: Which is better — prongs or bezel sets?

A: Over the long run, bezels tend to be more durable while prong settings hold the stone up and allow more light to enter it. Overall, the majority of gems are held by prongs. (Note: prongs will probably need to be re-tipped approximately every 10-15 years. Bezels will need to be re-tipped every 20-30 years.)

Q: Can you set the diamond lower?

A: In most rings, yes. There are low-base and high-base prong settings. Of course, when the diamond isn’t mounted, the crown appears higher than it will be when the diamond is set. You still must take into consideration the depth of the stone to determine how low it will be in a ring.

Q: What is the difference between a white gold and platinum crown?

A: Most crowns are white gold, but can be changed to platinum. Platinum is stronger and endures longer, but is actually more “bendable” than white gold. White gold won’t last as long but is less bendable. It is a good rule of thumb to do the crown in the metal the ring is in.

Q: Is there a difference in cost between custom rings and pre-manufactured rings?

A: Not much, but it depends! The advantage of a custom ring is that it gives you the opportunity to make a ring to your exact specifications. You get to choose the design, the size of your diamonds, color, clarity, etc. Ultimately, the customer gets to choose the price range they want their ring in by working with all of the options available.

Q: How do you size a ring?

A: The bottom (shank) of the ring is cut, and metal is either removed or added to make the size different. The metal is then soldered or lasered in place. The goal is to leave the ring without any sign of having been worked on, so it will be cleaned and checked and the gems will be tightened if needed.

Plain bands can be stretched within a size up or down. If more is needed, check with the shop, as many can go a little further if needed.

Q: How long does it take to set a stone or size my ring?

A: Setting a stone or sizing a ring usually takes about a week. Is there a specific date you’re hoping for? Let us know. We can always prioritize a job as needed!

Q: What is rhodium (platinum-dipped) plating?

A: Rhodium plating involves electroplating rhodium on a gold ring. It provides a beautiful white finish, but like a wax finish on a car, it’s not required and will wear over time. You’ll want to maintain your plating to ensure it looks good!

Rhodium is a sister metal to platinum, which is why this treatment is sometimes referred to as platinum dipping.

Q: Could I be allergic to white gold?

A: As white gold’s major alloy is nickel, it’s possible to be allergic to it if you’re among the small percentage of people who are allergic to that metal. You can also develop an allergy to nickel during pregnancy or in relation to other factors that force changes in one’s body. If you experience an allergic reaction to white gold, a platinum ring may be a good alternative.

You may also experience a reaction if your ring is too tight or has dirt or chemicals stuck underneath. In some cases, a thorough cleaning is all that’s needed to avoid a reaction.

Q: Can you clean my ring like new?

A: Yes, we can do a Goldsmith Cleaning! This is where a skilled craftsman will go over your ring to fill in scratches with a laser, round out and tighten all of its stones, and polish it back to a factory finish.

Q: How do you know when a prong is bad and needs to be re-tipped?

A: With a prong setting, you’ll notice that the metal that holds the diamonds in place will wear down over time during day-to-day wear. Originally, each diamond has metal tips that will start out rounded before becoming worn and flat over time (and even breaking off, in some cases).

When a customer complains of their ring snagging, this is usually a sign that these prongs need to be straightened or re-tipped. If they are worn, the process of re-tipping is done by melting new metal on each prong. This extends the jewelry’s life and keeps the gemstones secure.

Q: How do you know that your ring fits well?

A: As a general rule of thumb, your ring should go on easily and come off with only a little bit of a pull. If it slides off easily, that’s not good. When it is on, see if the ring flops around or only turns when you rotate it. Of course, you’ll know if it’s too tight.

Keeping in mind that the real ring usually doesn’t fit just like the sizer, so it’s best to just go with what works best for you. Your fingers may also fluctuate in size throughout the day or when exposed to hot or cold weather.

The wider the ring, the more you may need to compensate for these factors. If the ring is 10mm wide, for example, you may need to go a half-size larger than a typical ring sizer suggests.

Q: How do I check for loose stones?

A: To check for loose stones, you’ll want to use something pointy, like the end of a tweezer. Touch your tool lightly to the side of the gem to test if you see any movement. Sometimes, the light will play with your eyes and make you think the gem is moving, but with a little practice, you’ll be able to distinguish the difference.

Q: What is a ring reshank?

A: When a ring is worn for years, the bottom part of the ring (the shank) can be worn thin and become bendable. The shank can be replaced with a new, stronger piece to help your ring last for years to come. This process is done by cutting off the old shank and adding a new thick bottom to the ring. This new bottom is then shaped to blend into the ring, giving it new strength.

Still Have Questions?

If you have questions we haven’t answered here, check out our blog and FAQ page for more helpful tips and information. Our team is here to help with whatever you need, so feel free to reach out if you still haven’t found exactly what you’re looking for!