AZGem Gems
November, 2008

gem stone and jewelry newslettergem stone and jewelry newsletter


The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter

Written by Carolyn Doyle for customers of
The Dorado Company
and other visitors to the azgem.com website who subscribe.

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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.

 

High Tech Ceramic Jewelry

 

 

High tech ceramic jewelry is relatively new... and different.

High tech ceramic jewelry first came to most people's attention in wrist watch applications. It is now moving into some other jewelry applications.

We've done a few articles in this newsletter about alternative jewelry metals. More people are exploring these alternatives recently, prompted by the current high price for gold.

This month's question falls into that category, and at the same time illustrates the uncertainty attached to this new jewelry material.

The reader's enquiry says... "I recently saw a display of zirconia ceramic jewelry (top photo). Is it metal,? Is it plastic? Is it any good?"

As is my custom, I'll give you my short answers first... no, no, and it depends on what qualities you're looking for in your jewelry.

Next, let me confess that I know little about this material, but I have done some research over the past few months as I have received sales offers from manufacturers, most of whom seem to be in China.

High tech ceramic jewelry can be thought of as a family of jewelry materials. Zirconia ceramic jewelry is a member of the family. Other terms for this material are advanced ceramics, technical ceramics, and probably several other names.

Ceramic is defined in my on-line dictionaries as:
"Any of various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing a nonmetallic mineral, such as clay, at a high temperature."

High tech ceramic jewelry obviously does not fit this definition at the first reading. I did find a source that states that these materials are called ceramics because they are non-metallic and transformed by heat.

What makes them desirable for certain jewelry applications? They are...

  • High strength and fracture toughness
  • High hardness and wear resistance
  • Good chemical resistance
  • They don't tarnish
  • The material can be colored, and the color doesn't fade

That certainly sounds like good jewelry attributes.

There are limitations because of the extreme heat applied in the manufacturing process. Few natural gems can withstand that amount of heat without damage.

The very attributes listed above makes it almost impossible to set gems into the jewelry after it is manufactured.

Personally, I would sum up a major drawback by saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

High tech ceramics have many other (and impressively diverse) applications, including:

  • Medical implants and prostheses
  • Precision ball valve (balls and seats) 
  • Pump impellors, valves and seals
  • Cutting blades
  • Fuel cell membranes
  • Oxygen sensors 

A keyword search using the Google search box below and the keyword phrase high tech ceramic jewelry will give you more information on this subject.

 

Google

 

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Gem Industry News...

 

JTV Settles Labradorite Suit

 

The Jewelry Television Channel (JTV) has reached a settlement with customers who sued the on-air jewelry retailer claiming it sold treated gemstones without full disclosure.

JTV sold red, green, and other colors of andesine-labradorite as natural. An independent gemmogist did what JTV and other industry experts had not been able to do. He discovered and proved that the material was actually common labradorite diffused with copper

The process was heretofore unknown and thought to not be possible.

JTV denies any wrongdoing in the case and asserts that "representations it made about the gemstones were properly based on industry literature, representations and information from its suppliers, and gemstone laboratory reports from national accredited laboratories."

Specifics about the settlement were not disclosed

 

 

gemstone news

 

Jewelry Dealers

 

The National Retail Federation is reporting that its 2008 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey found that U.S. consumers plan to spend 1.9% more this year on holiday shopping than they did last year.

The survey, conducted by BIGresearch, said consumers plan to spend an average of $832.36, up from last year's $816.69. That percentage is the lowest increase in planned consumer spending since they began taking the annual survey seven years ago.

An ailing economy isn't a deal killer when you offer quality, service, and low prices on beautiful jewelry and loose gems.

 

gemstone news

 

Jewelry Dealers Program

Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?sapphire ring

Do you enjoy talking with friends and co-workers?

Could you use an extra income source?

Take a look at our great Jewelry Dealers Program.

 

 

Carolyn Doyle

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