FAQ - Materials

What is 925 sterling silver?
925 refers to 92.5% silver content. It is considered pure silver. The remaining 7.5% is a mix of alloys that strengthen the silver and help prevent it from tarnishing. 100% silver is too soft to be used for jewelry. The s that sometimes appears before 925 merely refers to silver.

What is Swarovski Crystal?
Also known as Austrian Crystal, due to the raw materials being mined and turned into gems in Austria. Swarovski is the brand name of the company that has gained recognition for its advanced cutting technology, creating outstandingly beautiful gems. Although just glass, yes, it's just glass, it is made and cut to the highest standards possible, going through no less than 100 quality check procedures.

What is Cubic Zirconia (or just Zirconia)?
It is a synthetic cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. (Well that cleared that up, didn't it?)

What is Zircon?
Not to be confused with Zirconia which is synthetic. Zircon is a natural semi-precious gem commonly used in jewelry due to its very close appearance to diamond. 

What is Moissanite?
Moissanite is a very rare form of silicon carbide found in meteorite craters. discovered in 1893 by French scientist Henri Moissan, a Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry. However, after many decades of attempts, it was successfully synthesized in a laboratory and is now the modern-day alternative to diamonds, even exceeding diamonds in light reflectance! Moissanite clarity ratings: Colorless: D, E, F. Almost colorless: G, H, I. Hint of yellow: J. It continues to Z, but those grades are rarely used in jewelry.
E, F are generally the highest grades sold, as D is so much more expensive. That said, we list jewelry with grade D Moissanite when available.
Zuringa Moissanite Grade Chart

What is Tungsten?
Tungsten is a rare metal, remarkable for its robustness. It has the highest melting point of all the elements discovered, melting at 6,192 °F / 3,422 °C. Its density is comparable with that of gold, and 1.7 times that of lead.

What is Tungsten Carbide?
Tungsten carbide is a chemical compound containing equal parts of tungsten and carbon atoms. In its most basic form, tungsten carbide is a fine gray powder, but it can be pressed and formed into shapes through a process called sintering for use in jewelry, and incidentally, armor-piercing shells, it being twice as stiff as steel. Due to its strength, it can only be polished and finished with abrasives of superior hardness such as cubic boron nitride and diamond powder.

What is Titanium?
It is a lustrous transition metal with a silver color, low density and high strength. In jewelry, it is most prized for it's corrosion resistance and strength-to-density ratio, the highest of any metallic element.

What is Agate?
Agate is a common rock, consisting of chalcedony and quartz as its primary components. It occurs in a wide variety of colors. Agate is formed within volcanic and metamorphic rocks. The use of agate in jewelry dates back to ancient Greece.

What is Onyx?
It is a parallel banded form of agate. Stones for jewelry may be cut with or without bands showing.

What is Garnet?
Garnets are a group of silicate minerals that share a similar crystal structure. They can be opaque, transparent or translucent and are in many different colors.

What is Gold?
Have you been living under a nugget your whole life? Gold is the most malleable of metals. It can be drawn into a wire one atom wide. A gram of gold can be pressed into a sheet 11 square feet (1 square metre) and an ounce into 300 square feet (28 square metres). It can be pressed thin enough to become semi-transparent.


What is White Gold?
White gold is an alloy containing approximately 75% gold plus 25% nickel and zinc. 75% gold content is 18 karat gold.


What is Black Gold?
Black gold does not exist. What many online retailers refer to as black gold is in fact a mixture of gold and a metal such as cobalt, which is ion plated onto a piece of jewelry to make it black.

What is Malachite?
Malachite is a green copper carbonate hydroxide mineral. It was one of the first ores used to produce copper until it became more valuable for use in jewelry and ornaments.

What is Lapis Lazuli?
It is a deep blue rock used as a semi-precious stone. It is known to have been used since the millennium 7000 BC. It's what was used for the dark blues in Tutankhamun's mask (1323 BC).
Towards the end of the middle ages, it was ground into powder to make Ultramarine, the most expensive blue pigment, used by some of the great artists of the Renaissance & Baroque periods.


What is Hematite?
It is the ore in iron ore.
Its spiritual properties are that of a connection with the earth, to make us feel safe and secure. 

What is Obsidian?
It is naturally occurring volcanic glass.
Its spiritual properties are truth-enhancing. It forms a shield against negativity. It cleanses psychic smog and absorbs negative energies from the environment. Obsidian draws out mental stress and tension. Also believed to attract luck & wealth, if worn on your left wrist. Got mine on!

What is Abalone?
It is the name of the type of mollusk that has the shell from which we get Mother of Pearl. Different Abalone species have different colored shells. The most common is the well-known Mother of Pearl color, but there are various other colors.

What is Enamel?
It is a material made by fusing powdered glass at a high temperature. The powder melts, flows, and then hardens to a smooth, durable coating.

What is Ion Plating (IP Plating)?
Ion plating is the addition of a titanium nitride layer, which adds high chemical stability to the piece of jewelry to be plated. To this is added a Gold coating, normally not exceeding 0.3 um in thickness.