Pure gold is so soft it is rarely used in jewelry. Jewelers deal with various gold alloys, collectively called karat gold. Karat (K) tells the number of parts, by weight, of gold in 24 parts of alloy. The higher the percentage of pure gold, the higher the karat. Pure gold is 24K. 18K is 18 parts fine gold and 6 parts metal; 14K is 14 parts fine gold and 10 parts metal; and 10K is 10 parts fine gold and 14 parts other metal.

A diamond certificate is a report that attests to the authenticity of a diamond. It is a reliable and accurate statement of the diamond's identity and grade based on an internationally recognized system.
The grade or quality of the diamond is based on carat weight, color, clarity and cut. These are analyzed by several gemologists who use their experience in combination with state-of-the-art equipment to produce an accurate description of the characteristics of the diamond.

Most Diamonds apear colorless but actually have slight tones of yellow or brown. The closer the stone comes to colorless, the more valuable it is. Diamonds are graded on a color scale ranging from D(colorless) to Z(heavily tinted).

It is very common for diamonds to be formed with slight imperfections. These are known as "inclusions" and can come in many forms, including tiny white points, dark dots, or feathery cracks. The fewer inclusions, the more the stone is worth. A diamond's clarity ranking is determined by the number, size, type and placement of the inclusions.

Carat is the term used to describe the weight of any gemstone, including diamonds. Although the definition of a carat has changed over time, since 1913 the international standard has been 200 milligrams, or 1/5 of a gram. Often, jewelers describe carats in 1/4 increments.
In jewelry pieces with more than one diamond, the carats may be described in terms of total carat weight (TW). This is the combined total weight of all the stones in the piece.

Because round brilliant cuts follow exact standards, you can make a good estimate of the carat weight of the stone based on the stone's diameter. The following chart compares the relative sizes of stones and describes how much a round brilliant diamond of a certain size is likely to weigh. This chart is for educational purposes and represents a guideline for diameter and carat weights. It is not representative of other cuts or shapes. It is also not applicable to colored gemstones which have a different density from diamonds.


Cultured pearls are sold by diameter, measured in millimeters. In general, larger cultured pearls are rarer and more costly. Price rises significantly with the size of a pearl.

A pearl is formed when an irritant, such as sand or a parasite, becomes lodged in the shell of an oyster. The oyster deposits layers of a semi-translucent crystalline material called "nacre" around the intruder, where it builds up in layers like the rings of a tree. This process of building up can continue for years, resulting in a natural cultured pearl.

Cultured Pearls that we carry in our stores have replaced the natural variety as a result of cultured pearl farms that scientifically control the production. The process begins with a mother-of-pearl bead that is inserted in the living tissue of the mollusk, which in turn coats the bead with nacre. A cultured pearl is produced in one to three years.

Freshwater Cultured Pearls are cultivated in a freshwater mollusk from a lake, river or pond.

Quartz: Watches use a quartz crystal for time measurement and a battery for power. They require no winding.
Kinetic Quartz: Kinetic quartz is exclusive technology to Seiko. It is a quartz watch without a battery. The Kinetic quartz generates electrical energy to power itself from the natural movement of the wearer's arm and wrist. It stores the energy in a capacitor. The reserve energy lasts 3 to 14 days in a motionless watch.
Solar Quartz: Watches use a quartz crystal for time measurement. Any light source is absorbed through the crystal and dial. A solar cell converts the light into energy to power the watch.

Agate is a semi-precious gemstone which is classified as a banded chalcedony or micro-crystalline quartz. The individual bands or layers give this gemstone its uniqueness and character.

The layered agate material that is used in producing agate cameo gem carvings is usually cut from agates with even parallel layers, a lighter layer above a darker one. The agate used in today's cameos is naturally multiple shades of gray in color, ranging from a milky white translucent to dark gray. The lower and softer layer is dyed to produce the highly desirable blue chalcedony color; while the lighter colored upper layer which is harder does not accept dying and remains white or milky in appearance.

Only two percent of all agate material mined is of a quality suitable for detailed cameo cutting. It is important to note that of this small percentage an even smaller percentage can be dyed blue making the enclosed cameos precious and rare.
The exquisite motifs and silhouettes featured in our cameo offering have been carved relief style, employing the use of a highly sophisticated ultrasonic etching process and elegantly framed in karat gold.

Discovered in Russia in the early 1800s, alexandrite is named for Tsar Alexander II and was the national gemstone of tsarist Russia. With an ability to change its color from green to red depending on the light source, alexandrite is a very unique and beautiful gemstone. A Mohs' hardness rating of 8.5 makes alexandrite a very durable and trouble-free gemstone.

Amethyst was a valuable gem until the discovery of large deposits in South America in the late 1800s; Brazil is the primary exporter to this day, although it is common in many countries. Still, its deep and attractive color makes it extremely popular. Banding - darker and lighter zones of color - is quite common. A good amethyst will be very clear, and the deeper the color, the better. The most common enhancements are heat and irradiation. Try not to expose an amethyst to excessive amounts of bright sunlight, as this can fade its color.

Perhaps the most unusual magical power ascribed to the amethyst is its ability to prevent drunkenness. It also is supposed to bring peace of mind to the wearer, and if properly carved, prevent fatal poisoning. In some legends, it represented piety and dignity.
Amethyst is the birthstone for February.

Although aquamarine comes in many colors, the most prized is a rich, clear, watery blue. Fairly large and clear aquamarines with good color are among the more valuable semi-precious gems. They are often given step cuts, also known as "emerald" cuts, much like aquamarine's mineral sister, emerald. Good clarity is important in these stones, especially lighter ones where flaws will be more visible. Brazil is the primary source of aquamarine, although it is mined in other places as well.

Aquamarine has long been a positive stone according to legend, bringing with it health, hopefulness and youth. It was traditionally a favorite of sailors, and is said to be a good choice for anyone who loves the sea. It could also bring love and affection if worn properly. Its supernatural powers were remarkable; legend has it that a person with an aquamarine in his or her mouth could summon the devil and get questions answered.
Aquamarine is March's birthstone.

This rich and regal gemstone ranges in color from pale pink to deepest black. In fact, the spinel is known as the "great imposter" in the world of gemstones. Several of the "rubies" in the Queen of England's crown jewels are actually spinels!

The black spinel is one of the rarest spinels. Spinels are associated with love and supposedly help the wearer to put their ego aside in devotion to another person. Spinel is also thought to encourage passion and increase the duration of one's life. Black Spinel in particular is said to be a protective stone that assists in re-establishing relationships and resolving issues. It is also believed to ease sadness.

Color: Spinels range in color from pale pink to deep black
Desc: Spinels are rated at 8 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and are durable stones, making them suitable for all jewelry purposes and perfect for every day wear.

Topaz, and especially blue topaz, has grown in popularity over the years. The "pure" topaz color is yellow, and was often confused with chrysolite, the yellow variety of peridot. However, the use of distinct colors has helped topaz come into its own. Blue topaz in particular is popular in jewelry today. It has a watery blue similar to aquamarine, but often without the green overtones, and its hardness and good clarity make it an excellent gem. The blue color is often enhanced through heat-treatment and irradiation.

Topaz was believed to have incredible medicinal powers in the Middle Ages, even against the plague. For a healthy individual, it brought about a pleasant disposition and patience and was a symbol of fidelity and love.

The Cat's Eye gemstone is actually a Chrysoberyl. Chrysoberyl is derived from the Greek words "Beryl", meaning green and "Chryso", meaning golden. The two words combined mean "gold colored beryl". In spite what the name implies, Cat's Eye is not actually a beryl at all. The name Cat's eye is derived from the phenomena displayed by this stone known as chatoyancy, which in French literally means "cat's eye".

Cat's Eye has been treasured for many centuries, and is believed to be a powerful protective stone, particularly against evil spirits. Chrysoberyl has long been considered a good luck charm in numerous cultures.

Color: Cat's Eyes color ranges from a golden honey to mint green, with the rich gold colors generally being the most valued.
Desc: Cat's Eye is rated at 8 to 8.5 on Moh's Scale of Hardness, making it a hard, tough, durable gemstone suitable for all jewelry purposes.

Genuine sapphires, including Ceylon sapphires are part of the Corundum gem family and are second only to diamonds in hardness. This strength makes them an excellent choice of jewelry because of their durability.

Ceylon sapphires are mined primarily in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon). The sapphires mined in Sri Lanka are known for the unique color they produce. Because Ceylon sapphires occur naturally, the color of the stone varies.

Colors range from very pale blue to the most vibrant, almost electric blue hue. Our collection of genuine Ceylon sapphires has been chosen from the middle of the color spectrum, capturing the heart of the color in its lustrous, soft blue color, with just a hint of lavender. This collection has been designed exclusively for Zales.
Often, sapphires used in jewelry are heat-treated or given chemical diffusion to enhance their color, these enhancements are permanent.
Sapphire is the birthstone of September.

Citrine is a clear yellow form of quartz and is often confused with yellow topaz; citrine, however, is more abundant. Because of its abundance, there are plenty of fairly large, clear stones available for jewelry. Clarity and a rich yellow color are keys to look for in a citrine. It has some of the same characteristics as amethyst, such as alternating bands of lighter and darker color, but these bands are harder to see in citrine. Citrine often comes from Brazil.

Citrine is a cheerful gem. Its powers are said to include making its wearer lighthearted, bringing cheerfulness in tough times and offering hope. It was also believed to help relax people and expel impurities from the body. People who wore citrine could expect to look healthy and feel happy.
Citrine is the birthstone for November.

Chalcedony has been in use almost as long as the earth has been inhabited and some of the earliest primitive tools created by man's ancestors some 2.5 million years ago were made of various types of chalcedony. Owing to the huge number of varieties available, chalcedony soon graduated from being used just for tools, and eventually became a popular material for decorative purposes and jewelry adornments.

Chalcedonies are believed to have been considered sacred stones by Native Americans and they were often used for ceremonial purposes, particularly for promoting stability within the tribes.

Color: Chalcedony is a translucent stone with a waxy luster and a medium light blue-green to turquoise color.
Desc: Chalcedony is rated at 7 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and is a tough, durable gem that is suitable for all jewelry applications.

Like many others with odd monikers, the name Chrome Diopside doesn't do this gemstone justice. A relatively rare, yet modestly priced gemstone, Chrome Diopside is known for its rich green, almost emerald-like, color. Diopside is believed to be a creative stone, increasing creative visualization and helping to manifest desired goals. It has also been said that Diopside can improve the wearer's intellect, particularly with regards to mathematical and analytical abilities.

Color: Diopside is most often bottle-green in color, though it can be found colorless, brown, black, violet-green, and blue colors. The two most well-known varieties of Diopside are the emerald-green-like Chrome Diopside and the Black Star Diopside.

Desc: Diopside is rated at 5.5 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and though it is suitable for jewelry purposes, care should be taken with this stone for it is relatively soft and brittle.


Crystal is created using a combination of silica (quartz sand) and natural minerals. To avoid stress and inclusions, the glass is cooled slowly.

Cubic zirconia (also called CZ) is a synthetic crystalline substance used as an affordable alternative to diamonds. Cubic zirconia is not a mineral; it is a man-made substance, not to be confused with the natural gemstone zircon. Though much less expensive than diamonds, the brilliance and crystal clarity of cubic zirconia make it one of today's most popular stones for an attractive-yet-inexpensive, diamond-like jewelry.

Color: Most cubic zirconia is bright white to mimic the diamond. However, cubic zirconia can also be enhanced with other minerals and be manufactured in most any color of the rainbow.

Desc: Cubic zirconia has a rating of approximately 8 - 8.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness. The denseness of cubic zirconia makes it about 75% heavier than diamonds

Every diamond is different, incorporating a complex constellation of factors that determine the rarity of each stone. Although gemologists train for years to master the art and science of diamond appraisal, with a little basic instruction, anyone can learn how to read an appraisal and compare the grades of different stones.
Each diamond is as unique as the person who owns it. Just as a diamond reflects the color of the light it bears, it should also reflect the personality of the individual who wears it. Here lies the art of selecting a diamond, for yourself or as a gift.

Your knowledge of yourself, if you are buying for yourself, or your knowledge of a loved one, if the diamond is a gift, is expressed in your selection. Through your choice of a diamond, you are making a public statement about the loved one--and about your relationship--and that statement is repeated every time the diamond is worn.

This is why, for many women, there is such mystique in diamond jewelry gifts, and why, for many men, there is such uncertainty in its selection. What is important in the selection of a diamond has little to do with the cost of the jewelry and much to do with the richness of the relationship.

Truly flawless diamonds are very rare, and very expensive, so you will seldom face the task of selecting a perfect diamond. It is a fairly simple matter to find beautiful diamonds with no flaws visible to the naked eye and buy them at reasonable prices.

Diamonds are graded using a system that judges the stone on its color, clarity, cut and carat weight - commonly known as the "four C's." Diamonds of uncommonly high quality and size are often sold as "certified diamonds" and come with a certificate that proves the stone's value. Even non-certified diamonds, however, should be evaluated using the four C's to help determine cost.

In this section, you will learn what each of the C's means and how it affects the value of the diamond. Although it takes a trained eye to actually see the qualities described here, knowing what they mean can help you make a good choice in selecting your diamond.

Emerald is one of the most valuable gems on the market. The brilliant green of a fine emerald is unmatched by any other stone, and the extreme rarity of top-quality emeralds - the most prized emeralds come from just a handful of mines in Columbia - make it fairly costly. However, there are supplies of emeralds coming out of other mines.

Almost all emeralds have inclusions in them; the fewer these impurities, the rarer and costlier the stone. Because of these inclusions, emeralds can be brittle, so protect your emeralds from hard contact when you wear them. Ultrasonic cleaners, which use vibrations to remove dirt and buildup, can be dangerous to heavily included emeralds. Natural emeralds also tend to have thin scratches on the surface. A layer of wax or oil is usually applied to smooth out their appearance and enhance their color. This layer may have to be replaced professionally every few years.

It was believed to sharpen wits, bring wealth, foretell the future, tell whether a lover was lying and cure all types of evil and illness.
Emerald is the birthstone of May.

While garnet is often viewed as a ruby substitute, it has its own unique qualities that can be appreciated on their own. It comes in a variety of colors, including many shades of red, from very pale to brick to a red-black. It comes in larger sizes, usually has good clarity and has a respectable hardness that allows it to wear well.
Like many red stones, garnet was once believed to stop bleeding. It was a symbol of loyalty and energy, promoted sincerity, and was said to have illuminative powers, both physically and spiritually. Garnet was also said to alleviate anger, promote tranquility and offer protection in health and travel.
Garnet is the birthstone of January.

Glass is fashioned from a mixture of sodium silicate, calcium silicate and silicon dioxide. Colored glass is made by adding specific metal ions to the molten glass while it is being made. Metals are transition elements and show characteristic colored compounds. Glass can be used to create look-alike gemstones.
Color: Glass is usually clear, however the addition of different metals and minerals can change the glass to most any color imaginable.
Desc: Glass is rated at 5.5 - 6.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness. Because it can be brittle, glass isgenerally set in a durable metal. Glass beads are an extremely popular jewelry item.

The name iolite comes from the Greek ios, which means violet. Iolite is sometimes known as "water sapphire" because of its light violet blue color, but other iolite gemstones may range from clear to honey yellow.

The ability of iolite to exhibit different colors depending on how it is cut is what led Viking explorers to use it for navigation as a polarizing lens to look directly at the sun.

Originally prized for its toughness and used in tools and weapons by prehistoric man, jade has a varied history. This gem has been known as the "royal gem" in China for 5000 years, and it was once valued more than gold by the Mayans and Aztecs. The name "jade" is derived from the Spanish "piedra de ijada" or loin-stone where it was thought to have medicinal powers to heal kidney ailments.

Jadeite and nephrite are two different minerals that are both considered genuine jade. Nephrite is the more common of the two and may range in color from dark green to grey-green. In some instances it can also be white, reddish or yellowish. Jadeite, which is rarer, is usually green but also includes white, pink, red, violet, black and brown hues. It's normal for jade to contain streaks and other blemishes. These are not necessarily considered flaws, and in fact some of the patterns created are considered to add value to a piece.

The name Lapis Lazuli is derived from the Latin 'lapis' meaning "stone", and the Persian 'lazhward' meaning blue.
Elders in ancient times referred to Lapis Lazuli as "a fragment of the starry firmament" in admiration of its deep blue color and twinkling gold pyrite inclusions.
Lapis Lazuli has long been considered a stone of truth and friendship that can enhance awareness, insight and intellect. It has also been deemed a stone of peace and harmony, and self-awareness and enlightenment.

Color: Lapis Lazuli has long been admired for its intense deep blue color, with less desirable shades ranging through light grayish blue, to greenish blue, to a dark violet blue.
Desc: Lapis Lazuli is rated at 5 to 6 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness. Lapis should be worn and stored with care to avoid any permanent damage to the stone.


Quartz is one of the most versatile gemstones on earth. Many people do not know that some of the most popular gems such as Citrine, Amethyst, Onyx and Chalcedony are varieties of quartz.

Quartz has a long history in the gem and jewelry world. The word “Quartz” comes from the Greek word krustallos, meaning ice, because it was believed that quartz was ice formed by the gods. Throughout history varieties of quartz have been used in place of the more expensive gems like yellow sapphire, yellow diamond, and even jade.

Light citrus shaded quartz, called lemon quartz is a very sunny and bright stone. It is very fashionable and coordinates well with pastel colors and stones such as blue topaz and peridot.

Since most quartz has been heated to enhance its color, the stones should be kept away from prolonged exposure to strong light or heat.

Malachite derives its name from the Greek word "moloche," meaning mallow, which makes reference to Malachite's green color.
Malachite is a widely occurring gemstone. Supply easily meets demand, making it a low- to moderately-priced, easily accessible semi-precious gemstone.
Malachite helps the wearer to enjoy harmony and loyalty. In addition to this, Malachite helps to improve spiritual growth, is a powerful assist to those on a spiritual path and is a great help with healing both physical and mental problems. Malachite is thought to ease a period of quickly, and is also believed to bestow prosperity.
Color: Malachite is found in various shades of green, but its base color is most usually dark green. Malachites very often exhibit banding, where bands of lighter or darker green run around the stone at irregular intervals.
Desc: Malachite is rated at 3.5 - 4 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, meaning that this gemstone is best suited to pins/brooches, earrings and pendants.

Marcasite derives its name from the Arabic word for pyrite, and is a common and an attractive mineral use in jewelry making and in other applications. The two minerals, marcasite and pyrite, are often confused due to their similar characteristics. Marcasite is a polymorph of pyrite which means that it has the same chemistry as pyrite but a different structure and, therefore, different symmetry and crystal shapes.
Marcasite has a unique silvery-black, almost gun-metal appearance that is highly prized in jewelry applications.
Color: Bronze, light brassy yellow, tin white; often gray or brownish-black.
Desc: Marcasite is rated at 6 to 6.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness. Marcasite should be worn and stored with care to avoid any permanent damage to the stone.

A member of the Beryl family, Morganite found its name in 1911 when it drew the attention of one of the world's most esteemed gemstone experts, George Kunz of Tiffany & Co® . He named it in honor of millionaire banker and mineral collector John Pierport Morgan.

Legend says that Beryl was once used to ward off demons and evil spirits and that it can protect the wearer from danger while traveling. Other legends also state that beryl can be used to bring good luck, cheerfulness, energy, and eternal youthfulness.

Morganite is believed to nurture feelings of love and to increase tenderness in a relationship. Morganite can enhance one's communications skills and provide patience to help focus during times of stress along with Aquamarine and Emerald, Morganite is probably the best-known of the Beryl family, though its rarity stands in the way of it becoming a common jewelry stone.
Color: Morganite's color can range from a soft pink, to peach, to violet-pink. Morganite is commonly heat-treated to remove any unwanted yellow tones and to produce the more desired pure pink color.
Desc: Morganite is rated at 7.5 to 8 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and is a durable stone that is ideal for all jewelry purposes.

Mother of pearl is the iridescent internal layer of mollusk shells and is composed of the same material as pearls. Though technically not a gemstone, mother of pearl is used in all types of jewelry from mother of pearl watch faces to mother of pearl fashion jewelry.

Onyx is part of the chalcedony family of colored quartz, which includes agate, cornelian and jasper. The striking black and crisp lines of onyx makes it especially popular for jewelry. Because the lines can form in many different ways, each piece of onyx has a unique appearance. Onyx is also popular for cameos - when an image is carved into onyx, the color of the next band shows through. Onyx is opaque, meaning no light shines through it. Therefore, it is usually cut into a smooth, rounded, polished dome called a cabochon.

Onyx has a variety of myths associated with it. On one hand, it was supposed to drive away evil and high tempers. On the other, it was said to cool the passions of love and promote independence between lovers - which can be good or bad, depending on one's point of view. Some people even believed it was a symbol of discord, a belief probably suggested by the sharply divided lines in the stone.

Opal is made of the same ingredients as quartz, except it contains a little water and has not been compressed into crystals. As a result, it is softer than quartz and has to be treated a little more carefully to avoid damage. The shifting colors seen in opal, called "fire," are the result of microscopic spherical structures within the stone which reflect different wavelengths of light depending on their spacing, creating the colorful shimmering effect. There is no other gemstone that looks remotely like it. It comes in both black and white varieties, with black being the most rare. Australia is the principal source of opal today. Like other non-transparent stones, it is usually cut into a smooth, rounded, polished dome called a cabochon.

Some legends say that opal is good for the eyes, both improving vision and warding off eye troubles. It also has a reputation for sharpening the mind and the emotions. Opal is a symbol of fidelity, but it came with a price, since it would bring trouble to someone who was unfaithful.
Opal is October's birthstone.

Peridot is an ancient stone, mined at least as long ago as the ancient Greeks. Peridot is also often called chrysolite or olivine, which is the proper name for the mineral. Its color is its most important quality, and can range from yellow green to a striking chartreuse. (The chrysolite name, in fact, often refers to peridot that is more yellow than green.) The stones have good clarity and are appropriate for faceted cuts since light sparkles through them. They are relatively soft and should be protected from abuse.

Peridot offered protection from depression and deception in Roman times, was used for inspiration and eloquence in the Middle Ages, and was also used to cure liver disease and promote friendship. In general, it was believed to ensure good thoughts in the mind of the wearer.
Peridot is the birthstone of August.

Quartz is one of the most common crystal minerals on Earth, and offers an amazing array of varieties and names.
Quartz varieties are commonly separated into two groups based upon the size of the individual grains or crystals; Macrocrystalline Quartz, in which individual crystals are visible to the unaided eye, and Cryptocrystalline Quartz, in which crystals are only visible under high magnification.
Gemstone Quartz varieties include, but are not limited to, Agate, Amethyst, Bloodstone, Carnelian, Citrine, Jasper, Rose Quartz, and Smoky Quartz.
Color: Ranging from light, pinkish violet to deepest black, Quartz can be found in almost any color imaginable.
Desc: Quartz is rated at 6.5 to 7 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness. Quartz is greatly important to the gem trade, accounting for a vast, diverse population of gemstones that are for the most part suitable for all jewelry applications.

Derived from the Greek words rhodon and lithos meaning "rose stone", rhodolite is a type of garnet that varies in color from red-violet to a rich pink-red.

Along with the emerald and sapphire, ruby is one of the most prized colored gem available. The main quality of the ruby is its bright red color. The best color usually comes from Burma and is very costly; stones from Thailand are darker but clearer and much more common. Only red stones are called rubies. If the color is too light to be called red, it is a pink sapphire.

Corundum, the main material of ruby, is the second-hardest material known after diamond. Inclusions and flaws are fairly common, and many rubies are treated to enhance their color. In general, one should look for a bright red stone with as few inclusions as possible. Synthetic rubies offer good color, clarity and size, and are more affordable.

Rubies were the most valuable gems in ancient Southeast Asia, where they are found. A fine ruby had all sorts of magical powers. Its color was thought to come from an undying flame inside the stone - or, in some legends, a piece of the planet Mars - and it allowed its owner to live in safety, even in the midst of enemies. It was believed to bring its owner all kinds of protection and to stop bleeding. In Burma, it could make one invincible - as long as it was embedded in the skin. In more modern times, rubies became the symbol of love and passion.
Ruby is July's birthstone.

Any color of corundum except red is called "sapphire," although cornflower blue is the most popular and sought-after sapphire color. Sapphire comes from the same places and in the same qualities as its sister stone, ruby, with the best color coming from Kashmir and Burma. The name "sapphire" alone refers to the blue variety. All other colors have the color name added to the stone, as in "orange sapphire," "pink sapphire" etc.

Sapphire often has some inclusions, but clarity is still quite good. Its base material, corundum, is the second hardest in existence and so wears very well. Often, the sapphires used in jewelry are heat-treated or given chemical diffusion to enhance their color; these enhancements are permanent. Like rubies and emeralds, there are good synthetics available for people who like the color but not the cost.

Sapphire is said to be a mind-opening gem. It is supposed to relax the wearer and clarify thought, as well as attract "divine favor." On a personal level, it prevents envy and fraud, and brings truth and good health. It also was said to be a powerful antidote for poison.
Sapphire is the birthstone of September.

Turquoise is undoubtedly one of the oldest gemstones known to man and has been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs, dating back as far as 3000 BC and has been considered a good luck talisman by many civilizations since including, the Persians, the Aztecs and indigenous American Indian tribes.

The Native Americans believed that wearing Turquoise jewelry provided a direct connection to the heavens above and sources of abundant water supply below, whereas the Aztecs believed the stone was holy and often adorned their ceremonial masks with Turquoise gemstones.

Turquoise provides the bearer / wearer with strong, mutually fruitful relationships and lends self-confidence to individuals who may usually be withdrawn. Moreover, Turquoise is a gemstone that has always been associated with good luck and for this reason was often cherished by travelers wishing to ward off / balance bad luck.

Color: Though the most valued of Turquoise has a sky blue color, it can also be found in various shades of green to yellowish grey. This blue color is created from traces of copper, while the green shades are created from traces of iron or chromium.
Desc: Turquoise is rated at a 5 to 6 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and because it is a reasonably soft gemstone, care should be taken with it to avoid scratching.

The unique appearance of tiger's eye is caused by fibrous inclusions of crocidolite that have been replaced by silica. Light is refracted off of these inclusions giving tiger's eye its chatoyancy (changeable luster).

Topaz, and especially blue topaz, has grown in popularity over the years. The "pure" topaz color is yellow, and was often confused with chrysolite, the yellow variety of peridot. However, the use of distinct colors has helped topaz come into its own. Blue topaz in particular is popular in jewelry today. It has a watery blue similar to aquamarine, but often without the green overtones, and its hardness and good clarity make it an excellent gem. The blue color is often enhanced through heat-treatment and irradiation.

Topaz was believed to have incredible medicinal powers in the Middle Ages, even against the plague. For a healthy individual, it brought about a pleasant disposition and patience and was a symbol of fidelity and love.
Blue topaz is December's birthstone.


The name tourmaline derives from the Singhalese word "turamali" meaning gemstone. Known as the "Rainbow Gemstone", tourmaline comes in every color of the rainbow and most tourmaline gemstones are multi-colored. Gem cutters focus on bringing out the deepest color when cutting tourmaline. Still, when viewed from different angles a tourmaline may exhibit several different colors.

Tourmaline is reputed to have a powerful positive influence on love and friendship. With a Mohs' hardness rating of 7 to 7.5, tourmaline is a very durable and easy to maintain gemstone perfect for everyday wear.

Tsavorite is technically a Garnet and is a relatively recently discovered gemstone. Tsavorite was discovered in 1967 by the British geologist Campbell R. Brides. Initial export problems delayed the worldwide "launch" of this beautiful gemstone; however in 1974, Tiffany & Co®. began marketing this gemstone to the world.
Tsavorite is said to be the stone of romantic love and passion, with the power to enhance sensuality, and intimacy. It is said to awaken creativity, positive energy and self-confidence, helping to bring success to careers or businesses. Tsavorite is also considered to be a protective stone, effectively shielding the wearer from evil and nightmares.

Color: Tsavorite is found in shades of green ranging from pale green, through mid-green, to vivid blue-green, the most desirable and sought-after are those that display a well-balanced emerald green color, without being overly dark or yellowish.
Desc: Tsavorite is rated at 7 - 7.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, making it a durable gemstone. The hardness of this gem makes it ideally suited to all jewelry applications and resilient enough to be worn every day.

A relatively common metal, jewelry made with aluminum has the advantage of being nickel-free and non-reactive - perfect for those with sensitivity to metals. Aluminum is malleable and can be worked into detailed designs that would be difficult with other metals. Aluminum is valued for its versatility. It's lightweight, one-third the weight of steel and just as strong. The metal is also corrosion-resistant, a good electrical conductor and is easily worked by standard forming methods. Both anodized and aircraft grade aluminum are used to make jewelry.

Both cost-effective and fashionable, brass has been used to create jewelry since ancient times. Brass is mainly a mixture of copper and zinc and radiates a lovely warm reddish-copper glow. Brass items also generally contain nickel, aluminum and occasionally tin, so those with sensitivity to nickel may find brass jewelry difficult to wear. Items made with brass are usually exquisitely detailed. One drawback to brass is its propensity to change color. A coating of oil can usually prevent brass from turning.

Both cost-effective and fashionable, bronze has been used to create jewelry since ancient timesBrass is mainly a mixture of copper and tin and radiates a lovely warm brownish-copper glow. Brass items also generally contain nickel and aluminum, so those with sensitivity to nickel may find brass jewelry difficult to wear. Items made with bronze are usually exquisitely detailed. One drawback to bronze is its propensity to change color. A coating of oil can usually prevent bronze from turning.

Ceramic carbide is a relatively new in the jewelry arena. Ceramic carbide is a man-made product - not theceramic usually found in stoneware or pottery. Industrial ceramic carbide is extremely durable and nearly impossible to scratch. In combination with other materials like tungsten carbide, ceramic jewelry becomes the perfect choice for the active person. Ceramic carbide is also a material that people with metal allergiesand sensitive skin can enjoy since it is completely hypoallergenic.

Cobalt chrome jewelry is made from the same material used to built jet aircraft engines. Cobalt is harder than stainless steel and therefore, harder to scratch. Although not 100% scratch proof, cobalt chrome is much harder than titanium and all other precious metals including platinum, gold and silver. Cobalt is also hypoallergenic. It is also used to make surgical tools and reconstructive implants for knees, spine and other areas.

Gold has the longest and most storied history of all precious metals. It is soft enough to be worked into interesting shapes, and its warm color and scarcity gave it great value in early civilizations. It has been the foundation of many monetary systems, and remains important to our economy even today.
As jewelry, it was gold's softness and natural beauty that made it appealing, in addition to the fact that it doesn't corrode or tarnish. It is so soft, in fact, that pure gold is rarely used in jewelry. It is mixed with another metal, usually copper or silver, to make a stronger gold alloy, or mixture of metals. The quantity of gold in a given alloy is expressed in karats (abbreviated as K or KT). Pure gold is 24K; 18K gold is 75% gold and 25% other metals. In other words, each karat is equal to roughly 4.17% of the total of the alloy.

As the karat weight drops, the metal becomes more durable but less yellow. Sometimes gold that is a lower karat weight will be plated in high-karat gold to enhance the color. This is perfectly acceptable as long as you pay a fair price. Also keep in mind that gold plating will wear off with time and your jewelry may need to be re-plated.
When buying gold jewelry, look for a stamp with a karat mark, the manufacturer's registered trademark and the country of origin.

White gold has the same properties as yellow gold, but it has been mixed with different metals to give it a white color. Instead of the copper and silver used in yellow gold, white gold contains such metals as nickel, zinc, or even platinum. However, white gold should not be confused with platinum, which is much rarer than gold and hence more valuable.

The karat weight system used in white gold is the same as that used in yellow gold (see the "Gold" section on this page). 18K yellow gold and 18K white gold contain the same proportion of gold; only the remaining 25% of the alloy is different. Sometimes, white gold is plated with an even whiter metal, such as rhodium (a very rare member of the platinum family), to enhance its appearance.

White gold was developed to give a different look to jewelry. The white color is an excellent setting for very white diamonds, and when used side by side with yellow gold, it creates a striking effect. Jewelry using both white and yellow gold is called "two-tone."

Gold fill (also called Rolled Gold) is a layer of 10K or better gold, mechanically bonded under and pressure to one or more surfaces of supporting base metal, usually brass, bronze or silver, then rolled or drawn to a given thickness. In the jewelry industry the quantity of gold must be at least 1/20th by weight of the total product. Gold-filled jewelry should receive the same care as regular gold items.

Gold Over Bronze is a cost-effective way to transform bronze jewelry into its warmer, golden counterpart. Also known as gold plating, gold over bronze jewelry uses the same carat gold (usually 10, 14 or 18K) to plate, but the thickness is lesser than vermeil - usually only 0.5 - 1.0 micron or so. Gold vermeil is considered the finest of all gold-plated jewelry.

Gold Over Brass is a cost-effective way to transform brass jewelry into its warmer, golden counterpart. Also known as gold plating, gold over brass jewelry uses the same carat gold (usually 10, 14 or 18K) to plate, but the thickness is lesser than vermeil - usually only 0.5 - 1.0 micron or so. Gold vermeil is considered the finest of all gold-plated jewelry.

Gold Over Silver is a cost-effective way to transform sterling silver jewelry into its warmer, golden counterpart. Also known as gold plating, gold over silver jewelry uses the same carat gold (usually 10, 14 or 18K) to plate, but the thickness is lesser than vermeil - usually only 0.5 - 1.0 micron or so.


Gold Plate is a layer of gold applied to a base metal (generally silver, brass or bronze), usually by electroplating. This is usually a very thin layer, and the gold is likely to wear quicker than a gold-filled item. Vermeil is considered the epitome of all gold-plating.

The most precious metal commonly found in jewelry is the silvery-white metal platinum. It is a relative newcomer to jewelry, having become popular in the past 200 years or so. Like gold, it is rare and heavy, but it is more durable than gold and is sold in purer form. It is sometimes mixed with a little bit of iridium and ruthenium, which are similar to platinum but much rarer, for added strength. Platinum is not sold according to karat weights. It is stamped PT or plat in the United States to indicate that it is platinum.

Because of its purity, platinum is excellent for people who are allergic to other metals. Its light color also makes it popular. Like white gold, it makes very white diamonds appear bright.

Platinum has enjoyed an enormous resurgence in popularity in recent years. It has a very understated and old-fashioned look that has come back into style, leading more jewelry designers to work with this metal.

Resin jewelry is made from liquid plastic that turns solid when a hardener is added. It is typically made from something called "casting resin". Casting resin is a solution of two liquid chemicals that, when combined, create a hard and durable plastic. Resin molds are used to make watch bands, beads, bezels and pendants. Because resin is a plastic, it is not unbreakable. Resin is also easy to scratch.

The standard for sterling silver has remained unchanged since 1300 when Edward I of England established an early trade practice rule for silversmiths, decreeing that sterling must consist of 92.5 percent pure silver alloyed with 7.6 percent copper. The term "sterling" refers to the composition of the metal, never to the weight of a finished item.

Silver is much more plentiful than gold; however, silver tends to tarnish, making it less popular in some forms of jewelry. Like gold, silver is too soft for use in its pure state and must be combined with other metals for durability. Jewelry made of silver parts and gold parts must carry dual designations such as "Sterling and 10K."

Titanium is versatile, lightweight and strong, with a silvery-white metallic color. This metal is as strong as steel but is 45% lighter in weight, and is similar to platinum in it's resistance to tarnishing. This metal has many uses ranging from armor plating, spacecraft and aircraft parts, to jewelry design. Titanium's strength, durability, and lustrous beauty make it an ideal choice for jewelry, especially for rings and bracelets that are subject to daily wear.

Silver Tone is jewelry that is electro-plated with silver and has no measurable karat weight, or is silver colored. Provides an expensive look with a fraction of the cost of sterling silver or white gold.

Stainless Steel is a metal with many uses. Most commonly, stainless steel is seen in kitchenware (cookware and cutlery), appliances, hardware, art-deco sculptures and architecture, and also watches and jewelry. Stainless steel is a silvery-white color with a mirror finish that retains its shine and color very well and resists tarnishing. The most popular uses for stainless steelin jewelry are watches, bracelets, rings, earring posts and body jewelry since it is easy to clean, keeps a mirror shine and is strong enough for daily wear.

Gold Tone is jewelry that is electro-plated with gold and has no measurable karat weight, oris gold colored. Provides an expensive look with a fraction of the cost of real gold.

Chrome Plate is electro-plated chrome over a base metal.

Silver Plate is a layer of silver applied to a base metal, usually by electroplating. This thin layer will wear over time, especially with regular wear or use.

Copper is a bright shiny reddish-gold metal that is soft and easily malleable. Copper has been recorded as being used as far back as 10,000 years ago in many different artifacts, long before gold was used. Ancient civilizations used copper as decorative body wear & jewelry, as parts of weapons, plumbing, cookware, and as mirrors. Today, copper is still widely used and desiredfor its color and versatility.

Zirconium is a very strong, malleable, ductile, lustrous silver-gray metal. Its chemical and physical properties are similar to those of titanium. Zirconium is extremely resistant to heat and corrosion. Zirconium is lighter than steel and its hardness is similar to copper. Known for its extreme durability, zirconium is used in all types of applications besides jewelry, including surgical instrument and tool manufacturing, industrial coatings and even dental prosthetics.

Ceramic watch bands are popular for many reasons. Ceramic carbide is a man-made product - not the ceramic usually found in stoneware or pottery. Industrial ceramic carbide is extremely durable and nearly impossible to scratch and can be manufactured in a wide variety of colors. Ceramic carbide is also a material that people with metal allergies and sensitive skin can enjoy since it is completely hypoallergenic.

The literal "gold standard" of watch bands, most high-end watches feature a bracelet fashioned of 10K, 14K, or even 18K gold. When buying a gold watch, look for a stamp with a karat mark, the manufacturer's registered trademark and the country of origin.

Tough, durable and available in many colors, resin watch bands are a stylish and sporty look. Resin is a high- impact plastic that can be used as an inset or accent on each bracelet link, or to create the complete watch band. Resin is easy to care for, usually requiring only a wipe down with a soft cloth.

Soft yet surprisingly durable, rubber watch bands are a great option for the person on the go. Typically used with sport watches or for children's watches, rubber watch bands can be manufactured in a variety of colors and textures.


Know what goes on inside your watch

An automatic or self winding movement is a mechanical watch movement that is wound by the motion of the wearer’s wrist. The mechanism includes a mainspring which is wound automatically due to the natural motion of the wearer’s arm. The automatic movement was said to be invented by Swiss watch maker Abraham-Louis Perrelet in the early 1770’s. The functionality was based on the principle of winding of the mainspring through movement. Similar to a Pedometer that was designed to wind as the owner walked, the rotor turns the pivot which turns the circular motion into energy store in the main spring. Even though the father of automatic movement is said to be Perrelet, the first actual and accurate drawing was made by Hubert Sarton in 1778. Years after, the automatic movement attained fame with its improved mechanism and was used quite often on a daily basis as a pocket watch. The concept of a self winding wristwatch did not appear until the World War II. Many watch makers created specific movements for that time onwards including Rolex, Patek Philippe etc. An automatic watch attains energy through the motion of the wearer’s wrist.
A general automatic watch is composed of more than 70 parts. As a watch runs, the mainspring loses energy. Hence it is necessary to wind a watch in order to store energy that runs the timekeeper. In a self winding mechanical movement, the internal mechanism is such that through the movement of the wrist the energy gets stored. The rotor or eccentric weight turns on a pivot attached to a ratcheted winding mechanism. The motion of the wrist hence translates circular motion into kinetic energy. A fully wound mainspring can store energy for roughly two days. In general cases, the watch is wound by the movement of the wrist; otherwise a watch winder is used for the same.



Use Multiple Functions Set In One Watch

A bezel that can be rotated in both clockwise and anti-clockwise direction and is used to measure any time related events like elapsed time or shifting time zones etc is called a bi-directional bezel. A bi-directional bezel adds to the functionality of a timekeeper. The bezel acts as the rim which encompasses the watch crystal and fastens the jewel. In some selective timekeepers the bezel is equipped with functions like measuring elapsed time or adjusting different time zones or using a tachymeter. The bi-directional bezel can be made of various materials like gold filled, 18-karat gold, gold-plated, brass, and plastic, titanium or stainless steel. This kind of bezel was initially designed for divers to facilitate them with functions like a water pressure and distance marking.

For a time measurement bezel, it is numbered for 0-60 mins, counting up or down. To measure a specific elapsed time, you can simply turn the bezel to the minute marker line with the minute hand on the watch dial. The opposite case is for a count up bezel where the minute counter counts off minutes as the time passes. For speed measurement you can start the chronograph function at a particular distance measured. After1 unit of the distance is elapsed, the point on the scale that is adjacent to the seconds hand in the actual speed.



Achieving the perfect balance

A Calibre or Caliber is used as a reference to the manufacturer’s movements. The specific movement or internal mechanism of the watch is designated a unique model which becomes the identification number of the time teller. Certain manufacturers tend to use their own identification system to number the in house movement that are developed.

Brands like Omega and TAG Heuer have numbered their calibre as per the intricate movements involved in the watch mechanism. For example, Calibre 3, 5, 6, & 7 are all automatic movements with a slightly different additional function or feature such as a sub-seconds dial at the 6 o’clock portion of the dial (Cal 6) or a second time zone/GMT hand.

Calibre 16 is an ETA 2892 auto with a chronograph module attached. The quickest way to tell if this movement is being used (in any watch) is to look at the crown and pushers on the side of the case. If they are all in line with each other (when viewed head-on), then it’s a Valjoux 7750 chrono movement. If, however, the winding crown sits slightly lower than the chrono pushers either side of it, then it’s the ETA 2892 with the module. Calibre 17 is the Valjoux 7750 chrono movement. Calibre 36 resonates at 36,000 vibrations per hour. The Calibre 360 resonates at a staggering 360,000 vibrations per hour.


Shapes that define your Watch’s Personality

The skin of the watch which holds together the internal movement is what we call the case. It is a strong and sturdy body that houses the entire watch structure and provides an external appeal to the watch. A case is the metal housing of the watch’s parts. In simpler terms, it acts as an outside shell and protects the moving parts of a watch which include the bezel, the middle and the case back. The middle part is where the moving parts are present and is also known as the case band. The main function of the case is to house and protect the bezel, case back and the case band. It protects the moving parts from dust, moisture and shocks. Most of the cases are made with stainless steel and might have gold plating. But depending on the model and price, many brands create cases made of titanium, gold and platinum Watch cases come in various shapes. Watches that are less expensive have cases made of brass. The most popular ones are round, rectangular, square, oval, carre, carriage, tonneau and asymmetrical. Each body type if fit for a particular watch shape. One should be careful about choosing the right case type.

The measurement of the case is done in various ways. To measure the case through the lugs or arms which extend from the top to the bottom of the watch lets you get a more precise vision of the case size. You can also measure the watch case size by the space between the lugs or the face of the watch. The various shapes and sizes that come in a case make it difficult sometimes to get the exact size. Hence for the precise reading you can view the inscription behind the case which gives you the size in mm.


Discover the new-age watch case material

Ceramic or often called high-tec ceramic is a material used to make watches (can include cases and bands). Ceramic is conquering the conventional materials like stainless steel and gold at a very fast pace, thanks to its sustainable characteristics. It is more durable than the conventional materials and is made through scientific techniques of firing and glazing synthetic materials like aluminium, silicium, carbide, yttrium and zirconium. Swiss brand Rado was the first to use this exceptional material for designing timekeepers. The lightweight feature allows the material to be used in many sports watches.

Powered raw materials which go into making ceramic are first placed inside a cast and heated to extreme temperatures. The residue is cooled and moulded in the form of cases. High tech ceramic is extremely durable, lightweight and non-reactive. Soon after Rado pioneered the use of ceramic in watches, other Swiss companies caught the trend and made ceramic one of the widely used watch material. The few advantages of ceramic watches are that they are highly durable, comfortable and scratch resistant. For a long lasting timekeeper, they are a perfect fit. The aesthetic appeal of ceramic watches has made it a favourite amongst crowd. Usually ceramic are used in darker tones and metallic hues like silver, gold black and brown.


Understanding the Fundamentals of a Chronograph Complication

A chronograph is watch that includes stopwatch functionality while also showing the time like a regular watch. A standard chronograph watch usually has an extra hand which stays constant at the 12 o’clock position until the chronograph function is used. A chronograph watch usually features two push-buttons, apart from the crown, of which the first is used to start and stop the chronograph hand, while the second is used to reset the hand to the 12 o’clock position.

The first chronograph was invented almost 200 years ago, in 1816, by a French inventor named Louis Monet. His purpose for creating the chronograph was purely for working with astronomical equipment and he never intended it to be mass-produced for the general public. Around five years later, in 1821, King Louis XVIII wanted a device that could be used for measuring elapsed time. He was a great lover of horse-races and desired to find out the exact length of races. The job was given to Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec, who developed the first commercialized chronograph. Unlike the chronographs seen today, this watch had an extra seconds hand which kept moving continuously. There was no feature to start or stop this hand.

More than twenty years later, in 1844, Adolph Nicole produced a chronograph which had a re-setting feature, and hence the hand could be moved back to zero and counting could be started at one’s desire. In the early 20th century, as aviation grew, chronographs became a great favourite of pilots as they allowed pilots to measure specific activities while flying. At this point, some chronographs began sporting tachymeter scales on their bezels, thus enabling the pilots to calculate speed as well. This was a highly useful feature and increased the popularity of chronograph watches.

Chronograph functionality was initially available only in manual-winding mechanical watches. The first automatic chronograph movement was introduced in 1969 and was the combined work of four companies: Breitling, Heuer, Hamilton and Dubois Depraz. The first watches were nicknamed “Chrono-matic”, combining the words chronograph and automatic. Today, automatic chronographs are widely available all around the world from various brands.
As times have progressed, chronographs have increased in their functionality. Initially, chronographs included only an extra seconds hand and thus could not measure more than 60 seconds of elapsed time. However, today chronographs can measure up to 12 hours of time. This is represented by sub-dials for the hour and minute counters. Of course, this includes a great degree of complication in the engineering of the movement, which is the reason why chronographs are so highly sought-after.


Watches which meet the Official Standard of Swiss Certification

The pursuit of accuracy in time keeping has been going on since centuries. For the initial mechanical watch industry it was one of the key factors to improve the appeal of the time teller. The chronometer term was hence crafted to track the accuracy of the time tellers. The term chronometer was coined in 1714 by Jeremy Thacker and basically meant “measure of time”. The first officially certified chronometer was the marine clock, developed by John Harrison between 1730 and 1760. It was a way of accurately measuring longitude at sea.

A commercially available chronometer didn’t emerge till 19th century. Wristwatches didn’t come into vogue until after the First World War, where they had become popular among soldiers as an easy way to check the time without fumbling through pockets. Up to then wristwatches were designed for women exclusively as pieces of jewellery, and accuracy was not of particular importance (variations of minutes a day was considered acceptable for women’s “wristlets”). The first chronometer wristwatch movement came about in 1910, and it came courtesy of a certain Hans Wilsdorf and his new company – Rolex.

The term chronometer is used in Switzerland for time keepers that have been tested and certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC), outside the Switzerland, there isn’t a specific body governing the precision standards. These time pieces go through a series of rigorous and extreme tests carried out by the COSC after the completion of which they receive an official individual serial number.

A chronometer is a high precision time keeper that has been tested over a period of time in different conditions to test its quality. Each movement has been tested over several days in five positions and three different temperature controlled conditions. Any watch that has been awarded with the ‘chronometer’ feature has a movement that has been certified.


The Heart of Omega’s Mechanical Movement

Considered to be one of the most significant achievements in the world of horology, the Co- Axial Escapement is a modern watch mechanism. Invented in 1984 by English watchmaker George Daniels, it transmits energy using tangential forces provided by the watch’s radial movements. In a general lever escapement the friction between the balance wheel and the escapement causes wear and tear and in the long run affects the movement of the watch. On the other hand in a Co-Axial escapement, the short sliding movement of the entry pallet considerably reduces the contact surfaces and, therefore, the friction in the escapement. As a result, the escapement functions similar to that of a gear wheel meshing with a tooth, which means that it is unaffected by lubrication (a mere protective film on the tip of the escapement wheel teeth is sufficient to preclude wear and tear) and thus ensures a stable rate over the long term. The functioning of the Co-Axial calibres differs considerably from that of a conventional lever escapement with index.

The mechanics of this design must be considered in order to fully appreciate the benefits that Co-Axial escapement offers in terms of reduced friction and greater stability of the watch’s rate over time. The Co-Axial escapement consists of an intermediary wheel, a double coaxial wheel consisting of an escapement pinion and an escapement wheel, a lever with three ruby pallet-stones and a roller carrying a ruby impulse stone and a ruby impulse pin.

n any modern watch escapement, energy must be transmitted to the oscillator in both clockwise and anti-clockwise vibrations. In the Co-Axial escapement, the clockwise impulse is provided by the teeth on escape wheel directly engaging the ruby impulse stone. The anti-clockwise impulse is provided by the teeth of escape pinion engaging the lever impulse stone. After each impulse, the escape wheel is made stationary by the locking pallets, allowing the balance to complete its


A Perfect partner for athletes

Perfect for athletes, a countdown timer watch allows you to time your run. The countdown timer is a combination of a timer and stopwatch with a pre-start countdown (which you can manually override) that starts every rally timer operation exactly at the full next minute (has to do with rally regulations).

Watches like Tissot, Suunto and Casio have a great collection on countdown timer watches. The watches are usually available with a digital display and are a boon to athletes. Watch lovers who like the outdoors and prefer to get an adrenalin rush go ahead and buy a countdown timer watch.


Giving Face to a Precision Instrument

A dial or sometimes referred to as the clock face is the main frame of the timekeeper that displays the time through the use of fixed numbered digits in the form of Roman, Arabic numerals or indexes along with moving hands. The modern watch keeping also includes a digital form of dial where the time in displayed in a LED panel.

Another form of dial display is the 24 hour format where the hours are numbered from 1 to 24 and the hours hand completes one revolution in a day. Various other functions are added in the sub dial of the watch, for example, a chronograph; moon phase indicator, etc which are also showcased on the clock face making it the heart of timekeeping and other tasks.

Dial Decorations

The evolution of dial design is dated from way back in the 14th century where the use of various matt as well as brushed and sunray polish was done to beautify the dial. Use of material like mother of pearl and hand engraved guilloche patterns started later to add a graceful and exotic touch to the timekeepers.
Enamel – The creation of an enamel dial done by fusing coloured powdered glass in a liquid medium (usually water) and then heating it to get a lustrous liquid with which dials are painted.

Mother of pearl

The thin layer of an oyster shell has a shimmering two tone quality. Shells are collected from all parts of the world. To make the thin mother-of-pearl sheet from which dials are cut, shells are crushed and precisely machined into thin layers that are typically 0.2mm.

Guilloche Dial

The decorative engraving on the dial and the case back which is highly intricate is known as guilloche. It is achieved through a technique called engine turning and the machine used is called rose engine lathe.


Certain brand indulge in crafting three dimensional scenes inside their dials. This is achieved through very intricate hand work. The Jaquet Droz Les Ateliers d’Art Petite Heure Minute Relief Cheval is a fine example of the same.

The peripheral of the dial is numbered from 1 to 12 indicating the 12 hours of the day. The short hours hand makes two revolutions in a day while the longer minutes hand makes one revolution every hour. The seconds hand makes one revolution every minute keeping the cycle constant. In a digital watch the LED panel displays time in the form of numbers. The circumference of a dial depends on the case size in which it is built. The size varies as per the design and functionalities involved. According to your personal needs you can pick a watch of a particular dial size.

The dial also comprises of of the hands and the hour markers which play a vital role in telling time. The hands act as the pointer and the hour markers act as the indicators. Often taking their cues from the general aesthetic of the watch, the hands can vary in shape, size and style.

There are many ways a dial can be marked. The examples below show some of the most popular dial. The aesthetic appeal of the watch comes from the dial hence it is considered one of the most important parts of watchmaking.


Watches are available in a large variety of sizes. People are sometimes overwhelmed and unsure of which size to buy. Especially online, where you can't try on the watch before purchasing and you cannot see it in person. Unless there is a ruler in the picture of the watch, it's hard to know how big it will actually look on your wrist. Watches like all pieces of jewelry come in many different types and sizes, and many people ask "What size watch should I buy?" To make this process easier especially when buying a watch online, where you don't have the luxury to try on a watch, we have created a simple watch size chart guide.

For a quick frame of reference to millimeters, a US quarter is 24.26mm in diameter.

Additionally, if you are buying a watch for yourself, it is advisable to draw out the size of a watch on a piece of paper to quickly size it to your wrist. To do this with an inch ruler, you will need to multiply the millimeters of the watch diameter by .03937 to find the size in inches (For example 40mm X .03937 = 1.57 inches).

General men's watch sizes range from 34mm-50mm, and general ladies watch sizes range from 22mm-44mm. If you are looking to purchase a watch as a gift and are completely unsure about what size to get, you can go with general "safe" sizes 42mm-45mm


Stay Punctual wherever in the world you go!

The international time system divides the world into 24 time zones, and a place is assigned a time zone based on its longitude. Greenwich in London has the longitude of 0 degrees, thus making it the base point on the world time zone scale. Thus it is called Greenwich Mean Time. Other time zones are specified as their difference in hours from the Greechwich time, like GMT + 1 or GMT – 1. For example, Madrid is in the time zone immediately after London and therefore is in the GMT + 1 time zone. So, if it is 7am in London, the time will be 8am in Madrid.

GMT watches were initially introduced for pilots. While in the air, pilots need to check the local time in the place they are flying through. Since time zones are specified in terms of the difference with the GMT time, it is useful to be able to instantly check the current GMT time and thus quickly calculate the local time of the place. All the time, the pilot can of course know the local time at home on his watch.

GMT watches have an additional hour hand which points towards a 24 hour scale. Though they are called as GMT watches, the additional hand can be set to any time zone in the world depending on the requirement of the wearer. The time in the second time zone can be checked by looking at the additional hour hand and the regular minute hand. GMT watches must feature a 24 hour scale by definition so as to avoid confusion between am and pm in the second time zone.
Some dual time zone watches feature an additional hour hand yet do not have a 24 hour scale. These watches cannot be labelled as GMT watches, though they are dual time zone watches and effectively show the time in two different time zones. Dual Time Zone watches are greatly useful for frequent travellers who regularly need to check the local time as well as the time at home. They are also used by people who do business with people in other countries and need to know the time in that time zone.


Protects your watch during Deep Sea Diving

Found in professional diving watches, a helium escape valve is fitted with the purpose of protecting the case from damage during deep sea diving. These are more common in mechanical watches than watches that are powered by quartz movements, and usually feature in watches that have greater water resistance.

In the 1960s, commercial diving was growing substantially. Diving bells and underwater habitats were becoming popular at this time and were being used in a number of operations across the globe. It was at this time that divers found that while rising up to the surface in the diving bells, the sapphire crystals on their watches were popping off. Studying this phenomenon revealed that this was happening because of the difference in pressure inside the watch case and outside.
When professional divers are working at great depths of the ocean, they spend several days in a diving bell. The pressure inside the diving bell is increased gradually to the level that it matches the pressure at which they are working underwater. The diving bells are then lowered to the site and the divers leave the bell to do their work.
After work is complete, divers return to the diving bell, which is then raised up to the surface. Inside the diving bell, the divers breathe a mix of gases, which include helium as well. Helium is the second smallest atom on the earth and hence can penetrate through the rubber seals and waterproof security of the watch case. But helium inside the watch is not a problem and is not really something to worry about. The issue arises when the pressure in the diving bell is lowered as the diving bell rises up. This causes a pressure difference between trapped helium inside the watch case and the environment, and can cause damage to the watch, such as the crystal exploding.



The mechanism that powers masterpieces

Mechanical movements have been in existence since hundreds of years and until recently, were the only kind of movements used in watches around the world. This changed in the 1970′s with the Quartz Revolution. Quartz watches were battery powered and much more cost effective. Today, Quartz watches are more popular as they are available at much lower prices than mechanical watches. Of course, the most luxurious watches are still powered by mechanical movements which represent craft and skill in watchmaking. Mechanical watches from master watchmakers are known for their exceptionally high durability and can last for generations.

A simple mechanical movement contains the following four parts:

  1. Mainspring: This the power source of the entire movement. The mainspring stores mechanical energy that flows through the various parts of the movement and then finally makes the hands of the watch move.
  2. Gear Train: It includes a series of small gears that transfer energy stored in the mainspring to the balance wheel. A separate part of the gear train facilitates the winding of the mainspring by the user.
  3. Balance Wheel: It is the most important part of the movement which actually measures the time. The balance wheel oscillates back and forth and each swing takes exactly the same amount of time, thus ensuring effective timekeeping.
  4. Escapement: This facilitates the release of energy from the mainspring, ensuring that energy escapes in a smooth manner at equal intervals of time. The ticking sound heard in mechanical watches is caused due to the regular stopping of the gear train by the escapement.



The Heart of Modern Watchmaking

Quartz watches use an electronic oscillator regulated by a quartz crystal to keep time. The most modern and popular form of watch keeping, a quartz movement is high on precision. Generally used in time display in units of hours, minutes and seconds, a quartz movement is the most widely accepted watch movement.

Watchmakers excelled with the craft of designing mechanical movement and believed it to be the only reliable form of watch keeping. In the late 1880’s the piezoelectric qualities of quartz were discovered which shifted the paradigm to quartz movement in watches. Referring to this unique quality of crystal oscillators, the first quartz clock was built by Warren Marrison and J.W. Horton in 1927. The wider use of quartz movement was awaited till the discovery of semiconductor digital logic in the 60’s. The Beta-1 of a quartz watch was developed by the Swiss and the Japanese in 1962 and recommended it to be the more reliable and precise way of timekeeping. Seiko launched its first quartz watch to the customers in 1969 and hence is referred to as the father of quartz watches. It appeared on the market in Tokyo on Christmas Day in 1969. With a limited production run of only 100 pieces, these Seiko watches had analog dials and sold for 450,000 yen ($1250), roughly the same price as a Toyota Corolla.

In a modern quartz watch, the crystal resonator is shaped as a small tuning fork that vibrates at the frequency of 32,768 Hz. The resonator acts as an electronic filter that eliminates all but a single frequency of interest. The output of the resonator goes back to the input of the amplifier, and the resonator assures that the oscillator moves with the exact frequency of interest. Standard-quality resonators of this type are warranted to have a long-term accuracy of about 6 parts per million, that is, a typical quartz clock or wristwatch will gain or lose 15 seconds per 30 days hence, making a quartz watch more accurate than a mechanical watch.


The Ultimate Protection for Your Watch

Sapphire crystal is the world’s toughest glass which protects your watch from dirt, water or any scratches. This synthetic sapphire is lab developed and resists scratches from any metal. The only thing that can get it scratched is a diamond. The crystal has the same composition as the natural element and ranks a 9 on Mohs’ hardness scale.

Sapphire crystal is the most expensive glass for you watch protection and usually comes with Swiss watches. The caseback is also often covered with sapphire crystal allowing you to view the movement of the watch. The crystal is coated with an anti reflective layer which allows you to read time perfectly even in sharp sun.


Measure Average Speed With Ease

A tachymeter is a function in a watch that allows one to measure average speed, given that the distance covered is known. It is usually found in sports watches and comes in great handy during a race.

A tachymeter is quite simple to use. Simply begin the chronograph at the starting marker of a known distance that is to be covered. At the next marker, stop the chronograph, and the value on the tachymeter scale at which the chronograph hand points is the average speed of travel, in distance covered per hour. A standard tachymeter scale works on the following formula:


Where S is the average speed as displayed on the tachymeter scale, t is the time in seconds counted by the chronograph and 3600 is the number of seconds in one hour. The purpose of the ‘3600’ value in the formula is to display speed in kilometres/hour or miles/hour, which are the standard units of measuring speed, as opposed to kilometres/second or miles/second.

If you are covering a distance of say, 3 kilometres, start the chronograph at the starting point and stop it as you cross the finish line. Now the value on the tachymeter scale at which the chronograph hand points is the average speed for 3 kilometres. If, for example, the value on the tachymeter scale is 150, then simply divide this by 3 (the distance in kilometres you have covered), to get the speed in kilometres/hour. Which, in this case, would 150/3=50. So, in this manner, you will get to know that your average speed of travel was 50 km/h.

A tachymeter is specifically useful during races. While a speedometer in your car will tell you the exact speed at a particular moment, it will not tell you the average speed of travel over a certain distance. For this purpose, the tachymeter on a watch is extremely useful. Of course, tachymeters have a certain weakness that they can only calculate average speed for a distance covered within a minute as the chronograph hand goes back to the base reading of the tachymeter after one circle of rotation.


Time Your Dives with this exceptional feature

Found in diving watches, the unidirectional rotating bezel is a unique feature that helps measure diving time in a handy and effective manner. The bezel can only rotate in a counter-clockwise direction, which ensures diver’s safety even in the case of any accidental manipulation underwater.

he first watch to feature a rotating bezel was the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, which is considered by some to be the first modern dive watch. There is an interesting story behind the creation of the Fifty Fathoms. In the early 1950′s, the commanders of the French Combat Diving School were looking for a specialized watch for their elite dive soldiers. The watch was an essential piece of equipment needed to measure time spent underwater and coordinate with fellow divers. Among all the watches available in the market at that time, they couldn’t find any timepiece that met their particular requirements. Hence they made a list of requirements for the perfect diver’s watch and asked various watchmakers if they could build such a timepiece. As the market for such a timepiece was too niche at the time, not many showed an interest in the proposition. Fortunately for the commanders, the Blancpain CEO at the time was a diver himself and agreed to embark on the quest for the ideal diver’s watch. Thus was born the Fifty Fathoms.

One of the most distinguishing features of the watch was the 41 mm case, which was quite large for the 1950′s. The reason for this huge size was the presence of the rotating bezel which had large markings that could be clearly read underwater. It was a new development in watches and has since become a standard feature that is found on almost every diving watch manufactured today.

the rotating bezel on a diver’s watch is usually marked with Arabic numeral minute markers and a triangle at the 12 o’clock position. The bezel allows one to measure time up to 60 minutes. To time a dive, one has to simply rotate the bezel and align the triangle marker with the minute hand at the beginning of a dive. Time spent underwater can thus be read from the markers on the bezel.

Alternatively, one can measure remaining time in the dive. Scuba divers have a limited amount of oxygen supply in their tanks. It could be 30 minutes, 45 minutes or maybe even an hour. To measure the remaining time, one has to subtract total dive time from 60. For example, if you have 45 minutes of oxygen supply in your tank, then you must rotate the bezel and bring it to the point where the minute hand points at 15 (60-45) on the bezel. Now, the triangle marker on the bezel is the time when your oxygen supply will get over. In this way, you can clearly know when to start making your way back to the surface.

Unidirectional bezels rotate only in the counter-clockwise direction. The reason for this is to ensure that even in the case of any accidental manipulation underwater, you will err only on the side of caution. For example, a slight movement of the bezel may make you overestimate your dive time and cause you to come out earlier than expected. This is much better than underestimating the time and staying longer than the amount of oxygen supply you have. Unidirectional bezels are usually ratcheted so that the bezel gets locked in position unless a certain amount of force is applied by hand. In this way, unidirectional bezels ensure the diver’s safety during scuba diving.