You can’t get your ring(s) off?!

From our Service Department

Okay, so I swear that gold shrinks over time.  Really!  After some years, it seems that often rings don’t fit anymore.  For those who never take their rings off, this can come as quite a surprise.  One day the ring needs to come off and, oh no!  Before you panic, here is what to try.  Note:  if it is an emergency, please go to the nearest Emergency Department.

Pick a time of day when your hands are the least swollen (for some this is the morning; for others, the afternoon).  Go to a place where the temperature is lower (outside in the winter; an air conditioned room in the summer). Hold your hand up (above your heart) for about 2 minutes.  Next, put a generous amount of hand cream on the finger and the ring making sure it gets under the ring.  Then spray some Windex on the finger and try to slide the ring off.

If none of this works, call us!  Our Jeweller will be happy to cut the ring off.  There is no charge for this service.  Call ahead to make sure he will be in the store when you are planning to come.

What not to do!
Please do not let anyone take side cutters or any other cutters to your ring, unless it is an emergency, in which case, your finger is more important to save than the ring.


The weak link in the chain.

Why don’t we solder the ring that connects your clasp to your chain?

Most of you have heard of “The weak link in the chain”.  Typically, there is a small ring (we call it a Jump Ring) which connects the end of your chain to the clasp (usually a lobster claw or spring ring).  This ring is intended to be the weak link in the chain.  That means it will pull open when the chain is pulled or caught on something.  Yes, I know you are concerned that the chain might fall off, but if that ring was soldered closed, the chain would probably have broken somewhere else anyway (or really hurt your neck).  By having this ring open, it protects the main part of the chain from stress and possible breakage.  It is much less expensive to re-close or replace the Jump Ring than to fix a broken chain.  Another problem occurs when soldering close to a clasp.  Unless it is soldered very carefully, or laser welded, the heat from soldering can damage the metal in the spring and cause it to fail.  We recommend that you check this Jump Ring on your chain periodically.  If it is starting to open, bring it in for one of our Goldsmiths to close it back up for you, or replace it if necessary.  While you are at it, check your whole chain over for parts that are getting thin.  A bit of maintenance now may prevent the loss of a chain (and any pendants on the chain) later.

Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc

1094 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, On


Why does my white gold ring look yellow?

White gold rings may sometimes start to appear yellow or have a yellow tinge. The reason for this is that pure gold (24K) is yellow. There is no such thing as 24K white gold. All gold starts off yellow, then alloys are mixed with it to determine its colour. Something like mixing paint. What can happen is that the yellow gold in the ring, because it is heavier than the alloys, will start to separate from the alloy and come to the surface. The ring now looks “yellow”. Also, white gold rings are typically plated in rhodium, a white metal. When the rhodium starts to wear off, the ring may start to look yellow. Recently, advances in the development of alloys have produced new types of white gold alloy. One example is alloy containing Palladium. Although it is a more expensive alloy to use, it produces a white gold ring that does not turn yellow. Different manufactures have other processes as well. Some of these work quite well to alleviate this problem.

If your white gold ring is starting to look yellow, it can be polished and re-rhodium plated so that it will look new again.

If you have questions about jewellery, please let us know. We can be reached by e-mail at, or via facebook (, or twitter (@exquisite gold). If you are in the area, please drop by our showroom at 1094 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc

How can I tell if my jewellery is gold, silver or another metal?

Most jewellery is stamped somewhere on its surface. On rings it is typically on the inside of the shank, but, can also be under the head or sometimes on the outside of the shank at the back or side of the ring. Earrings with ear wires or posts may have the stamp on the wire part of the earring. Pendants may have the stamp somewhere on the main section or may have the bale stamped. Precious metal jewellery made in Canada MUST, by law have a quality mark and a manufacturer’s trademark on the item as a minimum or NO stamp at all. That means it must have either both marks, or neither. In some countries, EACH link of a gold chain must have a karat stamp and manufacturer’s trademark. This is not required in Canada. If your jewellery has no marking, or, if you are unsure that the mark is correct, we can test the karat of the jewellery and tell you gold content. There is a small charge for this service; typically $10 per item.

10 karat gold will usually be stamped 10k or 417. 10k means that the item is 10 parts in 24 gold, and the remaining 14 parts in 24 is alloy. 10/24=.417 which means that the item is 41.7% gold. This is why some 10k gold is stamped 417. Just as an aside, it is the metals in the alloy that determine the colour of the gold; typically yellow, white, or rose (pink).

Similarly, 14k gold may be stamped 583, 18k gold may be stamped 750, and 22k gold may be stamped 917. Because 24k gold is very soft, jewellery is seldom made in pure 24k gold.

Sterling Silver is usually stamped 925 or Sterling. 925 or Sterling means that the item is 92.5% silver and the remaining 7.5% is alloy.

If you have questions about jewellery, please let us know. We can be reached by e-mail at, or via Facebook (, or twitter (@exquisite gold). If you are in the area, please drop by our showroom at 1094 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc