At Markmans, our promise is to help our customers make the best possible decision about their jewelry purchase. To accomplish this, our associates pursue additional education in gems. The majority of Markmans professionals have earned the title, “Certified Diamontologist” by the Diamond Council of America (DCA). Achieving this status requires formal education and passage of a comprehensive certification exam. Many of our buyers that select our inventories have studied with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). GIA is a widely recognized authority on gemology both in the U.S. and internationally. A Graduate Gemologist is considered to be among the most prestigious of gemology credentials. Markmans is a member of the Jewelers of America, Tennessee Jewelers of America and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee. Our employees are happy to share their knowledge of fine jewelry with you, so don’t hesitate to ask. The more you learn, the more you can appreciate your fine jewelry purchase.
Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat are the 4 C’S that professionals use to evaluate diamonds. Take a quick look at a Diamond Buying Guide to help you make your best choice with use of the 4 C’s.
Gemstones come in a variety of colors and fall into a category of either precious or semi-precious. Modern methods of categorizing gemstones date back to ancient Greece where the distinction began. Generally, precious stones are diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald. All others fall into the semi-precious class. The distinction in classification is not determined scientifically but, by rarity in ancient times and quality. Other factors to consider are brilliance and hardness.
Markmans has a variety of gemstones some of which are less commonly known. These include Malaia Garnets, Imperial Topaz, Mandarin Garnets, Rubellite, Tanzanite and Tsavorite—all of which can correctly be called “precious.” Of course, Markmans also has a wide selection of the more well known colored stones in an array of settings.
Pearls are known as symbols of purity, perfection and elegance. These beauties are hard objects produced within the soft tissues of certain shelled mollusks, most often, oysters. Most pearls are ‘cultured’ meaning they were cultivated by man from pearl oysters rather than being formed naturally in the sea. Natural pearls formed in oysters in the sea are of greater value than their cultured counterparts since it takes searching through hundreds of oysters to find just one pearl. Gem laboratories with specialized x-ray equipment can look at the center of a pearl to ascertain whether it is a natural or a cultured pearl.
The actual value of natural pearls is determined by similar factors as those used to evaluate other gems. These are size, shape, overall quality of the surface and luster. Color grades can also be used to classify pearls since they can be found in a variety of colors including pink, blue, champagne, green, black and purple.
Markmans has a selection of pearls in white as well as those of unusual color. Ask to see what is available in elegant rings, earrings and pendants.
Since the beginning of history, gold has been one of the most highly sought-after precious metals. It is dense, soft, shiny and malleable so that it can be shaped more easily than other metals. Pure gold is bright yellow and retains its color without oxidizing in air or water. It has become a symbol of wealth and used in producing coins. Gold can contain other alloy metals which causes color variations and differences in hardness. For example, rose gold is created by adding copper and silver.
Gold in its purest form is 24 karat. The quantity of alloy contained in gold determines its karats. 18 karat gold contains 18 parts gold which makes it 75% gold. Ten karats is the minimum number of karats to be still considered gold. Ask a Markmans professional to show you some variations in gold color and karats.
Platinum is the heaviest of the precious metals. It weighs almost twice as much as karat gold and its strength makes it a good choice to secure diamonds and other gems. Platinum is silvery white in appearance and malleable like gold. It is also resistant to most corrosion and resistant to wear and tarnish.
Sometimes mistaken for silver, platinum is very rare. Interesting to note, this precious metal exists in greater quantities on the moon and in meteorites. On Earth, it is more easily found in areas that have had volcanic impact.
Markmans carries a beautiful line of platinum jewelry from nationally-known designers. Let one of our knowledgeable associates show you what to look for in fine, platinum jewelry.
Silver is a soft, white, lustrous, metallic element that has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. It has been valued as a precious metal and historically used to make ornaments, jewelry, tableware (silverware) and coins. It is also the brightest reflector of any metal that can be polished to an even higher sheen that platinum. On jewelry, a silver finish can be highly polished, matte (rubbed with abrasive), satin, and even antiqued with a chemical aging process. Silver has a ‘patina’ which is a worn looking finish brought about by frequent use and handling unique to its wearer.
Sterling silver is another variety of silver which is harder than pure silver. Other silver combinations have been developed for a wider range of uses. Silver is less expensive than gold though still very valuable. Only in more recent times has silversmithing become mainly work in jewelry.
Markmans carries an impressive line of silver jewelry. Let one of our professionals show you our selection of fine silver jewelry and educate you on its proper care and preservation.
Thinking of giving a wonderful keepsake gift that can be passed on and treasured through generations? Consider the gift of time. Since the 16th century origin of timepieces to be worn, watches have grown in capability and style. Explore the world of timepiece art at Markmans. We have a wide variety of quality timepieces that have various degrees of functionality to suit the most versatile of wearers.