Jewellery FAQ

Precious Metals

  • What type of metals does Jens Hansen use?
    • We use a wide range of metals, including platinum, pure silver, sterling silver and gold (22ct, 18ct, 14ct & 9ct - yellow, white & red/rose).
  • Does any of your jewellery contain nickel?  

    • All our gold and silver alloys are nickel free with the exception of:
    1. 14ct white gold. This alloy contains a small amount of nickel but still well below accepted European minimum standards. However, we have never had a report of a nickel reaction with this alloy.
  • Why do pure metals need to be mixed with other metals?
    • You will find examples of jewellery made of pure metals like platinum, but pure gold is soft and isn't practical for daily wear. Other metals are mixed with gold to make it more durable (and to lower its cost). For example, platinum or nickel can be added to pure gold to create white gold; adding copper produces a rose or pink tint; while silver gives gold a greenish tint. Even though gold will be in different carats it is still classed as solid gold.
    • Gold-plated jewellery is when a base metal (copper, brass, nickel, silver) is covered with a thin layer of gold, giving a great look but one that will have to be maintained. Gold-plated jewellery can be the biggest source of allergic reactions due to the plating wearing off and the base metal being exposed to cause irritation. Jens Hansen uses Sterling Sliver as the base metal to reduce the risk of allergic reactions.
  • How much pure metal is in my jewellery, and how can I tell?
    • The purity of the metal used in each piece of jewellery is shown by a stamp or hallmark.
    • Platinum is 95% pure (PT950)
    • Gold
      18ct is 75% pure (750)
      14ct is 58.4% pure (584)
      10ct is 41.7% pure (417) (10ct is the minimum for some countries to be classed as gold, eg. USA & parts of Europe)
      9ct is 37.5% pure (375)
    • Fine silver is 99.9% pure (stamped with a half moon shape)
      Sterling silver is 92.5% pure (925)
    • Do you use titanium or steel?
      • No, these are industrial metals and even though they may be light, strong, hard and appealing, the fact is they can't be sized later if your finger gets bigger (which tends to happen as we age), and often they can not be cut off in an emergency.
      • What kind of hallmarks does Jens Hansen use?
        • The carat/metal marking on your jewellery will be accompanied by Our trademark signature and the Jens Hansen Shield, and possibly a mark that identifies the individual Jens Hansen craftsman, accompanies the carat/metal marking on your jewellery. Your piece will also include the New Zealand Made 'Kiwi', which is a fantastic indicator of its origin.
      • What would be the best carat gold to use for my wedding ring?
        • A high carat like 18ct would be our recommendation, as it will last the longest and wear the best. The lower carats will still last a long time but are likely to show wear a bit faster. Platinum is also a great option as it is a strong long-lasting metal, whereas silver is not recommended for wedding jewellery.
      • Can I combine two or more different metals in a design?
        • Yes any metals can be combined. Using a combination of yellow and white golds, or even platinum and rose gold, are nice ways of creating a different look, but still having the design you desire.
        • We can also use the Japanese metal folding technique called Mokume gane, which creates a stunning intertwined pattern of two - four different metals.
      • How do I keep my silver jewellery clean?
        • Wearing silver will keep it looking nice, as once silver is put in a drawer, or in hot pools, it starts to oxidize/tarnish. To remove any tarnish use a silver cloth or silver dip. All your jewellery can also have a good general clean in warm soapy water and scrubbed with a soft tooth brush. You may even want to bring it in to us, or to your local reputable jeweller, for a sonic and buff every now and then to keep it looking really nice.


      Diamond FAQs


      A diamond’s beauty is extremely complex. Understanding what makes them beautiful is not a simple task.  As specialists in diamonds, we want to help you make an informed decision when selecting your diamond. 

      Diamonds are forever; but not all are created equal.  At Jens Hansen we act as your independent guide, showing you a large range of non-conflict stones, and recommending the perfect diamond for you and your budget. 

      The individual sparkle and brilliance of a particular stone depends on its carat, colour, clarity and most importantly cut.  Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions about diamonds, to help you choose your perfect stone.  If you require more information please contact us.

      • What is a diamond?
        • A diamond is a crystal made up entirely of carbon atoms.  When the crystal forms without any interference it becomes a pure and perfect octahedral shape, however, during their growth most diamond crystals encounter varying heat or pressure, or even other diamond crystals, and this can alter their form and characteristics. These alterations help determine the shape, color and clarity the polished gem has once it emerges from the earth.
        • In addition to their superior brilliance, luster, fire and dispersion, diamonds are also the hardest natural substance on earth.  Diamonds rate a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which means they are resistant to scratches and do not easily break, chip or crack; diamonds are several times harder than the next-hardest substance, corundum, which is more commonly known as ruby and sapphire.
      • Where do diamonds come from?
        • The vast majority of the world's diamonds are now mined in Russia, Australia and several African countries such as Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zaire and Sierra Leone.  Once the diamonds are extracted, approximately 80% pass through the hands of De Beers and on to the cutting centres of Antwerp, New York and Tel Aviv. From here diamonds may take a number of different channels before being mounted into a piece of jewellery.
        • We buy cut and polished diamonds directly from reputable and trusted merchants to ensure our customers get the quality you deserve, for the right price. 

      • What are the 4C’s?
        • Carat:  Is the size a diamond is measured in, referring to the weight - one carat is equal to approximately 0.2 grams. Size does matter but a low quality big diamond won’t sparkle as beautifully as a smaller high grade diamond.  Most common sizes used in solitaire engagement rings are .25ct, .50ct, .75ct, 1.0ct and sometimes higher.
        • Cut:  The quality of the stone’s proportions, polish and symmetry. The perfect cut is based on a mathematical formula and determines overall brilliance. Ideal and excellent cut stones are going to give you the most reflects/fire in combination with the other 4 C's. 
        • Clarity: Most diamonds naturally have trace impurities or other tiny imperfections that can detract from the pure beauty of the stone. Flawless diamonds are the rarest and most sought after. The colour scale for transparent diamonds runs from D-F (colourless), G-J (near colourless), K-L (faint yellow), to Z (light yellow).  
        • Colour:  Like a prism, a well cut stone divides light into a rainbow of colours, reflecting as flashes of ‘fire’. Any colour in the stone itself acts as a filter so the clearer and whiter the diamond, the better the ‘fire’.
      • What is an "Ideal Cut"?
        • The "Ideal Cut" is a cut based on a specific set of proportions for a round brilliant diamond proposed by gem cutter Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919.  While Tolkowsky's original theories presented only one particular combination of proportions for creating the best balance of brilliance and dispersion, today the American Gemological Society recognizes any diamond falling within a narrow range of proportions and finish quality as being an "Ideal Cut" (also called an "AGS 0" or "AGS triple zero").
      • How does a diamond get from the mines to the stores?
        • Finding the rough diamonds is only the first step. Once diamonds have been mined and processed out of the 'overburden' (that is, the kimberlite rocks in which they are imbedded), the rough crystals are sorted and categorized according to their size, color, shape and other characteristics.
        • The most common route is through the channels of De Beers' Central Selling Organization (CSO).  The majority of what is bought through the CSO is sent to London to be offered to buyers through De Beers' marketing arm - the Diamond Trading Corporation (DTC).
        • The DTC holds ten week-long selling sessions called 'sights' each year. These sights are by invitation only, and only a handful of diamond manufacturers from around the world (called 'sightholders') are allowed to attend. These sightholders may cut the rough diamonds they buy themselves, or they may sell some of the rough diamonds to smaller manufacturers. These smaller manufacturers cut the rough diamonds and sell to jewelry manufacturers (who set the diamonds into finished pieces of jewellery and then sell the jewellery to jewellery retailers), or to diamond wholesalers (who then, in turn, sell the diamonds to diamond retailers). 
        •   We buy cut and polished diamonds directly from a sightholder, eliminating the middle men and ensuring our customers get the quality they deserve for the right price.
        • In the less common route from mine to market, some independent miners elect not to sell their mine production to the DeBeers cartel. Instead, they offer newly mined diamonds directly to other world buyers.
      • Is a diamond a good investment?
        • The answer depends on whether you are investing in the diamond itself, or in what a diamond represents.
        • Diamond prices have been steadily increasing for the past 20 years, and diamonds tend to hold their value. Given this, it is extremely unlikely that diamonds will ever entirely lose their value, in spite of how the market may change in the future. However, no one can predict, with absolute certainty, which way the market will swing and, in general, we do not recommend buying up high-quality diamonds as a main part of a financial/retirement plan.
        • On the other hand, if you are looking for a source of beauty and a symbol of eternity and everlasting love, there are few objects you can choose that will surpass a diamond's perfection. Diamonds have inflamed man's passions since the first moment they were discovered, and their power over our emotions and desires has only grown since then. As a timeless and beautiful gift to yourself or as an emblem of your commitment to another, a diamond is an excellent investment. 
        •  Ultimately, whether you choose to consider it an investment, a symbol, or a unique work of art, you can be certain that by buying a Jens Hansen diamond, you are always getting a beautiful diamond and an excellent value for your money.
      • What is the difference between a "certified diamond" and a "non-certified diamond"?
        • There is no physical difference between a diamond that is certified and one that is not. A certificate does not change the nature of a diamond in any way. The difference between a certified and an uncertified diamond is that, with the certified diamond, you have tangible, legal assurances as to the particular nature and quality of the diamond you are purchasing.
        • A certified diamond comes with a diamond grading report guaranteed by an accredited gem lab. This report assures that the diamond is independently recognized as possessing all the qualities specified by that report. When you buy a certified diamond, you are getting a diamond with beauty and pedigree. 
        •  An uncertified diamond is not necessarily a bad diamond; certainly, it can be as beautiful as its certified counterpart.  Below are some reasons why you would want to buy a certified diamond. 
        •  A diamond grading report adds value to a diamond. The quality assessments made by independent labs, such as GIA or AGS, are recognized worldwide. These quality assessments are used by appraisers to determine the insurance or replacement value of your diamond. If you purchase an uncertified diamond, there is no guarantee that the appraiser will appraise your diamond at the same level at which the jeweler who sold it to you did. 
        • A quick note on how reports from various independent labs compare with one another: GIA and AGS are considered the industry leaders, and the final word on gem quality, among diamond dealers worldwide. While plenty of other independent labs exist, some are a bit lax in their assessments of diamond quality and do not command the same respect for consistency and quality of grading that GIA and AGS do. For this reason, if you are in the market for a diamond, make an effort to buy only GIA- or AGS-graded diamonds.   
        • A diamond grading report adds an increased comfort-level to your purchase. Because the quality of your purchase has been independently verified, you can feel assured that you have made a wise purchase and that you have received exactly what you have paid for.  
      • Is it safe to receive a diamond in the mail?
        • Yes and no. It is safe if an insured carrier is used (e.g. FedEx and DHL) and all shipments are insured for the full value of their contents. We use DHL which is also tracked for extra reassurance.


      Gemstone FAQs

      • What is a gemstone?
        • A gemstone is a mineral, rock, or organic material that is used for jewellery, ornamentation, or art. The ones that are mainly used in jewellery are precious gems, such as diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds, and semi-precious gems, such as amethysts, citrines, garnets, tourmaline and topaz.
      • What is the difference between precious and semi-precious gemstones?
        • The precious stones are diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire, while all other gemstones are semi-precious.
        • This distinction reflects the rarity of the respective stones in ancient times, as well as their quality: all precious stones are translucent with fine colour in their purest forms, except for the colourless diamond, and are very hard (8-10 on the Mohs scale).
        • Other stones are classified by their colour, translucency and hardness. The traditional distinction does not necessarily reflect modern values, for example, while garnets are relatively inexpensive, a green garnet called tsavorite, can be far more valuable than a mid-quality emerald.
      • Does New Zealand have any gemstones?
        • New Zealand doesn't have any of the more popular gemstones occuring naturally, but it does have Jade/Greenstone, Paua/Paua Pearls and Ruby Rock (Goodletite – Tourmaline, Sapphire & Ruby combined, much like an opal).
      • What stones does Jens Hansen use in its jewellery?
        • We have a wide range of stones available, from precious diamonds to semi-precious Lapis. We like to use a range of sizes, shapes and cuts for the most interesting jewellery. Jens favoured the cabochon cut for most of his early designs and used a lot of semi-precious stones. It wasn’t until later that he started using the full range of stones and cuts, which we continue to work with today. We will also use our customers' stones, whether they be ones someone has bought on their travels or from jewellery that they would like to have remodelled.
      • Would a sapphire be OK to wear every day?
        • Sapphires can definitely be worn everyday, just like most other stones, especially diamonds. To avoid unnecessary wear and damage all jewellery should be taken off before bed, and when applying perfume/creams (such as sunscreen), or undertaking household chores, sport/exercise and tasks that involve harsh chemicals. These tasks can all cause abrasions over time, especially with stones such as emeralds, opals (and pearls).
      • Can I have my damaged/worn stone made to look new again?
        • If your stone is chipped, scratched or has multiple abrasions, we can have a gemstone cutter take a look to see what can be done to make it look better. The stone will just require a cut and polish in most cases, and this can be done while the stone is still in its setting; otherwise the stone may have to be removed from the setting.
      • What are the birthstones?
        • This is a list of birthstones, and a bit about the colour and wear of each gemstone.
        • January – Garnet. Garnets are found in many colours - mainly red, orange, and yellow, but they can also be green, blue, purple, brown, black, pink and colourless. Garnets have a range of hardness on the Mohs scale of about 6.5 to 7.5. So they are great for everyday wear.
        • February – Amethyst. Amethyst occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple. Amethyst was once included with the most valuable gemstones (along with diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald), but it has now lost much of its value due to the discovery of extensive deposits in locations such as Brazil. It is now commonly used in silver designs, which bring out its fantastic colour.
        • March – Aquamarine. Aquamarine (from Lat. aqua marina, "water of the sea") is a blue variety of beryl and is a relation to Emerald. The deep blue version of aquamarine is called maxixe. Aquamarines are relativity hard but can be brittle, so avoiding hard knocks is advised. (Bloodstone is also this month’s birthstone).
        • April – Diamond. Diamond is the hardest natural material known, with a hardness of 10 (hardest) on this scale. Diamond's hardness has been known since antiquity, and is the source of its name. When it comes to colour in order of rarity, colourless diamond, by far the most common, is followed by yellow and brown, by far the most common colours, then by blue, green, black, translucent white, pink, violet, orange, purple, and the rarest, red. "Black", or Carbonado, diamonds are not truly black, but rather contain numerous dark inclusions that give the gems their dark appearance.
        • May – Emerald. Emeralds are a variety of beryl that is green in colour and has a hardness of 7.5 - 8 on the 10 point Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Due to most emeralds being highly included, their toughness (resistance to breakage) is classified as generally poor so any large knocks should be avoided.
        • June – Pearl. Pearls occur in the wild, but they are rare. Cultured or farmed pearls make up the majority of those that are currently sold. Pearls from the sea are valued more highly than freshwater pearls. Imitation or fake pearls are also widely sold in inexpensive jewellery, but the quality of their iridescence is usually very poor - and generally speaking, artificial pearls are easily distinguished from genuine pearls.Pearls have a tendency to absorb moisture so it is best to avoid submerging them in water or spraying perfume while you are wearing them. (Moonstone & Alexandrite are also birthstones for this month).
        • July – Ruby. Rubies are pink to blood-red gemstones, a variety of the corundum. Rubies are a relative of sapphire and are in the top three hardest stones on the Mohs scale of hardness.
        • August – Peridot. Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one colour: basically an olive green. The intensity and tint of the green however depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure, so the colour of individual peridot gems can vary from yellow-green through to olive green to brownish green.
        • September – Sapphire. Sapphires are one of the hardest coloured stones. They come in Blue, Green, Orange, Pink and Multi-coloured (Parti Sapphires). The only colour they don’t come in is red (these are rubies). Sapphires are fantastic for everyday wear. They are found in many different places; Sri Lanka have Ceylon Sapphires which are a fantastic vibrant blue; and Australia has mainly party ones or a dark blue almost black coloured sapphire. The most prized sapphires are found in the Padar region of Kashmir. These are rarely available as the mines have been on hold since around 1979.
        • October - Opal. Opals are commonly found in Australia and Asia. They are usually made up as a dome which consist of three layers - two of quartz and one tiny piece of opal between them, or two layers of quartz and one of opal. Because the opal has the quartz glued to the opal it is not advised to get these stones wet or give them a hard life; they should only be worn for special occasions and in a good strong protective setting. (Pink Tourmaline is also this month's birth stone and is far better than opals for everyday).
        • November – Topaz. Pure topaz is colourless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine, yellow, pale grey or reddish-orange, blue brown. It can also be made white, pale green, blue, pink (rare) and reddish-yellow or opaque to transparent/translucent. Orange topaz is also known as precious topaz, while Imperial topaz is yellow, pink (rare, if natural) or pink-orange. Brazilian Imperial Topaz can often have a bright yellow to deep golden brown hue, sometimes even violet. Naturally occurring Blue Topaz is quite rare. Typically, colourless, grey or pale yellow and blue material is heat treated and irradiated in order to produce a more desired darker blue.Mystic topaz is colourless topaz which has been artificially coated, giving it the desired rainbow effect. (Citrine is also this month’s birth stone).
        • December – Zircon. Zircon is a remarkable mineral, if only for its almost ubiquitous presence in the crust of Earth. It occurs in igneous rocks (as primary crystallization products), in metamorphic rocks and in sedimentary rocks (as detrital grains). Large zircon crystals are seldom abundant. Zircon occurs in many different colours, including red, pink, brown, yellow, hazel, black, or colourless. The colour of zircons sometimes can be changed by heat treatment. Depending on the amount of heat applied, colourless, blue, and golden-yellow zircons can be made. These stones are precious gems and should not be confused with Cubic Zirconias, which are synthetic. (Turquoise is also this month’s birthstone).
      • What happens if my new piece of jewellery isn't the right size?
        • You are welcome to come back into our Nelson store anytime and we can re-size your jewellery immediately, as our craftsmen are on-site.  If we have shipped your purchase to you then we would suggest that you use a reputable craftsman in your area or we can look into the option of you returning it to us for re-adjustment.
      • I’ve heard that 14 carat gold is harder, but not as rich in colour as 18 carat. What are the differences between the various gold types?
        • 14 carat gold is very hard but it is paler than 18 carat.  14 carat also contains less gold than 18 carat, and is more likely to give allergy or corrosion problems depending on the wearer’s skin.
        • That said, the color difference is not ‘dramatic’ and many people are very happy with 14 carat. You will find some excellent articles at which may help you make up your mind about which type of gold to have your jewellery made in.
      • What is the guarantee on your Jewellery?
        • Everything we produce carries with it our personal guarantee. Simply put we stand behind everything we create and like you we are not happy with anything less that perfect.
      • If I am having my goods shipped, do I pay customs duty & tax?
        • If we ship your jewellery out of New Zealand you don't have to pay Goods & Services Tax. This saves you 15% instantly. However, you are responsible for paying any duties or taxes imposed for customs or importing goods into your country. It is recommended that you check with your local post office, DHL or government Customs office to ask them about your country's policies and rates.
      • How do I pay for my desired purchase?
        • We require a 25% deposit to get your order under way and then final payment is required before your purchase is delivered. We accept all major credit cards (Details can be given via email, phone, fax or our secure shopping cart). Paypal, Direct credit and Layby are also available.
      • How long does it normally take to receive my purchase?
        • If we already have the right item made in your size in our studio it will only take the regular shipping period of between 2-7 working days.
        • If we have to make the item especially for you then you should expect at least another 1-3 weeks depending on the item.
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