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Frequently Asked Questions
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BLACK HILLS GOLD JEWELRY

What makes a piece of jewelry Black Hills Gold? It has the unique traditional design comprised of pink and green gold leaves, gold grape clusters and vines and it must, by law, be manufactured in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

How are the green and pink-colored gold leaves made?
Pure 24 karat yellow gold is alloyed with silver to create the vibrant green, and is alloyed with copper to make the dazzling pink. The resulting alloy is a more durable 12 karat gold.

What karat is Black Hills Gold?
Nearly all pieces, regardless of manufacturer, are comprised of 10 karat yellow gold (ring shanks, pendant and earring bases), 12 karat pink and green gold (leaves, roses, hearts, butterflies etc..), 14 karat gold earring posts and complimentary gold-filled (1/20 12 karat) 18" chains for pendants. Select wedding sets are made with 14 karat gold shanks, and some companies even offer white gold for the ring shanks.

My Black Hills Gold has lost its "like new" sparkle. Why does this happen and can it be cleaned? Because the pink/red and green Black Hills Gold leaves are created by alloying with other metals like copper and silver, tarnishing can occur over time. Hand lotions, cosmetics and hairsprays contain substances that may darken the surface, so it is recommended that jewelry be put on last. (Widely used solvents and chemicals may even damage the jewelry and void the lifetime warranty.) Many people find the patina appealing, lending an antique appearance to their pieces. Others may prefer to keep it looking brand new, and this can be done by regular cleaning.

What is the best way to clean Black Hills Gold? Using a soft toothbrush and warm, sudsy water with a small amount of ammonia is good way to regularly clean your Black Hills Gold. However, be very careful when cleaning items with opals, pearls and stones -- the compounds used to mount these settings may be weakened by prolonged soaking. Due to their delicate nature, opals, pearls and stones could sustain damage from careless handling.

Does Black Hills Gold jewelry come with a warranty? All major manufacturers sell their jewelry with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects, usually found printed on a small insert in the box with your item. They guarantee your item will be free of any defect in workmanship or manufacturing, under normal use for the life of the product. The manufacturers reserve the right to inspect the item to determine if it has been abused in any way, including exposure to harsh chemicals or damaging impacts. Gemstones, complimentary gold filled chains and outside vendor parts are not covered, so they recommend having your jewelry inspected regularly by a reputable jeweler. Contact the retailer who sold you the item or the manufacturer directly for full warranty infomation.

An old ring that's been in my family for decades has become quite worn. Can it be repaired or refurbished to look like new? After determining who made the ring, it can be sent to the manufacturer for an inspection. If the ring is not too worn, the factory will provide you with an estimate to restore it. If the ring is too worn, the factory will offer a scrap gold price to be used toward a new version of the same item.

I've heard that Black Hills Gold has to made from gold mined in the Black Hills. Is this true? No, this has never been the case. When Homestake Mining Co. was still in operation in the Black Hills town of Lead, it was North America's largest gold mine. It's true that many Black Hills Gold manufacturers over the years did use gold from Homestake ore for production of their jewelry. However, the jewelry need only be manufactured in the Black Hills, using the traditional design, in order to be called Black Hills Gold.

I bought a Black Hills Gold item many years ago. I don't remember where. How do I determine which manufacturer made my item? On the back of earrings, pendants, bracelets and tie tacs/pins, and on the inside or back of rings, there should be a maker's mark indicating who made the item. The maker's mark is a distinctive logo cast or stamped into the item, and it often is found next to the karat mark of the item. The karat mark will often read "10K ," "12K" or "14K" signifying the gold content of the piece. Check out our Identifying page to view the major manufacturer's marks and factory contact information.

I found Black Hills Gold featured on the QVC television shopping channel. Who manufactures the Black Hills Gold jewelry sold there? Black Hills Gold Jewelry by Coleman is the manufacturer that is the exclusive supplier for QVC. Many of the styles found on that channel are not available to regular Coleman retailers. If you have questions about an item you bought on QVC, you should contact them directly.

My local jeweler will not size my Black Hills Gold ring because he does not want to damage the item. What can I do? He can contact the factory that made your ring and talk with a jeweler in their production department to confirm that virtually all Black Hills Gold rings can be handled like all other fine gold rings when being sized. If he still will not work on your item, just contact the factory yourself for instructions to send them the item and allow their staff to perform the sizing you desire.

I like many of the Black Hills Gold styles offered, but I don't see exactly what I want. How do I have a custom piece made? Because the major manufacturers will not sell component parts individually, like Black Hills Gold leaves, it is the staff jewelers at the factory who must usually create custom Black Hills Gold jewelry. Some independent retailers staff accomplished jewelers of their own, but the items they modify are usually not covered by the lifetime warranty.

What is encrusting? Used to decorate jewelry, encrusting is a process that has been practiced for centuries. As it applies to our customized mens rings, the onyx to be decorated will have grooves made in the desired design. These grooves are wider at the bottom and narrower near the surface, like an inverted "V." 24 karat gold, which is softer than alloyed gold and very malleable, is then pressed into the grooved design and smoothed using special tools.

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