1. JEWELER’S HALLMARK - Good jewelers leave their mark; they want people to know they created the jewelry you’re wearing. Look for a mark on the back or inside of your jewelry with the jeweler’s name or a branded symbol. This will tell you who made the piece and if it’s really worth the price.
2. METAL CONTENT - “Hallmark” or "Quality Mark" is the official term to describe the mark on the back or inside of your jewelry with numbers like: 16k, 18k, 22k, or 24k indicating the metal content of your jewelry. If you see 22k or a lower number followed by "k" on your jewelry, it has 92% or less gold and 8% or more other metal. Pure Gold is more durable when mixed with other metals. A 24k on the back of your jewelry indicates solid gold. This pure gold is more expensive but can be easier to scratch, so choose the metal that works better for you.
2. PLATING – Some gold jewelry isn’t solid. At department stores and big box retailers much of the gold colored jewelry is only plated with gold. These plated pieces are actually made of less expensive metals such as copper and silver, reducing the value of the piece and causing metal allergies in those with metal sensitivity. However, Vermeil, sterling silver jewelry that has been plated with gold can be a great, more price conscious alternative to solid gold jewelry. Maria-Tina make extremely high quality Vermeil jewelry with solid sterling silver, triple dipped in 24 karat gold. Shop Maria-Tina's vermeil jewelry here.
HAND HAMMERED – hammering makes the metal in your jewelry solid and more dense by actually condensing molecules, and getting rid of air pockets in the metal. Many of Maria-Tina’s pieces have been hand hammered, so you get more metal for your money. All pieces are made in San Francisco and
Marin Co. USA - we love to support our Local Small Businesses.
CASTINGS – Cast pieces are used by jewelers to reduce costs and production times but they can mean a compromise on quality. Most jewelry is cast. During production, metal is poured into a mold which may form tiny pockets of air that makes the jewelry lighter. To detect if a piece was cast, look along the sides of the jewelry for ridges or seams. The better the jewelry, the less you can see. The majority of Maria-Tina’s jewelry is hand fabricated (sculpted by hand). Some pieces have been cast by hand using the lost wax method with the utmost attention to detail. Unlike commercial castings, Maria-Tina’s are made from originals maintaining the integrity of the design.
MIX & MATCH – Inspired by the art of Ancient Greece, Maria-Tina’s jewelry can be mixed and matched with other pieces to create a unique and inspiring look every time. No matter what metal or stone, all of Maria-Tina’s designs have a cohesive style that can stand alone or be combined for a statement look. There are unlimited options, pairing Maria-Tina’s ancient look with modern pieces gives your outfit an air of old world sophistication like the eclectic architecture of Athens, Paris and London!
Whatever jewelry you buy, we wish you radiance and happiness and a little bit of OPA from Maria-Tina and the Greek Island House Team!
Maria-Tina Minoan Jewelry Images from top:
• "Large Byzantine Cross" - Hand fabricated, hand hammered 22 karat gold tanzanite, sapphire, amethyst, diamonds, gold granulation and stamped with Minoan symbols of life and nature.
• "Circle of Life Wedding Ring" - Hand fabricated, hand alloyed and hand hammered 22 karat gold
• "Four Corners Byzantine Cross" pendant hand cast using the ancient technique of lost wax method from original, hand fabricated, hand stamped piece, © 2015 Maria-Tina Karamanlakis
Whatever jewelry you buy we wish you radiance and happiness and a little bit of OPA from Maria-Tina and the Greek Island House Team!