QUESTIONS ABOUT BLACK HILLS
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
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
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
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.