FAQ’s

TECHNICAL QUESTIONS

What does marking/stamping on gold mean?

  • 8K or 333 (parts per 1000) or is 33.3% gold (usually European. Not recognized in USA. The lowest possible standard. Will tarnish sometimes)
  • 9K or 375 (parts per 1000) or is 37.5% gold (mainly British Commonwealth countries. Not recognized in USA. Hard wearing.)
  • 10K or 416 (parts per 1000) or is 41.6% gold (Minimum USA standard. Hard wearing.)
  • 12K or 500 (parts per 1000) or is 50% gold (usually old watch cases. Rarely seen)
  • 14K or 585 (parts per 1000) or 58.5% gold (Asian for overseas market. Common in USA. Russian 584.)
  • 15K or 625 (parts per 1000) or 62.5 % gold (British Commonwealth countries. Discontinued c1935. A good indicator that the piece is old.)
  • 18K or 750 (parts per 1000) or 75% gold. (Most quality pieces are 18ct. Minimum gold standard for sale in Italy.)
  • 22K or 916 (parts per 1000) or 91.6% gold (mainly Asia, Middle East. Very soft. Very yellow)
  • 24K or 1000 (parts per 1000) or PURE gold (too soft for most jewelry manufacture)

What is an alloy?

A mixture of two or more metals made by melting them together. Gold, for example, is alloyed (combined) with metals such as silver, copper, zinc and nickel to reduce its cost and change characteristics such as its color and hardness. Platinum alloys are usually made by combining platinum with ruthenium, iridium, palladium, cobalt or copper.

What is the difference between gram and pennyweight?

1 pennyweight (dwt) = 1.555 gram (g)

What is carat weight of diamond?

1 carat (ct) = 0.2 gram (g)

What is the difference between sterling silver and Argentium silver?

Sterling silver is a silver alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. The copper makes the silver harder and more durable but also causes the silver to tarnish over time.

Argentium sterling silver is also a silver alloy like sterling silver. Argentium sterling silver is at least 92.5% silver and a combination of copper and germanium. Argentium sterling silver does not tarnish.

What is rhodium plating?

Rhodium is a silver-white hard metal often found in platinum ores. It is the most expensive precious metal. In its natural solid state Rhodium is far too hard to work, but it is used as an alloy in the smelting of platinum and palladium.

Rhodium plating is a metal deposition process used to coat materials with a decorative and protective layer of rhodium. Rhodium is a noble metal that imparts an extremely bright and hard wearing finish when applied as plating. When applied as a thin plate, it affords a durable finish of exceptional brightness. Rhodium finishes can greatly enhance the appearance and longevity of any metal to which they are applied.

How thick is usually the layer of rhodium?

The ideal thickness of rhodium on a wedding ring is between 0.75 to 1.50 microns. To give you an idea of how thin this coat is, the thickness of a human hair is approximately 100 microns.

Does rhodium plating cover scratches?

No, as a rule the electroplating process does not hide surface imperfections. Therefore refinishing must be done prior to the plating process to give the desired results.

Why do jewelers use laser welding instead of soldering?

There are many different reasons why  laser welding is superior to soldering. To

better understand the differences, we must first look closely at the two processes.

Soldering, or more appropriately brazing, is a capillary fill system where solder is heated with a gas-oxygen torch or open flame. The solder then flows across and bridges the noble metals together. Solder is an alloy that is designed to melt at a lower temperature than the noble metal one is soldering. Therefore, it is a different alloy than the noble metal. The heat used for this process is very high, and thus often results in a visible seam, discoloration or fire scale in the solder area.

Laser welding is a process in which light energy is used to weld the noble metals to themselves; this process fuses the noble metal on a molecular level resulting in a finished product that is all one alloy. When adding metal or “laser filler wire” with the laser welder, we will almost always add the same noble alloy. The heat used in the laser welding process is so localized that it results in a seamless, undetectable work zone that is not discolored in any way.

What is the difference between European an US finger sizes?

US Ring Size System – This system is based on the non-metric British inch and is used not only in the US, but in Canada and Mexico as well.

European Ring Size System – This system is used by most EU countries, such as, France and Scandinavia. It is also used by Russia. There may be other countries that also use this system, which is based on the metric system. The numbers of each size simply translates to the circumference of the inside of the ring in millimeters. So a size 40 would mean the inside circumference of a ring is also 40 mm.

US SIZE EU SIZE US SIZE EU SIZE US SIZE EU SIZE
3 44 7.5 55.5 12 67.5
3.5 45.5 8 57 12.5 68.5
4 46.5 8.5 58 13 70
4.5 48 9 59.5 13.5 71
5 49 9.5 61 14 72
5.5 50.5 10 62 14.5 73.5
6 51.5 10.5 63.5 15 74.5
6.5 53 11 64.5 15.5 76
7 54.5 11.5 66 16 77

What are the production charges?

Build charges and design charges vary from job to job. Our prices in line with market value for the level of quality and timeliness we deliver and will be quoted at the beginning of your project.

If you provide us with CAD files in file formats other than a .stl or .slc we may have additional work to create a .stl file and additional charges may apply.

BUSINESS QUESTIONS

How to open a new account?

New customers can register a new account and begin using the basic functionality on our CUSTOMER DASHBOARD. Look for the New Customers button.

You will also need to download our forms, fill them out and email to  customerservice@pafcocasting.com , fax 888-269-9029 or mail them back to us.

To establish a new account you will be asked to provide:

  • minimum of two industry references
  • JBT report with no unfavorable activity
  • if you don’t have JBT membership, you will be asked for two credit references

You can also call our office for assistance, or come by in person. You can even send your work and contact information to us and we will contact you.

How to establish the credit?

We extend credit to well-rated JBT accounts with accompanying references. You can download our credit application and email to customerservice@pafcocasting.com , fax 888-269-9029, or mail it to us.

Does Pafco accept credit cards?

Yes, we accept all major credit cards, but 3% extra charge will be added to your invoice.

Can merchandise be returned?

All finished items are non-returnable and non-refundable. Finished items include those which have been polished, set with stones (diamond or gemstones), or raw casting. Finished items also include; any item, which has been custom made or any product that has been set with customers’ stones as well as any items, which have been adjusted, altered, sized and polished.

What are the hours of operation?

We are open Monday through Friday 9:00AM to 5:30PM.

Do I have to sign a confidentiality agreement?

Yes, You can download our confidentiality agreement . Simply fill in the customer information and send it to us. We will sign it, and send it back to you.

Do you have a required minimum order?

There are no minimum orders at Pafco.

How do you ship?

We ship FedEx, UPS or USPS (depend on customer preferences). All packages go out insured and will be charged to your account. If you have your own account with shipping courier, we can charge all shipping directly.