Also---some how-to instructions are at the bottom of this post!
I just read something I never heard of before----baking CZ jewelry, in a pan in the oven. Say WHAT? Apparently, people are taking their CZ rings and other jewelry, cleaning it, and putting it in an oven and baking it for a few hours. Why? Because they say this makes their CZ stones look MORE like diamonds. They turn out "warmer" and "less white" I've read.
This seemed weird to me. But maybe it's because everyone is so used to seeing diamonds that are NOT colorless (very rare and very expensive) and CZ are colorless, so this makes it look more "real". A lady bought a gorgeous Tacori canary CZ ring from QVC in a cut I've never seen---a combination of emerald cut and cushion cut (!!!)---and baked that ring (which had to cost a LOT) and she feels it came out better, more diamond-like. WHAT? She posted pictures and somehow had two of these rings, one baked and one "raw", and HERE is a link to that QVC forum and her pictures. Do you see any difference? Here is one of her "after" pics. The baked ring is on the bottom. Here is her picture:
So, does the bottom ring look more like a diamond? Does the top ring NOT look like a diamond? If she baked the bottom ring, do the side stones look better? She is very pleased with the baked ring. And it is a really beautiful ring, either way! This makes me want to buy it from QVC myself, but it's probably sold out or no longer available.
MELTING POINTS OF METALS
On various forums where baking jewelry is discussed, a lot of people wondered if the metals in the rings would be affected or melt or anything. If you were wondering the same thing, I thought I'd post the melting point of various metals, so you can see that 400 degrees F will do nothing to your jewelry--even lead!
- Sterling Silver 1,763° F
- Gold 1,948° F
- Rhodium 3,565° F
- Platinum 3,215° F
- Brass 1,710° F
- Copper 1,984° F
- Nickel 2,651° F
- Zinc 787.2° F
- Lead 621.5° F
- Tin 449.5° F
UPDATE: My Experiment!
I have several sizes of a couple of different vintage vermeil CZ rings, such as a marquise-cut 9-stone band ring. I decided to bake a few rings at 400 degrees for an hour or so, let them cool off (another hour or two) and then compare.
RESULTS: To my SHOCK, the baked rings ALL look better somehow. Is it my imagination? Perhaps, but there is a DEFINITE change for the better in the marquise 9-stone band ring. The stones do look more clear and are less "grey" than the unbaked ring, but that could be because...and this is the shocker...the gold vermeil looks better! It's brighter, shinier and "more gold" looking!! Now that is a surprise!! So I can't be sure if the stones themselves look better in the baked ring, or if it's because the gold vermeil looks brighter. Here are two pictures:
|The baked ring is to the right on top of the unbaked ring on the left. See how the gold is brighter?|
|Baked ring is on the bottom, unbaked on top. The stones are clearer--or just the gold brighter?|
I have now heat-treated several rings (about 10 rings!) and EVERY one has turned out looking more beautiful---some with a very subtle stone change, and some with dramatic results. The CZ stones really do look warmer and clearer somehow, less "cold" stark white, and more like how a diamond or even a moissanite looks. Since Moissanite is just a lab-created stone as well, but with ridiculous prices, I think the heat-treated CZ are a WAY better option! Prettier too.
HOW TO DO THIS:
- Place your jewelry on an oven-safe glass dish/pan (such as corningware or Anchor Hocking etc.)
- After it's in the oven, turn the oven on to 400 degrees.
- Let the CZ "bake" at that temp for about an hour. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR.
- Turn the oven off, and let the oven cool *without opening the door*
- After a couple of hours, it should be cool enough to safely open the door and see how your jewelry looks!
- You can repeat this process if you want!
The metals will NOT be affected by 400 degree heat! The melting point of all metals is much higher than 400 degrees (see chart above)! Even tin has a melting point of about 450 degrees.
And that's it!
PLEASE NOTE: This is for Cubic Zirconia (CZ) stones that are loose (unmounted), or in jewelry that are prong-set or bezel-set. This is NOT recommended for crystals that have been glued into place, because the melting point of glue is pretty low, and the foil backing on crystals can darken or melt. Sometimes you might find a CZ ring that was cheaply repaired with glue. So please do not try this with any piece of jewelry that has been glued, or on foil-backed rhinestones/crystals.