We are dedicated to creating high quality custom jewelry pieces with the potential to become family heirlooms that are passed down for generations. Because of this commitment, we work only with precious metals which, due to their higher luster and ductility, are the preferred metals for use in art and jewelry.
Silver, gold, platinum, and palladium are the most well-known precious metals and also the best of the group to use for making jewelry. These precious metals are also considered to be "noble" metals, meaning they are resistant to corrosion and oxidation in moist air, unlike most base metals. We offer all of these precious metal options to our clients but, we do usually recommend the more durable gold or platinum options instead of sterling silver for your wedding jewelry, since wedding bands and engagement rings tend to be worn every day over a lifetime. Of course, we are happy to work with whichever precious metal you prefer.
Takayas & Co. offers 14K and 18K gold in 4 different color varieties: yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and gold plated with black rhodium.
White gold's bright, silvery color is improved with various alloys like nickel that are mixed in to help give it a more intense white sheen. As a final step, it is also plated with rhodium, an extremely hard and rare metal, which serves to improve white gold's durability and color. From time to time, you will have to re-plate the rhodium to restore your white gold's previous silver-white luster.
For customers who are interested in a black metal look for their jewelry piece, we can use black rhodium (plated over white gold) to give their jewelry a dark, rich color. Like regular rhodium, this black rhodium will need to be re-plated periodically over time.
Gold purity is measured in karats (which are different from carats, the standard gem weight measurement). 24K (twenty-four karat) gold is pure gold, however, because it is so soft and easily damaged, we do not recommend it for jewelry. 22K gold is also rarely used because its purity makes it too malleable and prone to scratching or bending. However, we are happy to offer 14K and 18K gold in our designs as they are the best balance between budget, strength, and gold content.
Platinum's rareness and durability makes it one of the most popular metals for jewelry like engagement rings and wedding bands that are designed to be worn everyday for a lifetime. Unlike sterling silver, platinum's naturally white sheen will never fade as it does not tarnish or oxidize and, unlike white gold, it will not require re-plating over the years.
Platinum is also 90%–95% pure and naturally hypoallergenic which makes it a great choice for anyone with metal sensitivities.
While we recommend periodically bringing in all jewelry for cleaning and upkeep due to normal, everyday wear and tear, platinum requires the least amount of maintenance of all the precious metals.
Palladium is a rare silver-white metal that belongs to the platinum family. Like platinum, it also possesses a superior ability to withstand corrosion and oxidation and, as a result, palladium will retain its naturally white color without requiring re-plating.
Similar to platinum, one of the benefits of this 95% pure precious metal is that people with metal allergies find that their skin doesn't react negatively to it.
Palladium also has a lower metal density which makes it a great choice to lighten up heavier jewelry pieces.
Sterling silver is the most affordable of the precious metals, and it is a beautiful, popular choice for those who love the white metal look but may be interested in something a little more modestly priced than platinum.
Of all the metals, silver is intrinsically more prone to tarnish, however, its brilliance is easily restored. If your silver jewelry piece begins to show signs of tarnish, this tarnish can be easily removed with silver polish and a polishing cloth available at any jewelry store.
Because pure silver is relatively soft and easily damaged, it is typically mixed with other metal alloys like copper and nickel to improve its hardness and durability. For some people with metal allergies, these alloys can irritate the wearer's skin. If you have any metal sensitivities, we usually recommend a purer metal like platinum or palladium for your jewelry.
Due to the intricate, three-dimensional nature of the designs Takayas creates, industrial metals such as stainless steel, titanium, or tungsten are typically not an option because his designs require precious metals which can be shaped by hand. Unfortunately, industrial strength metals can only be made into simple flat bands because they have to be cut in a factory with specialized machinery. This is also why rings made out of stainless steel, titanium, or tungsten are not resizable.
With so many different grades and colors on the market, it can be overwhelming selecting a quality diamond. It is very important to us that you feel comfortable trusting our diamonds.
Takayas is a certified gemologist, and he personally inspects every stone that our small network of trusted gem suppliers shows us before choosing the best diamonds for our customers' budgets.
In order to maintain our high quality standards, Takayas likes to select diamonds for maximum visual brilliance that are H color or higher, Very Good to Excellent cut, and in the SI–VS clarity range unless specified otherwise. These diamonds are a great quality while still reasonably priced, and any minute imperfections are so tiny that they can only be seen under a microscope.
If you are interested in a higher grade of diamond, please let us know and we will be happy to find one for your special jewelry piece.
We want you to feel 100% comfortable working with us and will provide you with everything you want to know about your diamond. All of our 0.50 ct diamonds and up come with an official certificate from GIA (the Gemological Institute of America), widely considered to be the most trusted name in diamond grading, or from EGL (the European Gemological Laboratory) upon request.
Your diamond's certificate will include a diagram of unique internal and external identifying characteristics in addition to a report detailing all of your diamond's qualities such as color, clarity, carat weight, etc. This report will also contain a registered tracking number that has been specifically assigned to your unique stone.
Diamonds that are a 0.25 ct and smaller are not typically sold with a certificate, but we can provide 0.25 ct stones with certificates upon request.
We also work with a variety of colored diamonds. Popular diamond color options include pink, yellow, blue, champagne, and black.
Diamond Education: The 4 C's
When it comes to selecting a diamond, the 4 Cs – cut, color, carat weight, and clarity – are the universal standard used to assess the quality of a diamond. It is useful to understand the 4 Cs so that you'll know what to look for in your diamond.
A diamond is cut to maximize its brilliance, and the quality of the cut is then graded based on how the diamond's facets interact with light. A diamond's cut will range from Excellent to Poor based on its brightness (the amount of light it reflects internally and externally), fire (the rainbow-colored flashes of light that are reflected back when exposed to light), and scintillation (the amount of sparkle), as well as weight ratio, polish, and symmetry.
A diamond's color is graded to determine its relative absence of color: the less color, the more valuable the stone. The "whiteness" of diamonds is graded using a color scale which ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow or brown). For "colorless" and some "near colorless" grades of diamonds, these color distinctions are so slight that they are often invisible to the untrained eye.
A diamond's carat weight is the standard unit of weight used to measure diamonds and other gemstones. Carat weight is measured with a highly precise electronic scale, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a carat. When choosing a diamond, it is useful to remember that a stone's carat weight is a separate measurement from its diameter. For example: a 0.49 ct diamond may appear larger when viewed from a top-down angle in a ring's setting compared to a 0.50 ct diamond, if the lighter-weight stone has a larger table diameter measurement. (The chart below shows average table diameter measurements associated with carat weights.)
A diamond's clarity is based on the number, size, and visibility of the tiny internal imperfections (inclusions) and external imperfections (blemishes) that occur in almost all natural diamonds. Many of these imperfections can only be seen under a microscope, and they do not affect a diamond's beauty in any visibly discernible way.
A diamond is assigned a clarity grade by a trained grader who will evaluate the stone under 10x magnification; this grade will range from F (flawless) to I (included).
Precious Colored Gemstone Options
Historically, gemstones that were classified as "precious" were valued for their extreme rarity, and that is still true today. However, the term is really more of a tradition since there are now a few "semi-precious" gemstones that are actually more rare and expensive than the cardinal four precious stones: diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.
Alexandrite is one of these rare and expensive "semi-precious" gems so, even though it's not a traditional precious gem, we have included it in the precious options section.
Of course, the traditional colored precious gemstone options are still quite valuable and sought after. Takayas is a certified gemologist with connections to multiple gem suppliers so, he is able to select gemstones from a wide variety of resources and confirm the quality of the stones himself before purchasing the best one for each client's specific project.
When choosing gemstones for jewelry that will be worn every day, such as an engagement ring, it is helpful to consider the gem's Mohs scale rating which measures the relative hardness of a mineral by its resistance to scratching. This scale ranks stones from 1 - 10, with diamonds ranking a 10 as the hardest mineral and softer stones like opals ranked at 5.5 - 6.5; each mineral on the scale can be scratched by the ones ranked above it. In general, the recommendation is to select gems that are ranked 7 or higher on the Mohs scale for jewelry that is more practical for daily wear.
Sapphire is a popular gem from the mineral family corundum. Typically known for its deep blue color, sapphire is also available in a variety of color options including white, pink, orange, and yellow. With a Mohs hardness rating of 9, sapphire is second in hardness only to diamond, which makes this stone ideal for wedding jewelry.
Like sapphire, ruby is also from the mineral family of corundum and has a Mohs hardness rating of 9. Ruby is known for its lovely crimson color, and its durability makes it a great red gem choice for your ring's center stone.
Known for its vivid forest green color, emerald is the most valuable form of the mineral beryl. Although emerald is a hard gem material, rating a 7.5–8 on the Mohs scale, it can also sometimes be brittle.
Alexandrite is a rare color-changing variety of the mineral chrysoberyl that can appear bluish-green in natural or fluorescent light, and brownish or purple-red in incandescent light. This gem rates an 8.5 on the Mohs scale. Since naturally mined Alexandrite is incredibly rare, lab-grown Alexandrite is a popular choice because of its availability and significantly less expensive price point.
Semi-Precious Gemstone Options
In general, semi-precious gemstones are a more affordable option for your center stone, compared to the traditional precious gemstones (diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires). Of course, certain "semi-precious" gems such as Alexandrite are more on par with precious gemstone pricing.
We are happy to offer an assortment of semi-precious gemstone options and have listed our most popular choices below. If you don't see your gemstone preference included in this list, please contact us to see if it's a material we can source for you from our trusted gemstone suppliers.
As mentioned in the Precious Colored Gemstone Options section, it's a good idea to consider the gem's Mohs scale rating when deciding on the center stone for your custom ring. This scale ranks the relative scratch-resistance of minerals from 1 - 10, with diamonds scoring a 10 as the hardest mineral. For jewelry that is more practical for daily wear, the general recommendation is to select gems that are ranked at least 7 or higher on the Mohs scale, making varieties of quartz and topaz good affordable center stone options.
Like emerald, aquamarine is a variety of beryl with a Mohs hardness rating of 7.5–8. Aquamarine is best known for its light, icy blue color.
The most precious form of quartz, amethyst is a great choice for purple gems. Amethyst rates a 7 on the Mohs scale.
A warmer counterpart to amethyst, citrine is also a variety of quartz that rates a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. Citrine is known for its golden yellow color.
Garnet is a red gem known for its very deep scarlet color. Garnet has a Mohs hardness rating of 6.5–7.5.
Peridot is a popular choice for people who want more of a fresh, yellow-green stone, as opposed to the deep pine color of emeralds. Peridot has a Mohs hardness rating of 6.5–7.
Like sapphire, topaz comes in an ample variety of colors including white and pink, but the most well-known topaz color is a vibrant, medium blue. Topaz has a Mohs hardness rating of 8, making this material a durable and affordable colored gem choice.
Tourmaline is a great gem for people who want to use pink or green stones in their jewelry piece. (Although more expensive than the average semi-precious gem, this material is still more affordable than emerald or pink sapphire.) Tourmaline has a Mohs hardness rating of 7– 7.5.