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Jewelry Education and Advice

  • The Early History of Chokers


    Degas “Dancer onstage with a bouquet,” circa 1878

    Sure, we see them on the runway but did you know the history of chokers extends way back? That’s right, the simple choker has seen a vast history that keeps it trending to this day. Technically a necklace, you’ll find the choker throughout Chinese, Native American, Indian, and Egyptian cultures.

    Take the French Revolution:

    Women took to wearing red ribbons around their necks to pay homage to those who met their death at the guillotine. The ribbon could be worn around the neck, or another fashion came in the form of an X around the shoulders and back. [Source: Buzzfeed]

    The choker become increasingly popular in the late 1800’s where fashionable ladies, ballerinas (as depicted in the Degas image above) and even prostitutes donned them (a black choker often signified a “lady of the night”).

    Initially chokers were often simple cloth but that morphed into new material such as luxe diamonds, pearls, lace and velvet. They were frequently custommade (which we love!) so they fit just right (because a droopy collar just won’t do).

    Looking for a custom designed choker? Let’s find one that keeps you trendsetting for years to come!

  • Emeralds – Understanding the Hue

    A Trapiche emerald.

    A Trapiche emerald


    St. Hildegard of Bingen, a noted lithologist, once declared, “All the green of nature is concentrated within the Emerald.”

    Each and every gem has its own special personality. Almost like humans, they have expressive traits that tell us about the gem. Emeralds are no different. Birthstone of May, emeralds come in a wide variety of hues.

    According to WikiHow:

    Hue refers to the purity of an emerald’s color, and it is one of key points to consider regarding color quality. Most emeralds have a blue-green tint, while others may have a yellow-green tint. The most valuable have little to no tint, however, and are as pure green as possible.

    This is not to be confused with tone. Tone refers to the darkness or lightness of an emerald. Emeralds span from very light to very dark (with the more precious emeralds fallen on the darker end).

    Emeralds are a powerful gem, heavy with history and meaning. Emeralds “promotes friendship, balance between partners, and is particularly known for providing domestic bliss, contentment and loyalty.” [Source: Crystal Vaults]

    Whatever your gem of choice, we can custom design a piece especially for you!


    Columbian emeralds.

  • Jewelry as an Armor Against Stress?


    We understand the complicated and multi-layered psychological aspects of jewelry. Our clients have deep attachments to the pieces we design, and we get why. When every aspect of a design is imbued with specific meaning and attached to deep feelings of love and commitment, it becomes more than just jewelry.

    This latest New York Times piece postulates that jewelry may even be used as a form of protection against stress.

    Since President Trump’s inauguration in January, Pamela Love has received more requests for pieces from her Dagger jewelry collection than anytime since its introduction almost a decade ago. And Ms. Love, a New York-based designer, has no doubts about why her retailers and social media followers have renewed interest in the fierce-looking, but harmless, miniature daggers dangling from earrings and necklaces.

    “Women want to feel tough,” she said. “They want something that reminds them they are tough, and they want something that shows the world they are tough. It’s not about violence. It’s about feeling strong and protected.”

    Do you agree? Do you wear jewelry as a form of stress relief or protection?

  • What to do with your Junk Jewelry

    If you’re like, oh…a million other women, you have a drawer or box for your “junk jewelry.” Or maybe this lesser-than jewelry is mixed in with your good pieces. Wherever you put it–or however much you accrue–it could be going to better use than collecting dust or tangling with other jewelry.

    This video suggests some quick and easy ways to repurpose your jewelry so it has a brand new life…and gets out of that black hole of a junk jewelry drawer!

  • Choosing the Perfect Earrings to Suit your Face

    We’ve seen it before. The wrong earrings can have a dramatic effect on the look of your face. For instance (as this video mentions) long earrings (the type that almost touch the shoulder) can have an elongating effect on face–good for a round face but certainly not so good for a longer face.

    The easiest way to tell? Grab a selection of earrings, pull your hair back and stand in front of a good, well-lit mirror. Then try each pair, one by one. When you try earrings on sequentially like this, its much easier to tell whether a pair is a right fit for your size face.

  • How to Keep your Jewelry Safe in Hotels


    Barely a day goes where we don’t hear news about jewelry thefts of some sorts. Whether its a high-powered celebrity or a local break-in, no one is immune to prying hands.

    Luckily, there are steps you can take when you travel to make sure your valuable jewelry is safe, leaving you to truly relax and enjoy your vacation.

    First and foremost, take advantage of your hotel’s safe deposit box. This is where precious gemstones and jewelry belong when you’re not wearing it. Get into the routine of familiarizing yourself with the process so it becomes habitual and easy to integrate into your vacation schedule. Again, if you’re not wearing it, your valuables belong in a safe deposit box. 

    When it comes to visitors, be selective. Most of us meet new people in public while on vacation. And that’s a great thing. But be aware: people who steal come in all shapes and sizes. As a matter of fact, thieves can be quite shrewd, charming and outwardly trustworthy. Get in the habit of meeting new friends out in public and not inviting them into your sanctuary: your hotel room.

    A vacation is always a good idea. And bringing your amazing jewelry with you to show off to the world is part of the fun. It takes very little to accustom yourself to habits that will ensure the safety of your valuables. Some simple safeguards go a long way!


  • Jewelry Style Make-up, Vanessa Hudgens Style

    Adornment can be anything you want it to be. When it comes to make-up, jewelry can be indicated with the use of the right placement of color and design.

    Nobody does this better than fashion guru/celebrity Vanessa Hudgens, who wows the crowds at Coachella each year by donning her particular brand of distinctive desert fashion.

    In this video, make-up expert Angel Marie demonstrates how you too can have that Hudgens-style bling feel via the right make-up art.

  • Facts about the British Crown Jewels


    The Imperial State Crown is worn by the Queen at each State Opening of Parliament. It is one of the youngest crowns in the collection and holds a number of much older gems. The crown was remade in 1937 after the previous frame weakened under the weight of the gemstones (!)


    Other facts about the Crown Jewels?

    The British crown jewels include the massive Cullinan Diamond, the biggest ever gem-quality rough diamond ever uncovered. Discovered in 1905, it weighed 3,106.75 carats.

    The Crown Jewels are kept in the Tower of London and are the ceremonial treasures acquired by English kings and queens. They have been used by English kings and queens since 1660 or earlier. The Crown Jewels are part of the national heritage and held by The Queen as Sovereign.


    Elizabeth II after her coronation in 1953.


  • Jewelry Hacks for Everyday Jewelry

    We strongly advocate wearing jewelry as much as possible. (Why spend a single day unadorned afterall?) These easy jewelry hacks help you clean your jewelry easily (using household ingredients) and keep your jewelry safe and untangled (like using a simple straw).

    Remember: the more you know about taking care of your jewelry, the longer it will last and look amazing!

  • What exactly is a Rose Brilliant Cut?

    There are many different cuts of gemstones; so many that our customers are often left scratching their heads when it comes to choosing a cut that is right for them.

    We’re privileged to be working with The Diamond Foundry (a lab grown diamond company from San Francisco). One of their master cuts is the Rose Brilliant Cut.

    So let’s clarify:

    What is a Rose Cut?

    Considered of one of the original diamond cuts of antique and heirloom jewelry, the rose cut dates as far back as the 1500’s and is considered a precursor to the brilliant cut.

    The stones are cut to resemble a rose (hence the name) by reflecting the narrow, spiral effect of their petals. This means a flat bottom and a larger surface area to truly showcase the stone’s brilliance.

    Historically, by the 1900’s, advanced technology made the brilliant cut popular, leaving the rose cut to fade away…at least for the time being.

    Decades later, Tiffany’s created a popular rose cut solitaire setting, made with an open mount so the light could shine through even more and provide the utmost in dazzle effect. Some innovators added even more sparkle by baking thin layers of gold or silver with the stone, increasing the reflective capabilities.

    Today the rose cut has once again seen a resurgence (everything old is new again afterall) with celebrities like Camilla McConaughey and her breathtaking Cathy Waterman Rose cut engagement ring.

    What is a Brilliant Cut?

    A brilliant is the name of a cut (not of a stone, as often misunderstood). It generally has 57 or 58 facets, which creates maximum reflection of light for the diamond. It is one of the most popular cuts since it provides extreme “dazzle” effect.

    Okay, so what exactly is a Rose Brilliant Cut then?

    The Diamond Foundry’s Rose Brilliant Cut is a modernized version of the Jubilee Cut (aka 20th Century Cut or Jubilant Cut) which was designed for Queen Victoria’s 60th Year of Reign for Diamond Jubilee.

    This unique cut normally has a total of 88 facets (compared to the 58 facets found in round brilliant diamonds). There is no culet which provides an extra glittering effect. Some consider it the brightest cut you can find in a diamond.

    Combining the sparkle power of a brilliant cut diamond with the historically dazzling beauty of the rose cut and Jubilee cut diamond, the rose brilliant cut diamond has a unique optical power of its own.

    But enough of the shop talk. Simply let the video below do the talking!





100 Years in Jewells Business

Today, Joseph Schubach builds upon his family's experience and continues the tradition with Joseph Schubach Jewelers, offering both intimate jewelry brokering in his Scottsdale, Arizona showroom and full-service online sales to clients from around the world, where he has maintained that personal customer connection in the virtual world.

Contact Us

Call Joe, Margie or Jen for expert help at (888) 724-8222