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Jewelry Education and Advice

  • Getting to Know Citrine (November’s Birthstone)

    Okay, okay…we’re getting to this a little late. We’re midway through November and just now addressing its beautiful gemstone, citrine. Well actually, topaz is considered November’s primary birthstone but since citrine and topaz look so familiar, they’re often confused.

    Citrine is a variety of crystalline quartz and range in color (yellow to red-orange). It was often considered a lesser-than gem due to its over abundance.

    But in the last few decades, this gem has increased in status. This is mainly due to the fact that fashion trends have consistently focused on earth tones and citrine pairs so nicely with that color family.

    As usual in the gemworld, shade matters. Less intense colors fall into the lower range of value (pale or smoky citrine, for instance) whereas the most desired gems are richly saturated (yellow, orange and reddish).

    Citrine is commonly referred to as  the“healing quartz,” because legend has it citrine promotes energy and vitality in whomever wears it. Citrine also helps foster wealth and abundance.




  • A (Quick) History of Hatpins


    Like other collectible items, hatpins have a detailed history of both functionality and craftsmanship.

    Hatpins have been around since as far back as the 1400’s. Their heyday was between the 1880’s and 1920’s. (Hair styles became short after that, making the pins unnecessary.)

    They generally ranged in size between 6 and 12 inches long (depending on the size of the hat they needed to secure to a woman’s head–sometimes the hats were quite big).

    Hatpins were either practical or quite ornate, made from material such as precious metals, gemstones and plastics.

    Did you know: In 1908, an English judge, fearing that their hatpins could be used as weapons in his court, ordered a group of suffragettes on trial to remove their hatpins and hats.

    Did you know: there’s a hatpin society in existence today? Check them out! 





  • What Jewelry can you Live in?


    Most jewelry lovers have a piece that stays on them no matter what (excluding wedding rings for the married folks). Sometimes its a school ring or a simple but meaningful pendant necklace or smart stud earrings that look good with just about any outfit.

    But is it good to wear your jewelry all of the time? Is it hygienically sound? Does constant wear harm your jewelry?

    An article in Self has this to say:

    According to Marina Peredo, M.D., F.A.A.D, Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and founder of Marina I. Peredo, M.D., P.C. Dermatology and Spatique Medical Spa in Smithtown, N.Y., continuously wearing jewelry really isn’t a big deal — as long as you clean it regularly and the materials don’t irritate your skin.

    “You can potentially damage your jewelry by constantly wearing it, but there are no major health risks to wearing jewelry every day, which includes sleeping and showering,” she says.

    So while it feels right to wear your favorite pieces day in and out, its often important to give your body (and your jewelry) a break. Dirt and bacteria can irritate the skin and constant wear can damage the jewelry.

    So take some short holidays from your favorite pieces: take them off and clean them properly. Tend to the skin that’s always covered by your jewelry, whether that means cleaning your piercings well or slathering some moisturizers on skin that hasn’t seen the light of day in a while!



  • Why wear clip-on earrings?

    If you’re anything like me, you had a mom (or aunt or grandmother) who wore them. And quietly, you always wondered why. Clip-on earrings seemed like a dull, quiet act of masochism. No it didn’t hurt a lot–but it certainly didn’t feel good. (And let’s not even discuss those screw-on earrings…yikes!)

    So what are the benefits for clip-on earrings (when post earrings seem infinitely more comfortable)? 

    Well, for one thing: you give your ear lobes a break. The constant tug on your ears from heavy earrings can lead to elongated holes and in the worst case scenario, a split of your earlobe (which often takes cosmetic surgery to repair).

    Another benefit of the clip-on: they’re not your mother’s clip-ons anymore! They’re designed now to sit on your ears lightly an gently. (We like smaller to mid-size clip-on earrings to really experience how comfortable they can be.)

    Lastly, clip-ons (even larger ones) can be fun for a night out. They open up a new world of design possibilities (think thrift store finds) and even if you feel a little tug, its only for a few hours.


    These clip-on earrings are killing me.
  • Sterling Silver – Jewelry’s Workhouse Metal

    Sterling silver is the workhouse of jewelry metals. Not as glamorous as its gold or platinum counterparts, but it makes up for it with its malleability, beauty and durability.  But don’t let its sensible price-tag make you think its cheap; top designers around the world use it in their high-end designs.

    So what is sterling silver exactly?

    Sterling silver is generally 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metal alloy (usually copper).

    To ensure you’re getting the best quality sterling silver jewelry,  buy from established, reputable jewelry companies and look for marks like these:

    • 925 or .925
    • sterling
    • sterling silver

    Actually authentic 925 sterling silver is not that inexpensive. But the extra cost is worth it for the quality and lifetime value of the jewelry.

    Is sterling silver durable? 

    Interestingly, sterling silver jewelry can last a lifetime. Its all about the care (not surprisingly).

    How do I clean sterling silver jewelry:

    The best part with cleaning sterling silver jewelry? You can do it your home using basic ingredients:

    • Soap and water: Considered the best way to clean sterling silver.
    • Baking soda and water: Ditch the toothpaste idea and go for this basic recipe instead.
    • White vinegar and baking soda: This is good for heavier tarnish. Soak your sterling silver in ½ cup of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda and let the jewelry sit for two to three hours. Rinse jewelry and pat dry.
    • Finish with a polish: Just for a little extra shine!
    Style 102798 Sterling silver heart shaped necklace with .06ct t.w. round natural diamonds and milgrained edges, set on an 18" cable chain.

    Style 102798. Sterling silver heart shaped necklace with .06ct t.w. round natural diamonds and milgrained edges, set on an 18″ cable chain.

  • Getting to know your REAL Skin Tone (and how to choose jewelry accordingly)

    Many people have a particular metal preference when it comes to jewelry. “I only wear silver” or “Gold is my favorite” for example. But (and its an important “but”), those favorite metals might not go well with your skin undertone.

    This video goes into detail so you too can find the true undertone to your skin (not to be mistaken by skin color, which can change). That way you can choose your jewelry accordingly.

  • Simple photography tips for jewelry designers on a budget

    This video is geared toward other jewelry designers but applies just as easily to jewelry lovers who want to show off their new bling on social media. A good jewelry shot really shows off aspects of your new piece that you might not have even seen yourself!

    Post-production editing can also do a lot to make an okay shot into a killer image.


  • A Brief History of the Pearl

    Pearls are considered a timeless classic. And for good reason. Pearls have been a form of adornment and status for thousands of years, all around the world.

    As early as 2300 BC, pearls were the go-to gift for royalty, symbolizing loyalty (from the giver) and wisdom (of the receiver). In the first century, Julius Caesar even passed a law that declared that pearls should only be worn by the ruling classes.

    Meanwhile over in India, pearls were believed to pass on calm to its wearer, attracting both good luck and wealth. The Mahraja Khande Rao Gaekwad of Baroda donned a legendary seven-strand necklace, so much so that the prized necklace gained a name: the Baroda Pearls.

    Pearls were also a significant part of trade, especially after they were discovered in Central and South America in the 15th century. This ushered in what was called the Pearl Age.

    An obvious form of wealth and status, the demand escalated, especially in Western Europe, where royals and aristocrats wanted to emulate their peers in China, India and Arab states.

    And by the 19th century, demand for pearl jewelry became so high that the supply of natural pearls began to dwindle, making natural pearl jewelry prices skyrocket to six or even seven figures at auctions.

    Today people can choose more eco-friendly freshwater pearls who use sustainable practices to create the opalescent final product. See below.

  • When to pierce a child’s ears

    Okay, there’s a vast amount of opinion on this topic. Anywhere from “I pierced my daughter’s ears when she was a baby” to “I wouldn’t do it unless my child asked…and even then, she might be too young.” So needless to say, much of it lies in opinion and culture (in Venezuela for instance, there’s a tendency to pierce a child’s ears at a very young age).

    But we decided to follow a practical path when deciding: responsibility. A piercing is a serious enough endeavor so your child should be old enough to take care of the new piercings (yes, that eliminates very young children). Just like owning a pet, a child should understand the importance of a new piercing and follow through on all the hygienic steps that are needed. (Ideally you should not be cleaning your child’s ears twice a day!)

    Other points to consider (from a jeweler’s point of view): choose earrings made of surgical stainless steel, platinum, titanium or 14K gold. These are the least likely to provoke an allergic reaction.

    Go an expert. Some pediatricians will pierce your child’s ears. If not, popular jewelry chains often have a stricter protocol of hygiene and expertise. Do your research first.




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.

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