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General Jewelry Info

  • Retail and Desire in the Jewelry Business

    I stumbled across this article by columnist James Alperinover coffee this morning. Good points about the changing mindset of today’s customers:

    When you consider the traditional products that older generations considered to be within the realm of luxury, it seems that the younger generation has set its sights in a whole new direction. The status symbols for Gen Y are not fine china, crystal and sterling silver flatware as much as they are the latest big-screen TV, computer or i-whatever.

    Ask a young person, “What time is it?” and they will answer you by pulling out their cell phone, not by looking at their watch, an object that most of their peers consider an artifact. After all, a watch only tells time; today’s “cell phones” connect their owners to the world via the Internet.

    Our industry is not just facing a crisis because of the global economic downturn. We are faced with a crisis of changing tastes and realities. We tend to think that the Internet has affected our industry only through changes in customers’ buying habits and their heightened abilities to become educated consumers. It is true that the days when a customer knew nothing about products they wished to purchase disappeared when “Google” became a household word. But it goes beyond that. Besides changing the way the world educates itself and shops, the digital age has actually changed what consumers want and turned what generations of Americans have perceived as luxury upside down.

    Remember, we are engaged in a “want” business, not a “need” business. The younger generation has broken ties with the past, for better or worse. Nearly gone are the days when people visited their trusted family jeweler just as they visited their trusted family doctor. Even in medicine today, you no longer meet with a family physician who made house calls (remember those?) carrying a black medical bag. Now, you go to a large multi-doctor practice and proceed to sit in a waiting room.

    There is, today, a lack of commitment in society, a fickleness that is all around us in our “throwaway” culture, and one that is reflected in what is happening within the jewelry industry. Today’s young people do not want the commitment of one expensive piece of jewelry. They prefer fashionable costume jewelry to accessorize the styles of the moment. When costume jewelry breaks or goes out of style, it is discarded, its ultimate destiny the same as the sweater that it was purchased to go with.

    There is no insurance premium to pay, nothing to cover a potential loss. There is no sense of, “I have to wear this piece because it was so expensive to buy.” There is no sense of obligation, because, to the younger generation, it is frankly easier and often more fun to own and wear many pieces of costume jewelry than it is to cherish one expensive piece of fine jewelry. Fashion jewelry is an accessory, not an item of luxury, but it fills a niche in today’s world.

    One area of the jewelry industry that has bucked this trend toward fashion jewelry and ever-shifting tastes has been bridal. An important diamond ring now possesses even greater significance than it did in our grandmothers’ time. The diamond engagement ring has become more a symbol of success and status than an item of pure luxury. So although young people today want to feel free to change their minds without guilt about what items of jewelry to wear, they very much wish to show their friends that they have been successful in their selection of mates, who are, as their rings make evident, also good providers.

    Back in the 1970s, the Swiss watch industry found itself in deep trouble as the Japanese quartz movement watches swept through the watch world. The Swiss government had to come to the aid of an industry left behind as the upstarts from overseas took over the market.

    The industry was in turmoil and it took a lot of work, but the Swiss began to catch up and today are viable quartz watch manufacturers. Even more interesting is the fact that self-winding, automatic watches are again becoming popular. This supports the idea that the pendulum of fashion does, in fact, swing back.

    So when it seems that today’s youth have less interest in fine jewelry than their predecessors, consider this: Before too long, once again, consumers will look to jewelry as a desired luxury item, maybe to wear while talking on their new iPhone and watching their new big-screen TV.

    To add to his points about engagement rings, we also see a trend toward engagement rings and wedding rings made of eco-friendly (and affordable) moissanite, like this beauty below:

    Style 9438M

    Classic Tiffany Style Marquise Shape Moissanite Solitaire

    Classic tiffany style solitaire with a Charles and Colvard created marquise shape moissanite.

    Available Center Stone Size: 1/2ct-1 3/4ct

    Call for Platinum Pricing

  • Jewelry Maitenance – Do’s and Don’ts

    Buying your jewelry is only half the battle. Maintaining it so it looks great for years takes a little know how. Here’s  what one expert has to say:

    1 Don’t wash your jewelry with toothpaste.

    In the field of jewelry there’s a belief that washing the jewelry with toothpaste can make it glossy. Actually, it’s harmful to do so. Toothpaste contains superfine grinding material whose hardness is up to 6~7 degree, almost as high as crystal. Using toothpaste will destroy the surface of jewelries whose hardness is lower than that of crystal, especially pearl, gold. The best solution should be diluted neutral surfactants (such as salad, baby shampoo).

    2 Don’t touch frequently.

    If you touch it hourly, it will affect the glossiness and brightness of jewelry. The human body continues discharge sweat and oil. The oil on the fingers will leave on the jewelry’s surface that it will reduce its glossiness and brightness, especially the diamond, which belongs to pro oily gems, whose surface gets oil easily.

    3 Don’t wash jewelry with tap water

    Tap water has fixed content of chlorine (C1), which damages the surface of the pearl and weaken its luster. The proper way should be washing it with distilled water.

    4 Let your jewelry rest.

    Change your jewelry according to situations. And at least put it away while washing your hands! Some soaps contain different degree of alkaline substances which damages jewelry potentially.

    5 Be careful using a ultrasonic cleaner

    The ultrasonic cleaner has good effects on cleaning gold, especially cleaning gaps. However, the ultrasonic cleaner is not adaptive to all kinds of jewelries. For example, emerald and pearl – their structures would be destroyed when cleaning in the ultrasonic cleaner.

    6 Examine your jewelry periodically

    Remember to examine your precious jewelry carefully every once in a while. It is very important to check out whether your diamond is fixed tightly or not. If it becomes flexible, take it to a professional jewelry service.

    Monica is a freelance writer who has written thousands of articles on various niches. She likes to share her knowledge with her readers and provide them with the best information on various topics. 

    Article Source:

  • Color Enhancement of Natural Diamonds

    Fancy Colored Diamonds

    You may or may not know that diamonds come in all of the colors of the rainbow, from reds and pinks to blues, greens and yellows. However, not all fancy colored diamonds get their color naturally. Below is an article explaining the color enhancement processes of natural diamonds.

    Since the 1990’s, the color of diamonds has also been altered by HPHT process (High Pressure High Temperature). Polished or rough diamonds (natural and synthetic) are processed in the lab under very high pressures and temperatures, mimicking conditions deep in the earth where diamonds are formed. Depending on the composition of the diamond the results could be colorless as well as yellow, green, orange, and very rarely pink and blue. Colors produced by HPHT are permanent and they have the same features as a regular natural diamond.
    There are other methods of diamond treatment such as PVD (pressurized vapor deposit), a color coating scheme, and clarity enhancements such as lasering, [fracture filling] treating, or filling. Color treatment can be done on any synthetic or [natural/minded] diamond. In the US these processes are done under strict and safe conditions.    Article written by Cendico Diamond

  • Quick and Easy Jewelry Tips

    I found this article to contain some easy tips on purchasing costume jewelry (it’s not all created equal!) and jewelry/fashion matching.

    Here are some guidelines to follow when choosing a new piece of jewelry:
    1. Quality: Even inexpensive costume jewelry can be well-made. However, it can also be shoddily put together. Inspect the jewelry and look for the following:
    Are any scratches, stones missing, or chips?
    Is the setting sturdy?
    Will it bend and dent easily?
    How are beads and gems strung together? On cheap elastic or sturdy wire?
    Is it flexible?
    Are the gemstones glued into settings or set with prongs?
    2. Signed vs. Unsigned Jewelry: When purchasing costume jewelry purchasing a signed piece means it comes from a specific designer. Remember that buying designer jewelry does not guarantee better quality!
    Like clothing, sometimes designer-wear is more about the name than the quality of the item. Signed vintage pieces of jewelry can cost an arm and a leg more than unsigned pieces.
    However, you can often get the same look and excellent quality with an unsigned bracelet or pin. Check for quality, and don’t get hung up on names, whether buying a vintage piece of a new piece of jewelry.
    3. Do your research. Are you a person who cares about the latest trends? Check fashion magazines to spot what’s new in the world of accessories. If purchasing a piece online, check out the dealer or the artisan’s reputation.Are previous customers happy with the quality or the product?Did the jewelry arrive just as described?
    Also, don’t purchase jewelry that does not accommodate your lifestyle. Choose styles that will accentuate your style without compromising comfort.
    Bright jewelry stands out best against black or grey clothing. Choose rubies, turquoise, or bright-colored beads to accessorize a simple black outfit.
    Silver works best with cool-colored clothing while gold works best with warm-colored clothing. Silver looks beautiful with blues and greens while gold coordinates well with browns, reds, and yellows.
    Lower-cut shirts and dresses call for a beautiful necklace. Turtlenecks and cowl-necked sweaters look too heavy with a necklace; consider a pendant or a delicate pin instead.
    Earrings that dangle are for evenings out; at the office, earrings should never fall more than an inch below the earlobe. Studs and small hoops work best with suits and professional attire.
    A patterned outfit calls for simple jewelry. A plain gold chain and bracelet is a great way to accent a colorful dress. With jewelry, less is always more. If the piece isn’t adding anything to your outfit, save it for another day.
  • The History of Earrings

    We know how much you love learning at Joe’s blog. And  trust me, we have a lot of information to share! Today, we’re going to impart to you a little history lesson on earrings. Now sit back – you may learn something. And thanks to for the great info:

    Did you know earrings originated in the Middle East? The oldest earrings were unearthed at the royal graves in Iraq!

    In the Renaissance era, earrings were not popular. Women wore wigs, elaborate hairstyles and high collared dresses obscuring the ears. It was not until the 17th century when women wore their hair back that earrings were back in fashion. In the early 18th century, women wore bonnets with wide ribbons covering the ears and chins. Once again earrings became obsolete. In late 18th century, however, hair went back up and earrings were popular again!

    In the early 20th century, piercing of the ears was considered uncivilized and a screw back type of fitting was invented so that ear piercing was no longer necessary. The beginning of emancipation for women! Around 1930’s, clip-ons were invented and then screw-ons. Both styles were widely used for earrings for the next 40 years. Since then, earrings have indeed been revolutionized. Earrings are fun, lots of movements, made of all shapes, sizes, materials and stones and are worn day and night!

    Beginning the 70’s, ear piercing became the fad. Most contemporary earrings are for pierced ears nowadays. For those who don’t like poking holes in their ears (like me), thank goodness that vintage clip-on earrings are still around!

    This stunningly intact 2,000-year-old gold, pearl, and emerald earring was discovered under a parking lot just outside Jerusalem's Old City.

  • Rhodium, The World’s Rarest Metal

    You may or may not be aware of this extremely rare metal from the platinum family, but chances are you own some of the metal which was recently priced at $10,000/ounce. Rhodium is used in the fine jewelry finishing process. White gold jewelry is plated with rhodium to give it a bright white color (remember, all gold starts out as pure, or 24kt, which is extremely yellow. It’s only after alloying the gold that it gets its white(er) color). Rhodium is also used in catalytic converters in automobiles.

    This informative article give some history and insight into rhodium, along with palladium which is another platinum family metal used in jewelry making. It highlights the extremely volatile price of the metal which has seen a greater than tenfold increase in recent years when rhodium reached its peak price of $10,000/oz in 2008. It also explains its extreme scarcity and increasing demand. Click here for the full article. To see examples and additional information on palladium and other metals, visit our Metals section of our blog by clicking here.

  • Jewelry Do or Don’t – Mixing Metals

    This is an often debated issue: if you’re wearing gold, where nothing but gold. If you’re wearing silver, where nothing but silver. That’s what my grandmother believed. She also believe eating candy before bedtime gave you nightmares. So maybe its time we revisit these old “rules of fashion.”

    According to one expert:

    We were once told not to mix metals, and this is one of the old-school rules (like no white after Labor Day) that designers now ignore. Wearing gold with gold and silver with silver creates a more traditional look, but isn’t true fashion all about looking modern?

    The trick is, if you want to mix metals, keep the style of the jewelry the same. A modern gold cuff won’t look right paired back to dainty, antique platinum and diamond earrings. The “stacking trend” lends itself perfectly to the mixing of metals. Stack square or round rings or bangles in different shades of gold. You can even layer gold and silver necklaces for a fashion-forward look. Sometimes rules were made to be broken.

    Hmmm…maybe candy before bedtime did cause nightmares.
  • Alternative Metals Jewelry Catalog

    Here’s a great line of alternative metal jewelry that is available to you. There is a great selection of titanium, tungsten carbide, ceramic and stainless steel wedding rings, necklaces, watches, money clips, etc. Click on the picture to view the PDF version of the catalog. It’s kind of a big file, so be patient.

    Also, the retail prices are MSRP, you’ll get a substantial discount from these. Call for details or send us your questions here.

  • The Difference Between Precious and Semi-Precious Gemstones

    The difference between precious and semi-precious gemstones may seem self-explanatory (“Precious gemstones are just more…precious!) And to some extent, you would be right. But it depends on when you ask the question. Precious and semi-precious gemstones have changed titles, in a sense, throughout history:

    In modern usage the precious stones are diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald, with all other gemstones being semi-precious.

    This distinction is unscientific and reflects the rarity of the respective stones in ancient times, as well as their quality: all are translucent with fine color in their purest forms, except for the colorless diamond, and very hard, with hardnesses of 8-10 on the Mohs scale. Other stones are classified by their color, translucency and hardness.

    The traditional distinction does not necessarily reflect modern values, for example, while garnets are relatively inexpensive, a green garnet called Tsavorite, can be far more valuable than a mid-quality emerald. Another unscientific term for semi-precious gemstones used in art history and archaeology is hardstone. Use of the terms ‘precious’ and ‘semi-precious’ in a commercial context is, arguably, misleading in that it deceptively implies certain stones are intrinsically more valuable than others, which is not the case.

    So as you can see, “precious” and “semi-precious” are terms with changing meanings. And of course, whatever gem you like is precious to you!

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  • The Spiritual Power of Gemstones

    So you just read the title and you’re sighing already. Spiritual power of gemstones? How is that possible? What kind of new-agey post is this?

    But think of it: people do become deeply attached to a piece of jewelry. Many consider it their “good luck charm.” So maybe there’s some truth to it afterall. Take a read…wait. Let’s light a candle first:

    Ahh…that’s much better. Nothing like a little ambiance:

    Gem stones hold onto energies. It is this which makes them so helpful in magical tasks and healing. They act as containers for magical energy. This makes gem stones ideal as altar tools and charms for spells.

    For healing, stones are willing to have disease transferred into them. They then hold onto it until it can be safely flushed away. Healing stones don’t need to be gem stones – river and lake stones work wonderfully.

    This ability to hold onto energy also means that new gem stones aren’t “fresh.” They are holding energies from past owners, people who mined them, people who polished and set and sold them, and people who held them in the shop before you picked them up . . .

    So take care to cleanse all new stones thoroughly before using them.

    Popular Gem Stones And Their Meaning

    Amethyst Healing on all levels – body, mind, and spirit. Raises vibrational frequency and protects against negative energies.
    Amber Transmutes negative energy into positive. Bridges conscious self to the Divine.
    Diamond Purifies. Amplifies thoughts and feelings – both positive and negative.
    Hematite Grounding. Clarifies thought, improves memory, and calms anxiety.
    Lapis Lazuli Deep wisdom and intuition. Opens the third eye and leads to enlightenment.
    Moonstone Balances yin and yang. Enhances the inner feminine, and acceptance for yin attributes.
    Opal Amplifies emotion, insight, and spontaneity. Very potent, and can cause difficulties with the wrong person. Each colour of opal has its own properties.
    Pearl Pure mind and heart. Balances emotions and reduces stress.
    Quartz Crystal Attracts, amplifies, and sends energy. Easy and safe. Useful for all kinds of healing.
    Rose Quartz Balances yin and yang, restoring harmony after emotional wounding.
    Turquoise Highly spiritual yet grounding. Uplifting to unconditional Love. Aligns chakras and opens heart.

    Precious Metals

    Gold Symbol of the Sun and the God, as well as purity of spirit and eternity.
    Silver Symbol of the Moon and the Goddess, the soul, and the beauty of the Wheel of Life.
    White Gold Symbol of the pure and eternal Light of the Divine, the union of Goddess and God in One, the Spirit manifest in physical for

    Source: Wicca Spirituality