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General Jewelry Info

  • More on Selling Gold – Buyer Beware

    We’ve discussed the gold selling trend a few times in the last few months. But trends, in their usual fashion, are always changing. Here’s a recent article that details some pertinent information regarding selling gold. Remember, forewarned is forearmed. With our 100-year-old business, we understand buying and selling gold in all its complexities and all economical climates. Contact us directly if you’re thinking of selling your gold.

    With the price of gold near record highs, many are selling their gold chains and broken pocket watches at Tupperware-style parties or by mail to outfits like Super Bowl advertiser Cash4Gold.

    That could be a sign of the times – people are desperate for cash – or a sign that gold has more room to run.

    “Bubbles never blow up without the American investor class being overexposed to the item that’s in the bubble,” says Nick Zaharias, a consultant to hedge funds who put 30 percent of his family’s assets in gold. If gold were near a peak, people would be buying, not selling gold at house parties and hotel rooms, he says.

    If you want to cash in, here are some ways to avoid the Golden Fleece.

    Know the price. Gold is bought and sold at some percentage above or below the spot price, which changes constantly and can be found at sites such as or The more gold you sell, the better price you generally get. The price you see advertised might be what the dealer is paying for larger quantities, so be sure to ask.

    Standard gold coins such as the American Golden Eagle, South African Krugerrand or Canadian Maple Leaf contain 1 ounce of gold and generally have no “collectible” value beyond their gold content, but check with a reputable coin dealer to be sure.

    Robert Mish, of Mish International Monetary Inc. in Menlo Park, says he pays about 1 percent over the spot price for one or two such coins or 2 percent above spot “for reasonable volumes.”

    With jewelry, don’t expect to get what you paid. “The retail markup is substantial, and a lot of the value is in the design and craftsmanship,” says Morningstar analyst Paul Justice. “If you melt it down, you will lose a lot of the value.”

    Gold dealers generally won’t pay you for stones, so remove them before you weigh or sell your jewelry.

    Gold that is 24-karat is considered pure, 18-karat is roughly 75 percent gold, and 14-karat is about 58 percent gold. In other words, one ounce of 14-karat gold contains about 0.58 ounce of gold. You can estimate the value of gold using the calculator at

    Just because gold is stamped 14- or 18-karat doesn’t mean it’s real gold. There are various tests to see if gold is real. One hint: Pure gold is not magnetic. Check with a reputable jeweler to make sure.

    — Shop around: “Usually you are better off dealing with an established brick-and-mortar place rather than companies that spend three or four days in a hotel room and disappear.

    The established person is dependent on return customers,” says David Lazier, assistant director of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s division of measurement standards, which enforces the state’s weights and measures laws.

    In undercover sales, “We found a wide difference between what Company A and Company B are willing to pay. Sometimes you can say ‘I think it’s worth more’ and they will adjust the price,” Lazier adds.

    Last summer Consumer Reports sold identical 18-karat gold chains and pendants to three mail-order outfits offering cash for gold and to pawn shops and jewelry stores in three states. “The cash-for-gold companies paid 11 to 29 percent of the day’s market price for gold; the other venues, about 35 to 70 percent,” it reported.

  • Pricing Jewelry – What’s a Piece Really Worth?

    (above) A Clarity Enhanced Diamond - Still a Stunning Diamond but at a Fraction of the Price

    What makes one platinum wedding ring cost more than another? Why does moissanite cost much less than naturally mined diamonds but more than cubic zirconia? And why would jewelry prices change from year to year?

    Pricing jewelry is not an easy process; markets fluctuate and materials can change in availability. On top of that, the design and name of a piece of jewelry can tip the scales in one direction or the other.

    Here’s an excerpt for LuShae’s Jewelry blog that elaborates:

    People are often curious to understand why one particular piece of jewelry can be so much more expensive than another piece. The material used to construct jewelry plays a big part in determining its price. Cubic Zirconium and Stainless steel are affordable, gold and silver more expensive. Platinum is twice as expensive as 24k gold and Rhodium cost 10 time as much as platinum.

    Certain types of materials are also easier to work with than others and so the complexity, skill and cost of tools and procedures used to manufacture the jewelry also vary.

    Jewelry designed by certain jewelry artists also plays a part in determining prices. Artists release a limited range of styles and designs and some even produce unique one-off pieces. Demand for popular styles and limited number pieces results in premium prices.

    At Joseph Schubach Jewelers, we know how to price jewelry so it’s affordable as well as a stunning piece of jewelry. You don’t have to sacrifice quality for cost with us. Spend some time on our site and you’ll see!

    Moissanite - The Full Diamond Experience at a Fraction of the Price

  • 18kt yellow gold

    Whenever we make a ring in 18kt yellow gold I’m reminded how beautiful the metal is. It has a very royal look to it, a color so rich that you can nearly taste it!

    Remember, you can have any ring on our site, custom made or otherwise, done in 18kt yellow gold!

    Our style #1052 with matching wedding ring

  • The A – B – C and even D of Jewelry Terminology

    Moissanite? What the heck is that? Does a baguette setting go with butter and jelly? Do I really want fire in my diamond? Won’t that hurt?

    Jewelry terminology is a language in and of itself. Here at Joseph Schubach Jewelers, we’re happy to provide you with needed information so you can make a smart and educated jewelry purchase.

    So sit down, boys and girls…and take that gum out of your mouth.

    Here’s a quick lesson to get you started:

    Baguette setting — A rectangular-shaped stone with rows of step-like facets. If the baguette’s two long sides taper inward, it is called a Tapered baguette. Baguettes in long, thin cut rectangles are often used as enhancements to a lager center stone, or on a watch bezel.

    Bar setting — Similar to the channel setting, it is a circular band of diamonds or gemstones that holds each stone in by a long thin bar, shared between two stones.

    Barion cut — This has a traditional step-cut crown and a modified brilliant-cut pavilion. A square barion cut diamond has 61 facets, excluding the culet.

    Bearding or girdle fringes — The outermost portion of the stone, called the girdle, can develop small cracks that resemble whiskers during the polishing process. The bearding can sometimes be removed, if not too dramatic, with slight re-polishing, and if the weight allows.

    Bezel — With a bezel setting, a rim holds the stone and completely surrounds the gem. It is the upper portion above the girdle of a cut stone. Bezels can have straight edges, scalloped edges, or can be molded into any shape to accommodate the stone. A watch bezel is the upper part of the case surrounding the dial. They can be set with diamonds or other gemstones.

    Blemishes — The term blemish is used when the diamond has scratches or marks on the external area of the stone.

    Brilliance — Liveliness, or sparkle in a stone when light is reflected from the surface and from the total internal reflection of light.

    Brilliant-cut — Brilliant cuts are scientifically found to reflect the most light from within the stone, and often are considered to have the most brilliance of all cuts. A round brilliant-cut diamond has 58 facets. Other brilliant cuts include the heart, oval, marquise and pear shaped.

    Cabochon — A facet-less style of cutting that produces a smooth surface. They can be in many shapes, including round with high domes to squares.

    Carat — Unit of measure of weight of diamonds and gemstones. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. One carat can also be divided into 100 “points.” A .75-carat stone is the same as a 75-point or 3/4-carat stone.

    Certification (or Diamond Grading Reports) — There are many recognized gemological laboratories that can grade your stones for a fee. The most well known is the GIA, Gemological Institute of America.

    Channel setting — Used most frequently for wedding and anniversary bands, a channel setting will set the stones right next to each other with no metal separating them.

    Clarity — A diamond often has natural imperfections, commonly referred to as inclusions, which contribute to its identifying characteristics. Inclusions are found within the diamond, and can be white, black, colorless, or even red or green. Most are undetectable by the human eye, and can only be seen with 10X magnification. Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection called clarity.

    Cleavage — A natural area of the diamond where a weak bond holds the atoms together. The gem will be split along these planes by the cutter.

    Cluster setting — This setting surrounds a larger center stone with several smaller stones. It is designed to create a beautiful larger ring from many smaller stones.

    Color — Diamonds are graded on a color scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Fancy colors refer to diamonds with hues like pink, blue, green, yellow, and very rarely red. Fancy colors are not included in this color scale and are considered extremely rare.

    Crown — This is the upper portion or the top of a diamond.

    Culet — The bottom point of the diamond. It may be polished in some stones. Sometimes, a cutter may choose to make the culet a surface instead of a point.

    Cushion cut — A mixed-cut diamond shaped like a square pillow.

    Cut — Cut refers to the angles and proportions a skilled craftsman creates in transforming a rough diamond into a polished diamond. Based on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and, disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance, and ultimately value.

    Cutting style — Cutting styles are different than diamond shapes. The simplest and most common way to explain cutting style is to categorize it into the following three basic types: Step-cut, Brilliant-cut and Mixed-cut.

    Deep cut — When a diamond is cut too deep, it will lose or leak light through the side or bottom. This results in less brilliance and value.

    Diamond — A diamond is the hardest known natural substance. It is crystallized carbon. Diamonds are mined in their rough form and then, cut and polished to reveal their brilliance.

    Diamond Grading Reports — There are many recognized gemological laboratories that can grade your diamond for a fee. The most well known is the GIA, Gemological Institute of America.

    Dispersion — When light enters a diamond it reflects off the facets and the angles cut into the stone. This distribution of light is known as dispersion, or the display of the spectral colors.


    A baguette:

    Wedding band with baguette stones (do not eat!)

    Style 10151WB

    Wedding Band With Round And Baguette Stones

    Matching wedding band with approximately 2/3ct t.w. round brilliant and baguette stones.

  • Organizing your Jewelry – Simply

    Moissanite, diamonds, silver, gold, rubies, amethysts…all make for gorgeous jewelry. But your jewelry isn’t worth much if it’s tangled up in a knot or you simply can’t find it!

    This article outlines some clever and decorative ways to organize your jewelry so it’s not a jumble!

    Choose one of the following methods to organize your jewelry.

    * Use clear plastic straws. Cut several straws in half, then feed single-strand bracelets (or necklaces) through them, one by one. Make sure a bit of each bracelet is hanging out of either end so that they can still be clasped shut. After fastening them, place the jewelry-filled straws in a drawer or a case so you’ll be able to spot your untangled pieces easily.

    * Pull unused teacups out of your cupboard. Put pretty teacups to decorative use by lining them on your bureau and putting bracelets in each. If you place more than a couple in one, dangle each bracelet over the edge so that they all stay separated.

    * Hang a key holder above your dresser. Declutter your space by draping bracelets over individual key hooks. Your jewelry box will have room for other trinkets, and your wall will be newly adorned.

    * Purchase an affordable jewelry organizer. Many online retailers carry jewelry holders that will prevent chains from becoming a hodgepodge. You can find everything from pouches to stands with decorative hooks. But whatever you buy should be practical, with individual compartments.

    One to try is the Stacking Bracelet & Watch Tray, a storage system with connecting pieces ($12 to $18, .

    ― Elinor Smith from

  • Om mani padme hum pendants

    Hey Joe,
    This is L’s girlfriend. I wanted to personally thank you for the chain. It’s perfect and is honestly the best birthday present I’ve ever received!
    Thank you again and hopefully Leon can do more business with you in the future :)
    Best Regards,
    Note from Joe: Thanks guys! This is a personal favorite of mine. I got one for my girl several years ago, which is how it ended up on the site, and several of our friends now have them. I particularly like the style of our om necklace, with or without the bling (my girl’s has bling, BTW). Here’s to many years of enjoying this great piece!
    Simple Gold Om Necklace

    Simple Gold Om Necklace

    Om Pendant with Single Diamond

    Om Pendant with Single Diamond

    Om Pendant With Pave Set Diamonds

    Om Pendant With Pave Set Diamonds

  • Matching Earrings to Suit your Face

    Just like clothing, jewelry needs to match the wearer. Though interestingly, we don’t usually think of jewelry that way – you just like it or you don’t, right?

    Take earrings for instance. Face shape comes heavily into play when choosing earrings. Here’s what one expert has to say:

    Earrings can work towards or against the shape of your face. Depending on the shape of your face, you can use particular earring styles to emphasize a deemphasize flaws in the shape. When we talk about face shapes we are referring to the basic shapes of round, rectangle or, heart-shaped, oval, or square

    Those with an oval shaped face are the luckiest because they can wear pretty much any style and look good. If your faces round, however, you don’t want to emphasize the fullness so you want to stay away from big button style earrings or hoops. Long earrings or square or rectangular shaped will help to elongate your face.

    Heart-shaped faces are thinner by the chin and so you want to wear earrings that can widen out your chin such as triangular shapes or chandeliers are wider at the bottom. if your faces long or rectangular shaped you don’t want to wear longer dangling earrings as this will tend to elongate your face. Stick with smaller stubs to match your face shape.

    Here’s a chart to help you decide your type of face:

    These clarity enhanced stud earrings work with just about any face type:

    Style 10316CE-

    2ct t.w. Clarity Enhanced Round Diamond Stud Earrings

    Classic stud earrings with 2ct t.w. round brilliant, clarity enhanced diamonds.

  • A Little Bit on Birthstones

    Birthstones are a wonderful way to really personalize a piece of jewelry. If you’re giving that certain someone a jewelry gift, adding the “birthstone touch” makes it that much more special. Here’s a great list we found on Buzzle that not only details each month’s birthstone but the meaning behind it.

    And remember, any custom designed jewelry we make can include the stone of your choice. Special orders do not upset us!

    January Birthstone – Garnet
    Garnet is similar to a ruby in appearance and is found in almost all colors except blue. A garnet has a hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. It has a very high refractive index, which is responsible for its brilliance. Garnet is found in abundance and is a much sought-after gemstone, for making fashion accessories. It is considered to channel faith, consistency and virtue to the people born in January.

    February Birthstone – Amethyst
    This is an extremely beautiful gemstone with brilliant violet color. It is said to possess miraculous powers and bring good luck during wars or hunts. It is also believed to ward off the evil spirits and keep them at bay. Besides, it also has medicinal and cleaning properties. The color palette of amethyst ranges from pale lilac to deep purple. Amethyst gives sincerity to the people born in February.

    March Birthstone – Aquamarine
    Aquamarine is found in myriad hues of blue, from pale yellowish blue to deep blue. Aquamarine is very hard and the hardness ranges between 7.5 and 8 on the Mohs scale. The price of aquamarine is directly proportional to its intensity. It fosters feelings like sympathy, trust, harmony, friendship, etc.

    April Birthstone – Diamond
    Diamond is the most precious and expensive gemstone. It is most desirable as it is extremely luminous and rare. Color, clarity, cut and carat are the properties which rule the appearance and durability of a diamond. Diamonds symbolize true love, commitment and passion.

    May Birthstone – Emerald
    Emerald is a fascinating green colored gemstone, desirable for the people born in May. A fine quality emerald can be more expensive than a diamond, and hence was favored by kings and monarchs of the past. Emerald enhances clairvoyance, love and commitment. They are also said to possess healing powers.

    June Birthstone – Pearl
    Pearl is the only gemstone formed as a result of biological activities of living creatures. A pearl is used for making jewelery, since ages, due to its luminance and inner glow. It symbolizes beauty, love, happiness and wealth.

    July Birthstone – Ruby
    This brilliant gemstone is most famous for its fiery red color. It is responsible for bringing peace and prosperity. It also has certain medicinal and healing powers. It stands for blood, love, romance and passion.

    August Birthstone – Peridot
    A green gemstone, the peridot is rightly called the ‘evening emerald’, as it resembles emeralds in the glow of lamps. During ancient times, it was taken internally for curing asthma. It is considered as a symbol of power and influence.

    September Birthstone – Sapphire
    Even though blue is the only color associated with sapphires, they come in various other colors as well. They are one of the hardest, durable minerals. Sapphires render the qualities like clear thinking and wisdom, to the people born in September.

    October Birthstone – Opal
    Opal is available in almost every shade of each color. From translucent to transparent and milky white to dark black, opal exhibits all the colors of the rainbow. This vivid-colored birthstone is said to impart hope and harmony, to the people born in October.

    November Birthstone – Topaz
    Topaz is usually found in shades of yellow and brown. Topaz is believed to offer long life and fidelity to those born in November. It symbolizes beauty, splendor and joy.

    December Birthstone – Turquoise
    Clear blue Persian turquoise is considered as one of the most expensive and precious stones in the world. Turquoise brings very good fortune and prosperity to those born in the month of December. It also promises good health and peace for these people.

    Birthstones are considered as lucky charms by many. Wearing the appropriate traditional birthstones can heal your body and soothe your mind. Birthstones are a great way of harnessing the cosmic power of planets and using it to enhance your living.
    By Ashwini Kulkarni

  • Metals of Honor – Lessons in Gold

    Diamonds, sapphires, rubies…we know the gems and the mystique that surrounds them. But often we overlook the equally important metals in our jewelry. The metal is often behind-the-scenes, supporting and displaying its dazzling centerpiece – but each metal possesses a magic of its own.

    This week, let’s focus on the many facets of gold:


    Gold is popular because it can be worked into almost any shape. Yellow gold jewelry of 18K and above does not tarnish and rarely causes problems for people with skin irritations. White Gold is popular for its appearance and price point compared to platinum alloys.

    Technically there is no such thing as ‘White Gold.’ Gold can be lightened by combining it with light metals such as Rhodium; a member of the platinum family and the whitest precious metal after silver. This rhodium plating creates a hard skin with good resistance. Over time plating may wear through. Re-plating is a fairly simple process, depending on the condition of the piece. In most cases this will be done approximately as often as a platinum ring requires re-polishing, although a fine plating job may last longer than a polish on platinum due to the superior hardness of rhodium.


    24K gold (100% pure gold) does not work well for jewelry because it is too soft. A more durable option is 18K gold, which is 75% pure gold. It has the richness of 24K gold where some of the less pure alloys may not.


    18K gold is the most recognized global standard and will be marked ’18K’ in the USA and ‘750’ in Europe.

    1. 18K Yellow Gold

    * 75% Gold, alloyed with Copper, Silver, Zinc and/or Cobalt
    * Does not require plating
    *  Very workable
    *  Rarely causes skin irritation
    *  Will wear down, but over a long period of time with heavy wear

    2. 18K White Gold (nickel white gold)

    * 75% Gold, alloyed with Copper, Nickel, Zinc and/or Palladium
    * Requires rhodium plating and re-plating over time, depending on wear
    *  Less workable, less ductile
    *  Causes skin irritation for people with nickel allergies
    *  Will wear down over a long period of time

    3. 18K Palladium White Gold

    * 75% Gold, 25% Palladium
    * Requires rhodium plating and re-plating over time, depending on wear
    * Very workable
    *  Rarely, if ever, causes skin irritation
    *  Will wear down over a long period of time
    *  More expensive than 18K nickel WG

    Comparison Photos

    1. 18K yellow gold
    2. 18K white gold, rhodium plated
    3. 18K palladium white gold, not plated

    Source: Pricescope Diamond Journal

    Here’s our high-style, white gold gent’s engagement ring:

    Style 7180WB

    Gent’s 14kt White Gold Diamond Wedding Band

    Gent’s 14kt white gold wedding band, diagonal design with .20ct t.w. channel set diamonds, high polished and matte finish, 7.75mm tapered.

    Metal: 14kt White Gold
    Width: 7.75mm
    Stone Size: .20ct t.w.
    Ring Size: 8.5 – 13

  • A Little Lesson in Lingo

    It can often be intimidating when entering a jewelry store. There’s a common language you need to understand to make the most of your purchase. Here at Joseph  Schubach Jewelers, we’re able to personally advise you if you visit our showroom in Scottsdale, Arizona or give you advice on the phone or via email.

    Here’s a few definitions you might want to familiarize yourself with:


    This refers to the actual cut of a gemstone, which includes both its basic shape (teardrop, pear, etc.) and the actual style and quality of the work itself. Because cut can have such a dramatic effect on a stone’s clarity and color exhibition, it can also affect its price.

    The most common cutting techniques are tumbling, drilling, lapping, grinding, sawing, sanding and polishing.


    By placing a gemstone in a rotating tumbler filled with water and chemical or natural stone abrasives, this technique polishes the stone to define its shape. Modern techniques also include contemporary vibrating machines.


    Drilling allows the cutter to drill a hole through or into a stone, and the tools are either actual rotating drills or high-tech ultrasonic.


    The lap is a lapidary’s, or stone cutter’s, most essential tool. The lap is a flat disk that creates flat surfaces on a stone by either vibrating or rotating very quickly.


    Using diamond and silicon carbide grinding wheels, gemstones are ground into a form and particular shape.


    Using a steel or copper blade enhanced with a diamond grit edge, sawing allows the cutter to make hard cuts. Oil or water is used in this technique to prevent the stone and the blade from overheating.


    Like grinding, but with finer abrasive substances, sanding is often a finer follow-up that allows the gem worker to remove cosmetic scratches and polish the stone’s surface.


    The clarity of a stone refers to its translucency and subsequent absence of flaws. Flaws like blemishes, which appear on the surface, and inclusions, which are internal feathers or fissures, can affect the stone’s clarity and subsequently its value.

    When a jeweler refers to a stone’s clarity, he or she is referring to the abundance or lack of flaws within the stone.


    Carat is a term that simply refers to a stone’s weight. Except for pearls and corals, all gems are weighed in carats. It’s important to remember that carat is a measurement of weight and not size. A one-carat ruby is going to be differently sized than a one-carat diamond.