Call for expert help (888) 724-8222

Jeweler News

  • Cadmium Concerns back in the Marketplace

    This piece of jewelry sold attached to a child’s dress tested 984,000 parts per million or 98.4 percent cadmium. (Alan Berner/The Seattle Times)

    We’ve written about the dangers of cadmium in the past. Cadmium is a toxic metal that’s been the subject of many jewelry and toy recalls. Yet with all the media attention this metal has received, it still finds its way into countless pieces of jewelry, sold at popular stores throughout the US. These pieces are frequently found in children’s jewelry and on children’s dresses, as decorative pieces.

    “Of 27 pieces of jewelry packaged with dresses the State Department of Ecology randomly purchased last October and tested, five had extraordinarily high levels of cadmium and lead. Ecology purchased the dresses both in brick-and-mortar stores, and online. The dresses are marketed specifically to parents of young children — the very group at the greatest exposure risk, either from swallowing the jewelry, mouthing it or frequent hand-to-mouth contact.”

    As we know, young children frequently put jewelry in their mouths, but even hand to mouth contact can cause considerable harm.

    What’s is the harm exactly?

    Cadmium and lead accumulate in bone and soft tissues in the body and remain for a very long time. Cadmium can lead to cardiovascular, skeletal and kidney damage. Lead affects brain development and damages the cardiovascular, immune and reproductive systems. Both metals are toxic at very low doses.

    It’s time to re-examine those little adornments found on dresses (especially this Easter season) as well as any children’s jewelry. Know your source!

    Source: Seattle Times

  • Wow, What a Watch

    Backes & Strauss Piccadilly Princess Royal Colours watch

    This watch is less about the bells and whistles of time pieces we’ve featured in the past and more about ornate and colorful beauty.

    According to the Telegraph:

    With its patchwork of yellow, purple, orange and even green diamonds, the Piccadilly Princess Royal Colours watch from Backes & Strauss is among the most elaborate and strikingly colourful high jewellery watches to be found anywhere.

    No two watches from this line look alike. Each watch is created using hand-picked fancy-colored diamonds and uses a range of various cuts (Baguette, Cushion, Marquise, Oval, Pear, Princess, Ascher, Emerald, Heart and Ideal Cut). Each piece contains 225 stones (to mark every year since Backes & Strauss was founded) and takes hundreds of hours of our master craftsmen.

    Keeping time has never looked so amazing!


  • Spinel – Lesser Loved but Highly Prized Gem

    Sure, the name isn’t particularly glamorous as, let’s say, a sapphire or a ruby. But don’t let that fool you. The Spinel is all gem, baby.

    A traditionally lesser-loved stone, the spinel is fast capturing the attention of the contemporary fine jewellery market. The Hope Spinel sold for £962,500 at Bonhams in September 2015; a new world record for a spinel. The stone once belonged to famous gem collector Henry Philip Hope and had not been on sale for 98 years.

    In ancient times, southeast Asia’s mines yielded exceptional large spinel crystals, which became the treasured property of kings and emperors, often passing through many hands as spoils of war. – GIA

    Source: The Telegraph

  • The Flawless “Blue Moon” up for Auction

    Some things are rare, like the Haley’s comet or your kid doing the dishes without complaining or a blue moon.

    And then some things are really rare, like this flawless Blue Moon diamond, named after the rarity of it’s lunar counterpart. What’s even more unlikely? That any of us could afford it.

    This fall, the largest cushion-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction will go up on the block at Sotheby’s, with a chance of setting a new auction record.

    The 12.03-carat diamond, named the “Blue Moon” because of its rarity, will lead Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale scheduled to take place Nov. 11 in Geneva.

    The cushion-shaped, brilliant-cut stone boasts an exceptional clarity, declared internally flawless by the Gemological Institute of America.

    It comes to market with an estimate of between $35 million and $55 million. If it sells at the high end of that range, the stone could become the most expensive diamond in auction history.

    Source: National Jeweler

  • Genetic Jewelery for the DNA-Lovin’ Woman

    While we customize all kinds of jewelry, this might go beyond the scope of our team.

    Now you can have a customized pendant designed from your particular DNA. I’m not sure how you would test it for accuracy…but it sure is an interesting concept.

    According to 10x:

    British designer Alexander Davis, creates DNA pendants that are unique to each wearer and inspired by his degree in biochemistry.

    When a DNA pendant is commissioned by a client, they take a blood sample from the wearer and send it to a lab for DNA sequencing, Davis told me over email. They then find an area of their DNA that is likely to contain some unique code on which they can model the pendant.

    062215_Alexander Davis DNA Pendant

    The combination of gemstones on the necklace corresponds to a unique part of that sequence, representing their four-letter DNA code.

    This particular one pictured here is made in platinum and set with diamonds, sapphires, and amethyst and priced from £15,000 (roughly $23,800).


  • Fancy Yellow Diamond Showstopper by Borsheims

    Put your sunglasses on for this dazzler or you might go blind from the beauty!

    Courtesy Borsheims

    Borsheims is celebrating its parent company’s 50th anniversary with a 50 ct. fancy yellow diamond.

    The ring features a 50.02 ct. natural fancy yellow cushion-cut diamond from Rahaminov Diamonds. The retail price for the ring is $2.3 million, but Berkshire Hathaway shareholders can get the ring for $1,725,000.

    Berkshire Hathaway was actually founded in 1839 as a textile company in Rhode Island, but Buffett Partnership Ltd., owned by Warren Buffett, bought and took control of the company in 1965. It is that anniversary that Borsheims is celebrating with the diamond.


    Source: JCK

  • “Bulletproof” Necklace Saves Lives

    We’ve discussed jewelry as a form of protection in historical times (to ward off evil and bring luck) but this story gives a whole new meaning to its magical properties.

    Janeice Frisbee of Humboldt, Tenn., was shot point-blank in the chest last week, and by all accounts, she survived because her necklace stopped the bullet.

    “No one can believe that bullet didn’t go through that necklace,” Frisbee told WMC Action News 5.

    The $45 Tree of Life necklace, made of sterling silver wire and small gemstones, was a gift from Frisbee’s son and daughter-in-law. It was purchased from Colorado-based designer Amanda Toddings’ Etsy store, Mandala Rain.

    WBBJ 7 News spoke to Toddings about her design. “If I purposely tried to break the necklace myself with pliers I could do it in seconds,” she said. “It’s not a bulky, silver belt buckle or a medallion, it’s just wire and beads.”

    “The things that we choose to do for other people, like giving them a gift, you really never know what the far-reaching effects are going to be,” she said.

    The necklace is currently with the FBI as evidence, but the family says it is still intact.

    Source: JCK

  • Self-Defense Jewelry for the Street Savvy Woman

    As we’re seeing more and more, jewelry is no longer just mere adornment in the 21st century. Not only is smart jewelry expanding out into the market but one woman decided that jewelry can also be a perfect weapon for self-defense. Read on.

    Yasmine Mustafa´s company designs self-defense devices that can be worn as jewelry. ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

    YASMINE MUSTAFA, 32, of University City, Philadelphia, and Anthony Gold, 49, of West Chester, co-founded Roar for Good, a University City firm aimed at empowering women with fashionable safety accessories and educational programs. The startup is part of DreamIt Athena, a female-focused entrepreneur program by DreamIt Ventures. I spoke with Mustafa, the CEO.

    Q: How’d you come up with the idea for Roar?

    A: A woman was raped a block from my apartment shortly after I came back from a trip to South America last year. The original idea was a wearable bracelet called the Macelet, which had Mace in it. I started talking to women and they were afraid of self-defense tools that an attacker might use against them. So I pivoted to a device that’s fashionable and easy to use that has a loud alarm and light to distract a would-be attacker and message friends and family.

    Q: The startup money?

    A: I conceived a functional prototype and found a hardware person, who’s still an adviser, to help me build it. We bootstrapped it and it cost about $5,000, and then we designed it.

    Q: The biz model?

    A: The device, which will be priced around $100, can be worn as a necklace, charm or key fob. It also has a magnet so you can put it on clothing. After we developed the prototype, some women wondered: Why not teach men not to attack women? We decided the wearable had a safety purpose but we could use part of our revenues to support nonprofits teaching nonviolence and promoting a culture of consent and respect.



  • Jewelry to Help Aging Malamutes


    We like nothing better than jewelry that goes toward a good cause. A West Michigan woman is making it her mission to use jewelry to help senior dogs.

    Carol Januszewski runs Golden Years Alaskan Malamute Rescue. It’s based out of North Muskegon and strives to find forever homes for the breed. She also sells jewelry on Etsy. The proceeds go toward her rescue center.

    Source: FoxNews17

  • Amazing Shot of Diamond on Instagram

    Found this fetching shot on JCK Online today. Compared to “the size of an avocado pit, it looked too big to be real, like a paste facsimile stolen from the prop department of a Hollywood film about the ludicrously rich.” Love it!

    Two weeks ago, I snapped my most popular Instagram pic of all time: a close-up of a pear-shape diamond perched between a thumb and forefinger—250 likes and counting. The rock was remarkable for several reasons: Not only was it D color and VVS1 clarity, it boasted the unique watery translucence associated with type IIa diamonds (referring to gems devoid of nitrogen), with the GIA paperwork to prove it.

    This shot blew up my Instagram feed: 250 likes and counting.

    Those qualities, however, weren’t the things that blew up my feed. What earned the most attention was simple: At 89.23 cts., the diamond is enormous. When I first saw it, I gasped. About the size of an avocado pit, it looked too big to be real, like a paste facsimile stolen from the prop department of a Hollywood film about the ludicrously rich.