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Jewelry Education and Advice

  • Costume Jewelry – A Cheap and Easy Way to be Outrageous!

    Many think of costume jewelry as something rather…gauche. But the truth of the matter is that costume jewelry is a perfectly legitimate way to “extra” adorn. I mean, who can afford a real diamond choker or a cocktail ring with a real sapphire? But you may be able to afford a moissanite choker. Or one like this:


    A fake diamond choker


    A fun, but fake, cocktail ring

    Fun, flirty and fake earrings


    Besides, costume jewelry has been around a long, long time. Here’s the history:

    Costume jewelry came into being in the 1930s as a cheap, disposable accessory meant to be worn with a specific outfit, but not meant to be handed down through generations. It was intended to be fashionable for a short period of time, outdate itself, and then be repurchased to fit with a new outfit or new fashion style.

    Cheap jewelry also existed prior to the 1930s. Paste or glass jewelry dated as far back as the 1700s. The rich had their fine jewelry duplicated for a variety of reasons, using paste or glass stones.

    By the mid 1800s, with the growth of the middle class, there were now different levels of jewelry being manufactured using fine, semi-precious and base materials. Fine jewelry of gold, diamonds, fine gems such as emeralds and saphires continued to be made.

    Jewelry from rolled gold, which is a thin layer of gold attached to a base metal, entered the market for the middle class. This jewelry was often set with semi-precious gems such as amethyst, coral or pearls, and was much more affordable.

    And then there was jewelry that most anyone could afford, consisting of glass stones and base metals made to look like gold. All three types were intended to be passed down to future generations.

    Source: Home Jewelry Business Success Tips

    If you want a piece of jewelry that’s outrageous and fun, but can only afford so much, contact us! We can make your custom design jewelry dream come true. Or stop by our showroom in Scottsdale, Arizona.

  • Jewelry Fun Facts

    Jewelry has had a long history – like the “beginning of time” kind of history. Prehistoric times, they wore rocks. Today, we too wear rocks – just a little more expensive this go round. Below are some fun facts about jewelry that will remind you of its vast and varied history. Thanks!

    In the early days of cinema, many movie stars wore their own jewels in their movies. Some of the stars sporting their very own rocks “onstage” were Merle Oberon, Marlene Dietrich, and Gloria Swanson.

    Marlene Dietrich once accidentally baked her own 37.4 carat emerald ring inside a cake, where it was discovered during dessert!

    Queen Elizabeth II keeps her jewelry collection below Buckingham Palace in a special room roughly the size of an ice rink…curling, anyone?

    Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection boasts “La Peregrina,” a stupendous, 203.84 grain, pear-shaped pearl discovered in the early 16th century by a slave on the shores of Panama. The slave won his freedom with his find, which was then given to Mary Tudor by her husband, the Spanish king Philip II. It became part of the Spanish treasury, was painted by Velasquez and inspired the composer Ravel. The pearl eventually made its way to France, where it was sold to save its newest owner, the son of the French emperor Napoleon III, from financial disaster. It finally ended up at Sotheby’s, where Ms. Taylor obtained it in 1969 and had it made into a necklace by Cartier. As a side note, the pearl was lost several years ago in Ms. Taylor’s Las Vegas hotel room, resulting in a frantic search until it was discovered in the mouth of her dog.

    Legend has it Cleopatra once dissolved a pearl at the time worth five million sesterces (about $12,500) in soup and drank it, just to win a bet with Marc Antony.

    Moses ordered the breast plate of the High Priest to be made with twelve gems, representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Among the gems used are believed to be amethyst, carnelian, ruby, jade, sapphire, opal, citrine, emerald, and garnet.

    The most expensive piece of jewelry ever designed specifically for a movie was the necklace worn by Nicole Kidman in the musical Moulin Rouge. The $1 million creation was designed by Stefano Canturi of platinum and 1,308 diamonds with a combined total of 134 carats.

    Under the terms of a lawsuit settlement with Damiani International Jewelers, Brad Pitt will design jewelry wife Jennifer Aniston will model in ads for Damiani, in exchange for the jewelry maker’s promise to stop selling copies of the pair’s wedding rings (for around $1,000 a ring).

    The tradition of borrowing jewelry to wear to the Academy Awards ceremony was started in 1944, by Jennifer Jones, who wore Harry Winston’s jewelry for the occasion. The arrangement works out very well for Harry Winston, I’m sure, as the jeweler is still one of the biggest names on Oscar night!

    The Cinderella story came to life in 1997, when a platinum slipper was created for an exhibition in the UK, and the woman whose foot exactly fit the slipper was awarded a prize – though it should be noted she won neither the slipper nor the keys to a kingdom…

    The gold mask placed over the mummy of Egyptian King Tutankhamun was still perfectly untarnished when it was found by Howard Carter in 1922 – more than 3000 years after it was first placed over the young king.

    Tradition holds that if you wear a sapphire on Fridays, you’ll be lucky in love.

    The tradition of giving diamond engagement rings originated in 15th century Venice, where it was felt that since diamonds are the most enduring substance in nature, an engagement made with them would lead to a marriage which lasted forever.

    The word jewelry comes from the ancient French, “joaillerie”, meaning joy and gladness.

    The very first Fabergé egg was created of platinum in 1884, as a gift from Tsar Alexander III to his wife Marie. It began an annual Easter tradition which lasted until the Russian revolution ended the tsar’s reign, and the tsarina’s fabulous collection of eggs was broken up and sold.

    The original rhinestones were quartz pebbles taken from the Rhine river, in Germany. The pretty stones sparkled in shades of pink and blue. What we now know as rhinestones evolved from cheap imitations created for tourists once the natural stones had all been taken.

    Engagement rings were declared a necessary statement of intent by Pope Nicholas I in 860 AD.

  • Why Buy Jewelry Online – How To Choose an Online Jewelry Company you can Trust

    (above) One of the earliest shots of our store

    Why buy jewelry online? Finding an online jewelry company you can trust seems like no easy feat.

    I spoke with a friend of a friend a few days ago who didn’t know I was in the jewelry business. We began talking about shopping online. She said enthusiastically that she buys tons of items online…except for jewelry. When I asked her why, she said, “I just wouldn’t take that chance.”

    I tried to explain to her that she could be taking advantage of the best prices out there – wholesale prices instead of retail. But she needed some more convincing.

    We realize there’s some natural and healthy skepticism when it comes to buying jewelry online and trust. And we don’t blame them!

    But we have plenty of proof of our trustworthiness:

    • One hundred years in business. That’s right – you read correctly. I’m a third generation jeweler, deeply instilled with the same ethics of my father and grandfather: provide our customers with the utmost respect and offer the best value possible.

    • Guaranteed Quality and Workmanship: We use the highest level of skill when creating each piece of jewelry we sell, regardless of its size or price. If you ever have concerns about the quality of your jewelry, rest assured that we will be there to help.

    • Guaranteed Accurate Grading: We promise your diamond, moissanite or other gemstone will meet the size and grading standards listed on our website and in your invoice. If your gemstone doesn’t meet the standards you expected, call us and we’ll make it right.

    • Guaranteed Customer Service: Our commitment to your absolute satisfaction doesn’t end after the sale. If you should ever need service or assistance with your jewelry, please call us. Whether it’s been weeks or years, we’ll be there to help.

    • 30 Day Return Policy: If you are unsatisfied with your purchase for any reason, you can return it, no questions asked – and with no restocking fee.

    • We are a BBB-accredited business.

    We’re more than an online business. We’re a long-standing jewelry institution with a showroom in Scottsdale, Arizona. We have an intimate staff, hand-chosen by me – the best of the best. So if you’re like my friend and feeling a bit hesitant about purchasing your jewelry online, give us a call directly. Talk to a real, live human being – maybe even me. We can put your fears to rest and get you some of the best jewelry prices available.

    I'm Joseph Schubach, a third generation jeweler...and a real, live person.

  • Good Moissanite Story to Tell?

    Moissanite is our number one diamond alternative here at Joseph Schubach Jewelers. And for good reason: We’re seasoned jewelers who understand the difference between a viable and remarkable diamond alternative and one that is simply beneath our standards.

    We also understand the global community in which we live: moissanite provides a diamond alternative that is ecologically wise, all the while maintaining its strength and brilliance.

    Moissanite stories

    Recently we were approached by, who asked us for our best moissanite stories. Where to begin? There are hundreds to tell: couples who saved money on their wedding costs while never compromising taste or a dream piece of jewelry created by our custom jewelery designers that just wouldn’t have been possible with naturally mined diamonds.

    So what’s your story? We figure it this way: the more positive moissanite stories that are shared, the more people can realize their jewelry dream affordably, without sacrificing quality and contributing to a healthier environment.

    Drop by if you have a story to tell.

    Style 9920 Round Engagement Moissanite Ring With Side Stones Engagement ring with 2/5ct t.w. pave’ round brilliant side stones. Fits a 7.5mm round center stone.
  • “Must Have” Pieces of Jewelry

    Many people are on tight budgets these days. Yet they still want a few luxury items to make them feel good.

    If you’re just starting to build your jewelry collection, then this list will help guide you. Start with one piece at a time. Make sure the piece you pick out is truly one that resonates with you.

    And remember, it doesn’t have to be high-end pieces (cocktail rings, for instance, are quite affordable).  There are many great diamond alternatives out there that are meant to last a long time. Moissanite in place of natural diamonds, for instance, are becoming quite popular among the eco-conscious sort, who want the dazzle but don’t want the damage. (Mined natural diamonds are ecologically harmful in numerous ways).

    So here’s your “go to” list:

    The Five Staples of Women’s Jewelry

    • Pearl Earrings – One of these jewelry staples is a pair of pearl earrings. If only one set of pearls is desired, stick to the classic white pearl, about ¼ or ½ inch in diameter. Pearl studs are a classic, timeless addition (and necessary addition) to a woman’s jewelry box. Pearls can be worn with a casual outfit, professional attire, or an evening gown – even to a cocktail party or black tie event. The perfect pair of pearl studs will never go out of style and can complement or enhance any style. Pearls range in price and one can easily find a pair fit to any budget! Pink and silver pearls are also gorgeous additions to any jewelry case.

    • Diamond StudsAnother set of earrings that is an absolute must are a pair of diamond studs. Diamond studs will last a lifetime and will complement a range of looks from casual to extremely elegant. When purchasing a pair of diamond studs invest in a good quality pair and pay attention to the 4 Cs: Cut, Clarity, Carat, and Color. A nice pair of diamond earrings will not break the bank, but they are something you will have forever.

    • Cocktail RingA great way to add excitement and glamour to an outfit is with a cocktail ring, which is why it is one of the five jewelry staples. A large, fun, glitzy cocktail ring can adorn any finger – it looks best on the ring or pointer finger – and is a great attention getter. Cocktail rings are sold at numerous retailers, and they can be bought very inexpensive at stores including H&M and XI Forever for under $10. Make sure at least one cocktail ring is in the jewelry box, but at prices under $10, purchase a few in different stones and designs.

    • Wristwatch A timeless – no pun intended – jewelry piece is a watch, another item on the list of must-haves. A classic style to own would be one in silver or gold (depending on what matches most with the other jewelry in the jewelry box) or one with a leather strap. A boyfriend style, one with a bigger face, is a great addition to any wardrobe, and most consumers find a watch a necessity, especially in the workplace. Michael Kors makes amazing watches at prices around or under $250 in all colors and materials. For a leather brand, try a classic watch by Timex.

    • Conversation PieceThe last jewelry must have is a piece of costume jewelry, mainly a necklace. A fun, colorful necklace can add a pop of color or a bit of pizzazz to an otherwise simple outfit. A costume necklace can also completely change the appearance of the neckline and give a whole new look to an outfit. Costume items can also be purchased at many different retailers, so purchase a few and add new looks to that wardrobe without spending a fortune.

    Cushion Cut Moissanite Stud Earrings

    Antique cushion cut stud earrings, four prong wire basket settings with friction backs

    and Charles and Colvard created moissanite. 2.10ct t.w. (dia equiv, 6mm stones)

  • Best of Royal Russian Jewelry

    I happened upon this Best of Russia site yesterday and was bowled over by several of the pieces – such intricacy and beauty! Following is part history lesson and part dazzling royal Russian jewelry:

    In 1719, Emperor Peter I “the Great” (reigned 1682-1725), founded the earliest version of what we now know as the State Diamond Fund of the Russian Federation. Peter I had visited other European nations, and introduced many innovations to Russia, one of which was the creation of a permanent fund to house a collection of jewels which belonged not to the Romanov family, but to the Russian State.

    Peter declared that the state holdings were inviolate, and could not be altered, sold, or given away – and he also decreed that each subsequent Emperor or Empress should leave a certain number of pieces acquired during their reign to the State, for the permanent glory of the Russian Empire. Peter left all of the pieces used in the coronation ceremony to the Diamond Fund, as well as many important pieces of 15th, 16th and 17th century jewelry. The pieces were housed in a special secure room in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, first called the Renteria, and subsequently called the Diamond Chamber.

    Here is a sampling of some of these magnificent pieces:

    (above) The Great Imperial Crown

    (above) Imperial Diamond Tiara

    (above) Faberge. Snuffbox, Circa 1765, Hermitage Museum

    (above) A gold-and silver-mounted diamond-set tiara, signed with initials KF for Carl Faberge

  • The Other Reasons for Jewelry

    We’ve often talked about this here before, so it was particularly refreshing finding an article about jewelry that serves other purposes than simply fashion. Since we’ve been in business 100 years, we understand intimately the connection between jewelry and tradition. My grandfather, father and I have seen pieces handed down, generation upon generation. Sometimes the pieces were kept exactly intact; others, alterations were made to fit the new wearer.

    Style? Of course. That’s always a key element of jewelry. But often, it signifies so much more!

    According to  Topix, here are some of the other reasons for jewelry:


    There are jeweleries that are typically worn because of tradition. Examples of these are rings. Throughout the years, rings have been used as a sign of being a married person. In fact, weddings will not be complete without this. In terms of tradition, there are also some jewelries that have been passed on from generation to generation as their heirloom. These heirlooms can be worn daily or just something they can keep and be passed for the next people who may receive it as a part their family tradition.

    Personal expression

    For many individuals, they would not only consider fashion as a way to express their personalities or preferences. Choosing good jewelery will already make a difference on how they look and be comfortable about themselves. For instance, some people who would like to wear vintage jewelries even not in a fashion sense. Some want to wear those that are Gothic in style to have that dark style suitable for their preferences especially if they’re into Goth music or punk style.

    Theme purpose

    There are scenarios where certain style will be useful for every individual particularly in themed parties. They just need to choose the costume they want to have and get the jewelry suitable for it. Royalty often possess large jewelry collections that will showcase their familial prominence not only in terms of money but also their social status.

    Without a doubt, jewelery will work perfect for every clothing especially when it comes to fashion but their uses are not only limited to this purpose. They can also use this for other purposes for important events or as a part of tradition.

    Queen Nazli wearing her famous Jewels which she later had to sell in public auction to pay her and her daughter debts in L.A in 1970s.

  • Valentine’s Day Trivia

    A gift of love that MAY be out of your price range this Valentine's Day!

    It’s right around the corner. Valentine’s Day. It’s either a day you look forward to with baited breath or one where you’d like to bury your head in a heart-shaped candy box. But for right now – before we start making some suggestions – we wanted to take a strictly factual look at the day of hearts:

    15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.

    73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine’s Day are men, while only 27 percent are women.

    About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year. That’s the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas.

    About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.

    Cupid, another symbol of Valentines Day, became associated with it because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards holding a bow and arrows because he is believed to use magical arrows to inspire feelings of love.During the late 1800s, postage rates around the world dropped, and the obscene St. Valentine’s Day card became popular, despite the Victorian era being otherwise very prudish. As the numbers of racy valentines grew, several countries banned the practice of exchanging Valentine’s Days cards. During this period, Chicago’s post office rejected more than 25,000 cards on the grounds that they were so indecent, they were not fit to be carried through the U.S. mail.

    During the Middle Ages, the belief that birds chose their mates on St. Valentine’s Day led to the idea that boys and girls would do the same. Up through the early 1900s, the Ozark hill people in the eastern United States thought that birds and rabbits started mating on February 14, a day for them which was not only Valentine’s Day but Groundhog Day as well.

    February 14, 270 A.D. : Roman Emperor Claudius II, dubbed “Claudius the Cruel,” beheaded a priest named Valentine for performing marriage ceremonies. Claudius II had outlawed marriages when Roman men began refusing to go to war in order to stay with their wives.

    Hallmark has over 1330 different cards specifically for Valentine’s Day.

    Humorous valentines of the 19th century were called “Vinegar Valentines” or “Penny Dreadfuls.” Vinegar Valentines were introduced in 1858 by John McLaughin, a Scotsman with a New York City Publishing Business. Penny Dreadfuls with comic designs drawn in 1870 by American cartoonists Charles Howard became known as Penny Dreadfuls.

    In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.

    In the United States, 64 percent of men do not make plans in advance for a romantic Valentine’s Day with their sweethearts.

    In Victorian times, it was considered bad luck to sign a Valentine’s Day card.

    In Wales, wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, “You unlock my heart!”

    It wasn’t until 1537 that St. Valentine’s Day was declared an official holiday. England’s King Henry VIII declared February 14th a holiday.

    One single perfect red rose framed with baby’s breath is referred to by some florists as a “signature rose,” and is the preferred choice for many for giving on Valentine’s Day, anniversary, or birthday.

    Only the U.S., Canada, Mexico, France, Australia and the U.K. celebrate Valentine’s Day.

    Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine’s Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire.

    Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts. Children ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine’s cards with teachers, classmates, and family members.

    The 17th century hopeful maiden ate a hard-boiled egg and pinned five bay leaves to her pillow before going to sleep on Valentine’s eve. It was believed this would make her dream of her future husband.

    The first American publisher of valentines was printer and artist Esther Howland. During the 1870s, her elaborate lace cards were purchased by the wealthy, as they cost a minimum of 5 dollars – some sold for as much as 35 dollars. Mass production eventually brought prices down, and the affordable “penny valentine” became popular with the lower classes.

    The heart is the most common symbol of romantic love. Ancient cultures believed the human soul lived in the heart. Others thought it to be the source of emotion and intelligence. Some believed the heart embodied a man’s truth, strength and nobility. The heart may be associated with love because the ancient Greeks believed it was the target of Eros, known as Cupid to the Romans. Anyone shot in the heart by one of Cupid’s arrows would fall hopelessly in love. Because the heart is so closely linked to love, it’s red colour is thought to be the most romantic.

    The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day.

    The most fantastic gift of love is the Taj Mahal in India. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his wife, who died in childbirth. Work on the Taj began in 1634 and continued for almost 22 years. required the labor of 20,000 workers from all over India and Central Asia.

    The oldest known Valentines were sent in 1415 A.D. by the Duke of Orleans to his French wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. It is still on display in a museum in England.

    The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Red stands for strong feelings which is why a red rose is a flower of love.

    Valentine’s Day is big business. Consumers will spend an average of $77.43 on Valentine’s Day gifts this year. E-commerce retailers expect to rack up about $650 million in sales of food, candy, flowers, and other Valentine’s Day gifts. Of that amount about $350 million will be for gifts and flowers and another $45 million will be spent on food (including chocolate) and wine.

    Wearing a wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand dates back to ancient Egypt, where it was believed that the vein of love ran from this finger directly to the heart.

    A ring has been included in wedding ceremonies since the 12th century. Pope Innocent the Third ordained that marriages had to take place in church and that a wedding ring should be exchanged during the service.

    In England, the Romans, who had taken over the country, had introduced a pagan fertility festival held every February 14. After the Romans left England, nearly a century later, the pagan ritual was abolished by Pope Gelsius who established St. Valentine’s Day as a celebration of love in 496 A.D.

    In America, the pilgrims sent confections, such as sugar wafers, marzipan, sweetmeats and sugar plums, to their betrothed. Great value was placed on these gifts because they included what was then a rare commodity, sugar. After the late 1800’s, beet sugar became widely used and more available, and sweet gifts continued to be valued and enjoyed.

    Source: Brain Candy

  • The Difference between Freshwater and Saltwater Pearls

    Pearls will always remain a standard when it comes to jewelry choice. Every woman should own pearls as part of her jewelry warddrobe because it adds such a classic and stylish touch to just about any outfit.

    But how much do you know about pearls? And how do you choose the right kind of pearl for you?

    Read on:

    Freshwater pearls and saltwater pearls differ in the type of luster, first of all. In appearance, freshwater pearls are noted for a softer luster, a glow that comes from deep within the pearl. Saltwater pearls include Akoya pearls, which may be a similar size to freshwater pearls but have a more brilliant superficial luster.

    The difference is due to the type of mollusk used to produce the pearls and the thickness of the nacre. Freshwater pearls tend to have thicker nacre.

    Classification of Pearls:

    Pearls are classified in to two types:

    1)     Natural Pearls

    2)     Cultured Pearls

    1) Natural Pearls: The Natural Pearls are further classified in to
    two types:

    a)     Salt Water Pearls

    b)     Fresh Water Pearls

    Salt Water Pearls and the Fresh Water Pearls: Salt water pearls are
    mostly found oceans, gulfs, and bay areas. Fresh water
    pearls are found in the rivers and the lakes. These two types of pearls are
    produced under environmental and natural conditions.

    Nowadays the natural pearls are very rare because of air and water pollution. Natural pearls are very sensitive to the weather conditions, so the production of the pearls has
    fallen down. Because of less availability, natural pearls are very expensive. Natural pearls will have more thickness of nacre than the cultured pearls.

    Cultured Pearls: Cultured pearls are also similar to the natural pearls. There are salt water pearls and the fresh water pearls. An irritant is placed in the mollusk and it creates a pearl in response to it. The production of these pearls has increased to 95% all over the world.

    Single Strand Cultured Freshwater Pearls - 8.5mm - 11.5mm With Free Matching Earrings Single strand cultured freshwater pearls, 17" with 14kt yellow gold clasp and free matching earrings. (each strand sold individually)


  • What IS Sterling Silver?

    I had a friend tell me at a party a few nights ago that she only wears silver.

    “You mean sterling silver?” I gently directed.

    “No. Silver. I don’t like the cheap stuff.”

    Well, I didn’t want to embarrass her but it got me thinking that it’s time to clarify a thing or two about sterling silver – what it is and what it isn’t.

    Pure silver is too soft for producing jewelry. It is alloyed with another metal to give it strength, generally copper, though other metals are often used as well, such as zinc, geranium and platinum. Sterling silver is made up of 92.5% mined silver and the rest, the chosen alloy. Tarnishing will occur in most sterling silvers because of the alloy ingredient, not because of the silver, which is non-reactive to oxygen.

    Sterling silver is marked with a universal stamp at a manufacturing company for authentication purposes (see above photo). It can then be molded into various final products, such as jewelry and flatware. Because sterling silver is an alloy, it can tarnish and needs to be cleaned with silver cleaner.

    Genuine silver is mined and comes from countries in South America such as Chile, Mexico and Peru. It can also be found in North America and across the US  (Michigan and Arizona).

    Amethyst And Garnet Sterling Silver Dangle Earrings Sterling silver dangle earrings featuring genuine amethyst and Brazilian garnet stones.