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Fashion Trends

  • Fashion during the American Revolution

    In honor of the 4th of July celebrations in the states, we wanted to take a moment and review the fashion of our forefathers and foremothers.

    Oh yes, these fashion choices seem a little constricting (and just damn hot) but somebody had to wear this stuff, right?

    The lady wears strapless stays over a pink chemise. Her petticoat has pocket slits to access the free-hanging pocket beneath. "Tight Lacing, or Fashion Before Ease", 1770–75

    French silk sack-back gown with closed bodice and panniers, trimmed with padded bands of blue satin, chenille blonde lace, flowers of gathered ribbon, feathers and raffia tassels, 1775–1780

    Marie Antoinette was one of the most influential figures in fashion during the 1770s and 1780s, especially when it came to hairstyles.

    Happy Fourth of July Weekend, from Joseph Schubach Jewelers!

  • Made in the USA?

    You see the label all the time. Or perhaps you see it less frequently than you remember. But what does “Made in the USA” really mean when it comes to your jewelry purchase? What if your necklace is made in the US but the gems were imported from India (as in the case below)?

    These latest rulings will give you a clearer idea (hopefully) on the real meaning of the label:

    To illustrate the point, consider two example cases (loosely based on actual inquiries) addressed by the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) below.

    Two inquiries on origin

    In the first inquiry, a manufacturer’s representative asked the JVC if the company could advertise a white gold sapphire necklace produced in New England as “Made in the USA.” The sapphires for the necklace were cut, polished and imported as loose stones from India, but the findings and chain were from a U.S. source.

    The second inquiry involved finished rings that were imported from Thailand, checked for quality control at their U.S. destination, then boxed and shipped to retail stores. The wholesaler asked if he was required to provide “country of origin” information on the rings by marking or other means.

    Before you read about the outcome, it’s important to understand a little bit more about the prerequisites of a “Made in the USA” claim:

    First, for a product to qualify as “all or virtually all” made in the United States, the final assembly must take place in this country. To justify a “Made in the USA” claim if foreign articles are used in the manufacturing process, they must be substantially transformed in the United States, resulting in a new article of commerce that has a new use.

    Even if the article is substantially transformed here, if the resulting product is then assembled or processed further, outside the United States, the FTC will not consider that product to be one that is “Made in the USA.”

    So what happened in the cases mentioned above?

    In the first matter, regarding the necklace, the imported material–gemstones–will be combined with domestically sourced materials to make a necklace. While the final manufacturing process will take place in this country, the gemstones were cut and polished in India. For that reason, a qualified origin claim, such as “Made in the USA of U.S. and imported material” is appropriate.  Had the stones been sourced from India in rough form, then “substantially transformed” here by cutting and polishing, a “Made in the USA” claim for the bracelet would more likely meet FTC standards.

    As to the second inquiry concerning whether the Thai-made rings need origin markings, the one-word answer is “yes.” The imported rings must be marked, or tagged, as “Made in Thailand” to comply with U.S. Customs law.

    The JVC provided the inquiring jewelers with information about the relevant law and guidance as to country-of-origin descriptions for their products.

    Joseph Schubach Jewelers has taken “Made in USA” seriously for three generations. Nearly 100% of our jewelry has been produced right here in the states.

  • 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

  • The History of the Engagement Ring

    We fancy ourselves educators at Joseph Schubach Jewelers. Every week, we instill upon you yet another history lesson connected to the wide world of jewelry.

    Of course, we don’t quiz you at the end (though we might – you never know) but we hope you’ll become more informed buyers of moissanite, Gemesis, diamonds, gold, platinum and all the other special gems and metals we have to offer.

    Today, a very interesting history of the engagement ring, thanks to the people at Ancient Jewelry Facts.

    Since at least 5000 BC, men and women have worn rings – on their thumbs, fingers and even toes.

    Some rings have been purely decorative, seal rings and archers’ rings have had useful purposes, while a few have been thoroughly nasty specimens, harboring poison that turned a handshake into a deadly clasp.

    The earliest written reference to rings as love tokens is in the second century BC, in works by the Roman playwright Plautus.

    The practice of exchanging wedding rings, apparently common in Rome, was “Christianized” by the 4th century AD.An early example of an engagement ring featuring Eros, the ancient symbol of love.

    By the 14th century, wealthy Europeans had their wedding rings set with precious jewels, somewhat like modern engagement rings, but it was not until 1477 that the diamond engagement ring as we know it came into being.

    That year, the Hapsburg Emperor Maximilian I gave a diamond engagement ring to his fiancée, Mary of Burgundy. This first instance of a royal engagement ring fueled the European passion for diamonds, already aflame by the taste for fine jewels promoted by Mary’s father, Charles the Bold (1433–77).

    As the dukes of Burgundy controlled Europe’s major diamond–cutting centers in Antwerp and Bruges, Charles’ encouragement of wealthy Europeans to buy diamonds appears to have a commercial side.

    By the 16th century, it seemed no royal marriage was complete without a diamond ring. Mary, Queen of Scots, chose one when she married Lord Darnley in 1565 and in 1673, James II of England sent a diamond ring to Mary of Modena for their proxy wedding in 1673.

    In 1839, Prince Albert gave Queen Victoria a diamond ring as a memento of their first meeting, perhaps inadvertently setting the royal seal of approval on diamond engagement rings.

    It was during the second half of the 19th century that the practice of giving two rings for the bride became firmly established.

    Prince Philip carried on the royal diamond tradition when he gave his fiancée, now Queen Elizabeth II, an engagement ring made with diamonds from the tiara of his mother, Princess Alice.

    Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon gave his fiancée a diamond engagement ring that he said was the same one his father gave his mother, and his grandfather King Olav gave to Queen Martha.

    Not every royal lady has had diamonds in her engagement ring. The Queen Mother’s ring was sapphire and diamonds, as was Princess Anne’s. Lady Diana Spencer was given a £42,000 sapphire and diamond engagement ring by Prince Charles, while Sarah Ferguson received a ruby and diamond engagement ring from Prince Andrew.

    However, Sophie Rhys–Jones took the more traditional line with a three-diamond ring when she became engaged to Prince Edward.

    But for size, nothing comes close to the engagement ring Prince Rainier of Monaco gave Grace Kelly. She wore the 12ct diamond ring in her last movie, “High Society”, in 1956. In the film, Bing Crosby looks at the ring and quips, “Some stone, did you mine it yourself?”

    A New Take on an Old Tradition - Style 9501M Tension Set Engagement Ring With A Round Moissanite And Side Diamonds

  • Metal Finishes – a Quick Lesson

    It’s Monday and class has officially begun. So sit down in your seat, take that baseball cap off and get that pencil out of your mouth!

    You see, at Joseph Schubach Jewelers, we feel an educated customer tends to be a happier customer. They know the right questions to ask and we have the answers at the ready.

    Today, let’s talk a little bit about metal finishes, which can make a big difference in the look of your final product:

    Metal finishes

    (above) An example of gold plated jewellery

    For platinum, gold, and silver jewellery there are many techniques to create finishes. The most common are: high-polish, satin/matte, brushed, and hammered.

    High-polished jewellery is by far the most common and gives the metal the highly-reflective and shiny look.

    Satin, or matte finish reduces the shine and reflection of the jewellery and is commonly used to accentuate gemstones such as diamonds.

    Brushed finishes give the jewellery a textured look, and are created by brushing a material (similar to sandpaper) against the metal, leaving ‘brush strokes’.

    Hammered finishes are typically created by using a soft, rounded hammer and hammering the jewellery to give it a wavy texture.

    Some jewellery is plated to give it a shiny, reflective look or to achieve a desired colour. Sterling silver jewellery may be plated with a thin layer of 0.999 fine silver (a process known as flashing) or may be plated with rhodium or gold.

    Base metal costume jewellery may also be plated with silver, gold, or rhodium for a more attractive finish.

    Source: Wikipedia

    So there you go – a lesson in finishes. Now go forth and conquer!

    Style 9504M

    Solitaire Tension Set Engagement Ring With A Round Moissanite And Brushed Finish

    Tension set ring with brushed finish (setting only, does not include center stone)

  • A Few Jewelry Do’s and Don’ts


    * Wear ivory and tortoiseshell, but only if they’re fake.
    * Assemble a collection of good, basic costume jewelry:
    * Wear a pair of matching gold bangle bracelets, or a gold cuff not wider than an inch and a half.
    * Link necklaces in varying lengths.
    * Own a pair of simple gold hoop earrings, or gold button-style clip-ons.
    * Buy a two-tone watch so that you can wear it with silver or gold jewelry.
    * Keep your jewelry organized. Even egg cartons or plastic silverware trays will do.
    * Wear large earrings if you’re a large woman–you’re among the few who can carry them off.


    * Wear jewelry that jingles when you walk.
    * Pierce your ears more than twice in each lobe. Never wear earrings so heavy that they stretch your lobes.
    * Mix your metals. Silver jewelry is out of the question if your jacket has
    gold buttons.
    * Wear rhinestones before 6 p.m.
    * Squeeze a large neck into a dainty choker. It just doesn’t work.

    And here’s a few additional fashion pointers:

    Don’t pull up your stockings in public.
    Do wear color near your face.
    Do soften the hard lines of a suit with a lace top underneath.
    Don’t wear sweaters so long that they make you look short.
    Do borrow your husband’s clothes.
    Don’t wear acid-washed jeans.
    Cropped pants can make you look shorter.
    Do wear a hipslip or minimizer under tight clothes.
    Do have a stash of basics on hand: T-shirts, leggings, black socks and tights.
    Patterned leggings can make legs look heavier.
    Monochromatic outfits are one of the best slimming secrets there is.
    Don’t overaccessorize.

    Sources: Masterstech

  • Eco-friendly Jewelry – Steps you can Take

    If you’re on a tight budget during this never-ending recession, remember: you don’t have to sacrifice spirit-lifting pleasures such as jewelry.

    Here are a few steps you can take that are only a jewelry box away!

    Get Rid of Old Gold:

    Your old, unused gold and platinum jewelry could be worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars – more now than ever before. Why not sell your old gold and turn it into something new and exciting!

    Joseph Schubach Jewelers will buy your old gold and platinum jewelry out right or apply it to a new purchase. It’s an easy way to get that ring you’ve had your eye on – or to get some extra cash. Contact us for details on how we can help you turn your old memories into new ones.

    Keep the Stones:

    If you’ve got fine jewelry that seems worn or out of date, or broken, you should keep the stones. Think of a jeweler as a tailor, if you need a ring redesigned, it’s a cinch. Emeralds are just like buttons that can be added to other pieces to give a whole new look.

    A good practice is buying old jewelry from swap meets, garage sales, or estate sales. Keep thinking about the type of jewelry design you would like, and just be creative to get it by combining elements from more than one piece. It’s far less costly to have the diamonds and gemstones available and just put them in a different setting, than to buy an entirely new piece.

    Develop a Relationship with your Jeweler:

    With gold being as valuable as it is, it’s important to work with a jeweler you can trust. You don’t want to end up handing in a 14k gold chain and receiving a piece with 10k gold. It’s very likely that you won’t even notice, but the piece will be worth far less.

    The same is true of diamonds in your recycled jewelry. An unscrupulous jeweler can switch gemstones on you, leaving you with a less valuable piece while he resells the one he switched.

    After 100 years in business, we can assure you that we are the most trusted jeweler we know and we pride ourselves in creating relationships that span generations. Give us a call at (888) 724-8222 and let us see how we can help you recycle your jewelry today. There may be a new gift in store for you.

    Partial Source: Abazia’s Diamonds

  • The 5 Worst Jewelry Mistakes

    You know them when you see them. You can’t help watching, like a fashion train wreck, slowly unfolding before your eyes. Jewelry mistakes can happen to the best of us. Luckily, these fashion faux pas can easily be avoided with a few tips on what not to do:

    1. Jewelry Overkill – Unless you’re Liberace, too much jewelry distracts from your outfit and ultimately from you. Often one single, well-crafted piece of jewelry is all that is needed to make a statement. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a time and place to be a little excessive. Layering bracelets can look great, for instance. But you may want to stop there!

    2. Wrong Jewelry/Clothing Combo – If you’re wearing a delicate, sheer top and an over-sized, clunky necklace, you may want to think again. Your choice of jewelry should enhance the overall tone of your outfit. A classic example of the right combo? A black cocktail dress with a string of freshwater pearls. Or that delicate, sheer top with a simple gold necklace.

    3. Wrong Jewelry/Body Type Combo – If you’re a petite gal, a large piece of jewelry can overwhelm your look and make you seem weighed down. In turn, a larger woman may seem strangled by a thin, short necklace. It’s about proportion ultimately. The same holds true with the size of your face. An elongated face type will just seem that much more drawn by long, dangling earrings.

    4. Dirty or Just Plain Old Jewelry – Vintage jewelry is one thing but tarnished jewelry or jewelry missing stones just sends an “I don’t care” message. Nowadays, it doesn’t take much to shine up a necklace or your replace stones in your grandmother’s earrings. You can do it yourself or have it done by a professional for a very reasonable price.

    5. No Jewelry at All – There is a time and place for no jewelry, don’t get me wrong – like when you’re hiking, for instance. But for the most part, jewelry is an adornment that can bring you and your outfit to life…and just make you feel good. If you’re the type of person who thinks jewelry is too much of a bother, a simple piece might be just the right choice for you, like our Keys of Love pendant necklace.

    And remember…there was only one Liberace!

  • 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