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General Jewelry Info

  • Everything You Need to Know about Gold…and More!

    Golden Facts:

    Gold is the most popular metal used in jewelry making. Here are some other uses of this precious metal:

    • McLaren F1 uses gold foil in the engine compartment

    • Gold is used in astronauts’ helmets

    • Gold can be used in food. Goldwater, traditional herbal liquor produced in Poland and Germany, contains flakes of gold leaf. There are also some expensive ($1000) cocktails which contain flakes of gold leaf.

    • Gold is used in the connectors of expensive electronic cables like audio, video and USB cables

    • Gold is used in computers, communications equipment, spacecraft, and jet aircraft engines

    • Colloidal gold (also known as “nanogold”, is a suspension (or colloid) of sub-micromete-sized particles of gold in a fluid – usually water) is used in research applications in medicine, biology and materials science. Colloidal gold is also the form of gold used as gold paint on ceramics prior to firing.

    • It is used for the protective coatings on many artificial satellites

    • It is used in infrared protective faceplates in thermal protection suits

    • It is used in electronic warfare planes like the EA-6B Prowler

    • Gold is used as the reflective layer on some high-end CDs
    • The isotope gold-198 is used in some cancer treatments and for treating other diseases

    • Gold leaf, flake or dust is used on and in some gourmet foodstuffs, notably sweets and drinks as decorative ingredient

    • Gold alloys are used in restorative dentistry, especially in tooth restorations, such as crowns and permanent bridges

    • Gold can be made into thread and used in embroidery

    Source: Purple Slinky

    Styel 7233WB

    Ladies’ 14kt Yellow Gold Anniversary Band With Channel Set Diamonds

    Ladies’ anniversary band, 1.0ct t.w. channel set diamonds, 14kt yellow gold.

    Metal: 14kt Yellow Gold
    Stone Size: 1.0ct t.w.
    Ring Size: 4 – 8

  • A Quick Lesson in Sapphire

    Sapphire gems dazzle and attract the eye like no other. But what is it and where does it come from? What magical properties does it contain – and more importantly, is a sapphire pendant, necklace or other piece of jewelry in your budget range? Here’s a few tidbits to school you on this rich and intense gem:

    • Sapphire is the official birthstone for the month of September.
    • Sapphire is given as a gem for the 5th, 23rd and 45th wedding anniversaries while a star sapphire is given on the 65th wedding anniversary.
    • Sapphire is the non-red variety of corundum (the red variety of corundum is ruby). A 9.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness, sapphire is the second hardest natural mineral.
    • Blue is by far the most popular color for sapphires, but they can be almost any color, including yellow, green, white, colorless, pink, orange, brown, and purple. Padparadscha is the name for a rare orange-pink variety of sapphire and has a higher value than blue sapphires.
    • Sapphires with inclusions of tiny, rutile needles exhibit an optical property called asterism. This is the star shaped effect seen in star sapphires and is usually only seen in cabochon cuts.
    • Star sapphires usually have six ray stars, but twelve ray stars are also known. Rarely, when sapphires are cut en cabochon, they can demonstrate a cat’s eye effect. This effect displays a thin band of light down the center of the stone and is known as chatoyancy.
    • Heating colorless and very pale blue sapphires to high temperatures is done to give them an intense blue color. This treatment can also improve the clarity of the stones by removing tiny inclusions.
    • A rare variety of sapphire, known as color changing sapphire, exhibits different colors in different light. A color change sapphire is blue in natural light, and violet in artificial light. A similar effect is also seen in alexandrite.
    • Sapphire was first created synthetically in 1902 and is hard to distinguish from natural sapphires except by gemologists. Lab grown sapphires range in price and smaller stones are frequently used in less expensive jewelry.

    Source: Bernadine Fine Art Jewelry

    Sapphires can radically range in price but are generally more affordable than diamonds. Contact us if you’re interested in a sapphire engagement ring or a sapphire pendant necklace or even a sapphire broach. Sapphires are guaranteed to catch all eyes, so be prepared to draw a lot of attention.

    Here are some possibilities:

  • How to Buy Jewelry for that Special Person

    You want to give her something special – something that represents your feelings…but her tastes as well. How do you eliminate the risk? Nobody wants to hear “Um…it’s…wow, that’s really nice. Hmmm…”

    One simple thought? Inspect the jewelry she currently wears. Get a sense of her overall taste. Does she go for bold, bright pieces or subtle, understated pieces? Does she wear one piece of jewelry repeatedly or change pieces constantly?

    If you’re really unsure, talk to your jeweler.  There are always a few pieces in any collection that just about any woman would love. A simple, elegant piece works in just about any situation.

    Here’s a favorite of ours that we always feel confident suggesting (because we get nothing but good feedback from the wearers.)

    Style 10119-4.5mm (1/3ct)

    Classic Sweetheart Pave Necklace

    Classic Sweetheart pave necklace with 1/5ct t.w. round brilliant stones set on an 18″ cable chain. Fits a 4.5mm (1/3ct diamond) round center stone. (setting only, does not include center stone).

  • A One of a Kind Diamond Destined to make Two People Very Happy

    The person who receives this diamond will love it for its beauty and mystique and the joy of wearing it. The person giving it will love the incredible deal and the smiles it brings. However, there’s only one diamond like this, so when it’s gone, it’s gone.

    Pear Shape Diamond
    5.01ct Pear Shape Diamond (14.5mmx9mm)

    A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

    As we are seeing in the current real estate market, unprecedented deals on important gemstones are popping up, where prices are marked significantly below average. We are able to present this rare and beautiful natural pear-shaped diamond for less than it would be wholesale in today’s market and markedly less than its retail price of a year ago.

    This diamond weighs 5.01 carats, has a color of F, a clarity of VS2 and is accompanied by a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) diamond grading report. The color places it in the highest “colorless” category according to the GIA diamond grading system. The clarity assures you that there are absolutely no visible inclusions to the eye.

    The beauty of this particular diamond lies with the cut, or the way this diamond is proportioned: to reflect the most amount of light that enters the stone. Unlike round diamonds, fancy-shaped diamonds do not have an exact mathematical formula or set of parameters to follow to allow for maximum brilliance. The diamond cutter is the artist, when it comes to creating fancy-shaped diamonds. It is his or her knowledge, expertise and skill that ultimately determine how brilliant and bright the diamond will be.

    And brilliance, after all, is what a diamond is all about. Brilliance is what makes a diamond speak to you or what captivates you.

    This particular pear-shaped gem has one of the prettiest cuts we’ve seen. It has an elegant, graceful, elongated shape and the radiance this diamond exudes is breathtaking. The color is crystal clear (again, it falls in the top “colorless” category, according to GIA.) These two factors – the fire and the color – assure you that this diamond will be a constant eye-catcher.

    To add to its rarity, this is a naturally occurring diamond, found in nature and not man-made. The size and quality of this stone make it even more rare. A search on a leading online diamond dealer shows a similar diamond with one color grade better costing over $100,000.00 more than the price of this diamond. One can only imagine the price this would command from any of the leading national or international jewelry houses.

    And again, to assure you of the quality of this diamond, it is accompanied by a Diamond Grading Report from the Gemological Institute of America, the world’s foremost authority on diamonds and diamond grading. A report by the GIA far outweighs any other kind of diamond grading report. The GIA is the final authority when it comes to diamond grading and identification. After all, they are the originators of the grading system and the place gemologists go for their training. Any important diamond sold in the market, whether wholesale, in a retail store or at auction, is accompanied by a GIA report. For more information visit the GIA website.

    A diamond of this quality would be stunning in a hand-crafted ring or necklace or would be a great addition to an investment portfolio. In the diamond world, as in real estate, this is a “buyer’s market.” If you can take advantage of this rare opportunity, the time to act is now.

    For additional information and pricing, contact Joe Schubach personally at 888-724-8222.

    38ct D color, flawless clarity pear-shaped diamond necklace owned by Christina Onassis

    38ct D color, flawless clarity pear-shaped diamond necklace once owned by Christina Onassis

    Pear-shaped diamond ring29ct D color, Flawless pear-shaped diamond ring offered at Sotheby’s

  • Silver Jewelry Spans Generations and Geography

    (above. Naturally occurring “wire silver”, with branching and curling wire-like shapes.)

    Silver is one of the most beloved and versatile metals worldwide and it has been for some time. Silver is never out of fashion and it’s often quite affordable, especially during tough economic times.

    The amazing value of silver jewelry has persisted throughout the ages, proving its versatility by adapting to the changing styles and trends of time. Used in tribal ceremonies, eastern and western religions, and department store malls, silver jewelry around the world continues to be a popular choice.

    The history of silver jewelry is just as alluring as its beautiful, light-reflecting qualities. Even before 4000 BC, this valuable metal was discovered and mined in Anatolia, known today as Turkey. The groups of people developing in that part of the world began to use and trade items made of silver, and as time passed the metal was mined more intensely.

    From these silver mining beginnings, the central hub for extensive silver mining changed from culture to culture, as new improvements and demands developed. At different points in time, China, Greece, and Spain all became main suppliers of silver, sending their silver jewelry around the world.

    Today, the statistics show that Mexica and Peru produce the most silver. Mexico in particular supposedly mines 1/5 of all the world’s silver! New and enhanced methods for mining and refining silver have been introduced over the years, and today we have several varieties of silver jewelry with differing levels of durability and shine.

    Pure silver jewelry tarnishes easily, so a new 92.5 % silver metal alloy, called sterling silver, is mixed with nickel, copper, or zinc, to keep the pure shine of silver in a durable, longer lasting manner.


    Create your own silver jewelry with the help of our custom design team. Whether it’s a piece you saw on a celebrity or reminiscent of a family heirloom, we can bring your jewelry dream to life. Here are some samples, to whet your appetite. The last two pieces are for men (the dogtag is making a real comeback – great holiday gift for your guy!):

  • Celtic Jewelry Standing the Test of Time

    The amazing aspect of jewelry is its remained surprisingly unchanged over centuries and centuries. That’s not to say there isn’t a variety of jewelry – but when you look at pieces made hundreds of years ago, there’s a connective thread – a similarity or look that resonates even today.

    Take the Celtic Cross:

    The Celtic cross (aka “high cross,” or “sun cross”) is a familiar, and iconic motif that is associated with Celtic Christianity, although its origins are pre-Christian, dating back to the Bronze Age in the 3rd millennium BC. As a “sun cross,” the Celtic cross represents both the Solstices and equinoxes. Other interpretations say that the Celtic cross symbolizes the the four elements of air, earth, fire, and water, or perhaps the four quarters of the earth.

    The beauty in learning the history of jewelry is that you can create a piece using mythic symbols that span centuries. Symbols are powerful and transformative. Some say grounding or protective. Others simply like the look. Here are some sample to spur your imagination. And remember, if you want a piece rich in historical signficance and fashionably sound, we can create it with you!

    And some Celtic pieces from today:

  • When to Wear Slightly Upscale Jewelry

    It’s easy to decide on your pearls for that upcoming wedding or that simple pendant for a picnic in the park. But some events call for something in-between. This would include a work-related party or a PTA meeting or a semi-casual first date or an important family affair, like a 25th anniversary party. Times like this, it’s nice to accent a little bit more.

    Here’s what one expert has to say:

    There are those in between places you go, where slightly dressier attire might be called for. A simple dress or a modern looking pant suit is the likely choices for things like this. There is such a wide variety of mod looking jewelry available that have classy looks. Outfits like these ask for a little more than the simple little chain and pendant. The newer pieces like solid silver neck pieces with a stylish slide pendant are great for dressy casual wear. Cuff bracelets and bangles made from all sorts of metals are appropriate as well. Just do not over do your jewelry in comparison to your clothes.

    The most fun occasions to wear jewelry are those occasions when we have the opportunity to break out our nicest pieces and can wear them to the elegant places we love to go. Things like plays and fancy restraints are the perfect reason to wear our bigger diamonds, strands of beautiful pearls, and luscious colored gem stones. If you are like most of us these chances do not happen everyday, so put on your most glamorous jewelry and look like a million!

    Here’s a few samples from our gallery:

    Classic Sweetheart Pave Necklace

    Classic Sweetheart pave necklace with 1/5ct t.w. round brilliant stones set on an 18″ cable chain. Fits a 4.5mm (1/3ct diamond) round center stone. (setting only, does not include center stone).

    Style 10110

    Inside Out Hoop Earrings With Round Stones

    Prong set inside out hoop earrings set with round brilliant stones.

  • Custom Palladium Jewelry

    We are in the process of hand fabricating a piece of custom jewelry – a palladium engagement ring for a client and thought we would show you how a hand fabricated piece starts out and explain a little how the process works.

    A truly hand fabricated piece of jewelry is different from a traditional lost wax/cast process. With a custom lost wax process, the wax model is carved by hand or carved with a machine (CAM). This wax is then used to directly cast in metal the final piece of jewelry. With a hand fabricated piece, we start out with a piece of metal, like the metal rod shown here. The metal is then worked (filed, hammered, shaped, etc.) by hand into the shape of the final piece. So, rather than carve a wax and cast from the wax, a hand fabricated piece is literally made entirely from hand. It is a much more difficult process to do.

    Some pieces are better off being hand fabricated than cast. For example, jewelry that has very fine scroll detail or gallery sections that require fine, intricate polishing are great candidates for hand fabrication. This piece will have very long, smooth curves, and hand fabrication will give us a smoother, more even finish when we’re through.

    We’ll try to get some pictures of this ring mid process and post to the blog.

    Looking for a platinum alternative? Try palladium (click here for additional information).

  • Jewelry – Where it all Began

    Jewelry has existed for eons. It was used in the past not only as a form of adornment but also as a sign of status or religious affiliation or a form of protection. Egyptian jewlery, some believe, is where jewelry making became more relevant and widespread. It’s influences are still felt in jewelry today.

    According to one site:

    Many consider the period of Egyptian jewelry as the dawning period for our modern form of jewelry. It was during this time that the manufacturing of jewelry became a profession and techniques and skills evolved to create a wide variety of styles and adornments.

    Jewelry craftsman began to utilize artistic skill and an increasingly wide variety of materials. While artistic skill was valued the primary purpose of jewelry was to act as amulets and talismans. Gemstone and metal color was of greater importance than any other attribute. Gold was used extensively but this is primarily because it was readily available and very easy to work with. Many expensive gemstones we consider precious today like diamonds were very rarely used simply because they did not exhibit the color or symbolism of other gemstones.

    Egyptian beliefs stipulated that every gemstone carried certain mystical powers which would be transferred to the owner when worn as jewelry. Symbols such as the sacred Egyptian scarab also formed an important part of jewelry and were also believed to carry certain powers.

    Here are some pieces that still inspire. If you’re looking for a piece with a classic Egyptian feel, consider us. We can custom design a jewelry piece with your classic tastes specifically in mine.

  • Three Cushion Cut Diamonds – Which one would you choose?

    un set cushion cut diamonds

    un set cushion cut diamonds

    It’s all in the make! That’s an industry term for stating the importance of a diamond’s cut, or proportions, which is what you ultimately see once the microscopes are put away and the diamond is set into a ring. This is what gives a diamond it’s ‘Wow’ factor and determines how much sparkle the diamond has.

    We are currently helping a client choose a diamond for an engagement ring. As you can see in the picture above, we have three nearly identical cushion cut diamonds with three very different proportions giving us three different looking diamonds. All three diamonds have nearly the same weight and are similar in color/clarity.

    Which do you prefer? Let us know.