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General Jewelry Info

  • Points on Palladium

    Last week, you learned a little about platinum and its finer points. This week, we shift the spotlight to palladium, the lesser known “little brother” to platinum. What is this wonder metal and how can it add to your jewelry wardrobe?

    According to Wikipedia:

    Palladium itself has been used as a precious metal in jewelry since 1939, as an alternative to platinum or white gold. This is due to its naturally white properties, giving it no need for rhodium plating.

    It is slightly whiter, much lighter and about 12% harder than platinum. Similar to gold, palladium can be beaten into a thin leaf form as thin as 100 nm (1/250,000 in).

    So not is it only highly durable, it’s affordable – making it quite popular during a struggling economy. According to Pierce Mattie Public Relations:

    A sure sign of its rise to fame came at the 2009 American Gem Trade Association Spectrum Awards where they announced that Palladium is finally gaining more acceptance in the designer world.  Many designers including Tenthio, Sasha Primak, and Michael Sugarman will be developing an entire palladium collection in conjunction with high-karat gold and platinum lines.

    Additionally, retailers can expect to see an increase in palladium pieces at upcoming trade shows.  Solidifying the trend, some of the most highly acclaimed names in the design world will also be adopting the metal, including Robert Lee Morris, Paul Morelli, Zoltan David, Alishan, Michael Bondanza, and Barry Kronen.

    (above) Wedding bands were in demand during the 1940s, and many were made of palladium. This diamond-set eternity band is engraved “E.A.E. & M.O’R. Oct. 20, 1943” and “Palladium – Tiffany & Co.” (see inset). Courtesy of Kurt Rothner, Excalibur, West Hollywood, CA.

    Here are a few other stellar examples of palladium pieces:

  • Points on Platinum

    Platinum is a bit of an elusive metal. We all have a historical understanding of gold and silver but platinum can seem like the odd man out. What is it exactly? And why would you choose platinum over other metals for a wedding band or other fine jewelry? Well, here’s a few points on platinum to ponder prior to purchase:

    All the platinum ever mined would fit in the average size living room!

    Annually, only about 133 tons of platinum are mined, compared to about 1,782 tons of gold.

    Louis XVI of France proclaimed platinum the only metal fit for royalty!

    10 tons of ore and a five month process is needed to make up one ounce of platinum.

    1a.gif (204 bytes)lthough Platinum may seem new, it is also legendary. The Ancient Egyptians and South American Incas prized it. France’s Louis XVI proclaimed it the only metal fit for royalty.

    1l.gif (181 bytes)egendary jewelers such as Cartier, Faberge and Tiffany created their timeless designs in Platinum. The world’s famous diamonds, including the Hope, Jonker I and Koh-I-Noor, are secured by the permanence of Platinum.

    1p.gif (248 bytes)latinum reached its peak of popularity in the early 1900’s, when it was the preferred metal for all fine jewelry in America. When World War II began, the U.S. government declared Platinum a strategic metal and its use in non-military applications, including jewelry, was disallowed. To appease consumers, who preferred Platinum’s white luster, white gold was substituted in Platinum’s absence.


    It is very fashionable to wear Platinum with your gold jewelry. In fact, many Platinum designs combine the two metals. Platinum’s white color beautifully contrasts with yellow gold and adds versatility to your jewelry wardrobe.

    No other jewelry metal is more precious, more lasting or more appealing than platinum. Its rich white luster and understated elegance are beyond compare.  Discover why platinum is the metal of choice for today’s discriminating jewelry buyer.


    It is the heaviest of the precious metals, weighing almost twice as much as karat gold. Its strength ideally secures diamonds and other precious gems.

    Even after many years, platinum will not wear away or wear down. For example, after many years of wear, a gold wedding band’s shank will wear down and become thinner. This is not the case with platinum.

    As with all precious metals (gold, silver, etc.), platinum can be scratched. However, with platinum, there is actually no material lost from the scratch as there is with gold. If your platinum jewelry becomes scratched, simply take it to your jeweler for a quick polish.


    In America, platinum jewelry contains either 90% or 95% pure platinum. By comparison, 18 karat gold is 75% pure and 14 karat is 58% pure gold. Platinum will never tarnish or lose its rich white luster.


    Ten tons of ore must be mined to produce a single ounce of platinum. It takes five months to process platinum ore into pure platinum. Only after this time can skilled hands work their creativity and craftsmanship, transforming platinum into pieces of wearable art.


    Platinum jewelry is as versatile as it is beautiful. The choice is yours: platinum with karat gold accents for breathtaking new versatility or, for the purist, the subtle look of all platinum.

    Whether inspired by classic or contemporary themes, platinum jewelry is perfect for any occasion under the sun, moon or stars. A quiet luxury in today’s world. A treasure to be worn.

    Source: History of Platinum

    Style 6813WB

    Platinum Comfort Fit Band With Hammer Finish And High Polished Sides

    Platinum comfort fit wedding band, hammer finished center, high polished sides, 6mm wide.


  • How to Care for your Jewelry the Right Way

    If you’ve recently invested in a fine piece of jewelry, whether its moissanite, Gemesis or natural diamonds or whether it’s platinum or gold, tending to your jewelry ensures a long, brilliant life.

    Here are some basic tips to remember to keep the sparkle in your bling!


    Soak for 20 minutes in a solution of one cup warm water and 1/4 cup ammonia. Then gently scrub with a soft-bristle toothbrush, getting into the small areas between the diamond and the setting. Rinse with warm water, and lay on a tissue to dry. If your diamonds are set in platinum, this method will also clean the setting.


    Rub each pearl individually with a soft, clean cotton cloth dampened with a solution of two cups warm water and a few drops of a mild dishwashing liquid, like Joy. (Soaking strands of pearls can cause the string to stretch.) Let air-dry overnight.


    Rinse in warm water and pat dry. If silver is tarnished, use a silver-polishing cloth or a jar of silver-cleaning fluid, such as Goddard’s Silver Dip (available at drugstores). (Silver cleaner won’t harm gold and platinum, but it won’t clean them, either.) For jewelry with intricate designs, use a silver-cleaning paste, which can get into small crevices. (Don’t use toothpaste or other abrasive cleaners, which will scratch.) Wipe with a clean, soft cloth.


    Dip in warm water. Gently scrub with a soft toothbrush. Rinse with warm water. Let air-dry.


    Soak for 15 minutes in a solution of two cups warm water and a few drops of a mild dishwashing liquid, like Joy. Gently scrub with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Rinse with warm water, and dry with a soft cloth.


    14kt Rose Gold Earrings Set With Pink Moissanite And White Diamonds

    Beautiful, one of a kind 14kt rose gold earrings with 1.0ct t.w. (dia equiv) Charles and Colvard created round moissanite color enhanced to spring pink, surrounded by 1/3ct t.w. white diamonds.

  • The Tennis Bracelet – A Brief History

    Is it a bracelet you wear while playing tennis for good luck? Or perhaps what an in-step fashionista wears after a game, while sipping a mint iced tea in the tennis club? Or maybe none of the above.

    The actual story is rather interesting:

    Tennis bracelets got their unusual name from an incident involving professional tennis player Chris Evert during a match in 1987. Evert had been wearing an expensive bracelet featuring an inline string of individually-set diamonds. When the clasp snapped, she asked the officials to stop the match until the jewelry could be found. Since that day, bracelets featuring an inline array of diamonds have been called tennis bracelets.

    In the jewelry world, tennis bracelets are the perfect accessory for formal occasions because of their sparkle – an “upscale” bracelet. Individual diamonds (or moissanite or Gemesis) are placed in square settings and then strung into a bracelet held together by a clasp. The settings and support wiring may be constructed from silver or other metal.

    The nice part about tennis bracelets are their comfortability. They provide “give” while wearing and glide on the wrist elegantly and smoothly.

    Here’s one of our favorite tennis bracelets:

    Style 1857M

    Bezel Set Moissanite Tennis Bracelet

    Bezel set tennis bracelet with Charles and Colvard created round moissanite, standard 7″ length.

    Available Moissanite Total Weight: 3.0ct-8.0ct

  • Gold Jewelry – A Few Facts

    Gold is one of the most versatile jewelry metals around. It never goes out of style, looks good on just about anyone and feels warm and rich to the wearer. Pure gold doesn’t react with other elements to create tarnish and while people who may have allergies when gold is combined with metals rarely have a problem with pure gold.

    Gold can be manipulated in numerous ways as well, so if you are custom designing a piece with Joseph Schubach Jewelers, you choose a metal whose varieties are infinite.

    Here are some pointers to remember about gold:

    • 24K gold is pure gold.
    • 18K gold contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 75% gold.
    • 14K gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 58.3% gold.
    • 12K gold contains 12 parts gold and 12 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 50% gold.
    • 10K gold contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 41.7% gold. 10K gold is the minimum karat that can be called “gold” in the United States.
    • Palladium or nickel can be added to create white gold. Adding copper produces a rose or pink tint, while silver gives gold a greenish cast.When metals are added to the gold the result is an alloy, a blended mixture. Solid gold is a term that can be used to describe an item that’s at least 10K (in the US) gold all the way through. Even though it’s a gold alloy–18K, 14K, or anything down to 10K–it can be called solid gold.

    Gold, in the Raw

  • Debunking the Mixed Metal Myth

    I don’t know about you, but I heard this one ever since I was a small child: “Don’t mix gold with silver.” This was akin to wearing white after Labor Day or your handbag and shoes not matching. It’s funny how those “rules” get stuck in our head…often needlessly.

    Guess what? It’s FINE to mix metals! Mix away. Wearing matching metals is a traditional look, but aren’t you looking for something a little more contemporary?

    According to one fashion expert:

    The trick is, if you want to mix metals, keep the style of the jewelry the same.

    A modern gold cuff won’t look right paired back to dainty, antique platinum and diamond earrings. The “stacking trend” lends itself perfectly to the mixing of metals. Stack square or round rings or bangles in different shapes of gold.

    You can even layer gold and silver necklaces for a fashion-forward look.

    Sometime rules were meant to be broken!

  • Did You Know Diamond Facts

    Did you know:

    • The Diamond is the birthstone of April?
    • The Diamond is the anniversary gemstone for the 10th and 60th years of marriage?
    • Diamonds were discovered in India in 500 B.C., and the name “diamond” comes from the Greek word “Adamas” which means unconquerable?
    • The ancients believed they were hardened dew drops, splinters from the stars or crystallized lightning?
    • A Diamond is the hardest existing substance known and is made of a crystallized carbon that has unique powers of light reflection. Since diamonds are composed of a single element, they are the purest of all gemstones.

    Here’s one of our most popular “star splinters”:

    Our Classic Sweetheart Pave Nccklace

    This popular necklace holds a 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 Look (Way) Back at Edwardian Jewelry

    The beauty of jewelry is that while its always changing, there are elements that stay the same. Looking at a piece of fine jewelry from a hundred years ago doesn’t seem drastically different than something you might see today.

    Take Edwardian jewelry for instance:

    Edward VII ascended the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria, in 1901. He and his wife Alexandra set the tone for the Belle Epoque, a time when elegance and fashion became society’s predominant values. New wealth flourished among the upper and middle classes; the automobile, airplane and movie industries were born.
    As for fashion, it took on an almost ethereal lightness, with layers of delicate fabrics, lace and feathers.

    Antique Jewelry Online gives us a closer glimpse:

    Platinum: Platinum’s strength enabled the creation of “invisible” settings, in which very little metal was used to hold a gemstone in place. Such settings complemented fashion’s lightness. Jewelry made with saw-piercing and filigree techniques matched the lacy looks of the era. White gold alloys were developed as a less expensive alternative, and as a substitute for platinum (considered a strategic metal) during WWI.

    Diamonds and Pearls: Diamonds and pearls set in platinum were favored for their white-on-white color scheme, and sense of refined elegance and luxury.

    Garland Style Motifs: Eighteenth-century decorative motifs, such as swags, bows, ribbons, tassels, wreaths and flower garlands, show the neo-classical and Rococo influences on Edwardian jewelry design.

    Necklaces: The new fashion–with its upswept hair, high collars for day and low necklines for evening–emphasized the head and neck. Pendants and lavalieres were widely worn. Particularly popular was the negligee pendant, consisting of two drops of unequal length suspended from a central element.

    Indian Influence: When Edward toured India, Alexandra developed a keen interest in the style of the Indian princesses, or Maharajas. This exotic influence started a fashion for diamond aigrettes (feathers worn as hair ornamnets); sautoirs (long ropes of pearls or chain ending in a tassel); and chokers, or “dog collars” (one of Alexandra’s favorite styles).

    Brooches: Circle brooches and bar pins, particularly with lacy filigree designs, were very fashionable. Stars and crescents were also popular.

    Amethyst: A favorite stone of Alexandra’s, amethyst was often included in jewelry of the era. The combination of these violet stones with white pearls and green peridots represented the colors of the suffragette movement; the “g,” “w,” and “v” stood for “give women the vote.”

    Today, diamond engagement rings from this time period are extremely popular. These engagement rings often feature filigree detail, and contain antique diamonds such as the Old Mine Cut and Old European Cut diamonds.

    The rings are typically made of platinum or white gold. Filigree diamond earrings and necklaces, and white gold and platinum wedding bands, are the ideal complement to such engagement rings.

    Here are some examples:

  • Jewelry with a Painful History

    Items of Jewelry found among the clothing of Auschwitz
    inmates and long hidden by a camp survivor are on display
    at a Massachusetts museum.

    A 95-year-old Auschwitz survivor donated jewelry he procured from the clothing of Jews who were interned at a Nazi camp to Israel’s Holocaust History Museum on Monday.

    Boston resident and Polish-born Meyer Hack found the pieces while sorting through the clothing of victims of the gas chambers, which was his job at the camp where his mother, brother and two sisters died.

    He painstakingly hid the eight rings, watches and brooches of diamonds and gold beneath his barracks.

    Hack  took the jewelry with him in a sock on a winter’s “death march” from the camp in Poland to the Dachau camp, near Munich in January 1945. He escaped Dachau and hid until World War II ended.

    Hack broke down as he spoke about how he had to sort and bundle the clothes of victims forced to disrobe before they were gassed.

    He went on to work in a clothing store in Boston, where he lived with his wife, whom he met in the camps, and their two sons. He placed the wartime jewels in a metal box in his attic and left them there for more than six decades.

    “I tried to build a new life, so I put them in a box and I said, ‘I’m not going to touch it until the right time comes,’” he said.

    So why now?

    “I’m 95,” he said with a smile. “It’s time.”

    Source: Los Angeles Times

  • How to NOT be a Fashion Victim!

    You’ve heard the expression, “She’s a fashion victim,”claimed to have been coined by Oscar de la Renta. Buying jewelry that doesn’t suit you but suits a trend is not always in your best interest (unless you can afford to keep up with the constant changes!)

    It’s best to find a piece of jewelry that is timeless and adaptable and distinctly you, especially if budget is an issue. The idea to remember is: you should wear it, it shouldn’t wear you!

    Here are some other pointers when choosing:

    Step 1

    Go easy when going big and bold. If you’re going to wear large bangles or necklaces, don’t wear delicate jewelry as well. Also, try to stick to solid color, simple clothes rather than frills or prints. Big, bold jewelry should be the focal point of your outfit.

    Step 2

    Wear only the cocktail ring. If you’re wearing a large cocktail ring, don’t wear other, smaller rings (except for a wedding ring).

    Step 3

    Mix metals but not styles. It’s okay to wear gold and silver jewelry together, but keep to the same style. For example, wear two delicate chains rather than one that’s delicate and one that’s thick.

    Step 4

    Wear the right length. A necklace that falls just below the collarbone goes better with a plunging neckline than a high one. A necklace that falls below the bust goes with a high neckline. Chokers look great with strapless dresses. Never wear a necklace that falls to the top of the bust with a plunging neckline.

    Step 5

    Wear pins anywhere. Pins can go on handbags, belts and even shoes. Attach a scarf to your outfit with a pin. Use pins to hold up the brim of a hat or place several pins around the band. The most ho-hum place to wear a pin is on the shoulder.

    Step 6

    Go easy at work. For most offices, it’s acceptable to wear your watch and wedding ring, plus one ring on the other hand, one necklace, one bracelet and one set of earrings only. The earrings shouldn’t dangle. Anything more is considered by most employers to be excessive.

    Here’s one of our most loved classics. This piece works with practically any outfit and for any occasion:

    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).