December 29, 2012

After Christmas Problems Solved

Posted in Christmas, clasps, diamonds, engagement, Gifts, gold, jeweler, jewelry care, jewelry repair, ring sizing, rings, rose diamonds, silver, watch, watch batteries, watches tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:33 pm by rosediamonds

Following any big holiday, we see an influx of people looking to “adjust” their gifts.  Here are some of the most common issues we see after Christmas:

ring too small

Problem: New Ring is too big/too small

Solution: Ring Sizing or ring guard.  Price will vary depending on the thickness of the metal and what kind of metal it is (silver is less than gold.  gold less than platinum).  Sizing up costs more than sizing down.  Problem/sensitive stones (amythest, citrine, tanzanite, opal, turqouise, mother of pearl, emeralds, etc) may have an additional cost if the jeweler needs to remove them or use a more elaborate set-up to protect the stones from damage from the jewelers torch $$

Ring Guards are a less expensive version (at time of publication $5) and take two minutes to install.  They are slightly adjustable, but they are not as comfortable as getting the ring to the right size.  $

ring sizing

ring guard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

chain too short
chain extender

Problem: Chain is too short/too long

Solution: Obviously, we can replace the chain with one of the proper length.  If your chain is too long, it can be shortened (same day usually) for $15-30.  We do this by removing links and then soldering the chain back together.  If it is a round chain, we usually removed the endcap (endpiece) and shorten it seamlessly.  $$

If your chain is too short, we can add an extender to the back in the form of a chain segment.  If you want the chain to match exactly, we can order in a bracelet of the same link to work from or we might

have your link in stock.  This may not be the best choice if you have short hair as the chain extender will show in the back.  Round chains (rope, singapore, snake, and box) do not have a way to seamlessly add matching links, so in these cases many people choose to replace or add a standard extension chain to it.  Price on this depends on how much chain (length and width) you are adding.  We might be able to use one of your old chains, bracelets, anklets, etc to do the extension.  Bring it in and ask $$$

 

Pendant Bail

Problem: Pendant won’t go through the chain I want to use.

Solution: We are practical  types, so we usually recommend the path of least cost to you.  In most cases, this means that we will adjust the pail of your pendant.  There are cases where we remove the endpiece to your chain to slip it on (this means it won’t accidentally come off, but you won’t be able to switch pendants this way)  Cost will vary depending on whether we are simply re-shaping an end or removing and re-soldering.  Larger replacement bails are also available.  $$

tangle of necklaces

Problem: Tiny, Tangly Chains

Solution: Tiny chains come with many pendants or are available at promo (cheap) prices so people aren’t overwhelmed with a pendant price AND a chain price (it can work out to doubling the cost for a nice chain).  To keep a tiny chain untangled, store it clasped.  Storing the chain hanging (a panel nail on the inside of your closet wall will do) or notch a business card/scrap of paper and wrap the chain around it to prevent tangling when not wearing it.  There are several chains that resist tangling more than others.  If you are thinking of replacing your chain, we usually recommend at least a 1mm diameter.  Replacement chains (appx 18′ with a 1mm diameter) run from $100-250 depending on the style/weight in gold.  Silver replacement chains are from $15-35.

watch too big

Problem: Watch too big

Solution: We can adjust the links of most watches while you wait for a flat fee ($5 at time of writing this).  Notice we did not mention lengthening watches…the only way to handle this is for you to find your replacement links (look in your button drawer) or for us to replace the watchband (leather runs around $25 while a stainless or two tone option runs around $35)

chronograph

Problem: What are all these dials for.  Is my watch even running?

Solution: Everyone loves the “complicated” look of a chronograph.  First things first.  A chronograph is like a stopwatch.  It has two second hands.  The general one is in one of the small dials.  The large second hand only sweeps when you push the top button on your watch.  Here are a couple diagrams for your convenience on the most common issue peple have with resetting their chrono.

reset chronograph

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November 27, 2012

What to do with little leftover diamonds

Posted in crosses, diamonds, estate jewelry, gemstones, gift ideas, Gifts, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, rings, rose diamonds, silver tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:44 pm by rosediamonds

This comes up quite often since we do our fair share of gold buying these days.  As people clean out their jewelry bin of broken pieces, tokens of past relationships, and inherited mishmash, there are inevitable leftover diamonds (usually not big ones).

Large diamonds are easy to sort out or sell, but what should you do with your 1/4 ct marquise diamond solitaire?marquise solitaire

Here’s some ideas:

  • Add it to an existing piece of jewelry you already like (use it on the bail of a favorite pendant or add it to a cross or charm)
  • Create a new piece of free form jewelry with it and partners.  Jewelry has evolved.  Don’t be afraid to combine stones from separate pieces–think “all my grandparents” ring
  • Add as a charm to a bracelet/anklet
  • small stones can make a big impact in stacking rings
  • cluster earrings or pendant ideafree form diamond ringstacking ringstation braceletImage

July 27, 2012

5 Ways to Make Your Diamond Ring Look Bigger (for under $1000)

Posted in bride, diamonds, engagement, estate jewelry, gemstones, gift ideas, Gifts, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, jewelry repair, rings, rose diamonds, wedding tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:44 pm by rosediamonds

the addition of Pintrest, people are becoming more design conscious.  With all of the drool worthy pins out there, it can make a diamond ring you received a decade or so ago look tiny.  Thus, the need for an upgrade.

Not everyone has the budget to replace a diamond with a larger one.  If you do, I usually recommend you go up by at least a full millimeter so you can SEE the difference since you are paying the difference.  A 1/4 carat to a 1/3 carat is hard to tell apart unless you have your calipers on you…  Remember, carat refers to weight, not size, so not all 1 carat diamonds are the same diameter.  Old diamond (they are all old technically) can be moved over as a side stone or made into a pendant.

It may be that you do not WANT to replace your original diamond at all.  It has been my experience that men are many times more sentimental about keeping the same diamond throughout the marriage.  Not necessariy because they are being cheapo, but because they beleive in “luck” and “streaks.”  Ask a man to tell you about the time he wore the same socks to every ball game for an entire season without washing them…

To preserve the peace without breaking the bank, there are several ways to boost your original diamond’s “presence.”

  1. Add a halo.  It adds approximately 2-2.5mm of sparkly to the center of your ring.  I personally don’t like this term–I like “booster ring,” which sounds way more Star Wars–but who can argue with DeBeers?  The final look will depend on your original diamond size.  The diamond in the center can be situated above or level with the other stones.  For those of you in the healthcare industry, a low bezel set center can reduce the nnormal snalling on latex gloves.  Lifestyle matters too!  There are halo versions with varying stone sizes (usually .01-.03ct each)  This new setting can usually be added to your original engagement ring with some slight modifications.  By adding the halo in white, you can update the look of a yellow gold ring and help your jewelry “blend” in more with your other sterling and white gold/platinum pieces.  Also look for expanded halos and double halos.  I personally find the triple halo to be too much…  An expanded halo means there is empty space between yur center stone and your diamond making it look even bigger.  Also check into different prong styles.  Exposed mini prongs have a very different look than the channel set and cocktail setting of the past.  Also there are faux channels with mini milgrain that can lend a vintage look to your ring.  Some halos have stones on the sides of the halo as well.  These add cost, but can be super pretty as well.  Have a fancy shape diamond?  Don’t worry…they make halo heads for them as well!    Estimated cost $850 (depends on stone size and style of course).  
  2. New head.  Usually a thicker one, perhaps with double prongs or tulip prongs.  Some people don’t like the look of halos, so they opt to boost their center diamond by thickening up their prongs.  8 prong heads (octet heads) give a designer finish to the ring that isn’t available “off the rack” at most stores.  Tulip heads are named for their obvious resemblance to the flowers.  Another advantage to the thicker prongs is more durability for everyday wear and tear.  By the way, if you have had your ring for a decade and never had your prongs retipped or at least checked, you may want to consider a replacement head or service work (retipping) anyway.  Its like getting your oil changed–not glamorous, but necessary for the longevity of your ring..Wide and narrow bezel settings also boost the “spread” of your ring, but I find they tend to make an engagement ring look more casual that its prongy cousins;) Estimated cost $150
  3. Have an old set of diamond earrings?  Add them as side stones.  Different shapes?  Doesn’t matter!  This one is a little more tricky as there are three options.  Option one: reset original diamond and two earrings into a new setting.  There are a lot of combinations to three stone rings (some of which have way more than three stones lol).  If your original stone and earrings fit into a standard configuation, an off the rack mounting will do the trick.  Estimated cost $750.  Option 2: Add a wrap to your original ring.  This usually only works with solitaires (no side stones).  The wrap extends over the solitaire shank making it look (kinda) like one ring.  It may need to be soldered together to prevent slippage.  Estimated cost $700.  Option 3: Add smaller earring diamonds in a custom bridge.  This one is more tricky to estimate a price on since every ring is different.  Adding them in a bypass style can also affect how your wedding band (if you have one) will fit next to your new altered ring.  Estimated cost <1000 difinately, but talk to a pro about the feasibility of this one.  Fun alternative to this is adding a pair of gemstones instead.  Sapphires, blue topaz, etc all look gorgeous next to diamonds!  Same price for labor.
  4. Illusion head/plate.  This used to mean white gold diamond cut plate that was used to accent a teeny diamond in a pretty noticeable setting.  There are more modern options to this!  One option is to recreate the vintage box setting.  This illusion setting makes a round stone look bigger, more square, and more vintage.  Estimated cost: Starts at $150.  A free form ring doesn’t make your diamonds look bigger necessarily but by combining it with other medium sized diamonds, it can make the impact of the ring look bigger.  The estimated cost depends on the finished weight of the free form ring (there are stock options and custom options) and how many heads/stones need to be set.  
  5. Narrow or pinch the shank.  There is always more than one way to skin a cat, so now we will take our focus off the diamond and put it on the ring it sits in.  A good rule of thumb is this: the wider the band, the small your diamond will look.  Think about a shift dress.  It looks like a straight column.  If you were to add a belt, it would make your waist look much smaller.  The same thing holds true for rings.  If you use a razor (tiny narrow band) shank, your stone will look bigger no matter its size.  Your jeweler will be able to tell you if your original engagement ring shank can be slimmed down (without causing stability issues) or if you can simply transfer your center head and stone to a more narrow base.  Another fun alternative if you don’t want to give up a wider ring is to get a pinched shank that narrows near the stone.  Use caustion because narrow rings fit differently than wider ones so make sure you are fitted for the new ring style and width (there are different s sets of sizers for this reason).  Also, a narrow shank ring is more likely to rotate on the hand if you have big knuckles.  Most people do…A flared or European shank may help counterbalance to solve  this issue.

March 26, 2012

Translating Celebrity Style to Your Budget: 7 ways to save $$

Posted in bride, engagement, gemstones, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, rings, rose diamonds, wedding tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:26 pm by rosediamonds

http://www.onewed.com/wedding-engagement-rings/gallery/blingin-celebrity-engagement-rings
Rose Diamonds Custom Design & Repair

<meta name="author" content="Jennifer Choi, GIA Graduate Gemologist"

Celebrities certainly seem to have it all.  One of their larger perks is a virtually unlimited budget when it comes to picking out their “dream ring.”  For the rest of us, there are compromises to be made.  Here are 7 ways to save without sacrificing A List style.

  1. Scale it down.  Keep the design the same, but put a 0.60 ct in the center instead of a 20ct.  To make this work, I recommend scaling the setting and side stones down as well–otherwire your diamond will look like a shrunken head
  2. Skip the sides.  Showcase your gorgeous diamond just like the celebs, but skip the stones on the sides.    You can still add fancy details to the center stone.  This also applies if the ring you adore has diamonds on the underside of the stone or on the sides of the shank.  Added bonus: stones between the fingers can be scratchy and stones on the bottom of eternity bands tend to loosen or fall out over time with normal wear and tear.
  3. Use Color.  You want a huge ring with major finger spread, but don’t have the budget for a 4 carat?  Use an aquamarine, said to calm marital dispute, or another favorite color.  I once had a client that used a spessartite garnet that matched her haircolor exactly (she was a ginger).
  4. Lower the karat.  The benefits of this is twofold.  One: Lower karat gold is less exensive, immediately saving you money. Two. Lower karat gold is stronger.  Many people forget that gold is a pretty soft metal.  The more alloys in the gold, the “harder” it is.  Note: While 18K yellow is “yellower” than 10K or 14K, in the world of white (gold) the color will be the same due to the rhodium plating.
  5. Add a halo to “boost” your stone size impression.  At my shop, I usually refer to these as a booster ring, partially because I like Star Wars, and also because it acts like a push up bra for diamonds.
  6. Consider engraving instead of side stones.  It’s mimics the “detaily” look of all the micropave without the cost of extra diamonds and diamond setting.  Be careful, hand engraving is rather labor intensive, but most jewelers have access to engraved styles that won’t cost the moon.
  7. Use your own stuff.  If you’ve inherited a good diamond, consider using it in your ring.  Have spare gold?  It can be used as a trade in towards design work most places.  Ask a jeweler if an inherited ring can be refurbished–paying special attention to rebuilding prongs and ring shanks (which are the most common areas of wear and tear)

When addressing celebrity style, inevitably you will wonder why some rings are so outrageously expensive.  There are a couple reasons:

  • They pay for the Brand (Neil Lane, Harry Winston, Cartier, etc.)
  • C’s that just won’t quit: Fine Diamonds without inclusions of excellent color and cut are rare.  Supply is rare, hence the price.
  • Diamonds are sold per pound: Similar to a trip to the deli, diamonds are priced by the weight (carats).  The heavier it is, the more it costs, & celebrity rings are pretty weighty!

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Yes, I do realize that some of the relationships associated with these rings are no longer…valid, but it wasn’t the ring’s fault;)

February 29, 2012

The Best Things in Life are Free: Free Services at Rose Diamonds

Posted in appraisal, diamonds, engagement, engraving, estate jewelry, gemologist, gemstones, Gifts, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry care, jewelry design, jewelry repair, mens wedding bands, pawn, ring sizing, rings, rose diamonds, watch, watches tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:33 pm by rosediamonds

Maybe there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but at Rose Diamonds, we have an ever growing list of free services at Rose Diamonds.

Free Services at Rose Diamonds:

  1. Free Jewelry Cleaning–Diamonds always look bigger when they’re clean.  We have people bring in everything from one or two pieces that they are wearing to a whole box full.  Have a special event coming up?  Take advantage of our free service and get your jewelry looking its best…free.
  2. Free Jewelry Polishing–One step above jewelry cleaning is polishing.  This gets out all the nicks and scratches from normal wear and tear.  People often comment that they can never get their jewelry looking as good as we do at home. The secret is–we cheat.  By removing the surface abrasion off your jewelry, we are exposing the brighter surfaces underneath–like exfoliating:)
  3. Free Prong Inspection–I can’t even comment on all the clients we meet who have been married for decades and have never had their rings in for service.  It only takes a minute, but having your prongs checked by a pro on a regular basis (when you bring it in for free cleaning) can alert you to easily repaired/less expensive solutions before you lose a stone.  Think of it as preventative maintenance.
  4. Free Appraisal Consultations–Clients want to know the value of their jewelry for several different reasons.  Just to know, for resale, for liquidation, for insurance, etc.  Some items we group together in an appraisal (gold items without stones) and some require more extensive research.  We sit down with you and sort through your options and help answer insurance related questions you might have.
  5. Free Custom Deign Consultations–We recognize you’re not a jewelry professional (probably) and have no idea how much a dream piece of jewelry might cost.  Bring in your inspiration (costume pieces, catalog, magazine ad, internet pic) and any available trade-in gold & diamonds, and we will map out the design, out of pocket cost, and timeframe free.
  6. Free Tea/Coffee–I sometimes forget to offer this to our guests, but our tea table is out for guests to enjoy.  If I forget, don’t be shy–just ask:)
  7. Free Cookies–if the kids haven’t eaten them all.  Because I have two boys, our cookie supply varies.  Feel free to help yourself to the snacks.
  8. Free Jewelry Box Sort–This is perhaps one of our most valuable services.  Bring in your box of jewelry (this especially helps when you’ve inherited a bunch of mixed jewelry) and we sit down with you and sort out the gold from the silver from the costume jewelry.  Now that it’s sorted, we can restore it,repair it, or size it very quickly.  You also have the option to trade it in towards a project, finished jewelry, or repair work.  We can also buy it or give you a short term loan against it.
  9. Free Diamond Testing–Several a day come in to see if their diamonds are the real deal.  Whether you found it in a parking lot or suspect a fake, we test it in seconds so you know.  Peace of mind is priceless.
  10. Free Ring Size Measurement–Perhaps you’ve ordered something on the internet or maybe you’re thinking of a future purchase, we measure your ring size for you without fuss.  We also explain that different ring styles fit differently, so let us know if it’s going to be a narrow or wide band.
  11. Free Courtesy Call/Text Message— When repairs/appraisals are ready, you’re the first to know.  Our company policy is to call or text you as soon as repairs are completed (in case you’re still in the neighborhood).  You can then pick it up at your leisure.  Most of our repairs and appraisals are completed ahead of schedule.
  12. Free Silver Polishing Cloth with Silver Purchase–Part of keeping your jewelry looking beautiful.  These little polishing cloths work on sterling silver, gold, costume jewelry, etc.  We offer free jewelry cleaning, but this little cloth will help you keep a perfect shine between visits.  It also works great of shiny knickknacks around the house–I use mine to cheat with silver photo frames.
  13. Free Craigslist Mediation–We want our clients to stay safe.  When selling or buying on Craigslist, there is an element of danger (read our post on Craigslist tips).  We recommend you don’t expose your home or workplace to potential sellers/buyers.  We invite you to meet at our shop in a comfortable, professional atmosphere.  We can diamond test, ring size, appraise, engrave your latest purchase/sale right in front of you.
  14. Pocketwatch Look-up–just a geeky hobby of mine: we can usually trace the origins of old pocketwatches.  Curious about one of yours?  Just ask.

I have probably forgotten something, but will try to add it later.   You now officially have no excuse for not coming in.  We look forward to meeting you soon.

December 27, 2011

Dividing the jewelry of an estate between heirs: tips from a jeweler

Posted in appraisal, birthstones, brooches, diamonds, estate jewelry, gemstones, gold, jeweler, jewelry, rose diamonds, silver tagged , , , , , , , , , at 5:26 pm by rosediamonds

We are about to enter the season of New Year’s resolutions.  The fair and equitable division of jewelry from an estate is an issue that has come up time and time again.  I have compiled a list of tips and suggestions that have worked best for our clients over the years.

Here’s the situation: a loved one passes away to leave a collection of jewelry that does not divide equally.  For example, it could be

  • a vintage (not gold) brooch
  • a small sapphire ring
  • a huge amethyst ring
  • a diamond solitaire pendant
  • a multiple stone diamond engagement ring

How do the heirs divide this up equally when the values are very unequal?

How Things are Valued

We explain that there are different values:

Sentimental value-does not make a piece worth more $ but if the brooch was worn every year at Christmas dinner by a favorite aunt, it becomes more valuable to the heirs because of the memory it envokes.

Insurance value-this is retail replacement value or in the case of a vintage or custom pieces, it is a value for replacement with a comparable item.  If lost or stolen, an insurance company will pay out this amount to have the piece replaced.  This amount should be recalculated every few years as the prices of gold and gemstones fluctuate with the world market.  For example, a pair of gold earrings that you bought for $30 five years ago would now cost $90+.

Scrap value-this is the amount a jewelry store or pawn shop will pay you for the items to be broken down into parts.  The metal smelted and refined while the stones will be used for repairs or sold to a dealer.  (We use old gemstones in our mini gem museum or gemology classes)

How to Divide Things

( I am just making up the names to these rules btw).  How well these rules go will depend on your family’s personalities.  You know what I’m talking about.

  1. Read the will–wills are a pain in the neck to create, so if the loved one went so far to write out a legal document saying the peridot bracelet goes to cousin Ed’s neighbor’s mailman’s cousin–respect it.  This is what they wanted.
  2. The rule of return to owner–If you gave mom the diamond earrings for her birthday, they can be reasonably returned to you.
  3. The rule of favorite ONE item–Let each member pick out their one favorite piece from the collection.  ex. if your sister wore mom’s sapphire ring at her wedding as something blue, she might have a stronger sentimental tie to it than the rest of the family.
  4. The rule of equal parts–Take all jewelry of an estate (you’ll get a better rate if it all goes in one trip) to an appraiser.  Split the items as close to equal as possible or have people “buy out” for favored pieces.  You can also interpret this as dividing up a three stone ring between three kids, diamond earrings between two kids, or everyone getting 2 bracelets etc.

Inevitably, some jewelry will be considered “leftover.”  Costume pieces can be donated to charity, while the remaining precious metal jewelry can be sold (scrap value) and the proceeds equally divided.

Planning In Advance

If the idea of your family squabbling over your jewelry/possessions in general turns your stomach, here’s a few ways to minimalize the chaos.

  1. Invite loved ones over (one at a time) and show the collection.  Say you’ll consider special requests–who knew your son always liked your coin pendant?  This gives you the opportunity to tell the recipient the stories and history behind the jewelry they’ve chosen.  These stories are priceless and many times lost.
  2. Go another step and distribute the pieces before your death so you can see others enjoying them.  TELL people of you mind if the pieces are redesigned.  I know a lot of women that have inherited jewelry in a drawer somewhere at home because they don’t want to offend Mama be redoing her yellow gold abstract retro ring…
  3. Update your will if you are expecting a confrontation, or would like to avoid one.  A written history of the history and stories of the pieces would also be appreciated.  One day your bracelet from your college days when you dated the president could be on antiques roadshow–you never know!  Update often if there are…changes in family status in your family.  This is a very common thing nowadays, and you might not want grandama’s ring bequeathed to “that hussy that ran off with the mailman.”

Try to keep your sense of humor and an envelope of calm around you when dealing with this situation no matter the side you are on.  A good jewelry appraiser should ask you a lot of questions about how you want things evaluated and it might be a good idea to make a family meeting together with the appraiser so everyone can have their say.  Emotions run high in these situations, but inherited jewelry remains one of the most sentimnentally charged items you can have.

December 6, 2011

In Response to Rock Center’s Expose on Gold

Posted in gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, rose diamonds tagged , , , , , at 7:00 pm by rosediamonds

Last night, NBC featured the dirty side of gold mining on Rock Center with Brian Williams.  Here’s the link if you want to look it up before reading on…

http://rockcenter.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/05/9213056-digging-for-gold-children-work-in-harsh-conditions-paid-with-bags-of-dirt

http://rockcenter.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/05/9226111-tracing-your-gold-fair-trade-activists-fight-for-responsibly-mined-gold

 

What I found more interesting than the story was the comment section below.  Here is an excerpt from one:

So few people know about how or where jewelry is made. Why don’t you just ask the store where your jewelry is produced? Most high end manufacturers/designers actually make and produce their jewelry here in the USA.

BLERP!  This is incorrect.  Many “high end designers” including Tiffany & Co. & David Yurman produce their jewelry in countries like China.  This came up in an industry magazine because Tiffany an Yurman were fighting against legislation that would require country of origin marks on the jewelry itself instead of a paper tag (that is discarded by the shops before display).  

Most QVC/ KMart / Walmart jewelry is pruduced in China or India. If you buy low price point chances are that you are contributing to the child labor, destruction of environment , mentioned in the article above.

Yes & No.  The lowest end jewelry is many times completely mechanized in production, so there are fewer people actually touching it.  

Still , I think something along the lines of the Kimberley Process for diamonds in international law for gold might be helpful for consumers to purchase products that are free from child exploitation.

There are laws in place to help prevent the trade of conflict diamonds, rubies, etc.  The jewelry industry is held responsible for “fair trade” sourcing.  Most of your retailers purchase goods from a supplier who may purchase them from a distributor.  Many retailers trust that their sources are following the respective laws assigned with goods imports, and have little to do with the process.

I also think that the US should impose greater tarriffs on jewlry and other products that are manufactured overseas. That could be helpful in bringing more manufacturing back here.

Whoa there!  With the price of gold at an all time high, there is a very likely chance that this increase would be passed along to consumers.  While we disagree with child labor, this solution is not likely to stop the problem.  

Reasonable Alternatives to the Problem

You, Joe Consumer, have an options:

  1. Refuse to wear jewelry (I hope you don’t pick this one).  That’ll show em’
  2. Ask your local jeweler about fair trade sourcing (don’t expect a super long explanation here.  Many in the industry “trust” our vendors to be following the laws so we don’t have to get our hands dirty, so to speak)
  3. RECYCLE your old gold.  This is our favorite option here at the shop.  I don’t want this to sound like a plug, but I will explain briefly how we handle gold recycling at our shop.  Most jewelers that offer this do a similar method.

Gold Recycling at Rose Diamonds

  1. Get Inspired with an idea (from catalogs, magazines, etc) for a new piece of jewelry
  2. Bring in Trade in Gold (broken or in tact does not matter)
  3. Refine idea to include stone(s) (yours or ours)
  4. Sketch/rendering of design (yours or ours)
  5. Propose budget (because we are custom jewelers, we can scale the design to fit your budget)
  6. Send scrap gold off to refinery (we handle this for you)
  7. Wax model is a 3D version that you can try on
  8. Cast jewelry with refined gold
  9. Polish & Set stones in finished piece
  10. Take home & enjoy your custom piece

 

November 26, 2011

Shopping Key Words to Watch For

Posted in birthstones, Christmas, diamonds, gemstones, gift ideas, Gifts, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry care, jewelry repair, rose diamonds, silver tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:26 am by rosediamonds

As the holiday shopping season kicks off, I am writing out an “off the cuff” list of words to watch for in jewelry ads this holiday season.  We all (myself included) get excited with the thrill of the hunt, and sometimes forget to use our critical reading skills when scanning the ads for bargains.

Gold Plated, Gold Filled, 14K over Sterling, Silver plated, Goldtone/Silver tone, Silver filled–These all refer to a thin coating over another less expensive metal.  Any plating can wear off.  To reduce wear and tear on it, you can opt to coat it with an clear acrylic and reduce its exposure to moisture and chemicals (including sweat and bleach) .

Simulated Stones=look alike stones.  For example a synthetic spinel or even rhinestones are  often substituted for their more expensive counterparts (like rubies).  Wear and tear and durability may vary from the impersonated stone.

Synthetic stones=the exact same as the natural gemstone except it was grown in a lab instead of in the ground.  These will usually have an ideal color and nicer clarity than natural stones of the same price. Same durability and wear/cleaning as its natural counterpart.

Pay attention to diamond clarity & color.  Sometimes, it is difficult to compare apples to apples with diamond jewelry because small differences in color and clarity can make big differences in prices for similar carat weight items.  This time of year, many jewelers roll out some “promo” diamond pieces that are big on looks and low on price.  These can be very pretty, but they are priced for what they are–commercial quality stones.  Many will be cloudy, brown, or specky, crackly, etc.  Ask to see several of the same item.  They vary from piece to piece within the same store…

Pay attention to the weight of the item–This is usually not listed in advertisements, but when you get to the store, if the items feels flimsy, be careful.  The price of precious metals is very high right now, so many manufacturers are making ultra light weight items to keep prices affordable for jewelers and their clients.  A flimsy piece can eventually lead to more repair expenses down the road.  You can always switch to thicker chains for pendants at home or ask to reset stones in heavier mountings.  Most jewelers can make adjustments to size, length, etc. for you.

 

Watch costume jewelry for lead–especially for children’s jewelry.  Some risks just aren’t worth it.  A lot of the imported costume jewelry (pretty much all that’s out there) contains traces of lead.  There are new laws in effect to curb the import of these items, but use caution.  Items could have been warehoused in the US since before the laws went into effect.  The law is great but it is understandably hard to enforce.

 

I’m sure I’ll think of a dozen other thinks to watch out for.   Hope you had a great holiday and we will see you tomorrow at our new second location:

Rose Diamonds 2

1374 E. Republic Rd.

Springfield MO 65804

 

September 7, 2011

7 Ways to Stretch Your Engagement Ring Budget

Posted in bride, diamonds, engagement, gemstones, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, jewelry repair, rings, rose diamonds, wedding tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:08 pm by rosediamonds

In Case you’ve been living under a rock, the US is in the midst of a recession.  Depending on what media outlet you tune into, you probably have different ideas about the economic downturn’s severity.  I reason that anytime is a good time to explore ways to “make economies.”  That sounds much better than cheapening it to “saving money”, right?

 

According to a recent article published by National Jeweler ( http://www.nationaljeweler.com/nj/fashion/jewelry-fashion-reports/article_detail?id=27143 ), grooms are spending less on engagement rings than last year, with the average coming in under $5200–which is nothing to scoff at.  One of the most common pleas from the newly engaged is that they want their ring to be “different.”  Easier than it sounds.  Here’s a few ideas of how to accomplish both while keeping your budget on track.

 

Idea 1:  Get nostalgic.  Use Uncle Fred’s old wedding band.  Re-Set Grandma Thompson’s old engagement ring center stone in a “now setting.”  Go old school with a vintage setting from an estate/pawnshop/craigslist/ebay.  (Be careful as this one might entail more repair work than you realized)

 

Idea 2: Color Substitute.  If it’s good enough for Kate Middleton/Princess Di/Jessica Simpson etc…Colored stones are generally much less expensive than a diamond of the same size.  Notable exceptions to this rule are FINE quality sapphires, rubies, alexandrite, & tanzanites.  A pop of color definitely makes a ring unique.  Black diamonds (and recently black spinel/sapphires) are much less expensive than their colorless counterparts.

 

Idea3: Mix metals.  Hugely popular in Europe, metal mixing allows you to “repurpose” the yellow gold you’ve been avoiding.  While white gold and platinum remain king here in the states for bridal, try pairing tiny bands of yellow or rose gold with a white gold solitaire or a fabulous yellow gold ring guard/wrap, etc.

 

Idea 4: Plate it on top.  A good jeweler can electroplate the top half of your ring white, yellow, black, or rose.  Plating can wear off with exposure to chemicals (even household ones) and wear and tear.  The good news?  It’s easy and fairly inexpensive to touch up.  Avoid coating the bottom part of your ring.  After exposure to your natural perspiration, it will wear off more quickly there.

 

Idea 5: Resurface.  Add a hammered, satin, florentine, brushed, etc. finish to a plain old band to make it unique.

 

Idea 6: Put a ring on it.  Make small center stones look bigger by adding an illusion plate or a halo/booster ring of diamonds.  They now come in every diamond shape and can update an older setting or pump up a small center.

 

Idea 7: Don’t forget your trade in.  Now is a good time to browse through your sock drawer for the anklet your eighth grade boyfriend gave you, the remaining diamond stud earring you got for your 16th, and old birthstone rings.  The high price of gold has turned this discarded fodder into a hot commodity that can be used to offset the perfect (sigh) ring.  It’s also important to purge past relationship reminders BEFORE the wedding.

 

Note: Couples often forget that wedding rings tend to grow with the relationship.  I often recommend that a couple choose a versatile (ie. changeable) style that is easily upgraded at future anniversaries.  You may have noticed I did not mention the wildly popular trend of alternative metals.  This is a personal choice (I’m not unaware of the trend), but I look disfavorably on rings that cannot be sized.

 

Also mentioned in this article was an increase in the “mangagement ring.”  More on that next time:)

March 4, 2011

Precious Metal Coins

Posted in gold, rose diamonds, silver tagged , , at 11:48 pm by rosediamonds

We’ve had several people come in with “rare” coins lately, and I thought I might address the situation with coins in today’s gold and silver market.  With prices rising on the spot prices of gold and silver, there are more and more people interested in cashing in their coin collections.

 

I am not, not do I intend to be, a coin expert.   This is the unedited information that has been passed along to me from a local coin dealer I use and countless articles I’ve read online.  Turns out, “treasure coins” are pretty rare out there.  There are “grades” of quality that range from your average-found it in my pocket-change.   The most valuable ones are uncirculated ones or “proofs.”  Even with very old coins, if there were a lot on production, the value rarely exceeds the metal price (silver or gold content) when it comes to selling.  For example, I thought I had something special when I found a silver dollar from the twenties.  I found out that they produced more silver dollars that year than any other.  sigh.

 

There are plenty of online references and books on coin collecting.  Being a practical girl, I find myself recommending collecting coins for “fun” and doing your homework before investing.    For those who are interested in selling your coins, be prepared that most merchants will only be able to give you a percentage of the daily spot market price and will rarely pay more for the coin’s “collectibility.”   It is not illegal to melt coins, and for hardcore collectors, this mass coin smelting may lead to inflated coin values for the coins kept in collections.  Do you have a coin collection?  What are your thoughts?

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