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

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.

January 14, 2012

Secrets of Silver: Plated with rhodium & other stuff

Posted in jeweler, jewelry, jewelry repair, ring sizing, rings, rose diamonds, silver tagged , , , , , , at 8:19 pm by rosediamonds

Silver jewelry has come a long way.  With gold prices still hovering in the upper thousands per ounce, silver jewelry is enjoying a renewed popularity with mainstream consumers who previously only bought gold.  Silver jewelry with diamonds, fabulous silver and cz statement rings, silver designer inspired jewelry…

As a jeweler, I get several people per week that have a new silver ring they would like sized.  Occasionally, it can be adjusted the traditional way, with torch sizing.  More often, we have to settle for adding a ring guard to reduce the apparent size of the ring.  Most sterling silver jewelry is coated with a thin layer of rhodium, nickel, or some other white finish.  When jewelry is coated/plated, it will have one of three different reactions to high heat (soldering):

  1. Turns black.  When polished shows a pinkish midlayer, then a dull gray.
  2. Coating crackles like one of those crackle vases.
  3. Bubbles/peels–ruins the smooth surface of the jewelry

RHODIUM PLATING-Rhodium is a member of the platinum family and mimics platinum’s “white white”.  It also protects the piece from natural tarnishing, but it has its drawbacks, such as uneven wear, scratching and repair difficulties.  The exposure of chemicals (cleaning supplies, cosmetics) and perspiration speed wear.  Rhodium can be reapplied by a jeweler on most silver pieces.

WEAR – The layer of rhodium plated on silver jewelry is extremely thin, and over time it will wear off. It usually wears off evenly, leaving dull spots (on the bottom of rings). Most pieces can be rhodium plated again. but the labor cost may floor you.  Platinum’s cousin is also expensive, and there is a good deal of polishing and cleaning labor time involved.  If you have a sentimental piece you adore, a simple repolishing might work just as well–ask your jeweler.  Another drawback is the fact that rhodium plated pieces can be scratched easily and the scratches cannot always be polished off without ruining the finish in general. Many jewelers refuse to work on coated silver jewelry period.

We have noticed a trend of jewelry come in for repair that is not rhodium plated but nickel coated.  These platings are usually much thicker (and wear better) but make traditional repair almost impossible due to the adverse reaction the coating hast to heat).  Many jewelry stores (brick and mortar and online) allow clients to simply exchange rings ordered that do not fit upon receipt.   We approach each silver jewelry piece individually to see if repair or alteration is possible.

October 1, 2011

6 Tips For Selling/Buying Jewelry (Safely) on Craigslist

Posted in appraisal, diamonds, gemologist, gemstones, Gifts, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry repair, ring sizing, rose diamonds tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:08 pm by rosediamonds

Most people nowadays could use a few bucks.  Many are liquidating their unused jewelry on Craigslist for profit, and you can find legitimate “deals” and fun pieces listed online.

 

Rose Diamonds has begun offering mediation services (for free) to buyers and sellers to minimize the risk to both (and yes, meet potential repair and appraisal clients).  There have been many stories on the news from coast to coast of people meeting to exchange services or products listed on craigslist and meeting with a sticky end.  I have compiled a few basic tips if you’re thinking of posting an item for sell or purchasing.

For Sellers:

  1. Be detailed in your description and honest in your listing.  It will save time in the long run if you’re not calling or emailing back and forth a million times.  Remember to include 10K, 14K, carat weight (if you know it) or stone type and measurements in mm.  Ring size, length of chains and bracelets (in inches), whether a watch is working, etc.
  2. If you still have any original receipts or appraisals, offer to present these items for inspection (in person only since these often have private information such as credit card numbers or home addresses) to potential buyers.
  3. Include a (good) picture.  It will make more people pay attention to your listing.  Jewelry can be very tricky to photograph because it’s shiny, so try a variety of background colors and lighting.  Jewelry that is being worn (you can crop out faces) can give potential buyers an idea of the jewelry scale/size.
  4. Decide before you list whether you are willing to bargain with people and know your absolute lowest number.  Many people get caught up in the excitement of a potential sale and loose sight of their goal.  That being said, understand that some buyers will not be satisfied unless they get you to reduce your price.  It can be as little as a $5 discount, but it makes them feel accomplished at negotiating.
  5. Skip your life story/sob story details.  There are bad people out there who could be using the information you give (about your divorce and being so lonely and alone on weekends–a great time to rob or accost you).  Be wary of giving out personal phone numbers, addresses, emails, etc.  A hotmail or gmail account can be set up in a few minutes for free.
  6. Meet people in public and use the buddy system.  If your buyer refuses, so can you.  No amount of potential money is worth your safety.
For Buyers
  1. Have realistic expectations on the condition of used jewelry.  It will probably not be your rings size.  Most will have scratches in the metal and be dirty behind/between the stones.  This is easily fixed by repolishing and a good clean; rings can (usually) be resized.  Stone abrasion (which is normal with everyday wear and tear) is NOT easily fixed and can end up costing more than the ring for repolishing.  Look for dullness, surface scratching, and chips
  2. Meet sellers in public and use the buddy system.  By offering to buy an item, you have just told a relative stranger that you have money in hand.  Don’t be ridiculous and offer to have them deliver anything to your home.
  3. Ask questions and seek a professional opinion on large purchases.  Most craigslist sellers are not professional jewelers or gemologists.  They can legitimately make mistakes in their claims and promises that can end up ruining a deal.
  4. Take a magnifying glass or jewelers loupe with you.  You can then better see inclusions in gems, check the item for damage and verify gold karat marks.  These are tiny and can be found on the inside of the ring, the lever on hoop earrings, and the clasp on bracelets, and chains, etc.
  5. Feel for rough spots on chains and bracelets gently with your fingers.  This can expose weaknesses/possible future breaking sites.
  6. Understand stone replaceablity.  Turquoise and strange shaped stones are MUCH harder/impossible to replace if damaged or missing.  Faceted stones like diamonds, birthstones, etc are usually replaced starting at $15 for little tiny ones.
In the end, if a deal seems to be too good to be true, it probably is.
No appointment is necessary if clients want to meet at the shop.  We are located at 4560 S. Campbell Ave. Ste. F Springfield, MO 65810.  We offer onsite sizing, prong tightening, chain shortening/lengthening, stone replacement, diamond and gemstone grading/testing, complete appraisal service, and jewelry repair/refurbishment.

 

 

May 4, 2011

Ring Sizing: Wide Shank vs. Thin Shank

Posted in jeweler, jewelry, jewelry repair, ring sizing, rings, rose diamonds, wedding tagged , , , , , , at 9:14 pm by rosediamonds

Today’s post is about a topic that has  come up three times today in the shop.  Rings fit you differently depending on the width of the shank (bottom half of the ring).  I estimate that 80%+ of my clients end up getting their wedding ring and engagement ring soldered together.  This reduces spinning and friction between the rings.  Unfortunately, this usually means that rings that separately fit perfect, together squeeze the life out of your finger.

Take a moment to look at your hand where the fingers meet the palm…You’ll notice that your fingers tend to get less meaty towards the palm and get bigger towards the knuckle.

When you add a wedding ring to your engagement ring, it usually doubles the width of the shank–this squeezes the meaty part of your finger, making your rings too tight.

To properly estimate your ring size for a wider shanked ring (or combo of rings) ask your jeweler to fit your fingers with the wider sizing gauges (pictured at right)  This better estimates how the two rings together will feel on your hand.  If the bottom of your ring is wider still, add on the narrow ring size gauge on top of that to ensure a comfortable fit.  It will save time in the long run to get your fingers properly sized based on the width of the ring and prevent extra sizing charges in the future.