December 11, 2014

Skype Chat with Us!

Posted in rose diamonds tagged , , at 2:08 pm by rosediamonds

We get that the world is getting to be a busier place, so if you have a question, and can’t make it in to the store, just message us. With Skype, which you can get for free, we can communicate through chat or even video chat. We’d love to connect with you.

Where to get skype

Chat with Us: Rosediamonds1


August 21, 2013

A Diamond Fell Out of My Ring: Now What?

Posted in diamonds, engagement, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry care, jewelry repair, rings, rose diamonds tagged , , , , , , at 10:44 pm by rosediamonds

Alternate Title: Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner: Friend or Foe?ultrasonic cleaning


Our Verdict? Frenemy: a blend of friend and enemy 

One of the most common complaints about jewelers and jewelry across the board is the often touchy issue of a diamond falling out of a ring during cleaning, repairs, typing, breathing, etc.  It’s a touchy subject where everyone wants t point the finger at someone else, but allow us to, as professionals in the industry, explain both sides of the issue.
Below are a couple consumer complaints taken from online forums.  These illustrate a common emotional response to a situation that is unfortunate for both the consumer and the jeweler.

I purchased a ring for my wife’s birthday and has has worn it about 10 times but it has been a year.Its a small stone that fell out but they said their policy is to bring in the ring every 6 months and have it inspected and if I had done that they would have fixed it.

I took it to another jeweler and had it repaired and while he was cleaning it another stone fell out. I just believe they sell ***, the ring was $1000.00 and if they can’t sell jewelry that the stones don’t fall out with limited or even full ware, they should go out of business. I am telling everyone I know about they crappy policy.
My wife has 20 fine pieces of jewelry and if it had all been purchased from (XYZ JEWELERS) she would not have time for anything else but inspecting jewelry.  I hope they go out of business.


I went to go pick up my wedding band yesterday, and they offered to clean my engagement ring for me. Then there was a commotion in the back of the jewelry store and they asked me how long I’ve had the ring etc. I told them a little under a year. Then they told me that one of the little diamonds in the pave setting fell out and they couldn’t find it in the filter. I know the jeweler who cleaned my ring isn’t responsible for my ring since it’s only been a year and it shouldn’t have fallen out from a steam cleaning.

The jeweler where we got the ring from isn’t open today (Monday) and I only have 4 days to get my engagement ring fixed!! So are they responsible for the diamond? Luckily our ring is insured, but who’s responsible? What should I do?!  Nothing is going right!!

Just so we all know what kind of ring it is most likely to happen to: Micropave rings.  They are super popular, and have teeny tiny prongs that hold the diamonds in the ring. (see right)

micropavemissing diamond

I always like to read comments after a heated complaint, and there was quite a range of responses ranging from commiseration, insurance claims, insurance fraud, and general bad-mouthing.  I DID like this one to a point…

Pave settings, however, are notorious for losing stones, no matter how long (or short) a time you’ve worn them.  Can you check with your jeweler to see how they actually cleaned the ring?  If they put it in some sort of ultrasonic machine (which uses tiny, fast vibrations to knock dirt and grime loose into the cleaning solution), it is almost certainly the jeweler’s fault — any jeweler worth their salt should know not to put pave in an ultrasonic machine.  The tiny vibrations can easily knock the stones right out of the pave setting. If they cleaned it more gently, then it was probably about to fall out anyway and not the jeweler’s fault.

It’s hard to say without knowing the details of your setting, but sometimes the maker of the setting will replace the pave stones for free or a nominal cost, since they expect that a few will fall out sooner or later.  Check with whomever you bought the ring from to see if this is true.  If it’s going to cost less than your insurance deductible to get it fixed, there’s no sense in putting a claim on your insurance unnecessarily.

Let’s look at this in Three Parts: Why Did This Happen? Whose Fault Is It? Ways to HELP Prevent It

why_meWhy Did This Happen?

  • Normal Wear & Tear: Did you know that the prongs are thinner than paper clips and made out of a relatively soft metal (white gold, gold, silver, etc)  Each time you wear it, the prongs (especially those on the outer edges and at the tallest points) are getting worn down fractionally.  Similar to the wear and tear on tires.  No one expects tires to last 30 years, right?
  • Common Occurrence: The prong was damaged previously (by wear and tear or hard hit) and was unnoticed because a build-up of lotion, soap, oils, etc was holding it in place like a glue.  The heated jewelry cleaning solution loosened the lotion build-up and the stone fell out.
  • Common Occurrence: No one, including the salesperson who took in your repair noticed that the diamond was missing because the spot was filled with white paint, lotion, etc. and wasn’t immediately noticeable.  It was missing before you came in.
  • Prong Pulled/Pushed: Don’t stop wearing sweaters, but prongs can over time get lifted by snagging on blankets, sweaters, your hair etc.  A strong enough pull can lift the prong off the surface of the bezel facet,, releasing your diamond
  • Thin walls/prongs: many rings on the market are priced to sell.  Not necessarily priced to last.  The thinner the metal holding the diamonds, the more prone to damage/wear and tear.
  • Excessive maintenance: Extremes are problems in all walks of life, and jewelry care is no different.  Excessive, repeated polishing can expedite the wear and tear process from gradual to moderate.  Don’t worry about occasional clean & polishes. but also don’t get your ring polished every day.
  • Extreme ring sizing: When you adjust the angle of the ring shank (up OR down) by a lot, the angle of the prongs also changes.  Sometimes, stones will loosen following a sizing of more than 2 sizes either direction.  Many jewelers take precautions to prevent this from happening, but no two jobs are the same, and many times, they cannot make any guarantees. 
  • Everyone’s Frenemy: the ultrasonic jewelry cleaner is a standard part of any jeweler’s cleaning regimen.   The wave shake gunk out from behind stones and can speed up the pre-repair cleaning process exponentially.  Many people do not realize that jewelry must be squeaky clean prior to heating (with the torch).  If it is not completely clean, oils and dirt can “burn” onto the backsides of the stones and inside tiny crevices in the jewelry.  Without the ultrasonic cleaning, many jewelry pieces would take days longer to repair or service due only to the cleaning time required.  During the gunk shake-up, diamonds can also shake loose and fall to the bottom of the cleaner.  Ultrasonics are a necessary evil and often paired with diamond’s #2 enemy (the steamer) which uses high powered jets of steam to remove debris from jewelry.  This was probably the real cause of the commotion in the above example as a diamond bounced off the floor and everyone crawled around trying to find it.

Whose Fault Is It?Not My Fault

It would be great if we could simply point a finger at one party, time and time again.  Here is a general breakdown of where fault CAN lie.  Each case is individual, and with all human conflict, usually a combination of faults.

  • The Jeweler: whether they cleaned it, repaired it, sold it, or looked at it, the jeweler gets a lot of blame in any “diamond fell out” situation.  The jeweler is occasionally guilty of extreme sizing problems and overzealous polishing.
  • The Manufacturer: Thin walls and teeny prongs are made with the minimum amount of gold to keep their costs competitive with other manufacturers, whose goal is to keep their jewelry affordable enough for end users despite rising metals costs (outside of their control).
  • The Consumer: Wearing delicate jewelry while very active (think landscaping) can cause unusual wear and tear issues.  Consumers should also limit chemical exposure (cosmetics, cleaners, bleach, and pools) which can weaken metals by eating little holes in it.
  • No One’s Fault: Wear & Tear is normal, and just like computers and cars require regular maintenance to keep them performing their best, jewelry also needs occasional check-ups.  Accidents happen.  Consumers and Jewelers both can get in a rush and forget to thoroughly inspect items prior to cleaning, and it can lead to upset all the way around.
  • The Salesperson: I mention this as a separate entity because many times, a sales associate in a jewelry store will have little to no training on jewelry maintenance, repairs, diamonds, etc.  It is their job to record client information and sell jewelry.   Just like a waiter is not at fault for salty food, a salesperson usually had no hand in your repair. At the same time, if your salesperson is rude or unsympathetic to the unfortunate-ness of your situation, you do have a right to be upset about their handling of the issue.

Ways to HELP Prevent It An_ounce_of_Prevention

Nothing is going to be 100% fail proof, but there are several things both jewelers and consumers can do to lesson the occurrence and the impact of losing a stone.

  • The Consumer: Maintain your jewelry’s integrity by removing it during heavy activity & chemical exposure
  • Yearly Prong Checks: by a trained jeweler (note NOT a salesperson).  A trained jeweler will be able to identify heavy wear and can suggest preventative measures to keep jewelry looking its best.  It is less expensive to re-tip an existing prong than to replace a missing/broken prong + missing diamond
  • Be aware that shared prongs and or thin construction can lead to more stone issues if you tend to be hard on your jewelry
  • If you have inherited a ring that you plan to put into daily wear, take the time and initial expense to get it inspected by a trained jeweler, so it will last another generation of wear
  • Make sure your jeweler carefully inspects your ring in front of you prior to taking it to the back for cleaning or service.  It prevents any weird feelings about whether stones were missing prior to drop off, or any prong damage/wear can be identified proactively.

now-what_If you do have a stone fall out

In the end, it is not a complete disaster.  Most jewelry stores across the country will replace diamonds and reset them for less than $50.  

A tip: if your stone comes out during cleaning or service work at your local jeweler’s, try to understand it is a bad day for them as well.  Most jewelry stores that have on site repair centers can replace the diamond quickly and reasonably.  Some jewelers will give you a discounted repair fee if they feel they were somewhat responsible (ie. did not check prongs prior to cleaning)  Remember it is easier to lure flies with honey…

 If a diamond falls out while you are outside a jewelry store, try to locate it.  If you can find it, it will save you the cost of a new stone at the jeweler’s.  You can bring it in by using a piece of scotch tape to secure it to a piece of paper.  

red tapeRegarding Insurance Claims

 This leads into the next issue of whether to claim it on your insurance (usually jewelry is covered as a rider on your homeowners or renters policy).  Most clients have reported that only center stones are usually worth the hassle of submitting claims to their insurance company.


Losing a diamond is one of the most emotional problems consumers face at the jeweler’s, and there is a lot of emotional misinformation out there.  Hope this helps you keep your cool if it happens to you.friends

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)


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.

May 12, 2010

Engraving Basics

Posted in bride, engraving, gift ideas, Gifts, jeweler, rose diamonds, wedding tagged , , , , , , , at 7:48 pm by rosediamonds

I’ve been doing more and more engraving lately in preparation for graduations and weddings.  Some fast facts on engraved items:

  • Recommended: engrave the first initial for ladies (their name changes with marriage)
  • Typical: engrave the last initial for men (they can hand it down to their sons this way)
  • A Tip: engrave the receiver’s name or initial on their gift.  How many times are you going to use a wine glass that says someone else’s wedding stats on it?
  • A Tip: Keep it simple.  An entire psalms or a full paragraph of remember whens is hard to fit on the inside of a wedding band.

Engraving Question 1: Placement

Engraving Question 2: Script or Block

Engraving Question 3: Inscription (triple check spelling before giving the okay)

Fun Engraved Gifts on the Cheap:

  • wine glasses
  • champagne bottle
  • key ring (bridesmaids)
  • photo frame
  • mirrored compact (bridesmaids)
  • dainty pill box
  • engrave the back of a watch (father’s day)
  • bookmark
  • inside or outside rings
  • vases
  • door knockers (great gift idea for realtors)
  • pens (fancy graduation gift)
  • money clips (groomsmen)
  • flasks (groomsmen)
  • shot glasses (groomsmen)
  • votive holders (monogram for a crisp, classic look)

Other engraving:

  • iPhones/ipods
  • Nintendo DS/PSP
  • tools
  • knives
  • guns
  • leather embossing

January 18, 2010

Jewelry Appraisals Decoded

Posted in appraisal, birthstones, diamonds, engagement, gemologist, gemstones, gold, jeweler, jewelry, rings, rose diamonds tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:19 pm by rosediamonds

Perhaps you received an extravagant new piece of jewelry for Christmas, or you are in the midst of Spring cleaning.  Jewelry appraisals continue to confuse people.

An appraisal is:

A written statement, independently and impartially prepared by a qualified appraiser, setting forth an opinion of defined value of an adequately described property, as of a specific date supported by the presentation and analysis of relevant market information.

An educated, informed objective opinion of value based on a stated purpose and function.

There are two main types of appraisals.  One is for insurance replacement.  Each insurance company differs, but the value stated determines the coverage amount on your jewelry as well as the premium you pay for insurance.

Because the description is used in order to replace the piece, it is very important that the descriptions be extremely detailed and specific as far as quality of manufacturing and gemstones.  The value stated in insurance appraisals is for retail replacement cost for a new version of the piece.

The second type of appraisal is for Fair Market Value (FMV).  Fair Market Value appraisals can be used for a variety of purposes, including liquidation, collateral, divorce settlement, investment, estate/probate, and charitable contributions.  The value stated in a fair market value appraisal is a “liquidation” value if you had to sell it.

The best way to determine which of these fair market appraisals is right for you, is to tell your appraiser what you intend to do with the piece, or the reason why you want to have it appraised.

What happens during the appraisal?

  • Each piece of jewelry will be weighed, measured, and described in detail.
  • Gemstones will be identified, graded, measured, and their weights calculated.  Most appraisals do not require gems be removed from settings, so carat weights and measurements are limited by the mounting.  A notation on the appraisal will appear.
  • Metal content will be determined via a series of acid tests/electronic tests.
  • Diamonds will include a detailed description of their color, clarity and cut.
  • The internal characteristics of the stone will be diagrammed upon request.
  • Enlarged color photographs are available if needed for insurance claims and identification.
  • The definition of Fair Market value or retail replacement value will be included.

Appraisals do not guaranty jeweler buy-back, and there are unsavory dealers in the industry that are not trained to evaluate gemstones and diamonds.  These dealers often over-inflate the value of the jewelry to satiate their client’s sense of value.

I suggest discussing any concerns with your appraiser before you leave your jewelry in their care.  A qualified appraiser will be able to answer any question you might have and customize the appraisal to your needs.

Rush appraisals while you wait are available at an additional fee with an appointment.

December 12, 2009

Client Question Answered: Prongs

Posted in birthstones, bride, diamonds, gemologist, gemstones, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, jewelry repair, rings, rose diamonds, silver tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:46 pm by rosediamonds

Q: Why do I need my prongs checked every six months?

A: First off.  Prong: describes the metal posts that hold diamonds in the jewelry.  Jewelers recommend prong checks every six months as a standard similar to oil changes in cars.

In reality, the reasons for this are twofold.  First, it brings in clients every six months who are reminded of jewelry and may make new purchases.  Secondly, it is a preventative measure.

Diamonds are the hardest gemstones, and gold is a relatively soft metal.  If a diamond becomes loose in the setting, it can actually cut through the metal that’s holding it and “break free.”  A prong missing on a four prong setting can be a recipe for disaster should the wearer knock the stone out at an unlucky angle.

Over time, prongs get worn down by routine wear and tear (knocks on the filing cabinet etc.).  A proper jeweler should honestly recommend when re-tipping should happen.  Rebuilding prongs that have broken off completely are harder (more expensive) to repair than simply adding gold to worn down prongs.

If you have repaired the prongs before, I would typically suggest replacing the whole head.  The cost is slightly more than the re-tipping, but logic follows that if one prong had a weakness, perhaps the rest are soon to follow.

As with with all prong work, we recommend clients remember that the repair costs on repairing prongs are hugely smaller than replacing diamonds after they’ve fallen out.

This can be an excellent time to explore fancier prong options as well (check out new styles that have filigree, diamonds on the sides, hearts on top, tulip settings, double prongs, etc).  You may even want to switch from yellow prongs to white (they tend to disappear against the diamonds).

I’ll use this as a time to remind you again to keep all jewelry out of chlorine bleach.  It pits the prongs and makes them brittle/more prone to breakage.  Lost diamonds are more than lost dollars, they are lost memories.

November 27, 2009

Gold: Our obsession through the ages

Posted in gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, jewelry repair, rose diamonds, silver tagged , , , , , , , at 9:00 am by rosediamonds

Gold: Our obsession through the ages.  We desire it and have gone to war for it.  Ancient man linked gold to the sun and was convinced it was a source of great power.  Since the times of the ancient Greeks, gold has been used to relay the perception of wealth.

During the Middle Ages, the science of alchemy focused on changing lead to gold.  European armies pillaged Inca and Mayan civilizations to satisfy their thirst for gold.   Governments have requested citizens to donate their gold.  Fort Knox and its gold bricks provides backing to the paper money our government prints.  Japan even has a building covered in gold.  Today, gold has reached new heights as the buying power of the dollar struggles.

Gold is sometimes misunderstood within the jewelry industry.  As prices continue to soar, there will be more and more devious plots to mislead the public.  First, pure gold is too soft for most jewelry wear.  Most of what is in the US today is 14K or 10K.  Asia and the Middle East are known for their 22K, while in South America 18K is more common.  Europe ranges from 9K up.

The proportion of gold to base metals yields the karat value.  Gold mixed with copper has a pinkish cast, while gold mixed with nickel has a white look.  Classic yellow gold is a combination of gold and silver.

I have always explained to clients that gold is like bread.  Whether French bread, or Rye bread, the recipe contains differing amounts of flour, salt, etc.  14K gold is always 14 parts of gold to 10 parts of another metal.  The other metal can be a combination of metals that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

This is why 14K from US factories (buttery yellow) will look different from English 14K (pinkish gold) to Turkish 14K (deep yellow).

Another hard-learned lesson is the mass introduction of gold plating in the jewelry industry.  Gold filled, Gold Plated, Rolled Gold,14KP, 1/20 14K are all referring to a thin coating of gold over another metal.  As jewelers, we have seen more and more precious stones (usually low grade diamond chips and commercial sapphires) being set in gold plated pieces.  Many department stores have turned to gold plated sterling silver.  It retains the value of being a precious metal, but should not be referred to as gold.

Some care issues with gold plated items are the fact they cannot be traditionally repaired or sized without the gold plating coming off.  When heated with a jeweler’s torch, the gold plating turns black typically.  This plating can also fade over time with prolonged exposure to perspiration, bleach or other household chemicals.

Being from South Florida, I saw a LOT of plated gold brought back from the Caribbean.   This was usually stamped (illegally) 14K, but it faded to silver over time.  Some criminals even put gold end caps and clasps on plated chains.  I usually advise that tourists stick to established stores when traveling.  If the deal sounds too good to be true, it most likely is (or it’s stolen goods).

While yellow gold flatters virtually every skin tone, pink gold can even out yellow skin tones while white gold can cool ruddy complexions.  The beauty of gold jewelry beyond its value and durability is the fact it is so versatile.  It can be sporty, tailored, or dressy and never truly goes out of style.  Gold can also be “recycled” into new jewelry.

November 23, 2009

Getting the most out of your earrings

Posted in birthstones, diamonds, earrings, gemologist, gemstones, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, jewelry repair, rose diamonds, silver, Uncategorized, wedding tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:51 pm by rosediamonds

My alternative title to this post was kinda corny.  “How to increase your face value with earrings” made me cringe even as I typed it.

There are few accessories that can have as much effect on your face as a pair of earrings.

They can have more impact than makeup, bringing out your best features and correcting less than perfect ones.

For example, large earrings make a nose look smaller, silver hoops cool down a ruddy complexion, and gold ones warm up winter pale skin.

As the holidays approach, I have always extolled the intelligence of giving gifts that “always fit.”  With the economy in it’s current state, earrings do not require additional upgrades (like a chain) and don’t have to be sized (like rings).  Unlike shoes, bags, and hats, earrings never go out of fashion.

The latest trend on red carpets everywhere are dangle earrings.  These bring attention to a delicate jawline and elongate the face (making it look less round).

Another overlooked earring shape is the oval hoop.  It is traditional, but the shape flatters every face shape.

If your face is more rectangular, try a wider earring.

Multicolored earrings brighten the complexion.

Look for earrings that add “movement” to your face.  A gorgeous earring can also draw the eye up (away from your waistline) if there is sparkly movement.

Try to make sure you buy “light” earrings.  While I love big earrings, avoid the super heavy ones for prolonged wear.  Elongated pierced holes are no fun.

If you have a pair of earrings you adore, think about adding an earring jacket.  It allows you to add a bit of sparkle to your diamond/pearl studs.  Custom earring jackets can be made for other earrings.

Consider adding a screw post and back to your favorite earrings for added security.

Ask your jeweler to trim posts that “poke.”  No one wants to wear uncomfortable jewelry.

November 19, 2009

Jewelry Store Customer Service

Posted in bride, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, jewelry repair, rose diamonds, Uncategorized, wedding tagged , , , , , , at 6:35 pm by rosediamonds

With the holidays fast approaching, I am always looking to improve the client experience at the shop.  I myself get treated horribly when I go shopping.  My refusal to dress up on my day off, my sons in tow, and my youthful appearance all scream “waste of time” to most shopgirls.


Share with me your worst Jewelry store customer service experiences, so I can avoid the situations in the shop this holiday season.  Was it a repair shop mess up? Aloof Salespeople? Paper Thin, Cheap Quality? High prices compared to other places around town?  To be fair, let’s not mention names.



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