March 21, 2013

Update your look for Spring with stuff you already have

Posted in estate jewelry, gift ideas, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry repair, rose diamonds tagged , , , , at 3:50 pm by rosediamonds

 

 

Have you gone through a recent bout of spring cleaning?  Here are a few quick ideas to update your look for spring keeping your budget in mind.

 

The side ways cross necklace has been a pretty hot trend lately.  Your jeweler should be able to drill a hole in the bottom of your childhood cross and attach it to a chain where it sits on the side or in the center of the necklace.  Smaller crosses work best for this type of project.  You will see this trend with curved crosses as well as straight ones.  Don’t try bending your cross to get this look though.  If you have the cross and the chain, this project should take one to two business days and cost less than $50.

 

Another trend is combining tiny charms (that have meaning) on a single chain.  This can help smaller pieces (think tiny birthstone charms, puffed hearts, pearl pendants, etc) have more of an impact.  Combine sizes, metal colors, shapes, etc to give depth.

 

If you have some diamonds that are too small to be “impressive” on their own, consider adding them to necklace as stations.  The chain can be worn as a necklace or as a bracelet (if you don’t have many) and you can use contrasting metal colors (like rose or yellow) to add interest.  Uneven spacing will look more artistic than even spacing.  Doubling the chain or combining them with other layered necklaces can also add to the look.

 

 

side charm necklace station necklace

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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.

June 21, 2012

Rose Diamonds is holding a Jewelry Design Contest!

Posted in contests, jewelry, jewelry design tagged , , , at 10:51 pm by rosediamonds

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 28, 2012

Jewelry Inspiration Source Discovered!

Posted in jewelry, jewelry design, rings, rose diamonds, wedding tagged , , , , at 10:54 pm by rosediamonds

Pinterest.  If you haven’t heard of it, you will soon.  Generally speaking, pinterest is a virtual bulletin board where people can share the pretty pictures (with customized captions) they find online–like a scrapbook, but less messy–  I originally found out about it via a wedding industry newsletter.  It peaked my curiosity enough that I checked it out.  People can post themed boards with pics of wedding ideas, cute pets, dreamy interior design, etc.

 

I think as the pinterest world grows, it will bring about the sharing of more fantastic design ideas.  I stumbled across the following board–see what you think.  So far, I have used it to organized a grouping of “dream projects” for later review.  I like that the original website is linked to the “pin” so it is easy to look for more info on the pics you like.  Custom design is made easier when people have the tiniest bit of inspiration…I’m excited!

http://pinterest.com/knh126/romance/

 

 

 

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

 

September 20, 2011

Large drop earrings light up Emmys red carpet | National Jeweler

Posted in earrings, gemstones, gift ideas, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, rose diamonds tagged , , , , , at 3:32 pm by rosediamonds

Large drop earrings light up Emmys red carpet | National Jeweler.

 

This article in an industry jewelry magazine highlights some of the more fabulous earrings that were worn at the Emmys this year.

 

I have always been a fan of drop earrings.  They slim the face and draw attention to the delicate jawline.  Try combining two old pairs of studs into a new set of glam dangles or create your own inspired by this year’s hottest looks!  I think black sapphires or even onyx could be used to save cost on recreating these styles…

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:)

July 7, 2011

Crosses & Crucifixes: Decoded meanings

Posted in crosses, gift ideas, Gifts, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, rose diamonds tagged , , , , at 9:13 pm by rosediamonds

I have had some clients shopping for crosses & crucifixes lately.  Summer is host to many a church camp & revival, and clients are happy to support their children’s newfound interest in religion.  The predominant religion in SW MO is Christian, but rest assured, I will post a Judaica decoder as well.

 

When shopping, people are many times overwhelmed with the vast number of options in crosses.  While most protestants choose regular crosses, many Catholics prefer crucifixes, which depict Jesus on the cross.  The following is an attempt to decode some of the most common cross & crucifix options out there.  Beyond shape, size, metal type, and size, there are also gemstone options that can be added to suit your individual taste.

 

We are aware there are more options for crosses than those listed.  Hope this helps you decode the meaning behind your many options!

Name Meaning Pic
Ankh (Egyptian) Cross Taken from the Egyptian hieroglyphics meaning “life”  
Budded Cross Represents the Holy Trinity with a trefoil at each end of the cross  
Cara Vaca Cross During the Moor occupation of 1231 in Cara Vaca, Spain, the Pectoral cross of the patriarch of Jerusalem appeared through a window, enabling an imprisoned priest to say mass for curious and angry captives  
Celtic & Iona Cross Originating in Ireland & taken to the Island of Iona by St. Columbia.  The circle around this cross symbolizes eternal life  
Claddagh Cross The heart is for love, the crown for loyalty, and the hands for friendship  
Corpus (Crucified Christ) Refers to the body of Christ (Crucified Christ)  
Crucifix Crosses with a representation of the body of Christ  
Eastern Orthodox Cross The top bar represents the inscription posted by Pilate, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,” and the slanted lower bar represents the footrest of Christ.  The Eastern Orthodox cross is also known as a Greek Orthodoxx, Russian Orthodox, Byzantine, & St. Olga cross.  
Fleur De Lis Cross Symbolizes the Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven.  A royal symbol of France  
Greek Cross One of the oldest forms of cross.  Used by early Christians to disguise the cross when Christianity was illegal  
INRI Stands for Jesus Nazarenus Rex ludaeorem, meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”  
Jerusalem Cross Consists of tau crosses which represent the Old Testament and four small Greek crosses which represent the fulfillment of the law in the gospels.  Also known as the Crusader’s cross  
Latin Cross One of the oldest forms of cross, it is also the form of the true cross  
Mariner Cross Reminds us that Christ is our anchor, our hope  
Maltese Cross The eight outer points of this cross are symbolic of regeneration. They are sometimes said to represent the eight beatitudes. The cross was the emblem of the Knights of St. John, who were driven from Rhodes to the island of Malta by the Turks. Malta is the island where St. Paul was shipwrecked.  
Methodist Cross Official symbol of the United Methodist Church.  The flame of the Holy Spirit sweeps the side of the cross  
Passion Cross The points at the ends represent the suffering of Christ at His crucifixion  
St. Andrew Cross According to tradition, St. Andrew felt unworthy to be crucified like Christ so he asked that his cross be different  

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