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.

OR

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

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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

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 29, 2012

Bridal Trends Report: Repost from National Jeweler

Posted in engagement, jewelry, rings, wedding tagged , , , , at 7:06 pm by rosediamonds

New York–Though lovebirds who tied the knot last year spent slightly more on average than those who wed in 2010, the engagement ring was not an area where they were doling out any extra cash, a new survey shows.

According to The Real Weddings Survey, conducted by TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com among couples who wed in 2011, the average wedding budget increased minimally (0.1 percent) between 2010 and 2011, from $26,984 to $27,021.

Engagement ring spending was down 5 percent, from $5,392 to $5,130.

Areas where couples were spending more included the ceremony site (up from $1,393 to $1,599), wedding planner ($1,683 to $1,753), wedding dress ($1,099 to $1,121) and entertainment, with spending on the reception band, DJ, videographer and ceremony musicians all climbing.

The most expensive place to get married still is Manhattan, where couples spend an average of $67,824 on their wedding, the survey showed. The least expensive location to tie the knot is West Virginia, where the average couple spends $14,203.

The average marrying age of a bride and groom in the U.S. in 2011 was 29 and 30, respectively. The most popular month for engagements was December, with 16 percent of proposals taking place then, while September was the most popular month to wed.

Other findings from The Read Weddings Survey include:
– Hawaii has the country’s oldest brides at 31, while Utah boasts the youngest at 26.
– Fall weddings were more popular in 2011, partially due to the high demand to get married in September on 9/10/11 and in November on 11/11/11.
– A total of 69 percent of couples now have a wedding website, up from 65 percent in 2010 and 60 percent in 2009. Brides also are using social media more to share wedding details with guests and keep in touch with vendors.
– Nearly three out of five brides reported using their smartphones for wedding planning. Popular uses include taking and sharing wedding-related pictures (58 percent), looking up vendor contact information (47 percent), accessing wedding planning websites (33 percent) and managing gift registries (32 percent).

The 2011 Real Wedding Survey included responses from about 18,000 couples who got married last year. Survey-takers were recruited through TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com membership, and all were 18 or older.

 

http://www.nationaljeweler.com/nj/independents/a/~28191-Survey-Average-engagement-ring-price

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.

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:)

April 25, 2011

Royal Rings: Because it’s all over the news this week

Posted in bride, engagement, jewelry, rings, rose diamonds tagged , , , , at 3:11 pm by rosediamonds

This week, the media frenzy over the royal wedding to take place this Friday grows ever larger.  Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, once owned by Princess Diana, is probably the most famous in the world.  With its oval blue sapphire surrounded by a cluster of 14 diamonds, the ring is a classic cocktail ring from the public Garrard catalogue.  It originally cost around $30,000.

Before the Princess of Wales’s death in the 1997 Paris car crash, the ring was valued at more than £250,000 because of its connection to the royals, and in particular Diana.  William, who eventually inherited the ring from his mother’s £21million estate, showed the family heirloom is priceless to him by choosing it for his fiancée.

‘It’s very special to me. As Kate’s very special to me now, it was right to put the two together,’ he said. ‘It was my way of making sure my mother didn’t miss out on today and the excitement, and the fact that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.’  Awww!

The ring has been imitated and reproduced in everything from costume jewelry to the 18Kgold,natural sapphire, and diamonds.  Kate’s wedding band is to be made of Welsh gold and is traditionally very plain.  The ring is often worn behind a more ornate engagement ring the way Diana and the Duchess of York wore theirs.

In Europe, wearing white and yellow gold together is pretty common.  The engagement ring’s design looks like this will be uncomfortable, but I suppose it is a small price to pay to become royalty.

Sparkling sapphire: The ring was bought for £28,500 but was later valued at £250,000
Other royal engagement rings of note:
  • Prince Albert gave the former South African swimming champion a pear-shaped engagement ring of about 3 carats embellished with round diamond brilliants and set in a unique gray gold. Created by Parisian jeweler Maison Repossi, it’s a royal choice.

  • Upon the Swedish Crown Princess’ engagement to her longtime boyfriend (Daniel proposed on one knee in the grounds of Drottningholm Palace), the couple kept quiet about the ring. It was later revealed that it’s a classic engagement ring with a brilliant cut diamond of two to three carats, most likely purchased from the jeweler WA Bolin in Stockholm.

  • A ring of great historic value, Camilla’s heirloom engagement ring was left to Charles by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth (a gift from her mother-in-law upon the birth of Queen Elizabeth II). An art deco design, the platinum ring is comprised of an emerald-cut diamond flanked by three diamond baguettes on both sides.
  • For the Duchess of York, Prince Andrew helped design an oval Burma ruby ring (to compliment her red hair) from Garrard Jewelers, surrounded by a cluster of 10 drop diamonds. It is set in 18-carat yellow gold, and has a white gold band.
  • Marie Cavallier’s engagement ring reflects her French heritage with the red, white & blue of the French flag.  Prince Joachim of Denmark is sentimental and quite possibly color blind.
(not a favorite)
I apologize about the weird spacing of the article…wordpress and I are having differences of opinions today.

October 19, 2010

Millennial Bridal Trends

Posted in bride, engagement, jewelry, jewelry design, rose diamonds, wedding tagged , , , , , at 3:45 pm by rosediamonds

I was just reading a jewelry industry magazine, and they were discussing the different trends of the new millennial brides versus past generations.  Here’s an excerpt:

Like any generation, Gassman says the millennials’ values differ from that of their parents. One key difference jewelers need to grasp is that this generation is not concerned about “keeping up with the Joneses.” Instead of eyeing a 2-carat engagement ring just to one-up their best friend’s 1-carat rock, millennials are more interested in having something that is uniquely their own.

“It’s about custom,” Gassman says. “What their neighbors think about their engagement ring is less important than what they think of their engagement ring. That’s the exact opposite of boomers, who wanted to outdo each other.”

 

The article also makes mention that new brides are more likely to comparison shop online and in person before buying, and are willing to wait for the “perfect” ring.  We have noticed this trend here in South Florida and MO.   With  interest in custom jewelry rising, it will be interesting to see where bridal design goes over the next few years.

 

Comment back, and let me know if you agree with this trend.

December 30, 2009

Making Sensible Jewelry Decisions

Posted in diamonds, earrings, engagement, gemstones, gift ideas, Gifts, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, jewelry repair, pearls, rings, rose diamonds, silver tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:48 pm by rosediamonds

I am currently working on some jewelry designs for clients that have brought some jewelry issues to my attention.  This is not a post about jewelry trends or fashion.  The key many people overlook is jewelry use.

Most people have a few pieces of jewelry in their collections that are never/rarely worn.  Beyond the usual ghastly gifts, some of these items are self purchases that sit abandoned.  One of the key aspects to choosing the “right” piece of jewelry for yourself is considering how and where you will wear it.

A good example of this is my latest persuasion tactics on the husband.  I decided I wanted/needed a tennis necklace.  I told the husband he could make it over time.  For each holiday he could add a quarter carat diamond.  The finished carat total weight would be somewhere near 80 carats.  Sensible, right?  He stopped me in my tracks when he asked me where I would wear it.  Hmm.  The grocery store?  Barnes and Noble?  Okay perhaps this is not such a great idea.

When clients are in my shop, some might notice that I ask about their occupation or their spouse’s occuption.  It is not to discern income!  I simply want to know if people are typing a computers (where most jewelry is acceptable, although bangles do clank against keyboards) or they are ER doctors (where gloves will snag on high settings and long chains will be ripped off by flailing appendages).

Some quick tips:

Work with animals?–avoid open or tall settings.  Debris gets stuck in the openings and tall settings can scratch animals

Parrot owner?–They love to nibble/crush with their beaks dangly earrings and are known to chew necklaces.

Work with Kids?–avoid tall settings that can scratch, big hoops (kids can pull on), thin chains that can’t survive a tug.  Luckily kids grow up quickly, so dangly jewelry may just be shelved (like the crystal) for a couple years.

Desk job?–avoid bangles that clank on the desk all day, safety chains on tennis bracelets get caught in files, rings that are not sized snugly (in frigid offices especially) will flop around on your fingers ALL DAY.

Work with hand tools?–avoid wide ring shanks.  These are more likely to cause blisters on the hands.  Also I don’t recommend platinum (which gets scratched easily)

Long hair? Look for earrings that won’t tangle in hair–like closed back hoops or straight dangles.

Hope these tips help.  If you discover you have “abandoned” jewelry, don’t fret.  It can be re-designed into a useable piece by a talented jeweler.

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