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

May 19, 2010

Watch Service Center Angst

Posted in jeweler, rose diamonds, watch tagged , at 10:19 pm by rosediamonds

Today, I had a bad experience with a watch service center for a very popular (rather pricey) watch company.  The client had a watch for 25 years, and the crown broke off.  The crown is the part that pulls out to adjust the time, if you didn’t know.

We had opened the watch when the client came in to asses if the damage was internal as well as external.  The watch was in good working order, so we sent it off to the official service center to get an official parts estimate.

When we spoke on the phone, they informed me that the watch was “really rusted out” and would require a full cleaning of the movement, and for another $300 I might want to consider replacing the dial and watch hands.  I declined and asked that the watch be returned upon conferring with my client.

What really bothers me is that this reputable place is trying to take advantage of the clients who put their trust in them.  By misrepresenting needed repairs, they were no better today than a sketchy used car dealer.  Now, you may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned any company names, and you won’t.  I still stand by my ideal not to bad-talk other businesses, but for the record, we disagree how they treat honest people.

December 9, 2009

Holiday Gift Ideas (on the cheap)

Posted in birthstones, Christmas, diamonds, earrings, gift ideas, Gifts, gold, jeweler, jewelry, jewelry design, jewelry repair, pearls, rings, rose diamonds, silver, watch tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:38 pm by rosediamonds

Due to soaring gold costs and the shrinking economy, I thought I’d go into some inexpensive gift ideas for the holidays.  You may have overlooked these ideas:

  • Engraved anything.  Shop at Target, the clearance isle at Marshalls, etc.  You can add fancy monograms to Zippo lighters, fancy pens, mirrored compacts, pill cases, business card cases, vases, sterling book marks, champagne bottles, wine glasses, etc.  It looks fancy, but isn’t real expensive.  I suggest personalizing with the first initial for ladies and the last initial for men.
  • Silver anything.  White metals are on more popular than ever, so if your budget won’t stretch to accommodate white gold or (gasp) platinum, go silver.  Look for quality and beware of silver plated items.  Top fashion looks come out in silver first, so a cocktail “statement” ring and oval cz hoops in silver allow you to get the look for less (before the trend dies)
  • Re-cycle your old jewelry.  This can be anything from re-furbishing old pieces (polishing, checking stones, replacing missing stones, and sizing) to re-styling.  Our shop has thousands of molds to choose from, and by trading in your old gold and using your stones, it can save you a bundle.  (Ex. turn your ex-relationship bracelet into a star of david charm for your niece)
  • Got kids on your shopping list? Simple ID bracelets.  Bring back the tradition of baby rings and id bracelets.  They’re usually inexpensive and are keepsakes.
  • Teachers on your shopping list?  Try engraved pens or holiday ornaments.  Earrings always fit, so they are an easy gift idea.
  • Teens on your shopping list?  Try engraved dog tags.  There are sterling and stainless options.  (Stainless is less expensive).  You can engrave their name, team number, picture of a sport/hobby etc.  You can even add a private inscription to the back.
  • Fancy jewelry cases.  A place for everything and everything in its place.  An easy gift for a jewelry fanatic without the 14K price tags.
  • Watch cases and watch winders.  Anyone with an automatic watch will like not having to reset it each day with a watch winder.
  • Birthstones.  If diamonds are out of your reach this year, consider adding birthstones to a piece you already have or combining birthstones to symbolize unity in a new piece.  Most birthstones are synthetic, but there are natural options out there as well.
  • Charms.  Charm bracelets are like having a father who plays golf.  You always have a go to theme for holidays.  Start a charm bracelet, and then you’re set for the next few years for gifts.  Charms come in silver and gold.  Fancy and simple.
  • Pearls.  There are lots of ways to wear pearls that are beyond the “boring” strand.  Consider station necklaces and funky mixes with chains.  Just keep them away from hair spray,perfume, and bleach.

Hope some of these ideas help you stay on budget this holiday season.

October 9, 2009

Watch FAQs

Posted in jeweler, jewelry, jewelry repair, rose diamonds, watch, watch batteries, watches tagged , , , , , , , at 4:50 pm by rosediamonds

Watch RepairFor this post, I’m going to answer some commonly asked client questions regarding watches. The answers are rather generalized since all watches are different.

Q. How long do watch batteries last?

A. Usually a year. Watches are similar to cars, so each model gets a slightly different gas mileage.

Q. What are all these buttons for? (referring to a chronograph style watch)

A. A chronograph is a fancy version of a stopwatch. A lot of dive watches have this feature because divers have to carefully time their decent in the water.

Q. Why is my second hand not moving? (referring to a chronograph style watch)

A. If the small second hand is moving, the watch is still running. To get the big one to move, you need to push the top button.

Q. The battery was replaced and it’s still not running. Now what?

A. Probably, the movement is malfunctioning. Our first step is to do a quick clean of the watch movement. There are tons of tiny parts in a watch that all have to work together to make it run. Many times it is simply build-up in the watch. Worst case scenario? We replace the movement.

Q. Why is my watch turnig gray/green?

A. It is most likely a base metal watch. The green tarnish is usually a chemical reaction to your persiration. Same is true for the gray (not shiny) reaction. To minimize this, try to dry under your watch after washing your hands, after exercising, etc.

Q. I was told my watch is rusted inside. What caused that?

A. Most likely, it got moisture inside through the crown (the knob where you set the watch). Less likely is the back case seal is not tight enough. Humidity can get in quite easily, so try not to store your watch in the kitchen or bathroom, where steam gathers. Dress watches have a different kind of seal than sport watches, so exercise more caution with them, regardless of the brand.

Q. What is the best type of watch for people in the medical field?

A. This comes up a lot. I usually recommend a dive watch with large numbers and a large second hand. A screw-down crown is the most secure agains leaks. Handy for those who wash their hands a zillion times a day.

Q. I can’t get my crown out to set the time/date. Now What?

A. If it’s a screw down crown, unscrew it (turning it towards you). then, GENTLY pull the crown out to adjust the time/date. If it’s not a screw down crown. take to a pro. It’s not worth breaking this teeny part to pry it open. This could signal a rust problem inside the watch.

Q. Can I leave my crown pulled out to save the battery?

A. Yes, but it comes at a cost. Moisture can then have free reign to enter your watch. So, people end up saving $5 on the battery and have to pay $40 for a new movement. If you insist, keep them in a sealed ziplock to prevent the moisture from getting in.

Q. My Crown fell off. Can this be fixed?

A. Yes. It’s usually replaceable. The crown and stem are cut to fit your watch exactly. Usually both pieces have to be replaced (the stem breaks off inside the crown. Keep the pieces you find (if any). Understand that this replacement process can take time. Just like you can’t put Ford parts in a Honda, you can’t underestimate the importance of getting the right part for the job. Watch manufacturers are notorious for not stocking parts regularly. Yes, we hate it too.

Q. My vintage winder watch doesn’t wind. Can this be fixed?

A. Yes. It has most likely ben overwound. The mainspring will usually have to be replaced. It can take time to find vintage parts. Another option is a quartz retrofit. You can put a battery movement in the watch and not have to worry about winding again.

Q. I have an automatic watch. It runs slow. Why?

A. Automatic watches are “in” again. They run on “people power,” This means your regular movements power the watch. They build up a power reserve like solar garden lights, but it takes about a day of regular wear to build this up. Most automatic watches have a power reserve of 24-36 hours. This means if you don’t wear it every day, it will start to run slower until it stops completely. A watch winder case can fix this problem if you like to switch a lot.

Q. My watch band is too short/long. Can I get it extended?

A. Usually yes. Leather straps come in 3 lengths (like jeansS, R, and L) Metal bands can be extended or watchbands can be swithced out. Occasionally, we have extra links for popular styles. Don’t count on it though as watch bands come in thousands of styles. Gold watches can have new parts made for them, but it can get pricey quickly. If you have scrap gold, we will trade-in the metal towards the new part and labor.