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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer Fun

Open wire work ring with a rectangular 1.30 ct. diamond and two side diamonds
950 platinum ring with a 1.30 ct. diamond
Despite the weather we've had the last few days summer is rapidly approaching and I thought I would give you some recommendations for proper enjoyment of the next few months, so here they are:

1) If there are sharks in the water don't go in!  This would seem kind of obvious to most people but some people really like to get close to wildlife.

2) Put on your sunscreen.  Jewelry doesn't look as good against bright red skin tones. 

3) Don't drink too much when you're at the beach.  You might not see the sharks and stumble into the water.

And last but not least:


And that's actually what I wanted to talk about in this post. 

Despite my constant reminders to my customers and a plethora of information on it available on the web, I find that a large number of people still aren't aware of this issue.  The chlorine found in most swimming pools (and hot tubs) can actually dissolve small amounts of gold on your jewelry if it is exposed often enough to it.  Now this may not be much of a problem for a plain gold band, and will probably be unnoticeable on something of that sort, but if you have stones in your ring, and especially if they are set in prongs, there is a good likelihood that you may lose one of your stones. 

When gemstones are set in prong settings the prongs are cut so that they can fold over the tops of the stones to hold them in place.  The area where they are cut can be extremely thin in some cases and it doesn't take much time for chlorine to eat away at an area like that.  Suddenly you've dropped a couple of prongs into the pool and the stone goes with it.  Trust me, once the diamond has fallen out, the chance that you'll actually find the stone in a full size swimming pool is just about nil.  For some reason white gold seems to be worse when it comes to this, probably related to the most common alloys used in the gold (at least in the nickle white gold most traditional jewelers use). 

Unfortunately I know that some of you are going to take this advice and then make another mistake.  You're going to take off the jewelry when you get to the pool and there is going to be no place safe to leave the stuff while you're in the water.  Lockers at pool clubs or gyms are notoriously unsafe.  People routinely troll through any locker they can get open looking for just this type of thing.  So think about this BEFORE you head off to the local pool and leave it in a secure place in your house. 
For more information on this you should read my articles on jewelry security starting with this one  For that matter given how often we tend to leave our houses open at this time of year it would probably be a good time to read all the articles in the security series again anyway. 

So have a really wonderful summer but remember: no jewelry in pools!

Platinum ring with three diamonds in an open wirey like design
950 Platinum Custom One of a Kind Diamond Engagement Ring

Saturday, May 17, 2014

New From Old

I often talk about how I am happy to take in old gold pieces you might own and give you a scrap credit towards new work I can do for you.  I have also often talked about how I am happy to work with your stones as I believe firmly you retain the most amount of value by keeping them.   So here are some pictures of what I can do for you.  One of my regular readers (Hi Helen!) brought in some old gold and stones she had:
gold scrap
If you look at the small pile in the lower center of the picture you'll see two pieces with diamonds in them and a jade pendant.  Helen wanted to reuse these stones and some of my fancy colored sapphires in a pendant design based on my black mobe pearl rings pendant:
black flat pearl surrounded by concentric rings, white, pink and green stones
18k and 22k gold  pendant with South Sea black mobe pearl, sapphires, diamonds and emerald.

I was able to give Helen a $900 credit towards the job and this is what I came up with for her:

green stone pendant with concentric rings around it and white and pink/orange stones
18k and 22k yellow gold pendant with jade, diamonds and fancy colored sapphires

I enjoyed working on this project because I happen to like the design to begin with, I was able to utilize a number of her stones in it, and we came up with something that was beautiful all at the same time. 

So if you have a bunch of old stuff lying around somewhere bring it in and let's see what we can work out together!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How To Make a Marriage Last

Handmade blackened pure silver chain with 18k gold caps and clasp
Handmade fine silver and 18k yellow gold chain
One of my long term regular customers, and a regular reader of my blog (hi David!) was in my shop the other day.  He had an inherited diamond we were talking about options for.  While we were chatting he told me that next year he and his wife were celebrating their 55th!!! wedding anniversary.  I was a bit in shock because it seemed like he must have gotten married when he was 5 given how young he looks. But what an amazing thing, to be able to celebrate 55 years with a person you love.  I thought I was going strong because Kathy and I celebrated our 25th late last year.  For us to make it to 55 we'll have to live to our 90's.  Of course I'm pretty sure I'm going to be working until I'm 90 so maybe we will get there too. 

So I have to wonder how did they make it last so long.  Obviously there is a great deal of love there.  But from my perspective I have to say that maybe it's the fact that at least once a year, every year, David comes in and buys something for his long time sweetheart.  Admittedly it's a small survey sample but I'm going with that as the main reason.  And given how long he's been buying from me, I have to think that it's really MY jewelry that's been responsible!  So if you want your marriage to last, you should consider making a purchase at least once a year from me.  It certainly couldn't hurt.....

I have been busy this last month, hence the limited number of postings.  I saw my new German supplier again and got some interesting new material including some wonderful new beads.  I got another strand of tumbled tanzanite beads similar to the ones I had at Christmas as well as some multicolor sapphire beads.  I also got another carved drusy moon face and have ordered a pair for earrings.  And I got a couple more pairs of carved moonstones for some more jellyfish earrings. 

I have also become acutely aware lately of how the price of gold has impacted people's ability to get some of my more interesting work so I have embarked on the first major change in metal usage I've had in ten years.  I will be producing a small line of mixed metal silver and gold necklaces and bracelets (no earrings, no rings) so that you don't have to spend $3-4000 to get into one of my pieces.  The chain pictured above is the first in this series.  It is blackened fine (pure) silver and 18k gold.  I will be adding slowly to this collection over the next 6 months.  A new bracelet is already in the works and I will be trying to add one piece every 5-6 weeks to this grouping.  I am still NOT taking custom orders in silver or silver and gold mixes but I will be offering some of my work in this more affordable manner for the foreseeable future. 

I'll be getting some new pictures up of the new beads soon.  Mother's Day is almost here.  There's no time like the present to begin a tradition of buying a present a year so you can be married for 55 years too!