Holiday Catalog

goldsmiths

  • How you could be unintentionally killing your jewelry...

    Like a new car, new jewelry eventually requires maintenance. This isn’t a suggestion, it’s a fact. When you love your jewelry, you wear it (as you should). When you wear it, you damage it. This fact is not so much about quality craftsmanship as it is about wear and tear.

    When you drive thousands of miles on your car, it is not the car’s fault the tires need to be replaced. The same concept can (and should) be applied to jewelry. Under elements of normal wear and tear your metals should last you the following number of years without requiring prong or shank maintenance.

    1. Yellow Gold – 5 Years
    2. White Gold – 8 Years
    3. Platinum – 20 Years

    This is under normal wear and tear. Below, I have created a list of activities that unintentionally kills jewelry. If you want to maximize the life of your jewelry and delay repair work as long as possible, please be (unofficially) advised to remove your jewelry when doing the following:

    1)      Cleaning:  Many cleaning chemicals contain chlorine – which is terribly harmful to most metals by causing porosity and weakening prongs and shanks. Even all-natural cleaning agents can do damage to jewelry. While they may not necessarily harm metal, they can damage most gemstones that have much softer compositional properties than diamonds. No, this does not exempt you from performing household chores! When it is time to scrub and disinfect your home, remove the jewelry on your hands first! Unlike your skin, jewelry does not heal and regenerate after chemical exposure.

    2)      Swimming: Just like with cleaning, more leisurely activities like, a soak in the hot tub or a quick swim before dinner, will damage your jewelry because of the chemical exposure.

    -Furthermore, when you swim (even in fresh or salt water) your hands are exposed to cooler temperatures. When your hands are cold your fingers constrict, when your fingers constrict your rings become loose fitting, when your rings are loose they fall off!

    3)      Yard Work: We have all had blisters from raking, weeding, chopping, stacking, digging, and/or harvesting. Am I right? We have all seen what yard work does to our hands (and muscles!), imagine what it is doing to your jewelry on a microscopic level. Over time, you will do damage that will bring your ring to our repair shop. May it be a broken prong, a chipped stone, or a missing stone, you will need it repaired, and it will cost you money.

    4)      Hiking: One of my best friend’s engagement ring was purchased from me. A month after the proposal, she texted me saying her platinum was terribly scratched (and it was!).

    The conversation went something like this:

    Her: “You said platinum was durable.”

    Me: “You climbed a mountain with your ring on.”

    Need I say more? (Sorry, Karis. I use your active lifestyle as an example on a regular basis.)

    5)      Sleeping: This is a big one. The biggest, really. Folks, take your jewelry off before bed. You’re not as delicate of a sleeper as you think you are.

    You may think you sleep like this:

    But you really sleep like this:

    When you toss and turn you are susceptible of snagging prongs in your blankets and stretching/tangling your chains. There is only so much of this that your jewelry can take.

    Eventually, something is going to give and it is going to either need repair or replacement.

    6)      Gym: Kudos to all of you who work out. Really, you put my couch-potato self to shame.  I never damage my jewelry sitting on the couch. Neither will you. You will, however, damage your jewelry at the gym. Whether you are pumping iron, practicing your left JAB, or using the rowing machine (all things, I have never done in my life) you are putting serious strain on your rings. Those of you wearing rings with stones are at the most risk. FYI: Activity that causes your ring to be pressed into your hand or against something else, even if it’s only at the bottom, will bend your ring. It may not be evident right away, but when your ring bends it effects the structural integrity of the tension holding your gemstones in. They will become loose and gold work will be required to strengthen your ring again. You may even chip your stones, requiring replacement. Yes, diamonds are the least likely to chip, but they can and will if under significant strain or impact.

    7)      Carrying heavy loads: If you’re like me, you hate making two trips out to the car to bring in groceries. To maximize your efficiency, I’m sure you carry all 17 bags and a gallon of milk into the house in one trip. This will bend your ring and snag prongs catastrophically. Reread the FYI from point #6.

     

    Jewelry is precious, delicate and valuable. While it deserves to be shown off, it deserves to be treated carefully to maximize its beauty and longevity. Please remove your jewelry before engaging in the activities listed above – they are the most frequent culprits of jewelry damage!

     

    When the time comes, and you need repairs, Day’s Jewelers has the most professional, talented, meticulous, caring, certified and accredited jewelers in the industry. I have had the pleasure of working with most of them, I trust and respect them completely. You will too!

     

    Author:

     

  • New Head vs. Retips

    Most jewelers suggest that you bring your jewelry in every 6 months to be checked: cleaned, tightened up - like a spa treatment for your jewelry.

    However, sometimes when a ring is brought in for inspection it may be recommended that the item needs work done to it to help preserve the item.

    prong_setting_bnFor example, on a ring we do retips. What is a retip?: building up and "repairing" the pegs of metal holding the diamond (the prongs).  The prongs start to show wear and retipping them will bring the ring back to safe and stable condition.

    Retipping is something that will generally last for six months to a year before more wear begins to occur again.

    An alternative to retipping is putting on a new head. What is a new head?: A new head is when you replace all of the prongs that are holding the stone in place with new ones.

    Doing this is a long term fix; it can add another five to ten years to the ring. There are different options that can be done for a head that will also give more security and add to the  life span of the ring. For example, doing six prongs vs. four will add more security to the ring because you are adding an additional two prongs. Another option is doing gold or platinum for the head. Platinum will typically last twice as long as gold.

    These are just some of the things that might be found when having your jewelry inspected. This is why we suggest doing it every 6 months. Should you wait too long, you could risk ruining the jewelry or worse, loosing a stone. This can happen with normal wear and tear.

    Wearing particular pieces of jewelry is a great way to express your own personal style, and remember the special moments in your life. In order to make sure that your jewelry remains a part of who you are, and continues to keep your memories and cherished moments alive, it must be properly maintained.

    Always be sure to talk to a service specialist or goldsmith, they are there to assist you in making the right choices for your jewelry and what is best for you.

    auburn_rebeccaBlogger:

    Rebecca Bonney, Assistant Manager
    Auburn, Day's Jewelers 

    Learn more about Rebecca

     

     

     

  • Day in the Life of Our Goldsmith

    repair-and-servicesgoldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with gold and other precious metals. Goldsmiths must be skilled in forming metal through filing, soldering, sawing, forging, casting, and polishing metal.

    Day in the Life of Our Waterville Goldsmith:

    Often on time but some days the devil gets to her.  Her arrival brings about a flurry of excitement and anticipation.  The hardest working employee we have: she never stops, rarely takes a break (except for a quick drive to the drive thru for coffee leaving a trail of dust in her wake).  She moves from job to job never losing track of each project. Perfection is her middle name and talk about taking pride in her work well you never seen anyone better. Her day is often filled with interruption for the sales staff to the service staff asking can this be done or what about this. Rarely does she say no. Rarely does the project take the full seven days to complete. Most jobs are completed the same day and exceed the customer expectations.

     

    jpdkt0870_1But what does a goldsmith do? They are master craftsmen and women who repair all the fine jewelry we seem to break.  We all know it’s not intended, we just forget the word fine and what it truly means.  From the necklace we’ve worn for years and never taken off to the ring we’ve out grown that needs to be cut off and now remade and everything in between.  But the true value of a goldsmith is taking your idea and creating a one of a kind piece that is truly amazing.  That’s what the good ones do best. For years I’ve watched our goldsmith create one of kind pieces that bring tears of joy to the faces of our customers.  She is truly worth her weight in “GOLD” as a goldsmith.

    About our Waterville Goldsmith: Stephanie

     

    stephanieI have been with Day’s Jewelers since October 2007. I took jewelry classes all through high school and a few in trade school. I also worked as a hands-on jeweler’s apprentice for 5 years and also owned my own business. I have been working in the industry and making jewelry for over 25 years.

    I enjoy working in the jewelry industry because I can be creative and share that with my customers. I also find that there are some creative customers that we have that enjoy it as much as I do.

    My favorite designer collections are Ed Levin, Keith Jack and Forevermark. I like Ed Levin and Keith Jack with the organic look of their handcrafted designs, and Forevermark because they stand for the responsible sourcing of diamonds and giving back to the community.

    Our Other Goldsmiths: 

    We have a goldsmith in all of our Day's Jewelers locations. They each have their own style and touch. But yet, every one of them are amazing artists and are always right there to "fix" anything that needs to be done!

    Learn about our other goldsmiths buy going to your local Day's store and saying 'hi' or reading about them online in our Employee Bios!

     

    At Day's Jewelers we take pride in our services, which include watch repair, personalized engraving, jewelry repair, diamond and gem setting, jewelry design, pearl and bead stringing, remounting, appraisals and much more. Our own professionals complete most all services we provide on the premises, so there is no need to worry about who will be doing the repair on your special piece. 

    We believe that service starts with people. It begins with hiring talented people with strong values, and then training them with exceptional care so that when you enter any Day's store you can be sure that the person who helps you is an expert at what they do. Our top-of-the-line professionals and equipment go hand in hand to better serve your needs.

     

  • How is a Ring Made?

    How is a ring made?

    Most people assume jewelry is made in a factory like a car, computer, or toaster.  They picture an assembly line with ultra modern robots and supervisors making sure the machines are doing all the work as required.  In short, they see modern methods on an ancient industry.  Although technology has made many things possible in jewelry manufacture, it has not replaced the methods of manufacture that have been practiced for generations. So...how is a ring made?

    Design

    The first step, like many others, starts with a concept in someone's head.  Usually it is first expressed as a drawing just like you see in clothing fashion or it is "drawn" in a computer assisted design program (C.A.D for short).  This process creates a basis for the construction of a model that will be directly used to create the actual ring.  The newer C.A.D. programs allow for much more intricate designs than one can get from the hands of a goldsmith, in addition to the fact they can be recreated endlessly.  The drawing relies more on the goldsmith to determine the actual specifications of the ring and make adjustments as needed.  Each way has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages, yet neither is truly "better" than the other.

    Wax model

     

    wax-for-lily-matching-bandThe second step in the creation of a ring is the wax model.  This is also one of the most time consuming parts of the process...even on a C.A.D. program.  In the case of a paper drawing, the goldsmith uses wax carving tools and various types of wax to physically carve the ring.  Depending on the intricacy of the design, cost can range from $150 to as much as $600.  This differs from a C.A.D. ring, where cost is generally around $300.  The obvious question on this one:  Why let the goldsmith do the work?  Goldsmiths allow you the most control over a ring's development, being able to alter it in some cases while you wait.  That being said, C.A.D. does do some things much better than a goldsmith can, Pave being one such example.  When complete, the wax will be an exact replica of the ring to be made.

    Investment

    images4The next step in the process is both simple and complicated.  The amount of metal needed to cast the actual ring is determined.  To do this, the wax is weighed and a multiplier is applied based on the metal being used.  For example:  The wax weighs in at .5 grams and we wish to make it in gold.  We would multiply .5 times 14.4 to come up with 7.2 grams.  (Please note 14.4 is an estimated number. The color of the gold impacts the multiplier).  So the finished ring will weigh approximately 7.2 grams when complete (this is metal only...not to include gems).

    Once we have the weight, the wax is mounted to a rubber conical base and enclosed in a hollow stainless steel tube.  The hollow space is then filled with plaster of paris and put in a vacuum chamber to remove all air from the mold.  This step must be done correctly or the caster runs the risk of the ring failing to form or getting a casting defect known as porosity.  Either way, this is most critical as the next step destroys the wax.  Failure to cast at this point results in going almost back to the beginning of the process.  After the plaster is vacuumed, it is then allowed to set for at least 5 hours...we prefer overnight whenever possible.  Let the anticipation begin!

    Burnout and casting

    This is where all the hard work pays off...or you cry and start over.  After the curing of the plaster, the burnout begins.  Burnout is the removal of the wax in the mold through vaporization.  The rubber mount is removed and the cylinder with the plaster and wax is placed into a kiln.  The temperature is slowly raised over a 3-5 hour period to around 1300 degrees Fahrenheit.  The wax, of course, simply vaporizes from the mold....leaving an impression in the plaster behind.  At the end of the vaporization process, the kiln is brought to a holding casting temperature.  In the case of gold, that temperature is around 900 degrees.  Now you are ready to actually pour the ring!!

    Once the 900 degree temperature is met, the gold for the ring is melted in a crucible to a liquid state.  At this point, the cylinder is removed from the kiln and placed in either a vacuum extractor like we have in our Auburn Day's store or a centrifuge like we have in our South Portland Day's location.  Either way, the liquid gold is injected into the plaster mold and allowed to cool for a short time ( usually when it is no longer red hot).  Now...how to you get the ring out?  Simple: You quench the cylinder in a bucket of water.  This serves two purposes.  First, it shatters the plaster, freeing the ring.  Second, it work hardens the gold to make the ring more resistant to bending and shaping.  If all went well, you now have a new ring!!!  If not, let the crying commence!

    Are we there yet?

    Well, now we have a ring.  Unfortunately, we are far from done.  The ring will require close inspection for defects, final filing and shaping and at least 2 types of polish.  In addition, any stones will be set at this time and final adjustments on the size of the ring will be made.  Usually, the average ring will take around another hour for polish on average and setting will vary from 30 more minutes for a single stone to several hours for multi-stone rings.  Some rings will require assembly at this point as well, as two tone rings are cast in parts and then assembled.

    DONE!!

     

    repair-and-servicesOne last step: Guest final inspection!  This is where the all the hard work really pays off.  There is nothing like seeing the gleam in someone's eye when their idea of the perfect ring comes to life!  Any final adjustments are done at this point, usually while the guest waits.  And then the lifetime of wear begins!!

    So now you know how a ring is made.  I hope you take this and let your creativity out of the box.  The only limit to what you can do is your imagination and a little bit of physics.  I hope to see you with your ideas soon!

    Stop by any of our Day's Jewelers and make an appointment to meet with one of our in house designer, goldsmiths to start putting your creation together.

    About the Blogger:

    mark-poulin2-web20111Mark, Store Manager,
    Auburn Day's Jewelers 

    Originally from Michigan, Mark decided to settle in Maine because of the wonderful quality of life and because it is a beautiful and safe place to raise his children.

    Mark is a very devoted father, he spends a great deal of time playing with his children. His passion is building and flying R/C airplanes. He began the hobby when he was ten-years-old, with his father's assistance. He caught on quickly and to this day, he flies his planes every chance he can. Read more.

     

     

  • Service and Day's Jewelers

    One of the greatest things about Day's Jewelers is our service department - both in the store and at www.daysjewelers.com. The services we offer to our customers ensure that your jewelry is safe and sparkling. Every six months, we encourage our engagement ring, right hand ring, or diamond fashion ring wearers to come in and have their ring inspected to make sure that your gemstone or diamond is securely in place. A complimentary cleaning will take place to bring out the natural brilliance of your piece of jewelry. Watch Corey, a Portland Jewelry Consultant clean a ring:

    One of the ways to care for a piece of white gold jewelry is to get it rhodium plated. In the video below, Sascha, Jewelry Consultant at the Manchester, NH store explains the rhodium plating process.

     

     

    The web store, www.daysjewelers.com, has its own services that it offers to customers. Each order that is placed is handled with care and securely delivered to your doorstep. Day's Jewelers website ensures that you can buy safe and secure. If there is a product you would like to see in a store, simply choose the "See in Store" button on the product's page and enter your desired Day's location to see the piece. There is no obligation with this offer. It is just another service that Day's offers to make sure our customers are happy with their purchase. If you are unhappy with a purchase, Day's has a 100% money back guarantee within 30 days of purchase (with original receipt) All of your merchandise is neatly packaged in a signature Day's Jewelers blue box and shipped fully insured. You can have peace of mind when you shop at www.daysjewelers.com. Below, watch Melissa, Web store Manager, package and ship a web order:

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HASSLE FREE RETURNS

If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase within 30 days of receipt, you may return any merchandise that has not been altered, engraved or customized for a refund, credit or exchange. Merchandise returned must be in its original condition.

FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $95

All orders are fully insured and require a signature at time of delivery. Each item is cleaned, polished and inspected before it is wrapped and shipped to you. For engravings and ring sizing, please add an additional 2-3 business days to your order. Special orders or customizations may take 3-4 weeks. Please click here for full shipping information.

CONFLICT-FREE

Day's Jewelers requires suppliers to provide a written warranty, for every diamond purchased, that it was acquired from non-conflict sources. Furthermore, as a certified member of the Responsible Jewellery Council, Day's is committed to supporting and promoting the highest level of social, ethical and environmental responsibility in our communities and in the areas of the world where our products are sourced. Learn more...

100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE

If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase within 30 days of receipt, you may return any merchandise that has not been altered, engraved or customized for a refund, credit or exchange. Merchandise returned must be in its original condition.

LIFETIME WARRANTY

Your jewelry purchased from Day's Jewelers is warranted for a lifetime against defects in materials and craftsmanship. To be eligible for this warranty, your piece of jewelry must be inspected at any Day's store at least once every six months. If you should live in an area where there is no Day's store located, we would be happy to recommend a reputable jeweler to perform the required semi-annual inspections. Day's also offers a low cost extended care plan that covers normal wear and tear of items not deemed as defective.

BEST PRICE PROMISE

Day's adheres to an everyday low price policy so you can always shop knowing you’re getting the best price possible from an authorized retailer.

DAY'S BEST PRICE PROMISE

Day's adheres to an everyday low price policy so you can always shop knowing you’re getting the best price possible from an authorized retailer.