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  • 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!

     

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  • American Quality: Jewelry Made in the USA

    download7Made in China.  Have you seen that stamp on any product lately?  I would hazard a guess you are like me and see it daily on a multitude of products you purchase each day.  Like me, you probably would prefer to purchase a product made by American companies that provide jobs and benefits to Americans.  But where do you find such a product?  I can't tell you every place you can find such product, but I can tell you where you can find some of them: jewelry, especially bridal. Not only will you find product made in the United States, you will find some of the best quality in the industry. Unfortunately, these items are not marked with a stamping or tag like a toy or tool.  If you have been in a jewelry store, you have walked by them.  You have likely tried them on.  In some cases, you may have avoided them because the sales associate failed to explain why this product was a little bit more than something you saw in another case.  So why is this not public knowledge??  Read on.

    As many of us remember, Hong Kong was leased to the British for 99 years.  During that time, factories were built and controlled by the west.  They developed all kinds of factories, including jewelry, tools, toys and so on.  Hong Kong became an industrial center and a powerhouse of manufacturing and was a vital component in supplying consumer demand.  At the same time, the United States had a healthy manufacturing base in jewelry as well.  In fact, most of the jewelry sold in the United States was made in the U.S.  It was uncommon to have something shipped from overseas.  Then the lease expired in 1997.  China did not renew it and took possession of all the factories and continued to produce the product that was manufactured during the lease, with a couple of differences.

    First, the quality of the product naturally slipped as the Chinese had to learn the manufacturing processes they took over.  Second, the prices plummeted to the point that U.S. manufacturers could not compete with the prices coming out of China.  What happened next was a crisis for jewelry manufacturers in the United Sates.  They literally had three choices:  Go out of business, become an importer, or change their business model drastically.  Many went out of business and many more became importers.  Few chose a new business model.  The new model recognized the gap in experience with jewelry that existed between U.S. and Chinese manufacturers.  They soon realized they may not be able to compete in price, however the Chinese could not compete in quality.  These jewelry manufacturers actually raised their prices to reflect a better product standard that they provided over their Chinese counterparts.  They reasoned wisely that the American consumer would be willing to pay for a U.S. product if it was of superior quality.  To this day, despite the Chinese product having vastly improved their quality, these same U.S. manufactures are still thriving.

    So what makes quality in jewelry?

     

    rsemi3822_1This is a tough, tough area for a consumer.  It is far too easy for a jeweler to say they have quality product because the average consumer, even when educated, does not have the experience to temper the knowledge they might acquire.  Unfortunately, few jewelers can really explain what quality is.  They simply spout some platitude about how all the company's products are quality, or worse yet, they confuse quality with rarity.  This only further serves to confuse those we are trying to serve.  So what is quality in jewelry?  Quality is the craftsmanship of an item or good.  It has nothing to do with the way an item naturally occurs.  Sorry Blue Nile...color and clarity of a diamond are rarity traits.   If you wish to talk quality in a diamond, you have to speak about cut.  With that in mind, let's explain why a pave mounting that costs $1000 in one jewelry store and a similar one in another jeweler is $1700.  And let's also point out color and clarity are the same.

    1.  Let's start with the mounting.  Everyone understands the more gold or platinum you have in a ring, the more expensive it is.  That being said, the lower priced ring will likely have less metal.  To see this, look at the undercarriage of the ring.  On the $1000 ring, you will have a large open area under the center diamonds and very likely under the side diamonds as well.  On the $1700 ring, these areas will prove to be solid as the manufacturer will remove only enough metal to set and access the stones for cleaning.  What this means to the consumer is a ring that will have fewer loose or lost stones over the life of the ring.  It will also increase the lifespan of the ring significantly.

    2.  The cut of the diamonds is of importance too.  A diamonds size does not signify anything about the cut.  Just like their larger counterparts, they have a cut quality.  More expensive mountings will generally use very well cut diamonds because they will perform better.  However, they do cost more because they take longer to cut.  There is no true test to tell you a small diamond has a great cut.  You can tell when it has a bad cut, though.  Simply take the diamond ring or mounting out from under the lights over the showcases.  Jewelers spend a lot of money for those bulbs, but the ones over the floor are generally the same bulbs you find in a home improvement store.  If it fails to sparkle vibrantly, it is likely filled with diamonds of a lower cut value.  Trust your eyes on this one.  If it doesn't sparkle in the store, it won't sparkle later.  A mounting with well cut diamonds will sparkle, regardless of the light intensity.

     

    rsemi3957_13.  Calibrated stones also impact the value of a mounting.  What is a calibrated stone and why does it matter?  Most mountings are designed for a size of diamond, whether 2mm, 2.1mm or any other size.  Usually, setters will use diamonds that are around the size the setting calls for.  So a mounting that calls for a 2mm may be set with a mix of 2mm, 2.1mm, or 1.9mm stones.  This is almost impossible to see with the naked eye, but it has a direct impact on the durability of some settings.....especially pave settings (shared prong).  Sharing prongs between two 1.9mm in this example leads setters into "mashing" the prongs down flat to try to get the stones to stay secure.  In the long run, they do not stay secure and generally come out or loosen frequently.  Most manufactures outside the U.S. do not bother with calibrated stones because it takes much more time to match the diamonds and money is time.  U.S.  Manufactures like Martin Flyer, Ritani, Michael M and others do take the time to calibrate their settings.  This means some settings can take a week or more to put together and they do charge for that time.  What the consumer gets from this is a ring which requires much less maintenance than its overseas counterparts.

    In summary, a ring made in the United States does cost more than its overseas counterparts.  The differences I cite above are small, but so is the jewelry we are talking about.  Little differences translate into big returns in visual beauty and the long term life of your new ring.  Something you wear for the rest of your life should be as beautiful as possible and have a chance of lasting the rest of your life, shouldn't it?

    We wish everyone a Happy and Safe 4th of July! 

     

  • Did You Know: Aquamarine

    aquamarine_trillion_cutAre you a sailor, or do you have a sailor or fisherman in your life? Are you a March baby? Or maybe you just love Aquamarine? If so, this article of "Did You Know" is for you.

    About Aquamarine:

    Its name comes from the Latin word "aqua marina," meaning seawater. Aquamarine symbolizes the clarity and transparency of the ocean waters.

    Aquamarine is one of the more popular gemstones around. It is found in many parts of the world including North America, South America, Russia, India, Madagascar and Africa.

    History:

    Aquamarine has long been associated with its ability to capture the energy of the ocean. When Aquamarine amulets and pendants were worn by sailors, they believed that unmatched bravery would be instilled in their souls. In some areas, these jewels accompanied their owners while out on the high seas, and in the event of a storm, were tossed overboard to subdue the Greek god Poseidon's anger.

    Aquamarine is also considered to be a gemstone that purifies and cleanses the mind with fresh clear thoughts. It brings hope, health, harmony, and happiness. It rekindles friendships, awakens love, and elevates the spirit.

    images_(4)Need a Gift:

    Aquamarine is the anniversary gemstone for the 18th year of marriage. Commonly known as the March birthstone, Aquamarine is linked to the astrological signs of Pisces and Scorpio.

    Aquamarine Care:

    The best way to clean Aquamarine jewels is with soapy water. Steam cleaners work well with these gemstones. On the Mohs scale, Aquamarine is rated at a 7-8 for hardness. Avoid contact with harsh chemicals.

    As always, Day's Jewelers will clean and inspect your Aquamarine or any other jewelry free of charge for you.

    If you have any other questions or comments, or would like to know more about Aquamarine, please email me!

     

  • Jewelry in Style: 2013 Shades of Green

    jersp0860_1There will be no 50 shades of grey this year; 2013 is the year of "shades of green." Hot on the runway and in your jewelry box will be emerald, jade, and peridot.

    "Designers are projecting optimism and color lifts out spirits," says Leatrice Elseman, Executive Director at Pantone Color Institute. Designers have been experimenting with color combinations over the last few years, inspired by multicultural influences. Jewelry stylist-to-the-stars, Michael O'Connor sees the use of gem-set jewelry on the rise, as it stands out on runways and red carpets, as stated in National Jewelers News & Trends article. Picture this: A red evening gown with a beautiful emerald and diamond ring and earring set.

    rsoam03532Of course we can't have a year full of just one color palette, as beautiful as our shades of green are; additional colors of blue (navy and dusk), dark purple and warm yellows and reds.

    Along with the 2013 shades of green, this is a year of big and bold. Trends are building for wrist wear, necklaces, and rings. Whether you are going to layer your wrists with bangles and chain link bracelets, adorn your neck with a large pendant or collar, or cover your fingers in beautiful art work - jewelry decor is high on the fashion hit list this year.

    Look out for our next blog; 2013 Trend Alert to see what else 2013 has instore. ~MKW

     

  • What to Know About Sterling Silver

    lorenzo_citrine_ringSterling Silver jewelry has been around for quite a while.  It dates as far back as to the time of primitive man, and was named several different names before the word “Sterling” was created during the 12th century.

    During this time, the Germans used “Easterlings” (later shortened to “Sterling”) as a payment for English cattle.  Eventually, the Easterling became the Standard English currency.

    Sterling Silver had its “time to shine,” during the Victorian Era. The Victorian Era is known for its lavish affairs including affairs that involved eating. During this time it was frowned upon for food to be touched without an eating utensil. Eating utensils were made of sterling silver, and dpse0059this is where we get the term “Silverware” that we use today.

    Pure silver, which is also known as fine silver, is a malleable and very soft metal.  Fine silver can become damaged very easily, so it is usually combined with other metals to become more durable. All Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver mixed with 7.5 % alloy (usually copper) metal to give it more strength.

    All Sterling silver tarnishes, and can tarnish more quickly when exposed to sulfur and certain other chemicals in the air. Sterling silver jewelry is unlikely to tarnish when it is worn because it is constantly rubbing against skin or clothing.

    signatureSome manufactures will plate sterling silver jewelry with a hard, bright metal called rhodium.  A rhodium plated chain will not tarnish.  It will have a bright silver color at all times. However, most people prefer not to purchase a rhodium plated chain because it does not have the natural, dull patina finish that is common to pure sterling silver.

    If a sterling silver chain is stored in a sealed plastic bag with an anti-tarnish strip in the bag, it generally will not tarnish.

    rsoam03531Tarnish can be removed from a piece of sterling silver jewelry by dipping it in a tarnish removal liquid for a few seconds then rinsed.  It can also be removed by rubbing it with a specially treated silver polish cloth.

    Usually when people think of sterling silver jewelry, they think of something plain and silver in color.  However, as you can see that is far from the norm!

     

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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.