Category Archives: General Jewelry Information

How to Build Your Diamond Jewelry “Wardrobe”

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Hi again,

When you go out to buy a new dress or sweater or any article of clothing, you don’t go out and duplicate what you already have (unless you want everything in different colors :-)). Similarly, when it comes time for you or your partner to purchase a piece of diamond jewelry to add to your collection, it is important to view this purchase as building a diamond jewelry wardrobe.

Jewelry purchases should be well thought out and fill a gap in your current jewelry collection. How many times are you rushing out to dinner, you have the perfect outfit on, but your jewelry may or may not work. Jewelry is the finishing touch to any outfit or look, so it is important to have varied collections for different occasions.

Here are my recommendations for your Diamond Collection

To start, every woman should have her diamond engagement ring.

 

After the engagement ring, you need a wedding ring. Afte all, you need to get married, not just engaged! If you can afford a diamond wedding band at the same time, that’s great. But I have worked with many customers who have budgetary constraints and a plain wedding band has to do for the wedding itself. The diamond wedding band just has to wait.

When the time comes for that next piece of jewelry, a diamond wedding band should be next. It doesn’t have to match exactly with the engagement ring and it doesn’t have to fit flush with the engagement ring either. It can be worn on the opposite hand from the engagement ring.  Fine jewelry complements other pieces, they don’t have to match exactly.

 

After the wedding band, classic diamond studs should be next. They can be worn for any occasion and they are a staple of any jewelry wardrobe. When you decide on the setting, think about the three prong martini setting. It is a great choice over the older classic 4-prong setting because the setting sits much closer to the ear lobe and you see much more “diamond” instead of metal. 

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Speaking about studs, you also have an alternative to the classic stud which can have a larger look but cost less. For example, the following “snowflake” earring accomplishes that purpose.

 

After diamond studs, a diamond bracelet should come next. It can be a classic tennis bracelet (a straight line of round diamonds) or a modified version of it. In fact, today we are getting away from the classic tennis bracelet and going to something a little more stylish.

 

Finally, a diamond necklace should be a part of any diamond jewelry wardrobe. What you get will depend of course on your budget but there are always choices in different price ranges.

 

Diamonds are always classic, timeless, and extremely versatile. Before you turn your attention to colored stones like sapphires, rubies or emeralds, you should have a basic set of diamond jewelry as part of your jewelry wardrobe.

That’s it for now. In the meantime, until next time, Mind Your Diamonds!

Josh Fishman

josh@afishman.com

www.afishman.com

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Insuring Your Diamonds and Jewelry

Hi again,
For many people a diamond ring is one of the biggest purchases of their lifetime, so it is important that you protect your investment. One of the most popular ways to protect your investment is to insure your diamond. Please note that I am NOT an insurance agent so please check with your own insurance agent about all the issues which I am going to describe to you. Also, policies may differ in different states.

You might be surprised to learn that your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy probably does not offer full coverage for your engagement ring and other fine jewelry. Your insurance policy probably covers jewelry theft, but not loss that occurs for other reasons. 

Typical Insurance Policies

Renter’s and homeowner’s insurance policies set limits for the loss of certain categories of personal property, including jewelry. Homeowner’s policies typically pay a maximum of $1,000 for jewelry theft. A renter’s insurance policy might have a lower limit for jewelry loss–$500 is common.

Does your insurance policy cover jewelry loss for reasons other than theft–such as for lost or damaged items? Read your policy carefully and ask your insurance agent to clarify the types of losses that are covered on your standard policy.

Additional Jewelry Insurance

 You can usually purchase additional insurance for your fine jewelry, otherwise know as “scheduled personal property,” but be sure to ask your agent questions so that you have a good understanding of the coverage:

  • Is there a deductible? If so, how much is it and how does raising or lowering the deductible affect your policy costs? 
  • Is an appraisal required prior to obtaining insurance? Are there only certain types of appraisers whose reports are accepted?
  • Are the items covered no matter where the loss takes place? Would the policy cover you for a loss that occurs during domestic or international travel? 
  • Are items covered for full replacement cost? Must you replace the item, or can you obtain a cash settlement?
  • Does the policy cover repairs to damaged jewelry? 
  •  

There are three types of insurance policies typically offered: 
 
 

  • Actual Cash Value, in which the insurance company will give you the actual market value of the diamond in order to replace it.
  • Agreed Value, which is a very rare type of policy, in which the insurance company and you the owner, will negotiate on the proper value of the diamond ring or stone.
  •  Replacement Value, which is the most common of the three. This is where the insurance company will reimburse you up to a specific amount agreed upon by the two parties when the policy was created. For instance, with a replacement value policy, if you spent 10K on a diamond ring, and the appraiser has confirmed the ring is worth 10K, the insurance company will insure you with a replacement value policy of up to 10K. If the ring is lost or stolen in the future, the insurance company will usually pay up to 10K for the ring.

In order to have your ring insured, you will first need to have it appraised and to send a copy of the professional appraisal to your insurance agent. Besides an appraisal, your insurance agent may request photos of the ring and stones and possibly a gem print which is a computer scan of your diamond ring which makes it easily identifiable if it is stolen. If you are planning on buying a diamond ring or own a diamond ring that is extremely valuable, think seriously about getting insurance.

In the meantime, until next time, Mind Your Diamonds!

Josh Fishman

josh@afishman.com

www.afishman.com

 

Caring for Your Jewelry

Hi Again,

Take a good look at your hands. Think about all the wear and tear you put them through on any given day. If you’re like most people, you don’t even notice your rings are slowly losing their luster or that your diamond is losing its brilliance. It’s not until you take a few minutes to clean them up that you remember just how breathtaking your rings can be. Here’s how to bring back the “razzle dazzle” to your fine jewelry.

Generally, most jewelry can be cleaned with mild ammonia mixed with water. (Some exceptions include pearls, emeralds and opal.) It’s important to clean your jewelry with a soft brush to prevent any scratches. It is also a good idea to separate your jewelry to avoid nicks and scrapes.

A diamond is a precious investment that needs to be properly cared for in order to allow light to shine through, creating brilliance and sparkle. Regular, everyday activities such as washing your hands, cooking dinner and natural skin oils all combine to create a dirty, filmy diamond that lacks radiance and sparkle. Products such as powders, makeup, lotions, and soap can all contribute to a soiled diamond, and chemicals in the air can actually discolor the jewelry’s mounting. You should get into the habit of removing your rings when you do any type of household chores that would subject your jewelry to stress or dirt. Place your rings in a small dish (like a small ashtray or covered case) and put it in a safe place where you will always know where it is.

Be especially careful around garbage disposals at your kitchen sink. Believe it or not, I have already had two cases of women losing their engagement rings into the disposal and, while the diamond was not damaged (a nick or two which was easily polished out), the ring was mangled beyond repair. So, a word to the wise!

Diamond and Diamond Jewelry Care
Diamonds are the hardest minerals known to man, but even they require delicate care. To maintain its brilliance, a diamond should be cleaned regularly. It can be cleaned in a solution of half-ammonia and half-cold water. Soak your diamond for 30 minutes and dry it with a lint-free cloth. Gently brush the diamond with a soft toothbrush while it is in the suds. Then rinse it under warm running water. Pat dry with a soft lint-free cloth.

You can also use a brand name liquid jewelry cleaner and follow the instructions given on the label.

Please note that you should never use toothpaste to clean your jewelry. Toothpaste and other abrasive substances can scratch your jewelry.

Everyday activity can loosen a diamond setting so be sure to have your diamond jewelry checked every year.

Metal Care
When it comes to caring for your metal, it’s important to remember that every metal is different. While little maintenance is needed for durable metals such as tungsten, other metals require some attention. For instance, platinum is a strong metal but is susceptible to scratches. Getting your platinum buffed every six months is recommended. You can also remove build-up with jewelry cleaner or mild soap and water. Also, silver is prone to tarnishing. Regular polishing is a simple way to solve this.

Gold is another metal that needs gentle care. Soap film easily builds on the surface of gold, so it’s best to remove your gold jewelry before showering or using household cleaners or chemicals. Chlorine has also been known to weaken gold, causing it to break more easily. Placing your gold jewelry in a solution containing a few drops of ammonia, mild detergent and warm water will bring back its shine. Rubbing alcohol can also be used to remove grease and body oil from gold jewelry.

Cultured Pearl Care
Cultured pearls are especially soft and vulnerable. When getting dressed, your cultured pearls should be the last item you put on and the first item you take off. Makeup, hair spray, perfume and other chemicals are very harmful to cultured pearls. It’s a good idea to wipe them with a clean, damp cloth after each use to remove build-up, dirt and oil. Also, make sure your cultured pearls are completely dry before putting them away. Hot water, steam, extreme temperatures and ultrasonic cleaners should be avoided as well. Upon inspection, some jewelers may also recommend restringing your cultured pearls.

Colored Stone Care
Every colored stone has its unique colors and qualities, and therefore, care is different for each one. A good reference is the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, which measures durability of materials with 10 (diamonds) being the hardest. In some cases, the more durable a stone is, the less likely they are to become damaged in daily activity or regular cleaning. Most colored stones can be cleaned in soapy water, but special care is required for certain stones.

Emeralds especially less expensive ones, are often treated with oils and waxes to improve clarity. This enhancement is not permanent, and long exposure to soapy water can remove the protective coating. Also, emeralds should not be exposed to hot water, steamers and ultrasonic cleaners. Emeralds, which are soft stones, are also susceptible to damage easily and it is not recommended for everyday wear. Rubies and Sapphires are harder and less susceptible to damage.

Tanzanite is 6 1/2 on the Moh’s Scale, making it a very brittle stone. Delicate washing in warm water with mild soap is suitable, but it should never be exposed to vigorous activity, ultrasonic cleaners and excessive temperatures. Extreme temperatures can actually change the color of some stones.

Also, unlike other colored stones, opal is not internally solid but rather gelatinous. It ranks about a six on the hardness scale and is very susceptible to scratches and cracks. Impacts should be avoided as well as ultrasonic cleaners, excessive heat, hot water and steam. It is recommended to clean opals with baby or olive oil to prevent them from drying out.

Steam cleaners should also be avoided for garnet, amethyst, peridot, tourmaline and citrine.

Provided you follow directions exactly for all methods of diamond cleaning, your beautiful jewelry will retain its fire and brilliance for many years to come.

In the meantime, until next time, Mind Your Diamonds!

Josh Fishman
josh@afishman.com

www.afishman.com