Selecting an engagement ring for your future spouse can be one of the most daunting tasks a romantic can undertake. You’ve found the “one” to be your life partner and want to find the “perfect” ring he or she will love and want to show off to friends and family.
There are many choices, but fear not, we’ve put together six steps to finding the perfect engagement ring for your future spouse, courtesy of the GIA.
Make it a surprise. While the trend of couples shopping together for an engagement ring is on the rise, we suggest you try to figure out what he or she will like on your own. Yes, it will take some detective work, but if you get it right, the reward will pay dividends. There are few opportunities for a really big surprise in life—let your engagement ring be one of them.
Decide on and stick to your budget. Like any major purchase, decide on what you can comfortably afford, and stick to it. Then do your due diligence so you can save money. Spending more than you have to won’t make the ring any nicer than it is. In fact, getting a good deal may endear you even more to your future spouse. Rather than expensive retail jewelry stores in malls (remember, you’re paying higher mark ups), consider visiting a high-end pawn shop like Empire Jewelers for beautiful and unique pieces at a fraction of the cost.
Pay attention to what they wear. You could ask one of their close friends for advice on the kind of ring he or she would like, but you run the risk of them talking and ruining the surprise. We suggest putting on your detective hat and paying attention to what your SO is wearing from day to day.Are the rings and other pieces classic and traditional or funky and modern? Are they full of bling or more subdued? If you buy something similar to what he or she already likes, you’ll probably choose the right one.
Know their ring size. This is an important one, because you’ll want to know the ring will fit when you present it. If he or she wears rings, borrow one they already own. Trace the inner circle on a piece of paper, or press the ring into a bar of soap for an impression. You can also slide it down one of your own fingers and draw a line where it stops. A jeweler can use these measurements to identify his or her approximate ring size.
Know what diamond shape suits him or her. After determining the style and ring size, you’ll need to pick a design. As your future spouse will be wearing this ring every day during his or her engagement and into your married life, it really needs to fit their personality. To help you decide, here are some popular engagement ring designs to consider for him or her:
Engagement ring designs for women:
Solitaire – Featuring a single stone, this is the most popular choice in engagement rings. Solitaires can be set with four prongs or six prongs. A four-prong-setting shows more of the diamond, but a six-prong setting is often more secure.
Side stones – Diamonds or other gemstones, flank the main stone for additional sparkle or color. Popular side-stone settings include ”channel,” which protects stones by keeping them flush, and ”bar channel” which allows more light to enter the sides tones.
Three Stone – One diamond for the past, one for the present, and one for the future. Typically, the center diamond is larger than the two side stones.
Pavé (pah-vey) – The main stone is surrounded by tiny diamonds to add sparkle and the illusion of greater size.
Engagement ring designs for men:
In addition to traditional gold and platinum, men’s engagement and wedding rings come in an array of unique, modern metals. Select from titanium, zirconium, tungsten carbide, and steel. Even natural materials, such as wood are becoming increasingly popular. Men may also choose a ring that’s accented with stones such as black diamonds for added brilliance and intrigue. Plain bands featuring textural elements such as a woven or hammered design are also quite popular.
6. Create an experience. Once you’ve made the effort and decided on the ring you think your loved one will truly cherish, create a proposal experience that’s unique to your relationship. Whether together you enjoy sports, horseback riding, taking in shows or have a favorite romantic hiking spot, create one of the fondest experiences you can and make a memory to last your lifetime together.
If you’re looking for a fine diamond engagement ring, make sure to visit Empire’s eBay store for an incredible selection of hundreds of high-quality new and estate diamond rings at up to 70 percent off what you would pay at retail.
Happy birthday March babies! Your official birthstone is not only beautiful, it’s full of history and mythology. Here are some interesting facts about your birthstone, the aquamarine.
In addition to being the birthstone for March and the zodiac sign of Pisces, aquamarine is also the gemstone used to celebrate a 19th wedding anniversary.
The aquamarine is a transparent pale blue variety of beryl (beryllium aluminum silicate) — the same mineral family that emeralds belong to.
Like many beryls, aquamarine forms large crystals suitable for sizable fashioned gems and carvings.
The word aquamarine is derived from the Latin phrase “aqua marinus,” meaning “water of the sea” because they are said to resemble the beautiful blue-green color of ocean water.
Aquamarines were said to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. Sailors were known to wear aquamarine talismans engraved with the likeness of Neptune, as protection against dangers at sea.
March’s birthstone was also thought to enhance the happiness of marriages.
Aquamarines come in a wide range of shades and colors, from pale pastel to sky blue and blue-green to sea-green. The rarest and most valuable aquamarines are those with a deep blue color.
The best gems combine high clarity with transparency and blue to slightly greenish blue hues.
The color of aquamarine is due to trace amounts of iron that works its way inside the crystal. Most commercially-sold aquamarines are heat-treated to produce a more desirable blue-green color.
Aquamarines have a hexagonal-shaped crystal system. They are pleochroic in nature, meaning they can show three colors, depending on the angle they’re viewed.
Like many gems, aquamarines are thought by some to have metaphysical powers, including the ability to clear and cleanse, refresh and uplift. Some say they also promote courage, calm, compassion, tolerance, love, communication, self-expression, reasoning, intellect and connection to one’s higher self.
Aquamarines are also said to aid in the healing of sore throats and swollen glands, and in calming nerves, improving vision, and cooling sunburns and fevers.
The ancient Romans believed that Neptune, the god of the sea, obtained aquamarines from the jewel boxes of the Sirens. Legend has it that Neptune gave aquamarines as a gift to the mermaids.
Because of their bond with the sea, aquamarine is the gemstone of several sea goddesses, including Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Aphrodite was also widely worshipped as a goddess of the sea and of seafaring.
Aquamarines are mined in exotic locations including Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan and Mozambique, but most modern aquamarines come from Brazil.
One of the largest aquamarines ever mined weighed 110.5 kg. It was found in 1910 in Marambaia/Minas Gerais, Brazil.
In the United States, the only location where you can mine for aquamarines is Mount Antero in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The elusive gem is said to be found at altitudes of 14,000 feet or more.
If you’re looking for an aquamarine for a March birthday gift, or any other fine birthstone gift, visit Empire’s eBay store for wholesale prices and an above-your-expectations buying experience.
Amethyst, the birthstone for Pisces and the month of February, is said to have calming qualities
• In addition to being the official birthstone for February, amethyst is also the gemstone for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries.
• Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz, occurring naturally as crystals within rocks.
• Amethyst is the most valued member of the quartz family, considered a semiprecious gem for its violet color.
• A quartz must be purple to be amethyst, but can range in shade from light lilac to deep purple.
• Heating amethyst removes the color or changes it to the yellow of citrine. Today, most citrine is made in this manner.
• The word amethyst comes from the Greek word “amethystos,” meaning sober.
• Throughout history, amethyst has been used to protect against drunkenness and to help overcome addiction. Today, amethyst is considered to be a symbol of calm and tranquility, and a stabilizing force for those struggling to overcome addictive behaviors.
• The astrologer Camillo Leonardi wrote that amethyst quickens intelligence and gets rid of evil thoughts.
• A gift of amethyst is a symbol of protection, said to strengthen the bonds of love and overcome difficulty.
• Amethyst was associated with Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. In ancient Greece, people believed wine served in amethyst goblets would protect against drunkenness.
• According to Greek mythology, Amethyst was a young virgin who angered the Greek god, Dionysus, after he became drunk from red wine. When Amethyst called the goddess Diana for help, Diana turned Amethyst into a white quartz. When Dionysus felt remorse, he cried, dripping his tears into his goblet of red wine. When the goblet overturned, the red wine spilled on the white quartz, coloring it purple—the color of amethyst.
• Amethysts were once considered more valuable than diamonds, until deposits were found, increasing the quantity and lowering the value.
• Amethyst deposits have been found in Brazil, Canada, Australia, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka and in the United States. Today, most amethyst comes from Brazil and Uruguay.
• Amethyst is the official state gemstone of South Carolina, after world-class amethysts were found at the Ellis-Jones Mine near Due West, SC on June 24, 1969. The South Carolina amethysts are presently on display at the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
• In August 2011, the world’s largest amethyst, called the “Empress of Uruguay,” was vandalized by a tourist while the 2.5-ton geode was on display in Queensland, Australia.
• Known as “the royal beauty,” amethyst has been associated with royalty throughout the ages, in part because of its royal purple color. A large amethyst is among the closely-guarded gemstones in the British Crown Jewels, and it is said that amethyst was a favorite of Queen Catherine the Great of Russia.
• Amethyst also has much religious history and symbolism. In the Bible, it was one of the 12 stones that adorned the high priest Aaron’s breastplate in Exodus 39. As a symbol of spirituality and piety, amethyst has also been used to decorate churches and crosses, and worn in rings and on rosaries by religious clergy.
The cold weather is here, and with it thicker clothes and layers that can drown out your favorite jewelry pieces.
Here are five ways to wear jewelry in the wintertime, courtesy of Forbes.com and jewelry writer, Beth Bernstein.
Go bigger with bracelets and necklaces
While graduated chains and charm necklaces are great for the summer with t-shirt and tanks they can compete with your layers of sweaters and scarves. In the colder months, opt for an elongated necklace that is chunky on its own or has a solid look with a large locket.
When wearing long sleeves that are ribbed or textured in knits or jackets under your coats, you want bracelets that you can feel on your wrists without being too heavy. Keep the wide cuffs and bangles for spring and summer—they look wonderful on bare arms and won’t feel too cumbersome. However, in wintertime, go for oversized curb chains or new takes on wide ID bracelets. They can be worn over lightweight sweater sleeves.
Don’t lose rings from gloves
Stack rings are wonderful in warm weather months but taking gloves on and off when the weather is cold could cause you to accidentally lose one or more of your rings. It’s safe to wear one or two larger, bolder rings in winter. You will feel them move around and their stand-out appeal is more suited to your winter wardrobe. Colored gems will pop your winter staples of gray and black and signets with symbolism will act as your winter talisman.
Style with stud earrings
Stud earrings are the perfect go-to jewels to dress up your lobes for winter. They won’t get caught in your scarves or high or oversized turtlenecks. All different styles of earrings have been trending for the past two years and there are myriad imaginative, fun or daring studs out there for you to try on to see which fits your style best.
Go for brooches
If you haven’t tried accessorizing with brooches, you’re missing out on one of the hottest trends of the winter. On trend are antique or vintage brooches, or new pieces designed based on designs by the most iconic jewelers of the past. Brooches are extremely versatile, too. You can affix them to scarves, fashion them in your hair, wear multiples on your jacket lapels and pockets, or to one side on a cardigan, knit dress, sweater sleeve or at the top fold of a turtleneck.
If you’re looking for a vintage or antique brooch or any perfect piece for your winter wardrobe, make sure to visit Adina by Empire Jewelers’ eBay Store for a wide selection of fine jewelry at true wholesale prices.
Thinking about purchasing a high-end luxury watch, such as an Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre or Rolex for a loved one this holiday? Here’s what to know before you buy.
Despite the fact that we all have clocks on our electronic devices, watch wearing has been on the rise. Besides added convenience, a nice piece of jewelry on your wrist can finish an outfit and add to your sophistication.
A luxury watch can be a special item that is built to last and worth handing down to the next generation. Some of the most elite watch brands include, but are not limited to, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger LeCoultre (JLC ), Blancpain, Ulysse Nardin, Rolex, and Jaquet Droz.
Be honest—can you afford it?
Before purchasing a luxury watch, the most important thing is to be honest with yourself if you can afford a brand-new one. Will the watch be an asset or a liability? Do some research: There are various versions of high-end watches available out there, including pre-owned and refurbished. Consider buying pre-owned, but make sure it’s authentic and not a “knock off.” The key is to honestly assess your financial situation carefully and choose your watch accordingly.
Make sure it’s real.
In the past, fake high-end knockoff watches were so poorly made that it was usually easy to distinguish them from the genuine item. Today, counterfeit watches can be almost impossible to distinguish (to the untrained eye) from the world-renowned masterpieces. Online auction houses and individual internet sellers commonly offer very convincing copies. If you want a genuine Patek, Rolex or other specific designer, make it clear to the dealer that you are interested in seeing and buying only a 100 percent genuine, unaltered watch — including the watch band.
Make sure the dealer is legit.
Even a pre-owned luxury watch is an expensive item. It is absolutely essential that you buy from a knowledgeable dealer you know you can trust. Every year, people are scammed out of millions of dollars thinking they are buying “the real thing,” when in fact it’s a knockoff. That is why it is important to buy a new or used high-end watch from a knowledgeable and reputable dealer. If you do find one online that you like, read reviews on the company and make sure their return terms are clearly stated.
A new luxury watch can be purchased from an authorized dealer or it can be obtained from an independent, unauthorized watch dealer selling new, near-new, pre-owned, or vintage watches. If your objective is to purchase a new, current model watch and to save on the price, or if you are looking for a specific model no longer available from an authorized dealer, then buying from an independent watch dealer is a good option. To find an authorized dealer in your area, visit the manufacturer’s website for dealers in your area.
Understand the guarantees.
Before buying, ask the seller if the watch is an authentic, unaltered piece, and if they offer an unconditional money back guarantee. Also ask for a full, written, timekeeping and water resistance guarantee with the watch for one full year, and that the bracelet contains only authentic parts.
Confirm that it’s in good working order.
Also, before you buy, make sure the watch is working properly, and has been serviced by an authorized manufacturer service center, or reputable and experienced independent watchmaker known to specialize in high-end watches.
Get the model and serial number.
Make sure you get and check the model and serial number of the watch before buying. The dealer should give you the opportunity to take the bracelet off and check the numbers located between the lugs for authenticity.
Take your time deciding.
Whether you are buying a new or pre-owned luxury watch, choose carefully and don’t allow yourself to be rushed into buying. Do your research, and if necessary, ask the dealer to hold the watch for you for a day or two while you consider buying it.
Trust your instinct: if the deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Make sure you are 100 percent satisfied with the watch and the purchase—this is an heirloom item that should last your lifetime and be handed down to the next generation. Finally, once you buy, insure it and enjoy it!
To shop our full selection of high-end watches, visit our eBay store.
With the holidays around the corner, it’s not too soon to start thinking about special gifts for the ones you love. Here are some beautiful gift ideas for her and him.
Ideas for Her
If you know a gal who’s into glamour, consider getting her a bold and beautiful cocktail ring. Often oversized and stunning, cocktail rings are the perfect way to glam up a basic outfit. Lovely as well as versatile, they can be paired with tailored denim, blazers, and even plain white T-shirts.
The 1990s are making a comeback in the form of chokers, collars, and bib necklaces.
Fashion-forward ladies are rocking metal, fabric, leather, and rhinestone-covered chokers. It can be worn alone or layered with longer chains with nearly every outfit.
These clever earrings are the new style statement of the jewelry scene with their range of subtle to bold looks. From stone-studded climbers that arc up the ear to simple metal cuffs that closely hug each earlobe, ear cuffs make an excellent gift for stylish women.
While some earring jackets are simply an optional frame for the stud to rest in, the latest style features an ornamental backing that clips onto the post from behind and hangs below the curve of the earlobe.
Fashion mavens everywhere are pairing up their favorite chains to create unique combos that make a statement. For the style-savvy gal on your holiday shopping list, pre-layered necklaces are a great way to get that layered look with one piece of jewelry.
Pearls are the perfect gift for the elegant woman on your list. Look for pieces that integrate the soft elegance of pearls with warm metals like yellow and rose gold. Large pearls placed into very simple settings are another way to achieve the look.
From monogram rings to initial pendants, customizable jewelry is both stylish and timeless. If she appreciates sentimental gifts, birthstone jewelry, an engraved pair of earrings or a pendant necklace makes a memorable gift she’ll treasure for years to come.
Rose Gold Jewelry
Fashionistas are flocking to this feminine look as elegant rings, stylish necklaces, and glittering earrings take on the pinkish hue. A complement to most skin tones, rose gold makes an easy and beautiful gift.
Stacking rings have become a fashion staple for the modern woman. The key to layering rings is to stick with similarly sized bands to keep the look cohesive. Look for bands with unique details like small crystals or carved designs to add variation.
If your giftee likes to track her fitness but isn’t exactly into the sporty look, consider getting her a jewelry cover for her tracker. Designers have transformed the way athletic trackers are worn with stylish bangles and pendants that conceal the gadgets.
Whether worn under the collar of a classic button-front blouse or paired with a deep V-neck dress, Y necklaces boast feminine appeal. If your giftee prefers laid-back, eclectic looks, pair a Y necklace with other chains to create a bohemian-inspired look she’ll love. If she’s a minimalist, look for a Y necklace with a simple design that highlights her natural beauty.
Ideas for Him
From rockers to stock brokers, beaded bracelets and necklaces offer effortless style. Give casual dressers earthy wood or colorful beads to lend laidback flair to their style. Or opt for black and greyscale beads to complement business attire.
Leather cord jewelry possesses casual sophistication and effortless styling. Whether wound around the wrist or suspended from the neck, a leather cord is an earthy material that exudes masculinity. Pair leather bands with metal details to create a refined look that complements both casual and business wear.
Necklaces featuring 24- to 30-inch chains or cords weighed down with unique yet subtle pendants are a trendy finish to casual wardrobes. If going for the gold, look for chains that are unornamented to keep the look intriguing yet understated.
Luxury watches are essential to a well-dressed man’s wardrobe. If you’re searching for an extra special gift for the lucky gent on your gift list, consider a pre-owned or vintage-style Rolex, or another luxury brand to fill his stocking.
A paracord safety bracelet is the perfect example of style meets function. It’s woven from durable nylon rope and can unravel to a length of 3 to 20 feet, depending on the bracelet. The unraveled cord can be used to perform a variety of tasks to help someone survive when stranded out in the wild. It can be used to make a sling, tourniquet, or fishing line.
From simple metal to crystal studded, a skull ring is just the thing to add a little edge to his look. Sturdy metals like stainless steel or sterling silver give these bold rings a solid, heavy feel while keeping them stylish.
Raw, brushed, and unpolished metals are setting the trend for men’s jewelry. Look for strong metals like titanium, stainless steel, and tungsten that feature unburnished finishes. Also consider rings, bracelet clasps, and necklaces with unpolished metal details.
If you’re looking for a unique gift of fine jewelry this holiday season, visit Adina by Empire Jewelers for a wide variety of estate, vintage and antique pieces at true wholesale prices.
New York Fashion Week 2018 took place September 6-14. Here’s a rundown of the jewelry styles and trends seen on the runways, courtesy of jckonline.com.
Ideas from the Streets
The streets outside of fashion shows have always been filled with trendsetters inspiring others with their looks, and New York Fashion Week was no exception. Jckonline writer and blogger, Brittany Siminitz who covered the event, observed that what people are wearing on the street gives us an insight into what styles are current, both in the type of jewel and how to wear it, while runway fashion shows are a glimpse into the looks that will be trending in the future.
Many of the looks that caught her eye at New York Fashion Week are enduring trends: hoop earrings, big statement studs, and necklaces worn in layers.
Big and bold gold was “the king and queen” of all that is bejeweled. “I’m so inspired by how these women wear it; surprised by how effortless some of the bigger looks appear: choker-length necklaces and big earrings worn together are somehow unfussy looking where I would have imagined they’d be too much,” Siminitz commented. Bangle bracelets were also seen, worn both at the wrist bone and a bit further up the arm.
Here’s a look at some unconventional pieces seen at New York Fashion Week, courtesy of Vogue Paris.
A gold lipstick case caught the eyes of Vogue Paris on the runway. More decorative jewelry than pragmatic case, the cases swung from models’ belts to add a touch of shining glamour to the looks.
The Greek accessory, kombolói, also known as“worry beads,” is thought to help relieve stress, and, according to jewelry designer Tory Burch, is next season’s must-have accessory.
Large arm bracelets were seen perched on the biceps of many models. Worn in a variation of configurations, some models had bracelets layered symmetrically on both sides, while others had three in a cascade down their arms.
Riding the small bag trend, designer Brandon Maxwell created what is possibly the smallest bag in existence. A golden chain no bigger than a ring and engraved with the label’s logo was spotted on the runway, carried by the likes of Gigi and Bella Hadid.
Prabal Gurung’s out-of-this-world golden hoop earrings crossed-over each other, to create the impression of a planetary orbit. The Japanese pearl label Tasaki collaborated with Prabal Gurung on the jewelry for his third collection.
A Look Ahead
Taking into account the jewelry pieces spotted on the New York, London, Milan and Paris Spring/Summer 2019 runways, here’s a summary of upcoming jewelry trends, according to Vogue Paris.
Shell-shaped rings and pendants
Extra-large and 1980s-inspired earrings
Crescent moon hoops
Chains, chains, and more chains
Name and logo necklaces
Bold arm cuffs
New age chokers
If you’re inspired by the runway trends and are looking to update your jewelry fashion, enjoy shopping our wide variety of unique estate fine jewelry at Adina by Empire Jewelers, here on eBay.
With Labor Day weekend in the books, we’re looking ahead to the jewelry looks that will be trending this fall, courtesy of the jewelry-savvy bloggers of jckonline.com. Don’t miss out on this year’s must-haves.
Heart-shaped jewelry is anything but new, but staffers at JCK started seeing hearts—both in heart-cut gemstones and as silhouettes for settings—in the spring of 2017. The trend hasn’t slowed down, but the designs are evolving to suit modern tastes.
Swiss designer Nana Fink is one of many designers who incorporate hearts in their creations, “I love symbols and the heart is of course the strongest one, together with the star.”
Hard stones here to stay
This is another not-new trend that’s showing staying power. Opaque gems such as lapis lazuli, tiger’s eye, and malachite have been on the rise for years. Unlike faceted stones, which tend to be smaller and pricier, hard stones can be used in pieces where designers want to maximize volume. Plus, their opaqueness lends itself well to a more bohemian vibe.
Classic gold chains
It’s not as if the classic gold chain has ever gone out of fashion, but since the price of gold has come down to around $1,200 an ounce, designers are investing in it once again and the look is trending on Instagram. JCK loves chunky chain bracelets and luscious 18-inch solo chain necklaces.
Nostalgic adjustable bracelets
Fashion meets fine jewelry in this trend, where an adjustable fit means no sizing is necessary. Think precious metals and gemstones. It’s a fun, approachable look that tugs at one’s sense of nostalgia, while answering the very grown-up demand for the finer, time-tested luxuries.
Personalized signet rings
The signet ring has become popular with celebrities from Bruno Mars to Gwyneth Paltrow, and jewelry lovers everywhere are catching onto the trend. Rings engraved with signets or small seals trace their roots back thousands of years to the days of noble family crests and heraldic imagery, when wearers pressed them into clay or wax to sign or seal documents. Nowadays, both men and women are sporting signet rings engraved with initials, decorative symbols, and even gems. The look is a perfect way to capitalize on the current popularity of personalized jewelry.
Diamond solitaires never out of style
While engagement ring styles are as varied as the brides who wear them, there are certain designs trending, including rose gold and rose gold accents, rings featuring alternative stones such as morganite and aquamarine, and unconventional styles that don’t look much like the traditional engagement ring at all. Still, with such a wide range of possibilities, the classic round solitaire is a beloved, timeless design that never goes out of style (or wanes in demand, for that matter).
Vintage estate piece
Estate jewelry is becoming ever more popular, as vintage and antique jewelry lovers are always on the search for unique and one-of-a-kind pieces. To find your favorites, be willing to browse estate sales and higher-end pawn stores. Or, enjoy shopping online with ease from the trusted source of estate, vintage and antique jewelry, Adina by Empire Jewelers.
Owning fine jewelry is one thing, but caring for it properly is another. It’s important to know how to clean your fine jewelry to avoid causing damage and to bring the radiant best out of each piece. Here are some tips from Adina Jewelers’ experts on how to best clean and care for your favorite fine jewelry pieces..
Different Pieces, Different Techniques
Keep in mind that different precious metals and gemstones require different cleaning techniques, so be sure to follow the cleaning instructions for the type of jewelry you want to clean. If you have a gold or silver piece with a gemstone, follow the cleaning instructions for the gemstones, not the metal, as gemstones are more delicate.
Soak the gold jewelry in warm water with a mild detergent solution for one to three minutes. Next, gently brush the jewelry with a soft toothbrush or jewelry brush to remove dirt and grime. Carefully rinse the gold piece in warm water to remove the detergent, then dry with a soft jewelry or flannel cloth.
To clean tarnish off of silver, create an inexpensive silver dip solution by lining a small bowl with aluminum foil. Place the silver piece in the bowl and cover it completely with a small amount of baking soda. Pour hot water over the jewelry and wait for the bubbling to stop. After the solution has stopped bubbling, rinse and buff the piece dry with a soft cloth. Repeat the process several times for badly tarnished pieces.
To clean silver jewelry containing gemstones, soak the piece in a solution of mild detergent and warm water for one to three minutes. Then gently buff small sections of the jewelry without touching the gemstones. Rinse and dry. If the piece is heavily tarnished, it may require a special silver cleaning paste or professional cleaning.
As most gemstones are porous and delicate, create a solution of warm soapy water with a small amount of baby soap. For harder gemstones (diamonds and rubies), gently scrub away additional grime. Rinse completely and dry. For softer gemstones (opals and corals), wet a soft cloth and clean the gemstone rather than soaking it.
For diamonds not in a metal setting, gently clean the diamond with a solution of ammonia and water. For diamonds in metal settings, soak the piece in a solution of warm water and mild detergent for two to five minutes. Gently scrub the diamond with a soft toothbrush or jewelry brush. Then, rinse the diamond in warm water to remove remaining detergent. Buff the diamond dry with a soft cloth.
Before cleaning a pearl necklace, make sure the pearls are secure. Rub each pearl gently with a soft jewelry or cotton cloth, as pearls can scratch easily. For visibly dirty pearls, create a solution of warm water and mild baby soap. Dip a soft cloth in the solution and gently wipe pearls clean. Don’t submerge pearls in water.
Preparing Fine Jewelry to Be Cleaned
Here are some things to do before you start cleaning:
Make sure the setting of your piece is secure and well fastened, so you don’t damage or lose a valuable gemstone during cleaning.
Use a soft, lint-free jewelry cloth or light cotton cloth to remove dust or other contaminants from the piece, as they may cause light scratching during the cleaning process.
Do not use harsh, abrasive cleaners such as chlorine and ammonia, especially on opaque or soft gemstones. Porous stones will absorb the chemicals and damage the stones. Use a mild detergent instead.
Avoid using tweezers, pins or other sharp objects to remove dirt and grime, as this may damage the stone or setting.
Do not clean your jewelry over a sink, as stones could come loose and fall into the drain pipe.
If you have an expensive and valuable piece, consider having a professional clean it to avoid damage.
Next time you’re in the market for fine jewelry, make sure to visit Adina Jeweler’s eBay store for a stunning variety of estate, vintage and antique fine jewelry.
Interesting Facts about the Ruby, July’s Birthstone
Happy Birthday, July babies! To celebrate your summer birthstone, we’re paying tribute to the romantic and luxurious ruby. Read on for fun and interesting facts about rubies:
Ruby is the birthstone for July, as well as the astrological sign of Capricorn.
Ruby is one of the four precious gemstones; the others are emerald, sapphire and diamond.
Ruby is the red gem form of the mineral corundum, which has an absolute hardness of 400 (compared to diamonds which have an absolute hardness of 1600).
Trace amounts of the element chromium is what gives rubies their red appearance.
Blue corundum gems are called sapphires.
Rubies in shades of pink are simply referred to as pink rubies.
The finest rubies in the world were once found in Burma in South and Southeast Asia. Today, Burma is known as Myanmar.
Flawless top-quality rubies are more valuable and rare than top quality colorless diamonds.
The Sanskrit word for ruby is “ratnaraj” which roughly translates to “king of the gems.”
The color of the pure red rubies from the mines of Mogok was sometimes referred to as “pigeon’s blood.”
The most expensive ruby ever sold was a 25.59 carat cushion-shaped ruby ring set between shield-shaped diamonds. It sold in 2015 at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva for a reported $30.3 million.
The American Museum of Natural History has the largest ruby in the world, which weighs around 4.6 grams.
In ancient times, rubies were thought to give its wearer good health, wisdom, wealth, and success in love.
The word red is derived from the Latin word, ruber.
Almost all natural rubies are treated to improve their color and strength; this is standard practice and accepted by the American Gem Trade Association and Israel-Diamonds.
At the end of The Wizard of Oz, Glinda the Good Witch of the North tells Dorothy she can return home to Kansas by clicking the heels of her magical ruby red slippers together three times and repeating the phrase, “There’s no place like home.”
Theodore Maiman invented the world’s first laser, known as the “ruby laser” in 1960. This first generation laser was a solid-state type using a ruby crystal.
Rubies are referenced four different times in the Bible—the Bible associates these gems with beauty and wisdom.
According to ancient folklore, people of India believed rubies would help them be at peace with their enemies.
High ranking Chinese mandarins were given rubies, as they were thought to provide guidance and teaching.
In ancient times, ruby stones were kept under a building foundation, to strengthen its structure.
If you’re looking to buy rubies, either as a birthday gift for a loved one born in July, or just because you’re drawn to the lovely red gemstone of the month, Adina by Empire Jewelers has a beautiful collection of fine estate and vintage ruby jewelry, available at true wholesale prices. Shop online today and enjoy our vast selection of other fine estate and vintage jewelry, plus watches, diamonds, gold, sterling silver, coins and more. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.