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Archive for the ‘Jewelry’ Category

Test Your Knowledge of Fancy Colored Diamonds

Fancy colored diamonds

Fancy colored diamonds

In recent years, auction houses have been setting record sales of fancy colored diamonds, according to reports from the Premier Diamond Group (North America) Ltd.

“The recent activity for colored diamonds at high-end auctions like Christie’s and Sotheby’s is fascinating to watch. Savvy investors are seeing how valuable and important fancy colored diamonds can be,” explained Michael King, Director of Trading for Paragon International Wealth Management, an investment firm that specializes in the acquisition of fancy colored diamonds for investors.

With fancy colored diamonds trending, test your knowledge of these beautiful diamonds—and learn some interesting facts—with this true or false quiz. Scroll down for the answers—but no cheating!

  1. Diamonds that have been colored naturally, without the help of people, are known as authentic fancy colored diamonds.
  2. Clear, white diamonds are always worth more than authentic fancy color diamonds.
  3. According to Diamonds.net, fancy color diamonds have increased in value by 167 percent on average since January 2005, outperforming other assets in that period, including the Dow Jones Industrial’s average increase of 58 percent, and Standard & Poor’s 500 63 percent increase.
  4. Fancy colored diamonds are only found in pinks, yellows, and blues.
  5. Authentic fancy color diamonds get their color from the trace elements they are exposed to. Radiation can create a greenish tint, while large amounts of nitrogen causes a yellowish color.
  6. Through heat treating and irradiation, gemologists are able to enhance the color of most diamonds, as well as create beautiful synthetic diamonds in labs, making fancy color diamonds more expensive and harder to buy.
  7. Fancy colored diamonds are graded the same as white diamonds.
  8. With fancy colored diamonds, the rarer the color, the less in demand the diamond will be.  Similarly, if the color is richly saturated, the diamond will also be worth less.
  9. In fancy colored diamonds, inclusions are considered desirable.
  10. In December 2012, at the final lot of Christie’s auction season, a reddish-orange fancy color diamond sold for $2,098,500, setting a new world auction record for a reddish-orange diamond and a new per-carat record price of $666,200.

Fancy colored diamonds true or false answers:

  1. True.
  2. False. Authentic fancy colored diamonds are often worth more than clear or white diamonds. Rarecoloreddiamonds.com reports that 20 years ago, a one carat fancy intense-pink internally flawless diamond would have sold for approximately $70,000. Today, that same diamond would be worth $500,000.
  3. True.
  4. False. Fancy color diamonds are found in 12 different colors, with more than 90 secondary hues and nine intensity levels within the 234 color combinations.
  5. True.
  6. False. Through irradiation and heat treating, gemologists are able to enhance the color of most diamonds, making them more affordable and available to people.
  7. False. The four main criteria for determining a fancy color diamond’s value include hue, color saturation, color purity, and availability. The diamond’s color, including intensity of color and hues, is considered the diamond’s most important quality.
  8. False. With fancy colored diamonds, the rarer the color, the more valuable it will be. And if the color is richly saturated, the diamond will also be worth more.
  9. True. Inclusions are actually flaws, but in a colored diamond, they can create unique tones and beautiful flashes of color.
  10. True.

Unexpected and Affordable Valentine’s Gift Ideas

Unexpected and Affordable Valentine's Gift Ideas

Not sure what to get your loved one for Valentine’s Day? Here are some fun and unexpected romantic gift ideas that are more affordable than you think, courtesy of inquisitr.com.

Handmade coupon book

A handmade coupon book from one lover to another is easy on the budget, and shows you care because you took the time to make it. Decorate a small flip notebook with messages to your loved one. If you need artistic help, look online for free love coupons. If your partner is a real foodie, include a coupon for a free meal or dish of their choosing. If your mate is a big video gamer, include a coupon for a “hassle-free gaming day.” The key is to personalize it for the person you’re giving it to.

Spa or home massage

In our go-go-go world, who doesn’t love some relaxing time to indulge in a therapeutic massage? Before booking a professional massage at a local spa, do some research first and read reviews to make sure it’s a quality establishment.

If you have some extra money to spend, book a couple’s massage. If you’re on a budget, promise to give your significant other one free massage. Create an atmosphere in your bedroom with some candles, hot towels, heated massage oil, and some soothing music.

For sports lovers

Is your mate into activities such as hiking, obstacle courses, bungee jumping, and other extreme sports? Arrange to send him or her to an event you know they’d enjoy. As an extra bonding bonus, be sure to tag along and participate or cheer them on!

Take a class together

One of the most thoughtful gifts you can give another person is the gift of a new experience —such as a cooking class or dance lessons. It’s also a recipe for a super fun date night. So ask your mate a few subtle questions and find out what activities he or she is eager to try. Then, sign both of you up for it! The best part is that something like this lasts far past Valentine’s Day, and the anticipation leading up to the class will be enjoyable, as well.

Volunteer together

In most cases, it’s better for a couple to do something together, rather than just give a gift of something. You both share in the profound experience of taking time out to help those in need and doing something great for the community. Find a charity or non-profit that resonates with your loved one, and arrange to volunteer for it together. There are so many opportunities out there, from pet adoption days to being a big brother or big sister for at-risk youth. Helping others will bring you closer together, and those feelings, too, will last throughout the year.

Jewelry, Tried and True

Of course, we at Empire believe that fine jewelry is a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. When buying for your loved one, consider a piece of jewelry with sentimental meaning, such as a ring or necklace with their birthstone, or a combination of birthstones of their children. If they have a favorite gemstone, think of a piece that would complement or complete another piece or set they already treasure. For fine jewelry gift ideas, visit Adina Jeweler’s eBay store.

Sexy and Strong: Hot Jewelry Trends for 2018

Jewelry Trends for 2018Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed your holidays and are ready to embrace the new opportunities of 2018! In this first issue of the year, we look at the latest jewelry trends of 2018.

The new year is here, and for jewelry buffs, it’s time to look to the coming year and consider upcoming looks and trends.

Representing women’s strength – If there’s an overarching theme to the 2018 aesthetic, it’s interesting to note that fashion jewelry buyers are gravitating to pieces that reflect a woman’s strength and power—looks with swords, shields, daggers, and royal crest motifs. This look is also certainly influenced by the HBO show and pop culture smash hit, “Game of Thrones.”

Pearls: always in style – Pearls have been cool since Coco Chanel wrapped herself in dozens of luminous ropes. Have they ever gone out of style? Not really, but pearls are back in a big way for 2018.

Playful plastic charm necklaces – Plastic charm necklaces are a trend that’s been brewing for some time. Colorful and playful—think multi-colored teddy bears – they can brighten up your winter wardrobe and inspire smiles.

DIY jewelry – Hand-made quality and fabulously unique, DIY jewelry is still a big look this year. Stripped down, oversized, handmade jewelry that borrows from tribal decorative traditions are especially hot with millennials and Gen Zers.

Chain-drop jewelry – Chain-drop jewelry has become a celebrity staple on the red carpet and no surprise why—it’s a refined, dramatic look that flatters universally. Pieces can vary widely style-wise, from a simple ball on a string look to ornate detailed pieces suitable for a queen.

Cameos: Old World look back in – Cameo jewelry, known for its stylized silhouette profiles of a woman, are decidedly “Old World,” yet back in vogue. Look for unique pieces at estate sales, especially brooches.

The brooch is officially back on the runways and red carpets – and younger consumers love pinning bejeweled brooches to their jean jackets. (A mash up of vintage and ‘80s?)

Enamel and inlay – Jewelry incorporating color and illustration, via enamel and inlay, is having a bona fide moment in the style spotlight. Look for unique hand-made pieces.

Vintage is timeless – While sleek and simple styles have been popular in jewelry for a while, the romance and femininity inherent to vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry—mainly Victorian, Edwardian, and Georgian—represent a pendulum swing back to a more romantic aesthetic. In 2018, look for dainty pieces, bold, geometric necklaces and bracelets, and clean, minimal metal cuffs and earrings. And of course, you can’t forget the fabulous cocktail rings – not one, but several.

Post-back button earrings – This adorable coat button look hasn’t been in vogue in years is suddenly all the rage with younger jewelry lovers. For a great winter look, try and find post-back button earrings that match the buttons on your coat. Too cute!

Mix and match to combine styles – No matter what your jewelry preference, hybrid looks are completely acceptable in 2018. So, have fun setting yourself apart from the crowd by mixing and matching different jewelry pieces.

The best thing about this fashion concept: You don’t have to spend a lot of time, money and energy on shopping—just look in your box of jewels and take the first two contrasting earrings that you think will be fun to wear together.

Find a New Piece at Adina Jeweler’s eBay store!

Looking to buy a piece of jewelry for 2018? Adina Jeweler’s has been business for more than 25 years, and is the largest wholesaler of fine jewelry, watches, diamonds, gold, sterling silver, estate and vintage jewelry, coins and other precious metals. Visit Adina Jeweler’s eBay store today!

Celebrate Autumn with Gemstones in the Colors of Fall

This month we present you with information about the warm and inviting gemstones of the fall. This season evokes the beautiful colors of the falling leaves. The beautiful oranges, burgundies, and yellows conjure up many feelings and memories of fall leaves, sunsets over the mountains, pumpkins and cornucopias. In celebration of autumn, we take a moment to appreciate some fall-hued gemstones, courtesy of the experts at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Citrine

Citrines are a variety of the mineral quartz crystals commonly found in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Citrines are commonly found in shades of yellow, but they can appear in an orange shade called Madeira.

Citrine is the gemstone for the zodiac sign of Scorpio, and the gemstone given for the 13th and 17th wedding anniversaries. In ancient times, citrine was worn as protection against bad skin, evil thoughts, snakebites and even the plague. Mined mainly in Brazil, citrine is often found in larger sizes, due to its affordable price, and it is easy to find.

Fancy sapphire

Fancy sapphires are a variety of the mineral corundum, and come in orange, as well as other colors. An especially alluring orange-pink color is called padparadscha, after the lotus blossom. According to GIA gem experts, padparadscha are very rare and range from pastels to more fiery shades of orange.

The finest authentic padparadscha sapphires are usually very expensive, on par with their blue counterparts. Sri Lanka and East Africa are two major sources of orange and padparadscha sapphires.

Fire opal

Fire opals are known as an anomaly in the gem world. Mined in Australia, opals are usually smoothly polished in a cabochon (domed) shape and are opaque (not see-through). But the fire opal is often found in a fantastic orange color, cut in a faceted manner, and is mostly transparent in better quality facet-grades.

Spessartine garnet

Spessartine garnet is one of the most appealing of all the orange-hued gemstones. According to GIA’s colored stone experts, it is prized for its bright orange-yellow to yellowish-orange color, with some of the best — and most sought after — examples mined in Southern California, at the Little Three mine, near Ramona. High-quality spessartine has more recently been mined in Namibia and Nigeria.

Mandarin garnet

Mandarin garnet is also known as bright orange spessartine. Found in Namibia in Southern Africa, the rich color of the Mandarin garnet makes it a popular choice with orange gemstone lovers. Although relatively inexpensive in small sizes, larger stones—which rarely exceed 10 carats — can be very expensive.

Topaz

Topaz gems are another gemstone found in various colors, including yellow, dark blue, pink, red, and light green, but they truly glow in orange. Fine orange and “imperial topaz” (orange with a hint of red) are among the rarer colors of topaz, and their higher prices reflect their scarcity. This unusual shade is mostly found in Brazil.

Whatever type of gemstone you prefer, keep in mind that there’s no right or wrong when choosing. The important thing is to do your research on the particular gemstone that you like, and look for a jeweler. Make sure the appraiser is educated by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), ensuring professional expertise in the valuation of our fine gems and precious metals. Also make sure the pawn shop or jewelry store is a member of the National Pawnbrokers Association.

If you are looking to update your jewelry wardrobe for the season, or to purchase fine jewelry as holiday gifts, you’ll find fine estate, vintage and antique jewelry visit Adina’s eBay store. You’ll discover authentic fine jewelry at true wholesale prices, authentically appraised by GIA-trained experts.

Healing Properties of Popular Gemstones

Healing Properties of Popular Gemstones

For centuries, people have believed in the healing qualities of crystals and gemstones; not surprisingly, as they are among the oldest natural objects on earth. Here’s a quick guide on the healing qualities of 10 popular gemstones.

Whether or not you believe in their magical powers, gems are beautiful items with significant meanings. Here’s a quick guide to the healing qualities of 10 popular gemstones, courtesy of eluxemagazine.com.

Where crystals come from

Healing stones, crystals and semi-precious gemstones come from one core source — the Earth. Created from the magma from the Earth’s inner core, these stones have been heated, cooled, and are often amongst the most ancient objects on the planet.

Every stone is made up of tiny crystals which are in constant motion, so they do indeed emit an energy signature or frequency. In addition, their striking colors can influence our moods and emotions, so it makes sense that many people believe in the healing energy of gems.

History of healing

Historically, people have had strong connections to gems for many reasons. Evidence of gemstones used for healing has been found as far back as 4 BC. Ancient civilizations such as the Chinese, Egyptians, Sumerians, Greeks, Romans, and more modern shamans and medicine men have used gemstones for healing in multiple ways — they’ve ground them into powders or elixirs, worn, carried or placed them on the body and in ceremonies or rituals. It’s said that rough gemstones, broken or mined from a rock, are most powerful–some healing therapists believe that these can be placed gently on the body to transmit and focus healing energies.

1. Turquoise: Turquoise can be a very powerful stone for protection. It increases inner calmness and eases depression, fears, exhaustion and anxiety. It is a stone for friendship and love. Turquoise has calming effects when speaking in public. It helps us to express ourselves and aids in creative problem solving. This powerful stone also stimulates our intuition and helps in meditation.

2. Amethyst: Amethyst is a very powerful crystal for calming and stress reduction. It is known to calm and bring clarity to the mind, to relieve stress, sooth sadness, anger and anxiety and balance mood swings. It helps us to focus and stimulates motivation, concentration and memory. Amethyst activates our intuitive and psychic abilities, aids in meditation and is said to attract justice.

3. Blue Topaz: Blue topaz is a strong crystal for healing health problems, and aids digestion, fortifies the nerves, balances emotions and stimulates the metabolism. It is known to combat eating disorders. It is also known to increase the general health around the neck and throat area. Blue topaz releases tension, helping one to relax.

4. Crystal Quartz: Crystal quartz is very powerful for healing, meditation, and spiritual growth. It is harmonizing and balancing, and purifies the spirit, mind, and physical body. It can be utilized to bring light and energy into our spiritual bodies. It enhances mental abilities and can be ‘programmed’ and imprinted with any desired energy or information. Crystal quartz is powerful for protection and amplifies positive energy and thought. Due to its power to open up all chakras, it is a great stone for relaxation and also to be combined with other stones, as it amplifies their powers.

5. Moonstone: Moonstone aids in inner growth, strengthens intuition, and stabilizes emotions. It is known as a stone for new beginnings, success in love and business, and good fortune. It promotes inspiration and protects us, especially those of us who are very sensitive. Moonstone is said to perceive that which IS, making it a very personal stone. It is a great aid for meditation and helping us to understand ourselves. Moonstone also soothes stress and anxiety. This beautiful stone is particularly beneficial for women, especially young women, in helping them connect with their feminine side. Moonstone is also said to have the power of making wishes come true.

6. Onyx: Onyx is an excellent stone for stressful or challenging situations as it gives us strength and support. Its soothing qualities alleviate fear and worries and encourage wise decision-making. Onyx is known to increase happiness, intuition and good fortune. It is known to help us change bad habits and keep emotions under control. Onyx helps us to focus and stay grounded. Onyx is also known to help with skin ailments, infections and inflammations. This stone needs to be cleansed and recharged regularly — wash it in salt water or pass it through incense smoke.

7. Rose Quartz: Widely known as the “love” or “heart” stone, rose quartz encourages unconditional love and opens its wearer to all forms of love: self-love, romantic love, family love, and platonic love. Its heart-opening qualities help soothe the nervous system, decrease stress levels and increase happiness, trust, and harmony. Rose quartz stimulates peace, forgiveness, compassion, kindness, inner peace and tolerance. Furthermore, rose quartz heals and strengthens the physical heart and stimulates the circulatory system, increases fertility and protects against radiation. As an extra bonus, rose quartz is said to reduce wrinkles, and is also known to be a protective stone during pregnancy, protecting from miscarriage.

8. Citrine: Citrine is known as the stone of the mind, stimulating the brain, increasing concentration, strengthening the intellect, and increasing psychic powers. It promotes clarity of thoughts, opens the mind to new thoughts, and brings relief to nightmares. Citrine is believed to invite wealth and prosperity into your life. Due to its qualities that bring abundance, citrine has been called the “Lucky Merchant Stone” and business owners place it into their cash drawer to increase sales. Citrine is also known to be beneficial to the endocrine and digestive system, acting as a cleanser and purifier.

9. Amazonite: Amazonite has an extremely soothing quality that helps calm the brain and the nervous system. It brings balance into our life and gives relief to blockages due to trauma or fear. It stimulates integrity, truth, and honor and is said to balance male and female energies. Amazonite increases confidence and strengthens communication skills, helping us to express ourselves. It is a particularly good stone for writers and artists, looking to increase their creativity and self-expression. It is also a great stone to open our minds and help us see both sides of a problem, hence being a great helper in leadership. Amazonite helps us let go of any greed or selfishness, encouraging patience, compassion, and tolerance.

10. Ruby: Ruby is a symbol of vitality, contentment, energy and zest for life. It is said to encourage passion and self-love. By releasing destructive emotional patterns, it helps us to develop more love for ourselves. Through activating passion and life-force, this gorgeous stone helps us to improve motivation and set goals. Ruby is also known to restore life-force and to aid in cleansing and detoxifying the body, blood and lymph system. It also stimulates the heart and reproductive organs.

Whether gemstones have healing powers or not, if you’re looking for fine gemstone jewelry, look no further than Adina Jeweler’s eBay store. You’ll find a gorgeous range of fine estate, vintage and antique gemstone jewelry at true wholesale prices.

Cool and Classic Father’s Day Jewelry Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18. Here are some cool and classic jewelry gift ideas to help show the father figure in your life how you really feel about him.

History of Father’s Day

Let’s first start with some history of the holiday. Created in 1910 by Sonora Smart Todd, her idea was to create a day to complement Mother’s Day, which had been established in 1908 by Ann Jarvis. Although it would take almost two decades for the holiday to gain popularity, it eventually took hold, as we still celebrate it today.

A piece of jewelry to cherish

To really impress the dad in your life, you may want to consider giving a piece of jewelry, such as a watch, tie clip, or cuff links. As jewelry designer David Yurman said, “I’ve always felt that jewelry is one of the most personal and emotional gifts you can give your loved one.” Men really do appreciate a good piece of jewelry as much as women do, especially if it’s wearable and practical, in addition to being beautiful.

A timeless watch – Watches are truly a unique statement about the wearer. If you’re considering giving a watch, take a moment to think about your father’s personality. Is he classic and conservative, or edgy and cool? Is he active and in need of a durable sports watch? Or tech-savvy who will appreciate a smartwatch that is an extension of his iPhone? If so, then consider the Apple Watch Sport or a host of other iOS-compatible smartwatches on the market.

Depending on your budget, if his taste leans toward classic styles and higher end brands, a fine watch can become an heirloom that is handed down for generations. Before you spend more than you should, read 6 Things to do before Buying a Rolex.

A unique necklace — Like a watch and most pieces of jewelry, a necklace should really speak to your father’s personality and taste. Consider a pendant that reflects his personal beliefs, likes and interests. Is he a religious man? How about a nice gold cross or pendant with the Hebrew Life sign? Or a guitar if he’s a musician; or maybe a dog tag proclaiming your love for him. There are some unique options out there, including a Batman logo with the saying, “You are my superhero.” Take time to investigate and you’ll be sure to find the perfect piece.

A pair of classic cufflinks — Few pieces of men’s jewelry say class and elegance like a pair of gold or silver cufflinks. Prices range widely for cufflinks, so don’t be intimidated. A basic pair of stainless steel cufflinks generally starts around $20.00 and increase into the thousands, depending on the metals and gemstones attached to them. Go the extra step and have them monogrammed with your father’s initials.

Whatever you decide to give to your dad on Father’s Day, remember that time is the most precious gift of all, so if you can, spend Father’s Day with your dad doing something he likes. Or take time to reminisce and remember him with family. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

Large Diamonds Unveiling Scientific Discoveries About Earth

In celebration of April’s birthstone, the diamond, we’re sharing an interesting new discovery about diamonds, courtesy of Michelle Graff and nationaljeweler.com.

In February, the Lucapa Diamond Co. in Perth, Western Australia announced that it has discovered the largest recorded diamond ever found in Angola: a 404.2-carat stone that has tested as Type IIa and D color.

The diamond was recovered from Alluvial Mining Block 8 at Angola’s Lulo Mine,  which has produced more than 60 large, special diamonds since they started mining there just last August.

The company reported that the 404.2-carat stone is the 27th largest recorded diamond in the world, and the biggest diamond ever discovered by an Australian mining company. It also is the fourth 100-plus-carat diamond to be recovered from Lulo to date, as well as the 114th largest “special” diamond–meaning it weighs more than 10.8 carats–recovered from the mine.

Of further interest is the scientific work that geologists are doing on the unique properties of large Type IIa diamonds similar to the ones being found at Angola’s Lulo Mine.

Evan Smith, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Gemological Institute of America specializing in diamond geology, and his colleagues are trying to better understand Earth’s mantle, which is beneath tectonic plates and, as such, largely inaccessible for scientific observation.

As you may already know, Type IIa diamonds have very little to no nitrogen, which is what makes white diamonds so exceptionally colorless and fancy color diamonds so vibrant. Large Type IIa diamonds that make headlines also tend to be irregular in shape, rather than the nice, symmetrical octahedrons like so many smaller stones. They often have a surface that’s rounded and somewhat dissolved, “almost like a lollipop after someone’s been after it for a while,” says Smith.

The fact that these big, beautiful diamonds are different has not escaped the attention of earth scientists, who have wondered for years if they form in a different way, in a different part of Earth’s mantle, and thus tell us something different about our planet.

In order to conduct the study, though, Smith and the other researchers could not limit themselves to these kinds of large and exceedingly rare diamonds. Instead, they studied Type IIa diamonds of all sizes that came through the GIA lab, including some that were smaller than a carat.

After examining 52 Type IIa stones (and one Type Iab) of all sizes at the GIA lab, Smith and the other researchers found that in nearly three-quarters of the diamonds (38 out of 53), the inclusions weren’t graphite but metallic, a solidified mixture of iron, nickel, carbon, and sulfur.

This is significant because it changes the way scientists think about how different elements, like carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur, are distributed. It also has broad implications for understanding the behavior of the deep Earth, including the recycling of surface rocks into the convecting mantle.

Smith said this discovery verifies what geologists have been theorizing for 10 or more years: that the Earth’s deeper mantle environment has a “light peppering” (up to 1 percent) of metallic iron.

If you’re looking for a diamond but don’t want to pay retail prices, visit Adina’s Ebay store where you can rely on the diamond experts at Adina Jewelers. You’ll find fine a vast selection of fine certified diamonds and get a buying experience that’s above your expectations.

To read more about this study, read Michelle Graff’s interview with Evan Smith at nationaljeweler.com.

How Antique and Vintage Watches are Valued

Whether you’re an owner of antique and vintage watches, or you’re in the market to buy, understanding the factors that determine a watch’s value is key to getting the best sale price. Here is a general overview of how antique and/or vintage watches are valued and estimated, based on the article “How to Understand the Value of Your Vintage or Antique Watch,” on PocketWatchRepair.com.

Know what you have.

The most important factor in understanding the value of a watch is knowing what it is. Before attempting to buy, sell, or pawn a watch, make sure you have a clear understanding of who the manufacturer is, its model, age, grade, condition, and any other details about the particular watch.

A watch made with precious metals adds to the value of the watch. Does yours have a gold or gold-plated case? Many watches contain gold in the movement itself, including gold-plated train wheels and gold jewel settings.

Precious gems in the setting also adds to the value of a watch, and its jewel count is sometimes marked in the movement, as in 20J. Most antique watches have a minimum of seven jewels. According to PocketWatchRepair.com, under 15 jewels is considered a lower-grade watch; 15-17 jewels is considered a mid-grade watch, and 19-24 jewel movements is considered high-grade.

Age, appearance, and authenticity

Age – To determine the age of a watch, find the serial number from the movement, aka the moving/working part of the watch, not the watch case. With certain European and Swiss watches, it is more difficult to find the serial number. If this is an issue, you may be able to find out the age based on the style of the movement, and/or the way the watch was made. This may be tricky, and you may need help from an expert watch appraiser.

Appearance – Like anything else, the appearance and condition of the watch will have a big impact on its estimated value. Is the watch clean and in working order? Is the glass face and case without scratches and cracks? Are the hands clean and movement smooth? Does the case align correctly? If the watch is in working order, listen to hear if the ticking is “clean and crisp.” These and other factors of appearance contribute to the overall value of a watch.

Authenticity – Like a classic car, a watch that is “authentic,” or in original condition is  more in demand than one that has been refurbished with “after market” parts. Make sure the hands are the same, and also look for extra screw marks on the case, which would indicate that the case has been replaced. Make sure a watch is not counterfeit, especially if you’re thinking about buying it.

One final thought…

Determining the value of a watch can be complex, but you can do some research ahead of time to get a good idea of what you have and its worth. Keep in mind that condition, uniqueness, and rarity all contribute to the value of a watch, but it really comes down to what someone is willing to pay for it.

If you’re looking for fine vintage or antique watches, we’ve taken the guesswork out of the process. Make sure you visit Adina by Empire Jeweler’s remarkable online store. You’ll find an exquisite selection of authentic vintage and antique watches, plus fine jewelry at true wholesale prices.

What to Know About Buying Jewelry Gifts Online

s-l1600Online holiday shopping is big business. Last year in the U.S., Americans spent $56.43 billion shopping for the holidays via their desktop computers. And $2.3 billion was spent online on Cyber Monday alone, making it the biggest online shopping day ever, according to a statista.com survey.

If you plan on shopping online for jewelry this holiday, here are some important things to know and do so you can “Buy Now” with confidence, courtesy of the GIA (Gemological Institute of America).

Benefits of buying online

Clearly, there are myriad reasons to shop at home on our computer, or on-the-go on our tablet or smartphone. Certainly, the convenience of being able to buy wherever and whenever we want is appealing. Also, shopping online eliminates the pain of driving in traffic, wading through crowded stores, and waiting on long lines for sale items that may or may not be sold out.

Another big benefit is the research aspect of online buying. Whatever type of jewelry you’re looking to buy, from vintage estate jewelry to high-end diamonds and luxury watches, you can research the online vendor via  third-party reviews and consumer feedback.

On many online jewelry shops and consumer review websites, you can find comments from customers who’ve bought products from that shop. This is a great way to find out what kind of experiences people had, and if there are any trends in either a positive or negative direction.

Also, like most websites, online jewelry shops have a “contact us” section, where you can ask questions about the products available, and specifics such as colors, sizes, grading, availability, shipping, payments and other purchase details.

Here’s some GIA advice on buying jewelry online.

Smart buyers do their research

As with any significant purchase, start by researching your specifics about the piece you want to buy, such as how the price is determined and variations in quality. With diamonds, for example, understanding the 4Cs—Carat, Color, Clarity and Cut will help you understand the variations in price and quality. The more you know about what you want, the better deal you’ll be able to find. Also make sure the website you are considering purchasing from is reputable—more on that below.

Beware of counterfeit jewelry

One downside to buying online is that you can’t see the piece you are buying up close, in your hands. Still, there are ways to confirm if a piece is authentic or not, starting with shopping at reputable websites.

Buying signed jewelry is one way to ensure you are purchasing a high-quality item — as long as it is the real thing. Genuine signed jewelry is any piece of jewelry stamped by the company that makes it, such as Tiffany & Co., David Yurman, Cartier, Harry Winston, etc.

Signed jewelry pieces are almost always made from precious metals and genuine gemstones. That is the main reason they are more expensive than non-signed pieces — you’re paying for higher quality materials and craftsmanship.

Conversely, most replica jewelry pieces are made of non-precious metals and synthetic stones because it is much cheaper to produce and they are usually made in mass quantities. So, when looking to buy a signed piece — especially if it is pre-owned — make sure that it is made of the exact same metals and stones that the designer uses for that specific line or design.

Know who you’re buying from

Here are a few things to check regarding the seller, before you buy.

How long has the company been in business?

What kind of reviews has the company received?

Does it belong to any jewelry trade associations, such as the GIA?

Do they offer secure transactions?

Are the online representatives helpful?

What is the return policy?

Where is the seller located?

How will the jewelry be shipped?

Is the shipment insured?

Is a signature required for delivery?

In addition to the above, if you’re buying from online auction sites, you’ll also want to look into buyer feedback and ratings and determine if the seller is providing sufficient evidence of the quality of the jewelry offered for sale, such as photographs, a grading report, or report number that can be verified.

Consider the payment method

Each online retailer or auction site will specify how it will accept payment. If you paid with a credit card and if there is a problem with the purchase, most credit card companies provide recourse. Using a check or a money order for your purchase can reduce your options.

Proceed cautiously with out-of-country online sites

For example, U.S.-based consumers have options for recourse when buying from a U.S.-based company, such as filing complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Jewelers’ Vigilance Committee (JVC), Better Business Bureau (BBB), etc., or pursuing a legal case in civil court. Websites that do not have a physical presence in your home country may be insulated from recourse and attempts to recover funds can be frustrating.

If you like it and can afford it …

Finally, remember that choosing the right piece of jewelry for yourself or others is also subjective: Don’t just focus on the price or rating —go with what looks beautiful to you and is in your budget. If you’re buying for someone else, apply the same logic. Know his or her tastes. Does he or she prefer size over quality, or quality over size? If he or she prefers size and quality, you may need to do some real comparative shopping! Also, make sure you know the person’s ring size, as well as the jewelry store’s return policy.

The Benefits of Buying Diamonds on eBay

The Benefits of Buying Diamonds on eBay, November 2016You love diamonds, but don’t want to pay retail. Have you considered buying from an online auction site? Of the many online sellers of diamonds, whom can you trust? Adina Jewelers is proud of our long-standing relationship with eBay. Here’s why.

1. Average of 50% off retail. When buying a diamond, paying retail can be cost prohibitive, both in-store or online. Purchasing a comparable, pre-owned, diamond through an online auction on eBay is the smart way to get what you want without paying fullprice. Diamonds on Empire Jewelers’ eBay site, for example, typically average 50% less than retail.

2. Consumer protection policies. In addition to costsavings, a smart consumer also must know that their purchase is protected, should they be dissatisfied for some reason. eBay has a number of consumer-friendly safeguards in place. One of the most telling is the “positive feedback” rating. This numbered rating is based on various buyer’s feedback on the seller regarding their purchase transaction. Criteria include “item as described,” “communication,” shipping time,” and “shipping and handling charges.” Obviously, the more positive feedback a seller has, the better you should feel about buying from them. If a seller has a less than 98% positive feedback score you may want to avoid that seller. Empire Jewelers’ eBay store has a 100% positive approval rating in the last 12 months.

eBay also has a no-risk policy: If you do end up buying a diamond you are not pleased with due to the seller or quality of the diamond, or other reason, eBay has a 100% money-back guarantee. If your purchase was covered by eBay Buyer Protection, and you contacted the seller and they did not satisfy your request, eBay’s customer support specialists will work with the seller to resolve the issue on your behalf. If you still do not get satisfaction, eBay will refund your full purchase price plus original shipping.

3. You can refine searches. When searching on eBay for diamonds or other items, there are multiple ways to refine your search, which helps narrow down results and increases your chances of finding exactly what you want. In the “advanced search” option, use the “exclude these words” function. Enter words like “zircon, “enhanced,” and “lab” to make sure you’re only searching for real diamonds. You can also view results as a list or in gallery form. Be sure to use the “sort by” functions to narrow down auction time and price options.

Understand the 4 Cs

Before buying a diamond on eBay or anywhere else, make sure you buy only a “certified diamond” that has been appraised by a reputable GIA-trained or certified appraiser.

In the ‘40s and ’50s, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), an educational and research non-profit organization founded in 1931, developed the “4Cs” and the GIA International Diamond Grading System™ to objectively compare and evaluate diamonds. Today, even if you buy or sell a diamond in another part of the world, the jeweler will likely use the same GIA grading systems.

  • Color: Most diamonds run from colorless to near-colorless, with slight hints of yellow or brown. “Color” is not how much color a diamond has, but the degree to which it is colorless. The GIA set the industry standard with its D-Z scale (D is colorless while Z means the diamond has the most yellow.) The exception to this rule are fancy colored diamonds which aren’t included in the GIA’s D-Z scale. Colors beyond the Z color are considered fancy colored diamonds.
  • Clarity: Most diamonds have tiny crystals, feathers, or clouds within them, called “inclusions.” Surface imperfections are called “blemishes.” The rarest diamonds are flawless and have no internal inclusions or external blemishes. The GIA uses a Clarity Scale of 11 grades that are measured using 10X magnifications.
  • Carat: Signifies the weight—not the size—of the diamond. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams. Since heavier diamonds are rarer than smaller diamonds, the heavier the carat weight, the higher the value.
  • Cut: The cut of a diamond refers to its proportions, symmetry, and polish. When evaluating cut, two aspects are assessed: shape (round, marquise, square cut, etc.), and how well the cutting was executed. It must be geometrically precise, since it will affect a diamond’s fire (the flash of rainbow colors from within) and brilliance (its sparkle). The cut was historically the most subjective and difficult to standardize during appraisal, but due to advances in technology, the GIA introduced its cut grading system in 2005.
 
 
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