Women Owned Appeals
to Women Who BuyPosted: 07/11/2018Why do consumers choose to shop at particular stores or purchase particular products? A wide variety of factors influence consumer shopping
habits, from product mix to pricing, customer service, and whether the product or retailer meshes with an individual's convictions.
Market research conducted within the last five years by the world’s largest retailer has shown that 90 percent of female customers will go out of their way to purchase products from woman-owned businesses, believing they would offer higher quality. Within the jewelry industry, where women make up a significant portion of the customers, this consumer behavior can be magnified. How can jewelers take advantage of this decision-making factor?
The Kingswood Company has been certified as a women-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) since 2006. And, starting this year, we are offering the option to place the WBENC Women Owned logo on private-label products we manufacture. The Women Owned program raises awareness of female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses, making it easier for consumers to identify and support businesses that are at least 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by one or more women.
Jewelers understand that their customers are influenced by societal factors in their shopping habits. This is why many jewelers highlight ethical sourcing of diamonds, choose to make their stores as “green” as possible, or promote products that are Made in the USA (like ours). Women Owned has gained traction in the marketplace at a time when consumers are particularly attuned to women’s issues. Only businesses that are certified can use the logo, and The Kingswood Company is the only private-label jewelry care products manufacturer with the designation.
Jewelers who choose to place this logo on their jewelry care products demonstrate to their customers their support of Women Owned businesses. And this can serve to differentiate jewelers from their competition, particularly in an industry with such a large number of female customers. It is an outstanding way to stand out from the crowd.
Top 7 Tips Jewelry-Lovers Need to KnowPosted: 06/13/2018It's easy to become a jewelry-lover. It may have started in childhood with a beautiful gift from your grandmother, or the day your partner
slipped a diamond on your finger. Jewelry's beauty and emotional resonance makes many of us fall in love. And, when you become passionate about something, you want to know all the ins and outs.
Here are the top 7 things you need to know to preserve your love affair with jewelry.
1. DO NOT USE A TOOTHBRUSH TO CLEAN JEWELRY
You may have heard this tip from your mother or even some DIY spots on the internet, but it is not safe. The long handle puts too much pressure on prongs, and the bristles may scratch the metal. The small jewelry brush that is included in many professional jewelry cleaners is specially designed to safely clean jewelry.
2. CLEAN UNDER THE STONES
To get your jewelry to really sparkle, you need to clean under the stones as well as on top. Gemstones are set in prongs to allow light to shine through the stone, so if you have a build-up of oils and gunk under there, your stone loses its shine. The best way to do this is to soak the piece in a professional jewelry cleaning formula from your jeweler, or use a specially designed jewelry touch-up brush.
3. USE CAUTION WITH ULTRASONICS
Ultrasonic machines are popular for cleaning jewelry, but did you know that stones can fall out due to the vibration from the sound waves? Ultrasonic cleaners do require some extra caution and cannot be used on all jewelry. Be sure to follow the user instructions carefully and check with your jeweler to ensure the piece is safe for an ultrasonic. Cannot be used on all jewelry, especially pieces with pavé style settings.
4. YOU CAN CLEAN PEARLS
Many people are leery of cleaning pearls, which are loved for their delicate luster. But you can (and should) clean your pearls, particularly rings and earrings which easily get dirty. Wipe them down after each wearing with a microfiber cleaning cloth or a chamois. For a more thorough cleaning, use a gentle jewelry cleaning formulation from your jeweler, but do not soak strung pearls in the liquid.
5. CLEANING FASHION JEWELRY EXTENDS ITS LIFE
Your jewelry wardrobe likely includes some fun and fabulous fashion pieces. Because these pieces collect dirt and oils through regular wear, just like fine jewelry, they do need routine cleaning. Use a gentle jewelry cleaning formulation from your jeweler, but if the piece includes stones set with glue, do not soak it. A professional polishing cloth can be used to remove tarnish or discoloration from metals and to buff and polish all pieces.
6. SAFELY STORE YOUR JEWELRY
When you store your jewelry, be sure to separate various pieces and store them individually. Harder metals like silver and platinum can scratch softer metals like gold. Harder stones like diamonds and rubies can also scratch gold pieces. Use a jewelry box or roll designed for this purpose or even simply wrap individual pieces in tissue and place them in a zip-lock bag.
7. SCHEDULE AN ANNUAL INSPECTION
This can save you from the heartache of losing stones, and the headache of an expensive repair or replacement. Plus - your jeweler will give your piece a fantastic professional cleaning. It's like a spa day for your jewelry.
It's All About The BrandPosted: 05/10/2018In recent years, the prevalence of private-label branding has surged in many retail categories. What was once relegated to grocery items in a white box with a black block letters is now big business at retailers from Amazon to Target,
Macy's and Tiffany. Retailers are learning how to mesh private-label products into their existing brand structure. Private-label products can provide higher margins and boost profits, but more importantly, they can offer exclusive products and experiences for your customers.
In a challenging retail environment, businesses seek to connect with customers by maximizing each touch-point. The in-store experience, the online experience, sales associates, visual merchandising, marketing, plus smaller details like boxes and bags, all support a cohesive brand strategy. For jewelers, offering a line of private-label care and cleaning products fits solidly into a smart, holistic brand strategy.
After they leave your store, your customers will need to clean their jewelry, and they will find the products to do so. Do not send them shopping elsewhere or suggest they DIY their own cleaner. You are the jewelry expert, so you should have professional products available, ideally ones that are exclusive to your brand. When you offer a private-label jewelry care line, you meet your customers' needs with a professional, and exclusive solution.
Jewelers who have worked hard to build a respected, luxury brand need a care line that meets the same standards of quality. Choosing sub-par care products in low-quality packaging erodes the equity jewelers have built in their brand. Customers appreciate luxury touches and respond to packaging with elegant styling, like that found at a high-end cosmetics counter. You want to offer cleaning products that feel like Clinique, not Mr. Clean.
Be sure to choose a manufacturing partner whose capabilities match your brand's required level of luxury and exclusivity. You want more than just a sticker on a jar. Your partner should deliver high-quality cleaning formulas, outstanding design and packaging options, quality control assurances, product liability insurance, as well as the experience, capacity and leadership to deliver a quality finished product.
Jewelry care products are the only consumable products you offer your customers. When you provide high-quality, luxury products, your customers will continue to associate your brand with a product they love. They will use it, recommend it to friends, and come back for more!
You Are The ProfessionalPosted: 04/04/2018After a sale, does your business offer complimentary cleanings to its customers? Do you offer inspections of the same piece? Do you differentiate between the two?
During the warm glow of a successful sale, some jewelers do not give the clearest of information regarding care and cleaning of the piece. Jewelers know that to properly care for a piece of jewelry, it should be taken to a jeweler once or twice a year for a thorough inspection, which includes a professional cleaning. But, sometimes that message does not get clearly expressed.
You may tell your customers to "bring it back anytime for a cleaning." In your mind this may mean an inspection and cleaning. But, your customer may think, "How nice that I can bring it back for a cleaning, but I can do that at home too."
The language used is important. A "cleaning" sounds like a nice offer, but an "inspection" sounds like an important appointment. It is a call to action, not to be missed. Jewelers who minimize an inspection by referring to it as a cleaning miss an opportunity to establish themselves as experts in their field. An inspection does include a cleaning, but it also requires a jeweler use her expertise to examine the stones and settings for damage or weakness.
That said, do not miss the opportunity to educate your customer about the importance of jewelry cleaning, both professional and at-home. Offer a line of professional jewelry cleaning products and share routine, at-home cleaning tips with your customers. But also emphasize the importance of coming back in for annual inspections. (When you order your professional cleaners from us, this language comes standard on the back of every jar - ask your Account Executive for more details).
Your customer will appreciate your expertise and will enjoy her inspected and well-cleaned piece for years to come
Your JewelryPosted: 03/19/2018Before April Fool's Day arrives with its flurry of fun pranks, National Cleaning Week is on the docket March 26 - April 1, celebrating
(and encouraging) a cleaner America. Cleaning jewelry is such a satisfying task to check off the spring cleaning list. You can help your customers by offering them the right tools and information, so that their jewelry is sparkling like new, ready to reflect the beautiful spring sun.
Here are our top five tips for cleaning all of the jewelry in one's wardrobe, from bridal to fashion pieces.
Need to KnowPosted: 02/21/2018Prince Harry has long been loved for his joe de vivre. He approaches life with passion, often stepping outside the royal box. So, it came as no
surprise to many when he and his non-English, commoner, actress girlfriend announced their engagement in November (gasp!). Harry and Meghan Markle’s love story shines, and so does the ring Harry chose to represent it. The ring features a large center stone from Botswana, a country with deep meaning to the couple, framed by two side diamonds from Princess Diana’s collection. Cue a rush on three stone rings; they are bound to be the next big thing.
Brides-to-be, from Meghan to the girl next door, swoon when they look at that beautiful ring. But, many newly engaged gals have never owned a piece of fine jewelry, and might not know what they should do next.
Your customers will look to you for helpful information. It’s a great idea to have a list of best practices you can share, along with your best wishes. Here are our five top expert suggestions for you to share:
Super Bowl Super ShinePosted: 02/02/2018On Sunday, football fans and non-fans alike will nosh on buffalo dip and guacamole and watch the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles battle for the coveted Lombardi Trophy. Winning the Super Bowl is big. Really Big.
And so are the rings designed to memorialize every football player’s biggest dream. Most jewelry tells a story, and that’s exactly what Super Bowl rings do—tell the story of the winning team, the big game and their season of glory.
After their triumph, the winning team comes up with design ideas for the ring and work with a manufacturer to execute their team’s story in gold and gemstones. And, there are usually lots and lots of diamonds. Last year, after the Patriots’ come-from-behind overtime win, the celebratory ring featured 283 diamonds, commemorating the team’s rally from a 28-3 deficit. That’s some serious bling with a serious price tag (an estimated $37,000 per ring, which is paid for by the NFL).
In fact, it seems like each year the rings get bigger and blingier. Most designs now include the team’s logo, the Lombardi trophy, and a declaration of the team as world champions, as well as each player’s name and number on the side. Subtle they are not, but commemorating the biggest day for the biggest men calls for big sparkle.
Because of their flash and size, most players don’t wear the rings on a regular basis. So, when they pull them out for a special event, they will want to make sure they are clean and sparkling. As with any piece of jewelry, Super Bowl rings should be cleaned with a formulation specially designed for cleaning jewelry and which is safe for the gemstones incorporated in the piece. With all the detail involved, using a small jewelry brush would help to get out any dirt or oils from around the stones and in the crevices. We think a Sparkle + Shine Stick would be perfect for the job, along with a polishing cloth for that champion-worthy finishing touch.
Photo Credit: Jostens. Jostens has made the most Super Bowl Rings in history, with 33 to their credit.
Ultra MomentPosted: 01/10/2018Pantone got a head start on the New Year, announcing their Color of the Year for 2018 back in December. Each year, Pantone forecasts a
hue that will be influential in fashion and beyond. In crowning Ultra Violet (Pantone shade 18-3838), Pantone cited it as spiritual, cosmic and as a hue that "pushes the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future." They also assert that the shade "evokes the inventive spirit and imaginative thinking that challenges the status quo."
Those are some heavy expectations from a mere color, but the world can certainly use more inventive spirits and imaginative thinkers. And, color does indeed both impact and reflect our moods, which is part of the appeal of gemstone jewelry. Will jewelers see an increase in demand for purple gemstones such as amethyst, purple sapphire, spinel and tourmaline, from customers who see the shade emerge in fashion, home design and more?
We're not sure, but the shade has long been loved in jewelry circles. Here are some of our favorite jewelry-related ultra violets:
1. The Delhi Purple Sapphire. This stone housed in the London History Museum is supposedly cursed. When donated to the museum, the accompanying letter claimed that it was looted from the treasure of the Temple of God Indra at Cawnpore and had brought misfortune to those who possessed it. The gem, which is set in a ring in the form of a snake, is on view at the museum. Fun facts: it's actually an amethyst, and neither the museum nor visitors have suffered any known ill effects, bringing its cursed nature into serious question.
2. The Power Stone. For those of you who aren't Guardians of the Galaxy geeks, The Power Stone is a purple stone contained in an orb which carries the power to destroy entire civilizations. Woah. Thus, the bad buys were hot on Chris Pratt's heels trying to gain its power for themselves. It is one of six Infinity Stones featured in the comic book and movie series.
3. The Kent Amethysts. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II may not be excited by Pantone's announcement, as she doesn't wear purple gemstones, including the Kent Amethysts, often. The set, or parure, originally belonged to Queen Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent. Queen Victoria inherited the necklace, earrings, hair combs and three brooches and left them to the crown upon her death. Perhaps future royals will see fit to let them shine more often.
4. The Kingswood Company Fine Jewelry Cleaner in Royal Purple. Speaking of shining, our Fine Jewelry Cleaner cleans gemstones of all colors, including diamond, amethyst, sapphire and tourmaline. Jewelers looking to embrace the Ultra Violet trend might consider choosing this formulation in Royal Purple. Yes, The Kingswood Company offered Royal Purple way before it became the cool thing to do. Consider us imaginative thinkers who challenged the status quo!
Packaging MattersPosted: 12/13/2017Each year, we wrap up our newsletter publication with a re-post of our most popular topic of the year. Nearly 1400 of our retailers
opened and read this post from May 2017, demonstrating the focus they have on both what is on the inside AND the outside of that ever-popular jar of jewelry cleaner.
Do your products belong under the sink...or on the counter with her cosmetics? Your jewelry care line is an extension of your brand and should represent your store's elegance and sophistication. Yes, the products are cleaners, but there is a notable difference between Mr. Clean and CLINIQUE Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser. Both perform a cleaning task, but they mean different things to their consumers. One represents a task; the other a certain luxury.
When you choose packaging for your jewelry care line that reflects your brand with sophisticated, cosmetics styling, your line has an appeal that is fitting for a luxury product like jewelry. Women may shop in the cleaning aisle at Target, but they aren't really drawn there. But they are drawn to the cosmetics counter at their favorite department store. They like to browse the beautiful products at the CLINIQUE, Bobbi Brown and Chanel counters. And they will be drawn to your jewelry cleaning products when they are packaged with a similar aesthetic.
Your private-label jewelry care line has your name on it. Do you want your name on something your customers hide under the sink with their Scrubbing Bubbles? Or do you want it on a beautiful jar, cloth or gift set that your customer keeps out on her bathroom counter or make-up table? Your mother may have told you not to judge a book by its cover, but the truth is that packaging does matter. It says something about the product on the inside and the store whose name is on the outside. In your customers' home, is your brand-name product more Mr. Clean or CLINIQUE?
For Holiday ShinePosted: 11/21/2017One of the joys of the holidays is the chance to dress up and celebrate with friends and family. So, it's the perfect time to pull out the good stuff.
Your jewelry box may be home to some statement jewelry that's a bit too much for everyday wear, but is just begging to be part of the holiday hoopla. So, grab your grandmother's emerald cocktail ring, the diamond chandelier earrings, or even a favorite fashion piece that packs some punch. Now's not the time to be subdued.
And be sure to clean your jewels before their big debut, especially if they've been in hiding for a while. They won't add to the holiday sparkle if they are tarnished or coated in dirt and oils. Here are some tips on how to clean your favorite jewelry.
Diamonds, whether they are worn every day or brought out for a special occasion, need routine cleaning to keep shining. Use a professional fine jewelry cleaning formula from your jeweler to soak the piece for a couple of minutes and blot dry. The same formula can be used on other harder gemstones, such as amethyst, aquamarine, garnet, ruby, sapphire and tourmaline.
Emeralds and other delicate gemstones, such as opals, pearls, coral, amber and turquoise, should be cleaned with a gentle, non-ammoniated jewelry cleaning formula from your jeweler. Just soak your piece for a couple of minutes, rinse and blot dry. Use some caution with glue-set pieces, like doublets, or strung pieces, like pearls; they may do better being wiped with a soft cloth dampened with the cleaning formulation.
Fashion jewelry, which many women layer with fine jewelry to make a real statement, also needs routine cleaning. It is usually designed with gold or silver plating and semi-precious stones, both of which require cleaning with a professional gentle jewelry cleaning formulation. If the metal becomes tarnished or discolored, wipe it down with a professional polishing cloth from your jeweler.
Once you have stocked up on the perfect jewelry cleaning formulations to get your holiday jewelry shipshape, buy a few more for stocking stuffers, teacher gifts or hostess gifts. You'll be everyone's favorite Santa.
All That GlittersPosted: 11/02/2017Beyonce's performance at the Grammys this year reminded us all of the beautiful impact of gold jewelry. While you may not covet a gold headpiece, who wouldn't want a stunning stack of gold bangles, an impact gold necklace or gold
statement earrings? Wanting isn't the same as getting, however, especially given the price per ounce of solid gold. Lucky for ladies not named Beyonce', you can find lovely gold plated pieces that give you the look without the punch to your pocketbook.
Gold plate. Gold filled. Gold vermeil. There's lots of terminology, and it can be a bit confusing. The terms are not interchangeable, and each has industry-specific standards so you can know just what you are buying.
Solid gold jewelry is actually only 100 percent gold when 24 karat. Other gold pieces are considered solid gold, but are alloyed with other metals, such as nickel, copper, zinc and others, to strengthen the gold and make it more durable. To learn more about solid gold, you may want to read our blog post The Color of Gold.
Gold filled or gold overlay jewelry is composed of a solid layer of gold which is bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal. The gold typically must account for at least five percent of the piece's weight, though this varies with the fineness of the gold (10 karat gold must account for at least 1/10th of the total weight, while 12 karat or higher must account for at least 1/20th of the total weight).
Gold vermeil is also known as silver gilt. Unlike other plated pieces, vermeil must have a sterling silver base and the gold coating must be at least 10 karat gold and at least 2.5 microns thick. While still plated jewelry, gold vermeil does have more intrinsic value, as sterling silver is a valuable metal in its own right.
Gold plated jewelry is made by depositing a layer of gold onto a conductive surface. The base metal piece is immersed in an electrolyte solution with particles of gold; a current is used to deposit particles onto the piece. Different varieties of gold plating, then, are defined by the thickness of the gold applied.
• Heavy gold plate must be 14 karat gold or higher and be at least 2.5 microns thick.
• Gold plate must be 14 karat gold or higher and be at least .5 microns thick.
• Gold electroplate must be 14 karat gold and be a least .175 microns thick.
• Note: A micron is a millionth of a meter or about .0004 inches. To help you visualize this, a human red blood cell is about 5 microns across and a human hair averages about 75 microns.
These standards are meant to ensure that the consumer understands the gold content of a piece, particularly with regard to its thickness, which affects its durability. The thicker the layer of gold, the higher durability the piece has. Gold plated pieces are a great option for fashion styles you may not intend to wear for decades, while gold vermeil and gold filled pieces will likely last for many decades. These pieces may not be heirlooms that will be passed down for generations, but they are certainly durable enough to wear and enjoy for many years.
It is also important to understand that you can and should safely clean your gold plated, gold vermeil and gold filled jewelry. A gentle jewelry cleaning formulation is safe for all varieties of fine and fashion jewelry to remove build-up of dirt and oils. Simply follow the directions on the product. If your piece is tarnished, you can use a non-rouge polishing cloth, which is chemically treated with a tarnish remover. You want to avoid using a rouge cloth, which is too abrasive. You can also buff the piece with a non-treated cloth, but do not have your jeweler polish or buff it with a high-speed wheel as this can remove the gold.
Gold filled, gold vermeil and gold plated jewelry offer consumers a beautiful but more cost-effective option to get the look of solid gold. While the value of the piece may be measured more by the wearer's enjoyment than its intrinsic value, that is not to be minimized. Many women mix fashion pieces with their fine jewelry to create a look with impact but which is easier on the pocketbook.
October's OpalsPosted: 10/11/2017How did those October ladies luck out with their opal birthstone? Maybe the simple alliteration of "October opals" or the stones' multi-colored hue reminiscent of fall influenced the decision. Regardless, women around the world, whether
born in October or not, seem to be falling in love again with the beautiful gemstone.
Opals have been trending, particularly with millennials, some of whom are even choosing them as engagement rings. Because each stone is unique, with hues varying from soft to vibrant, they are an apt choice for representing a once-in-a-lifetime love. They are also known as a lucky stone, and who couldn't use a little more luck in her life?
The return of opals' popularity has been traced to Cate Blanchett's decision to wear opal earrings to the 2014 Academy Awards. Blanchett chose the stunning Chopard cluster earrings in part because opals are "must-haves" for Australians. Ninety-five percent of the world's opals are produced in her native Australia. Since then, designers around the world have been drawn back to opals, introducing them to a new generation.
Opals are delicate stones requiring special care and cleaning. They should be cleaned with a gentle, non-ammoniated jewelry cleaning formulation that is safe for softer stones and doublets, following the product instructions carefully. Opals are often set with glue, including in doublets, brooches, and some earrings and rings, and should not be soaked in any liquid for a prolonged period of time, which can break down the glue. Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner on opal jewelry, as the vibrations may cause the stone or glue setting to crack.
Opals also require careful storage. Because they are composed of five to ten percent water, opals will deteriorate over time as they dry out. If you do not store them properly, they can literally turn to dust. As they dry out, opals turn milky, losing their beautiful layers of color, and may crack. Once they become too dry, one can try to add moisture back, but often they cannot be repaired. That is why it is very important to store them in a cool, moist place, minimizing exposure to heat and dry environments.
Opals are sometimes stored with an open glass of water to maintain humidity; you may see jewelers using this trick inside a case of opal jewelry. When storing your own opal jewelry, place your opal in a cotton cloth or pouch with a few drops of water, then seal it in a plastic bag.
Millennial AppealPosted: 09/20/2017A diamond may be a best friend to some girls, but others find devotion to the less well known, but also brilliant and sparkly, moissanite. First
discovered by French scientist Henri Moissan in a meteorite, the silicon carbide crystals are now lab synthesized into a beautiful gemstone with many similarities to the diamond, including color, brilliance and durability.
Moissanite stones have a refractive index of 2.65 - 2.69, making them even a bit more brilliant than diamonds at 2.41. Some find this additional brilliance lovely, while others find it a bit off-putting. While diamonds are the hardest stone on the Mohs scale at 10, moissanite ranks a very close 9.25, offering durability rivaling its famous mineral cousin. It is resistant to scratching, abrasion, breaking and chipping. The color of moissanite varies somewhat from a classic moissanite stone, which may have a slight yellowish hue, to near colorless and colorless enhanced moissanite stones. As with other gemstones, customers can choose from a beautiful array of stone sizes, shapes and settings.
But it's moissanite's differences from diamonds that are making it an ever more popular choice in lieu of a diamond, particularly for bridal jewelry.
One of the great appeals of moissanite is its price, which is a fraction of that of a diamond of similar size and color. Diamond prices are based on the stone's characteristics, the famous 4Cs (carat, cut, color and clarity). Moissanite pricing is based on the stone's size and whether the color is enhanced. A one-carat, round, I color, VS2 diamond would be priced at $4,000 or more, while a moissanite stone of the same size would range from $250 - $600 depending on its color. For the price conscious, this allows the consumer to choose a larger stone and stay within a smaller budget.
As customers, particularly Millennials, become more environmentally conscious, moissanite offers an environmentally friendly option in the search for jewelry. Because moissanite is lab-created, there are no concerns about the environmental impact of mining as there are with certain diamonds. Moissanite also removes any ethical concerns related to conflict stones, as they are not mined in war-torn areas. While the diamond industry and jewelers are increasingly conscious of the environmental and social impact of diamond mining, for certain customers knowing that there is no environmental or ethical question brings peace of mind to their jewelry purchase.
Care and cleaning of moissanite jewelry should be done on a routine basis, just as with other gemstones. Use a fine jewelry cleaning formulation as recommended by your jeweler. You should also have your piece inspected annually to ensure their are no loose settings or other damage.
While diamonds remain the most popular gemstone, particularly for bridal jewelry, and for very good reason, moissanite offers another beautiful option for consumers as they search for the perfect stone.
FAQ: Cleaning Glue-Set JewelryPosted: 08/30/2017With the exception of shopping for an engagement ring, most women don't give a lot of thought to how their jewelry is set. It doesn't
seem to matter much, as long as the piece is beautiful. But when it comes to care and cleaning of jewelry, understanding how a piece is set is important, particularly if the jewelry is glue set.
You will find glue settings used in a wide array of both fine and fashion jewelry. Many women expect this in their fashion pieces, but there are also fine jewelry treatments that use glue, including doublets (assembled gemstones), pearl rings and earrings, and other gemstone settings such as those at the ends of a bangle.
Doublets are a very common and beautiful example of glue-set jewelry. The pieces are crafted using a thin slice of a gemstone topped with a cabochon or faceted crystal; the two layers are sealed to one another using glue. This treatment is beautiful and achieves big impact using a smaller quantity of gemstone. Stones frequently used in doublets include opals, mother of pearl, malachite, topaz, lapis, turquoise and more.
Anytime gemstones are set without prongs, they need help staying in place. This is usually done with glue, epoxy or resin. Pearls set in a ring or earrings will sometimes have a small hole drilled in the pearl into which glue and then a post are inserted. With other gemstones, there may be a metal frame around the stone, but glue is often used in addition, for better security.
Glue-set pieces do require a different care and cleaning regimen. Top of the list is preventing prolonged contact with water or other liquids, which can break down the glue and cause the stone to come loose. Don't wear a piece while swimming, washing dishes or bathing, and do not leave it soaking in a jewelry cleaning formulation for more than a couple of minutes. But do not worry if your jewelry gets a little bit wet when you wash your hands or get caught in a rainstorm; they are certainly able to withstand normal wear.
You can and should feel comfortable cleaning your piece using a gentle jewelry cleaning formulation from your jeweler. You can wet a cloth with the formula and wipe the piece, soak it for a short period of time if needed, or use a jewelry cleaning stick, which allows you to apply the formula with a brush. Do not use an ultrasonic cleaner.
With proper care and cleaning, you can enjoy your glue-set jewelry for years to come.
Do You Know Mohs?Posted: 08/09/2017In order to properly clean and care for your jewelry, it's essential to understand the components that make up the piece. The hardness of the gemstone dictates what type of cleaning formulation is safe to be used. Most
consumers have a vague idea that some gems are harder than others. It's pretty common knowledge that diamonds are hard and that pearls are softer. But how can you determine how hard other stones are?
If you ask your jeweler that question, she will likely reference the Mohs scale. The Mohs scale of mineral hardness characterizes how scratch resistant various minerals are. Minerals are compared by their ability to scratch the surface of other minerals. The scale is named for German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs, who created it in 1812.
Ten minerals make up the scale, and all other minerals fall on the scale based on the hardest mineral that mineral can scratch. The Mohs scale minerals range from softest (talc) to hardest (you guessed it - diamonds). The scale does not measure absolute hardness, but rather the relative hardness of one mineral to another.
What does that mean for cleaning your jewelry? You need to be cautious of the type of jewelry cleaning formulation you use for different types of jewelry.
• Most fine jewelry cleaning formulations, with or without ammonia, are safe for gems on the harder end of the scale, such as diamonds, amethyst, rubies, sapphires and topaz.
• Jewelry cleaners marketed as "gentle" or "delicate" may be safe for use on softer, more porous gemstones. You should read the directions on the jar or check with your jeweler to be sure. The Kingswood Company's Gentle Jewelry Cleaner has been fully tested and is safe for all jewelry, including pearls, treated diamonds, treated rubies, doublets, emeralds, opals, beads and fashion jewelry.
• Despite being made of all-natural ingredients, natural jewelry cleaning formulations may still be too harsh for softer gemstones. Again, you should read the jar or talk to your jeweler for guidance.
• Silver jewelry cleaners are formulated to remove tarnish from sterling silver jewelry and should not be used on gemstones or even silver with designer antiquing. Follow instructions on the jar or from your jeweler.
So now you know Mohs!
Then & NowPosted: 07/19/2017In our modern world, with so many technological advancements, it's interesting to ponder how things used to be done. Rather than spending
cold, hard cash, most of the time people use a debit or credit card or even a payment app on their phone. No one uses the card catalog at the library; you can Google anything (and Google is even a verb). And when was the last time anyone you know used a typewriter?
We are always finding new and better ways to do things, and jewelry cleaning is no exception. When you read about how people cleaned jewelry in the early 1900s, you will be very glad that safe, at-home jewelry cleaning options are available!
In a publication from 1913 called The Boy Mechanic, people were encouraged to clean silver, gold, bronze and brass using a saturated solution of cyanide of potassium. Whether dipping the piece into the solution or rubbing the metal with a saturated cloth, individuals were warned that “cyanide of potassium is a deadly poison, [so] care must be taken not to have it touch any sore spot on the flesh.” Goodness, this does not sound like a safe plan at all. Imagine the warning labels that would have had to go on that product today!
The New York Tribune in 1918 shared a silver cleaning technique, designed to save women from “wasting [their] time and energy — and, incidentally, [their] silver plate — through a vigorous use of [their] polish and elbow grease?” As it happens, an offshoot of this technique still makes the rounds on the internet. The electrolytic process involves bringing water with baking soda and salt to a boil, then adding aluminum or zinc. The silver piece is introduced and must be in contact with the aluminum or zinc, which removes the tarnish. “It is best to base the silver entirely covered with the cleaning solution and to allow the solution to remain at the boiling temperature. In a very few seconds, the tarnish on the silver will disappear as by magic.”
While this technique may remove tarnish, it is dangerous to place your silver pieces in boiling water, as the heat can cause the metal to become misshapen. At-home tarnish removal products and polishing cloths offer a much safer alternative today.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, jewelry lovers could purchase a Jewelry Cleaning Casket, which contained a cloth, soap bar and brush, and a box or sawdust. Instructions indicated that jewelry should be cleaned with the brush, after wetting it and creating a lather with the soap. Once the jewelry was cleaned and rinsed with water, the user was to lay it in the sawdust for drying. This precursor to our Jewelry Care Systems was the start of a good idea, though it seems that drying the jewelry with sawdust rather than a soft cloth or polishing cloth was pretty much defeating the purpose. Wouldn’t the jewelry be covered in sawdust and need cleaning all over again?
Clearly people have always wanted their beautiful jewelry to be sparkling, and tried some pretty interesting tricks to keep it that way. Luckily, much safer and far more user-friendly options are available for routine jewelry care today. Visit our website for more information on how we can help you create a modern-day jewelry care line, exclusive to your store.
Cleaning Lord Stanley's CupPosted: 06/28/2017This month, the Pittsburgh Penguins repeated as Stanley Cup champions, meaning Sidney Crosby and his teammates will get a second shot at one
of sports' greatest traditions. Each member of the winning team gets one day to spend with the iconic Lord Stanley's Cup. Stories abound of the myriad ways hockey players enjoy their day with the Cup. From guzzling of adult beverages to baby baptisms, the Cup has seen a little of everything. It gets filled with beer (holding 14 12-ounce bottles), champagne, babies (apparently more than one sans diaper has left a little something behind), soup, ice cream and more. It's gone for swims and mountain climbs and trips to visit old coaches and teachers.
Due to its busy schedule, the Cup has a minder: Philip Pritchard, the Keeper of the Stanley Cup. He travels with the Cup year-round, not just during visits with NHL players but to special events where fans line up to see this piece of history. Interestingly, it is the actual Stanley Cup that goes out on the road, with a replica staying behind at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
"It is the actual artifact that people get to see and interact with. It's not just sitting in a museum,” said Pritchard "But that's what gives the Cup its personality. Hockey shares the Cup with the people, and it has evolved into this bigger-than-life story. It demands attention."
And attention is what it gets. Whether it's a day with a player and his friends and family or headlining a special event, the Stanley Cup gets pretty dirty, covered in everything from fingerprints and lipstick to beer and ice cream residue.
"I have to clean it every day to remove fingerprints, oils and dirt,” explained Pritchard. "The trophy is 125 years old this year, and we are dedicated to keeping it in good condition. We want people to enjoy it for another 125 years."
Pritchard uses a mild detergent with warm water and a soft cloth for daily cleanings. He explained that the Hall of Fame's silversmith has warned them against frequent polishing, which removes some silver and would eventually make the names on the Cup hard to read. The names are stamped into the trophy, rather than engraved, so the markings are more shallow. The Cup is then professionally cleaned twice a year by the silversmith in Montreal, who takes the Cup apart to remove tarnish and polish each level separately.
"We take the cleaning very seriously," added Pritchard. "We are preserving history."
The average non-hockey player can keep her silver jewelry and household items clean using professional jewelry care products from her local jeweler. Professional polishing cloths and mild tarnish removers can be used on a routine basis, and fine jewelry should be inspected and cleaned professionally at least once a year.
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