- Trade Secrets from the Queen of Clean: Mosaic Madness
- Trade Secrets from the Queen of Clean: Do You Know Mohs?
- Trade Secrets from the Queen of Clean: The Envelope Please
- Trade Secrets from the Queen of Clean: Clean Up the Awards Season 2
- Trade Secrets from the Queen of Clean: Cleaning Up the Awards Season
- Lillian Weiss Schmid on Green with Love: From Recycling to Reusing
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Monthly Archives: January 2012
While we usually write fun stories about beautiful, sparkling jewelry, now we have a darker story to share. In recent months, we have seen numerous news reports from around the country about synthetic drugs which mimic the effects of cocaine being sold as “jewelry cleaners.” These drugs were previously marketed as “bath salts,” but states began passing laws banning “bath salts” in an effort to combat the drug problem. In fact, “bath salts” were banned in Ohio in October of 2011.
Unfortunately, in most areas where “bath salts” are banned, drug-makers have just continued production of the product but changed the name to “jewelry cleaner.” In this way, they are staying a step ahead of the law. These drugs are especially dangerous, because they can be purchased at legal retailers and have been linked to deaths in Ohio and elsewhere.
You may be wondering how we know these products are not actually jewelry cleaner. To start with, this “jewelry cleaner” is priced at around $50 per ounce. We at The Kingswood Company sell the highest quality jewelry cleaners on the market, and they do not retail at anywhere near that price point. In addition, the imitation products are sold in a solid form like bath salts rather than a liquid.
This is a terrible masquerade of a common consumer product. And a dangerous one. We are confident that law enforcement will catch up with the criminals again, but in the meantime, we hope you will help spread the word about this dangerous phenomenon.
If you are interested in learning more, you can check out this story from the CBS affiliate in Harrisburg, PA: http://www.whptv.com/news/local/story/Synthetic-drugs-sold-as-various-substances-as/9VgSGB-u6k6IJNExR3hJZw.cspx.
The awards season is upon us, and there will be beautiful jewels galore. The Golden Globes kicked things off on Sunday and did not disappoint. With actresses from both the big and small screens, we had even more gorgeousness to take in.
My favorite earrings of the night were worn by the beautiful Debra Messing. These amethyst and emerald three-stone drop earrings designed by Lorraine Schwartz looked fabulous with her red hair and hazel eyes. The combination of purple and green was an evident trend, with Julianna Margulies wearing it as well.
Both Debra and Julianne looked lovely in their emeralds. I know that fashion on the red carpet often drives trends for the year. Being me, when I look at the trend, I wonder if they people know how to clean it.
Emeralds are actually a relatively hard gem, as measured on the Mohs scale. A 10 ranks the highest (meaning a diamond, not Bo Derek), and emeralds come in at a 7.5 to 8. Opals, turquoise, peridot and coral are all softer than emeralds.
You may be thinking, “Great, that means I can’t hurt them.” Not true. Most emeralds are formed with natural inclusions or cracks within them, which makes the stones more susceptible to breaking along an inclusion line. So you should be gentle when cleaning to avoid damaging the stone along a fissure. This is a great example of why at-home ultrasonic machines are unsafe. Your pretty emerald could crack.
Also, emeralds are often treated with oils to minimize the appearance of inclusions and improve the stone’s clarity. So you should avoid cleaning methods that remove these oils, which will damage the look of the stone. Do not expose the stone to strong heat or steam, strong solvents such as ammonia or soak them for a prolonged period of time. If you do happen to damage the oil treatment, it can be redone or re-enhanced by a qualified jeweler.
Emeralds can safely be cleaned with a liquid cleaner formulated especially for delicate jewelry, one that does not include ammonia or any strong solvents. You can soak it for a short amount of time and then dry and buff the piece it with a polishing cloth.
Both Debra and Julianne’s earrings are made of mixed stones (Julianne’s have diamonds and Debra’s include amethysts). While those stones are stronger, because they are combined with emeralds, the pieces require the more delicate care. Always remember to clean based on what is safe for the most delicate gemstone, metal or setting in any piece.
I was so excited by the beautiful jewelry on display at The Golden Globes. While most of us don’t get to borrow goodies from Harry Winston or Neil Lane for the night, we can borrow from the looks for ourselves. I can’t wait to wear my sparkling clean emeralds this spring. Do you have any favorite emerald pieces you plan to get out of the vault?
The art and science of shipping is a mystery to most of us. You wrap up a package, call or drop by the shipper, and poof, it is off. Most of the time, it reaches its destination, and you never have to think or worry about it. But when you think (or worry) about it, the fact that most what we ship gets where it’s going is pretty amazing.
We at The Kingswood Company ship stuff - A LOT OF STUFF. Our shipper is integral to what we do, so when FedEx offered us a tour of their facility, we jumped at the chance to see the process in action! About half of all the boxes we ship and about 95 percent of all our shipments are shipped via FedEx. As a team, we were thrilled to learn about how our product is handled once it leaves our dock.
We got to watch “the sort” from way up on high, which was fascinating; this terminal processes 15,000 packages per shift during regular business and up to 30,000 packages during the holidays. We also got to see a truck loaded with some of our product. Some of our boxes were upside down (yikes, it’s full of liquids!), but that was an opportunity to talk with the Terminal Manager about the importance of keeping our boxes upright.
We know that is not usually a problem for FedEx, because very, very few of our boxes come back to us with damage or leaking. This is helped by the very sophisticated packaging we have developed to help prevent leaking. In addition, 99.8 percent of our boxes are delivered on time – an impressive statistic that helps us meet our very high customer service standards.
Thanks to the folks at FedEx for taking the time to show us around. It was an experience we won’t soon forget.