•      Messy & BrightPosted: 11/30/2016Sometimes the most wonderful time of the year can get a bit, well, messy. From rolling cookies to gluing glitter, some holiday fun can dull the sparkle of your favorite jewelry. Luckily, you don't need to avoid the messy fun;  

    just stock up on the right jewelry cleaner, and you'll be shining again in no time.

     

    Here are some quick tips for keeping your jewelry sparkling and shining all season long:

     

    1. While it's probably best to remove your jewelry when cooking, if you forget to take off your rings while rolling your favorite holiday cookie recipe, never fear. Simply use a jewelry cleaning formula recommended by your jeweler to bring back the sparkle. Immerse your jewelry for two minutes, using the small jewelry brush to remove any stubborn cookie dough, and blot dry. Your rings will be clean, and Santa will still get his plate of cookies.

     

    2. If you are making some holiday decorations with your little elves, glitter, glue and paint can get everywhere. A smattering of glitter may seem a festive addition to your watch or bracelet, but you probably don't want it there permanently. A quick wipe-down with a professional polishing cloth will remove the glitter and bring back your jewelry's beautiful shine. If glue is sticking things up, use a liquid jewelry cleaner or jewelry cleaning stick with brush tip to get off the gunk.

     

    3. Snowy holiday days beckon us to winter fun like sledding, skiing and ice skating. It really is best to remove your jewelry for such activities, just in case you take a spill or catch your bracelet on a passing tree branch. If your jewelry does get damaged due to these or other activities, be sure to take it to your professional jeweler for an inspection and repair. Even a small nick or bend can cause stones to fall out. Or be safe, and leave your jewelry at home.

  •      It's a NaturalPosted: 11/09/2016Consumers interested in chemical-free cleaning options have helped to make our Natural Jewelry Cleaner very popular since its launch in 2014. As the green products industry continues to grow, we find ourselves answering even more

    questions about our Natural Jewelry Cleaner and how it works. Here is a quick FAQ to cover all of your green-clean queries.

     

    What is your all-natural product made of?

    Our Natural Jewelry Cleaner is an all-botanical, hypoallergenic formula which is naturally derived, water soluble and devoid of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

     

    If it’s all-natural, it must be safe to clean anything, right?

    Though somewhat counterintuitive, our Natural Jewelry Cleaner is NOT safe to clean every item of jewelry. Though the cleaning agents are all-botanical, they are not safe for soft or porous gemstones, including pearls, emeralds or opals, or for some metals such as aluminum or brass. This formulation is safe for the same types of jewelry as our most popular formula, our Fine Jewelry Cleaner, including diamonds and harder gemstones, gold and platinum.

     

    If it’s all-natural, does it really clean well?

    Yes! Though its formulation is different, our Natural Jewelry Cleaner leaves jewelry sparkling just as our other cleaning formulations do. We have had a number of customers request samples to compare the Natural Jewelry Cleaner against our Fine Jewelry Cleaner. The verdict: they agree that both formulations work beautifully.

     

    If the all-natural formulation works just as well, why wouldn’t I order that?

    Both our Natural and Fine Jewelry Cleaner formulations clean jewelry like no other on the market, and each has its place in a jewelry care line. If you find you have a lot of customers concerned about chemicals or who are interested in green jewelry trends, our Natural Jewelry Cleaner may be a great fit for you. But if you have a loyal customer base which has loved your Fine Jewelry Cleaner for years, you want to meet their expectations. Also, our Fine Jewelry Cleaner is available in four beautiful colors, while our Natural Cleaner is available in its natural, cloudy-clear state (of course, we package both formulations beautifully, with many customization options). We have customers who choose one or the other for a variety of reasons, and we have some customers who carry both!

     

    If you would like to receive a sample, feel free to contact our Sales Team at sales@thekingswoodcompany.com or 614.252.6400.

  •      Fairy Tale JewelryPosted: 10/21/2016Just as they did with Princess Diana, The British and royal-watchers over the world have fallen in love with Princess Kate. There's her accessible beauty, her fashionable style and the fairy tale nature of her romance with Wills. Oh, and don't forget about the jewelry.

    There is no question she now has a fairy tale jewelry box. As a royal, she can access some of the most storied jewelry in the word. But thanks to her grounded nature, which so endears her to many, she mixes historically fabulous pieces with much more accessible pieces. Let’s take a peek into Kate’s fairy tale jewelry box.

     

    It all started with the ring. After Diana’s tragic death, both of her sons chose mementos of their mother’s to remember her by. William chose her gold Cartier Tank Francaise watch, while Harry chose her iconic engagement ring, a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds all set in 18-karat white gold. The ring was originally created for Diana by former Crown Jeweller Garrard & Co. When William was planning to propose in 2010, Prince Harry happily exchanged pieces with his brother. The meaning of the ring was evident to all when the couple announced their engagement, with William noting that the ring ensured his mother was part of the excitement of the day.

     

    It was meaningful to Kate too, who said, “It’s beautiful. I just hope to look after it. It’s very, very special.”

     

    On the day you become an official princess, it seems more than appropriate to wear a tiara. Kate wore the “Halo” Tiara for her big day, a Cartier piece which the Duke of York (later King George VI) gave to the future Queen Elizabeth on her 18th birthday (the Queen Mum then gave it to the current Queen Elizabeth on her 18th birthday). The tiara’s 16 scrolls are set with 739 brilliant diamonds and 149 baton diamonds. While this is quite extravagant, the “Halo” Tiara is actually considered more subtle and less opulent. Considering Kate’s penchant for more understated elegance, it's fitting that Queen Elizabeth loaned her that piece for the fairy tale wedding. Kate’s parents had matching earrings commissioned, which melded the scrolls of the tiara with an acorn and oak leaves from the Middleton family coat of arms.

     

    Princess or not, tiaras aren't everyday fare. Kate is a fan of several moderately priced jewelry brands which she wears with regularity, including on the day of her engagement announcement. Kate's style mixes royal elegance with modern beauty in a way not seen since Princess Diana.

     

    To look after your own sapphires and diamonds, use a fine jewelry cleaning formulation as recommended by your jeweler. And to clean intricate pieces like Kate’s tiara and wedding earrings, use a cleaning formulation safe for the stones used in the piece. Softer, more porous stones require a non-ammoniated gentle cleaning formula. Brush gently with a jewelry brush or use a jewelry cleaning stick, like The Kingswood Company’s Sparkle + Shine Stick, which has a built-in brush that is perfect for reaching underneath stones and around settings.

  •      The Color of GoldPosted: 09/27/2016Our President & CEO, Kristie Nicolosi, traveled last month to Vincenzo for the Vincenza Oro jewelry show. Seeing so much beautiful gold jewelry at the show, she was inspired to reflect more on the different types of gold and its

    scientific properties. Gold has been considered a precious metal since ancient times, due to its luster, tarnish resistance, and the ease with which it can be worked.

     

    Gold is used primarily for jewelry, though it has other uses in technology, manufacturing and even dental work. Gold itself is a softer metal, so it is alloyed with other metals, including nickel, copper, silver, zinc and palladium, to strengthen it.

     

    Most of us are familiar with the measurement of alloys in gold, but might not realize it. Gold purity is measured using karats. One karat is equivalent to a 1/24 portion of pure gold. Thus 24 karat gold is pure gold, while 18 karat gold is 18 parts gold and 6 parts another metal. To be considered gold jewelry, a piece cannot be less than 10 karat.

     

    Gold jewelry is available in a range of colors, and these hues are determined by the metals alloyed with the pure gold. Gold with higher percentages of copper alloys will take on a rose hue. Higher percentages of palladium, silver and nickel will produce  white gold. Yellow golds are also an alloy but contain differing percentages of other metals.

     

    For example, an 18 karat yellow gold can be 75 percent gold, 15 percent silver and 10 percent copper, while an 18 karat white gold can be 75 percent gold, 5 percent copper and 20 percent palladium, silver and/or nickel. Both shades of gold are 18 karat and therefore contain 75 percent gold, but the other metals in the alloy are what determine its hue. Some jewelry designers only use a certain shade of gold in their work, and thus have a specific alloy formula which they purchase for their designs.

    The chemical composition of gold has effects other than just the shade of gold produced. The metals in a piece of gold can react with chemicals in cleaning agents, cosmetics and the like, so it is recommended to remove jewelry when it will come in contact with these substances. While the body chemistry of some individuals can also react with the metal alloys causing skin to turn black or green or even discolor the jewelry. This can be accentuated due to conditions such as anemia (an iron deficiency) or due to medications, particularly antibiotics. The higher the karat of the jewelry, the less likely there will be a reaction, as there is a lower percentage of alloyed metals.

     

    When cleaning gold jewelry, it’s important to be aware that the gold does contain other metals.  Fine jewelry cleaning formulas are safe for most pieces, though if your jeweler is unsure of the composition of the piece, using a gentle jewelry cleaning formula may be a better choice. Be sure to follow the care instructions carefully, particularly with regard to the length of time the piece is submerged. If there is any tarnish on a piece (gold cannot tarnish, but some alloyed metals can), a professional polishing cloth can remove tarnish or discoloration.

  •      As Seen In: In Store September 2016Posted: 09/20/2016Thank you to In Store for featuring our new Sparkle + Shine Stick in the "Stuff for Your Store" section of their bridal edition.

    09.27.2016

    09.27.2016

  •      Cleaning Enhanced DiamondsPosted: 09/07/2016In recent years, the popularity of enhanced diamonds has grown rapidly, in large part because it allows a customer to acquire a larger or fancier diamond at a lower cost.

    The market prices enhanced diamonds differently due to their source, but they are no less valuable to those who wear them. As with every piece of jewelry, the value comes from its emotional meaning to the wearer. As long as the purchaser or recipient is aware that the stone has been enhanced, these stones provide a viable option to men and women purchasing diamond jewelry.

     

    Enhanced diamonds are not “fake.” They are natural stones that have already been cut and polished but which are treated to improve certain gemological characteristics. Enhancements fall into two major categories: clarity enhancements and color enhancements. All of these treatments make a stone more commercially appealing; but it is very important that the buyer be made aware of any treatment that has been applied to a stone.

     

    Laser drilling and fracture filling reduce the appearance of inclusions and small fractures, improving the clarity of the diamond. Diamonds treated in this manner require more careful care and cleaning. Be sure to use a non-ammoniated gentle jewelry cleaning formulation and avoid ultrasonic machines, as the vibrations used to clean the jewelry can cause damage along the fracture.

     

    Irradiation and high heat treatments can improve a diamond’s color, turning brown and yellow diamonds into fancy colored diamonds in vivid colors, or improving the color of a white diamond. The color changes resulting from these treatments are permanent. Diamonds enhanced in this manner can be safely cleaned in a fine jewelry cleaning formulation. However, these stones should not be exposed to high temperatures like boiling water (though this is not a safe technique for any jewelry, as the high temperatures can cause metals to become misshapen).

     

    Just like any gemstone, enhanced diamonds require routine cleaning to maintain their sparkle. If your enhanced diamond is paired with other, softer stones in a piece, be sure to use a non-ammoniated, gentle jewelry cleaning formulation that is safe for the softer stones. With proper care, enhanced diamonds can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

  •      Love-Love Tennis Bracelet's SparklePosted: 08/16/2016With the world's best tennis players set to compete in New York for the coveted US Open trophy this month, now seems a good time to delve into tennis's most glamorous accessory:

    the tennis bracelet. Most women who wear one likely don’t know why their beautiful diamond bracelet has such an unusual name. In fact, the bracelets were once referred to as “eternity bracelets” just as similarly styled rings are called “eternity bands.”

     

    But a mishap during the 1987 US Open changed the bracelet’s moniker forever. Tennis star Chris Evert was wearing an eternity bracelet during a match when the clasp failed and the bracelet flew from her wrist. This might have gone unnoticed, except Evert asked for the match to be stopped until the bracelet could be found. Suddenly, women everywhere were smitten with the beautiful bracelet and the “tennis bracelet” trend was on.

     

    The tennis bracelet is a classic piece, often given as a gift for special occasions. Most are diamond, though colored stone options are also available. Because they are often worn on a daily basis – why have a beautiful all-diamond bracelet if you’re not going to wear it? – it’s important that they be cleaned and cared for appropriately.

     

    Like bridal jewelry and classic diamond stud earrings, tennis bracelets tend to get dirtier due to frequent wear. It is recommended that jewelry be put on after showering and going through your beauty routine, to prevent exposure to soaps, lotions, hair spray and other cosmetics. It’s also best not to wear these pieces while gardening, swimming, cleaning and during exercise (right, Chris Evert?), to avoid dirt, chlorine, chemicals, sweat, sunscreen and more.

     

    To clean a tennis bracelet or any piece set with many stones, use a cleaning formulation that is safe for the metal and stones the bracelet is made of. Gold, platinum and diamond pieces can be soaked for a couple of minutes in a fine jewelry cleaning formula, while any softer stones such as emeralds should be soaked in a non-ammoniated gentle jewelry cleaning formula. Whether prong set or bezel set, it’s important to clean under and around the stones. Use the jewelry cleaning brush that comes with your jar of cleaner or the brush at the end of your travel jewelry stick. These are designed so that you cannot apply too much pressure to the setting.

  •      Keep It Clean
    with Social Media
    Posted: 07/27/2016Marketing experts agree that engaging with your customers through a variety of social media platforms is a great way to build loyalty and trust.

    And you can do this in different ways: sharing images of beautiful new merchandise, promoting special sales and events, offering useful information and tips, and highlighting hot trends. One question we've been asked on a number of occasions: how can I incorporate jewelry care and cleaning into my social media strategy?

     

    Here are some of our best tips:

    1. Offer jewelry care and cleaning education through your blog or Facebook page. Consider offering a series of posts about safe cleaning of different types of jewelry, such as "How to Clean Your Bridal Jewelry" or "How to Clean Your Pretty Pearls."

     

    2. You could also ask your customers to share before/after or dirty/sparkling images of their jewelry. And be sure to promote your jewelry care line. If you would like a professional picture of your private-label jewelry cleaning products to use in this capacity, be sure to contact us. We are happy to provide one free of charge.

     

    3. In addition to your blog or Facebook page, you can also share images of your jewelry care line through other popular social media sites like Instagram and Snapchat. If you have a younger customer base, this is a particularly good idea.

     

    4. Engage with your customers through social media by offering to answer their jewelry care and cleaning questions. Consider creating an "Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions" series or a "Myth Versus Reality" contest to help eradicate old wives' tales (no cleaning jewelry with toothpaste, please!).

     

    5. Your customers trust you to be plugged into the latest jewelry news. Use social media to share fun stories about jewelry trends, the latest celebrity engagements, or what looks were hot on the runway - and how to clean them, of course. We offer reusable content on these subjects on our blog and through this monthly e-newsletter. We encourage you to repurpose these stories for your own use.

  •      America SparklesPosted: 06/30/2016We are proud that our jewelry cleaning products keep America's jewelry sparkling like fireworks that light up the night sky each Fourth of July. Summer fun can give jewelry a bit of a workout, as sunscreen, barbecue sauce, dripping ice

    cream cones, and sand dull its shine. Help your customers keep their purchases dazzling with jewelry care products made right here in the USA, including our new SPARKLE + SHINE Stick and Foaming Jewelry Cleaner introduced this year at the Las Vegas shows.

     

    At The Kingswood Company, we manufacture our jewelry cleaners and polishing cloths in the heartland of America, Columbus, Ohio, with nearly 100 percent of our suppliers based in the United States. For 60 years, we've been Made in the USA.

     

    Happy Independence Day!

  •      Dads Shine TooPosted: 06/14/2016Father's Day is right around the corner, with dads receiving well-deserved, and hopefully thoughtful, gifts. Popular gifts, such as watches and cufflinks, need to be cleaned and cared for in order to be enjoyed through the years.

    But jewelry care is probably not topic number one in most men's lives, so here's a quick rundown for the guys in your life.

     

    Cleaning Watches

    After regular wear, use a soft, slightly damp cloth or polishing cloth to wipe down the watch case and bracelet. For a more stubborn build-up of dirt and oils, use a gentle jewelry cleaning formula, but do not submerge the piece. You can either remove the band or dip it carefully in the cleaner, using a very soft jewelry brush in the hinges, being careful not to scratch the surface. For leather bands, wipe gently with a moistened cloth or use a leather cleaner. The case can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Fine watches should also be taken to a jeweler every three years for servicing.

     

    Cufflinks

    To determine how to clean cufflinks, you need to know what materials they are made of. Sterling silver cufflinks can be cleaned with a silver jewelry cleaning formulation if they have become tarnished, or polished with a professional polishing cloth. Cufflinks made of gold, platinum or palladium, or those designed with hard gemstones like diamonds, can be cleaned in a fine jewelry cleaning formula and buffed with a professional polishing cloth. If your cufflinks contain softer gemstones, such as turquoise or amber, or are made of enamel, they should be cleaned with a gentle, non-ammoniated jewelry cleaning formula followed by a quick buff with a professional polishing cloth.

     

    Rings

    The suggestions for cufflinks also hold true for rings. Know what materials are part of the design and choose your cleaning formulation appropriately. To keep your rings in good condition, especially that all-important wedding band, be sure to remove it when using harsh chemicals, swimming, exercising, or doing heavy lifting. It’s a good idea to have a box or location where you place your ring each time you remove it, so you don’t misplace it.

     

    Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!

  •      Fashion ForwardPosted: 05/18/2016For many stylish women, fashion jewelry fills an important niche in their wardrobes. Some create punch by mixing fun fashion pieces with their beautiful fine jewelry. Some wear statement pieces that would be cost prohibitive were they

    "real." While others choose to wear fashion jewelry in certain circumstances when it's not smart to wear fine jewelry, such as a day at the beach or poolside.

     

    Because fashion jewelry collects dirt, grime and oils through regular wear, it needs to be cleaned just as fine jewelry does. These pieces are often made with base metals, vermeil, mixed materials or with the use of glue, all of which require a gentle touch. Be cautious, but do not fear giving fashion jewelry the cleaning it requires. It will keep your favorite pieces sparkling!

     

    For the most part, it is wise to choose a gentle, non-ammoniated jewelry cleaning formula, which is safe for more delicate materials. However, if your piece has been glued, it is not safe to soak. Rather, dip a cloth into the cleaner and wipe the piece as needed. A professional polishing cloth can help you keep your fashion pieces shining as well. You can remove tarnish or discoloration from metals, and buff and clean other materials.

     

    As wedding, graduation and barbecue season approaches, it’s a great time to pull out your favorite fashion pieces. Give them a good cleaning and make a statement all summer long.

  •      Green Appeal: Natural Jewelry Cleaner Meets Market NeedPosted: 05/11/2016Consumer are a savvy lot, ever more educated about the products they buy and determined

    that their buying habits reflect their priorities and belief. As consumers have grown more concerned about environmental sustainability, they are now seeking products that help them express their commitment to that cause. The trend toward natural and green products has now expanded to nearly every product category, from cars to food to cosmetics and jewelry.

     

    In 2013, the non-consumable natural product market grew to over $60 billion, and has shown nearly 10 percent annual growth. Seeking to take advantage of this expanding market is not a cynical ploy but a smart business decision for jewelers. Thus, more and more jewelers offer “green” options, meeting the needs of consumers, particularly Millennials, who are concerned about conflict stones, mining practices and ecological impact. These include certifying that diamonds are not conflict stones, offering lines made from recycled metals and stones, and even launching resale businesses.

     

    At The Kingswood Company, we are dedicated to environmental sustainability in our own                               , so are understanding of the mindset of consumers looking to make environmentally conscious purchasing decisions. We developed our Natural Jewelry Cleaner to help jewelers meet these consumers’ needs. This formulation, launched in 2014, is all-botanical, hypoallergenic, non-toxic and has received an EPA Listing.

     

    According to research by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, most consumers are sincere in their intentions to commit to a greener lifestyle, but look for ways to make changes that are relatively easy and don’t require major sacrifice. Jewelers can appeal to these buyers by offering them a jewelry cleaning product that they feel good using and which reflects their belief system in a positive way.

    business practices

  •      Where Old Wives
    Went Wrong
    Posted: 04/14/2016There's something about the first warm days of spring, with the fresh breezes and the beautiful smell of flowers that makes us want to clean and freshen our spaces. Spring cleaning is a much

    needed and satisfying annual ritual, a time to make sure our homes and that we value is ship shape. As you dive into the big clean, don't forget to give your jewelry some love. If you tend to use your mother's or grandmother's tricks of the cleaning trade, we have a few warnings regarding "old wives' tales." What tricks should you watch out for?

     

    Toothbrush and Toothpaste

    They are great for your pearly whites, but not your pearls or really any other type of jewelry. The abrasives in toothpaste can scratch the surface of metals and softer gemstones, while a toothbrush's long handle allows you to place too much pressure on the piece you are cleaning.

     

    Ammonia and Mr. Clean

    Ammonia, denatured alcohol, acetone and other harsh cleaning agents can dull or pit the surface of softer gemstones. While ammonia or a cleaning agent like Mr. Clean can be effective in small concentrations, it is difficult to determine the correct ratio, which makes them a risky choice.

     

    Bleach

    Bleach is not safe for cleaning jewelry. It can cause gold and other metal alloys to break down, irreparably damaging the piece. In fact, that is why it's not a good idea to wear your jewelry while swimming or in a hot tub, because of the chlorine used to keep them clean.

     

    Boiling Water

    While steam is an excellent way to clean jewelry (most jewelers use a steamer), placing your jewelry in a pot of boiling water is not a good idea. Your piece will come into contact with a hot metal surface, which can weaken or misshape the metal.

     

    Lemon Juice

    Lemon juice is too acidic and abrasive to safely clean jewelry, especially softer stones and silver.

     

    Vinegar

    The old wives are big fans of vinegar, and it is a great cleaning agent for many things, just not jewelry. Like lemon juice, it is too acidic, which is damaging to softer stones and to metal.

     

    Baking Soda

    Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda, is too alkaline and can damage your jewelry. Just as acidic substances can be damaging, so can those that are alkaline.

     

    So how should you clean your jewelry?

    Consult your professional jeweler for recommended cleaning products formulated especially for cleaning jewelry. Fine jewelry cleaning formulas are generally safe for gold and platinum jewelry and those set with harder gemstones such as diamonds. A gentle jewelry cleaning formula is safe for all varieties of delicate and porous gemstones, including pearls, beads and even fashion jewelry. There are also cleaners specially formulated for cleaning silver pieces, and professional polishing cloths are excellent for removing tarnish and polishing gold, silver and platinum jewelry.

  •      Meet Pamela WaclawskiPosted: 03/24/2016Periodically, we like to introduce you to a member of our staff whose hard work is so integral to the outstanding products and service The Kingswood Company offers. This Month, we introduce you to Pam Walawaski, our Art Director

    Who will have been with Kingswood for four years in April. Pam is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design.

     

    What do you like about your job?

    Apart from the people I work with at Kingswood, I really enjoy working on a large variety of projects. Every day is different, and I really enjoy collaborating with our customers to make sure they have the most beautiful product possible. Over the years I’ve been here, our capabilities have expanded so much. We now offer so many more options to customize our products to our customers’ needs. It’s exciting.

     

    I also appreciate the depth of my work. At some design firms, you might work on parts of projects, but in my position I get to completely focus on all aspects of our product line: design, images, website, marketing materials and more. I have a hand in all of it, which is fantastic.

     

     

    What are some of your favorite projects?

     

    It’s impossible to choose just one!

     

     I have really enjoyed working on our lounge at the COUTURE Show. It is such a wide range of work, from designing the product to designing the lounge space to marketing materials. They were great partners in the process, and their high standards really pushed us to up our game.

     

    It’s also been great to partner with other customers, especially those that have a strong aesthetic. Those collaborations have resulted in some really beautiful products.

     

     

    Do you pursue art outside of work as well?

     

    I am always working on something creative! I love everything – painting, sketching, ceramics, woodworking. I really move from one project to another.

     

    Would you share some images of the work you do?

     

    Absolutely!

     

    You can see some of Pam's amazing artwork in the images below.

  •      Smart Devices Need
    Smart Cleaning
    Posted: 02/10/2016The wearables trend isn't going anywhere. What started with marathoners wearing bulky GPS units on their wrists (proclaiming "If I collapse,

    pause my Garmin!"), has now moved into the mainstream with a wide ranged of fitness trackers, the Apple Watch, smart jewelry and luxury timepieces. According to NPD Group’s Wearables Report, one in ten U.S. adults now owns a fitness tracker. And while the Apple Watch dominates the smartwatch market, other brands, including Bulgari and Tag Heuer, are entering the fray with luxury versions that more closely resemble traditional wristwatches. Smart jewelry is also coming online in the market, offering smart options that are more aesthetically pleasing and in a variety of styles, including rings, bracelets and necklaces.

     

    One question that’s sure to arise from your wearables-wearing customers is, “How do I clean this thing?” It’s a good question, especially since they are often wearing them during their workouts, which means the piece is exposed to sweat, suntan lotions and body oils.

     

    Apple recommends cleaning an Apple Watch with a non-abrasive and lint-free cloth, lightly dampened in water if needed. They suggest avoiding soaps, cleaning products, compressed air and anything with heat (like a hair dryer). The bands can be cleaned in the same manner, though extra precaution should be taken with a leather band if you are using water.

     

    Smart jewelry, such as that from industry pioneer Ringly, offers an alternative to a smartwatch for women seeking a more fashionable look. Because these pieces are made of gemstones and fine metals, they require careful cleaning. Most smart jewelry cannot be submerged in water or any kind of cleaner, but if the metal becomes discolored or tarnishes, or if the stone is smudged, it can be buffed with a polishing cloth.

     

    Fitness trackers have recommended cleaning procedures that vary from device to device. Jawbone recommends cleaning with a clean cloth dampened in isopropyl alcohol, gently rubbing the outside of the band with the cloth and avoiding submerging the band in a liquid. Fitbit suggests removing the tracker itself from the wristband before cleaning the band with warm water and a mild detergent. The tracker can be cleaned with a cotton swab dampened with isopropyl alcohol. While Nike suggests cleaning their Fuelband with mild soap, water and a soft cloth, or with a cleaning liquid available in an electronics store for harder-to-remove accumulation.

     

    Bulgari’s Magnesium smartwatch veers from the Apple Watch model; it’s a self-winding mechanical wristwatch but with a special chip, antenna and app. While Tag Heuer’s already-sold-out Carrera Connected is made from grade 2 titanium, though plans are in the works for models made from gold and with diamonds. These luxury pieces should be cleaned like their less-techy brethren, using a soft, slightly damp cloth to clean the watch case and bracelet. You can also use a mild or gentle jewelry cleaning formula to remove more stubborn dirt and oils, but rather than submerging the watch, simply gently dip the band and remove, using a very soft jewelry brush in the hinges, if needed. Leather bands should be wiped gently with a moistened cloth or using a leather cleaner. Fine watches should also be taken to a jeweler every three years for servicing.

     

    As the wearables trend continues to expand, jewelers should be prepared to provide care and cleaning guidance for their customers, who are likely to turn to them for their expertise.

  •      Finding Balance Pantone Color of the YearPosted: 01/21/2016Sometimes you can't choose just one. When PANTONE announced their color of the year for 2016, for the first time, we got a two-for-one

    special: Rose Quartz and Serenity. The colors are certainly different, a lovely warm pink hue and a cooler, soft purple-blue, but they are meant to join together to express connection, balance, wellness, and a sense of order and peace. The pastels reflect trends that have been evident, particularly in fashion but also in consumer and home goods.

     

    Your customers who respond to trends may well come in search of jewels in these color families. Both shades can be found in beautiful pieces, from actual rose quartz and pink diamonds to blue topaz and aquamarine. You can reinforce her interest by noting why the hues may resonate. PANTONE describes Rose Quartz as “a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure” and Serenity as “weightless and airy… bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times.”

     

    Whether she chooses a piece with one or both colors, be sure to share your expertise on care and cleaning of the piece. Many of these colored gemstones, including diamonds, quartz, aquamarine and topaz, can be safely cleaned in a fine jewelry cleaning formula. However, if they are combined with softer stones, such as pearls, or are part of a doublet (perhaps with mother of pearl), then they should be cleaned in a gentle, non-ammoniated cleaning formula. Doublets should not be soaked in the cleaner, but dipped and blotted dry or wiped with a soft cloth dampened with the cleaner.

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