Silver's ShinePosted: 04/02/2019What is sterling silver? What about silver plate? Jewelry lovers might be confused by the different types of silver in the market and how to care for this versatile metal.
Silver has been used for jewelry making for thousands of years. Like gold, it reflects light and its malleability makes it ideal for forming into rings, earrings, necklaces and more. Silver's popularity has only expanded, especially as the price of gold and platinum has increased. Silver offers jewelry lovers a more economical, but still very beautiful, option. It is frequently used for statement pieces, such as bold chains, earrings and cuffs, and looks beautiful with set stones, such as turquoise, amber, aquamarine and topaz.
While pure silver is very reflective and beautiful, it is also soft, which means it tends to lose shape over time and with wear. Therefore, like with gold, silver is often alloyed with other metals to provide strength which improves its function in a piece of jewelry.
Here’s a rundown of six different varieties of silver, along with details on how best to care for your silver jewelry.
Fine silver must contain 99.9 percent silver, and thus is stamped with 999 to identify its composition. Fine silver is rarely used in jewelry because of its softness. When it is used, it is usually hammered or brushed to help mask evidence of wear over time.
Britannia silver contains 95.8 percent pure silver which is alloyed with copper. This variety of silver, usually stamped with 958 to identify its composition, is most frequently used in housewares and some coins. It is rarely used for silver jewelry.
Sterling silver contains 92.5 percent pure silver alloyed with another metal, usually copper. The most popular silver used in jewelry, sterling silver offers better durability while maintaining the metal’s beautiful shine. The addition of the alloyed metal also makes the jewelry more tarnish resistant; and, sometimes gold and platinum are used to increase tarnish resistance. Sterling silver is stamped 925 to indicate its composition.
Coin silver, as the name suggests, is most commonly used for coinage, though it is sometimes used in fashion jewelry. Also known as 900 silver, coin silver is comprised of 90 percent silver with 10 percent copper.
Sterling Silver Plated
Although silver is not as expensive as gold or platinum, jewelry manufacturers will use silver plating to get the shine and beauty of a solid silver piece while using less of the metal to reduce the cost. One form of silver plating, electroplating bonds atoms of silver to a base metal using electricity. This thin coating of silver is reasonably durable but will wear over time. These pieces may be marked with SP, EPS or EP.
Sterling Silver Filled
The other form of plating, filled or rolled silver, is comprised of a thin layer of silver bonded to a base metal using heating or pressing of the silver to create a bond. Filled silver pieces have a thicker layer of silver, though this limits its use in more delicate pieces. These pieces may be marked with an SF or FS denoting silver fill or filled silver and they may also show the silver thickness such as1/20 to 1/10.
Care and Cleaning of Silver Jewelry
Step 1 Clean: Just like cleaning your silver or flatware after Thanksgiving, there are two parts to cleaning silver jewelry: removal of oils and grime and removal of tarnish. The former can be accomplished by soaking the piece in a professional gentle jewelry cleaning formula; this is safe for silver pieces with set stones as well. The liquid cleaner will remove the oils and grime to “clean” the surface of the piece. Wiping with the untreated outer layers of a Professional Polishing Cloth or using an untreated Microfiber Cleaning Cloth will also remove grime, oils and fingerprints, and will “clean” the jewelry.
Step 2 Polish: The second process of removing tarnish requires specially formulated cleaning products. For jewelry without set stones or designer antiquing, you can use a dip tarnish removing formula. Or, you can use a treated polishing cloth to remove tarnish. The final step is buffing with a soft cloth or the untreated portion of a polishing cloth for a beautiful finishing luster.
Step 3 Prevent Tarnish: To keep your silver jewelry shining, wearing it frequently helps prevent tarnish. Also, store your silver jewelry in a treated pouch or place anti-tarnish strips in your jewelry box.
Sparkle Sparks JoyPosted: 03/12/2019With spring finally on the horizon, we are all
itching to get outdoors, open the windows and maybe put the top down on your ride. Plus, it’s the season for spring cleaning. If you started the new year with Marie Kondo and her life-changing
magic, you may have gotten a head start on cleaning your spaces. But, have you tidied up your jewelry box yet?
Spring is the perfect time to do so. So, here are our top tips for bringing spring cleaning magic to your jewelry box. You’ll find what sparks joy and you’ll find joy in the sparkle.
1. As you transition your wardrobe from winter to spring, you probably need to transition your jewelry wardrobe as well. Your deep colored jewels (think rubies and emeralds) that brought richness to your holiday outfits make way for beautiful turquoise, aquamarine and citrine pieces that put you in mind of the ocean, sky and sun and bring pop to your spring wardrobe.
2. Rearrange your jewelry box so that pieces that will get more wear in the warmer months are in a spot with easier access. This is also a great time to make sure your jewelry is stored properly. Use pouches to separate pieces so they don’t scratch one another. Make sure chains are not tangled. Use anti-tarnish strips or bags to protect your sterling silver. If you take a few minutes to organize things now, you’ll be able to find what you need and protect your treasured jewelry from damage.
3. Does any of your jewelry fail to spark joy? You may actually want to consider paring down your jewelry wardrobe. As Marie Kondo has taught so many of us, you can let go of items that no longer bring you joy, offering them gratitude for what they have meant in your life. Consider donating fashion pieces (maybe a local theatre would like them for costuming purposes). Remember too, you can let go of fine jewelry too. You may want to sell your fine jewelry, or some jewelers will allow you to trade it for credit toward a new purchase. If the piece has sentimental value, consider repurposing. Gemstones can be reset into a new piece that you will love to wear, but which still offers you an emotional connection to your past.
4. Don’t forget to freshen up your spring baubles. You want your favorite jewelry to sparkle in the thank-God-it’s-finally-here sunshine. Whether they are pieces that were in winter hibernation or ones you wear daily, spring cleaning is the perfect time to spiff things up. Diamond, topaz, peridot, gold and platinum jewelry should be soaked in a professional fine jewelry cleaning formula and buffed with a professional polishing cloth. Pearl, turquoise, aquamarine, coral and opal jewelry needs to be cleaned using a professional gentle jewelry cleaning formulation. Give the piece a quick soak and buff it with a polishing cloth. Your bling will sing.
5. Once you have attacked your spring cleaning with gusto, you definitely deserve a getaway. If you are heading out for some fun in the sun, don’t forget to pack a jewelry cleaning stick or wipes to keep those pieces you just pulled from the depths of your jewelry box sparkling on the go.
Dillion-GyurcsikPosted: 02/26/2019Periodically, we like to introduce you to a member of our staff whose hard work is integral to providing our customers with the very best
products and customer service. This month, meet Lynn Dillion-Gyurcsik, one of our outstanding Account Managers. Lynn has been with The Kingswood Company for two years.
You came to The Kingswood Company with so much consumer product experience. Can you fill us in a bit on your background and how it relates to your current position?
I have been in consumer products for a long time. I started out in the food industry with Chef Boyardee. Back then, sales reps traveled from store to store, selling and merchandising the products. One funny story from those days on the road: I would travel from store to store by car and on one day when I was running behind, I actually was pulled over for speeding twice. In the same day. By the same officer!
I love working in the jewelry industry, which definitely has more sparkle than ravioli! But the thing that carries through is the relationships I am able to develop.
What is something you have enjoyed most about working at The Kingswood Company compared to other places you have worked?
I have really enjoyed building relationships with my customers over the last two years. And it’s wonderful when I am able to meet some of them in-person at the trade shows. It’s also really fun to see a project that has been in planning for weeks come together with our production and assembly teams. They bring to life the designs we have poured over, and it’s so exciting to see the first few jars, cloths or gift sets come off the line.
What do you love about your job?
I really love working with our customers and offering something new to them. It might just be a color change to a jar of Fine Jewelry Cleaner, but it’s fun to work together to keep things fresh. If I visit a customer’s website and see that their branding incorporates blue but they have a green formula, I might suggest changing things up. I have received notes from customers thanking me for a great idea, which makes me feel wonderful. It’s also fun working on fully customized product lines, which lets us get really creative with things like Pantone-matching on our Sparkle + Shine® Sticks.
What are some of your favorite projects?
It’s so difficult to choose one favorite. I will say that my favorite product is Royal Purple Fine Jewelry Cleaner in our Luxury Jar with a black lid and black ink. It looks so beautiful. Working on fully customized projects is exciting too. We partnered with a brand to do a silver jewelry cleaning kit that included anti-tarnish products, which was something we had never done before. It came together beautifully and now those products are available to other customers.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I spend most of my free time with my two very active daughters. My older daughter is a classical ballerina who hopes to continue to pursue dance. She finally got her driver’s license recently, which makes my life much easier! My younger daughter is a wonderful artist and enjoys playing field hockey.
What is your all-time favorite movie and why?
My all-time favorite movie is The Sound of Music. I have loved it since I first saw it when I was 12 years old. My daughters watch it with me every time it is on TV. I’ve probably seen it 30 or more times! I love the song “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” which can apply to so many life lessons.
Around the WorldPosted: 02/05/2019Women worldwide are drawn to jewelry that shines. But how women approach jewelry cleaning varies from place to place, because
different cultures admire different varieties of jewelry.
With Chinese New Year upon us, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the jewelry most beloved in the Chinese market and - of course - how to clean it.
Gold is a precious metal worldwide, but China has become the world’s largest gold market.
In China, gold is associate with purity, beauty and power. Gold is most commonly used in Chinese wedding jewelry, but as the middle class grows, there is more demand for gold bangles and motif pieces.
• To safely clean gold jewelry, it is important to know how pure the piece is. Twenty-four karat gold, or pure gold, is very soft and prone to scratching and bending. Therefore, most jewelry is made by alloying gold with another metal like silver, copper or nickel
• The closer a piece is to 24 karat, the more carefully you should handle it.
• Do not apply much pressure with a jewelry cleaning brush or polishing cloth, which could cause the piece to lose its shape.
• To remove grime and oils, a professional fine jewelry cleaner is safe for most gold pieces.
• If the piece is gold plated or gold filled, a gentle jewelry cleaning formulation is a better bet.
• A professional polishing cloth should be used to buff the piece to a beautiful shine.
The Chinese culture has adored jade for millennia. It is known as the royal stone, the Imperial Gem, acting as a symbol of status, purity, health and spirituality.
A Chinese proverb states that “Gold has a price; jade is priceless.” The demand for this precious stone has only grown, and Jade is comparable to diamond and gold in the west, some pieces fetching $3,000 or more!
• Jade is the generic term for jadeite and nephrite, falling between 6 and 7 on the Moh’s scale
• Care should be taken to avoid using harsh cleaners and scratching the stone.
• We recommend cleaning jade jewelry in a professional fine or gentle jewelry cleaning formulation.
• Clean with a quick soak or by wiping with a soft cloth moistened with the cleaner of your choice.
• Because many jade pieces have intricate carvings, you may need to use a small jewelry cleaning brush to gently remove grime from the crevices. Our Sparkle + Shine Stick would be perfect for the job!
The Chinese discovered the luminescent pearl when diving for food millennia ago. Pearls have been integral to Chinese culture, featured in beautiful jewelry and said to represent purity.
In fact, a gift of pearl jewelry was given to Chinese royalty as early as 2300 BC. The Chinese were also the first to develop cultured pearls almost a 1000 years ago.
• Pearls are beloved for their luminescence which is the result of the layers of nacre formed around an irritant inside a mollusk.
• These layers are very delicate, which requires special care when cleaning.
• Pearls are ranked at a 2.5 on the Mohs scale, so are very soft and susceptible to scratching and damage.
• Pearls should be cleaned using a professional gentle jewelry cleaning formula.
• Strung pearls should not be soaked in a liquid formula but can be wiped with a soft cloth dampened with the cleaner. Our Jewelry Cleaning Wipe, which utilizes a gentle formulation is a great solution for pieces that cannot be soaked.
• Pearls should also be wiped down with a soft cloth, polishing cloth or microfiber cleaning cloth after each wearing to remove any build-up of oils or grime.
Cleans Up His AdPosted: 01/21/2019 Who ever suggested Mr. Clean in the first place!?
At The Kingswood Company, we have heard every old wives tale that has even been invented about how to really clean jewelry. One product that comes up over and over again, is Mr. Clean. And so we wondered... where did that ever come from anyway?
Our team spent some time researching, and learned about the amazing story of launching Mr. Clean in 1958. In the original launch advertisement, the jingle included the words:
Q. Can he clean a diamond ring?
A: Mr. Clean cleans anything!
So that is where it came from! As it turns out, P&G figured out that the risks of recommending that customers clean their precious and fine jewelry with household cleaner was really not a good idea. The phrase was actually removed, almost immediately, from the advertisements. While it remained part of the copyrighted jingle lyrics until 2016, it was removed from every single version of the recorded jingle other than that original version.
Click here to view the very first advertising video, of a product that sold 35 million bottles in its first nine months after its introduction.
One other thing – that original 50s version also suggested using Mr. Clean on your family dog…. No one is recommending that any more either!
Time Is HerePosted: 01/08/2019Each New Year's Day, we resolve to do things - big things and small things - a little better. While many of us will resolve to exercise more, to eat
healthier and to learn a new hobby, we have some jewelry-related resolutions to keep your jewelry and your business sparkling in 2019.
1. No More Mr. Clean.
Mr. Clean is not a safe jewelry cleaning product. Resolve to use jewelry cleaning products specially formulated to safely and effectively clean jewelry. If you wonder why Mr. Clean became known as a jewelry cleaning product, we will share more later this year!
Other tales recommend Windex, ammonia or even hydrogen peroxide for jewelry cleaning, but you (probably) aren’t a chemist and cannot be sure to measure the correct quantities. Again, the safest and most effective option is choosing a professional jewelry cleaning product specially formulated for the job.
2. No More Toothbrushes.
Toothbrushes keep your pearly whites shining, but are not a safe tool for cleaning jewelry. The bristles on toothbrushes are too rough for softer metals like gold. Plus, the long handle allows you to put too much pressure on the settings and mountings. The small brush included in a jar of our professional jewelry cleaner isn’t just sized to fit in the jar. It is a tool precisely designed and sized to safely brush grime and oils from your favorite pieces.
3. No More Pyramid of Products.
As you resolve to make your jewelry business even better in 2019, consider approaching the display of your jewelry care products as carefully as you do the jewelry in your cases. Stacking jars of cleaner in a pyramid near the cash wrap does not elevate your brand strategy. When you have invested in quality, private-label products, your display should also be representative of the luxury nature of a jewelry store brand. Consider using a quality display, designed especially for displaying jewelry care products.
4. Shine on Social Media.
Whether your focus is new brides, antique collectors, or haute couture customers, they all need to care for their jewelry. Today’s savviest jewelers and retailers will make 2019 the year that they embrace the reality that all jewelry gets dirty, it all needs some type of at-home or on-the-go care, and no one has time to get a professional cleaning every week!
Jewelry Care and Cleaning is an evergreen topic that you can use across multiple platforms to engage all types of customers. Beautiful visuals are necessary, so if you want images of your private-label jewelry care line, please reach out to your account executive to take advantage of this free service from The Kingswood Company. You are also welcome to reuse our blog content; you might even want to share some of the resolutions outlined above with your customers.
Let's resolve to make changes that elevate you, your brand, and your Clean + Care™ strategy in 2019!
Need to KnowPosted: 12/20/2018Each year, we wrap up our newsletter publication with a re-post of our most popular topic of the year. Our readers have spoken,
and the 2018 Blog of year is: Brides-to-Be Need to Know. Content that speaks to your bridal customers is the most popular story of this year, with helpful tips for blushing brides on care, and when to go back for a professional inspection.
Prince Harry has long been loved for his joie 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:
Do You Display? Luxury Products Deserve DisplayPosted: 12/04/2018In today's competitive marketplace, jewelers understand that a branding strategy for sale of merchandise must include cases, lighting, and
proper product placement to enhance the beauty and sparkle of pieces to appeal to your customers. Much like you meticulously plan the placement of your most stunning pieces, display of your custom care line must also be taken into consideration. Your custom jewelry care products are an optimal piece of your branding and the finishing touch of your product line.
The days of unprofessionally stacking jewelry care products in a misshapen pyramid have passed. When you have invested in your custom jewelry care program, you have put your brand name on quality jewelry care products that represent the luxurious nature of your store, your products, and your brand.
As a jeweler, your role is highly meaningful and expands beyond acting as a salesperson who rings up transactions. With your custom jewelry care products, you provide essential information and proper education to your customers on caring for all of their beloved pieces.
What steps can be taken to best execute your jewelry care product display?
Choose a point-of-sale display and locations in your store that allow you to present your custom jewelry care products in an attractive and cohesive manner. Point-of-sale displays are designed to best fit near your cash-wrap, repair desk or high traffic areas.
The Kingswood Company offers both in-stock and custom-designed options. Ask an Account Executive for details.
Provide jewelry care education cards to inform your customers about safe care and cleaning using your custom jewelry care products. These materials cement your status as a jewelry care expert, not just a salesperson, and are meant to go home with your customer’s purchases.
With The Kingswood Company, you can choose from stock or custom-designed education cards.
Include tester units of your custom jewelry care products in your point-of-sale display. Common at cosmetics counters, product testers provide the opportunity for your sales associates to demonstrate their knowledge and educate customers on how best to care for their purchases.
We can provide product testers and tester labels for in-store use. Ask an Account Executive for details.
Use display signage with strong messaging that appeals to your customers.
The back of your signage can include product information and selling points, giving your sales associates an easy to-use reference sheet that is always on hand.
The Kingswood Company offers a design template or can help you custom design both your point-of-sale signage and education materials. Ask an Account Executive for details.
Unify your branding strategy with a custom designed planogram for your store. A planogram allows for consistency through staff turnover and/or from store to store.
The Kingswood Company makes it easy to execute your vision, offering custom designed planograms for your point-of-sale display. Ask an Account Executive for details.
With UltrasonicsPosted: 11/05/2018Jewelry lovers love to see their beautiful baubles sparkle like new everyday. By combining routine at-home cleaning with cleanings from your
professional jeweler, this can certainly be achieved. A personal ultrasonic jewelry cleaner allows consumers to use professional technology at home. They can be a smart addition to an at-home jewelry care regime, along with liquid jewelry cleaning formulations, professional polishing cloths, jewelry cleaning wipes and more.
HOW ULTRASONICS CLEAN DEEPER
Ultrasonic cleaners generate sound waves in liquid. The vibrations from the sound waves dislodge dirt and oils from jewelry, including from the surface of gemstones and metals as well as under hard to reach settings.
DO'S AND DONT'S WITH YOUR ULTRASONIC CLEANER
The same sound vibrations that clean so effectively can also cause damage to some pieces.
Your gold, platinum, silver, diamond, sapphire jewelry and waterproof watches, if in good condition, can be safely cleaned in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Other porous gemstones like pearls, or gemstones that have had surface fractures filled with oil or resin like some emeralds, or fracture-filled rubies or diamonds. should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.
It is also important to note that ultrasonic vibrations will clean silver, but will not remove tarnish on their own.
HAVE YOUR PIECES INSPECTED BY A TRUSTED JEWELER
When a jeweler uses an ultrasonic, she will examine the piece carefully (with a loupe) for any weakness or damage before and after the cleaning While you cannot examine your own jewelry as carefully as an expert, do not use an ultrasonic on any piece that has visible damage, like a loose stone or bent or misshapen metal. Check your piece before and after use of the ultrasonic to look for damage. If you see any issues, be sure to bring it to your professional jeweler.
CLEANING OPTIONS FOR DELICATE STONES
Though you want to avoid an ultrasonic cleaner for pieces with more delicate gemstones, they can be cleaned at home using a non-ammoniated, gentle jewelry cleaning formulation from your professional jeweler. Soak the piece briefly or dampen a soft cloth with the formulation and wipe it down, then finish with a polishing cloth for a professional shine. A jewelry cleaning wipe or stick with a gentle jewelry cleaning formulation are also great options.
In the end, if you want to clean your jewelry like a pro, an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner can be a great option. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, and be aware of which gemstones can - and cannot - be safely cleaned in an ultrasonic machine.
Holiday Sparkle: Jewelry Care On The GoPosted: 10/22/2018With the holidays around the corner, many of us are getting ready for some special travel. Whether you are heading to see family, to a
resort for some holiday R&R, or for work related travel, you will likely plan to bring along some of your beautiful jewelry. Here are our top six tips for traveling with your jewelry. Be smart and sparkle!
Tip #1: Pack it correctly
Tip #2: Stick to the carry-on
Tip #3: TSA tips and advice
Tip #4: Utilize your hotel's amenities
Tip #5: Always be prepared with insurance
Tip #6: Always keep it sparkling
Meet Kathleen GeorgePosted: 10/08/2018Periodically, we like to introduce you to a member of our staff whose hard work is so integral to the outsanding products and service The Kingswood Company offers. This month, meet Kathleen George, one of our outstanding
Account Executives. Kathleen, a graduate of Miami University with a degree in biochemistry, has been with Kingswood for close to two years.
What do you love about your job?
The reason I like working in sales is that I love to help people and interact with them. At The Kingswood Company, I get to help customers determine which products would work best for their store. Together we create a really branded, stylized line that helps them with marketing and their bottom line. I really enjoy working with a variety of customers on lots of different types of projects!
You were a biochemistry major in college. How have you been able to put that knowledge to use in your job?
Being a biochemistry major, I obviously took a lot basic chemistry classes (not only biochemistry), which definitely gives me a deeper understanding of the chemistry that goes into our products. I feel like I can help my customers when they have questions about our formulas.
I also have gotten to help with product development, which has been fun. We launched our Jewelry Care Wipes at the Vegas shows this year, and I was excited to work on the formulation and quality control of that project.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love my reality TV - especially the Bachelorette! I have always loved watching it, but since I have been working at Kingswood, I am so much more aware of the beautiful jewelry they wear. I love to look at the jewelry on Instagram. Make-up is also a passion of mine, and I enjoy teaching classes and doing wedding make-up for brides. This also allows me to travel around Ohio and nearby states, which is fun. And I love checking out restaurants in Columbus, which is such a great food city. There are always new places to try, and it’s a great way to explore the city a bit. My new favorite is Arch City Tavern, which has the best burgers.
What is the last good movie you saw?
I don’t really see a lot of movies; I really prefer reality TV. La La Land was good, and so was Passengers.
Kathleen's favorite customization option is the Luxury Jewelry Cleaner Jar. "I love how
they give each formula a cosmetic, upscale look!"
Very Vintage: Keeping Heirloom Jewelry BeautifulPosted: 09/25/2018The beauty of heirloom jewelry comes from both the piece's physical loveliness as well as from the story the piece tells. As a piece of jewelry is
passed down through the generations, there is emotional resonance as the jewelry provides a connection from one generation to another. Vintage and heirloom jewelry have become increasingly popular, whether it is actually inherited from a family member or purchased from a jeweler.
One member of the Kingswood team, Heather Brown, has a number of heirloom pieces left to her by her grandmother, who knew they would be meaningful to her. They provide a special connection to the family’s past, while also being unique. Vintage pieces stand out, offering a look that varies from current trends.
One special and unusual piece is a gold charm bracelet with football, basketball and baseball charms. Each commemorates a special winning game during her grandfather’s Naval Academy playing and coaching career. An avid sports fan, Heather wears the bracelet often as a good luck charm for her kids’ games or her favorite college team. So, she needs to keep it shining for the luck to hold!
Heather cares for this piece, using a Kingswood Professional Polishing Cloth. The non-rouge inner cloth is safe for the aged gold charms, and the outer cloth buffs them to a shine.
See for yourself how much tarnish was removed from Heather's gold charms!
Heather recently found another piece of jewelry in a box of her grandmother’s. It is an intricate, silver, art deco necklace. When she found it, it was completely tarnished, but now that she has restored its shine, she plans to wear it as a statement piece this fall.
To remove years of tarnish, Heather used a Silver Jewelry Cleaner and a Professional Polishing Cloth.
Shine Smarts: Jewelry Care Starter KitsPosted: 08/21/2018Starter Kits are a popular concept with consumers in many industries - think Clinique's famous 3-Step System in skincare and BMW's
popular Complete Car Care Kit in automotive. These starter kits offer a variety of products along with specific instructions on when and how to use them. From bridal jewelry to graduation pearls, from amazing timepieces to silver jewelry and fashion pieces, your customers want (and need) to care for their beautiful jewelry at home. They will look to their professional jeweler for the tools and information to do so safely and effectively.
A Jewelry Care Starter Kit would offer products that allow your customers to clean many or all categories of jewelry in her wardrobe. Here are some sample categories to consider as you build your private-label starter care kit:
Bridal jewelry is often the first significant piece of fine jewelry a woman owns and it is generally worn daily, which means it needs frequent at-home cleaning with professional products. Help your bridal customers learn the best way to keep their precious wedding jewelry sparkling. A fine jewelry cleaning formulation with a jewelry brush is safe for gold, platinum, diamond and other harder gemstones. The brush allows for safe cleaning of delicate settings.
Whether or not you offer fashion jewelry in your store, your customers are wearing it. Fashion pieces are perfect for very trendy items, statement pieces that are price-prohibitive in precious gemstones, and for wearing to the beach or pool to protect one’s fine pieces. Most of these pieces require more gentle cleaning as they may be glue-set, use softer metals or softer gemstones. A non-ammoniated jewelry cleaning formulation and a professional polishing cloth are perfect tools for this category of jewelry.
Most women and many men wear gold, platinum and silver jewelry without set stones. These pieces develop build-up of dirt and oils and can become tarnished, so they do require at-home cleaning on a regular basis. Gold and platinum can be cleaned in a fine or gentle jewelry cleaning formulation and polished with a professional polishing cloth. To remove tarnish from sterling silver jewelry, your customers need a gentle or silver jewelry cleaning formulation and a treated polishing cloth.
Customers away from home need to freshen up their jewelry to keep it shining after the gym or at the beach. This may not be as in-depth as an at-home cleaning, so offer easy, portable and TSA-sized products for the task. A portable jewelry cleaning stick, a jewelry cleaning wipe and a professional polishing cloth are all outstanding tools for cleaning jewelry on-the-go.
Another piece that is usually worn daily, watch bracelets collect a build-up of dirt and oils which dim their shine, and can leave marks on your wrist! Even if a watch is waterproof, your customers are not comfortable soaking it in a cleaning formula and they typically do not own a steamer. So, they need another cleaning option. Polishing cloths, microfiber cloths and jewelry cleaning wipes make cleaning watches simple, as they can be used to wipe the bracelet and face, while keeping the inside mechanism dry.
A Jewelry Care Starter Kit can be custom designed to best fit your jewelry product line. Assess what categories of jewelry your customers would most need to clean to determine what products should be included. Also consider that at-home jewelry cleaning is a two-step process of cleaning and polishing, so you will want a combination of products that clean and polish. Finally, the kit should offer instructions outlining how to clean different categories of jewelry and how to use the products offered.
The Loupe: Our Shared Tool of the TradePosted: 08/07/2018Every business has its tools of the trade. One of the tools most associated with jewelers is the jeweler's loupe. It allows jewelers to gaze at the
inner beauty of a gemstone to grade clarity or to map inclusions. Loupes are also used during an inspection to assess a piece for weaknesses and damage.
At The Kingswood Company, we have our tools of the trade too. Not surprisingly, we use screen printing machines and sophisticated bottling machines that fill our jars with our trade-secret formulas. But, it might be a bit more surprising to learn that we often use a jeweler’s loupe too.
Once you approve your product artwork, an exposure vellum is created with your approved design. This is inspected with a loupe by our design team to identify any possible issues before sending your artwork to screen-making, and on to production.
Once the order is sent to production, with each order, our screen printers print a few initial jars or cloths for a pre-production quality control inspection. They look at the product carefully to ensure that the printing is up to our exacting standards, examining your logo to be sure that it has printed beautifully and matches the proof you approved. In addition to looking at them with the naked eye, our team uses a loupe for extra scrutiny. Sometimes there are issues that are not apparent at first glance but which affect the crispness of the printing, particularly over a large print run. If our screen printers have any concerns, they will meet with our design team, who will also utilize a loupe to help identify any issues and offer final approval that the execution is exact.
If any problems with the printing are identified, the loupe comes into use again. Our screen printers use it to examine the screen itself, looking for any trouble spots or signs of wear. Use of a loupe (and their skills!) allow them to make almost microscopic repairs to the screen prior to printing, again to ensure the highest quality and crispness. Just as jewelers use a loupe to see the qualities of a gemstone that affect its beauty, our team uses one to ensure our print quality is second to none.
We are very proud of our quality control systems and the hard work our production and design teams do to ensure that each product that leaves our facility meets our customers’ expectations. And we hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes glimpse at the work that goes into your private-label jewelry care products. It’s fun to note that jewelers and screen printers share a tool of the trade!
Mean Chlorine: Protecting Your Jewelry in Pool SeasonPosted: 07/25/2018Summer is here with hot, sultry days that lead to
lounging at the pool. For jewelry lovers, all this pool time poses a question: Is it safe to wear your treasured jewelry at the pool, especially since your diamond ring sparkles so beautifully in the sun? Sparkle aside, the answer is NO.
Pools and hot tubs usually contain copious quantities of chlorine to kill bacteria, viruses and more. Chlorine does a great job of keeping the water clean for swimmers, but what's good for the water you swim in isn't so good for your jewelry.
Your high school chemistry may be years behind you, but you probably remember the phrase "chemical reaction." Well, chlorine is a chemical and it reacts with metals, including silver, nickel and zinc. And, since gold is often alloyed or combined with other metals - including silver, nickel and zinc - to strengthen it, your gold jewelry will also react with the chlorine you are soaking in, doing damage in quick order.
When chlorine is in contact with your jewelry, the chemical reaction will leave behind microscopic holes in the jewelry and will cause disintegration. This weakens the metal, which in time can cause it to break. And if your prongs break, you can lose the beautiful stone it’s holding. The chemical reaction with the metals can also cause your jewelry to turn black, which is probably not the look you wanted! Finally, while diamonds and harder gemstones are not susceptible to direct damage, softer gemstones and doublets can be dulled or pitted by contact with chlorine and other chemicals.
In addition to avoiding chlorine in pools and hot tubs, similar damage can come from using cleaning products with chlorine. So, it is best to remove your jewelry when cleaning as well. And because it’s so easy for jewelry to slip off in the water, not wearing jewelry at the pool or beach is a good rule on many fronts.
If you simply must accessorize your bathing suit or caftan, consider wearing fashion jewelry, which if damaged or lost will not cause such an emotional or financial hit. And remember, any jewelry you do wear in the summer is likely to get coated in sunblock, BBQ sauce or sand, so be sure to give it a proper cleaning to keep it sparkling. Check with your jeweler for professional products that are safe for the piece of jewelry in question. Most jewelers carry a line of professional jewelry care products designed especially for the task. And if you are traveling, consider packing a jewelry cleaning stick or wipe, which are easy to tuck into your luggage and beach bag.
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