Title
FAQ
How do I care for my jewelry?

Most jewelry requires very little care other than cleaning and an occasional professional polishing. To clean your jewelry made of precious metal and stones between professional cleanings, warm soap and water and old toothbrush are the best things to use. Attention should be paid to the backs of the stones and inside where dirt and debris can collect. Nothing stronger than warm water and dish detergent are recommended as certain chemicals can react with precious metals, especially cleaning agents containing chlorine.

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Why is my white gold turning brown?

White gold isn’t really white, like platinum. It has more of a brownish cast, some variations of alloy more than others. It is commonly plated with Rhodium to make it bright. Some people refer to this process as “dipping” which is really a misnomer. The plating is done with an electric current and the rhodium is electrochemically bonded with the surface of the metal, as opposed to applying a coating as though it were painted or “dipped” in rhodium metal. Rhodium is a platinum family metal that is extremely white and very hard. Rhodium plating is similar to chrome plating that might be found on a classic car bumper.

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What are the metals commonly used to make jewelry and what are their pros and cons?

There are many metals used to make jewelry, but the main metals are yellow and white gold, platinum, silver and recently, palladium.

The karat of gold is a number assigned reflecting its purity. 24 karat gold is pure gold. It is always the same color, a deep yellow. It is a very soft, very heavy metal, softer and heavier than lead. 24 karat gold is unsuitable for almost all jewelry because of its softness. A heavy gentleman’s band made of pure gold can be bent using finger pressure alone. For this reason it is mixed with other metals. Another reason for mixing it with other metals is to change or enhance the color. The number associated with the karat of gold is used to indicate its purity by weight, not by volume. 12K would be 50% gold, 50% other metals. 14K is 58.5% pure gold by weight and is about 50% gold and 50% other metals by volume, because gold is heavier. 18K is 75% pure gold. The primary metals used to alloy gold into its various colors are silver, copper, nickel, palladium, zinc and silicon. By varying the amounts of the different metals, many different combinations can be achieved. More silver makes is it green, more copper makes it red. Nickel makes it white. Palladium makes it whiter. The addition of copper and silicon to nickel white gold makes it whiter still. Regardless of the color, the karat number still indicates the amount of gold.

 

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Do you give discounts?

Yes, we give a 20% discount on everything but diamonds and major gemstones to Law Enforcement Officers, Emergency Medical Technicians, Fire Fighters and members of the United States Military, and their immediate family members. These are people that have volunteered to take a bullet or otherwise put their lives on the line for people they don’t even know, for the single purpose of preserving the American way of life. Their family members live with that decision every day of their lives, and wake up every morning wondering “is today the day?” These are very special people and the very least we can do is say thank you.

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What are the different processes used in the creation of jewelry?

There are many, many different techniques used in the creation of jewelry, but they can be broken down into two distinctly different groups; casting and fabricating. Many of the pieces we create are made using combinations of both. Casting involves the creation of a mold, melting of the metal and pouring or injecting of the molten metal into the mold.

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How long will it take?

For most custom work, allow about two to three weeks. Some extremely labor intensive pieces or pieces requiring sourcing of unusual materials or outside expertise can take significantly more time; less labor intensive pieces can be done much more quickly. The time required is also somewhat dependent on the number of steps requiring your approval, and how quickly you can come in to approve of the work so far. You are quite welcome to be as involved as you like in the process, including watching the casting process.

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Can I watch while you set my diamond?

Yes, you can. However, allow at least three hours. We also require that you make an appointment, and there is an additional charge for this service.

 

 
Can you re-use my old gold and platinum?

Yes we can, but…. There are two main reasons that people would like to re-use their old metal. The first is to save money. The second is because of the sentimental value of having some of a family piece continuing on in a new form. These are good reasons, but there is a reason why it can be less than a great option.

 

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Do you work in metals other than platinum?

We work in every metal and material commonly used in the fabrication of jewelry, including 9K, 10K, 14K, 18K white, yellow, rose and green gold, 22K and 24K yellow gold, iridium and ruthenium platinum, palladium, palladium / gold alloys, fine, sterling and Argentium silver, copper, brass, steel, aluminum, titanium, wood, bone, stone, enamel and plastics. There’s not a much we can’t work with.

 

 

 
Is Jewelry a good investment?

The answer to this question is another question. What kind of return are you looking for? If you want to buy a diamond ring so that you can keep it for a while and resell it for more than you paid for it, then no. It’s not a good investment. A quick reading of today’s headlines about jewelry stores and chains going out of business these days will demonstrate that even long time professional jewelry buyers are having a hard time making money by reselling jewelry, and they’re buying wholesale! A certificate of deposit will give you a much better return, even with today’s rates.

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What is your guarantee?

That is a tough question for many jewelry stores, but for us it’s easy. If you are not 100% happy with anything we do for you, even the smallest, seemingly insignificant detail, tell us. We want to make it right but we can only fix it if we know there is a problem. We have only one purpose, and that is to make our customers happy.

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What happens to the little pieces you remove from my jewelry?

We try to return everything removed from your jewelry, but some pieces and filings are just too small. Most of the pieces are of a very small value, but it is our philosophy that anything that is removed from your jewelry during its repair was yours when you brought it in and should still be yours when you leave. If it is larger than two millimeters in any dimension or large enough to hold with your fingers we will return it to you. Many jewelry stores will not return leftover bits and pieces unless you ask. In addition many will charge extra for the service. They consider it theirs, especially those that don’t work on your jewelry on premises. We will never do that.

 

 
How do I know I’ll get my diamond back if I leave my jewelry for repair?

The best way is to know your diamond. Diamonds are as individual as fingerprints. We can show you your diamond under a video microscope and point out its individual characteristics. Every diamond has at least one identifying feature and once you know where and what it is, you can identify your diamond to the exclusion of all others. This individuality applies to just about every facet of your jewelry, even the metal parts. If you would like, for a small charge we can make a DVD of the microscopic examination that you can keep so that you can identify it years from now, anywhere you go.

 

 
What is my jewelry worth? and How can I find out if I got what I paid for?

The short answer to “what is my jewelry worth” is that there is no short answer. It’s a tough question, as there are usually several different answers requiring a few more questions. Did you just buy it or inherit it and want to insure it? Did you just buy it and want to make sure you didn’t pay too much? Did you just inherit it or receive it as a gift and need to pay taxes on it or make sure it’s fair to everyone in the family? Do you want to use it as collateral on a loan? Do you want to sell it? If so, how quickly do you need the money? A single piece of jewelry can have several quite different values based on the answers to these questions.

 

We can help you figure out the rough value of your jewelry based on which of the values you want to know, but we may need to do an appraisal of one type or another if you want to know in any detail what you really have or if you need to know for legal or insurance reasons.

 

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