Tuesday, 1 August 2017

How To Choose Diamond Earrings

Thank you for joining us on imagine diamonds. There’s a line in Lewis Carroll’s beloved Alice in Wonderland in which Alice asks the Cheshire cat which she should go to. He asks her where she’s going and she replies that she doesn’t know. If you don’t know where you’re going, the cat replies, any road will lead you there. In other words if you don’t really care where you end up, then it doesn’t really matter which path you take.

I think of this exchange whenever someone asks me for advice on a jewellery purchase, particularly earrings because the types are so varied. If you truly don’t care about the type, style and quality of your diamond earrings, if you’re just looking for something prettier, a quick solution for at last mini gift, it doesn’t matter which pair you choose. If however, you do have preferences, ideas about your perfect pair and would just like to get some help getting there, some help with choosing diamond earrings, let me see what I can do about helping you narrow down the possible paths.

Choosing a pair of diamond earrings comes down to two components, the style and the diamonds. By style we of course mean the type of earrings, are they small and dainty, large and gaudy and when it comes to the diamonds of course we need any all included in the pair whether that means two large studs or dozens of small stones embedded a pair of chandeliers.

The style, let’s start with that. You’ve heard me say this before and that I’ve always insist that a person start with the overall style they are looking for before turning attention to the actual diamonds themselves, because until you have a framework you hardly know what your diamond needs will be really and as we’ll see, when we get to the diamond section of the post, importance and prominence  of the diamonds and constantly the degree to which you must carefully select, depend entirely on the style of earrings you choose to buy.

So let’s look at a few examples that should give you some ideas when choosing diamond earrings. Hoops are one of the most commonly seen types of diamond earrings of all time, they’re versatile, can go with anything, ease make them at popular choice. At times I’ve heard complaints that hoops are a bit boring, in that the only aspect you can really customize is the size of the hoops but they’re no fuss, simplicity’s will likely always make them favourite.

With hoops it’s particularly important to make sure that diamond appears to be uniform in size and colour. If one is noticeably darker than all the rest it will stand out dramatically. Drop earrings are so-called due to the way they literally drop from the ear, usually they bear sizeable gems or perhaps a cluster of smaller gems. These are popular on the red carpet and there’s typically a good variety of options available. Make sure the pair you are eyeing is particularly sizable or gaudy that you make sure that it isn’t too much of a pull on the earlobe itself, as this can distract them the overall presentation.

Now a few words about chandelier earrings, they got their name from their appearance which hangs down from the earring, ornate and glamorous pattern of sparkle and flair, much like a chandeliers are popular in part, because each pair tends to be very unique. You can go over your whole life and never see a chandelier duplicated and the same type of a variety can be found in the chandelier earring style. Of course one can’t forget the classic and most popular option of all, the stud. Yes diamond stud earrings, though like hoops and the perceived lack of creativity perhaps reign supreme with a higher degree of diamond earrings. One thing to keep in mind about studs, however obvious this may seem, is that more so than any other style of the diamond earring we’ve discussed the diamonds themselves are much more important.

While you always want to be the diamonds in the earrings to be of superior quality, cut and polish, in the case of studs, the diamonds are the earrings, so you can’t scrimp on a selection. The diamonds, this selection is particularly important if you’re looking into studs or perhaps drops with sizeable diamonds. Again you always want the best diamonds that you can afford, but in the case of say a pair of chandelier earrings embedded with a dozen tiny diamonds you won’t need to opt out for the best.

The diamonds simply aren’t big enough and hence won’t be noticed in the same way that studs will. But back to diamond education which begins with shape and cut. Studs come in all kinds of diamond shapes, so this becomes a matter of personal preference. Round brilliants are by far the most common brilliant cuts and in general also show more fire and sparkle in the mix or step cut stones like emeralds.

The bigger the diamonds in your earrings the more important the clarity is. While there’s no need to pay for flawless diamonds, nor should you ever, ever go in anywhere near the other end of the scale. The I1 I2 or I3 category of included diamonds, anything in the VVS, VS or SI1 categories is perfectly acceptable.

Keep in mind, again, this becomes more important the diamonds are big that si1 diamonds are slightly cooler than that it may be possible though unlikely for some flaws and inclusions to be seen by the naked eye. Colour of course is also exasperated by how big the diamonds are and the bigger they are the more noticeable it will be, if you’ve chosen a colour grade with a hint of borderline yellow. Stick to something in the colourless range, these will have letter grades D, E or F or the near colours range better grades from G through J. Telling me the possibility of faint yellow or brown colour and once you’ve put this all together, the carat weight you will settle for on stud’s will ultimately be determined by your budget.

Keep it in mind, that you can always tweak any of the four C’s in order to adjust as needed and one thing I’ve always liked to remind people of, is that one needn’t not go big when it comes to studs. Small ones can suffice just fine. I have a pair of studs that I’ve sold to some of my customers one tenth and I don’t feel like a pauper when I give them to the clients. I feel glamorous that people are comfortable wearing these. Why? Because sometimes a small pair of studs defines woman’s beauty and her modesty.

Lewis Carroll’s analogy of the beginning of the post more likely to end up the perfect pair of earrings if you are coming to the decision already clear on what exactly is that you’re looking for. You’re much more likely to find the correct road to take and to ultimately get there much faster when you have some preferences for the goal. To learn more visit imagine diamonds and just to demonstrate some of the types of diamonds that we’ve talked about today, here’s a few samples.

This is the popular hoop earrings, as you can see diamonds are clearly set, was the perfect example, then we have the huggy earrings, much smaller than the hoop, but still a very classic look. Okay and then we have the drop earrings, which people like to wear on the red carpet. For more views and details of diamonds please visit imaginediamonds.com

Thank you.

How To Choose Diamond Earrings

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Gold Testing (What Gold Buyers Don"t Want You to Know!)

Right, hi guys. Today I’m going to show you how to check the karat, the weight, and the value of your gold before you send it out to any gold buyers in the mail and or take it to your local jeweller. Get rid of it, trade it out for cash for gold.

Alright so we’re going to start with this 21 karat gold chain I have here, you can see that or not, come closer and but we can do is take a loop right here which I got actually on eBay with all of this stuff right here. This is all the testing solutions for platinum, 22 karat gold, 18 karat, 14 karat, ten and also silver. Got a little stone right here, I’ll show you how, what that is used for in a second and also a jewellers scale right here.

I got all of these things right here on eBay for 20 bucks okay super cheap and super worth it if you’re going to you know if you’re considering selling your gold jewellery. So you know, have a good idea of what it’s worth before you just blindly put it in the mail and get whatever you get not knowing you know what it’s really worth. Because people will pay you less, not more. So on that note to test this necklace to see if it’s really you know a 21 karat piece, because a lot of times some pieces will be stamped one thing but not read for what it is stamped for it, could be you know nineteen karat or 18 karat versus 21, sometimes that happens you know.

So what we’re going to do is take this chain and rub it on this stone so we leave a trace of the necklace on the stone. What we’re going to do now is take the highest solution that I have here, the 22 karat, you always no matter what you’re testing, always start with a higher grade of solution and by the way this is a blend of muriatic and nitric acid; highly corrosive, don’t get it on your skin.

9ct Round Curb Chain (HM-CUR-0005)-335It’s very easy to manage in these little eyedropper bottles, so just put one drop on the stripe that you put on there, just smear it on there and you wait a few seconds and start to see what happens here is that if the karat of gold it’s less than the solution that you are using on it, it will be dissolved, it will be pretty much disappear under the solution. See how you can see the gold stripe is kind of clearing up, it’s breaking up, the acid is eating the base metals of the little the gold that’s in there, breaking it off the stone. So you know it’s definitely not a 22 karat chain, okay doesn’t say that it is, but that’s what we have to start with.

So we’re going to wipe it off that stone, we’re going to make another stripe of gold on the stone, okay and then we’re going to go down to the next solution, the 18 karat solution. Now again just a drop is enough, just rub it on there and see what happens.

Now you may or may not be able to see this but the gold is still on the stone. Okay you can still see the gold particles they’re not lifting off the stone so much as they were when the 22 carat solution was on there. So we know it’s definitely at least 18 carat, if not higher.

Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt that is a 21 carat gold chain. Clear that up, put that aside, next thing we’re going to do is weigh it. Okay you’re on the jeweller scale you turn it on and you don’t touch it, you don’t touch the table or anything let it set itself at zero and gently put the gold on there and it shows 24 grams.

You see that? Put it over, 24 grams okay and with that we’re going to calculate the value of the gold. Today on kitco.com, which is the website that most gold buyers refer to when they are checking the precious metal price, the current metal price of the day whether it’s platinum, gold, silver what-have-you. Today was 1181 or when I checked it, it changes all you know minute by the minute by the hour it was 1181 per troy ounce.

Now there are but I have 24 grams here how does that relate to a troy ounce? Well there are 31.1 grams in a troy ounce, so what we’re going to do, the way we’re going to calculate this, is we’re going to start with the world spot price per troy ounce which is 1181.  Okay 1181 and we’re going to divide that by 31.1 because that’s how many grams are in a troy ounce.

So we’ll see how much per troy ounce gold is going or how much per gram gold is going for. So divided by 31.1 equals 37.97; okay $39.97 per gram for 24 karat gold. We do not have 24 karat gold here, we have 21 karat gold, divide this by 24, breaking down per carat 24 and then we have to multiply that by the karat that we have. To see what that worth is, times 21 karat equals, so we have here is $33.22 for the karat I have.

Okay that’s on the world spot, that’s not what we’re going to get. We are going to multiply that by 24 grams, all right and that gives us $797.45 on the world spot price. But we’re not going to get a hundred percent of that, you know we’re going to take whatever, we’re going to get the difference between the gold buyer, what the gold buyer will pay us.

Typically they’ll keep, you know, if you’re just taking a couple pieces it’s between between 10 and 30% that the gold buyer will keep and you will get the rest. So we get 70 to 90 percent of what the world spot price is of the gold that you have. So on the 797 let’s say I know someone who will pay me 90% okay of world spot price, just for this one piece. A lot of times they’ll pay you more, the more gold the more pieces you have, the more percentage they will give you of the world spot price.

So let’s say so we’re going to multiply that times 0.9 797 times 0.9 equals $717.71; so this beautiful 21 karat gold chain, I can get today, 717 dollars for. On that note get rid of your old gold and cash out know what you’re taken to the bank pretty much, so you don’t get ripped off and good luck.

Video Credit – Sandro Marino

Gold Testing (What Gold Buyers Don"t Want You to Know!)

Monday, 17 July 2017

Charm Bracelets

The wire wrapping here is quite secure for adding charms to a bracelet. When using jump rings however, it is necessary for them to be soldered closed. A jump ring will easily open if not soldered, so make sure you visit a jeweller to have the jump rings on your charm bracelet secured. An alternative is to use Link-Locks, these are very secure and can easily be fitted at home with a small pair of pliers or tweezers. You wouldn’t want to lose your charms because you hadn’t fitted them properly.


For the charm bracelet base we’re going to start with a length of chain. The chain is cut to the length of what you’d need it for, to fit you and this chain in particular we can either use flush cutters to cut the connectors apart or we can open them up. They’re like these little staples that can be opened and the chain, just take it off. So I’ll save that connector for something else and we’ll start with working with this piece of chain.

To one end we will add our jump ring, so open up the jump ring and put on the lobster clasp. We’ll have our base bracelet ready to go for making it extra pretty, because I particularly really love this chain. But with all the terms added to it is even better.

There we go okay for this charm that we’re going to add I’m going to take a head pin and cut off the head and that gives me a great length of wire to work with. Just cut off the head and now I’ve got a length of wire and on one end I will form a wrapped loop. Before I get to the wrapping part I’ll add my charm, so it’s connected securely to the length of wire.

Open the loop, slip on the loop of the charm, close the loop back up and wrap the wire to complete that wrap loop and securely connect the charm. Now we’re going to do a second wrap loop on the same length of wire so you don’t need to make this section too long, too many wraps, once you’ve got enough and everything’s secure we’ll trim the excess.

Tuck in that end and then form the second loop above the first. Again we’ll start the loop get it so that I’ve got a nice round at the top and then open that loop up. Add it to the chain, close the loop so it’s connected to that link on the chain and then finish the wrap. You’ll want to work it until it’s a nice neat wrap, trim the excess and tuck in that tail. Make sure that everything is nice and clean, until it’s as perfect as you want it.

gold bracelet and charms

Now the bracelet is ready for some colour. On an eye pin I’ve strung a couple of spacer beads and this beautiful crystal bead and I will form a wrapped loop. Now this is an eye pin so it’s a little shorter, so you won’t have a whole lot of length of wire to wrap with. You could also consider doing a simple loop and that would be fine too.

We’ll connect it to the chain, pick anywhere you still have a lot of room to work with on the chain, slip it on, close it back up and then finish that wrap. Then once that wrap is secure I’ll use the loop on the bottom that was from the original eye pin. Open that up and I’ll add a bead to dangle which is just a bead add it to a head pin finish with a simple loop; and that gives me a nice extended dangle as well as gives me a some nice movement, on the charm bracelet.

So we to this point we have our charms added using a double wrapped loop, we have dangles added with a double simple loop and then an additional dangle added with a simple loop on a head pin. One of the other options would be to on a longer head pin create a wrapped loop and add that dangle.

So we’re really just filling up the charm bracelet. Once the wrap is finished we’ll trim the tail, tuck it in, because you’ll be wearing this you want to make sure all the ends are tucked, in so it’s nice and neat, doesn’t catch on your sweaters or your shirt or your skin.

You can add a charm also using a jump ring, just open a jump ring slip on the charm and just make sure you orient the face of the charms to feed the same direction as the other charms, so that everything’s facing the right way. For some added extra texture and some movement, I’m going to take a twisted wire jump ring and add it over, well just choose this one. And it’ll just hang down nicely over the bead because it’s just big enough to still have movement, but not so big that it falls down over the beads. Just continue adding it until the bracelet is nice and full and in any pattern that you like. We’ll take our leftovers and we’re going to move into the next project.

Video Credit –  www.firemountaingems.com

Charm Bracelets

Monday, 10 July 2017

Jewellery Repair


Most of the large chain jewellery stores you will find in shopping malls today are simply retail stores. This is a far cry from 30 or 40 years ago, before shopping centres became widespread, and the ‘shops’ you visited on the main street were individual stores run by qualified jewellers.

Finding a real ‘bench jeweller’ isn’t that difficult and you will get personal service from the actual jeweller working on your jewellery. Being able to directly discuss your requirements with the jeweller who will be doing the hands on work is worth spending a few minutes to find a local jeweller. Recommendations from friends will help to find someone you can trust or contact the JAA for a list of jewellers local to you.

The charm bracelets that we supply our customers have the charms fitted here at the Chain Me Up in-house workshop. We also produce our own range of handmade bracelets and earrings, but for complex repairs or creating a new design entirely, we have our own jeweller on the Gold Coast. When our customers come to us with a request for something we don’t have or can’t do, we send them directly to our own jeweller. We don’t charge them or receive a commission for the referral.

Having jewellery repaired or valued has become a task that nearly all major stores send to an independent technician, rather than having a qualified in-store jeweller. The upside to this is that the technician will usually be used by many of the stores in that chain and will be both qualified and competent. They wouldn’t get repeat business otherwise and a large retail chain will feed them a considerable amount of work. The downside to leaving your jewellery repairs to a national chain store is that they will add a mark-up to any work they sub-contract out, costing you more.

Just about everyone has had their jewellery repaired at some point in time. Did you ever wonder what happens to your jewellery when you drop it off at the repair shop? Well today we’re filming from our jewellery repair and manufacturing facility right here at our Beecher road location in Flint.

To give you kind of a behind-the-scenes look as to what happened the multi-step process that every item goes through when it’s brought to our store for repair. Now this is where it all happens but this obviously isn’t where it starts. It all starts when our customer brings in their jewellery. We never take lightly the confidence bestowed upon us by our customers when they leave their valuable jewellery with us.

Whether the items have great actual value or just sentimental value, we go to great lengths to see that the items are given the care they deserve. When dropped off the article undergoes its first of four different inspection processes. Our associate inspects the items not only to verify the repair requested by our customers but also to ensure that there aren’t other pressing needs that can be dealt with while the item is in our possession.

After inspection is finished and all details of repairs explained to the customer, the repair is entered into our computer system detailing a description of the items and a description of the repairs to be done. A digital photograph of each item is also taken, from multiple angles if necessary, that will follow the item as it progresses through each process of the repair.

We then scan each envelope into our computer so that we know exactly where in the process each particular repair is at any particular time. If the item is a watch the job is handed off to our in-house watchmaker and founder and my father Bob Gaines.  Anything else is carried to our in-house jewellery repair facility.

Many jewellery stores have to shift their jewellery out to be repaired to a facility out of the city or sometimes out of state, but no frequent flyer miles for the jewellery left here at Gaines. Barring something very unusual this is as far as any of the jewellery goes.

After a thorough cleaning one of our Goldsmith’s does yet another inspection of their own before work on the article begins. We do a variety of bench work in our facility ranging from prong work to sizing to intricate design and actual jewellery creation. One thing we are proud of is the fact that we own one of the very few laser welding machines in Genesee County. This new technology allows us to work on a heat sensitive items in a manner that allows us a better repair and it’s safer for the article itself.

While the traditional method of joining gold is to use gold solder the laser welder allows us to actually melt the metal together. With the laser being so focused all this is done while holding the article in our bare hand it’s, truly remarkable.

Once the work is completed each piece endures a rigorous polishing cleaning and steaming process. It is after this process is complete that the true beauty of the article becomes evidence. Before releasing the item our Goldsmith’s do yet another inspection just to make sure the repair is correct and the stones are tight and it’s ready to go.

As a final check each job then goes through one final inspection done by myself or one of our associates, just to make sure everything is clean secure and ready to be worn by the customer. Once that is done the customer is notified that their item is ready. Well I hope you enjoyed our little how we do it repair video. Thanks for allowing us to give you a little behind-the-scenes looking to our repair shop and how things work. Remember if you like to be notified when we put out more new informative videos be sure and click the follow us links it’ll pop up here in just a minute and we’ll see you next time.

Jewellery Repair