Jeweler Spotlight: Denise Chislett, CGA, Underwood Jewelers, Florida

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Denise Chislett, CGA, Underwood Jewelers

The American Gem Society had a chance to speak with Denise Chislett, CGA, from Underwood Jewelers, which is located in these four Florida locations: San Marco, Ponte Verde Beach, Avondale, and in the Mall of the Avenues.

The CGA title after Denise’s name means she is an American Gem Society (AGS) Certified Gemologist Appraiser: the most highly regarded title among peers in the jewelry industry. In order to earn this title, the associate requires advanced training and experience in determining the value of diamonds and gemstones.

Denise Chislett is also the chair—and one of the founding members—of the AGS Young Titleholders (YTs) Committee. The YTs is a fun and energetic group of individuals who celebrate their hard-earned AGS titles, and they represent the next generation of leaders in the jewelry industry and the American Gem Society.

Denise shares with us her favorite jewelry styles, trends and pet peeves, and the importance of shopping with an AGS-credentialed jeweler.

Describe your jewelry style:
I only wear yellow gold; it looks better on my skin. One of my favorites is a men’s Rolex in yellow gold. It makes me even happier that yellow gold is in style right now. For earrings, I always wear studs—everywhere. To the beach or even to the pool.

Do you have any diamond obsessions?
Oval diamonds: they are my favorite cut diamonds. I love the shape and how it elongates your finger. Oval cuts are coming into trend, too!

Speaking of trends, what other trends should we pay attention to?
There is a trend toward solitaire rings or a single, beautifully cut diamond with a couple of side stones.

Although we only have another month or so left of summer, what is your favorite go-to jewelry for the season?
I tend to wear lighter colored stones like turquoise or lapis. In general, I wear more shades of blue! It doesn’t differentiate that much from other seasons since I live in Florida!

Favorite underappreciated gemstone:
The opal. This year at JCK [the industry’s largest jewelry and gemstone event] it was all about opals. I predict it is going to be a huge trend.

Do you have any jewelry pet peeves?
I don’t like matching jewelry. If I’m wearing Roberto Coin earrings, I probably will wear a necklace by someone else that is in yellow gold.

We are always telling our readers to buy jewelry from a credentialed, American Gem Society jeweler. As one such jeweler, what advice do you have for jewelry buyers looking for a personal jeweler?
When you visit an AGS-certified store, you are going to get a passionate professional who is not only highly educated on jewelry and gemology, but you are going to get someone with a good reputation that you can trust to give you great service and good advice. So many AGS-certified jewelers have been in business for decades, and some for more than a century, and continuously uphold their great reputations as ethical jewelers.

What do you do in your store that makes you different from other jewelers?
There are so many ways that you can differentiate yourself. We show our customers how to evaluate a diamond’s light performance with the American Gem Society’s ASET® (Angular Spectra Evaluation Tool). We also discuss with our customers the scientific difference with AGS Laboratories Diamond Grading Reports. Our customers truly appreciate that we can explain the various complexities of diamonds and jewelry with them.

Below are a few shots of Denise’s favorite jewelry:

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Top Left: 18kt yellow and white gold Barocco diamond chandelier earrings by Roberto Coin
Top Right: 18kt yellow gold moonstone ring by Erica Courtney
Bottom Left: 18kt yellow gold Rolex President; 18kt yellow gold bangles by Forevermark; green tourmaline bracelet by Erica Courtney
Bottom Right: 18kt yellow gold bezel set diamond pendant by Underwood Jewelers

Band Together with Jewelers Mutual

shutterstock_304744727-ringJewelers Mutual Insurance Company wants you to help decide how to spend a record-breaking $2 million it will donate to three important causes this summer: health, home and hunger. As part of its “Band Together” campaign, Jewelers Mutual is inviting you, the jewelry industry, and the public to help by voting online for your nonprofit of choice.

From now until July 31, 2016, you may cast a vote daily at JewelersMutual.com/BandTogether for either Habitat for Humanity®, Feeding America® and Food Banks Canada, or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. At the end of the campaign, each nonprofit will receive a portion of the $2 million donation based on the number of votes it receives.

For everyone who casts votes, the campaign offers an extra incentive beyond the chance to help your favorite nonprofit. Every individual who answers the call to “Band Together” online will be eligible to win a set of three stacking bands from Stacked New York. Over the duration of the campaign, Jewelers Mutual is giving away three of their exquisite sets. Winning participants will be randomly selected at the end of each week of voting.

The charitable cause that receives the most votes by the end of July will receive the $1 million grand prize from Jewelers Mutual. The runner-up will get $700,000 and $300,000 will go to the third-place winner.

“Band Together” with Jewelers Mutual to make the world a better place by voting today!

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Tips from Jewelers Mutual: How Much Should an Engagement Ring Cost?

Whenever you gaze upon the sparkling engagement ring on your fiancée’s finger, you should be excited about the plans you two have for the future. Those plans should not include making continual payments on that engagement ring. Before making one of the most expensive jewelry purchases you may possibly make in your life, do some research and be aware of what you’re spending. In the following blog, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company gives their advice on how much an engagement ring should cost and how to fit it into your budget.


By Chelsea Drusch, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the old adage advises an engagement ring should cost roughly the equivalent of two months’ salary.

The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that works out to roughly $6,400, on average.

That’s not too far off from the average engagement ring cost of $5,978, according to The Knot’s 2015 Bridal Jewelry Trends Report.

However, a recent GOBankingRates survey of 5,000 adults indicates that popular opinion on how much an engagement ring should cost reflects a stark contrast with reality.

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Photo courtesy of GoBankingRates.com.

By far, the most popular response to “How much do you feel should be spent on an engagement ring? was less than $1,000.

Only 7% of respondents felt that the national average cost of $5,978 was the right price tag.

Answers varied by age range, as can be expected, but the overarching theme is that no single price range is right for everyone.

So, how do you decide how much to spend on your engagement ring?

Start with choosing one of these four strategies:

Set a Budget and Stick to It

This is the most common strategy, according to The Knot’s survey.

45% of participating brides and grooms said they set a budget and stuck to it. Another 29% set a budget, but exceeded it, while 10% more set one, but stayed under the allotted amount.

Combined, that means 83% of couples went into the engagement ring shopping experience with a budget in mind.

The downside to this strategy? It limits your options right off the bat.

If you set a certain budget before heading in to check out any rings, you may find that your budget is going to leave you (or your fiancée-to-be) disappointed.

Instead of budget first, ring second, you could …

Ring Shop, Then Save

Especially if this is your first major jewelry purchase, you may wind up with a more satisfying result if you determine exactly what parameters your ring must meet to satisfy your expectations before determining a hard-and-fast budget.

Make a date of it and do some ring shopping together. After all, 66% of brides-to-be participate in the engagement ring shopping process, again according to The Knot.

If you’re willing to stick out the pre-engaged phase for a little while, picking your dream ring and then saving up to pay for it straight-up is a great option.

Finance Your Ring Purchase

Already have a dream ring in mind? One that doesn’t quite match your cash flow?

If waiting to get engaged isn’t an option, or at least isn’t a preferable option, there’s always financing.

Just keep in mind that whatever debt you take on pre-marriage will follow you both into your married years, when you’re likely to accumulate more debt from additional large purchases.

Money Under 30 has a great guide to financing an engagement ring.

Buy Smart, Upgrade Later

Maybe you have a particular type of ring in mind, it doesn’t fit your current budget, but financing doesn’t appeal to you either.

Consider choosing a more affordable ring now, with a plan to upgrade a few years down the road.

Many jewelers have trade-in programs that allow you to purchase a new piece for up to double the value of the item you’re trading in. If you’re not overly sentimental about the exact diamond presented in the proposal, this route could be just right.

Even if you aren’t too keen on parting with the memory-laden diamond that made you a fiancée, you can always work with your jeweler to choose or design an affordable ring that’s conducive to upgrading without sacrificing too much of its original integrity.

In Conclusion

How much should an engagement ring cost? In the end, it should cost as much as is right for your preferences, goals, and budget.

Hopefully the four strategies above help get you started in the right direction.

Get Ready for Rubies!

For those born in July, the ruby—the king of precious stones—is your birthstone.

Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum, colored by the element chromium. All other colors of gem-quality corundum are called sapphire, which means color is key for this royal stone.

The chromium that gives ruby its red color also causes fluorescence, which makes rubies glow like a fire from within. Paradoxically, chromium is also what makes this gem scarce because it can cause cracks and fissures. Few rubies actually grow large enough to crystallize into fine quality gems, and these can bring even higher prices than diamonds.

Accordingly, the name “ruby” comes from rubeus, the Latin word for red. In ancient Sanskrit, ruby translated to ratnaraj, which meant “king of precious stones.” These fiery gems have been treasured throughout history for their vitality.

Tough and durable, ruby measures 9 on the Mohs scale. Diamond is the only natural gemstone harder than ruby. Ruby’s strength and red fluorescence make it valuable for applications beyond jewelry. Both natural and synthetic rubies are used in watchmaking, medical instruments and lasers.

Due to its deep red color, ruby has long been associated with the life force and vitality of blood. It is believed to amplify energy, heighten awareness, promote courage and bring success in wealth, love and battle. Many cultures regard the ruby as a symbol of love and passion, and have long been considered the perfect wedding gem.

Rubies make wonderful gifts for a July baby, or anyone marking an important milestone, like a 15th or 40th wedding anniversary. If you’re in search of rubies as a gift or to add to your jewelry wardrobe, visit our Find a Jeweler search for an AGS credentialed jeweler near you.

In the meantime, relish in these stunning designs featuring the ravishing ruby!


Gregg Ruth

GreggRuth-Pendant

The Tropez Pendant by Gregg Ruth features 2.48Cts of rubies and 0.20Cts of white diamonds.


Armadani

Armadani-rubyearrings

Armadani designed these lovely ruby and diamond flowers studs set in 18k white gold.


Michael Schofield

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Michael Schofield designed this fantastic brooch of rubies and diamonds set in 18k white gold.


Lika Behar

LikaBehar-RubyPendant

The Rosalie Necklace by Lika Behar features a rose cut ruby slice surrounded by champagne diamonds, and set in 24k gold and oxidized silver.


AG Gems

AGGems-RubyEarrings

These earrings by AG Gems feature marquise, cushion and round cut rubies cascading down 18k yellow gold swirls set with diamonds.


OMI Privé

OmiPrive-bracelet

OMI Prive designed this exquisitely detailed ruby and diamond bracelet, set in platinum with 18k yellow gold.


Christopher Designs

ChristopherDesigns-rubyring

The ruby in this ring design by Christopher Designs is 3.64ct, surrounded by 1.02ct Crisscut Round diamonds.

 


 

Best in Bridal and Beyond: ASHI Diamonds

By Randi Molofsky

Happen to be in the market for the perfect ring to exchange over “I do’s?” Look no further than American Gem Society member, ASHI Diamonds. With innovative collections like Lovebright—where smaller diamonds are seamlessly set together to create the look of a larger diamond—and complete bridal sets in white, yellow and pink gold in styles for contemporary, vintage and traditional women. ASHI’s designs will last a lifetime and beyond. We went behind the scenes with Paras Pandya, a director at ASHI Diamonds, to find out what makes them a leader in diamond jewelry.

 

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Lovebright Bridal Engagement Rings

 

What makes ASHI stand out from other diamond companies?

From the very beginning, ASHI’s focus has always been on providing the very best quality in any venture we pursue. Our passion for fine jewelry reveals itself in our craftsmanship, and no detail is too minor. This mindset has allowed us to create strong relationships throughout the industry, and it’s that same quality that has now become synonymous with ASHI.

We spend months during the development process, from concept to final creation, and often, pieces can be sent back to our manufacturing facilities up to 10 times before final approval. All the hard work we put in culminates in one perfect, unforgettable moment—when she sees the perfect ring inside the box. It’s a true privilege to be an integral player in one of life’s most precious moments, and creating memories like this are what inspires us to expect more from ourselves.

What are the most-wanted ASHI pieces? 

As for what’s moving and generating the most buzz, we’ve seen particular strength in the latest Bridal and Lovebright collections. I think they both provide a really great combination of design and quality. We truly love what we do, so our core focus has and will continue to be to provide amazing designing as well as the best finishing and craftsmanship available today. Whether she’s got modern flair, has an elegant charm, or that timeless vintage look, ASHI has the ring of her dreams, the perfectly unique one for her.

Lovebright studs

Lovebright Round Cut Diamond Earrings in 14K Rose and White Gold

 

What are some of today’s biggest bridal jewelry trends? 

The bridal jewelry business is one that vows to be there for the jewelry industry through thick and thin. And with the not-so-recent advent of the internet, future brides have access to literally thousands of designs at their fingertips. They have more options, and at the same time, want something truly unique. As a result, we’re seeing a huge influx of customization, anything from changing the gold color of a certain component to a near overhaul of the original design. We’re more than happy to fulfill their requests because often studying these customization requests gives us an insight into the tastes of today’s bride. The desire for something truly unique pushes our design development process to its limits, leading our team to search far and wide for design inspiration.

Pink gold engagement set

From the I Do Collection, a 14K White and Pink Gold Wedding Set

This year’s brides have a particular penchant for two and three-tone designs as well as fancy shaped center stones—all of which are ways of personalizing and differentiating one of her most treasured possessions. Bands are another way of adding a unique element, and today’s brides are stacking up to three different bands with their engagement rings and often in non-traditional designs or materials.

yellow gold stack band

From the I Do Collection, a 14K Yellow Gold Stack Band

Use our online Find a Jeweler search to locate an AGS credentialed jeweler near you and tell them you would like to see one of these great creations by Ashi!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Every Dad

By Robin Skibicki

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 19. If you haven’t thought about a gift for your dear Dad, we have a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Just like Mom, Dad appreciates a gift of quality that will last a lifetime. Styles and trends may come and go, so be sure to find something that fits your Dad’s personality and lifestyle.

The Fun & Funky Father

This is the Dad who always has a fun story to share, a silly joke to tell, and got a kick out of embarrassing you when you were a kid! The Triangle Puzzle Ring by Mark Schneider matches this fun personality. Its two-tone 14k white and yellow gold with 0.205ctw diamonds.

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Looking for something different and slightly exotic? The Legends Naga Dragon Head bracelet by John Hardy is sterling silver and 18K bonded gold. The eyes are set with African rubies.

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The Fan-atic Father

If your Dad is a sports fan, he’ll cheer for these two sporty styles by Lashbrook Designs. Die-hard baseball fan? Go with the cobalt chrome 8mm band with baseball “stitching.” Dedicated basketball fan? Pick the titanium 8mm domed band with the basketball pattern.

The Fit Father

For men who live a very active lifestyle, purchase titanium jewelry. It’s the hardest of the metals, therefore more scratch, dent and bend resistant. Hearts On Fire designed this durable yet lightweight gray titanium ring. It’s highlighted by a cable rope running through the center, and one small, single diamond.

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The Factual Father

He likes to keep things simple. John Hardy designed a reversible, flat chain bracelet that’s sterling silver on one side and bronze on the other. Who doesn’t appreciate the versatility and convenience of reversible jewelry?

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Two-toned designs are very popular because they work with any look. The Grand Signature Bracelet by Ed Levin Jewelry is sporty, comfortable, classic and bold. No fuss, no muss.

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The Formal Father

The French cuff, whether worn with a business suit or a tux, always lends a formal feel to any look. Add a pair of stylish cufflinks, like these sterling silver and genuine onyx links by Stuller, for a finished touch!

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Dad deserves some bling, too! This design by Unique Settings of New York is timeless and stylish, with just the right amount of sparkle.

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The Futuristic Father

He’s all about technology. The car, the appliances, the gadgets—all must be wired into something…and each other! Whether you understand it or not, show your support for his love of innovation.

Royal Asscher carries a unique design collection called Stars of Africa. They have encased their exquisite diamonds and colored gems inside a dome, giving them freedom to move and sparkle. Dad ought to be fascinated with these sterling silver cufflinks housing blue sapphires.

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Dad is going to think this is cool! Steven Kretchmer designed a tri-band ring using Polarium™, their magnetic platinum alloy. The three 7.5mm magnetic bands have a matte finish with rounded edges, with the middle component featuring a stripe of 24k crystallized gold inlay.

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Need some more ideas? Use our online Find a Jeweler search to locate an AGS credentialed jeweler near you. Our highly trained and educated jewelers will help guide you through the buying process and answer any questions you may have. Enjoy celebrating this day dedicated to Dad!

Tips from Jewelers Mutual: Checklist to Find a Lost Ring

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company offers this valuable checklist on the best steps to take when searching for a lost ring—or any piece of jewelry, for that matter. Whether you misplaced it at home, lost it in public, or somewhere in between, this checklist will be your guide and keep you focused.


By Chelsea Drusch, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company

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“The moment I realized my ring was missing, I felt like crawling into a corner and never coming out. I was afraid to let my husband know, as I know how much thought he put into picking out the diamond and designing the gorgeous ring.” – Mary Jane

Feeling a bit like Mary Jane? Follow these steps to increase your chances of recovering your lost ring.

If You Lost Your Ring at Home

  1. Retrace your steps.
  2. Tidy up each room you were in.
  3. Check in and under unusual places. (Like the shower drain …)
  4. Use a flashlight. A diamond’s exceptional refractive index means that it will reflect like a mirror when light hits it.
  5. Ask a friend to lend a fresh pair of eyes to your search.
  6. If insured, file a claim.

If You Lost Your Ring in Public

  1. File a police report.
  2. Retrace your steps.
  3. Contact local jewelers and pawn shops.
  4. Post a “lost ad” online.
  5. Track Craigslist, eBay and local buy/sell/trade pages on Facebook.
  6. Post reward flyers around the area you lost it.
  7. If insured, file a claim.

If You Don’t Know Where You Lost Your Ring

  1. Retrace your steps.
  2. Tidy up your home, car, office, etc.
  3. Check in and under unusual places.
  4. Ask friends, family and coworkers you’ve recently been with to keep an eye out.
  5. File a police report.
  6. Contact local jewelers and pawn shops.
  7. Post a “lost ad” online.
  8. Track Craigslist, eBay and local buy/sell/trade pages on Facebook.
  9. If insured, file a claim.

Exhausted all of the above and still no luck? Replacing a lost ring is a lot easier when you don’t need to pay for it out-of-pocket. Consider jewelry insurance so next time tragedy strikes, you’ll have a backup plan.