Today’s watches are a modern marvel. A work of art. A reliable source of timekeeping. They’re actually way more advanced (and smarter) than smart watches, which require a symbiotic relationship with a smartphone. When technology fails, a masterfully-crafted watch will continue to be your trusted source of time. Well…that and a sundial!
There may come a time when your treasured timepiece needs some maintenance or repair. When you visit your jeweler, it’s nice to understand and know the parts of your watch. Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company has compiled a list to help you better understand what’s involved in making your watch tick. Learn more by reading their blog, 10 Parts of a Watch You Should Actually Know.
With the leading jewelry event in North America—JCK Las Vegas—just around the corner, we’d like to take a look at another big jewelry show that happened this past March: Baselworld.
Held annually in the Swiss town of Basel, close to both the French and German borders, Baselworld does everything big: the massive booths that look like Fifth Avenue boutiques; the rare and exceptional gemstones for sale; and even the supersized beers and brats available on nearly every corner.
So how does someone not on the front lines make sense of such a huge show? We went straight to some of the biggest names in U.S. jewelry publications to find out their favorite trend from Baselworld so we can get a glimpse of what’s to come, then we paired those trends with AGS member jewelry and watches. Here’s what they were loving:
Victoria Gomelsky, Editor in Chief, JCK magazine
Watch brands across the price spectrum embraced black-on-black styles, mostly through the use of matte black PVD coatings, for an overall effect that was stylish and vaguely futuristic.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer
Le Vian black diamond watch from the Classico Series.
Michelle Graff, Editor in Chief, National Jeweler
One trend I noticed with both the watch brands and jewelry designers was this whole idea of designing jewelry and watches that can work for both day and evening wear —something that’s not too flashy to wear around your office during the day but will still get noticed at night. I realize this is probably not a brand-new trend but, in my opinion, it was mentioned more than ever before at Baselworld this year, particularly among the watch brands.
I think this trend is a by-product of two factors: First, our society overall is more casual and people rarely, if ever, get dressed up anymore so they are seeking more casual jewelry; and second, the fact that there are more women in the workforce than ever before. In other words, whatever women put on in the morning is what they are wearing out that night, so it needs to work all day.
Simon G. Jewelry diamond ring in 18k white gold from the Garden collection.
Simon G. Jewelry diamond bangle in 18k white and rose gold from the Fabled collection.
Tanya Dukes, Senior Editor at InDesign and InStore magazines
What I loved was the unrestrained use of color. From big time brands to independent designers, there was a surfeit of stones in upbeat colors virtually everywhere. It was great to see them in unexpected places, liked mixed with pearls or used as a watch’s dial. And plenty of jewelry brands and watchmakers introduced designs with a rainbow’s worth of hues in a single piece, but with totally sophisticated, un-kitschy results.
Lika Behar 24K Yellow Gold and Oxidized Sterling Rings with assorted gemstones.
Goshwara multi-gemstone earrings from the Gossip collection.
If you’re looking for jewelry designs like those displayed above, visit our Find a Jeweler search for an AGS credentialed jeweler near you.
You know it’s the holiday season when magazines and blogs run a “shopping tips” article. We thought, though, that you should hear advice from the people actually in the field who have learned a thing or two about best-buying practices: the jewelers. Of course, these are not just any retailers. They are American Gem Society credentialed jewelers. Every day, they help their customers find the perfect piece of jewelry, whether it’s finding the right style or fitting the right budget—or both. Here is some solid advice straight from a few jewelers:
Catherine Fitzgibbon, CGA, from Coffin & Trout Fine Jewellers: “Buyer beware when it comes to 80% off sales, just remember 80% off of what? An overinflated retail price that is not realistic?
Also, your buying experience should be fun and enjoyable. Ask a lot of questions and make sure you are comfortable with the answers. The staff should be professional, well-educated with superior product knowledge and be able to provide detailed accurate answers to all of your questions. If the salesperson doesn’t know what they are selling, then how do you know what you are buying?
Lastly, if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Go with your gut feeling on this one as it is probably right.”
Jim Summa, CGA,Summa Jewelry: “If a man is shopping for a gift of jewelry for a woman, we recommend to try and pick up on the style of jewelry she wears before you even walk in a jewelry store. Does she like stud earrings or dangle style? Does she wear yellow, white, rose metals or a combination? Has she dropped any hints lately about what she would like to have or has admired on a friend? It helps to narrow down some choices when there are a lot to pick from. Also ask about wish list items that may be on file at the store. Many salespeople keep notes throughout the year when customers stop in for a routine visit.”
John Carter, CGA,Jack Lewis Jewelers: “Don’t be afraid to take a chance and get something for your loved one that you’re not positive he/she will love. Go out on a limb and choose something that YOU think they will love. Probing and asking too many questions can ruin the surprise and the holidays are about the magic of choosing something to express how much that person is appreciated. If you tip them off to what you’re planning it can take away from that moment and how they feel when they see it. Any reputable store should have a generous enough return policy that will allow for a return or exchange after the holidays. I always tell my clients, ‘I’ll take the risk if you do.’ So go out there and get them something that reminds you of them but most importantly, tell them why!”
Louis Smith, CG,Smithworks Fine Jewelry: “Be sure to always buy from a jewelry professional and not a sales clerk. You will gain knowledge and feel confident in your fine jewelry purchases. Also, if something is less expensive, the first question should be why?”
We also asked Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company for their advice—because insuring your valuable is always a great tip, right?
“Whether you are buying jewelry for a loved one or are the lucky recipient this holiday season, consider how you’re going to protect your jewelry for years to come. Having worldwide comprehensive coverage, such as our Perfect Circle Jewelry Insurance gives you freedom to wear and enjoy your new jewelry now and keep it protected for the future.”
Finally, we have one rock solid piece of advice for shopping for jewelry this holiday season. Shop with a knowledgeable, professional, credentialed jeweler. It will boost your buying confidence and make the shopping experience less stressful. You can find an American Gem Society credentialed jeweler here.
Happy shopping, happy holidays and here’s to a sparkling New Year! We’ll see you in 2015!
We asked our friends at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company to guest blog for us this week on a topic many of us need right about now, especially with summer approaching: cleaning our jewelry. After all, we want our jewels to sparkle in the sun, right? Here are some tips from Jewelers Mutual.
DO read the labels on jewelry cleaning supplies. Some chemicals can be damaging to certain metals and gemstones.
DON’T clean your jewelry with toothpaste. The abrasives in toothpaste can scratch your stones and bands.
DON’T clean your jewelry over the sink or anywhere there is an open drain.
DO use warm water, mild dish soap and a soft bristle toothbrush to get in hard to reach areas.
DO visit your jeweler at least once a year for a professional cleaning and inspection to restore the brilliance of your jewelry and ensure that it’s in good condition.
The only thing better than knowing your jewelry sparkles is to know it’s protected! Make sure your jewelry is safe no matter the season by protecting it with Jewelers Mutual’s Perfect Circle® Jewelry Insurance coverage. Have peace of mind in knowing that your jewelry is covered against loss, theft, damaged and mysterious disappearance (or unexplained loss) wherever you go, worldwide.
For more information on insurance for your jewelry, to get a free quote or apply, visit PerfectCircleInsurance.com or call a licensed agent at 888-884-2424.
Perhaps no color better represents the month of July than red. Whether it’s the bold red in the American flag, spectacular fireworks, juicy cherries, red-hot temperatures. . . and, with that, red hot sunburns—Red is a color fit for July. It’s no surprise then that Ruby is July’s birthstone.
Rubies are not only a hot trend on red carpets, but this precious gemstone is both luxurious and practical.
Ruby is a variety of the gems species corundum, which is harder than any natural gemstone except diamond. Want to wear a ruby as an engagement ring? Go ahead! It’s durable enough for everyday wear.
The color of a ruby is most important to its value. The most prized color is a medium or medium dark vivid red or slightly purplish red. If the gem is too light or has too much purple or orange, it will be called a fancy-color sapphire.
3 Fun Facts About Rubies:
Rubies are historically known as the stone of love.
Hindus believe that wearing a ruby protects them from their enemies.
In addition to being the birthstone for July, rubies are also a traditional gift for those celebrating 15th or 40th anniversaries.
The age of the smartphone has arrived. Everyone has one. At the press of a button, the time is displayed, and it’s always correct. How can an old-fashioned watch compete with that? The age of the watch has come and gone, right? Nope. I use my smartphone all the time, but I go nowhere without my watch.
The wristwatch as a timepiece has not gone out of style, nor will it in years to come.
Here are 5 reasons why.
1. A watch is a fashion piece.
Yes, it’s true. A watch has been elevated to the status of “fashion.” It is no longer simply practical, but rather something to go with an outfit or to show your true style. Men can wear anything from a wrist-covering giant to a small and simple watch face. Ladies, too, can choose from among a myriad of styles, from the oh-so-popular “boyfriend watch” craze to the tiny-yet-elegant diamond watch. There are thousands of different options, combining metal color, size, leather strap vs. metal, diamonds…. and the list goes on.
2. It’s a status symbol.
For something that was invented as a precision machine intended simply for practicality, the watch has become quite the status-setting accessory. Case-in-point: A man who walks into the sales meeting with a brand-new gold Rolex demonstrates without any words that he is the top seller in the room. BMWs are a status symbol, but you can’t take them into a meeting. A watch is always on, and always seen.
3. Ladies, if you feel that “it’s too hard to buy for men,” then a watch is a perfect solution.
For companies, a watch is a way to commemorate years of service. From a husband to his wife, it’s a way to say “I love you” in a memorable way. A watch makes a perfect gift, because it’s such an interesting piece, it’s small and transportable and it holds much value. What’s more, it reminds the giver and recipient of a time in their lives–which brings me to my next point:
4. It’s a memory.
Whether it was the diamond Baume & Mercier he gave her for their 10th anniversary or the gold Hamilton his grandfather gave him, both watches hold memories. It’s a watch, but it’s also an emotional reminder that someone who loves you gave it to you.
5. It’s a timepiece.
Oh yeah! They keep time, too! Though watches aren’t absolutely necessary for timekeeping, they are convenient. You can pull out your phone, but in an age of instant gratification, why reach all the way into your pocket to check the time?
Whether you’re at the gym, in the office or in class, a flip of the wrist to check time is much simpler. Whether it’s defining your style, stating your position, giving a gift, treasuring a memory, or just keeping time; wearing a watch is surely not a forgotten and lost art. They are here to stay.