Jewelry 101: Our staff has years of experience and education regarding the special details of jewelry, watches and other fine gifts. We love to share our knowledge. Here are some of the basics every jewelry owner should know. You can speak with any of our personal jewelers to learn more about jewelry care.
Diamonds are one of the most popular stones for jewelry. They are one of nature’s most beautiful creations and made of just one element: carbon. Valued for their pure and colorless appearance, they add sparkle to any setting. Josephs hand selects each diamond and only one in 100 will be chosen. The majority of our diamonds are sold loose. Your personal jeweler will help you determine which one is right for your piece and budget.
Diamonds are graded according to the “4Cs,” which include Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat. It is an exponential scale and each grade will vary from diamond to diamond.
Colored Stones And Gems
Beyond diamonds, there are an endless number of stone types and colors used in jewelry. If you can imagine it, there is probably a stone to match. Talk to your personal jeweler about what kinds of stones are available.
- THE 4 C’S OF DIAMONDS
Cut is the most important factor impacting the beauty of a diamond. It is the personality of the gem and is the result of human touch. The proportions, symmetry and polish measure the interaction of the facets with the light.
Color refers to the tone of the diamond's body color. Your diamond will range from colorless to light yellow and is graded on a letter scale ranging from D through Z.
Diamonds are rated on the number, size, relief and position of inclusions and blemishes. Some inclusions may have become trapped while the diamond is formed underground. Clarity is rated on a scale from flawless to “included,” meaning they become more noticeable to the naked eye.
Diamonds are weighed in carats. It will not tell you how big a diamond appears to the eye; it is simply how much it weighs.
When to Remove your Jewelry
Remove your jewelry at the gym, sports, cleaning the house or getting in a pool or spa. Chlorine bleach and other chemicals can pit metal alloys and weaken them. We also recommend keeping your jewelry off until after you have done your hair and makeup to avoid buildup of residues. Lastly, you should always remove jewelry before sleeping.
Where to Store Your Jewelry
Investing in a quality jewelry box will do wonders for keeping your pieces safer and organized. Ideally the box is large enough to fit all of your items and lined with soft fabric. Ring holders are an excellent choice and hooks work well for your necklaces.
How to Clean Your Jewelry
The easiest way to keep your jewelry clean is to come into one of our stores for a free cleaning. We use special equipment to keep your pieces shining bright. For the times when you cannot make it in, we recommend our jewelry-safe cleaners or ultrasonic baths which can be purchased at one of our locations.
There are four basic categories of watches. Quartz watches are most commonly found in the market. They are battery-operated and do not require winding. Automatic watches have been around since the beginning of watchmaking. They wind by the motion of your wrist and may require manual winding if not worn for two days. Solar watches are powered by any type of light source. Lastly, mechanical watches use a clockwork mechanism to measure the passage of time.
Quartz watches will periodically need a new battery to keep time. Automatic watches will require routine cleaning and lubrication, just like your car. The brand and the type of movement will determine how frequently this needs to occur. Solar watches require a constant light source to function.
Josephs is an authorized Rolex watch repair center, and we are glad to help maintain your investment. Our horologists can diagnose and repair just about any malfunction or problem regardless of your watch brand. We are able to do most watch fittings and battery replacements while you wait.
Insuring Your Jewelry
There are many reasons why you may wish to have your items appraised. The most common is for insurance purposes. Josephs can help you determine if the pieces in your collection should be appraised and provide you with the necessary documentation to obtain insurance. You should discuss different types of policies and coverage with your agent to determine which policy is best for you. Need help finding coverage? We can also help you obtain insurance through Jewelers Mutual who specializes in jewelry coverage. We can scan your documents or receipts and help you get the coverage you need before your jewelry leaves the store.
Types of Appraisals
When insuring your collection, you will usually need an official appraisal. This document will list the type of jewelry, the type of metal used, the type and quality of stone, and an assessment of the total value of the jewelry.
Josephs offers two different types of appraisal services. The first is a retail replacement report, which is a type of appraisal based on what we would charge to replace the item with one of like kind and quality. This is the most common appraisal we offer, and is the type of document used for documenting and/or insuring your items. The second type is an Estate appraisal, which is a fair market value based on what a reasonable secondary market or liquidation sale might bring. This is most commonly used for tax liability when finalizing an estate, but can also be used for any type of asset valuation required for other litigation purposes.
Josephs Can Help
Our staff of certified gemologists can provide appraisals for insurance, replacements, or even for estate purposes. During the process, we’ll help you determine what should be appraised, perform a thorough appraisal and provide the proper paperwork necessary to move forward.
Ready to make an appointment?
Gather your items, as well as any original receipts or prior appraisals, and bring them to your favorite Josephs location. If you are bringing more than five items in for an appraisal, we do ask for appointments to be made Monday-Friday. We can help you go through your collection, determine what should be appraised and provide you with an estimate to do the appraisals. Appraisals are done in-house by one of our certified gemological appraisers. They typically take 10 days, but large collections may take more time. The price per item varies, but most pieces range from $35-100. If your items are from Josephs, there is no charge.