Category Archives: Essen Jewelry and Watches

Jewelry Care: Valuable Tips

Here are some simple tips on jewelry maintenance that won’t take much of your time.

Have your pearls seemed a little lackluster lately? This may be from a buildup of perfume, hairspray, cosmetics, or other beauty products. Pearls are very delicate, so these products can certainly do a number on them. However, there is an easy fix: after wear, use a soft cloth to wipe each pearl clean. This is a surefire way to restore shine and shimmer to each and every one.

Has your jewelry collection ever suffered casualties from your clothing? Make sure jewelry is the last thing you put on, even after makeup and perfume. You can unknowingly damage your gems if these products get on them. Jewelry should also be the first thing you take off. This will help you avoid snagging jewelry on clothing, which can result in damaging one or both items. By following these simple rules, you can ensure keeping your favorite pieces around for the long haul.

We all have at least one valuable piece of jewelry in our collections. Make sure you photograph these pieces in the unfortunate case that they are lost or stolen, as jewelry is very unique and hard to describe. Photos will be worth way more than descriptions in insurance claims or police reports.

A valuable tip to know is that extreme temperatures can do harm to your jewelry. Gemstones can be weakened when you walk out of the cold outdoors into the warm indoors. Try to avoid wearing delicate jewelry on especially frigid days or cover your rings and earrings with gloves and hats. Just be careful not to snag your jewelry on them.

Heirloom Jewelry: Ideas to Repurpose

If you love jewelry like we do, you’ve probably seen an unusual piece and asked yourself, “where’d that come from?”

For instance, when seeing a pair of earrings like the ones pictured here, made from coins, you might wonder if they are heirloom coins that someone made into earrings. If so, how’s that done? Where do you go to have that done?

We met with our expert, Tom, the Estate Buyer for Ross-Simons. He explained that the process of taking an heirloom converting it into a new piece of jewelry is called “repurposing.”

When someone inherits a piece of jewelry, they may or may not want to wear it. But it has such sentimental value they don’t want to part with it, either. That’s when they consult with an expert like Tom. He may have some suggestions. For instance, he met a woman who inherited a 36″ pearl strand necklace from her mother. She thought it was too long and didn’t want it.

“Do you have any daughters?” he asked her.

“Yes, two,” was her reply.

Tom came up with an idea that the woman loved. And the result was this: when one of her daughters got married the following year, she was wearing an 18″ necklace of her grandmother’s pearls.

Her other daughter, the bride’s sister was also in the wedding party and wore an 18″ necklace of her grandmother’s pearls, too.

Two heirloom necklaces from one – not expensive, and bringing new life to an old piece: that is the ultimate in repurposing!

Just remember Tom’s expert advice: “A rash decision is a bad decision. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Tom has a couple of great ideas for repurposing jewelry. First, make a fabulous diamond cocktail ring using your largest diamond as the central focal point and placing other diamonds around it. Another idea: create a diamond pin! Also known as a brooch, a diamond pin is a piece that could be passed along from generation to generation.

The Secret to our Estate Jewelry

At Ross-Simons, we’re proud to have one of the best Estate jewelry collections out there. We choose jewelry that is truly unique and special, so that our customers can get a one-of-a-kind piece for amazing value. So how do we manage to find thousands of extraordinary Estate items every year? Here’s a behind the scenes look at how we pick the Estate jewelry you love.

  1. Uniqueness: We try to find pieces that really are one-of-a-kind. Out of production pieces, such as a pair of 1940 cuff links from Tiffany’s, are especially desirable because of their rarity. We feel very lucky when we come across items like that which have managed to make it through the years without getting lost, broken, or melted down for scrap metal. When we say “unique,” we mean it’s something that you wouldn’t come across every day, but that’s still in good condition, which brings us to our next criteria…
  2. Quality: We sometimes find beautiful Estate pieces, but don’t feel right about buying them. Why? Because if a piece is not in good condition, and if we don’t think it has enough wear left in it, then it’s not good enough for our customers. Even if a piece is missing just one small diamond, for example, it can still be a deal-breaker, because we need to match it with a diamond that fits with that particular piece. We refuse to detract from the overall look of a piece by, for example, replacing an old rose-cut diamond with a modern round-cut. So if we don’t have the proper resources to restore the piece without changing the true essence of it, then it does not go into our inventory.
  3. Value: One advantage of Estate jewelry is the great value that it offers. Over the years, manufacturing and material costs have increased in the jewelry industry (as is true in many other industries as well), so prices have naturally gone up. However, those costs don’t affect Estate jewelry, so we’re able to offer high-quality, beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry for an amazing price. For example, a gold bracelet in perfect condition from 1975 would likely cost much less than the exact same bracelet from 2011. And it has the added special touch of being vintage!

Selling Your Vintage Jewelry

People sell their Estate jewelry for many reasons. Perhaps it’s a ring they bought many years ago and never wear anymore, or they’ve inherited their grandmother’s necklace, and it’s simply not their style. The old saying goes “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure,” and that’s the beauty of Estate jewelry. Everyone’s personal style is a little bit different, so it’s wonderful that you can sell an item you’re not so fond of, knowing that there’s someone out there who will fall in love with that very piece.

So, you’re considering selling a piece of Estate jewelry (or “Antique” if it is over 100 years old). The most important thing is: make sure you go to a trusted source to get it appraised and subsequently sell it. Soliciting a few different opinions is always a good idea, especially with something that could be very valuable. Also look online or at jewelry stores to the prices of pieces similar to yours. Keep in mind that you will most likely receive less than that because whoever you’re selling to needs to make a profit. Also consider the condition of your piece. Items needing repair usually have less value than jewelry in good condition, and the price offered to you will reflect that. If you have a certificate of authenticity for your piece (a certified diamond for example), bring it to the appraisal.

Ross-Simons offers the most secure and easiest way to exchange your unwanted fine jewelry for cash. Visit our Selling Your Fine Jewelry site. Start by uploading an image of your diamond, designer or fine gemstone jewelry. Ship it to us insured, for free and receive your money in as little as 48 hours.

Animal Motif Gemstone Jewelry

Nowadays, anyone can feel some animal attraction by wearing their favorite animal, not as a tacky motif on a sweatshirt or as a “Life Gem” that is made up of the deceased animal’s ashes, but as a piece of jewelry. Cartier has the panther, but there is no reason why we should be limited to one single animal when the animal kingdom is so diverse.

Animals have featured in jewelry for centuries, from ancient Egyptian scarab beetles and cobras to Cartier’s iconic panther. Most high jewelry houses have featured collections of animals. For example, Chopard have an “Animal World” collection that celebrated their 150th anniversary in 2010 and Boucheron have “The Audacious Menagerie”. In the Chopard collection is a Regal Tiger Necklace that makes use of fire opal for the tiger’s face, which is surrounded by a cascade of colored diamond and moonstone gems. One of the most interesting pieces in the Boucheron collection is a turtle ring with emerald eyes and a shell fashioned from carved tiger’s eye. A similar turtle ring is rose gold with diamond eyes and has a shell carved from rose quartz.

Jewelry lovers far and wide enjoy fun jewelry in the form of animals. For example, Jackie Kennedy Onassis liked her collection of “critters”. One of these was a beautiful jade butterfly brooch. Some people identify with a certain animal; there are dog people and cat people, and others may have a totemic animal, astrological creature or spirit animal that they feel represents their personality.

Accessorizing Using A Fashion Designer’s Secrets

Long recognized as a leader in apparel design, Catherine Andreozzi’s collections have been exhibited all over the world. She also heads the Apparel Design Department at the Rhode Island School of Design. “For me, jewelry is a way to express one’s individuality,” she explains. “It’s fun to mix and match pieces in new, unexpected ways.”

Find out just how easy it is to look polished and put-together — without spending a fortune. Andreozzi offers her jewelry styling tips.

The Rules Don’t Apply

Break the rules by layering unusual necklaces together. “There is something so cool about pairing a traditional pearl necklace with a modern a leather one,” explains Catherine. Her personal style tip: layer two or three different types of necklaces on top of each other. According to Catherine, “you can mix and match just about anything.” Consider this unusual combo: a chunky baroque pearl necklace, a vibrant turquoise bead necklace and a leather collar. She also suggests knotting two pearl necklaces together. “The look is really amazing.” Add a pair of long turquoise teardrop earrings to tie it all together.

Glam Organic

Long strands of pearls and big bold earrings work with a simple white shirt and jeans or a beautiful summer dress. Catherine’s personal style tips: layer pearl necklaces of different lengths, colors and textures; finish off with one (or two) big pearl rings. For a distinctive look, wrap a baroque pearl necklace around the wrist and wear as a bracelet. It’s an easy way incorporate individual style.

Twist and Shout

“Mix a variety of single-strand pearls together.” Modern elegance is all about mixing a variety of single-strand pearls together. What works: gray pearls, floral accents and swingy pearl tassels. Catherine’s personal style tip: “Twist, braid and mix gold and silver with different colored pearl jewelry,” advises Catherine. “You can easily replicate a “Chanel-like” look by layering opalescent pearls with lariat chains and colored pearls. As Catherine points out, “A little bit of Chanel is fun for everybody.” Stylish options include gray pearl necklaces and lariat necklaces with tassels.

It All Meshes Together

Mesh is one of the most versatile materials in jewelry today. These standout pieces are incredibly light yet look quite substantial. Catherine’s personal style tips: wear a mesh necklace as a headband — it’s fresh and unexpected. Try an Italian sterling silver mesh necklace with a fluid drape that stretches easily and is soft to the touch. Finish off the look with CZ or diamond hoop earrings and a stack of sterling silver or white gold bangles.

Day-to-Evening Magic

Gemstone necklaces go effortlessly from day-to-night. Catherine’s personal style tip: layer necklaces in different lengths. Remember to “mix and match, tangle and cluster.” When in doubt, Catherine suggests keeping it simple. Pair a green agate necklace with an amethyst bead station necklace and add an amethyst cocktail ring just for fun. The vibrant green and purple hues make any outfit “pop.”

Catherine concludes, “Accessorizing with jewelry is a great way to express your individuality. Sometimes you may want to make a dramatic statement; other times you may decide to keep it simple. The key is to experiment and have fun.”

Jewelry Buying: A Man’s Guide

Ladies, you will want to forward this to your significant other!

For many men, buying jewelry for a woman can be very intimidating. The options to choose from are endless. There are earrings, necklaces, bracelets, different designs, gemstones and colors. All of these choices can quickly become overwhelming so this guide will make it easier for any guy to pick out the perfect piece.

First, it is essential to listen to her because many times women drop hints as to what they want. Understand what she likes. If she keeps away from big, bold, statement making pieces than you should look into classic and effortless items, such as diamond studs, diamond tennis bracelet or pearl necklace. Also, keep her personality in mind. For someone who is fun and confident, consider a colorful necklace or cocktail ring. If she is a hopeless romantic than she might love a heart-shaped pendant or a sweet and vintage inspired bow ring.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when selecting jewelry for her. Her friends and mother can probably give you some fantastic suggestions.

Achaemenid Gold Jewelry

One of the greatest ancient civilizations was the Achaemenid Persian Empire, which was founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC, and encompassed Iran, Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Caucasus, Thrace and some parts of India. The capital of the Empire and Cyrus the Great’s final resting place was Pasargadae (near modern day Shiraz, Iran), which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ancient accounts of the tomb written by the associates of Alexander the Great describe a golden sarcophagus, necklaces and gold gemstone earrings. It is in Pasargadae, in the garden of a royal palace where artifacts known as the Pasargadae Treasure were found in a ceramic container called an amphora. The Pasargadae Treasure includes gold and silver objects, jewelry and gemstones. A gold and silver beaded necklace was among the jewelry items. There was also a pair of exquisite gold bracelets with ibex head finials, along with a notable pair of intricate gold mesh earrings with lapis lazuli pendants. The lion is a popular motif of the Pasargadae Treasure. Curious drinking or pouring vessels called rhytons were among artifacts of the Achaemenid Empire. These are conical containers with animal-shaped bases which were fashioned from silver, gold and even carved lapis lazuli.

Another ancient capital city and center for the government of the Achaemenid Empire was Persepolis, also near Shiraz in Fars Province of Iran and an additional UNESCO World Heritage Site. This complex was built under Darius the Great; the third ruler of the Achaemenid Empire. The palaces of Persepolis and stone reliefs give historians important clues about Achaemenid society and show how some of the artifacts found were used. It is clear that this ancient civilization took inspiration from other cultures and art, such as that of ancient Egypt. Unfortunately, it is thought that a great deal of the treasure from this and other sites of the Achaemenid Empire was looted by Alexander the Great’s troops. Surviving items include a lapis lazuli and paste plaque displaying an eagle.

Jewelry for After Hours

Are you going to a spectacular, formal event—a cocktail party, black tie wedding or dinner at 8? Our style experts are always on the hunt for jewelry that will add a bit of fashion flair to any afterhours look.

Cocktail Party

What could be more fun than an evening of drinks, music and friends? Today’s cocktail party is even more elegant than that of yesteryear. With a few simple tips, we will help make your look the highlight of the night! You may initially think LBD—little black dress, but color can be beautiful, too. Accessorize with a mix of beads, super-sized drop earrings and an attention-grabbing cocktail ring.

Black Tie Wedding

Fancy hors d’oeuvres, bubbling champagne and an elegant string quartet are the staples of a black tie wedding. And you should feel just as glamorous as the evening itself! Just be careful not to look so good that you steal the bride’s thunder! Go with a simple but elegant look and accessorize with fabulous jewelry. Add some sparkle to your outfit. It’s perfectly acceptable to mix diamond jewelry with CZ jewelry.

Dinner at 8

Dinner reservations have been made. You’ve picked out a fabulous dress and pumps, but still need to choose just-as-fabulous accessories. It is a night for something extra chic and charming. Pile on the extra-long baroque pearl necklaces for a great combination of classic fashion with modern, trendy styling — not to mention great movement and visual interest! Finish your look with pretty, baroque pearl drops and a ring for added panache.

How to match jewelry and hair color

Hair color and jewelry are unlikely allies. Although it is often overlooked, hair color is a large part of a person’s overall appearance. As such, it is important to consider your hair color when choosing outfits, hats and especially jewelry. Because hair and jewelry share the same space on the face, it is critical that they co-exist in harmony. Even beyond that, it’s important that they complement one another. There are countless guides for matching skin color with jewelry and outfits with accessories, but very few address the importance of hair color. To enhance your overall ensemble and create a cohesive look that flatters, follow the simple guide below.

1)      Blonde

For blonde-haired beauties, the possibilities are endless. Most colors look great with fair hair because it is versatile and not too imposing. However, there are some colors that especially stun. Blue hued gemstones like sapphire and blue topaz look breathtaking with blonde hair because they serve as a subtle contrast against the lightness of the locks. Greens look great as well. If you’re feeling bold, opt for orange gemstones that will create a healthy glow when contrasted with fair skin and hair.

2)      Red

For fiery redheads, the jewelry colors that look best are neutrals. To contrast the intense heat from red hair, it’s useful to opt for colors that are muted and earth-toned. By choosing neutral colors, both the hair color and gemstone color will truly be able to shine. Dark greens, deep blues and yellows will look stunning with red headed vixens. Be sure to stay away from colors with gray undertones, as they will fail to pop.

3)      Brunette

Stunning brunettes have an array of choices when it comes to gemstone colors. Like blondes and red heads, blue is a wonderful color. However, unlike the other hair colors, deep reds and stunning purples are also highly recommended for brunettes. These colors highlight the natural undertones in brown hair and ultimately create a look that works together to shine.

4)      Black

When it comes to jewelry, women with black hair to seem to have all the fun. The best jewelry color for black hair is anything bold and bright. The list includes deep pinks, dark reds, light blue and green. Be sure to stay away from softer earthy tones; they can get lost in black hair.