Saturday, October 31, 2015

Moving? Keep Your Jewelry Safe

Moving is a fact of life and when you have a large collection of jewelry, it can be extremely stressful. After you have all of your jewelry organized in your jewelry boxes from Chasing Treasure, it can be challenging to pack it up and move it. Here are some tricks for moving large collections without having troubles with tangles, breaks, and loss.

What Not to Do

If you love your jewelry collection as much as we love our collections of jewelry boxes, we understand your frustration with moving it. Instead of wrapped jewelry in rolls, plastic wrap, or plastic bags, there are several other ideas that work. You also cannot simply pack your jewelry in our armoire or boxes, because the truck ride will disrupt the pieces inside of them. Those large collections of jewelry need to be packed with care and this could take time. (But, it is worth every second).

What to Buy

The best tools for packing jewelry include small jewelry boxes and organizers.

How to Pack Necklaces and Bracelets

The most frustrating part of moving is packing and unpacking necklaces and bracelets so they do not tangle. Plastic straws are the best way to keep them from tangling. Pull one necklace or bracelet through one straw, then wrap it with a paper towel. Tie off the ends of the paper towels with yarn or string to the necklaces do not slide out. Obviously, this only works for small chains, but these are the ones that are the most frustrating to untangle.

Bracelets and necklaces that cannot be stored in straws need to be put in small jewelry boxes or other small pouches that you have around the house. Cuffs and other items that can easily be scratched can also be wrapped in paper towels and put in paper bags or plastic bags. Then they can be put in cosmetic pouches or other padded pieces.

How to Pack Earrings

Earrings can also be challenging to move. Smaller earrings can be put in bead organizers, the small acrylic boxes with individual compartments. These will keep them from getting mixed up and shaken up during the actual move. Larger earrings can be put in compartmentalized boxes with bigger holes. More valuable earrings should be packed individually, but everyday pieces could be placed with a few sets to conserve space. To keep the boxes from bouncing around in the moving truck, you can pack them with blankets or soft items of clothes, like sweatshirts.

Take Your Best Pieces with You

Your best pieces should be placed in small travel jewelry cases. These should not be packed in a truck, but should travel with you in your car.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

How to Spot Fake Jewelry
Spotting the Faux

With all of the opportunities to buy jewelry, it is easy to be tricked into buying a fake. Whether you are buying jewelry in a boutique, antique store, online shop, or local jeweler, you need to know what to look for so you know what you are getting. No shopper wants to buy a fake, especially with the prices of jewelry today. Here are some tips to help you spot the faux and protect the contents of your wallet.

1. Look for a stamp or hallmark. Real jewelry will be clearly labeled with the type of gold or metal, like 10 Carat, 14 Carat, or other numbers. The stamps will be on the inside of rings and it will usually be put on a tag on chains used for necklaces and bracelets. Hallmarks are the makers’ marks that jewelry designers use to label their pieces. Designers in different countries have different marks so you should be able to identify the mark from images online. If the piece does not have a stamp or a hallmark, then it most likely is fake.

2. Consider the shop. If you are buying online, you cannot get a good look at the piece. You should always be a bit leery of buying anything valuable online, especially if you cannot see a collection of close-up images. If you are buying from a reputable jeweler, online purchases are probably safe.

3. Look into the return policy. Most reputable jewelers offer some form of a return policy with their high quality pieces. Any piece that does not come with some form of return policy is probably not worth its price.

4. Look closely at the quality of the item. Pricy, valuable jewelry with have outstanding soldering. Clasps will be flawlessly put together. They will not be pinched with low quality findings. You should not be able to see any of the marks from the soldering process.

5. Be alert to the use of rhodium. This will be used to give a finish that resembles white gold. You can quickly identify rhodium by looking for signs of yellow gold on the inside of the ring. You can also look for stamps telling you what type of gold it is. When you see 10k or 14k, the yellow gold ring is probably plated with rhodium.

6. Get a certificate. When you are buying diamonds, you should receive a certificate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). If the jeweler cannot give you a certificate for your diamond, then do not buy the diamond because it is probably not real. Other pieces of jewelry, from colored gemstones to fine watches, should come with certifications, cards, or other types of paperwork. The paperwork should be on high quality paper and be printed with first-run ink. Photocopies should not be given, unless you get the original, too.

7. Test the gold. First, know that gold is not magnetic - so if it sticks to a magnet, get out of the store. Gold will indent if you bite it. Look for the carat markings. You can also scratch a ceramic plate with gold; the gold will create a streak of the same color.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Where to Store Your Championship Rings

With the baseball playoffs in full swing, it’s time to discuss how to properly store and care for championship rings. Whether you won your championship rings in high school, college, club teams, or in a professional league or you simply like to buy them as a collectible, it is important to keep those rings clean and protected.

Pick a Case with Plenty of Ring Space

Our men’s valet boxes will keep your ring collection free of dust and protected from scratches. Many of these boxes have special places for timepieces and others have spaces for other pieces of jewelry. The watch spaces are not appropriate spots for rings; so unless you have a collection of watches and rings, your money would be better spent on a traditional valet. Our Locking Wooden Jewelry Box with Valet Tray is a perfect choice for storage due to the number of ring rolls in the removable tray. Our Locking Wooden Jewelry Box 3 Level also has several ring rolls, too.

Store the Rings More than You Wear Them

Once you have the perfect storage system for your rings, it is vital to take great care of them. Most collectors and champions do not wear their rings on a daily basis. They are cumbersome on fingers, which means they are frequently bumped into tables, desks, and other heavy objects. Since most of the rings are made of 14K gold, they are easy to dent because that type of gold is quite soft. Championship rings are like class rings, the more they are worn, the more the engraved details wear down.

Clean Them Safely

When you need to clean a championship ring, it is is best to use steam cleaning. Buffers, polishers, and ultrasonic cleaners will destroy these rings over time. Buffers will actually remove a tiny layer of gold and so will polishers. Ultrasonic cleaners will remove the dark antique finish that many rings have to show off details below the engraved surface. Steam cleaning will remove grease and sticky substances like hair products from the ring without damaging it. The diamonds and other gems set in the ring will sparkle after a good steam cleaning. If the ring does need scratches buffed out of it, this should only be done softly and by-hand with a professional jeweler with experience.

Find a Jeweler Who Knows Rings

If you do decide to collect rings, or if you just have one, it is a good idea to find a jeweler that you can trust with your prized possessions. Some rings come with warranties, so it is a good idea to keep track of any paperwork that might come with your jewelry. If you need to take any medications, your body chemistry could react to the metals, which could alter the way the metal looks. A pharmacist, physician, or jeweler could inform you of the medicines that can do this. It is also important to do your hair and makeup before you put your special rings on your fingers, because the products and chemicals could harm the pieces, too.

Friday, October 16, 2015

How to Take Pictures of Jewelry

Jewelry Photography Tips
Jewelry Photography 101

If you think photographing a toddler is difficult, try capturing quality images of jewelry. All of the little details and ornate pieces can make it difficult for a camera to figure out what to put into focus. Here are some tips to help you photograph your jewelry with the camera on your phone:

The first thing you need is appropriate light. This may or may not be direct sunlight. In some instances, the best lighting conditions include diffused light. In many cases, cloudy days are better for photographing jewelry than sunny days. You will need to experiment with conditions for the different pieces you want to capture. In direct sunlight, jewelry looks fantastic to the naked eye. The facets sparkle and the gold glimmers, but cameras do not often capture what the human eye does. Often, that direct light or flash will reflect off of the jewelry and cause it to washout or disappear from the frame. One of the most helpful things to do is buy a special light box that is created especially for photographing jewelry.

It is also helpful to play with focus. Because many phone cameras are better designed to capture human faces, they have difficulty capturing things without faces. Therefore, if your phone gives you the option of picking what you want it focus on, be sure to use that feature. This will prevent your phone from focusing on the background instead of the jewels. Phone cameras are not very good at zooming in on objects that are too close, so you should hold the phone farther away from the jewels than you think. Then, you can crop it to the desired look. It is also helpful to take a bunch of pictures so you can pick the one that turns out the best.

Capturing amazing photographs requires a still hand. For just a few dollars, you can buy a small adjustable tripod for your phone. These are easy to set on a stack of books, so you can get enough height to capture your jewelry from above. You should also be able to find phone cases that come with hideaway stands. These will keep your phone still so you can worry about lighting and focus rather than motion blur.

If you have ever wondered how photographers are able to use their phones to capture tiny, detailed objects, the answer is a tiny, phone-camera zoom lens. These little lenses, called macro lenses attach to your phone directly over the lens. Some attach with clips and other attach with magnets. They are inexpensive and provide just enough magnification to showcase the details in jewelry with tiny stones or engravings.

Once you have all of the accessories, you simply need to shoot photos over and over. The best parts of using a phone to take pictures are that you no longer have to worry about buying film and you do not have to worry about the battery life like you do a digital SLR camera. The more pictures you take, the more you have to select from.