October Birthstone Highlight

October Birthstone Highlight

Individuals born in October get to choose between two birthstones – opal and tourmaline! October’s birthstones offer a full spectrum of gems to suit anyone’s personal style.

Opal & Tourmaline overview:

  • Opal’s kaleidoscopic play-of-color can suit many changing moods and tastes to make this gem appropriate for anyone
  • Dozens of opal varieties exist, but only a few like Fire Opal & Boulder Opal are universally recognized
  • Color is the key factor of opal quality. Dark backgrounds provide more contrast against vivid play-of-color, making black opal more highly valued than milky white varieties
  • The most expensive tourmaline are the green to violet colors that are often called “electric” or “neon” by the trade
  • Tourmaline is desirable because of its range of color options, and it’s hardness makes for very wearable jewelry

Caring for & cleaning these gemstones:

Opal
  • The only safe way to clean opal is with warm, soapy water
  • Opals are sensitive to heat or excessive dryness
Tourmaline
  • Warm, soapy water is the best method for cleaning tourmaline
  • Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not recommended

Gifting Ideas & Style Inspo

Opal makes a great gift for anyone born in October, but its array of colors makes this gem appropriate for anyone!

1. Perfectly paired 14K yellow gold opal jewelry set

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2. Dainty 14K yellow gold opal ring

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3. Shine bright in these opal and diamond halo studs

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Learn more about these gemstones from the American Gem Society here!

Expert Tips On Jewelry Care & Service

Jewelry is one of our most intimate and cherished accessories. Understanding how to care for and protect your jewelry can make a world of difference in maintaining its beauty and keeping your pieces sparkling for years to come! Take a look at our tips to best care for your jewelry:

Jewelry Inspecition

1. Did you know jewelry should be cleaned & inspected by a professional every 3-6 months?

Oils from lotions, soap & even touching your jewelry can cloud the appearance of your precious jewelry and in many cases can mask visibility to damage.  Our professional cleaning systems are far superior than any home treatment and allows our experts to properly inspect your jewelry for things such as loose prongs or clasps and chips or cracks in your gemstones. By having your jewelry cleaned & inspected on a regular basis, you can ensure your jewelry is well maintained & sparkling bright!

White Gold Ring

2. Did you know your discolored white gold can be easily fixed?

You may notice over time that your once bright white gold is starting to look a bit yellow.  Without proper care or even just natural wear, discoloration can occur.  Gold is naturally yellow and to achieve white gold, it is mixed with alloys to develop that bright white color.  If you have any discolored white gold jewelry, it can be easily fixed by having your jewelry plated with Rhodium.  Rhodium is naturally white metal and can make your jewelry look brand new!

Jewelry Box

3. Properly store your jewelry

We often find jewelry that has been tangled with knots, tarnished or damaged and could have easily been avoided.  Invest in a simply jewelry box to properly organize & store your precious jewelry.  Get in the habit of cleaning your jewelry before stowing away to prevent oils and dirt from setting.  Keep your sterling silver in anti-tarnish pouches which keeps air exposure out.  Lastly,  give each piece of jewelry it’s own place – this way they wont rub against each other causing wear or damage & you’ll always know where to find them!

Ring Dish

4. Take your jewelry off when you take your shoes off!

Every day tasks can be rough on your precious jewelry.  Working out with weights can shift prongs and warp your rings, harsh cleaning chemicals can tarnish your metals & lotions and soaps can make your gemstones appear cloudy.  Invest in ring dishes or a safe container (for the gym or traveling) so that you have a safe place to store your jewelry – get in the habit of keeping your jewelry in one place, the only thing worse than dirty jewelry is missing jewelry!

Jewelry Appraisal

5. Have your jewelry re-appraised every 5-7 years

Most insurance companies require an up to date appraisal.  The market changes daily and the value of your jewelry vary – you don’t want to over pay on a premium for your jewelry or worse, find out that your jewelry is worth more than your insurance covers.  Our Certified Gemologist Appraisers from the American Gem Society have over 35 years experience in appraising jewelry

Trust Michaels Jewelers to take care of all your jewelry service repair and needs. Our master goldsmiths offer a full range of professional jewelry repair, refinishing and refurbishment services to recapture the pleasure your jewelry was meant to bring!

Holiday Jewelry Tips from the Pros

Holiday Jewelry Tips from the Pros

It’s that time of year again!  With family and friends traveling to visit for the holidays it seems that there will be quite a bit of preparation, a ton of cooking and of course, what may seem like endless cleaning to be done.

Here are a few tips on how to keep your jewelry clean and safe this holiday season:

  1. Take your jewelry off while baking and cooking.  This is a must.  Let’s face it, we’re all preparing delicious treats using lots of butter and oil and if you’re like me, the only way to mix properly is with your hands.  Truth is, all of those oils will get stuck in the crevices of your jewelry which isn’t easy to get out and clouds your jewelry.  Make sure to take off rings, watches and bracelets before preparing your dishes to ensure they’ll shine brighter than the Christmas lights strung on your tree.
  2. Consider leaving your valuables at home when traveling.   Every time I leave for a trip, I gather all of my jewelry and anything valuable and store it in my safe.  We have enough to worry about like catching flights, beating traffic and with the hustle and bustle of holiday traveling – sometimes I feel like a chicken with my head cut off.  The last thing you want is to leave your precious ring in the restroom at the rest stop or have a bracelet fall off after going through the security line. TIP: After my fiance proposed, my mom bought me a faux version of my ring.  I thought it was a strange gift but I’d rather make sure to leave my ring in a safe spot at home and rock my mock ring than ruin the holidays if anything were to happen to my real version. 
  3. Make sure to remove jewelry before cleaning.  We all want our house to sparkle before guests arrive so we bust out the vacuum, detergents, carpet cleaners – anything we can get our hands on to make the house look pristine.  While all those cleaning supplies will loosen dirt and grime, they could do a number on your jewelry.  To be on the safe side, store your jewelry in a safe spot while you get to work.
  4. Have your jewelry appraised.  Despite being jolliest time of the year, we must face the facts, an FBI study found that more than 400,000 burglaries occur in the United States during the months of November and December each year (have you seen Home Alone?!).  On top of storing your valuables, make sure that your have had all your jewelry recently appraised and added to your insurance plan (most policies require an appraisal).  I use Jewelers Mutual who covers loss, theft, damage and mysterious disappearance.  Its a small price to pay for the peace of mind knowing that if the unthinkable happens, your jewelry is covered. TIP: Our certified appraiser* recommends to have your jewelry appraised every 3-5 years.  The reason for this is — the market changes constantly especially for gold and diamonds – who knows, your jewelry could be worth more than when you originally purchased it! 
  5. Have your jewelry checked and cleaned from a professional.  No matter what home cleaning solution I use, there is nothing quite like getting your jewelry cleaned by a jeweler.  Jewelers should be checking your jewelry before cleaning to make sure that there aren’t any loose stones or loose clasps.  I am guilty of being rough with my jewelry – I wear my ring to the gym and am constantly catching it and banging it on any and everything.  This will loosen the prongs and distort the shape of your jewelry.  Stop by any ten Connecticut Michaels Jewelers locations and have one of our pros check out your jewelry to make sure they’ll shine bright this holiday season.

We hope these tips help give you peace of mind over the holidays and keep your diamonds sparkling!

*Our appraiser, Donald Walsh is an American Gem Society Certified Gemologist Appraiser.  

Spring Jewelry Cleaning Tips from the Pros!

Spring Jewelry Cleaning Tips from the Pros!

Now that Spring is officially upon us, almost everyone has started their Spring cleaning, but don’t forget about cleaning your jewelry!  Come in today for a full professional cleaning and inspection at Michaels Jewelers.  Our free service utilizes the latest in ultrasonic and high pressure steam cleaning and our thorough inspection will insure your gemstones are tightly mounted to prevent loss.  If you can’t make it into one of our stores soon, here is a safe way to keep most of your sparkly gems shining at home:

  1. Fill a small bowl with warm water and add a small amount of gentle dish soap.  The best choice is one made with natural ingredients in order to avoid harming your jewelry with chemicals. Gentle hand soaps or shampoos may also be used but be sure not to use one which contains moisturizers as this could leave a film on your gemstones
  2. Place your jewelry in the bowl for a few minutes to allow the warm water to penetrate and loosen any dirt, dust, and grime that has built up there
  3. Use a soft bristled toothbrush to gently rub any grime from your jewelry.  Scrub lightly, poking the bristles into the hard-to-reach crevices.  Most mountings have openings behind your gemstones.  Use the brush to reach through these openings to the backs of your gemstones
  4. Rinse your ring in cool water
  5. Lay your jewelry out on a paper towel or clean cloth to dry
  6. Stop by any Michaels Jewelers location and have one of our Associates check your jewelry to ensure there aren’t any loose stones and use the proper form of cleaning.  If you have any questions on which method is best for your jewelry, don’t hesitate to ask.  Remember, Cleaning and Inspection is FREE!