Why We Love the Victorian Era

Why We Love the Victorian Era

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Our Estate Show is upon us and we have some really exciting new pieces to share.  Our buyers have been working hard over the past few months to bring some of the most unique and intricate pieces we have ever seen!  Some of these items are from the Victorian Era, one of our favorite eras. Here’s a few fun facts about the Victorian Era and some of our favorite pieces you should definitely check out for yourself:

  • Many of the eras were named after royalty – you guessed it, the Victorian Era was named after Queen Victoria and was from 1831-1901
  • Pieces from this era were all handmade – something we rarely see with modern jewelry – its amazing to see these pieces have lasted over a hundred years!
  • This era was also known as the “Romance Era”, an emphasis on sentiment, hearts and floral designs were extremely common in earlier in this era
  • Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, died in 1861 so we find that black enamel and jet jewelry grew in importance as Victoria remained in formal mourning by dressing in black every day until the day she died, 40 years later (talk about true love!)
  • Cameos, slide necklaces and memoir pieces were also very common during this era

Here are a few of our favorite pieces from our Victorian Era Estate collection:

10960075 copy14kyg Victorian Era Slide Necklace with Oval Stone Cameo Slide and Seed Pearl, $2,495

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18kyg Victorian Era Mourning Pin with Black Onyx and Seed Pearls, $1,100

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18kyg Victorian Era Enameled Oval Brown Zircon & Diamond Ring, $3,950

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14kyg Victorian Era Carved Cameo Pin/Pendant, $2,295

Don’t forget to stop in to view our collection of hundreds of Estate Pieces this weekend and check out our website for our full Estate Show schedule

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.  

Welcome!

Hi there!

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog.  Whether you have been a customer of ours for generations, years, months or days or you may have just stumbled upon our page – Welcome!  Michaels Jewelers is a family owned and run business with 10 stores throughout Connecticut.  We have been in business since 1885 – fun fact, Michaels started in Nova Scotia before making our way down the states.  We specialize in bridal jewelry, watches, estate and offer brands such as Alex and Ani and Pandora.

Our mission is to provide you with relevant and fun posts about all that glitters – aka diamonds and other fine jewelry! We hope you enjoy what we have to say and feel free to share our posts with others who may share the same interests!

So who am I?  I am the newest member to the Michaels team as well as one of the 5th generation family members to join the business.  I am newly engaged, planning a wedding and learning all there is about the world of retail & jewelry.

What will we be sharing with you?  Anything and everything related to jewelry!  Are you looking to buy an engagement ring, watch, design your own piece?  We want to be able to supply you with all the tips and tools needed to help you make an educated purchase, even if it’s not with us.  We’ll also be posting all things wedding, new styles and trends within the industry and really anything we feel is worthy of sharing :).

I am more than open to suggestions and comments, so feel free to reach out!

Thanks again and I hope to see you back here soon 🙂

-Elle