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!

Tips to Restyle Your Outdated Jewelry

Tips to Restyle Your Outdated Jewelry

Do you have any outdated, broken jewelry or perhaps something that just isn’t your style? Transform your jewelry into something new with these restyling tips. 

1. Add gemstones – By adding diamonds or colored gemstones you can turn your jewelry pieces into contemporary and chic designs.

2. Change the form – Earrings can be made into pendants, and gemstones from outdated rings can be incorporated into a new design to create a contemporary necklace or bracelet.

3. Create multiple pieces – Re-design outdated jewelry pieces to create heirlooms for your family members. For example, a pair of earrings can become two pendants and can be given as a meaningful gift to children and grandchildren.

4. Change the primary metal – The original materials from your heirloom  can be incorporated into a new design alongside modern materials used in fashion-forward design, such as enamel and titanium. 

Redesign Event

Its time to clean out your jewelry box! Transform your jewelry into something new during Michaels Jewelers’ One-Day Only Jewelry Styling & Redesign Event! Our specialists will work with you to create the perfect jewelry design and our skilled craftsman will make your new design come to life while you wait!

Check out the full event schedule here.

 

Buying Guide: 10 Tips From The Pros On Buying Wedding Bands

michaels-jewelers-weddingband.jpg

With our Wedding Band Event around the corner, we wanted to share 10 Tips From the Pros (our Managers) on buying Wedding Bands and Anniversary Bands:

1. Buy from a reputable jeweler! Buy from a jeweler who wants more than to just make a sale. Deal with one who wants to help you celebrate life’s most memorable moments, for a lifetime and more importantly, make sure they have a good reputation and proper credentials.  We recommend checking out the American Gem Society to find a jeweler who is certified to what is the upmost standard in the jewelry world.

2. Plan ahead and order early, if necessary! With so many designs and custom fittings available, you may choose something that will require additional time. Many special orders can take upwards of 4 weeks or more and you want to make sure you have plenty of time before the wedding to make sure your ring is perfect. 

3. Make sure it is what you want. Do you want his and her matching bands? Though matching bands are certainly available, it is not necessary to mach perfectly to either your engagement ring or your significant other’s ring.  Today, we find that more people are choosing non-traditional bands that include alternative metals or a different style that complements the engagement ring but gives it a new look.  Also – another element to consider is what you do for a living.  If you or your significant other works outside or with their hands, it may alter your decision as to what style works best for you everyday lifestyle.  

4. Decide what is most important to you. Is the quality of the diamonds more important than the size? Do you want Platinum or Gold? What is your budget? All of these factors will determine what the best value may be for you.  There are so many different options at all price points – ensuring you can find the perfect ring that matches all of your criteria.

5. Find a band that fits your engagement ring. If your engagement ring is set with a higher mounting, a curved band may be the best option so the wedding band runs flush with the engagement ring.  Another option would be an insert or wrap which are two wedding bands soldered together to frame your engagement ring.

6. Customize it! Michaels Jewelers offers many additional services such as custom sizing and inside ring engraving.  Did you see something on Pinterest or in a magazine?  Bring a picture of your dream ring to our store and let our associates help your design the perfect ring.  With our custom ring design, we can create your dream ring – the possibilities are endless! 

7. Make sure it matches your metal type! You should consider matching your metals so they age the same over time.  When it comes to the style of the ring, that’s where you can let your creativity kick in.  Today, we find that mixing and matching different styles can complement your engagement ring.

8. Consider having your engagement ring and wedding band soldered together to prevent friction, wear and keep them always aligned. Don’t worry; this process can be easily reversed if you wish to upgrade your ring in the future.

9. Don’t be afraid to add some color. Diamonds are the traditional stone when it comes to bridal however don’t be afraid to add in your favorite gemstone.  We love alternating deep hues of Sapphires or Rubies to give your wedding band a pop of color.  Does a birthstone have significance to you?  We have the ability to create any wedding band using gemstones.  

10. Take advantage of our special events! Michaels Jewelers’ Wedding Band Event  takes place from March 24th-April 29th.  During this time, when you buy one wedding band, you will receive a coupon up to $500* towards your second band!  Plus – our weekend trunk shows will showcase hundreds of different styles and you have the opportunity to meet our vendors who can help you pick out the perfect ring.  See below for trunk show dates:

March 24th – 25th – Meriden & Orange
March 31st – April 1st – Waterbury & Torrington
April 7th – 8th – Westfarms & Manchester
April 21st – 22nd – Avon & Danbury
April 28th – 29th – Trumbull & Bristol

 *See store for details

Michaels Stories – Peter & Lisa

Peter and Lisa met through a mutual friend in April 2014. They started dating shortly after and both knew from our first date that something special was happening between them. A few months into dating, we planned to have a baby – and now have a beautiful little girl.

It’ll be 3 years of being together this May. Peter recently proposed during dinner at the restaurant where we met. He reached for his pocket, pulled out a box, placed it on the table in front of Lisa, and asked her to marry him. Peter stopped in our Danbury store to pick out the perfect ring for Lisa – a classic 3 stone Treasure Chest engagement ring.  Now they are happily engaged and really excited about planning our wedding!

peter-lisa-engagement

Why Finding an AGS Jeweler is Important

Did you know that only 5% of jewelers, designers and appraisers have met the American Gem Society standards?  We are here to tell you what exactly is the American Gem Society (AGS) and why it is so important to find a jeweler who is AGS certified.

In 1934, Robert M. Shipley founded the AGS as a not-for-profit trade association comprised of retail jewelers, independent appraisers, suppliers, and selective industry members in the North America.  The goal was to build an elite group dedicated to consumer protection, ethical business practices and the development of superior gemological skills and knowledge.  The AGS was built with consumers in mind to protect them as well as their purchases by putting your trust into working with a consummate professional who adheres to the highest standards of the jewelry industry.

There are several titleholders which include:

  • Registered Jewelers (RJ)- a title earned by those who have completed the required coursework and classroom study of diamonds & gemstones who also adhere to the AGS‘s Code of Ethics.  This title but be renewed annual to increase knowledge and ethical practices
  • Certified Gemologists (CG)- A Certified Gemologist has taken advanced studies in diamonds and colored gemstones. A CG also demonstrates mastery of diamond, gemstone, and precious metal testing procedures
  • Certified Gemologist Appraisers (CGA)- This title is the most highly regarded among peers in the jewelry industry. Why? Because it certifies that the sales person can identify diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry and determine their value. This title requires advanced training and experience in determining the value of diamonds and gemstones
  • Independent Certified Gemologist Appraisers (ICGA)– This title represents those individuals whose sole business is appraising. He or she does not purchase or sell diamonds, gemstones, or jewelry.To receive this certification, the appraiser has completed the requirements for RJ, CG, and CGA, plus has successfully completed an extensive course in personal property appraising. He or she must not only complete the annual re-certification exam, but also submit proof of continuing education in their field every five years

In order for a jeweler to become certified by the AGS, one must meet strict criteria that include:

  • Have an exceptionally high level of gemological knowledge including successfully completing prescribed courses and classes in diamonds and colored gemstones
  • Possess a reputation for unquestioned integrity and must conduct business to enhance the confidence of the public
  • Demonstrate sincere interest in ethical business practices and exemplify this belief
  • Be a retail jeweler, jewelry business supplier or independent appraisal business that has been established for at least two years with demonstrated financial stability
  • All titleholders must be re-certified every year

In order to maintain membership, jewelers in the American Gem Society must agree to their Code of Ethics:

  • Provide full disclosure of all facts pertaining to the products they sell
  • Never intentionally deceive their employees, consumers, vendors, or business partners
  • Compete fairly and never speak unprofessionally about their competitors. Likewise, encourage their colleagues in the jewelry industry to embrace these principals.
  • Resolve any customer complaints relating to the sale of a product
  • Not sell conflict diamonds. AGS jewelers must make every effort to fully comply with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the World Diamond Council System of Warranties
  • Continue their gemological and jewelry education, always improving their knowledge and keeping up with trends in jewelry and ethical business practices.
  • Adhere to anti-money laundering (AML) program, which is designed to comply with the USA Patriot Act

Michaels has several Managers and Associates with titles of Registered Jewelers, Certified Gemologists and Certified Gemologist Appraisers.  To find an AGS certified jeweler near you, click here.

 

 

 

 

*Many excerpts were derived from the AGS website

 

Pandora FREE Leather Bracelet Event Happening NOW!

Its back! The Pandora FREE Leather Bracelet Event graced us just in time to complete our Summer wardrobe.   Spend $100 or more* and receive a FREE bracelet of your choice! Featuring bright, beautiful colors including shades of blues and pinks as well as a variety of neutral colors that will match any outfit.  Stop in to our Avon, Bristol, Danbury, Manchester , Meriden , Orange, Torrington, Westfarms or Waterbury Michaels Jewelers locations to check out this event, now through June 19th.

 

*Free leather bracelet (up to a $55 USD retail value). While supplies last at participating retailers. Bracelet selection may vary by store. Excludes gift card purchases. Charms sold separately.

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.