Why You Should Have Your Jewelry Appraised Regularly

Why do you need your jewelry appraised and why do you need it re-appraised every 7 years?

  1. Insurance.  The most important reason for appraisals is for insurance purposes. Jewelry not only has a sentimental value but a monetary value and in many cases, a significant value.  Because of this, you want to protect your jewelry and investment. While no one likes to talk about it, there is the possibility that your jewelry may get lost, stolen or damaged and when filing a claim with your insurance company, they will rely on the value of the piece based on your appraisal.  While anyone can appraise an item, it is important to find a reputable jeweler who has been accredited by the American Gem Society (AGS) to ensure you are trusting your valuables with a professional who has been meticulously trained and certified to appraise jewelry properly.  The best way to determine this is to visit the AGS website and find an appraiser or look for CGA (Certified Gemologist Appraiser) after their name.  Another point to note – some insurance companies do not accept appraisals that are 2 years or older.  Make sure you ask your insurance company on their policy and how frequently they require updated appraisal documents.  Michaels recommends you have your jewelry appraised every 3-5 years.
  2. The value of your jewelry can change. The precious metal market is just like the stock market – the value changes on a daily basis, sometimes slightly and sometimes drastically.  The value of your jewelry can, in some cases, increase over time!
  3. Restyling or any change to your jewelry.  After time, we may want to change up our jewelry, whether taking the center stone of a ring and making it into a pendant or perhaps changing up the setting to have a more modern look.  Any time that you make an adjustment to your jewelry, you should have it re-appraised to the proper value of the item
  4. You can save 50%!  Michaels Jewelers has an Appraisal Program, where if you have your piece appraised with us, you can have it re-appraised within 7 years at 50% off the cost of the appraisal
  5. Detect Damage – If it has been a while since your jewelry has been appraised or inspected by a professional, you may not realize that there has been damage to your jewelry.  Aside from having your jewelry appraised every few years, visit a reputable, certified jeweler to inspect and professionally clean your jewelry at least every 6 months.  You may not realize it, but at times prongs can shift in jewelry or cracks can form in the stones.  By detecting the damage early on, they can be repaired before something worse happens – such as a stone falling out, in which you would need to go through your insurance.  Inspection and cleaning is complimentary at any Michaels Jewelers location – so don’t wait!

 

 

Be the First! Pandora July Ring Event Starts June 30th!

FREE Ring with purchase of any two PANDORA Rings*
We all know that stackable rings are all the rage right now.  From June 30th-July 6th, explore the preview event for the Pandora July Ring Event!  With the purchase of any two Pandora rings, get one ring FREE!  This offer includes all Pandora rings including the newest style from the Summer release.
Here are some of our favorite stackable styles:

pandora-stack1pandora-stack2pandora-stack3

2 X DROPLETS, DROPLETS ($75), 2 X POETIC DROPLET, CLEAR CZ, POETIC DROPLET, AQUA BLUE CRYSTAL ($180), 2 X INTERTWINED, ELEGANT SINCERITY ($115)
Visit any one of the locations below to shop this event:
OR visit our Pandora locations:
*Free ring must be of equal or lesser value to qualify. While supplies last at participating  etailers. No substitutions. Ring selection may vary by store. Excludes gift card purchases. See store associates for more details

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.

Semi-Annual Estate Event at Michaels Jewelers!

One of a kind treasures with exceptional values!

Our Estate Collections spans centuries from Victorian Era pins to Mid-Century masterpieces.   Explore some of the most unique pieces including Citrine & Ruby
14kt gold Retro Earrings, 18kt gold South Sea Pearl & Diamond Pendant, cameo pins and filigree diamond rings.  Michaels Jewelers brings you the finest diamonds and gemstones at a fraction of the cost to manufacture today.  We invite you to view our full collection during our Semi-Annual Estate Tour.
Tour dates are as follows:
Mar 10 – Mar 13 Trumbull
Mar 17 – Mar 20 Bristol
Mar 24 – Mar 26 Torrington
Mar 31 – April 3 Manchester
April 7 – April 10 Danbury
April 14 – April 17 Meriden
April 21 – April 24 Orange
April 28 – May 1 Westfarms
May 5 – May 8 Avon
May 12 – May 15 Waterbury

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.  

8 QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOU JEWELER

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Let’s face it, you have you barber or stylist and your favorite local pizza joint but do you have a jeweler that you can call and trust?  Unfortunately, today, many retailers mark up prices just to reduce them or curb their answers to make it sound like you are getting a better deal than you really are.  With engagement rings averaging closer to $6,000, you should absolutely do your homework not only on the ring, but also on your jeweler.  Before you make any purchases you should ask these 8 questions to ensure your jeweler is a reliable one:

1. If I buy a diamond from you, do you guarantee that it will receive the same grade if I send it to any lab, including the GIA or the AGS? We have found many labs to be wildly inconsistent, sometimes over-grading a diamond by 5 to 6 grades. There are Jewelers who use this grey area to make unrealistic claims about the value they are offering. If the answer they give you is, “Well, we have a money back guarantee” or “even the GIA can grade it differently,” that demonstrates they are not confident in their offering and you should seek another Jeweler.

2. Do you guarantee the craftsmanship of your products beyond the return privilege or do I have to buy the warranty? Many Jewelers use extended service plans to boost their bottom line. Often, these plans include unusual use or abuse disclaimers that allow them to determine what they will or will not cover even after the customer has paid extra. In general, Jewelers who focus on selling extended plans should be avoided.

3. Do you have an accredited laboratory to handle appraisal and gem identification work?  As an AGS (American Gem Society) Jeweler, we submit to annual re-certification to insure that our equipment and
associates are up to standard. If a Jeweler needs an outside company to do appraisal work for them, you should question their ability to properly recommend or insure that the item you’re buying meets the specifications that the manufacturer has stated.

4. Can I see my diamond or gemstone under a loupe or a Gem Scope?  If the jeweler gives you a hard time, they should be avoided.  No Jeweler or gemologist would ever buy a piece of fine jewelry without inspecting it under 10X magnification. We inspect the match and consistency of the gemstones as well as the quality of the prong work.

5. Have you ever sold this product at the price shown on the tag? (If you are receiving a % off discount.)  Unfortunately, the oldest trick in the book is to mark up a product only to mark it down later.  The AGS considers this form of advertising to be less than honest and note in the best interest of the consumer or industry.  

6. If my jewelry needs to be serviced, where do you send it?  Many jewelers use trade shops that are out of state, which requires extra time and circumvents any quality control procedures. Our certified master goldsmiths perform all our repairs on premise.

7. If I want to upgrade m diamond, how much more will i have to spend? Many jewelers require you to double the purchase price. Our Love for Life Guarantee allows you to exchange your diamond engagement ring at any time with no upgrade required. In the future, if you wish to trade in your solitaire diamond earrings or the diamond in your engagement ring, Michaels Jewelers requires you to spend only 50% more.

8.  Are all of your Rubies, Emeralds and Sapphires natural?  Several of the national chains have gone strictly to lab created stones and often the sales associate forgets to disclose the major difference. It is our opinion that full disclosure on any and all treatments is the only way to operate. This would be particularly true with gemstones that are grown in a laboratory.

If you have any hesitations about purchasing a piece of jewelry, visit any one of Michaels’ 10 locations where our professionals have the tools and experience to help guide you through any questions you may have.