Tag Archives: michaels jewelers

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

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.

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.

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!

Happy Birthday November Babies!

We wanted to take the time to wish all November babies a very Happy Birthday.  There are many reasons we love November:

– It kicks of the holiday season and is now socially acceptable to listen to Michael Buble’s Christmas album on repeat

– Starbucks will be releasing the highly anticipated new holiday latte, Chestnut Praline Latte

– We can pin all thing Thanksgiving and pray our tablescape emulates the perfectly coordinated settings (a girl can dream, right?)

But more importantly, we love November because we LOVE Citrine & Topaz. We wholeheartedly believe this was done so we can coordinate the beautiful stones with all of our fall styles.

Nancy G. from our Danbury store is showcasing one one of our favorite pieces:

Citrine Ring

So go ahead, treat yourself this year to something you deserve and wear your birthstones proudly!

Our 2014 Fall Favorites – Must Haves For The Season!

Now that fall is officially upon us, it is time to pull out the boots, cozy up in your oversized sweater and overdose on all things pumpkin.  With that, don’t forget about updating your accessories! Take a look at some of our favorite fall pieces to keep you fashionable while picking apples, finding the perfect pumpkin or taking a stroll to enjoy the foliage.

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1. Michael Werdiger 14KYG Pave Diamond Ring with Roped Shank – Retail $1,195

2. Estate Piece – 18KY Blue & Green Enamel Bangle Bracelet – Retail $12,500

3. Alex and Ani Quill Feather Wrap Bangle – Retail $58

4. Charles Garnier Libby Pendant Sterling Silver Lattice Round  Necklace- Retail $165

5. Mi Moneda Joya & Stud Moneda in Gold Plated Pendant – Retail $398 (for complete set as pictured)

6. Michael Kors Rose Gold Plated Watch – See store for pricing

7. Estate Piece – Platinum Green Emerald Cut 19CT Tourmaline & Diamond Ring – Retail $4,900