Forgive me...I feel like I've neglected you this past summer. The "roller coaster" ride began with a cancer diagnosis Memorial Day weekend and ended with the passing of my mother, Millie Ostroff on August 9th. This loss is indescribable. Everyone deals with grief differently. For me, keeping busy is best.
For years, you have asked about My Jewel Shop selling our jewelry on the internet. For years, I've searched for the right concept and the perfect fit. We found it!!! In fact, we did it!!!!! I say we, because this was a collective effort. In the process, the My Jewel Shop "family" inspired each other with our individual skill sets and this online store has surpassed my incredibly high expectations. Our store contains a collection of our wearable "art" jewelry and is meant to be enjoyed, like going to a museum. Each stone is uncommon, each design is unique, each execution is extraordinary. My heartfelt gratitude to my work family, Rob Stewart, Mary Ward, and Layne Freedline...dreams really do come true.
"To good to be true?"
Often, we see people make jewelry purchases because they are convinced they are getting a deal. In reality, gold and diamond prices are pretty standard throughout the world, and our industry. What does vary, is the markup. My Jewel Shop prides ourselves in being competitively priced every day. We tag our merchandise with the best price, no games, no false deals, just honest value every single day. Here's an article I found from within our industry publication, "Jeweler's Circular Keystone."
Be an educated consumer....
Here is an article from JCK Magazine on "False reference pricing".....
"False reference pricing" is alleged.
"The city attorney of Los Angeles is accusing Macy's Inc. of using deceptive practices in advertising some of its products, including jewelry. City Attorney Michael N. Feuer is suing the Cincinnati-based retailer in California Superior Court. He claims that Macy's engaged in "false reference pricing."
As an example, Feuer said that on May 20, 2016, the company first offered for sale online a "Giani Bernini Large Cross Pendant Necklace in Sterling Silver," a Macy’s exclusive in-house product. On the first day, it was advertised with an “original” price of $120 and a “sale” price of $30, according to the complaint. But the purported “original” price of $120 was a false reference price, as Macy’s did not offer the item for sale online for more than $30, according to Feuer.
The city attorney claims that Macy's has used false reference prices for "thousands of products." He claims Macy's violated the Unfair Competition Law and the False Advertising Law. Macy’s told the Los Angeles Times that it doesn't "comment on litigation matters." Feuer is also suing JC Penney, Sears and Kohl's on similar grounds, though jewelry is not mentioned in those cases.
In a statement, Feuer said: "Customers have the right to be told the truth about the prices they’re paying — and to know if a bargain is really a bargain." Feuer is asking that Macy's be enjoined from engaging in the described practices. He is also asking that the defendants be required to pay civil penalties."
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"The less color, the higher the grade. Even the slightest hint can make a dramatic difference in value." (GIA)
Diamonds are graded upside down and with a "master set of stones."
FANCY COLORED DIAMONDS
"The grading of colored diamonds is conducted by a team of highly specialized GIA gemologists who examine the diamonds utilizing comparison masters. GIA’s nine-tiered rating system for color ranges from Faint to Fancy Vivid. Among the most famous colored diamonds are the Hope, a 45.52-carat blue diamond at the Smithsonian Institution – graded as Fancy Deep gray blue on the GIA scale – and the 41-carat Dresden Green Diamond, both fabled in their cultural history.
Naturally occurring colored diamonds, such as the Hope and Dresden, are very rare and therefore command top prices; diamonds that have been color-altered by laboratory treatment are less rare, and therefore less valuable. The “origin of color” of a colored diamond (that is, whether its color is natural or laboratory-treated) is disclosed on a GIA Grading Report."
To read more of the article, "The World's Fascination with Fancy Colored Diamonds" by GIA, CLICK HERE.
Everything you need to know before you buy a diamond.
For the duration of this month I will focus my blog on diamond education. I want you to become an informed consumer. You will hopefully gain the confidence you need when making a diamond purchase as well as appreciate what you own. FEEL FREE TO ASK QUESTIONS! This is an opportunity to learn from the highest authority and resource in our industry...the Gemological Institute of America. Be sure to share with friends and family.
DIAMONDS CAN BE A GIRLS BEST FRIEND
A Bit of History:
When I was hired in 1977, My Jewel Shop was one of the few custom design jewelry stores in the area. I was a young enthusiastic employee, with a passion to learn everything I could. There was no limit to my opportunities, and I was exposed to every aspect of the business. The more educated I became, the more I fell in love with the jewelry industry. Our unique ability to marry nature with man’s talent and create wearable art to last for generations is creatively rewarding, as well as sentimentally beautiful.
My very first jewelry trade show at the enormous Javits Center in New York City was an experience I will NEVER forget. Just imagine walking into a convention center filled with thousands of jewelry manufacturers from all over the world bringing the best of what they do. I was blown away! There were no words for the beauty and creativity our industry was capable of. There were no words for the amount of value in merchandise within one building. There were no words for the incredible diamonds and color gemstones. I was completely sucked into the AMAZING world of jewelry!
Forty years later:
Our day began very early (daylight savings…even lost an hour!), doggie drop off, Wawa to caffeinate, and we were in New York when the trade show opened at 10. This year they combined three trade shows into one. My first stop was to treasure hunt for beads/pearls and who knows what, so Mary and I can create fabulous necklaces combining all kinds of cool stuff. I never know what I will find, and I somewhat design while I shop to be sure I have all the elements. I always buy way too much, spend much more than I expect, but never have regrets once we start creating the necklaces. Just writing this blog and talking about the beads gets my heart racing! Next were gemstone dealers to tempt us with natures finest. Even using my self control, (I’m soooo weak when it comes to gemstones), I had to buy too much. These will be used for the My Jewel Shop one-of-a-kind pieces. It is these stones that get my creative juices over flowing. People sometimes wonder if I ever run out of design ideas…NEVER!
Next was looking for specific customer needs…we love being your personal shopper!
While walking the show these amazing carved gemstone birds caught my eye. Rob is a bit superstitious when it comes to birds (blame Hungarians). Let’s just say, stop in if you want to see the coolest carved gemstone birds ever! Had some appointments with our favorite companies (felt good to sit down), and bought great new merchandise. Pink gold is definitely hot! Checked into our hotel (view of the city and the Hudson River!!!!!), and dinner at an awesome Italian restaurant with my bestie, ended day one of our buying trip. Day two we continued our search for customer calls, did more buying and found a few new companies we expect to do business with in the future. We were done at 3:30 and made it through the Lincoln Tunnel by 4! No New York TRAFFIC!! An absolutely PERFECT trip!
What didn’t feel good on this trip, was to see our industry shrinking right before our eyes. Instead of thousands of exhibitors, there are hundreds. Our show guide used to be thick like a telephone book, now it’s more like a booklet. Today, so much jewelry is computer generated and goldsmiths like Rob are a dying breed. The younger generations do not want to learn the jewelry trade. They do not want to learn how to engrave jewelry, they do not want to learn how to fix watches. This frightens me.
My Jewel Shop would never be able to give the service we offer our customers, if there was no Rob. His golden hands are what drives our business and separates us from the big box stores. My hope is, as our industry continues to shrink, some will choose to continue the old school trade. We must recognize and have a better appreciation for the talent and ability necessary to create beautiful wearable art…known to us, as jewelry. This is an industry that must never die!
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