Carats to Karat
A long time in the making (literally) but our 3D Printer has arrived! We are having the drawing on July 14th, 2016 for the recipient of the $2500.00 piece of jewelry made from the winners design choice and the 3D Printer. The party will be from 5PM to 7PM at our store, drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served. As stated before you are not required to be present to win but we would love to see you. We are very excited to have this new piece of equipment as it will allow us to create one of a kind pieces for our customers. We are trying to have some new designs available to purchase at the time of the party so be prepared to shop! Look forward to seeing all of you in July.
UPDATE!! You still can win but time in limited!! 1 in 300 chance to win a$2500.00 fabulous piece of jewelry of your OWN design for only $25.00 !!
Update !! The printer has been purchased and will be arriving late February of 2016. The technology is so new it is literally being made for us as I write this!! You still have a chance to get in on this fabulous deal so get on board - buy a ticket!!
Here's the deal. We are raffling off 300 $25.00 tickets. The winner will receive the first 3D printed piece of jewelry made from their OWN design. We have 13 grams of 14K gold and 3 Carats of diamonds (or comparative value of in stock stones, customer's choice) of which we will create the new piece out of. In case you don't know what a 3D Printer does ; a person creates a 3D drawing on a computer and sends the data to the printer and the printer then creates the item out of wax/plastic in 3D form of which you can then cast into jewelry (technical definition linked below.) The one we bought is pictured up above, a FormLabs 2 SLA Printer. It will an awesome addition to our store. In turn you have the 1 in 300 chance to get the piece of jewelry you always dreamed of valued at $2500.00 for only $25.00 !! You can buy a ticket from the website by clicking Here
"This was my grandmother's watch and she left it to me, what do you think it's worth?" Watches are versatile in the market. In other words it's a collectors market - what they desire is what the market bears. That being said there are some that hold their value more than others; such as Rolex, Patek Phillippe, Hamilton 992B pocket watches, Audemars Piguet, and Tourbillons. These are high end watches that cost a pretty penny on the front side and as long as they are cared for properly will retain their monetary worth. As for grandma's watch it is possible there is value. The things to note are, what is the metal type, the brand, are there precious gems on it, is it a mechanical watch (doesn't need a battery,) is the dial in good condition, is it running, how old is it? The best way to determine value is do the research. The internet is always a good place to start. There are a few good sites to look at that will help you decide the above information. http://www.thewatchguy.com/, http://www.mybulova.com/ (if it is a Bulova,) http://mb.nawcc.org/(you do have to sign up, it's free.) Also a good reference as always, eBay.
In determining the metal type whether it is gold or silver, the smart choice is to get it tested at a local, reputable jeweler. Unfortunately, items can be marked inaccurately as something they are not and unless you have paperwork stating otherwise it is always a good idea to get it checked out, it is usually a free service and depending on the size of the watch it can bring the value of it up considerably.
When researching the brand, please make sure you check the insides of the watch as well. Again, if you do not have the right tools take it to a local jeweler, they should be able to open it for you. Unfortunately, the deceit of manufacturers is high in the watch industry and a lot are made to look identical on the outside to the expensive ones but once opened display the true manufacturer. Usually the higher end watches are the ones most duplicated.
Bling on a watch is fun and obviously the gemstones will add value to the piece but again make sure they are real, get them tested appropriately. As a watchmakers wife, I do see quite a few watches and colored gemstones are not as popular as they used to be, but they do exist, mainly with diamonds, in the more current styles. In the early 1900's a variety of gemstones were used and even then many were imitations. Bottom line, get them tested, this also can bring the value up.
Most people think that if the watch is mechanical it will automatically be worth more, that is not the case. There have been a lot of watches made in the last 500 years and it has only been in the last 50 years or so that battery operated ones were available. So that being said you can imagine how many mechanical watches are out there! The go to collectors watch guide is "The Complete Price Guide To Watches" by Gilbert & Engle. It runs about $25., but if you are an avid collector it is well worth your money. They usually have one in the local library, if you just want to peruse one. It takes a bit to figure out how to look watches up in there but read the beginning chapters and you should have no problem.
Once you have figured out the value of your watch, if your watch is not running find a watchmaker (horologist) to take a look at it for you and see if it is worth putting money in to it. Sometimes the amount of work is not worth it, unless of course it is a sentimental piece, then it is up to you. Horology can be lucrative and fun if appeals to you. there are a lot of groups that participate in collecting watches and clocks it is possible there is one in your town. Happy Hunting! Next time we will talk about stones and their symbolic meanings.
Welcome to the middle of July, the season for family trips, school shopping and possibly earning some extra cash for your unwanted jewelry. Because jewelry is an emotional purchase keep in mind it can be an emotional sale, make sure you really want to sell it. Once it's gone its virtually impossible to get it back. In trying to determine what you have, I again refer to becoming an "informed seller." The more you know about what you have the better off you will be. If you have paperwork, i.e. appraisals and records of purchases it helps determine the value more readily. Is the item damaged, clean, resell-able as is? Are there any hallmarks on the piece(s)? These are all important things to know before leaving the house.
If the item is valuable, it is likely at some point it was appraised, bring the papers with you when selling the item, it helps the buyer and you understand the realistic value of the item. Please note the value listed is not what you will likely get for the piece unless the stones are of extremely high quality. As a jeweler and purchaser of secondhand jewelry we standardly do not pay for anything beyond the metal value of the item and even at that it is below the cost of the refined value due to the fact we have to sell it ourselves to the refinery. We as most buyers of jewelry will remove the stones at no charge. The key here is provide the paperwork if you have it. You will get more money if you do.
Look over the items carefully, are they currently wearable? Is the clasp broken or are stones missing or chipped? These factors can bring down the price too. I would suggest investing in a bottle of Tarnex to clean silver pieces. That and a toothbrush will do wonders for the look of the item. If your item is in good condition you might have a chance at a better price via Ebay or your local craigslist or pennysaver. If you do not feel comfortable listing the item yourself, maybe a relative can assist you or some jewelers provide consigning options for a small percentage of the sale price as we do.
The other point of consideration would be the provenance of the item. If the item is marked with a hallmark ( the manufacturers mark) the item might be valued higher than otherwise. Some Native American items are highly sought after and can bring a much greater price than the stone or metal value alone. These marks can also tell you the metal value, i.e. 14K, 18K and so on. Please verify the metal with a jeweler prior to selling it online as there are fraudulent manufacturers out there that will sell an item as the real deal and come to find out the hallmark is incorrect.
To wrap up, if you have paperwork concerning the item(s) bring it with you when trying to sell it; clean and review the item(s) you are trying to sell, you might get a better price; last but not least check for hallmarks and do the research if necessary - in other words being an informed seller may be worth a few extra bucks. Until next week happy selling. We will be reviewing the value of watches, stay tuned!!
Hello again. Still trying my hand in the blogging world, in hopes, this time, it will become somewhat easier and more prolific. We have, over the past year, grown up a little in this industry; moved to a bigger location, joined The Chamber of Commerce and taken on larger accounts but, not without growing pains. We feel blessed to still be up and running and getting through the tough times builds character - at least that's what my Dad always said. So I'm thinking my character must be solid by now!! I've been told this time of year is classified as the dog days of summer in our industry which based on the amount of sales we've had of late I would agree with, hence the foray into blogging again.
In this week's blog I would like to provide insights into buying fine jewelry. The challenge in buying jewelry for the average person is that he or she doesn't really know enough about fine gems or the quality of metal they are buying, which causes a lot of dishonesty in this trade to the consumer. The key is to be an informed buyer. There is oodles of information on the net to help you determine what you want, what you can afford and who is reputable; all are important factors in shopping for jewelry. Just search what you want to know about such as "how to determine diamond quality." I prefer to use google.com as my search engine, it seems to be the most objective and least obscure search engine I've found. The clearer your search question is, the better the answer.
Finances - First and foremost determine the amount of money you can spend. For instance, I've heard outrageous claims that a wedding ring should be the cost of up to 6 months worth of income for the one buying it. I'm sorry, that is such poppycock- the wedding ring should be a symbol of love and unity between two people and financially what they can afford, not what the media tells them they should afford. Why bring undo stress to the union prior to the wedding day?!? There are many fine rings out in the market that won't break the bank. A good source for ideas would be Etsy.com or eBay.com. You can get a wide variety of styles to look at and get a realistic understanding of the value of the items.
Jeweler - That being said I would suggest finding a local jeweler you feel comfortable with and discuss the feasibility of your budget and what it is you actually want. Sometimes a well loved pre-owned piece can become exactly what you want for a lot less then a brand new item, or you can make it your own with a little tweak of design or a new stone for a lot less of money. Finding a jeweler you feel comfortable with can be a challenge but, it is achievable. As I stated, being informed is your best defense against "shysters." Find out what the cost of metal is currently going for at kitco.com. Please note the metal listed is for pure metal, not the standard metal jewelry is mostly made of i.e. the gold is listed at 24 Karat and most jewelry is made of 18K, 14K or 10K which brings the value down to 75%, 58.5% or 41.7% of the listed price comparatively. The next thing you have to take into consideration is stones. If you want stone(s) in the piece how important to you is it that they are mined or lab grown? There is kind of a snobbery in this industry regarding real or man made, most jewelers prefer working with real only because man made can be difficult to work with in some ways but, in no way is less used in the industry. As a jewelers wife and someone who works in this field I can tell you man made stones are just as beautiful if not more so than mined ones and can be a lot more friendly to the budget, if that is a concern. This is why it is important for you to find a jeweler you trust, so you can buy a piece of jewelry you will cherish and know what it is you actually will own. My advise is to bring a friend or family member along on your visit who has an item with a real stone and then maybe one with a stone that is man made. Most jewelers will clean the items before looking at them to get a clearer view of the stones and the craftsmanship of the piece in question. At this point, let the jeweler tell you about them. It will give you some understanding of their honesty and knowledge.
Reputation -The other avenue is research the reviews online of the jeweler you are visiting or talk to trusted friends or family that has experience with the jewelers in your area. The fact is that most jewelry is made up of metal and rocks and it is one of the most emotional items you will spend money on, sometimes a lot of money. Because of that it is important to find a company worthy of your hard earned dollars. Take the time to do the research and be an informed consumer you will be much happier you did. Next week we'll talk about selling unwanted jewelry for the best price, stay tuned....
Having small grandchildren who live out of state, it is always important to get the shopping done early to ship in time for the holidays. It also means we have to generate new ideas for our business to come up with the additional funds required to pay for all the extras during the month of December. This includes the extras needs for the storefront operation, i.e. decorations, gifting opportunities for our customers and the ability to create new and exciting ways of saving money for them.
During this economic downturn we at ADJ realize jewelry is not a necessity but, it can be an emotional and sentimental gift opportunity which can fit into your budget this year. Do you have an old piece of jewelry lying around that has possibly been in the family for a while that everyone is aware of but has no interest in because the style is outdated or the unwearable do to damage of the piece? We at ADJ have the means to repair or re-purpose that piece to make it an awesome gift for a loved one. This includes watches too, as we have an onsite horologist who specializes in the repair of old timepieces. Make this holiday one to remember with a piece that spans generations by coming in today to get started on your gift that will be remembered for years to come. Let us help you make your holiday shopping as painless as possible this year, see you soon!
Okay, so we as a country survived another election, for better or worse. As a small business owner there will be some minor changes due to our newly elected officials but for the most part we will plod along and try and better our situation with our own actions. As my daughter put so eloquently this morning; "Just try and make your life the best you can possibly make it, and persevere to be better and do better. That is all you can do in this life no reason to be so negative about things that have already happened, be happy you made it to see another free day in this country, I know I am." Hear, hear. We are in this world together lets try and get along.
In my industry it is time for the holiday push, last minute purchases for the loved ones and the rush to get in made in time or sized appropriately. A word to the wise if you are in the market for jewelry this year start early because the closer it gets to the deadline the more expensive it will be!! We want to provide you with the best service we can and that involves wide awake staff who are happy and eager to get the job done. Burning the midnight hour costs, be kind to your jewelers! We look forward serving you.
After a week and half off I am having difficulty getting back in the swing of things, kinda don't want to ;). Setting up the jewelry in the store reminds me to bring variety to our online mode of selling and kind customers remind me to check our links to make them work correctly, silly me. Told you I wasn't really back on track yet....
Locally, Fall has landed. Blustery, cool winds are blowing through our valleys reminding me that the holidays are right around the corner. Being in the jewelry industry brings new meaning to the holidays - are we trendy enough for the seasonal buyers? Are the advertising dollars being spent in the right place? Such is the life of a small business in this topsy-turvy market. In researching the current trends I have found that the jewelry interests are following the lines of big and bold this season with lots of color, something similar to the photos below. If you have some other ideas in mind let me know and I'll see if I have something for you or a loved one. Until next time :)
This week has been one of fun and play for me - I have been able to spend time with my daughter and granddaughter and have taken full advantage of owning a business, much to the chagrin of my partners I'm sure. Needless to say it has been an awesome visit.
We as a business have been trying some new things over the past week in hopes of generating more awareness of our company and our website. It is hard to tell whether or not it has worked as of yet, but time will tell. Spending money on advertising is always a gamble, sometimes it works for you and sometimes it doesn't. Being an owner of a business does not make you automatically a business guru and believe me when I say, you make a lot of mistakes along the way and some of them are financial disasters.
As one of my partners likes to say "We make friends not customers." Unfortunately friends don't always pay the bills, so even though our goal is to have the best customer service out there,we still need to sell our services and wares, hence the advertising gamble. Let us know if you are meeting us for the first time due to our advertising or word of mouth. Either way we are happy to provide you with the best service and smiles we can offer. Have a good rest of the week and I'll be sending words your way next time on whatever is on my mind at the moment.
I have been an artisan most of my life, mostly for personal hobbies or gifts, but in recently becoming a store owner, being an artisan makes or breaks the bank. Myself, along with my husband and another fine gentleman have recently joined forces and are trying to carve a niche in the jewelry market of Nipomo,CA. In doing so I have become the designated marketer for our group, heaven forbid!
Seriously folks, this is a work in progress of the utmost dimensions. I have learned how to take pictures up close and personal for eBaying and our website; build a website, become a wordsmith for descriptive purposes, and now am trying to reach out in the cyber world to make ourselves known through the infamous method of blogging. So come along on a weekly basis for my musings and ideas regarding the jewelry industry and how we at Artisan Designer Jewelry are making a difference in the vast expanse that this industry encompasses. I look forward to your questions and comments, it certainly is just a bit one sided if I'm the only one doing all the blogging!