Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How Much Is That Doggy Collar In The Window

Got Bling?

Safety and comfort are the first requirements for my new puppy’s collar, but pretty little lady Ms. JW’s new collar has got to have some glitz, flair and pizzazz.
 I’m not going to buy anything too expensive, but Ms. JW need to always look glamorous,  hot and fashionable.

So it’s off a shopping we go to the pet store for a blingy doggy collar.

Monday, March 3, 2014

What Irene's Aquamarine Birthstone Ring Told Me

Jewelry manufacturing jewelry
Craftsmanship means attention to detail

 Irene’s March birthstone ring was a larger aquamarine solitaire, well-cut, beautifully polished and  a gem with a traditional water color tint.   Perhaps you have an older co-worker or friend, like my ex-boss Irene, who wears the most distinctive and well-made jewelry. 
Her ring's  setting had longer, stronger prongs and a thicker ring shank. The ring contained a generous amount of gold.


Irene’s choice of aquamarine birthstone ring was a mirror image of her in many respects.

Unfortunately,  in 2014, middle-class values for jewelry  have somehow been translated into the words “cheap and cheaper” as the price of gold has risen. 

Some examples of poor craftsmanship include: thin shanks, short prongs, poorly polished gems and highly included gems. Further some material just looks better in gold instead of silver, like pearls.

I won’t forget Irene  and her well-made aquamarine birthstone ring.   And just like she always inspired me to do better on the job, I will always seek the best jewelry value for my money.


Why You Need To Return Bad Jewelry Purchases NOW!

Woman not impressed with package contents
She's not impressed at all

If “Ugh” is your first reaction when you open a delivery of jewelry, you just need to return it immediately to get your money back and restore your confidence.   Sending back a jewelry purchase will allow you to get your confidence back after being hoodwinked  into buying jewelry that looks nothing like the description on the internet or in a printed catalog.
A stiff upper lip is the number one thing that you need to return unwanted jewelry. 
 Otherwise your cash money could be tied-up in jewelry that you don’t like and don't want. In these economic times, it's really is your money versus their money. 
Returning a bad jewelry purchase  is how you can save your own personal economy by restoring  money to your bank account.

Key Steps to Ensure Trouble-free Returns

  • Read and understand the return policies of vendors before you buy:  Is the return period 10 days, 30 days or longer?  Or returns not allowed?
  • Does the vendor’s return policy state that a purchase can be returned for any reason or only if defective in some manner?
  • Will you be able to get a full refund?  Or will you be charged a re-stocking fee, which can be as much as 10% of the purchase price.
  • Will you only be able to exchange an item or be given a store credit?

Packing  and Mailing Returned Merchandise

  • Open cardboard boxes and plastic wrapping carefully so that it can reused.
  • Save all invoices, inventory tags and packing slips for at least 90 days.
  • Complete return forms accurately and completely. Carefully wrap the jewelry for return and include any inventory tags.
  • Pack and securely seal the return package. Get the package insured if the jewelry’s value warrants it.
  • Check your statement for a credit in 10 days.  Contact the vendor if you do not see a credit in 10 days.

In Store Returns

  • Gather your receipt and the jewelry inventory tag.
  • Repack the jewelry in the original box or packages to prevent damage before you get to the store.
  • Present the return and receipt to the sales clerk. Stoically explain that you are returning your jewelry purchase for a refund.
  • Provide your bank card if asked.
  • Obtain a refund receipt to check your bank statement or credit card records.
  • Check your statement within 1 or 2 days for a credit.
Instead of staring at a piece of jewelry you will never wear, you can look at  more money on your bank statement.  But only if you return the bad jewelry purchase. Now!

Monday, February 10, 2014

How To Get A Fresh New Amethyst Birthstone Jewelry Look

Scallop carved Amethyst gemstone
Scallop carved Amethyst gemstone and diamond ring

If you were born in February, here are 7  new looks of amethyst that will quickly upgrade your birthstone jewelry style:
1.    Wear larger stones, 20 plus carats or more,  in rings and pendants for  the bold  look of statement jewelry.

2.    Look for checkerboard or other unusually cut gemstones with more intense sparkle and color.


3.    Seek Amethyst gems from a different country like Tanzania or Uruguay for  more vivid gemstone colors.


4.    Try jewelry set with Drusy, crystalline geode pieces of Amethyst.


5.    Examine   Amethyst gems labeled “color-change” to see if you detect a true color shift.


6.    Shop for vintage and antique  jewelry pieces, many often contain extraordinary specimens of Amethyst gems.


7.    Have some fun with Amethyst carving of  whimsical objects like insects, flowers and leaves!

Amethyst birthstone jewelry doesn’t have to be boring and ubiquitous. 

The above  jewelry styles are  ways to make your February birthstone jewelry look fresh, hot and eye-catching.

Monday, February 3, 2014


Gemstone luxury jewelry with red rubies  and green emeralds  has a leading role in Monae’s “The Electric Lady” music video.  Janelle’s Hollywood glamour jewelry in the video is worthy of a stroll on the Oscar’s Red Carpet. 

And what about that red belt with the embellished silver buckle?!

Everything is NOT black and white for the high octave and high octane performer, especially her luxury jewelry.

Give A Flawed Diamond For A Valentine's Day Gift

heart shaped diamond in fingertips
Literally  holding a hand holding a heart

A heart shaped diamond solitaire gift transcends the elemental chemistry of geology and becomes the biochemistry of love, something very useful  for Valentine’s Day.

But gems' composition and structure are just chemical formulas of molecules, that’s what we are taught. Or are they?

 To me, no other gemstone, an inanimate object, truly reflects love like a heart shaped diamond solitaire. Test my theory for yourself… which rock in the photo below really tugs at YOUR heart?


Different diamond cuts
A variety of diamond cuts

See what I mean! (The trillion cut diamonds are  close seconds.)

It doesn’t even have to have lots of carats or be flawlessly cut.  In fact, a heart shaped diamond can have very visible imperfections with a dull yellow color and very little sparkle.  Even very flawed, it will still evoke a feeling of pure love.

If you want to acknowlege that you are imperfect, a heart shaped diamond might be the perfect jewelry gift for Valentine’s Day this year.   Let the diamond  do the ‘talking’ for you.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Ms. Ann's Garnets And The January Surprise

Cluster Ring with Garnets January's Birthstone
Classic Garnet Cluster Ring

Over Christmas Dinner it finally occurred to me that Ms. Ann must be a January baby, because she only wears Garnet jewelry--that month’s birthstone.   I remember thinking ‘Hmmm… that so unusual for any woman, let alone a young gal to exclusively, only, wear birthstone jewelry.’

Her jewelry look is demure, usually classic Mozambique, coffee or tea colored,  garnet cluster designs in earrings and bracelets.    She’s a pretty and demure girl who’s also NASA smart.   I like that about her: there’s no riff-raff going on here.

Big MM Bead Garnet Necklace
A Rare Style of Big Bead Garnets

Too bad we didn’t realize her real style  when we all went jewelry shopping for her gift a few Christmases ago. 
And I do mean “We”. 
 Lil Loren enlisted the aid of his Mom, grandmother and me to help him select the perfect jewelry gift for Ms. Ann.

After the sales clerk reminded us, gently, that our selections were “too old” for a young girl, we shut-up and left Lil Loren to his own devices to select a gift.    If I recall, he settled-on sapphire earrings.   Sapphire is his grandmother's birthstone.

He made a good choice.    I’d like to think that it was because I previously told him that a good girlfriend is rare and precious.

And that’s the compelling thing about rich red Bordeaux colored garnet jewelry, it’s always  rare and precious looking despite being inexpensive and very accessible.

At one time there were 2 jewelry stores in Chicago that sold nothing but exquisite red rhodolite, berry-colored, garnet jewelry - One on Michigan Avenue and the other on Howard Street.  Go figure!
But I’ve seen paintings of Queens, like Elizabeth I and Victoria wearing garnet jewelry.  I recall a photo of Elizabeth Taylor wearing garnets.

 These were women who could afford  royal jewelry or luxury designs but chose to wear garnets when it suited them.

Ms. Ann said "Yes".

I’m beyond happy that Lil’ Loren and Ms. Ann chose each other.  So let’s forget about the garnet birthstone jewelry momentarily.  I want to see  video and photos of that diamond engagement ring.



Monday, January 6, 2014

Finding Platinum Jewelry

Just window shopping for bling made with the noble metal platinum seems to be getting a little easier these days.   This is especially true if you aren’t looking for wedding jewelry and you just want a casual platinum neck chain, bracelet or ring.
Casual Platinum neck chain
The Platinum Hip-Hop chain I secretly desire

I saw  some hot buys for pure platinum jewelry on a TV shopping channel right after Christmas.   Yeah! On TV!

 I bought a chain for my small platinum cross. It was thin, but still had that subtle, sultry white glittery glow of platinum.    I was given the cross several years ago, but I could never find an affordable chain for it.

 So I always wore it with white 14k gold.

The commodity price of platinum, along with gold,  has been falling over the past 12 months.   In January 2014, the price per ounce is  $1,412 per ounce,  down from $1,740 a year ago. (Source Monex).
So look at platinum jewelry again,   the price is easier on the eyes now!



Timkat 2014 Festival Is Coming

This year on January 19,  2014 Ethiopian Eastern Orthodox Christians will start celebrating their world famous religious festival: Timkat.   The festival will held on palace grounds and baths in Gondar, Ethiopia.

Crosses carried at Ethiopian Timkat
Ethiopian Christian Crosses

Ancient Manuscript Ethiopian Orthodox Bible
Ethiopian Priest With Ancient Bible Manuscript

Ethiopian Orthodox Ancient Bible Illustration
Detail of an Ethiopian Ancient Manuscript Page

The Biblical reference for Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity is Acts 8: 26-40 in which Philip witnesses to an high-ranking Ethiopian. 

Gondar Ethiopia Palace Timkat
Gondar Palace Bath Area Before Timkat

Each year, Ethiopian Christians celebrate the baptism of   Jesus  and this Ethiopian during the Timkat Festival.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Shocking Pink Gold Watches... Now Trending

Pink gold watches were all over the TV in courtroom scenes this year.  First, a star witness in a high profile Florida murder trial grabbed attention with her big pink gold fashion watch.  Then, Judge Judy, the $41 million lady, appeared to be wearing a solid, pink gold Swiss watch in several scenes on her TV show.


The new pink gold watches are true eye candy. The pink gold of newer watches is much more pleasing to look at than vintage watches made with colored gold.  The red gold of vintage timepieces often appears to be bizarrely rusted yellow gold. 
Shopping for a pink gold watch has never been easier: Big selections are in all the watch displays at major department stores in the mall. And the pink color, conspiratorially allows consumers to forget that 24K Yellow gold is still too costly for average consumers, at about $1290 per ounce as of December 2013.

Gold Plus Copper Equals Colored Alloys

Copper used for pink gold alloys
Copper Nugget

Pink gold alloys made with copper
River Bed with Alluvial Gold Nuggets
 Copper is added to gold in varying amounts to manufacture  alloys of pink, rose or red gold jewelry.
Maybe you want to upgrade your jewelry accessories with a pink gold watch, but you don’t want anything with too big of a dial face or a rose or red gold metal color that’s too over the top and just too dressy.

The New Look of Casio Baby-G Shock

I was, well, shocked to see a Pink Gold Casio sports watch in a mall department store watch display.
You remember Casio watches, don’t you?  That’s one of the Japanese watch brands that forced the Swiss watch industry to redouble their efforts a few decades ago.
 The Casio Baby G’s watch is  trendy looking and not utilitarian. It's a great look for the office and the beach.  The  model I bought is MP-MBGA5-2, movement 3189 3252 BG-169G.
The Pink Gold Casio Baby-G is a pure fun fashion, not too dressy. (Thankfully, there’s no tiny Casio calculator on a  black watch band like back in the day!)
The sales clerk refused to set the watch time for me…he had a line of customers.  So he gave me the dreaded Casio watch manual and told me to read it.   Which I did at home, but I still had to go online to a YouTube video to figure-out how to set the day name.
That’s OK.

My Baby G pink gold sports watch was priced right, less than $100.  The size is not too big.  And the sporty fashion color is just too hot… hot pink!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Look Better with December's Cheery Colored Birthstones

Blue topaz gemstones from Texas unenhanced
Icy Blue Topaz naturally mined, no enhancements

If your skin gets that ghostly look during winter, forget more make-up, here are some amazing gemstone jewelry fixes with December birthstones.

 The cool blue tones of Topaz and Tanzanite, alternative December birthstones, can really cheer-up grayish winter skin:    So will mined Zircon, another alternative December birthstone, which has an enthralling sparkle unlike any other gemstone, including diamonds.

Blue topaz is true eye candy.    And not all of this gemstone jewelry is a dyed or enhanced blue color.   True blue, blue topaz gemstone material is mined in Texas, USA.    It’s an authentic cool glacier blue color.

Wake-up Your Skin Tone

Just like make-up, the deep lavender of tanzanite will perk-up anybody’s skin tone dulled by a lack of sun in winter.   The specific color tone  (there's no red tone)  of Tanzanite in stud earrings can work wonders for the skin on your face.  

The same goes for Zircon, a God given element. It’s number 40 on the periodic table.   It’s mined from the earth unlike manmade cubic zirconia.

 White and blue zircon jewelry has a “captured light” sparkle that captivating to gaze at on its wearers.   It’s a great sparkly birthstone look that you can buy without  taking a big hit from the dollars in your wallet.

Monday, December 9, 2013

How To Find Modern Looking Turquoise Jewelry

Turquoise necklace made with petal cabochons
A fresh new take on turquoise bead jewelry

Finding edgy-looking Turquoise jewelry, December’s birthstone, can be a real adventure.   Most turquoise  seems to be made into Southwest style silver jewelry or  Arts and Craft projects with tiny beads. 

Why settle for those styles just because turquoise is your birthstone?

Turquoise has a storied past of  unique and expensive jewelry looks:    From antique Persian baby blue turquoise neck strands to 1920s art deco  jewelry designs with diamonds and onyx.
Turquoise ballerina style rings with diamonds were super popular in the 60s and 70s.

Gold, turquoise and pearl earrings
Turquoise gold  and pearl earrings


If you were born in December,  here are tips to find fashion-forward  turquoise jewelry:

  1. Ask your personal jewelry about turquoise styles they have warehoused or not on display.
  2. Check estate jewelers for art deco looks made with turquoise.
  3. Check pawn shops with diverse styles of jewelry
  4. Look at online jewelry stores.

Finding the eye-pleasing blue of turquoise with a modern flair can be a real challenge,  but worth it,   to discover a unique piece of  birthstone jewelry.