Image showcasing the Hope Diamond Cursed

Over the years there have been many gemstones believed to be cursed, but the most famous of the gemstones is the Hope Diamond. This lustrous blue diamond weighing 45.52 carats is surrounded by tales of misfortune. With Halloween just around the corner, it is the perfect time to explore the history of this stone and some of the misfortune associated with it. Is this stone really cursed?

What is the Hope Diamond?

In 1668, King Louis XIV of France purchased a large blue diamond weighing a little over 112 carats from a French merchant. The king had the stone re-cut and set in gold by his court jeweler, and the stone was named The French Blue. This amazing gemstone remained with the French royal family until it was stolen in 1792 during the French Revolution, along with the rest of France’s crown jewels. Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette, reining monarchs at the time of the revolution experienced the ultimate misfortune the diamond is accused of bringing to its owners. While attempting to flee France they were caught and both guillotined for treason.

Image Showcasing Hope Diamond

Decades later, a diamond closely resembling the stolen French Blue reappeared in London, and owned by King George IV of England. The diamond was sold after his death in 1830 to help pay off his enormous debts. It was purchased by Henry Philip Hope, from whom the stone got its name. The diamond remained in the Hope family for many years, until it was auctioned off in 1908 to a Turkish Sultan, who was later dethroned in an army revolt.

Evalyn Walsh McLean

In 1909, famed jeweler Pierre Cartier bought the Hope Diamond. He enticed Evalyn Walsh McLean, an American heiress and socialite to purchase the diamond in 1912. McLean was the last private owner of the diamond, and was not afraid of the stones history. She did experience tremendous misfortune while owning it, the loss of her eldest son at the age of 9 in a car accident, the loss of her only daughter at age 25 to suicide, and the loss of her husband to insanity, and eventually his death in an insane asylum. There was also financial misfortune, which led to the loss of the family newspaper The Washington Post to a bankruptcy auction. However, McLean did not believe the diamond brought her bad luck, and wore it until she died in 1947.

Image showcasing Evalyn Walsh McLean

Harry Winston, an American Jeweler bought McLean’s entire jewelry collection including the Hope Diamond after her death in 1947, and in 1958, Winston donated the famous diamond to the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., where it still resides today. The last person to experience the misfortune of the diamond was the mail carrier that delivered the stone to the Smithsonian Institution in a brown cardboard box. He had his leg crushed in an accident and a brief time later lost his home in a fire.

Is the stone cursed, or is this just random bad luck?

Image showcasing watch and what you need to know about typical watch warranty

All major watch manufacturers offer a warranty on their products, but not all warranties are the same. Warranties vary in both coverage and length.

Most manufacturers require a completed warranty card/document and proof of purchase.
Warranty information should be completed by the retailer at the time of purchase. If you decide to throw away all the extra packaging, the box, the pillow or cuff, and instruction booklet, be sure to keep the warranty card/document. Also, be sure to keep the receipt as your proof of purchase. Today many manufacturers provide an online registration process for your watch purchase, and some even offer an extension to your warranty if you register it online.

What is covered by most manufacturers?

Typically, the watch movement (time keeping mechanism) is warranted to keep accurate time, and is covered against manufacturer defects.

What is typically not covered?

There is an old saying in the watch industry, “If you can touch it, it’s not covered.” This basically means all the exterior components are not covered under most manufacturer warranties, including the crystal, band or bracelet, case, stem, crown, clasp, and the battery.

Why should I use an authorized service center?

Most manufacturers require all repair work (including a battery change) be performed by an authorized service center while it is under their warranty. If a watch is serviced by an unauthorized facility, it can void the warranty. Be careful, a quick battery change in the mall or at a local jeweler could void your manufacturer warranty. Authorized service centers are usually listed in the warranty/instruction paperwork.

Extended Warranties or Service Plans

Many retailers offer extended warranty or service plans on watches. Be sure to ask if your retailer has this type of program and what it covers.

Remember, MyJewelryRepair.com also has an amazing watch repair department, with certified watchmakers, and we guarantee our workmanship on any watch we repair. See more details on our FAQ page of our site.

All of Which Can Be Repaired at My Jewelry Repair!

Image showcasing watch movement repair types

Every watch is a complicated entity that has many moving parts. The movement of a watch is what makes a watch operate. Many folks consider a watch’s movement to be the beating heart of a watch.

There Are 3 Types of Watch Movements

Watch movements can be broken down into 3 categories:

  • Automatic
  • Mechanical (Manual)
  • Quartz

Automatic

Automatic watches were the hot trend in the beginning of the 20th century. Those who were on the go were delighted by the fact that they didn’t have to wind their own watch, that it wound itself while worn on the wrist. The one drawback is that if you don’t wear an automatic watch for a prolonged period of time, the watch might need manual assistance. But, after you hand-wind the watch once, it’ll be back to normal.

Image showcasing automatic watch movement repair

Mechanical

Mechanical watches (hand-wound movements) are heralded classics; the oldest type of watch movement ever made. Manual movements, unlike quartz, power the watch from a wound spring. No battery necessary. The watch spring collects, regulates, and releases energy transferred through springs and gears. Many who wear these love the idea that they keep time the same way as their ancestors did. Often, mechanical movements are found in very expensive, antique, and collectible watches.

Image showcasing mechanical watch movement repair

Quartz

Quartz movements are battery-powered. No winding is ever required, even if you don’t wear the watch for some time. Quartz watches are also the most accurate type of timepiece currently in production. Typically, quartz movement batteries will last between 12 to 24 months.

More recently, manufacturers are offering solar-powered watches, which adds convenience. These watches will never need battery change, cutting out the cost of battery replacement, which in its own way helps the environment. You don’t have to worry about proper battery disposal.

What is most important about your quartz watch is to replace the battery as swiftly as possible. Once the watch battery dies, there’s a chance that the battery can start leaking acid, which will do considerable damage to the movement. Do not try to replace your own watch battery, unless you have the proper water pressurization equipment and trained expertise. It’s a much better idea to send your watch to MyJewelryRepair.com, where our certified watchmakers have the knowledge and dexterity to successfully repair any problem on any type of movement under the sun.

What type of watch do you like? Do you have any movements that need repair? Take a look at our website for pricing. We almost always come in at a lower price than your neighborhood repair shop. Often, neighborhood repair shops send the stuff they can’t repair to us anyway.

MyJewelryRepair.com also performs pressure testing — an important service. We not only change the battery, but we also perform a water and pressure test to make sure it lives up to manufacturer expectation, preserving your manufacturer’s warranty.

We look forward to getting your watches up and running again, no matter the problem.

Image showcasing opals

And Suggested Gift for the 14th Wedding Anniversary!

Opals are best known and loved for their amazing color, a single stone can flash every color of the spectrum. In the middle ages opals were thought to provide great luck because it was believed to possess all the virtues of each gemstone whose color was represented in an opal.

Opal Mines

Australia dominates the opal mining industry producing at least 90% of the worlds precious opals. Other opal producing countries include United States, Mexico, Hungary, Indonesia, Brazil, Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Ethiopia.

Categories of Opals

There are many categories of Opals: Black Opal, Semi Black Opal, Boulder Opal, White Opal, Jelly Opal, and Mexican Fire Opal to name a few. The categories listed below are some of the most well known and most frequently used opals in jewelry manufacturing.

  • Black Opal describes opals with a dark grey to black body tone. These opals tend to be more valuable since the darker body tones cause the colors to be more vibrant.
  • Boulder Opal describes opals with a natural brown ironstone backing that is attached to the stone. These opals also have a dark body tone, and are considered the second most valuable opals.
  • White Opal describes opals with a white to light body tone. These opals tend to be less valuable since they usually do not have the vibrant colors. When these opals have little color, they are sometimes called milky opals.

Here are just a few examples of the amazing colors that can be found in opals:

Image showcasing opal categories

Opal Doublets and Triplets

These are 2 processes which are sometimes used in the manufacturing of opal jewelry.
Opal doublets consist of two layers adhered together with glue. A black backing which is usually made of black glass, black potch, or brown ironstone to name a few and a thin layer of opal. The dark backing enhances the colors in the opal.
Opal triplets are thinly cut pieces of opal that have a dark backing as described above, but also have a clear top which is often domed. While the clear top protects the opal; overall triplets are generally a much lower value.

Caring for your Opals

Opals are a soft gemstone with a hardness of 5.5 to 6.5 on the Moh’s Scale, so they require special handling and cleaning. Solid opal should be cleaned gently with mild detergent in warm water and a soft toothbrush or cloth. Avoid bleach, chemicals and cleaners. Doublets & triplets may be wiped with a damp soft cloth and mild detergent, but should never be soaked or immersed. Store your opals away from other jewelry to help prevent them from being scratched, and protect them from high heat since this can dry out the opal which has a high-water content and cause it to crack.

Image showcasing alternative metal series

When Gold & Silver Are Just Not Your Style

Alternative metals are used in the manufacturing of all types of jewelry including chains, bracelets, pendants, earrings, and even watches. The term alternative is referencing an alternative to the more traditional metals found in most fine jewelry assortments – platinum, gold, or silver.

The most common use of alternative metals is in wedding bands, and they are frequently referred to as alternative metal bands. The three alternative metals Tungsten Carbide, Titanium and Stainless Steel, described below are the most popular and are very affordable, but cannot be sized. If one of these alternative metals is going to be your choice for your wedding band, be sure to plan ahead, because it may need to be ordered in your size for that special day.

Tungsten Carbide

This metal has a nice heavy feel to it, but can fracture or shatter if dropped. Its natural color is gray, however it can be coated with an industrial material to create a black or white finish. The black and white coating is scratch resistant, but not as much as the highly scratch resistant natural tungsten. An additional benefit, it is hypoallergenic. This metal can be engraved, however, once it is engraved, the engraving cannot be removed.

Titanium

This metal is 3-4 times stronger than stainless steel, but lighter than aluminum. It is a natural gray color, and is also hypoallergenic. It may scratch and show signs of wear over time, but it can be cleaned and polished to look like new.

Stainless Steel

This is one of the most affordable of the alternative metals. It is both scratch resistant and hypoallergenic. Over time stainless steel can lose its original shine, but just like Titanium it can be cleaned and polished to restore its bright finish.

Wedding bands, bracelets, and watches made with these alternative metals get more wear and tear than all other jewelry items since they are worn on the hands and wrists, so be sure to have them professionally cleaned and polished periodically to keep them looking their best.

jewelry repair services

MyJewelryRepair.com sees a lot of jewelry repairs, because that’s what we do. If your jewelry is in need of repair, it’s best to send it in right away, before the problem itself intensifies, or new problems develop, requiring a more sizeable repair.

Damage can occur to stones, prongs, or any other pieces of your jewelry, whether it be an earring, a necklace, bracelet, or ring. Parts of your jewelry can fall off without you knowing, but if you’re able to, it’s important to locate any findings and secure them. We often use the original pieces as part of our repair. If for any reason the original piece cannot be used, we will create a new piece for you.

So what type of repairs do we see a lot of at My Jewelry Repair?

Rings, Rings, Rings

We get a lot of ring sizing requests, as well as requests for retipping of prongs, and even prong replacement. Think about how often you use your hands. Rings go through the most wear and tear out of any other type of jewelry — except maybe watches. Stones can become loose (which would require a stone tightening procedure), prongs can break, and the ring itself may need a professional clean and polish to make it look like new again.

Those Hanging Chains

Necklaces and chains are another type of jewelry that we get a lot of. Every link in a chain is an integral part of the whole, and, unfortunately, each link is a piece that can age, weaken, and break.

Don’t Get Us Started on Clasps

Chain repairs are quite common, but clasp replacements are even more common. Spring ring clasps, lobster clasps, barrel clasps, toggle clasps, box clasps, magnetic clasps, fishhook clasps — okay, you get the idea. Every time you put on or take off your necklace, whether that be before bed or before a shower, your clasp is doing work and undergoing significant pressure. A chain clasp is a fairly intricate part of a necklace, too, and it can require dexterity to get your necklace on and off. We can replace all types of clasps, and we’ll even replace old clasps with larger, newer ones for easier use.

Pearls of Wisdom

Pearl restringing (knotted and unknotted) is another common jewelry repair we perform. Those who have pearls tend to take care of them and stay on top of any repairs needed. If your pearl necklace does break, make sure you retrieve all pearls and other pieces, or as many as you’re able to find.

Do you have a piece of jewelry in need of repair? You’ve come to the right place. We’re up to any task at MyJewelryRepair.com. We specialize in restoring your showcase pieces back to showroom quality, same as the jewelry you wear every day.

Image showcasing Silver Metal Series Bars

The Most Affordable of the Precious Metals

Pure silver is a very soft metal with a millesimal fineness of 99.9%, therefore it is usually alloyed with other metals. Sterling silver is the most common silver alloy used in jewelry manufacturing, which is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper for hardness and strength. Many jewelers avoid working on sterling silver, because it is a softer metal which makes it more difficult to work on. The hallmark or stamp to identify sterling silver is 925 or sterling.

Sterling Silver is Prone to Tarnishing…

This is caused by the exposure to common components like atmospheric conditions and pollution, but the tarnish can easily be removed with a silver polishing cloth and in some cases, it requires the services of a professional jeweler. Most consumers don’t like the polishing process needed to keep their sterling silver jewelry looking like new, so many jewelry manufacturers apply an anti-tarnish coating to their products.

Sterling silver jewelry is available in all price ranges from simple light weight rings, earrings, chains, and bracelets to high end luxury pieces. Many of the luxury jewelry brands today carry sterling silver collections within their jewelry assortments, for example Tiffany & Co, Gucci, and David Yurman. The affordability of sterling silver allows more consumers to own a branded luxury jewelry item.

If It’s Jewelry We Can Repair It!

If your favorite sterling silver jewelry is in need of repair or just needs a professional clean and polish, MyJewelryRepair.com has the experience and state of the art equipment to work on sterling silver and gold over sterling silver jewelry. We can make you jewelry look like new again.

Image Showcasing Platinum Bars

Platinum is a Noble Metal

Platinum is rare and one of the most valuable precious metals, also known as one of the noble metals. It was deemed “the only metal fit for kings” by King Louis XVI of France. It is favored by jewelers for three key properties: durability, weight, and malleability. These properties make platinum an excellent choice for bridal jewelry and create a secure setting for diamonds and other precious gemstones.Many solitaire diamond engagement rings are made of 14k or 18k gold, but the head holding the diamond is made of platinum.

Platinum is a Natural White Metal

Therefore, it does not require special plating processes to keep the beautiful white finish. It is mixed with other metals to create either 900 platinum, a 90% pure platinum metal alloy, or 950 platinum, a 95% pure platinum metal alloy. Both are used in jewelry manufacturing. Platinum is resistant to corrosion, so it does not tarnish. It is also naturally hypoallergenic, which is ideal for those with sensitive skin.

Platinum has a very high melting point which makes it is very difficult to work with and for that reason many jewelers do not like to work with platinum. Today, laser welding is frequently used to size or repair platinum rings and jewelry.

Platinum is associated with luxury and prestige. Many famous gemstones are set in a platinum setting, one example is the Hope Diamond, and the famous Faberge’ Easter Eggs from the late 1800’s were created using platinum.

Image Showcasing Original Gold Color

The Original

As we all know, the color of pure gold is a beautiful yellow color, but karat gold jewelry is available in colors other than yellow, for example white and rose. So, how is white gold or rose gold created? As shared in Part 1 of our metals series, other metals are mixed with pure gold to create the metal alloys used in jewelry manufacturing, and these other metals not only strengthen the durability of the metal, but can also change the color.

White Gold

White gold is extremely popular and is an alloy of pure gold and at least one white metal. White metals frequently used are nickel, palladium, and manganese to name a few. White gold is almost always rhodium plated to achieve the bright white finish desired on jewelry items. Rhodium is a member of the platinum family of metals and is applied to white gold using an electroplating process. Rhodium can wear off over time with normal wear and tear, especially on rings, but can easily be reapplied as part of a basic clean and polish service.

Image Showcasing White Gold Ring

Rose Gold

Rose gold has gained popularity in recent years, especially in bridal jewelry and is also known as pink gold. The rose gold alloy is usually a mix of pure gold, copper, and silver. Copper is the metal that creates the rose or pink color in gold alloy.

Heads up! The Metals Part 3 of our series will focus on Platinum, see you then!

Image Showcasing Gold Purity Bars

Jewelry is the most common reason consumers own gold today.

About 78% of gold consumed each year is made into jewelry. It has been one of the primary uses for the metal, because of its beauty and durable properties.

There are 2 main systems for measuring the purity of gold. The most commonly used in the United States is the karat system. Karats express the purity of gold in fractions of 24. For example: Pure gold is denoted 24 karat gold or 24k, all 24 parts are gold. Gold purity is also measured using the millesimal fineness system. This system denotes the purity of gold alloys by parts per thousand of pure metal by mass in the alloy. For example: A gold alloy containing 75% gold is denoted 750.

The process of alloying or mixing other metals with pure 24k gold creates a harder more durable metal alloy, and can also change the color. The types of metals commonly used are nickel, palladium, copper, zinc, and silver.

If an item is stamped:

18K or 750 – it is 18 parts gold & 6 parts other metals
14K or 585 – it is 14 parts gold & 10 parts other metals
10K or 417 – it is 10 parts gold & 14 parts other metals

The legal standard is to stamp all gold jewelry with the metal purity. The minimum purity to be called gold jewelry varies by country, and is 10k in the United States.

See you on our next installment of the Metal Series brought to you by MyJewelryRepair.com!