Sapphire is a member of the most popular family of colored gemstones – corundum (Al2O3). We all encounter sapphire on a regular basis as it has many common uses. It is used in watch crystals, in lasers and electronic equipment, but the place you probably see it the most is at the grocery store as the scanning window at the checkout station. This variety of applications is due partially to its clarity and to the Mohs scale hardness of 9, which ranks it as the second hardest (scratch resistant) natural material behind diamond. In addition it has been relatively easy to manufacture since 1902.
Though it is found in nature in virtually every color, blue is the hue most commonly associated with sapphire. What about red sapphire? That would be ruby, but we’ll save that for another article. A rainbow of colored sapphires can commonly be found in a single jewelry item.
When rutile crystals align in corundum, they create a phenomenon known as asterism which is star sapphire. Synthetic blue star sapphires were very popular in the 1960s and 70s.
New-age practitioners will prescribe sapphire for spiritual enlightenment and inner peace. Legend has it that this versatile gem offers healing powers for rheumatism, colic and mental health. Many believe it to be an antidepressant , and an aid to telepathy, clairvoyance and astral projection. “I knew I was going to say that.”
Sapphire is the birthstone for September and is given to celebrate the 5th, 23rd, and 45th wedding anniversaries, while a star sapphire is presented on the 65th anniversary. If you were lucky enough to be born in September you can celebrate with your favorite color in a very durable and legendary gemstone. If you weren’t born this month, just pick your favorite color of sapphire and enjoy!
Have a sparkling week!
For specific gem and jewelry questions visit www.kentjewelryrolla.com where you will find a link to the American Gem Trade Association website or contact Kent at email@example.com. Kent Bagnall is the owner of Kent Jewelry in Downtown Rolla, Missouri.
Before you dismiss peridot as “that funky green colored gemstone that everybody hates to have as their birthstone because they were unlucky enough to be born in August” consider the following: in Hawaii it is treasured as the tears of Pele, a gift from the goddess of volcanoes. With its lovely pear-green color, peridot is linked to success, peace and good luck! Are you more interested now? In modern new-age tradition peridot is believed to help facilitate deep sleep, repel negative energy and calm the soul. Throughout history this now-fascinating and beautiful gem was placed under the tongue to reduce fevers, powdered and ingested to cure respiratory ailments and made into a paste to treat heart problems. Of course, I do not recommend any of these treatments, but there is solid science that supports the effect that certain colors have on mood and emotional well-being. Peridot (pronounced with or without the hard “t”) is an historic, affordable and fascinating gem that can be used to enhance any jewelry wardrobe. It pairs well with pale blue topaz or turquoise, purple amethyst and dark red garnet.
Today peridot is mined by Native Americans on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona and can also be found in Pakistan, Burma and China. Peridot is one of the softer gem materials, so care should be taken to avoid scratching and rapid temperature changes. Peridot should also not be cleaned with ultrasonics and steamers. Cleaning should be done with mild dish soap and soft toothbrush. Professional cleaning and inspection at least every 6 months is recommended to keep all of your jewelry safe and beautiful.
Now, stand up Augustinians and wear your peridot with pride!
For specific gem and jewelry questions visit www.kentjewelryrolla.com where you will find a link to the American Gem Trade Association website or contact Kent Jewelry at 573-364-1030. Kent Bagnall is the owner of Kent Jewelry in Downtown Rolla, Missouri.
You haven’t had your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked in how many years?
Yikes!!! Let’s talk about the top 10 reasons that you should visit your jeweler at least two times per year for check-ups.
1. Prevent loss of diamonds and gemstones.
2. Prevent breakage of mountings.
3. Chains wear out.
4. Common chemicals attack some jewelry metal alloys especially the nickel in white gold.
5. If worn together, rings wear each other out.
6. Loose gemstones wear out prongs from the inside.
7. Chains wear out the bails on pendants.
8. Bracelets are the worst for hiding destructive grime.
9. Professional cleaning makes your jewelry look terrific!
10. It’s an opportunity to learn something about jewelry care and your jewelry.
“How can I remember to go the jewelry store, when I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday?” you ask. Try tying your visit to something that already happens: your semiannual visit to the dentist, Thanksgiving and Easter, New Years and the 4th of July, first day of winter and the first day of summer, perhaps a birthday and anniversary, whatever works for you. Just make it happen and your jewelry will look better, last longer and be ready to pass along for generations to come.
Have a sparkling week!
For specific gem and jewelry questions visit www.kentjewelryrolla.com or contact Kent Jewelry at 573-364-1030. Kent Bagnall is the owner of Kent Jewelry in Downtown Rolla, Missouri.
Do you need an appraisal for your fine jewelry? The answer is a definite maybe. There are several types of appraisals and reasons why they are appropriate.
A “verbal” appraisal is just that, nothing is written down. It is one opinion about the current value of an item. The accuracy of a “verbal” is just as good as the expertise of the individual giving it. So if you are just curious, this may be all you need.
An “insurance replacement document” is a written estimate of the current amount you would need to purchase an identical or near identical item. An appraisal like this requires expertise about the current market value of fine jewelry and the elements that go into it. An insurance document should be accompanied by a good photo of the item, materials used, weights, purity and measurements of both the metals and gemstones. It should make note of any gemstone certifications, brand identification and anything influencing the piece’s value. Be aware of how your insurance company will react to a loss of an appraised item. Will they replace the item using their selected suppliers or will they let you choose your own trusted jeweler? What if the center diamond is broken or chipped? How will they handle that? Should you decide to insure your jewelry, these are some of the questions you need to ask your insurance agent. Your local jeweler should provide you with a list of questions to ask.
An “estate appraisal” is often executed to help settle or distribute an estate. This is usually done as a collection and each piece is given a comparative fair market value.
If you think you need an appraisal, ask yourself “What would I do if the item was lost or stolen?” Would you replace it? Would you take a monetary settlement? Can you really replace your grandmother’s wedding ring? Should you pay for insurance if your item is locked in a safety deposit box?
These are all questions you should discuss with your insurance agent, your jeweler and yourself.
Have a sparkling week!
Send gem and jewelry questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jewelry has been around since the dawn of mankind, meaning the jewelry profession was not far behind. I imagine that from his cave, “Og” traded a bead or two for a mastodon rib. (Hey, a jeweler’s gotta eat, right?) We’ve come a long way baby. Progress in jewelry manufacturing has advanced with technology. There are some things that still need a well-trained, steady hand. However, there are many aspects of jewelry making that have advanced so that the art of science allows production of a product of equal or better quality through modern technology. As you would expect, many advances were made during the “space race” of the 1960s. But most recently the explosion in computer technologies has given a hometown jeweler the ability to manufacture top quality custom jewelry just like the big boys.
-CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design / Computer Aided Machining) can now be done affordably in a small shop with powerful programming that interfaces with a milling machine to create the wax models and cast right there in shop. The digital files can also be emailed to a “jobber” to cast the piece for you.
-The laser welder has become a must have for the advanced repair shop and manufacturer. This high tech machine, modified for the jewelry industry, can work around sensitive gemstones and previous repairs without damage, work on exotic metals that regular soldering cannot handle, and make a stronger more lasting repair.
-The newest technology moving into the jewelry industry is the 3-D printer which will take a multi-axis digital image and print a finished product in whatever material you choose, including metal. Someday you will be able to select an item from a catalog, push a button and the item will be printed in front of your eyes! I don’t expect it will reach stores in the near future, but certainly in the next 2-3 decades it will happen not only with jewelry, but with clothing, electronics and even food!
If you would like to see some of the latest technology at work, just come by the shop. We can also give you a killer recipe for “Og’s” mastodon ribs.
Send gem and jewelry questions to email@example.com.
The ultimate do-it-yourself jewelry project begins with a trip just 382 miles from downtown Rolla, Missouri. Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, is the only place in the world where, for just a small entrance fee, you can search for diamonds and keep all that you find! Over 30,000 gems have been found over the last 40 years including one weighing over 16 carats. Last year alone, thirty diamonds over one carat were unearthed in the park.
One can hardly imagine a more romantic anniversary destination than Crater of Diamonds State Park. Sweetheart, here lies nearly 40 acres of diamond bearing volcanic soil! I gently whisper in her ear, Here’s your shovel and bucket.…………….
After recovering from a spade to the back of the head I explain how rewarding it would be to find our own diamond, have it cut and mounted in a custom designed setting. Making little progress, I point out the 50 state-of-the-art camping sites, the Diamond Discovery Center, Diamond Springs Water Park and the Kimberlite Café. She seems to be warming up to the idea a little.
In 1972 the state of Arkansas purchased the mine site to develop as a public park. With over 100,000 visitors per year this popular destination is closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days. In July of this year, after only 10 minutes of digging, a 12-year-old boy discovered a shiny, metallic looking pebble that turned out to be a 5.16 carat diamond! When cut and polished it may be worth as much as $15,000, a nice start to his college fund. Of course, not everyone is this lucky, but just the adventure makes for great family fun and has great appeal to many.
So as I dig for my wife’s next piece of custom jewelry, she is lounging by the pool and checking out the gift shops….. Whose idea was this anyway?
For more on this adventure go to www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.
Nearly every week someone asks if we can repair a chain, resize a ring or match a missing gemstone.
How repairs and adjustments are made is a mystery to many, so today we will discuss what you should expect when seeking jewelry services. First of all, jewelers are magicians trained in alchemy and have mystic healing powers…well not actually, but is does require skill, training and the proper tools.
1. When dropping off your jewelry, you should be told what tasks will be performed to get your jewelry item to the condition you desire.
2. You should be informed if there are options as to how your task could be performed and the expected completion date.
3. Once you understand what is to be done and the price, a photo should be taken of your item and presented to you with your receipt so that you are assured of getting back the item you left.
4. You should be contacted if there are any changes.
5. When the job is completed you should be contacted for pick up.
6. You should be satisfied with the quality of your service before you pay for it. Any issues you may have with the service should be immediately addressed and resolved with top priority.
7. You should be informed of any special care that may be required for your newly repaired item and also how often it should be checked. (Six month check-ups are standard, but with some items more frequency is suggested.)
You may be thinking, this wasn’t the most clever article I’ve read in a while, but you would be amazed at how complex a simple service repair can become if these guidelines aren’t followed. In our shop, items brought in for service, whether fun or heirloom quality, are treated with great care. The actual jewelry may not have large monetary value, but often the memory that goes with it is priceless.
Have a sparkling week!
Send your gem and jewelry questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Kent Bagnall is the owner of Kent Jewelry in Downtown Rolla, Missouri, www.kentjewelryrolla.com
Don’t get me started on shopping locally…. Oops, too late. Here’s the deal: when you spend your money with local merchants a chain reaction begins. You and all of your neighbors benefit from this simple gesture. How? Let me count the ways:
- Sales tax generated helps pay for better schools, roads, parks, and more.
- Successful local businesses need to hire you, your friends and neighbors as employees.
- Local businesses donate to local charities and activities. The next time you are out of town or on the web buying something, ask them if they would donate to our local scholarship funds, church fundraiser, food bank, Cancer Gala, Special Olympics, school carnival, Russell House…. You get the idea. Ask them if they will buy an ad in our Optimist Club or Rolla Area Choral Society calendars, purchase a handful of Bulldog Athletic booster club cards or join the Rolla Band boosters, or the S&T Corporate Club… I could continue but you get the idea.
- Your local merchants will work harder and serve you better because they know you, your family and your friends and it just make sense to treat you right. If we don’t, I invite you to tell us so. We are not faceless, non-caring, big corporations.
- Do you need a ring cut off of a swollen finger? We will open our shop anytime to help in an emergency. Try this over the internet.
Dollars spent locally are recycled on the average 6 times generating sales tax to….well you know (see above).
If there is a product or service you feel there is a need for in our community, talk to a local merchant or the Chamber of Commerce, you may discover that what you are looking for is already available or you may inspire someone to begin offering what you desire.
If you are looking for a product or service in our community and can’t find it, please contact me at email@example.com and I will personally assist you in your search.
Have a sparkling week! And shop locally, but you already know that!
Can you name the four primary noble precious metals commonly used in the jewelry industry? The ones that are regularly traded on the international spot market? No fair Google-ing it… OK, I’m sure you know three of them – gold, silver and platinum. Hmmm, what’s the fourth one? It is a pure white metal in the platinum family. It was used briefly around WWII when platinum was restricted to military use. The western United States has large deposits of this metal.
Palladium is the answer. The first attempts to use palladium in jewelry were met with unreliable results due to poor quality control and were soon discontinued. The recent rise in popularity of palladium is due to advanced alloying techniques, the popularity of white metal jewelry and the increased price of all precious metals.
Gold remains the most popular metal for fine jewelry, as it responds extremely well to forming, fabrication, and polishing. Silver recently gained more popularity due to affordability and comparable workability to gold. However, silver lacks the strength and durability for most daily wear jewelry. Platinum is the most rare and valuable of the precious metals and has unique characteristics including outstanding durability and pure white color. If you drive a car made after 1975, you likely own a small amount of platinum or palladium as these metals are used in catalytic converters.
There are several reasons palladium has recently grown in popularity. First, the cost is comparable to 14 karat white gold. Alloyed at 90-95% pure, it is more hypoallergenic than 14 karat gold. Additionally, the pure white color will not change with time and does not need to be plated like white gold and sterling silver.
WHAT?!?! Plating over white gold? Yes, one of jewelry manufacturing’s dirty little secrets is that often times white metal jewelry is plated with rhodium (another metal in the platinum family) to help prevent tarnishing and keep your jewelry a shiny white color.
Have a sparkling week!
Send your gem and jewelry questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Kent Bagnall is the owner of Kent Jewelry in Downtown Rolla, Missouri.
We take being local merchants very seriously. We feel a responsibility to our customers, our civic organizations, our schools and our community. We raise our children here and pray that they are safe and happy.
We feel that everyone in our community should share in the joys and responsibilities that are part of being a good neighbor. We wish that common sense would prevail in all decisions but realize that human frailties sometimes interfere with good judgment.
We cherish small town living and believe that the advantages far outweigh the minor inconveniences. We have little patience with people who claim there is nothing to do in this town that is bursting with activities and arts like few other communities of this size. We gravitate toward citizens who don’t bother to wait for things to happen, but prefer to light the fire.
We collect sales tax that will be used to improve the local infrastructure. Through sponsorships and donations we support the arts, sciences and sporting activities. And when disasters large and small occur your local merchants are there to quietly make things whole as best they can.
Most local business owners are honored to live in this community and happy to contribute as their personal success allows.
Please give your local merchants a chance to provide you with products and services. You’ll be rewarded with a stronger community, not just economically but through the growing strength in relationships. Together we can all make this area an even better place to live and raise a family.
Shop globally and buy locally.
Have a sparking week!