Author Archives: rossie

Selling Your Vintage Jewelry

People sell their Estate jewelry for many reasons. Perhaps it’s a ring they bought many years ago and never wear anymore, or they’ve inherited their grandmother’s necklace, and it’s simply not their style. The old saying goes “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure,” and that’s the beauty of Estate jewelry. Everyone’s personal style is a little bit different, so it’s wonderful that you can sell an item you’re not so fond of, knowing that there’s someone out there who will fall in love with that very piece.

So, you’re considering selling a piece of Estate jewelry (or “Antique” if it is over 100 years old). The most important thing is: make sure you go to a trusted source to get it appraised and subsequently sell it. Soliciting a few different opinions is always a good idea, especially with something that could be very valuable. Also look online or at jewelry stores to the prices of pieces similar to yours. Keep in mind that you will most likely receive less than that because whoever you’re selling to needs to make a profit. Also consider the condition of your piece. Items needing repair usually have less value than jewelry in good condition, and the price offered to you will reflect that. If you have a certificate of authenticity for your piece (a certified diamond for example), bring it to the appraisal.

Ross-Simons offers the most secure and easiest way to exchange your unwanted fine jewelry for cash. Visit our Selling Your Fine Jewelry site. Start by uploading an image of your diamond, designer or fine gemstone jewelry. Ship it to us insured, for free and receive your money in as little as 48 hours.

Jewelry Care: Valuable Tips

Here are some simple tips on jewelry maintenance that won’t take much of your time.

Have your pearls seemed a little lackluster lately? This may be from a buildup of perfume, hairspray, cosmetics, or other beauty products. Pearls are very delicate, so these products can certainly do a number on them. However, there is an easy fix: after wear, use a soft cloth to wipe each pearl clean. This is a surefire way to restore shine and shimmer to each and every one.

Has your jewelry collection ever suffered casualties from your clothing? Make sure jewelry is the last thing you put on, even after makeup and perfume. You can unknowingly damage your gems if these products get on them. Jewelry should also be the first thing you take off. This will help you avoid snagging jewelry on clothing, which can result in damaging one or both items. By following these simple rules, you can ensure keeping your favorite pieces around for the long haul.

We all have at least one valuable piece of jewelry in our collections. Make sure you photograph these pieces in the unfortunate case that they are lost or stolen, as jewelry is very unique and hard to describe. Photos will be worth way more than descriptions in insurance claims or police reports.

A valuable tip to know is that extreme temperatures can do harm to your jewelry. Gemstones can be weakened when you walk out of the cold outdoors into the warm indoors. Try to avoid wearing delicate jewelry on especially frigid days or cover your rings and earrings with gloves and hats. Just be careful not to snag your jewelry on them.

Organize and Store Your Jewelry

Jewelry Organizing Solutions

After years of developing an extensive and diverse jewelry collection, many women are left with one question…where do I put it all? There’s the everyday jewelry box, but what happens when you run out of room? Ross-Simons has unique jewelry storage choices that range from jewelry boxes to jewelry chests to jewelry cases that can organize your collection.

Small Jewelry Boxes

Keep smaller pieces in a traditional jewelry box or jewelry chest. One with a glass top creates easy viewing of your favorite pieces. Ring boxes and trinket boxes make great supplemental storage and they also serve as decorative home accents. You can keep your jewelry box out in the open atop your dresser for all to see, or hidden away in your closet — the choice is yours! But we have a feeling that you’re going to want to show it off.

Large Jewelry Organizers

Consider a spinning jewelry organizer to hold your larger items. For even more storage, jewelry armoires and cabinets can safely hold your entire collection of jewelry. Our “Safekeeper” armoires are so substantial, you’ll consider them a fine piece of furniture for your home decor. Some even serve as wall or floor mirrors for ultimate versatility. With all the room they provide, you’ll have a ball filling it up!

Travel Jewelry Storage

Easily keep your jewelry organized when traveling by using a travel jewelry book or roll. They hold just the right number of necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings for your next trip. In fun faux suede colors and patterns, you’ll enjoy taking them around everywhere. They are especially great for on-the-go business people and frequent flyers, or for college dormers with a limited amount of space.

Men’s Jewelry Boxes

Men have their accessories, too, and they need a place to keep them neat and safe. That is why we offer a selection of masculine organizers, including men’s jewelry chests for their dresser top, valet boxes for their desk, or watch boxes for their treasured timepieces. And for the handyman, we also carry watch winders and tool kits. These sophisticated organizers and tools for men make fabulous Father’s day and groomsman gifts.

No matter your storage dilemma, we have a solution for you. From hardwood, to veneer, to faux suede or leather, there’s a jewelry organizer to fit your style and budget.

How to pick your signature piece of jewelry

Whether it’s homemade cookies that are always a hit with your friends, or delightful interior decorating, we all want to be known for something. From talents to designs and work accolades to physical fitness, there is a certain pride that comes from being recognized. However, one of the best ways to gain recognition is with jewelry. By claiming a signature piece as your own, you’ll become known for your fashion sense and universal poise. In fact, you might even inspire a trend. To determine what your signature piece should be and how to implement it, read on.

1)      How Often

Determining how often you’ll wear a piece of jewelry is the first step in creating a signature look. If you plan on wearing a piece of jewelry less than three times a week, then it’s not a signature piece; it is merely yet another piece in your collection. Determining the number of times you’ll wear a piece of jewelry in any given week requires brutal honesty and a truthful evaluation of your lifestyle. Reporting to an office for five days a week will require a different signature piece than staying at home with the kids. Of course, personal style must be considered as well. Are you loud and bold, or quiet and understated? Different personalities require different gemstones.

2)      Style

Once you’ve determined how often you’ll wear a piece, it’s time to evaluate style. As a rule of thumb, signature jewelry pieces are often quite understated. Generally, this is because the piece is worn with great frequency. Because the piece is worn often, it’s critical to choose an item that is versatile and can work in any situation. But of course, personal preference is important as well. If you’re style is bold, opt for a piece like the Noble Agate Pendant. The hues of the pendant are neutral and work with any outfit, but the design is bold and on trend. For a quieter or more subdued signature piece, try the Tahitian Pearl Pendant. Because pearls are timeless and the shape is elegant, the pendant creates a dignified look.

3)      Fearless

Once you’ve established the right piece and correct style for your signature piece, it is time to wear the piece fearlessly. When creating a signature look, it’s important to remember that the jewelry is supposed to be worn frequently. Never feel like an “outfit repeater” when wearing your signature piece. You are a style visionary.

1920s Estate Jewelry Collection

The 1920’s are often called “The Roaring Twenties,” and for good reason! It was a decade of prosperity and progress in the United States, starting out with a “roar” for women’s rights. They finally became men’s political equals when the 19th Amendment, allowing women to vote and run for office, was ratified in the summer of 1920.

Maybe it was the empowering sense of equality caused by the 19th Amendment, but all of a sudden, women of the 20’s were expressing their freedom in a lot more ways than just voting. The political revolution at the beginning of the decade had led to a STYLE revolution, one of the most radical women’s movements in fashion history!

As far as jewelry, the one must-have piece of the era became the pearl necklace, now considered a classic. It was a great time for the modern woman, and fashion turned modern as well. New accessories, like headbands and hats atop a short bob haircut, became trendy, and Art Deco style jewelry was all the rage, using strong colors and geometric shapes that gave it a truly new look. The flapper look became popular as well, with skirts and dresses getting shorter than ever before—a sign that women felt empowered in all facets of life, including in their own body. Many of the looks of the 20’s came directly from Paris, and specifically from influential designers such as Coco Chanel (whose No. 5 perfume launched in NYC in 1924). Fashion, lifestyle, music, jewelry—everything seemed to blend seamlessly together in this era!

Jewelry Buying: A Man’s Guide

Ladies, you will want to forward this to your significant other!

For many men, buying jewelry for a woman can be very intimidating. The options to choose from are endless. There are earrings, necklaces, bracelets, different designs, gemstones and colors. All of these choices can quickly become overwhelming so this guide will make it easier for any guy to pick out the perfect piece.

First, it is essential to listen to her because many times women drop hints as to what they want. Understand what she likes. If she keeps away from big, bold, statement making pieces than you should look into classic and effortless items, such as diamond studs, diamond tennis bracelet or pearl necklace. Also, keep her personality in mind. For someone who is fun and confident, consider a colorful necklace or cocktail ring. If she is a hopeless romantic than she might love a heart-shaped pendant or a sweet and vintage inspired bow ring.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when selecting jewelry for her. Her friends and mother can probably give you some fantastic suggestions.

Heirloom Jewelry: Ideas to Repurpose

If you love jewelry like we do, you’ve probably seen an unusual piece and asked yourself, “where’d that come from?”

For instance, when seeing a pair of earrings like the ones pictured here, made from coins, you might wonder if they are heirloom coins that someone made into earrings. If so, how’s that done? Where do you go to have that done?

We met with our expert, Tom, the Estate Buyer for Ross-Simons. He explained that the process of taking an heirloom converting it into a new piece of jewelry is called “repurposing.”

When someone inherits a piece of jewelry, they may or may not want to wear it. But it has such sentimental value they don’t want to part with it, either. That’s when they consult with an expert like Tom. He may have some suggestions. For instance, he met a woman who inherited a 36″ pearl strand necklace from her mother. She thought it was too long and didn’t want it.

“Do you have any daughters?” he asked her.

“Yes, two,” was her reply.

Tom came up with an idea that the woman loved. And the result was this: when one of her daughters got married the following year, she was wearing an 18″ necklace of her grandmother’s pearls.

Her other daughter, the bride’s sister was also in the wedding party and wore an 18″ necklace of her grandmother’s pearls, too.

Two heirloom necklaces from one – not expensive, and bringing new life to an old piece: that is the ultimate in repurposing!

Just remember Tom’s expert advice: “A rash decision is a bad decision. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Tom has a couple of great ideas for repurposing jewelry. First, make a fabulous diamond cocktail ring using your largest diamond as the central focal point and placing other diamonds around it. Another idea: create a diamond pin! Also known as a brooch, a diamond pin is a piece that could be passed along from generation to generation.

The Secret to our Estate Jewelry

At Ross-Simons, we’re proud to have one of the best Estate jewelry collections out there. We choose jewelry that is truly unique and special, so that our customers can get a one-of-a-kind piece for amazing value. So how do we manage to find thousands of extraordinary Estate items every year? Here’s a behind the scenes look at how we pick the Estate jewelry you love.

  1. Uniqueness: We try to find pieces that really are one-of-a-kind. Out of production pieces, such as a pair of 1940 cuff links from Tiffany’s, are especially desirable because of their rarity. We feel very lucky when we come across items like that which have managed to make it through the years without getting lost, broken, or melted down for scrap metal. When we say “unique,” we mean it’s something that you wouldn’t come across every day, but that’s still in good condition, which brings us to our next criteria…
  2. Quality: We sometimes find beautiful Estate pieces, but don’t feel right about buying them. Why? Because if a piece is not in good condition, and if we don’t think it has enough wear left in it, then it’s not good enough for our customers. Even if a piece is missing just one small diamond, for example, it can still be a deal-breaker, because we need to match it with a diamond that fits with that particular piece. We refuse to detract from the overall look of a piece by, for example, replacing an old rose-cut diamond with a modern round-cut. So if we don’t have the proper resources to restore the piece without changing the true essence of it, then it does not go into our inventory.
  3. Value: One advantage of Estate jewelry is the great value that it offers. Over the years, manufacturing and material costs have increased in the jewelry industry (as is true in many other industries as well), so prices have naturally gone up. However, those costs don’t affect Estate jewelry, so we’re able to offer high-quality, beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry for an amazing price. For example, a gold bracelet in perfect condition from 1975 would likely cost much less than the exact same bracelet from 2011. And it has the added special touch of being vintage!

Achaemenid Gold Jewelry

One of the greatest ancient civilizations was the Achaemenid Persian Empire, which was founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC, and encompassed Iran, Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt, Asia Minor, Central Asia, Caucasus, Thrace and some parts of India. The capital of the Empire and Cyrus the Great’s final resting place was Pasargadae (near modern day Shiraz, Iran), which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ancient accounts of the tomb written by the associates of Alexander the Great describe a golden sarcophagus, necklaces and gold gemstone earrings. It is in Pasargadae, in the garden of a royal palace where artifacts known as the Pasargadae Treasure were found in a ceramic container called an amphora. The Pasargadae Treasure includes gold and silver objects, jewelry and gemstones. A gold and silver beaded necklace was among the jewelry items. There was also a pair of exquisite gold bracelets with ibex head finials, along with a notable pair of intricate gold mesh earrings with lapis lazuli pendants. The lion is a popular motif of the Pasargadae Treasure. Curious drinking or pouring vessels called rhytons were among artifacts of the Achaemenid Empire. These are conical containers with animal-shaped bases which were fashioned from silver, gold and even carved lapis lazuli.

Another ancient capital city and center for the government of the Achaemenid Empire was Persepolis, also near Shiraz in Fars Province of Iran and an additional UNESCO World Heritage Site. This complex was built under Darius the Great; the third ruler of the Achaemenid Empire. The palaces of Persepolis and stone reliefs give historians important clues about Achaemenid society and show how some of the artifacts found were used. It is clear that this ancient civilization took inspiration from other cultures and art, such as that of ancient Egypt. Unfortunately, it is thought that a great deal of the treasure from this and other sites of the Achaemenid Empire was looted by Alexander the Great’s troops. Surviving items include a lapis lazuli and paste plaque displaying an eagle.

Must-Have Jewelry: 10 Timeless Pieces

Dazzling diamonds, crisp white pearls, bold bangles, rings — you name it, we love it. These 10 timeless jewelry must-haves will help you accessorize any outfit.

Diamond Studs. It doesn’t matter how small, big, old or new, diamond studs are timeless, elegant and sophisticated. They are a perfect finishing touch to any look from jeans to fancy dresses.

Diamond Ring. Every woman deserves to look down at her hand and smile at a stunning sparkler.

Chandelier Earrings. There’s more than one way to light up a room. Chandelier earrings swing and sway with your every move, making any moment feel like a special occasion and any outfit feel extraordinary! Not just for fancy gala dresses, chandelier earrings are a lively pick-me-up for your favorite jeans and button-down shirt.

Bangle. It can be simple or quite detailed, embellished with diamonds, pearls or other gems, a bangle is the perfect arm candy. Whether you choose to wear one, or stack a bunch, you will make a beautiful statement!

Watch. Instantly update a simple outfit with a bold, chunky-style watch or add class and grace to your work attire with one that is sleek.

Hoop Earrings. A versatile fashion staple for generations, a pair of hoops is an ideal accessory on weekdays and weekends. Pick a pair of sleek, slender hoops for the office and go with dazzling diamond hoops for an evening out on the town.

Cocktail Ring. A bold ring isn’t just for cocktail parties. You can wear them to any special occasion, including Sunday brunch!

Pearls. Elegant. Understated. Unsurpassed. These are all words that are used to describe the timeless style of this gemstone of the sea. A classic from generation to generation, women have been wearing pearls for decades. They dress up and add elegance to your favorite sweater, work attire and little black dress alike.

Long Necklace. A long necklace brings life to your most basic wardrobe staples. Wear it with your favorite turtleneck, shift dress or tunic. Try layering it or adding a pendant — the options are endless.

Monogram Jewelry. A personalized piece of jewelry is unique to you because you decide what’s engraved. Whatever you choose, it’s sure to be a conversation starter.