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New Jewelry Wardrobe for the New Year!

Experience the Joy of a New Jewelry Wardrobe Without Breaking the Bank!

A friend of mine told me that she received a new jewelry box for Christmas, which meant touching , polishing & enjoying her quality jewelry all over again.  More importanly, after a little care and attention she now says she has an entirely new jewelry wardrobe! What a terrific idea! You don’t have to receive a new jewelry box to do this (though a new jewelry box is such a fun thing). The new year is a terrific time to refresh your jewelry wardrobe with a bit of attention. Here are my tips for taking your jewelry wardrobe in hand:
  1. Sort your jewelry to determine which pieces you no longer wear. They’re just taking up space! You may be holding on to a few pieces for a daughter or granddaughter, and if that is the case, carefully wrap them (don’t forget the anti-tarnish strips if the item is silver) and tuck them away in a safe place. That way they stop taking up space in your jewelry box and you’ve stored them safely for the future. As for the rest? Gift them, melt them, or remake them! Take your un-worn jewelry items to your local independent jeweler for a discussion of all the possibilities (and don’t forget, Erica Courtney offers an amazing Repurpose! Relove! program for those of you who want to redesign your jewelry)!
  2. Clean your jewelry. Every time you wear your precious gems and metals they pick up body oils, lotions, soaps, and environmental pollutants – just like your clothing! If you don’t own a home-use ultrasonic cleaner, this is a terrific item to invest in.  Delicate items like pearls, opals, and other soft gemstones should always be taken to your local jeweler for professional cleaning.
  3. Play with your jewelry! Try different combinations than the ones you have been using. Pair your jewelry up with different outfits. Jewelry is supposed to be a fun, motivating part of getting ready for each day – a way to add a bit of creative flair and personal identity to your every-day look.
  4. Consider where your jewelry box is located! I’ve talked to people who said they forget to wear their jewelry because the jewelry box is in a dark spot on a closet shelf, underneath other items that are a hassle to move, or otherwise inconvenient to access. Fix this, and make selecting your jewelry the part of getting dressed you most look forward to!
Of course, it’s always exciting to acquire a wonderful new objet d’fine jewelry, but why wait? You might find that you have treasures untold hiding in your jewelry box right now. Have fun!

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Natural Pearls, Cultured Pearls & The FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is currently reviewing their Jewelry Industry Marketing Guides …and one of the areas that they are seeking public input about is Cultured Pearls.  Hold that thought for a minute, because I am wondering who remembers the story about Mr. Cartier and Natural Pearls. In 1917, Mr. Cartier needed, wanted and desperately sought to purchase the abandoned mansion on the busy corner of 5th Avenue and 52nd Street in NYC.  Although the Cartier family was well known, the owner of the property, Mr. Morton Plant was not impressed.  BTW, Mr. Plant was then a man in his 60’s with a wife in her 20’s.  Mr. Plant was asking $1.5 million for the property and the Cartier family did not have it.  What the Cartier family did have was a double strand of NATURAL PEARLS.  As the story goes, Cartier dangled the pearls in front of the Plant couple.  As husbands with wives a third of their age often do, Mr. Plant first and foremost wanted to keep his wife happy.  So, Plant sold his property valued at $1.5 million for a strand of pearls.  Although Plant didn’t get his desired cash, the transaction (given the value of the natural pearls) was considered a fair trade. Soon after Mrs. Plant died in 1965, the auction house of Parke Beret sold her 5th Avenue pearls.  Can you guess the auction price?  The pearls did not sell for $1.5 million; they did not even sell for a ½ million dollars. The pearls sold for $151,000.  What happened?  The broadly distribution of Cultured Pearls is what happened.  The cultured pearl industry has essentially replaced the Natural pearl industry with production of cultured freshwater, South Sea, Tahitian, and of course….what is considered the classic cultured pearl (salt-water) developed/introduced my Mikimoto:  Akoya Pearls. The FTC is seeking comments for possible revision of their Guides for the Jewelry Industry; FTC guides explain to businesses when/how they should make consumer disclosures to avoid unfair or deceptive trade practices. Regarding Pearls, they are reportedly looking at the word “cultured” and whether it should continue to be used to describe freshwater pearls (as well as traditional/salt-water cultured pearls)….. and whether or not consumers should be told about certain treatments  such as dying pearls—different colors.   August 27th is the deadline for sending comments to the FTC.  

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