The Briggs Blog

Finding Your Sparkle: How to Choose a Custom Jewelry Designer

Choosing a designer for your custom jewelry is like finding the right dance partner for a waltz on Dancing With the Stars! It’s a crucial step in translating your dream into a tangible, sparkling reality. Just as those pesky trolls love to tie knots in your chains (see previous blog:), the right custom jewelry designer will love to untangle your ideas into something truly magical. Mothers jewelry and remounts are great places to start. Here’s why teaming up with a skilled professional is the path to achieving your unique jewelry dreams.

blue troll with jewelry

  1. Your Dream Realized: The magic of custom jewelry starts with your vision. Whether your imagination holds a distinct design or needs a gentle nudge from an expert, your designer is your partner in shaping this vision into an exquisite piece of wearable art. A skilled designer will gently lure your jewelry desires to the forefront by knowing what questions to ask.
  2. A Celebration of Uniqueness: Custom jewelry is the equivalent of your one-of-a-kind personality. Many traditional jewelry stores have sales people and occasionally a craftsman or bench jeweler. Very few have a trained designer! With a designer (aka, an artist) dedicated to bringing your personal piece to fruition, you gain a work of art as unique as your own fingerprint. Imagine wearing your personality, literally on your sleeve, or perhaps around your neck or on your finger! It’s like having a piece of yourself that can be an extension of your creative identity.
  3. Assured Expert Craftsmanship: As a fine jeweler, I am passionate about creating quality pieces, ensuring that you entrust your dream to a professional committed to building jewelry for generations to enjoy. Custom jewelry marries premium materials with meticulous craftsmanship. And we make sure the final product doesn’t just meet but exceeds your expectations.
  4. Inherent Flexibility: Designing custom jewelry isn’t like choosing a one-size-fits-all hat; it’s a flexible journey where your style preferences guide the way. Your designer acts not just as a creator but as a trusted ally, ensuring that every piece reflects your individuality, whether you’re drawn to the elegance of classic designs or the innovation of modern styles. 
Custom versa designs by Jbriggs.Co

Custom versa designs by Jbriggs.Co

This process is more than just about making jewelry; it’s about crafting a symbol of special occasions, personal expression, or the luxury of owning something truly one-of-a-kind. In this collaborative venture, you’ll find that a custom jewelry designer could become as cherished as a lifelong friend, celebrating your unique story with a piece crafted with love and finesse.

PS: If only we could figure out how to create a custom jewelry piece that stops trolls from knotting chains and  stealing socks! But until then, we’ll keep making beautiful things that help you shine.

Thanks for reading,

Jennifer

Unknotting the Mystery: Keeping Your Chains Knot-Free!

a cute fluffy blue ball animal running through a magical forest, with a gold jewelry necklace

little fluffer running away with your jewelry

If you’ve ever spent precious time untangling a knotted necklace, you know it’s a tedious and sometimes risky business. The culprits behind this perennial problem? The same mischievous trolls who seem to steal your socks from the laundry are undoubtedly having a laugh while they tie your jewelry into knots. But don’t despair! We’re here with some handy tips to help you not only unknot your chains but also prevent these crafty trolls from creating a tangled mess in the future.

a cute fluffy blue animal running through a magical forest, tangling a gold jewelry necklace

Untangling the Knots:

  1. Magnification &  Lighting: Unless you have super-powered eyeballs, any amount of magnification will assist in the challenge placed before you. Paired with some decent lighting and you will be setting yourself up for success in battle!
  2. Use Tools: To untangle a knot, you need to employ some tools. A pair of tweezers and a straight pin can help you gently pull apart the knot. Remember, patience is key!
  3. Lubricate: Apply a little bit of baby oil or cooking oil to the knot. This helps to loosen the knot. Keep in mind that this can make it more difficult to utilize your tweezers once the oil is added, so try without first.
  4. Employ a Professional: If the knot is particularly stubborn, it might be time to visit a professional jeweler. It’s better to seek help than to risk breaking a treasured piece of jewelry.

 

Preventing the Knots:

  1. Storage is Key: Proper storage can save you a lot of time and frustration. Consider investing in a jewelry box with individual compartments or hanging your necklaces on hooks. And here’s a little industry secret to keep the knots at bay – avoid leaving your jewelry box under a bridge, in a cave, or any other mythical places where trolls are rumored to congregate. It seems they just can’t resist a good knotting session!
  2. Travel Wisely: If you’re traveling, consider using a jewelry roll or travel case with compartments to keep your chains separate and knot-free.
  3. Clasp it: Before storing a necklace, make sure it’s clasped. This can prevent it from tying itself into knots.
  4. Slow Down: Take your time when removing your jewelry. Whipping off your necklace at the end of the day is a surefire way to encourage those knots.

Armed with these tips, you can now outsmart those pesky jewelry-knotting trolls and keep your chains knot-free. Remember, taking good care of your jewelry not only saves you time but also helps your precious pieces last longer. Now, if only we could figure out where those missing socks are going… Feel free to take a look at more JBriggs Necklaces and Pendants Here

a cute fluffy blue furry animal walking through a magical forest, tangling a gold jewelry necklace

little fluffer wearing your jewelry

A Guide to Understanding Colored Gemstones in Fine Jewelry

When it comes to fine jewelry, gemstones are the alluring stars that often steal the show. Although diamonds typically take center stage, an array of other gemstones offer a wide spectrum of colors and symbolism. Colored Gemstones originate from all over the word; This guide will delve into some of the most common gemstones you’ll see in fine jewelry, offering a new appreciation to the variety and beauty of these precious and semi-precious stones.

Emeralds

Recognized for their deep, rich green color, emeralds are members of the Beryl family of minerals. Highly prized in fine jewelry, the value of an emerald can often surpass that of a diamond due to its rarity and color. They symbolize rebirth and love, and their vibrant hue brings elegance and sophistication to any piece.

The majority of the world’s emeralds are mined in Colombia and Zambia. Colombia’s emeralds are highly sought after for their pure green hue, while Zambian emeralds are known for their deep, bluish-green color.

Rubies

Rubies are revered for their fiery red color, representing passion and protection. They belong to the Corundum mineral family, and their durability is second only to diamonds, making them excellent choices for everyday wear. Fine rubies with little to no imperfections are incredibly rare and highly valued.

Historically, the Mogok region of Burma, now Myanmar, has produced exquisite rubies with a pure, saturated red color known as ‘pigeon’s blood’. However, Thailand’s Chanthaburi and Trat districts are also significant ruby sources, producing stones with a darker, more garnet-like color.

Sapphires

Sapphires, famed for their royal blue color, are part of the corundum family and come in nearly every color except red. They symbolize wisdom and nobility, making them a popular choice for ceremonial jewelry and engagement rings. These gemstones are mined worldwide, including locations such as Madagascar, Australia, the United States, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Kenya, and Tanzania. However, the three most prominent sources, known for their high-quality sapphires, are Kashmir, Burma, and Sri Lanka.

The sapphires mined from Kashmir are the most rare and valuable. The Kashmir mines were active for only about 40 years between 1880 and 1920, which contributes to the rarity and high value of these stones. Sri Lanka, previously known as Ceylon until its independence from Britain in 1948, is a significant source of vibrant sapphires. The blue sapphires from Sri Lanka, referred to as Ceylon Sapphires, are renowned for their lighter, brighter, and more vivid hues compared to the darker blue sapphires from other regions. These Sri Lankan or Ceylon Sapphires have a rich history dating back to the second century A.D., making Sri Lanka home to some of the world’s oldest sapphire mines. Their popularity peaked during the fourth and fifth centuries when they were extensively traded internationally, establishing their lasting appeal and importance in the gemstone market.

Amethysts

These charming purple stones are a variety of quartz, known for their wide range of purple shades. Once as expensive as rubies and emeralds, amethysts became more accessible once large deposits were found in Brazil. They are believed to promote calmness and balance, making them a popular choice for spiritual or meditation jewelry.

Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state is one of the world’s leading amethyst producers, with mines extracting the gem from volcanic rocks. Uruguay’s Artigas region also has large amethyst deposits, with the stones often found inside geodes in the area’s basalt flows. With a hardiness rating of 7 on the Moh’s scale, Amethyst and it’s fellow quartz varieties are ideal for pendants and earrings.

Opals

Opals are truly unique gemstones. They exhibit a range of colors in a single stone through a phenomenon known as “play-of-color.” The presence of tiny silica spheres within the stone diffracts light to create this dazzling effect. Opals symbolize hope, innocence, and purity.

Coober Pedy in South Australia is known as the opal capital of the world, with the town’s opal fields producing an abundance of precious white opal. The Lightning Ridge area, also in Australia, is known for its rare and valuable black opal.

Boulder Opals

The Boulder Opal is another variety of Opal that is quite lovely. These distinctive gemstones are unique in that the opal forms in a thin layer within the fissures and cavities of ironstone boulders. The opal layer is often left attached to the ironstone backing when cut and polished, providing a dark and dramatic backdrop that enhances the opal’s vibrant play-of-color.

The Queensland mining fields in Australia are a primary source for these beautiful boulder opals. Their captivating interplay of color and unique patterns, framed by the raw, rugged ironstone, makes each boulder opal a unique piece of art.

Pearls

While technically not gemstones, pearls have been an integral part of fine jewelry for centuries. Formed within mollusks, pearls are the only gems derived from a living creature. They come in various colors, including white, black, grey, and pink, and symbolize wisdom and integrity. The deep green & rose ‘oil slick color combination known as Peacock is highly desirable among Tahitian Pearls

Natural pearls are most commonly sourced from the Persian Gulf, especially around Bahrain. Japan, however, revolutionized the industry in the early 20th century by developing methods to cultivate pearls, making them more widely available. Natural pearls are now extremely rare.

Aquamarines

Known for their captivating sea-blue color, Aquamarines are the blue to blue-green variety of Beryl, the same mineral family that emeralds belong to. These gemstones have been cherished for their tranquility and soothing characteristics, symbolizing harmony and trust.

Historically, the most famous deposits of aquamarine have been in the country of Brazil. However, other significant sources include the African countries of Madagascar, Kenya, and Nigeria. Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountains are also well-known for producing stunning aquamarines, often found in pegmatite deposits. As with Emeralds, Aquamarines are best suited for pendants and earrings or light wear in a ring.

Tourmalines

Tourmalines are among the most versatile of gemstones, owing to their availability in an almost endless variety of colors. From luscious greens to deep reds and even multi-colored specimens, tourmalines are beloved for their unique chromatic range. They are also known for their durability, making them suitable for all types of jewelry.

Historically, the most significant tourmaline deposits are found in Brazil and Africa, specifically Nigeria and Mozambique. However, they are also found in several locations in the United States, predominantly California and Maine. The unique watermelon tourmaline, with its green exterior and pink core, is one of the most sought-after varieties. Symbolically, tourmalines are believed to promote inspiration and happiness, lending an emotional depth to their physical beauty.

Peridots

Peridot is one of the few gemstones that come in a single color: a vibrant, olive green. These gems are formed deep within the Earth’s mantle and are brought to the surface by volcanic activity. Their green hue represents nature and is believed to bring healing and protection.

Peridot is one of the few gemstones found in meteorites, though these extraterrestrial specimens are extremely rare. The world’s largest peridot deposit is located on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona, USA.

Garnets

Garnets are a group of minerals that come in a rainbow of colors, but they are most commonly known for their deep red hue. They are believed to represent commitment, honesty, and hope. Their durability and versatility make them suitable for various types of jewelry.

Garnets are found worldwide, with major deposits in Africa, India, and Sri Lanka. Russia’s Ural Mountains were historically the leading source of garnets, known for their distinctive emerald-green variety called demantoid. Tsavorite is also a beautiful green variety, and Spessartite is a vibrant orange!

There is a world of gemstones beyond diamonds, each with its unique characteristics, color, and symbolism. Next time you’re shopping for fine jewelry or working with a designer to create a custom piece, consider these captivating gemstones. Consulting a Certified Gemologist is also always helpful. They not only add color and individuality to your collection but also carry stories and meanings that can make your jewelry truly special.

Thanks for reading,

J. Briggs and Co Team

Influence on Roman Jewelry Today

How Has Roman Jewelry Influenced The Jewelry Industry Today?

Brief History of Roman Jewelry

Jewelry has been a part of human history for thousands of years. The history of jewelry is a long one, with many different cultures and eras. The history of jewelry can be traced back to almost 2,000 BC in the Near East, where beads were made from shell and stone. It is likely jewelry has been around as long as humans have been on this planet, but it was the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans that brought jewelry to the level of beauty and artistry that we appreciate to this day. They each developed their own unique skills and  techniques that many goldsmiths still utilize in modern jewelry.

 

The Romans made a lasting impact on the art of jewelry and goldsmithing. Ancient Rome to the Renaissance, jewelry has been worn to signify wealth, status, and beauty. The ancient Romans were among the first civilizations to popularize jewelry, creating intricate pieces with a variety of materials including gold, silver, bronze, precious stones, rubies, and pearls. Throughout the centuries, the materials used to make jewelry have evolved, but the same appreciation for its craftsmanship has remained.

 

The Romans created jewelry for both practical and decorative purposes. They made pendants to hang from the neck or waist, bracelets, rings, and earrings with a variety of precious stones set into them. Jewelry was also made for purely aesthetic reasons, with decorative threads and ribbons woven into the pieces and small beads or pearls attached.

The Romans Impact on Modern Jewelry

Today, jewelry continues to be a popular accessory, a reminder of its long and illustrious history. Jewelry is a symbol of luxury and sophistication and is used to express individual style and personality. A wide range of materials are now used to create jewelry, from high end metals to semi-precious and precious gemstones. Jewelry is also a great way to commemorate special occasions and milestones, whether it’s a wedding, a birthday, or an anniversary.

Hammered Oval Bezel Ring with Blue Sapphire by J Briggs


Jewelry has come a long way since Ancient Rome. While the modern pieces may not be quite as intricate as those of the past, they still hold the same appreciation for craftsmanship and beauty. Jewelry is a timeless accessory and will no doubt continue to be a popular item for years to come.

 

Sources:

  1. “Jewellery in Ancient Rome.” The British Museum, www.britishmuseum.org/learn/educational_resources/art_and_design/jewellery_in_ancient_rome

 

  1. “Jewelry Through the Ages.” International Gem Society, www.gemsociety.org/article/jewelry-through-the-ages/

 

  1. “Jewelry of Ancient Rome.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, www.ancient.eu/article/904/jewelry-of-ancient-rome/

 

  1. “Jewelry Through the Ages.” National Jeweler, www.nationaljeweler.com/fashion/jewelry-styles/jewelry-through-the-ages

 

What are The Benefits of Buying Custom Jewelry?

Benefits of Buying Custom Jewelry 

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone special, custom jewelry might be an excellent option. Customized jewelry can be tailored to the wearer’s style, personality and taste for a truly unique piece. From necklaces and rings to earrings and bracelets, custom jewelry offers many benefits that store-bought jewelry cannot. 

Creative and Unique Design

One of the main benefits of custom jewelry is that it can be designed specifically for the wearer. You can choose the metals, stones and other materials to match the recipient’s style and personality. A custom jewelry piece is truly a one-of-a-kind item that will be cherished for years to come.

Quality Materials

Custom jewelry is typically made with higher quality materials than store-bought jewelry, so you can be sure you’re getting an item that will last. The stones used in custom jewelry are often of better quality, giving them more sparkle and shine. 

Personalization

With custom jewelry, you can personalize the piece with an engraving or message. This adds a special touch to the gift, making it even more meaningful. 

Support Local Businesses

When you purchase custom jewelry, you are supporting local businesses and artisans. This is a great way to give back to your community and help support those who are making a living through their craft.

Repurposing Heirloom Jewelry

People often have jewelry they no longer wear or inherit something of value that is not the desired style.  Custom design is the ultimate way to create something new that accommodates heirloom gemstones.

At J. Briggs, Jennifer is an artist and jewelry is her medium. Jewelry stores most often have a sales person and sometimes a craftsman, but rarely a trained jewelry designer at your service! When you buy custom jewelry, you’re investing in a piece of art that can be passed down for generations. Many custom jewelry pieces also retain their value over time, making them a smart investment.

Buying custom jewelry is a great way to get a unique piece that is tailored to your exact specifications. From quality materials to perfect fit and personalization, custom jewelry offers a variety of advantages. Consider custom jewelry for your next jewelry purchase for a piece that is truly special.

Gold Karats

What is the difference between Gold Karats?

Gold is one of the most popular metals in the world. It’s been used for thousands of years and is still popular today. Gold jewelry is a great way to add some extra bling to an outfit or to give as a gift. But what exactly makes gold jewelry so special? There are actually a few different types of gold, and each one has its own unique properties. This article will go over the different types of gold, how they’re made, and why they’re so popular.

Gold is a precious metal that has been used for centuries in jewelry, art, coins, and other forms of decoration. It’s a popular choice for wedding rings, engagement rings, and other fine jewelry. 

The answer lies in its properties. Gold is a soft metal that is very malleable and ductile. It also has a high level of corrosion resistance and doesn’t tarnish easily, making it a great choice for jewelry that will last a long time. 

There are several different types of gold used in jewelry making. The most common type is yellow gold, which is an alloy of gold and other metals. White gold is a popular choice as well, and is created by adding other metals to yellow gold to create a silvery-white hue. Rose gold is made by adding copper to the alloy, which gives it a pinkish hue.

Gold jewelry is popular for many reasons, but its durability and beauty are among the main reasons. Gold jewelry is timeless and can be passed down from generation to generation. It’s also an excellent choice for special occasions, such as weddings and anniversaries, as it can be a beautiful and meaningful gift.

Gold jewelry is an excellent choice for those looking to add some extra bling to their outfit or to give as a special gift. With its unique properties and timeless beauty, gold is a great choice for jewelry that will last for generations. So, if you’re looking for a special piece of jewelry, consider gold – it’s a classic for a reason!

All you need to know about each Karat

  • 10 karat gold is the lowest karat of gold available. It has the lowest gold content of 41.7%, which means it is mixed with other alloys to increase its strength and durability. As 10 karat gold is the least expensive of the gold karats, it is a popular choice for everyday jewelry and fashion accessories and sometimes paired with 14kt plating to give it better color.

 

  • 14 karat gold is the most popular choice for gold jewelry and is the gold karat that is used most often in the jewelry industry. It has a gold content of 58.3%, which means it contains less gold than 18 karat gold but is still considered high quality. 

 

  • 18 karat gold is a higher quality gold karat that is often used in luxury jewelry pieces. It has a gold content of 75% and is the most commonly used karat for high-end jewelry pieces. 18 karat gold is more expensive than 14 karat gold and is usually used in more expensive jewelry pieces such as diamond rings. This is typically associated with top of the line jewelry and has a great color and weight to it.  

 

  • 22 karat gold is the highest quality gold karat and is often used in high-end jewelry pieces. It has a gold content of 91.7%, which means it is even more gold than 18 karat gold. It is very expensive and often rare. Only used in luxurious pieces upon special request. A great Karat if money is no issue and you want the color of 24 karat without the lack of durability.

 

  • 24 karat gold is the purest form of gold and has a gold content of 99.9%. It is the most expensive of all the gold karats and very rare and used in high-end jewelry pieces that are typically for special occasions. However, it is not as durable as the lower karats and is not as often used in jewelry pieces.

 

In conclusion, there are many types of gold karats available ranging from 10 karat gold to 24 karat gold. 10 karat gold is the least expensive and is often used in everyday jewelry pieces, while 24 karat gold is the most expensive and is usually used in high-end jewelry pieces. The most popular karat for everyday jewelry pieces is 14 karat gold, while 18 karat gold is the most popular for luxury jewelry pieces.

What are Lab Grown Diamonds

Intro to Lab Grown Diamonds 

J Briggs & Co offers Lab Grown Diamonds as an alternative to the traditional mined diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are 100% real diamonds that have every single characteristic to traditional diamonds and look identical to the human eye. They are grown by recreating the pressure and conditions that mined diamonds undergo beneath the earth’s crust and can be grown in almost any shape, color and size.

 

“In a survey among 1,000+ American consumers, aged 21-40 years, across all income ranges, nearly 70% of consumers said they would consider a lab grown diamond for the center stone in an engagement ring if they were shopping or shopping with someone for an engagement ring. That represents an increase of 13% in only one year when 57% said the same.” (Source)

Common Questions

Following are a few of the most common questions our clients have when considering purchasing a lab-grown diamond:

Q- Can people tell that it is lab-grown just by looking at it?

A- As touched on above, the answer is no. Only specialized equipment can identify lab vs mined by detecting minor trace elements that are found in lab-grown diamonds. In addition, all large lab-grown diamonds are required by law to have a laser inscription on the girdle identifying it as a lab diamond. However, the inscription is not visible to the naked eye and  magnification is required to see the inscription.

 

Q- Can lab-grown diamonds be certified?

A- Yes. They are certified by various laboratories just like mined diamonds.  The Gemological Institute of America, highly trusted and most prominent certifier of mined diamonds, also certifies lab grown diamonds.

 

Q- Can my jewelry with lab-grown diamonds be insured?

A- Yes. Lab-grown diamonds are certified in the same manner as mined diamonds and can be insured according to the market value.

 

Q -Will a lab-grown diamond hold its value the same as mined diamonds?

A- This is unknown. Lab-grown diamonds have been around for a long time, but are just now becoming more popular.  There is no way of knowing what this new market will do in the future. Most respond that they are not buying it to sell it later anyhow, rather they plan to have it forever!

What are Lab Grown Diamonds and their Environmental Impact?

 

Lab-grown diamonds have been gaining popularity in recent years as a more ethical and sustainable alternative to mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are chemically, physically, and optically identical to mined diamonds, but they are created in a laboratory setting rather than mined from the earth. Lab-grown diamonds are created using two different methods: high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD). HPHT diamonds are created by replicating the conditions found in the earth’s mantle, where diamonds are formed naturally. CVD diamonds are created by using a plasma reactor to deposit a thin layer of carbon atoms onto a diamond seed. Lab-grown diamonds offer several advantages over mined diamonds. They are more affordable, as they are not subject to the same supply and demand fluctuations as mined diamonds. Many believe they are also more ethical, as they do not require the same environmental destruction or labor exploitation associated with mining. Additionally, lab-grown diamonds are more sustainable, as they do not require the same energy and resources as mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are becoming increasingly popular for engagement rings and other jewelry. They offer the same beauty and quality as mined diamonds, but at a fraction of the cost. Buyers feel they are also a great way to show commitment to ethical and sustainable practices. Whether you’re looking for an engagement ring or just a special piece of jewelry, lab-grown diamonds are an excellent choice. They offer the same beauty and quality as mined diamonds, but with the added benefits of affordability, ethics, and sustainability.

Thanks for reading,

Jennifer Briggs Jenkins

Graduate Gemologist  ~ Gemological Institute of America

J Briggs & Co.

 

To learn more about Lab Grown diamonds take a look at the GIA’s (Gemological Institute of Americas) article here

https://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/laboratory-grown-diamond/

 

How To Care For Pearls

How To Care For Pearls

Pearls have been revered and treasured for their beauty for centuries across the globe. Though they are an organic material, they are ranked highly among the finest gemstones.  Because they are organic, they require specific care that will protect them for a very long time. They can be harmed by contact with many chemicals found in household cleaners, perfumes, cosmetics and hair care products of all kinds.

Always remember that your Pearls should be the last thing you put on when dressing and the first thing you take off when you get home.

  • Always store your Pearls wrapped in a soft cloth or pouch and protected from all abrasive objects.
  • Always wipe your Pearls with a soft cloth moistened with water.
  • If spills or drips get on your pearls (“oops” happens…), give them a good soak in lukewarm water with gentle natural soap (not detergent). Rinse well and allow to dry wrapped in a cotton cloth, then wear them to return some oils from your skin to the pearls. Remember, water doesn’t hurt pearls, they grew up in it! 
  • Always remove your Pearls if you apply hair spray, or put on perfume with a sprayer: both can damage Pearls.
  • Always remove Pearls before exercising or otherwise getting sweaty. (It’s not the water or the salt, but the pH of sweat is not good for them.)
  • Always be aware of the type of fabrics you wear. Fabrics like Shetland wool can act as an abrasive with Pearls.
  • Always remember that you are wearing a gift from the sea and the better you take care of them the longer they will maintain their warm glowing luster.

To Prevent your pearls from becoming damaged, avoid the following:

  • Avoid using toothbrushes, scouring pads or any type of abrasive material to clean your Pearls. Never use any “magic eraser” or other commercial cleaning pad, even those ‘safe for non-stick’ or otherwise presented as “gentle”.
  • Do not clean your pearls with anything containing chlorine bleach, vinegar or ammonia (including Windex). All will harm pearls. Avoid anything other that water and soap (not detergent).
  • Prevent exposing your Pearls to dish or laundry detergents, bleaches, powdered cleansers, or baking soda.
  • Do not use any type of ultrasonic cleaner.
  • Steam cleaning your Pearls is not recommended.
  • Avoid tarnish remover or any type of jewelry cleaner advertised on TV as a miracle cleaner.
  • Please do not store your pearls in any type of plastic bag. Plastic can emit a chemical that will cause the surface of the Pearl to deteriorate.
  • Avoid leaving your pearls around a direct source of heat such as a fireplace mantle, on top of a television set, or stove.
  • It is best not to store your Pearls in a very dry room or in a safe deposit box for a long time. Your Pearls need a little moisture like your skin so that they will not dry out!

And last but not least: WEAR YOUR PEARLS. They like the natural oils from your skin and have a tendency to dry out when being stored away.

 

Thanks for reading,

JBriggs & Co.

For more information check out these helpful links:

http://www.pearls.com/pages/care-of-pearls

https://www.jewelersmutual.com/the-jewelry-box/how-to-clean-pearls-without-ruining-them

August Birthstone

August Birthstone: Peridot

 

So your birthstone is peridot. “Pear-a-doe”? “Pear-a-dot?” Actually, both are correct—but I digress. More importantly, what exactly is this gorgeous apple-green stone? Often associated with light, this stone was referred to as the “gem of the sun” by the ancient Egyptians. What better stone to represent the sunny summer days of August?

The word peridot comes from the Arabic “faridat,” which means “gem”. In fact, some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection might actually have been peridot.

Most peridot is formed deep inside the earth and delivered to the surface by volcanoes. It is naturally mined all over the world, from Alaska to Australia. A much rarer form of this stone—unlikely to be seen in a retail jewelry store—actually came crashing to the earth via meteorites.

Often confused with other similarly-colored stones such as Emerald or Topaz, Peridot is rather fragile with only a 6.5 rating on the Mohs hardness scale. As such, it is not a great choice for rings or bracelets (Green Apple Diamonds are a suitable replacement.) However, it does make for an exquisite pendant or set of earrings, with the larger stones having more color saturation. Peridot’s elegant and unique color has little compromise, and has created the life-force in some of my favorite mother’s jewelry pieces.

Interested in a custom piece featuring your birthstone or that of a loved one? I’d love to sit down and discuss your vision. Call or email J. Briggs & Co. today to set up an appointment. —Jen

© J Briggs & Co 2017

Sparkle & Shine With Holiday Bling

Sparkle & Shine With Holiday Bling

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are upon us, and it’s time to enjoy a full season of festivities, parties, and gift-giving. Why not make things easier on yourself by gifting your loved ones with classic jewelry? You really can’t go wrong with jewelry – and with customizable options from J. Briggs & Co., like choosing which precious metal to use, that Christmas or Hanukkah bauble becomes extra special. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a little something for yourself while you’re at it.

Gifts for Christmas

When picking out Christmas jewelry as a gift, make sure to choose pieces that are sentimental and can be worn year-round. A cross pendant, for example, is a classic shape that can hold a great deal of meaning when given as a Christmas gift. Plus, it doesn’t hurt if the cross is composed of several pear-shaped diamonds. When selecting a J. Briggs & Co. pendant and customizable chain, pick the platinum chain for Christmas. Might as well go all-out.
Pear diamond cross Take a look: http://www.jbriggsandco.com/product-p/pearcross-pd.htm

For the stylish man in your life (or a younger brother you wish would dress better), custom cufflinks are the perfect Christmas gift or stocking stuffer. If he’s a sports fan, these baseball-inspired cufflinks with precision cut diamonds have just the right balance of bling, masculinity, and that “typical guy” factor.
Ballgame Diamond Cuff LinksTake a look: http://www.jbriggsandco.com/product-p/bball-cl.htm

Gifts for Hanukkah

With eight days to fill with presents, Hanukkah jewelry gifts are a surefire way to shake things up a bit; and deep blue sapphires will definitely stand out from the rest. Add in a hint of ice – aka diamonds – and you’ve got a game winning combination. A beautifully crafted pendant with diamonds and sapphires makes an elegant statement, yet it’s still simple enough for everyday wear.
Sfera Sapphire Diamond Pendant NecklaceTake a look: http://www.jbriggsandco.com/product-p/sfapod-pd.htm

A large cocktail ring is super classy when holding a martini glass, but fashionistas can also create their own unique look with stackable rings. And in this case, we’re not referring to those throwaway stackable rings made of plastic or nickel. This Hanukkah, wrap up a stunning sapphire eternity band (or several) for a memorable gift. Whether they’re worn stacked or solo, a sapphire and diamond band is an exquisite addition to any lady’s jewelry wardrobe.
Stackable Eternity Ring Round Sapphires and DiamondsTake a look: http://www.jbriggsandco.com/product-p/shrdsapdia-rg.htm

For Your Own Stocking

Holiday shopping is exhausting – go ahead and reward yourself with some shiny new Christmas jewelry. Christmas-themed jewelry can be so kitschy, but incorporating a subtle holiday motif into your jewelry collection is charming. Instead of the normal tennis bracelet, treat yourself to a glitzy HopeStar diamond bracelet that mimics the look of snowflakes with eye-catching sparkle. It’s the ultimate accessory for any holiday party or special occasion.
HopeStar Diamond Bracelet Take a look: http://www.jbriggsandco.com/product-p/hstar715-brc.htm

If a barrage of diamonds isn’t your thing (don’t worry, we won’t judge), try a strand of multicolored pearls peppered with diamond HopeStars. Worn with the perfect little black dress, this necklace is a total showstopper. Rather than the cliché red and green combo, a pastel array of South Sea, Tahitian and freshwater pearls add a splash of color that you can wear during Christmas, Hanukkah and beyond. Sure, you could give these pearls away as a gift – but we recommend stashing them away for yourself.
HopeStar Versa Pearl StrandTake a look: http://www.jbriggsandco.com/product-p/hstar41-pls.htm

If you’re looking for something extra special this holiday season, contact us to see if we can create something custom for you.
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