The Family Jewels

Tips for the Accident-Prone Jewelry Owner

Posted on Tue, Feb 21, 2012 @ 11:19 AM

After purchasing a diamond engagement ring or other fine jewelry, it’s important to consider insurance to protect from loss, damage or theft. The last thing diamond buyers are thinking about when they walk out of our shop with their brand-new jewelry is losing the piece, but doing so could prevent a blow to the wallet in the future.

Typical Insurance Policies

Jewelry Insurance If you have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, you most likely have some sort of coverage for personal property, which includes jewelry. However, these types of insurance policies probably do not fully cover your jewelry. These policies typically pay a maximum of $1,000 for jewelry theft, and this could be even lower for renter’s insurance.  It is also likely that these policies do not cover loss or damage at all. Read through your policy carefully to find out the types of losses that are covered on your standard policy.

Additional Jewelry Insurance

If you do not have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance or you are not happy with the coverage that either may give you, you can purchase additional insurance on that sparkler you just bought. Be sure to ask your insurance agent questions about the policy so that you know all of the details. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Is there a deductible?

  • Is an appraisal required?

  • Would the policy cover you for both domestic and international losses?

  • Are the items covered for full replacement cost?

  • Does the policy cover repairs to damaged jewelry?

Jewelry Appraisals

You might need to have your jewelry appraised before you are able to buy insurance. Jewelry Appraisals put a dollar value on your piece of jewelry. Also, appraisals are sometimes necessary when settling an estate or divorce.

Appraisals can be done on any item of jewelry, regardless of its composition. Because market values change, it is recommended that fine jewelry be appraised every two years. Made sure that you can trust the appraiser; ask for references and educational credentials.

The only thing better than enjoying your new jewelry from SH Zell and Sons is enjoying the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are protected in case of emergency. 

Tags: Jewelry

Jewelry That Says “I Love You” on Valentine’s Day

Posted on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 @ 03:45 PM

While it may be the shortest month on the calendar, February is considered by many to be the most romantic time of the year because of Valentine’s Day – a day which represents love and romance. 

The origin of Valentine’s Day dates back to ancient times and the true story of Saint Valentine is a mystery. Many believe that Valentine was a priest who served in the third century in Rome. Valentine continued to perform marriages for lovers in secret after they were outlawed for young men. Throughout the years, the story of St. Valentine has carried down to become one day each year for people to exchange tokens of affection with one another. Today, an estimated one billion valentine cards are given each year along with chocolate, flowers and of course, jewelry.

Jewelry can symbolize romance through type, shape or design. If you are looking for a way to say “I love you” with jewelry for that special someone, there are countless options for you.

  • Diamonds– Diamonds represent love in a variety of ways. Diamonds are the hardest substance known to humans, and are indestructible, pure and  of course, beautiful. Diamonds represent a strong, unbreakable love, and are used in engagement and wedding rings for this reason.Heart Diamond

  • Heart Shapes – Hearts are the most recognizable symbol of love, and heart shaped pendants are a great way to show your affection to your valentine. A favorite of both young and old, single heart pendants can be outlined with pave or channel set diamonds. Also, double heart designs can have two hearts intertwined or side by side.

  • Ruby

    Rubies – The vibrant red color of this gemstone symbolizes love and passion. Rubies come in various shapes, sizes and designs. Rubies can be worn alone or paired with diamonds to createa stunning piece of jewelry.  

  • Three Stone Pendants – This design features three diamonds or gemstones mounted one above the other. The three stones represent the past, present and future of the couple and their love. These three stones can also be accented with other gemstones or diamonds and are a popular choice for engagements, weddings and anniversaries.

 If you are looking for a custom Valentine’s Day piece, don’t hesitate to ask us here at SH Zell and Sons.  We are here to take the stress out of Valentine's Day giving, so that you can enjoy all the day means to you. 

Tags: Diamond Jewelry

Holiday Jewelry Forecast: Traces of Snow, but Plenty of Ice

Posted on Tue, Dec 13, 2011 @ 11:40 AM

Jewelry as a Gift As the holiday spirit settles around us in mid-December, diamonds and jewelry remain a glimmering selection for gift-givers nationwide. While diamond rings usually bring to mind marriage proposals and anniversary gifts, fine jewelry and diamonds remain popular presents during the holiday season. Historically speaking, the hustle and bustle increases for us a bit during this time of year; the top months for jewelry buying are November and December.

According to the National Retail Federation, the number of people asking for jewelry this holiday season lands at a whopping 23%, which is up 13% from last year. Some even believe that buying diamond jewelry is a prudent style of spending because diamond jewelry is resilient, beautiful and timeless. 

There is a reason why they say “diamonds are forever,” and industry growth in economic hardship further proves that case. While 61% of shoppers surveyed recently said that the economy will affect their shopping plans this year, jewelry sales in 2011 are also expected to climb. This demonstrates consumers’ interest in purchasing a beautiful products that have value. The fact that these shoppers also are eyeing some “ice” this holiday season shows that many feel more financially stable in 2011, giving consumers room to invest in jewelry.

Part of the allure of jewelry is that there are so many options and trends are constantly evolving to complement the wearer. Beautiful jewelry comes in all shapes, sizes and costs and can be custom made to fit anyone’s personal taste. At SH Zell and Sons, we will work around all of your gift criteria. Whether you want to create a custom made piece or pick up a last-minute gift from our Online Store, our knowledge and industry expertise are at your disposal.

We want to know: is jewelry on your wish list this year? Leave us a comment and let us know! 


Tags: Jewelry for the Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 02:11 PM

Wishing you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at S.H. Zell and Sons. Thank you for making our year a memorable one! 

Happy Thanksgiving

A Guide for Buying Diamonds

Posted on Mon, Nov 21, 2011 @ 12:19 PM

Diamond PileAs the holiday season approaches, you may be faced with the dizzying proposition of purchasing diamond jewelry. Whether it may be a gift for a loved one or a gift for yourself, there are many things to consider when purchasing diamonds. To take some of the confusion out of diamond shopping and fully enjoy the holidays, keep in mind the following traits of the diamonds you will be shopping for.


When buying a diamond, remember the 4 C’s: Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat.

  • Color – While most diamonds are white, or colorless, in color, consider a colored diamond to add some interest to your piece.

  • Cut – The cut of a diamond influences the stone’s sparkle. Diamond cuts range from being shallow to deep, and measures the symmetry and balance of facets.

  • Clarity – Clarity is determined by how perfect the diamond is. Pay attention to internal flaws (inclusions) and external flaws (blemishes).

  • Carat – A carat is the unit of weight used to measure precious stones. The higher the carat weight, the larger the diamond is.

Diamond Sources

It is important to also learn where and how the diamond was formed. This affects the price, proportions and sentiment of your diamond.

  • Natural – Diamonds that were created naturally were formed within the Earth’s crust over a period of a billion or more years. Natural diamonds are the hardest substance on Earth.

  • Synthetic – Diamonds grown in a laboratory can be created in a matter of weeks. Man-made diamonds offer a more affordable alternative to traditional, natural diamonds.

  • Antique – Antique diamonds are typically over 100 years old and are hand cut. Their proportions are different from more modern diamonds.

  • Canadian – Diamonds that originate in Canada are high quality and are required to pass a certification regimen called the Canadian Diamond Code of Conduct. This stringent tracking system helps eliminate the illicit diamond trade that funds illegal corporations.

Now that you are educated on the different types of diamonds you will encounter in your jewelry buying experience, take a peek through our Jewelry Box. If you don’t see what you want, Contact Us today about creating your dream piece and we will do our part to make this holiday season one of your most cherished.  

Tags: Diamond Jewelry

Is Your Jewelry Box a Gold Mine?

Posted on Mon, Oct 17, 2011 @ 09:51 AM

Leprechauns aren’t the only ones on the hunt for gold...because of its beauty, durability and elegance, so are we!

Gold Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal with a bright yellow color and an attractive luster. Throughout recorded history, gold has been highly sought after and valuable for coinage, jewelry and other arts. Until the late 20th century, gold standards were the most common basis for monetary policies. Global consumption of new gold is approximately 50% in jewelry, 40% in investments and 10% in industry. 

The tradition of gold jewelry has endured for centuries and will carry well into the future. Men, women and children alike wear gold jewelry in any and all forms; rings, chains, earrings, watches and bracelets are commonly made with gold. Jewelry wearers love gold because of its characteristics:

  • Unique Luster – The natural luster of gold is both distinctive and intense. The ability to produce several shades of color by combining gold with other metals contributes to its beauty and versatility. 

  • Durability – Gold does not rust, tarnish or corrode. It virtually lasts forever! Gold artifacts and jewelry buried with King Tutankhamen in 1350 BC are still gleaming and lustrous today. This durability gives consumers confidence that their jewelry will last for years. 

  • Ease of Workability – Did you know that one ounce of gold can be stretched into a wire that’s 50 miles long? The working qualities of gold are superior to other metals, making it the ideal precious metal to use in fine jewelry. Ease of workability enables flexibility and variations of color. Gold can also be re-melted and used repeatedly. 

Gold pricing is determined through trading in the gold and derivatives markets, and a procedure called “Gold Fixing” provides a daily benchmark price for the industry. Since April 2001, the price of gold has more than quintupled in value compared to the US dollar. On August 23, 2011, the cost of gold hit an all-time high of $1,913.50.

The United States’ struggling economy paired with the value of gold has led many people to the decision of selling the gold that they own. If you would like to sell gold but don’t know where to start, look through your jewelry box and see if you have any damaged, broken, or rarely worn pieces of jewelry. These can be sold for cash that could be used for another investment (like new jewelry!).

Here at Zell, we buy and sell gold and diamond jewelry. For any of your jewelry needs, whether it be buying or selling, feel free to Contact Us! We are happy to assist you in any way that we can.

Tags: Gold Jewelry

How to Mark a Milestone with Jewelry

Posted on Tue, Sep 20, 2011 @ 04:06 PM

Gemstones A diamond is a gemstone, but not all gemstones are diamonds. A gemstone, in fact, is a piece of a mineral which is cut and polished to make some of the most beautiful jewelry and adornments in the world. Gemstones come in almost every color imaginable and are prized for their beauty, rarity and durability. Rubies, emeralds and sapphires are arguably the most prized gemstones -- besides diamonds, of course -- and are often referred to as traditional or precious gemstones.  

Like diamonds for an engagement, colored gemstones represent milestones in our lives and are treasured for their meaning. Several gemstones represent milestone anniversaries. For example, sapphires celebrate a 5 year anniversary, emeralds are given for a 20 or 35 year anniversary and rubies represent a 40 year anniversary. 

Gemstones are popular as birthstones as well. Birthstones are gems that correspond with the twelve signs of the zodiac and the twelve months of the year. Different cultures across the globe have developed birth stone lists, so there’s not one universal birthstone list. 

Pricing for gems varies based on availability, popularity of color or material softness. When purchasing a gemstone, it is important to examine more than just carat size. Rarity, tone, saturation, clarity, durability, popularity and the cut of the stone also play a factor in gem pricing.

If you'd like to learn more about gemstones used in our jewelry, Contact Us today! We'd be happy to help you find that perfect piece of jewelry. 

Tags: Jewelry, Engagement Rings

Pearl Jewelry: The World Is Their Oyster

Posted on Wed, Aug 17, 2011 @ 03:27 PM

Pearl jewelry is perhaps the most classic and iconic jewelry pieces one can wear, and it has never gone out of style. Traces of pearl jewelry were found on Persian princesses in the 6th Century BC, making them the world’s oldest gemstones. Throughout history, women of the highest rank and class wore
pearls, but they have evolved into a versatile and classic piece that anyone can wear.

PearlsPearl Creation

Pearls are the only gemstone produced by an animal – the oyster. Pearls are created when an irritant, such as a piece of shell, is inserted inside an oyster. A pearl forms when the irritant is coated with nacre, a secretion from the oyster. Pearls can grow in both saltwater and freshwater settings and are cultivated in various regions across the globe.

The World’s Pearl Market
Eastern Asia produces the overwhelming majority of the world’s pearls, and different countries are known for their own unique pearl characteristics. China has the greatest market share in freshwater pearl production, but Japan has dominated the world’s pearl markets and held an 80% monopoly of the industry. Their Akoya pearls range in color, from light pink to white, and are sought for their deep luster. South Sea pearls are known for their large size and are usually silvery-gray, while French Polynesian pearls are notoriously black.

Cultured vs. Freshwater Pearls
The chances of finding a perfectly rounded natural pearl are slim, so most pearls sold today are “cultured.” A cultured pearl is one that has been coaxed along the creation process by man. Even though natural pearls might cost more, they are not necessarily of higher quality cultured pearls. Natural pearls are rarer than cultured pearls, so they may be more expensive regardless of their quality.

Pearls make a statement in today’s fashion and culture - and will for centuries to come. Whether you are 9 or 90, a pair of pearl earrings or a strand of pearls will no doubt find a regular spot in your jewelry box!

Tags: Pearl Jewelry

Heirloom Engagement Rings: What You Should Know

Posted on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 @ 10:24 AM

When choosing an engagement ring, there are many factors to consider such as your personal taste and budget. However, when you pick out that perfect diamond engagement ring for your future wedding, it’s also important to consider the future of the engagement ring itself. Many family members pass on their engagement rings to their children and grandchildren as a symbol of good luck and fortune for future generations. This gift is often sentimental and can represent a deep family tradition - antique engagement rings are over 50 Heirloom Engagement Ringyears old! The ring becomes more than just a piece of jewelry…it’s a symbol of family strength, love, tradition and trust.

While shopping for your new engagement ring, think about if you would like to pass this ring along to your future descendants. If so, talk to your jeweler about these two important factors when investing in your engagement ring:



An engagement ring will be worn constantly and endure a fair amount of wear and tear in its lifespan. The type of metal it is made from will make a difference in how durable the ring is. Alternative metals such as stainless steel and titanium are very durable and will remain in good condition for decades.

However, some softer materials such as gold and white gold are more cherished because they are more valuable. They are not as durable as other materials, but their worth and beauty adds to their appeal. Value and durability of materials are both important aspects to consider when buying you soon-to-be heirloom engagement ring.


Choosing a style that future generations will want to wear is also important. Awkward family situations can occur when a bride-to-be does not want to wear her mother’s or mother-in-law’s ring because she doesn’t like the way it looks. Therefore, consider classic, yet unique styles. Trendy rings may be desired now, but not in the future. For example, the Round Brilliant Diamond is a classic diamond cut that is one of the most popular engagement ring cuts.

If you’ve been given an heirloom ring that is damaged or that you don’t like, you can have it reworked by your trusted jeweler. The band and stones can be altered to be turned into something you like and that is unique to you. Also, pieces may be replaced on a ring that has worn down or been scratched. Contact your jeweler about recycling jewelry!

Will you pass on your engagement ring to future generations? Share your stories about heirloom engagement rings in our comments section!

Tags: Heirloom Jewelry, Engagement Rings

Jewelry Recycling: What To Do With Jewelry You No Longer Wear

Posted on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 @ 04:49 PM

Do you have a jewelry box that’s filled with old pieces that you know you’ll never wear? Try recycling your jewelry (or as we like to call it… re-jewel-vinate)! The term recycled jewelry takes on a few meanings, but regardless of how you choose to do it recycling can lead to a nice profit, or better yet, your new favorite piece of jewelry. Stop stocking up and start your spring cleaning a little early this year. Here are a few ways you can recycle your old jewelry:

1. Create A New Family Heirloom

Some people choose to melt their jewelry down to create new pieces of their own. Almost any piece of jewelry can be transformed into something more modern or something more your style. It’s funny how people hold onto things for the emotional value even if they know they have no use for it. By creating a new piece with the materials from your old piece, you’re able to keep a memory alive and create something that you’ll love and be able to wear every day.

2. One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

What you consider ‘just another bracelet’ could mean ‘the bracelet I’ve been looking for’ to someone else. You’d be surprised what people buy from auction sites like eBay. If you’re not interested in a redesign of your jewelry and you don’t want to toss it, try to sell it yourself! Remember to include pictures, the size and any other details that will help your potential buyer. If you’re not sure how much to sell your items for, go to a jeweler you trust and ask for their professional opinion. The jeweler may also be interested in buying your merchandise!

3. Use Your Old Jewelry, But In Unique Ways

Recycling JewelryFashion:

Think outside the box and use old jewelry to help revive some other pieces in your closet. For example, take a pair of clip on earrings and attach them to the back of the heel or side of your shoe to pretty up plain pumps. Another trick is to pin a brooch to a clutch bag or hat.  

Mix and Match:

See if your existing jewelry can be combined with other pieces. You might have beads from an old necklace that would be a great addition to another necklace or bracelet.

Accessorize the Home:

By disassembling your old jewelry, you can make better use of unique elements. Vases and picture frames are examples of household items that you can jazz up with gems or beads.  

Recycling old jewelry is only limited to your creativity. A trusted jeweler can help guide you through this process if you get stuck. Just remember, never let your jewelry go to waste by allowing it to collect dust... and don’t even think about throwing it away! Find creative ways to re-jewel-vinate your collector’s items.

Tags: Jewelry Recycling