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Holiday Help for the Jewelry-Impaired

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boston-jewelry-sale-holidayIt’s getting to be that time of year again – Thanksgiving is (gasp) only three weeks away and you know how it goes after that: you start out thinking you have oceans of time to find that perfect gift, and then seemingly out of nowhere you find yourself frantically trying to find an amazing present in an amazingly tiny amount of time.

Yes. You’ve been here before and you’re well aware that that’s probably what’s going to happen, but you know what? It doesn’t have to! Jewelry is famously difficult to pick out for someone else – why do you think those big jewelers come up with all those one-size-fits-all designs? They want to make it easy to sell you something when you come in close to the gun and need something fast. Well, this might not be true of everyone, some people really like the Journey or the Past Present Future Pendant, but we can probably agree that the more personal a gift is, the more meaningful it is. It really IS the thought that counts! Anyone can walk into one of those chain jewelry stores, throw down a credit card and walk out with something, but if you want your gift to go beyond the surface, you need to work just a little harder!

Daunted? Don’t be! It’s not hard to come up with an original idea that your special someone will adore, not only for its beauty, but for the real sentiment behind it. I could go on and on about the connection between jewelry, memory and emotion, but don’t worry – I know we’re short on time here! OK, so let’s make this happen! Here are a few simple steps you can take to find the oft elusive “perfect gift”.

Boston Holiday Sale

Start thinking now (yes NOW). That means snooping in the jewelry box, paying attention to the things that get worn all the time.

Does she or he have a Pinterest page? This can be a well-source of ideas – in fact lots of us devoted “pinners” have an entire board (or more) devoted to jewelry, so if that doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will!

Listen and learn. You know how kids often appear to not be listening, but later you find out that they are always taking everything in? Well, that’s you now. Has she admired a piece of jewelry either in or walking by a store? Maybe she has mentioned liking something a friend or someone on TV or in a movie was wearing?

All of the above- even if this information is gobbledygook to you, retain as much as you can – it will help your jeweler to make smart and appropriate suggestions.

So far so good – the hardest part is over and you’re in the home stretch. Now bring your intellectual ammo online. Try contacting a few jewelry stores through their websites to get a feel for their customer service. You want someone who is attentive, knowledgeable, and friendly – believe me, you deserve it!

Once you’ve found a potential place, head on in with all the info you have gathered – you should try to go in with a couple ideas and have pictures ready if possible. Make sure you get going sooner rather than later in case it ends up being something that needs to be made or specially ordered.

There! Was that so bad? I told you so! Now the hardest part will be waiting to give your spectacular gift! Happy Holidays!

Certifications vs. Jewelry Appraisals: What is the difference and what do you need?

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NlIkoOur many years in the jewelry business have taught us a lot, and one of the most important lessons is that simplicity is always best. Many friends and customers have expressed confusion when trying to differentiate between jewelry appraisals and certifications. The terms seem often to be used interchangeably which of course, adds to the problem. We’d like here to explain what both certifications and appraisals are used for, in the simplest terms possible to help clear up any murkiness.

Jewelers have been doing jewelry appraisals for probably as long as they have been selling jewelry (and as long as insurance agents have been selling policies!). Certifications on the other hand, seem really to have come into vogue in the past decade or so. It is all too easy for an average person to miss the differences between these documents, resulting in confusion and often disappointment.

Jewelry Certifications vs. Jewelry Appraisals

Perhaps the biggest difference between an appraisal and a certification (or “cert”) is that an appraisal asserts a monetary value on a piece or pieces of jewelry, while a certification does not. Secondly, while appraisals and certifications both deal with quality, an appraisal is ultimately a subjective valuation of an entire piece of jewelry. However, a certification is a stringent verification of a single gemstone conducted in a gem lab by a certified technical gemologist, pertaining only to the gem’s individual aspects and quality. A certification does not determine a market value.

Jewelry Appraisal

Jewelry Appraisal

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the uses for both types of documents are quite different and yet interrelated. To illustrate, a certification is something you might want to see before you buy a loose diamond for an engagement ring. It is not generally worthwhile to get certifications for stones that are too small or are otherwise of a less valuable nature. A gem certification should come from one of two internationally recognized gem labs: GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or EGL (European Gemological Laboratory). That said, we recommend GIA certifications, as they tend to adhere to far more strict and consistent standards, making a GIA certification conducive for use as a buyer’s aid. Essentially, certifications work the same way they do at a car dealership. We have all heard the term “certified pre-owned.” Well, a gem certification does the same thing: it is a document verifying that the stone you are looking at is exactly what your jeweler says it is. It can be viewed as an added buyer protection and is very helpful in choosing between diamonds of different qualities. Additionally, it can be used to aid the subsequent appraiser’s assessment when you have mounted your stone in a piece of jewelry.

The purpose of an appraisal is quite different. Rather than buyer protection, its use is property protection. After you make your purchase, you may want to insure your piece of jewelry against loss or theft. A jewelry appraisal is an assessment of an entire piece of jewelry’s current market value for replacement, performed by a qualified jewelry professional. If you have a stone certification, this will help reduce the level of subjectivity involved in appraising your piece, as your appraiser will have concrete confirmation of the gemstone’s aspects and quality that may be difficult to determine once a stone has been placed in an item of jewelry.

Finally, it is unlikely you will ever get a second certification for a stone, but you will most certainly need to update your appraisal every few years or so, as your insurer’s guidelines will dictate.

There you have the basic distinctions between certifications and appraisals. We sincerely hope this clears up any perplexity, but feel free to call us or come in person if you have any questions!

HOW TO SELL YOUR UNWANTED JEWELRY — PRO TIPS!!

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HOW TO SELL YOUR UNWANTED JEWELRY — PRO TIPS!!

Precious metal prices have remained high for quite some time now, and as a result, selling your unwanted jewelry for cash is a great option. The thing is, since selling “scrap” jewelry is so popular, it feels like a million and one places have cropped up and are vying for your business. It is important to educate yourself so you don’t get burned.

We’ve put together a few easy tips to help you sell your jewelry with knowledge and confidence.

1. KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE. The only tools you need are a magnifying glass and a well-lit area. It is best to know what your jewelry is before you take it anywhere. Use the magnifying glass to look for the metal marking. For gold, you should see either a two-digit number followed by a K (for karat, indicating the gold content), or a three digit decimal: 10K or .417, 14K or .585, 18K or .750. Platinum will have a stamp of PLAT or .950 and Sterling Silver STER, SS, or .925. These markings are most often found inside the band of a ring, on the posts of earrings, and on or near the clasp of bracelets or necklaces. Two caveats: if your piece is older, it is possible that the metal has worn down enough that the stamp is no longer visible. Conversely, you may see “18K HGE” for example, which is very misleading. The “HGE” means “heavy gold electroplate” indicating that the item is merely gold plated. In both cases, it is best to show the piece to a professional to be sure.

If there are stones, try to determine what type. A little research online goes a long way. There are many resources with photos that can help you identify your stones. The most common stones are:

Amethyst
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Citrine
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Diamond
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Emerald
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Jade
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Opal
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Pearl
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Peridot
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Ruby
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Sapphire
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Tanzanite
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Tourmaline
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Gem identification is tricky, but don’t get discouraged. Any amount of information will be beneficial. A reputable jeweler will be glad to help clear up any questions you have.

2. AVOID ONLINE BUYERS AND KIOSKS. These are cropping up everywhere and unfortunately often disappear just as quickly as they came. It’s just not a good idea to mail your valuables to an unknown party. Unless you are absolutely sure of what your value is, there is too much room for these companies to take advantage of your position. They are counting on your not wanting to go through the hassle and aggravation of having your items shipped back to you (at your cost!). Once they have your valuables, they are pretty confident you’ll just accept their offer, since it is the easiest thing to do.

3. DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE. Look online for reviews from other people who have successfully sold their unwanted jewelry. Reputation can be the best indicator as to whether a company is a good buyer.

4. SHOP AROUND AND KNOW WHAT YOU WANT! Lastly, it is a good idea to have an amount in mind when you go. If your first offer meets or exceeds that amount, great. But it’s still better to shop around if you can. The easiest option is to walk around a location with lots of jewelers. Otherwise, you could end up spending any extra you might have made on traveling from store to store!

So there you have “Jewelry Buying 101”!! We hope these tips help you, and remember, we’re always willing to give free estimates!

[sws_divider_line] Bromfield Jewelers
49 Bromfield Street Boston, MA 02108
Email: bromfieldjewelers@verizon.net
Phone: (617) 423-7464

Our Two Cents on Collecting Gold Coins in Boston

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Collecting Gold Coins as a hobby is older than the great city of Boston. People have eagerly built collections for centuries based on a variety of motivations. Coins can hold historical significance because they were either designed, portray or commemorate an important person or event, making them worth more (sometimes significantly) than face value. Every year, the demand for collectible coins rises as the hobby becomes more and more popular. Whether you’re an avid coin collector, have inherited some old coins or a collection, or just have a box of old coins lying around – checking out the value of those coins could prove to be very lucrative!

Coins can be far more than just pocket change! Within the past few years, the value of precious metals has gone up significantly. This translates directly to the value of your old silver coins. In addition, the growing demand has also played a part in the increased value of rare and historical coins.

Perhaps you’re looking to sell because you’ve inherited them, and are not into collecting yourself. Or maybe, you are an avid collector who is looking to make some money so you can upgrade your collection. Whatever the case may be, before you go to sell your coins you should know the value so you can recognize a reasonable offer. All too often people will overvalue the majority, while undervaluing the rare ones.
Here are a few things for the Boston coin collector to consider:

Rare Dates. There is a strong demand for coins with old and rare dates. For example, 1922 penny could be worth hundreds of dollars, regardless of condition!

Condition. Well preserved, high quality coins in top condition are always in demand and return a high value. Uncirculated coins can be worth 80% more than a widely circulated and worn coin.

Mint Marks. This refers to the marks placed on a coin collection when it was created at the United States Mint. One mark in particular that creates a lot of buzz is the CC mark, indicating that the coin was minted at the Carson City, Nevada Mint, which ceased operations in 1893.

Rare Varieties. A rare variety of a coin (for example, a buffalo nickel vs. a Jefferson nickel) can be worth eight times more than its similar counterpart.

Even knowing you have a valuable coin doesn’t always mean you know exactly what it’s worth. To find the exact value of your coins with confidence, you can visit Bromfield Jewelers in Boston for an expert appraisal! We also buy coins, for when you’re ready to cash in.

Make sure to check your dressers, cabinets, and old boxes for collectible coins. You never know what treasure may be hiding there! And the next time you go to “give a penny,” it might be worth it to take a second look!

Knowing the 5 C’s of Diamonds | Boston Diamond Dealer

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One of the most memorable days in a couple’s life is the day they get engaged – especially if it’s in the beautiful city of Boston! But before you get there, you’ve got to buy the ring. The process of finding the right Boston Diamond Dealer in this lovely city and in most others can be daunting, and even a little intimidating. How do you know what to buy? Where do you go and what’s best? The first step to purchasing the perfect diamond engagement ring is to know the 5 C’s.

Carat – The weight of a diamond is measured in Carats. One Carat is equivalent to 1/5 of a gram. The greater the weight of the diamond, the more expensive it will be. For example, a one carat diamond ring will cost more than a ring with three smaller diamonds that have a cumulative weight of one carat.

Color – The color of a diamond is graded by letter. The most perfect and colorless grade is a D, with each following letter having slightly more color. The less color in a diamond, the more rare it is. Grades up to an H are colorless to the naked eye. The farther you go through the alphabet, the more yellow the diamond contains.

Clarity – The clarity level measures the flaws, or inclusions, of a diamond. These can be spots, clouds or cavities in the diamond itself. The clarity level is rated from SI (slightly included) to VVS (very, very slightly included). While the level of inclusions will affect the quality and price of the diamond, most cannot be seen by the untrained eye.

Cut­ – Not to be confused with the shape of the diamond, the cut measures the workmanship of the diamond. The cut can enhance the luminosity and sparkle, and can hide any flaws or inclusions.

Certification – The lesser known “5th C” is for Certification. It’s crucial to review the diamond certificate to protect your investment and verify its authenticity.

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In addition to the diamond, you should know your metal choices for ring settings. The most popular are white gold and platinum. While white gold is the more affordable option, there is no such thing as pure white gold. To create this, yellow gold is dipped in rhodium to give it the bright white silvery color. This will have to be re-dipped every several years to keep it from reverting back to its original yellow color. Platinum is the more expensive option, as it is the rarer of the two. Unlike white gold, platinum is natural in its silvery tone but does dull over time and lose its shiny luster. Regardless of each one’s slight detractions, both are good options depending on what you’re looking for and the care you’re willing to put into it.

Bromfield Jewelers in Boston is a professional certified diamond dealer who cares enough to work with you, discuss all your options, and to help you find the perfect ring for your perfect day!

Boston Estate Jewelry – What to know before you go

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Like a fine wine, estate jewelry only gets better with age. Deciding to purchase Boston estate jewelry can be a wise investment, but how do you know what to buy? What has the most value, and what is the most collectable?

Estate jewelry simply refers to anything that has been previously owned. Contrary to common belief, the previous owner does not have to be deceased for it to be considered estate jewelry. The two categories of estate jewelry are antique and vintage. The term antique is usually reserved for jewelry over 100 years in age, while vintage is anything crafted within the past 100 years, most commonly in the 1920s.

When browsing for jewelry, look for durable metals that will hold their value. The most collectable pieces are made of gold, sterling silver, and platinum. Anything containing precious gems such as diamonds, emeralds, rubies or sapphires, will also prove to have a higher value. Pieces that integrate with changing fashion are likely to hold their value longer as well.

When purchasing period jewelry in Boston, it’s important to understand what you’re seeing. The terms estate, antique, and vintage are all very similar, yet vary in meaning and value. Knowing the distinguishing factors that make these historic pieces unique can help you make the best decision.

Estate jewelry is also categorized by the period from which it hails. These classifications can help you determine both value and style.

Design Periods

Georgian Era (1714 to 1830)– The Georgian Era covers the reigns of the four “George” British kings—George I through George IV. Every piece of jewelry from this period was hand-crafted and often incorporates precious stones. This is also the period in which “mourning jewelry” was popular. You may find pieces adorned with a skull or coffin as a commemoration of the deceased.

Victorian Era (1837 to 1901)-  From the era of British Queen Victoria’s reign, these extravagant conversation pieces are adorned with gemstones and semi-precious stones, and are typically flashier than the other periods. Victorian costume jewelry and fine jewelry are often indistinguishable.

Arts and Crafts Movement (1860 to 1910) – As a form of rebellion against the Industrial movement, these hand-made pieces are very simple in pattern, and include colorful, uncut stones.

Edwardian Era (1901 to 1910)– These pieces from the period covering the reign of British King Edward VII exhibit a more feminine, lacey and delicate motif. Often referred to as “lace translated to platinum and diamonds” these pieces generally are crafted with more expensive gems

Art Nouveau – This romantic design popular during the period of 1890 to 1910, focuses on the natural. You may find butterflies or flowers adorned on these pieces as art nouveau was inspired by natural forms and structures.

Art Deco – Becoming increasingly popular in the “Roaring 20s,” this jewelry includes bold colors and the use of a variety of gemstones in one piece. You’ll also see the introduction of ivory and jade, typically in a very geometric design.

Retro Period – The period of retro jewelry began in 1935 and ran through 1945. Hollywood inspired, these elaborate pieces are bold and colorful and those that survive today are highly coveted.

Now that you know what you’re looking at, visit Bromfield Jewelers in Boston for a wide selection of Estate Jewelry from a variety of periods. Stop by today to discuss adding to or starting your own collection, to request an appraisal on an item you’re curious about or need to insure, or just to browse through time and fashion!

Sell Jewelry in Boston – the Right Way!

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shutterstock_118640449So, you want to sell jewelry in Boston? Have you ever seen an amazing piece of jewelry on someone and wondered where he or she got it? Or thought, How did they afford that? Many consumers fall victim to the notion that high quality equals high cost. But you can be the one turning heads if you only know where to shop.

Do you know what your jewelry is really worth? If you did the research, you’d probably find that the net worth of your accumulated gold and diamonds is much less than what you paid. That’s because most retail jewelry stores mark up their inventory at least twice their cost for gold and over three times their cost for diamonds – making a gold diamond ring sell for around 500% over cost! This is in part due to the lack of consistent demand throughout the year, and more specifically the inflated costs of running a retail business. When you buy that diamond ring, you’re not only paying for the ring itself, but for all the costs the retailer incurs (salaries, marketing, rental, taxes, etc.), in addition to the calculated profit.

Another driver in prices is the widely accepted assumption that price equals quality. The more expensive an item, the more valuable it is, right? Wrong! Retailers play into this misconception by implementing even higher markup costs than normal for high quality items. So, while those pieces are in fact more valuable, you’re not only paying for that value, but the perception of value as well.

As frustrating as this reality can be, know that not all jewelry stores are the same! The savvy shopper can avoid those high costs by visiting  Bromfield Jewelers! Cut out all those high retail costs that drive prices up, providing customers with the opportunity to purchase high quality pieces at an affordable price. So, you can become the envied one amongst your friends while keeping the majority of your paycheck! Check us out at 49 Bromfield Street in Downtown Boston!