• Ring Sizing – Seems Easy, Doesn’t It?

    May 15, 2014 | TOM TIVOL

    I love it when a client comes in with a new ring, and would like me to size it so she can pick it up in an hour. Realizing that she is very excited to receive and wear it, many jewelers “give in” to this service request. And yes, it is possible that for a very simple and straightforward sizing, especially sizing down, a quick turnaround can happen, perhaps during the same day. While getting this ring back on the finger is of primary importance to the wearer, the quality of the work should be of primary importance to the jeweler. Please click to continue …

  • Refining Precious Metals

    Feb 17, 2014 | TOM TIVOL

    Like all services within the jewelry industry, the liquidation of precious metal jewelry should be undertaken by a professional, who explains the process and provides their commission before their examination or testing starts. Identifying the karat content of metal is not as easy as it seems. This is especially true when the merchant is asked to separate authentic gold and silver coins from coin-like stampings which have a pure gold overlay atop some kind of base metal or sterling silver. Please click to continue

  • Gold and Gems from the New World

    Jun 4, 2012 | TOM TIVOL

    Professional treasure hunters study the limited written history of shipments of contraband leaving the Americas from the 15th through the 17th centuries. Contraband shipments were not unknown … they were simply not officially sanctioned by the Spanish Crown, and records of their launch date and cargo are difficult to find. Please click to continue …

  • Amethyst: February Birthstone

    Feb 1, 2012 | TOM TIVOL

    We begin the lovely month of February with a look at its princely birthstone, the amethyst, symbol of royalty, tracing its heritage to the Minoan civilization in ancient Greece about 2500 B.C. This is a gemstone that has been highly prized by monarchs of many countries over countless centuries, even though it is one of the most affordable and commonly available stones. Historians have absolutely no idea why kings and queens have loved this stone. Everyone knows the legend, that if you drink wine from a cup carved of amethyst, then you will never be drunk. Could it be that this story alone accounts for amethyst’s royal favor? Please click to continue

  • Garnet: January Birthstone

    Jan 9, 2012 | TOM TIVOL

    I believe almost everyone has seen or knows a garnet … that red or brownish red or pinkish red or brownish orange gemstone. All of this is true. But there is more, much much more. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the garnet family includes some of the most gorgeous gemstones in the entire world, and that includes almost every color imaginable. Please click to continue

  • Citrine and Topaz: November Birthstones

    Nov 1, 2011 | TOM TIVOL

    Citrine, the golden variety of the mineral quartz, and topaz, which grows in many colors, are both the official birthstones for November. Both gemstones are commonly found in a variety of countries, the large production from Brazil topping the list. The public believes citrine is an inexpensive yellow to yellow-orange gem found in most jewelry stores, and that topaz is the blue gemstone found in every sterling silver and silver and gold designer line of rings, earrings and pendants. Both statements are true; however these beliefs form because that is what is generally presented by jewelers to their customers. Please click to continue

  • Sapphire: September Birthstone

    Sep 1, 2011 | TOM TIVOL

    Sapphire, the birthstone for the month of September, is a favorite among natural colored gemstones. How can one possibly describe the electric richness of the rarest blue sapphire? People have tried for centuries: Oriental blue, navy blue, sport coat blue, deep sky blue, deep ocean blue … the list is endless. Blue sapphire is the most popular of the more expensive colored gemstones, and is purchased far more frequently than fine ruby or fine emerald.

    Blue sapphire grows in an amazing assortment of colors. In fact, as the most popular variety of the mineral corundum, sapphires grows in all colors of the rainbow, with the exception of red, which of course is ruby, the birthstone for July. Even when we limit our discussion to blue sapphire, natures provides us with an astonishing set of hues, from very pale grayish blue to extremely dark bluish black, all part of the blue sapphire group. Somewhere in between, lies the deep pure blues from Myanmar, S’ri-Lanka, and the rarest very slightly violet blues from Kashmir. Please click to continue

  • Peridot: August Birthstone

    Aug 1, 2011 | TOM TIVOL

    Peridot, the beautiful yellow-green gemstone, has achieved tremendous popularity in recent years, as it has been used extensively by designers of sterling and sterling and gold jewelry. Today, much of this peridot hails from Arizona. Historically, however, the great peridots originate on St. John’s Island, in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt, known as The Serpent Isle in ancient times. These great gems found their way into the cathedral treasures of Europe, as in the Treasury of the Three Magi, in the Cathedral of Cologne in Germany. The nation of Burma, now called Myanmar, produces a lot of peridot from an area north of the Moguk River Valley, and there are additional locations world-wide. Examples of great peridot can be seen today in the Smithsonian collection, the Morgan collection in the American Museum of Natural History, and in the Higinbotham Hall in the Field Musuem of Natural History in Chicago. Please click to continue

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