Gold Jewelry: Is It Real or Fake?

As the price of precious metals has risen the past 25 years, the resale of old gold jewelry and its subsequent refining by jewelers has become an important service offered by our industry. What do jewelers do to determine whether gold is real or fake? And if it is real, what do jewelers do to determine its karat content?

Read more: Is Your Gold Jewelry Real or Fake?

10 Tips to Care for Jewelry

Jewelry can be expensive as well as represent the most memorable moments of a long relationship. Like a fine car, once it is purchased, jewelry should be maintained by annual trips to your jeweler. Here are a few tips we recommend you follow to properly care for your jewelry. Read more: How to Care for Jewelry

50 Years to Open My Own Jewelry Store

I have been entranced with gemstones and jewelry design from childhood. By the time I reached high school, I knew my future profession and I also suspected that some day I would want my own store. The day has finally arrived. It took me 50 years to get here, and while I am chronologically middle aged, I have the energy of my millennial graduate students.

My store is compact, designed with warm blond and cherry woods, artistic modern lighting and a full library of books and auction catalogues which I use to research and create designs for my clients. My students intern with me and help me with client requests to appraise, repair, re-design older pieces and of course to show and teach the art and science of designing jewelry with diamonds, colored gemstones and pearls.

Tom Tivol at Tom Tivol Jewels in Park Place

At Tom Tivol Jewels, you will find modern, vintage and antique jewelry, in multiple colors of gold, silver and platinum, exquisitely cut diamonds, crimson red rubies, clear and deep green African and Colombian emeralds and lovely blue sapphires from all the geographies where they are mined around the globe. Ethiopian opal bursting with vivid colors and almost flawless deep red spinel represent the more unusual colored gemstones that I have always admired. You will see cultured pearls from China, Japan, Australia and Burma with skin so smooth and luster so bright, you will know instantly why gorgeous pearls represent the most desired and worn gemstone in history … until the last 50 years of the 20th century when diamond finally earned the honor as “the” engagement ring gemstone of choice for American women, and since then has revolutionized the international jewelry business.

Welcome to Tom Tivol Jewels in Park Place:
11553 Ash Street, Leawood, Kansas 66211
We’re open 7 days a week!

Appraising Jewelry While Customers Sit with Me

For all customers who either make appointments or just walk into my office to have jewelry identified and appraised, I have my customer sit with me while I examine, measure, photograph and perform my appraisal. This creates 100% security for my clients, who then depart with their pieces when the examination ends. I follow up with research, preparation of the report and then emailing, faxing and or mailing the appraisal same day or the following day, depending on the number of pieces and length of the final report. Please click to continue

Diamond Coated CZ Engagement Ring

Last week I was presented with a lovely engagement ring to appraise. The ring was constructed of platinum. The young couple represented the round center stone as a diamond, and it was surrounded by a typical round diamond halo. There were two additional small round diamonds, each wrapped in a platinum bezel, each positioned at the base and between the prongs. Please click to continue …

Diamond Laboratory Reports are NOT the Same!

These days, most diamonds of 1.00 carats and over, and many diamonds under 1.00 carats, are sold with independent laboratory reports which authenticate the natural origin of the diamond, provide its weight, measurements and quality information. Most jewelers purchase their diamonds with laboratory reports, and most jewelers rely on the report to represent the diamond. Historically, even though the 1950’s, jewelers relied on their own knowledge of how to judge a diamond’s quality and value, and communicated that knowledge to each client, creating the trust so necessary for the purchase. In the 21st century, the public appears to rely on the content of the report itself, and may assume, correctly or incorrectly, that their jeweler has enough independent knowledge to be able to explain the report, and to make certain the report does in fact represent the diamond. This transfer of the public’s trust in a jeweler to their trust in a report, made by unknown persons in a laboratory thousands of miles away, is at the heart of the problems presented by these reports, and how they are used and misused to create representations about the quality and value of a diamond. Please click to continue

Ring Sizing – Seems Easy, Doesn’t It?

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

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

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 …

Choosing a Centerpiece of Your Own Antique Jewelry Collection

My friends at Inspired Antiquity graciously invited me to be a guest blogger this week, and I chose a favorite topic to highlight some of the beautiful pieces of jewelry I have come across in recent months. I’ve provided a summary of the article below, but please visit their site at to read my comments about antique jewelry as an art in itself. Please click to continue …

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