We are honored to be thought of so highly and appreciate the continued business of our loyal customers. Please come by to see why we were again voted as one of San Diego’s premiere providers of fine jewelery and engagement rings!
In these challenging financial times, everyone is looking to stretch their funds just a little further. And when push comes to shove, the next things to go are usually those tangible items tucked back in the corner that we can do without. Old family jewelry or stashed away gold is being pulled out of closets and dug up out of attics as the price of precious metals continues to rise.
Because of this upswing in the value of precious metals, many people are turning to the pawn shop to help loosen their purse strings. But where pawn shops provide a quick and customary service for turning materials into money, the true winner is not always the seller. Fortunately, there is more than one way to liquidate some of your finer assets.
Risks of Dealing with Pawn Shops
Pawn shops are popular today mostly because individuals are just not aware that there are alternative options. But with a little knowledge of where to find them, alternative options are a great solution. Gold, silver, and platinum are all selling right now at unquestionably favorable prices. Because of this trend, cashing out your precious metals is a great way to line your pockets. Your old jewelry and scrap metal can be traded in for a very attractive payout.
Although it may be tempting to walk down the block to your local pawn shop and unload (or often travel to shops located in less desirable areas of town) you may be walking back with far less cash than your valuables are worth. Pawn shops may appear to be the easy answer, but they are often not the most lucrative choice. Where most businesses are looking to make a marginal profit, pawn shops are commonly making quite a bit more out of your trade-in than you are. A pawn shop can turn your sale around for 80% over your sale price, offering you merely 20% on the true value of your items.
Turning to Your Reputable Jeweler
The safest way to get the best price per ounce on your unwanted jewelry is to turn to a reputable jeweler. Jewelers can appraise your items and determine the proper weight and calculations, along with an informed explanation of the worth of your items. Being able to ask questions in a low-pressure atmosphere can help you feel comfortable about your sale without being shuffled out the door.
A well-known jeweler will most often also charge lower commissions for the sale, raising the total dollar amount that you walk away with in the end. Pawn shops are also indiscriminant. They will purchase anything including electronics and appliances, which make your item just another sale and your buyer potentially less knowledgeable about the true value of your precious metals. Jewelers are experts in their field, and their reputation for upstanding dealings in jewelry is the cornerstone of their business. Jewelers are careful about their trade, and will weigh your karats using the correct measurements and separate items by karat to offer you the most accurate estimate of your valuables.
Doing business with a jeweler offers you a low-stress, comfortable, informed transaction without the sometimes questionable atmosphere of the pawn shop. Jewelers know that their sellers are also often also their customers, and establishing the fair market value of items being sold and bought is an important part of growing their business. Pawn shops deal with a gamut of nameless buyers and sellers, and many of these dealings can be shady at best.
Where pawn shops tend to work outside convention, jewelers are required to meet certain standards in order to maintain a notable business. Where jewelers are required to ask for identification when buying gold from a seller and weigh metals by karat and specific industry measurements, pawn shops often deal with items from unconfirmed sources and have questionable weighing habits. Correctly appraising precious metals and also confirming the source of these items are all part of a reputable process.
A rise in the value of your jewelry is no reason to rush off to the first buyer you find, especially if you are not getting the best deal you can. Shopping around for prices, exploring your options, working with industry experts and consulting with experienced appraisers are the best ways to ensure you get the most out of your jewelry.
If you’re thinking of purchasing fine jewelry you’ll want to take into consideration where you make your purchase. Department stores can be a decent option for relatively cheap pieces as long as you expect to get what you pay for. In general, you’ll be better off avoiding the department stores if you want a quality piece of jewelry that will last a lifetime. Instead, we suggest shopping with a local jeweler who specializes in creating, maintaining & restoring jewelry of all kinds. The following are seven reasons to go local and pass on the department stores:
Quality: If you want to be sure about the quality of the jewelry you are purchasing, you have a better chance if dealing with a reputable jeweler instead of purchasing at a department store. Department stores offer pieces that haven’t been stamped to let you know what quality the gold or silver is, which may end up leaving you with the bad end of the deal. Diamonds at department stores are often ones with flaws—albeit small ones. Still, if you’re looking for quality jewelry and paying department store prices, why settle for flaws?
Knowledgeable Staff: A clerk at a department store may be able to tell you what looks nice on you—or at least flatter your ego—but most salespeople behind the counter in the department store know little to nothing about fine jewelry. Often, the clerks are simply bouncing around through different departments—anything from jewelry to purses to makeup. Going to a reputable jeweler can ensure you make an informed purchase, in turn helping your purchase to truly become an investment.
No Guarantees: A jeweler may offer a guarantee on the watch or gemstone purchase whereas most department stores do not offer such assurances. Department stores may offer return policies, but they don’t usually guarantee the quality of work or that you aren’t buying blood diamonds.
Extra Services: Jewelry stores will often throw in little extras that are very convenient if you plan on keeping your jewelry for a lifetime. Many jewelers are happy to clean your item for free if you purchased it from them. They also can help to re-size or fix the item as the need may arise. Generally you can expect to find a higher quality of customer service and personalized care at a jewelry store.
Specialization: Department stores stock items they think will sell most easily. Sometimes this means they are offering mostly trendy styles that aren’t likely to withstand the test of time. If you’re simply looking for a trendy piece of jewelry this can be a perfectly acceptable option, but if you’re looking for a classic piece of jewelry (or a watch) you’ll want to check out stores that specialize in stocking the kind of style or item you are interested in.
Getting a Unique Piece: If you want to find something truly unique for an engagement ring, for example, then you must NOT shop at department stores. This may sound obvious, but think about the fact that major department stores are huge chain stores that carry basically all the same products. If you want your future fiancée to wear a ring for the rest of her life that millions of other women have, a sure way to accomplish that is shopping at a department store. If you want something as unique as your beloved, go to a jewelry store and find something truly special.
Resale Value: Since jewelers will often guarantee the fine quality of their pieces and/or they come from well-known designers, the resale value is much higher than if you buy jewelry from a department store. If you are buying jewelry it’s always a good idea to think about its possible resale value as you never know when you might need the cash more than a beautiful piece of jewelry. It’s a wise idea to consider you may at some point in the future want to sell the piece.
While these seven points can you give you a general idea of why it may be a good idea to avoid department stores, the best way to be really satisfied with your purchase is to be well informed. Do a little research about fine gold, silver, and gemstones before you shop so that you have confidence you’ve made the right decision. Whether you are looking for the perfect engagement ring or need to fix up a cherished piece, pass on the little brown bag and visit our store today.
Levi Family Jewelers is proud to serve the community and hold dear to our commitment to unmatched service while providing the best jewelry in San Diego. This claim is backed by the countless number of satisfied customers coming in and our of our Horton Plaza doors daily and the praise we have recently been getting online. We are proud to announce that we have been voted the #1 recommended shopping location by Yelp users in San Diego (http://www.yelp.com/c/san-diego/) shopping and thank both our new and long-time customers for their support.
Come by today to view our collection of over 3000 bridal rings and elegant custom diamond pieces. We are confident that you will leave our store satisfied and ready to tell your friends about your new friend, Bert Levi!
When it comes to matching jewelry with your wardrobe, there are a number of factors to consider that can quickly become overwhelming. Just a few of the aspects to consider include:
Your personal clothing style and favorite colors to wear.
The range of gems, metals, and jewelry styles you already own.
Your skin tone, hair and eye color, and hair style.
How many pieces of jewelry you wear at once.
While the outfits you own and events you attend probably range from casual to formal, there’s always a piece of jewelry or two that will complement any outfit. The following are a few simple tips to make putting together an outfit complete with jewelry a quick and easy process.
Choose the outfit first, not the jewelry. Unless the piece of jewelry happens to be the most important part of your outfit (for example, you’re expected to wear an antique piece that’s been handed down through your family for generations to an important family event), begin by choosing your outfit without thinking much about accessories. Pick an outfit that you feel is perfect for the occasion, and then find the jewelry to match or complement it.
Matching jewelry to complex outfits. A complex outfit may include:
flashy, sparkly material or sequins
clothing already adorned with gems or beads
multiple layers of clothing, scarves, and shawls
bright, bold colors
many different colors in one outfit
A complex outfit often warrants a simple piece of jewelry, but this is not necessarily the case. For an outfit with multiple colors, you may want to choose earrings and/or a necklace with gemstones matching just one color, in order to complement that color. The color you match with a bold gemstone will become the central color of the outfit.
If you’re wearing sparkly material, sequins, or material that includes faux diamonds, gems, or beads, you may want to choose a simpler piece of jewelry or something in silver with a small gemstone or no gemstone. However, the sparkle of diamonds can also work beautifully with these types of outfits.
Multi-layered outfits are complex and usually call for little to no jewelry, especially if you’re wearing a chunky belt, bold shoes, or a scarf. Outfits that include scarves or shawls are a great excuse to wear a brooch, which serves as the central piece of jewelry for the outfit. The brooch can be complemented with small, studded earrings or a simple bracelet.
Matching jewelry to simple outfits. A simple outfit can become extremely classy when combined with the right pieces of jewelry. A simple outfit may consist of just one or two colors, such as all black or black and white. It may also be comprised of just one or two pieces of clothing, such as a simple dress or slacks with a plain shirt.
These outfits give you a wide range of jewelry options. A simple outfit with a low neckline is the perfect time to show off a long necklace with a large pendant or gemstone.
Flashy, dangling earrings are an excellent choice for simple outfits. At the same time, you may want to keep it simple by choosing a few small, delicate pieces of jewelry in silver or gold that will not become the outfit’s central focus.
Gold versus silver. Many people prefer either gold or silver jewelry and settings, so it’s possible that your jewelry collection consists mainly of either one or the other. On the other hand, if you inherited most of your jewelry or have received many pieces as gifts, you may own both gold and silver pieces and wonder when to choose one or the other.
The color of your clothing is a good place to start, because gold tends to go well with and complement white and brown, while silver looks best next to black, blue, and gray. As your clothing colors move more toward the center of the spectrum, you can begin choosing the opposite metal to match your colors, but as a general rule, wear gold with light colors and silver with dark colors.
The versatile pearl. If there’s only one style of jewelry and gemstone to own, the choice is clear: pearls. They are both simple and elegant at the same time and are appropriate to wear with anything from a business suit to your wedding dress. While they tend to be worn with lighter colors, they match anything and can make an excellent complement to black and other dark colors. Owning a simple set of pearl studded earrings, a short, single-stranded necklace, and a bracelet is enough to match most outfits. For a classier pearl look, a double-stranded necklace can be added to the collection.
Matching jewelry to hair and eye color, hair style, and skin tone. Trying to match or complement all these features at once is overwhelming, but you can follow a few simple rules to make it easier:
Dark complexions go well with colorful gemstones but should avoid darker colored stones.
Lighter complexions should combine diamonds and rubies with silver and avoid yellow and orange gemstones.
Match your gemstones to your eye color, as this complements your natural beauty and will automatically match your hair color at the same time.
Long hair worn down should be matched with studded earrings and shorter necklaces, while short hair or hair worn up should be matched with dangling earrings and long necklaces.
The number of pieces of jewelry to wear at once can usually be based on the complexity of your outfit, because simple outfits leave room for the most amount of jewelry to be added to them. The formality of the occasion you’re dressing for can be another decisive factor, as more formal occasions usually warrant more pieces of jewelry. For a simple outfit or formal occasion, you may be able to wear almost all the options: earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and even ankle bracelets. The only two things that should never be worn at the same time are necklaces and brooches.
We are all aware of how extravagant the lives of the rich and famous can be: personal jets, cars that cost the same as most of our houses, sprawling mansions, decadent jewelry, amazing vacations, etc. You name it, they’ve got it. These kinds of price tags are something that the average person cannot even begin to fathom! And so it comes as no surprise that when celebrities are planning on getting married, they also spare no expense.
Purchasing an engagement ring and getting married is one of the biggest decisions we make in our lives. Everyday working-class people often and save for years in advance in order to splurge for the special occasion. And of course, all the spending starts with the perfect engagement ring. This is one thing that celebrities and the average person indeed have in common. We all want the engagement ring to be perfect, and so, we often go a little above and beyond our intended budget.
When a celebrity goes all out on their engagement ring, the price tag can be incredibly startling and flat out jaw-dropping. Take for instance Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. This couple made tabloid headlines even before they were engaged because of the difference in their age (Tom is sixteen years older than Katie). When they got engaged it was also big news, but not just because of their ages, but because of the amazing 1.5 million dollar ring that the soon-to-be Mrs. Cruise received.
Katie’s ring is a five-carat Edwardian style oval-shaped diamond ring. It is set in a unique platinum-rose gold setting, and of course, the focus is on the large cut diamond-stone. The style of the ring has often been described as very “art-deco,” meaning it’s a classic early twentieth century European style ring. Therefore, it’s only fitting that Tom proposed to Katie in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France!
Many extravagant Hollywood jewels were given to loves that unfortunately did not last. The famed heiress Paris Hilton was given a 24-carat emerald ring from her then beau Paris Latis in 2005. The engagement only lasted five months and you can’t help but wonder who ended up with the 4.7 million dollar ring in the end!
And who doesn’t remember the infamous “Beniffer” affair? Actor Ben Affleck and singer/actress/performer Jennifer Lopez carried on a high-profile relationship that was a major topic in celebrity and tabloid news. The two were engaged in November 2002 but the marriage never came to fruition. Regardless, J.Lo received a five-carat pink diamond engagement ring, estimated to have cost anywhere from two to three million dollars.
Going all out for an engagement ring is not a new trend amongst Hollywood celebrities and public icons. In 1968, former first-lady Jacqueline Kennedy wedded the Greek shipping-tycoon Aristotle Onassis. The ring on her finger was auctioned off in 1996 for 2.6 million dollars, making it one for the most expensive engagement rings of all time. Jackie O’s famed ring was a 40 carat diamond ring, and rumor has it she only wore it twice and kept it locked away out of fear of losing and/or damaging the precious gem.
Bigger, better, and even more expensive than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s engagement ring is the rock Donald Trump presented to his third wife, Melania Knauss. Melania’s ring is a 12 carat emerald diamond set in platinum. At the time of their engagement in 2004, Donald claimed that it was the most expensive engagement ring of all time, and he was right … until Jay-Z and Beyonce arrived on the engagement scene…
Jay-Z liked it so much that he did put on a ring on it. And when he did, it set him back a reported five million dollars. Beyonce’s 18 carat diamond ring is uniquely cut in a rectangle shape and also set in platinum. Jay-Z is one of the highest paid rappers and clearly he spared no expense for his main squeeze, Ms. Knowles.
Whether you are rich and famous, or saving every penny, finding that special ring is a huge decision that requires lots of shopping around until you find the perfect one. After you find the perfect partner, then the search for the perfect engagement ring begins!
There are several different metals used in jewelry today. From the shiny and soft natural metals like gold to the extremely hard Tungsten Carbide compound, there is a metal suitable for every person’s jewelry needs.
When you think of jewelry, the first thing that pops into most people’s mind is gold. Gold is a very traditional precious metal that has been used in jewelry for centuries. Gold is suitable for both men’s and women’s jewelry, and comes in a variety of karats and colors. Gold is one of the softest precious metals and pure gold is not suitable for jewelry. The gold is mixed with a variety of other metals that can change the luster, strength, and color. Here are a few examples of different types of gold used in jewelry:
Karats: You can usually find gold jewelry with the following level of karats: 24, 18, 14, and 9. 24K is the highest amount of gold available in jewelry. This will be susceptible to scratches but is also easy for a jeweler to adjust or repair. 18K gold contains approximately 75% pure gold.
Yellow Gold is the standard color but since pure gold cannot be used, metals such as copper and zinc must be used to keep the yellow color.
White Gold is an alloy of gold mixed with white metals such as silver, palladium, and nickel. Most white gold jewelry has rhodium plating on it that gives it the white color you see. The rhodium is very hard but does wear off and must be re-applied every 12 to 18 months.
Rose Gold is used for specialized jewelry and is given the “rose” or reddish color by mixing gold with different amounts of copper. A common mix for rose gold is 75% gold and 25% copper.
Recently, the most popular metal for jewelry has become platinum. It is a rare and heavier metal that does not lose its color over time like white gold. The weightier feeling also portrays a higher level of quality. Jewelry uses almost pure platinum (95%), making it much heavier, more durable, and very white in color. Platinum is seen as a metal for the rich and famous because of what it costs. You should expect to pay double what you would pay for gold.
Titanium is the hardest natural metal in the world making it very strong and scratch resistant. It also is more dent-resistant than gold, silver, or platinum. The metal is hypo-allergenic, so it is a good choice for someone shopping for jewelry that has allergies to gold, silver, or the metal that is mixed with them. This is a great metal to choose if it is for a person in constant risk of scratching their ring or in swimming pools all of the time. Unfortunately, if an emergency occurs it is very difficult to cut a titanium ring off of a finger, but it can be done. The metal is still very expensive because of the processes required to make the jewelry, but it is a great value because it will outlast all other jewelry.
A less expensive white metal is sterling silver. Silver is very soft and more prone to oxidization, so wearing it on a daily basis or in humid climates will put a lot of wear and tear on your jewelry. Silver is very easy to clean and bring back to its original luster. Sterling silver is comprised of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper to add density and strength. Silver is not recommended for wedding bands, but is great for jewelry you wear on special occasions.
By far the hardest metal available in jewelry is a compound of Tungsten and Carbon, called Tungsten Carbide. If you are shopping for Tungsten jewelry, be sure that it is not a scam and is in fact “Tungsten Carbide”. This is the most scratch resistant metal on the list and the only thing likely to scratch it is a diamond. The Tungsten has a charcoal grey color to it which is very popular among men for wedding bands. The ring will likely outlast any jewelry you purchase, and will keep its luster without any repairs. This is a perfect metal for an outdoorsman who would frequently damage softer metals like gold or platinum. A Tungsten ring cannot be resized or cut off your finger in case of an emergency, so be sure to take that into consideration when you make your purchase.
Stainless steel is another relatively hard and durable metal resistant to damage and oxidization, although it is not often used in fine jewelry. The appearance is similar to silver but not nearly as easily damaged which is why it is becoming more popular in dress jewelry for men such as bracelets, necklaces, and dress rings. Lacking luster and having a more metallic look is usually why the metal is used for men’s jewelry. 316L is the most common stainless steel used for jewelry because it can be re-finished by all jewelers and will not oxidize or turn black.