Diehl's Jewelers
201 Strykers Road, Suite# 19-322 • Phillipsburg, NJ 08865 • Kris@DiehlsJewelers.com


Tuesday, April 01, 2014
They’re Not “CHIPS.”
by Kris Schmid
They’re Not “CHIPS.” I hate the words “diamond chips.” Customers often call small diamonds “chips.” This is a bit demeaning to the poor guy who spent hours faceting those small diamonds. Facets are created by grinding a diamond on a wheel that looks like a phonographic turntable covered in diamond paste. The diamond is held in a dop, which looks a little like a record player arm.

“Diamond chips” is a misnomer. Very few pieces of jewelry historically have ever used chips. At one time they used crude rose cuts, but they have at least four facets, one on the bottom and three on top. Some designers start...

AT: 04/01/2014 09:47:32 AM   0 COMMENTS
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Gems from Afghanistan?
by Kris Schmid
Gems from Afghanistan? Gem-55 There is a big scam going on with our soldiers in Afghanistan. They are getting “Great Deals” on gemstones. Problem is they are FAKE! In some cases they are poor quality, some are synthetic, some are glass and some are plastic. Not only are they buying them from locals, but some are being sold through the PX. Worse yet some of the soldiers are coming back selling them here in the States unwittingly and wittingly ripping off more people.

Here are some of the posts directly from the jewelers’ group. (Heidi wants me to mention that she did not edit these, and the spelling and grammatical erro...

AT: 03/05/2014 01:17:22 PM   0 COMMENTS
Saturday, February 01, 2014
Making the Cut...or Not
by Kris Schmid

Making the Cut...or Not We see a good number of people who need their rings cut off their fingers. If you leave a ring on all the time you run the risk of getting it stuck on your finger and it getting so worn that gemstones will fall out.

Getting a ring cut off from your finger is no fun and damages the ring. A ring that is too tight can also damage your finger.

Here is a nifty trick if you get a ring stuck on your finger. Take some elastic fabric, similar to respirator straps or the elastic used for sweatpants and wrap it tightly around the finger from the outside of the knuckle to the ring. Feed the end through the ring and p...

AT: 02/01/2014 02:26:03 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, November 15, 2013
I Sell Smiles
by Kris Schmid
I Sell Smiles SmileSometimes I hear someone say jewelry is frivolous or not practical (usually a husband). Yet humans have adorned themselves since, well, since we’ve been humans. It started with shells, teeth, claws, amber, and wood. What is it about jewelry that affects the human mind?

Jewelry can be a symbol of rank, status, success, power, glamour or affection. It can be used to mark milestones in one’s life, coming of age, engagement, marriage, birth of a child, anniversaries, and achieved goals.

The gift of jewelry is, in itself, a compliment. It’s the giver telling the recipient “ this is a reflection of the bea...

AT: 11/15/2013 11:12:34 AM   0 COMMENTS
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Stronger than the Storm
Stronger than the Storm As I reflect upon the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, I am so thankful that my business was not washed out to sea.

Still, everyone was affected. Many of my clientele were without power for up to three weeks. Most had trees down, some on their homes and some on their property which they would have to pay for out of pocket to the tune of thousands of dollars. Some even lost their summer homes.

While generator companies, tree services and hardware stores did well at the end of the year, the loss of sales hurt a lot of other small businesses last year. Even Bernardsville had a lot of empty st...

AT: 10/31/2013 10:28:04 AM   0 COMMENTS
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Opal an Explosion of Color.
by Kris Schmid
Opal an Explosion of Color. opalOpal is the October birthstone. Most people think of the white Australian variety when they think of opal; however opal comes in many colors and from many places. Opal is formed over a very long period of time from water and silica flowing into the cracks of rocks and hardening.

In addition to white Australian opal, there is black and grey Australian opal as well. Most of the Australian opals are called precious opal, which means they have a play of color that has different spectral colors that change with the viewing angle of the opal. Opals without a play of color are called common opa...

AT: 09/25/2013 05:03:36 PM   0 COMMENTS
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Ear Piercing
by Kris Schmid
Ear Piercing Ear Piercing
This is the time of year when we get a lot of ear piercing clients.  The first wave is the before school starts crowd and the second is the “I just saw my friend got their ears pierced” crowd.  I figured I’d do a little piece on ear piercing and after care.

It is important to use a professional with an ear piercing kit.  The earrings will be in sealed cartridges to ensure that they are sterile.  Gold or surgical steel are the best metals for piercing earrings, since they are hypoallergenic for most people.  I have come across a rare few people who are allergic to gold, but not during ear piercing.  

AT: 09/03/2013 12:21:10 PM   0 COMMENTS
Saturday, June 01, 2013
A Lot More on Cultured Pearls
A Lot More on Cultured Pearls seiyastockPearlsCultured pearls are an extraordinary collaboration between man and mollusk. The Japanese have been culturing pearls since the 1880’s. That is to say man has helped the oysters produce pearls. At first they did mabe pearls, ones grown against the shell. in 1928 the first commercial crop of round pearls were harvested. The process that produces a saltwater cultured pearl is a long and involved one, but it clearly demonstrates the value of this beautiful gem.

Baby oysters, called spat, are farmed to a certain age then they are put in cages and put int...

AT: 06/01/2013 03:26:25 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, April 19, 2013
Gold Price Drops
Gold Price Drops This past Monday saw the largest ever gold price drop. It did start to rise again on Tuesday. This is probably all my fault. I had a piece of 22K gold cast on the previous Wednesday, when gold was $1500 something, and sold all my scrap gold on Monday during the drop at $1390. So of course it went back up.

This got me thinking, how significantly does a drop or rise in gold price like that affect the price of a piece of jewelry? A $125 drop makes the price of 14K gold jewelry change approximately $6-$9 a pennyweight. A ring may weigh 1 to 5 pennyweights. The price drop was, however, short lived, so it will have little ...

AT: 04/19/2013 01:40:01 PM   0 COMMENTS
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Jewelry Diagnosis
Jewelry Diagnosis We always tell people when they buy a new piece of jewelry, especially an engagement ring, that they should have it cleaned and inspected every six months to a year. some people remember, but most forget to have it checked after a year or two. I see a lot of engagement rings missing diamonds after 15 years or so. If you find that you can’t get in to the jewelers there are a couple of self diagnostics you can perform at home.

The first would be to inspect the prongs, the part of the jewelry holding the gem. On a center diamond or colored gemstone there should be a bit of gold sticking up above th...

AT: 10/13/2012 01:34:28 PM   0 COMMENTS
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Mourning Jewelry and Memento Mori
Mourning Jewelry and Memento Mori hair jewelry1It’s was a rough week at Diehl’s Jewelers last week.  Last Monday, a young friend passed away and we had to put our hound, Aonghus, to sleep.  Ninety-nine percent of our business is marking happy occasions, but every once in a while we have a sad one. 

This week has me thinking about Memento Mori, remembrance jewelry.  Since at least ancient Greek times people have marked the passing of a loved one with jewelry. 

Early on this was usually in the form of a ring.  Often there would be imagery like a cupid with an extinguished torch, ...

AT: 09/19/2012 09:51:35 AM   5 COMMENTS
Friday, June 15, 2012
How Pearls Are Cultured
 Golden Pearls

Since pearl is the June birthstone, I figured I’d write about how salt water cultured pearls are made.

Cultured pearls are an extraordinary collaboration between man and mollusk;  that is to say, man has helped the oysters produce pearls.  The Japanese have been culturing pearls since the 1880’s starting with mabe pearls, which are grown against the shell, and then in the 20th century with round cultured pearls.     The process that produces a salt water cultured pearl is a long and involved one, but it clearly demonstrates the value of this beautiful gem.

Baby oysters, called spat, are ...

AT: 06/15/2012 03:24:29 PM   0 COMMENTS
Sunday, April 01, 2012
Why Do We Broker Some Jewelry?
Why do we broker some jewelry? 1860'sRingWith everyone selling gold and silver these days, we occasionally get a piece that we won’t make an offer on and instead offer to broker it.

Why do we do this? Partly, we do it to get you a better price for an item, and partly because we hate to see some pieces just melted down. We broker an item by taking the jewelry to multiple estate buyers and returning with the item and the best offer. These are companies that buy for reselling an item rather than scrapping the jewelry for metal content. Since we have a definite offer on an item that is over scrap v...

AT: 04/01/2012 12:47:55 PM   2 COMMENTS
Saturday, March 03, 2012
Why I Love Made-To-Order Jewelry...
Why I Love Made-To-Order Jewelry... At the shop, all of us have designed one-of-a-kind jewelry.  Very often we are using a customer’s gemstones for such projects.  It starts with a design, requires a one-of-a-kind model to be made, and from that, the piece to be cast, the stones to be set, and the piece polished.  It costs a little more to do things this way, but it creates a wonderful, unique treasure that will fit some of the beautiful gems a client may have.

Sometimes you just want a classic piece; a sapphire and diamond ring, for example.  For this you can come in and just buy from what a jeweler...

AT: 03/03/2012 04:40:26 PM   1 COMMENT
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Hot Tubs and Jewelry
Hot Tubs and Jewelry Your hot tub IS a time machine... It will age your jewelry.

A customer once came in with every piece of her gold jewelry damaged at the solder joints. Her chains were broken, the shanks of her rings were missing where they were sized, and a diamond had fallen out of its mounting. The culprit was bromine. Bromine and chlorine both eat away at gold jewelry.

A while back a gold findings and casting company called Hoover and Strong did a controlled experiment to find out why diamond prongs were breaking. They placed platinum, 14K palladium white gold and 14K nickel white gold in various concen...

AT: 10/05/2011 09:32:44 AM   1 COMMENT
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Alternative Metals
Alternative Metals cobalt_jewelry_rings2The four main jewelry metals are platinum, gold, palladium and silver. They have long been treasured due to their rarity, malleability and with the exception of silver, their resistance to corrosion. Precious metal prices have been on the rise and although they are the best option for most jewelry applications, a number of designers have started designing in “alternative” metals such as stainless steel, titanium, tungsten, and cobalt chrome.

The biggest disadvantages to alternative metals are the difficulty of working the piece, the inability to size or a...

AT: 09/08/2011 04:27:32 PM   3 COMMENTS
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Refining and Recycling Gold
Refining and Recycling Gold GoldBuying-Postcard

Beware of national companies buying gold! Television and online reports have found that a number of these companies are paying much lower for gold than many local jewelers, even the ones that claim to “own” their refineries. A local retail jeweler from Massachusetts sent gold to one of these nationally advertised companies. He received a check for $18.73. I would have offered $84 for the same amount of gold.

Pharaoh’s Gold
A legend suggests that there is a little Pharaoh’s gold in every piece of jewelry; that is, gold from thousands ...

AT: 08/23/2011 03:56:50 PM   1 COMMENT
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
More Misleading Terms
by Kris Schmid
Continuing with the misleading terms theme brought my mind to some other things I’ve seen.

I saw a recent advertisement that said its watches were made in a “swiss supervised” factory. This may mean that they actually have one swiss guy at the Chinese factory where the movements are made. I recently had a watch from this same brand that had all of the numbers fall off the face. The numbers on this brand were glued directly to the face instead of the correct way, which is to have two posts on each marker that fit into the dial of the watch.

Another watch brand used to advertise that their watches were made of “Italian resin”, which is of course a euphemism for plastic. A pen company used to market their pens as precious resin; also plastic.

Another major culprit is TV advertising for “col...

AT: 07/06/2011 01:04:41 PM   0 COMMENTS
Friday, June 24, 2011
The Case of the Stainless Steel Case (Back)
by Kris Schmid
I had a customer in the other day that bought a watch on sale at a gift store for $25 and was having it sized. It was some randomly named cheap knock off styled like a famous brand watch. After I sized the band, she commented on being glad to find such a cheap watch with a stainless steel band. I said “it isn’t a stainless band, it is a base metal plated band.” She said the back said “stainless steel.” The back actually said “stainless steel back.” This lead me to think about all the misleading or confusing terminology used in the jewelry business. This gave me lots of ideas for my blog, which is good because I often suffer from writers block.

“Stainless Steel Back” refers to the case back only. “Stainless Steel Case” is used to refer to the whole watch being stainless steel. Plated base metal usu...

AT: 06/24/2011 03:36:56 PM   0 COMMENTS
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
A Little Bit on Pearls and Grading
by Kris Schmid
Pearls are truly wonders of the sea. Formed by oysters and other mollusks, their luster captivates the human eye.

It is a myth that pearls are formed by a grain of sand. Sand gets into oysters all the time. Natural pearls are actually formed when a piece of shell or a small creature gets into the oyster and irritates it. The oyster responds by encasing the irritant in nacre, the shiny substance that also coats its shell, thus rendering it smooth. Cultured pearls are formed around a bead carved from a shell from a mussel in the United States.

Pearls are graded based on color, blemishes, luster, nacre thickness, roundness and matching. The AAA, AA, A grades that you see are not a uniform grading system and vary greatly by company, so one company's B grade may be a different company's AA grade.

It is import...

AT: 05/17/2011 11:39:45 AM   0 COMMENTS
Thursday, May 05, 2011
First Blog Entry and a little silver talk...
by Kris Schmid
This is my first blog and something I’ve been meaning to do for a few years now. I plan to use this space for informative tips and info and will gladly answer any questions the readers may have.

One thing we’ve noticed is that we have seen some damaged silver hollow ware and flatware come in for polishing recently. It is a good idea to store silver that is not being used for display in flannel bags treated to resist tarnish. An alternative is to store items in a ziplock bag with tarnish preventing strips. Never wrap silver in cling wrap or store it in a hot attic. It is best to store silver in a cool dry place. Also remember to empty and rinse out silver salt shakers and cellars after use. Salt damages silver and will leave a pitted appearance if left in too long.

AT: 05/05/2011 09:41:32 AM   2 COMMENTS