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... VIEW FULL ENTRY
Cultured 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... VIEW FULL ENTRY
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... VIEW FULL ENTRY
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.