Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Best of Both Worlds

Getting a new piece of jewelry is one of the most exciting experiences but sometimes coming to a decision about the color of gemstone to buy can be difficult to say the least.  What if there was a way to get more than what you paid for, a gemstone that displays more than one color?  There are, in fact, such gems, "color-changing gemstones," that present in two distinct colors depending on the source of the lighting.  Imagine! one stunning piece that will appear as one color in natural light and a completely different color under incandescent lights.

Gemstones that display optical effects, such as color-change, are called phenomenal gems; these gemstones are relatively rare and completely unique.  The most exquisite and expensive of these gemstones is the alexandrite, June's birthstone.  An alexandrite with a strong color-change will display green hues in daylight and purple hues in florescent lighting.  There are also color-change sapphires that appear as blue hues in natural light and in deep violet hues under incandescent lights.  Another excellent option, with equally exquisite color-change qualities is a garnet, those hues range from bronze to rose pink depending on the source of the light.  There are also other color-changing members of the chrysoberyl, related to but not nearly as expensive as alexandrite, that offer other color options.

These splendid gemstones are rare and might not be easy to find.  Someone that is interested in designing a custom piece of jewelry featuring a unique and exquisite color-changing gemstone could start by contacting one of the talented designers at Alan Rocca Fine Jewelry and let them do the work to find gemstones in order to end up with the custom piece of your dreams!

Alexandrite pictured above: natural daylight; below: under incandescent light  |  630.323.5800  |

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Keeping Jewelry Clean and Safe at Home

Quick Guide

  • Add a mild liquid detergent to a bowl of clean warm water
  • Dip the jewelry in the soapy water
  • Gently scrub with a soft bristle toothbrush
  • Repeat dip and scrub steps as necessary
  • Rinse in a bowl of clean warm water
  • Wipe with a soft damp cloth
  • Air dry completely
  • Wear or store in cushioned jewelry box 

Having your jewelry professionally cleaned ensures that a jeweler will check the integrity of the setting and do necessary repairs before stones are lost or damaged but everyone knows this is not always convenient.  There is a method to safely clean jewelry at home when there is no way to squeeze a trip to Alan Rocca Fine Jewelry into the day’s busy schedule.  This technique is gentle and does not involve using harsh or abrasive chemicals so it is harmless to even the most delicate jewelry and gemstones. 
This simple approach to quickly rejuvenate dingy jewelry to a brilliant sparkle requires items that are easily found around the home and very little time.  Start with a bowl of warm water and add a mild liquid detergent.  Dip the jewelry in the soapy water and, with a soft bristled toothbrush, gently scrub the setting and stones within the piece.  Focus on areas where dirt, lotion, soap residue or debris might be trapped or hidden in individual pieces of jewelry.  Repeat this step if there appears to be an accumulation of hard-to-remove grime.  Rinse in a separate bowl of clean warm water.  Wipe the item down with a soft damp cloth to clear away residual gunk then place it on a towel and allow it to air dry completely before wearing the jewelry. 

Any piece that is not going to be worn right away should be stored in a clean dry place such as a cloth-lined pouch or a cushioned jewelry box with sections; individual item could also be wrapped in soft tissue.  Keeping jewelry separate and organized prevents contact that could scratch or otherwise damage malleable metals or fragile gemstones.  |  630.323.5800  |