There isn’t a better time of year than now to get out of Dodge and head for the sandy beaches of a tropical island. Shed those heavy winter coats and boots, put your toes in the warm sand and watch the waves roll in! Enjoying family and friends and making memories is what it’s all about. So it’s fun to do a little shopping for some souvenirs to bring home and remind us of the good times had. T-shirts are a perfect souvenir. They tend to be conversation-starters when you wear them, and those conversations take you right back to that sandy beach. Jewelry can do the same. So, why T-shirts and not jewelry? I’ve been on a few tropical vacations myself. A few years ago, my husband and I took a Caribbean cruise. During a day at sea, we decided to stroll around the ship and look in the shops. In the jewelry boutique that day, they had a special showing of a “rare and newly discovered gem”. As a jewelry industry insider, I hadn’t heard about any recent gemstone discoveries. I was intrigued. At the appointed time, I returned to the jewelry boutique where a sizable crowd had amassed. The sales representative began her presentation, telling a wild tale of the recent discovery of this once unknown gem, “Yellow Emerald”. Of course, everyone knows Emerald is rare and expensive, so this newly discovered “Yellow Emerald” must be even more so. The representative stated that the cruise line shop was the exclusive source. This is your only chance to purchase a gem so rare, only this jewelry boutique on this cruise ship made available! The crowd was enthralled with the story and began to mill around the shop looking at the selection of the “Yellow Emerald”. I couldn’t believe my ears. I wanted to yell out to the crowd, “This is a tall tale!” “Yellow Emeralds” are, in fact, Heliodor or Golden Beryl, a cousin of Emerald. Even though it’s not as well-known as Emerald, Heliodor is a relatively inexpensive gemstone discovered over 100 years ago. Hardly a new find. If you’re on a cruise ship or in a foreign country, remember you shop under their regulations, not U.S. regulations. The last thing anyone wants to do is spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a gemstone that turns out not to be as rare and valuable as was presented.
Reflecting on the past year, I am filled with gratitude to all of you who have joined me along the way in this venture, namely Kahle Appraisals. Meeting each one of you and helping you in your unique situation, whether it’s to determine if the diamond ring you purchased on that 40th anniversary cruise is a keeper; finding values for your recent estate and auction finds; or providing you with a detailed appraisal for insurance to help secure your precious jewelry pieces has brought me great joy. And having fellow business partners, working together to make sure our clients are well taken care of, has been positively rewarding. There is nothing better than knowing that you have each other’s back and that your shared goal of making sure the people who seek you out are cared for in the most attentive of ways is realized. This journey reminds me of a recent article entitled, “Bright Light at Midnight: Canada’s Far North Land of Diamonds”. The author, Russell Shor, shared his article on LinkedIn, asserting “diamonds from Canada are REALLY hard to mine”. This is a fascinating account of the long and tireless journey to find diamonds in Canada and northward and to set up mining facilities to ultimately find some of the most beautiful diamonds in the world.
You are my diamonds and this journey is sure to continue to be a fascinating one indeed!
- Do you wear that piece of jewelry often? I have a watch of my grandmother’s. I don’t wear it, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world. Since I don’t wear it, I’ve tucked it away in my safe deposit box. There’s no need to insure it while it’s in the safe deposit box, and I know that it’s secure.
- What is the standard coverage limit for jewelry on your homeowner’s policy? Each policy is different; and in some cases you have a choice as to what standard coverage limit you would like to have. Talk with your insurance agent about your options.
- What is your comfort level of risk? Is there jewelry in your box that you may not be absolutely broken hearted about if it were gone? Or, maybe you have a high level of risk comfort and a savings account to back it up. If you suffered a loss, you may be able to carry some of that risk by replacing your lost items with your own cash.
- If you schedule your jewelry, is there a deductible to consider? Some policies have deductibles; others have a $0 deductible. Check with your agent.
- Should you insure your jewelry under your homeowner’s policy or a separate policy? You have a choice in the matter. Talk with your insurance agent about your options. There are even some insurance companies, i.e. Jewelers Mutual, that specialize exclusively in jewelry coverage.
- Do you have a recent appraisal? Whether you have your jewelry scheduled or insured under a blanket policy, an up-to-date appraisal is critical in providing detailed information and a current replacement value to ensure comparable quality jewelry is replaced in case you experience a loss.
- Who appraised your jewelry? As important as your appraisal is, it is even more important who is appraising your jewelry. Unlike real estate appraisers, personal property appraisers are not required licensing. It’s up to you to find a credentialed jewelry appraiser who can professionally appraise your valuables. Look for an appraiser who has undertaken the accreditation requirements of a professional appraisal organization like the American Society of Appraisers or International Society of Appraisers. Expect nothing less.
Each of us possesses a unique and priceless gem--our mind and spirit. To keep it brilliant and reflective, a good daily polish does wonders. Meditation and mindfulness are the new buzz words for keeping our minds peaceful and sharp. Meditation practice sounds ominous. Sit still and think of nothing for 10 minutes? I’m not sure I have time for that! I admit I’m no pro, so I was excited to recently find a new app called Headspace. Headspace is a fun and easy way to get started in a practice of meditation. I logged onto the Web site, www.headspace.com, and watched the introduction. I thought, “I can do this!” I tried the free 10-day trial, and now I’m hooked. I love it so much; I want to share it with you. Enjoy! And happy holidays to you!
Thanksgiving Dinner has settled. Another family holiday enjoyed. Our thoughts naturally turn to the upcoming holidays. We look forward to sharing special time with our families and showering our loved ones with gifts. What greater gift could be bestowed than a bracelet Great Aunt Esther wore when she was married. Or that Rolex watch you remember your Dad wearing as you sat in his lap reading stories together. If you think about your own jewelry collection, it’s likely each piece has a story behind it of an important milestone or a special occasion shared with a loved one. Those memories are a part of each jewel in your box. When choosing to pass on one of those jewels to a daughter or son, grandchild or great-grandchild, the story behind the initial gift makes this gift so much greater. Here are some tips to making the giving of a family jewel one that will be cherished for generations to come. Include a special note recalling the event and the emotions you experienced when you received the jewel. Be sure to include dates, as this story may end up in the hands of a young lady (or young man) two or three generations into the future. A photo of you at the time of the event makes it even more special. Take it to a trusted goldsmith who can ensure your jewel is in good condition and that the gemstones are secure. Your goldsmith can give it a professional cleaning too, making it sparkle its best under the holiday lights. To ensure your recipient is prepared to protect their new gift, be sure to have your jewel appraised for insurance replacement purposes. Seek out a jewelry appraiser who is accredited with a professional organization such as the International Society of Appraisers or the American Society of Appraisers. This will give you the confidence the appraisal has all of the details that are critical to proper insurance coverage. With these steps taken, your gift can be worn and enjoyed from the moment it is received.
On Friday, October 23, GIA Laboratory released a statement notifying the trade and public of a system breach that allowed a hacker to change over 1000 GIA Diamond Grading Reports to reflect different color and clarity grades that would be a benefit to the owners of those diamonds and reports. GIA has invalidated these reports and released a list of the diamonds involved. If you recently purchased a diamond in the size range of 0.40 carat to 5.50 carats that is accompanied by a GIA Diamond Grading Report, there is a chance (remote, albeit) that you could be affected.
For millions of African people, diamonds are their only source of income. Time Magazine recently published an update concerning Blood Diamonds. Blood Diamonds are nothing to close your eyes to. No one with a heart wants to wear blood on their wedding finger. At the same time, boycotting is not the answer. Cutting off their only source of income creates an even more unstable and hostile environment at the source. So, how can you help? Today, you can buy and wear a diamond you can be proud of. By looking for a jeweler who actively supports the Diamond Development Initiative, you will know where your diamond was mined and how the miner and his family are supported. The Diamond Development Initiative was formed to address the complicated issues facing artisanal diamond miners who are in need of a stable and prosperous community and government. And, as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, anyone can make a tax deductible cash donation to the DDI. I encourage all of my colleagues in the jewelry industry to join me in supporting DDI in its mission to empower our partners at the source.