Why does my jewelry keep breaking?

First, you need to understand that many precious metals such as gold or silver are relatively soft and malleable when compared to metals such as steel, iron, brass or bronze.  It is part of normal wear for a clasp on a necklace or bracelet to loosen, hinges to wear or prong tips to break.  It is also normal to need clasps to be routinely checked and tightened.  Wearing jewelry 24 hours a day exasperates this wear.  In particular wearing jewelry to bed will shorten its life span dramatically, by as much as fifty percent.  It will wear and loosen hinges, pull prongs, loosen stones, and/or break clasps ultimately costing the owner increased expense.

Take a look at the clasp on that bracelet that you’ve been wearing for the last ten years without a problem.  I bet that the connecting loops have Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why does my jewelry keep breaking?

Gold Fever! (part 4)

So a guy wanders into my shop a few months back with a plastic bag of mixed jewelry, all of it gold, albeit various karats.  He says he’d like to sell it.  I separate the karats into individual piles and start weighing and adding things together in order to come up with a price for him.  As I’m doing this I look at the bag and realize the total weight I came up with is written on the outside of the bag rounded off to the nearest whole number.  Underneath that number was the number 236.  Before I totaled my numbers, this didn’t mean anything to me as plastic bags are used and reused many times in the jewelry business so random writing  is common to see.  I realized that this fellow must have taken this gold elsewhere first.  When I asked him about it, he confirmed that the 236 was his highest offer.  He was shocked when I offered him $687. Did he sell his gold to me?  No.  After he walks out, I comment to my secretary that I thought I was being more than fair as his gold was pretty clean.  A couple of days later he returns to sell me his scrap.  I wonder if he went back to the place that gave him that offer to see if he could get them to come up.  My guess is they tossed him out.

A girl comes to me several weeks ago, referred to my business by a another customer.  She said she was told that I was real honest and would give her straight information.  She pulls out a small bag of silver coins, about nine or ten dollars.  There were Kennedy half dollars, a few quarters, maybe a dime or two.  So I look over the coins and realize that most of them are dated after 1964, meaning that they are not silver, but nickel clad over copper.  You can easily tell by looking at the edge.   Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Gold Fever! (part 4)

Gold Fever! (part3)

So is it better to sell now or should I be hanging on hoping gold prices go higher? Should I be buying gold as an investment? What about silver or platinum as an investment? All good questions. But what you really want to know is what I think metals prices are going to be in the future? Let me just clean the dust off my crystal ball and have a look. HMMMM….I’m not really getting a clear answer.

Remember, I am not an investment counselor. All I can say with confidence is that gold will always be worth the same as it was yesterday and last week and a hundred years ago. Huh? Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Gold Fever! (part3)

Gold Fever! (part 2)

My previous post gave you a bit of background so that we can investigate further how this gold scrapping business works in the real world. I’ve explained how fineness and purity (how clean your scrap is) determines what I am going to pay you for your old gold, but other factors are in play too.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Gold Fever! (part 2)

Gold Fever! (part 1)

With gold prices at the highest they have ever been, everyone seems to have a bit of gold fever. It’s hard to help it as we constantly are being deluged with ads telling us to “sell your old, broken and unwanted gold jewelry”, or “we pay the highest prices”. However, almost simultaneously we are being told now is the time to buy gold! Buy…Sell….Buy….Sell. So which is it? How do you know you are being treated fairly? How do you get the most from your transaction? Is gold a good investment? These are all important questions and things to consider when dealing with any commodity, not just gold.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Gold Fever! (part 1)

My first post…hey ya gotta start somewhere!

Confucius said “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” And that’s just how I feel about starting a blog and website. Oh, not that I don’t have enough to say. On the contrary, it’s more like there is so much I’d like to share about the jewelry business from the view point of a goldsmith that I feel as overwhelmed by a “cyber-journey” as perhaps an early explorer venturing into the unknown. 

Foremost is the thought: would anyone really be interested in reading these ramblings or am I doing it for my own vanity? I’ve thought for years I ought to write a book. A complete “tell it all” not only giving hints to the average consumer but explaining the way things really work in the jewelry business.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on My first post…hey ya gotta start somewhere!