Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Should You Scrap Gold?

Now is a great time to turn your unwanted jewelry into money you can use. Notice I said UNWANTED. People who bring a piece that has sentimental value will be disappointed with the amount quoted. The value of your old jewelry is based on the actual precious metal content. For example, 14 karat gold items are 58.5 % gold and the rest is comprised of other metals called alloys. Your value is based only on the actual gold content less refiner's fees. The business that buys your gold will also seek to make a percentage.

So, who do you trust? How do you know you got the best amount for your precious metals? Some people go to several places in the area and get quotes. Some people mail it in to a "Cash for Gold" business and often are given a low ball figure before getting the real figure and just asking for it back.

Since I already know what is fair I did a little investigating to see if there was anyone out there who did it the right way and I found a husband & wife team who were endorsed by a major newspaper (on line). I used their site, plugged in the weights and found that they were, in fact, very fair. I would say that if you wanted to be better educated about what you could get for your unwanted jewelry from the comfort of your own computer screen, visit (Goldfellow.com). If you would like to be treated just as fairly but you prefer not to mail your jewelry away, yep, you guessed it, see me. We are state inspected and in full compliance with all regulations.

Friday, May 21, 2010

14 Karat Two Tone Free Form Pendant with 25 Diamonds totaling 24 points. $689.90

20 inch 14 Karat Yellow Gold Square Snake Chain with Lobster Clasp. $259.90

14 Karat Two Tone Bracelet with 23 Diamonds totaling 92 points. $1,550.00

14 Karat Two Tone Satin & High Polish Swirl Earrings with 6 Diamonds totaling 24 points. $699.90

18 Karat Two Tone Ring 14 Invisibly Set Princess Cut Diamonds totaling 64 points. $1295.00

18 Karat White Gold Fancy Pendant with 65 Diamonds totaling 49 points. $699.00

Sterling Silver Ring With Diamonds and 18 Karat Gold Accents. $299.90

Sterling Silver Wire Pearl Earrings with 18 Karat Gold Accents. $139.90

20 Inch Sterling Silver Two Disk Drop Necklace with 18 Karat Gold Accents. $179.90

Sterling Silver Double Drop Earrings with 18 Karat Gold Accents. $119.90

23 Inch Sterling Silver
Open Link Necklace
with Pearls and
18 Karat Gold Accents.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What is The American Gem Society?

The American Gem Society was established in 1934 by a select group of independent jewelers and Robert M. Shipley, founder of the prestigious school of gemology, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

It was their vision to create an association dedicated to setting and maintaining the highest possible standards of business ethics and professionalism in the jewelry industry. Today, American Gem Society members continue their dedication to ethics, knowledge and consumer protection.

The Most Knowledgeable Professionals, AGS Members:

Only a small percentage of those who apply for membership in the American Gem Society are awarded membership. In order for a firm to become a member of the American Gem Society they must meet the following criteria:

The firm owners, principals, or employees must have a high level of gemological knowledge. This includes having at least one full-time employee who has studied and completed an Accredited or Graduate Program from the GIA or Gemological Association of Great Britain. This individual must hold a title of either Registered Jeweler, Certified Gemologist, or Certified Gemologist Appraiser.

The firm must hold a reputation for unquestioned integrity in the business community and must be operated in a way that will enhance the confidence of the public in the jewelry industry.

The owners and principals must demonstrate that they are genuinely interested in high business ethics and the firm exemplifies this belief.

The firm must be a retail or supplier jewelry business that has been established for at least two years and has demonstrated financial stability.

The Highest Code of Ethics:

To ensure our members practice the highest standard of business ethics, the Society prohibits certain business practices, including:

Advertising which in any way is not the truth or has the intent to be misleading.

Advertising or setting artificially high prices as the regular price to allow a fictitious sale price or supposed discount.

Representing itself as a wholesaler and selling to the consumer.

Employing the technique of bait and switch, which is attempting to influence customers to buy an article carrying a high mark-up in place of an article requested.

Failing to advertise in accordance with recommendations set forth by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

Any member found in violation of the Society’s code of ethics is subject to investigation and possible expulsion.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Meet Marie

Marie A. (Sparacio) Mac Donald

Growing up Marie worked on the family farm. Her first job away from the farm, ironically, was working at Lapitina Jewelers in Vineland during the holiday season. After graduating from college she accepted a position at Bridgeton Senior High School teaching U. S. History from 1972 to 1977. She then resigned her position and accepted a teaching position at Shalick High School when it first opened in the fall of 1977 and continued teaching social studies there until the birth of her daughter, Antoinette, in November of 1983.

In June of 1982 Marie married Roderick "Rod" Mac Donald (that's me). We just celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary.

Although she was formally trained in education, Marie's first love was business. She often remarks that if her father had any other kind of business she would have followed in his footsteps. Farming, however, is a difficult career for a female and so she was led down another path.

After the birth of our daughter Marie chose to be a stay at home mom and she loved it.

In 1985 Marie's sister Patricia and her husband Roy opened Patriciana Distinctive Gifts. A special feature of the store was its bridal registry. Marie trained with The National Bridal Service and served with he sister Patty as Bridal Consultants. That position lead Marie to pursue her dream of opening her own business. Couples would ask about wedding bands and so she saw the opportunity to start her jewelry business specializing in custom designed wedding bands which lead to the creation of The Maria Collection. Patriciana Distinctive Gifts was the incubator for Marie's business. The Maria Collection began as a department within the store. God blessed Marie and her business grew. In the Fall of 1994 the store moved to it's current location at 1048 North Pearl St.

Integrity, quality and style have been the hallmark of Marie's jewelry business. She has traveled around the world to bring different and new jewelry to her customer's. Marie received her formal training from the Gemological Institute of America and belongs to The Jewelers of America as well as the New Jersey Jewelers Association. She is also a member of the Woman's Jewelry Association and her business was recently accepted into The American Gem Society.

Marie will tell you that she has been blessed with the support of her family and the community. As a woman who started her own business she was aware of the enormous risk she was taking yet the desire, the drive and the challange to create something special for our community pushed her on.

In November of 1999 Marie opened her second store, Diamonds & Design, at the corner of Main Road and Landis Avenue in Vineland NJ. Soon she will celebrate 25 years in business.

Although time has passed, her philosophy of "One Look ... See The Difference" in quality and style continues to inspire her to be your ideal choice for diamonds and distinctive fine jewelry.

Knowing Marie, it's a sure bet that Diamonds & Design - The Maria Collection will continue to serve our community with integrity, quality and style for many years to come and I am very proud of her.