Diamond engagement and wedding rings

Here’s the Dirt on Jewelry Cleaning!

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The easiest and most effective way to clean fine jewelry at home is with soap and water. Precious metals, including silver, gold, and platinum, are safe, as well as all gemstones, including opals and pearls. Put a few drops of mild dishwashing detergent in a small bowl and add some warm water. Agitate the mixture until soap bubbles form. Place your jewelry in the soap mixture for five to ten minutes.

Remove any pearls and opals from the liquid and rinse them under warm running water (seal the drain with the stopper first!) Lay pearls flat to dry before storing separately in cotton bags. Silk thread is used for stringing pearls and stretches when wet, so it is important to let the pearls lay flat until the thread dries completely.

For routine care, cultured pearls should be wiped with a very soft, clean cloth after each wearing. Opals should not be stored in lockboxes or safe deposit boxes as they can dry out which causes crazing, fracture lines within the opal. Jewelry stores place small beakers of water in any display case containing opal. At home, olive oil can be used to oil the opal and keep it from crazing.  Some jewelers and Opal dealers believe that oiling opals does not help to preserve them, but my clients have had good success with this technique.

For jewelry that is not set with pearls or opals, use a soft-bristle toothbrush to scrub any dirt or buildup on the metal and/or gemstones. Rinse jewelry under warm running water. Let dry on a clean, soft cloth.

Amber should be cleaned with warm soapy water using a soft cloth and no toothbrush. Rinse the amber then dry carefully. Lightly polish the amber with olive oil. Remove any excess oil.  Using another soft cloth, restore polish to the stone. Be careful cleaning amber. It is very soft (2 to 2.5 on the Mohs scale) and can be scratched.

Some jewelry that hasn’t been cleaned in a while will require a second or third cleaning. Clean jewelry not only sparkles and looks better, but can keep your jewelry safe. Debris in your jewelry can loosen prongs and settings, in turn causing gemstones to loosen and sometimes fall out.  So take time to clean and protect your jewelry.


Jeanne Hawk Fine Jewelry Appraisals has officially opened in Titusville, Florida!

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Jeanne Hawk Fine Jewelry Appraisals is located in the All Points professional office building on the Indian River on US1 (S. Washington Avenue), and provides gem identification and jewelry valuation services. Other services include diamond grading, colored gemstone grading, market value estimations, quality assessments, and consultations. The service area includes clients from the space coast area – Titusville, Mims, Port Saint John, Rockledge, Cocoa, Merritt Island, Port Canaveral, Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Viera, Indialantic, Palm Bay, New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach – and Orlando. Do you have jewelry with metal or gemstones you can’t identify? Jeanne can identify the metal and the gemstones in your piece and let you know the item’s value. Do you want to know the current market value of your jewelry, or do you need an appraisal so you can insure the item? Do you have old gold jewelry and need to know its value? Are you handling an estate and need the estate jewelry valued? Jeanne is your local jewelry valuation expert. Call Jeanne Hawk Fine Jewelry Appraisals today at 321-408-8244 for an appointment. Jeanne is eager to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

All active and retired military receive a 10% discount.

Jeanne Hawk Fine Jewelry Appraisals Relocates to Florida!

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Proximity to aging parents and a desire to return to the South prompted my husband and I to leave California.We recently relocated to Florida and are living on the Central Coast, also referred to as the Space Coast. Steve is settling into his new job while I am busy setting up my jewelry appraising office in Titusville. I expect to be open for business by the end of the month. I’ve always dreamed about living and working on the coast in Florida. I marvel at how blessed we are to make that dream a reality.

In California I did a lot of appraisal work for several local jewelers and their clients.  While I did many appraisals, much of my business involved identifying gemstones and valuing estate jewelry. I also had many clients who were settling loved ones’ estates and needed their jewelry valued or appraised.

Some of my clients in California have asked if I can do appraisal and valuation work for them from my office in Florida. The answer is, yes, I can. Interested clients can mail their jewelry pieces to me. I am fully insured to send and receive jewelry shipped via mail. Please contact me for details.

I am excited about opening my business in Titusville. I’m eager to provide the same level of professionalism and quality service that I did in California. I look forward to establishing new client and jeweler relationships in Florida and exceeding the expectations of my clients.

Happy Birthday September Babies!

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Sapphire is the official birthstone for the month of September and is the gemstone suggested for fifth and 45th wedding anniversaries. Sapphire has been popular since the Middle Ages but gained global appeal in 1981 when Princess Diana was engaged. Her ring was designed using a 12 carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 round brilliant cut diamonds set in 18 karat white gold.

Famous for its glorious blue color, sapphire is a variety of the corundum species. Due to its natural trace elements, sapphire comes in a range of colors including yellow, pink, purple, green, orange, white, colorless, and brown. When the trace elements are iron and titanium, the corundum is blue sapphire. Only a few hundredths of a percent of iron and titanium can cause the color, and the more iron the corundum contains, the darker the blue.

Are You Sure Your Jewelry Is Covered?

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Most jewelry appraisals are done for obtaining insurance coverage. If you have jewelry to insure, then you will most likely need an appraisal. Consult with your insurance agent for more information. An insurance appraisal is used to determine the retail replacement value of a jewelry item. Most insurance companies provide a minimum amount of jewelry coverage under a client’s homeowner’s policy. Other insurance companies require a separate personal properties policy for coverage. Check with your insurance agent to see what is covered and how much. For any item valued at $1,500 or more, we recommend that it be insured. Most engagement rings and wedding sets fall into this category. Also, if you have any item that you consider to be priceless that means a lot to you, it is strongly recommended that you insure it. Talk to your insurance agent. You will be pleasantly surprised at how affordable it is to insure your jewelry.

Appraisal versus Valuation – What’s the Difference?

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An appraisal is a detailed, written analysis of a jewelry item, including gemstone identification, grade, measurements, and weight. Additional testing is performed on diamonds ½ carat in size or larger, such as plotting and fluorescence. The appraisal report explains how the gemological testing is done, what equipment is used, definitions of replacement value, the approach to value, and the market selection. The value of the item is listed, which is influenced not only by the quality of the gemstones but also the quality of the item’s craftsmanship. Appraisals are usually done for insurance purposes and sometimes to determine fair market value (FMV).

The fair market value is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts. The buyer is assumed to be the ultimate consumer or end user of the property. FMV can be retail, auction, wholesale, or scrap, depending upon what is considered to be the most appropriate market that the property is sold in.

A valuation is typically not written and includes identification and analysis of the gemstones and metal in the item, as well as its quality. Most valuations are done to determine fair market value.

Appraisal and Valuation Appointments – Here’s The Scoop

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All appointments are scheduled at your convenience. At your appointment, we will clean, identify, measure, weigh, and grade your jewelry. You will leave with your jewelry. Payment for any services is due at the time of the appointment.

Jewelry is photographed for all appraisals. The appraisal is completed after the appointment. You will receive the appraisal report via email within 7-10 business days, if not sooner. Printed copies are available for an additional fee. Most appraisal appointments are scheduled for one hour. Longer appointments may be needed for multiple or complex items.

Valuation appointments are scheduled based on the type and amount of jewelry you have to be identified and valued. Typically we start with a one hour appointment and you prioritize the order in which items are analyzed. Often clients bring more jewelry to the appointment than expected, which is fine. We always leave time in our schedule to accommodate our clients and with their approval, extend the appointment. Most valuations are done at the appointment. When valuing estate jewelry, sometimes additional research is required, particularly for period items. In this case, the jewelry is photographed for further research.

What Exactly Is Estate Jewelry?

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Estate jewelry, by definition, is any jewelry that is pre-owned (not new). It does not have to be antique, from a specific time period, or a gift. Do you have jewelry you can’t identify? Don’t know what your jewelry is worth? We can help! Many of our clients have jewelry of unknown identification or value. We can identify your jewelry and tell you what it’s worth. Estate jewelry that needs to be valued requires a valuation but not necessarily an appraisal. We do consultations to identify the gemstones and/or diamonds and metal karatage to determine what you have and whether you should keep it, sell it, insure it, or scrap it, as is often the case with outdated gold chains. We determine the fair market value. We can also prepare a written appraisal report for you, if needed.