Jessop Jewelers Blog

  • The Luminous Moonstone

    Posted on: June 23, 2015

    How did Moonstone get its name?

    Moonstone is the one of three recognized birthstones for the month of June. During early Roman times, moonstone was given its name because its appearance was thought to change with the different moon phases; this belief is no longer held true. However today, highly revered in India, it is believed to bring good fortune.

    What should you look for in a moonstone?

    Moonstone comes in lots of pale colors (such as yellow, peach, pink, green, brown to colorless) and is characterized by a special optical phenomenon known as adularescence. This is what gives moonstone its translucent or opaque iridescent appearance; it seems to glow! It is also possible to find rainbow, cat’s eye or star moonstone, as well.

    Another popular presentation of moonstone is to carve the surface into decorative design motifs, such cameos, florals, or whimsical “man-in-the-moon” faces. The carved surface together with the stones iridescent sheen creates an intricate three-dimensional effect many find desirable.

    The beauty of moonstone is best shown as a high-domed, cabochon cut stone. This shape displays its extraordinary appearance in the best way. Those stones that come closest to being colorless, possessing a strong blue colored sheen seen from all angles (like billowing clouds), and transparent (with no visible inclusions) are considered most valuable and rare to find.

    Sharon S. Axelson
    Graduate Gemologist, Gemological Institute of America
    Certified Gemologist Appraiser, American Gem Society

    View moonstone jewelry from our Jessop's Collection...

  • Even though you don’t wear your pearl necklace very often, it should be maintained with care. You certainly don’t want to wear your necklace for a special event only to have it fall apart before your eyes, and everybody else. Oh, the embarrassment!

    How often should pearls be restrung?

    We recommend having your pearls cleaned and restrung every 1 to 3 years, every year if you wear them with frequency. Perfumes, lotions, or body oils can affect both the color and luster of pearls, as well as affect the silk thread used to string your pearls. If you find the silk thread or knots fraying or soiled, or some pearls moving around too easily on the thread, then chances are you’re due to bring them in for a little TLC.

    Pearls overdue for restringing
    Pearls overdue for restringing
    Pearls newly restrung
    Pearls newly restrung

    Silk thread is the strongest and finest stringing material recommended and perfectly suited for fine pearls. The soft, organic nature of silk will not scratch or damage your pearls delicate surface and gives your necklace a more gentle continuity.

    What can be done with an unused strand of pearls?

    We have noticed that some of our good clients don’t wear their beautiful pearls because their length preference has changed. When originally purchased, the strand may have been at a 16” length. Now that they prefer to wear an 18” or 20” length, no problem! We can match and add to most strands without difficulty.
    Would you like your necklace modernized a bit? Let’s add another strand and make it a stylish double strand or possibly a triple strand necklace. New clasps also give new life to your pearls. Whatever your needs, we’re here to help.

    Come see some of the beautiful pieces in our pearl collection…

  • Natural pearls, Japanese Akoya, Chinese Freshwater, or Tahitian South Sea - with so many pearls, who can keep them all straight? As the beautiful birthstone for the month of June, pearls can be found in a variety of hues that will flatter anyone’s skin tone. So, what should you know when buying or wearing pearls?

    How are pearls formed?

    Natural pearls are formed when a foreign body finds its way into a mollusk and the mollusk protects itself by secreting a substance called nacre to cover the irritant. As this is a random occurrence in nature, natural pearls are very rare and therefore, very expensive. Virtually all pearls are cultured, which means they are grown in mollusks with some human intervention. necklaceAkoya and South Sea pearls are cultured in saltwater by implanting a bead nucleus to start the pearl formation, while freshwater pearls are cultured by implanting a small piece of mollusk tissue instead of a bead. In either case, the size and variety of the mollusk determines the possible size and color of the pearl.

    No matter what the origin of the pearl, there are specific quality factors which are taken into account in determining the pearl’s value, and ultimately its beauty. These factors include size, shape, color, luster, surface, and in the case of a pearl strand, how well they are matched.

    What is the best size pearl to buy?

    Cultured pearls range in size from as small as 1mm to as large as 20mm. The most popular size is around 7-8mm. Slightly smaller sizes might be preferred for younger girls or petite women, while taller or more full figured women may want their pearls a little larger. With all other factors being equal, the larger the pearl, the greater its value. Pearls larger than 10mm are generally black Tahitian, white South Sea or large freshwater.

    When it comes to shape, round and near round pearls are most valuable due to their rarity, but beautiful pearls can also be found in off-round or free form shapes referred to as baroque or semi-baroque.

    What colors do pearls come in?

    necklace-2The palette of pearl colors includes white, cream, golden, pink, gray, black and virtually everything in between. In addition to the basic body color, many pearls have color overtones (such as rosé or silver) which affect their appearance. The most valuable colors in the light body group are pink, pink rosé and white rosé, with the latter being the most popular. But, the “best” colors are largely a matter of personal taste depending on a person’s skin tone and the color of clothes they enjoy wearing.

    What is the most important pearl quality?

    It is generally agreed that luster is the single most important factor affecting the beauty and value of a pearl. Luster refers to the brilliance and reflectivity of the pearl’s surface. The most lustrous pearls are notably bright and shiny, reflecting mirror like images, and are highly desirable. In addition to excellent luster, the finest quality pearls have a surface that is smooth, clean and blemish free.

    What kind of pearls should I buy?

    When making comparisons, keep in mind that freshwater pearls may not be as round as Akoyas, and their luster is often not as shiny or sharp. Freshwater pearls are available in a greater variety of natural colors and tend to be less expensive. In larger sizes, top quality white South Sea and black Tahitian pearls are far more valuable than freshwater pearls.

    What is the best way to clean pearls?

    necklace-3People often ask about the proper care and cleaning of pearls. The preferred cleaning method is to gently wipe the pearls with a soft, damp cloth after each use. If a more thorough cleaning is needed, use a mild soap solution (such as Woolite in warm water), rinse completely, and then lay the pearls flat to dry before storing. The Mohs scale of hardness ranks pearls at a relatively soft 2.5 to 4 on a scale of 10, with diamonds holding the top spot at 10. Due to this delicate nature, “last on, first off” are good words to live by when wearing pearls. One should avoid contact with cosmetics, hair spray, perfume or household chemicals as much as possible. If the knots have become frayed or soiled, or there is too much movement of the pearls in between the knots, it is time to take them to a reputable jeweler and have them re-strung.

    Sharon S. Axelson
    Graduate Gemologist, Gemological Institute of America
    Certified Gemologist Appraiser, American Gem Society

    - View pearl jewelry from our Jessop’s Collection -

  • master-goldsmith-platinum-smith

    Wojciech Szelenberger, a 4th generation goldsmith, began his passion for jewelry making at the age of fourteen in Poland working in this father and grandfather’s shop. He became a goldsmith apprentice at nineteen years of age and Poland’s youngest Master Goldsmith at age twenty-one. Shortly thereafter, he brought his craft to America and currently resides in the local area with his family.

    After working for many years in Newport Beach, California, Wojciech began his collaboration with Jessop’s fifteen years ago where he continues to provide our customers with quality repairs and beautiful custom design pieces.

    Learn more about our custom jewelry design services and current custom offerings at…

    Jessop's Custom Design

  • How To Choose an Emerald

    Posted on: May 8, 2015
    There are several gemstones available in various shades of green, including tourmaline, peridot, garnet and even sapphire, but the gemstone that is always associated with the richest, most sumptuous greens is the emerald. Appropriately designated as the birthstone for May, emeralds are the perfect symbol of rebirth in the spring. Emerald is also officially the gem of choice for the 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries. Here are some helpful tips for choosing an emerald.
    4wsemb2 Emerald Bracelet
    Emerald_ring Emerald Ring

    Where do the best emeralds come from? Most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Columbia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia. Colombia’s emeralds are generally thought to possess the most intense, pure green color, but the truth is that although this may typically be the case, the appearance of emeralds from different sources can overlap. The actual value of an individual emerald will be based on its own merits, and not necessarily on the location of the mine. The factors influencing an emerald’s value include color, clarity, cut and carat weight.

    What is the best color for an emerald? The most important value factor to consider when shopping for emeralds is the color. The most desirable emerald colors are not too dark or too light, highly saturated, pure green to bluish green, and evenly distributed throughout the stone. These intense colors are said to be soothing to the eye and stress relieving to the soul.Another significant factor affecting the value of an emerald is its clarity. Emeralds with no inclusions are extremely rare which makes them especially valuable. It is the nature of emeralds to contain eye visible inclusions, sometimes referred to as “jardin”, which is French for garden, due to their mossy appearance. The presence of these natural inclusions is accepted and understood, but the value of an emerald can be reduced substantially depending upon the degree to which the inclusions cloud the stone or affect its transparency.

    Are all emeralds treated? Most emeralds are oiled to enhance their clarity. This practice is generally considered acceptable as long as the oil isn’t colored or dyed to improve the stone’s color artificially. Emerald clarity can also be enhanced with resins, polymers or paraffin, but the higher the level of enhancement, the lower the value of the stone. The Gemological Institute of America Laboratory now offers a classification service for emeralds which states whether the clarity enhancement is minor, moderate or significant. For consumers interested in emeralds, it is well advised to purchase one from a knowledgeable and reputable jeweler, with credentials from a professional organization such as the American Gem Society.

    What is the best shape for an emerald? Emeralds can be found in all shapes, but the most common is its namesake, the emerald cut. The shape of the natural emerald crystal lends itself to the emerald cut to retain maximum weight and intensity of color, and the faceted corners help protect the stone from chipping.

    Is an emerald durable enough to wear every day? Emeralds are reasonably hard at 7½ to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness (rankings are from 1-10, with diamonds being 10), but they can be brittle. Because of this poor toughness, the stone should be well protected in jewelry designs, particularly in rings. Emeralds should never be cleaned with solvents or harsh cleaners, only with mild soapy water and a soft brush. The bottom line is that emeralds must be handled and worn with care.

    est16878 Emerald Pendant


  • Jessop's is surely the best place in San Diego to seek for jewelry repairs. Afterall, we do it all from simple chain repairs to complex restorations using our laser welder. But sometimes you can do a fast fix yourself. One of the more aggravating problems, usually discovered just as you are heading out the door, is a tangled chain.

    Fine chains are the most likely to tangle, as is any chain stored improperly. This jewelry box is a horrible mess created by careless storage.

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  • Jessop's Expert Repairs Explained

    Posted on: July 30, 2014

    Jessop's knows when your jewelry needs to be repaired. We know just what to look for during our free inspection, and how to fix any problem we find. Plus we do the best jewelry repairs in San Diego, even if we do say so ourselves! And we'd like to help you judge just when to seek us out.

    A worn channel setting may not look obvious but it jeopardizes the safety of any gemstones it holds. Gold and platinum jewelry wears over time, and rings get the most wear. After all, hands are always busy working, working-out, gardening and carrying briefcases, purses or luggage. In channel setting the channel wall holds the gems in place. This type of setting can be found on many anniversary rings, wedding bands and engagement ring styles.

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  • Jewelry repair on your to-do list?  Jessop's is the place in San Diego to restore broken jewelry. Repairs like ring re-shanks, filigree crack repairs, new prongs and rhodium plating are right in our wheelhouse. Jessop's has been artfully repairing and restoring jewelry for over 100 years.

    One of the more common repair problems we find is thin ring shanks (the bottom band-like portion of a ring) which have worn nearly out. They appear thin and sometimes a crack will form at the bottom. The repair involves the jeweler's skill and craft to restore the thickness by building a new base for the ring. Jessop's platinum-smith will usually use our laser welder to join the new portion to the old, creating a seamless new base when done. We can re-shank in platinum, and in white or yellow gold, to bring your ring back to full strength. See the images below for a before and after.

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  • Everyone in San Diego knows that Jessop's is the best place for fine jewelry repairs. Rings too tight or sliding off your finger? Worn out prongs jeopardizing your precious gemstones? Did a hard bang knock your diamond loose? Jessop's expert platinum smith does wonders in our repair shop. Having a laser welder means he can work on gems right in the settings, even retipping in platinum. Simple ring sizings can be more securely done with the laser welder. Plus we have decades of experience restoring and repairing antique and new jewelry.

    If it has been more than a year since you've had a 'pro' inspect your jewelry then you are overdue. We check closely for all types of potential wear and tear that can make your jewelry unsafe. Worn out prong tips are one of the most common jewelry problems and there are two ways to solve them. Worn prongs look thin or flattened. Missing prong tips can sometimes appear to the untrained eye as still being on the ring. We have had many people come in for a check-up unaware that one or more tips are completely missing!

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  • April is the month for diamonds. Just ask any woman born in April! Jessop's ideal cut diamonds are the most brilliant diamond any month of the year.  And the ASET Device from AGS is the ideal tool to demonstrate that. Proud to be an AGS affiliate jeweler in San Diego, Jessop's staff take diamonds and ethics seriously. That is why we use the ASET device in the showroom, along with AGS lab reports and GIA reports, to back up the grading of our ideal cut diamonds. But only the AGS grading reports show the detail of the cut and how it directly affects brilliance, fire and scintillation. The ASET device is a tool to show a customer the way a diamond is returning light back to the eye. It also shows the symmetry and the precision of the cut, or lack thereof.

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