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Dear Rachel,
Georgie Gleim 
Purchasing jewelry while traveling overseas.

This is the time of year when many people are traveling, both at home and overseas.  Should you buy jewelry while you're traveling?  When purchased with care, it can make a wonderful way to mark a memorable trip, so should always be considered.  Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind so you are not disappointed.

If you plan to visit someplace known for a particular gem (Australia, which is known for its opals, or Japan, known for pearls) visit a local store to learn how to judge quality and color.  In just a few minutes, you should be able to get a feel for what to look for and, just as important, what to watch out for. 
In This Issue
Purchasing jewelry while traveling overseas
Summer Birthstones...June, July, and August
Jewelry Repair and Refurbishing
Pandora National Icon Beads

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Learn how to judge workmanship in jewelry.  Often we see items purchased overseas which are so poorly made that they will provide no durability.  Again, a quick visit to a local jeweler will help you learn what to look for as far as workmanship goes.  (Just be sure that you respect the local jeweler's time, asking for some quick hints rather than an hour long session.)
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Most people selling jewelry to tourists know exactly what they have and what it is worth, and there are few real bargains out there.  Remember that whatever you purchase on your travels will be nearly impossible to return if it turns out to be not what you expected.  At the very least, it can be a huge hassle to return something purchased overseas.
Two rings  
Perhaps the most important rule which I tell people, only partly in jest, is that you should never spend more on jewelry purchased overseas than you are willing to drop into a slot machine!  Traveling is NOT the time to make a significant purchase unless the store where you are shopping has impeccable credentials, such as gemological training, membership in local, national or industry organizations, and answers that make you feel comfortable no matter what you ask.  There have certainly been more times than we care to think about when we have had to tell a customer that the "alexandrite" they bought from a street vendor is really a synthetic sapphire, or the diamond earstuds purchased on a cruise ship were sold for twice what they were worth, or the bracelet purchased in India, which broke upon return home, is not worth repairing.
In the best case, a nice piece of jewelry can provide a permanent memento of a fabulous trip.  Approached with care, such a purchase will bring a lifetime of pleasure and memories.


Gleim Jewelers

Summer Birthstones


June, July, and August....warm summer months, each represented by exquisite gems.
Pearl necklace with diamond clasp 
June is a lucky month with two birthstones, pearl and alexandrite.  We all know pearls, that queen of gems.  As a matter of fact, at one time only royalty could wear pearls!  Legend has it that pearls are created when an angel's tears fall into the ocean.  This rather fanciful explanation is one reason you see so many tiny pearls accenting the antique Victorian mourning jewelry, providing a beautiful contrast against the black onyx or jet.
Alexandrite is one of the rarest of gems.  It is a form of the mineral called chrysoberyl, and has the magical property of changing color from wine-red to green.  Under incandescent light, an alexandrite is a beautiful burgundy in color.  But under fluorescent light, it changes to a rich green!  This happens through a process known as selective absorption of light, but what it means for the wearer is that you have a rare gem that is a surefire conversation starter.  The historic source of alexandrites is the Ural Mountains of Russia, though there is a more recently discovered source in Brazil.  The Brazilian gems, also rare, change color from violet to a bluish-green.
Ruby necklace  
July's birthstone is ruby, historic and treasured by royalty for thousands of years. Mining of ruby in Burma, source of the finest rubies, dates back to the Stone Age.  Ruby is a red form of corundum, the mineral that, in its blue form, is called sapphire.  It is an exceptionally durable gemstone, perfect for everyday wear.  Ruby represents wisdom, happiness, health, and devotion.  Ruby was used in ancient times as bullets for blowguns; it was also said that a pot of water would instantly come to a boil when a ruby was dropped into it.

Peridot suite  
August is another month that shares two birthstones. 
Peridot is the springtime green gem most associated with August.  Historically mined on the island of Zeberget, in the Red Sea, peridot has been valued for thousands of years.  Called the Gem of the Sun by the ancient Egyptians, peridot was thought to strengthen the power of medicine.  It was also said to drive away evil spirits, although to do this it needed to be strung on the hair of a donkey and worn on the left arm.  No need for such justification for wearing peridot, is simply a beautiful gemstone!
Sardonyx is the alternate birthstone for August.  A reddish-brown form of onyx, sardonyx is a wonderful material for carving, and has often been used to carve signets, seals, and cameos.  It makes an exceptionally handsome man's ring, as well.

Jewelry Repair and Refurbishing

Jewelry repair & sparkle  


If you are traveling this summer, that might be the perfect time to give your jewelry a bit of R&R.  Bring it in to let us review the condition and to see if you have any stones that need to be tightened, links that need repair, prongs on rings that need to be reinforced, and let us do the work while you are on vacation.  That way it will be in sparkling good condition as you go into the busy fall season. 

Pandora National Icon Beads
Pandora Silver Charms 
We have just received our Pandora  National Icon Beads.  These are beautifully made likenesses of a variety of national icons: the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, La Sagrada Familia, and a London Bus.  What better way to commemorate a trip, past or future?  $45 each.

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    111 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto - 650-325-3533

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