Tag Archives: diamond pawn shop

Outlandish Jewelry Terminology

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Starting with “O”

Objets de Vertu – Here we step outside of the traditional definition of what constitutes jewelry (an object that is physically attached to you in some manner), to include Objets de Vertu.  These are any of the fancy, often gem encrusted and precious metal based items that people typically use to transport functional things.  Pearl inlaid cigarette cases, solid gold lighters, platinum cell phones cases with intaglios of Bernie Sanders, etc. 

Objets Trouvés – While their origins date back to neolithic times, Objets Trouvés are a favorite of environmentally conscious jewelry designers working today.  The term translates from French (which obviously Early Man spoke fluently) to “found objects.”  Ergo, before modern jewelry, which utilizes all manner of technology, had been invented, people made things out of whatever they could find; shells, bones, teeth, pebbles and AOL installation CDs.  

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Oiling – this is a process (which is true to its name) that was designed to improve the overall color and quality of gemstones (mostly emeralds) that have internal fractures that creep to the their surfaces.  By literally oiling them up with a specific lubricant, the cracks are filled and the stones look a little brighter.  Be weary of any oily jewelers trying to pass such slippery stones off on to you. 

Omega Back – while this sounds like the name of a hip, new British thriller on Netflix, it’s actually the back portion found on mostly vintage earrings.  It’s a little loop that holds the earrings in place.  In the shape of the Omega letter of the Greek alphabet (familiar to any of you collegiate toga donning folk), it works with pierced and non-pierced ear earrings; the hoop holds up the pointy part, or just acts as a clasp.

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Opaline Glass – a grand imitator of precious gemstones, Opaline Glass appears in a bluish, cloudy hue.  A metallic, foil backing to the faux fancy stone really makes its color “pop.”   A trendy item during the Georgian period (no, not when the state of Georgia was popular…nor the country…but when 4 consecutive King Georges reigned in England; 1714 through 1830).  It saw a brief rival during the second Georgian period (the two Bush presidencies).   

Opera Length Necklace – the name may be self evident, but the actual length is somewhat specific.  To qualify for this distinction, the necklace must be between 26 and 36 inches in length, and it has to be worn with a fancy dress out to actual operas, hip-hoperas or, in the very least, while watching you favorite soap opera.  

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Opus Interrasile – a golden hit during the Byzantine era, this is a process of puncturing metal with a sharp device in order to pepper it with a multitude of stylish holes.  This translates from Latin to “work openings,” which is exactly what Roman goldsmiths were always scouring Craigius’s List for.    

Oreide – or ‘oroide’ or “French Gold” – this is an alloy which winningly masquerades as gold, utilizing mostly copper, with a little molten zinc and tin thrown in there for seasoning.  

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Ouch – yes…this one is gonna hurt.  Ironically, this describes a piece of jewelry, usually a pendant or brooch, that doesn’t require a sharp pin to hold it in place; rather it is hand sewn onto one’s clothing.  Typically they would feature a central gem surrounded by a fine metal filigree.  Chaps frolicking around during Medieval times would use them as the fastening parts of their flowing cloaks (with a chain that connected them).  The gemstone component would make them valuable, naturally, so if one were to fall off, people would remark “…ouch.”

Ouroboros – one of the coolest ancient symbols found in jewelry.  It’s a snake or dragon that is biting its own tail, thus completing a perfect and eternal loop (great for necklaces, obviously).  It symbolizes the cyclical aspect of nature and self-reflexivity in beings with consciousness and also exemplifies really hungry snakes.  Folks in the 1840’s went mad for these things, sticking winking precious gemstones in the eye sockets and scaring children.     

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Overtone – a property that only certain pearls will exhibit, this describes a secondary, and sometimes even tertiary, hue that is visible over the pearl’s primary color.  These can manifest in light green, blue and pink…overtones.  

Oxide Finish – here we have metal that gets entirely dipped in a black finish, like taking an permanent bath in tar.  Usually strategic parts are buffed to allow for the underlying metal to shine through.  This is a great way to showcase the intricacies of a silver engagement ring with fine filigree or the dented fender of a Ford Pinto.  

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-Joe Leone 

How Much Should You Spend on Jewelry?

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The average U.S. household spends only $167 on jewelry per year, but that number varies greatly by region. The northeastern U.S., southern and central coastal California, and the east coast of Florida, for example, spend the most on jewelry per year, while the northwest region spends less than $50 annually per household.

The popular concept of smarter spending has a lot of people taking a closer look at how much they spend on everyday items, and jewelry is often an impulse buy. Self-help and finance blogs discuss budgeting and making realistic financial plans, which often results in cost-cutting or looking for ways to get some of your money back.

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But when you’re buying new jewelry, how much should you be willing to spend? What’s the price tag on feeling pretty or scoring a compliment from your moody boss? The obvious answer to this dilemma is: spend the amount that makes sense for you, whether that’s based on your region, your social circle, or your personal style. The decision, however, is more complicated than that, and probably varies with every piece you look at. It’s not easy to choose between shelling out more cash for nicer, longer lasting jewelry over less costly, trendier pieces. It’s hard to place a number on the value of the little boost in self-esteem you might get.

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Websites like Pinterest and Instructables make Do-It-Yourself a viable option for saving money on a lot of important items including jewelry, but there are certain pieces that are essentially impossible to DIY. And that’s one element of DIY that people often overlook before diving in to a project: the cost of the materials and tools, which is one part of what goes into jewelry-making. When you’re deciding how you want to better your budget, consider how original you would like your jewelry collection to be. If originality is important to you and you want handmade jewelry from an artist or smaller manufacturer on a site like etsy, plan to spend a little bit more than you might for a similar piece from a larger manufacturer, like Forever 21, who outsource their work and user cheaper materials specifically so they can offer their products at a low price point. Some smaller companies even begin to outsource once they gain popularity so they can manage the costs and offer their product to more customers, saving 400-500 percent by having someone else produce their designs.

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Choosing how much to spend on jewelry may also depend on the materials you are looking for. If you’re more concerned about the look than the actual material, sterling silver is a good substitute for silver and white gold, and purchasing gold-coated jewelry can save you a lot of money if you prefer the darker color. In addition, synthetic gemstones can be created to look like a natural gemstone, so if you are here because you are aiming to sell your diamonds, a man-made stone might be a great replacement.

Another consideration for choosing an amount to spend on jewelry is whether you value the experience of going into a physical store and trying on the jewelry or whether you are comfortable buying it online. Online stores are often cheaper, simply because renting a brick-and-mortar space is expensive for the business.

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If you are not looking for a specific piece, buying jewelry at an overstock or auction site can be a way to find great deals. Sale jewelry is typically marked down temporarily, while clearance and overstock jewelry are usually marked down because the manufacturer or retailer wants to make room for other products. Because there is an incentive to get rid of it, clearance and overstock jewelry can offer a steeper discount, but the selection may be limited.

One great rule of thumb for a jewelry purchase is the dollar-per-wear rule. To follow this rule, ask yourself how many times you anticipate wearing a particular piece, and if that number is the same as or lower than the price, then it is probably a good purchase. However you decide how much money to spend on jewelry, remember to make the choice for your own reasons, not someone else’s.

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Ways to Get Out of Debt

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“We got so far out of debt, we got lost!”

Having a credit card or taking a loan is a commitment that requires a lot of self-control. It is easy to spend borrowed money. It is easy to pay only the minimum payment due. It’s easy to say “yes” to something you don’t have to worry about until the future. But when the future arrives and you’re still in the hole, what can you do?

Getting out of debt requires a coherent and realistic plan that might start with a little prioritizing. Credit.com recommends making a detailed list of all of your debts, a list that includes the total balance, interest rates, the minimum monthly payment, and the three- or five-year pay-off amount that is likely available on your statement. That way, you can compare each debt and evaluate which one is the most pressing based on the interest rate or amount owed.

Consumer expert and blogger Clark Howard advises that in addition to organizing the debt you owe, you should commit to not accruing new debt if possible. Focus on the debt you currently owe rather than looking for opportunities to get new things that you will have to finance. When you organize your debt, list the smallest first and the largest last. Once you tackle the first, you will gain confidence that you can also tackle what remains, and you will see a clearer picture of when you can be debt-free.

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“If we jump high enough, debt can’t reach us!”

One way to avoid having to open new credit lines is to commit to spending cash instead of thinking of your money in terms of credit. Time magazine’s Family Finance writer Kara Brandeisky explains that people who pay in cash are more likely to “feel the pain associated with spending real money,” citing a study that showed consumers are less likely to make luxury impulse buys with credit cards.

Another key part of making a financial plan is to be sure to pay more than the minimum balance each time. Paying the minimum only requires you pay a very small portion of your debt—and then leaves the rest of it in your account to accrue interest. One way to avoid paying a lot of interest is to utilize available balance transfers—most of which offer a promotional period with low or zero percent interest.

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“I got a retweet!”

Make a plan with deadlines and set amounts that you are to pay off, and be willing to adjust that plan when necessary. Track your behavior using a chart or taking notes about whether you really did what you said you were going to do, and be honest with yourself. You may want to create a plan, then schedule time to reassess it every month in the beginning, slowing down to every quarter as you progress. That way, you’ll be sure you’re on the right track and you’ll have the added reward of seeing your debt totals go down.

Clark Howard also advised debtors to use any “excess” cash against their debt. Excess or unexpected cash may come from a higher tax return than expected, a rebate, sales of items on eBay, or even selling your diamonds with us. If you have that cash, prevent the debt you already owe from adding up by putting it toward it. You’ll never miss it!

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“Yes!! …Also, I’m excited for pumpkin spice lattes.”

Liberating yourself from debt is an achievable goal if you are willing to change the way you think about money and the way you live your life. If you make a pact with yourself that you are going to pay off your debt, then uphold that pact, you can knock the debt train right off the tracks and get things moving in a more positive direction. Eighteen percent of people surveyed by CreditCards.com said they expect to never pay off their debts. But that pessimistic attitude doesn’t have to be yours if you plan properly and act according to plan. So chop up that plastic and get out of the black!

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“Debt doesn’t bother me…because I’m really a super hero.”

Are you spending too much money on everyday things?

Valuable Tips for Cost-Cutting

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If saving money wasn’t such a challenge, everyone would do it – but why pay $10 for something you can get for $5? There are many easy ways to save money throughout the day if you are willing to commit to them. Below are a few things you may accidentally be overlooking when you think about trimming costs from your daily or monthly budget.

Coffee & Cigarettes

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Daily habits like coffee and cigarettes add up quickly, but they don’t have to. If you are like the average American worker, you could probably save about $15 every week, or over $1,000 per year, on the coffee purchased in chains and shops.  Make it at home; make a profit. If worries about your health haven’t made you stop smoking, the maybe worries about your wallet will. Pack-a-day smokers could save an average of $2,000 per year on cigarettes, and that’s money they could be putting away for travel or retirement. Cut back on coffee shop coffee consumption and quit smoking, and that’s $120,000 you’ve saved in 40 years.

Lunch

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If you work away from home, there is a good chance you buy café or restaurant lunch several days per week. Studies show the average American eats lunch out at least twice per week, and men spend on average $21 per lunch, while women spend $14. If you don’t want to lose your precious time out of the office, try choosing a less expensive restaurant, finding places with coupons, or nixing a side item, a drink, or both.

Buy Generic

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While generic products are not always a way to get more bang for your buck, some items, like cereal, may be better or just as good at a significantly lower price. DailyFinance.com advises buying store brand spices and seasonings in addition to cereal to shave off costs for food. Medications may be another avenue for saving money, but certain items like toilet paper and trash bags are not necessarily cost effective because their low quality will make you use them faster, therefore making you spend more to replace them.

Energy Habits in the Home

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While a long, luxurious shower may be your favorite way to start the day, you may be able to save quite a bit on energy costs if you cut your shower time shorter. Save the luxury shower for the beginning of a relaxing Saturday and expedite the process on the weekdays. Many high costs come from the air moving around in your house as well, so encourage your family or roommates to close the blinds in the daytime to keep the rooms from being heated up by the sun.

Entertainment & Travel

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Reconsidering how much you can spend on entertainment may be a great way to trim your budget, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely deprive yourself. If you love going to the movies, see a cheaper matinee, then spend the rest of your evening reading a book from the library instead of the bookstore. While your car isn’t entertainment, it does get you to and from the places you like to be entertained, so make sure you change the oil regularly and keep the tire pressure at appropriate levels.  These simple acts can keep you safer and help you save what could be hundreds of dollars per year in fuel costs. Another idea to keep yourself entertained is to try out free community events at various parks or the library.

Whatever your money-saving goals are, they require thought and dedication. Saving money feels good and helps you reach your financial goals for the future, and makes occasional splurges even more rewarding.

 

If you find that (despite your best efforts) you simply can’t save any money up, and you really would like to have some extra funds, consider selling any diamond jewelry you may have with Diamond Lighthouse.  We will get you the best price for your diamonds, every time, with our entirely unique, fair and transparent online auction platform.  Find out more!

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How to Make Cash at Home

10 Fun Ways 

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Anyone who is a member of any faction of modern society knows that they need access to money in order to properly…live.  They do this by either ‘working for a living,’ being born (or marrying) rich or coming up with an idea for a mobile app that is so amazing they end up set for life (Uber, Pinterest, AmIHotOrNot.com).  This is a very basic tenet of contemporary existence.  However (and luckily for some of you!), there are a few loopholes.  Aside from going on an expedition for missing treasure, there are numerous other, quite tangible ways in which you can earn cash – all set up from the relative comfort of your own house/Winnebago/teepee.  Behold, the top 10 ways to make dough at home.

Up in the Air

If you haven’t heard of AirBnB.com by now…well, there’s no chance of that you haven’t, so let’s just proceed.  Turn that extra bedroom/walk-in closet/maid’s personal pool house into instant cash.  Not an iota of spare space in your current domicile?  Well, then it sounds like a trip to your favorite relative’s home/couch while you rent out your place to an eager world traveler is entirely in store.  The best part is that the company has a fairly extensive vetting process (for both renters and rentees), so most likely you won’t have to deal with too many felons getting cozy in your pad.  The site takes only 3% of what you charge your visitors (and you can set your rate, either insultingly high or embarrassingly low, in any fashion you like).

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Nice and Roomy

Ok, this is like Airbnb for the baller crowd: roomorama.com.  While the name doesn’t indicate the slightly fancier aspect of most of the luxurious listings here, this is actually a glorious choice if you have a larger or more upscale space to rent out (like a villa, chateau or shack d’amour).  Now, they take 8-12% of the fee you collect, so it’s a good idea to list your place on both of the aforementioned sites.  Ultimately, select whoever is going to give you the most loot, after calculating for the subtracted commission rates.

Get Office-ial

Not everyone adores the idea of strangers sleeping in their beds (…obviously certain individuals actually do, but that’s a topic for another discussion on making extra money altogether).  If you have a spare room in your house or apartment that can double as an ‘office space’ then you can turn that enclosure into instant cash with DeskTime (desktimeapp.com).  You just throw some pictures up on their site, and then people come and work in your designated area for whatever timeframe you like.  *Bonus: you can walk through the ‘office’ whenever you like and pretend you are the boss, telling the person renting the room to ‘Fax this for me.’  (…you don’t have a fax)

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Half the effort, twice the Fun

This is like eBay light.  Half.com is technically a subdivision of eBay, where you don’t have to go through the whole bidding process, etc.  You just let them know what merchandise you want to sell (typically, music, movies and tech-related things garner the best prices), they give you an offer price, then you ship your stuff to them and they send you your loot through Paypal.  They also have another, self-serving option: take your payment in the form of a “Half.com Gift Card” and get an additional %15 bonus.  That may be the perfectly incentivized option for online shopaholics, like some of you saucy, commercialism driven folks out there.

The Ultimate re-gift-card!

Whoever came up with the idea for this company is a certified genius.  Each year, during the holidays, people receive “gift cards” from various relatives, friends or part-time-lovers who can’t think of a darn thing to get each other.  Often these cards reside in a wallet or purse for many moons before they are even discovered again (sorry, Aunt Helen, nobody buys things on iTunes anymore).  So cardcash.com was created, to give you a place to dump said gift cards and receive back about 90% of the cash value.  Ka-ching!  Now that $25 of “Bed, Bath and Beyond” nonsense can be 22 actual dollars in your pocket.  Win.

*You can even get rid of your Half.com Gift Card…

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Not So Secret Agent

Well, now we’re going to get into some of the weirder ones.  There exists a site called AgentAnything.com where people post tasks that they would like completed, and a fee they are willing to shell out.  Wages range from the meager ($10) to the relatively extravagant (several hundred).  You just pick a project that is suited to your skill set, and violà, moolah on the way.  The assignments listed are pretty diverse, from “Find a four string quartet” to “Attend a Lecture/Prepare a Summary” to “Like everyone of my Instagram pictures” to “Tickle my Elmo” (…that last one is made up).

CON: you have to be a college student to participate in this.

PRO: seems totally worth it to take an online university course just to be eligible for the “jobs” on this cool and quirky site.

Go on Tour

Do you live in an interesting city, historic town or any other locale that people want to visit (ie: basically anywhere that isn’t Detroit)?  Then that means there are tourists that are voraciously hungry for information about your specific geographic location.  Sign up on vayable.com to be a tour guide, and you can disseminate all the hometown knowledge you have cluttering your brain, as these wayward vacationers gawk and snap endless selfies.  You get to choose how valuable the words coming out of your mouth are, as you can set your own prices.  The good folks at Vayable take a 15% commish.

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Can you just…focus??

You probably know someone who has participated in a focus group and gotten paid for it; you can be just like them!  If you like sharing your opinion (as much as your old classmate with the new baby likes sharing photos on Facebook), then this could be the perfect outlet for you.  At findfocusgroups.com, all you have to do is select your location and pick a group that looks appealing to you (apparel, education, shopping, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills rivalries, etc.)  They typically pay 100 to 250 bucks a shot, for as little as an hour or so of “work.”  Pretty sweet when you think about it.

Let’s just be Friends

Now this is going to sound a little odd…but people are willing to pay to be your friend.  You just make a friendly profile on RentaFriend.com, like you would for a dating site.  However, Rent-a-Friend ensures that when you put yourself up for rent, it’s strictly for friendship, no funny-touchy-grabby-lawsuity business.  You typically can make about 50 smackers an hour, as you attend events (concerts, the Superbowl, barn raisings) with your new “buddy.”  As the renter is paying for the entire service, you get to keep the whole fee that you charge for your ever so valuable friendship; the site doesn’t dip into your profits at all.  They say you “can’t buy love,” but clearly you can rent out friendship for a phenomenal price.

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Ring in the new you.

If you’re looking to make some serious cash, think about selling any diamond jewelry you may have.  DiamondLighthouse.com lets you ship your diamond items, totally for free, to their lab in Manhattan and then receive an expert GIA trained gemologist evaluation of them.  They then place your diamond(s) on the market, in an open bidding platform (available only to vetted, professional buyers).  You can then view and accept or reject the offers that come in.  If you choose to accept an offer, they send you the payment, post haste.  Boom.  All from the convenience of your own hammock, Lay-Z-Boy or full-body massage chair.

Oh, by the way, that’s our company, and it’s the best.  Check out the glowing reviews people have left here – and learn even more info here.

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Happy At-Home Earning!

-Joe Leone