NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Ruby Lane's Past Times Newsletter for November 2008
In This Issue
- A Thanksgiving Video Greeting from Ruby Lane!
- Safekeeping of Your Jewelry by Baya Gatter of Eternal Fine Jewels
- Krementz and the World's Greatest Collar Button
- Will Vintage Linens Fit My Bed? and Common Mattress Sizes by Karen Nappo of Design Connection
- November Lane Sampler: Antique & Vintage Postcards
A THANKSGIVING VIDEO GREETING FROM RUBY LANE!
Click here to see a special Thanksgiving video message from Ruby Lane, or go to:
SAFEKEEPING OF YOUR JEWELRY BY BAYA GATTER OF ETERNAL FINE JEWELS
Your personal jewelry has been acquired over your lifetime. It could be something as sentimental as your first gold chain with religious medallion, your childhood charm bracelet, diamond engagement ring or inherited antique jewelry just to name a few. Nonetheless, these pieces not only have sentimental worth, but also significant monetary value.
Over the years, designs and styles change, older pieces dating to the Victorian and Art Deco periods could be difficult to replace, especially if it was a very unique piece.
Taking precautions to minimize loss or theft of your jewelry is very important.
Over the years, I have heard so many people share similar stories, namely that they have so much jewelry, but that they have it put away in safety deposit boxes. Yes that is an excellent place for safe-keeping, but jewelry is meant to be worn and enjoyed to its full glory and not to be hidden.
My one customer loves her "bling-bling" so much she refers to herself as a year-round decorated Christmas tree. She certainly sparkles with her beautiful collections.
I wish to share with you some suggestions and ideas for safeguarding your jewels while you travel, insurance, hiding places, and safes.
There are two groups of travelers: the minimalist who packs just a few key pieces and then there is the opposite who brings everything. This also applies with jewelry. Some travelers will not wear any jewelry, or if they do, it would be something inexpensive and simple, while others will not part with any of their jewelry.
I love my jewelry, but when I travel, I am the minimalist. I wear only my wedding band, a simple pair of gold hoop earrings and a plastic watch. Blending in with the locals and not drawing attention to yourself can sometimes be a challenge. In some countries, I definitely would not blend in since I am a blonde and almost 6 feet in height. I certainly do not want to draw added attention.
There are so many glorious destinations where the locals struggle because of poverty and rely on tourists for their livelihood. Tourists who wear a lot of jewelry stand out and are a potential target.
I cannot stress it enough that when you travel, please keep it simple. If you are heading to a beach destination, do not wear your jewels, especially your rings because the only person who will be laughing to the bank will be the person who is scouring the beaches with his metal detector. Suntan lotion makes your fingers slippery and rings can slip off easily as well as swimming in the cold ocean--your fingers shrink and your rings will slide off.
On the flip side, for those who choose to travel with their jewels, while in transit, keep your jewelry in your handbag or carry-on bag. If you are a frequent traveler, i.e. business traveler, you may wish to invest in a traveling jewelry case because they have the proper compartments that keep your jewelry organized and protected. One thing to keep in mind when purchasing a travel case is how much jewelry and what type of jewelry you will be traveling with--there are so many different types available. You want to make sure you purchase the appropriate type. Again, minimal is always the best and safest policy.
If you are staying at a hotel, a wise idea would be to keep your jewelry in the hotel's safety deposit box or in your room's safe. It is also advisable to take copies of sales receipts, appraisal certificates or insurance papers as proof of ownership; by doing so you will avoid any potential problems with customs with regards to import taxes and customs declarations.
When you are retiring for the night, you can keep all your jewelry organized quite simply--slip your rings through your watch band and then close the clasp. At the same time, if your strap is made from leather, you can press your earrings through their holes.
When you purchase jewelry, store the receipt in a safe place, take pictures of each jewelry item and for the more expensive pieces, have an appraisal certificate.
It is very important that your jewelry is appraised by a certified appraiser. An appraisal certificate will outline all the details of the item, i.e. size of stone, karat of gold, weight, type of metal, unique features, current market value. It is also recommended to have the appraised pieces updated every 2-3 years because of the fluctuations in the gold market.
Imagine owning piece a piece of jewelry that was appraised several years ago with a replacement value of $2,000.00. Years pass and the value has increased to $4,500,00. Now if that piece is lost or stolen, and the appraisal is not current, the replacement value will be based on the $2,000.00 value.
A standard homeowner's policy will provide a limited amount of coverage up to a specified dollar amount as stated in your homeowner's policy. Some losses may not be covered and that is why it is advisable to purchase additional coverage, also known as a floater.
When purchasing the extra floater insurance, an updated appraisal certificate and pictures of your jewelry will be required so the insurance company has them on file. The floater would cover those pieces if they would be lost, stolen, or in some cases, if you lose a stone, they would be covered under this policy.
Insurance companies have their preferred jewelers, also know as their preferred vendors and will indemnify you to your exact state before your loss. So for example, your 1kt VS1 diamond will be replaced with a 1kt VS1 diamond.
If your ring was insured for $6,500.00, and the insurance company can have it replaced for $5,500, you have the option to have their jeweler replace your ring or you could choose to have your own jeweler replace your piece. In the latter case, the insurance company would pay you out, also known as cash-out on the actual value--in this case you would receive $5,500--less your deductible, if applicable.
With regard to antique jewelry, which would be difficult to replace, the appraisal certificate would provide all the details and it would be based on the replacement value. You would receive a cash settlement.
Please note, this is a very GENERAL OVERVIEW and may not apply to your own specific insurer. I strongly recommend that you contact your individual agent to determine your insurance company's specific policies with regards to insuring jewelry.
How well is your jewelry hidden at home? Do you have hiding places? The most obvious place for a thief to find your jewelry in your home is your bedroom, namely in your jewelry box located on top of your dresser.
Try to hide your jewelry throughout your home in various locations. There are unique "props" also known as gimmick gadgets that are made to resemble actual famous brand name products. You can hide your jewelry in them. These containers are replicas of the actual product--i.e. cans of food, household cleansers--these can be kept in their obvious locations. A pop can safe can be kept in the fridge with your other pop drinks, or a cleanser product safe, under your sink with other cleansers. These locations are much less conspicuous.
Other clever prop safes are fruits, vegetables (yes, really!), hollow books, stacks of C.D.'s, rocks, even planters. One of my favorites is the replica of an electrical outlet that can be screwed into any wall in any room.
These replicas are not expensive and displayed in the appropriate spots where they look natural do not arouse suspicion from a potential thief.
Other "home-remedy" solutions would be to place your jewelry in Ziploc bags and hide them under sheets, towels, decorative zippered pillows, rolled into your socks. You can also store your jewels in the bottom of a bin that holds seasonal clothes, Christmas decorations and craft supplies. Tennis anyone....by cutting a slit into a tennis ball and squeezing it open you can place small items in. Your children's stuffed animals are another less conspicuous place--simply open a seam, slide your jewelry in and re-stitch.
Be sure to keep a list of where your jewelry is hidden and in what. In the worst case scenario, if a thief is clever enough to figure out a decoy's spot, remember, time is not in his favor, so he would grab and run perhaps with only 1 piece of jewelry rather than your entire lifetime collection.
Many people invest in actual safes--keep in mind that a small safe that can hide in a closet is portable and can easily be carried away. A larger safe is very heavy, and while it can't be carried away, they are harder to hide and take up a lot of space.
I personally favor safes that have a drilled space in a floor--a.k.a. floor safes. They are not portable, they are hidden and you can cover them. Ideally, they are located in basements because they can be drilled through concrete. These safes are smaller than your average wall or full standing safe, but they cannot be carried away, they are out of visual sight and therefore, concealed from a potential thief.
Many people have home alarm systems and while there are no guarantees that your home would not be burglarized, it could deter from a potential home invasion since signs are posted on windows or doors. However, if a burglar broke into a home, he would only have 2-3 minutes to find the valuables before the police would show up. If they would come across a safe, they wouldn't have the time to open it, nor the time to ransack a home to find jewelry, if they are hidden out of sight.
Outside your home, a safety deposit box is the next securest place for your jewelry. Your financial institution will have an area for safety deposit boxes. You can keep all your jewelry as well as certificates together and bring home a few pieces every month and interchange them as you wish.
Your safety and security are #1. By taking some precautions, you can minimize the risk of being a target. Be sure that your pieces have updated appraisals which reflect the current market value of your piece(s). Having adequate coverage on your most valuable pieces will guarantee that if a jewelry item is lost or stolen, you can have it replaced or be financially indemnified. Safekeeping your jewelry wisely within your home will minimize the risk of any potential theft.
With these suggestions in mind, I sincerely hope that your favorite and cherished jewels are safe for your enjoyment for many years to come.
My best to you all.......
Eternal Fine Jewels
We invite you to visit Eternal Fine Jewels
KREMENTZ AND THE WORLD'S GREATEST COLLAR BUTTON
One of the giants of the jewelry industry, Krementz may also be in the running for the longest lived family-owned jewelry manufacturing business in America.
Krementz was founded in 1866 by George Krementz. The company developed the high quality finish known as Krementz Overlay in the 1880's. This laminated finish was a variation of the basic gold-filled manufacturing process. Krementz used 14 karat gold in the process, while many other manufacturers used 10 karat gold or 12 karat gold in the process. Krementz also added a layer of nickel plating on their items, coating the base metal with nickel before adding the gold finish, which was put on the base in sheet form, under great heat and pressure. The result was a finish which maintained its color. Krementz pieces did not get the "brassy" look which many other gold filled pieces acquired over the years.
The company's earliest pieces appear to be men's jewelry and accessories. The collar button became one of the mainstays of the company. In the Victorian era, men's dress shirts often had a collar resembling today's Henley shirts. A collar was then attached, using a metal collar button. The collar was attached at the back with one, and an additional button went through two slits on the front of the shirt, and through the top "button hole" on the front of the shirt. The collars themselves were first developed in the 1820's, and over the years were made of cotton, paper, linen, and "Linene", a laminated cardboard and linen product. Celluloid became a popular material for detachable collars in the 1870's.
The collar buttons were normally made in at least two pieces, with a riveted style construction. This construction added labor costs to the item and a collar button would separate with careless handling or poor construction. Then George Krementz saw a demonstration of rifle cartridge production, probably by Remington, at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition... Inspired by the way cartridge cases could be raised and formed from one sheet of metal, he adapted the process to the collar button. Using a disc of metal up to about 1 ½" in diameter, a one piece collar button could be formed.
The product was so superior to others on the market that Krementz owned the collar button business. Personnel at the Krementz Company assured this writer that as late as the 1980's , one of the original chain drive machines used for this was still in operating condition and occasionally put to use. There was apparently still some overseas demand for a good one piece collar button!
Krementz went on to operate a number of different companies, under Krementz ownership, including Diana, Shiman, McTeigue, and Jones and Woodland. In addition to the Overlay jewelry marketed under the Krementz name, Krementz made Fine Jewelry, and was one of the manufacturers associated with the Newark Renaissance of the Belle Époque period. These pieces are normally marked not with the Krementz name, but with the company's hallmark-a stylized collar button! This mark is widely recognized, but often mistaken for an umbrella or some other device, by those not familiar with the history of this great American company. Most overlay pieces are marked Krementz, in block letters.
With the decline of the detachable collar button, Krementz made a major expansion in ladies fashion jewelry in the 1920's and 30's and was a major force in finer fashion jewelry in mid-20th century America. Along with some of the other traditional New England manufacturers, they produced a high quality product, with quality standards one did not find in costume jewelry of the period. It is not unusual to find Krementz pieces which have 4 or 5 decades of use, possibly handed down over several generations, and the finish is still intact. A simple wipe with a jewelry cloth and it looks like it just left the jewelry store shelf.
The company produced two series of pieces which are true classics: the Krementz Rose and the Forget-Me-Not. The Rose was done in a great number of variations and sizes, but normally featured a rose in pink gold overlay, with greenish gold overlay leaves. The Forget-Me-Not had a blue enamel finish, and featured cultured pearl centers. In the late 1970's or early 80's, simulated pearls began to replace the cultured pearls, and the Forget-Me-Not pieces were eliminated from the line, as labor costs for these high quality pieces became prohibitive. Both of these styles were also produced in 14 karat gold versions at various times, often by other divisions of Krementz.
The Krementz family began dismantling the large conglomerate jewelry empire in the 1990's. The Diana Division, which made wedding bands, was sold to Fredrick Goldman, another maker of bridal jewelry. Tiffany & Company acquired McTeigue.
The Shiman division and the traditional overlay division were sold to the Colibri Group in 1997, and moved from the shops at Newark which had produced them.
Today, Rick Krementz operates the last family owned division of the company, Richard Krementz Gemstones. Rick is the fourth generation of his family to carry on the jewelry making tradition. This company, built on the framework of the Jones & Woodland division which was acquired in the 1930's, makes fine quality jewelry in platinum and 18 karat gold, featuring the finest quality colored gemstones. Rick has served as president of the American Gem Trade Association. His father, Richard Krementz, Jr., was a founding member of the International Colored Gemstone Association.
We can think of no other family which has contributed as much to the American jewelry industry. You may be proud of any piece associated with them, from a simple antique collar button to a one-of-a-kind colored gemstone masterpiece. We are pleased to have a great selection of items made by Krementz, including classic Gold Overlay styles and Fine Jewelry from the height of the Newark Renaissance.
WILL VINTAGE LINENS FIT MY BED? AND COMMON MATTRESS SIZES BY KAREN NAPPO OF DESIGN CONNECTION
While surfing Internet, imagine yourself stumbling upon a fabulous vintage quilt, bedspread or a set of linen sheets that would enhance a room in your home. As you consider buying them you wonder, "Will these linens fit my bed and mattress? " The following handy chart may help you answer this question, enabling you to get that one of a kind look:
- Most beds have a 21" drop, so you have to add 42" to the size
- A queen bed has a mattress width of 60 inches plus a 21 inch drop on EACH side, which would be 60 inches +42 inches, for a total of 102 inches
- Please note that the new DEEP mattresses may have a drop of as much as 24", so add accordingly
- Twin: 39" x 75" (also known as single)
- Double: 54" x 75" (also known as full) Double beds are only 15" wider than a Twin bed, but just as long
- Queen bed: 60" x 80" Queen Beds are 6" wider and 5" longer than a Double bed
- King: 76" x 80" The King Mattress is about 16" wider
With many linens, you do not have to be exact, close is good, but there should be at least a 10 inch drop on each side. Most vintage sheets are top sheets, adding a purchased fitted sheet will give you a set.
The romantic charm of vintage linens will not only enhance a room, but these treasures of yesterday are recycling at its best, today.
We invite you to visit Design Connection
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