Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer is in Full Swing

Oh, the summer night
Has a smile of light
And she sits on a sapphire throne.
~Barry Cornwall

What a wonderful image to paint.  As we enter July here in the Valley we are ready to celebrate the 4th!  In these long days of summer we enjoy all kinds of outdoor fun, long walks, camping, and barbeques to name a few. 

The reality is that most of us have a “vacation mentality” during these long summer days.  While this is a great mental state to be in it’s not conducive in all areas of our lives.  Sadly there are people looking to capitalize on our less diligent state of mind.  Those casual walks we take after a light dinner for example are made in a moment, it’s just a walk through the neighborhood after all, grab those flip flops and go.. Did you lock the door?  Are the windows still open? 

I know being a party pooper is what you could accuse me of, but I hear the heart ache after a burglary.  I know how devastating it is to be violated in that way.  To add insult to injury most people tell me they aren’t insured or don’t have a floater on their jewelry. 

Finding out the inequities of your home security protocol and the lack of insurance coverage is hard information to find out after the fact.  I would implore each and every one of you to take some much needed precautions to ensure you that if the worst case scenario did happen at least it wouldn’t be so devastating.

Don’t put all your valuable jewelry in your jewelry box on your dresser.  It’s like condensing your valuables into an easy to carry traveling case for the would-be burglars.  Instead save that box for the fun inexpensive pieces.  Find a special place that is accessible and known only to you.  Store your special items there if you don’t have a safe, or the bank security box isn’t a viable option. 

Check with your home owners’ policy, and ask your insurance agent about getting a floater on those special family pieces that can’t be replaced.  In most cases he will instruct you to get an appraisal this is where I come in (see, even party poopers can be useful)  I will clean, check, photograph and described your jewelry in detail to assure that if the worst happens you have a chance to get it back, or that you’ll be reimbursed for your lose.  Proper coverage is paramount and the only way to make sure you have proper coverage is to be armed with information about what you have. 

If an appraisal seems to be too extreme for those “incidental” items we also offer the service of photographing your items.  The saying a picture is worth a thousand words couldn’t be more appropriate in this situation.  Call us and we’ll set up an appointment to take clear, concise photos of your items for identification purposes.  

It’s never a thought we like to entertain but it happens, and I would like to avoid these hardships for my customers.  I’ll let you float back into your summer thoughts knowing that we’ll all have a better summer experience when these precautions are acted upon so your days stay bright, safe and fun!


Rhonda Irizarry
Countryman’s Village Jewelers

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another way to go Green with your jewelry

Our feeling here at Countryman’s Village Jewelers is that fine jewelry is timeless, and it can be handed down to generations.  What a wonderful way to keep family traditions alive and well.  No other item is more personal and valuable than an item worn by a loved one.

However, if you find yourself with more than enough sentimental jewelry there are alternatives to taking these items to your nearest liquidator to have them melted down for scrap gold. It’s very lucrative business for these liquidators; they help those desperate for cash often making the largest percentage of money themselves on this fast exchange.

I suggest that there are other ways to “recycle” your jewelry.
If you find yourself with some items that aren’t relevant to your life style, or you’ve inherited pieces that just don’t fit your personality and   you’re not desperate for cash why take it to a place that is going to give you scrap gold prices?

If Grandma’s ring isn’t something you wish to make into a wearable piece of jewelry for yourself.  Why not look into consigning it?  Here at Countryman’s we’ve found this to be a wonderful way to get these interesting pieces into the hands of those that would appreciate them.  We’ve made a special section in our store designated for estate and vintage pieces. There are wonderful items being melted down and their workmanship will be lost forever.

So before you run down to melt down the family treasures why not consign the piece with us?  You’ll make more money in the long run and this special piece will go on to give someone else a great amount of joy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Support Your Local Merchants

It’s been our belief here at Countryman’s Village Jewelers that if you spend
Your money locally it stays in your community longer.  Supporting local merchants
helps your local economy thrive. 

After all America was built on local industry creating jobs and providing much needed services.
We were thrilled to find an advocate
In this cause
Allow me to link you to the

We also encourage you to become fans of the
3/50 project on Facebook. 

We are all in this together
And together is how we’ll succeed.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Beauty of Silver Hollowware

I sense a stirring in the world of silver plate and sterling hollowware.

There was a time when these lovely but high maintenance items were relegated to the hall closet, or stored in the buffet not to be dealt with. Women with families and busy schedules couldn’t be bothered with such indulgences as keeping up with polishing silver. Entertaining focused on paper plates and napkins, gone were the days of pampering guests.

In this disposable society silver was almost lost. Then something started to happen, maybe it was the aligning of several different moments all at once. People wanting to be more “green,” disposable wasn’t the answer. Couple this with a time of unrest and change, some of which people had no control, seeking out things that are sentimental and timeless seem to give comfort. Perhaps it gave us time to pause on what is really important, slowing down spending time with those we love and making that time have meaning, making the people in our lives feel important. This want of "home" has seemly manifested itself into these hidden wonderful silver objects once forgotten. People are longing for a gentler time when attention was paid to the experience, the getting ready for guests and looking forward to pampering and sharing with those we love.

The act of cleaning these items for some hasn’t seemed like such drudgery. In fact it’s been a time of quiet contemplation while slowly cleaning off the layers of tarnish we see a rebirth in the piece. New hope, yes, something once thought of as a tedious job can be an afternoon of enjoyment. Few things let us have such instant gratification as cleaning a piece of tarnished silver.

So, if you’ve been blessed with inheriting that silver chafing dish, fruit basket or flatware set consider yourself lucky. You are adding your history to this piece and the time you put into its upkeep lets your family members know how much you love them through these small acts of specialness that you impart in your family gatherings.



Friday, September 11, 2009

Beauty to be appreciated in nature

At Countryman’s Village Jewelers, we’ve been designing jewelry for over thirty years.  It’s been interesting to see the changes in that time period. 
People wanted jewelry designed using the big four, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires.  These are the precious stones because of their rarity, beauty and durability not to mention popularity. These stones will always be highly valued and enjoyed as they should be. 

Over the years we’ve seen a more open mind to our ideas of beauty, color and design, this more inclusive point of view has opened up a whole new avenue of stone material.  There is a move to enjoying things that have a more organic handmade feel.  This feeling embraces the idea that “imperfections” found in nature are like art. 
Marie Countryman is bringing her creative eye and energy to these fabulous stones that she’s been appreciating for years.  Enjoy the wonderful collection below and then come in and view them in person.  


Friday, August 14, 2009

Metal Allergies or Germs?

I've had a few customer's lately complain about being allergic to their platinum or gold rings. When a rash appears they were worried is it a metal allergy? Or were they sold an inferior product?

After years of wear, and if you purchased your ring from a reputable source this suspicion is often highly unlikely, a jeweler in good standing in the community is not going to risk his reputation selling bogus goods nor will he be in business long.

That leads us to metal allergies. It’s very unlikely to have allergies with either gold or platinum. However, sensitive people can have allergies to the alloys in gold. In most cases it’s an allergy to nickel. There are simple tests that a Dermatologist can perform to solve the mystery and see if it is an allergy to an alloy.

If you are able to wear a pair of inexpensive earrings with no problem
odds are you don't have a metal allergy. As a jeweler I find most people have skin irritation due to the debris that gathers in the nooks and grannies on the underside of a ring.

When the "suspected" ring or rings are examined in most cases they are dirty, some not having been cleaned for years. The biggest culprit to the itching and the red blisters on the skin is that germs and bacteria have found a perfect home in your rings. You've got dirt, dead skin cells, lotion, powder, last nights dinner residing in your ring, throw a little moisture in the mix and you've made a perfect habitat for a whole host of undesirables sitting next to your skin.

How to resolve this? Bring your jewelry to, Countryman's Village Jewelers (or a jeweler close to you) and have your rings professionally cleaned. We will completely and thoroughly clean all debris from your rings.

It's interesting how people will dismiss this as being the cause of their problem. Let me put it into prospective for you. Take a fork and eat a meal with it, leave it and the next day pick up that same fork and do the same thing, go out and garden with that fork, put some lotion on the fork with dusting powder, and eat off of it again do you think after a little while you could get sick from this fork? This is what we are doing with our rings. We wear them every day; we expose them to all types of things and we are surprised that they could be hosting germs.

Have a relationship with your jeweler have your rings professionally cleaned, it's a free service that we provide, take advantage of it. It makes your rings look fabulous it lets me examine them for possible wear issues and it eliminates those nasty germs, keeping rashes at bay.

Rhonda Irizarry
Countryman's Village Jewelers

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Is Your Jewelry Properly Insured?

I was speaking to a local insurance agent the other day. We talked about how often

People are under insured. It turns out the majority of us are in fact under insured. After you’ve suffered a lose is the time most of us find out that we aren’t fully insured.

This is what I learned from our conversation

In California unscheduled items (items that aren’t appraised or itemized) are covered up to $2,500.00 on the basic home owners or renters policy and one item can’t be valued more than $1500.00

In most cases that isn’t enough to cover a wedding set, not to mention there is the deductible of $500.00 or more.

Needless to say most people are under insured.

How can you properly protect yourself? Ask your insurance agent about a floater. In the case of jewelry it means bringing your jewelry to us here at Countryman’s Village Jewelers. I write a detailed appraisal with photos and its current replacement value. You take the appraisal to your insurance agent and he sets up a floater.

This way each item is covered for the current appraised value and there is no deductible. It’s the safest thing you can do to protect yourself against a lose.

If you have any questions please feel free to call me.


Countryman's Village Jewelers

1700 Mc Henry Ave. Suite 19

Modesto, CA 95350

(209) 578-1177