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

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bridal Wedding sets

I was watching the TV show, Say Yes to The Dress the other night. If you've missed it let me fill you in, it's about a bridal gown shop in New York city whose very enthusiastic customer's are young brides looking for that perfect gown, for their perfect day. The prices of these gowns are as you can imagine tremendous. It's almost laughable when a young lady comes in to the bridal boutique with a budget of less than $2000.00, after all these gowns are made for that one special day.

It's fun to watch the process of the bride getting that very desirable and iconic wedding dress. At some point in watching the show I start to have these feelings of concern that we as a culture put so much emphasis on the wedding day and not the marriage. I can remember the fun and excitement that surrounds the days leading up to the blessed nuptials; it is a very exciting time in a couple’s life. But it always strikes a chord in my heart when I hear of the huge budgets for the big event and one of the largest costs goes to the dress. To be worn for a few hours of that perfect day.

After all is said and done and we move from wedding day to the marriage it makes me ponder what we have left from the day? The memories, of course, the pictures and the dress we have to put in a proper box or plastic bag to be stored away and, AND the rings, Oh yeah, the rings, the symbol of your love for each other. That is the one tangible thing that is with you every single day to symbolize the love you have for one another.

So while the dress does deserve it's proper due, I would be amiss if I didn't direct a person to think of their rings with a more long term importance and lasting sentimentality.

The wedding dress worn for a few hours can demand a bigger budget than the ring which is going to last you the rest of your life.

So remember to purchase rings that fit your life style, your budget and are something that will make you happy long after the dress has been put away.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring is in the air

I don't know about you, but I've had a little spring fever as of late.

I'm thrilled it's staying lighter longer so that when I get off of work I can go play in the backyard.

Seriously on the scale of 1 to 5 in the gardening world I might clear a solid 2.. but that doesn't stop me.

So I thought I would share some garden photos. I know it's a little off topic from my normal Jewelry thoughts.

But if you think about it,
it's all connected, stones come from nature and are a lasting reminder of the colors of spring.

Colorful spring time blooms are a short lived but wonderful gift that
get our creative juices flowing.

Just look at our latest arrivals.

Dendritic quartz, they have these, manganese oxide fissures in the

stones that look like
wonderful plant life, or coral growth. We couldn't resist and we have wonderful plans to make these beauties into wonderful pendants Can't you see them taking center stage with some great accenting stones?

We also have pictured a Tahitian chocolate, color enhanced pearl. The color is so rich and it's luster really speaks to you.

Check out the Peruvian Opal to our left, it looks like a small landscape piece of art. And last but not least our pear shaped Chrysacolor (a combo stone) Azurite and Malachite together to make this incredible beauty.

Nature with it's organic and inorganic processes can bear art in many forms and it's the right time of year to enjoy it all.

So stop by and see them in person.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Back away from the cruise ship jewelry counter and no one gets hurt.

I can’t begin to tell you how much jewelry (I use the term loosely here) that we’ve had to repair from such cruise ships.

The number of my customer’s that say things like, “The cruise ship recommended we go to this jewelry store.” Or “We purchased it on the cruise ship for a great price.”

I’m beginning to think that cruise ships are nothing but floating jewelry stores. The quality of jewelry is always substandard. That is why I see so much of it. We don’t carry this type of substandard jewelry I want to be able to look you in the face after you make a jewelry purchase, and I don’t have the ability to sail off into the sunset.

It’s funny while we are out in the middle of the ocean our common sense goes on vacation as well, only to be put back into commission when we arrive home. My customer’s quickly run to see me to let me know they've dropped anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars at the counter of the cruise ship. It’s a cautionary tale my friends. My customers are always surprised that their floating bargain isn’t such a bargain. If it seems too good to be true IT IS!!

Here are a few photos of actual cruise ship jewelry:

This is a tennis bracelet that is extremely rough. My customer wants me to fix it. There is nothing to fix it's just poorly made too light weight and industrial quality stones.


My advice is purchase jewelry from your local jeweler. You wouldn't accept substandard from us why would you accept substandard just because you're on vacation?


Stones are already coming out of this bracelet, purchased on board.

How nice the cruise ships don't have to deal with all the repair. This jewelry isn't a bargain it's just bad.

Rhonda Irizarry

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's Spring let's Add color

It's spring, introduce some color into your wardrobe. We tend to be very cautious of color in general. I often hear my customer say that they, don't wear blue, or yellow.. or whatever the given color is.

Open your mind to new possibilities . For example take this beautiful turquoise necklace. It can be worn with more colors than you think.

This particular piece is from the Lorenzo line it's beautiful Sterling silver and 18-karat yellow gold.

The turquoise is called, Sleeping Beauty blue.. it's fabulous, my photo doesn't do it justice
There is such depth to the stone.

We just happen to have great matching earrings.
They dangle for just that wonderful bit of moment.

I had to try it on and give you an example of the colors you can pair it with.. I know, how hard.. but hey someone had to do it.. You have to admit it looks good against the green. It would look good with white, black, blue, imagine how great it would look with brown. So, invest in some color it's good for the soul. And it perks up your wardrobe with more versatility
than you might think.

Rhonda Irizarry

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Branded or Unbranded

Seems the thing to do is to brand yourself these days. Oh yeah, go with the big players, those with great name recognition. They have "proven" track records.. etc, etc.. Let's face it, we've heard all that. I'm not saying that isn't needed or wanted, but to a degree.

I personally want people to recognize the name, Countryman's Village Jewelers and have it mean a jewelery store with unique and wonderful jewelry with honest pricing and integrity. That is my goal.

But what about all this branding of jewelry lines? Which many of the big box stores find important.

Many of the companies we carry are smaller, innovative designers that are under the radar as far as name recognition, and I think that is a good thing for you. The quality, of the designs are stylish and the workmanship, innovative and current.

These smaller artisans are more accessible, often we know the designer. This creates a good relationship, and a designer that knows what is desired. For you this means you get all the style without having to pay for the big ego.

Also we at Countryman's design jewelery, it can be a very rewarding experience to purchase a piece that is locally made, often it's one of a kind, or made in limited editions. You're supporting a local artist and that helps the circle of keeping the money in our community.

So I say, keep an open mind looking for that perfect wedding set, don't be name driven but rather look for the design the quality, workmanship and the jewelry store that will actually meet your needs now and in the future.

(designed by Marie Countryman)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

One of the neatest things about jewelry is it's ability to be "recycled". It's one of the best things we do here at Countryman's Jewelers, taking some outdated and in many cases worn out jewelry and turning it into something cherished.

Here is a great example of just that...

My customer had inherited her Aunt's rings.
She already had her own set. The thought of the rings just sitting there didn't make sense to her.

So she brought in the rings ...

We talked about her needs and what type of jewelry she would get the most use out of and decided a bracelet would work wonderfully.

We took something that was just sitting in the jewelry box and repurposed it. This bracelet is new and functional, bringing my customer great joy and she gets to think about her Aunt when wearing this piece. For a fraction of what a bracelet with diamonds would cost completed we were able to mount her diamonds. It's like going "green" with your jewelry, what can be better than that?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

We Desire to become more interactive

Because of this desire we wanted to attach a blog to our web site. It's important to us to be accessible and to encourage questions that you may have wanted to ask.

Well this is your opportunity to sit at your computer and ask those questions in the comfort of your own home. We are here for you.

It's your interaction and your opinions that help us choose our inventory in the store to how we can better serve your needs. We are committed to doing just that.

Let me know what you think of the site, I'll be updating regularly. Also I'd love to know if this is a helpful format.

Thank you!