How to Organize Jewelry and Cosmetics to Save

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When we look at our bedrooms or bathrooms, we tend to focus on the big things: clothes, the bed, towels; and the other items that we consider part of the room like lamps or alarm clocks. When we decide to clean or organize these rooms, we then spend most of our time dealing with these big things.

It might seem counter-intuitive, but you can often save more space by organizing the little things. Things like jewelry, cosmetics and toiletries all end up taking over sections of your counter because individually they are pretty small. But if you look at the amount of space that these items take up as a group, then you realize that you are actually losing a lot of space.

Cosmetics

Cosmetics are a perfect example of small items taking up big space. I don’t want to single out women, so we can also include guy’s stuff like men’s cologne and moisturizer in this group. If you take a look at your bathroom counter or the top of your dresser, you will probably see a lot of these things just sitting there. Usually these things end up where they are because you used them one night and then didn’t properly put them away.

3 Steps to Organize Cosmetics

    1. Pull everything together -Take a basket (or even a bucket) and put all your makeup into it. Now look at what you’ve got and decide if all these things should be grouped together. If you have dozens of lipsticks or use perfume regularly, then you might want to have a separate space for them.

    1. Sort the good from the bad-How much of your makeup is so out of style that you know you’ll never wear it again? How many almost-empty nail polish remover bottles did you find in the back of the bathroom cabinet? If you can’t use it or you have more than you need, then either throw it away or give it away.

  1. Get a cosmetics organizer or a drawer organizer that you can use to keep this stuff together. Your best approach is to have a small organizer on your counter or dresser for the things you use regularly (e.g. favorite shades, brushes, hair dryer) and then a larger organizer or multiple organizers for the stuff you only need occasionally or seasonally. The larger organizer can be put in the back of the closet.

If you have completed all 3 steps, then you should have a smaller and well-organized cosmetics collection. If you can be consistent about putting things away and repeat these step 2-3 times per year, then you’ll find that your bathroom and/or bedroom is much more organized. Imagine how much time you’ll save over the course of the year if you don’t have to scrounge around in drawers every time you need mascara.

Jewelry

Organizing your jewelry is doubly-important because it has real value. You lose some makeup, then you are out may $10 or $20 dollars, but you lose earrings or a bracelet and you could be out hundreds. Jewelry tends to be better managed than cosmetics, but you will still leave it all over the place and it will take up space over time. That’s why you always seem to be missing a couple of earrings (no, it’s not jewelry gnomes) and you may have a hard time accessorizing your outfit.

4 Steps to Organize Jewelry

    1. Sort everything: take the time to sort your earrings into their proper pairs, to put sets (e.g. necklace & earrings) together and then lay everything out on a table or dresser.

    1. Differentiate the precious stuff from the everyday items. You can do this by cost, but also think about the pieces that are most important to you–just because its costume jewelry doesn’t mean it’s not an important piece to you.

    1. Clean everything. I know this doesn’t seem like an organizing step, but trust me that cleaning will help you really appreciate your collection. If you take the time to use the proper cleaning supplies and then looking at everything in good lighting, then it will make you feel good, teach you how much jewelry you have, and probably give you a new appreciation for some older pieces.

  1. Put it away: This seems simple, but having the right home jewelry storage is essential. If you wear jewelry regularly, then look for a clear case so you can find things quickly. If you have a really large collection then consider a jewelry armoire or a wall rack if you don’t have a lot of space. Some types of jewelry like watches have their own special cases. And very expensive pieces should either be stored in a home safe or a safety deposit box at a bank.

When you’ve completed steps 1-4, you will have a beautiful, well-organized collection that is easy to browse and also takes up less space. Make it a point to put things back in the correct organizer when you come home and you may only have to go through this process once or twice per year.

Why Women Love Swarovski Jewelry and How

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When it comes to jewelry, you will be hard pressed to find any women who doesn’t own a collection or two. Among the popular collections women indulge in these days include Swarovski jewelry and if you had the opportunity to own exquisitely-crafted jewelry like these, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?

It is quite understandable why women all over the world don’t pass up the opportunity to buy Swarovski jewelry because for one, it rivals the diamond as far as shine and sparkle are concerned. They contain 32% lead which qualifies them as fully leaded and are expertly cut crystals painted with a special metallic coating that allows more light refraction, which is mainly the reason behind their famous sparkling quality.

It is because of this particular quality that Swarovski crystals are used on everything by designers of every kind, from haute couture to jewelry to even candle holders. Despite the fact that they can be quite a challenge to maintain and handle, it is still the crystal of choice for most people. These days, however, it is making its presence felt more in the realm of jewelries and accessories and is one of the fashion trends that don’t fade away no matter what the season.

It is perhaps good to note that Swarovski crystals are not your usual crystals. They are actually man-made gems created and manufactured in Austria in the 1800s, by a man named Daniel Swarovski who had discovered a way to make high-quality, lead glass crystals by using a special machine that allowed him to produce quality cuts. In 1895, he founded the Swarovski Company and initially made only home décor pieces until in 1957, Christian Dior helped him produce the now-famous Aurora Borealis color which became an instant hit in the fashion world.

In 1977, Swarovski came to the US and presented his first ever jewelry collection featuring the exquisite crystals and from then on, the fashion world was never the same again. The jewelry collection since then has evolved to include other fashion accessory staples like handbags, belts and watches for both men and women. It has also recently ventured into sculptural pieces that include the golden dragon (Jinlong), made from about 63,000 pieces of hand-laid crystals in 21 shades of gold, the elephant (Matang) that is made from smoky quartz, topaz and black diamond colored crystals and the horse(Amurath) that is made from metallic blue crystals. The set was completed with the creation of the falcon (Alsaqr Almalaki), which is considered officially sold out to date.

If you are one of the many fortunate owners of Swarovski jewelry, chances are you are trying your absolute best to maintain its quality and beauty but not many Swarovski jewelry owners know that taking care of their crystals and jewelry only requires very basic solutions to keep their sparkle and shine: baby wipes, rubbing alcohol and mild dish soap.

Those and the fact that you need to make sure you apply your hairsprays, lotions, creams and powders before you put on your jewelries as the oils that are generated by these products and even from our own skin can mar the brilliance of the crystals. The first step is rinsing your pieces in warm water, but make sure it’s not at boiling temperature as that can damage them.

The next step is to apply a small amount of dish soap to the surface of your jewelry. Commercial jewelry cleaners can contain ingredients that can be harsh on the crystal’s surface so refrain from using those. If you have the time, you can scour for specialty Swarovski cleaners in your area and take your jewels there for cleaning.

Brush the pieces gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush or a lint-free cloth then just as gently rinse them thoroughly. Make sure that the pieces are completely dry before storing them back in their cases. If your pieces happen to contain Swarovski pearls, do not clean them with water but just buff them with soft cloth.

Selling Your Fine Jewelry and Diamonds

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There are many reasons for deciding to sell your unwanted diamonds and fine jewelry. You may be seeking emotional release from a broken relationship, needing emergency cash, purchasing or remodeling your home, or updating your jewelry for something more fashionable.

What Is It Worth?

After you decide to sell your fine jewelry, the first question is: What is it worth? Quite simply, your jewelry is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. But there is a difference between appraised value and market value. Most appraisals are not a valid indicator of the worth of your jewelry or diamonds. You may only get between 10% and 20% of the appraised value. An appraisal can be issued for different reasons. Sometimes, a high appraisal is used as a marketing tool by a retailer who wants his customer to believe he got a great deal. Insurance companies also don’t mind inflated appraisals, because the premiums customers pay are based on the submitted value. If you want an accurate assessment of your diamond or jewelry’s value, have it appraised by an independent appraiser who has no interest in it. When it comes to diamonds, often appraisals are not accurate as to the color and clarity. There are no industry guidelines, standards or government regulations as to the accuracy required for describing jewelry or its value.

Diamond Grading Certificates

If your diamond came with a certificate from the GIA, the Gemological Institute of America, you will be able to get a valid offer over the phone or emailed to you. There are other diamond grading labs, but GIA is consistently the most accurate. If you are selling a diamond that is probably worth more than $5000 and you have two weeks time, you might consider having your diamond certified by the GIA.

Sell Jewelry Quickly

So where do you go if you want to sell your jewelry or diamonds quickly?

Friends

You might first talk to your friends or relatives, and see if anyone is interested in purchasing your jewelry. However, it is not likely you will find a buyer this way, and you may create tension in your friendship by disputing the jewelry’s value.

Ad in the Local Paper

You might also think of placing an advertisement in your local newspaper. Because of the limited number of potential buyers, it may be difficult to find a qualified purchaser willing to give you full market value.

Pawnshops

The absolute worst place to sell jewelry is a pawnshop. They are in the money loaning business, and they buy all kinds of junk. You will be offered ten cents on the dollar if you are lucky. Pawnshops are usually located in less than desirable neighborhoods, so you may need to be concerned for your safety.

Retail Jewelry Stores

In most areas companies that purchase or take jewelry on consignment from the public are required to be licensed and regulated by the state and often local law enforcement agencies.

However, retail jewelry stores have diamonds given to them on consignment from large diamond dealers. If they purchase your diamond, they will have to lay out their own cash, so they will offer considerably less to purchase it out right.

On Line Diamond and Fine Jewelry Buyers

If you look on the Internet, you will find a number of companies offering to buy your gold, fine jewelry, quality watches, and diamonds online. You can contact these companies by telephone or email. They can provide you with a tentative offer based on the information you provide. Once the company receives and evaluates your jewelry you are contacted with a firm offer. WARNING some of these firms will offer you a unrealistic high price to get you to send them your jewelry and they contact you with a significantly lower price.

There is always a potential for loss when sending expensive items. If you choose one of these companies, find out which carrier they use and if the item will be fully insured. The US Postal Service is probably your best choice as they are self insured and your jewelry is not insured by a third party.

Usually sellers choose an online jewelry buying company for convenience. It means you don’t have to go anywhere. But often customers are disappointed when they hear how little money they will receive. By then they have already sent the item, and may figure it is not worth the trouble to pay to have it returned to them.

Questions to ask on line buyers

o How long have you been in business?

o Do you have a showroom or office that i can bring my items to?

o Are you Better Business complaint free?

o Are you licensed?

o Are you in compliance with state and federal laws and guidelines?

On Line Auctions

In addition to online gold and jewelry buying companies, there are also the Internet auction sites, such as eBay and craigslist.org. On these sites, you can post the jewelry items you have for sale, and potential buyers will respond with offers. On Internet auction sites you will encounter a lot of people looking for a bargain, and possibly even scammers and criminals. Because you are dealing with individual buyers, not a reputable company, you are at risk for loss. If you do decide to sell through one of these sites, make sure to protect yourself as much as possible by meeting your buyer in a safe public such as your bank or Starbucks.

Auction Houses

In addition to online auction sites, there are a number of highly reputable, well-established auction houses that have auctions for fine jewelry, such as Bonhams & Butterfields, Christie’s, and Sotheby’s. Generally these auction houses are only interested in high value items. Bonham & Butterfields will also give you a good idea of your item’s value, before you decide where to sell it. There are not auctions everyday, so you will have to wait awhile for your proceeds. In addition, as the seller you are responsible for the costs associated with selling your jewelry, such as marketing photographs and a commission, and these will reduce your profit. Bonhams & Butterfields will take lower value items to list in their auction catalogues. This does entail a considerable delay in selling your jewelry, however, because they only publish catalogues a few times a year. The advantage to being willing to wait to sell is that you may receive more money.

Your Best Option

There are advantages to selling your jewelry quickly: cash in your pocket immediately and removing emotional attachments rapidly. But how do you ensure confidentiality, no scam artists, and no security risks? Your best option may be a reputable diamond and jewelry buyers with an established place of business, such as The San Francisco Diamond Exchange. When you deal with us, you may rest assured that you are dealing with a fully licensed diamond and jewelry professional. This provides you with the ultimate security. When choosing a diamond purchaser, you may want to find out if you can walk in with your jewelry, or if your have to send it by mail. Obviously, it is more secure if you do not have to use a delivery service.

Selling Your Jewelry and Getting

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Selling Your Jewelry: Triumph or Tragedy?

Which is more fun, getting a root canal, paying your taxes, or selling your jewelry? Not much of a choice, but following is some knowledge that can take the frustration out of selling your jewelry. And answer the hard questions like: Will I receive a fair price for my jewelry? Or did I pay too much?

The two critical areas of knowledge to get the best price for your jewelry are the factors that determine the value of estate jewelry and the options to liquidating it. Does this mean you have to become a gemologist just to sell your jewelry? No. But some homework and note taking can mean a much higher price paid for your jewelry. Let’s start with what determines the value of estate jewelry.

Estate is a general term used to describe previously owned. That fact is one of the determining factors. Preowned jewelry by in large is not as valuable as new. Some people will never buy a previous owned engagement set for superstitious reasons. I have had clients who could have saved hundreds of dollars if they would have bought a preowned ring, but refused.

Jewelry is a style driven industry. Some styles are classic and stay around for decades, others last just a few months. Estate jewelry that is out of style can’t command premium price. In fact some styles are so out of favor that the jewelry’s only value is its intrinsic worth. The other extreme is that the jewelry could be antique. Antique jewelry is highly collectible and may require a specialty option to sell. Knowing if your jewelry is just old and out of style or an antique can mean the difference of hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Condition is a major determining factor of the price received for your jewelry. Damaged and broken jewelry many times justify the restoration costs but most of the time damaged jewelry is only valued at its intrinsic worth. Jewelry repair in many instances is counter-intuitive. I have seen jewelry that has been mangled in such a way that the cost of restoration is minor and easily justified. On the other hand what appeared to be an insignificant problem rendered the jewelry unrestorable. Jewelry repair is one area you don’t want to be a “do it yourselfer”. Let the professionals do it, or it could end up costing you a ton of money.

Worn out jewelry impacts the value. It is a difficult repair to bring life back into a piece of jewelry. Most worn out jewelry is valued at its intrinsic worth.

Jewelry looks it’s best when cleaned. Properly clean your jewelry before showing it around. If you do not know the 100% correct way to clean your piece of jewelry let a professional jeweler clean it for you. Some jewelry stores may even clean it for free. Warning: the wrong cleaning can damage and even destroy jewelry. If your are unsure of how to clean the jewelry or gem, let the professionals do it.

Here are some cleaning tips. Never clean gold and gems in chlorine. Ammonia based cleaning products are used throughout the jewelry industry, but they can damage some gems. Try and avoid them if you can and know for certain if they well not hurt the gems in your jewelry. Use a mild soap with warm water and a soft toothbrush, then rinse thoroughly for most jewelry. A hard toothbrush and toothpaste or toothpowder will scratch gold and hurt some gems. The best cleaning tip is to know for certain the best cleaners to use on your jewelry and do it carefully.

The jewelry industry has been recycling for millennia. In fact some of the gold in your jewelry could have been in use since the time of Jesus. Damaged beyond repair jewelry is bought at its intrinsic worth. The intrinsic value is the metal (gold, platinum, silver) price plus any gems. The refining process used to recover the metal utilizes strong chemicals and has strict environmental regulations which impact the price given for metal brought to be recycled.

If you would like to know how to calculate the metal price and do the math read on, if not skip to next paragraph. The formula used to calculate the price is the metal price(the daily spot price) multiplied by purity(the true noble metal content) times weight(can be in ounces, pennyweights or grams). The purity is the karat of gold or percentage of noble metal (gold, platinum, silver). 24 karat is pure. 10 karat is 10/24 or.410 gold and the balance of weight is the alloys. 14 karat is 14/24 or.583 gold and 18 karat is 18/24 or.750 gold. Platinum most of the time is 90% pure and 10% alloy. Silver jewelry is usually sterling, which is.925 pure. The three units of weight used with precious metals are troy ounces, pennyweights, and grams. The troy ounce is equal to 20 pennyweights (dwt) or 31.15 grams. So here is an example; say the spot price of gold is $300 and a 14K ring weighing 10 grams would work out like this. $300 (spot price) X.583 (the fineness of gold) equals $174.90 per ounce divided by 31.15 (troy ounce to gram) equals $5.63 per gram times our ring of 10 grams equals $56.30. Just remember to subtract some refining cost and profit for the dealer and you can find out the intrinsic metal value for your jewelry.

Gems are an important part of jewelry. The estate jewelry value could be 99% determined by the gem. On the other hand the gem could add zero to the value. The two critical factors are the gem itself and the condition. Some gems have a higher value then others. A natural ruby is worth many times more then a synthetic ruby. Diamonds are generally more valuable then amethysts. Knowing your gem’s grade and rarity will help with understanding its value. The condition of the gem is critical to the value. Some chips and abrasions can justify the repolishing cost. But in most cases chips and scratches will render the gem unappealing and valueless. Tip: careful handling of jewelry retains a higher value then carelessness.

The overview of the determining factors of estate jewelry is style, condition, and intrinsic worth. Remember you don’t get paid for the jewelry in relation to what you paid but the condition and demand when you sell. Clean jewelry shows the item at its best and helps in evaluating the design and gems.
How to find the best way to get the most return for the jewelry?

Selling estate jewelry is the art of compromise. There is a balance between dollar paid and quickness of payment and ease of transaction. If you want the high price, fast and easy, you are dreaming. The higher the price gained from the sale of estate jewelry, the longer the time and more difficult the transaction..

Finding another consumer to buy your jewelry is the most profitable but the most difficult, time consuming and problematic. Walking into a dealer’s shop is the easiest and fastest way to sell but you are selling at wholesale or less. Finding the balance is a personal judgement call.

Each method of selling estate jewelry has it strengths and liabilities. Besides the price received for the jewelry, the time investment you have to make to sell the jewelry enters the equation. What are your time and energy worth? I have known people who have driven around town for two days just to make $20 more. Don’t over look the ease of transaction. Not all people decide to buy and pay cash on the spot. Some individuals take two or three visits just to make up their mind to buy. There could also be a measure of trust in shipping the jewelry across the country or even a payment plan could be the only way a person could afford your jewelry. The balance of dollar paid versus method of payment can be very tricky.

This list of ways to sell estate jewelry is not exhaustive. Personal creativity can show you the best way to sell your jewelry or one the more traditional methods may work out just fine. Examine your options and evaluate the benefits and drawbacks to find the very best way to sell your estate jewelry.

Auctions are the prestigious way to sell estate jewelry. There is an air of sophistication in liquidating jewelry through a major auction house. The nationally known auction houses like Christie’s, Sotheby’s and the like have pricey set up costs and standards. High end jewelry is best suited for these auctions. There are many regional and local auction houses that can sell estate jewelry in the mid range. Auctions can be very risky, because the end price is unknown, but the risk can bring a very positive selling price. The keys to selling your estate jewelry at auctions are finding the right house for your particular jewelry, knowing the best time to sell, and luck.

On-line auctions offer a lot of advantages and some risks. On-line auctions like e-bay are auctions conducted over the internet reaching a world wide audience. The cost of selling an item is modest if the object sells. Sales are not guaranteed. Which on line auction to use is a critical choice. The large auctions have many offerings and sales but it is easy to get lost in all that activity. Selecting the best category is another challenge. If you choose a smaller on line auction company, many potential buyers will not find your offering. The decision is best made with research on how your particular type of jewelry was sold. E-mail and ask other sellers if they got the price they wanted and how the selling experience was for them.

The trickiest part of on-line auctions is the actual transaction. Who will trust whom first. Normally the buyer sends funds, then the seller sends the item. The seller must also give a period of time for the buyer to return the item for a full refund. The transaction can be problematic or smooth. May all your experiences be trouble free, but the transaction problems I have tracked seem to run between 20% and 35% of the attempts have problems.

Jewelry brokers offer a professional service for a fee. Think of a jewelry broker as a hired professional working for you against a very sophisticated market like the jewelry industry. Make sure their allegiance is to you alone. Most jewelry brokers are highly trained in gems and jewelry. Jewelry brokers charge a percentage ranging from 10% to 50% depending on the type of service provided. Brokers can assist with a piece going to a top auction house or find a local dealer willing to pay top dollar fast. Some jewelry brokers also act as a dealer and buy out right for an immediate transaction. Jewelry brokers are usually found in major cities and include a jewelry and diamond finding service.

Pawn shops and secondhand dealers are another type of walk-in and sell option. Most work on a cash evaluation of the jewelry. The cash value on most estate jewelry is a percentage of the intrinsic value. The key to understanding this buying environment is the percentage. Some dealers pay close to 90% of the intrinsic value, while others pay as low as 33%. The only way to find the best price is to physically take the jewelry around to a number of shops. Then sell to the shop that offers the best value.

Consignment offers the incentive of a higher price when sold but the draw back of time. No one knows how long it will take or even if it will sell. The stores that offer consignment range from second hand bargain stores to elite jewelry stores. The type of estate jewelry you have dictates which store will attempt to sell your jewelry. If you have a high end piece in excellent condition the elite location could yield a fine return.

Consignment generally consists of a contract for the amount the jewelry will sell for and the percentage the store will keep. Some contracts have a time limit and who is liable if it is lost or damaged. You must know the details of the contract to understand what will and will not happen. Some stores will pay immediately, others pay after a set time or when you call. Find out what the process is if the store closes or moves. Many people have lost track of their jewelry altogether. Understand what the store’s liabilities are and yours. Also, find out how the store is going to sell your jewelry. If they will advertise it or just let it sit in a showcase. Make frequent contacts to keep your jewelry in the mind of the salespeople.

Newspapers offer individuals the best chance to sell to a retail customer. The classified shopping consumer, in all likelihood, comparison shops more then anyone else. They know the prices of your jewelry new and will pay a discount for a used article of jewelry. Also realize that the prices asked for in the paper are rarely achieved and do not reveal the true market value. Some times the jewelry is sold for very much less then advertised or never sold at all. But with some safeguards and timing the classified ad is generally one of the highest prices realized for average estate jewelry.

The retail customer is the highest price you could receive for your estate jewelry. The newspaper is one of many ways to reach the buying public with your message to sell. Public bulletin boards offer a inexpensive way to reach people. Look in your community or work place for bulletin boards. On line bulletin boards could also work out if you find the right one. Net working with friends and family might give a lead to someone willing to buy. Creativity is a powerful tool in reaching the public. Use your imagination and think who would be willing to buy my particular estate jewelry and reach out to them.

Safeguards are critical when selling jewelry to the public. First NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, and NEVER meet an unknown buyer in your house. Personal safety and protection against robbery should be your first priority. If you don’t have a way to meet the potential buyer at a public place, then do not sell your jewelry to the general public. Meet the buyer in a public place like a restaurant or shopping mall. I suggest the buyer’s bank, because if they wish to buy the jewelry they can go and get the cash now and finish the transaction. In addition the bank should have some security if something goes bad.

Fraud should be next on your mind. Cash is the best transaction, checks of all kinds can be faked. Also be aware of switching of jewelry, con men are on the look out for unsuspecting people.

Some other safeguards are notifying someone of the time and place of your meeting. You can even tell them you will call after the meeting just to check in with someone. It is helpful to have a mobile phone. If you have a pager it is a good idea to give that number in the ad. You get a call back number and they can’t find your home address. It is also a good idea to go with someone else. I have met people with another person standing in the background just watching. Sometimes con men work in teams and someone looking at the whole situation can see that it is a bad situation in time to help you not get taken.

I’d like to make one final point: most of the world is filled with wonderful people and everything should go just fine. Trust your instincts. Keep diligent and alert. Don’t take risks just to make a little more on the sale of your estate jewelry.