Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hollywood and Blood Diamonds

Warner Bros. is gearing up to release The Blood Diamond, a movie staring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly. “The story that is going to be told is a true story, and we applaud that it is going to be told”, said World Diamond Council chairman Eli Izhakoff. The movie is said to focus on the illicit diamond trade that funded the civil war in Sierra Leone.

During the late 1990’s, it was estimated that a small fraction, perhaps as much as 4% of the worlds rough diamond production, was stolen by rebels to fund violence against legitimate African governments.

The DiCaprio film is of concern because while it’s reportedly an accurate portrayal of the situation of the former 1999 civil war in Sierra Leone, it does not explain how the jewelry industry has addressed and continues to address the issue.

The movie leaves the impression that the trade in conflict diamonds continues unabated and won’t focus on the Kimberley Process (a joint effort of the international diamond industry, dozens of countries, and several non-government organizations to help manage and regulate the diamond trade), and everything that the jewelry industry has done since 1998, when the issue was brought to light. The Sierra Leone conflict has been over since 2002. Consumers don’t have to worry about getting “blood” stones.

Fantasy may be fine for Hollywood, but the real story must be told.

The movie won’t focus on the importance of diamonds to the economy of many African countries. In Botswana, for example published governments reports say that diamonds account for about three-quarters of that country’s total export earnings, which led to better health care facilities, more schools, and improved roadways. Diamonds are important to the economy of many countries around the globe.

We know every diamond we sell helps diamond mining-countries build stable societies. Diamonds provide hope and livelihood for millions of people worldwide and are especially crucial to the survival of many countries in Africa.

Curt Parker Jewelers is committed to making sure that no ‘conflict’ or ‘blood’ diamond is acceptable for our store. All of our diamonds and have been purchased from legitimate sources. We only buy from suppliers who comply with the Kimberley process.

Curt Parker Jewelers assures you that the diamond you wish to buy and wear for the rest of your life didn’t fund war, child labor, terrorism, or any other evil.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Mix and Match for Fashion Savvy

Time was, jewelry came in perfectly matched ensembles, and there were many rules about what time of day — or year — it was right to wear different pieces. Times have changed. Today, things that used to be the stuff of grandmothers, like large, colorful brooches, have become fashion forward — with a new twist. Brooches of all sizes can be worn on belts, belt loops or on straps. Mix and matching is also quite in style. Do you have a strand of pearls? Wear them with other beads, or with a gold necklace for a different look. Wrap your pearl necklace around your wrist. Double your longer beads and try wearing them as a choker. A new combination can bring out a totally different look – and allow you to stretch your jewelry wardrobe at the same time.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

How to Save Your Rings and Your Fingers

Preventative steps to having your rings cut off in the emergency room.

Don't let your rings "grow" onto your fingers. Some people never remove their rings for years and years, and during that time they may gain 50 lbs. or more. The finger literally grows around the ring so that it cannot be removed without machinery.

To prevent this, remove rings before going to bed and put them back on first thing in the morning. If it becomes increasingly difficult to get the ring on the finger, take it to a jeweler and have it sized appropriately. Removing rings at night will have a benefit increasing circulation in your hands and fingers. We suggest you clean your jewelry at this time.

Accidents happen at any time. But don't tempt fate by wearing your rings during activities during which your hands may be injured. Don't wear rings while using heavy machinery or tools, or while playing sports.

Cutting a ring off a finger during a trip to the emergency room may destroy the ring. Sometimes it cannot be repaired. An emergency room crew must accomplish this task as quickly as possible, and uses tools that are effective but brutal to jewelry. If your ring will not come off your finger, even with plain dishwashing liquid, (don’t add water) take yourself to a reputable jeweler, where the ring can be cut off carefully and correctly. This way, the ring can be saved.
If you have enlarged knuckles, we have a solution. Finger Mate hinged shanks can make your rings easy to put on over enlarged knuckles.

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Friday, January 13, 2006

Having too much fun can ruin your jewelry

Hi, My name is Anne and I’m guilty.

I have to admit it. It happened back in 2001 when I saw Prince in concert. I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t stop clapping my hands and screaming. The next morning I awoke to damaged rings. I had worn two platinum rings to the concert; one on each ring finger. Every time I clapped my hands, I dented my rings by banging the metals together. The next day it was obvious I had a great time by glancing at the dimpled “golf ball effect” all over my rings. This can happen with any metal and it’s not pretty.

We see a lot of damaged jewelry at Curt Parker Jewelers from women simply having too much fun in their jewelry. Lady’s, please take your jewelry off before you go to bed no matter how tired you are. Bracelets and necklaces can last twice as long with a little extra care. And please, save your pearls by putting them on after your hairspray and perfume. Did you know that chlorine in pools and hot tubs can eat away the alloys in 14k and 18k jewelry and make the metal pitted and brittle?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favor of having as much fun as possible. Learn from my mistakes and use a little caution and you will look your Brilliant best for years instead of one really great night.

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