In the latest interview with brilliant.'s guiding force and fourth generation jeweler, Jamie Jaffe, Jamie shares thoughts on our Roswell studio, custom jewelry design and re-design, and tips on jewelry care.
What makes brilliant. different from other jewelry stores?
brilliant. is fun and friendly. It is approachable and low stress. brilliant. is the kind of place that you stop by, just to say hi. It's also a studio that has the most exceptional fine jewelry - creative pieces using the best materials - and price ranges to suit every occasion. brilliant. showcases exquisite diamonds, and works with all gemstones. Each piece is packed with value; brilliant. delivers the highest quality jewelry at prices that are just right. brilliant. is the best of new technology with good old fashioned customer service. brilliant. makes people happy.
What inspires you in your work?
People inspire me. I am so fortunate that I get to work with such interesting clients every day and each of them have meaningful life stories. Many of these stories can be told through their jewelry collections. I'm honored to be entrusted to help create, renovate and repair these pieces of family history.
Tell us about your favorite pieces that you're creating today.
I love what I get to do every day and I am grateful that I get to work on such cool projects. Some of my favorite pieces for men are bands with a twist. I've been using traditional shaped bands in varying widths and metals, and adding special finishes, inlays and design elements to personalize each ring. I've been mixing in color too. Yellow and rose gold are great alone or as a combination to make a ring stand out in a subtle way.
What's your number one jewelry care tip?
Be gentle. I hear all of these crazy homemade recipes that people use to clean their jewelry. My recommendation is to stay away from harsh chemicals. For most pieces, a light scrubbing with a mild soap and water and drying the piece with a soft cloth will do the trick.
What's your best piece of advice for a first-time diamond buyer?
Buy beauty. In my opinion, every other aspect of a diamond purchase is lower on the list of importance. There are so many factors to consider, but to me the most important is that you're buying for beauty. Set a budget. Stay within that budget and then select the one that is the prettiest from a trusted source. Your eye doesn't lie.
Why is my white gold turning yellow?
What is commonly known as white gold is actually yellow gold that has been mixed with other metals to give jewelry a bright white, silvery color. Often times, white gold has been rhodium plated to make the white gold remain brighter longer. Over time from normal use, the rhodium plating on your jewelry can wear off and may make your piece look warmer (a little yellower) than you remember. But don't worry! It is probably a good time to have your jewelry checked for security and at the same time, you can have it polished, cleaned and rhodium plated. You'll love the results!
I've just inherited several pieces of jewelry that aren't really my style. What are my options?
You have so many options! In my family, the jewelry business has been passed down from generation to generation. It is because of that tradition that I have a special attachment to jewelry with sentimental value. Often times people want to preserve the sentimentality of their jewelry by removing the elements that most represent the memories (usually the diamonds and gemstones) and design a piece of jewelry using those stones. With a consultation about your style, likes and dislikes, we can come up with an idea you love. From there, we'll make a CAD drawing and create a 3D model so that you can see a wax version of how your new jewelry could look. Then we can choose which materials to use in order to keep the project within your budget! Why keep those pieces untouched in a safety deposit box - start creating new memories with a renovated piece of jewelry. When you are talking about your jewelry, your story will always begin with, "this was given to me by someone special..."
What jewelry are you wearing today?
I am wearing a new custom titanium ring with my original wedding band. The new one is a black anodized ring that I stacked with my rose gold and platinum band. Men can stack, too! Stacking your bands updates the older ring by adding new elements to it, keeping the sentimental value of the original while telling a new story with the latest piece.