Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Real Door Buster

Just a reminder - we have some door buster specials and great values on our other merchandise. The displays have been re-arranged so please ask to see the specials. As always, we are here the Friday after Thanksgiving and Saturday as well so that you can get started on shopping for that busy season.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Advanced Search - It's on our Website

Our website is a work in progress. We still have items that need to be added and pictures that are missing or need to be "tweaked". But there is one thing that I really like about our site, http://www.freshmans.com/ . We have an Advanced Search function that is very powerful. Some people like to browse through multiple pages shopping as they go, some people would like quick information. The advance search becomes a tool for both.

The first screen you see after you enter the Online Store and push the Credit Card button is the New Arrivals page. At the top of the blue column on the left is the search function.

If you click on "advanced" a small box opens up and allows you to pick Item Description and Contains from the drop down menu. If you know you need a crucible but are not sure what kind, put crucible in the product search, click search and you have a list of all of our crucibles.

If you need to check the price on 22 gauge silver sheet, and youknow that the stock number is
SH 1022 from a previous invoice, again "advanced", Item Number, Begins and enter SH 1022 in the search box. The page with the current ounce price for 22 ga sheet is there. Quick and easy.

We know that we have to keep working, but the search function is something we are pleased with on our site. If you have comments on the site or trouble locating an item, please let us know so that we can work on it for you.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Treasure - Pieces of 8

Pirates are very in right now, everything cycles. When I was a little girl, the family would watch "The Wonderful World of Disney" on the black and white TV. One show that sticks in my mind was "Treasure Island" with pirates and treasure.....pieces of 8 and gold dubloons. While researching the coin we used when we made this new piece, I found out that pieces of 8 are really 8 Reales; a silver coin usually made in Mexico and then shipped to the East Indies to purchase silk, spices and precious gems.

One ship, the ship this coin came from, The Vliegenthart (Dutch for Flying Heart) left for the East Indies on Feb. 3, 1735. This was a fairly new ship, specially rigged for the dangerous voyage around the Cape of Good Hope. Unfortunately, the ship never left the port of Rammekens in Zeeland (the Netherlands.) Caught by a storm it was slammed into a sand bar, damaging the hull. When the ship slipped off the sand bar, it sunk rapidly in about 60 feet of water; all hands were lost.

The Dutch East India company immediately began a salvage operation but only a few items were found. The treasure would have remained lost, but a secret map was discovered by researchers in 1977 which pinpointed the location. The gold coins recovered were noted carefully in the ship's manifest, but not the silver coins. They are thought to have been stowed on board to exchange in the East Indies where their value was higher. One of the first evidences of smuggling.

Who knew jewelry could be so interesting!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

All that Glitters is not...diamond!

I was reading yet another trade journal today, trying to keep abreast of changes in our industry, when I came across an alarming notation. There is yet another product out there which, I think, has been created to confuse the consumer. This particular product is marketed under the name “Zirconite”. It consists of a cubic zirconium stone that has a coating of a thin slice of a diamond. This method can fool the diamond testers that we use but can be identified under a microscope by an experienced jeweler.

So, how do you, as a customer, know what you are buying? Know your jeweler!!

· Have they been in the same location for a significant period of time
· Did any of your friends recommend them
· Do they have a good record with the Better Business Bureau
· Are they knowledgeable and able to pass that knowledge on to you
· Do they have an experienced staff?

The internet is a remarkable tool. But, you can’t look the person in the eye that is selling you a diamond or colored stone. Take your chances or take advantage of a knowledgeable jeweler.

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Arrivals

Calling all organized people.....and people like me who think we try. Our New Arrivals section features a new tool box. Perfect for those of you who have a jewelry class, or a jewelry group where you like to work on projects together. It is long enough to hold a ring mandrel, lift out tray in the top so smaller things don't get lost in the bottom. But one of the best features are two containers held in the top that are segmented to hold jump rings, small bits of solder. These can be removed so they can be placed on your table top or bench top for easy access. A bargain at $12.50.

Now for lapidary people, also in New Arrivals, improved style of dop wax heater. It is a thermostatically controlled, ceramic heater with a spot for dops and tools. Keeps your dop wax melted and held at the perfect temperature. This one is $39.95.

For friends out there...we also have something else that fits in the New Arrivals section. Maybe the fifth generation of Freshman Jewelers, because his sisters want to be princesses. Not that I am a proud grandma or anything.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What a World!

If you are reading this, the words Wi-Fi will probably mean something to you. Even if you aren't "techie" the word free is universal. Freshmans can now offer our customers free use of Wi-Fi when you are in our store. You can check email, show us examples of jewelry you are thinking about, or show us a page of the Freshmans website with a tool you have questions on. iPhone, Blackberry, smartphone, laptop.....just ask us for the password.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Latest News

First off, let me apologize for being so quiet lately. We are once again making an effort to keep this blog an informative, up-to-date resource for you. Here are some of the latest things we have going on:

First off, we will be closed this weekend to observe Labor Day. The store will be closed Saturday Sept 4th through Monday Sept 7th. We will be back open Tuesday morning at 9.

Secondly, some of you may have noticed that our online store has been down all week. This was due to a change in our IP address (for those that were curious). Since we're jewelers, not IT nerds, this took longer than we expected. Trust me we are glad this is behind us!!

Finally, we still have custom work coming out of our shop. These 2 rings were made using diamonds the customer inherited from a relative. As you can see, you can get all the sparkle and shine by re-using your diamonds. If this is something you are interested in, give us a call or swing by with your old jewelry and we'll show you what you can do.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Store Temporarily Down

Just a quick note here. Our store is temporarily down for maintenance. We plan on being back up by tonight though. If you have any questions or need to place an order, feel free to call us at (801) 521-6327

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Engraving But Yours

What if you could write the ultimate message to your loved one? It would be personal and meaningful to the two of you. But, what if you could write that message in your handwriting? Each time your special someone looked at it they would be reminded that it could only come from you. Imagine how it would pull at the heartstrings of a Mom if she could have a Mother's ring signed by each of her children...in their adorable young scribbling.

This is now possible, thanks to laser technology. You can come into our store, write out your message and select your band. Your band will then be laser engraved in your handwriting. The engraving can be enhanced with epoxy in black, blue, red, pink, green and brown. You can keep your message hidden on the inside of the band only or engrave the outside for the world to see. In 3 or 4 days your ring will be personalized and ready.

The best part is that this service is available for $21.00 for each engraving - inside or outside. If you wish it to be filled with epoxy, it is an additional $15.00 for each engraving. Let us introduce this special option to you.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Children's Parade

This Saturday, Freshmans Inc. will have a front row seat for the annual Pioneer Day Children's Parade. While this is certainly fun for the families, it can be a pain for our customers. The parade starts at 10am and should be all cleaned up by about Noon.

If you need to come in and want to avoid the parade route, you can always get to our store from 4th south. If you click on the map, it should enlarge.

Friday, July 10, 2009

New Artist

At Freshmans, we have our own artists that create amazing pieces everyday......but to expand our offerings to our customers, we also like to display the work of other artists. We are excited about our newest artist, Sue Savage. She uses sterling silver, gold, copper and polymer in a wonderful combination that evokes the colors of nature along with the kinetic movement of her embellishments. They are light and easy to wear in both pendants and earrings, affordable and most of all....they are fun. Come in and let me show them to you. ~ Claudia

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sale?!? Freshmans Has Sales?

This doesn’t happen very often, in fact this is only the second time that I know of and I have been here for 39 years; but Freshmans is having a sale.

I know, you have heard of sales before….50% off 75% off, but off of what. We have taken some exceptional pieces, including custom designs and marked them way down., in some cases down to just the metal value only. If you have had your eye on one of our pieces, or if you have never been in, you really should stop by and take a look before it gets picked over.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Clsoed for the Holiday

Just a heads up for all of you who are following our blog. Freshmans Inc. will be closed Friday, July 3rd as well as Saturday July 4th to observe Independence Day.

Any orders placed via Freshmans.com after thursday, July 2nd will not be processed until Monday July 6th.

Thanks, and have a safe holiday.

Image via Flickr

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A True Win-Win Situation

For the past 3 years, Freshmans Inc. has donated the use of our parking lot to a local soccer team, TC United, during the Utah Arts Festival. The money they raise helps them pay the entrance fees for tournaments they compete in.

Well its our pleasure to have them back again this year. We really want to make sure these kids get the lot filled, and raise the most funds they can, so we came up with an idea.

Come park in our lot after we have closed (after 5:30 Thurs & Fri, after 3 on Saturday, all day Sunday) and you will receive a coupon worth $20 off of anything in our store!! This isn't some "free chicken", bait and switch deal. There is no minimum purchase, just $20 free to use in our store. OK, so there are 2 catches:

1. Only one coupon will be accepted per household.
2. These coupons must be used in store. Our website can't handle coupons at the moment.

Some come on down, enjoy the Utah Arts Festival, help a local soccer team, and come pick out $20 worth of stuff, on us.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Great Idea

When Zachary does hand engraving, he uses a microscope with a ring of LED lights so he has the best view possible. Now, I don't have to feel left out because some very smart person combined a triplet loupe with the same ring of LED lights for me to use....and mine is portable. The light switches on and off to save batteries and there is no glare directed into your eye, it is all focused on the object in the field of vision. Batteries are replaceable and are contained in the loupe itself making this just about the size of a loupe without this added feature.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Get to Know Us

This is the second installment to let you get to know us better. We are introducing you to Charles Freshman, 3rd generation to carry on the Freshman name in the jewelry business. He graduated with a degree in Art Education, Magna cum laude, from Westminster College with the intention of teaching college. Working in the jewelry store was to be just a stopover....one that lasted 37 years. His expertise is jewelry design, diamonds, colored stones and jewelry appraising; with his diamond and colored stone education coming from the Gemological Institute of America. When you come to Freshmans to start your custom design, you will probably sit down with him for an initial sketch.

Outside of work, he enjoys blacksmithing, woodworking and his wonderful grandkids. Someone who looks very much like him has been seen shooting cannons with the Utah Symphony at summer functions across the valley. 1812 Overture sounds much better with live cannons.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Visitors from Wyoming

The advanced placement students in metal arts from Evanston High School stopped by to visit us, here at Freshmans. Discussions concerning society's influence on jewelry design, enameling, and continuing their education kept some groups occupied while one group toured the shop. They were especially interested in our "toys". Thanks to teacher Bruce Lange for stopping by.

For a few more pictures of the field trip, check us out on facebook.

Friday, May 8, 2009

There's Still Time for Mother's Day

What's that? You still don't know what to get your Mom for Mother's Day!?! Don't worry, there's still time. Freshman's Inc. has you covered with gifts starting at about $15.

We have a full line of fun, fresh, sterling silver jewelry that won't break your budget. You might even pick some up for yourself...cause you deserve to celebrate Mother's Day too ;) You can also feel confident that you're giving Mom quality as well. This is real, sterling silver that has been rhodium plated so it won't tarnish, not that costume stuff you see at the mall for these great prices.

So hurry in, we're open until 5:30 tonight and open from 9-3 tomorrow. Click Here for a map.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What to expect from a custom job.

Sorry this post is a little late. We like to update the blog at least every Thursday, but things got a little crazy here.

This post will give you an example of what you can expect when you get a custom ring made at Freshmans:

This guy had made a rough sketch of what he was thinking of. Its always helpful when the client has a vision of what they are after (but even if you don't, we can help you create something beautiful). Here is the sketch that was faxed to us.

Normally at this point, Charles works with the client and "fleshes out" the idea a bit more. You would discuss stone sizes, types of settings, etc. Charles would point out any problems that could arise and find a way to work around them. All of these ideas come together into a "counter sketch" that gets sent into the shop. Since this client was contacting us from out of state, Charles's sketch was a little more precise. See below:

Now here's where the fun begins!! Once the job reaches our shop, I meet with Charles and discuss what we are trying to accomplish. Using CAD software, I build your virtual ring. After your ring is built, I can create a realistic rendering of your project. You can come in to see it and discuss with us, or it can be emailed to you.

Once we have a go ahead, we can cut your ring out of wax on our computerized milling machine (more about that on another post) and we are on our way. While it may seem like a lot of work, all of these steps help us ensure that you get the same satisfaction that our customers have appreciated for over 100 years. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your own custom made creation, please feel free to contact us.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Get to Know Us

This is the first of a series of blog posts designed to help you get to know us. To start it off we will be profiling Zach Freshman:

Zach is the son of owners Charles and Claudia Freshman. He has been working for Freshmans since he was about 12 years old. In the last 20 years he has done various jobs around the store. These have included, working in the mail room, answering phones, waiting on the counter, shop repairs, and custom design. More recently Zach has been running our computerized milling machine and has specialized in CAD design. In the last several years Zach has also been focusing on stone setting and learning hand-engraving.
Outside of jewelry, Zach's interests vary between classic VW's to gadgets of almost any kind. Zach spends a fair amount of time (both at work and play) on computers and setup our website as well as the preliminary setup for our online store. He is the one behind the blog you are reading right now as well as setting up our facebook page and twitter posts.

Zach is available to answer CAD/CAM questions at zachary@freshmans.com or via twitter.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Do you know your finger size?

Most of us know our shoe size, our shirt size, our waist size (I choose to ignore that one), maybe even our hat size. How many of you know your ring size?

One of the trickier parts of our job here at Freshmans is figuring out ring sizes when a surprise is involved. To get around this we have a new plan:

Come in to our store and get your fingers sized, free of charge. When you leave you will know all of your ring sizes, plus we will keep a copy on file so your friends and family can surprise you.

P.S. We came up with this idea after helping Misty (aka @Saintless from Twitter) figure out her ring sizes.

Photo via Flickr

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Champagne "Friendraiser"

Charlie and I traveled to Kemmerer, Wyoming this past weekend to participate in a “Friendraiser” to benefit the South Lincoln Training and Event center. We furnished the gemstones for and helped sell glasses of champagne with gemstones in each glass. A few of the glasses held big winners but all of the glasses held stones of value for the participants. Over $9,000 was raised while toasting this new community center. Governor and Mrs. David Freudenthal, pictured here with us, were participants and the unusual fundraiser was a fun evening for members of this great area.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Facebook, Twitter, blogs...OH MY!!

Just a note that you have multiple choices when it comes to staying up to date on jewlery information. You an subscibe to this blog using an RSS reader and the links to the left of this post.

You can also follow us on facebook or twitter if you'd like. We hope these sites will all accomplish one goal: To make us more able to answer any questions you might have.

All of these links will be available on our website.

If you're more comfortable, you can always call us too.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Steve & Heidi's Ring

One of the purposes of this blog is to showcase some of the custom jobs that come out of our shop. This ring was made for my Brother-in-law. It is a custom made platinum ring with 1.5mm diamonds bead set with a bright cut edge. The flat surfaces were hand engraved and the edges were millgrained.

You can't get that type of detail on a mass produced piece.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Clarification on Firescale

You'll still want to coat your pieces in boric acid, but firescale can still appear.
Since silver (especially larger pieces) can take so long to heat up to soldering temps, the boric burns away.

Firescale is an oxide that forms between the copper in the Sterling alloy and oxygen. It is a bugger to remove and is actually harder than sterling silver. As you polish, the scale remains and the silver around it is removed, making the firescale more pronounced. In really bad cases it can even be tough to remove with emery sticks.

Use Mad Man Zach's Firescale Remover compound in place of tripoli/bobbing compound before your final polish. You can use your regular tripoli buffs however.

Many times cast silver jewelry will have firescale that is noticeable on close inspection (it usually becomes visible during the final polish). This compound works great in this instance as well. It is definitely a must have in our shop.

you can find it in our ONLINE STORE. The easiest way to see it is to use the search on the top left of the page for item #PS 415

Mad man Zach and his Firescale Remover

When the time came for us to decide where our son Zachary should go to jewelry school, we had much input. Some of the input came from a friend who worked at Tiffany's and his strong recommendation was FIT in New York. So off Zachary went. He came back with many bits of knowledge to add to our 3 generation bag of tricks. One of the best is firescale remover. Firescale is deposited when metal is heated while being exposed to oxygen. It is very common on silver and can even be present less frequently on gold pieces.

The firescale can be prevented by treating the surface before soldering with a boric acid based coating. The piece is treated by dipping in a concentrated solution of powedered boric acid in denatured alcohol. After dipping, the alcohol is burned off by exposing the piece to a flame. This is done after your solution bottle is removed from the area. Then soldering is done in the normal manner and the fine coating of boric acid prevents the formation of firescale on the treated area.

I can see teachers cringing at the thought of bottles of alcohol solution around open flames. So, there is another solution. Firescale remover, a polishing compound, can be used in the finishing stages. There is a very effective compound, bright yellow in color, that can take care of this issue without having to resort to the alcohol solution.

Zach found out about the compound from a silversmith back east that worked on liturgical pieces. He was amazed at the results. Then came the hunt for the compound to bring back to Utah. After a few months of searching, we finally hit on the correct formulation. We have it here at the store, very reasonably priced and we think teachers especially will love it. And the name that you ask for it by......why of course Madman Zach's Firescale Remover.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dr. Daniel Amen of brain fame says that each time we learn a new skill, out of our realm of expertise, we create new brain cells. Well, I am going to amass quite a few because blogging is brand new to me. I know jewelry, I don't know blogging.

We want this to be a conversation, similar to one you would have in our store. Post comments, let us know how we are doing. If you don't feel comfortable with the blog situation, email me at claudia@freshmans.com.

Since this site is also for those that make jewelry, check back to learn about a polishing compound you shouldn't be without, especially if you work in silver.