Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!!

Today is the last day to save 20% off the Ruff&Cut Skulls Collection! Don't miss out! Enter promo code SKULLS20 at check-out.

Happy Halloweeeeen!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Past and Future Events this Season

Ruff&Cut and Glittering Conscience were pleased to attend the Eco Luxe-hosted Luxury Review this year at the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC. The event boasted the best of the best luxury industries, including jewelry, clothing, automotive, and electronics. This year, the event focused on environmentally responsible innovations provided by each vendor, so of course our booth drew a lot of attention. Real Housewife of New York Alex McCord and her husband Simon van Kempen stopped by and Alex tried on our Classic Solitaire Pendant! See images below, as well as other highlights from the show, all taken with an iPhone 3S.

Stephanie and Bertte, our lovely spokeswomen for the event and GC employees

Bertte at the booth

Simon van Kemp helps his RHWONY Alex McCord try on the Classic Solitaire Pendant

Simon admires the gorgeous necklace on his lovely wife

Stephanie and Bertte strike a pose
Stephanie and Bertte with GC PR specialist Richard Matthews
The event was a lot of fun and a huge success! We hope to attend more events like this in the future! It's very promising and inspiring to see so many other luxury retailers joining on the eco-conscious movement.

On October 28, we will be hosting a Harmony Silver Sales event in Glittering Conscience. The Harmony Silver Collection is a new collection of recycled sterling silver necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings at consumer-friendly prices. The collection features trendy and classic designs, many adorned with flowers, dolphins, peace signs and recycle-themed symbols and words. The event starts at 6pm; wine and light fare will be served and all Harmony Silver will be on sale for 20% off the original price. Join us and get your holiday shopping done early!

Some of the collections designs:

We'll keep you posted on more events to come, including Ami and Platinum Dirt trunk shows next month!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Skulls come out to play this Hallow's Eve

The Ruff&Cut Skulls Collection has been one of our most popular collections ever since their conception in 2008. For one thing, the collection offers a wide selection of styles to choose from, from bracelets to earrings to necklaces and more, it offers something for everyone! Styles for men and women, plus many under $300. The skulls are adored by Brooke Shields and Axel Rose, and are currently carried exclusively at Glittering Conscience and J.W. Cooper.

Yet, the reason we're talking about the Skulls Collection today is because skulls make us think of spooky things, Gothic things, and Halloween! As R&C Founder Wade Watson once put it:
Skulls are the motif of the outsider, the Gothic loner, the abrasive individualist, and the immutable iconoclast—a symbol worn by people who have either achieved a level of success that allows them to express themselves by wearing clothes and jewelry slightly out of the norm of what is deemed acceptable by society at large, or by people driven to want every part of them to scream, "get me out of here—I’m not like everybody else!"
Does this describe you? Whether it does or not, we're sure you'll find something you to suit your fancy in our collection, something that will bring out that "Gothic loner" or "abrasive individualist." Skulls are unique yet common in their symbol as a fashion symbol; just think, skulls have been used to decorate humans and homes since before the beginning of civilization, when tribes of people just learning to hunt and make fire would wear their enemy's bones as necklaces and display their skulls in their homes (caves) as trophies.

Skulls symbolize a lot, resonating with the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday and the Gaelic holiday Samhain- now our modern day Halloween. In honor of all that they symbolize, all of the Skulls Collection is on sale for 20% off original prices with coupon code SKULLS20. Enter the code at check-out; this offer is also good at Glittering Conscience at 96 West Houston St NYC and the sale lasts through October. So, if you're feeling like treating yourself to something to help you get in touch with your inner outsider (or outer outsider), or to help someone else truly express themself, now is the time!

Do it in style and with a glittering conscience...

As always, all skulls are made in America from 100% recycled 18k gold and sterling silver. All diamonds and gemstones featured on certain designs are ethically sourced. 10% of proceeds go to non-profit partners.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Not All that Glitters is Gold

In a collectibles box I’ve had for over 20 years, I keep my watches, cufflinks, tie tacks, rings,
bracelets, charms, chains, silver business card holder and other expensive looking knick-knacks. I don’t even wear tie tacks! My wife has about four of these kinds of jewelry boxes of various sizes and qualities. In her boxes are unmatched earrings, chains that go back for decades, school rings, pendants that don’t fit on anything and gifts from ex-boyfriends that mean more in the box than anything else.

As I write this blog today, I quickly Google the price of gold- $1,650 per ounce. What does that mean? Hmmmmm, you are thinking, maybe I have an ounce of gold in all of those pieces I don’t wear? Perhaps, but probably not. Let me explain what it means when something is stamped 14k or 18k in karat weight. A 24k piece is pure gold, and 14k and 18k are gold blended with other materials. Sometimes you'll find the number 5.85 stamped (or hallmarked as they say in the United Kingdom) on a gold piece, and this actually means the same things as 14k.  This refers to the percentage of pure gold the piece is made of: 14k equals 58.5% of pure gold, and 18k is 75% pure gold. 

Pure gold

With gold recently weighing in as high as $1,850 per ounce, the “cash for gold” business is literally booming. Some radio advertisements call it “the next gold rush” and many newspapers frequently advertise, “top cash paid”, for your extra gold.

I have always thought of jewelers who advertise “cash for gold” or hang signs in their windows that proclaim, “We buy diamonds!”, as kind of tacky. During the 2009 Super Bowl, I was blown away when M.C. Hammer and Ed McMahon were touting, “Send your gold in and we will send you cash!” Remember, those ads cost $2 million per minute! These places MUST be making big bucks. There was an exposé written in USA Today describing the business practices of this organization, and let’s just say it was not flattering. The bottom line is that the consumer does not know the true liquidation value of their old and all-but-forgotten jewelry.

When the ad says, “we buy gold for cash”, here is what the process typically involves: you bring in a broken gold chain, they weigh the chain and look for a karat marker or hallmark with a magnifying glass. Sometimes they will even test the gold chain piece with a device that looks like a battery meter reader or they may even use a dabble of a chemical mix that will tell the percentage/karat weight. They will then routinely offer 20-30% of the true value of the gold you are selling. Since most customers do not know the real cost of gold, someone offering you $400 for a ring may seem like a great deal. If you came to us, we’d probably offer double that. But, how can we do that and what is it based on

Today’s gold price closed at $1,637.60. Remember that the price per ounce also translates to a price per gram. At today’s closing per ounce, gold is $52.72 per gram. Once you see the gram weight of the gold and know the karatage, you have an approximate value of grams per pure gold. Turning the gold into cash is a little more complicated because it has to be refined to pure gold to realize any value. If you figure the weight of the piece you are recycling times the price per gram (divided by the percentage of karat) and then figure 20% for the price of cash and refining cost, you can now calculate what the fair price should be, less the cost of refining the gold.  We do this routinely and as a result, pay two to three times what the “cash for gold” hustlers will pay.  No one can give you 100% value because of the costs involved in refining the gold, and the chemicals needed to return it to its true form.

Refining process

More importantly, we got into the jewelry business with incredible collections of raw and polished diamonds and colored gemstones all set in certified recycled gold and silver. We create custom pieces starting with a pad of paper and a sketch, and then make that piece of jewelry you’ve always wanted go from your imagination to your neck or finger. Imagine melting down all your mismatched earrings, chains and gold you have not worn in 10 years, and making that diamond and gold peace sign pendant you always wanted.

Now just imagine what we could create for you...

For example, a recently divorced woman came into the store with an engagement ring she wanted to turn into something new. First we explored a necklace with a pendant, and she said no because it would remind her of her ex. I looked at her legs and noticed a very cool ankle bracelet. I suggested, “Let’s make a toe ring out of it to go with match that ankle bracelet.” She looked intrigued. I continued, “If we make a very cool toe ring, every step you take you will be walking on your ex. And, you will be the only woman with a 2 carat GIA certified diamond on your toe!” She loved the idea! I weighed the ring and gave her a $600 credit, and then we measured her toe and took the pad of paper out to design the piece. Since delivery and every time I’ve seen her since that day, she stomps her foot in delight!

Our message is, in today’s world we need to constantly think about reducing, reusing and recycling. This mentality is the expression of our generational values. This recession may be breaking you and you need cash, or it’s keeping you from getting engaged or buying that great piece of jewelry your loved one wants. Now there is a solution to this dilemma. You can reuse – redesign – and recycle that old gold into an heirloom in waiting. After that, you may even have money left over to buy another gift for another loved one….

Written by Wade Watson, Founder of Ruff&Cut and Co-founder of Glittering Conscience