Made for Mom Workshop

Psst… hey Dads. You need a Mother’s Day idea. We have one for you. Check this out.

Thursday through Saturday, we have little assembly stations set up around the store where your kids can come in and make a piece of jewelry for Mom. There’s cords, beads, stickers, cardboard, crayons…all the fun stuff that goes into awesome kid-made jewelry.

IMG_1576

And when they’re finished, we’ll wrap it up in a Jack Lewis box and make it look official.

Imagine Mom’s face on Sunday morning when she’s given a Jack Lewis box, and she opens it to find a little bracelet or necklace handmade by her kids.

Admit it, you’re getting misty-eyed just thinking about it. It’s pretty much the greatest Mother’s Day gift idea in the history of ever.

And it’s completely free. Seriously. No games. No purchase necessary. This whole Made for Mom Workshop idea is totally and absolutely free. The piece of jewelry they make with the beads and cords will be free. The official Jack Lewis box we’ll wrap it in will be free.

Just bring your kids in and have some fun creating a card and a piece of jewelry for Mom.

IMG_1579

Honestly, there’s no combination of gifts in the world that can adequately reward a Mom for all she’s done. But we hope these inadequate gifts can bring a smile to your Mom’s face because of the loving spirit behind them.

Happy Mother’s Day from Jack Lewis Jewelers!

Erica Courtney

Erica Courtney, jeweler to the stars, will be in-store at Jack Lewis Jewelers this Thursday thru Saturday (May 4 – 6)! It’s a free opportunity to meet a world famous designer, admire her incredible creations, and take a selfie with her like you would if you met any other celebrity!

Plus Thursday night, May 4th will be a special Ladies’ Night Event starting at 6pm. And you’re invited!

Erica personally travels the globe to find the finest colored stones and makes them the centerpieces of her amazing designs. Every angle of every piece is carefully planned and every detail is hand finished. You will simply be amazed.

 

Her jewelry has graced such stars as Sandra Bullock, Jessica Alba, and Sofia Vergara. Her pieces have starred in The Academy Awards, The Golden Globes, America’s Got Talent, Dancing With The Stars, and American Idol so…she’s kind of a big deal!

Put the 4th, 5th & 6th on your calendar and come meet one of the most talented jewelry designers in the world!

Cut to the Chase (part 2)

by John Carter

Buying finished jewelry is so different than buying loose diamonds, mainly because our diamond buying is a year-long process. We are constantly searching for diamonds, whether it be something specific that a client has asked to see, or just something that we need to meet our day-to-day inventory needs.

Because of this never-ending search for perfect diamonds, our ability to spot the good ones remains pretty sharp. I’ve always said that a really well-cut diamond has a sort of “it factor,” meaning after you’ve seen enough of them, you just know the special ones with a glance. When it takes your breath away—right away—that’s the one.

When I closed Part I of this blog, I promised you that we would discuss exactly what goes into making a diamond an AGS Ideal® cut. How do you tell the difference? And is it worth the extra money? I stressed out so much about living up to my promise that I reached out to my good friends at American Gem Society Laboratories to make sure I kept it all straight. So here we go:

What exactly is “cut” as it relates to diamonds? The American Gem Society (AGS) and AGS Laboratories say, “The cut of a diamond refers to how well the facets of a diamond interact with light, the proportions of the diamond, and the overall finish of the diamond.” (Source: americangemsociety.org/en/diamond-cut)

Facets, light interaction, proportions, and finish may seem like small things, but their influence on the beauty of a diamond is enormous. AGS makes it really easy to understand with their 0 to 10 grading system, with zero (0) being the highest cut grade (ideal) a diamond can receive and 10 being the lowest. However, this apparent simplicity is deceptive because it requires very careful analysis of all things that make up that diamond.

It used to be that diamonds were “cut graded” primarily by their proportions, but AGS revolutionized diamond grading in 2005 when they released their long-awaited Light Performance Cut Grading System.

This method uses patented software technology to measure the attributes that are most important to the beauty of your diamond: Brightness, Fire (spectral color), and Contrast. The combined impact of these factors is what breathes life into your diamond and makes it sparkle!  In other words, they are the secret ingredients of the “it factor” that I mentioned above. 

AGS Scale

The AGS Grading Scale, based on a 0 to 10 scale, makes grades easier to understand. 0 means the cut grade is the best it can be.

 

Because every facet is considered, every cutting mistake and design flaw can impact the final Cut Grade. Consequently, the AGS Performance Cut Grade system is the most technologically advanced and scientifically rigorous system in the world and represents the highest standards in cut grading. 

These ranges make it easier to understand, but I’ve seen more than my share of clients get caught up in these numbers, and they forget to ask themselves one thing: how does the diamond actually look? Is it bright and sparkly with a lot of life? Yes? Then don’t let one number encourage you to cast a pretty diamond onto the scrap pile.

What’s really cool from a gemologist’s point of view is that the same technology used to compute the Cut Grade also produces a color coded image of the diamond which allows you to understand its light performance.

ASET Pic 1

The above is called an ASET image. ASET stands for Angular Spectrum Evaluation Tool. (There will be a test later, haha.) For customers like you, this is a crucial piece of technology because it demonstrates the way light interacts with your diamond. It’s much easier to see and understand a diamond’s beauty through this image than to listen to a scientific explanation, right? We can show you your diamond’s ASET image right at Jack Lewis, and you can even snap a picture of it to carry around with you or share on social media.

Additionally, The ASET  shows the “optical symmetry” of your diamond. For example, in the image above, the eight symmetrical arrows prove that the diamond was cut with a high degree of craftsmanship and artistry.

The simple fact remains that while what we do isn’t the most complicated job on the planet, it really does take a scientific approach and an educated eye to do all of the above. A life spent in the diamond business can teach the right grader, gemologist, or diamond buyer the skills they need to be able to make proper decisions and assign the right grades which determines the right price.

The average consumer looking to find just the right diamond for the love of their life does not have the time to become an expert during their brief shopping experience. They can Google, research, and look at hundreds of diamonds, but they will still need to seek out a properly credentialed and trustworthy diamond professional to help them find what’s right for them. That’s the real dilemma when you’re looking for a jeweler isn’t it….trust?

I once had a client at the diamond counter who told me that Jack Lewis Jewelers was the 15th jewelry store he had visited! He was so confused and so frustrated with the process that he was almost in tears. I can understand why. One jewelry store will tell you one thing, and then another will explain it another way, and on top of it they are all trying to sell you whatever is in front of them. Just about all of them mean well and are honest, but it can be a lot to process.

I asked if I could give him some advice and he reluctantly said, “Sure.”  I said, “Just stop. Stop looking. Pick the place that makes the most sense with as little sales talk as possible. Then trust that person to walk you through the process with an education along the way.” I went on to say that I hoped that was me, but if not, he needed to find the person he could most relate to and trust.

I could tell when I gave him that advice that I had lifted a great weight off of his shoulders. The process can be overwhelming and the diamond grading scale can be a large part of why. I understand that retailers don’t always do a good job of explaining the process, so it is really important to find one who takes the time to do just that. I’ve found it’s the best way to establish a relationship with my clients—and dare I say it—a friendship. I’m happy to say that client did choose me! This occurred over 10 years ago and over the course of a few years, he even sent me several of his friends.

You can see we’ve taken this from an explanation about Cut Grade to the importance of establishing a relationship with someone you can trust. My journey to this destination was no accident. So let’s cut to the chase: at some point, buying a diamond becomes a leap of faith, and Cut is the most complicated part of the buying process as well as being the most essential characteristic in determining beauty. I believe it’s an understatement to say that it pays off to have an expert help you with that part. And at Jack Lewis, we’re ready to walk you through it.

 


I want to thank my friends at AGS and AGS Laboratories for helping me with this blog. In particular, Jason Quick, who is the Laboratory Director and a mad genius who understands diamonds in ways I can only imagine. Jason and the team at AGS are on the forefront in the jewelry industry because consumer protection is at the very heart of everything they do.

Like the young man in my story, I hope you also choose Jack Lewis Jewelers, but we realize we can’t sell everyone a diamond. If you’ve ever wondered how you can find a jeweler you can trust, start with us if you can…but if not, AGS has you covered. Visit Find a Jeweler at https://www.americangemsociety.org/en/find-a-jeweler, type in your zip code and visit a great store. Every retail member of the American Gem Society adheres to a strict code of ethics that help them remain dedicated to the education of their clients.

 

Blingfest is BACK!

blingfest-iv-blogpost-graphic-insert-to-blog-text-march-345

It’s back…!

Blingfest returns to Jack Lewis Jewelers from Friday, March 3 – Sunday, March 5, and it’s once again poised to be the premiere diamond, engagement ring and wedding band shopping event in Central Illinois this year.

To refresh your memory: as a rule, when it comes to how many shapes and sizes of jewelry we can carry in-house on a given day, space constraints force us to draw the line somewhere.

So what is Blingfest? Blingfest obliterates that line.

For one weekend only we’re making space and offering you the following:

  • hundreds more loose diamonds than normal (which means lower prices)
  • hundreds more rings and wedding bands than normal (which also means lower prices)
  • 36-months interest free financing, which is a full 2 years longer than normal, and the longest financing option we’ve ever offered…….OR…..10% off your entire purchase of any regularly-priced Blingfest merchandise.

This is all stuff we don’t usually offer in the store, so that’s why it’s essential you flip your mental switch into “Blingfest Buying Mode”…because once the weekend is over, we have to scale back down again.

As if that’s not enough, we’re bringing back these popular offers for Blingfest:

  • Any engagement ring purchase during Blingfest gets you a free engagement photo session (if you want to take advantage of it)
  • Any engagement ring purchase during Blingfest gets you free access to our Ring Cam box and/or our Pic Ninja program, should you want to capture your proposal on video via hidden camera!
  • Wedding bands will be 15% off.
  • There’ll be a special section of diamonds and engagement rings priced at 50% off, while they last…

(…oh, and the discount offers can’t be combined. Sorry.)

And we’ll also be resurrecting our Facebook gift certificate giveaways, featuring 10 different winners and $2,000 worth of freebies. The big drawings will happen Friday morning (March 3), so if you’re reading this before then, you still have time to go find the appropriate thread on the Jack Lewis Facebook page and comment in it for your chance to win.

 

So get busy living and get busy Blingfesting on March 3, 4, and 5. Come in ready to make some amazing purchases. If you know it’s time to propose but have been dragging your feet, Blingfest is a good reason to finally come get the diamond. If you’re ready to buy an engagement ring but don’t think you can afford it, you’ll be able to afford it at Blingfest. If you’ve spent months unsuccessfully looking for a specific diamond, or ring, or band, or diamond ring band…you will succeed in finding it at Blingfest.

There’ll be all kinds of diamonds, all kinds of rings, of all shapes and sizes, at all kinds of prices. Blingfest is like a jewelry warehouse exploded in our showroom. Blingfest is when the roof opens up and it starts raining extra diamonds, extra rings, and longer financing in our showroom. Blingfest is the 3-day Incredible Hulk version of Jack Lewis: our giant, green, superhuman alter-ego, ready to hulk smash you right in the face with more bling in our showroom than you can possibly imagine. You think you can imagine it. You’re wrong. You can’t.

Whichever phase of Blingfest grabs your attention most, remember that it’s for one weekend only

Friday, March 3rd from 9:30am  – 7:00pm

Saturday, March 4th from 9:30am – 7:00pm

Sunday, March 5th from 10:00am – 5:00pm

So get Blingfest on the calendar. Snapchat your friends about Blingfest. Text your enemies at 3am about Blingfest. Instagram a #nofilter of you overnight camping outside Jack Lewis waiting for Blingfest. We don’t do stuff like this very often, so we promise it’ll be worth it.

See you at Blingfest!

I Choose You

This Valentine’s Day, come record a video greeting card telling your Valentine why you chose this piece of jewelry, and why you choose them every day.

Here’s what you get when you spend at least $199:

  • an amazing piece of jewelry …obviously 🙂 
  • a personalized video greeting card (more on that below)
  • a beautiful bouquet of flowers
  • a buy 1, get 1 free entree certificate at Swingers Grille

And here’s how it works:

Spend at least $199 on the perfect piece of jewelry and you’ll get a bouquet of flowers, a buy 1, get 1 free entrée from our friends at Swingers Grille…and you’ll also get access to our private video booth, where you’ll record a personalized message to your Valentine. When you’re done recording (with as many takes as you need), we’ll transfer the file onto a video greeting card. It’s a card with a little TV screen inside of it (as shown at 1:03 in the YouTube video link below), and as soon as you open it up, your video starts playing! It’s the best card you’ll ever give, and one that your Valentine will want to keep forever!

(Click the YouTube link below and checkout this demo video we made to give you a better sense of what this video greeting card is all about)

Nervous about recording? You’re obviously free to say whatever you want, but to help you out, we’ll have cue cards in the booth that guide you through the 4 basic parts we’re suggesting (as demonstrated in the YouTube video above):

  • a simple, fun greeting (maybe a pet name like, “Hey Sugar”)   
  • why you choose them (so say, “I choose you because…”) we’ll have examples handy
  • why you chose this piece of jewelry (so say, “And I chose this necklace because…”) 
  • wrap-up by saying “So Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you, and I choose you.”

We think that’s a winning formula for a fantastic video Valentine’s Day card.

Also, anyone is welcome to record! We think this idea would score HUGE points for the men 🙂 …but men or women, it doesn’t matter. As long as you spend $199 on a piece of jewelry for your Valentine, the video greeting card booth is open to you!

So if you’re stuck in a Valentine’s Day gift-giving rut, try something different this year. Spend $199 and get flowers, a special dinner discount, a hand-selected piece of jewelry, and then create a video greeting card explaining why you chose it, and why you’ll keep choosing your Valentine every day.

Offer valid now through Feb. 14th; video booth recording sessions available Feb. 9 – 14 only.

jlj-vday-graphic-i-choose-you-alternate-3

Fall Repair Fair

All year long, in our weekly Thursday night Facebook feature called “Share the Repair,” we’ve been showing you Before & After photos of the amazing work done by our in-house repair shop. Aside from connecting couples with new diamond engagement rings for an upcoming proposal, restoring pieces of jewelry in our repair shop is probably the important and meaningful work we do here at Jack Lewis. There’s nothing quite like receiving a broken ring from a hesitant client, bringing it back to life, and then seeing the pure joy on their face when they’re reunited with it.

Often, those transformations include hand-written testimonials from the clients themselves. We scattered some of them throughout the image below, primarily to personalize the passionate responses generated by our magicians in the shop. These are the words of real Bloomington-Normal clients who have been incredibly happy with the decision to bring their most important pieces of jewelry to Jack Lewis for everything from a simple re-sizing to a complete overhaul.

facebook-post-this-weekend

So if you’ve been waiting, hesitant, reluctant, skeptical, or just procrastinating…now is the time to join the hundreds of others represented by this handwriting, because we’re having our Fall Repair Fair this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (Nov. 3, 4, 5) at Jack Lewis, and all in-house repairs will be 30% off.  

Got a piece of broken, busted, twisted, smooshed jewelry? Got something that needs re-sizing? Got something with missing stones or missing clasps? Got something scuffed-up and scratched that just needs cleaned and re-blinged? Got something that you keep in a box instead of on your finger because that ultra-worn down prong could collapse at any moment and send your beautiful stone tumbling down the drain?

Rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets…even eyeglasses. Gather it all up and bring it into Jack Lewis for a restoration. It’s our Fall Repair Fair, and all in-house repairs will be a whopping 30% off….this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Erica Courtney

Erica Courtney, jeweler to the stars, will be at Jack Lewis Jewelers this Friday and Saturday (September 16 & 17)! It’s a free opportunity to meet a world famous designer, admire her incredible creations, and take a selfie with her like you would if you met any other celebrity!

 

2016cycle22-erica-courtney-promo-banner-sept2016

 

Erica personally travels the globe to find the finest colored stones and makes them the centerpieces of her amazing designs. Every angle of every piece is carefully planned and every detail is hand finished. You will simply be amazed.

Her jewelry has graced such stars as Sandra Bullock, Jessica Alba, and Sofia Vergara. Her pieces have starred in The Academy Awards, The Golden Globes, America’s Got Talent, Dancing With The Stars, and American Idol so…she’s kind of a big deal!

Put the 16th and 17th on your calendar and come meet one of the most talented jewelry designers in the world!