What to Know Before Buying Jewelry Online

Janece WhiteAs the broader retail industry continues to experience an uptick in e-commerce sales, the jewelry segment is no exception. In fact, by 2020, online fine jewelry and fashion jewelry sales will capture 10% and 15% of the market, respectively.

While buying jewelry online can be extremely convenient, the process is not immune from issues plaguing the broader e-commerce market. Whether it is sourcing concerns or damage during shipment, there are a number of questions you should ask before clicking “purchase” on a new piece. Continue reading

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When the Earth Moves Under Your Feet: What to Do When an Earthquake Strikes

Geannie BrubakerFifth in a series of articles about earthquake preparedness.

There is no way to predict when or where an earthquake will strike. It can happen any time of year, any time of day and in any kind of weather. For those of us who live in earthquake-prone areas of the country, it is a surreal and scary experience when it does happen. Continue reading

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March Birthstones: The Color of Sun and Sea

Marissa Holland

Part of a series of articles about birthstones.

March offers two beautiful gemstones to symbolize your birth month: bloodstone is the traditional stone, while aquamarine is the modern stone representing the month of March.

Bloodstone is also known as “heliotrope” in Greek, which means “sun turning” or “turning to the sun,” which seems fitting for the first month of spring. Bloodstone is a dark-green stone sprinkled with red dots from iron oxide. It’s part of the Chalcedony family and comes in many shapes and cuts including emerald, oval, and cushion. The largest source of bloodstone deposits is in India.

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Jewelry: A Surprisingly Large, and Vulnerable, Pocket of Wealth

Frances O'BrienWhether regularly keeping up with the Kardashians or not, most Americans likely heard about the incident in Paris in which thieves made off with Kim Kardashian’s $4 million diamond ring. While everyone involved walked off physically unharmed, such a high-profile incident highlights the importance of protecting your valuable jewelry. Continue reading

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Tax Time Trouble: Identity Theft and Your Tax Return

Maria CordeiroTax Day is on the way, and many people will be scrambling to meet the April deadline. However, filing your returns in a timely fashion isn’t the only thing to worry about. Tax-related identity theft is a growing threat.

In fact, per a 2012 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the number of known incidents has increased more than twelvefold since 2008; and according to the Wall Street Journal, over $5.2 billion of taxpayer money went to those who filed fake returns in 2011. These statistics reflect how real tax-related identity theft can be. Continue reading

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Preventing Frozen Pipes

Brian Carroll

Have you taken the proper precautions to protect your home from frozen pipes? Cold winter weather can cause pipes in your home to freeze and potentially burst, leading to water damage or flooding. A few simple preventative measures can help save you from the costs and headaches associated with frozen pipes.

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Own an Older Home? Retrofit Against Earthquake

Geannie BrubakerFourth in a series of articles about earthquake preparedness.

It seems we hear about big earthquakes happening all the time somewhere in the world. In fact, geologists have determined that at least 42 states in the US face the potential of having earthquake activity in the coming 50 years. Places closer to active faults have an even greater certainty of seismic activity in the future. Continue reading

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The Reintroduction of Burmese Gemstones

Marissa HollandGlittery, glamorous, and gorgeous. Myanmar, formerly Burma, has the world’s most beautiful, well-known rubies and jade. Its breathtaking rubies have strong fluorescence, clarity, hue, and a rich pigeon blood color. The unparalleled beauty makes them one of the most sought-after and expensive gems per carat in the world.1 The country is also known as one of the largest sources of fine jade. Continue reading

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Is There a “Leak” In Your Earthquake Preparedness Plan?

Joe KimThird in a series of articles about earthquake preparedness.

For residents in California and other seismically active regions of the county, the word “earthquake” conjures up frightening news footage images of toppled walls, collapsed roofs, and cracked foundations. As disturbing and devastating as these damages are, there is another type of damage that is perhaps equally (if not more) dangerous and yet most people don’t associate it with earthquakes – fire damage from gas leaks.

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Four Tips for Protecting Your Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Jewelry Purchase

Janece WhiteWith Valentine’s Day right around the corner, roughly half of all shoppers are just starting to search for what to buy their loved ones this holiday (another 10% will wait until February 13!). For many, jewelry will be their go-to gift of choice.

But as the saying goes, all that glitters is not gold. Especially if you’re one of the last-minute shoppers looking to make a quick jewelry purchase, failure to ask the right questions or do the appropriate pre-purchase research could invite a wide range of risks. Continue reading

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