Welcome to the Car Detailing Blog

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam et ipsum rutrum libero imperdiet accumsan. Proin ornare suscipit risus, ac varius ante bibendum sit amet. Quisque a leo est. Sed nec quam vel nibh sagittis feugiat. Nullam ornare mi quam, in condimentum felis. Duis faucibus enim justo, nec iaculis tortor. Nulla ac diam sem. Donec porttitor convallis sapien, gravida adipiscing orci facilisis et.

By: Shmukler Design 

When you purchase a piece of real jewelry — not the pair of earrings attached to a piece of cardboard that’s sold at the mall or via a discount online retailer — you likely have a preference for the type of metal attached to that stone or setting. Some people prefer silver or platinum, some prefer gold. Others like to have a mix of metal types within each piece.

Bottom line: There are plenty of choices when it comes to selecting the precious metal used to enhance a beautiful piece of jewelry.

Metals are said to be “precious” when they are rare. That makes sense. And there are only eight metals that meet that standard:

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Platinum, which include platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium.

Below, we break down the differences for you so that next time you buy, you know what you’re looking for.


Perhaps one of the most famous and sought-after metals since the beginning of time, gold is a popular choice for jewelry making. It doesn’t tarnish easily or corrode, its luster and color are quite attractive (pure gold is often referred to as “yellow gold”), and it is malleable. These are all ideal characteristics when crafting a piece of jewelry. However, the malleability of gold means that pure gold is too soft for most jewelry. To solve that issue, gold is often blended with silver or copper. Jewelers describe the percentage of pure gold in a piece by karat (also “k”) ratings, not to be confused with diamond carats.

The karat ratings go like this: Continue reading…

By: Shmukler Design 

At the start of the global health pandemic caused by the virus named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes, named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the top advice suggested to all of us was to disinfect surfaces and objects and wash our hands frequently with soap and water. But not everything can be scrubbed with soap or wiped clean with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), contaminating germs can get caught under your jewelry pieces, especially rings. And studies have shown that germs are more likely to show up on the skin surface under your rings because that area gets less attention during hand washing.

Another thought: Just because your rings come into contact with hand sanitizer and warm soapy water doesn’t mean the gemstones are getting the same kind of cleaning your hands receive. In fact, subjecting your diamond ring, for example, to too much soap and sanitizer can eventually make the diamond cloudy.

The best way to keep your rings sparkling and germ-free — and keep the fingers that wear your rings clean — is to remove them when washing your hands or applying sanitizer.

At Shmukler Design, a Southern California-based custom jeweler, we generally suggest cleaning rings and other fine jewelry pieces by soaking them in warm water with a mild dish soap, such as Ivory soap. Then use a Continue reading…

By: Shmukler Design 

If you’re a January baby, your birthstone is the brilliant and diverse garnet gemstone. And you’re in for a treat, because there’s more to this gem than meets the eye. Garnet is known for its deep red hue, but the gem actually comes in many colors, including orange, yellow, purple and green. In addition, there are garnets that change color from blue to purple depending on the lighting.

As weve done with previous birthstone posts, below isinformation on the history of garnet, an overview of the myths associated with the stone, and our recommendations for how to care for and clean garnet.

History of Garnet

The name garnet has its origins in its famous color. It originates from the 14th century Middle English word gernet, meaning “dark red,” which came from the medieval Latin granatus, meaning “pomegranate.”


If you want to win a trivia contest, you should know garnet isn’t really a stone, but a group of minerals. Five minerals to be exact, and they are pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular, and andradite. Pyrope and almandine’s hues range from purple to red, and spessartine is found in oranges and yellows. Andradite has hues of yellow to green, and grossular holds the widest range: colorless to orangy red. One of grossular’s standout hues is a bright green called tsavorite Continue reading…

By: Shmukler Design 

A selection of three stunning gems are yours for the picking if your birthday happens to fall in the month of December. These sparklers include tanzanite, turquoise, and zircon. Turquoise is the original birthstone, for the month of December with the other two added over the last 67 years.

Do you gravitate toward the blue tones found in tanzanite and turquoise, or do your preferences draw you into the rainbow of options that Zircon offers? Perhaps you are enticed by the storied history of turquoise, or the excitement of a young gem like tanzanite. Regardless of where you are on the interest spectrum, everything you need to know about December’s birthstones appears below, starting with Turquoise.

History and Attributes of Turquoise

Turquoise has been cherished for thousands of years. The pharaohs of Ancient Egypt adorned themselves with turquoise, while ancient Chinese artisans were including it in their designs more than 3,000 years ago. Famously, the funereal mask of Tutankhamun (King Tut: b. 1342 – d. 1325 BC) is encrusted with turquoise. The British Royal family is a fan of the stone as well, proving that the popularity of this birthstone is truly timeless.

The name of this stone is fairly new compared to its beginnings. Turquoise is a French word derived from turquois meaning “Turkish” because the gem was brought from Turkey to Europe. Ancient Egyptians called turquoise “mefkat,” which means both “joy” and “delight.”

Turquoise is an opaque gem with hues that range from blue to green. It often has veins of rock remnant — called matrix — that runs through it. It has been mined in the Nishapur district of Iran for more than 1,000 years. New Mexico was once the largest producer of turquoise in the United States, but in the 1920s, Arizona and Nevada mines gained more prominence. However, the largest geographical producer of turquoise in the world today is China’s Hubei Province.

Turquoise is the traditional gem of Continue reading…

By: Shmukler Design 

When it comes to retail, almost everything is available online, with most items deliverable to your door within 24 to 48 hours. Out of paper towels? You can order them online and have them delivered to your home or office the next day instead of having to stop by the grocery store on your way home. Don’t want to cook? A mobile app can be used to order food and have it delivered from the restaurant of your choice. And best of all, you don’t have to phone for a reservation or wait in line for takeout.

The instant gratification of these purchases is convenient, but in many cases, it takes away from the personal experience you get with industry professionals — especially when it comes to selecting jewelry and gems that are either for yourself or a loved one. When buying a precious gem or diamond, it’s a no-brainer that you should personally see that stone and setting with your own eyes.

Purchase diamonds online

But in this age of online specialty retailers, including those serving diamond buyers, that train of thought goes out the proverbial drive-thru window. By contrast, you should be able to hold a gem or diamond in your hand and have the verification paperwork handed to you by a professional. Being face to face with a legitimate jeweler is the best — and sometimes only — way to get high-quality diamonds and gems.

The benefits of buying from a jeweler directly instead of looking at photos on a website will always outweigh the conveniences offered by the online marketplace. There are so many websites claiming  Continue reading…

By: Shmukler Design 

If you were born in November, you are part of the two-birthstone club that includes people born in March, August, and October. Your birthstones — Topaz and Citrine — offer a number of colors that fit nicely with autumn, including yellow, orange, violet, and brown.

Here’s what you need to know about November’s two birthstones, starting with Topaz:

History of Topaz

This November gemstone’s name is believed to come from the Sanskrit word tapas, which means “fire.” Another possible root of the name is the Greek topazios, which was the ancient name given to Zabargad Island (aka St. John’s Island) in Egypt’s Foul Bay, although topaz was never actually found there.

In 1768, the royal court in Portugal celebrated the discovery Imperial topaz, which has a pinkish-orange color. There is some debate as to whether Portugal is where the “imperial” moniker originated, or if that qualifier came from Russian royalty in the 1880s. It was at that time that the royal family insisted on reserving the best colors of the gem for themselves, which is when topaz was mined from Russia’s Ural Mountains. However, topaz goes back much further than that — all the way back to ancient Greece.

Brazil is currently the largest producer of high-quality topaz and features many colors. Pink topaz is found in Pakistan, but even in the area with the highest concentration of the gem, pink is a rare hue. Topaz can also be found in Namibia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Madagascar, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Russia, and even here in the United States, where Texas Blue Topaz is the official gem of the States of Texas, and traditional topaz is the official gem of the State of Utah

The most common hues of topaz are  Continue reading…


If you’re an October baby, you have two beautiful gems assigned as your birthstone: opal and tourmaline. Pick the one that suits you best — or wear them both. Each stone offers endless vibrant color combinations from which to choose.

History of the Opal

Opal is the more traditional of the two October birthstones. Its name is believed to have originated in India, the source of the first opals brought to the Western world. Specifically, the name comes from the Sanskrit word upala, which fittingly means “precious stone.”

Opal October Birthstone

Opals are valued for their shifting colors in many hues, a phenomenon known as “play-of-color.” That phenomenon has inspired writers to compare it to other great wonders of nature, such as galaxies, volcanoes, and even the man-made wonder of fireworks. And, in addition to being considered the most popular birthstone for the month of October, opal is the traditional gem given to celebrate a 14th wedding anniversary.

Opal is found in many places across the globe, the most popular being Australia. Other common sources are Ethiopia, Mexico and Brazil. You can find the rarest of all opals — the black opal — in Lightning Ridge, a small town in a dry, rocky region of New South Wales, Australia.

Recently, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter discovered opal deposits on  Continue reading…

By: Shmukler Design 

From the people who ascend to modern American royalty to those who are born into actual royalty in nations like the United Kingdom, sapphire is viewed as one of the most regal gemstones on earth. In addition, sapphire — which is commercially mined here the United States and abroad — also happens to be the birthstone for anyone born in the month of September.

Sapphire ring deconstructed.

Synonymous with a deep blue color, there are other variations of sapphire to be aware of. Being one of two varieties of corundum (the other being ruby, which is one of July’s birthstones), the other colors associated with sapphires are gray, colorless, black, and a pinkish-orange variety called padparadscha, which is named for a variety of lotus blossom.

History of Sapphire

For centuries, sapphires have decorated those of royal standing and the robes of the clergy. Clerics in the Middle Ages prized the sapphire as a symbol of heaven, while ancient Persians believed that the sky’s blue hue was due to the earth resting atop a giant  Continue reading…

By: Shmukler Design 

August babies are now part of a select group that has three birthstones. We say now because just a few years ago, the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and Jewelers of America (JA) authorized spinel to join peridot and sardonyx as an official August birthstone.

Spinel is only the third update to the birthstone list since it was officially created in 1912 by the American National Retail Jewelers Association, now JA.

Get to know spinel, along with peridot and sardonyx, in today’s Custom Jewelry Blog entry:

Spinel is now an August birthstone


To explain its addition to the birthstone list, which occurred in 2016, ATGA’s CEO Douglas Hucker said in press release issued at that time:

Ancient gemstone merchants revered spinel, and it was widely sought after by royalty. It was then known as ‘Balas Ruby.’ It wasn’t until the late 18th century that we developed the technology acumen necessary to distinguish spinel asa separate mineralfrom ruby. We are very excitedto announce it asthe newest memberof the official birthstone list.

Spinel’s historical significance

Based on Hucker’s commentary, it’s easy to see why spinel is known as the great impostor of gemstone history. For centuries, it was mistaken for a ruby, even by the most renowned royal jewelry experts. Pink and red spinels were also mistaken for pink sapphires for centuries, making this gem a true chameleonthat’s mistakenly been mounted in crown jewels under the assumption they were rubies.

The most well-known hue of spinel — which is most often found in Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand — is red. Thousands of years ago, the mines of Continue reading…

By: Shmukler Design 

If you’ve been following along since the launch of the Custom Jewelry Blog, you know that each month we endeavor to shine a light on the birthstone representing the current month of the year. This month, we’re pleased to tell you about the pink to blood-red colored gemstone known as ruby.

Rubies are a type of corundum — a mineral made up of densely packed oxygen and aluminum atoms. Under normal conditions, corundum is colorless. But when a small number of atoms are substituted for some of the aluminum atoms, the result is the emergence of some truly unique colors. Both ruby and sapphire are scientifically the same mineral, differing only in color. Ruby is defined as red corundum. Anything not red is classified as sapphire.

For example: Continue reading…