MANY THANKS!

By Eileen R Eichhorn

A wonderful thing happened recently at Eichhorn Jewelry. On the day of our 50th Anniversary in business, August 5, 2015 over 500+ friends, family, customers, and former employees, showed up to with well-wishes for our milestone event. Even one of our bench jewelers attended to surprise us as did one of our vendor representatives!

Eichhorn Jewelry Team

Sally, Laura, Heather, Eileen, Kate, Matt, Carla and Kathy

We had prayed for good weather and the Lord provided. You have to be careful what you pray for, however. What we didn’t plan on was the traffic jam in Downtown Decatur! We considered valet parking. We should have had it since some people are still coming in nearly a month later telling us they circled the block three times and couldn’t find a parking place. But, our wonderful customers continue to visit us.

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The store from the late 60’s

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Gemstone Surprise Packages

We have really been celebrating our anniversary the entire year since it is such a monumental occasion. It is amazing what a little advertising can do for a big jewelry store in a little town! Thanks to Heather Cruse, our marketing director, without whom we would never have been able to embrace social media.  A huge round of applause, too, goes to Bob Shraluka who wrote the story for the Decatur Daily Democrat. Making the front page was unexpected and very much appreciated. The back page photo with the Eichhorn Junior League Softball Team winning the championship was a bonus! John Eichhorn would be very proud.

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It was SO much fun! All of us were dressed in the attire of 1965. The windows and showcases were decked out in 50 champagne flutes with shredded gold metallic sparkle everywhere! Gold helium balloons added to the decorations. Our original store photo remains on display. One of our first employees, Peggy Lengerich visited the store that day and was photographed with a gold Swarovski tiara and gold plated rose.

Peg Lengerich

Peg Lengerich

Our 1965 Christmas Catalog was displayed with similar items we STILL sell today – the classics. Longtime customers gave us a special treat wearing the jewels they purchased from us over the years reminiscing how and why they acquired them. We were honored by those stories. My husband of nearly 35 years, John Hebein sang the songs of Frank Sinatra to entertain us all day. How can I ever thank him enough?

John Hebein singing Frank Sinatra for us all day.

John Hebein singing Frank Sinatra for us all day.

Everyone enjoyed ALL the day’s festivities. $50 cash was awarded to Jackie Conrad who presented the oldest sales receipt – 1977 for a watch she purchased with her Diamond Club Winnings. We also gave away free nephrite jade gemstones to everyone who stopped in that day. We offered $5 surprise packages with gemstones valued up to $500. Those sold out in less than two hours! In addition, we gave away 50 – $50 gift certificates and 50 champagne diamonds.

Eileen Eichhorn and Jackie Conrad

Eileen Eichhorn and Jackie Conrad

Jennifer Mitchel winner of the $500 gemstone at Eichhorn Jewelry

Jennifer Mitchel winner of the $500 gemstone at Eichhorn Jewelry

The entire staff was amazing! Their smiles were worth a million dollars. Thank you: Kate Dyer, Matt Dyer, Laura Ditto, Heather Cruse, Carla Meyer, Sally Hoeppner, and Kathy Jenkins. Even the most recently retired staff, Charlotte Sheets stopped in that day along with our pearl stringer, Kim Simon. Mary Ann August our inventory control specialist stopped by, too. Chuck Eichhorn, our subcontractor-bench jeweler, was on hand for the festivities. Flora Walters GG, who has assisted me for many years with appraisals, drove up from Indianapolis for the day. One of our best customers even had lunch delivered for us. Some of us did not get to eat because we were so busy! Photos are the best evidence of the highlights of the day thanks to my brother-in-law, Ed Dyer.

Charlotte, Kim & Laura during our 50th Anniversary Celebration at Eichhorn Jewelry

Charlotte, Kim & Laura during our 50th Anniversary Celebration at Eichhorn Jewelry

I would like to personally thank everyone for their support over the years. If you were not able to attend that day, you were with us in spirit as you may have sent a note, text or email with your kind words. Eichhorn Jewelry, Inc. hopes to continue adding new customers daily for another 50 years. With your referrals we can make it happen!

-Eileen Eichhorn

J.P. Knight Company – Since 1912

In celebration of 50 years in business we would like to feature one of our vendors each month.

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

J.P. Knight Company is one of our favorite suppliers! Founded in Cincinnati Ohio by John Paul Knight over one hundred years ago, they made their mark in the jewelry industry through diamond cutting and polishing.

Eichhorn Jewelry selected them many years ago to provide fine quality jewelry and gems that our customers have grown to appreciate. Their superb craftsmanship allows us to rely on them for some our most important custom work. They have the ability to modify many of their designs to accommodate a variety of sizes of gemstones by either hand carving a wax or computer aided design.  All of their designs bear the registered trademark of this AGS (American Gem Society) supplier.

One of the most difficult things in the jewelry business is matching diamonds for earrings and inline-tennis bracelets. J.P. Knight Company is an expert in this field. Dozens of diamonds are pre-selected with the final choices picked for cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. Most people do not know how rare it is to accomplish this feat.

I personally meet with the grandson of the founder on a regular basis to select diamonds for both our inventory and the growing number of replacement diamonds for customer repairs. Not one month goes by without a call or email for this demand. The Knight family visits New York City meeting with other importers each year. Sometimes, I give them an unusual request. Their contacts helped me find a large kite cut diamond some years ago.

This special relationship with the Knight “boys” has the benefit of the same trust our customers have grown to expect from us. We respect their judgment when it comes to selection since they are as particular when it comes to grading diamonds and gemstones of color as we are!

Graduate Gemologist:   Matthew J. Dyer – GG (GIA)

In celebration of 50 years in business we would like to feature one of our employees each month.

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

At the young age of 14, Matt Dyer, had laid out his goal in life. The jewelry industry would be his career. Having been greatly influenced by his grandfather, John Eichhorn, Matt was often at Eichhorn Jewelry from the time of his birth. His mother, my sister, Kate was always having him stop by the jewelry store where she worked on his way home from school, after baseball practice, and even Saturdays while he was growing up. Some would say he was destined to be in the jewelry industry!

After high school, Matt headed off to Carlsbad California to the prestigious Gemological Institute of America. Bound and determined to complete his GG, he elected to return to Decatur Indiana and work in his family’s jewelry store. GIA is THE training authority in the American jewelry industry. To earn a Graduate Gemologist diploma, you must complete and pass five course studies and three lab classes, then pass a comprehensive final exam: Diamond Essentials, Diamonds & Diamond Grading, Colored Stone Essentials, Colored Stones, Gem Identification, Diamond Grading Lab, Colored Stone Grading Lab and Gem Identification Lab.

Within these studies Matt developed hands-on experience with the GIA International Diamond Grading System™ and the 4C’s (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight) and how they affect diamond value. He became proficient in the use of gemological equipment and procedures to identify and grade hundreds of gemstones. He learned to identify gemstone characteristics, simulants, and treatments and anticipate when advanced testing is required.

Eichhorn Jewelry is extremely proud to employ Matt Dyer with such a deep commitment to the family business. His continued dedication to Decatur and the surrounding area will help us remain firmly planted in this great Indiana community.

Trivia: Did you know one of the many scholarships Matt received to attend GIA was from Swarovski, the famous luxury cut glass producer?!

EICHHORN – of San Jose California

In celebration of 50 years in business we would like to feature one of our vendors each month.

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

One of our suppliers shares our same surname! Some years ago while visiting a trade show people kept coming up to us and saying “YOU are the Eichhorns!” Since we had badges on with our names we thought it odd for the outburst, maybe a prank or perhaps they thought they knew us? This seemed strange enough because we did not know what EICHHORN they were referring to. We had to find out just who these people thought we were.

In the discovery process, we found a couple who really know gems! Originally dealing exclusively in loose emeralds, sapphires and rubies, Eichhorn of San Jose added a new dimension by designing and manufacturing an extensive line of classic and contemporary jewelry featuring exquisite gemstones.

Importing from the mines and dealers in Colombia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Brazil, each gem is hand selected for its uniqueness and beauty by Dottie and Michael Eichhorn. Their dedication and attention to detail is their trademark. For over 20 years, Eichhorn Jewelry in Downtown Decatur has been dealing with Eichhorn of San Jose building a special relationship that continues today.

Trivia: Matt Dyer proposed to Abigail Murray in 2002 with a platinum diamond engagement ring mounting supplied by Eichhorn of San Jose!

HELPFUL: HEATHER (EICHHORN) CRUSE

In celebration of 50 years in business we would like to feature one of our employees each month.

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

When Eichhorn Jewelry started to expand exponentially on the web in 2006, it became apparent that an in house marketing director was needed to keep up with the constant increase in business. At that time Heather was working for another company in her field of expertise: business marketing. It was a stroke of luck that she considered a career move when asked to join the Eichhorn family jewelry business.

Most people would not believe all she does to promote Eichhorn Jewelry! Although, Eichhorn’s had a presence on the web since 1998, the website needed a boost. Her first job was to learn more about the jewelry business.  She was great at learning and is always willing to learn more about jewelry! Initially, Heather self-taught herself web building and most of what she continues to do today. Not even she would have guessed how the internet would evolve in such a relatively short time and catapult Eichhorn’s business.

In addition to posting new acquisitions of estate jewelry on the website, Heather is constantly updating our many vendors information. Her job entails answering a multitude of requests for gift certificates as we support many charitable causes each year.

Traditional marketing is still utilized by Eichhorn’s as Heather designs ads for area newspapers and magazines, creates direct mail pieces and purchases radio time.

With the advent of social media, Heather is busier than ever! It is an important part of our daily marketing. She still finds time to pinch hit on the sales floor, too, during the busiest of times and processes many of the internet orders she helped create!

TRIVIA:  Heather sends emails to nearly 4,000 of our customers several times a year. Let us know if you would like to be notified for upcoming special promotions and events: heathercruse@eichhornjewelry.com

Heather Cruse of Decatur Indiana Eichhorn Jewelry

Heather Cruse of Decatur Indiana Eichhorn Jewelry

Ruby

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

Throughout most of recorded history, ruby has been the world’s most valued gemstone. Even diamond was considered common in comparison to the supreme beauty and value of this glowing red gem. Named from the Latin word for its hue, ruber, ruby is the epitome of the boldest of colors: the gem of desire, passion, courage, and emotion.

In the ancient language of Sanskrit, ruby is called ratnaraj, or “king of precious stones.” In the Bible, only wisdom and virtuous women are “more precious than rubies.”

Early in the eleventh century, Persian sage al-Biruni was only conveying the popular wisdom of the time when he wrote that ruby has “the first place in color, beauty and rank” among all gems.

Nine centuries later, British author Max Bauer, in his 1894 Masterpiece Precious Stones, writes: “A clear, transparent, and faultless ruby of a uniform red color is at the present time the most valuable precious stone known.”

Granted, the value of fine ruby relative to other highly prized gems wasn’t as extreme in Bauer’s day as it had once been. Around 1550, Italian goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini reported that the finest one-carat ruby cost eight times more than a comparable-quality one-carat diamond. By Bauer’s time, the same ruby was only two times as expensive as its diamond equivalent.

Nevertheless, a 2:1 value ratio between fine rubies and diamonds is impressive. Certainly, ruby’s status as the most valuable gem of the age helps to explain why England took the rather drastic step of invading and annexing Upper Burma in 1885 when it learned a French company would begin mining of this gem at the famed Mogok ruby tract—the most celebrated source for ruby ever known and still the most important today.

Although certain color tones are associated with different country’s mines: Burma, now known as Myanmar, with pure reds, Vietnam with vivid pinkish rubies with exceptional clarity, Sri Lanka with more pastel softer pinkish reds, Thailand with dark red to burgundy, Kenya with translucent stones with juicy pure reds, Madagascar with pure transparent reds, color alone cannot tell you where a stone was born: a laboratory report may be required. When confirmed, stones from Burma’s famed Mogok mine command a premium, particularly if the color is natural.

Most rubies are heated almost to 2,000 degrees in order to maximize the red and remove secondary colors of blue and brown. Some rubies are also heated to improve clarity. Sometimes glassy residue can be trapped in fractures when the ruby cools. Heat enhancement is stable, does not require special care, and does not reduce the stone’s value unless significant residue is present.

If ruby shows no signs of heating, it is very rare. The stone’s natural color must be confirmed by a laboratory report if it is to command a premium. The ruby must also possess a pleasing color and appearance.

Ruby is most common in oval and cushion shapes. Other shapes may be difficult to find in sizes above a carat. Rubies above five carats are extremely rare and valuable.

Ruby, like sapphire, is the mineral corundum, one of the most durable minerals, a crystalline form of aluminum oxide. Corundum has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale and is also extremely tough. In its common form, it is even used as an abrasive. As a result, rubies are the most durable of gems. Clean with mild dish soap: use a toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect.

CHURCH & COMPANY

In celebration of 50 years in business we would like to feature one of our vendors each month.

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

One of our favorite suppliers is Church & Company of Toms River, NJ. Founded in 1922 by Charles Church, this line is made in the USA! Eileen Eichhorn received her first piece of fine jewelry – a 10K gold citrine ring for her 10th birthday made by Church & Co. Subsequent rings, self-purchased and as gifts for others continue as Eileen also presented her husband a black onyx ring – his wedding ring made by Church.

Known for fine quality and craftsmanship their signet rings consist of 129 styles. Each is available in six different metals, 10K yellow gold, 14K yellow or white gold, 18K yellow gold, platinum or sterling silver. In addition, these are also available in standard weight (which is really a heavy die-struck ring) or husky weight – 33% heavier! Each can be enhanced by the finest hand engraving in the world, for corporate awards or milestone graduation, anniversary or wedding gifts for the discriminating client. Family coat of arms, script or deep relief monograms are typically delicately carved on these by a Master Hand Engraver to achieve the utmost in detail for both men and women.

Adams Memorial Hospital selected these for their 20 year employee award rings each with one diamond set in each shoulder and the AMH logo hand engraved on top.

Church & Co. also supplies Eichhorn Jewelry with ancestry jewelry, coat of arms research, wax insignia rings, cufflinks, crosses, bracelets and other custom engravings. Fine quality precious gemstones of every variety in a vast number of styles in lady’s rings, pendants, and earrings in traditional styles and classic fashion designs are what make this one of our favorite vendors!

Trivia: Eileen Eichhorn worked for J.B. Hudson Jewelers while going to college in Minneapolis. She reminisces that the most discriminating of her elite customers chose Church & Co. jewelry for their corporate award gifts, too.

SPARKLING: SALLY HOEPPNER

In celebration of 50 years in business we would like to feature one of our employees each month.

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

Of all the many employees over the past 50 years, none have had such endearing qualities as our dear Sally Hoeppner. Finding her way to our door several years ago, Sally has the distinction of being our most loyal diamond ambassador. Always in the forefront of fashion, Sally truly loves jewelry.  She makes a fashion statement daily in her vast selections to compliment her style. Diamonds are her favorite accessory!

Sally’s husband has presented her with two milestone diamond gifts in recent years. For their 30th Anniversary she received a one carat Artcarved diamond ring. Just this past April – her birthstone is diamond – Sally was presented with an item from her ‘wish list’ – the Diamond Marriage Symbol necklace.

You will find Sally polished to perfection in her sweet voice. Having the distinction of the one who will call to remind you about the Diamond Club, Sally takes her phone job seriously.

I am sure Sally never realized all the many tasks she would perform while working at Eichhorn’s. One of her favorite is taking photographs of the multitude of watches and jewelry taken in for repairs daily.

Sally is a personal shopper, too. Extremely conscientious of value, Sally is great at finding the best buy for the young man who wants to become engaged on a budget. She will steer him to the wide selection of estate diamond rings.

Trivia: Having “adopted” her into our family, we lovingly call her another ‘sister’.  Sally adds a unique blend to the makeup of the mixed staff of Eichhorn family member-employees and the other adoptees.

Eichhorn Jewelry's employee; Sally Hoeppner of Berne Indiana

Eichhorn Jewelry employee; Sally Hoeppner of Berne Indiana

 Moonstone – the other June Birthstone

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

The ancient Romans theorized that moonstone, with its unearthly shimmer, was formed from frozen moonlight. This appealing gem variety does shine with a cool lunar light but it is the mineral feldspar, quite terrestrial in origin. The shimmer, which is called schiller or adularescence, is caused by the intergrowth of two different types of feldspar, with different refractive indexes.

Moonstones come in a variety of colors. The body color can range from colorless to gray, brown, yellow, green, or pink. The clarity ranges from transparent to translucent. The best moonstone has a blue sheen, perfect clarity, and a colorless body color.

Sometimes moonstone will have an eye as well as sheen. Another related feldspar variety is known as rainbow moonstone. In this variety of labradorite feldspar, the sheen is a variety of rainbow hues, from pink to yellow, to peach, purple, and blue. Sometimes one gem will show all these colors.

Fine moonstone is quite rare and becoming rarer. It is mined in Sri Lanka and Southern India. The rainbow variety can be found in India and Madagascar.

Moonstones are usually cut in a smooth-domed oval cabochon shape to maximize the effect. Sometimes they are carved to show a man-in-the-moon face.

Eichhorn Jewelry, Inc. recently acquired from Eichhorn-Gems of San Jose an 18K white gold fine moonstone bracelet with black and white diamonds. It is truly a beautiful example of moonstone at it’s best! You must see it to appreciate how spectacular it really is…

Alexandrite: JUNE BIRTHSTONE

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

If you love magic, especially the magic of science, you’ll love alexandrite, the color-change gem. Outside in daylight, it is a cool bluish mossy green. Inside in lamplight, it is a red gem, with a warm raspberry tone. You can watch it flick back and forth by switching from fluorescent to incandescent light. Alexandrite is a gem variety of the mineral chrysoberyl discovered in 1830 in Czarist Russia. Since the old Russian imperial colors are red and green it was named after Czar Alexander II on the occasion of his coming of age.

How does the color change work? Most gems transmit and absorb light throughout the visible spectrum and we interpret the mixture of the transmitted wavelengths as the gem’s color. Alexandrite transmits light only in two discrete windows of the spectrum, in the blue-green and red regions. The rest of the spectrum is absorbed. When viewed under light sources active in those particular regions of transmission, you see one of the two colors. In daylight, or in artificial light that simulates it, like fluorescent light, light waves in the green region predominate. In candlelight, or artificial light that simulates it like incandescent or tungsten light, light waves in the red region predominate. The gem is displaying changes in the light, not changing itself.

Today, fine alexandrite is most often found in period jewelry since newly-mined gems are extremely rare. You’ll see fine gems offered at auction with impressive estimates. The original source in Russia’s Ural Mountains has long since closed after producing for only a few decades and only a few stones can be found on the market today. Material with a certificate of Russian origin is still particularly valued by the trade. Some alexandrite is found in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and Brazil but very little shows a dramatic color change. For many years, alexandrite was almost impossible to find because there was so little available.

Then in 1987, a new find of alexandrite was made in Brazil at a locality called Hematita. The Hematita alexandrite shows a striking and attractive color change from raspberry red to bluish green. Although alexandrite remains extremely rare and expensive, the production of a limited amount of new material means a new generation of jewelers and collectors have been exposed to this beautiful gemstone, creating an upsurge in popularity and demand.

When evaluating alexandrite, pay the most attention to the color change: the more dramatic and complete the shift from red to green, without the bleeding through of brown from one color to the next, the more rare and valuable the stone. The other important value factors are the attractiveness and intensity of the two colors, the clarity, and the cutting quality. Due to rarity, large sizes command very high premiums.