Antique Jewelry Stars In Costume Drama

November 15th, 2014 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Antique splendor

We had a visit from one of our favorite clients, Chris, his wife Jaybee, and friends, on their way to a special event celebrating the Riverside Dickens Festival. We were pleased to see Jaybee wearing the exquisite antique necklace Chris recently acquired from Mardon. This necklace is one of the finest examples of Edwardian jewelry it’s been our pleasure to offer.

Edwardian Necklace, v2

As you can see, Chris and Jaybee were dressed in period costume, painstakingly created by Jaybee’s sister Judy. The event was a fundraiser for Riverside’s annual Dickens Festival held every February. Noted actor, director and producer Gerald Dickens, the great great grandson of famous author Charles Dickens, was the featured attraction, but we’ll bet he was upstaged by Jaybee in her gorgeous necklace and beautiful costume.

While the necklace graced our shop, I was particularly impressed by the design and workmanship of this wonderful platinum and diamond necklace. Read more in my blog article explaining the handcraft techniques and skills involved in creating this work of art  at this url,

At Mardon, we work with all types of fine jewelry. Whether it’s making custom items, designing original one-of-a-kind pieces, or discovering beautiful antique and vintage jewels, you’ll find us busy all hours of our day. We especially love the history of jewelry making. Stop by the shop to see and learn more about fine jewelry, from new to antique. Our regular hours are Tuesday thru Saturday, 10 am to 5:30 pm. Starting December 15, we’ll be open everyday til Christmas.

EGL Graded Diamonds– Banned from Polygon and Rapnet

September 20th, 2014 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

The Polygon Trading Network, an online buying/selling service for the diamond trade, announced the latest bombshell in the EGL Diamond Grading scandal. They will no longer list diamonds with European Gemological Laboratory International (EGL) reports. This follows in the wake of the decision by another trading network, RapNet, to ban all EGL report for it’s network.

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Readers Choice Best Jeweler 2014- Mardon!

September 6th, 2014 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

We’d like to thank our loyal customers for choosing us for the sixth year in a row as the Press Enterprise Reader’s Choice Best Jeweler. We truly appreciate your votes and your confidence in our small but mighty enterprise. The annual Reader’s Choice supplement will be published in tomorrow’s Sunday Press Enterprise. Read the rest of this entry »

Padparadscha or Not- What’s in a Name?

September 3rd, 2014 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG
Pad 3-4 for sure

2.33 ct. Padparadscha Sapphire, Mardon ring

One of the problems we encounter in the gem trade is misrepresentation to add value to gems. As aficionados of fine gemstones and as members of the American Gem Society and the American Gem Trade Association, we believe it’s important to conduct our business by a strict code of ethics and to protect our customers from fraud and false advertising.

We do this two ways. First, we keep our gemological skills up to date by yearly testing and by following trade publications and scientific journals. We know what we are talking about.

We work diligently to give our customers good information so that they know and understand what they are buying. The following is an example of the subtle differences that can make a big difference to the consumer.

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OOAK Benitoite & Platinum Engagement Ring–Strictly Custom

July 29th, 2014 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Benitoite 3:4 blog

Just back from the shop, this stunning Benitoite & platinum engagement ring was made to order for our client R. This young man truly went the extra mile to create this symbol of his love for his fiancé.

Wanting something beautiful, exotic and rare, he chose Benitoite. Our California State Gemstone is all of that. One of the rarest of all the gems used in jewelry, Benitoite is found only in one small mining area in San Benito County, California. Benitoite is famous for its beautiful blue color and its flashes of rainbow colors.

He’d read our blog about a Benitoite engagement ring and contacted us, looking to acquire a nice Benitoite. We showed him several stones from our contacts in the gem trade, but they weren’t “The One.” A diligent researcher, he found a lapidary in Central California who cuts this rare gem. R. drove hundreds of miles to a gem show to meet this cutter where he was able to purchase this beautiful triangular step cut stone.

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The Creative Process in Us All

June 27th, 2014 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Wolf Paw ring

The creative process is one of the things that makes us human. All of us have creative impulses and abilities. From the raw data of our senses and our life experiences, our minds build ideas based on thought, image, and emotion. We use these ideas in our daily life for such mundane things as everyday speech, signing our name, or making a sandwich. We express them more permanently through literature, art and music. At Mardon, we’re privileged to participate in the ideas and creations of our clients.

Recently, daughter Jenny worked with Fabian to create this unusual and striking custom ring. Fabian’s idea was to make a silver pinky ring in the image of a wolf paw print. At the Tucson Gem Shows, Jenny and husband Scott had purchased some very beautiful Oregon Sunstones and a nice group of 4 matching rainbow moonstones. It was a natural transition to use these interesting gems to represent the pads of the paw– the creative process in action.

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Rare Art Deco Pools of Light Necklace– with Stars!

June 20th, 2014 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG
BLOGPools w flowers

Striking Pools of Light Necklace


We acquired this highly unusual Art Deco Pools of Light necklace almost by accident. We recently purchased an estate of wonderful early 20th century jewelry items, mostly rings and pins. This piece and another interesting rock crystal necklace were included in the group. Since they had no gold content, we didn’t think too much about them and paid only a nominal amount. The wonderful thing about the jewelry business is that we learn something new everyday– in this case, we’ve discovered that this piece is a valuable Pools of Light necklace.

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Custom Rings Show Mardon’s Expertise & Versatility

June 11th, 2014 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG
Deco Ruby 3:4

Platinum Custom Ring.

These three recently completed custom rings show the versatility and craftsmanship of the experts at Mardon, in particular our gemologists, custom designers and hand engravers.

The spectacular platinum custom ring shown above is set with a 2 carat natural ruby that we brokered to our clients. Gemstone brokering means that our gemologists find a gem that meets your requirements from our network of gem traders and importers. Much like your stock broker or real estate broker, we’re able to find extra good values in the market place and we charge a straight commission for the service– in this case, saving our client about $3000 over what they might have paid for a similar stone at retail.

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2014 Reader’s Choice Voting Ends June 15

June 6th, 2014 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

The annual Press Enterprise 2014 Reader’s Choice voting is going on now!  It’s easy and fun to name your favorite shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. We, the merchants and vendors you name as your favorites, certainly appreciate your vote of confidence. To vote online, go to

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The Resurrection of a Ring

May 24th, 2014 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Damaged ring, 3:4jpg

We recently completed the resurrection of a ring that had been severely damaged.

Fine jewelry is made from precious materials that when properly cared for, will last for centuries. Gemstones are durable and ancient– diamond crystals are typically 1 to 2 billion years old. Gold is eternal. It doesn’t deteriorate and is never discarded– if a style or use becomes outdated or obsolete, gold is simply recycled into a new item. The gold ring on your finger almost certainly contains gold from ancient times, perhaps from the tombs of the Pharaohs!

But even the most well made ring will not survive the ravages of a garbage disposal! Our client accidentally dropped this and several other rings into her fast spinning garbage disposal. Can you imagine the screams of anguish over the grinding racket?

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