Arts and Crafts Repousse Brooch

January 5th, 2019 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Arts and Crafts Repousse Brooch of 14K gold, natural pearls, and black onyx.

This unusual antique Arts and Crafts gold brooch is now on display at Mardon Jewelers. Made circa 1900 or so, the piece shows the classic handcrafted elements of the Art and Crafts movement.

The craftsman began by drawing the design on paper, then either glued the design onto a sheet of 14K yellow gold or drew the design directly on the gold with india ink. The gold was then pierced with a jeweler’s saw to create the openings in the design and trimmed to the design outline.

The pierced sheet was then placed on a heavy pitch bowl. In the repousse method, the pitch in warmed just enough so that the work can be embedded firmly. The pitch is slightly pliable and supports the work while it’s being shaped with steel punches. The hemispheric shape of the bowl allows the work to move easily to follow the craftsman’s tools.

Pitch bowl, base, steel punches and chasing hammer. Photo courtesy Creatstudio.Co.UK

First, the piece was worked on the reverse side using steel punches and hammer to develop raised reliefs and the lovely three dimensional shape.

Warming the pitch again allowed the work to be turned over so the front could be tooled. The details of the front including the grape leaves and the over/under elements were hammered into the gold using various punches. The punch marks made a distinctive texture that enhances the hand wrought look. The finished gold item was bathed in chemicals several times to develop a bloomed gold surface. Bloomed gold is explained on this Mardon blog post, ‎

The bezel set black onyx center, which is actually dyed black chalcedony, has holes that were drilled so the grape leaf and pearl cluster could be attached. The grape leaf, also made with the repousse technique, was fired with opalescent enamel.

Opalescent enamels, so very popular in the late 1800’s, were made by mixing a small amount of opaque enamel powders with transparent enamel powders which were then fired (melted) onto the surface of the gold. Opalescent enamels were usually etched slightly with acids to create a matte surface, creating a lovely velvety look.

The Arts and Crafts movement rejected the mechanization of the Industrial Revolution and espoused the virtues of the individual craftsman. Rather than any particular style, Arts and Crafts designers cared more about excellence of design and fine hand craftsmanship. The floral elements of grape leaves and grapes, the warm bloomed gold and matte finished enamel of this brooch are very typical of the jewelry of the Late Victorian and Art Nouveau era.

You can tell by the slightly irregular shapes and openings that the work was done using hand tools. The design, meant to be symmetrical, is very slightly skewed as you might expect from something done by the human eye.

This brooch may have been a graduation or bridal gift because the grapes were symbolic of prosperity, fruitful unions, and abundance. We certainly know this piece was well loved because some of the enamel has chipped, an indication of substantial wear.

The brooch is unusual for an Arts and Crafts jewel in that it’s made of gold– Arts and Crafts jewelers were more concerned with the craftsmanship and design of their work than the value. Most jewels of this style were made of silver or copper rather than gold, so that’s why we consider it to be quite rare.

This antique jewel and others are waiting to share their stories with you at our estate department at Mardon. Stop by during our regular business hours Tuesday thru Saturday, 10:00 to 5:30. We’re located at the Canyon Crest Shopping Centre, 5225 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside. Enter the central parking lot from the Central Avenue entrance and you’ll see us just left of the RiteAid drug store.

Please keep us in mind if you have jewelry to sell– we’re always interested in buying  antique and vintage jewelry. Call for an appointment if you have things you’d like to sell or have us appraise.

Vintage Pop-out Coin Pendant

December 9th, 2018 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Repousse Morgan Silver Dollar with Miss Liberty

Repousse coins, also known as pop-out coins, are a novelty item made from actual minted coins. The process to make these was first patented in the US in 1902. Coins as small as a dime have been “popped-out.” Various presidents and celebrities have been memorialized this way, but the most popular subject has always been “Miss Liberty”.

This particular one was made from a 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar. It is set in a 14K yellow gold bezel that’s encircled by 24 Akoya cultured pearls.

Repousse is a traditional jewelry making technique where flat metal is worked from the reverse side into relief (3D) designs. This piece was created with hub and die method.

Master Hub on the left, Master Die on the right

A hub has a positive or relief (raised) image of a design on the end of a steel rod. The hub begins as a plaster sculpture about 8 to 12 inches in diameter, from which a Master Hub is created in steel. A special process reduces the image to the actual size needed and carves it into the steel. The Master Hub, which bears the relief image of the design, is then copied onto a Master Die (which bears the negative or sunken image of the design).

This silver dollar was pressed into the Master Die with a steel tool pushing from the back, using a press that can generate over 10,000 pounds per square inch of pressure!

Reverse view, showing tool impression

You can see from this side view just how far the silver is “popped out”– in this case, almost 1/2 inch!

Side View

This particular piece is beautifully sculpted. Miss Liberty’s gaze seems to follow you as you view the piece from side to side. She’s truly a masterpiece of the tool and die maker’s art!




45 degree view from left

45 degree view from right

How many individuals has this serene face greeted? We should thank our friends in France again for this beautiful lady– she’s a shining symbol of our American way of life!

You’ll be able to see Miss Liberty in the estate department along with many other interesting and unusual vintage items at Mardon Jewelers, Canyon Crest Towne Centre, 5225 Canyon Crest Dr, Riverside, CA, 92507. Enter the main parking lot on Central–we’re the first shop to the left of the Rite Aid drugstore in the center parking lot. We’re open 7 days a week from now til Christmas, 10 – 5:30 Sunday thru Thursday, 10 – 8 Friday and Saturday.












Mission Belle Memorial Trip

November 9th, 2018 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Dutch children at the Mission Bell memorial, along the River Lek, Holland

On a recent trip to Holland, we participated in the unveiling of a memorial to the Mission Belle, an American B17G that was shot down near Rotterdam on December 1, 1943 after a mission to bomb war materials factories in Germany.

The Mission Belle was part of the famous 8th Air Force. Half the U.S. Army Air Force’s casualties in WWII were suffered by the valiant 8th– 26,000 dead, 47,000 wounded. Eighth Air Force personnel were awarded 17 Medals of Honor, as well as 220 Distinguished Service Crosses, 442,000 Air Medals and of course, numerous Purple Hearts.

The people of the Netherlands suffered grievously during WWII. Many ferocious battles were fought over and on Dutch and Belgian soil. Toward the end of the war, the Nazis confiscated all the available food so that the Dutch were starving. Allied airlifts of food saved many lives. The Dutch have not forgotten.

The memorial to the Mission Belle was created by the people living near the crash site. The good folk of these small villages including Lekkerkerk and Neiw-Lekkerland banded together to pay for and build the monument.

We were invited to the unveiling because my father was the copilot who crash landed the badly shot up B-17 in the River Lek. Two drowned in the crash while Dad and six others survived. The tail gunner had been killed in the battle to shoot down the plane. All the surviving crew were then captured by the Nazis and became prisoners of war. My dad survived 18 months in Stalag Luft 1, near Barth, Germany. The other 6 Americans also spent the rest of the war in prison camp and lived to tell their stories.

The ceremonies leading up to and the actual unveiling of this monument to the crew of the Mission Belle were simply amazing. Needless to say, we and the other family members of the crew were treated like royalty– all 36 of us! Prior to the ceremony, a group of WWII re-enactors, dressed in period uniforms, recreated the actual briefing for the final flight of the Mission Belle. We were driven to the monument in WWII Jeeps and Trucks where we were greeted by a large cheering crowd!

Band of Brothers re-enactors

Army trucks leaving the memorial

The day after the unveiling, we visited the cemeteries where the 3 who died are buried, two at the Netherlands American Cemetery at Margraten, Netherlands, the other at the Ardenne American Cemetery in Belgium.

Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Holland

Ardenne American Cemetery, Belgium

Our experience was an eye opener. What really struck home and warmed our hearts was how appreciative the Dutch still are of the thousands of Americans who fought and died liberating their country. Thanks to our guys, they have had 75 years of peace. The Dutch take their children to these monuments and teach them that there is a price to pay for freedom. In their words, freedom is not a given thing.

On this Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, please take a moment to reflect on your life, how many good things you enjoy and especially, your own personal freedom – give all of our brave veterans, living and dead, a salute.






Gemstone Supply Chain

October 24th, 2018 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Tanzanite and Tsavorite

National Jeweler, a weekly trade publication, posted an article August 29 about “Gem Legacy”, a nonprofit trust set up by jewelry professionals to support education and vocational training in the local economies of East Africa. The countries of this region are major sources of colored gemstones and diamonds, yet many of those persons who mine these natural treasures live in poverty.

Roger Dery, his wife Ginger and daughter Rachel, of Roger Dery Gem Design, have established Gem Legacy to help the people in these communities develop the skills needed for a better life. Various programs include primary schools, gemological education and gem faceting training. Jobs that used to go to cutting centers in Europe and Asia are now becoming available to the people of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.

It’s a reminder that the beautiful Tanzanites, Tsavorites and Sapphires we love so much don’t just appear like magic. They come to us thru a complicated supply chain that involves the skills and efforts of many human beings. Their traditional value, based on their beauty, durability, and rarity, is also enhanced by the jobs they create.

There are many steps involved in the supply chain that brings gems from the mine to the final consumers. Each step means a job for someone. Here is what we might see with the Tanzanites and Tsavorites of East Africa.

  1. Miners tunnel into gem bearing ore. Methods range from pick and shovel to explosives and jack hammers.
  2. Sorters clean gem ore to find and prepare gem crystals for first sale.
  3. Rough buyers and miners sell sorted rough crystals to cutters.
  4. Cutters re-sort rough, then shape, cut and polish gems.
  5. Graders examine and sort finished gems.
  6. Gem dealers sell finished gems to large supplier firms as well as individual buyers.
  7. Suppliers sell to manufacturing jewelers, retail jewelers, and individuals.
  8. Manufacturing jewelers make the jewelry- big firms have specialists for each step in making jewelry.
    1. Casters or Fabricators
    2. Stone setters
    3. Finishers and polishers
  9. Retail jewelers sell the jewelry to consumers.

As members of the American Gem Society (AGS) and the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), Mardon Jewelers is committed to transparency about the gems and materials we use in our jewelry. We support efforts like Gem Legacy to improve the lives of the people in the countries of origin. The trust accepts contributions from concerned individuals and organizations. If you’re interested in learning more about the Derys’ nonprofit or would like to donate, visit

Reader’s Choice 2018

September 1st, 2018 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Results are in for the 2018 Reader’s Choice Survey by the Riverside Press Enterprise. Thank you, our loyal fans and supporters — You’ve done it again! Mardon Jewelers has been voted the Best Jeweler of the Inland Empire for the Tenth Year in a Row!

This last year has been a time of growth and change at Mardon. We just celebrated our second year in the new shop at Canyon Crest Towne Centre. Our customers love the new location with it’s easy access and parking (enter from Central Ave), and beautiful spacious shopping environment. If you haven’t been to the new Mardon, please come by– you’ll find the same friendly and informative faces, comfortable no pressure atmosphere, and our unique blend of one of a kind and custom jewelry, estate jewelry, and of course, the famous Raincross Collection.

In May 2017, Stephanie Holcomb became a member of our Mardon team. She’s a local gal with lots of personality and great people skills. Stephanie is working with Jenny to manage our social media outreach, and she’s an avid student of gems and jewelry. Please stop by and say hello– Stephanie has a great eye for style and always seems to find just the right piece for her customers.

Diamonds are in the news. Recent scientific discoveries are giving us new insight into the origin of diamonds. One study indicates that the ultra rare natural color blue diamonds containing boron are found in oceanic rocks that have been carried by tectonic movement 400 miles deep into the heart of the earth. Most natural diamonds form at half that depth. In light of this research, Gems and Gemology, the scientific journal of GIA, published a major article, Summer 2018, explaining the causes of color in blue diamonds.

Advances in technology have it feasible to produce laboratory-grown diamonds that are large enough to be faceted. Laboratory-grown diamonds do have a lot to offer the consumer. Their physical characteristics are the same as natural diamonds, so they can be just as sparkly and durable. They are not inexpensive – prices are currently about one third to one half the price of natural diamonds. Traditional jewelry stores are carrying them. One of our biggest suppliers, Stuller, has announced that they will produce laboratory-grown diamonds, so you can order these diamonds at Mardon.

The caveat is that buyers should be aware that because this is a very new product, prices are still in flux. Rarity isn’t part of the value equation of laboratory grown diamonds. Since these laboratory-grown diamonds can be produced efficiently, there isn’t a limit on how many can be produced. More production could easily create an oversupply with resulting price drops, so we recommend that buyers educate themselves thoroughly before buying.

Also, consumers should be aware that these diamonds are being marketed as eco-friendly diamonds via the internet under many names and brands. Laboratory-grown diamonds are created in a factory setting using fossil fuels to produce the high levels of electricity needed to synthesize carbon into diamond. The process requires huge amounts of heat and high temperatures for several months. The Jewelers Vigilance Council, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, has called upon producers of laboratory-grown diamond to substantiate “eco-friendly” claims, but no evidence has been produced.

As always, Mardon strives to bring you the best values in fine jewelry and the most current and accurate information about jewelry and gems. Thanks again for your Reader’s Choice vote as the Best Jeweler in the Inland Empire– We’ll do our best in the coming year to live up to your expectations.




A Tale of Three Jades

August 21st, 2018 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Custom Ring by Mardon with fine Jadeite

Jade is unique in the world of gems because there are several different minerals that are correctly called jade. The history of jade begins as far back as the Stone Age. Jade minerals, including nephrite and jadeite, resist breakage but are soft enough to carve, so they were used to make stone tools by several neolithic cultures, both in Europe and Asia. As far back as ~3400 BC, nephrite was mined in China where it was used mainly as ceremonial carvings and utilitarian objects like cups and incense censers.

While the colors of nephrite are muted and soft, the best jadeite from Burma can be rich emerald green with a beautiful jelly like translucence.  The QianLong Emperor of China (1735 – 1796 ) fell so in love with the fabulous green jadeites from Burma that he went to war with the King of Burma. After the Chinese suffered a disastrous defeat, the two rulers settled their differences. Chinese lapidaries were allowed to locate in Mandalay so they could buy, process and trade in jadeite between the two countries.

To this day, many Chinese people prize bright green Burmese jadeite above all other gems, referring to the best qualities as “feicui” i.e kingfisher green, after the bright green feathers of the local bird. This quality of green jadeite, which looks like mint jelly, is referred to as “Imperial” jade and is one of the most expensive gems on the planet.

Fine Art Deco jadeite platinum ring

One of our customers purchased a group of jade jewelry items recently on a trip to mainland China. The stones were represented as jadeite. The color and overall appearance is similar to “Imperial” jadeite and the price seemed like a bargain, so he bought two bracelets and matching earrings. Soon after buying , he noticed one of the stones was missing and one was broken.

The customer wanted us to replace the two stones but something about the jades didn’t seem quite right. Their color was great but the overall appearance didn’t look like the jadeite we’ve seen. We sent the bracelet to Jeff at Mason Kaye in Denver, a well known jade vendor and expert, for testing to see if the material was dyed.

broken jade

The jade report came back as natural color jade but Jeff couldn’t put a value on the stones. Close examination of this broken piece on one of the bracelets gave us the reason. The jades were cut from very dark green material, shaped into cabochons and then hollowed from the back into a very thin dome– 0.3 mm in fact. That’s about as thick as a chicken’s egg shell! The stones were made to appear translucent by setting the stones over a mirror bright surface.

We think these stones may be omphacite jade, a mineral that is a cousin of jadeite. It’s impossible to separate the two using normal gemological tests. Omphacite is generally very dark green to almost black. Like jadeite, the color is derived from impurities of chromium. If this was very dark material to start, the hollowing out technique allows them to appear to be high quality jade. The obvious problem is durability.

In 2012*, the Gem Trade Laboratory of the GIA tested a stone that appeared to be fine quality green jadeite. The stone tested the same as jadeite with standard gemological tests– same refractive index of 1.66, chrome lines and 437 nanometer line in the visible light spectrum of the desk model spectroscope. One of their gemologists noticed the stone had different look and a somewhat different texture. He tested it with their Raman spectroscope to be omphacite . This was unexpected because the mineralogical description of omphacite showed higher optical properties compared to jadeite. Since this discovery, GIA tested numerous pieces previously thought to be jadeite to be omphacite! GIA has now classified omphacite as a type of jade, described as omphacite jade.

We don’t yet know whether fine omphacite jades will equal the value of fine Imperial jadeite jades. We’ve seen some bright green omphacite jades (not hollowed like the above) offered at auction that were similar in appearance to Imperial jadeite. The market will decide, based on availability and how well consumers will accept these type of jade.

Obviously, in light of situations like we described above and with issues of jade-like materials like maw sit sit, dyed jade and jade imitations, buyer beware! We recommend only buying jade from jade experts and gemologists you know and trust. As members of the American Gem Society, our mission is consumer protection through education, full disclosure and fair business practices– we promise you’ll know just what you are buying and that you’ll pay a fair price for your purchase.



Custom Jewelry by Mardon

June 1st, 2018 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Color Change Garnet in Custom 14K Yellow Gold Ring

Recent custom pieces by Mardon show off some reasons why people have us make custom jewelry.

We made this snake ring set with a rare gem for a long time client who has a taste for Asian art. We made her a custom diamond ring several years ago that featured Asian style dragons on both sides of a very nice round diamond. This new piece features a serpent wrapped around a rare color change garnet from Africa.

Color change garnets have been mined in Tanzania, Madagascar and Sri Lanka since the 1980’s. Production has been mostly small stones– this 1.20 ct gem is large for the type. They are a variety of Pyrope Garnet. According to one mineralogist, they are mix of 80% Pyrope, 10% Spessartine, and 10% Almandine. Like the alexandrite, they have the rare property of appearing red to pink in incandescent light and blue green in daylight. Our client has become intrigued by some of the rare gems we feature in our shop, and wanted something very unusual. She was delighted with her new ring.

Unusual Opal Doublet in Custom 14K White Gold Ring

This unusual opal ring was made featuring a high quality opal doublet from a yellow gold ring that our client had worn for years. It was a favorite but she wanted it in white gold. The stone had acquired scratches and dings, so we had it repolished before making the new ring. The new ring shows off the unusual shape of the gem and accents the color of the opal with the sparkle of white diamonds

Art Deco-inspired Custom Ring with Sapphires and Diamon

This unique design is based on a vintage Art Deco ring collected by our client who buys and sells vintage jewelry. She loved the design, but wanted something in white gold that would be good for everyday wear. Our CAD wizard, Jenny, worked with her to develop this great looking white gold ring set with diamonds and blue sapphires. Simply stunning!

Tsavorite Garnet & Diamonds in 14K Gold Pendant with Abalone Shell Texture

This intriguing pendant was made for a couple who’ve traveled extensively and had bought the pear shaped Tsavorite garnet on one of their trips. The owner brought us a sketch of his design. The tricky part was that he wanted a textured surface around the stones that is reminiscent of the surface inside an abalone shell.  Jenny was able to translate his thoughts successfully; he told us we captured just what he had in mind.

The stone had been worn in a ring for years so it was pretty scuffed up. Our lapidary re-faceted the top with just a few points of weight lost. The new owner was delighted– she hadn’t seen the Tsavorite so sparkly in years.

CAD rendering for custom pendant

At Mardon, we make custom jewelry starting with a idea, sometimes a simple sketch. We develop your ideas into a CAD rendering which illustrates the new design perfectly. The CAD design is then made into a castable model by our CNC mill which carves the model out of wax or by our 3D printer which grows the model out of plastic resins.

It’s our job to help you realize your ideas and desires into a new piece of jewelry that suits your lifestyle. We’re a true manufacturing jeweler working directly with consumers. You can visit our shop at 5225 Canyon Crest Drive, #14, Tuesday thru Saturday, 10 to 5:30.

Don’t forget to cast your ballot online for the 2018 Annual Reader’s Choice survey — Sunday, June 3 is the last day you can vote. We hope you’ll choose Mardon as the Best Jeweler of the Inland Empire–for the tenth year in a row! Thanks for all your votes.

It’s easiest to vote on line — just follow this link.

You can take the entire survey for your choices for best local shopping, restaurants and services. For your ballot to count, vote for at least 25 categories — it’s easy and fun. And you can vote every day! Voting ends this Sunday, June 3.

We thank you for your vote and support– this recognition inspires us and helps us keep going to bring you beautiful custom pieces like the ones shown in this post.

Pearl Blossoms

May 29th, 2018 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Pearl Blossom Necklace and Earrings- Original Design by Kaye Sweaney

We’re proud to introduce “Pearl Blossoms”, the newest pearl fashions by Kaye Sweaney of Mardon. Kaye calls these “Pearl Blossoms” because they remind her of cherry blossoms and other flowers. These unique pieces are each made by hand from “Keshi” pearls from the pearl farms of Asia. Keshi are accidental pearls which spontaneously form as by products of pearl cultivation. Keshi are produced in both saltwater and freshwater pearl farms.

Kaye saw these bright but irregular freshwater keshi pearls and fell in love with their soft luster and shifting colors known as “orient.”  They reminded her of flower petals, so she  went to work to develop a way to make her lovely “Pearl Blossom” jewels. After much trial and error, she was able to create these beautiful blossoms.

Pearl Blossom Enhancer

You’ll find “Pearl Blossoms” only at Mardon Jewelers, the best jewelry store in Riverside. The Limited Edition earrings start at $75, the 5 blossom necklace is $295. If we don’t have exactly what you’d like, Kaye will be happy to make  special blossoms just for you!

Don’t forget that June is Pearl Month– Pearls, Moonstone, and Alexandrite are the birthstones for June.

Pearl Blossoms are now on display at Mardon Jewelers at the Canyon Crest Towne Centre, 5225 Canyon Crest Drive, #14. It’s best to enter the center from the Central Avenue entrance– we’re the first store left of Rite Aid. We’re open Tuesday thru Saturday, 10 to 5:30.

If you’ve enjoyed the blog about Kaye’s beautiful Pearl Blossoms, please give us a vote of confidence in the 2018 Inland Empire Reader’s Choice survey sponsored by the Press Enterprise. It’s easiest to vote on line — just follow this link.

You can take the entire survey for all your choices for best local shopping, restaurants and services. For your ballot to count, vote for at least 25 categories — it’s easy and fun.  And you can vote every day! Voting ends this Sunday,  June 3.

We thank you for your vote and support– this recognition inspires us and helps us keep going to bring you fine original pieces like Kaye’s Pearl Blossoms found only at Mardon Jewelers.

Antique Victorian Cameo Set

May 18th, 2018 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Agate Cameo Necklace and Earrings, circa 1870

This just in– an exciting antique necklace and matching earrings with Agate Cameos, from the Victorian era. Hardstone cameos were associated with mourning jewelry starting as early as the 16th century. Sets like this came into vogue during the reign of Queen Victoria after the death of her beloved husband Prince Albert in 1861. The tassel places this set squarely in the Mid Victorian period, circa 1870-1880

The set consists of a necklace with a centerpiece of fabricated 1oK rose gold, set with a banded agate cameo and freshwater pearls. The center setting is basically a box fabricated by hand from sheet gold. The front is lavishly decorated with hand engraving and taille de epergne enameling. Taille de epergne is a variation of champleve enameling where opaque enamels– usually black– are fired into engraved lines forming a design. This necklace is especially nice compared to others we have seen because of unusual shape, the added leaves and natural pearls, and of course, the tassel. Overall condition is very good, considering the set is ~150 years old!

Left and right facing earrings

The earrings feature matching agate cameos, beautifully made with hand engraving and taille de epergne engraving. One cameo facing left, the other faced right so they both face forward when worn. The earrings are nicely articulated- the middle section is hinged the top where the earwires attach and the little engraved “skirts” below the cameo are also jointed.

Anticlastic handmade chain

The interesting 17 inch chain is completely handmade of 5 mm anticlastic (having opposite curvatures at a given point) wire rings, assembled into units and soldered.

Cameos and intaglios were very popular in the 1800’s. Cameos have the carved figure raised above a level surface, usually of a contrasting color, while intaglios are carved down into the surface, opposite that of a cameo. Kind of like navels– inny or outy!

Shell cameo from the 1920’s

Moonstone intaglio from the 19th Century

Hardstone cameos are most often carved from banded agate so that the carved figure is a light color that contrasts with the dark base layer. This set is black and white, others can be brown and white or orangy pink and white. Hardstone cameos are more expensive than cameos carved from shell because the carving is  difficult and time consuming. As such, hardstone cameos are more rare than shell cameos and are very collectible.

Sold as a set only, I-27903, this wonderful antique necklace with matching earrings is now showing in our estate department, Tuesday thru Saturday, 10 -5:30.

If you enjoyed this blog, please give us a vote for Best Jeweler in the 2018 Reader’s Choice survey– it’s easy! You can use a mail-in ballot from the daily newspaper of the Riverside Press Enterprise or even even better, vote online at

And, you can vote once every day! We hope you’ll help us make it 10 years in a row as Best Jeweler in the Inland Empire. Thanks for your support and your vote!


Beer Walk, Canyon Crest

May 1st, 2018 by James L. Sweaney, CGA, FGA. GG

Craft Beer Walk Poster

The 4th Annual Craft Beer Walk at Canyon Crest is next Saturday, May 5.  The Walk starts at 4 pm and lasts until 8 pm. This is your chance to visit interesting shops, see new things and sample local Craft Beers and tasty knoshes in a relaxed atmosphere– and you don’t have to fight the freeway! Tickets are available at Mardon Jewelers and other merchants in the center– $35 includes beer and food, $25 for food only.  Your ticket will entitle you to quaff delicious local brews and nibble new snacks, meet the merchants and experience the latest in jewelry, books, clothing, and services.

Mardon is featuring the unique beers and ales of Euryale Brewing Company of Riverside. This local micro brewery is known as one of the best in the Inland Empire — check out their website,

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