Frequently asked Questions
What is Arareity?
Arareity is a jewelry and art glass gallery in “The Building” at 10th and R streets. We’re just a few blocks from California’s capitol in downtown Sacramento. Many arts related businesses are housed here next to the Fox and Goose Pub.
Arareity was started by Donald Garrett and Carole Koblik in March 1974. With $5000 they walled in Arareity’s section of ‘The Building’ and stocked the store with loose beads, sterling silver and a few gold items. Slowly, living on Carole’s income from teaching, they built up a stock of gold items. For three years all profit was put back into the business.
By 1980 Arareity was solely owned by Carole Koblik, which resulted in a distinctly more feminine store. Arareity no longer carried beads, but now featured blown and fused art glass. Carole began taking the Gemological Institute of Americas gemology classes to give Arareity the much needed credibility needed by a new store.
The name Arareity was the result of a word game. A•rare•ity was meant to express that this gallery would present a more varied collection of interesting jewelry than usually available in one location. The breadth of vision comes from the owner’s education: art, art history and archaeology. Years of overseas travel whetted her appetite for the unusual and historical. This background gives Carole’s custom designs a greater breadth of creativity. We set all gem materials in silver, gold, or platinum as desired. We design to compliment your hand or face… This is not a generic product.
Arareity’s goals: 1) giving its customers the best quality product available for the price. 2) Educating them about the jewelry they select and to ensure these pieces will give them optimal satisfaction, for the life of the product.
What price ranges will I find in Arareity?
Our prices range from $10.00 to above $4,000.00. The reason there is such a range in price is that our stock is extremely diverse. We carry many California jewelry lines but we also select designer pieces from all over the world. You can peruse the websites of some of our designers here.
In general, jewelry prices are set by the “supply and demand” economic principle. Rare stones cost more when many people are competing to buy them. Stones that are abundant, synthetic or heavily treated should cost much less. Metal prices reflect the value of the dollar in the international marketplace. Machine-made products are mass produced and cost less because of the efficiency of the process. We can customize them by sizing, adding extra links to extend the length, making matching earrings etc.
Our custom designs are hand-crafted once. The process takes longer, but the payoff is having a one-of-a-kind original. This obviously costs more, but our designer jewelry is very durable as well as creative and the extra years of pleasure offset the price.
What are the payment options in Arareity?
For purchases out of our jewelry cases there are two options: pay in full or layaway. Our layaway is a 30-60-90 plan. You pay 25% on the day of purchase and 25% at 30, 60 and 90 days or sooner if you want. There is no interest or carrying charge. Jewelry remains in the store until fully paid for. For stones, you’ll be expected to pay at least 50% on the day of selection. Then you can use our layaway plan as needed.
Shortly after a design consultation, you’ll receive a quote. Once you approve the quote we will expect a 50% deposit. If a wax is to be carved, we’ll want the deposit when you approve it.
Extensive repairs or expensive stone replacements may be a financial burden. All the above options apply.
We accept cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard and American Express.
Is there a fee for a design consultation?
No! Arareity staff is always ready to help you with any of your jewelry needs.
What is the custom design process?
Please call us at (916) 446-1535 to make an appointment. Once you tell us about your project, we may be able to order stones or other supplies before you come in. Be ready to discuss a budget so that we have an idea how to proceed.
Your appointment will start with an expanded discussion of what you want: ring, earrings, wedding set, remount, matching band, copy of an existing piece, pendant, bracelet etc. Our designer will sketch multiple concepts that meet your requirements so that you have choices.
Over time, a person develops a certain style. We’ll help you compliment your look and flatter the shape of your face and hands. Subtle nuances in the design will enhance your appearance and reflect who you are. Fashion is fleeting. Classic design is timeless.
How can I get my stone mounted?
Come into Arareity and enjoy looking at the huge variety of jewelry styles. If you have no clue what you might want, try on many pieces. Soon you’ll find the shapes and styles that are the most flattering. Using your preferences, our designers can then create concepts which compliment you and suit your lifestyle.
Sometimes your stone will be a calibrated size. Then you will have many choices for settings that do not have the additional cost of one-of-a-kind pieces. Again there will be a multiplicity of designs, metals, textures etc.
If you already had a concept, even if it’s only verbal, we will be able to help you achieve your goal. Subtle changes make jewelry more comfortable, durable and enhance the appearance of your stones. You can celebrate, commemorate and fabricate with our help!
What other stones could I have in my engagement ring?
In theory, you could have any gem material you want. In fact, your hand and the rings you wear daily take a beating. Carole Koblik has spent many years helping customers who want softer gems create designs that will protect these stones. Even diamonds can be chipped or broken if hit. Rubies and sapphires scratch more easily but are very durable because of their interlocking crystalline structure.
Mr. Moh devised a scale for scratchability that, like Mr. Richter’s earthquake scale, increases geometrically. Durability on this scale refers to a stone’s reaction to extreme heat or cold, acids or being struck forcefully.
What stones can be used for inlay styles?
Properly constructed inlaid jewelry has a stone(s) cut to fit inside a depression in the metal. Just as a pool is filled with water, a stone is carefully cut to fit precisely into a space. The metal is then shaped around it to hold it securely in place. Sometimes glue is used for extra protection. The most durable inlay material is Jade, which comes in many colors. Indigenes populations of many cultures have used turquoise, coral and shell. Malachite and lapis lazuli are popular choices as well.
Changing the size of inlay rings results in a hole which is ovate not round. You cannot change the shape of the arc under the stones or they will crack and fall out.
Arareity has a craftsman who can repair and maintain inlay work. He will produce the new designs Carole Koblik creates as well.
How can I be sure I’m getting a great diamond or colored stone?
Today most good stones come with a certificate which states its quality on known scales. This document will list the stone’s weight and millimeter measurements. Diamond’s color, clarity and cut will be specified. Colored stones will be checked for signs of enhancement.
Many stones are cut to specific calibrated sizes so that machines can set them into machine made goods. At Arareity, the stones have been selected for beauty. Hand setting of precious stones gives us the opportunity to offer a superior product.
How can I tell if my stone is real?
Some gemstones are easily identified by the Arareity staff. Others may be tested or examined under high magnification at our studio. Potentially high end stones may be removed from their mountings and sent to the Gemological Institute of America for certification. We will help you make the appropriate decision.
How can I tell if my pearls are real?
The classic method is to rub them against your front teeth. If they feel grainy, they are probably real. If they feel slick or smooth, then they are probably not. Using a microscope or magnifying lens, examine the area around the hole. Beads of plastic, shell or glass which have been coated with a pearlescent material will look different inside the hole. The coating often “pools” around the hole creating a “lip.” The lip may be broken exposing the underlying bead.
What are synthetic stones?
Advances in science have made it possible to recreate the exact formulas and processes it takes to replicate expensive gems. Diamond, ruby, sapphire, spinel, alexandrite and opal are available in synthetics. These faux gems are made to look like the higher qualities of the natural stone. The jewelry labs are constantly working to discover the latest indications of non-natural origin. Synthetic quartz is also available but because of the low cost of quartz, little effort is made to distinguish it from natural.
What is required to start an order?
For a custom design please call (916) 446-1535 to arrange an appointment with Carole. She is the owner and has been the primary designer for the 36 years we’ve been in business. Her degree in Art and Art History is from U.C. Davis.
To place special orders just come in and all of our staff can help you. Special orders might be for chains, charms, wedding bands or duplicates of store samples in a different color of gold or with alternate stones. Redesigning strands of beads or pearls is the special province of Lilly and Jan. They’ll be happy to work with you to produce a superior necklace and matching earrings if desired.
To ensure the right person will be here, call (916) 446-1535.
How long does it take to make a custom design?
There is no set answer to this question. It will never be as fast as ordering from one of our designer catalogs. Some of them have overnight delivery. Smaller specialty studios take longer.
A custom design drawn here will go to one of three master artisans in Sacramento who will hand make it. None of them are just sitting at an empty bench waiting for the next job to show up. Their work is in demand. All have areas of special expertise and we will make sure that your design gets to the craftsman who will do it best.
If you are planning to propose, get married or celebrate a birthday or anniversary, give us at least a month to produce a custom design. The process may be prolonged by the need to have a selection of stones brought in before we begin designing. Side stones are available overnight. If you need to pay by layaway it will lengthen the schedule.
You can be assured of timing once all the variables are known to the jeweler. He’ll give you a finish date with your quote. You might delay the process if you are unavailable to approve your wax. Once in a great while a second wax approval is needed and that too may cause a delay.
What if I do not live in the greater Sacramento area?
We take custom requests from people all over the world! Send us an e-mail, or call with your request.
Can you copy an antique or heirloom piece of jewelry?
If you have the original item, sometimes we can mold it. Old filigree mountings do not mold well. If you only have photos or memories it will be more of a challenge. Many old pieces can be found off of the Internet. All artists have copied things from nature and one another over the centuries. We’re no exception.
Can I have my own stones remounted into a new design?
Yes. If you want additional stones in the new setting, we’ll supply them.
Can you use my old gold in new designs?
Recasting old metals often results in porosity. Sponges and Swiss cheese are porous. The holes weaken the structure and that affects durability. At Arareity, we only use fresh casting grain. If you insist we must use your old gold it will be at your own risk. We can always credit your old gold toward the cost of custom designs instead.
Can you help me fix problems with any jewelry?
Customers often come to us for help when their jewelry doesn’t function well for them. Some of the issues are age-related. Enlarged knuckles create problems with rings. The industry provides some options and we have others. Clasps can be impossible to use and again we’ll have solutions for you. Jewelry that was sweet looking at 16 becomes diminutive later in life. We can update the look by enhancing the scale. Only one earring left? We can make a match or it can be converted to a pendant. Wrists vary greatly. Cuff bracelets can be reshaped if there is no inlay work. Jewelry on the hand or wrist always takes a beating. Regular maintenance will help prevent the loss of stones. Diamonds can easily cut through metals once they are loose in their mountings.
Why should I appraise jewelry?
Appraisals give a value that varies by the purpose. Insurance appraisals must take into account the cost of replacing the items with like materials. Estate appraisals are for establishing a value for comparison so equitable divisions can be made or for tax purposes. Scrap appraisals are for discovering exactly what you can receive in exchange for a piece of jewelry.
Arareity staff will be happy to identify what you have and recommend whether or not an appraisal is appropriate.
How do I insure my jewelry?
Comparison shopping is a must but you need to make sure you understand exactly what the coverage is. Your home owners or renters policy may have options. Check the fine print! Will they replace only at cost on the day of purchase? Will they cover the cost of inflation? Will they cover for mysterious disappearance? Will they only cover if a gun is used in the robbery? Get the answers!
Jeweler’s Mutual is our insurer. They cover retailers, wholesalers, private companies and individuals. They only insure jewelry and therefore cover more than most insurance policies. We have their pamphlets in the store.
How can I keep my jewelry safe at home?
There are a number of options at varying cost and convenience. A well-made safe attached securely to an immoveable surface is your best option. If it is inconvenient because of location, you won’t be as likely to use it.
Never keep your fine jewelry in your bedroom or bathroom. Break-in robberies happen quickly and they will look in these locations first. We recommend the kitchen or pantry. Store items in containers usually found in these cupboards. Use a safety deposit box in a bank to store jewelry that is out of season, out of style (cyclical) or just not being worn. Rotate as desired. Do not put pearls in a vault. It’s too dry.
If you hide jewelry in the house always us the same locations and keep an accurate list of what is hidden where. Only trusted friends or family should know of this list.
Travel with jewelry you don’t care about losing. Wear what you bring that is valuable even in bed. Use hotel safes while deep sea diving or other cold temperature situations. Rings fall off cold fingers.
What does 14K gold mean?
Gold jewelry is produced in 10K, 12K, 14K, 18K, 22K or 24K. 24K is pure gold. All the others tell you the fraction of gold to other alloys. Alloys are added to strengthen and add beauty to the finished product.
For example, 14K is 14/24 gold and 10/24 other alloys. If white gold is wanted the alloys are quite different in order to mask the natural color of gold. Rose or pink gold has more copper than usual. 14K is the most common percentage in the United States. In Europe 18K is preferred. Indian and Asian cultures prefer 22K or even 24K. You must be careful knowing the pure metal is soft.
What is platinum?
Platinum is another metal used in jewelry. It is part of a group that includes rhodium, palladium, ruthium and iridium. Platinum is often found in the same location as gold but is rarer. You need to process more dirt to get it. Africa and Russia are the primary sources.
Platinum is a valuable war material. During periods of global conflict, it disappears from the jewelry marketplace. It melts at a higher temperature, is more difficult to work and requires totally different equipment.
Platinum is more durable over long periods of time and does a superior job of holding onto stones. However, plain surfaces scratch more easily and require frequent repolishing to keep a silvery appearance. Without this care, platinum takes on the dull gray finish of pewter.