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General Care Information

Fine jewelry should be treated with respect. Well cared for jewelry can last several lifetimes and become family heirlooms to be enjoyed for generations. Never store your jewelry loose in a tray or drawer where pieces can come in contact with one another. This can scratch or chip gemstones and pearls. If you have any questions on caring for an item, see the specific hints below or consult your Cedar Chest sales person.

Household chores expose your jewelry to damage. Dish washing brings rings and bracelets in contact with pots, pans, and the sink. Common household items such as make-up, suntan lotion, and perfumes as well as cleaning solvents and even some medications can react with the metal alloys in karat gold and silver jewelry, often causing discoloration. This discoloration is generally a surface only issue and can be removed by cleaning. In some instances the item may need to be professionally buffed and polished to remove all the discoloration. Repetitive or prolonged exposure to chemically-based ingrediants can sometimes cause permanent deterioration.

Coin and Artifact Jewelry

Never clean your coin or artifact jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner. Gently clean with a polishing cloth to remove any surface tarnish on the coin and to clean the mounting.

Pearls and Shell (Mother of Pearl) Jewelry

Prolonged immersion in water can loosen mounted pearls and cause the silk to stretch in strung pearls. Acids and abrasives in cleaners, pools spas, and even some cosmetics, lotions and perfumes can adversely affect the surface of Pearls and natural Shells.

Emeralds, Opals & Tanzanite and Other Gemstones

Emeralds, Opals and Tanzanite* especially, are subject to thermal shock and should not be exposed to rapid changes in temperature, such as going outdoors during cold weather from a warm house or car; reaching into a hot oven; washing in cold water on a hot day, etc. Ultrasonic cleaning is not recommended for Emeralds, Opals and Tanzanite. Emeralds are often treated with oil that can be removed by aggressive cleaning.

*This applies to many gemstones, but these three especially

Sterling Silver

For general cleaning use warm mild soapy water and a soft bristled brush to clean as necessary. Avoid ammonia, commercial jewelry cleaning solutions and ultrasonic machines. Occasional use of a chemically treated silver polishing cloth will generally bring back the “luster” that may diminish over a period of time. To maintain the finish, avoid skin creams, lotions, oils, etc. where the jewelry is worn.

Diamond Quality

The Cedar Chest Fine Jewelry's experienced staff will help you select the perfect diamond. We welcome your questions and special orders, and we are proud to feature rare natural colored diamonds as a regular part of our designs.


Almost all diamonds contain minute traces of non-crystallized carbon or small non-diamond crystals. Most are not discernible to the naked eye and require magnification to become visible. Called inclusions, they are nature's fingerprint and make every diamond unique. Minute inclusions neither mar its beauty nor endanger its beauty; however, the fewer they are, the rarer the stone will be.


As with all precious stones, the weight -and therefore the size -of a diamond is expressed in carats. The carat originated as a natural unit of weight: the seeds of a carob tree.

Diamonds were traditionally weighed against these seeds, however, the system was later standardized and one carat was fixed at 200 milligrams (1/5 of a gram). One carat is divided into 100 "points" so that a diamond of 25 points is described as a quarter of a carat or 0.25 carats. Size is the most obvious factor in determining the value of a diamond, but two diamonds of equal size can have unequal prices, depending on their quality. Diamonds of high quality can be found in all size ranges. A finished diamond can have one of several shapes which are known as "cuts". This cut should not be confused with cut, one of the four major factors (the "4C's") that helps to determine the value of a diamond, the others being color, clarity and carat weight. The most popular of all diamond "cuts" is the brilliant of round.


Of all the 4 C's, cut is the most directly influenced by man. The other three are dictated by nature. Diamonds are cut into a number of shapes, depending on the nature of the rough stone. The cut or make of a diamond will dramatically influence its fire and sparkle, for it is the cutter's skill that releases its beauty.


Although the majority of gem diamonds appear to be colorless, others can contain increasing tinges of yellow or brown, some of which are referred to as champagne diamonds. It is a totally colorless diamond that allows white light to pass effortlessly and be dispersed as rainbows of color. The color grading scale is from totally colorless to light yellow. Rare stones of exceptional color – green, red, blue, pink or amber – are known as “Fancies”.