Contact Us

Have burning questions about anything on our website? Drop us a line using this handy form to your right.

We take phone calls too! Try us at 415-894-9466.  Or email us at info@sharonzjewelry.com

415-894-9466

Beautiful and sustainable jewelry made with care in San Francisco. Edgy and unique styles to wear everytday. We have everything from tiny platinum stud earrings to Moissanite engagement rings made from recycled gold and fashion jewelry from solid sterling silver.

Read all about how we make sustainable jewelry!

We have so much to share with you! Follow along on our blog | Sharon Z Jewelry | Shop Handmade Sustainable Jewelry San Francisco

Filtering by Tag: jewelry tips

Student Profile of Christina B. - Flush Setting Class

Sharon Zimmerman

Welcome to the third in our series of student profiles! Each week or so, a new student will be featured with parts of their story - why they fell in love with jewelry-making, what inspires them, and what they get out of each class.

Christina B in the process of learning how to flush set a sapphire into a silver band

Christina B in the process of learning how to flush set a sapphire into a silver band

This week features Christina B! Christina and I have known each other for years, and visitors to Oakland’s downtown neighborhood might recognize her as the woman holding it down at Crown Nine. She also produces her own line of jewelry that sells in the shop. 

We asked her three questions to learn more about why she took her class:

Christina B at the bench pin, learning about how to flush set using mostly hand tools

Christina B at the bench pin, learning about how to flush set using mostly hand tools

Give us a little background on yourself - was this your first jewelry class? How did you get started in jewelry?

This was not my first jewelry class - I have taken some other classes around the Bay Area. I got started in jewelry-making about 4 years ago and have been upping my skills ever since!

What inspired you to take this class?

Flush setting is something I’ve been wanting to learn and I had been wanting to take a class with Sharon, so the stars aligned and I signed up for the date that worked for me!

What was your favorite skill that you learned in this class?

I loved learning what it looks like to make a seat for a stone in the process, and also what it feels like. It was great to get the experience of practicing the skill multiple times in the class.


So you want to get started with a jewelry class that will challenge your skills? Here’s what you can expect:

Christina with her finished flush settings

Christina with her finished flush settings

In our flush setting class, students get lots of hands on time. They get to learn more than one technique for flush setting, and we talk about and practice using a variety of tools. Students get to see how they can use basic hand tools and more advanced hand tools to achieve the same results, and practice using both. We even explore how to streamline and simplify the process, offering organizational tips and tricks so that you can go back to your studio and craft new and exciting work with ease. You’ll leave this class feeling inspired by all the new ways you can put this skill to use!

Ready to sign up for a flush setting class? Hit this link to see when Flush Setting is offered next

The Exciting World of Jewelry Cleaning

Sharon Zimmerman

What’s the Best Way to Clean Jewelry?

You want your jewelry to last you a long time, and so do I. A lot of heart and soul go into each piece and while some wear and tear are normal over time, treating your jewelry and giving it a little TLC can keep it looking great for a lifetime. 

The Basics Don'ts

Avoid wearing while swimming, working out (yes, even yoga), showering, gardening or when working with chemicals. All of these activities can stress your jewelry, scratch it, bend it or just generally gunk it up (ew).

Cleaning Oxidized Silver Jewelry

Oxidized silver has been given a surface treatment to create a dark black color. Over time, this color may fade to bright silver and is considered normal wear. Never fear though, this blackening can be brought back simply and affordably. Contact me if you would like the oxidized patina restored to your Sharon Z Jewelry piece - info@sharonzjewelry.com 

Storage

We know that you want to wear your Sharon Z Jewelry piece all the time, but when you aren’t wearing it, we suggest storing it in the box that it came in or even better, in a tiny plastic bag with an anti-tarnish strip.  The plastic bag trick works especially well for silver.

Eco-Friendly Tarnish Removal

Fun Science Project Alert!

Silver jewelry has a great luster and bright, white color, but over time, exposure to moisture and air can cause tarnish.  Here is a fast, cheap, easy, fun and eco-friendly way to restore your silver jewelry to a bright shine.

  • Boil water

  • Place a piece of tin foil in a heatproof bowl

  • Place jewelry on top of foil

  • Sprinkle baking soda and a pinch of salt over the jewelry

  • Pour boiling water over the jewelry and foil

  • The mixture will bubble (like you're a witch standing over a bubbling cauldron) for a moment and then your silver jewelry will be bright again.

  • Careful when removing jewelry-it will be very hot! (This seems obvious, but my lawyers recommended that I tell you this.)

  • Rinse with cool water

This method is safe for many stones, except for turquoise and opals.  Also, be advised that while pearls will be fine in this process, the epoxy that often holds them in place might come loose due to the heat.

PS - this works great on gold that has discolored too!

5 Ways to Find Out Her (or His) Ring Size On the Sly

Sharon Zimmerman

You're in love, you know you want to get married and you’re ready to propose. So you run out to get a ring, but how do you know that it’s going to fit them? A ring, unlike earrings and necklaces, isn't a one-size-fits-all piece of jewelry, so getting the size at least kinda sorta close to right is important.  Here are a few helpful hints for getting things right the first time.

Option #1 - Find a ring that he or she wears on their ring finger

This is probably the easiest shortcut to finding out their ring size, but it also assumes that your beloved wears a ring on their ring finger. Some women don’t wear anything on that finger before engagement or marriage out of tradition. Just keep in mind that there can be a significant size difference between the right hand and the left hand, so if you find a ring that they wear on their right hand, it may not be exactly the right size for their left hand.

Option #2 - Ask her friends.

There is always a chance that she’s dropped hints. Big hints. And by hints, I mean that she may have actually told her best friend (or sister, or Mom) what her ring size is. So...not really a hint. More like a giant clue that she’s left for you to find. And a pretty easy-to-find clue at that.

 Option #3 - Find out while they are sleeping

This will assume that you have super stealthy ninja-like skills. Your first step is to acquire a finger sizer. Then, while they are asleep, carefully and without being detected slip the sizer onto their left hand ring finger. Et Voilà! Ring size!*

Option #4 - Order a placeholder ring

Have they already decided which designer they’d like a ring from**? If so, then it's a good bet that your future betrothed would like something else from that same designer. Ordering something smaller and less formal is a lot less risky and can create a sweet memory for the two of you. Then you can plan together which "official" ring to get. It could even be a ring that can stack with their eventual engagement and wedding rings.

Option #5 - Well, you could just ask

Sure, it’s not exactly romantic, but maybe you guys are a couple of rule-breakers anyway. Or maybe you are both super-communicative.  Either way, if you talk openly about your future together, asking for their ring size won’t be a downer. Besides, you don’t have to tell them when you’re planning to propose.

*If they wake up and you get caught, just tell them that you were trying to hold their hand.

**OK, so let’s back up for a moment and say that you have no idea what kind of ring they would like. The best place to do your secret spy research is on Pinterest. Take a look at their boards and see what kinds of jewelry they pin. There is a great chance that they already have a board totally dedicated specifically to engagement rings. And when in doubt, ask their friends.

Why is my skin turning black under my rings?

Sharon Zimmerman

Hint: It's not an allergy.

A few years ago, I thought I was developing an allergy to silver and gold.  Almost overnight, my skin was turning black underneath my rings and I couldn't explain it. The answer?  Science!

Image of skin turning black underneath my  s ilver and gold rings

Image of skin turning black underneath my silver and gold rings

At about the same time that my skin started turning colors, I had started using a mineral sunscreen* containing zinc oxide.  Zinc Oxide, in its non-nano state, is a fantastic and safe sun-blocking agent as well as a common ingredient in many cosmetics. I am pretty obsessed with my skin care (though you wouldn't believe it if you saw my hands. Ah well, such is the jeweler's life). Zinc oxide is also, as it turns out, a very mild abrasive.  Veeeery mild. But gold and silver are soft metals, so the mild abrasive in my sunscreen was actually rubbing off minuscule particles of metal from my rings and these particles transferred to my skin and appeared black.

My solution?  Well, I wasn't going to discontinue using my sunscreen nor would I stop wearing rings and the problem goes away when I, you know, wash. My. Hands. I also wait to put on rings until after I've applied the sunscreen and washed my hands. Sometimes the simple solutions are the best. And don't forget to clean your jewelry to get rid of any residual make up, soap, sunscreen, etc. Here is our Step-by-Step guide to safely cleaning and caring for your jewelry.

And now, please resume wearing all of the rings.