The Basics of Jewellery Cleaning

Caring for Costume Jewellery

A different set of rules applies to caring for costume jewellery and they really start with “if it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it”.

Costume jewellery is put together using a variety of commercial techniques that include spot soldering, welding, casting, gluing, and plating. When costume jewellery breaks it cannot usually be repaired to look the same as before as a goldsmith cannot use the same procedure for soldering on softer metals as they are often toxic. Soft solder can be used in some cases, but it is never a permanent solution. The piece is most often fixed with a glue or cement, but it is only a matter of time before the piece will break again.

Costume jewellery is not made to last in most cases and is intended for disposal once it has broken. Inventive jewellery can often redesign a piece or come up with ingenious ways to reattach parts, but you must be willing to let go at a certain point or expense.

A goldsmith will do their best to save your sentimental pieces but as they were not only made in a way that allows for many traditional repairs, some pieces will have to be let go while others may be salvageable.

Consider having your goldsmith remake a design in materials that can last over time and that can be repaired as part of their natural cycle of wear and use.

These inherited costume clip on earrings had a broken clasp. The customer chose to remake these into 2 pairs of earrings in order to share with another family member

’20 Tips on maintaining our Jewellery’, Gillian E. Batcher, 2013

New Window Installation!

We are excited to announce that our newest window installation at Jewel Envy has been completed by our two interns, Anna and Laura!

The installation is intended to evoke a sense of wonder and curiosity among our visitors. We believe that art should be accessible to everyone, so we have placed the installation in our store windows for all to appreciate.

Our latest window installation at Jewel Envy is not just one work of art, but three! The installation consists of three separate displays, each with its own unique and personal theme that has been inspired by the sumptuous jewellery we have here in Jewel Envy made by our amazing goldsmiths. 

Come see the installation in person and let us know what you think. We can’t wait to hear your thoughts on these stunning works of art!

Got ya! These are the sneaks, you need to come in person to see the finished set up and work!

8 Week Gemsetting Class Monday May 29th, 2023

To enroll in this class you must have completed at least one 8 week jewellery making class or the equivalent through weekend workshops.

This class comes with a kit that consists of a set of 6 cast pieces in sterling silver, calibrated gems and setting burs for the projects,  materials to make 2 setting tools to use in your work. The kit has a fee of $200 that must be paid at or before the session begins.

Winner winner jewellery dinner!

Ok so it’s not quite appropriate to eat for dinner but jewellery can certainly be worn during dinner or really any other time you feel the need to add some sparkle on your body.

December 2021 marked our 15 year anniversary as a boutique retail and working studio space. We started off a lot smaller on Spadina Ave but have made Roncesvalles our home for the last 9 years. If the times were different we would have had a big celebration but alas it was not to be last year so we got creative and asked you our amazing customers to share a special memory about the shop or a piece of jewellery from here and as a thank you we did a random draw for a little shopping spree in the store on us.

We deeply appreciated everyone who wrote in. All names were entered into an excel spreadsheet and we used a random number generator to pick the winner. There were far to many lovely notes to share in just one blog post so I have chosen the winner and one more.

Yesterday our lucky winner had the opportunity to come and shop in person and you can read her entry as well as see a selection of her jewellery from here below.

How can I show my love for Jewel Envy and all the talented, creative artists?   Buy their jewelry, of course!  Over the years my collection has grown, many of these pieces are near and dear to my heart as they were made for me, while partnering with the artists.

I absolutely love every one of these jewels and will definitely be adding more from Jewel Envy to my collection.

Your social media page is one of my favourites as I get to see a glimpses of beautiful, sparkly, unique creations.

Janet k.
Janet chose this Scorpio pendant by Aurora Simmons of Handmade Revolution and these moonstone and quarts earrings by Karyn Houston of Sticks vs Stone. They both made lovely additions to her growing collection of contemporary jewellery!

From the many other entries I chose this one because it truly highlights the sentiment of jewellery and what we do here. Please enjoy the touching story by a customer we started working with just before the pandemic began.

This is about memories and what you’ve done to enrich them.

My mother died and left behind dozens of pieces.  There was a blind auction for the four heirs.  In English, it meant that no one got every item they wanted.  Horse trading was allowed – and that helped.  That said, most of the settings were dated.  I found out about you guys totally by accident – from a woman working across the street from you.

We have relied on you to reinvent pieces that retain our memories of the stones, my mother’s love of baubles and my father’s love of buying gems for our mother. 

I’ll share one backstory.  My father never smoked cigarettes.  But his 5 sisters sent him cigarettes during WWII that he could use for barter.  He bought diamonds.  I wear the largest engagement ring diamond as a pendant every day.  And think of everyone involved in getting it from Holland to around my neck.  And you – Jewel Envy – is a part of that story.

Carla C.




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