About Jennifer Merrill

Posts by Jennifer Merrill

The 4 C’s of Diamonds

So you want to buy a diamond, but you’re not sure where to start. Buying a diamond can be one of the biggest investments you’ll make in something that you have the least amount of knowledge in. It’s small and it’s expensive and it’s hard to know if you’re getting your investment worth. So we’ve […]

What are Cultured Pearls?

If you were to go back a hundred years, the only people wearing pearls were royalty because they were unbelievable expensive. The only way to find a pearl was to scour the ocean floor, harvest thousands of oysters and sort through them for the one rare gemstone. Divers could pull up thousands of oysters looking for that one gem quality pearl. It […]

Marc’s Legacy Watch

Marc’s Legacy Rolex Watch I love watches. I suppose it is an occupational hazard of growing up around jewelry stores, but there is something immensely satisfying about fine timepieces. I love the way they look, I love the way they work, and I love the way they make me feel. As time goes on, however, […]

Joe’s Watch

Joe’s Movado Watch My Movado watch was the first thing I bought at Ben Bridge when I started working here. It’s shiny and I love it. Not just because it’s really classic and yes, shiny, but because it makes my friends jealous. As a photographer, I appreciate the simplicity, the styling, and the just plain […]

Jess’s PANDORA Bracelet

I got a PANDORA bracelet when I first worked in the Bellingham store at Ben Bridge, and all the charms on that bracelet represent something special to me. My coworkers gave me a family charm when I left that store to come to Seattle, reminding me not to forget me family at Ben Bridge, my […]

Alla’s Favorite Earrings

These threader earrings are some of my favorite earrings, even though they aren’t my normal style. I bought some after featuring them in an email campaign because I thought they looked so fun. When I put them on, the way they move reminds me of dancing. They actually inspired me to take a salsa class. […]

The Toscano Collection

The Toscano Italian Gold Collection is more than just jewelry. It is artwork and stunning craftsmanship all wrapped up in Italian gold. Italian gold was one of the launching points behind the Toscano Collection when Ben Bridge buyer Laura Barringer found herself wandering through a region of Italy the locals call the golden triangle. She […]

How it’s made: Toscano Sideways Bead Necklace

It starts early every morning. The goldsmith arrives before the sun rises and begins their day weighing and mixing and melting the gold they will use for that days’ jewelry. The Toscano Collection Sideways Bead Necklace needs a 14K yellow gold mixture, but more than that, it needs a master craftsman. What begins as a […]

How it’s made: Toscano Hammered Gold Bracelet

A hammer isn’t the first thing you think of when you look at the Italian gold jewelry in the Toscano Collection. But the Toscano Hammered Cuff Bracelet is made by an Italian goldsmith that has been working with his hammers for 35 years. And he’s honed his craft to a level that is unrivaled. “I can’t tell you why […]

Meet Paolo, Italian Craftsman

Paolo Marchi is one of the Italian craftsmen whose work comprises the Toscano Collection of Italian gold jewelry. Marchi started working on jewelry as a teenager and brings a quintessentially Italian passion to his craft, learning traditional handcrafting techniques from older generations of Italian artisans. In the village of Arcugnano, in Northern Italy, Paolo rises before […]

What are Akoya Pearls?

If pearls are the Queen of the gem world, the Akoya pearl is the Queen of the Queens. It’s often called the perfect pearl. Produced by oysters native to Southeast Asia, Akoyas thrive in the cooler saltwater oceans off the coast of Japan, China and other parts of Southeast Asia and are usually harvested during […]

What are South Sea Pearls?

Go big or go home: If size is what matters, look for a pearl from the South Sea. Declared the National Gem of the Philippines, South Sea pearls are grown all over the Southern Indonesian oceans, with farms all around Australia to Indonesia to the Philippines. In addition to their size, South Sea pearls are […]

How do you clean pearls?

How To Clean Pearls  You shouldn’t think of pearls as delicate flowers. They were after all, born in water, and they won’t melt if they get a little wet. They can be worn and enjoyed for a lifetime with some simple practical maintenance. But pearls are one of the softer gemstones, so here are some […]

What’s the Difference Between Freshwater Pearls and Saltwater Pearls

Pearls are amazing gemstones, the only gem created by a living creature. Learn more about pearls here; how they’re made, and how they grow. When anyone talks about pearls today, they are talking about cultivated pearls. What are cultivated pearls versus natural pearls? They are very similar. Cultivated pearls are real pearls, just with a little bit […]

What are Mikimoto Pearls?

Mikimoto Pearls are the pearls of legend. The namesake behind the brand is Kokichi Mikimoto, who revolutionized the pearl industry when he patented the process for cultured pearls in 1916. Today, Kokichi Mikimoto is known in the pearl world as the King of Pearls, and his pearls live up to his name. The same process Mikimoto […]

What are Tahitian Pearls?

Life isn’t always black and white; sometimes it calls for more color. That’s where Tahitian Pearls come in, they are famous for their exotic colors. And although people think of them as black pearls, they famously come in three main colors: Peacock, Aubergine and Pistachio. Tahitian pearls get their color from the oyster they are […]