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I think every jeweler in Portland, Oregon has some type of guarantee. However, I don’t know how many of them offer a free lifetime guarantee like we do at Marx Jewelers.

I hate to be the guy to say it, but there are some limitations to that guarantee. That is why I want to give you the five basic things you need to know about taking care of your jewelry so you keep full advantage of that guarantee.


#1 – 6 month inspections

We do require that you come in every 6 months to have your piece inspected. What this allows us to do is check to make sure there are no gemstones loose or there are no issues with your setting.

The very last thing you or we would want is for that center diamond to fall out and be lost. If you aren’t coming in every 6 months so we can make any repairs, this is a very real possibility.

Think about how much wear and tear your hands take everyday. That wedding ring on your finger is subject to that same abuse!

#2 – Did you miss an inspection?

We will still service your ring! If you have gone 9 or 10 months without an inspection, unfortunately your guarantee is not valid.

But if you bring it in, let us inspect it and make any repairs, your guarantee will start over again! We don’t penalize you for the life of your jewelry for getting busy.

Now, this does need to be within reason. Don’t wait 4 years and then come back, okay?

#3 – Regular cleanings

I’m not talking about your teeth either! Your jewelry gets as much wear and tear as you do so come in as often as you like to have your jewelry cleaned.

We will also clean it during our 6 month inspections.

You can also clean your jewelry at home. We sell jewelry cleaning solution and polishing clothes and they are even free with a new purchase. We just got new inventory in, so come get yours today.

#4 – Refurbishing jewelry

White gold is the most popular choice today for jewelry. While white gold is extremely beautiful, it takes more upkeep than it’s counterparts.

That is why once a year, if you have purchased your ring from us and have kept up on your guarantee work, we will refurbish your jewelry for free.

Refurbishing jewelry includes cleaning, polishing to remove all scratches, repair of any prongs, and re-plating for free. Some people know this as “dipping”. This all total is a $70 value that we will do yearly for you for free.

If you are really rough on your jewelry and need this done more than once a year we will do it more often for a discounted price.

#5 – Resizing

We know it happens. Your fingers get bigger and smaller over the years. That is why we offer 2 free sizings per ring instead of just one.

We want your ring to stay in top notch condition, that means we don’t want you taking it to just anyone to get it resized because you may think they may be cheaper.

Bring your ring back to us and let us resize it correctly for you.

If you follow these simple maintenance tips for your jewelry we know it will stand the test of time and last you a lifetime. After all we sell only the best at Marx Jewelers!


No one likes to admit it but Bridezilla’s are REAL and some of you turn into them during your weddings!

So which one are you?


Which Bridezilla Are You?

Marx Jewelers Clock I get asked from a lot of different customers about the Marx clock. For anyone that doesn’t remember it, look at this incredible picture one of my client sent me.

This photo is so nostalgic. I love the way Broadway in Portland looked at night back then. It was so bright and colorful lit up with all that neon.

Portland at night now is much darker and only consists of streetlamps. The color of this photo is incredible.

So of course I had to track the photo down online. I found it here. This is a great site full of amazing photos of Portland, Oregon through the ages.

The reason why my client sent me this photo however is because of the Marx clock on the right hand side. She wanted to know if this was indeed the same clock and what exactly had happened to it.

Because of the amount of questions I get on the Marx clock I thought it best to get the story out there for everyone.

A Portland LandmarkMarx Jewelers historical site

The Marx clock was registered as a historical site in Portland some years ago. It had been standing in front of my store in the same location since the 1940’s.

It was made old school, real quality that stood the test of time. It was also very beautiful.

Then came the accident

There was a car accident in front of the store in June of 2006. A truck hit the clock and knocked it over. Even something built old school and meant to stand the test of time could not survive being hit by a truck.

But accidents happen, you know? We didn’t take anything personal.

Until the insurance company got involved that is.

Unfortunately they kind of slapped us in the face. They literally offered us half of what it would have cost us to repair or replace the clock.

I understand how insurance works and I know this is standard practice but it was a historical monument. Those are not cheap to replace.

Unfortunately at the end of the day we had to make the very difficult decision to not repair or replace the clock. The cost was just too high.

But these old photos of the clock sure do make me reminiscent of having it there.


As a premier jeweler in Portland, Oregon I keep a close eye on the wedding market. You have to when you have the beautiful variety of wedding rings that I do.

So I was very excited when all the recent reports coming out say that people are going to start getting married again…. Not that people have ever stopped getting married, but the wedding market has definitely slowed down since the recession hit in 2007.

One very interesting report I read was talking about the “millennial” generation. The millennial’s are the mid 20’s to early 30’s generation typically born in the early 1980’s.

A large number of these millennial’s are not married. This is being credited mostly to this generations social attitude toward the institution of marriage in general. The federal government 2012 statistics showed there were 6.8 marriages per 1,000 people. That is a huge drop in the number of people getting married.

But this is predicted to change.

2013 Is A Great Year

By 2014 the number of people getting married is expected to start increasing again. This will be the college educated 25 to 34 year old people. This number is also expected to rise steadily through 2019.

The change in the numbers is expected because the millennial’s, who are children of the big, post-World War II generation known as baby boomers, are feeling better about the overall economy and may be more inclined to move forward with wedding plans they may have been putting off or postponing due to financial woes.

To stay ahead of the curve and get the best deals on your wedding ring and other needs for your big day, I would recommend getting married in 2013 if possible. You won’t have to worry about competing for event space for a wedding or have to pay for the inflation when the market starts to rise back up.

But all this great info makes me think, is the jewelry market ready for you?

How Wedding Ring Tastes Have Changed

The millennial generation is often cited as being very fashion forward and always wanting something “different”. Colored stones are expected to be found more and more in wedding rings. Whether it is used as a side stone or even the center stone.

A lot of younger people gravitate toward more fashion forward and less traditional wedding rings such as the diamond solitaire. Ten years ago the diamond solitaire made up 75% of all wedding rings purchased, but not anymore!

But I have good news for you. I have a lot of “different” pieces in my store. I also have a lot of colored stones and unique bands.

I’m ready for you. Stop by our store today and check out our great selection of fashion forward wedding rings in Portland.

And hey, if you’re already married, I would be willing to bet your wife would not complain at getting a new beautiful piece of jewelry “just because”.

- Slava

European vacation

I am a fortunate guy. As a premier jeweler in Portland, Oregon I have done well for myself. Over the last school year my daughter attended school in Russia. This also meant my wife and son were living in Russia as well.

But that all changed in June when I traveled to Europe to bring them home. We had to have a little family vacation first however.

Touchdown in Frankfurt, Germany

European vacation

I met my family in Frankfurt, Germany where we rented a car and drove down to Italy. We stopped for a few days here and there along the way. The drive from Germany to Italy is pretty comparable to driving from Portland to LA.

People in Germany drive extremely fast. One time I was driving about 100 mph and was passed by a car on the Autobahn like I was standing still! They must have been going at least 140 mph.

European vacation

But even though they drive fast, they are extremely polite and organized drivers. People know to stay in the right lane to go slower and if you are in the left and someone comes up fast, people just move over and let them pass. Without flipping the bird like people do here.

One notable stop on the way to Italy was in Bavaria where we spent 2 days at Legoland. The kids loved it!

European vacation legoland

We then stopped in Mendrisio, Switzerland for a couple days. Driving downtown there was a nightmare! The roads are so small and narrow with very steep hills. Despite the tight roads, Mendrisio is a beautiful city with great shopping in the Foxtown Factory Stores with names like Gucci, Armani and more right on the edge of the famous Switzerland mountains.

We also stopped in Milan for 2 days just in time for my daughter Sofia’s 9th birthday. We enjoyed the day we spent in downtown Milan with all the beautiful historical buildings they have. The rest of the city was very grey however with not enough of the beautiful greenery of Portland that I am used to.

But then we got to Sanremo, Italy. It is a breathtaking place full of beauty and right on the ocean. We spent a lot of time at the beach. While we were at the beach one afternoon our car was broken into and we had a few things stolen. It was unfortunate, but only a small part of the trip.

We also drove into Monte Carlo, Monaco, and Nice, France one day. We had a great time touring the palace and seeing the Grand Prix racing track. It was probably the nicest part of the trip.

European vacation Grand Prix Monaco

In Monaco I happened by a jewelry store window where they were displaying a pair of 12 carat earrings! Each one contained 6 carats a piece. They must have been worth at least $500k! But in a city filled with Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s, I guess you shouldn’t expect any less.

The Difference Is Unmistakable

The thing that struck me the most on our trip through Europe was the differences between the customer service there and here in the United States.

When you go to a restaurant in Europe they charge you for water. Just regular plain drinking water costs 3 Euros. Can you believe that?  They charge for a lot of things we don’t in the United States.

Their salespeople are not quite to our standards we have here in the United States. At one particular stop in Mulhouse, France I was waiting at the cashier ready to pay for my wife’s dress that was advertised for 40% off. The salesperson informed me as I was getting ready to pay “you cannot have 40% off, this price is only for preferred customers”.

I glanced over and saw that they SELL preferred customer memberships for 10 Euros… So I replied, “no problem, I will buy the preferred membership and get the discount”. She replied “NO, you have to be a preferred customer before we started the sale that is today”.  HUH??? Go figure, I ended up paying full price and didn’t even get a “thank you for your purchase”.

I’m glad to be back in the US with my whole family home with me. I am especially glad to be back to work making and selling beautiful jewelry in Portland.  I am a real customer service guy and I love seeing my customers happy so it was hard to be treated so rudely in Europe.

If you’re in the Portland area, you should come into my jewelry store to see how a customer should be treated.


June and September are the two most popular months to hold a wedding. Largely because in most parts of the country that is when it is neither too hot or too cold outside.

What this also means is that these two little months can often be the most costly months to hold your wedding. January, March, April, and November can be far less expensive months to get married.

The price fluctuation comes from numerous sources. The venue is typically lower priced, and the vendor prices are likely significantly lower simply because there is less demand in those months.

Now, I am by no means a wedding planner. But I do have quite a bit of industry knowledge since I have been a premier jeweler in Portland, OR specializing in engagement rings for 22 years. I also have clients from all across the world and have a large volume of repeat business which means I get to hear all about my clients weddings.

So, here are a couple quick tips I have learned over the years to save money on your wedding.

The Cheaper Days of the Week

Saturday is the MOST expensive day of the week to get married. Ceremony and reception site rental rates are usually less expensive Sunday through Friday. Seems pretty obvious, right?.

Hotel rates are cheaper if your guests are booking Sunday through Thursday as well. This is also something to consider if you are booking a hotel suite for yourself or for a VIP guest from out of town. (Think about that new mother in law that you really want to start on the right foot with!)

Airfare is cheaper on weekdays too. So if you got married on a Monday and flew out for your honeymoon on a Tuesday, you would be triple saving. The lower airfare, the lower venue cost, and the lower hotel cost!

Most couples that you ask will tell you they are getting married on a Saturday because they believe it will be easier for the guests to attend. But for me personally, I would rather take an extra day off work (bonus vacation!) and pay the lower prices of airfare and hotel reservations anyway.

The Cheaper Time of the Day

Food and drink are the most costly items you will need to account for in your wedding budget. Believe it or not there are numerous ways to minimize this cost. You can drastically cut the cost of food and beverages by simply changing the TIME of your wedding. For a couple of examples:

  • A mid morning ceremony: The cost of eggs and hashbrowns is significantly cheaper than steak and potatoes. Trust me, have you been to the grocery store lately? Especially if you are doing it as a light brunch which is such an elegant option. For drinks you may consider serving Mimosas so you won’t have the cost of lots of different alcohols. And the best part is, no one would expect you to serve a full or partial bar of any sort at a brunch.

  • An early afternoon ceremony: Your guests will have already eaten lunch and it is too early for dinner. All that you would be expected to serve at this type of event would be a cake with a variety of beverages. What type of beverages you choose would just depend on your type of crowd.

If you have your heart set on a 6 PM ceremony you have to be prepared to do a full sit down dinner for your guests.

Take your timing into careful consideration. There are numerous other ways to minimize costs. With some careful planning and budgeting you can still have the wedding of your dreams and you will have some bonus cash left over for that dream engagement ring as well.

Now, which diamond were you drooling over in my store the other day?

- Slava


One of my greatest pains is having a customer come into my Portland, OR jewelry store and show me a diamond they bought as an “F” clarity on the internet but was clearly NOT an “F” clarity when they got it.

I have to keep in mind that the clarity scale is opinion based. But sometimes I have to say “come on!”. An “F” clarity is FLAWLESS with no internal or external flaws. They are extremely rare, very valuable, and very expensive.

It is so heartbreaking to have someone come in for a setting with a diamond purchased off the internet and watch their face when I tell them their “F” diamond is in fact a VS1 at best.

So how do you keep from getting a diamond that is not what you bargained for? Educate yourself!

As consumers we have a responsibility to do our due diligence before making a large purchase. And if you don’t think educating yourself about a product is important, maybe you should hang around my shop and see someone’s face when they come in with this problem.

Here is a quick tutorial on clarity of diamonds and why clarity is important…

The Diamond Clarity Chart

First you need to understand the clarity chart.

  • F – Flawless: No internal or external flaws. Extremely rare.

  • IF – Internally Flawless: no internal flaws, but some surface flaws. Very rare.

  • VVS1-VVS2 – Very Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions very difficult to detect under 10x magnification by a trained gemologist.

  • VS1-VS2 – Very Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions seen only with difficulty under 10x magnification.

  • SI1-SI2 – Slightly Included (two grades). Minute inclusions more easily detected under 10x magnification.

  • I1-I2-I3 – Included (three grades). Inclusions visible under 10x magnification AS WELL AS to the human eye. Generally not recommended you purchase these.

Wait, wait, wait…. What do some of these terms mean? Good catch, I’m glad you asked.

  • Flawless – Free of defect

  • Included or inclusions- Refers to internal flaws

It is important to understand the clarity chart because MOST diamonds have flaws!

Let that sink in. MOST of them have flaws.

Think about the incredible pressure that creates a diamond. They are bound to have flaws being under that much pressure. So clarity is important to mitigate the appearance of the flaws in the diamond you purchase.

For lots of great info on buying a diamond go here.

How do I choose the right diamond clarity then?

A diamond does not have to be an “F” quality to be stunning. An “F” diamond is the top of the line. Not everyone will be able to afford an “F”, an “IF”, or even the “VVS” quality diamonds, and that’s okay! In fact it is very rare for these diamonds to be purchased here in the US.

There are still great quality choices available in the “V”’s and “S”’s and this is the clarity most people in the US purchase. Unless you have a friend who is a gemologist and has a 10x magnifying glass most people will not even be able to see the flaws.

Now as for an “I” quality diamond… The fact that it is defined as “visible to the human eye”… You might want to think twice on spending your money on these types of diamonds.

There are a lot of great things available on the internet. But use caution when making a large purchase such as a diamond and if you need to see one in person please come see me beforehand. I don’t want to see that sad face on you. :(

- Slava