Posts

Michael Jensen

Shop Michael Jensen Designs at Serengeti West!

Meet Michael Jensen Designs

Michael Jensen Designs is comprised of husband and wife team Michael and Catherine Jensen. This duo creates beautiful, unexpected jewelry. Michael is a BFA graduate of the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. While in college, Michael studied sculpture and completed an apprenticeship in metalsmithing. It is easy to see the inclusion of sculpture technique in his jewelry.

Michael Jensen

Catherine was raised abroad. Her international experiences introduced her to the worlds of archaeology and museums. Because of this, she experienced some of the finest jewelry and art. Catherine is a GIA Graduate Gemologist and brings extensive gem knowledge to the partnership. Coupled with Michael’s expertise in metalwork and sculpting, they are a dynamic duo.

Michael and Catherine call New Mexico home. Certainly, the landscape of the southwest inspires them. You’ll notice clean, simple lines in these designs. They prefer to incorporate recycled metals and natural stones. Equally important are their attention to detail, craftsmanship, and originality.

One interesting aspect of their design is the VETUS texture. The sterling silver portions of their jewelry have a unique finish. Specifically, this texture mimics the finish of architectural ruins. This design aesthetic speaks to nature’s presence in the ancient world. You’re unlikely to see anything quite like it from other designers.

Michael Jensen Designs prefers to use natural stones. That is to say, they avoid using enhanced or treated gems whenever possible. Frequently, the jewelry includes crystal, cabochon, or faceted gems. They are certain to disclose any color-treated stones when used.

Now Available in San Luis Obispo

Serengeti West Fine Jewelers is proud to be the San Luis Obispo home of Michael Jensen Designs. Whether you shop our ready-to-wear collection or prefer to custom design a piece, we can help. Visit us at 951 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo Tuesday through Saturday. Or, contact us to learn how to create your own treasure.

Do I Need Ring Sizing Beads

Do I Need Ring Sizing Beads?

Is your engagement ring spinning? Perhaps it’s top heavy, or maybe your ring size is large because of knuckle issues? If you’ve been thinking about adding ring sizing beads, allow us to help you with your decision.

What are Ring Sizing Beads?

Sizing beads are small metal knobs added to the inside of a ring shank. These little beads are added to help counter-balance top-heavy rings. Additionally, they are used by people whose knuckles are much larger than their finger base. Typically they are the same metal as the rest of the ring.

Ring Sizing Beads San Luis Obispo

The addition of sizing beads is a relatively simple process. Furthermore, your ring won’t sustain long-term damage if you choose to have them removed. Overall, this solution can compensate for the weight of your stones.

We often get asked if beads are comfortable. It’s hard to give a definitive answer. Some people don’t notice their sizing assistants once placed, while others can’t seem to get used to how their ring feels. Only you can decide if this is the right solution for you.

Not interested in adding knobs to the inside of your ring? There are other options. One of our favorite solutions is the addition of Cliq technology. This tiny hinge creates precise sizing. Whether your ring is large and heavy or you have arthritis, Cliq fits the base of your finger with perfection.

Cliq Rings Superfit Rings
Cliq Rings Superfit Rings

Our team will size the bottom of your finger with Cliq’s special sizing system. Regardless of future knuckle changes, you’ll likely never need to size your ring again. This unique technology works best when your ring is kept very clean, as the mechanism is very precise.

Visit us to learn more about our sizing options. While you’re here, we’ll clean and check your ring for free! Serengeti West Fine Jewelers is located at 951 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo.

Jewelry Store near me

A Jewelry Store Near Me: Picking the Best

Jewelry Store Near Me: choosing a jeweler

It’s hard to know where to look when searching for a “jewelry store near me”. Looking for a trusted jeweler with experience is the most important factor.

Serengeti West Fine Jewelers has been in business since 1985. What began as a resource for the best in gemstones and fine jewelry has grown to become so much more. We are proud to assist our customers with all of their jewelry care needs.

Engagement Rings at a Jewelry Store Near Me

Shopping for an engagement ring? There is no better place to begin than our store! Our collection of loose diamonds, semi mountings, and wedding bands is second to none. Because we work with a wide variety of suppliers, we are able to source virtually any style of engagement jewelry on the market.

We are happy to offer jewelry in yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and platinum. Additionally, we offer jewelry in alternative metals when available. Furthermore, we can offer jewelry in a variety of karats- from 14 karat to high karat gold. Your imagination is your only limit.

Additional Offerings

Our jewelry store is also happy to offer full-suite repair. Our jeweler performs repairs in-house and provides work of the highest quality. Whether you need a ring sized, prongs repaired, or something more complex, be sure to consult with our team for all of your repair needs.

Serengeti West also offers fashion jewelry brands such as Waxing Poetic and Pyrrha. These brands are made from materials such as sterling silver, bronze, and brass, making them an excellent value for the price point. Additionally, we are able to order specific pieces from these lines that may not currently be featured within our store.

We also offer estate jewelry. A constantly revolving selection, our collection features a variety of eras, metals, and precious stones. You never know what you’ll find in our estate case! Be sure to check back frequently to see the latest additions.

Selling Your Jewelry

Ready to sell some of your outdated jewelry? We can help! Our store is happy to buy scrap gold and platinum. We pay top dollar for old jewelry, dental gold, broken jewelry, and more. Be sure to ask an associate for more information.

Additionally, we offer consignment services for our customers. If we are confident that your pieces are the sort that our clientele would appreciate, we will happily list them for sale. Our staff gemologist will evaluate your pieces and tell you what we believe we can sell them for. From there, you will know exactly your profit margin (once the piece sells).

Appraisal services are available. Our GIA gemologist will help you understand further detail of your jewelry while providing written documentation. An appraisal is necessary for insurance purposes and should be kept up to date for the best coverage possible.

We are proud to be considered the best jeweler in San Luis Obispo. Whether you live in Nipomo or Paso Robles, we invite you to take the trip to visit us in person and see our selections.

Our store is located at the corner of Monterey and Morro in downtown San Luis Obispo. While we are a small jewelry store, the depth of our offerings is quite extensive. Contact us for more information!

Vintage Engagement Rings: What You Need to Know

Vintage Engagement Ring

Love the look of vintage engagement rings? Enjoy minimizing your footprint, or giving old items new life? Perhaps you like knowing your jewelry has had a mysterious life before you owned it. Maybe you simply like the look of a bygone era. Whatever draws you to older jewelry, allow us to teach you a few basics before shopping!

Vintage Engagement Rings May Require Special Maintenance

It is very important to pay close attention to your antique jewelry. Because it is an older piece, it may have special details that require care. For instance, if your piece includes foil-backed diamonds, you shouldn’t submerge it in water. Be sure to ask the salesperson for important tips for wear before purchasing.

Victorian Engagement Ring

Pay close attention to the setting of your ring. If you choose an older engagement ring, certain aspects may have been worn down over time. Double check the prongs to ensure they are strong enough to hold stones in place. Also, inspect the shank (underside), as it may have become thin over time. Neither of these should dissuade you from purchasing the jewelry. However, you will likely want to address these issues before wearing the ring daily.

We are proud to carry a wide selection of estate jewelry. While we offer many options for your ideal engagement ring, we can show you even more. Because of our relationship with brokers, we are able to obtain pieces to your specification. Looking for a Victorian engagement ring? We’re on the case! Prefer a platinum art deco beauty? No worries! Let us know your budget and timeline and we’ll do the rest.

We invite you to visit us at our downtown San Luis Obispo jewelry store. We are located at 951 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo. Or, contact us with any questions you may have, we’re happy to help!

Steven Battelle Now Available at Serengeti West

Steven Battelle

Steven Battelle is a jewelry designer based in Soquel, California. (Soquel is located in Santa Cruz County). A trip to Southeast Asia in 1987 inspired his preliminary interest in jewelry. Interestingly, he was fascinated by the ancient cultures of Majapahit Java and pre-European Siam. Ultimately, he departed his career in veterinary medicine after this trip.

Steven Battelle uses a variety of materials in the creation of his jewelry. This collection is crafted from materials such as high karat gold and gemstones. His jewelry spans a variety of items. This includes rings, pendants, earrings and more. Likewise, Serengeti West’s history with rare gemstones makes this an ideal partnership. Furthermore, Battelle creates pieces with ancient coins. These pieces are a nod to Greek and Roman civilizations. Most notably, Battelle works with Balinese artisans in the creation of his jewelry. This ensures both traditional techniques and modern technology are employed. Battelle cites a passion for cabochon stones. Cabochon is a term that means “unfaceted”. However, our collection includes rose cut gemstones as well.

For San Luis Obispo shoppers, Steven Battelle’s collection is found only at Serengeti West. Our collection is carefully curated. Serengeti West offers a collection of rings by Battelle. Additionally, we have a selection of earrings and pendants available. We are also able to commission custom pieces. If you enjoy Battelle’s style, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Your piece is sure to be everything you dream of.

Shop Steven Battelle at Serengeti West

Finally, we invite you to join us at our Downtown San Luis Obispo Jewelry Store. Our staff is happy to help you experience this collection for yourself. We are located at 951 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo. Or, contact us to learn more about this incredible collection. We hope to see you soon!

Things to do in San Luis Obispo

Things to do in San Luis Obispo

Planning a trip to California’s Central Coast? We’re excited to have you! Follow along for our guide of things to do in San Luis Obispo.

Thursday Night Farmer’s Market

The Downtown SLO Farmer’s Market is a great way to see a little more of the city. Held every Thursday night on Higuera Street, there’s always a lot to see and do. Furthermore, many of the local restaurants offer booths with limited menu items, so it’s a great way to taste some of what the city has to offer.

Visit the Madonna Inn

Things to do in San Luis Obispo

Quirky. Unique. Colorful. These words all describe the Madonna Inn. Located at the corner of Madonna Road and the 101 freeway, the inn was opened in 1958. Since that time, it’s welcomed hundreds of thousands of people. Each of the 110 rooms has a unique decor theme. Because of this, no two stays at the Madonna Inn are alike. Finally, we suggest making a visit to the Copper Cafe for a slice of Champagne Cake.

Hike Bishop Peak

Located just east of Cal Poly and near highway 1, Bishop Peak offers stunning views of San Luis Obispo. The trail is 3.4 miles out and back. Because it is the highest of the nine sisters (the volcanic mountains spread across SLO), it provides picturesque views unavailable elsewhere.

Looking for More Things to do in San Luis Obispo?

Downtown offers a great opportunity to visit the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, as well as dine and shop the area. Parking is easy if you head to one of the local parking structures. Furthermore, you’ll even have a chance to walk by our shop and say hello! If you ask us, jewelry is the ultimate souvenir from any trip. What other items will you wear with love and keep for a lifetime?

How do I Clean my Engagement Ring?

How do I Clean my Engagement Ring

How do I clean my engagement ring?

When you first receive your engagement ring, it’s as brilliant and sparkling as can be. But, over time the sparkle may dull just a little. While it’s just as beautiful, you may be asking yourself “How do I clean my engagement ring?” We can help! Follow along for some helpful tips.

Firstly, allow us to say that we’ll happily clean and inspect your ring for free at any time. You read right, there’s no charge for a professional cleaning! Additionally, we can ensure that your beautiful ring is always in good repair by inspecting prongs, channels, and other condition issues. By having your ring professionally cleaned and inspected often, you’ll know if there are any repair issues to correct before any damage happens to your ring.

Our first piece of advice: don’t wash dishes or apply lotion while wearing your jewelry. Because soaps and lotions can cause oils to adhere more quickly to your jewelry, they’ll make your pieces look dirty much faster. We also highly suggest having a safe place to put your ring while at home. You’ll always know where it is, even when it isn’t on your finger. Ultimately, you won’t get it dirty while doing housework.

How do I Clean my Engagement Ring: What Not to do

Whatever you do, be choosy about what you use to clean your ring. It’s never a good idea to use caustic or corrosive chemicals to clean your ring. These chemicals can eat away at the precious metals of your ring and cause damage over time. Additionally, it’s very important to use products that are non-toxic and ammonia free. Degreasers are an excellent choice. We suggest using a mixture of simple green and water and gently scrubbing with a toothbrush from time to time. That is to say, when you can’t make it to our shop for a deep clean.

Visit us at 951 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, for your complimentary cleaning!

Rings for Arthritic Fingers

Rings for Arthritic Fingers

Finding rings for arthritic fingers can be difficult. Because the knuckle grows and swells over time, getting an accurate size is challenging. Historically, brides have had to do without their wedding rings. Meanwhile, others have attempted to use a butterfly shank. Finally, some have tried speed bumps, but none of these compare to the custom fit of a Cliq ring.

Cliq Rings for Arthritic Fingers

Rings for Arthritic Fingers

A ring with Cliq technology installed has a patented hinge and lock mechanism. This unique approach allows us to size your finger without concern for an ever-changing knuckle measurement. Because of this, we can securely fit rings for arthritic fingers without constant adjustment.

The sizing process for a Cliq ring is different than most. Rather than using a standard sizing tool, we use a series of hinged rings with magnets. This allows us to get the most precise fit possible. No longer will your ring spin or knock around. Because of this, your precious and semi-precious stones will be more secure in your jewelry. Additionally, Cliq owners never have to worry about having their rings cut off again.

How to Have Your Ring Made

Rings for Arthritic Fingers Cliq/Superfit

Should you decide to proceed with the customization process, Cliq’s team of master jewelers will help us install the mechanism. Some rings are thinner and require the addition of a bridge (for support). Meanwhile, other rings are sturdy enough to forgo the bridge. Either way, you can be sure that your beloved ring will look and feel seamless, Ultimately, it will fit better than ever before.

Or, maybe you’re ready to restyle your wedding set. Not a problem! Cliq also offers brand new semi-mountings with its technology installed. No matter what style you prefer for your ring, the team of Serengeti West and Cliq can make it happen.

We invite you to visit our San Luis Obispo Jewelry Store at 951 Monterey Street to learn more. Or, contact us to see how to get started!

What do I do with my old Jewelry?

We hear it all the time. “What do I do with my old jewelry? I have so much I never wear just sitting in a box.” Not to worry, we’ve got the answers you need!

What do I do with my old jewelry? Resell it!

Have a few pieces of fine jewelry from past relationships? Beautiful necklaces, rings, or other pieces, but because of their origin, you wouldn’t wear them again? You may be able to consign these pieces. Depending on a few factors, including quality and style, we may be able to help you. Consignment is sure way to get the most out of your old pieces of jewelry when parting with them. Check with our gemologist to see if your pieces are eligible for consignment at Serengeti West!

Sell your gold for cash

Selling cash for scrap gold is an excellent way to make extra money. Some styles don’t age well, while other pieces may have broken over time. Because you may not be interested in wearing these designs again, they make an excellent option for scrap gold. Serengeti West is happy to purchase your gold, platinum, and more for cash. We even offer a 20% bonus when that value is used in store, toward a new purchase.

Restyle old sentimental pieces!

what do i do with my old jewelry

We’re all familiar with heirloom jewelry. Perhaps you own something that has been passed down but needs some work. Or, maybe you’d like to re purpose stones from an outdated piece. We can help!

Customer Erin visited us with an heirloom masonic ring.

“The ring originally belonged to my great grandmother’s second husband. The setting had just been sitting around in my mom’s jewelry box since my grandma passed away back in 2001. She came across it recently and asked whether my husband Ken would like to wear it, if we replaced the stone. It originally held a 2+ carat diamond that my uncle used to propose to a long-ago girlfriend, who later disappeared with the stone. Of course, I got excited right away because I knew he would be into the design and history of the ring. Plus, it’s the companion to my great-grandmother’s engagement ring, which is part of my wedding set now (and which you’re currently refurbishing as well!).”

“I wanted to keep the wonderful eagle head prongs intact. Janett came up with the idea of setting a bezel inside them…which happened to be the perfect size for the Chatham ruby from your collection! And a high-quality synthetic stone is totally period and style appropriate for the ring.
It turned out even more beautifully than expected. The bezel looks as seamless as though it had been original to the ring.
Bringing the ring back to life was such a fun experience from beginning to end, and I’m so happy to have a special family piece back in use!”

Visit us and allow us at 951 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, and we’ll show you the possibilities with your own jewelry!

Four tips for engagement ring shopping

Engagement Ring Shopping is Scary… or is it?

We hear it every day: I’ve never done this before, so I’m not sure what I’m doing. We get it. People don’t often buy a lot of engagement rings in one lifetime, many will only buy one. So where do you start when it comes to engagement ring shopping? How do you know you’re making the right decision? Come along with us as we give you some of our best advice to ensure you pick the piece that will make their eyes light up.

Determine your budget before engagement ring shopping

The least exciting part of the process is the first step- decide how much you can spend on your engagement ring. Will you want to pay cash? Perhaps you want to rack up some airline miles for that impending honeymoon? No matter how you want to pay for your engagement ring, everyone has a price point that they will be comfortable at. Think about your bills, savings, and any upcoming expenses you may have. Will you be funding your own wedding post engagement?

Take a look at the jewelry they already wear

One of our best pieces of advice is to take a look at the jewelry they already own. Is most of their jewelry yellow gold? Maybe everything they wear is a silver color? You can tell a lot about their preferences by looking at the pieces they already wear, so use that information to inform you as you shop for your engagement ring.

Ask their friends if they know anything

Engagement ring shopping is easy at Serengeti West!Everyone has a friend that they trust with top secret information- like “if I ever get an engagement ring, I hope it…” or “my ring size is…”. While that friend may not initiate a conversation with you about that information, they’ll typically spill the beans when asked. Even if your partner hasn’t said much about jewelry tastes to her nearest and dearest, friends are often excellent wing-people when it comes to getting the necessary information.

Buying a diamond? Learn about the Four C’s

Color, cut, clarity, and carat weight (known as the four c’s) are the how the jewelry industry categorize diamonds. Once you figure out where you’d like to be on the spectrum of each of these, you’ll be ready to start viewing a selection of diamonds. Some like a colorless diamond, while others may prefer a touch of body color. Others find the size of the diamond to be more important, while there are some that don’t particularly care. Before you begin shopping, have an idea what your beloved likes, what your budget will be, and be ready to learn a lot more about diamonds.

No matter what you want in an engagement ring, the trustworthy, experienced staff at Serengeti West Fine Jewelers can help you find the ring of your dreams. Call us today or visit us at 951 Monterey Street to learn more!