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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.

Stores in San Luis Obispo: A Trip Near Court Street

Ready to visit some stores in San Luis Obispo? Join us on a tour of some of our favorite downtown SLO stores located near Court Street!

Craving something sweet? Look no further than our local candy store, SLO Sweets! Located on Court Street at Monterey, the shop specializes in self-serve portions of candy. Feel like a few jelly beans or need two pounds of gummy bears? Either way, SLO Sweets has just what you need. Another fun aspect of the shop is that they offer gelato and chocolates!

Stores in San Luis Obispo

There’s nothing quite like a good used book store. Phoenix Books can be found on Monterey Street, next to the Court Street crosswalk. Since the inventory is always changing you can always find something interesting to read. Furthermore, you may be able to find uncommon or rare books here. Obviously, Phoenix Books is one of our favorite stores in San Luis Obispo.

French Quarter is a boutique located on the corner of Monterey and Court Street. Given that they stock a variety of dresses, tops, and jeans, they are easily one of the trendiest shops in San Luis Obispo. Furthermore, they carry handbags, accessories, and shoes. French Quarter is a great option for shoppers who want something fun.

Ascendo Coffee is a small, independent coffee store located on Monterey Street near Court. They are known for their homemade chai, as well as fresh baked pastries. Stop in next time you’d like to relax in a comfortable environment.

Stores in San Luis Obispo

Finally, Humankind Fair Trade is a one of a kind boutique. Located near Phoenix Books, Humankind specializes in ethical items. This shop features artisan items from around the world. You are certain to find inspired, creative gifts for any occasion when you visit Humankind.

Be sure to stop in and say hello next time you’re downtown! We’re located at 951 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo.

Your Jewelry Repair Questions Answered!

Serengeti West Fine Jewelers has been in business for 34 years. In that time, we’ve received a lot of questions. Some of these jewelry repair questions come up again and again, so we’d like to take some time to share the answers with you.

Jewelry Repair Questions

Why is my white gold ring turning yellow?

There’s no such thing as naturally occurring white gold. In fact, all white gold begins as yellow gold. The white appearance is created by adding alloys (other metals) and dipping in a rhodium solution. Because newer blends of white gold are more advanced, these pieces may not need as much refreshing as their older counterparts. If your white gold jewelry seems to be “warming” or appearing less brilliant white, we can help! A small rhodium plating will do the trick and have your piece of jewelry looking like new in no time.

Can you size my ring?

The short answer is yes, we can size your ring. While there are some exceptions to the rule, we provide this service hundreds of times each year. Some things to know: we’ll want to size your finger. If you’re swollen or your finger has been irritated, we may want to measure a few times before settling on your final size. Also, we’ll want to give you an accurate quote as many qualities may impact the price. An example of these may be the metal it is made out of (platinum, 14 karat gold, 18 karat gold, sterling silver), how many stones it has, if it is an infinity ring, and more. Because each ring is unique we must see it in person in order to properly quote the repair.

A stone fell out of my engagement ring! Can you help?

Before you panic, know that this is something we encounter frequently. Because of the small nature of today’s micro pave rings, it’s not uncommon to have very small stones fall out from time to time. It is relatively inexpensive to repair this, so stop in and talk with one of our associates to learn more and get a customized estimate. We are able to use loose diamonds to perfectly match your existing stones. Also, know that professional ring cleanings are free and allow us to spot any issues with your stones or jewelry before they become a problem.

Jewelry Repair Questions Answered: How Long Will my Repair Take?

It should be noted that (like most in the jewelry business) we do not offer on-the-spot repair. Because jewelry is a precise art, we need to have proper time to address any issues and ensure quality work. On average, our repairs take seven to 10 days. It should be noted that some things can impact this schedule. Custom work, complicated jobs, or holiday schedules can cause this time to vary. Additionally, delayed acceptance of an estimate after it has been delivered can cause the process to slow down as well. Feel free to visit us in person at 951 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo to find out about your specific jewelry repair and ask any questions you may have!

Downtown SLO Stores: A List of our Favorites

Many people enjoy shopping online these days. But there’s no substitute for a fun shopping trip! Visiting Cal Poly San Luis Obispo? Join us on our tour of Downtown SLO Stores. Indeed, these stores make us want to go on a shopping spree near Monterey Street.

Downtown SLO Stores: Let’s go Shopping

Karson Butler Events at the AH Louis Store: one of our favorite Downtown SLO Stores

Downtown SLO Stores

Part whimsical, part practical, the AH Louis Store is a party planner’s dream. Filled with treasures like greeting cards, balloons, and fun gifts, this colorful escape is located at the intersection of Chorro and Palm. Additionally, customers can order balloon arches, invitations, and more. Owners Amber Karson and Emily Butler are considered leaders in the event planning industry. Karson is a 2001 alumna of Cal Poly. Furthermore, she serves on the Experience Industry Management Advisory Council.

Junkgirls

Located just down Monterey Street from our jewelry store is Junkgirls. Owned by Jenny Kompolt and Melissa James, the store opened in 2018. The shop relocated from an indoor/outdoor space in nearby Cambria. Junkgirls was located in the Cambria space for 3.5 years. Interestingly, this unique shop specializes in found, vintage, and forgotten objects. In fact, by featuring such items, they minimize their business’ footprint. You’ll find art, lighting, and furniture at this store.

EcoBambino

Shopping for the perfect baby shower gift? This Downtown SLO store is the perfect stop! Most notably, EcoBambino specializes in natural products for children. Furthermore, the store offers classes and tutorials. New moms and dads are sure to find everything they need here!

Boo Boo Records

Boo Boo Records has been a staple in downtown San Luis Obispo since 1974. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and provides excellent customer service. Additionally, the selection of records, art prints, and tee shirts is second to none. Located just down the street from Serengeti West, this store is a local favorite.

Serengeti West Fine Jewelers

No trip down Monterey Street is complete without a visit to Serengeti West! With our selection of diamonds, estate jewelry, and fashion pieces, you’re sure to enjoy this stop. Ultimately, our inventory changes continuously. This means you’re sure to always find something new. Finally, we also offer complete jewelry repair and custom jewelry design.

We hope you’ll visit these stores and stop in to say hello while you’re in the area!

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!

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!

eco friendly jewelry

Eco Friendly Jewelry: Tips for Shopping

Want to make sure you’re being kind to the environment when you purchase jewelry? Allow us to help with our handy eco friendly jewelry guide!

Estate jewelry is eco friendly jewelry

Eco friendly jewelry

Estate jewelry is one of the easiest ways to be eco friendly when shopping. There’s no better way to reduce and reuse than to give an old piece of jewelry new life. Because we maintain relationships with some of the best vintage jewelry brokers, we can source nearly anything. From mid century jewelry to Victorian, these pieces are a beautiful, sustainable option.

Seek ethically sourced materials

Ensuring materials are ethically sourced is important. We choose to work with companies like Stuller, which recycles up to 100% of the materials used in production. Additionally, they use sustainable refining practices and require their vendors maintain minimum social and economical standards

Everything old is new again

Our customer gave new life to her grandfather’s Masonic ring with a new stone

Have pieces of jewelry that you no longer wear? Is grandma’s cocktail ring simply not your style? Consider resetting your stones or restyling an old piece! Whether they’re precious or semi-precious gems, options abound for restyling your jewelry. Because you’ll be reusing some of the most important parts of your old jewelry, your environmental impact will be much less. Additionally, when you work with a jeweler that buys scrap gold, you can profit on outdated looks and broken pieces.

We invite you to visit our jewelry store to learn more about how we employ sustainable practices in our business!

How to choose a jeweler near me

Jewelers Near Me: How do I Choose?

Jewelry Stores Near Me: choosing the right one

“Jewelers Near Me” is a term frequently searched on the internet. Any shop that does a little search engine optimization can make sure they are seen. But how do you know which jeweler to pick? Allow us to help you get to the bottom of this very important topic!

Choose a jeweler with experience

When searching jewelers near me, it’s very important to choose a store that has a lot of experience. Jewelry is a very intricate industry, and a lot of specific information goes into the creation of a piece. Serengeti West Fine Jewelers has been operating in downtown San Luis Obispo for 34 years. We pride ourselves on enduring relationships with suppliers and customers alike.

Find a jeweler with a GIA Gemologist on staff

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) was founded in 1931 and is a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and education in the field of gemology. GIA offers technical education for jewelry professionals, including their Applied Jewelry Professional, Gemologist, and Graduate Gemologist programs. As a result, a Gemologist receives training in identifying precious and semi-precious stones. Additionally, a Gemologist can provide appraisals for insurance purposes if they have received additional training.

Full-service jewelry repair

When choosing a jeweler, we suggest picking one that offers full-scale jewelry repair services. A jeweler that also offers repair will know your pieces better than anyone else. Because they know how these pieces were crafted, how they are wearing over time, and how you wear your jewelry, they’ll be able to help ensure the jewelry is properly maintained.

Custom Jewelry Design

A jeweler that offers custom jewelry is versatile. Because they can create pieces from scratch, they can match any idea you have. If your beloved uses Pinterest, you can have a piece made to match a pin.

Pick a Jeweler that buys gold

It’s always a good feeling to clean out your closet. The same thing goes for your jewelry box. Therefore, it’s good to choose a jeweler that will buy your scrap gold and platinum. You can trust them to pay top dollar for your old, dated pieces.

Still not sure who to choose? Stop by Serengeti West Fine Jewelers and meet our team. You’re sure to feel right at home!

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!