Sterling Silver Exposed

Silver has been used since ancient times, but has not survived as well as ancient gold because it tarnished and decomposes. There have been times, however, when silver was “in”; we are going through such a vogue today.

Silver is the most common of the precious metals. Fine silver is pure silver, which is seldom used for jewelry because it is too soft. Sterling silver is 925 parts silver to 75 of copper, the alloy most often used. Silver weighs about half as much as gold, has greater flexibility, but is not as malleable, it has always been less expensive as well. A comparable piece of gold jewelry might cost four or five times that of a piece of sterling silver jewelry.

The current fashion trend toward black clothing has made silver jewelry more popular than ever. Silver likes to be worn; it stays cleaner & shinier through movement and friction. So sterling silver is a perfect accessory for today’s fast paced lifestyles. Much like gold, sterling silver needs to be cleaned.

Care and Cleaning of your Sterling Silver Jewelry

1.) For daily cleaning it is recommended to use a simple jewelry polishing cloth that is impregnated with special jewelry cleaner. These are widely available and are very easy to use. Store your cloth in a plastic zip-lock bag, and keeping your jewelry drawer or armoire. It is a good idea to have one cleaning cloth for gold and one for silver.

2.) For a slightly more “in-depth” cleaning you may want to use a liquid jewelry cleaner.

3.) For cleaning badly tarnished silver, here’s a neat little trick

a.) Cover the inside bottom of a heat-proof glass dish on bowl with a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side up.

b.) Place the tarnished silver in the bottom of the dish, contacting the aluminum foil.

c.) Add 1 heaping tablespoon of baking soda, and then slowly pour boiling water to cover the piece. The tarnish will gradually collect on the aluminum foil.

d.) Remove your silver, rinse thoroughly, and polish.

Jewelry Handmade

Over the millennia, jewelry styles and materials have evolved in step with the advances of civilization. From the Stone Age to the Bronze Age, from the Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution (and seemingly back again!), styles have transformed, modernized, and then often returned to their most basic forms and essential elements.

Today, jewelry is primarily machine made, allowing manufacturers to produce uniform jewelry designs much more economically than traditional handcrafting and hand-casting techniques allow. Casting machines now quickly process into uniform molds such components as metals, plastics, and resins, allowing even complex jewelry designs to be produced with speed and uniformity. Mechanical punch presses and forges, likewise, are also commonly employed in the jewelry manufacturing industry today, to help ensure the production of a consistent, highly profitable product.

In the past decade, however, the modern marketplace has experienced a resurgence of interest in handmade jewelry, and a greater value is again being placed on unique and limited edition jewelry designs, made by hand with ancient crafting processes.

With this renewed demand, jewelry artisans the world over are enjoying improved sales and recognition for their talents and skills. Many specialty galleries — and even major department stores — now feature an increasing array of handmade jewelry. With the advent and spread of the Internet as a sales tool worldwide, many international jewelry artisans, even located in remote regions, are also enjoying the benefits of direct sales to distant customers.

Novica hosts the largest handmade jewelry marketplace on the Internet, featuring some 15,000 unique designs, direct from master artisans in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Regina Bimadona, director of Novica’s regional office in Bali, herself a jewelry artist, works closely with master jewelers in Bali and Java, helping them bring their collections, and the unique stories behind those collections, to appreciative customers worldwide. Bimadona specializes in assisting jewelers who still create limited-edition collections with traditional, handmade techniques.

In the following interview, Bimadona outlines the basic differences between handmade and mass-produced jewelry, and the benefits of and drawbacks to both handmade and machine-made techniques.

CG: What makes handmade jewelry truly handmade?

RB: Handmade jewelry is crafted by hands, instead of mechanically made with machines. Handmade jewelers use old metal-smith skills, simple tools, and a broad variety of techniques to create their desired forms and shapes. In handmade jewelry you can often observe each item’s uniqueness, its dissimilarity from similar pieces. You can also usually sense the cultural individuality, meaning, and even history behind many such designs, even if such information is not provided along with the jewelry. Handmade jewelry techniques require considerable concentration, time, skill, creativity, and dedication. This is often clearly recognizable in the finished piece, making fine handmade jewelry stand out from mass-manufactured, uniform items.

CG: Are there other ways buyers can tell the difference between truly handmade jewelry, and mass-produced jewelry that might at first glance appear handmade? For example, some of the jewelry that we find in large department stores today may appear “rustic,” but that does not necessarily mean it is actually made by hand.

RB: You will find that true handmade jewelry is typically not identical to other pieces of the same design. It is often easiest to examine jewelry that has considerable decoration — many aspects. Examine each individual component; you can often clearly see how they are attached and constructed. Mass-produced or machine-made jewelry typically looks more rigid and uniform. Some handmade, traditional-style jewelry appears less perfect than machine-made jewelry, although high quality handmade jewelry should nonetheless be made to last, and this should be apparent in the details. Perhaps surprisingly, I have found that machine-made jewelry often breaks more easily than well-made handmade jewelry. Much of the mass-produced jewelry sold today as “handmade” may indeed be handmade, for example in department stores, but that does not necessarily mean it is of the highest quality. Mass-production facilities typically require artisans to meet efficiency quotas that result in poorly made jewelry, made with cheaper materials — even if it is technically made by hand. I recommend looking for handmade jewelry that is not mass-produced — not available in large quantities. High quality handmade jewelry often has an artisan’s name and reputation proudly attached to the finished product. Fortunately, quality and uniqueness are typically apparent to the careful observer.

CG: What are the benefits of purchasing handmade jewelry, rather than mass-produced jewelry?

RB: Handmade jewelry offers the pleasure of unique, often rare designs, that are not-identical, typically made by a true artist — with great love and passion. Jewelry is an art form. I truly believe this strength of feeling comes across in the design process, and in the finished jewelry itself. Mass-produced items simply have less soul. I believe that handmade jewelry also better reflects the wearer’s personal touch and style, expressing individuality and interest. To wear mass-produced jewelry, of a common style, to my mind lends the wearer the appearance of being somewhat mass-produced. Mass-produced jewelry can indeed be less expensive to purchase, because it is certainly less expensive to make, but it is not necessarily less expensive to purchase. Regardless, mass-produced jewelry usually brings with it no special meaning or history — no story, no life. When you wear beautiful handmade jewelry, it is a pleasure to be able to explain to admirers the actual story or history behind what you are wearing, or information about the artist, which is often possible with handmade jewelry bought from individual artisans or their representative galleries. Above all, it is simply a joy to wear jewelry that someone has personally and lovingly created by hand.

Styles of Engagement Rings

Halo Engagement Ring

A halo ring features a center stone surrounded by other small diamonds making it look extra sparkly and divine. The smaller diamonds make the center stone look big and more prominent. A traditional halo ring is a modern take on solitaires. But over the years people have gotten very creative with the halo setting; some feature pear-shaped or oval diamonds, square stones or colored gemstones like blue sapphires or rubies.

Three-Stone Engagement Ring

The three-stone rings feature a center diamond with two similar diamonds on either side. They are said to have great sentimental value as the three stones represent the past, present and future of the relationship. Princess and round cut diamonds are the most popular choices for the center stone in a three-stone ring. The two side diamonds are approximately half the carat weight as the center diamond. is usually The diamonds can be prong-set, basket-set or bezel-set.

Side-Stone Engagement Ring

Sidestone rings feature a center diamond flanked by two or more comparatively smaller diamonds on either side of it. Sidestone rings look more radiant and bright because of the additional diamonds and how they make the center stone look more distinct, bigger and shinier!

Split Shank Engagement Ring

A split shank ring features a band that splits as it reaches the center stone. These are one of the modern styles of engagement rings. This style of engagement ting is a nice choice for elongated center diamonds such as pear, oval and marquise as it helps to visually balance the diamond. These split shank rings can also have micro pave diamonds on the band to make it look extraordinary and grand! A halo can also be incorporated into a split shank ring.

Bridal Sets

A bridal or wedding set consist of an engagement ring and a wedding band that complement each other and look quite consistent. Wedding and engagement rings, when bought separately can be hard to match accurately, especially if it’s very unique or intricate ring. But a bridal set ensures that both the rings fit perfectly together. Also, a bridal set is also often coordinated with the groom’s wedding ring.

Hip Hop Jewelry

There is a wide variety of these types of jewelry styles that you can choose from. Not only are there the big gold ropes that were popular in the 1980s but there are also the diamond crosses and chains that are popular today. You will also find a lot of pendants that show off a person’s love of hip hop music. Some of the other trends within this world include iced out platinum jewelry, spinner watches, LED belt buckles and personalized dog tags.

You will also find a lot of different materials being used to make this type of jewelry today. This includes, gold, rose gold, silver and even platinum. Of course, gold is more expensive. Regardless of the materials, you will also find a variety of patterns, designs, sizes and shapes. Some pieces are even studded with precious crystals or stones such as diamonds and pearls.

While there are a wide variety of styles and materials to choose from, one thing is for sure. All hip hop jewelry has bling bling to it. This means that there are diamonds on this big, attractive, sparkling jewelry.

This type of jewelry has gained a great deal of popularity throughout the world today. It makes a person look as though they have money like the hip hop stars do, which is something that everyone desires.

Stretch Bracelets

Although there’s been a lot of hype over CZ bracelets, bangle bracelets and cuff bracelets, those styles may not work for every woman. Or, they may not be the best choices for workplace jewelry, as when it comes to typing on the computer, they can be restrictive. On the other hand, stretch bracelets are a great alternative to suit any type of taste. From CZ and rhinestone bracelets to beaded and all metal styles, there’s something for everyone.

Stretch bracelets are very nice because they pretty much fit any woman. They are very comfortable to wear, and best of all, they are completely affordable. Most of these kinds of bracelets are held together with stretchy cord or elastic, so you don’t need to pay for an elaborate setting. The stone in stretch bracelet is set close together, therefore, you really get the most for your money.

Stretch bracelets are suitable for any age. They are easy to wear so everyone from teenage girls to moms to grandmothers can easily sport this style. They are especially nice for older women who may not be able to fasten or clasp another type of bracelet. Just slip it on and you’re ready to go.

Creation and Design of Fine Gold

You could also use some props in the event that you desire the designs to be more attractive. This will further help you to present your fine gold jewelry with extra knack and style. You can choose from either rocks, stones, or tree limbs in adding flair to your designs. For ocean fans designing the jewelry with seashells or driftwoods might be a great idea.

The arrangement of the jewelry items extremely affect how they’ll look. Ensure that all components and props hung in the right place and also the screws and nails could help with where or how you hang something. The use of stones or rocks could additionally identify your individual style too. A drape of fabric can additionally make a world of difference whenever it comes to your display. Suede and velvet can have an effect on this.

Your heavy jewelry designs have to be placed at the bottom of your displays. This could be consist of either silver or gold chains. This may give the appeal of a river or a street. It really is best to visualize your display in your mind first before you set it up. It would help in case you will check out an assortment of displays first earlier than settling down with your design. When you do this a lot you definitely will be able to set up in little time whenever it comes to displaying for the retail locations. Take a snapshot of your display so you would have a visual file of what your display looked like so you could have a comparison.

Focusing in a certain style of fine gold jewelry impacts your set up for the display. Bridal jewelry for instance should certainly be beautiful and focus on using light colors along with wedding goods like cakes. The textiles to use could either be lace silk or chiffon. With the appropriate props around even more people will be attracted to your jewelries because they could just imagine how they will look with that particular jewelry on.

A different kind of set up is required for ethnic jewelry. Your purpose is to have the culture or group that your fine gold jewelry is focussed on to be emphasized with the props. As an illustration a exotic jewelry should always be designed with the correct exotic props so the designs are in sync with each other.

Undoubtedly most of the people are visual so it is ideal that you give much work on the display of your jewelries. Following these ideas could further help you in making it big in the fine gold jewelry style and design business.

Essence of Pearls

What this means for you and me is that pearls are going to be everywhere … more so than ever before. The designs are creative, exciting and new. The single strand of small- to medium-sized pearls will always be available and considered the most traditional. Now there is abundance in the variety of shapes, types, and color. The following charts will help you in deciding which pearls are for you and how to care for them.

Natural pearls are rare and are usually found in estate sales or in museums from when European royalty discovered the Americas and the bays filled with oysters filled with naturally occurring pearls. Those pearls had an irritant that naturally made its way inside the muscle of the oysters started it producing layer upon layer of nacre which continued to build until the oyster was removed by men.

Now day’s pearls that are affordable are cultured. Which means that mature oysters are harvested from a riverbed or ocean: A small round bit of oyster shell is inserted into the muscle and the same nacre producing activity begins building a pearl over a period of 10 months to 3 years.

Man-made or faux pearls are produced when a round glass bead is covered with iridescent fish scales that generate a pearly finish. When you rub one of these beads against your front teeth, they feel smooth. Whereas when you do the same with a cultured pearl, the nacre coating feels slightly gritty against your tooth.

Man-made pearls, such as your standard Mardi-gras beads will feel room temperature when you pick them up. Cultured pearls will feel cold, especially when in an air-conditioned room. Pearls need to be the last thing you put on after you have dressed, applied makeup and fixed your hair.

Hair styling products, deodorant, fragrance and any alcohol-based spray will break down the luster and finish on a pearl causing it to look pitty because the nacre layers will begin to peel off. The acid in our natural occurring body oils can build up on pearls which can make them look dull. It is best to wipe them off with a soft cloth or wash with a mild soap to remove a build up on the pearl surface. Do not dip in an ultrasonic cleanser, the damage would be immediate.

Moissanite Bracelet

Moissanite is a new diamond substitute that, unlike previous faux diamond offerings, is a stunningly beautiful material in its own right, and considered by experts to surpass diamond in many ways. So if you want to add some simple elegance to your favorite outfit, a moissanite bracelet might be your perfect choice.

A moissanite tennis bracelet is one of life’s simple beauties. So called because of Chris Evert’s loss of a diamond strand bracelet on court during the 1987 US Open Tennis Tournament, tennis bracelets combine simplicity and extravagance all in one. Chris refused to continue playing tennis until the safety of her bracelet was assured and it was safely back on her wrist, and with a moissanite tennis bracelet, you can be sure that you will be a show-stopper too.

While a chunky bangle can add a casually stylish air to an outfit, a moissanite bracelet adds a mature and subtle style. While earrings and necklace draw attention to themselves, a moissanite bracelet brings an understated brilliance that adds intrigue to your look.

Nestling under your sleeve, or resting against your wrist, a tennis bracelet is the piece of jewelry seen only when you speak and gesture, displaying a momentary glimpse of your unique sense of style. A moissanite tennis bracelet endows you with a sophistication that doesn’t speak aloud, it merely whispers of its understated elegance to those with an eye for real beauty.

Moissanite has been taking the jewelry world by storm, so treat yourself to a moissanite bracelet, and enjoy the combination of innovation and timelessness for yourself. Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve, but create a sense of mystery with the subtle beauty of a moissanite tennis bracelet.

Fake Diamond Manufacturing

Here are some easy tips you can use to determine fake diamond – or real?

Ask. Ask the salesman straight out if the diamond you are looking at is a fake or real. A reputable salesman will give you an honest answer.

Wear and Tear. Real diamonds are almost indestructible. If you seek chips or scratches on the gem, chances are your diamond is made by man and not nature.

Documentation. Ask for a certificate from the Gemological Institution of America. The GIA is the largest diamond grading authority in the world.

Appraisal. Take the diamond to a certified diamond appraiser. While the naked eye may not be able to distinguish between a real diamond and fake one, appraisers have the tools needed to tell the difference.

Setting. Look at the quality of the setting. If the diamond is fake, there is a higher chance the setting will be of poor quality than if the diamond is real.

Fake or real, a beautifully cut diamond in a dazzling setting can be a real eye catcher. The trick is not to pay more for your diamond, fake or real, than it is really worth. By taking the proper precautions to know what you are buying, you can enjoy your diamond purchase without regrets.

Pearl Care

Storing Pearls

Because pearls can be easily scratched or damaged, keep your pearls separated from other items or jewelry. They are best kept in a soft cloth, a soft pouch, or a soft, lined jewelry box. Do not keep your pearls in an airtight or excessively dry environment. They need moisture in order to prevent cracking. If they need to be kept in a safety deposit box or a vault, keep a damp (not wet) cloth nearby. Re-dampen as needed, but be careful not to have too much moisture. This can cause mildew.

Avoiding Harmful Products

Personal care products such as cosmetics, perfume and hair spray, can dull the pearl’s luster and should be applied before putting your pearls on. Other harmful products, such as vinegar, ammonia, chlorine bleach, and even inks will also damage the pearl surface. Make sure to remove your pearls before any strenuous exercise or work. Perspiration is another harmful substance that contains natural acids that can eat away at your pearl’s surface. These are all harmful substances that can spot or disintegrate the pearl’s beautiful nacre.

Cleaning Pearls

After each use, gently wipe your pearls with a warm, damp cloth before putting them away. Make sure not to use anything abrasive to wipe off the pearl surface. Periodically, gently wash your pearls in warm, soapy water using a mild soap (not a detergent) to remove any harmful buildup. After washing, gently rinse your pearls in clean water and then, wrap them in a thin, damp (not wet) cotton towel. Once the towel is dry, your pearls will be dry, too. Make sure not to hang your pearls to dry, since this can stretch the silk thread. If your pearls are particularly dirty, you can also wipe them with acetone polish remover. Unlike ammonia and vinegar, acetone will not damage your pearls.