Posts Tagged ‘pearls’
Costume jewelry is often created with non-precious metals, usually gold or silver plated, and with or without beads and stones. Costume jewelry has been extremely popular around the world for thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians are known to have worn decorative beaded necklaces and Cleopatra is probably one of the original wearers of what we now call costume jewelry. In more recent times the people of the Germanic and Slovak regions became highly skilled at developing intricate patterns in glass beads. However, beadwork used in costume jewelry is not only limited to glass.
A large variety of materials are traditionally used to make beads such as jet, wood, amber, gemstones, pottery, ceramic, metals, horn, coral, ivory, tortoiseshell and pearls. Some modern materials such as plastics, nylon and even polycarbonate variants are also used to make beads. Costume jewelry can be antique, period, or contemporary and there are many collectors of every style of costume jewelry. Venetian glass pieces of costume jewelry are particularly collectable as well as being extremely popular for people to wear.
Cleaning costume jewelry is extremely simple but needs to be done on a regular basis to prevent tarnishing. Simply use a mild detergent mixed in water to keep your costume jewelry in good condition. It is important not to soak the jewelry and to make sure that you dry it thoroughly before storing it. You can buy anti-tarnish paper for wrapping your costume jewelry in before you put it away for long periods of time but regular cleaning is the best defense against tarnishing. The tarnishing of costume jewelry is typically caused by the metal reacting with the atmosphere and oxidizing.
Unfortunately, there are a large number of people who are unable to wear costume jewelry next to their skin. This is because of their sensitivity to the metals used. It is important to make sure that anyone that you are buying the jewelry for is not allergic to nickel or copper, especially with pierced earrings. Costume jewelry may look beautiful and, especially in the case of contemporary pieces, be reasonably priced but it is not suitable for everyone to wear. For many people a piece of costume jewelry may be the first jewelry that they have worn and it is important to look out for signs of a reaction, especially after extended periods of wear. Often people will not show a reaction if they wear the jewelry for a short amount of time and this can be an ideal way to avoid any possible discomfort. You can also buy a special coating that you apply to the back of the costume jewelry to protect the skin from having direct contact with the metal.
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How to Clean and Care for Your Jewelry
The most effective way to clean your jewelry is to bring it to your local jeweler. That may not always be possible. It always seems that on a Saturday night, before going to dinner or while getting dressed for a wedding, you realize that your jewelry is lacking a bit of its glisten and luster.
Jewelry Maintenance Schedule
Since most people keep their jewelry in a central location, such as a jewelry box or safe, it is easy to keep a basic checklist along with it. It is commonplace for one to let time pass before noticing one day when examining their jewelry that a diamond is missing from their ring or bracelet. Keeping a simple checklist in your jewelry box can act as a reminder. All fine jewelry that is worn regularly and is mounted with gemstones should be brought to a jeweler to be inspected for wear on prongs and closures on a routine basis. Over time, frequently worn jewelry often comes in contact with coarse surfaces during everyday wear, making it prone to erosion and metal fatigue.
“Erosion” takes place when gold or a precious metal rubs against itself or other surfaces. As precious metals rub against counter tops, stone, or mineral surfaces the soft precious metal slowly erodes. Your jeweler can advise you of needed repair before an item becomes broken and is lost. This recommended preventive measure can prolong the life of your precious jewelry.
Jewelry Metal Fatigue
“Metal fatigue” takes place when metal is stressed by constant knocking or bending. The easiest way to understand this is to envision a coat hanger being bent back and forth several times until it breaks. The impact of hitting a ring or bracelet on a doorknob or the constant depression of a spring clasp on your jewelry latches slowly contributes to its “metal fatigue”.
Professional Jewelry Maintenance
We recommend that everyday items such as engagement rings and tennis bracelets be viewed by a professional jeweler every 6 months, and annually for jewelry that is worn less frequently. A trained jewelry professional will inspect prongs and clasps for wear and tear. The jeweler will detect loose stones and arrange to tighten your prongs and repair or replace worn areas.
Professional Jewelry Cleaning
Most jewelers will clean and polish your jewelry while you wait and the more advanced jewelers will be able to machine polish your jewelry with several stages of compounds to restore its original luster. They may also be able to restore a rhodium finish on your white gold. The more highly qualified jewelers will also be able to steam clean and ultrasonically clean your jewelry. Your jewelry professional should understand the nature of delicate materials, gemstones, and patinas in order to avoid damaging your precious items while working on them.
Home Jewelry Cleaning
In order to properly clean your jewelry at home you should first have an understanding of what your jewelry is made of.
Jewelry Cleaning No No’s
Many materials should not be cleaned at home. Below are a few examples of jewelry that should be handled cautiously.
Organic stones or materials such as pearl, ivory, bone, coral, wood, leather, cord, or string should not be exposed to harsh detergents or soaked in liquids or ultrasonically cleaned. These commonly used jewelry materials may absorb the fluids and be damaged or stained permanently.
Antique or rare artist jewelry should not be tampered with at home. Polishing and cleaning can destroy the patina and integrity of some rare jewelry.
Coins should never be polished and cleaned by a non-professional.
Some gemstones are treated with or have natural oils that can be disturbed by detergents. Some stones are porous and can absorb detergents or moisture. Here are a few gems that caution should be used with: Emerald, Opal, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, and all of the organic stones and materials listed above.
Chemical exposure can lead to disaster. Soaking jewelry in chlorine-based cleaners can completely dissolve a piece of jewelry, leaving behind only the stones. Likewise, constant exposure to pool chlorine can decay the solders used to make jewelry. A small bead of mercury from a broken thermometer can attract to gold and contaminate all other jewelry that it comes in contact with, turning the gold white. This has been known to render entire jewelry boxes of valuable jewelry useless. As a rule, any corrosive product in household use containing acids, lye, or chemicals that you yourself should not be exposed to is probably not good for your jewelry.
Polishing plated metals with abrasive compounds can wear through the plating. The micron plating solution used on many pieces of costume jewelry is thin and abrasive compounds can wear through to the underlying metals. Once the base metals are exposed, they may vary in color or tarnish with time.
Caution should be taken when using ultrasonic cleaners. Ultrasonic cleaners use high frequency waves to release makeup grime and dirt from your jewelry. The process involves vibration.
* Vibration causes erosion when two items are rubbing against one another or the side of an ultrasonic tank.
* Vibration can also loosen stones and epoxy or glue.
* Vibration can also shatter fragile materials such as amber and enamel.
* Vibration can change the color or remove the surface enhancement on many of the novelty gems in the market place today.
* Vibration can dislodge fills from stones that have additives.
Once you have determined that your jewelry can be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner, the tips below can help you with your safe cleaning.
* Use only recommended ultrasonic cleaning solutions.
* Be sure that your items are positioned so that they do not rub on one another or the bottom and side of the ultrasonic tank.
* Do not leave jewelry unattended in an ultrasonic cleaner for extended periods of time.
Proper Jewelry Cleaning at Home
Now that you have an understanding of what you need to be careful with, let’s review the many things you can do to take care of your jewelry and make it look great. The easiest way to keep your jewelry looking terrific is by cleaning it regularly. It is much easier to remove a thin layer of hairspray, lotion, or makeup than a long-term build up. The more often you clean your jewelry the easier the process.
Polishing Precious Metals
You can brighten your jewelry by obtaining a jewelers rouge cloth or a velvet cloth from your local jeweler. These are soft cloths charged with mild polishing compounds used to brighten jewelry. The polishing materials on the cloths are not abrasive enough to damage your stones or metal, but when rubbed vigorously against gold or silver will provide a nice luster. When you are finished polishing your jewelry, you can clean it to remove any of the compounds left behind. Be sure to put your jeweler’s cloth in a dust free container such as a poly bag when you are finished. This will prevent the cloth from picking up grit and foreign matter that may scratch your items on it next use.
Cleaning Diamonds Gold and Platinum
Gold, diamonds, platinum, sapphire, ruby, and most durable stones not listed above in the “Don’ts” section can be easily cleaned. Simply mix a solution of 1/2 Windex and 1/2 warm water. It is not necessary to create a large batch; a half cup is usually sufficient. Make sure the room is ventilated. Soak the items for as long as it takes to loosen the buildup. Remove the items and simply scrub them with a soft toothbrush. Be sure to press the bristles gently between the prongs and in all of the creases of the jewelry. If the residue is stubborn repeat the process. Be sure to rinse your jewelry thoroughly and dry to avoid irritation of the skin. Some people like to dry the stones on the underside with canned air, in order to avoid water spots. Once again, the more frequently you clean your jewelry, the easier the process.
Jewelry Ultrasonic Cleaners
It is very important to read the above warnings about the use of ultrasonic cleaners, as they are very aggressive. That being said, aggressive can be good if you follow the rules. Use only ultrasonic cleaning devices that are designed for home use and read the instructions thoroughly. It is wise to use the solutions that are sold to be used for ultrasonic jewelry cleaning, however, small units can be used with 1/2 Windex and 1/2 warm water. Make sure the room is ventilated.
Cleaning Pearls and Other Organic Jewelry
Pearls, coral, ivory, bone, and other organics can absorb moisture and chemicals. It is for this reason that all make up and hairspray should be applied before putting on your pearls. It is also wise to wipe them down with a soft clean moist cloth when you remove them. In the case of pearls and beads, try not to get the cord and knots wet to avoid staining and rotting of the string. * Never use chemicals or detergents to clean your pearls
Silver jewelry has been ruling the roost in terms of affordably priced jewelry for a long time now and this is because of the umpteen number of reasons that have been explored in various other posts of mine like the lower cost of working on silver and the large number of skilled workers who decide to manipulate silver much to the delight of all the silver jewelry enthusiasts out there.
Handmade silver jewelry caters to an entirely different market segment. One that does not pay attention to the brand name but rather to the quality of the silver jewelry pieces. This is because handmade silver jewelry does not have the backing of the big brands which are made from the factories of the large corporations who control the big jewelry makers.
When one speaks of handmade jewelry there is actually a large variety of such designs. They can be the spun jewelry which is made of fine threaded components made to form a beautiful chain. Or they could be chunkier necklaces and bracelets that give a lot of scope for customization of it’s every part. These customizations may include anything from glass beads, silver trinkets, silver hooks, precious and semi-precious stones that are affixed by various ingenuous methods and look very attractive indeed.
If there is one reasonable disadvantage to handmade jewelry, it is that sometimes you may find that such pieces cost a little or significantly more than the normally made silver jewelry pieces. However, this is to be expected since the handmade pieces are manufactured by a human who uses his or her own hands to craft the piece. Hence, the handmade items are usually of a higher calibre and also much more innovative in design and unique in concept than the run-of-the-mill factory made ones.
Some of the raw materials that jewelers use to craft exotic looking handmade silver jewelry pieces range from even pearls of different sizes and colors to resin work, enamel and mirror work that is embedded in intricate patterns amidst the delicate silver work.
Silver handmade jewelry are sometimes created as a cultural tradition in the case of a few cultures who pride themselves on the exquisite work their artisans are able to conjure. Such examples are seen in Thai culture wherein the silver jewelers are sometimes from the indigenous tribes among which there exist several extremely skilled craftsmen capable of making timeless designs. Thai jewelry is traditionally heavier than the lightweight stuff that is seen with more and more regularity today. However, this only adds to the charm that such pieces bring to the person who wears it. Some of the pieces have chunky additions to them that transform the look of the wearer to that of a bold one. However, there exists several variants of Thai handmade jewelry that is also light and trendy to wear and admire. So you can choose as per your liking.
Hence, from this article you can be sure that handmade jewelry products are an entirely different deal from those common factory produced silver jewelry pieces that lack any newness in design. When you buy a handmade silver jewelry piece what you get is not just a jewelry set but also an object that has been made uniquely by a skilled artisan working on it giving it his or her entire focus and thought. Thus it is worth much more than a normal jewelry piece.
Although Pearls are synonymous with white colors but natural black color pearls produced by the Black-Lipped Oysters or Pinctada margaritifera are very much popular and most sought after now. Natural black pearls have metallic look and are farmed in Tahitian Island and other neighboring French Polynesian islands. Before the days of cultured pearls, black pearls were quite rare and carried higher value. White pearl oysters rarely produced natural black pearls, and black pearl oysters rarely produced any natural pearls at all.
Ever since the pearl farms had started using pearl culturing techniques, there has been tremendous growth in production of all types of pearls such as freshwater pearls, akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls and south sea pearls. The black pearl oysters found in Tahiti and many other Pacific Island areas are used for producing black cultured pearls. Seawater in Tahiti areas is very pristine and favorable to grow black pearls in these oysters. Tahiti’s government applies series of measures throughout the year aimed at improving the quality of exported pearls. It has a key role in ushering the sale and stabilizing the sale while controlling the quality of Tahitian pearls.
Black pearls have the same elegance as white pearls but they have that certain exquisiteness and exotic touch that make them simply irresistible. Since late 80′s, there has been a tremendous jump in Tahitian black pearls sale. In 2006, Japan, Hong Kong and U.S were the three major players in buying large quantity of Tahitian pearls to meet the ever-growing demand.
Tahitian black pearls are used in pearl necklaces, pearl earrings and pearl pendants etc. Black Tahitian pearl jewelry look very gorgeous and exotic as its radiant lustrous appeal makes it more attractive. Black pearl jewelry is also made from freshwater pearls and akoya pearls and are very much affordable. Pearls are often color-enhanced in many colors such as peach, lavender, pink and black etc to meet ongoing demands in the pearl jewelry industry. Women wear all colors of pearl jewelry and black pearls always have unique appeal.
Tahiti’s government applies series of measures throughout the year aimed at improving the quality of exported pearls. It has a key role in ushering the sale and stabilizing the sale while controlling the quality of Tahitian pearls.
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Jewelry making craft projects typically involve using jewelry supplies to make all sorts of items – some wearable, some useable, and some decorative. It’s a fun way to use up bits and pieces of leftover supplies, or to mix other craft forms with jewelry techniques. If you’re having a creativity block, have some fun using your supplies in a totally different kind of project.
Kids love jewelry making craft projects too. You can set out an assortment of beads, findings, colored art wire, ribbon, glue, and a few other odds and ends – and a group of creative children can happily entertain themselves for a couple of hours.
You can also make and sell kits for specific projects, and include photos of a few suggested ways to create the project using the supplies in the kit package. Jewelry making craft kits are popular gifts, and can sell well if you hit on currently cool projects and colors.
Jewelry Making Craft Ideas
Here are a few idea starters for projects you can experiment with. Many of these items make wonderful gifts, especially if you personalize the design for the person you give it to.
* Home decor – try using your jewelry supplies to embellish vases, create wall hangings, craft a bookmark, or make a wind chime.
* Baby gifts – make a dream-catcher to hang over baby’s crib, or a sun-catcher to sparkle in the window.
* Clothing – use rhinestones or faux pearls to decorate a T-shirt, a pair of jeans, or a jacket. Make a belt buckle fancier with your jewelry making craft supplies.
* Handbags – embellish a cigar box into a purse with jeweled clasp, or crochet a beaded evening bag, or decorate a tote bag with beaded fringe and photo-charms of grandchildren.
* Shoes – make pretty shoe clips from wire and other items. Or add beads to the ends of tennis shoe laces.
* Gift packaging – use jewelry supplies to decorate a gift bag or create package ornaments.
* Holiday ornaments – design seasonal decorations small enough to hang on a tree, or large enough to hang on a door. Or give ordinary ornaments a makeover with jewelry making craft supplies.
* Party favors – make wine glass charms or coffee mug markers.
* Small gifts for anyone – create zipper pulls, cell phone charms, ceiling fan pulls, and key chains.
What Can You Use for Jewelry Making Craft Supplies?
In addition to your regular jewelry supplies and tools, here are some examples of other great crafty items to have on hand for your projects:
* A variety of glues.
* Fabric paint.
* Spray paint.
* Sharpie markers – wide tip and fine tip.
* Craft knife and cutting mat.
* Mod Podge.
* Bits and pieces of interesting paper and ephemera.
* Used postage stamps.
* Sponge brushes.
* Small paint brushes.
* Scrapbooking paper.
* Embossing powders.
* Ribbon, string, raffia, embroidery floss.
* Rubber stamps and ink.
After enjoying a few sessions of jewelry making craft projects, don’t be surprised to find yourself crossing over into using craft materials in your jewelry designs. It opens up a whole new universe of addictive supplies and tools to collect!
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