Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More on pearls

Pearls can be cut. For example: a baroque pearl can be cut in two halves and the halves set as matching earrings, or in a pin or bracelet. But pearls can't be reshaped. If a pearl is almost completely round but has a major bump that bump can't be sanded down without losing the value of the pearl.

The color of a pearl can be affected by dying. Usually you can see the dye mark where the pearl has been drilled, as there will be a ring of color. Pearls can be bleached, but the bleach wears away the nacre of the pearl. Cultured pearls, especially low quality pearls, often have only a thin layer of nacre, so bleaching can destroy the value of the pearl.

Keep pearls away from commercial jewelry cleansers. Just dip them quickly in soapy warm water, rinse in distilled water, and dry with a soft cloth. Keep pearls away from other jewelry as they can scratch easily.

If you wear your pearl necklace often, have it restrung every few years. The restringing is not simply popping beads on silk threads. The pearls have to be removed in order and then restrung in that same order with a small knot tied between each pearl. The knot has two purposes, it keeps the pearls from rubbing against each other and if the necklace breaks, the knots prevent the pearls from all sliding off onto the floor.

How can you tell a pearl is real? Gently rub the pearl across the surface of your teeth, it should feel gritty and artificial pearls won't

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Buying A Diamond Engagement Ring: Get What You Pay For

It's an important time in your life when you get engaged but don't let emotion overwhelm your shopping savvy when you purchase UK diamond engagement rings.

Diamonds are valued on:

Color - the purer and whiter the more valued

Clarity – the transparency of the stone and any inclusions (visible flaws)

Cut – how well cut the diamond is (not the shape)

Carat – how much the diamond weighs

Color can be manipulated in several ways. The diamond is shown under a colored light that offsets any yellowness in the stone or is shown against a black cloth backdrop instead of white. The setting of the stone can influence the perception of the color. A white gold or platinum setting contrasts with a yellowish diamond making the yellow cast more obvious, while a yellow gold setting doesn't make the yellow color as obvious. None of these methods are dishonest as long as the seller states the actual color grade.

However some dishonest sellers misstate the color grade intentionally or enhance it. Yellowish diamonds can be made to look whiter by touching the side of the diamond with indelible purple ink which neutralizes yellow. The diamond can also be painted to neutralize the yellow. The "paint" isn't at all obvious, can't be washed off and may take months of cleaning before it wears off.

All natural diamonds have some flaws. The diamond can be set to hide an obvious flaw on the edge of the diamond, the prong of the setting hiding the flaw. If you're buying a one or more carat diamond in your engagement ring it should be examined unset. Diamonds can have a crack or fissure filled thereby concealing it. Sometimes an inclusion can be lasered out. These techniques are not unethical as long as the seller discloses they've been used.

The weight of the diamond is measured in carats and increases exponentially. In other words a two carat diamond with similar clarity, color, and cut, will cost much more than twice the price of a one carat diamond. Some diamonds are cut to leave a bit of unpolished area on the girdle to make sure the diamonds reaches that important one carat weight. A .95 carat diamond price per carat cost is much less than a 1.00 carat diamond price per carat cost.

A three carat diamond engagement ring can vary tremendously in value depending on how many diamonds make up the three carats. A two carat center stone offset by two 1/2 carat diamonds would be costlier than a ring with a one carat center stone offset by four 1/2 carat stones, even though both rings have three carats of diamonds.

Diamonds that are two carats don't look twice as big as a one carat stone. The increase in perceived size is only about 50%. A word of warning: Be leery when someone says a diamond spreads 1.5 carats. That doesn't mean it weighs 1.5 carats, just that it looks the same size as a 1.5 carat diamond when viewed from above. That can be achieved by cutting the diamond broader but shallower.

Cut is one of the more important factors. A badly cut diamond loses its brilliance and sparkle compared to a well cut diamond. A round brilliant cut diamond is about half the size of that same diamond in the rough, or uncut. Some diamond cutters will try to eke out two one carat stones out of a rough diamond crystal by sacrificing the quality of the cut.

The best way to know that you're getting what you're paying for when purchasing your UK diamond ring is to purchase from a reliable dealer that provides a diamond grading report from an independent gemstone laboratory.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Turquoise Jewelry: The Stone Made From the Sky

By Corey Landis
Native American languages are filled with particularly descriptive words. Their word for turquoise means 'sky stone', or possibly 'stone made from sky,' and no single ethnic group knows more about making turquoise jewelry than the Native Americans. The 'sky stone' is a staple in their jewelry, and wearing it is believed to confer luck and prosperity on the wearer. Certainly turquoise is a beautiful stone, and turquoise jewelry has a warmth and yet an elegance that is rarely matched by other stones.

Far from being limited to Native American jewelry, however, this 'stone made from the sky' shows up in such unlikely places as Africa, Europe, and even Russia. Turquoise and jade were sacred stones to the Incas and the Maya. Ancient Greeks believed that turquoise jewelry had almost magical properties, and could increase wisdom, vision, and sexual attraction. Certainly our love affair with turquoise jewelry continues to this day; turquoises and turquoise jewelry appear in the jewel collections of monarchs, nobility, actresses, and the very wealthy. Yet turquoise jewelry is not an exceptionally expensive stone, and it also turns up in the jewelry boxes of ordinary working women, and even in some high-quality children's jewelry.

Some birthstone charts list turquoise as the stone for those born in December or October. The 'stone of the sky' seems an appropriate, if somewhat wishful, symbol for the month when the days are at their shortest, and the sky is often dark or clouded over. But turquoise jewelry remains an appropriate gift for any woman, for any birthday, in any month. And, no doubt because of its reputation with the Greeks as an aphrodisiac, the stone made from the sky is the perfect gift for weddings and anniversaries. It is a rare woman, indeed, who doesn't love turquoise's infinite pale blue and the warmth of this beautiful stone.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Meaningful - Celtic Jewelry

By Corey Landis

Celtic jewelry is an extraordinary type of accessory that is rich in meaning and history. Although Celtic jewelry has been existent since around 2000 BC, its popularity never diminished in the fashion industry through the centuries. In fact, the popularity of this jewelry continues to grow even today because its appeal transcends age, gender and even culture.

It is undeniable that the stunning beauty of this jewelry is one of the reasons for its extreme popularity. However, those who know the history of the Celtic people do appreciate Celtic style of jewelry a little bit more than the rest.
The Celts settled in Ireland centuries ago. It was very evident among the Celts that they were born with a sense of exotic style and highly creative craftsmanship. The Celts would soon be renowned for jewelry making using gold and silver, and their merchandise have been deemed as not just striking, but also rich in meaning and history.

Among the different types of this jewelry are the exotic crosses and bracelets. The Irish consumers patronized the exotic style of the Celts and would soon spread the fashion style across the world.

The Irish people also helped spreading the rich meaning and history in the Celt jewelry. One of the most symbolic Celtic jewelry items is the Claddagh ring. The Irish are familiar with it, because it is a symbol of devotion to your loved one or friend. Some New Age believers would even use the Claddagh ring as their wedding band.

Across the world today, different nations with different beliefs are embracing Celtic jewelry if only for its aesthetic and artistic value. Both men and women appreciate Celtic jewelry, and in fact, some items are even considered unisex. The most frequently selected Celtic styled jewelry items are stunning necklaces and bracelets.
If you’re interested in starting your very own jewelry collection, the Internet has a lot of online stores for you. Finding the best jewelry is just a click away.

Friday, April 11, 2008

On the Various Kinds of Custom Jewelry Supplies

By Corey Landis

Custom jewelry has always had a large following; high school sweethearts engrave each others' names on rings or necklaces or lockets; best friends in middle school make keychains with 'Friends Forever' on them. And adults, especially women, love to get jewelry that was made especially for them from their children or significant other. Custom jewelry supplies run the gauntlet from square plastic beads with letters on them that can be strung together to make a name, a word, or a phrase, to expensive jewelry sets with birthstones or other distinctive pieces that can be strung onto real gold or silver wire, and made into a tasteful and elegant piece of jewelry.

Custom jewelry sets for children are perhaps the most popular jewelry items; little girls love sharing slumber parties by making jewelry, and jewelry made in this way makes excellent gifts for one child to give to another, or for a child to give to their mother, grandmother, teacher, or other important women in their lives. Additionally, however, the kits for making custom jewelry make excellent gifts for adults to give to children, which would perhaps explain in large part their popularity. The expensive 'real jewel' custom jewelry sets are much less popular, no doubt because adults are less fond of expressing their creativity in jewelry making. Easier, no doubt, to simply buy a piece of jewelry that fits their exact needs and tastes.

Finding custom jewelry supplies is not difficult, especially if you are looking for the plastic bead jewelry sets for children; almost every major retailer carries them in some shape or form. As noted before, a custom jewelry kit does make an excellent gift for little girls, and it frequently becomes the gift that keeps on giving, as girls create jewelry and then pass it on to other girls and women in their lives.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Current Trends in Fashion Jewelry

By Corey Landis

Do you remember when fashion jewelry meant chains hanging from your clothes and metal studs everywhere it was possible to stick a bit of metal? If you do, then you have a long memory, because that was almost a year ago, and the fashion jewelry world has made a radical about-face in the time since then.

More and more, fashion jewelry is leaning from the grunge / punk look to the more feminine but equally scary 'girly girl' look. Costume fashion jewelry is in; the more sparkly and elaborate, the better. Bakelite is out; rhinestones are coming into their own. If you go for a girly sort of look, then try layering sparkle on top of sparkle for a glittering array of jewelry sure to bedazzle onlookers.

Look for bracelets that sparkle, and don't be shy about wearing them on both wrists. Colored jewelry isn't forbidden, but stick with richer, darker colors; emerald rather than citrine, ruby rather than amethyst; and layer on the rhinestones or austrian crystals for a little extra sparkle. Avoid large chains for jewelry; small chains on necklaces and bracelets are better, and liquid silver is best of all.

For those who are totally not in to girly styles or fashion jewelry that dazzles--and blinds--onlookers, the trends seem to be leaning away from the almost masculine punk look and towards a chic understatement. If this is more your type, look for white or black pearls, single strand necklaces or single pearl earrings, or go for something classic, such as single stone diamond pendants or single stone earrings in diamond, emerald, or ruby. Remember that anything classic or classy will always be in style. Stay traditional, or add a little extra color to liven it up. If you're looking to make a statement, wear different but complimentary stones in necklaces and earrings; emeralds and sapphires, or topaz and citrine, for example.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Crash Course on Cubic Zirconia Jewelry

By Corey Landis
If you’re one of those people who have been pining for a piece of diamond jewelry your whole life but have been either unwilling or unable to shell out enough cash to do so, then you must have heard of cubic zirconia jewelry at least once. Cubic zirconia is, after all, one of the most popular diamond stimulants today.

Because of the high cost and rarity of real, gem-grade diamonds, there has been much need for other materials that have diamond-like characteristics. Such materials have been called diamond stimulants, and are used to make ornate pieces of jewelry.
Different materials have been used as diamond stimulants, many of them artificial, the most popular of which include high-leaded glass or rhinestones, and moissante, and cubic zirconia.

Jewelry made of cubic zirconia are often preferred over those that are made from other diamond stimulants because of its high visual likeness to real diamonds and its relatively low cost. While some might say that moissante jewelry resemble diamond jewelry better, it is much more expensive than cubic zirconia jewelry, thereby still making the latter more popular. Another problematic aspect of moissante jewelry is its limited availability compared to cubic zirconia jewelry.

Choosing any form of jewelry requires time and patience. If you’re buying cubic zirconia jewelry in particular, it would help to compare it side-by-side with authentic diamond jewelry. This way, you would be able to see how much it resembles the real thing.

You should also take note of the materials and quality used for the setting of your cubic zirconia jewelry, as these are just as important in making your cubic zirconia jewelry look and feel like actual diamond jewelry.
Finally, a word of caution: never pass cz jewelry as real diamond jewelry when it comes to insurance plans and policies. However similar your jewelry is to the real thing, expert jewelers and appraisers will be able to tell the difference.