Spring brings to mind all things clean and new. While clearing out the clutter and polishing up the wood work this season, don’t forget to revitalize the sparkle to your jewelry collection too. Your smallest treasures are often the ones most overlooked. Now’s the perfect time to dust off the jewelry box and give the precious items inside the attention they deserve.

Proper cleaning know-how could prolong the life of your jewelry. Besides having your jewelry professionally cleaned by your trusted jeweler at least once a year, here are some simple ways to care for your gemstones right at home.

1. When not wearing your jewelry, place each item in a separate, soft compartment or container. If cluttered together, jewelry can become scratched, even diamonds.

2. Clean your jewelry frequently to avoid the build-up of dirt, which can be damaging.

3. When in doubt, use warm water and a soft toothbrush.

4. Diamonds can be cleaned with ammonia-based cleaners and rubbing alcohol, using a soft toothbrush. Then dry with a soft, clean cloth. (Note: lengthy exposure to ammonia may be harmful to white gold, so keep your stone’s mounting in mind.)

5. Strands of pearls should be cleaned using a slightly damp cloth to wipe the dirt off. If the string gets wet, it can weaken and be more prone to breakage.

6. Avoid heavy blows to your gemstones. Even diamonds, which are among the hardest of all materials, can chip if struck at the right angle.

Aside from at-home care, it’s wise to have your jewelry inspected by your jeweler annually for loose settings and faulty clasps. A prong that is loose, worn or catches on fabric may cause the stone to fall out of the setting. At inspection, it’s also a good idea to have your jewelry re-evaluated based on current market values to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage in the unfortunate event of loss, theft or damage.

Step into spring with the comfort of knowing that by taking the proper proactive measures, you’ll be adding years to the life of your jewelry

How to Get a Variety of Engagement Rings

Every couple has a story. The story begins with how they met, then they tell about their first date and then, before one of the biggest events they will encounter as a couple, they tell about their engagement. Inside the engagement story is one that includes diamond engagement rings. Diamond rings are not hard to find, but those with their own story, those are real gems. If you are looking for a gem with a story, you need the right information about how to get a variety of engagement rings.

The thought of diamond rings can become overwhelming. How do you pick out a ring that will be worthy of the woman you want to marry? A quick search online can help you find a local jeweler hopefully with an inspiring story that will capture you. When that happens, you need to check this place out.

When you walk in, it is possible you will begin to feel overwhelmed again, after all, the thought of picking the perfect ring, especially if you don’t know what you are looking at can be tremendous. A specialist should greet you. Simply explain that you are looking at diamond engagement rings and you need one that will tell a story but you know nothing about diamond rings. The specialist may have a G.I.A. graduate talk to you about diamonds. They will begin to explain how the cut of the diamond impacts the way the light reflects off it. Then he or she will tell you about how the color and clarity of the diamond are graded from yellow to clear and flawless to imperfect. Finally the G.I.A. graduate should explain that carat weight is the general measure of how large the stone is. When you have enough information and are comfortable, return to the specialist you can begin to browse the diamond rings.

When you are back with the specialist, he or she should explain that there are several different band styles to choose from. Classic styles never seem to get old. The halo has several smaller diamonds surrounding the main center diamond. The vintage pieces are a style from another time that brings a little piece of history. The Infinity diamond rings symbolize forever, like a couple’s love for one another. The nostalgic collection is more simply designed with fewer gems, but their beauty is still unmistakable. And for the unique couple looking to make a statement all their own, the Pink Collection offers a splash of color with all of the class found in the other styles.

As you continue your journey through the collections, and your education on diamond engagement rings, be sure to ask questions about the shape of the diamonds. The specialist will explain that there are several different shapes to choose from. Among the choices are the round, princess cut, marquise, cushion or oval shaped diamonds. Many of the diamond shapes will fit many of the different ring styles, offering a variety of diamond engagement rings to choose from.

Armed with all of the information you received on diamond engagement rings, you will be able to find the ring that tells the story you want to tell. Perhaps an infinity style ring from the Pink Collection, with a pear shaped, 1.5 carat center diamond with a high clarity and color grading for intense sparkle in the light


Using Minerals To Make Cabochons

Some people spend countless hours in the outdoors looking for beautiful rocks and minerals to use in their jewelry making, but if you want to transform these rough materials into glorious creations, it is important that you have the skills necessary to choose the right materials. As well as choosing the right rocks and semi-precious gemstones to work with, you will also need to make sure that you have the right kinds of equipment to allow you to make the most of nature’s harvest.

What machines do I need to make great cabochons?

If you search for precious minerals in the earth near your home, then you will need to have the finest tools to process them with. Because these minerals and semi-precious stones may have different levels of hardness, it is important that you have the toughest tools, or else you may not be able to cut some of the harder ones. A diamond lapidary saw is the best tool for cutting with. You should also have grinders, polishing machines, tumblers and buffers at your disposal. If you cannot afford to buy all of these machines for yourself, or if you do not have space to store all of these machines in your home, then you should talk to your local gemstone and mineral collectors club. These clubs often either run their own machines, or have great connections within the local community, who will be able to offer you the usage of these machines at a great price.

Choosing the right gemstones and minerals to work with

If you are choosing a material to work with, you will need to pick one that is relatively hard. Although softer minerals can be made into cabochons too, they may not stand up to the full cutting, buffering and polishing process. You should also inspect the stone under a magnifying glass to see whether you can spot any cracks or imperfections. Although imperfections may seem small to the naked eye, they can easily propagate when the material is subjected to extreme heat or temperature. It is possible that the gemstone or mineral could crack during the process, or could easily crack just after you have finished working with it, after the pressure has been removed. This would obviously be very frustrating if you had just spent hours working to create an amazing cabochon. Even if the material stands up to the cutting and polishing process, any visible cracks inside the gem will reduce the value and will make the cabochons looks less appealing.

An easier way?

If you do not want to hunt for your own materials, or if you do not have the skills to cut and shape your own cabochons, it is possible to buy pre-made gemstone cabochons from many different retailers. From these places, you can choose pieces in many different colors, shapes, sizes and designs, which will give you a huge degree of freedom in your jewelry making. It also means that you are able to leave your fantastic mineral finds in exactly the way that nature intended!


How To Maximize Profit With Snap Jewelry

f you are making jewelry to sell, then you need to think about what will net you the most profit. The more money that you make from each sale, the more your time as a jewelry maker is worth. It is therefore very important that you spend a little bit of time considering what components to use in your finished designs. The mantra of “buy low, sell high” does not always apply in the world of jewelry making, because not everyone will be willing to spend a lot of money on homemade pieces. Many people in your target market will actually be looking for low cost alternatives to the expensive, mass-produced pieces which have flooded the market. Therefore, as a jewelry maker, you must use the mantra “sell low, buy lower”! And this is where snap jewelry comes into it…

What is snap jewelry?

Snap jewelry is a really brilliant concept which allows you to mix and match “fashion snaps”, so that you can easily change jewelry designs. The jewelry utilizes backing pieces which different fashion snaps front pieces can be popped on and off of. There are thousands of different designs for front pieces, so you can change your designs in the push (or snap) of a button.

How can using this type of jewelry help to maximize my profits?

Because this resource is so versatile, it is possible to buy them in bulk, without them going to waste. In general, buying larger numbers of items helps to keep the costs down, due to a concept known as economies of scale. However, most people cannot take advantage of this, because they will never be able to use all of the products that they buy. As a jewelry maker, you will be able to take advantage of buying large numbers of snap jewelry pieces, as you will be able to come up with hundreds of different ideas for homemade products using these jewelry making supplies.

Thrilling your customers with the variety on offer

Because this type of jewelry is so versatile, it is very easy to “sell” the idea of the product to your customers. One cool idea is to make amazing snap bracelets, necklaces or earrings to sell on your stall, but also set up your stall with lots of different supplies pots as well. When you are selling the first piece of jewelry, you can explain all of the benefits of snapping to the customer, and you can even give a quick demonstration of the concept. Once you have drawn them in, you can then see whether they want to buy any additional snap pieces from the supplies pots. Having lots and lots of choices means that they will be inclined to buy a few different snaps, so that they will have great options to choose from. Offering discounts and deals will also encourage customers. This means that you can make a profit on the finished bracelet designs, and then make even more on selling on the single fashion snaps.

Taking Care of Your Unique Engagement Ring

For betrothed couples everywhere, an engagement ring is far more than just metal and gemstone. A symbol of love, commitment and the promise of a life spent together, few things have as much significance as the small band placed on a finger as the question is popped.

One way of finding unique engagement rings that match perfectly with a person’s own taste is with the help of a custom jeweler. Although this means going through the design process before waiting for the masterpiece to be completed, the result is always worth it. However, the one-of-a-kind nature means custom jewelry really should be taken care of in the best way possible.

From going the extra mile to ensure your unique engagement rings are neither lost nor damaged to covering their replacement should the worst happen, a few simple precautions are all it takes to help give you peace of mind when it comes to your most prized pieces.

Sleeping naked

Having spent the time and money to find perfect unique engagement rings, it’s common for people to never want to take them off again. However, there are a number of reasons your jeweler may recommend removing them before sleeping.

It’s not difficult to imagine how often a ring with a raised setting can snag on sheets and duvets during the night. Aside from pulling threads in your bedclothes, this can actually lead to wear and tear on the prongs of your ring. Although unnoticeable at first, there’s a danger the stone could loosen over time.

Fingers too can benefit from being given a break from unique engagement rings. Without constant constriction through the night, the skin is allowed to breathe. For people whose fingers swell while sleeping, removing the ring beforehand can help minimize discomfort.

Safe keeping

For people who do remove their unique engagement rings before sleeping, keeping them safe overnight is of course of the utmost importance. To help make sure your ring is still there in the morning, it’s wise to use a ring holder.

Simply setting your ring down for the night on the bedside table is asking for trouble. Restless sleepers may unwittingly cause their ring to fall behind the table, while pets who don’t know better may be curious of how it tastes.

Getting it back from them could take a few days.

Ring holders aren’t just for the bedroom. Any time unique engagement rings are removed in the house, they should be placed in a dedicated place for safe keeping. Although removing your ring before handling raw meat, mixing cookie dough or washing the dishes is sensible, placing it at the side of the sink isn’t.

Drains and garbage disposal units don’t care how beautiful it is. To stay safe, use a ring holder somewhere out of harm’s way.

Be sure to insure

When having unique engagement rings created by skilled custom jewelers, appraisals for insurance are usually included.

For pieces that have been obtained by other means, such as those passed down through the family or from second-hand dealers, your custom jeweler should be able to do an appraisal for you. Once the appraisal is in place, insuring your jewelry is highly recommended.

When compared to the value of the piece itself, insuring unique engagement rings is not an expensive undertaking. Nobody wants to contemplate the unthinkable happening, but insurance policies at least give a financial safety net that can be used to replace lost, stolen or irreparably damaged jewelry.

After finding the perfect engagement ring, whether through a custom jeweler or not, giving it the right amount of care and attention will help to keep it looking its best for years to come. From removing it at night to always using a ring holder for safe keeping, some of the best precautions can grow to become habits.

With an insurance policy in place should the unthinkable happen, unique engagement rings can easily be as lifelong a companion as your spouse.


The Comeback Kids Classic Designs in Modern Jewelry

When looking for a unique anniversary gift, jewelry may not initially appear at the top of the list. Already given to mark many occasions and life events, it can begin to seem a little unimaginative to those who always shop at the same places.

However, delving deeper into the market and uncovering some local custom jewelers reveals a whole new world of options. Far removed from the stock pieces available on the high street, the design and creation process of custom pieces restores jewelry as an option for a unique anniversary gift.

One of the major reasons for visiting a custom jeweler is to come away with something different to what can be found in high street stores. While many of these concentrate on mass produced modern designs, custom jewelers are seeing a rise in the number of people asking for pieces that take them back to past eras.

From Victorian antiquities to 1940s glamour and the lost art of minute detailing, classic jewelry designs are staging a comeback.

Making a statement

One of the most eye-catching pieces a lady can wear, stunning necklaces and pendants have long been an integral part of an evening outfit.

Dating back to Victorian times when necklines began to plunge, statement pendants now make an ideal unique anniversary gift. Incorporating the colors of the era in deep reds, blues, blacks and turquoises only helps with the feeling of authenticity, while pieces made without stones or pearls can look just as elegant with the right dress.

The distinctly intricate pendants of the Victorian era allow a huge amount of freedom for you and your custom jeweler to work with the design, resulting in a truly unique anniversary gift.

Ringing in the changes

Harking back to the heady days of the 1940s and 1950s, two throwback ring styles are proving particularly popular today.

Featuring four or more diamonds or other stones, cluster rings became the must-have jewelry piece when Hollywood’s influence made big and bold the style to be seen in. Combining smaller stones in one design creates the shimmer of a larger rock at a more affordable price while giving more scope for a truly unique piece.

From around the same period, cocktail rings incorporated just one large stone to produce a beautifully glamorous look. Utilizing semi-precious rocks such as topaz, amethyst and opal, cocktail rings offer another cost-effective way to give a unique anniversary gift.

Revel in the details

While modern jewelry design often promotes simplicity, classic pieces from eras past regularly featured more intricate elements that have since found themselves forgotten.

While engraving names and dates on engagement and wedding rings remains popular, examples of filigree and milgrain can be more difficult to find. The former a technique that sees finer strands of metal worked into intricate patterns and the latter a method of producing small beads along the edge of a ring, such embellishments have for a while been out of favor in high street jewelry.

Speaking to a custom jeweler with a view to including either filigree or milgrain in a piece is yet another option for a genuinely unique anniversary gift.

Combing the high street jewelry shops for something special can result in hours spent looking at highly similar pieces designed in modern styles. For some people, this is enough. However, for a truly unique anniversary gift, consider speaking to a custom jeweler about a piece influenced by eras past.4

What to Inscribe On a Wedding Ring?

Starting from the moment he gets down on his knees and asks you to be his partner for life; for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, and what not, tying the knot with your loved one is a beautiful journey all along. On d-day, the biggest, most important elements are the wedding rings, besides of course, the bride and the groom. Couples spend a whole lot of money on getting the most gorgeous rings for their other halves. And hey, what better than having something to take you back to the day every time you look at it? The creative ones of the lot know that engraved rings can add to the experience and be an everlasting emblem of their never-ending love and commitment. Contrary to the common misconception, engravings do not necessarily have to be restricted to being those of names. They can be of numerous things; phrases, expressions, dates or anything the two of you hold dear or special to your relationship.

I am providing you with plenty of ideas for your engraving venture. The ever so beautiful custom of inscribing romantic poetry onto wedding rings began in the courts of medieval Europe, and since these rings are more than just rings, the tradition goes on. Wedding rings can have some of the very optimistic etchings, all referring to love, trust, faith, promises, fidelity and adoration we shower on one’s chosen marriage partner. Here are some of our favorite picks for your wedding ring etchings:

  • Use your first initials – “H&T forever”
  • Use your private nicknames for each other – “Sugarball”, “Mickey”
  • Use the date of your wedding, first date etc.
  • Use your first initials along with the date – “H&T 3/4/2012”
  • Use an excerpt from your wedding vows – “Till death do us part”
  • Use the infinity symbol
  • Use Mr. and Mrs. – “Mr. Sean”, “Mrs. Sean”
  • Vintage wedding rings with short love poems
  • Rotating “Crypto” Wedding Ring
  • Matching Half Heart Promise
  • “Worth the wait”
  • “Truly, madly, deeply”
  • “A perfect fit”
  • “I do!”
  • “I do!” (hers)
  • “Ditto.” (his)
  • “Now and forever”
  • “A fairytale”
  • “For I’d found love” (his)
  • “And love was you.” (hers)
  • “My first and my only”
  • “You and me… against the world”
  • “Always”
  • “Eternity”
  • “Together Forever”
  • “To have and to hold”
  • “The Universe Unfolds”
  • Quotes in other languages – “Je t’aime” (I love you – French), “Il mio cuore e il tuo per sempre (My heart is yours forever — Italian) etc.
  • Quotes in old English – “In thy breast my heart doth rest” etc.
  • Something humorous – “Non-refundable”, “Don’t even think about it!” etc.

So when you’ve got your favorite rings picked out, take a step ahead and get them engraved to make them even more special. Engraving is a great way to personalize your rings for the big day. After all, your wedding ring is the single, most important piece of jewelry you will ever wear.

Brief History of Jewelry

The story of jewelry is as old as human vanity. Even in the earliest times, though scarcely yet in a position to organize his society, man found a pretext for satisfying his narcissism by creating hierarchies which required signs of rank. These badges are usually precious objects or, if of low intrinsic value, objects enriched by the craftsmanship of particularly talented individuals. The value of the materials is relative to the era in which they were used. A necklace made of seashells some twenty thousand years ago, from a particular area is comparable to a necklace of large pearls belonging to an aristocrat of Louis XlV’s time.

Since time began man has felt an instinctive need to adorn himself. Superstition and prejudice, awareness of social position and the desire for secure investment were, and still remain today, the fundamental urges behind man’s desire to emphasise the solemnity and prestige of his person with ornamental symbols.

The earliest evidence of personal ornaments has been found in excavations of the paleolithic era and in some rock paintings of later epochs.

Archaeologists call prehistoric ornaments ‘personal works of art’. Those which were considered precious in their time were works of ivory from mammoth tusks, reindeer antlers and more rarely amber or lignite.

Prehistoric finds made to date vary in time from approximately 40,000 to 10,000 years and covers a geographically from Algerian Sahara, through Spain, France, across Germany and into Sweden and through Russia. A carved band of carved ivory was found at Mezine north of Kiev. Presumably the most important uses for these objects were magical but, nevertheless, many apparently also had a decorative purpose.

The history of the development of jewelry is linked with the most advanced civilizations of the past. Today, thanks to archaeological finds, we can trace the development of the jewelry from the various areas or regions of the earliest cultures known to man. Relics of the distant past are scarce for obvious reasons. The items are relatively small, easily transportable and liable to be damaged or melted down and remade.

The book ‘Jewelry Through The Ages’, by Guido Gregorietti, explores the recorded history of jewelry which goes back 40,000 years to cave and rock paintings which show paleolithic man wearing ornaments of mammoth tusk, reindeer horn, amber and lignite, engraved with anthropmorphic figures or geometric patterns. It delves into the aesthetic sense of jewelers as well as into their extraordinary technical development via experiment, describes the reverence for color, surface and sheen which contributed as much to the finished product as did workmanship.

This article was written and submitted by Ed Carlock. Ed is owner and operator of Jewelry Fashions.fashion. On his site you can view a wide variety of gifts from an easy to navigate categories list. When you find the just right gift, there is a choice you can make of safe payment gateways to insure your information is protected. We are constantly looking for new trends in fashion and accessories.

Finding the Right Custom Jeweler for Your Engagement Ring

Although Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll himself, spent his time singing of such concepts as Heartbreak Hotels, Jailhouse Rocks and Blue Suede Shoes, he did sometimes offer some pearls of wisdom too.

‘Wise men say only fools rush in’, for example. When looking for the right jeweler to help you custom design your engagement ring, it’s advice worth listening to.

Because an engagement ring is one of the most treasured and personal possessions a person may ever own, everything about it has to be perfect. So it figures that taking the time to find the right custom jeweler for your engagement ring is as much a part of the process as the design and creation of it.

Using this time effectively to build a relationship with the person entrusted with custom designing your engagement ring is paramount. Knowing what questions to ask, what subtleties to look out for and what kind of business is most likely to meet your needs is a great place to start.

Ask me anything

The most important considerations for most people who are searching for someone to custom design their engagement ring often fall into two categories: experience and education. This shows in the types of questions that should be asked when meeting with a custom jeweler for the first time.

How long have they been creating custom jewelry? How and where did they first get into it? Where were they trained, and what are they certified in?

Building a relationship on a personal level with a custom jeweler is just as important as the professional aspect. Other questions such as where they went to school and how long they have lived in the area can also help to get to know them better.

Most people like to talk about themselves when asked. If the jeweler is being evasive about any of the above, are they really the right person to custom design your engagement ring?

Reading between the lines

While talking in depth with a custom jeweler will certainly help you to get a measure of what they are all about, taking notice of how their business is presented can give away far more than they may realize.

If a person is to custom design your engagement ring, shouldn’t they already exude a high level of professional pride?

The first thing to check is examples of their previous work. Of course, their portfolio should include what they feel best shows off their capabilities. If it doesn’t blow you away, it may a sign the jeweler isn’t for you. Aside from the jewelry itself, have the product photos been professionally taken? And how is the store itself presented?

If a custom jeweler is happy to allow sub-par elements in their appearance, will they be putting 100% of their energy into custom designing your engagement ring in?

Doing the business

Having taken the decision to custom design your engagement ring in, finding someone who cares as much about the project as you do is important when looking for a jeweler.

Like any bespoke service, that means in most cases a better connection can be made with those working in a smaller business. Employees of larger companies may care more for the bottom line, or of simply boosting their sales for the month.

Finding a small company, with an employee you can form a real bond with and who listens to what you want while guiding you to improve your ideas further, is often the smart way to go. A completely personalized service, working with the same designer from inception to completion, is paramount when custom designing your engagement ring.

The King may no longer be with us, but his wise words live on: only fools rush in.

Take the time to really get to know the person who will custom design your engagement ring by asking the right questions. Take note of the outward appearance of their business, and ensure it’s not too big to offer a personalized service. Doing so will increase the chances of you ending up with a piece of jewelry you can’t help falling in love with


Custom Jewelry More Than Just a Round Diamond

Sometimes, and with no indication of when it may or may not happen, a designer absolutely nails it. The result is a timeless design classic that will never be surpassed or look outdated.

The single diamond ring, with a colorless and round stone, belongs in the same bracket. However, despite its obvious beauty, people do like to diversify. For those looking for a unique piece, visiting a custom jeweler means having a personal designer on hand every step of the way.

It also means having access to those who perform gem cutting. With designers and cutters able to create a wider range of pieces than are commonly available, exploring more diverse gemstone options is something that shouldn’t be neglected.

From different cuts to different color diamonds, and even different stones, custom jewelers are constantly producing modern day design classics of their own.

A nice cushion

When looking at different options for gem cutting, those unsure of whether to choose a round or a square stone do have an option somewhere in the middle.

Square or rectangular with rounded corners, cushion cut stones enjoyed their heyday in the Victorian era. Favored by the Queen herself, the style gained popularity among a public who wanted to emulate the look of their monarch.

Cushion gem cutting is often seen on colored diamonds, with the technique causing the light to reflect in certain ways, helping to show off the depth of color the stones possess. The inherently antique look of cushion cut stones combines with the extra sparkle to make them a genuine option for those looking for something different in their custom jewelry.

A question of color

While different styles of gem cutting can be used to produce such wonderful shapes as the cushion cut, the base of most custom jewelry pieces is the type of stone used.

Colorless diamonds, although the most commonly used type in jewelry, are actually rare when compared to most things on Earth. With their naturally colored cousins being even less common though, they are typically more expensive and more sought after.

Of these, fancy yellow is the most often seen shade, with pink and blue examples being even more valuable. For those who can afford them, naturally colored diamonds will make any custom jewelry that extra bit special. When combined with expert gem cutting, a design classic is almost guaranteed.

A sapphire month

If not every diamond has to be colorless, then what of the other gemstones and their commonly accepted shades?

Although sapphires, the birthstone of September, are often thought of as blue, this isn’t always the case. Much like naturally colored diamonds, pink and yellow varieties are can be found. However, one of the rarest and most striking types is a pinky-brown shade known as padparadscha.

As with the common blue varieties, creative gem cutting means padparadscha sapphires can be used in almost any piece. From necklaces and earrings that signify a September birthday to engagement rings for those who want something unique, the stone can be used in many a modern day design classic.

There’s no doubt that the trend for round, colorless diamonds will never go away. And nor should it; custom jewelry that incorporates them is still amongst the most beautiful out there.

For those who wish to diversify, however, there may be more options for crafting your own jewelry design classic than you realize. From stones in unexpected shades to the shapes created by expert gem cutting, the only limits may be your budget and imagination