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A Guide to the Properties of the Amber Gemstone

A Guide to the Properties of the Amber Gemstone

The amber gemstone is as delicate as it is beautiful, this article talks about the properties of amber and some interesting facts surrounding the gemstone.

Keyword(s): Primary Keyword: amber gemstone; Secondary keyword: amber stone, amber properties, amber gemstone meaning, properties of amber, amber gem

 

When asked, many people would immediately consider amber a gemstone. While we will hear the term “amber gemstone” thrown around a lot, it’s not actually 100% true.

Many realize that amber – known for it’s glowing warm tone – is in fact not a stone, but a fossilized resin from ancient trees. The oldest known amber dates back to 300 million years old.

You’ll find young amber stones date back to less than 100,000 years old, but the more valuable pieces will date back to older than that.

It might blow your mind to realize that a piece of jewelry you just bought could have such an old history and contain such energy.

This article will guide you on your journey of understanding amber and will shed some light on the amber stone, it’s properties and much more.

Let’s get started.

Why is Amber so Special?

You might wonder why so many people use amber in jewelry. The answer that is the most obvious is that amber is very old, and therefore possesses an immense energy.

Many believe that amber brings with it the stored wisdom of the whole earth and all of the creates who live in it.

Some unique pieces of amber contain small insects like ants or mosquitos trapped from when the amber started as tree resin; this gives the amber some powerful magical properties.

You’ll find the warm colors of amber like yellow, orange and the warm brown tones are the most popular. The warm sun like colors is what made many consider amber to be the stone of the sun.

Even though many know amber for it warm orange tones, you can still find amber stones in blue, green and red colors also. You will find that a lot of jewelry makers treat their amber jewelry with color.

You can still find many examples of stunning jewelry pieces made with natural amber in other vibrant colors to the well-known orange.

Where Does Amber Originate From?

Most of the high-quality amber found in supply originates from the Northern Europian countries such as Lithuania, Britain, Poland, Italy, and Germany.

You can also find the amber gemstone in The Dominican Republic which is home to the very rare blue amber.

Mystical Properties of Amber Gemstones

You may already know that a lot of popular gemstones have a history of use in a wide variety of different cultures. Many believe gemstones’ to have powerful mystical properties and amber is no different.

In Asian culture, they call amber the ‘soul of the tiger,’ and many looked to it as the stone of courage. Many people would travel with pieces of amber for protection on any long journeys.

Amber was also used to treat rheumatism, deafness, jaundice, headaches, bleeding teeth, and problems with digestion.

Many believe amber has a number of mystical properties; it’s believed amber can:

  • Balance emotions
  • Attract good luck
  • Eliminate fears
  • Clear the mind
  • Relieve headaches
  • Dissolve any negative energy
  • Help to develop patience and wisdom

Of all these traits, however, the biggest take away for many is the warm energy that people feel from the gem.

Amber is the birthstone of a Taurus, but some classify it as the birthstone for the astrological sign Cancer. This is since it reflects any energy that you get in the northern hemisphere in the warmest months.

It’s thought that the orange-gold colors inside the amber stabilize your physical body’s higher energies. This influences Taurus’ by offering them protection and balance while also calming them.

If you find that the warm energies of the amber gemstone pull you to it, you can explore the different types of jewelry and see what it does to your energy.

Why People Use Amber

It’s an important question to ask as to why people would choose to use amber. Many people opt to have amber in jewelry and styling gemstone jewelry can be a challenge. You can use amber in your home as part of an ornament or simply in gem form.

As amber possesses warm, cheerful and wise protective energies, you will find that it can discharge any negative moods in your home and deflect those energies away from yourself.

It’s thought that the amber stone will work hard to surround you with positive and strong energy.

Nowadays, many people will turn to amber to use if they are suffering from depression. The stone’s natural energies can help to stabilize your emotions and act as a constant reminder of why your life is precious.

The energies of amber gemstones help to guide you through your emotions and help to give you a more confident outlook on life.

How Amber Can Help You

There are a number of different ways in which amber can help you. Whether you are seeking creativity, confidence, positivity or just reassurance, this natural element has helped in all of those areas.

Using Amber For Health and Healing

Amber stones possess an electromagnetic quality; this means that the stone can build up an electromagnetic charge. This meant that ancient cultures used these stones as a form of healing.

In modern times, many people use amber as an alternative to modern medicine. Many use amber to stimulate metabolism which can help towards any metabolic issues.

It’s also a treatment used against allergies, especially focusing on respiratory based problems.

Amber is also used to relieve headaches, and even ease the pain of patients with arthritis and who have ligament and joint pain too.

There have also been people who have used amber for impotence and trying to tackle female infertility.

Amber, The Stone of Manifestation

Many people have often associated amber with the accumulation of wealth. Known as the stone of manifestation, it’s a powerful stone that can help you to manifest an increase in your income flow or other forms of wealth.

It’s important to remember that you can receive wealth in all forms, not just monetary. This stone will also help you to use your talents and particular gifts to bring an abundance of wealth into your life.

It’s also considered to dissolve any feelings of insecurity or uncertainty that you may feel, and instead, fill you with energy focused on inspiration and determination.

Many also consider amber to promote good luck and success. It removes all fears and will give you the necessary courage to take a new step forward and take calculated challenges leaving you rewarded.

Using Amber For Love and Relationships

The spiritual properties of the amber crystal bring a clear and vivid connection to the light. It uses it’s warm and nurturing energy, connected to the sun’s solar energy to bring a sense of warmth, health, and well-being into your life.

Using this energy, you can develop more patience and understanding in your love life. The stone can help you not lose your temper as easily. The gem can also avoid anger by infusing you with the energy of the amber stone.

A lot of the positive influence brought on by amber works towards keeping you calmer and more tolerant. If you find yourself being particularly childish or immature, then the energies of the stone can help you to purge the way you act.

Some Little Known Facts About Amber

With so many people basing their understanding of amber on its mystical properties, there is a lot more to this little element than you might know. Here are some little-known properties of amber.

1. There Are Actually Different Types Of Amber

When we discover amber in different parts of the world, we categorized it in different ways. Therefore amber you retrieve from Mexico may be a different type of amber that you picked up in Scotland.

You’ll find the most common type available is Baltic amber; you find this along the coast of the Baltic Sea. You can find Baltic amber varies in age between 24 to 130 million years old. This is often referred to as the oldest amber there is.

This amber often contains large portions of succinic acid, so many people refer to this type of amber as Succinite amber. Other types of amber which don’t contain this acid we call Retinite amber.

The other two areas in which you can find the largest amount of amber other than the Baltic’s are the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Amber in those areas began to form around 30 million years ago from two different types of trees — Hymenaea and Algarrobo.

2. Amber Can Float on Water

If your diamond comes out of your necklace while you’re in the sea, sadly you’re not got much hope of retrieving it. Baltic amber, on the other hand, can float in salted water.

This is possible because amber is so light in weight, and this can be a hugely important aspect of knowing when it comes to figuring out if amber you’re buying is real or fake!

3. It Comes in Over 300 Different Colors

You might have thought that amber had just a few colors, but as we outlined earlier in the article amber is available in a ton of different colors. The reason for this variety in color is plants, and other inclusions influenced amber when forming.

The most common types of colors of amber you’ll see are honey, lemon, cognac, butterscotch, cherry, and green. You’ll find some sources list that there are even more than 300 shades of the resin.

The price of amber is often dictated by the color. With some colors being rarer than others, you may find that the color you want can fetch a pretty penny.

4. Amber Is a Limited Resource

Considering how widely distributed amber is across the globe, it’s surprising to learn that amber is a limited resource. That means that there is only a finite amount of the stuff we can get our hands on.

This is because it requires millions of years for tree resin to form meaning that deposits of this natural gem are fading fast. It’s not just due to mining processes that availability is dropping, but also because trees which contain the amber deposit are being burned or cut down.

We extracted the very top layer of Baltic amber before 1850. The majority of the modern day amber resources you can find in Kaliningrad, Russia, near the Baltic Sea. This makes up a whopping 90% of all extractable amber.

Don’t start panicking just yet though, as it’s thought that the amber resource levels will sustain us for at least another 300 years.

5. Amber Has a Storied History

Off all the decorative gems worn by people in ancient history, amber is one of the very first that people wore. Archaeological findings even suggest that people used amber in trading as far back as 28,000 BC.

Amber fascinated people back then with the beauty it possessed, and they strongly believed it held strong mystical powers. They backed this up by the fact that some of the features of amber they couldn’t explain at the time, such as electricity.

These all helped to solidify peoples belief that the stone possessed magical powers. Throughout the years, people have still used amber in treating a variety of different illnesses.

It was commonly used in Rome for healing any head and neck illnesses, although back then the price of amber far outweighed even the worth of a slave. Egyptians also used amber in their mummification process.

Is Amber the Right Gemstone For You?

With such a variety of believed properties of amber as a gemstone, and what seems to be an endless list of benefits, is the stone of the sun the right choice for you? You can follow our amber buying guide if you think it’s the right choice.

If not, you can find out more information on the jewelry options available to you, check out our other posts.

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Wedding Ideas

Make a Statement with Mystical Red Coral Jewelry


Make a Statement with Mystical Red Coral Jewelry

Red coral jewelry may catch your eye because of its unusual beauty. But did you know there is a right way to wear it? According to tradition, there is. Learn the proper way to make a fashion statement and benefit from the mystical properties of red coral jewelry.

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Red coral develops from the skeletons of coral polyps, animals that are no larger than one millimeter. Their skeletons, made of calcium carbonate, stack to form coral. This ancient process is accompanied by ancient traditions.

When you elect to make a statement with this gemstone, you’re not only choosing a vibrant color for your jewelry, but you’re carrying on those traditions.

Keep reading to learn more about how coral fits into traditions in both Eastern and Western cultures and how to wear red coral.

Red Coral In The East And The West

Coral takes over 100,000 years to grow into something the size of a reef. This soft gemstone grew in popularity because it’s easy to shape and carve. The inclusion of coral into myths and traditions logically follows its popularity.

In this section of the guide, we’ll talk about those traditions in the East and the West. We’ll show you how coral found its way into the heart of these cultures and religions:

  • Hinduism
  • Ancient Greeks
  • Ancient Gauls
  • Ancient Romans
  • Ancient Egyptians

We’ll also show you how the traditional use of coral extended over a thousand years. Before we get to these cultural uses, it’s important to understand the benefits of this gemstone.

Red Coral Jewelry

Benefits

In all of these traditions, this coral is associated with the planet Mars, which is called Mangal in Hindi. Most of the stone’s benefits derive from this connection, even where the mythology (as with the Ancient Greeks) diverts from it.

The physical benefits of wearing this gemstone include:

  • Increased sexual appetite and appeal
  • Healing and reducing the risk of diseases and blood issues or disorders
  • Enhanced bone strength
  • Increased physical strength
  • Preventing miscarriage

The physical benefits of coral are enough to convince anyone to wear it, especially in ancient cultures without the science of medicine. Some of the diseases this coral was reputed to prevent or cure include:

  • Piles, or hemorrhoids
  • Ulcers
  • Fever
  • Smallpox
  • Typhus
  • Rickets
  • Stomach aches
  • Bruises and cuts

In addition to treating or preventing the above conditions, this coral gem could also warn the wearer of any impending health risks. Supposedly, when the coral varies its color, there is a risk or premonition of impending illness.

Also, this gemstone was thought to help one prevent or recover from snake bites or scorpion stings.

Just as there are physiological benefits, there are also many psychological benefits associated with this gemstone. Many of them deal with helping the wearer to get ahead in life; some offer protection.

  • Inspires courage and fortitude
  • Makes one vigorous or zealous
  • Increases both determination and self-confidence
  • Promotes beneficial land and property purchases and sales
  • Protects from nightmares
  • Protects the wearer from enemies, the evil eye, hexes and curses

Is it any wonder people were clamoring to wear this gemstone with so many benefits? Now that you know about the powers this coral was reputed to have, let’s take a look at how its popularity manifested in the cultures, religions, and traditions we mentioned earlier.

Hinduism And The Red Coral Ring

In Hindi, this enchanting gemstone is known as moonga. Coral, especially the red variety, is associated with a great many benefits of the mental and physical nature like those we described above. However, these benefits could only be maximized by completing certain rituals or following certain rules.

For one thing, a ring is more effective than other styles of jewelry in the Hindu tradition, though people do still wear red coral beaded necklaces.

The ring should be worn on the ring finger of the dominant hand. The best results occur when the gemstone is a triangle.

The ring should be worn on Tuesday mornings–unless one’s astrologer advises differently. However, wearing coral rings isn’t just about sliding it onto your finger before you leave for work. There’s a ritual involved.

Wearers should bathe first, facing the east. While bathing, the mantra, “om mangalay namah” is said from 11 to 108 times. Before the ring is worn, it should be dipped or bathed in cow’s milk to remove any negativity latent in the gemstone.

The last part of this tradition calls to mind the sacred nature of the cow in Hinduism, combining the religion with astrological traditions.

Perseus And The Ancient Greeks

Perseus, the Ancient Greek demigod and hero who killed Medusa, is responsible–according to this tradition–for the gift of red coral.

Medusa and her sisters were turned into gorgons for her denial of Poseidon, the god of the sea. Gorgons were monsters with snakes for hair whose stare could turn men to stone.

Perseus uses his reflective shield to defeat Medusa without having to look at her or meet her gaze. He beheads her. In most retellings of this myth, Pegasus, the winged horse, flies out of her mortal wound and goes on to enjoy a career of flying magic thunderbolts up to the top of Mount Olympos for Zeus.

But other tellings of the myth continue to say that when Perseus discarded Medusa’s head into the sea, her blood turned into red seaweed which became coral. Perhaps this was the basis for the idea that this gemstone could heal snake bites.

While We’re Talking Shields…

Perseus isn’t the only one whose shield is connected to this crimson gemstone. The ancient Gauls were known to use this coral in their own shields, helmets, and weapons. Supposedly, this was to grant them courage on the battle field.

But there’s probably a fiscal reason too. By attaching their precious gemstones and jewels to their weapons and shields, they carried them with them.

Ancient Romans And Egyptians

In Ancient Rome and Egypt, parents were known for hanging beads of this coral around their children’s necks. The main purpose was for protection. Pliny the Elder, a famous Ancient Roman scholar, recommended people wear this coral to fend off those who would tempt them.

Of course, if people also wore this jewelry to show of their wealth, we’re not really certain how effective it would be in warding off anyone intent on tempting the wearer.

Victorians And Superstition

The Victorian age is known for many things, including steam engines, smog, high collars, euphemism, and superstition. It’s the latter that had them reviving or continuing ancient traditions of using a red coral stone to keep danger at bay.

From necklaces to coral earrings, they believed in the protective powers of this gemstone. They believed in those powers so much that like the Ancient Romans and Ancient Egyptians, they insisted on their children wearing this beautiful coral.

Now that you know about the benefits of this coral, as well as the history and mythology of the traditions concerning its wear and use, we’ll move on to who should wear it and what you should look for in your red coral.

Who Should And Who Should Not Wear Red Coral

So you’re ready to buy and wear some coral. Not so fast! – there are people who coral helps, and others who are hindered by this crimson gem. There are two sets of guidelines you can follow, one based on your zodiac sign and one based on your profession.

Professionals Helped By Red Coral

To determine which types of professions are aided by this gem, one needs to think about the benefits it offers.

Jobs that require physical strength and stamina can benefit from the use of this gemstone. Some examples include:

  • Athletes
  • Police officers
  • Soldiers

Another group includes those who are required to do precise work, like:

  • Surgeons
  • Manufacturers
  • Electricians

Finally, professionals who are required to rely on self-confidence, leadership, or navigational skills can benefit from Mars’ influence:

  • Politicians
  • Pilots and sailors
  • Entertainers

These three groups are not the be-all, end-all. There are other professions that can be helped by wearing this gemstone, but these nine are the most common. Wearers can check with their personal astrologers for more personalized advice.

Using The Zodiac As A Guide

Because the zodiac relies on the positions of stars and celestial bodies, your zodiac sign can help you determine if you should or should not wear red coral. In layman’s terms, this basically comes down to how Mars influences–or is influenced by–your zodiac sign.

Some signs can always wear this gemstone for beneficial results:

  • Aries
  • Pisces
  • Scorpio
  • Cancer
  • Leo
  • Sagittarius

Those born under these signs share an auspicious connection to Mars which is, according to tradition, amplified by wearing red coral. For those born under some other zodiac signs, wearing this gemstone can not only prevent good fortune, but it can welcome bad fortune. Tradition suggests those signs are:

  • Libra
  • Gemini
  • Virgo

You might look over these last two lists and count only nine zodiac signs. That’s because for the remaining three–Aquarius, Capricorn, and Taurus–wearing this gemstone can be beneficial at certain times. Likewise, wearing the gem can be harmful at other times.

Again, this all comes down to when Mars influences these signs. You should check with a trusted astrologer if you’re curious about when the planet influences your sign.

How To Wear Coral

Even if you’re not a member of the traditions we previously discussed, there are things you should know about wearing this gemstone. These factors are based on both tradition and quality.

These beautiful gemstones, which range from pink to red, come from many parts of the world. Nations that are known for producing this coral include:

  • Sri Lanka
  • Burma
  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Malaysia
  • Algeria
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • France
  • Afghanistan
  • South Africa
  • America
  • Brazil

Of these, Sri Lankan red coral is known as being uncommonly high-quality. It’s famed for its gleam and color, and the price of the gemstones will reflect that. However, whether for aesthetics or astrology, you get what you pay for.

How To Pick Out High-Quality Coral

How do you know if the piece of coral you’re about to buy is of a good quality? For one thing, the color shouldn’t be too dark. Similarly, it shouldn’t be too bright or vivid.

The stone should be free from scratches. This is important, especially as it’s such a soft gemstone. Likewise, the coral shouldn’t have too many inclusions.

An inclusion looks like a patch of a different color. An inclusion is actually a growth of other minerals or crystals in spaces within the gemstone. While some inclusions indicate that it’s real, natural coral, too many inclusions could indicate a weak piece that might fall apart in the future.

Look at the coral piece under a magnifying glass if you can. If you notice bubbles in the gemstone, it’s not the best quality. Smudges in the stone indicate lower quality as well.

Finally, how the gemstone changes temperature can tell you of its genuine quality. If it warms or becomes hot in your hand after a few minutes, know that there are higher-quality coral pieces you can find.

If you don’t want to have to worry about quality, seek out a seller of gemstones reputed for quality. For astrological reasons, your gemstone should be set in gold, copper, or silver–like this coral pendant. These metals help you make the most of the gifts from Mars.

 

Bonus Tip: Caring For Coral

According to tradition, if you want to get the most benefit out of your coral piece of jewelry, you need to keep it clean. Because coral is so soft, you want to avoid any abrasive materials or harsh chemicals.

In fact, the best way to clean your coral is with soapy water and a soft brush, like a spare toothbrush from the dentist. This will help keep your piece clear of dirt and dust, which muffle the benefits from Mars.

Conclusion

Regardless of your reason for choosing coral jewelry, you can count on one thing: its beauty. Red coral will make a statement wherever you go. If you have questions about coral jewelry or coral settings, or how you can add ageless beauty and fascination to your look, contact us.

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Wedding Dress Jewelry: What You Need to Know

Wedding Dress Jewelry: What You Need to Know

You’ve chosen the dress for your big day, so your wardrobe is complete, right? Wrong. Check out this guide to learn what wedding dress jewelry to pair it with.

Keyword(s): primary: wedding dress jewelry secondary: jewelry for a wedding dress, jewelry for a strapless wedding dress, wedding dress accessories

 Planning your wedding is one of the biggest events of your life. It’s exciting, it’s stressful, it’s overwhelming.

You remember every detail, from the jazz band to the gluten-free meals for Auntie Brenda.

You have your perfect dream dress, but what about the wedding dress jewelry? Often, we get so consumed with too many details, we forget to focus on us. Sometimes we forget that we may want a few nice pieces of jewelry to accessorize the dress.

There are many options available for jewelry on your wedding day, and you want to look your best. Here we will take a look at some of the options for your wedding dress jewelry.

Wedding Dress Jewelry Tips

You will likely come across a lot of do’s and don’ts for every step of your wedding, and the jewelry you want to choose will be no exception. But ultimately, it’s your day. Wear what makes you happy.

How you choose to accessorize the dress will depend on the dress. The style, the color, the detail of the dress and the fabric will all come into play. Even if you follow trends, you still want to express yourself in your own way.

Something Old

There is no better way to feel special and connected to your past than by wearing an old family heirloom. Something passed down through the family is a nice way to feel close to those who are no longer with us.

An old or antique piece of jewelry will be very original and it adds class and uniqueness to your dress and your day. You can find something new to go with it, so you combine the past generation with the new.

If your ring is actually an old family piece or a piece from your inlaw’s side of the family, you may also want to pair it with your Grandmother’s old diamond earrings or her pearls, to bring that side and tradition to the forefront.

Something New

A new piece of jewelry for your wedding day becomes so much more than that. it becomes your wedding memento. Forever after when you wear that piece, you will be reminded of that day.

You may choose to buy something that accentuates some detail in your dress, like some white stones, or sequins or pearls that are used as trim or accents on the dress.

It’s always fun to buy ourselves a new piece of jewelry, and it will be starting its journey with you on the same day as you start your journey in your new married life.

Something Borrowed

Borrowing a nice piece from someone close to you is a nice way to include them in your special day. There may be a certain piece of jewelry an old family member or friend has that you have always admired.

You can always buy a piece or two to dress around the borrowed item. You can accent it with a small set of diamond stud earrings or a simple necklace.

Borrowing a nice piece from someone is a beautiful way to include them in your special day and allows you to find a great item to go with it.

Something Blue

Blue, or red or green. Anything you like, really. You can find a great piece to match up with your wedding colors and the theme of the day. If you are bold enough, get some bold jewelry, maybe something to match your groom’s accessories.

Adding a bit of color is a great way to add fun, pizzaz, and make everything pop. Even the smallest item can make a bold statement and standout against the wedding dress. A nice pair of earrings will bring that color up.

But don’t let the color of the metal in your jewelry dissuade you from using it. Just because the dress has gold trim doesn’t mean you can’t wear silver jewelry. Remember, it’s your day.

With This Ring

You want your ring to stand on its own, so you may want to avoid wearing other rings on the big day.

You can build around the ring, however, and find pieces to accentuate and complement it.

Don’t Get Busy

Like the ring, your wedding dress is a beautiful work of art on its own. Even a plain dress is beautiful and so try not to overdo it with the accessories. A simple pair of earrings, a nice headpiece with flowers or a tiara type of band is enough.

Mix it Up

Feel free to mix and match your favorite pieces and old with new. If you are using an old piece of jewelry, you can find something new that either matches it or accents it.

Don’t worry about mixing your metals, either. Many pieces actually accent each other quite well. You may even have a ring that contains mixed metals, which opens the doors for all kinds of fun ideas.

Share

A nice idea is to find matching pieces for the rest of your wedding party. This gives you all a beautiful piece to wear to the wedding and a lovely reminder for all for years to come.

All of you in matching earrings or all with a matching pendant makes a nice uniform picture and you can buy them all as a gift to your wedding party, to say thank you.

It’s Your Day

It really is all about you and you spent a lot of time to get ready for this day. To keep it special, buy wedding dress jewelry that you will continue to wear, something that is nice but will be suitable to wear out over and over.

There are lovely pieces to accent your wedding dress, so take the time to find the right piece and make sure you are happy with it. It’s a special time and the right piece of jewelry can make you feel great and provide just the right touch for the dress.

Please take a look at some other options you can consider to help make your wedding and your wedding dress shine.

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Wedding Ideas

All About The Different Types of Silver Used in Jewelry


Types of Silver: Do You Know What Your Silver Jewelry Is Made Of?

Aren’t all types of silver jewelry the same? Doesn’t “silver jewelry” imply that it’s made of silver? Are there different types of silver? What is sterling silver? Is it the same as 925 silver? Learn all about the different types of silver used in jewelry and be the expert on all things silver.

Keyword(s): Primary KW – types of silver; Secondary KWs – sterling silver vs silver, what is 925 silver, is sterling silver good, fine silver, is sterling silver real

You might think that all silver jewelry is basically the same. Turns out, there are actually a number of different types of silver made with different types of alloys – and many of these are found in today’s jewelry market.

Keep reading to find down all about the different types of silver out there.

Types of Silver

Silver used to make jewelry is usually an alloy – which means it’s a mixture of two or more elements from the periodic table. A finished piece of silver jewelry should have a quality stamp somewhere on it, which tells you what type of silver your piece is made up of.

Here’s a breakdown of the different types of silver:

Fine .999 Silver

This is the closest metal to the pure element of silver. The .999 in its name means it’s 99.9% pure. The remaining 0.1% is made up of trace elements of insignificant quality. Fine silver has a more luster than the bright polish of sterling.

Since this silver is soft, it will scratch, dent and change shape easily. For this reason, it’s not suitable for most jewelry because it’s lifespan as a designed piece of jewelry isn’t very long. The soft metal does make it an option for earrings and necklaces, but not rings and bracelets that are bumped and scratched easily.

The quality stamp for fine silver is .999 FS or just .999.

Sterling .925 Silver

Sterling silver is the quality standard for silver in the United States, Europe, and most world markets. It’s alloy make up is 92.5% silver, and the remaining 7.5% is usually copper.

Other metals have to be added to sterling silver to increase the hardness of the alloy – making it more durable and creating a color and luster that entices consumers.

Sterling silver’s appearance is the silver color we are most familiar with. It’s bright and shiny, but it can tarnish. You can delay your sterling silver pieces from tarnishing, but you cannot always prevent it. It’s easy to clean and maintain with cleaners and polishing products.

Jewelry made of sterling silver is stamped with a .925 or 925 STG quality stamp. 

Some higher end sterling silver pieces (especially those from Italy) are finished with rhodium (platinum family) to prevent tarnish. This is more costly but often preferred by fashion designers and consumers alike. 

Argentium Silver and Non-Tarnish Alloys

Non-tarnish alloys are relatively new and have a minimum of 92.5% silver, but some will have a little more silver. It’s remaining alloys are copper and the element germanium.

Germanium makes the alloy harder, which makes it more difficult to tarnish. However, it can still tarnish under extreme conditions or after long periods of time. But, non-tarnish alloys typically require less maintenance than sterling.

The downside is the price, Argentium is much more expensive than sterling and also harder to get your hands on. It’s also harder to tell the difference between Argentium and sterling silver because they but have the same quality stamp of .925.

Manufacturers can go through an application process to get authorization to use the Argentium(R) stamp, but it’s often too large and impractical for most jewelry pieces.

Coin Silver

Coin silver used to be the more common alloy in the U.S., but now it’s becoming more of a rarity. The name is confusing since technically the “coin silver” alloy is .900 silver or 90% silver and 10% copper.

Despite its name, coin silver was not used to make coins, it was actually named because it used to be made from refined scrap coins. Today monetary coins in America and other most countries no longer contain silver, they’re now made up of more durable, inexpensive base metals.

There are some collectible coins with higher silver content that come with certificates of authenticity. Coin silver jewelry will have a quality stamp of .900.

“Silver” 

Jewelry sold as just “silver” is pretty mysterious. This term is thrown around in the market, but jewelry items should be clearly identified as a specific standard quality.

There is a good chance that pieces labeled simply “silver” do not have a silver alloy that is very high quality. Jewelry artists and manufacturers are legally required to stamp pieces when the space permits or tag finished products with quality designations.

Often times, “silver” jewelry is nothing more than a low-quality brass base with a flash coating of thin silver on top. This coating quickly wears off and leaves the piece looking cheap – because it probably was. With silver, you will usually get what you pay for – and if you didn’t pay much, you probably won’t get much. 

Read on to learn more. 

Silver-filled

Silver-filled is a new layered metal that was just introduced during the recent surge of silver prices during the recession. It’s not an alloy because the metal is not the same throughout the material. Instead, it has sterling silver on the surface and is filled with either 5% or 10% of sterling silver by weight fused with heat and pressure to a brass core.

Since this type of silver is fairly new, it’s not standardized in the United States yet. Also because it’s a layered metal, it can’t be cast. Its silver layer is much thicker than silver plate, but it’s still a lower quality silver type.

It tarnishes easily and should only be soldered with precision equipment and special training. Since the price of silver has gone down, it’s less common in the market. There’s also no legally approved quality stamp standard for this type.

Silver Plated

This base metal product has an extremely thin plating layer of silver applied to the surface. Even when jewelry is described as dined silver plated, the silver content is a tiny percentage.

Silver-plated jewelry is typically affordable costume jewelry. It can tarnish easily and will wear off to expose the based metal underneath. Since it’s costume jewelry, it ‘s not required to have a quality stamp but might have manufacturers logo or hallmark.

Nickel Silver

Nickel silver can be deceiving because the “silver” describes the color of the metal and not the content. It’s a base metal alloy made up of mostly copper with nickel and or zinc. It’s inexpensive but has a similar appearance to sterling silver. However, it contains no silver at all.

It’s soft and a great practice metal. It has other names on the market like Alpaca silver or German silver. It is used in costume jewelry but should be described as a nickel alloy since many people are allergic to nickel.

Tibetan or Tribal Silver

Tibetan silver and other alloys described as “tribal” silver are base metal alloys that have a silver appearance. The contents of this silver’s alloys tremendously vary and may not contain silver what so ever.

Some of these come from exotic lands and can contain dangerous metals such as lead, so beware when purchasing and never give it to children. However, the pieces can be beautiful so buy for the design instead of the quality of the metal.

Bali, Thai or Mexican Silver

There is a lot of quality silver coming from Bali, Thailand, and Mexico. But this silver should be marked with a quality “925” stamp in an inconspicuous place. There are also a lot of lower grade silver alloys coming from these countries, so be aware that the name of the country this silver is from is no guarantee of quality or silver content. Buy from reputable sources, not street corners, cruise ship stops, or bargain sites. 

Buy That Silver

Now that you know about the different types of silver and their pros and con, you have the knowledge to find that silver jewelry that is right for you. Always check the quality stamp and consider things like origin, the reputation of the seller, and quality of craftsmanship of your piece.

For more information on silver jewelry, check out our blog.

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Wedding Ideas

Stunning and Unusual Marcasite Jewelry: Meaning, History, and Healing Powers

Stunning and Unusual Marcasite Jewelry: Meaning, History, and Healing

You may already know that marcasite can make some very stunning and unique jewelry pieces. Did you also know that it has meaning, history, and is even known for its healing powers? Learn more about the wonders of Marcasite here!

Keyword(s): PKW: marcasite SKW: what is marcasite, marcasite meaning, marcasite mineral, marcasite jewelry history, marcasite stone

 

You’ve probably seen it on your friends, on celebrities and in the jewelry store: marcasite.

Easily recognizable because of its brilliant shine, marcasite is a popular choice for anyone wishing to add a bit of pizazz to their look.

But do you know what it is or where it originated?

Don’t worry; most people don’t.

However, the history and powers behind the mineral make it all the more attractive–and all the more mystical.

Care for a history lesson? We guarantee it will make you appreciate that piece of marcasite jewelry you’ve been curious about all the more.

What Is Marcasite?

A common (and completely understandable) confusion surrounds marcasite’s use in jewelry.

The pieces we refer to as marcasite are actually not made from the marcasite mineral. Can you guess what they are really made of?

Fool’s gold.

Also known as iron pyrite, fool’s gold boasts just as spectacular of a sheen as the real marcasite. Because many would confuse the two, eventually it led to the jewelry’s common name of marcasite today. The name simply stuck.

While its chemical makeup is literally identical to fool’s gold, actual marcasite crystallizes differently, putting it in a completely different mineral species.

While beautiful, it is not used for jewelry because it crumbles into a fine dust when handled, making it unsuitable for any sort of manipulation.

On the other hand, fool’s gold is much more durable, making it the prime candidate of the only two yellow metallic minerals that are hard enough to be used for jewelry.

So when we say “marcasite” throughout this article, know we are secretly whispering “iron pyrite” under our breaths.

How Is It Made?

The mineral pyrite forms under a wide variety of environmental conditions. It is extremely common in hydrothermal veins, but it can also be produced by magma or stalactite growth.

In fact, in the oceans, iron pyrite is dispelled from hydrothermal vents as small, microscopic particles. These widespread particles act like a vitamin for life, giving the sea creatures the iron they need.

So you’ll find this mineral here and there and a bit of everywhere if you know what to look for.

Healing Powers

But iron pyrite’s effectiveness is not limited to sea critters’ well-being.

The Healing Power of Gold

Gold has long been associated with healing powers and deities. In fact, the Inca civilization believed gold was sweat descended to Earth from the Sun God. Gold has also been used in the medical realm for dental work or a defense against “magic potions.”

Fool’s gold, however, seems to lend its healing powers to the internal mind and spirit.

Fool’s Gold

According to Doreen Virtue and Judith Lukomski’s Crystal Therapy, “This mineral assists you in creating material abundance, and meditation with pyrite increases your ability to balance energies by providing a stabilizing force.”

Fool’s gold also strengthens your resolve, boosts confidence and helps manifest positive things in your life.

The Science

Lest you think it’s all nonsense made for fools (heh, see what we did there?), science also points to the fact that it regulates oxygen. In fact, it’s responsible for almost 80% of the sulfur removed from the ocean.

Why does that matter? Because that sulfur turns into the oxygen we breathe.

So while scientists may have once thought pyrite played a minimal role in oxygen formation, they have recently discovered quite the opposite.

As for the supposed healing powers of gold, well. Let’s just say scientists are a tad more skeptical.

A Key to the Fey Realm

One last fun fact: fool’s gold is said to be coveted by faeries.

As a result, you will sometimes hear iron pyrite be referred to as “fairy’s gold.”

Fairy’s gold. Iron pyrite. Marcasite.

It all gets rather confusing, we know. Perhaps the real reason behind the many names lies with the tricky Fey creatures themselves.

History

Iron pyrite’s first use can arguably be one of humankind’s greatest discoveries: fire.

Early Years

The mineral’s name derives from a Greek phrase meaning “stone which strikes fire.”

To the early generations, this stone was invaluable because of this characteristic, especially to the Eskimos and Fuegians. However, other findings indicate early uses may have also been for mirrors and dye.

What else do you think it was used for?

You guessed it. You didn’t think ancient people would pass up such beauty on jewelry, did you?

Civilizations in China, Greece, Egypt and South America used fool’s gold for necklaces, rings and the like. It was even rumored to have been worn by Cleopatra.

The Incan civilization especially is noted as being the first recorded people to have used fool’s gold for jewelry, with archaeological findings dating its use between 1100 to 1500. It has especially been discovered in burial sites.

The 1700s

After the early civilizations, the mineral’s use in jewelry becomes somewhat hazy. That is, until the 1700s.

In early Europe, marcasite jewelry once again made a comeback, ironically through a distinction of the classes.

When the Sumptuary Laws were put into effect, the idea was to enforce clear differences between higher and lower classes. Women of lower classes were forbidden to wear or purchase diamonds and other such rarities.

The result was a great demand for marcasite, which was just as beautiful and much less expensive.

The Victorian Era

Starting from the late 1830s to the early 1900s, Britain was under the rule of Queen Victoria. Her reign also ignited interest in iron pyrite jewelry, although by this time it was widely used.

After the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861, Queen Victoria mourned his death until she passed away in 1901. (The regular mourning period for a husband was two years, by the way. Talk about devotion!)

She requested her entire court to wear black, and she herself dressed as a widow. Etiquette during times of grief was strict, and to adhere to it the Queen began wearing marcasite jewelry.

During her reign, mourning etiquette was all the rage (many would fashion jewelry out of the deceased one’s hair), and following her new choice in jewelry marcasite once again became a fashionable attire choice.

The Art Deco Movement

Prohibition raged. There were flappers and cocktail parties.

While Victorian thoughts persisted, society found itself largely pushing against them in the 1920s and 1930s.

In swept the Art Deco Movement, which paraded through Europe and America and modernized fashion, including jewelry. Using the new-age machines of the era, it blended vivid color combinations to provide stark contrast.

As the fashion centered on new times, natural elements were often used in combination with man-made ones. One common design included crystals and diamonds to contrast with the “bold whiteness of platinum.” In fact, diamonds were especially common.

Because geometry and hardness were also important in this movement, the faces found on iron pyrite, its sparkling texture and its low cost made marcasite a valuable commodity and cost-efficient alternative for those who couldn’t afford diamonds.

WWII

Shortly after the Art Deco Movement, World War II erupted and pyrite became valuable for a much different reason.

With the fervor of wartime came an increased demand for sulfur, which was integral in the success of the Industrial Revolution. Sulfuric acid became the staple chemical for production, and it was (and is) necessary for almost all produced goods.

In fact, it is so significant to industrial production that it has been called the “workhorse chemical of the industrial world.”

During the War, however, sulfur was in short supply. As a result, the government turned to other means from which sulfur could be extracted.

As you may guess, iron pyrite once again jumped to the center stage.

Today

Today, marcasite jewelry has become a common and accessible commodity. Because of its old-world charm and relatively inexpensive price, it’s a common choice in jewelry.

Generally, a marcasite stone is set in sterling silver to better show off its shine and can be worn in virtually any environment.

It’s so popular that it rivals diamonds. And, really, why shouldn’t it? You get almost the same beauty for a fraction of the price.

Value

Irony pyrite pieces usually do not hold particular value unless they are ancient relics. However, don’t be so quick to move on.

Geologists sometimes use it as a marker, as the presence of fool’s gold can indicate priceless gems are nearby.

While we don’t expect you to undertake mining anytime soon, it’s an interesting fact that does make it valuable to geologists and miners.

Further, just because a marcasite ring or necklace won’t sell for hundreds of dollars doesn’t mean it’s virtually worthless. A 1918 brooch would net about $120.

Sure, it’s not hitting the jackpot, but when you consider other minerals, metals or stones commonly used in jewelry, it’s not awful.

Upkeep

Jewelry made with fool’s gold is extremely easy to maintain.

Avoid getting the piece wet, as it can loosen the stones and encourage them to fall out of their settings. Even when the piece is being cleaned, it should not be splashed or submerged in water.

Do not use steamers, chemicals or ultrasonic chemicals to clean the jewelry. This may damage it.

Instead, take a soft cloth and gently wipe the piece. The cloth can be dry or damp, but it should remove any tarnish on the outside of the stone.

If a damp cloth is used, be sure to let the jewelry dry completely before use.

Also, avoid excessive sweating while wearing the jewelry. If you plan to partake in any sports or exert yourself, take it off until you have finished.

That’s all there is to it! It’s that easy to clean.

As an added bonus, the more you wear a piece of jewelry made with iron pyrite, the less likely it is to tarnish.

How to Check for Authenticity

Marcasite jewelry can be easily confused with other stamped steel or stamped sterling. However, if you know what to watch for you’ll be able to spot a vintage piece wherever you travel:

  • The stones should have facets. They should not face the same direction.
  • The stones should be set or glued to the base. If there is a rivet on the back, it is not authentic.
  • Most are six-sided.
  • Glitter check! Yes, it will glitter almost as wonderfully as a diamond.
  • Usually, it will be set in sterling silver.
  • It is not magnetic, so if you hold up a magnet and it zooms towards it, you know you’ve got a false item on your hands.

If you are checking for age, take a very close look at the setting. Old pieces were set stone by stone; the maker would literally curl the base metal over each one.

Yes, it had to have taken eons.

And, yes, you’ll probably need a magnifying glass.

Further, it’s normal to have a few missing stones in older pieces. Don’t immediately toss it to the side just because a few have been lost to the ages. If anything, that lends weight to the testament of its age.

Benefits

As we’re sure you’ve gathered, this jewelry type is a fantastic choice for a variety of reasons.

  • The simplicity and elegance of marcasite will let you wear it to any occasion. Formal attire? Check. Casual day at the beach? Check.
  • This jewelry is super easy to take care of. No nonsense chemicals and complicated instructions; just a gentle wipe and lots of wear.
  • The mineral itself is easily manipulated, meaning if you need to get it fitted or resized it’s usually a cinch to do so.
  • Fool’s gold is very accessible. It’s easy to find.
  • Further, it’s inexpensive. You can get a stunning pair of angle post earrings for $39.99.
  • Finally, fool’s gold is breathtaking. It offers plenty of room for creativity in jewelry, and its eye-catching glimmer is beautiful to behold. That gives you plenty of wiggle room to stand out from the crowd with something that didn’t break your bank account.

Where to Purchase

We guarantee you won’t find the quality, craftsmanship or service we offer anywhere else! Browse our selection of marcasite jewelry today and take your pick.

The Rose Pendant is one of our personal favorites, but you’re sure to find something that just screams “you.”

It’s your turn to sparkle.

Categories
Wedding Ideas

8 Tips for Buying Jewelry


8 Tips for Buying Jewelry

Buying jewelry good quality jewelry that will look great on you can be a challenging process. Check out these 8 tips to make your choices easier.

Keyword(s): buying jewelry

 

Buying jewelry isn’t always as easy as it may seem. It can be spontaneous, well-researched, or to commemorate a special occasion. The right piece of jewelry can make an anniversary or birthday so much more special. Of course, the holidays are when the jewelry buying goes into overdrive!

Those of us out there who really struggle with choosing jewelry that says “I love you,” “happy anniversary,” or “Merry Christmas” may need some help. There’s just so much selection – from rings, earrings, necklaces, and even charms and pendants. Your jewelry purchase says a lot about you and the person you’re giving it to.

To learn how to buy the perfect jewelry, we’ve gathered the eight most practical and affordable tips.

1. Brand Loyalty

We know some of the biggest brands in jewelry are also some of the most sought-after but are they really worth the premium?

Are Swarovski crystals really that much better than the no-name variety? Well, yes. Are plastic beads with a brand name attached to them better than any other plastic beads? Probably not.

If you can’t find any specific details in craftsmanship besides a name stamp, then you might be overpaying.

The traditional luxury brands do not often discount their jewelry, which makes them poor choices for holiday gift-giving. Knowing when and where to buy jewelry can save you hundreds of dollars on gift-giving.

2. Silver Is Timeless

Sometimes our love for all things gold can overshadow exquisite pieces of silver jewelry. Gold can often overpower certain gemstones and make it hard to define certain cuts. Silver provides a stronger contrast to topaz, ruby, pearls, amber, marcasite, and many others.

Sterling silver is also lower maintenance and very strong. Compare two identical rings, one of 24k gold and one of sterling silver. The price difference is obvious, but the beauty may favor silver.

3. Pearls Are Girls’ Best Friends

Diamonds are nice, of course, but pearls give you way more options. If it’s not in your budget to buy your loved one a diamond necklace, consider pearls. They are an iconic compliment to all styles and beauty.

Pearls are split into three grades: natural, cultured, and imitation. Natural is going to a fruitless endeavor, these are the rarest and often counterfeited pearls. Natural pearls are hard to find in the wild, especially in the size and luster we often see pearls as.

On the other end of the spectrum, imitation pearls are usually plastic and resemble nothing of the real thing. Cultured pearls are farmed and cultivated to produce the widest range of pearls on the market. You can find cultured pearls just about anywhere.

You can tell when you’re looking at a nice strand of pearls by its luster, sheen, and smoothness of the surface. Cheaper pearls will have more transparent bodies, while the most expensive ones will shine like glass with a faint iridescence.

4. Gemstones/Birthstones

A good jewelry gift idea is to get something that has the person’s birthstone. Now, obviously, if you’re looking at only ruby, sapphire, or emerald, you might be set back by the price. We recommend semi-precious stones for their uncommon and unique presence.

Moonstones, amber, peridot, garnet, opal, amethyst, and many more stones out there that will impress and surprise your loved one. Watch for synthetic gemstones, these can be a great alternative, just don’t be tempted to lie about their authenticity. The truth is, synthetic gemstones are just as impressive as natural ones.

5. Ask a Jeweler

If you need help with buying jewelry, then it only makes sense to ask someone who makes their living making it. The best sources of unbiased advice would be smaller shops, online, or from a place you aren’t buying from. Your buying decisions shouldn’t be shaped by the same person selling to you.

Considering that 75% of buyer purchases are influenced by Instagram, this is one category you should leave to the experts.

6. Get a Second Opinion

If you’re struggling to decide what type of jewelry your loved one may like, don’t be afraid to ask a friend or family member. Taste is all subjective, so even though you might find a piece that is rare or expertly crafted, they may not see it. Just make sure you find someone who can hold a secret!

7. Complete the Look

Have you purchased a piece of jewelry as a gift previously? Find something that complements or builds on that! Matching earrings or a bracelet for the necklace you gifted previously makes for a meaningful and practical addition. Most of the pieces sold by Roma have matching necklaces, bracelets, earrings and even pendants that make gift giving a snap!

8. Consider Repairs or Revamps

When it’s hard to find a new piece for anniversaries, it can be hard to find something that compliments your previous gifts. In this case, it might be wise to get an old piece repaired or added onto. This can save you a lot of money and time deciding on something brand new.

If they wear said piece every day, it may be worth “spoiling” the gift if the transformation is drastic. It will still technically be a surprise, as they might be thinking you’re just taking the easy way out. Once they see the new level of shine or added gemstones, for example, they’ll be speechless.

Bonus: Consider Layaway

An often overlooked, but budget-friendly solution to get the perfect gift. Layaway is not just for those who literally have no money for anything nice. This is smart budgeting, especially if you already have the gift planned out in advance.

You are in a way forced to budget your money to buy that special gift–no room for procrastinating. Eliminating a meal at a restaurant each month is not a big sacrifice when you finally get that amazing piece of jewelry in your hands.

Best Places for Buying Jewelry

Now that you have a good idea as to how to get that perfect jewelry gift, the search is on. Finding a reputable jewelry store that isn’t trying to price gouge you is not as simple as driving to the mall. The best deals are found online, of course.

If you’re not one for being sold or pressured into getting jewelry just because it is a “hot seller” then you should avoid malls. Take a look at these great selections that are on clearance right now.

Buying jewelry can be affordable and obtainable if you know where to look.

Categories
Wedding Ideas

Does Sterling Silver Tarnish? How to Keep Your Jewelry Looking Good

Does Sterling Silver Tarnish?

You may be wondering… does sterling silver tarnish? Quick answer – Yes. But with the right care, it can be prevented. Here’s how to care for your jewelry to keep it looking good.

Keyword(s): primary: does sterling silver tarnish  

Sterling silver has become more and more popular among those who wear jewelry on a regular basis. If you’re looking for gorgeous jewelry that you can wear on almost any occasion, sterling silver should be at the top of your list.

High quality sterling silver jewelry can last for decades and is the backbone of many jewelry collections. When taken care of properly, there is no other option that gives you more “bang for your buck” than sterling silver. 

There is one common question most people ask when purchasing sterling silver for the first time: “Does sterling silver tarnish?”

The answer is – Yes, it can. Sterling silver is made up of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent of other metals that form an alloy.  Some of those other metals, primarily copper, can cause sterling silver to tarnish over time when they interact with moisture that’s in the air.

Fortunately, there are a variety of things you can do to limit the amount of tarnishing that will take place when you wear sterling silver jewelry. Take a look at some tips below.

Store Your Sterling Silver Jewelry Properly

The first thing you want to do in order to prevent sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing is to store it properly whenever you aren’t wearing it.

Far too often, people will take their jewelry and throw it on their nightstand or dresser when they don’t have it on. This is not the right way to go about storing it safely.

You should place sterling silver jewelry into a cool and dark part of your home when you aren’t wearing it. It should be far away from sunlight, moisture, and heat.

You should also consider placing each piece of sterling silver jewelry into its own plastic bag and removing air from the bag. This will prevent it from coming into contact with contaminants that could cause it to tarnish.

You might even want to invest in anti-tarnish paper strips that can be placed alongside your stored sterling silver jewelry. That should guarantee that you won’t have to worry about your jewelry tarnishing at all.

Keep It Away From Moisture

If you accidentally wear your sterling silver jewelry into the shower one day or forget you have your sterling silver jewelry on and jump into a pool, it’s not the end of the world.

But moisture is one of the things that will almost guarantee your sterling silver jewelry will tarnish. So you should keep it away from moisture at all costs.

You should never leave any sterling silver jewelry sitting in the bathroom where it can be exposed to humidity and moisture from a shower. You should also limit the number of times you wear sterling silver jewelry into a pool, hot tub, or other bodies of water.

You want to make sure you aren’t exposing your sterling silver jewelry unnecessarily to water at any time. Moisture is one of sterling silver’s biggest enemies and you won’t be asking “Does sterling silver tarnish?” for long when you have it around water. You’ll be able to see the tarnish form for yourself in no time.

Wipe It Off After Wearing It

Each and every time you take off your sterling silver jewelry, you should return it to its proper storage. But before you do, you should take a dry soft cloth and wipe it down.

You don’t have to go too crazy getting up in every single nook and cranny of your sterling silver jewelry, especially if you don’t see any visible signs of tarnish. But by wiping down your jewelry, you will remove anything that could potentially cause problems later.

Clean It at the First Sign of Tarnish

At some point in time, you’re probably going to see a small amount of tarnish form on your sterling silver jewelry. Don’t be alarmed!

If wiping your jewelry down with a cloth doesn’t remove it, there are a few steps you can take to get sterling silver clean again. Follow these steps to make your sterling silver jewelry sparkle:

  1. Fill up a cup with warm water and a couple drops of a mild dishwashing soap
  2. Place your sterling silver jewelry into the cup and gently handwash your jewelry to remove tarnish
  3. Utilize a cotton swab to get deep into tight corners and clean them out
  4. Use a baby toothbrush to clean away any tarnish that you can’t remove by hand
  5. Remove your sterling silver jewelry from the cup, wipe it down, and then allow it to air dry before you place it back into storage for safekeeping

As long as you follow these steps and don’t allow any moisture to build upon your sterling silver jewelry before you store it, you should be able to safely remove all of the tarnish from it.

Keep Harsh Chemicals Away From It

There are some people who will recommend that sterling silver jewelry enthusiasts use all kinds of crazy concoctions to clean their jewelry. For example, some people swear by using toothpaste and baking soda to clean jewelry.

You’re allowed to try whatever you want. But in most cases, those things can scratch the surface of a piece of jewelry.

There are also other harsh chemicals like bleach and acetone that people try to use to clean sterling silver jewelry. They can actually wear down the surface of silver and make it look very dull over time. You should never use them to clean your jewelry.

Wear It Regularly

After reading all these tips, you might be inclined to throw your sterling silver jewelry into storage for life and never wear it. But that’s the last thing you should do.

If you want to keep your sterling silver jewelry looking its best, the most effective way to do it is to take it out and wear it all the time. As long as you wipe it down when you’re done wearing it, it should look like new at all times and last forever.

Look for Rhodium Finished Sterling SIlver

Rhodium is a metal in the platinum family that is used to give white gold its white appearance and has become a popular option for sterling silver plating as well. 

High-end sterling silver jewelry coming out of Italy is often finished with a thick layer of rhodium over the sterling silver. This prevents tarnishing entirely and gives a look that is virtually indistinguishable from white gold. Win-win!

Does Sterling Silver Tarnish? Only If You Don’t Care for It

As you have seen, the answer to the question “Does sterling silver tarnish?” isn’t the answer most people want to hear. But that shouldn’t stop you from investing in sterling silver! There are so many sterling silver necklaces, bracelets, and more to choose from.

Check out our blog for more information on caring for your sterling silver jewelry when you’re not out showing it off.

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Wedding Ideas

Earrings for Sensitive Ears: Your Ultimate Guide

Earrings for Sensitive Ears: Your Ultimate Guide

Tired of getting allergic reactions or infections from your jewelry? Check out this guide to learn how to choose the best earrings for sensitive ears.

Keyword(s): primary: earrings for sensitive ears secondary: best hypoallergenic earrings, best metal for sensitive ears, sensitive earrings

 

It’s Saturday night. Date Night. Hair is done, make-up perfected, your trusty little black dress is on, but something is missing…

You reach into your jewelry box and pull out a pair of dangly earrings to complete your outfit. Your dress’ high neckline basically begs for this shiny pair.

But the last time you wore them, your ears were crusty, itchy and infected for almost a week.

Beauty is pain, right?

Actually, wrong. It doesn’t have to be that way!

Here’s a handy guide to learn how to choose the best earrings for sensitive ears.

Have Your Ears Pierced By a Professional

This may sound obvious, but it really makes a difference. Your roommate or friend armed with a needle, an apple, and ice does not count as a “professional ear piercer,” no matter how many ears they have pierced.

If your ears were not professionally pierced that could be why you have sensitive ears that are prone to infection. Consult a doctor about an ointment that may be able to heal the infection.

Know Your Earring

Before buying your earrings, check to see what material your jewelry is made out of. Nickel is the cheapest and often causes “nickel itch.” Whereas gold, platinum, and silver, while expensive, almost never cause issues. It’s very rare to get an infection from these noble metals.

For a cheaper, but good quality option, try titanium and plastic, which are also rare to get an allergic reaction from. But do know there are typically fewer earring options in titanium, and plastic breaks easily and looks cheap.

There’s also surgical steel, which is hardwearing and rare to get an allergic reaction from. But these earrings’ styles tend to be thicker and less delicate.

If your favorite pair earrings are already nickel, like your go-to pair for date night, you don’t have to throw them away. Simply coat the backing with nail enamel (clear nail polish), and that should do the trick. If they’re still infecting you after the nail enamel trick, then it’s time to retire them.

Vaseline and Hydrogen Peroxide

If you still insist on wearing your nickel earrings, another trick to prevent infections and protect your skin from the earring post, is vaseline and hydrogen peroxide. First clean your earrings with hydrogen peroxide, then coat the backing of your earring in vaseline.

You do have to reapply the vaseline every couple of hours, which is why many prefer just doing the nail enamel trick.

Keep it Clean

Sometimes short-term sensitivity to your piercing is caused by a bacterial infection. This can happen after a new piercing by simply touching your ear with a dirty finger. A bacterial infection can be identified by swelling, redness, throbbing pain and even puss.

Prevent and cure your bacterial infection by keeping your piercings clean, and regularly swapping the area with an antiseptic. This should make the infection heal in a few days. If not, seek medical attention as you might need to go on antibiotics.

To prevent infections with new piercings, wipe the area twice a day with a saline solution.

Keep Nickel Back

Just like anyone at a jukebox knows, nickel back is never a good choice. And in this case, nickel back is not one of the most universally hated band and singer of the 2001 hit How You Remind Me. Now, we’re talking about earrings with nickel backs.

Yes, it was mentioned earlier, but it’s worth repeating. Earrings made of nickel are usually the most likely to cause an infection. So the best earrings for sensitive ears are not made out of nickel.

What About Hypoallergenic Earrings for Sensitive Ears?

Any earrings labeled “hypoallergenic” means the material used to make the earrings are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. But do know that there is no standard a jewelry maker has to meet to get a hypoallergenic label. Don’t assume because your earrings say “hypoallergenic,” that they won’t cause an infection.

Hypoallergenic earrings could mean there is no nickel on the surface, but the earring itself can still be made out of coated nickel. This can be okay if you don’t wear earrings that often.

If you feel naked without earrings, then invest in a higher quality pair. Sterling silver, gold, and platinum rarely cause infections, so you can technically call them hypoallergenic.

A good rule of thumb when earring shopping is, instead of going for earrings that claim to be hypoallergenic, focus on what the earrings are actually made of.

Find Earrings That Match Your Skin Tone

Now that you know what your earrings should be made of, how do you pick a pair that looks the best on you?

Well, first you need to determine your skin tone. To do this, look at your wrists in good natural lighting.

If your veins look purple, you have a cool skin tone. If your veins are more green, you have a warm skin tone. If your veins look blue in some areas and green in others, then you’re a ghost.

Kidding, you have a neutral skin tone.

People with cool skin tones look best in light or white metals like white gold, platinum or silver. They also look best in brightly colored gemstones like red, blue, purples and green.

People with warm skin tones look best in yellow or rose gold, copper, and brass jewelry. As for gemstones, warm skin tones should stick with orange, brown, yellow and turquoise.

If you have a neutral skin tone, you look good in both white and yellow metals and any gemstone. Lucky you!

Now You Know

By now you should know how to find the best earrings for sensitive ears. It all starts with a professional piercing and keeping that area as clean as possible. Instead of going for earrings that just say hypoallergic, know what your earrings are actually made out of.

And since it’s worth repeating, avoid earrings made out of nickel. They are the worst earrings for sensitive ears. If your favorite earrings are nickel, treat them with nail enamel, hydrogen peroxide and or vaseline.

When it comes to picking out that perfect pair of earrings, know which metals and gemstones match your skin tone, and let the compliments roll in.

For more information on earrings and jewelry, check out our blog. Alos, be sure to browse our earrings collection to find an option that suits you.

Categories
Wedding Ideas

How Adjustable Chains are Disrupting the Jewelry Industry

How Adjustable Length Chains are Disrupting the Jewelry Industry

For decades now, the jewelry industry has only really offered fixed-length necklaces and chains. With the perfection of a new technology in Italy 🇮🇹, the ability to make infinitely adjustable length chains just became a reality. 

And the industry is set to shift in a major way…

Keywords: Adjustable Chains, Adjustable necklaces

 

A Common Accessorizing Dilemma: You have the perfect pendant and chain for your outfit, but the pendant falls below the neckline of your blouse instead of where you want it – just above. You need it to be just 1/4 inch higher, but how?

Perfect pendant length

Or you’re wearing the gown with a little more decolletage than usual and that gorgeous pendant should be 2 + 5/8ths inches lower than you can get it on the chain it came with. What do you do?

Why can’t you place that pendant EXACTLY where you want it every time?

Well, don’t despair – because with a newly patented adjusting technology coming out of Italy, your pent-up pendant frustration has met its match! 

 

The Perfect Length Every Time?

(What’ll they think of next?)

Adjustable Chain

The new technology is found inside a small adjusting gasket that’s part of the clasp on what appears to be your average finely-made Italian chain. 

The new adjusting gasket is an industry game-changer. 

It allows the chain to be pulled through and set at the PERFECT length – shorter or longer – depending on the neckline, size, shape, or outfit of the wearer.

“Close enough” is a thing of the past. It’s time to get the exact look and length you want every time!

 

Replace 5 Chains with 1…

You no longer need to own 3, 4, or 5 different length chains, you only need ONE!

Not only that, you control where you want the chain or pendant to fall on your neckline. It’s a better fix than any common, predetermined length of chain or even a chain extender. 

Common Necklace Lengths

So, it’s not only practical, it’s also economical!

Adjustable chains can go from 14″ to 20″ while others go from 14″ all the way up to 30″ or even 35″!

The 14″ to 24″ option is popular because 24″ can fit over *most* heads without needing to fumble at all with a clasp. 

Adjustable chains are so practical and make incredible gifts, too! There are a variety of styles and adjustable lengths to choose from, so individual style still has its place!

 

Why Didn’t I Think of That?

It’s easy to see why adjustable chains have the entire jewelry industry buzzing! 

Not only do women LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these adjustable chains, but they are turning an industry on its head.

In classic “why didn’t I think of that” fashion, consumers are flocking to the adjustable technology the minute they see it in action, and traditional chain manufacturers are trying to figure out how to adapt. 

 

How Does it Work? 

Magic! Just kidding, but it sure does seem that way. 

Inside the adjusting gasket, there is a specially formulated, patented silicone polymer that has been specially fitted for the chain. This is where the magic happens. The gasket allows the chain to be set at the EXACT length you want, and once set, it stays in place until changed the next time. Who said science and fashion can’t get along!

 

How Hard is it to Adjust?

It’s really quite simple. Once you shorten the chain the first time, you’ll “get it.”

Shortening or lengthening after that will become second nature. 

Adjustable Chain GasketCan it really be that simple? 

Yes. But for those who need a little more coaching, here’s the REALLY detailed version of the adjusting instructions!

1. Hold the end of the chain near the charm/tab in one hand. 

2. Hold the adjusting ball (attached near the clasp) securely in the other hand. 

3. Keeping the ball hand steady, firmly and slowly pull the heart hand away from the ball hand. 

4. If the chain is still not moving through the adjusting ball, pull a little harder as the first time may require a little more force. 

5. Simply pull the chain the opposite direction to reverse the process and add the length back. 

 

Buying Tips to Consider:

Follow these tips and tricks to get the ideal adjustable chain

  • Buy “Made in Italy.” China is very good at making look-a-likes, but the quality simply isn’t there. Make sure you get an Italian-made adjustable. 
  • Purchase Sterling SIlver or Gold.Again, quality counts here. Brass with flash plating is an imitation that will break or look cheap. 
  • Get a Chain that’s at least 1mm – 2mm in Thickness, that way it will LAST! (the thickness depends on the type of pendant you want to hang from it – tiny pendants get a tiny chain, bigger pendants need a thicker chain)
  • Make sure you buy a chain with a Lobster Clasp and not a Spring Ring. Spring Ring clasps are cheap and prone to breaking. 
  • Make sure you hold the ball and chain properly when pulling, otherwise you’ll ruin the adjusting mechanism. Always pull the chain straight through the gasket, not at an angle. 

 

What’s the most popular style?

The Milano Twist is lightweight enough to be worn comfortably every day but still has the strength to accommodate small to medium-sized pendants. 

It’s currently the most popular adjustable chain in the U.S.

Milano Twist Adjustable Chain

SEE IT HERE

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q:  How can I put a pendant on this chain?

A:  In addition to the sliding element, there is also a regular lobster claw clasp that allows the chain to be used with pendants as well. 

Q: Will this chain tarnish?

A: Depends on what you buy. A sterling silver chain that has been finished with a thick rhodium plating that will prevent tarnish with normal use. Gold is always a good option. Avoid cheap metals like brass that are flash coated in silver or gold. 

Categories
Wedding Ideas

What Jewelry to Wear With Every Type of Dress: The Ultimate Guide

What Jewelry to Wear With Every Type of Dress

Stumped on what jewelry to wear to make each dress in your wardrobe pop? Check out this ultimate guide so that you can always pick the perfect piece.

Keyword(s): primary: what jewelry to wear secondary: necklace for a strapless dress, accessories for off shoulder dress, necklaces for v neck dresses

You’ve picked out the perfect dress. You have the shoes, and you’ve made your hair appointment. But when you try on the outfit and look at yourself in the mirror, you think, “Something is missing.”

Then a thought hits you. You need some stylish jewelry pieces. These will complete your outfit and make your dress stand out.

But what jewelry to wear with your dress? What kind of necklace goes with its neckline?

We’ve got the answers below! Read on to see which necklaces go with what neckline. Then you’ll be able to pair them with any dress in your wardrobe.

Necklines and Necklaces

necklaces to wear with strapless dress

It can be hard enough knowing which neckline goes with your face and body type. But once you’ve got that covered, you can start thinking about jewelry.

Some necklines allow for many jewelry choices, while others work with only a single style. Let’s look together at some of the more popular 2018 neckline styles and which pieces you can pair with them.

1. A Necklace for a Strapless Dress

Strapless dresses are dramatic. They highlight your neck and collarbone, and you don’t want your necklace to take attention away from those features.

Luckily, there are lots of choices when it comes to strapless dresses. The only rule is the old adage “less is more.”

If you wear a big, bold necklace, you shouldn’t also wear large earrings. But a large necklace and small earrings are appropriate, as is the opposite combination.

You want to choose one piece that enhances the drama of your dress. Your necklace should provide a single focal point, giving the entire outfit a streamlined look.

Collars and chokers are both good options for a straight, strapless neckline. 90s-style chokers are popular this year. But both kinds of necklaces will frame your face without interfering with the drama of your neckline.

Some celebrities wear a longer chain or pendant necklace with a strapless neckline. They fall at mid-chest or even at the waistline, and they look fabulous too.

2. Off-the-Shoulder Dresses

The off-the-shoulder neckline has been around for a while and still remains popular. The purpose of this style is to show off your shoulders. Because there is so much bare skin, though, it can be hard to find the right accessories.

You don’t want your jewelry to be a distraction, and you want attention focused upwards. For this reason, chokers and collar necklaces work best.

Combining two popular trends (in this case, chokers and off-the-shoulder dresses) might seem like overkill. But simple, non-fussy necklaces work best with this style.

3. The Asymmetrical Neckline

This is one of the hot trends of spring/summer 2018, which means you’ll definitely want to know how to pair a necklace with this style! Fortunately, you have several options to choose from.

First, and perhaps most obviously, an asymmetrical necklace complements this neckline. It provides a nice balance to the already non-symmetrical neckline of the dress.

If you prefer a longer necklace, though, one with beads of different shapes and sizes complements this neckline well. Or try one with several long chains. These could include pendants, but they don’t have to.

A small delicate pendant necklace will draw attention upwards to your collarbone. Simple chokers or any fine short chains are also options here. As you can see, there are lots of choices, so it really depends on the dress and how you feel about the outfit overall.

4. Necklaces for V-Neck Dresses

If you’re wearing a deep-plunging v-neck dress, you are definitely going for the wow factor. While it’s possible to wear simple earrings and a choker necklace, a longer necklace is a more interesting option.

A long pendant necklace works well. One stylish option is a simple choker and pendant combination. The pendant hangs on your collarbone, but you then add longer and longer necklaces until you reach the desired length.

In fact, any kind of layered chain would be a good choice. Carefully layered strands fill up the space left open by the neckline, but they are subtle enough so they don’t overcrowd the area.

Lariat necklaces are also an excellent choice here. In fact, any long necklace will lengthen your torso, giving you a leaner look and making you appear taller.

5. The Square Neckline

necklaces to wear with dresses

The square neckline appears to be extremely popular this spring/summer. Because of its angular shape, it can be hard to accessorize. But you do have some lovely options nonetheless.

A collar or choker necklace is one possibility. Also, any short-layered chain or delicate necklace would look good in the space left open by the square neckline.

In terms of style, one option is to emphasize the angular shape of the neckline with an angular necklace. This could be either a chain or a pendant.

Another alternative, though, is to use your jewelry to provide contrast. A pendant with a rounded shape can bring harmony to the neckline’s open space, as can a short chunky necklace. In fact, any piece with a round curve will create balance.

The choice is yours. Both styles work well, although in different ways, with this neckline.

6. The Sweetheart Neckline

Sweetheart necklines are a romantic and curvy variation on the straight strapless dress. They provide the ideal opportunity to make a bold statement.

With this neckline, you have the chance to be bold. It is one of the few times where you can really experiment and have fun with a statement necklace. It can be large, chunky, and ready to grab all the attention.

But if you prefer something more subtle, there are other options. Either a short necklace or a collar would work well with the sweetheart neckline.

Whatever you choose, try not to over-accessorize. Choose a look, and then stick to it.

Wrapping Up What Jewelry to Wear

There you have it! Your guide to dress necklines and necklaces. Now you can accessorize any dress in your wardrobe, knowing what jewelry to wear. With t his knowledge, you can be both stylish and sophisticated.

We carry a large variety of high-quality necklaces, bracelets, and more. These pieces will allow you to upgrade your jewelry collection to one that is both luxurious and elegant.