Browse Month by May 2016
Jewelry & Accessories

Costume and Fashion Jewelry

When you think about jewelry, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Gemstones? Rings? Necklaces? Cost? Jewelry is so much more than expensive gemstones in a ring or necklace setting, and the term can encompass watches, necklaces, bracelets, and even headbands and more. The fun thing about fashion accessories is that they can make an outfit exciting without necessarily breaking the bank. While the price of many jewelers can be expensive, this does not mean that everyday people cannot have fun with adornment and fashion. Focus on costume and fashion accessory pieces for beauty at great prices.

Costume vs. Fashion Pieces

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, costume jewelry is “fancy jewelry that is usually made of inexpensive materials rather than real gold, diamonds, et cetera.” These products may include rhinestones, plastic gems, or beads. Costume accessories were made popular around the 1930s by women who sought to protect their heirlooms from daily wear and tear and possible theft. These pieces were made to look similar to their more expensive counterparts so that women could wear them occasionally without worrying about losing them. Alternately, fashion accessories, which became popular around the 1980s, are fairly inexpensive. These trendy pieces are often described as “statement pieces,” while costume accessories would be described as “vintage” or “classic.”

Creation

When making costume and fashion pieces, specialists often use a nickel base sprayed with pieces of gold or silver to give it a high-end look. Fake gems and rhinestones may also be used to make the accessory look more like the real deal. Created to look like small diamonds by putting metal flakes on the back of rock crystals, rhinestones sparkle under the light and can be dyed to several colors. Other materials used to make costume and fashion jewelry are rubber, metal, plastic, acrylic, and semi-precious stones.

History

Over the decades, fashion pieces have made several statements. In the 1980s, women wore huge beaded necklaces and colorful bracelets; sweatbands were worn as fashion statements as well. Teenagers and young women wore extravagant gold-plated hoop earrings, bangles, and plastic bracelets.

In the 1990s, when grunge was popular, young people often wore chunky pieces made with nickel and silver plating. Metal bead necklaces and chains were also go-to pieces. And rings for noses, navels, ears, tongues, eyebrows, and lips were part of the grunge/heavy metal/rock band look.

Finally, in the 2000s, sterling silver became more popular and affordable. Thinly-made necklaces gave wearers the desired subtle look, and accessories like costume jewelry became more and more trendy. Men liked gold-plated and silver-plated Figaro chains, multi-colored beaded bracelets were the rave for children and young adults, and rubber bracelets, bangles, and charm bracelets made a comeback.

Costume and fashion adornments are, indeed, an affordable way to look cool. Prices can range from $5-$400. Whether you buy these pieces from a local jeweler or buy the material to make it yourself, either type of accessory can be a fun and creative way to spruce up your wardrobe and feel elegant!

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Jewelry & Accessories

Silver Jewelry Overview

Silver like gold, is one of the oldest metals used in jewelry making. Due to its ability to be resistant to tarnishing when worn, silver has become a symbol for purity. Today, the metal is popular for use not only in household items but also with jewelries because of its versatility and affordability.

Characteristics

Silver in its purest form is not wearable because of its softness resulting to the metal being mixed with other metals when used for jewelry. The mixing of the metal alloy strengthens the silver allowing one to wear it for an extended period without the jewelry losing its shape.

Types

Fine silvers are expensive because these contain 99.9 percent of silver with the 1 percent containing other alloy or metal parts. These silver pieces usually have a stamp of 999 to indicate the percentage of silver used in the piece. Another type of fine silver is the sterling silvers which contain 92.5 percent of the metal with the remaining 7.5 percent made up of copper or other metal alloys. However, copper is the preferred choice by jewelers because it complements the silver metal and improves its durability and hardness.

Silver plated jewelry or electroplated ones are common especially for fashion pieces as these make use of less silver while still maintaining its beauty as well as durability. These pieces often use silver to coat the base metal and this is done through electroplating process or filling.

Argentium silver is the latest in the sterling silver alloy and is composed of copper, pure silver as well as germanium. This type of metal is harder and has anti-bacterial properties as well as hypoallergenic as it does not contain any nickel.

Buying Silver

When buying jewelry pieces made of silver, it is important to check the markings stamped on the inside of the piece. The markings will show the percentage of silver used. For those who have sensitive skin, it is a must to ask if the pieces contain any nickel n it as most people have allergic reactions to nickel. For occasional wear, silver plated ones are ideal as it has the look and feel of a true silver piece but are less expensive. Do take note that plated jewelries should not be worn daily as the thin layer may wear away and expose the base metal, and cause skin irritation.

Maintenance

To ensure that silver pieces do not tarnish, it is a must to regularly wear the pieces to prevent any oxidation. Pieces that are not worn should be placed in a cool and dry place. Some stores offer jewelry casings with soft cloth preventing the jewelries from coming in contact with one another. Another way to maintain it is to use solutions and jewelry cloths to polish and remove tarnish. Some cleaning solutions may contain ammonia or hydrogen sulfide and other chemicals that may cause damage to the silver.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Jewelry & Accessories

Tips On How To Buy Irish Jewelry For A Gift

There is not a doubt that giving your loved one jewelry says they are special. But giving someone of Irish heritage a piece of Irish or Celtic jewelry, steeped in symbolism and tradition could put them over the moon. The sentimentality of Celtic jewelry is phenomenal but finding the perfect meaning is key. It’s a timeless gift, like a family heirloom that can be passed on for generations. However, successfully selecting the perfect piece with that special meaning can be a wee bit confusing for some people. Simply follow these easy tips and choosing that perfect jewelry gift that speaks for itself will be effortless.

1. How old is the person you are shopping for? You really want to take the age of the person into consideration. If they are a child you’ll want something smaller in size, maybe with a touch of whimsy like an angel or fairy. If they are in their twenties to forties then have no fear and go trendy with an Infinity Knot or Stackable Claddagh Ring. If you are buying for somebody a wee bit wiser in their years then I would go with a traditional symbol of Ireland like an Irish Harp.

2. What type of jewelry do they normally wear? Start looking at how they currently accessorize their wardrobe. Do they wear earrings all the time? Are they long and dangling or are they smaller and close to the ear? Do they like bracelets and rings or are they a necklace person? If you are buying a ring it is important to get the size correct. Many online jewelry retailers offer a ring sizing tool. A simple ring sizing guide to measure your finger or an actual ring online. By using this simple tool it eliminates the hassle of having to make a ring exchange.

3. Is it a religious occasion? Having an understanding of the event or occasion you are purchasing your jewelry gift for is very important. If it is a religious ceremony like a communion or confirmation you should go with something more traditional like a Celtic cross, medal or rosary.

4. On the other hand shopping for a birthday gift can be fun. Take the person’s personality into consideration. Are they fun and vibrant with a great sense of humor? Then go with something whimsical that has a punch of emerald green color like the “Little Irish Devil Shamrock” necklace. If they are a little more mystical and free-spirited try a legendary style like the “Children of Lir” pendant, “Irish Tree of Life” or something with a Celtic knot theme. If they are a bit more reserved then try a more traditional shamrock pendant, trinity knot or a claddagh necklace.

5. Who is the person you are shopping for? If you are shopping for a sibling or close friend who is like a sister then you should consider a style like the “Celtic Sisters Knot”. For a more romantic gift we recommend shopping for a love knot or a claddagh ring, a symbol of friendship, love and loyalty. If you are shopping for a mom or mom to be then consider a style with loads of sentimental meaning like the “Celtic Mother’s Knot” or the “Mother’s Claddagh” collection. Any mother would be overwhelmed with joy by their meaning. If you are purchasing for a grandmother try considering a style like the “Family Birthstone Claddagh”. It can be personalized with all the grand children’s birthstones. What Irish grandmother wouldn’t love that?

Irish and Celtic jewelry is inspired by customs and folklores passed on for generations over centuries from countries like Ireland and Scotland. Giving a piece of jewelry like this as a gift is a wonderful tribute to someone’s heritage.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Jewelry & Accessories

Wedding Decorations Using Wholesale Jewelry

Planning a wedding can be a long and complicated process, but it can be fun as well, if you choose to take a real “hands on” approach. There are loads of different ideas that you can try out, which involve you doing arts and crafts, rather than buying everything in readymade. Although these ideas may take you a little more time, they can help to save money and cut the overall cost of the big day. If you want to, you can make some little clay bird table decorations by using wholesale jewelry supplies.

Which wholesale jewelry supplies to buy

Before you begin, you will need to make sure that you buy enough wholesale jewelry supplies to make all of the clay bird decorations that you will require for your table decorations. In order to make 30 clay birds you will need 5 metres of beading wire, 2 kg of modeling clay and 1 pot of jewelry glaze (which is suitable for use on porous modeling clay). In addition to these wholesale jewelry supplies, you should buy a pack of inexpensive material doilies, which have a surface that has prominent relief.

Where to begin

You should begin by making the body of a bird. Take a lump of the clay and roll it into a short, fat sausage shape. Bend one end upwards slightly and pinch it horizontally to make a tail shape, and then taper the other end both horizontally and vertically to create a face and beak shape. The whole sausage should now follow a loose curve shape. Gently place the body down to dry. If you have a spare sellotape tube or glass which you no longer use, it can help to place the body gently into one of these, to help it to maintain its curve. Quickly take a smaller piece of clay and roll it flat. Gently press the clay onto the doily so that the imprint from the doily can be seen. Carefully peel the flattened clay away from the doily, then cut out a heart shape. Cut the heart in half and use one half for each wing. Place on each bird and then leave to dry for around 6 hours.

Finishing off

Take 20 cm of beading wire from your wholesale jewelry supplies. Bend the wire in the centre to create an E shape with very elongate ends. Fold these elongated ends up to about 65 degrees. Once the birds are about half dry, stick these pieces gently into the birds to create little feet, and then leave the birds for another 6 hours to allow them to dry out even more. Once the birds are mostly dry, you can cover them in a clear protective glaze. Although this gaze dries clear, it helps to prevent the wings from falling off, and it gives the finished birds a more professional look. If you have a lot more time on your hands, you can finish the birds off with a splash of clay paint.

Wholesale jewelry supplies can actually be used for loads of different things. Cut the cost of your wedding by making all your own decorations.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail