Some Bling for Spring

Different Grades Of The Liberty Head Nickel

Like any coin, the Liberty Head nickel can vary widely in value depending on what grade it is. It’s difficult to determine the value of liberty head nickels and other coins unless you know what characteristics are typical of the various coin grades. 

The following are different grades of the Liberty Head nickel, from the best possible grade to the lowest quality grade:

Mint state or uncirculated

A mint state Liberty Head nickel will exhibit a shiny and sharp luster. The metal should show no signs of dullness. The copper-nickel alloy that was used to produce the Liberty Head nickel typically shows resistance to toning, but mint condition coins that have been cleaned might show a very slight wash of gold due to toning. This is likely to decrease the coins value even if it receives a “mint” grade. 

Almost uncirculated

A Liberty Head nickel that is graded “almost uncirculated” will usually receive this grade because it has begun to show some toning. While the images and text on the coin will be sharp and clear, the coin will look slightly more dull than a mint condition coin and show a more golden color than the pure silver that’s typical of the mint condition grade. 

Extremely fine

The detail on the image and text of an extremely fine Liberty Head coin will be undiminished, but the coin will have lost most of its shiny luster. 


Liberty Head nickels graded as fine will typically show some scratches, and the detail on the image is likely to have worn off to some extent. The etched details on Lady Liberty’s face will probably significantly flattened. Also, it may be difficult to pick out the letters in “Liberty” along Lady Liberty’s crown.  


This grade is given to Liberty Head nickels that may look significantly worn but are still showing some small level of detail in the etching of images and lettering. Although the letters “Liberty” will probably no longer be visible, the eye and nose detail around the face on the coin will probably still show slightly. 

About good

About good is generally the worst grade that a Liberty Head coin can receive. The details on “about good” coins will look severely washed out, and it may be hard to make out any of the wording. It also can sometimes be difficult to make out the year on such a coin.

Coins graded as “about good” tend to be heavily circulated and are not likely to be worth much money unless they are from 1912 or 1913—the last two years of production of the Liberty Head nickel. If you’re looking to purchase a rare Liberty Head nickel, visit Penny Pincher Coins & Jewelry.

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Three Ways To Purchase A Glamorous Diamond Engagement Ring On A Smaller Budget

When you decided you wanted to propose to your partner, you immediately knew you wanted a ring large enough to symbolize just how much you loved them. However, the blur of love quickly dissipated and the reality of your budget quickly took center stage. Fortunately, you can get your partner a quality diamond engagement ring without breaking the bank. Here are just some of the ways you can select a beautiful ring for your partner while still staying within budget.

Choose A Multiple Stone Style

If your budget restricts you to a very small carat size, consider choosing a ring that is designed to accommodate more than one stone. Halo and cluster ring styles can give the illusion of more diamonds than a solitary diamond ring style affords.

For example, a ring with a single one and a half carat stone might look small. However, a cluster ring with three half carat stones will appear larger, even though it still equals one and a half carats. This tip is all about the illusion of more diamonds.  

Think Clarity Not Carats

Some inexperienced buyers go on a hunt for the largest carat size they can afford. While a large carat diamond is glamorous, clarity matters more in terms of beauty. Clarity ratings are designated based on the number of imperfections found within the stone.

This rating goes from a perfect diamond, Flawless (FL), to the low end, Included. The fewer the number of imperfections in the diamond the prettier the stone will be. Choose a carat size that is around half your budget and spend the extra on an upgraded clarity rating.

Incorporate Metal Work

You can also incorporate fancy metal work into the design of the ring to add glamour while still staying on budget. Having engraved design patterns inserted around the ring can also deflect from a smaller stone and add a more stylish element to the ring.

You can also achieve this with a raised stone setting. Instead of having the diamond set flush with the ring band, have it raised slightly above the band. The higher the diamond rests, the more the stone will stand out and the larger the stone will appear.

Shopping for an engagement ring should not be done in haste. Make sure you are taking your time to choose a ring for your partner that they will cherish for many years to come. For more information, contact shops like B And A Jewelers.

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Buying Antique Jewelry: Estate Jewelry Terminology To Know

There is a lot to learn if you intend to start buying antique jewelry, from how to tell when the jewelry is really an antique to identifying different gemstones and materials. Another thing you will need to do is learn different terminology. When going to estate sales or auctions, they will use certain terminology to describe jewelry pieces. It helps to know a little more about what terms will be used.


One of the more common jewelry techniques used with antique jewelry is filigree. Filigree is a jewelry design technique that puts very small and thin pieces of metal close together to form patterns. When you see a gold ring band and notice there are intricate patterns on the band made of what looks like “dots” of gold, that is a filigree design. This was made popular after casting metal started being used. You might find filigree on ring bands and settings, earrings, and necklace pendants.

Gold-Filled Jewelry

Another term you might hear in terms of antique jewelry is “gold-filled.” Gold-filled jewelry is the design process of adding a sheet of gold metal to a less expensive base metal. While it will not provide as much gold as 14k or 20k gold pieces, it contains considerably more gold than jewelry labeled as “gold-plated.” Since it has a larger quantity of gold, gold-filled jewelry will be more valuable than gold-plated jewelry. A lot of antique gold jewelry is in fact gold-filled, including Victorian-era jewelry.

Old European Cut

When you start looking at antique rings, you will notice that diamonds and gemstones come in different cuts. With antique jewelry, a lot of the older rings had diamonds cut in what is called the old European cut. The diamonds or gemstones will have a round shape with deep pavilions and small tables. If you compare this to the round brilliant cut used today, you can visibly see that the tables on top of the diamond are much smaller, but the pavilions are deeper.


You might think of enamel as being something used on costume jewelry and inexpensive fashion jewelry, but it was very popular over a century ago. Enamel is a type of glass that turns into a liquid when it is heated at a high temperature. Once it becomes a liquid, it is applied to metal, often with a bright color to add interest and style to the jewelry piece. There are some intricate designs that use enamel with antique estate jewelry.

To learn more about estate jewelry, contact The Owl’s Tale

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The Four C’s To Buying A Fine Diamond

If you are looking to purchase a fine diamond either to fit into a ring, necklace or earrings, then you want to be sure that you are getting the most for your money by purchasing a diamond that meets all the four C’s. The four C’s of buying diamonds are:

  1. Cut: First, you must be sure that your diamond is finely cut. This means that the diamond has been cut by professionals and has been done so expertly. A diamond that has not been cut finely means that it does not have the highest symmetry possible and probably does not have a fine polish applied to it. Diamonds that have not been finely cut will not be worth as much and this also means that it will not have as nice of a shine to it either. 
  2. Color: When you see a diamond, you think it is just white, but you have to remember that white is a color that actually contains all of the colors within it. This means that when it is in the light, you will see the colors of the rainbow reflected in it, which is what makes diamonds so fine. However, you can also choose yellow diamonds or even chocolate brown, which are also made from fine diamonds so long as they meet the other C criteria. 
  3. Clarity: Diamonds are formed from the pressure placed upon them from being underneath the ground. Since they are deep in the ground, the only way that they can be extracted is from volcanic pressure, which pushes them upwards. Since the diamonds are under such deep ground, when they are pushed upwards, they are susceptible to many scratches and blemishes from the dirt. The diamonds that remain free from these blemishes are then determined to have the ultimate clarity and are used as the centers for jewelry. Those that have too many blemishes are not. 
  4. Carat: The carat of a diamond is what describes the diamond’s weight. The carat, much like the color is simply your own personal preference. So long as the diamond has a fine cut and clarity, the diamond you are purchasing is going to be worth the price that you pay for it. 

By knowing the four C’s to purchasing a fine diamond, you can be sure that you purchase a diamond that is real and had been dealt with by professionals. This ensures that your money is being well-spent. Contact Mollie B Distinctively Different Fine Jewelry for more information.

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Ancient Symbols: Wear Your Yoga Devotion

Followers of yoga know they feel better, move better and look better and want to take their devotion to the ancient practice a step further. Message jewelry is trendy and yoga inspired jewelry is at the forefront. Devoted followers eagerly collect jewelry fashioned with earthy and hip natural beads and hand-stamped silver with inspirational messages or Om symbols. Learn more about the Om symbol, mala beads, and the seven chakras to expand your yoga inspired jewelry collection in a way that fits you. 

The Om is perhaps the most recognizable symbol related to yoga. This ancient Sanskrit image’s meaning is found in each of its curving lines. Om is more than just a symbol, however. It serves as the spoken mantra for many yoga practitioners and is frequently used at the beginning of a yoga session as a meditation to quiet one’s thoughts. Silver pendants with a hand-stamped Om symbol serve as a constant reminder of the peace that the practice of yoga can bring.

  • The crescent shape at the top means the veil of illusion.
  • The dot inside means the transcendental state.
  • The upper curve is the waking state.
  • The long large curve on the bottom is the dream state.
  • The middle curve means a state of deep, dreamless sleep.

Mala Beads are the latest trend in yoga inspired jewelry. Mala bead strings always have 108 beads, and sometimes there is an extra “guru” bead on the string. There are many reasons for 108 beads, but the number is considered sacred in Hinduism. Beyond meditation practice, these beads are beautifully colored, and customized strings with precious stones and pearls make a personalized piece.

The seven Chakras are the energy centers of the body and each one represents a part of the body and a color.

  • Chakra 1: Muladhara is located at the base of the spine; it represents home and safety and is red.
  • Chakra 2: Svadhisthana is located at the hips, abdomen and genitals; it represents family and is orange.
  • Chakra 3: Manipura is located near the naval; it represents your core and is yellow.
  • Chakra 4: Anahata is located at your heart; it represents power and creativity and is green.
  • Chakra 5: Vishuddha is located at the throat; it represents communication and is blue.
  • Chakra 6: Ajna is located on the forehead; it represents intuition and knowledge and is indigo.
  • Chakra 7: Sahasrara is located at the crown of your head; it represents universal consciousness and is violet. This is the lotus blossom.

These chakras may be worn as jewelry, and using colored crystals made of natural stones and worn with long leather cords are very popular. 

The most significant aspect of these ancient symbols worn as modern jewelry is that the pieces become symbols of whatever the wearer wishes them to be, no matter where they are on their journey.

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Tips And Tricks To Keep Your Jewelry Looking Gorgeous!

Ever have one of those days where something slips and your favorite piece of jewelry ends up slightly damaged? Or maybe you just need to update and fix something you’ve been meaning to get done for a while? We’ve all been there.

Never fear, there is something you can do.  Here are a few quick tips to make your jewelry like new again:

Paperclip jump rings

Didn’t know paperclips were so versatile did you! Paperclips can be bent and made into jump rings if the occasion calls for it. Just take the paperclip and bend it around something small and circular, like a paintbrush or a pencil tip. Once you have it properly circular and as large as you want, the paperclip can be cut with scissors to form the small jump ring

Nail polish enamel

Have a chipped piece of enamel jewelry that needs some color? Nail polish will do the trick! Find a nail polish that matches the color that you need and paint it on with the applicator. If the color doesn’t have enough sheen or shine to it, you can coat it with either a clear layer of nail polish to give it that shine.

Nail polish can also be used to keep costume jewelry from tarnishing or from turning your fingers green if you have sensitive skin.  Just give it a quick coat of clear top coat and your both your jewelry and your skin will be safe.

Buffing and polishing

Both of these can be done at home and are a quick thing to do once you get the hang of it. All it required is a buffing cloth (which you can pick up from Home Hardware/home depot for virtually nothing) and some rouge. No, I’m not talking about the stuff you put on your face. Rouge is a polishing compound used for doing fine polishing of metals.

You can also pick it up and home Hardware or home Depot relatively in expensively. All you need to do to buff and polish your jewelry is put some of the rouge onto the cloth and rub the cloth on your piece of jewelry. It doesn’t take much rouge, and after a few minutes your piece will look like new again!

So there you have it. Just a few simple tricks and tips to keep your jewelry in good repair and looking as beautiful as ever. For more help, you may need to contact jewelry repair services.

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What Cleaning An Repairs Should You Have Done On An Antique Watch

If you’ve purchased or inherited an antique watch, then you should spend some time getting it into good running condition. Depending on how old the watch is and what shape it is in, you might need to head to a jeweler to get the watch into even basic running condition. However, even if the watch is ticking fine, it is still a good idea to visit a jeweler to have it checked out. Here are some of the most common issues you should look at.

Cleaning, Polishing or Replacing the Crystal

The first thing to look at is the crystal. Older watches had crystal windows, never plastic. The crystal will scratch over time. The scratches are not only an aesthetic problem, they can affect functionality. This is because scratches can cause water to creep into the mechanics. This might end up causing rust and ruin.

The decision on whether to polish the crystal or replace will depend on how deep the scratches are. Minor, surface scratches, can be polished out. However, deep scratches cannot be buffed out and the crystal will need to be replaced.

Clean or Replace The Band

If your watch has a metal band, then you will likely want to have it cleaned. This is a process where the individual links are polished. If there are any loose connections between the links, then these can be replaced.

Metal bands get dull after many years. The watch will look much more impressive with a shinny, polished band.

If, on the other hand, the watch has a leather band, you will likely need to replace it. A leather band should be maintained with oils. If it was neglected for years, then sadly, it needs to be replaced. A dry, cracked band should be tossed.

Replace The Gaskets

Gaskets prevent moisture from getting into the watch. Since they break down over time, it is important to replace them periodically.

Don’t Forget The Movement

The movement refers to the interior clockwork, which is what makes the watch tick. In older watches, it is important to have a jeweler look at the movement. This is definitely not something you can do on your own.

The movement will be disassembled. The individual pieces will be examined. Those needing to be replaced will be set aside. The pieces that are in good condition will be placed into a cleaning basket then put into a special ultrasonic cleaning machine. When the pieces are cleaned, they will be oiled then re-assembled with the new replacement parts.

For more information, contact a jewellery repair specialist.

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