Some Bling for Spring

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.

Filigree

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.

Enamel

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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3 Reasons Why Pawning Goods Is A Good Alternative To Payday Loans

A tough financial situation is something almost anyone can relate to, and it’s something that is very stressful. You must decide how you’ll come up with the money you need to get yourself out of the financial jam without affecting your ability to pay other debts.

Your credit score can help or hurt you. A good credit score means you can likely get a personal loan that has a reasonable annual percentage rate, but a bad score leaves you struggling to find the help you need. This means you have a couple options for quick cash: pawning items or taking out a payday loan.

A visit to the local pawnshop is often a better choice. Here’s why:

1: Pawning Gives You Options

You can pawn anything of value that you own. This means you can pawn something that you no longer need, so if you aren’t able to pay off the ticket and get it back, it won’t be really be missed. Jewelry that is of no sentimental value to you or your family is a good choice. Other items to consider are old coins and collectible items you no longer want or need.

Pawn shops offer to buy items outright. This means you can get some extra cash without having to pay it back. Again, if you have old jewelry or coins, especially gold, you can sell it to the pawnbroker and have cash in hand without the worry of adding a new monthly payment. 

2: Pawnshops Don’t Report To Credit Agencies

Even if you have the best of intentions, but miss payments on your pawned item, it won’t affect your credit score. A pawnshop usually gives you certain deadlines to either pick up your item, or make monthly payments for the shop to continue holding the item for you. If you fail to pay for the item in full, plus interest, or you miss payments, the pawnbroker can sell your item, but your failure to pay back the loan does not go on your credit report. 

3: Pawnshops Are Regulated 

Pawnbrokers must adhere to federal and state laws concerning their business practices. These regulations help protect your personal information, prevent stolen times from being pawned, and help make sure you are dealing with a reputable company. 

If you choose to take the Payday loan options, remember that companies must adhere to Federal Trade Regulations, but when dealing with online payday loan services, you must be careful and check them out. The FTC states that the number of payday loan companies has increased, and “Unfortunately, some payday lending operations have employed deception and other illegal conduct to take advantage of financially distressed consumers seeking these loans.”

It’s best to play it safe and check out your local pawnshop if you need quick cash for an emergency or to help make ends meet when financial troubles arise. Reach out to a local shop, like Desert Jewelry Mart & Coins, to learn more about their rates.

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Four Lesser-Known Antique Engagement Ring Styles

While looking through endless pages of gorgeous diamond engagement rings, have you ever stopped to wonder about their history? Princess and Marquise cut diamonds haven’t always been the fashion; throughout history, dozens of distinct ring styles have emerged, many of which still have their own small following today. Here are four examples of unique historical ring styles suitable for engagement or wedding rings. One or two of these styles are even gemless, making them perfect for a no-frills couple or for a male engagement ring.

1. The Signet Ring

An example of a ring with a useful occupation in life, the signet served as a stamp, similar to the concept of today’s signature, to authenticate and verify documents. The portion of the ring that bore the seal was usually made of either gold or a large gem. Owners of these rings were generally wealthy and important officials or businessmen, each of whom designed a unique seal in order to provide relative security against fraud. Today such rings often bear a family’s coat of arms; but they’re a great option for an engagement ring too, especially since some contain large, colorful gems.

2. The Cigar Band Ring

Developed in America at a time when frugality was all-important, cigar band rings are flat, wide, and generally devoid of gems. Their greatest beauty lies in the often intricate engravings surrounding the entire band. Popular designs were often geometric and angular, traits which suit the cigar band well because it’s the same width all the way around, allowing for complex repeating patterns. It is said that this style was inspired by paper cigar bands, but it’s possible they were simply named after a resemblance to the paper bands.

3. The Belcher Setting

The Belcher Setting, another American design, is a flush-set style in which prongs are fashioned directly from the material of the shank. This forms a recessed area in which the gem can sit. The style is named for Thomas Belcher and is known for its low profile, elegance, and comfort.

4. The Puzzle Ring

Originating in Asia thousands of years ago, this ring had a surge of popularity around the 1960s and 70s, and it may well come back into style in the near future. Puzzle rings are made up of multiple small components (from two to seventeen or more), which interlock in a very specific way to create the ring. The ring can only be worn when the puzzle is complete. The legend of its origin claims that the puzzle ring began its existence as a wedding ring, and it has served as an engagement or wedding ring to many happy couples throughout history.

Now that you’ve taken a break to learn about some old-fashioned and less wildly popular styles, you can go back to scrolling through pictures of diamond rings and look at them with a new perspective. On the other hand, maybe one of these styles really captured your heart but you don’t want to go looking through dozens of antique stores to find it. Try requesting a custom ring by professionals like Rinehart Brothers Jewelers based on one of these tried-and-true styles!

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