Friday, February 1, 2013

…with LOVE from the JET Team

Article submitted by JET Member
Donna Arena of DonnasArtisanDesigns

If you are reading this you probably have a passion for jewelry as strong as ours is.
For that reason we have compiled a few thoughts, tips and general information we
wanted to share that hopefully will be helpful when choosing, caring for and
storing your little treasures. If there are others you know of not listed here please
do feel free to share. As in everything else in life - KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!

Jill from OzmayDesigns says:
Random thoughts...

Wearability.. Sometimes I see things that are pretty or cool in concept, but not
practical to wear. If you plan to wear a piece (not just collect) then you can't
forget about wearability. Is it compatible with your lifestyle?
Mixed metals: It is no longer a fashion faux pas to wear mixed metals.

Variety in metals is a good thing.

Denise Woodhouse from LoveStoneArts:

Our customer base is limited if they believe that accessories must
always match. Here are a few ways to wear chains, pendants
and necklaces that make me happy:

I like to wear necklaces in unexpected
ways that make a whimsical statement.

For instance a big vintage rhinestone piece with a simple cotton sundress
or very feminine pearls and gemstones with a chambray shirt and jeans.

To feel a sense of history I layer a big thick hank of seed beads with
a turquoise necklace and a unique pendant. A mood is evoked;
thoughts of trading posts and mountain rendezvous.

I like to borrow a classic design and then give it a rustic or abstract twist.
A short sturdy chain allows an art pendant to be worn outside of a collar
similar to a cameo brooch. Adding a couple more pendants on chains or
a looped long rope of beads completes a fun updated Victorian look.

For necklaces and pendants that have a special sentiment like my
stamped personalized pendants or the polymer clay beads the
kids and I made when they were small, I like to wear them long.
All through the day I lift these pieces, look at them and smile!

Donna Arena from DonnasArtisanDesigns:

Save and re-use desiccants you get in medicine bottles and other
places in the baggies you keep your silver jewelry in.

Ask your friends to save them for you!!

If you don't have those use small pieces of chalk to absorb moisture.

I love to go on treasure hunts to estate sales, thrift shops, etc…
I take a couple things with me to help in my search. A loupe and a
magnet. Obviously the loupe will help you see any makers marks from
collectible jewelry lines such as Listner, Monet, Corro, etc…get to know
them they could have a great resale value and be valuable to some collectors.

If you don’t want to buy a loupe take a magnifying glass.
A little research on the internet will go a LONG way to
help discover valuable collections, or at least identify
precious metals. Why a magnet? You can always tell if
something ISN’T sterling by holding a magnet to it.
If the magnet catches, it is NOT sterling.
Melanie See from seemomster says

Do NOT wear perfume where it will come up against natural pearls.
If you are wearing a pearl necklace or earrings, DON'T dab it behind
your ears! Wear it on your wrists, behind your knees, or in your
d├ęcolletage instead! Also - spray your hair with hairspray
BEFORE you put your pearls on!

Inspect knotted pearls annually. If the strand is fraying, take them
to a reputable jeweler to have them re-knotted.

Store pearls separately from stone/metal jewelry. Pearls can scratch!
Cher from DesignsbyCher says:

NEVER dip pearl jewelry (like the anklet above) or shell -
mother or pearl, abalone etc - in a silver/gold jewelry cleaner.

The sulphur in the silver cleaner will kill the luster,
and the ammonia in the dip will eat them!

Nancy Russell from NancysCrystalFantasi says:

Something I discovered when redoing a piece
for a customer is that many people do not
know the difference between karat gold,
gold filled, and gold plated metals.

Karat gold is pure (24 karat) gold that has
been mixed - or alloyed -with other base
metals, which makes it less costly and more
durable than pure gold. Gold purity is
expressed in parts of 24, so 14 karat gold is
fourteen parts gold and 10 parts other metal.

Gold filled jewelry is made with base metal
that has been mechanically bonded with
heat and pressure to a thin sheet of rolled out
karat gold that must be at least 10 karat.
It cannot be melted down and cast like
karat gold can, but it is much more durable
and long-lasting than gold plated metal.

Gold plated jewelry is made with base metal
that has a microscopic layer of gold
(millionths of an inch thick) of less than
10 karat gold bonded to the base metal.
Because it is so thin, it scratches easily
and can wear off fairly quickly.

Bob of Jewelry24Seven adds:

The chart on the right shows how
much gold is actually in jewelry,
or how karat value relates to percentage.

The most popular type of gold jewelry
is 14 karat. Very few people realize it, but
14k gold is only 58.33% pure gold.

The rest - over 40% is mostly copper. Alloy
can be ANY metal combined with gold.

14k gold tarnishes or oxidizes, but  it just
appears to get redder or a bit darker
in color so it may go unnoticed.

To brighten up your 14k gold jewelry
use the same type of polishing cloth
described above used for silver care.

This will bring your 14k jewelry
back to its original color, luster
and beautiful shine!

More on jewelry Metal Facts ...

Dione from LittleAppleNY says ...

I'm hardly a font of jewelry wisdom,
but I'll add that toothpaste---the
old-school white variety---will do
a good job of cleaning silver jewelry
(like my silver ring at right) in a pinch.

Michele from malves1009 says:

Clean brass before aging, or giving it an antiqued finish
like my LOVE Bracelet above. I use Bar Keeper's Friend
cleaner to polish brass. Sometimes I like brass
without aging - it looks like gold.

Easy aging can be done with LOS
(liver of sulphur), or on a stove top.
Blanche from BlancheB says:

A little vodka goes a long way for cleaning diamonds!

Also - be bold! Get out of your comfort zone.

Before Etsy it would have never occurred
to me to wear bobby pins, especially
those black boring ones. I love making
them and wearing them now, too!

Try a brooch on a sweater or add to a headband.
If you've never worn an anklet, go for it!

Jewelry is a great way to spice up your style
and an outfit you are bored of.

Recycle old gold. Take those dated pieces you will
never wear again like that orphan earring, jewelry
with missing stones etc.. and have someone make you
something new or sell it for cash, and use the money
for something fun like a cruise to Mexico - like I did!
Elizabeth Holmes-deForest from Foret says:

This is sort of an aside and has to do more with
vintage jewelry and buttons, which are those amazing
early plastics. Some of those plastics are over 150
years old and a lot of them contain chemicals which
will EAT metals. I noticed this when I threw a bunch
of old buttons together, some old real rhinestone buttons
which had metal bezels. They just about disintegrated!

So ... If you have early plastics, keep them away from metal.

Also, I have noticed that some of the young amber which is
classified as copal reacts to air. The surface will craze.
So, you have to keep it air tight. Not so with the real
Baltic amber which is millions of years old.

(There is another kind of copal which is an amber and early
plastic composite and extremely expensive, old and hard to find)

Some basics on grading gemstones…or...
what the heck does AAA mean???

What The Gemstone Grades Mean

As with diamonds, colored gemstones are valued and rated with
the 4 C’s: cut, clarity, color and carat. Once the gemstone has
been evaluated on these four criteria, a final grade is given to
the gem. The final grade falls on a scale of AAA – D, with
AAA being near perfect and D being a poor quality gemstone.

A Rating: An A rated gemstone is a good quality gemstone.
The gem is well cut, has a good transparency and lets light through,
and has few inclusions. For top quality gemstones, there is also an
AA and AAA rating. These ratings are reserved for exceptional
gems, especially with precious stones like rubies, emeralds and
sapphires. Semi-precious stones such as amethyst and garnet
seem to pass more easily with a AA rating.

B Rating: B rated gemstones have minor to light inclusions,
and the color of the stone isn’t the optimal color. The stone is
still transparent, however, and many B quality stones are still
used for smaller gemstones in jewelry.

C Rating: C rated gemstones have visible inclusions,
as well as portions that are not entirely transparent. The
translucency does not allow as much light to pass through,
which makes these stones less sparkly and more flat (dull)
to the eye. C rated gemstones are rarely used in larger sizes,
and are sometimes used as chip stones in pave and micro pave sizes.

D Rating: D rated gemstones are heavily included, obviously
opaque to slightly translucent and allow minimal light through.
D rated gemstones are suitable for use as cabochons, beads or
rock-like pieces, but do not have a high value.Still, their color
allows them to be made into pretty and affordable jewelry like the

The JETs are very knowledgeable when it comes to the jewelry
we sell. Buying your jewelry from a JET member is a smart thing
to do, because you can be sure you're dealing with  an honest person
who knows a lot about the jewelry they sell. If you DO buy jewelry
elsewhere, be sure to ask questions about the metal quality and the
gemstones you are buying. An educated customer is a
happy customer - so don't be afraid to ask questions!