Sunday, July 25, 2010

How to Dress Stylishly on a Tight Budget

How to Dress Stylishly on a Tight Budget

If you want to create the right look without going into the red every month, you need to know how best to invest your hard-earned cash. Tempting though it may be to splash out on the latest fashion fads, truly stylish women know that a great look is best achieved by investing in classic items of good quality clothing that fit well. So if you believe that dressing stylishly is beyond your budget, take a few tips from those women who have learned how to get an expensive look for less.

Rule number one when wanting to dress stylishly for less is to buy classic items in classic colors so that your wardrobe lasts for longer and costs less in the long run. Stick to basic solid colors – e.g. black, tan, grey, navy, and white – and build your wardrobe around those colors. Spend money on a number of essential items that will form the basis of your collection – e.g. pants, blouse, sweater, cardigan, dress, jeans, skirt, coat, boots, and shoes. Make sure that the basic items are well-made and will last. Opt for classic designs so they can be worn throughout the seasons. Consider the fabric components of clothing items before making a purchase. For example, a 100-percent wool coat will look better for longer than, say, one that contains only a small percentage of wool and is manufactured predominantly from a man-made fiber such as polyester.

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Use accessories to dress up or dress down your look and to add splashes of color: Scarves, hats, belts, and bags can all be used to add a unique twist to an outfit. This is where you can spend less as these items don’t necessarily need to last and they’re merely being used to accentuate the clothes you’re wearing.

Always buy clothes suitable for your size and body shape. Do your research beforehand so you know which styles will suit you best. While it’s good to have a friend on hand for advice, remember that she may just say what she believes you want to hear!

Never buy an item of clothing that doesn’t fit optimistically believing that you will “slim” into it. Make sure that whatever you buy fits you well. Ill-fitting clothes will do little to flatter your figure or create a stylish look. Furthermore, if an item isn’t comfortable, you may well end up having to buy another one in its place.

Shop at thrift stores. Great bargains are to be had in thrift stores. It’s sometimes possible to pick up items from reputable clothing brands in your local thrift store, some of which have a lot of wear left in them.

Look after your clothes – especially if you’ve spent top-dollar on them. Always read the care instructions on clothing labels and launder items accordingly. Line-drying your clothes is kinder to them and will help them last longer than drying them in the tumble dryer. Avoid buying anything that needs to be professionally cleaned: You may avoid wearing it because of the cost involved in cleaning it; or you may love wearing it which means you’ll spend a lot of money on having it regularly cleaned!

You don’t have to spend a million dollars to look a million dollars. Spend wisely and you can create a stylish look that will last for years, thereby saving you money in the long run.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Learning About the Meanings of Gemstones

Jewelry is a large part of our culture. It is a status symbol in some societies, and in some, it is a token of love. This article explains the meaning of some of the most popular gemstones used in jewelry pieces.

For centuries, the practice of giving and receiving various pieces of jewelry has been going on in many societies around the world. In some cultures, jewelry is considered a status symbol. People have to don a piece of jewelry that represents their social class. In modern society, jewelry such as an engagement ring or wedding ring is commonly given as a token of love and commitment. Jewelry is also a typical gift that lovers give each other on special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, and Valentine´s Day.

Despite the common practice of giving jewelry to people we care about, many people, especially men, don´t understand the true meaning behind the kind of jewelry they are giving away. Gemstones, for instance, are not only valued for their brilliant hues but also for the meanings associated with them. In fact, choosing a gemstone for their meaning is much more romantic than simply choosing them for their aesthetic value.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Aventurine has a unique and characteristic shimmer or glistening effect termed “aventurescence”. Aventurine is a form of quartz; platy mineral inclusions in it lend this gemstone its shimmer. It gets its name from an Italian word “ventura” meaning “by chance”. This dates back to 18th century when aventurine or goldstone was luckily discovered. Though it was a known fact that goldstone is not same aventurine.

This nature’s gift is green semi-translucent to mostly opaque with mica flecks. It is also found in silvery, yellow, reddish brown, greenish-brown, bluish green and orange. Aventurine’s physical properties vary because it’s a rock. Its hardness is somewhat lower than single-crystal quartz at around 6.5.

All good things are put to plenty of uses. It applies to aventurine as well. It has been used as landscape stone, building stone, aquaria, monuments, candelabra, girandoles, pipes, vases and bowls (sometimes very large); jewelry being one of the most important ones. Necklaces – beaded strings or knotted strings, multi-line garlands, earrings, finger-rings and bracelets… jewelry lovers’ fancies see no bounds. It looks fab in cabochon and bead format. Since it is cut into numerous shapes and the color choices it provides, lets the designers go wild with their imaginations. To add to its usefulness, aventurine is an easy-on-the-pocket stone, yet is extremely attractive. Its claim to fame is the inclusions that appear as sparkles. Here is a tip for aventurine lovers: translucent aventurine often fades in the sun, therefore the aventurine jewelry is better kept in dark places. Goldstone is often used as an imitation for aventurine. All avid aventurine buyers should buy this wonderful gemstone with a discerning eye.

Geographical places which have rich deposits are Brazil, India, China, Japan, Russia, Tanzania, and USA. Extensive beds in mica schist occur in the Russian Ural Mountains. Green aventurine, colored by chrome mica, has been found in the state of Tamil Nadu (India), China, and in Rutland (Vermont).

Aventurine is the anniversary gemstone for the 8th year of marriage. It is the star sign for Libra and the planetary stone of Taurus. Like most gemstones, Aventurine too is associated with a chakra. It aids the 4th chakra, the Heart. The Heart Chakra relates to love and emotional well-being, aids in the ability to love and attract those who are also able to love. Blockages of the 4th Chakra can cause indecisiveness, fear and anxiety. Common physical symptoms can include heart and lung ailments. This is why aventurine is called the "Healer of the Heart and the Soul." Because its benefits related to mental stress, heart and lungs and adrenal system, fevers, inflammation, nervous system stress and migraines, eye ailments, blood pressure abnormalities, hypertension and urogenital disorders, aventurine is considered to be an all-round healing stone. Gamblers exploit its healing properties to guard their risks and personally carry it on them as their lucky talisman.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, people specialized in the production of handmade glass in the ‘traditional Venetian style’. In fact, they adopted certain aspects of historical Venetian glass design and combined these to create new elaborate and fanciful shapes that have little in common with the original glasses that inspired them. Their products were particularly popular in Britain, where the public adored anything Venetian. Some goblets feature aventurine – small flat particles of copper dispersed randomly in the glass to create a sparkling effect. The technique of embedding canes of glass was also developed in Murano, in the 16th century and was called ‘filigrana’ (filigree) decoration, because of its similarity to goldsmiths’ work.

Aventurine is certainly a favorite with people with fancy for gemstone jewelry, artifacts, collectibles and healing crystals. Why not when this gemstone brings with it a splendid blend of beauty with power!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Brilliant Tips to Save Cash on Your Weddings, from Cakes to Pearl Earrings

Re-capturing that fairy tale vision that many brides -to be-have is even harder these days because of the tough economic conditions. But the dreams that brides have had since childhood do not need to be a shattered. Weddings are undoubtedly expensive but here's how you can stay in budget.

Firstly, something positive. You are in a brilliant position to negotiate. Many venues will be finding it hard to book out their facilities at the moment so negotiating the price down should be easy. Work out the lowest acceptable price you are willing to pay and the highest price you can afford. When you are offered the price by the venue, don't be afraid to decline it until the price has come down to your acceptable level.

Always, have in mind an alternative venue should the price still not be agreeable. Remember, that you might be able supply your own wine or ask the hotels to throw in free balloons.

Don't forget you can negotiate too on flowers, wedding car etc. If your budget won't stretch to a venue, consider hiring a village hall where you can arrange the catering yourselves. You don't necessarily need outside contractors as dishes like like oven-roasted salmon or oven-fried chicken, roasted vegetables are ideal for a large number of guests.

The traditional tiered -wedding cake can be another area to be cut back on. Have you considered dense chocolate mouse, along with after-dinner pours of a liquor for instance? How about asking your mum to make the cake, the decoration could be left to the professionals.

As for the wedding dress itself, look round charity shops or online to see if you can find a second-hand dress. This really will make buying a dress exceptional value. To set the dress off, invest in some good quality pearl earrings. Pearl earrings can be worn with any item and can be passed down the generations. They are one of the few fashion accessories which have the ability to span the decades and fashion trends. You can save money on pearl earrings by looking to see how 'pure' the pearl is. The more blemishes, the cheaper price of the pearl will be. And on your big day, who will notice the quality of your pearl, not even your new husband.

What is Amethyst

Amethyst, the violet variety of quartz, whose name has been derived from an Ancient Greek word a- ("not") and methustos ("intoxicated"), is as interesting a gemstone as its history. Dionysus, the Greek god of intoxication, was pursuing a maiden by the name of Amethystos. But it so happened that that maiden turned down his affections. To ensure this, she prayed to the gods to help her remain pure. Her wish was granted and she turned into a white stone. Dionysus was so deeply humbled by Amethystos’s desire to remain chaste that as an offering he poured wine over the stone and the white stone’s crystals turned purple. This is how amethyst is believed to have born.

Chemically speaking, amethyst is a result of mechanical stresses which results in superimposition of alternate lamellae of right-handed and left-handed quartz. It is a hard stone, with a hardness level of 7 on Mohs scale favoring its usage in jewelry. Not just for its luxuriant lilac to purple color, it is a loved-by-all gemstone in beaded necklaces or in plain necklace and other jewelry pieces, like bracelets, earrings, finger rings, etc.,.
Amethyst is found in shades ranging from light pinkish violet to rich purple. It may also give out red and blue secondary hues. The ideal grade is called "Deep Siberian" and has a primary purple hue of around 75–80 percent, 15–20 percent blue and (depending on the light source) red secondary hues.

The color of amethyst is more often than not irregularly distributed. To accommodate this patchyness, this stone is mostly cut as brilliant round cuts or beads to maximize the color. Other cuts can be used when the color is better distributed.

On one hand, amethyst has been known as an antidote to intoxication. However, on other hand, the royalty and richness exuded by its purple color gives a high which is unequaled. Amethyst has been used since the dawn of history to adorn the rich and powerful monarchs and rulers. Today, amethyst is a lovely and affordable gemstone that is fortunately available in a wide variety of cut and uncut stones that we can all possess and admire in form of necklaces, earrings, and other jewelry pieces, or in studded in murals, lavish paintings, etc.,.

Taking its intoxication aspect a little further, it was believed that Amethyst protected its owner and wearers from drunkenness. That’s why ancient Greek and Romans wore amethyst and made drinking vessels or wine goblets carved from it. Medieval Europeans had a tad different belief; they wore amethyst amulets for their protection in battles. Beads of amethyst were found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England. The Ancient Egyptians too had a diverse faith. They used Amethyst as a gemstone largely employed in antiquity for intaglio engraved gems.

Geographical names that find reference with amethyst are Minas Gerais in Brazil and South Korea where this lilac gemstone is found in abundance occurring as geodes within volcanic rocks. Mazatal Mountain region in Arizona is the only US location that currently mines fine quality gems that are sold in fine jewelry, while Maissau, Lower Austria takes all the luck to have the largest opencast amethyst vein. Zambia takes the cake as the world’s largest producer with an annual production. The highest grade amethyst is called "Deep Russian". It is exceptionally rare and therefore its value is dependent on the demand of collectors.

Here’s something interesting about amethyst locations: agate hollows of Brazil and Uruguay harbor crop of amethyst crystals in the interior. This corroborates similar origin of agates and amethysts.

Amethyst is the traditional birthstone for people born in February. It is also called Power Stone owing to its profuse healing properties. Take as a folklore, amethyst is considered as a dream stone and to aid insomnia. Sleep with an amethyst under your pillow to bring about pleasant dreams, or rub it across your forehead to offer relief from a headache. Many professionals of healing field consider amethyst as “nature’s tranquilizer” because of its effectiveness in relaxing not only the mind but also the nervous system. This purple gemstone is related to and found to heal and align ailments of the 6th and 7th Chakras, which are the Third Eye or Brow (6th) and the Crown (7th).

A gemstone with innumerable admirers from times immemorial is bound to integral part of collectibles and arty pieces from ancient times and preserved in museums. Your desire to own an amethyst masterpiece is not difficult to be realized. The Royal Worcester Porcelain Works in Englan houses tall, slender vases with slightly flared top rims, like the 1926 earthenware vase with a gorgeous amethyst glaze thrown in Bybee, Ky, in 1926, or the mottled green vase made by Leon and Charles Volkmar in 1910 for the Volkmar Kilns in Metuchen. They may not be ostentatious, but they are the real lesson Charles Cotton Dana was trying to teach.

Possess an amethyst beaded necklace or as an artifact, it will surely become your most prized possession.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Know about Agate gemstone

Agate stone

Agate, pronounced as agit, was christened by a Greek philosopher and a naturalist Theophrastus way back in between 4th and 3rd centuries BC when he first spotted agate on the banks of the river Achates in southwestern Sicily. Agate is an impure crystalline form of quartz defined by distinctness of grain and brightness of color.

Agates have an interesting history attached to them; they tell the story of Earth’s evolution. Creation of agate has an intriguing connection to volcanic eruptions that have been responsible to a great extent in shaping the Earth. Most of the agates have been known to have formed during ancient volcanic activities. The empty spaces or cavities formed by lava gave opportunity to silica rich water to enter to spell magic. When the silica in the solution travelled out, it formed silica crystals filling empty spaces from outside inwards. This is how agates acquired their characteristic and Nature’s most creative bands and cloudy patterns.

A logical corollary is that no two agates look alike. So much so that two stones cut from one single rock are dissimilar. Though most agates are related to volcanic rocks, some have their genesis in metamorphic rocks as well.

There will hardly be a color agate is not found in. There are black, grey, brown, yellow, pink, green, blue agates used for making jewelry, mortars, pestles, burnishers polishers and for healing purposes.

Agates are fairly resistant to weathering and remain as nodules in soil or as gravel in riversides. Though they’re found throughout the world, Brazil and Uruguay top the list of agate producing countries. Scottish agates are enviously second to none in their color and texture; they were often called “Scottish Pebbles” during nineteenth century due to their ready availability on Scottish seashores.

Agate gemstone is as mystical in its properties as it is magical in its appearance. It is the birthstone for September and also for sun sign Gemini. During ancient times, it was highly prized as talisman; it was often employed to protect against fever, divert storms and to even quench thirst. Collecting agate bowls was one fancy among European royalty during the Renaissance and many museums, including the Louvre.

Even in modern times, agates are used for rebalancing and harmonizing body, mind and spirit. It is known to dispel negativity while it cleanses and stabilizes aura. Agate belongs to Crown chakra. It heals eyes, stomach and uterus. White agate is often addressed as “the ultimate pregnancy stone” as it known to protect mother and baby, soothes labor pains, provides relief from morning sickness and ensures healthy lactation.
Knotted agate necklaces

The largest use of agate is for jewelry making. Fashionistas, pan-world, have a common desire to own at least one jewelry piece of agate. Why not when agate is surrounded by so much mystique! Knotted agate necklaces and beaded agate necklaces are very popular. Here is a word of advice for agate jewelry lovers: make sure you take care of this prized gemstone well. Agate easily gets chipped and cracked despite its hardness factor of 7.0. It is better to not wear agate jewelry while household chores. To clean it, gently wipe with a clean soft damp cloth, or with soapy water and soft brush to remove dust and grime. And yes, beware of imitation. Fake agate keep floating in the market, but be sure you either learn to tell authentic from fakes.

The splendid history and exquisiteness of agates gets its acknowledgment in museums like Montana Agate Museum Collection. Here 500 pieces of some of the best Montana Agate gathered and assembled from the last 75 years. The pieces are like handcrafted metal agate and Montana jewelry, polished specimens, sculpts, etc.,.

Agate, by all parameters, is the most gifted gemstone. Indeed other gemstones’ envy, Nature’s pride.

Some of the Museum Collection of Agates

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize

Looking fashionable can be difficult in a recession. Here are a few tricks to help you stay chic without breaking the bank.

"How does a girl stay chic when the economy is plummeting?" This is the question many young women have been asking themselves as they face a new year where "recession" is the word most used by reporters. Both men and women are trying to cut back in some way on their yearly expenses and for many ladies that means reducing the amount they spend on their wardrobe. So what is a girl to do? Imitate the women of Paris: Accessorize. While silhouettes change constantly in the fashion world and today's new print will be dated by next week, some basic accessories can always be counted on to be in fashion. So here is a list of important accessories that a girl should never be without:

1) A Silk Scarf:

Think Grace Kelly glamour. Wear it on your head, as a belt or go the traditional route and wear it around your neck. Practically every store carries them. Buy it in the latest color or print and you will instantly update your wardrobe and look fabulous to boot.

2) The Statement Necklace:

Maybe you are a grandma's pearls type of girI. Maybe you are all about chunky African inspired beads. Whatever it is that you love about this season's fashion, play it up with a piece of jewelry that reflects your style. Style Note: The Spring 2009 catwalks were featuring sizeable, and sculptural Necklaces. Check out your nearest magazine rack for some examples.

3) One Really Cute Hat:

Hats are great year round. Look to the skies to decide what you should wear. If you are basking in Baja go for something wide brimmed that will give you sun protection. If you are still suffering from the winter blues go for something urban and fuzzy that will keep you warm and hide your winter hat-hair.

4) Shoes:

In life and fashion the two items you should never scrimp on are shoes and underwear. Both are necessities and they will last longer if you buy a good pair. That being said, be practicaI. If you are on your feet all day long a pair of strappy stilettos are probably not the way to go. Check out the latest colors coming off the runway and look for a pair of shoes that will highlight your favorites while feeling great on your feet.

5) One Good Bra:

While it may be the item you show off the least, a good fitting bra will do wonders for your figure. Look for something that is snug around the ribcage and gives you plenty of room in the cups. If you are completely lost, get yourself to the nearest boutique Iingerie shop. Their fittings are usually free and they will have a wider range of sizes then most chain stores.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Curiosities: Unusual Gemstones

There is more to life than diamonds! In fact, there is an array of gemstones that offer extraordinary beauty for jewels. It might be time to let your emeralds and pearls take a back seat in the jewelry box to make room for these dazzling and none­so­typical gems.

The range of gemstones is large too large for diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and pearls to absorb all the attention. There are many more gemstones that exude great visual appeal. Some have gone in and out of fashion over the centuries. Some are simply too rare to generate considerable fanfare. This article explores some lesser known gemstones that are alternatively beautiful in their way and make for stunningly unusual jewels.

Watermelon tourmaline is one of seven varieties of tourmaline and is one of the rarest. The aptly­named watermelon variety blushes with a fruity pink center that is encased in a layer of green signifying the rind. Often icy crystal forms a layer between the pink and green too. While other tourmalines can be comprised of two or more colors, this unique coloring is quite prized by gem enthusiasts as it is completely natural -- a most unusual occurrence in nature. Scoring a 7.5 on the hardness scale, watermelon tourmaline is typically cut in a table or baguette shape that shows off the coloring most advantageously.

Citrine, the yellow or golden variety of quartz, does not often make for gem­quality stones, but when it does it is truly a dazzling vision. Gemstone quality citrine is found mainly in Brazil, Spain, and parts of Russia. Scoring 7 on the hardness scale, this golden stone is often faceted for brilliant, mixed, or pendeloque cuts and is sometimes used for cabochons and necklaces .

Carnelian is another ancient gemstone of the chalcedony group. As hot wax did not stick to the stone, the Romans employed red carnelian in their seal and signet rings to stamp their important papers or letters. Lacking the brilliance of red stones like rubies, carnelian's red is dull, but its translucent quality gives it great beauty nonetheless.Used in rings, necklaces, cameos, intaglios, and fashioned into beads.

Resembling but far more fragile than emeralds, dioptase ranges in color from intensely bright green to a remarkable (and rare) blue­green. Treasured by collectors, dioptase crystals are found in copper deposits in Chile, Russia, Zaire, and Arizona. Because the stone is fragile, it is seldom faceted, but the polished stone are also made.

Rarely faceted, apatite makes for a gorgeous jewel stone nonetheless. Sometimes found opaque or without color apatite can be seen in yellow, green, blue, and even violet examples. Blue­gray fibrous apatite is particularly beautiful, but the more brilliant varieties of green, yellow, and blue rival more popular gemstones in beauty. Found in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Russia, Spain, Mexico, Sweden, and East Africa, apatite scores a 5 on the hardness scale and its best examples sometimes display a cat's eye effect.

Tugtupite, meaning reindeer stone occurs in Greenland and parts of Russia. Its colors include shades or orange, deep red, and pink. It is not a very well stone as it was discovered by geologists in 1957, although it was well known by Inuits for centuries.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Moonstone - A Gemstone

A moonstone shows a silvery play of color when held up to the light that resembles
moonbeams moving over water. The Romans believed that an image of Diana, goddess
of the moon, was contained within this stone. They also thought that the light within
the stone was moonlight that had solidified.

The characteristic play of color in a moonstone is called schiller or adularescence, and
is caused by light interacting with the layers of albite and orthoclase feldspar within the
stone. The light is scattered in a way that produces a luster.

The typical moonstone is white, but other colors are found. The most prized are
rainbow moonstone and stones with a bluish cast. Moonstones are cut, almost
exclusively, as cabochons. Achieving the customary play of light requires careful and
skillful cutting, aligning the axes into the zenith of the stone.

Many spiritual properties are attributed to moonstone. It is thought to bring good
fortune, and to protect women and children. The most important attribute, according to
healers, is the balancing of male and female energies.

It is mined in India, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Burma, and the US. In the United
States, moonstone is the official stone for the states of Florida and New York. It is an
alternative to alexandrite or pearl as a birthstone for June.
To Moonstone necklaces visit

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis lazuli, the alternate birthstone for September, was once the source of the pigment known as ultramarine blue. It has been mined in Afghanistan for six thousand years. It is said to protect its wearer from the evil eye.
The alternative birthstone for September is lapis lazuli, which is a rock, not a mineral.Its main component is the mineral lazurite. The rock may also contain calcite, sodalite, and pyrite. Lapis was ground to make ultramarine blue tempera and oil paints used in illuminated medieval manuscripts and Renaissance panels.

Lapis lazuli has been the subject of poetry and literature. The poem "Lapis Lazuli" written by William Butler Yeats,reflects upon the role of art in a war torn world. In the ancient Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, lapis lazuli is the material of which the horns of the Bull of Heaven are formed. In Marian Moore´s poem "The Talisman", lapis appears as a carved scarab. And in the science fiction novel A Time for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein, Lapis Lazuli is the name of one of the main character´s twin cloned daughters.

Lapis lazuli has been mined in Afghanistan for over six thousand years. The ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians obtained lapis from Afghanistan and used it for necklaces, carvings, vases, mosaics and architectural features.

Some cultures regarded lapis as a holy stone. It is said to harmonize the heart and mind. Legend says that lapis lazuli protects the wearer from the evil eye.

Although the best lapis lazuli is mined in Afghanistan, it is also found in Chile, Russia, Pakistan, India, Canada and the US.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Floating Pearl Necklace Jewelry

Smooth and delicate the pearl lends an air of elegance to the wearer and have been a wardrobe staple for centuries, and a wedding attire tradition. However, one can make it somewhat more chic and stylish by giving it a slightly modern twist by interspacing on gold wire or floating on special synthetic cord giving a millennium look. Currently Floating Pearls are a very "hot" fashion statement for their trendy and stylish looks available in a variety of styles, sizes and colors to dazzle the eye.

The floating pearl necklace as the name suggests gives the illusion of pearls suspended around your neck but in reality it the pearls are held by gold or clear synthetic cord. As because pearls a floating necklace can be linked together with thread it can be easily given any style with the help of different colors and sizes of pearls by mixing and matching. Weaving can be done either with thread or with wire. There are different techniques of weaving that produces an entirely different look to the piece of jewelry created. Thus with one’s imagination and creativity floating pearls could be made in a lot of creative styles.

The original floating pearl necklaces employed the method of knotting. A knot was made after each pearl in the necklace and the advantage of this technique is, if the thread breaks, only one pearl will fall off the necklace rather than the entire string of pearls. Another method involved wrapping the acrylic thread around the pearls with the thread becoming part of the design of the jewelry. They form Illusion Pearl Necklaces that adds style and flair to any jewelry collection threaded on virtually-invisible fine acrylic strands. They are and made of 4-5 mm round natural cultured fresh water pearls either are of the same color; or pearls of different colors and sizes. They are also available in single strand or in multi-strand. One has an endless variety of designs and styles to choose from many online stores that sell exquisitely delicate illusion pearl necklaces.

Floating pearl necklaces are attractive, trendy and stylish and suitable for every occasion. They are wonderful for weddings and goes well with simple elegant outfits. Floating pearl necklaces are feminine and very flattering and can radiance to the face taking years off a woman whatever her age is. They can be an excellent birthday, wedding or anniversary gifts.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Your Pearl Jewelry: Handle with care

For centuries the pearl for its changeable beauty and inner glow has been one of the most desired and assayed after gems for the jewelry lover. Dating back in the ancient time, pearl has been thought to have possessed some magical power, symbol of wealth and also marked the social standard. Until the 1900s natural pearls were only accessible to the rich and famous but with the advent of cultured pearls that shares the same characteristics as natural pearls and are grown by oysters, pearls became available to all within an affordable price. The value of pearls are classified by origin and then graded by size, shape, thickness, color, luster, clarity and matching. Pearls are expensive when the pearl possess its natural glow and radiance, free from any physical blemishes or flaws, larger in size and the shape must be symmetrical.
Luster is the glow of the pearl and its radiance as perceived by the human eye it is remains an important indicator in evaluating cultured pearl quality, separating the inferior pearl from the superior and the ordinary from the extraordinary. Surface quality signifies the presence or absence of physical blemishes or flaws. The cost of the pearl will depend on the surface quality, the fewer the blemishes, the more expensive the pearl the more rounder and symmetrical the pearl, the more valuable it will be. The larger the pearl, the more valuable it will be. Therefore buying pearls is like an important investment because pearl lovers make no compromise with the quality of pearls. Therefore it is important to take proper care to protect the luster and beauty of your pearls, while providing many years of enjoyment.
Always remember to store pearls separately in a soft cloth pouch, linen cloth, or soft lined jewelry box from the other jewelries to prevent it from being easily scratched or damaged. Chemicals present in the personal care products, such as hairspray, makeup, and perfume, can harm the pearl's surface and reduce its luster. Therefore it is advisable to apply personal care products first before putting on pearls to keep its luster for long time. Always remember to remove pearls before exercising or doing strenuous activity because sweat contains natural acids that can harm the pearl's surface and dull the pearl's luster. Take care to wipe your pearls gently with a soft damp cloth after wear, which will help you keep the luster intact for long time. You can also wash your pearls using a mild liquid soap to help remove harmful build-ups.
Do not hang pearls to dry as this may stretch the silk thread and to prevent breakage you should have your pearls restrung periodically with silk thread and knotted between each pearl.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pearls | Most Sought-after Gems in the World

This year, pearls are a fashion statement and most of the celebrities wore it as to adorn themselves. It makes them glamorous and transformed them into fun and fashionable accessory. Do you that? Every woman dreams is to own a pearl necklace because of the simplicity of the pearl is the woman right to possess. Pearls is the birthstone of June and used as birthstone engagement rings.

There is a vast range of pearls to choose from and are categorized into the following:

Black Tahitian Pearls, Button Pearls, Coin Pearls, Cultured Pearls, Freshwater Pearls, and. Natural Pearls or South Sea Pearls.

A beautiful black Tahitian Pearl Ring is made up of 18k white gold and diamonds. Its high luster is complement by a twisting 18K white gold, diamond encrusted design. The large 13mm Tahitian pearl has a flawless surface that you will never get tired of gazing into.

History of Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian pearls are named after the island of Tahiti and known as the black pearls. It is cultured and intentionally grown by human. They are highly prized because of their tones that vary from silvery metallic to dark graphite. It can be turned their tones into myriad metallic hues - including gray, black, green, peacock, blue and aubergine.

It was shaded with tones of other colors and and their color comes from the black areas of the large oysters they grew in . Tahitian Pearls highly value because of their rarity; the culturing process for them dictates a smaller volume output and can never be mass produced. The rarity of the black cultured pearl is now a "comparative" issue and is rare when compared to Chinese freshwater cultured pearls.

Celebrity that wore Tahitian Pearl necklace

Actress Elizabeth Taylor owns one of the world’s most famous pearls, the La Peregrina pearl, which was given to her in 1969 by then-husband Richard Burton.

Kate Moss, the fashionable model is also frequently seen in pearl strands and changing into more weather-friendly fare, Moss is wearing on a super-plunging black maillot swimsuit and long strands of black pearls.

A good pearl should have the good luster, being bright, the surface should show your reflection. If it's too white or dull in appearance, it showed low quality.

When buying a Tahitian pearl ring, you should consider the following tips. Avoid pearls with blemishes and cracks. A consistent luster throughout the pearl shows good quality. Beeswax is often used by jewelers to treat pearls but may affect the luster, so ask your jeweler about it.

Tahitian pearls have become one of the most sought-after gems in the world.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Warning – don’t buy silver jewelry before reading this

There are many different names for silver jewelry on the market today. So, what are all these types of silver and what do they mean?
This article will educate you so you understand what the different terminologies are when you are buying silver jewelry or silver articles.
What is silver?
Silver is a metal which has been used for hundreds of years. Silver is mined from many countries but the biggest producers are Mexico, Peru and Australia.
Silver in its pure form, is normally considered too soft for everyday use. Therefore, other metals are added to the pure silver such as cooper.
The different types of “Silver”
Sterling silver is the main type of silver used in jewelry, ornaments & dinnerware today. This is solid silver. Sterling silver is a mixture of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% metal alloy.
Sterling silver is hallmarked as “925”.
Fine silver is 99.9% pure silver and is normally considered too soft to use for most items. It is also solid silver.
Silver plating is common and sometimes dishonest sellers try to pass this off as sterling silver. It’s also call electroplated silver or silver coated as well. Silver plated items are made using a base metal, normally brass or nickel, which is then put through an electroplating process. Electroplating is a process which adheres a very very thin layer of pure silver onto the base metal.
The result is a sterling silver looking item at a much reduced price. It may look like sterling silver but the silver plating tends to wear off quite quickly exposing the less than beautiful base metal.
Alpaca Silver or German Silver is not actually silver at all. It is a greyish looking alloy which resembles silver. It is sometimes referred to as nickel silver, paktong, and new silver. It is also used as a base for silver plated items because of its appearance. If you want real silver, stay away from this. Also, beware of sellers selling this as “fine jewelry” to consumers that don’t know the difference between sterling silver and alpaca silver.
Mexican Silver is silver is used to describe silver made in Mexico. It must have more than 90% pure silver content to be Mexican silver. Most silver jewelry from Mexico today is actually sterling silver.
Britannia Silver has a pure silver content of 95.85% and no more than 4.16% copper. This silver is marked in the U.K. and Ireland as "958 silver." It is an even more pure form of silver than sterling silver. Hence it’s higher valuer.
Antiquing of Sterling Silver JewelryAntiquing is very common in the silver industry today and is the practice of applying a finishing process to sterling silver to give the item an appearance of age. As well as giving the item an appearance of age, it also helps to produce a contrast which makes the details of intricate designs stand out better.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

About the Gold and Silver Jewelry Quality Mark

It may sound a bit of a surprise, but the jewelry is not made of pure noble metals as in their original state they don’t often have the necessary properties. For instance, gold is too soft to work with. To give them the necessary mechanical properties and a wishful color nonferrous metals are brought into. Thus, we get different alloys, for example, that of gold with silver and copper, sometimes with palladium, nickel, zinc and cadmium.It is the precious metal content that determines the mark of quality.
In the USA, Britain and Switzerland the carat system is used. According to the carat system the 1000th mark of quality of the precious metal corresponds to 24 conventional units. In most European countries the metric system of the mark defining is used. It means that it is defined by the number of parts of the precious metal in 1000 weight units of the alloy.
The quality mark of precious metals alloys is set legislatively and is guaranteed by the state. All the jewelry necessarily undergoes the assay control to ensure it. As a result the mark of assay is put. The mark is defined by its digits. It’s up to a country to choose the form and the pattern of the mark of assay.
Very widely used in jewelry are 18k gold alloys as their properties are most suitable to work with. They contain: silver - 7,0%- 15,0% , palladium - up to 14%, nickel - up to 4%, zinc up to 2,4%, nickel - 7,5% - 16,5%, zinc - 2,0% - 5,0%, copper - up to 15%.
Another popular alloy is 14k gold. The alloys of this standard can have different colors. The color is influenced by the qualitative ratio of the ferrous metals.For instance, if 14k gold alloy (58, 3% - gold) contains silver – 36% and copper 5, 7% the alloy gets a greenish color. With silver- 18,3% and copper -23,4% - the pink one. With silver 8,3% and copper 33,4% - a reddish color.
The so-called white gold is often used in the jewelry with diamonds. The 14k white gold alloy contains: silver - 23,7% - 28,7%, palladium - 13,0% - 18%, nickel - 17%, zinc - 8,7%, copper - 16%. The 18k white gold alloy contains: silver - 7,0% - 15,0% , palladium - up to 14%, nickel - up to 4%, zinc up to 2,4%, nickel - 7,5% - 16,5%, zinc - 2,0% - 5,0%, copper - up to 15%.
The gold alloy of the 958th standard (metric system) or 24k is not durable and that is why rarely used. The gold alloy of the 375th standard or 10k contains: gold - 37,5%, silver - 10,0%, copper - 48%, palladium - 3,8%. Jewelry containing less than 37.5% of gold is not considered gold jewelry.
The most widely used is the silver alloy containing 92.5% silver and 7.5% alloy. It is used for the jewelry and the cutlery. The silver and brass stuff is frequently covered with a thin layer of rhodium or silver of the 999th standard (silvering).