Recycled Fine Silver – Is Your Jewelry Green?

The green movement is good. People are finally making an effort to live their lives in a cleaner, better way. From the smallest things like changing over to compact fluorescent bulbs to chucking the gas guzzler in favor of a hybrid, people are doing their part. And businesses are starting to jump on the wagon. Our world will be a better place for everyone because of this movement.

Of course, jewelry has always done its part to add a little beauty to our everyday lives. But it isn't often that a jewelry making material can actually make a difference in our world. There is an exciting new way to make fine silver jewelry. Pure – as good as it gets. And it is environmentally friendly.

Photographic film is manufactured with silver compounds. During photo processing, a substantial amount is recovered for recycling. Some of it is made into a new material called metal clay. There are two brands available – Art Clay and Precious Metal Clay or PMC, made by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation. A 22K gold clay is also available.

Finely powdered pure silver particles recovered from the photo developing process are mixed into a binder, forming a clay like material. This "clay" is quite heavy, and feels cool in the hand, similar to metal. It can be worked like any clay; it can be sculpted or used to build hollow forms; After it dries, it can be filed, cut or drilled before firing. It is truly an art jewelry designers dream material.

Once a piece is made from the clay and air dried, it is fired in a kiln – a furnace that reaches well over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. The binder holding the metal particles burns, and the particles pull together in a process called sintering. The particles fuse, and when the object cools it is solid metal.

After it is cooled, jewelry made with PMC can be set with gemstones, it can be joined with other parts by soldering, it can be enameled – anything that can be done to any other precious metal object can be done with metal clay jewelry.

Jewelry artisans have embraced PMC as a wonderful new medium that allows individual expression. PMC pieces have been winning awards and competitions. The designs are as varied as the artists that create them. One day, you'll see a piece and say "That is gorgeous …" and find it was made from PMC. Its a great way to use all that recycled silver – it makes our world a cleaner and more beautiful place to live.

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Fighting the Green Monster In Your Jewelry Box: Caring For Your Costume Jewelry

Do you remember the morning you picked out your favorite fashion jewelry accessories and you noticed that it looked dingy and discolored? Yeah, me too. For lovers of costume jewelry, this is sadly a very common occurrence and until you learn how to properly care for costume jewelry, you'll continue to lose your beautiful fashion accessories to the green monster that lives in your jewelry box. So here are a few things you should keep in mind when caring for your favorite costume jewelry.

First things first, keep costume jewelry as far away from moisture as possible. In case you haven't noticed, warmth and moisture ruin almost everything. So if you have plans to use your fashion jewelry for a long period of time, you have to make sure that they stay dry at all times. Whenever you have to carry out any activities that may involve water like dishwashing, laundry or even swimming it's best you do these activities without wearing your jewelry. If they come in contact with water by any chance, make sure you dry them immediately.

Do not wear them every day. Sometimes, just like all of us, your costume jewelry needs a break from time to time. Wearing them every day would only result in their early demise. So if you want those necklaces and earrings to have a place in your jewelry box for a long time, you may want to alternate pieces every now and then. If not, consider stocking up on a few of the same style and alternating them from time to time. The good thing about costume jewelry is that it's affordable and having a small stockpile will keep you in fashion without breaking the bank.

If you absolutely don't have to wear them, don't. Now that we've established that costume jewelry shouldn't be worn every day, we should also note that they don't have to be worn all day either. Just because today is tassel necklace day doesn't mean you can't periodically remove your jewelry through the day. All that water and acid in your sweat is strong enough to tarnish or even break fashion jewelry. Think about it, do you really need to have them on when you're catching up on your favorite Netflix series? I didn't think so. So at that time of the day you're not trying to turn heads and take breaths away, it is absolutely okay to take them off. Most importantly, never sleep with your costume jewelry on. Trust me; the chances of meeting your soul mate in your dreams are slim to none.

Always clean them. I mean, you didn't have to hear this from me. If you're looking to use your costume jewelry for the longest possible time, then you should be cleaning them after each use. Although this may seem stressful at first, it pays off in the long run. All the oil, perfume, lotion or dirt that may have been transferred from your skin to your jewelry will eventually …