Sterling Silver and Brass – The Most Common Jewelry Making Metals

If you are going to be making metal jewelry your are going to use sterling silver or brass at some point. Do you know what the difference is between sterling silver and silver? Or what an alloy is? If you are going to use these jewelry making materials for any project, from making brass charms to coin pendants, you should know their characteristics.

First, lets take some time to understand what an alloy is. Both brass and sterling silver are alloys. Alloys consist of two metals in combination, such as sterling silver (silver and copper), are called binary alloys. A combination of three metals-gold, silver, and copper-forms 14-karat gold, is a ternary alloy. There are also 4 metal and 5 metal alloys called quaternary and quinary alloys.

Sterling silver is an alloy created by combining.925 parts if pure silver and.725 parts pure copper. You may sometimes hear about Mexican silver. This is an alloy that is.950 parts pure silver and the rest copper. Both types of silver are subject to oxidation when heated. In normal conditions the alloy (sterling silver) reacts much faster to oxidation than the pure metal (silver). The normal oxide that is produced on the metal when heated is a sulfide film. Other oxides that silver alloys produce are cupric and cuprous, because of the presence of copper in the alloy.

The melting point of sterling silver is 100 degrees less than pure silver at 1640 degrees Fahrenheit. When the metal hardens, it can be returned to a soft working stage by annealing.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc with the zinc being in percentages anywhere from between 10 to 40 for different degrees of hardness. Though brass is a hard metal, it is extremely malleable. Brass is a yellow color when cool and a salmon color when molten. The melting point of brass ranges from 1600 to 1849 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brass is used for primarily inexpensive jewelry and trophies, especially with the sky rocketing price of gold and silver in today’s market place.

As you use jewelery findings like brass charms, sterling silver bead, brass coin pendants and more you make want to customize them to fit your needs. As your jewelry making skills expand, so will the complexity of you jewelry designs. Even though you will be purchasing prefabricated jewelery findings, you may want to customize them to suite your needs. By understanding their properties, you can do so.

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Jewelry Care: Caring for, Cleaning, and Storing Your Precious Jewelry

Your jewelry is precious. Whether it holds monetary or sentimental value, or both, your jewelry is special. So how do you keep your jewelry looking it's best? Most people believe that a certain amount of wear and tear is to be expected. Not so. There are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your precious jewelry is in as perfect condition as the day you bought it.

When not to wear your jewelry:

One of the best ways to keep your jewelry looking good is knowing when not to wear it. Many people never take their jewelry off, for sentimental reasons. But the fact is that there are many routine activities that may damage, or even destroy, your precious jewelry. Examples of these activities include:

Gardening: Aside from getting your jewelry dirty, gardening is one of the easiest ways to chip or lose precious stones, as well as scratch gold or platinum jewelry. Remember that gold is an extremely soft metal, and platinum, while about twice as strong as gold, is still easily scratched.

Household cleaning: You should never wear your jewelry while doing household cleaning! Many common cleaning solutions contain chemicals that may damage or discolor precious gems or metals. Also, while doing housework, you are bound to rub your jewelry against abrasive materials. When it comes to gold even dust can be abrasive enough to do damage.

Swimming: The chlorine in swimming pools can do extensive damage to your jewelry. Chlorine can pit and discolor gold, as well as take the polish off of precious gems. Chlorine will also do damage to settings, causing gems to come loose, and greatly increasing the risk of losing them.

Sleeping: Yes sleeping! While sleeping you will unconsciously brush your jewelry against the sheets. The dust on your sheets, or the sheets themselves, acts as a fine abrasive, which, over time, will wear down the settings of your rings. If you must wear you ring to bed, you should turn the ring so that the gem is facing the palm of your hand. This way it is less likely to come in contact with abrasive materials.

You should also avoid extreme temperature changes. For example: If you are wearing a diamond ring in a hot tub (which you should not do in the first place) and you then decide to jump into a cold pool, your diamond may very well crack, or even shatter!

When deciding whether or not to wear your jewelry you should just use common sense. If you think that you might be doing something rough, or if you think you might come into contact with chemicals or abrasives, it's best to simply not wear your jewelry. Better safe than sorry.

Cleaning your jewelry:

Cleaning your jewelry is really pretty simple. The best way to clean your jewelry is by soaking it in warm water with a mild liquid detergent or soap. After letting your jewelry soak for three or four minutes rinse it off under …

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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Why is Birthstone Jewelry So Popular?

Birthstone jewelry is the perfect way to celebrate your birth and the birth of your loved ones, especially your children. Popular for the last two centuries, birthstone jewelry has taken off in the past 50 years in a trend started in France and western Europe and spread to the United States. Note that although birthstone jewelry have been in the scene the last few hundred years, the idea of birthstones traces its origins back to ancient times. The first birthstones were thought to have originated from a breastplate with 12 gemstones each signifying a month of the year in biblical but in fact originated from the idea of astrology signs around 500 B.C during the Greek classical period.

The modern birthstone list has remained unchanged since 1912. In chronological order, the birthstones are Garnet for January, Amethyst for February, Aquamarine for March, White Spinel for April, Emerald for May, Alexandrite for June, Ruby for July, Peridot for August, Sapphire for September, Pink Tourmaline for October, Citrine for November, and Blue Zircon for December.

The most common types of birth stone jewelry are rings and necklaces in the form of pendants and charms with a chain. The rings are made with birthstones set into the crown or on the side. The necklaces are made with birthstones attached on top of the pendants or embedded into the pendants or charms. The birth stones are either natural ones or lab created ones. Lab created ones are also known as simulated birthstones or crystals and they are the most popular version today as evidenced by the commercial success of several Austrian crystal companies. Other popular forms are bracelets, earrings, lockets and watches. All types are personalized with the respective gemstones of your loved ones and some styles and designers will allow you to personalize with names and even birth dates. The most unique retailers have styles that are handcrafted which makes each piece a one-of-a-kind item!

It is estimated that birthstone jewelry will continue to rise in popularity as it appeals to not just the younger generation but also resurgence from the baby boom population as they become grandparents, they start accumulating these personalized jewelry with their grand children’s monthly gemstone and names. Today, this form of fashion jewelry is most popular in the United States followed by Canada, and then the United Kingdom. They are also growing in popularity in Eastern Europe and developing countries. A surprising growth area has been China as the younger generation is taking on this Western tradition and mixing it with the Chinese zodiac into an unique fusion. What is exciting is that all around the world this form of jewelry has produced and evolved into so many lines.

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How Horn and Bone Jewelry Is Popular Amongst the Young Generation

Bone and horn jewelry is popular these days amongst the youngsters. Women these days prefer to wear the jewelry apart from Gold and Diamond. But do you know what the benefits of wearing the jewelry are. Please go through the below article and to know the benefits.

Jewelry has always been admired for the centuries. We all should be agreed that without ornaments our apparel is incomplete. There are many types of jewelry available in the market but you can opt according to your taste and preference. In old times people used to wear wooden, stone, iron jewelry which enhances their beauty. Jewelry that Kings and Queens were wearing during ancient times was very appealing and admired for years. But with changing times, people started feeling that these ornaments are getting outdated. These days horn and bone crafted jewelry is highly demanded and applauded in all over the world.

Horn and Bone jewelry is in the trends and people love to wear it. But still a few things are there, which says that wearing these ornaments are wrong. Some say it is illegal because somehow animals are used in this. But few people only know that animals are not killed for the horn and bone. Here we would like to add or highlight few things which everybody must know about the horn and bone jewelry. You can also consider this as advantages, benefits or facets of horn and bone crafted jewelry. And that is –

• All horn and bone jewelry being crafted from the animals that are already dead.

• Especially horn jewelry is a good way to make sure that all of the animals are respectfully used.

• Buffalo horn jewelry is best for people with metal allergies or for those who have sensitive skin.

• Horn and bone jewelry is not recommended for fresh piercings but can be used to stretching a piercing as many of the materials are porous and can harbor bacteria.

This is not the casual artificial jewelry that we wear in our day to day lives; this is extremely beautiful and adorable. Buffalo horn and Camel bone are also used for many other purposes; jewelry is just one part of it. The unique and extraordinary designs make the jewelry look marvellous. The jewelry includes camel horn beads, camel pendants, earrings, bone and horn necklaces, bone jewelry boxes, etc.

We have good news for you all that these jewelleries are easily available all over the world. In pursuance of your choice and taste you can get your customised or crafted jewelry ready. It can be of old or current designs, or can be a mix of it. The choice is yours!

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What is the Best Metal For Body Jewelry?

Two of the most common issues with body piercings are allergic reactions and infection. Correct care and cleaning of piercings are crucial, but the type of metal in the piercing jewelry you choose is also very important. The following are the top 3 best metals for body jewelry, and two choices that you should stay away from.

THE 3 BEST METALS FOR BODY JEWELRY:

#1 Implant Grade Titanium

Titanium is by far the metal of choice for body piercing jewelry, and can be safely used for initial piercings. Implant grade titanium G23 (Ti6al4v-ELI) is the type of titanium used in surgical implants, is biocompatible, resistant to body fluids and nickel free. Titanium is also stronger and lighter than steel, which gives us body piercing jewelry that is both durable, comfortable and nearly without scratches. Titanium is an expensive metal, but well worth the slightly higher price. Titanium body jewelry is beautiful, it lasts, and will look (just the same after many years of wear.

#2 Surgical Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is the most common metal for body piercing jewelry, and is just behind titanium when it comes to biocompatibility. 316L or 316LVM are the only two grades of stainless steel that are considered safe for wearing in healed piercings. Keep in mind that even the best grades of stainless steel do contain nickel and may cause problems for those who are allergic to nickel. Some countries have banned the use of stainless steel for initial piercings, and it is best to steer clear of stainless steel altogether until after your piercing is completely.

#3 Gold

Although it is beautiful, gold is not the best choice for body jewelry, especially for initial piercings or long term wear. Because gold is a softer metal and is made with metal alloys, there is a somewhat higher risk of irritation or infection. Gold jewelry is beautiful, but should only be worn in healed piercings, and with care. Replace gold body jewelry with titanium at the first sign of irritation.

NOT RECOMMENDED:

Sterling Silver: Do not purchase any body jewelry where the part that threads under your skin (barbell, banana, ring) is made of silver. Sterling silver tarnishes when it comes in contact with body fluids, can easily harbor bacterial growth, and can contain allergy-causing metals such as nickel. Body jewelry where a sterling silver “charm” that is attached to or dangles from the end of the steel or titanium bar is perfectly fine, so long as you aren’t allergic to silver jewelry. Just make sure that the part that is inside your body is made from a more biocompatible metal.

Mystery Metal: Scary. Any “costume” or “plated” body jewelry is a bad idea, and so is poor quality stainless steel. Stick with the top 3 choices above to be sure your piercing stays irritation and infection-free.

Remember that a body piercing jewelry is placed inside you, and should be treated more like a surgical implant than a piece of costume jewelry. Although it may …

Handmade Jewelry Descriptions

A problem which many of us have is finding words to describe our handmade jewelry. Designing a product is inspirational. Assembling the product is dependent on our craft skills. But writing detailed handmade jewelry descriptions has its challenges.

“Become the center of attention with this beautiful red beaded bracelet.” This sentence does not truly describe the bracelet nor will it attract a buyer. “Let your friends envy this 8″ triple strand red beaded bracelet;” this statement will not sell the product.

Ordering from an online source, brochure, or a catalog requires imagery which will help the purchaser to see and feel the article with the use of words.

Visualization Tip:

  • Place a blindfold around your eyes and have someone read one of your jewelry descriptions which you have written. Are you able to visualize the jewelry piece or will you need to remove the blindfold?
  • Have that same person read aloud a description of a jewelry piece from a catalog or a magazine. Draw a mental or physical picture of the jewelry piece. Does the jewelry piece reflect the written description?

Choose words wisely:

Select adjectives which will give accuracy to your handmade jewelry descriptions of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pendants, anklets, and other jeweled accessories which you are selling. Use words which will paint a truthful picture of the finished jewelry product.

Descriptive word choices may include:

  • Size – one size fits all or list specific sizes
  • Technique – net weaving
  • Color adjectives – Sunset pink
  • Construction materials – imported teak wood from Africa
  • Unique name – African sunset
  • A story relating to the source of inspiration
  • Inspiration – the desert oasis of the Sahara
  • Number manufactured – one of a kind or Limited edition
  • Emotional responses

Do not use too many flowery adjectives or expressions. Describing the article will help the customer to visualize the product and will help eliminate disappointment, negative advertising because of a poor description, or returning an unwanted purchase for a refund.

Consider the customers which you are targeting and use words appropriate to the gender and age of the customer. Jewelry for children would be described much differently than jewelry for an adult.

How will it benefit the customer? Will this one of a kind jewelry piece fulfill their dreams or desires for their special occasion or event?

Help the customer with emotional descriptions as well as accurate physical qualities of the handmade jewelry. Do not over romance the description.

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The Importance of Jewelry in Our Daily Lives

Jewelry is categorized under two subdivisions, contemporary and traditional, each displaying attractive and eye catching designs. Both classic groups exhibit jewelry constituting of precious gem stones, gold, silver, other metals and natural materials.

The primary objective of wearing jewelry as pieces of ornament is to look beautiful and this trend is not confined to recent times but rather from time immemorial, as jewelry has been associated with women for their personal beautification. The origin dates back to ancient times when beads and shells were used as body ornaments, while bones, wood, elephant tusk and ornamental stones were carved and etched to produce attractive artifacts.

They had widespread usage ranging from functional utility like pinning clothes or were status symbols and adorned the person from head to toe. However, nowadays the increasing demand for jewelry pieces has made craftsmen more creative and stunning items in gold, silver, platinum and gem stones have flooded the market in variety of styles and designs. The major items include necklaces, amulets, bangles, bracelets, earrings, nose ring, anklets to name a few.

Today, the jewelry designs are not merely based on the traditional metals, rather the contemporary jewelry items reveal a gamut of materials ranging from wire, tumbled stone and other lesser known elements. They create affordable and inexpensive items which are popular with masses and are used as accessories to highlight the wearer’s appearance. The manifold functions of jewelry are widely acknowledged. It is still used as a form of currency and exhibits the affluence of the owner. The lesser known usage includes buckles, clasps, brooches or pins, as well as amulets which are mostly worn to ward off evil influences, according to ancient superstition.

From the ancient periods, the trend of amassing wealth through jewelry acquisition still continues today. This is believed to stem from the fact that this pattern of stocking of jewelry is a source of future security against economical blow down or other such unforeseen eventualities. Wedding in the Asian countries still centers around jewelry gifts and exchanges between the two parties which again reinforces the phenomenon of security considerations. In some nations, it is a renowned practice for commercial trading while in other countries, jewelry, especially ornaments of gold, symbolizes group bonding and wearing a ring connotes the marital status of people.

The purity of American or European gold is specified in karats. While the American gold jewelry has at least 10K purity, the European ornaments center around 9K purity. In the Asia, Middle East and Africa, the gold jewelry of highest purity of 22K or 24K is mostly prevalent. Other precious metals such as Platinum alloy range of jewelry are of 90% and 95% purity while silver jewelry is predominantly known to be of sterling silver.

Costume jewelry primarily constitutes of items made of enamel, natural clay, stainless steel, glass and other such similar raw materials. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and belts, etc., made of bead are also very popular, especially with the younger generation. Necklaces and bracelets made of …

What Everybody Ought to Know About Jewelry Appraisals

For most of you, the thought of getting a Valuation or Appraisal on your Jewelry is NOT at the top of your list.

But it should be.

To often, clients assume that their Jewelry is either …

  • # Not Valuable enough to bother
  • # Covered by their Household insurance
  • # Safe on their Finger, so it won't get lost

All of these assumptions are WRONG and we cover some suggestions in our Insurance article (address given below) and the security pages under the Learning Section of the Online Appraisal Center.

If you are concerned about these matters and haven't had the chance to read them yet, we suggest you take a little side trip and cover the bases, soon as possible …

… Before the ring falls off the finger or the chain gets lost while swimming or the Diamond (was it a Diamond?) …

Get the Picture ..?

That's exactly What a Jewelry Appraisal Valuation Certificate is for.

Types of Jewelry Appraisal Valuations

The main type of Valuation or Appraisal we come across is the Valuation for Insurance. This is the one you would normally receive from your local Jeweler or Gemologist.

It is basically designed to cover you (through your insurance policy) against any loss or damage you may encounter.

It is designed to provide you, wherever possible, as near a REPLACEMENT OF A SIMILAR ARTICLE as possible.

It will include any taxes or duty plus the Jewelry Trade mark up.

What Are The Other Types of Valuations?

Other forms of Valuations are …

  • # Valuation for 'Private' Sale
  • # Valuation for an 'Auction' reserve
  • # Valuation for Probate
  • # Valuation for Division of an Estate (under conditions of a Will, for example)

Each of these types are simply a percentage of the 'Master Valuation' figure or Replacement for Insurance mentioned here.

The Master Valuation Appraisal

While these are covered briefly regarding their structure and use, you should remember that ALL of these valuations are just by-products of the Valuation Appraisals for Insurance, both in principle and procedures.

Therefore, with a little common sense and a child's school calculator, we can arrive at a final figure for any of the above situations.

After all – they need the SAME information to begin with.

If you had an Online Form which helped complete a Jewelry Appraisal for yourself, there would be no easier or quicker way to help in the majority of these cases, and you wouldn't even need a child's school calculator to complete it, because it would all be built into the Computer System.

Nice thought – but is it a reality?

Thankfully – Yes it is.

Jewelry Valuations For The Rest Of Us

While our advice is – and always has been – to get your Jewelry valued or appraised by your local, professional gemologist Valuer, it remains our belief that in the 'majority of cases' and taking into account the costs involved (your professional Valuer charges a reasonable fee for their skill and the work …

Christmas Stainless Steel Men's Skull Harley Biker Jewelry Ring

Purchasing jewelry for the men who ride bikes can be one of the most thoughtful, appreciated and expressive gift. Adorning oneself or gifting the one who likes jewelry to the ones in the world of biking can be a great initiative. Manly bikers who are rugged wear rings, belt buckles, watches, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. On odd occasions, they may wear cuff links, tie clips and probably a suit. It can be a birthday, Christmas or Valentine's Day biker jewelry can be the wonderful gifts for most men who love receiving jewelry as wearable gifts. It tells a tale about anyone who is a wearer and is an enhancement of the owner's personality. Here are the kinds available for every man in the biking world along with reasons you should buy them.

Buying them

Anyone can look forward to buying biker jewelry by giving in much thought into the final selection to the creation of the pieces. It lasts as it is non-consumable thus on can always afford to buy them. Most of the pieces in jewelry are quality gifts which allow for personal expression in individual tastes. A gift can be a great reminder of the occasion when it was received or the giver who gifted it. Such pieces are art pieces which have been made by craftsmen and they are available online. It can be even be crafted on the basis of any theme when desired. For instance, whenever a man gets necklace with skull type design on it, it is quite certain that will desire something more from the range. It could be a bracelet or even a skull ring.

The Rings

Those who aim at hitting the roads are the special breed that goes about roaring on two wheels with the rushing wind and miles. The biker jewelry can be worn in any travel conditions as they cannot begin to be on their next ride. One who rides hard can get the striker's rings which are a jewelry design that is fine and are often exclusively available on sites. Most of them are expertly handcrafted of stainless steel that is biker tough as well as polished to perfection that is piston-pounding. Many of the stunning rings have customized bikes sculpted on the bands with an icon of the cross against a custom-cut gleaming and genuine onyx.

The Watches

Although the technologies that exist in the modern day have made a watch the thing of the past there are many who love sporting a pocket chain or wristwatch. These are timepieces which have greater relevance than jewelry. They are both decorative and practical. Watches are decorative, solid and practical. They are also useful because when cell phones die out you have no other way but to look at the wrist watches you possess. Bands on the watches can either be found on elasticized metal, chain style or leather.

The Earrings

Earrings are worn by females and males. You shall find earrings that are predominantly masculine and every …