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Archive for March, 2009

Basic Guide To Handcrafted Jewelry

Friday, March 27th, 2009

If you are interested in making your own handcrafted jewelry, you probably have your own reasons as well. If you are excited about jewelry making, but aren’t sure how to get started, here are a few tips that may help you.

Start out with experimentation. If you are a beginner, you probably have grandiose ideas of beautiful jewelry that you’ll be making right away. It doesn’t work like that, even for those with natural creative talent. But don’t be discouraged if your first attempts are disappointing. Even if you don’t like the results you will learn from them.

Use your first several pieces to experiment with different color combinations and designs. Start pairing things together that seem natural, then pair things that seem like they wouldn’t belong together. You may be surprised with your creations.

Handcrafted jewelry should be fun, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Start out making things that you like. As you advance, start thinking about your friends and family’s taste and try to make something that they would like. This helps to get your creative wheels turning by incorporating colors and designs that you may not think of for yourself.

You may want to start out with very simple materials like basic beads, string and chains. Pretty soon though, you’ll want to challenge yourself and incorporate more advanced materials. Look at jewelry-specific retailers for various beads, pendants, etc. There is a multitude of materials available to help you create beautiful and interesting jewelry.

Pearls, crystal beads, charms, colorful glass beads, gemstone beads, cubic zirconia beads, and seashell beads are just some of the more interesting materials that are available. Don’t limit yourself to just plastic craft-store collections. Check out online retailers for a larger selection.

Keep in mind that you’ll need a good place to work on your handcrafted jewelry. A large space with good lighting and a comfortable chair are the bare necessities for this. Also, you’ll want to make sure you have a storage container with separate compartments to keep tools, beads, string, chains, wire, etc. in. When you start to get comfortable with your handcrafted jewelry, you can start to make pieces for friends and family. May be they are examining to assess your product at its true worth.

Precious Metals Jewelry

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Precious metals are ideal for creating beautiful jewelry due in part to their resistance to corrosion. Such precious metals with which you may be familiar include gold, silver, and platinum, but palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium and ruthenium are other precious metals commonly incorporated into jewelry such as diamond rings, eternity rings, promise rings and right hand rings. Precious metals can be combined to form what are known as alloys, often for the purpose of reducing cost or producing a metal sturdier than any one element alone. There are several types of the major precious metals used in the crafting of fine jewelry:

Gold: The most malleable and ductile of the precious metals, gold can be readily flattened into thin sheets and stretched into thin wire, which makes it a versatile and popular choice for jewelry creation. Gold is often alloyed with other metals for cost reduction and to increase the strength of the final product. In pure form, gold is measured in troy weight, but as an alloy with other metals its weight is measured in karats. For gold, the karat weight specifies the amount of pure gold present, with 24 karat being pure gold and smaller karat weights designating lower percentages of gold and higher proportions of other metals.

Silver: Second to gold in malleability and ductility, silver is anther precious metal popular for use in jewelry. Silver is also commonly alloyed with other metals to create jewelry, with the popular sterling silver consisting of a combination of 92.5 percent silver with a relatively small 7.5 percent of another metal, typically copper. Being a superior conductor of heat and electricity, silver has numerous applications beyond jewelry making, such as coins, dentistry tools, silverware, film and electronics.

Platinum: Rarer than silver and gold, platinum is a durable precious metal common for eternity rings, engagement rings and wedding bands due to its resilience even with constant use. Iridium, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium and osmium are other precious metals in the Platinum Group of Metals, which occur together naturally. Palladium is the metal often mixed with yellow gold to make white gold, and rodium is used extensively to plate white gold to give it that extra white brightness. The metals in the Platinum Group of Metals are resilient, tarnish resistant and stable, making them popular for use not only in jewelry but also in numerous industrial processes such as crude oil refining and automobile manufacturing.