Category: Jewelry

Silver Italian Jewelry

Castellani was inspired to pursue the ‘granulation’ technique, which was perfected by the Etruscans in the 9th to 4th centuries B.C. and made Italian jewelry of this period so unique. Castellani’s passion for excellence became close to an obsession and resulted in the revival of many ancient techniques which have become some of the greatest contributions to the history of Italian jewelry making.

Fortunato Pio was joined by his two sons, Alessandro and Augusto in the 1850’s, creating and marketing their Italian jewelry designs to local, international patrons, artists and educated tourists visiting Rome. By the 1860s, popular demand for their unique styles, prompted Alessandro Castellani to establish a workshop in Naples in addition to opening shops in London and Paris. The Italian jewelry of this family won widespread acclaim leading to international expositions in Florence, London, and Paris, ultimately becoming the design that every jeweler throughout Europe wanted to duplicate. The fame of Castellani’s designs reached America in 1876, at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, and the next year the much-praised Italian jewelry collection was on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The granulation technique used in creating Italian jewelry by the Castellani family and others are just one of many that every aspiring jeweler must learn. The incorporation of fine detailing and meticulous finishing are the foundation for the luxurious effect that is difficult to find in any other jewelry.

Beside the impact of history and tradition, the reputation of Italian jewelry is supported by its quality standards for silver and gold, which are amongst the highest in the world. The silver grade of “925” is not the only consideration taken into account. There is also an extreme amount of care given in the production of the alloy and through each step until the finished jewelry piece is completed. Whether the item is crafted by an individual jeweler or from a large jewelry company, silver Italian jewelry production is treated with passion and respect.

Men’s Jewelry

Classes of Jewelry for Men

Men like women have some basic categories of jewelry. They fall into the groups below

  • Watches
  • Rings
  • Chains
  • Ear Rings
  • Bracelets

Men’s Watches

Today a man’s watch can be a very valuable item of jewelry. Prices are astronomical down to logical.

Many men have more than one watch, and if they are to be used as jewelry, the best rule is to match the watch to the style of dress.

Expensive but still casual clothes can find the perfect accent in a fine golden watch with white gold instead of yellow.

The classic suit is best accented by a thin and serious watch, but also can benefit from the newer styles of designer watches.

What not to wear is very casual and inexpensive clothes with an expensive watch. This is overkills, and overstatement.

Rings

A man’s ring can be with or without stone.

The classic pinky ring is really out of style and a ring worn on the second or third finger is acceptable. Unless for special reasons, keep to white gold. A gaudy yellow ring is now unfashionable/

Chains

The type of chain that meant to show and wear outside the clothes must be of white gold only. Yellow gold chains are dated and will make a negative fashion statement. The thick chain should not be over 10 cm below the neck. If the chain has a pendent, and the pendent is meant to show, be sure and keep the 10 cm rule/

Ear Rings

The one ear ring for a man should be small and unobtrusive. If a man wishes an ear ring in each ear, they should be very small. Ear rings with stone are permissible but colored stones matching your eyes or clothes are better than diamonds.

Men’s Bracelets

Like the neck chain the bracelet should be substantial. A thin and very feminine style bracelet will make a negative statement. Be bold and wear a chain that is massive and strong. Stay away from yellow gold again, its very démodé.

Antique Jewelry

The jewelry has its own unique character which cannot be copied or imitated. In most cases antique jewelry is handcrafted. It has exquisite craftsmanship and a very special whimsical aura surrounding it, which sets it apart from all other jewelry, however beautiful or expensive they maybe. There is an understated classic elegance inherent in the design and styling. Though widely looked upon as being something worn by only those who are older; perceptions are gradually changing. It is now also seen as a very fashionable ornament which is quite in vogue and is worn by almost anyone, irrespective of their age group.

This kind of jewelry is not available in just any departmental store or some other normal jewelry shop, it can most often be found in niche show rooms, exclusive boutiques, and big auction houses and in antique dealer stores. These are the more reliable places from where you can acquire antique jewelry. Though there are many websites online and other shops which sell this kind of jewelry; it is best to be cautious. The reason being that in many cases the antique jewelry being sold is not actually an original . Also you could charged an exorbitant price for a piece which is not actually that expensive. Unless you have a trained eye and know the difference, it is easy to be fooled.

In many cases antique jewelry has also been handed down from one generation to another and is a part of the family heirlooms. Some antique jewelry can actually be quite expensive and a real collectors item.

Just a simple piece of antique jewelry can greatly enhance your over all appearance, add to your appeal and lend a sophisticated charm to your entire persona. Being the beautiful pieces that they are, this jewelry can easily attract attention and can become the focal point of any conversation. However not every one can carry off antique jewelry, you have to have a certain inner beauty and dignity to wear it.

One of the best things about antique jewelry is that its value only appreciates with time. In fact some of the pieces are valuable collector’s item and can fetch huge sums of money. They can in the long run, actually prove to be good investments.

Wear Jewelry Watches

Prices

Jewelry watches are understandably expensive (from $5,000 to upwards of $20,000) because it takes time to find and match precious stones for your timepiece – these stones have to perfectly fit the design, need to be of the same clarity, color, and size, and are painstakingly handcrafted by artisans onto the watch.

How to Choose?

If you’re on the lookout for jewelry watches, your best bets would be the classics from the more popular name brands such as Rolex and Omega. If you aren’t looking to spend too much on your first jewelry watch, at least look for either a vintage model, which may give the impression that you’re a collector and that you chose that particular model because you searched far and wide for it, or find a piece that is freshly out in the market.

Pre-Owned Watches

Another alternative would be to purchase a pre-owned jewelry watch that is classified as a “classic.” A few examples of these jewelry watches are: models from the Christian Dior Mother-of-Pearl series or the Raymond Weil Parsifal for ladies, and the Breguet Classique for men. The Piaget Citea for ladies is also a good choice. It evokes understated elegance with its round yellow gold case, gold strap, and a simple yet stunning diamond-studded bezel.

White Gold

White gold is also an attractive alternative, such as the models in the Patek Philippe Twenty-4 Series. Its hands are set with a luminous coating to enable the owner to read the time in the dark. It is diamond-studded at the sides and a single-faceted diamond, approximately 0.05 carats, is set on the crown for a low-key but stylish effect.

A rose gold version of this model comes in a new dial color – Chocolate Dream – a warm and classy brown dial that enhances the case’s soft tone. The dials of both the rose gold and white gold editions are also set with diamonds that mark the hours, while gold roman numerals at 6 and 12 o’clock complete the look. The cases have a magnificent curved profile set onto hefty, solid bracelets whose clasps are decorated with the trademark Calatrava cross.

This attractive jewelry watch can set you back about $15,000 to $18,000, which is perhaps a good figure to start with when looking for a serious jewelry watch. However, the jewelry watch you choose doesn’t have to be ostentatious to be impressive. Choose a style that you’ll feel comfortable with. For jewelry watches, more may not necessarily be better.

Costume Jewelry

Costume Jewelry came into being in the 1930s as a cheap disposable jewelry meant to be worn with a specific outfit, but not meant to be handed down through generations. It was intended to be fashionable for a short period of time, out date itself, and then be repurchased to fit with a new outfit purchase, or with a new fashion style. It became available in large quantities during the 30s.

Cheap jewelry also existed prior to the 1930s. Paste or glass jewelry as far back as the 1700s. The rich had their fine jewelry duplicated for a variety of reasons, using paste or glass stones. By the mid 1800s with the growth of the middle class there were now different levels of jewelry being manufactured using fine, semi-precious and base materials. Fine jewelry of gold, diamonds, fine gems such as emeralds and saphires continued to be made. Jewelry from rolled gold, which is a thin layer of gold attached to a base metal, entered the market for the middle class. This jewelry was often set with semi-precious gems such as amethyst, coral or pearls, and was much more affordable. And then there was jewelry that most anyone could afford, consisting of glass stones and base metals made to look like gold. All three types were intended to be passed down to future generations.

There are usually clues that can help one identify what era a piece of jewelry is from. Style, material, the type of piece. For example dress clips came in in the 1930s and were out of style by the 1950s. Jewelry reflects styles, designs, colors and stones of the era. For example from 1910 to 1930 silver was the favorite color for metal, so jewelry was found in platinum, white gold, silver or a base metal colored to look like silver. By World War II, gold was popular again but in short supply, since it was vital to the war effort. What gold was available was made into very thin sheets and usually bonded to silver (called vermeil) before being turned into jewelry. By the 1930s rhinestones popularity was ever increasing in Europe. It was not available to the Americans until the 1940s. As a result, many of the pieces from this period tend to feature lots of metal and a single stone or a small cluster of tiny rhinestones.

Today is certainly not much different from past times. We still have fine jewelry, semi precious jewelry, and of course costume jewelry available to us. Costume jewelry can add the finishing touch and show your fashion sense. Costume Jewelry styles of past years are now becoming very fashionable and many are being reproduced. Even with costume jewelry there is a difference in quality. Many of the new pieces do not have the vibrance in the stones or the weight of the older pieces.

Sterling Silver

Silver jewelry has been a staple in the lives of mankind since humans discovered the versatility of silver and the many uses it has. Silver has been used for functional and aesthetic purposes. In times of old, silver was used to create flatware and armor to protect soldiers on their way into battle. Silver jewelry was later created and used by Phoenician and Egyptian citizens desiring attractive and convenient pieces to add to their jewelry collections. Over time silver has been used to create flatware, decorative art, coins, dental fillings, jewelry and more.

Silver is produced in many different areas, though the highest concentrations of silver output come from Mexico and Peru.

One of the reasons sterling silver jewelry is so popular is its affordability and versatility. Sterling silver can be crafted into many different jewelry items including charms, rings and chains. Silver jewelry is often mistaken for other more precious metals including white gold and platinum.

Common Types of Silver

There are many different types of silver that can be used to create sterling silver jewelry. Silver is considered one of the precious metals along with its cousins gold, platinum and titanium.

Fine Silver – this is silver in its most natural state, when it is considered 99% pure. Often this type of silver is too soft to create ordinary products and is almost liquid in form. Usually silver has to be mixed with other metal alloys in order to create jewelry and household wear.

Sterling Silver – sterling is a mixture of fine silver and other metal alloys. The silver is considered about 92.5% pure. Sterling is usually combined with approximately 7.5% copper to make the jewelry more long lasting and durable. Sterling silver jewelry is usually marked on the inside with a “925”, indicative of its purity. Sterling silver jewelry made of just the right combination of silver and metal allows a jeweler to create a long lasting, durable piece that is shiny and brilliant enough to be mistaken for more expensive precious metals. Sterling silver is more likely to tarnish over time because of the presence of copper; however this relatively mild side effect can be minimized through proper care. By consistently cleaning your silver jewelry you’ll never even notice anything other than a beautiful shine and luster.

Silver Plating – plating occurs when a base metal such as nickel is covered with a layer of pure silver. This is often one of the most durable forms of silver, and is usually much less expensive than sterling silver because the percentage of pure silver in the jewelry is quite low. Most base metals need a re-coat of pure silver every few years to maintain a shiny outer coat and to prevent the base metal from peaking through the coating.

Nickel Silver – nickel silver is a combination of nickel, copper and zinc that is not actually silver, but resembles silver. It is an inexpensive and popular item that can be used to create look-alike jewelry.

Vermeil – this form of silver was popular in the eighteenth century. Silver is plated in gold, providing a polished and expensive looking custom piece of jewelry.

Caring for Silver Jewelry

Sterling silver jewelry does have a tendency to scratch more often than other metals, and may tarnish over time. Proper care can ensure however that the jewelry remains shiny and well kept. The following tips will ensure that your sterling silver lasts a long time and maintains its luster and original appearance:

  • Sterling silver jewelry should be stored in a cool dry place to reduce environmental damage.
  • Consider keeping each piece in an individual cloth pouch to prevent scratching.
  • Use a jewelry cleaner or polishing solution at least once a month to clean the surface of silver jewelry to help maintain its luster.
  • Use a soft cloth to clean silver; never use a toothbrush or other abrasive material that might result in scratching.
  • Clean silver at the first signs of tarnishing, when a yellowish tint appears on the jewelry. If you wait until the silver has turned black, you’ll have to scrub harder and may damage the shine on the jewelry.
  • Consider using chemical dipping agents which clean jewelry without scrubbing.
  • Avoid cleaners that contain ammonia which can also turn silver jewelry black, consider soapy water instead.

Sterling silver is a popular item in part because it is more reflective than many precious metals. Proper care will ensure that silver jewelry remains beautiful for years to come. If you have other items in the house made of silver, such as silver wear or other household items, always use a cleaner or dip specifically designed to clean silver metal. Never put these items in a dishwasher, because you will scratch the surface and cause irreparable damage.

Purchasing Silver

When buying silver jewelry, you should be prepared to take your time to select quality pieces, just as you would if selecting a more expensive jewelry item. Young consumers are often attracted to sterling silver jewelry because it is so affordable and beautiful. Sterling silver also comes in many contemporary and modern designs which are appealing to young consumers.

So what should you look for when shopping? First and foremost always check the interior for the 925 mark, to ensure that you are purchasing premium sterling silver rather than sterling silver plating. Keep in mind that the more pure the silver, the more soft and likely that a piece will scratch, so don’t go for anything more pure than sterling silver.

If you are looking to buy many different pieces, you might consider buying wholesale silver jewelry online. By doing so you’ll be able to buy in bulk, and acquire large amounts of silver jewelry at inexpensive prices. Many jewelers and home business owners get into the habit of buying wholesale silver jewelry online because they can re-sell the merchandise at a higher price. There are hundreds of pieces to choose from, and you might even find a collection with a certain theme that appeals to you or the people you might be selling to.

Gothic-style Jewelry

There is nothing wrong with feeling depressed. We all do sometimes. Yet, I’m not a doctor to give you a medical advise – so use it at your own risk. As far as I know – depression often happens to those who has nothing to do. People who has no hobby, no regular work to occupy their mind, no entertainment, no spouse. There is only one way to get rid of depression I know (without using high-price pills). It is through the long path of finding yourself and your hobby.

Searching for yourself and your hobby – you can try gothic thing. It might be interesting for you some time, and there are good chances you’ll find something more interesting. At least you are doing new things, which can lead you to new ways of looking at world. At least I always enjoyed new paths in life – it always leads to new decisions.

Shall we see in deep dark history of topic. When the dragons were eating beautiful virgin princesses and knight were drinking beer on ballrooms of castles, sometimes fighting for a hand of a beautiful ladies and hanginging witches. Kidding. Anyway, it Dark Ages it was. Dark.. I mean reallly really dark. That is what gothic is about – black, dark, nothing white and nothing positive in nature.

Gothic jewelry is always mystical and hard to understand. You can find amulets with dark dragons and pendants symbolising spider-webs, gettin you in the mood of ages with rooms of castles, never visited since the beginning of times. If you heart is something like that (forgotten and lonesome, like nobody touched it from the begginning of ages, because they just don’t understand you? All right! Get a pendant with web on your heart – show everybody to get their attention to you until your heart is full of webs.

Probably it will not be good to to buy anything shaped with devils themes, gargoyles and pentagrams. Better think ahead – who knows what is there on the other side of life – so you might want to get a little insurance right now to protect your immortal soul later. But! It’s your life – want it – get it. It’s everywhere nowadays – you shouldn’t have problems buying gothic things – all around the Internet.

Gothic jewelery is sometimes inscribed with letters in unknown forgotten language, which strengthens the scare. Gothic is always scary (or at least a bit frightening), so don’t be surprised to draw a lot of attention from people who see you dressed gothic and with gothic make up (which is simply all black or with a little purple). To add to your image – get some spiky things. Earrings, rings, pendants, bracelets. Jewelery of Gothic must have spikes and curves – it’s just a base of it.

Antique Diamond Rings

An antique diamond engagement ring is the perfect way to celebrate your love. Genuine antique jewelry is sourced in many ways, from estates and antique stores, and there are many high quality jewellers who specialise in antique sales. An antique diamond ring captures a sense of longevity and offers a sense of hidden history to the celebration of a burgeoning relationship that implies the continuation of love and life. The giving of an antique diamond engagement ring can fill a time of hope with a sense of completion, the feeling that as one love affair has ended, another one begins.

Antique diamond rings offer a sense of real individuality. Unlike much of the mass marketed jewelry that is available today, an antique piece is truly one of a kind. This also means, however, an antique ring comes as it is seen – unlike many modern rings that are made to order, you cannot tweak the design of a genuine antique diamond ring, or purchase it in a different color. Many designers, however, can produce a replica item, which can be altered – this provides the antique look in a brand new ring. For many people, this combines the best of both worlds.

Many people find themselves with a piece of antique jewelry that carries immense sentimental value in a form they will never wear. If this is the case for you, why not consider having the stone from that old necklace recast into something else? A precious stone can be passed through the generations in many different forms. Bestow a brand new piece of jewelry the sense of history on an antique by keeping an old stone alive – make your own antique diamond ring, and keep the past alive in a modern form.

Charm Bracelets

As time passed, charms lost their protective spiritual functions and became fashion jewelry. The 1890’s saw a renaissance of charms, especially in Victorian England, where elaborate and intricate jewelry was in vogue. Queen Victoria helped popularize the trend by wearing a charm bracelet of small lockets holding family portraits.

WW II caused another revival of charm bracelets in America in the 1940’s and 1950’s, as soldiers stationed abroad picked up charms as souvenirs in the European cities they visited and brought them home for wives and girlfriends. The fashion trend continued well into peacetime.

Charms still remain a popular jewelry item, as personalized keepsakes in an increasingly mass-produced jewelry market. Popular themes include horoscope signs, birthstone charms, travel souvenirs, and family keepsakes. Many women start collecting charms when they are children, and the charm bracelet grows along with them, reflecting hobbies and personal experience. A charm bracelet can hold a small replica of a graduation cap, wedding bells, or lockets with children’s photos.

Charms are also a popular gift because of their affordable price. An intricate silver charm can be obtained for less than ten dollars, though it is possible to spend hundreds of dollars on a charm made of 18K and set with gems.

Italian charms, a genre in and of themselves, do not dangle from a chain like traditional charms. Instead, they are soldered onto flat links which snap onto an extensible bracelet. They are embellished with letters, symbols, pictures or stones, or have enamel pictures painted on them. Charms can be snapped on and off these modular bracelets to create new configurations to match different moods and outfits. They are traditionally made of stainless steel or 18k gold. Italian charms are of the same standard size and the resulting bracelet can be customized to fit every wrist; a small size holds 17 or less links, a medium 18, and a large 19 or more.

There are different companies which produce Italian charms, but all brands can be interchanged on the same bracelet. The basic “starter” bracelet of blank links costs approximately five dollars, and the charms cost fifteen dollars and up. China also manufactures Italian charms, and while these are popular (and, as with most Chinese goods, very competitively priced), some consumers report occasional oddities such as reversed images and poor fit.

Bead Jewelry Designs

Seashells can also be used to create beads, buttons, and many other attractive pieces. It is only limited by your imagination. When deciding to make bead jewelry designs, you might want to start by using beads found at a local craft store. The first thing you should think about is the design, size and scope of your project. Her in mind while there are many paths to follow, a craft store does not specialize in items to make bead jewelry designs, so after making so many pieces of jewelry, you mages run out of alternatives because you’re limited to what they have in inventory.

So there’s a better way to go: the Internet. On the World Wide Web you can find many great websites that specialize in offering materials for bead jewelry designs. You will even find some wonderful information about the various beads that you may use. I’ll bet that one should go online you will only buy your materials from there, so it is important to make sure you are doing business with the best possible company for you. If you become a preferred customer you may just be able to save some money as well.

Because many other people buy bead products on the Internet, you can’t easily find reviews from like-minded people to help new make your selections and give you ideas for bead jewelry designs. You can find many different pieces of information from reading consumer reviews. Not only will it open your eyes to companies you didn’t even know existed, but it will give you the opportunity to learn from other people’s mistakes when it comes to fly by night websites that won’t come through on promises that they may offer. There are some disreputable companies on the Internet and it would be a real shame if you spent your money repeated jewelry designs only to realize that you’ve been taken.

When all is said and done, by surfing the Web and doing a little bit of homework by finding the websites that suit your needs the most, you can make bead jewelry designs and sell them right back on the Internet, creating a profit from something you actually love doing! There’s nothing better than working for yourself. It can be very profitable and also give you great self-satisfaction. And if making money is not a motivation then your bead jewelry designs will be greatly appreciated when it gets close to friends and loved ones’ birthdays or other special occasions.