How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Jewelry

There are several important things to consider when deciding on the perfect wedding jewelry. You want the cut to complement your wedding dress, so it should be selected first. Once you have the perfect wedding dress, then it is time for accessories.

The color of your dress will play a role in the jewelry you choose. Gold jewelry can often clash with bright white dresses, so it’s best to stick with pearl or platinum jewelry. The diamond white dress is barely white. Gold can go with it, but so can silver, rose gold, or pearls. This is perhaps the most versatile color. Ivory dresses can appear to have an almost yellow undertone, so wearing pearl white can make them look gloomy or dirty. Ivory dresses look best with gold jewelry.

The next thing to note is the neck cut. A lover’s neckline or strapless dress can look great with or without a necklace. If you prefer not to wear a necklace, replace it with a pair of fabulous chandelier earrings. You can use clear crystal for a sleek, modern look or make it a little more fun by adding a splash of color. Much of this will depend on your personality and the overall style of your wedding.

The V-neck dress asks for a necklace. You can choose a pendant or a choker, depending on whether you want a simple classic look or something more elegant. Make sure the earrings don’t go over the necklace. A halter or reverse halter dress doesn’t really require a necklace, but it sure does some stunning earrings. This dress style looks great with a dramatic updo hairstyle, so the earrings will look full. You can also complete your hairstyle with some decorative pins and hair jewelry. Make sure it doesn’t clash with the earrings. Even incorporating a matching bracelet into the look is eye-catching.

Remember that whatever jewelry you choose, don’t overdo it. It’s tempting to decorate yourself as much as possible, but you don’t want your jewelry to shine or overpower you! Your wedding accessories should complement your outfit and style, but they are only accessories, not the main event!

Your wedding jewelery should reflect who you are and your personality. If you are not the type of girl who is big and likes earrings, then go for simple studs. It’s your day, so you have to wear what makes you happy, whether it’s according to the “rules” or not. If you’re going to spend money on jewelry for your wedding, you don’t want to only wear it once. Make sure that it is something you can pull off for special occasions again and again.

Jewelry Boxes For Storing and Protecting Jewelry

Jewelry belongs to the small category of things that are very small and very valuable. Unfortunately this means that they are easily lost and easily damaged. The fact is, most jewelry is too expensive to risk being lost or damaged, so proper storage and jewelry boxes are necessary.

There are many different options for storage boxes that go beyond traditional jewelry boxes. There is a jewelry cabinet, wall mounts, boxes, trays, hanging hangers, and drawers. All of these storage options are designed for convenience, organization and protection.

Jewelery cabinets and chests are exactly what they sound like. These boxes are like mini furniture specially designed for storing jewelry. Both come with multiple drawers to organize different styles of jewelry.

Hanging organizers and wall mounts are two other great options for storage and organization. Unlike traditional jewelry boxes, these displays allow all jewelry to be viewed at once in a vertical view. This type of storage option is usually best suited for necklaces and bracelets.

Jewelery drawers and trays fit in existing boxes and drawers. The main purpose of this tray is organization. Most are lined for protection and come with compartments of various sizes. The type of storage option you choose for your personal jewelry collection depends largely on the size and value of the collection.

For large collections, with lots of very valuable jewelry, it’s a good idea to invest in a wardrobe or jewelry chest with locking features. Smaller and less valuable jewelry collections can be stored in any way the owner wishes. Organization and protection are really two things to look for when choosing a jewelry storage box. Many of these boxes can be found at discounted prices on online jewelry box wholesale sites.

The Advantages of Creating Your Own Jewelry

Most women love wearing extravagant and unique jewelry to express their selves in a fashionable way. Jewelry has the ability to take a plain outfit and transform it into chic apparel. Due to seasonal changes, most stores have jewelry on the shelves that they believe are in season. The finery might be only a select few of colors or any other fashion attributes. A lot of the times women want elegant and unique jewelry pieces but the cost might be out of their price range. Having said all this, creating your own jewelry can be beneficial in many ways.

For one it can be an advantage because a lot of women want affordable jewelry that’s fancy and different. Creating personalized jewelry for customers is very convenient for them. For instance a customer might have bought a new outfit that she’s wearing to a major function but can’t find any jewelry that she thinks will compliment it. That’s where designed jewelry just for her particular interests comes in handy. It’s beneficial because the personalized jewelry made for that particular customer will be unique and no one will wear any piece like it. The customer is left a happy person and got original jewelry made for her special event just in time.

Customers are willing to spend money on something that is custom made and suitable for them. Another benefit is having the chance to host your own jewelry party. Jewelry parties are a nice opportunity for consumers to browse the jewelry pieces created by you and potentially buy some fashionable jewelry. Sense it’s a jewelry party it sets the atmosphere for customers to mingle in a warm and welcoming environment especially if you’re having a jewelry party in your own house. People get to eat, socialize and possibly win door prizes. Plus, jewelry parties are an advantage because usually when you have your own jewelry parties you typically don’t have to worry about competition because customers are going just to pursue your own jewelry creations. Creating your own jewelry can be beneficial as far as it being a business gain. Customers that either bought your jewelry or seen pictures of the jewelry pieces on a social networking site such as Facebook might be so fond it that they use Word-of Mouth and tell their friends and family members about your jewelry designs.

Because of this you gain a large client base and turn it into a successful business venture and not just a paying hobby. You’ll become a popular person in that field and a resourceful person that people love to buy their jewelry from rather than high priced jewelry from stores. It’s a great deal because most people don’t even want to spend a lot of money on something that can be easily created from you and look just as gorgeous if not better. Some people just like simple elegance to accessorize on what their wearing. Never the less, people don’t like spending money on jewelry that they might get negative results from such as the jewelry turning green or getting a rash from certain jewelry pieces. Making jewelry that is user friendly yet still extravagant is catering to women who love to wear jewelry. Simple beads, rhinestones, charms, or broaches won’t do any harm. Designing and making your own jewelry is a fun and crafty way to express yourself. It’s intriguing to know you can make the most beautiful jewelry just as you see in stores. All you need is the imagination and you can rock your own jewelry and share your creations for other jewelry lovers.

Celebrating Native American Jewelry

While Native American jewelry is ancient in origin, it is more popular than ever, appealing to jewelry fans worldwide, and appearing at the top of trend lists annually. With Thanksgiving a few weeks away, let’s explore the history of Native American jewelry. You’ll also learn what to know about Native American jewelry before you buy.

Origins of Native American jewelry

Native Americans in the Southwestern and Western U.S. United States started creating incredible jewelry from everyday things they found naturally. Items such as wood, bones, stones, rocks, and shells became beautiful pieces of jewelry. Today, these pieces are some of the most breathtaking and desired works of art in the world.

According to the article “Native American Jewelry” on, the first Native America jewelry was created around the 1850s. By 1868, the Navajos were less mobile, so they began sharing their skills more with each other. A Navajo blacksmith by the name of Atsidi Sani is credited with furthering the art of this jewelry making. He used metals such as brass and copper to make bracelets, necklaces, coins and other items. Sani also taught others Navajos his techniques. Around 1880, the Navajo began incorporating silver and turquoise into their jewelry making.

The timeless appeal of turquoise

One of the most common stones used in Native American jewelry is turquoise. It is most often set in silver and worn in necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, and rings. The use of turquoise has been around the Southwest since prehistoric times, and the use of turquoise in jewelry is a thousand-year old tradition. The Anasazi used turquoise and shell to make beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings as well as to decorate effigies. Using turquoise in Southwestern jewelry is still popular today, not only by people that live in the Southwest, but by people worldwide.

The advent of machine-made jewelry

The article “Native American Jewelry” on, explained that the Fred Harvey Company started supplying jewlery making materisl, such as sheet metal and polished turquoise around the year 1900. Soon after, Harvey and company began making Native American-inspired machine made jewelry.

Most of the pieces were made and sold to tourists and outsiders, and common jewlry designs included thunderbirds, lightning bolts, and bows and arrows. As the popularity of machine-made pieces grew, the silversmiths began to copy the machine made jewelry, creating Native American-style necklaces, bracelets, and rings that were cheaper, but of a lower quality than authentic, hand-made pieces.

After 1900, the tools and technology used to create jewelry improved. As a result of mechanical evolution, the sale of genuine, hand-made jewelry began to suffer, but it is also why today, authentic hand-made jewelry pieces can be worth many thousands of dollars.

What to know about buying this jewelry

Interested in buying an authentic piece of Native American jewelry? Collecting this jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings, is a fun and interesting hobby, but here are some things to know to help ensure you buy authentic product without paying too much.

According to the article, “Native American Jewelry Part 2: Starting Your Collection” on, you’ll want proof that the piece you’re interested in is authentic, and that it was made by a Native American Indian. In many states, such as New Mexico, it is illegal to sell jewelry labeled “Indian made” that is not actually made by Native Americans.

Most modern silver jewelry that is made by a Native American will be marked or signed. Ask the jewelry dealer for proof of authenticity on the piece of jewelry you like before you buy. If the dealer can’t give you the certificate, it probably isn’t authentic.

When it comes to turquoise, know the difference between treated and untreated turquoise. Treated turquoise has been coated or dyed for strength and/or color. Some people think that treated turquoise is of lesser quality than untreated. However, treated turquoise stones are generally stronger than those not treated. If you’re a purist, know that untreated turquoise tends to be porous and have imperfections.

From an investment point of view, look for pieces made between 1870 and 1940. These pieces generally increase in value, and some easily sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, taste in jewelry is subjective, so the best advice is to buy what you love and will wear. This jewelry is more than beautiful-it often carries with it a rich history and culture. And because of its beauty, it is an easy way to dress up any outfit.

Where to find this jewelry

The Internet is a great place to start, but be sure to do some research. Websites that provide a lot of well written, detailed information, including vintage dates, the maker and origin, prices, dimensions, and multiple images are usually a good sign.

Typing “Native American jewelry” will bring up many websites, but if you’re interested in old Indian jewelry, search under “old pawn jewelry,” and look for Native American pieces.

If you’re looking for authentic pieces, be aware that pieces called “Indian style” or “southwestern style” are usually non-Native American Indian made. If you’re more concerned with the look of a piece than its authenticity, it’s fine to buy “old style” pieces, but make sure you don’t pay authentic vintage pieces prices.

If you live in an area with jewelry stores and pawn shops, take some time to visit them, but call ahead first to save time. If you’re willing to travel, the Southwestern U.S., such as Santa Fe, N.M., has many stores carrying Native American jewelry. Look for shops that belong to organizations such as the Antique Tribal Art Dealer Association (ATADA), and ask about any shop or website’s authenticity certificates and return policies.

When you bring in a piece of jewelry or other item to Empire, that property is appraised by a professional jeweler. If you choose to take a loan out or “pawn it” instead of sell it, the item becomes collateral against the loan, and you receive cash against that collateral.

The Best Way to Clean and Polish Your Jewelry

The most effective way to clean your jewelry is to bring it to your local jeweler. That may not always be possible. It always seems that on a Saturday night, before going to dinner or while getting dressed for a wedding, you realize that your jewelry is lacking a bit of its glisten and luster.

Jewelry Maintenance Schedule
Since most people keep their jewelry in a central location, such as a jewelry box or safe, it is easy to keep a basic checklist along with it. It is commonplace for one to let time pass before noticing one day when examining their jewelry that a diamond is missing from their ring or bracelet. Keeping a simple checklist in your jewelry box can act as a reminder. All fine jewelry that is worn regularly and is mounted with gemstones should be brought to a jeweler to be inspected for wear on prongs and closures on a routine basis. Over time, frequently worn jewelry often comes in contact with coarse surfaces during everyday wear, making it prone to erosion and metal fatigue.

Jewelry Erosion
“Erosion” takes place when gold or a precious metal rubs against itself or other surfaces. As precious metals rub against counter tops, stone, or mineral surfaces the soft precious metal slowly erodes. Your jeweler can advise you of needed repair before an item becomes broken and is lost. This recommended preventive measure can prolong the life of your precious jewelry.

Jewelry Metal Fatigue
“Metal fatigue” takes place when metal is stressed by constant knocking or bending. The easiest way to understand this is to envision a coat hanger being bent back and forth several times until it breaks. The impact of hitting a ring or bracelet on a doorknob or the constant depression of a spring clasp on your jewelry latches slowly contributes to its “metal fatigue”.

Professional Jewelry Maintenance
We recommend that everyday items such as engagement rings and tennis bracelets be viewed by a professional jeweler every 6 months, and annually for jewelry that is worn less frequently. A trained jewelry professional will inspect prongs and clasps for wear and tear. The jeweler will detect loose stones and arrange to tighten your prongs and repair or replace worn areas.

Professional Jewelry Cleaning
Most jewelers will clean and polish your jewelry while you wait and the more advanced jewelers will be able to machine polish your jewelry with several stages of compounds to restore its original luster. They may also be able to restore a rhodium finish on your white gold. The more highly qualified jewelers will also be able to steam clean and ultrasonically clean your jewelry. Your jewelry professional should understand the nature of delicate materials, gemstones, and patinas in order to avoid damaging your precious items while working on them.

Home Jewelry Cleaning
In order to properly clean your jewelry at home you should first have an understanding of what your jewelry is made of.

Jewelry Cleaning No No’s
Many materials should not be cleaned at home. Below are a few examples of jewelry that should be handled cautiously.

  1. Organic stones or materials such as pearl, ivory, bone, coral, wood, leather, cord, or string should not be exposed to harsh detergents or soaked in liquids or ultrasonically cleaned. These commonly used jewelry materials may absorb the fluids and be damaged or stained permanently.
  2. Antique or rare artist jewelry should not be tampered with at home. Polishing and cleaning can destroy the patina and integrity of some rare jewelry.
  3. Coins should never be polished and cleaned by a non-professional.
  4. Some gemstones are treated with or have natural oils that can be disturbed by detergents. Some stones are porous and can absorb detergents or moisture. Here are a few gems that caution should be used with: Emerald, Opal, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, and all of the organic stones and materials listed above.
  5. Chemical exposure can lead to disaster. Soaking jewelry in chlorine-based cleaners can completely dissolve a piece of jewelry, leaving behind only the stones. Likewise, constant exposure to pool chlorine can decay the solders used to make jewelry. A small bead of mercury from a broken thermometer can attract to gold and contaminate all other jewelry that it comes in contact with, turning the gold white. This has been known to render entire jewelry boxes of valuable jewelry useless. As a rule, any corrosive product in household use containing acids, lye, or chemicals that you yourself should not be exposed to is probably not good for your jewelry.
  6. Polishing plated metals with abrasive compounds can wear through the plating. The micron plating solution used on many pieces of costume jewelry is thin and abrasive compounds can wear through to the underlying metals. Once the base metals are exposed, they may vary in color or tarnish with time.
  7. Caution should be taken when using ultrasonic cleaners. Ultrasonic cleaners use high frequency waves to release makeup grime and dirt from your jewelry. The process involves vibration.

* Vibration causes erosion when two items are rubbing against one another or the side of an ultrasonic tank.
* Vibration can also loosen stones and epoxy or glue.
* Vibration can also shatter fragile materials such as amber and enamel.
* Vibration can change the color or remove the surface enhancement on many of the novelty gems in the market place today.
* Vibration can dislodge fills from stones that have additives.

Once you have determined that your jewelry can be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner, the tips below can help you with your safe cleaning.

* Use only recommended ultrasonic cleaning solutions.
* Be sure that your items are positioned so that they do not rub on one another or the bottom and side of the ultrasonic tank.
* Do not leave jewelry unattended in an ultrasonic cleaner for extended periods of time.

Proper Jewelry Cleaning at Home
Now that you have an understanding of what you need to be careful with, let’s review the many things you can do to take care of your jewelry and make it look great. The easiest way to keep your jewelry looking terrific is by cleaning it regularly. It is much easier to remove a thin layer of hairspray, lotion, or makeup than a long-term build up. The more often you clean your jewelry the easier the process.

Polishing Precious Metals
You can brighten your jewelry by obtaining a jewelers rouge cloth or a velvet cloth from your local jeweler. These are soft cloths charged with mild polishing compounds used to brighten jewelry. The polishing materials on the cloths are not abrasive enough to damage your stones or metal, but when rubbed vigorously against gold or silver will provide a nice luster. When you are finished polishing your jewelry, you can clean it to remove any of the compounds left behind. Be sure to put your jeweler’s cloth in a dust free container such as a poly bag when you are finished. This will prevent the cloth from picking up grit and foreign matter that may scratch your items on it next use.

Cleaning Diamonds Gold and Platinum
Gold, diamonds, platinum, sapphire, ruby, and most durable stones not listed above in the “Don’ts” section can be easily cleaned. Simply mix a solution of 1/2 Windex and 1/2 warm water. It is not necessary to create a large batch; a half cup is usually sufficient. Make sure the room is ventilated. Soak the items for as long as it takes to loosen the buildup. Remove the items and simply scrub them with a soft toothbrush. Be sure to press the bristles gently between the prongs and in all of the creases of the jewelry. If the residue is stubborn repeat the process. Be sure to rinse your jewelry thoroughly and dry to avoid irritation of the skin. Some people like to dry the stones on the underside with canned air, in order to avoid water spots. Once again, the more frequently you clean your jewelry, the easier the process.

Jewelry Ultrasonic Cleaners
It is very important to read the above warnings about the use of ultrasonic cleaners, as they are very aggressive. That being said, aggressive can be good if you follow the rules. Use only ultrasonic cleaning devices that are designed for home use and read the instructions thoroughly. It is wise to use the solutions that are sold to be used for ultrasonic jewelry cleaning, however, small units can be used with 1/2 Windex and 1/2 warm water. Make sure the room is ventilated.

Cleaning Pearls and Other Organic Jewelry
Pearls, coral, ivory, bone, and other organics can absorb moisture and chemicals. It is for this reason that all make up and hairspray should be applied before putting on your pearls. It is also wise to wipe them down with a soft clean moist cloth when you remove them. In the case of pearls and beads, try not to get the cord and knots wet to avoid staining and rotting of the string. * Never use chemicals or detergents to clean your pearls.

Jewelry Boxes – Essential For Any Jewelry Collection

Its all very well having a massive jewelry collection that you pick and choose from whenever you are in the mood or have a special occasion to attend, but eventually you are going to realize that it would be a good idea to get a jewelry box or two in which you can store your precious items.

Jewelry boxes have been around for almost as long as jewelry itself, which is to say, a very long time indeed. It makes sense after all to have a device you can use to hold safely your jewelry that isn’t being worn at this moment. Its a very rare woman who only has enough jewelry that she can wear it all the time.

Being a belonging that is usually on the small side it is easy to misplace so having a central location where can be kept safely together reduces the possibility of a piece going missing. What’s more a beautifully crafted jewelry box will look great on the dressing table if you choose carefully and especially if you get one which has been hand crafted from wood.

Women often don’t buy their own jewelry boxes as they are something that is often given as a gift of passed down through the generations but if you find yourself in need of such a device then it can make sense to go shopping for your own.

A couple of things to keep in mind if you are buying a jewelry box, whether for yourself or a close friend:

1. Give some though to the size need. Obviously this will depend on the collection that must be housed. For particularly large collections it might be better to buy a matching set of numerous boxes.

2. Consider the budget you have to stick to before you go shopping. An eager salesperson may be able to talk you into an item that is more expensive than you can afford. There is no point purchasing the most expensive jewelry box in the store if your collection itself is of limited value.

How To Care and Protect Your Jewelry

If your jewelry has value to you, it is valuable enough for you to want to take care of it. Jewelry Care means being careful you do no lose it as well as being careful how you store and clean it.

When you buy jewelry, any jewelry, from the most expensive fine jewelry to inexpensive costume jewelry, you buy it because it is beautiful. The gleam of the metal and the shine or luster and fire of the gems appeal to your aesthetic sense of beauty, based on what you can afford. The better the jewelry, the longer you want to wear it, perhaps even for rest of your life, and the longer you want it to have that like new glow, although some metals and finishes attain a warm patina with wear. What you don’t want, however, is scratched or gouged settings and dull gems. Accidents can happen, but all too often the jewelry is damaged by carelessness or not taking the few moments necessary to tend to the jewelry.

In most cases, being careful is the only care jewelry needs. Some types of jewelry, nevertheless, need special care because the gems may be soft, absorbent, or fragile.

Keep in mind that the harder the gem and the higher it is on the Mohs scale of hardness, the more durable it generally is. At time, a hard gem with high or distinct cleavage is apt to be fragile and may break or cleave if it is struck at the right angle. Hardness therefore is not synonymous with toughness. A tough gem may be soft enough to be more easily scratched but it is less apt to break or shatter. These characteristics have pertinence in wearing, cleaning, and storing jewelry, and in remodeling.

Metals have similar characteristic. The purer the silver and gold, the more easily it can be damaged. Also, you must consider the combination of metal in settings with gem or gems. What may be perfectly good to clean a metal, such as sterling silver, may not be the best for the gems. You have to consider the jewelry as a whole, not as simply metal or gems.

These point are tied in with the third point: the care you take with your jewelry to protect it from loss, both when you are wearing it and when you put it away for safekeeping. All the care in cleaning and storing will not matter if you lose the jewelry. The care you should take in this sense involves the precautions you would take to make sure you do not lose something you like and enjoy. That common sense, and it is common sense whether or not the jewelry is insured, and whether or not it is valuable. The precautions you should take with any jewelry that you like and that means anything to you, in fact, are simple common sense.

– Protection of jewelry

First of all, think about what you do when wearing jewelry. Rings are good example of how common sense can prevent loss.

More Rings are probably lost through carelessness than any other type of jewelry, because they are more apt to be taken off when being worn than pins or necklaces, bracelets or even earrings. So, Precaution Number One, if you wear rings, is to wear them at all times, or be careful with them as you are with your money and credit cards.

Men and women, incidentally, tend to regard rings differently.

– Storing and cleaning jewelry

When you take jewelry off, all jewelry and not only rings, what do you do with it? First, you should have a good and safe place for it. Second, that place should keep the jewelry safe not only from loss but also from damage.

The worst place you can put it is in a jewelry box already filled with other jewelry all jumbled together, where it can become scratched or more seriously hurt. The best place you can put jewelry is in individual leather or cloth cases or bags that will protect each piece from being damaged by other pieces of jewelry. If you do not have separate boxes from the jeweler for each piece of jewelry, at least put each piece in an individual case of some kind and do not drop it casually into a jewelry box.

In most cases, a plastic bag is a good substitute for leather or cloth. Plastic, however, should never be used with pearls, opals, and ivory, which need air to retain their beauty. Plastic, nevertheless, does have an advantage for other jewelry in that you can easily see the piece of jewelry that is in the bag. This method, incidentally, is also good for costume jewelry, which can be scratched as easily, if not more so, than precious jewelry.

Cleaning is also important in retaining and restoring the beauty and luster of jewelry with and without gems. Even gold can discolor from soaps and perspiration. Silver can be especially prone to tarnish, although almost all American sterling silver jewelry is coated with rhodium, an element of platinum, to prevent tarnishing. Any other silver that is worn all the time rarely needs polishing either, since wear retards tarnish. It still may need cleaning, though.

In fact, any metal may need cleaning now and then to remove dirt, soil, or soap film, as may gems. There are, in general, four methods of cleaning jewelry. Although all are safe for cleaning precious metal and diamonds, all are not interchangeable and safe for all kinds of jewelry. These are the methods most commonly suggested and used, but be sure to read further for the exceptions and for the precautions you should take with specific metals and gems.

-Detergents Bath. Mix a mild detergent and warm water in a small bowl or cup. Immerse the jewelry, brushing the pieces with an eyebrow brush. Rinse the jewelry under warm running water, being sure to put the jewelry into a tea strainer or cheesecloth for safety’s sake. Pat dry with lintels cloth. Do not use for soft gems or foe any jewelry that is strung, such as ivory or pearls.

– Cold water soak. In a cup or bowl, combine half cold water and half household ammonia. Put the jewelry in and soak for 30 minutes. Do not leave it overnight or for a long period of time. After 30 minutes, remove the jewelry and gently clean the front and back of the setting, if necessary, with an eyebrow brush before swishing the jewelry in the solution again and draining it dry on tissue. Do not use soft gems or any jewelry that is strung, such as ivory or pearls.

– Quick dip. Commercial jewelry cleaners generally employ the quick dip method. Since cleaners vary, you should read instructions carefully and follow them to the letter. Do not use cleaners on nay jewelry not specifically mentioned unless you check with a jeweler first.

– Ultrasonic cleaners. You will find several of these small machines on the market. In general, the principle is that of using high frequency turbulence to clean jewelry soaking in a metal cup of water and detergent. Again, be sure to read and follow the directions with the utmost care and do not use the machine on any jewelry not specifically mentioned. Not all jeweler, feel these machine are safe even for diamonds. Before buying one, therefore, be sure to check with your jeweler and get his advice.

These then are the common methods in general. Specific metals, and gems, require specific care. The methods described below are safe for the specific metals and won’t harm most gems. Keep in mind, though, that some gems need special care. Whenever you have any doubt about cleaning jewelry, be sure to consult your jeweler.

1) Copper

Copper will tarnish like silver in presence of moisture and sulfur. In most cases, however, a lacquer is baked on to prevent the jewelry from tarnishing. To clean copper, use any commercial cleaner that specifies it safe for copper. Do not use ammonia, which can erode copper.

2) Gold

The lower the number of karats, the more gold will discolor due to the higher percentage of base metals in the alloy. Mild soap, water and ammonia will remove the discoloration with ease.
One theory goes that you can prevent gold from leaving black mark on the skin by spraying the gold with hair spray. All you actually doing is adding a substance that can add to the tarnish. Keeping gold clean is the best way to avoid skin discoloration. In any case do not use hair spray on any gold with gems.

Gold-filled. Remember, the character of gold filled jewelry is the same as the karat gold that makes up 1/20 of the total weight, except that the jewelry will not last as long as the same jewelry in solid karat gold. Gold-filled jewelry can be cleaned the same way as karat gold, with mild soap, and a drop of ammonia.

Rolled gold plate. Rolled gold plate may contain less gold than rolled gold, but it should be cleaned the same way as gold-filled and karat gold jewelry.

Gold electroplate. Although the layer of gold deposited by electroplating may be 7 to 100 millionths of an inch thick, good gold electroplate can wear as well as rolled gold. It should be wiped clean regularly with a damp, soft cloth, and a mild soap and water solution may be used to remove any makeup. Do not use a treated cloth to clean gold electroplate.
Gold-washed or gold-flashed. Jewelry finished in this manner contains very little gold. The surface layer, in fact, is so thin that it may be negligible and wear off after a few times of being worn. Any cleaning, and particularly any rubbing, any remove the finish entirely.

3) Silver

Any commercial silver cleaner or silver cloth will touch up and clean silver jewelry. Soap, water, and a drop of ammonia will also clean silver that is very lightly tarnished or may just need cleaning to remove makeup and perspiration.

Silver-filled. Clean silver-filled jewelry in the same way as sterling. The older the jewelry, however, the more permanent the patina will be. Such a patina cannot be removed.

Silver plate (or silver electroplate). Silver plate, unlike gold, can last for years and can be cleaned in the same way as sterling silver. It can be re-plated, if necessary, although re-plating is more common in silver tableware than in jewelry.

4) Combination metals

Metals, including precious metals, are sometimes combined with other metals and with enamel. Be very careful in cleaning the metal that you don’t clean off the inlay or enamel. The same caution holds true for vermeil, which is sterling silver with karat gold electroplate. If you must rub, rub very gently with soft cloth.

5) Gems

Some gems need special care. That care includes both cleaning and storing gems. Be particularly careful with:

Amber. Amber is the softest of all gems and will be scratched by all other gems. Be careful in wearing it and always store it by itself. It darkens gradually with age and exposures to light and should be kept in a cloth or leather bag case.

Never use a rough clothe or clothe that may have dirt, dust, or grit on it to clean amber because of its softness. Never use acid to clean amber or wear amber when working with acids since acid will decompose amber. Alcohol and other solvents do not normally affect amber, however, unless it is exposed to them for a long period of time. For this reason, be careful not to leave amber in any cleaning solution, except very briefly. Hair spray and perfume can also affect amber.

Coral. Coral is relatively tough. Be careful with twig coral in both storing and wearing, since the thinner the twigs the more easily the coral can break. Remember, coral is not a mineral and its luster may be spoiled by preparations used to clean other jewelry.

Diamonds. Diamonds should be kept apart from other gems to avoid scratching the other gems. This rule holds true for both storage and cleaning. One expert suggests boiling diamonds for 10 minutes in soap, water, and ammonia to clean them.

Ivory. Wash ivory carefully in soapy water, drying it with a damp cloth. Never soak ivory in soap and water, however, since soaking can cause it to crack or break. If you are cleaning ivory beads, do not get the string wet because the string will stay wet and can affect the beads. Do not use commercial jewelry cleaner or acid.

Ivory darken with age. It can be bleached by sunlight or peroxide. If peroxide is used, do not soak the ivory in it, and avoid wetting any string with which ivory beads are strung with the peroxide.
Keep in mind that ivory is permeable and relatively soft, factors tending to make it contract or shrink in cold and expand in heat. The combination of temperatures, along with soaking and drying out, can lead to the cracking of the ivory. Wiping it carefully with a soft, damp cloth, therefore, is probably the best method of cleaning ivory.

Jet. Jet, although tough, is soft and should never be kept with other jewelry that can scratch it. Scratching diminishes its polish and lessens its value to collectors.

Lapis Lazulli. Despite its softness, Lapis Lazulli wears well and is popular for men’s jewelry and especially men’s rings. Even though it may scratch, the scratches are not difficult for a good jeweler to polish out.

Malachite. Malachite is soft and is not tough like jet. It breaks easily and should be worn with care. It also scratches easily, losing its polish. Be careful wearing it next to your skin, which can turn malachite dark or black.

Moonstone. Moonstone’s softness means that it needs care. Moonstones should be kept by themselves and cleaned carefully with only a very soft cloth and soap and water.

Opals. All kinds of opals are fragile and require care, the most care of any other gem. The polished stones are usually thin and may crack or craze. One cause may be extremely cold weather, indirect sunlight, in hot dishwater, or when handling frozen foods. Cold weather may also cause opals to shrink, which means they can fall out of the setting. Because of their softness, they are easily scratched and may absorb dirt or grit, another reason for avoiding dishwater and being careful in cleaning them.
Opals contain water, sometimes as much as 10%. Thus, they may dry out. For this reason, some experts suggest leaving them in water, in a mixture of water and glycerin, or in mineral oil to keep them from drying out and losing their fire, whenever they are not being worn. Use only a mild soap solution and a soft cloth to clean them. Never put opals in plastic bags, commercial jewelry cleaner, or acid.

Pearls. Both Oriental and cultured pearls are genuine pearls and need a certain amount of special care. Cosmetics (including hair spray), dust, dirt, and particularly perspiration can affects pearls. They should be wiped carefully only with a soft clothe after wearing and kept in satin-lined box, never in a plastic bag. Because their softness, cars should be taken not to scratch them. Pearls need to be worn and allowed to breathe. Do not use commercial jewelry cleaner or acid to clean them.

Peridot. Peridot scratches easily and tends to lose its polish. It should be stored and worn carefully but no special cleaning is necessary.

Topaz. Topaz should be kept in dark, literally. The gems tend to fade or pale in light, and some yellow-brown topazes on display in museums have turned clear after several years. Remember, too, it cleaves easily. It does not require special cleaning methods.

Turquoise. Since turquoise is very porous, it will absorb all sorts of impurities, especially if it is exposed to dirt and grease, such as in working in the yard or in washing dishes.

Turquoise tends to change color with age. It may lighten, darken, or streak. According to an old wives’ tale, burying turquoise in dirt restore the color, but the advice does not say for how long or what amount of dirt might be absorbed. You are probably better off learning to appreciate the change in color.

Never expose turquoise to ammonia, which will spoil the surface by pitting or spotting. Jewelry cleaner and acid will also injure or destroy turquoise.

To sum up, one of best methods of cleaning jewelry is simply to use mild soap, water and a drop of ammonia, even though ammonia should not be used with certain gems. Commercial jewelry cleaners are also available at fine jewelers, and these are safe, too, for most, but not all, jewelry. Be surer to read the directions on any commercial cleaner carefully and to follow them.

When in doubt about cleaning any jewelry, ask your jeweler what he would suggest. Remember, a watchmaker is not a jeweler. For expert advice and help, you need a jeweler who knows metal and gems, because in some cases you may be better off bringing the jewelry into the jeweler’s for cleaning.

Commercial Collection Agency Services – Is Your Business a Good Candidate?

Commercial collection agency services are a powerful tool used by many business owners for collecting business debts, including unpaid and delinquent invoices.When determining whether commercial collection agency services are appropriate for your business you must consider the collectability of your business debts.As a business owner, you may be certain of the quality and reliability of the products or services offered by your business, but how certain are you that the money you earn is collectible?Debt Collectability is based on a variety of factors, one of which is documentation. Documentation that supports the existence and viability of a business debt can include product/service orders, itemization of products/services provided with their corresponding costs and a signed contract. The collectability of business debts is much more likely if the documentation supporting the existence and viability of the debt is thorough and complete. One of the most common reasons that a debtor is able to avoid paying debts owed to your business is due to the lack of adequate documentation furnished by the creditor.Another factor that increases the chance of business debt recovery is the perception that the debt collector, or commercial collection agency, has been given complete power or authority by your business to pursue the recovery of business debts. After a file has been placed with an agency, it is imperative that you give your full trust and authority to the commercial collection agency to act on your behalf and in your best interest in the pursuit of your unpaid business debts.A debt recovery agency, once given a file to pursue will typically require that you cease all communication with the debtor(s). This requirement is in place as a security measure to avoid the perception from the debtor that they can go back and forth between the commercial collection agency and your business to increase the chance that they can avoid paying their debt.Commercial collection agency services can help businesses avoid making debt collection a personal struggle between themselves and their debtors. In order to obtain business from customers, a comfort level is typically established by becoming personal and friendly with customers, which creates an emotional bond that is often used later by debtors to avoid paying debts owed to your business. This can be avoided by giving authority to a commercial collection agency to act on your behalf and pursue debtors with whom they have no history or emotional attachment.When a debtor is informed by a business that the file has been turned over to a commercial collection agency and the debtor is instructed by the business to contact the agency to discuss resolution, they will understand that they are at the end of the road with you and that they must contact the agency to discuss resolution.Giving the debtor a sense of urgency is another powerful tool that can greatly increase your chances of collecting business debts. Instructing debtors to contact the agency “today” and explaining that you have given the agency the authority to move forward helps to illustrate to the debtor that immediate action is needed by them in order to avoid any unpleasant outcome or undesirable action taken against them. It also instills a sense that you are cooperating fully with the debt collection effort and the debtor is therefore much more willing to discuss resolution with the commercial collection agency.Are Commercial Collection Agency Services Appropriate for Your Business?In summary, commercial collection agency services are appropriate for your business if you have solid documentation to support the existence/viability of the business debt owed, you are willing to give complete authority to an agency to pursue the collection of business debts on your behalf, and you are willing to give debtors a sense of urgency to repay their debt to your business.

Avon Collectibles

Collecting is a hobby that is made unique by each and every collector; no two collections are ever alike. Whether you collect candy dispensers, plush animals or vintage postcards, no one else has a collection exactly like yours. Many people start collecting as youngsters and develop a passion for those things which bring them hours of fascination and anticipation. There is nothing like finding an item to fill-in your collection. One of the most popular items being collected today are Avon Collectibles. This article will discuss several of the subsets in the world of collecting these items.People have been collecting various perfume and cologne products since the 1970’s. From cologne bottles, tea sets, steins, ornaments and collector plates, just to name a few, people have been looking high and low to add to, or complete their collections. The most popular subset being collected is cologne and perfume bottles. These bottles come in an assortment of colors, shapes and sizes. The bottle designs include animals, vehicles, lamps and just about anything else that they could fill with cologne. Most collectors require that the bottles be empty and clean and that the labels be attached and in good condition. There is usually a premium for the original box.There are numerous avenues that collectors use to add to their collections. Probably the most common way is to visit local garage sales and flea markets. You never know when you’ll stumble up another collector who is trying to make room for additional pieces and finds it necessary to purge their collection. Networking with other collectors is another way to find items for your collection. There are dozens of forums and blogs that cater to specific collectors. Surfing the web will provide hundreds of websites devoted to collecting perfume and cologne bottles. Most of these sites will have classified listings offering items for sale, those that are wanted and links to just about anything related to your collection.If collecting cologne bottles isn’t your thing, people are also collecting dealer and/or representative awards and products. These items were usually awarded to representatives as incentives or performance awards. Since these items weren’t produced in mass, they can be more difficult to find, but provide a real challenge and excellent side collection for those interested in branching out. What about collecting ornaments or thimbles? There is something to interest just about anyone.To conclude, there are many options for collectors interested in collecting Avon Collectibles. Just remember to have fun and take your time looking for just the right piece. Don’t buy something just to fill a hole in your collection. Make each purchase something to remember and you’ll be talking about it for years to come.