April 1, 2015

Jewelry Tips - Pearls

Most everyone has some pearls. And even if they are fashion pearls (glass), they need care when cleaning. Real pearls, either freshwater or sea pearls need special care when cleaning, and should have care used when wearing them too.
First, if you are lucky to have real pearls, put them on as you are walking out the door. Why, you ask?
Let's learn about pearls:
Almost any shelled mollusk can produce some kind of "pearl" when an irritating microscopic object (organic material, parasites, a piece of shell) becomes trapped within its mantle folds. The pearl is made from layers of nacre, by the same living process as is used in the secretion of the mother of pearl which lines the shell of the mollusk. Pearls are formed as a defense mechanism against a potentially threatening irritant such as a parasite inside the shell. The mollusk creates a pearl sac to seal off the irritation.
Natural pearls (formed without human intervention) are very rare. To find these, many hundreds of pearl oysters or mussels must be gathered and opened, and thus killed, to find even one natural pearl. For many centuries, this was the only way pearls were obtained, and why pearls fetched such extraordinary prices in the past. Now, cultured pearls are formed in pearl farms, using human intervention as well as natural processes.
Freshwater pearls form in various species of freshwater mussels, family Unionidae, which live in lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of fresh water. These freshwater pearl mussels occur not only in hotter climates, but also in colder more temperate areas such as Scotland (where they are protected under law). Most freshwater cultured pearls sold today come from China.
Saltwater pearls grow within pearl oysters, family Pteriidae, which live in oceans. Saltwater pearl oysters are usually cultivated in protected lagoons or volcanic atolls.
Whether from the sea or a lake, pearls are made primarily of calcium carbonate, and they can be dissolved in vinegar. This is the reason special care should be taken when wearing your pearls.
1. Never spray hair spray near your pearls.
2. Never spray perfume or cologne near your pearls.
3. Never expose your pearls to household chemicals.
4. Even perspiration can damage pearls, so wear over clothing if possible.
5. Clean your pearls by taking a soft, moist cloth (mineral water or distilled water only) and wiping the pearl strands after taking them off. This will remove makeup and perspiration. If there is residue make-up, using a small amount of baby shampoo is best. The strands should lie flat until dry, and then be put away. Don't stretch threads by hanging strands.
6. The best storage for good pearls is in a soft cloth bag. Avoid scratches from other jewelry this way. Do not seal in plastic bags.
7. Have your strands restrung on silk cord every few years.

March 24, 2015

Jewelry Tips

Hi gang,
I had some ladies over last night to pick out materials for bridal jewelry, and we got on the subject of jewelry maintenance. Yes, you have to do a few things to keep your jewelry shiny and bright.
First: For those of you ladies who have precious stone rings (diamonds/sapphire/ruby) and many semi-precious stones (amethyst/garnet/peridot/etc) - you need to get in the habit of routine cleaning. You can set your cleaning time (about 30 minutes) for when you clean up the kitchen or when you shower and get ready for bed.
Get some basic dish detergent (no antibacterial soaps/no soaps with lotion) and put a few drops in a small plastic bowl of warm water. Drop your gold or silver in there and your rings. After you are done with your chores, take a soft toothbrush and give your jewelry a thorough brushing - rinsing under warm water. Be sure to brush the undersides of your rings too. If your diamonds still don't seem to sparkle enough, do it again - soak to brushing. Note: You can use very hot water on diamonds without any problem.
Once you get into a steady routine, you will notice how easy it is to get your fine jewelry sparkling bright with less effort.
Warning - There are several stones that are susceptible to temperatures and chemicals. I will be posting about those in future tips.
hugzzzz - Nikoel

February 25, 2015

Thought you might like my Facebook info: MY FACEBOOK PAGE Come on over.
I have decided to use this blog for my jewelry designs. I sell on Etsy, but I can post pics here and patterns, supplies, news about classes (yes, I teach) and anything else related to my jewelry adventures. Enjoy!!!