A Glimpse of Jewelry That Will Glitz Life This Festive and Holiday Season

Jewelry design ideas may be elegant and simple such that keeping to minimal appears chic. The jewelry designs present a distinct style than merely hanging as a pendant or a charm. Now being a Christmas gift and holiday season, the jewelry iconic pieces can be unique gifts than gifting a watch or some engraved pendant. Regardless of whether one loves hair jewels or stacked rings, there are some best baubles, stones and beads that will certainly glitz life this Christmas.

Birthstone Jewelry

These are special and personalized jewelry as everyone’s birthstone is different. Gifting birthstone jewelry offers more meaning especially in the festive and holiday seasons. There are endless choices and this includes right from bracelets to rings, necklaces to earrings. If you can afford and it is a very special person, you can gift this in combination.

Bar Necklaces

This is a style that is latest and raging that it will be soon seen everywhere. This can be worn alone or also in association with shorter and longer necklaces or even with your layered style of necklaces or chains. A bar necklace gifted to your loved one is sure to ensure the festival is very special. This trendy jewelry piece can be personalized and if you personalize, it becomes absolutely perfect. It can be engraved also with meaningful phrases, initial or their pet names.

Y Necklaces

Y necklaces certainly are fashion statements but in a subtle style. These necklaces highlight the feminine look and make a lovable gift as it adds elegance to any stylish woman. The added advantage is that it can be worn with other layered necklaces or alone, however it will show its presence and mark its place.

Cocktail Rings

These are definitely a sophisticated addition offering a cool bling to your look. It suits all the outfits and the cocktail rings now are available in different metals, styles and looks. They have been for years, but now young women can wear it even with their most comfortable jeans and t-shirt and also their other fancy dresses. You will not go wrong on wearing it any of these outfits.

Layering Necklaces

The layering styles in earrings, hand rings to necklaces are going really strong. It is fun to wear one and create different looks. The layering necklace can be one or several chains, the choice is entirely yours. It is sure to complement your looks and style.

Braid and beard cuffs

Cuffs are adapted into hair accessories and have received a strong following. The braid cuffs are also around for decades. It offers a variation expressing a sophisticated style in eccentric ways. These jewelry pieces cater to anyone and you can appear outstanding even in a crowd.

Cuffs are worn in different ways making it diverse jewelry pieces. Right from ear to arm cuffs, it is observed that even celebrities love wearing it even on the red carpet. This is a simple sleek piece of jewelry that highlights the entire ensemble pop. Even if the cuffs are chunky they make statement pieces.

How to Repair Costume Jewelry

Whether you buy costume jewelry for your own collection, for investment or for resale, it’s important to know when to repair a piece that has damage or missing stones, and when to walk away. Whether you intend to wear it, or plan to sell it “as is” will determine the wisdom of repairing it. If you plan to repair the piece and then sell it, be sure to factor in the cost of repairs to see if it’s worth fixing.

If you have a piece of costume jewelry that you’d like to wear, but has loose or missing stones, or has other condition issues, what are the best ways to repair it so you can safely enjoy wearing it?

I’ve found that some issues are easy to address, others require more time, patience and money, and still others benefit from the attention of a professional.

If you’d like to repair your jewelry yourself, there are a few things you should invest in. If you don’t already have a jeweler’s loupe, or strong magnifying glass, you should get one. I have two – one stays on my desk, and the other stays in my purse, so I always have one handy, whether I’m working at home or out shopping for jewelry. Another handy magnifier is one that straps on your head, leaving your hands free.

The most common problem I see in costume jewelry is with the stones – rhinestones, crystal, glass or plastic, they may come out of their settings, be loose, or crack or dull. Older pieces may be set with glue that has dried and let the stone fall out. It’s important to use the right kind of adhesive, and to not use too much. Krazy Glue or Super Glue is not recommended, as it may break down when attached to glass. Super Glue may be especially damaging to vintage pieces – a film may develop if it reacts to old metal and plating. If you get it on the surface of the stone, it’s difficult to remove. Never use hot glue – it can expand and contract with temperature changes and may crack the jewelry or loosen the stone. The best adhesive to use would be one designed specifically for jewelry, which can be found in craft stores and on jewelry supply web sites.

Be careful not to use too much glue when replacing stones. The glue will not dry properly, and the adhesive will flow out around the stone and onto the metal. I use a toothpick dipped in a little pool of glue to drop minute bits of glue into the setting, a drop at a time, using as little as possible.

Putting the stone back into the setting is a delicate process – you can wet the tip of your finger to make the stone stick and then carefully drop it into the setting.

Save your old broken jewelry, or any unmatched earrings for their stones. You might find broken pieces at flea markets, yard sales and antique shops. It’s hard to exactly match a missing stone, but if you build up a collection of orphan pieces, the right size and color just might be available. You can also access jewelry suppliers for stones. Keep in mind that whatever you purchase for repairs should be factored into the price if the piece is for resale.

One way to make old jewelry look new again is replating. Replating can be costly, and should only be done if you are keeping the piece for yourself to wear. Replating may diminish the value of vintage jewelry, just as refinishing antique furniture would decrease its value. An Internet search should provide the names of jewelry restorers in your area.

Now, what about that green stuff that you sometimes see on vintage jewelry? Some jewelry collectors simply pass on pieces that have green verdigris on them, as it can indicate corrosion that can’t be cleaned off. You can try to clean it with a cotton swab dipped in vinegar, but if the metal is heavily coated and degraded, you may need to gently chip the green away, taking care to not damage the metal beneath. Wipe the piece with a damp cloth and let it air dry completely. You can also try the same process with ammonia. Be careful to never immerse the piece of jewelry in liquid, as the stones may loosen or discolor due to water getting into the setting.

Costume jewelry is made to be worn and enjoyed. Replacing missing stones and cleaning the metal will give your vintage jewelry sparkle and glow and many more years of wear.

Silver Jewelry Care – How to Clean Tarnish

I love silver jewelry! From chains, to charms, to gorgeous Native American pieces, Sterling Silver makes the most elegant jewelry. If you’ve had problems with rashes from white gold, toss that gold/nickel piece and go for the luster and glow of silver!

Ugly black or gray tarnish is the enemy of the beauty of silver. What is tarnish? Simply put, it’s caused by the surface of the silver reacting with sulphurous fumes. Where does that sulphur come from? Somewhere in the environment, and I don’t like to think that it’s in the air, but it must be. Tarnish can also form on silver that’s been stored with rubber bands (why?), felt or wool.

The best way to keep your silver jewelry from tarnishing is to wear it frequently. Now that’s advice that’s easy to take! Frequent contact with your skin will help to retard tarnish formation. Clean the jewelry with a soft cloth after each wearing.

The next best way to stop tarnish from forming is proper storage. If you’re a collector, and you can’t wear all of your silver jewelry frequently, store it in individual zip-lock bags with an anti-tarnish strip. They’re inexpensive and available online through jewelry supplycompanies, and at fine jewelry stores. The strips are safe and non-toxic, and last about 6 months.

OK, you’ve got a beautiful piece of silver jewelry that’s been in a box somewhere, or you just bought it at an estate sale, and it’s black with tarnish. What to do?

An easy and eco-friendly way to clean silver is with soap and water, followed by a baking soda treatment.

First, wash the piece with soap and water to remove surface dirt, dust, oils, perfume or hair spray. (be sure to put the plug in the sink first!)

Next, line a pot with heavy duty aluminum foil, or use a disposable aluminum pie pan. Put the piece of jewelry in the pan, and cover it completely with baking soda. The piece should be in direct contact with the aluminum. Carefully pour boiling water over the baking soda so the piece of jewelry is covered. This is also an interesting science experiment, since you are creating a chemical reaction. The kids might want to watch.

Before long you’ll see tiny yellow or black flakes in the water, and the aluminum foil will be turning black. The sulphur in the tarnish likes aluminum better than it likes silver, so it’s attracted away from the silver and turns the aluminum black.

After a few minutes, lift the piece out of the water with tongs or a fork, and see how it’s doing. It shouldn’t be long before your silver jewelry is sparkling and tarnish-free. Once it’s clean, rinse it in clean water to remove all traces of the baking soda and dry it with a soft cloth. Rubbing with the cloth may remove any stubborn dark spots that remain. If the piece is severely tarnished, you may have to repeat the procedure.

I’ve seen baking soda paste used to clean silver, but this is not recommended for your fine jewelry pieces. The paste is an abrasive, and will leave tiny scratches on the surface of the silver. Not a good idea. Also, baking soda paste will be very difficult to get out from the settings around pearls or stones.

Toothpaste should never be used to clean silver. Some toothpastes contain baking soda or other ingredients that are much too abrasive and will scratch the piece.

A very easy way to clean slightly tarnished pieces is with a silver polishing cloth, available at jewelry stores and on line. I’ve used one for years, and it takes tarnish off with a little elbow grease. Chains are particularly easy to clean with the cloth – just wrap the chain in the cloth and run it up and down the chain. Black streaks appear on the cloth as the tarnish comes off the chain.

Once your silver jewelry is tarnish-free, wear it often, store it properly, and you’ll see very little tarnish adding its ugly color to your beautiful silver.