5 Reasons To Buy Jewellery From An Online Store

If you are planning to buy jewellery, either for yourself, or to give away, you should think about shopping online. There are many great advantages to consider when buying sterling silver earrings sets, stainless steel bangles, or a gold personalized name necklace from an online jewellery store. Even if you cannot actually touch the individual pieces, the pictures and descriptions used today to display jewellery, watches, and giftware on websites is so vivid that the need to actually hold the items has become fairly minimal.

Buying jewellery online is fun, convenient, and can save you a bundle of money. Sales prices of diamonds, pearls, and crystals are a lot more affordable online, plus you will have a lot more pieces to choose from. Aside from attractive prices, other advantages that online jewellery stores have to offer include:

  1. Convenience – As long as you have an Internet connection, you can buy jewellery online from anywhere. You can browse the jewellery sites on your lunch break at work, in the evening from your living room, or from a cyber cafe on the weekends. If you have an electronics device that can connect to the web, you do not even need a computer any more. How cool is that?
  2. Saving time – Instead of having to get dressed and head to the local jewellery shops, you just connect to the web to locate vendors selling jewellery online. If you do not like the selection of fine rings, bracelets, earrings, pendants or anklets that one jeweller has to offer, you move on to the next with a few clicks of a mouse. No need to get back to your car and drive across town.
  3. Tremendous selection – While the selection at your local gem provider may seem extensive, that is like a drop in a bucket compared to the immense amount of choices you find online. If you are shopping for jewellery online, you are bound to find that special piece you will treasure forever. It will also be much easier to locate that ruby drop necklace or topaz pendant your mother, girlfriend, or wife requested for her birthday.
  4. Savings – Aside from lower prices, you can also find incredible deals online. From time to time, an online jewellery store will offer discounts or special promotions. In addition, they will hold sales events, in which a lot of their merchandise is reduced. All you have to do is visit your favourite jewellery website once a week and you will never miss another sale. Visiting a website takes a few minutes; driving downtown may take you an hour. It can also be very disappointing if you spend all that time travelling, and do not find anything you like.
  5. Comparison shopping – It is far more difficult to comparison shop if you need to visit various jewellery stores in your area. Online, you can easily flip back and forth between multiple tabs. There is no waste of travel time and expenses. Note: do watch out for the shipping and handling charges when you buy jewellery online, as they vary widely. Adding all the charges together, the deals some jewellers list for their two-tone bracelets and hoop earrings may actually not be the best. When buying jewellery online, also watch out for delivery times, as some vendors only ship once a week. Take that into account, especially if you are buying gifts. It can save you the embarrassment of having to show up at a party empty handed or with an ‘I Owe You’.

A 101 For Jewellery Making Wire

No matter what medium handmade jewellery makers work in, nearly all will use wire at some point – it’s fundamental to jewellery making. And whilst most jewellery makers will start out buying wire from the manufacturer, many form their own wire in custom shapes, sizes, and harnesses. With some simple tools and a little know how, it’s easier than you may think.

Shapes and Sizes of Wire

You can order wire from a manufacturer in standard shapes – square, round, half-round, triangle and rectangle – and those shapes come in many sizes. Standard round and square wire sizes range from 0.5mm to 7mm. Rectangular wire, which is often called sizing stock, because bench jewellers use it to size rings, is available in almost any measurement. You can order wire in specific dimensions if you buy directly from the manufacturer.

Other shapes such as half-round, low dome, oval, triangle, bezel and strip-bezel, may be limited to specific standard sizes, depending on the manufacturer’s equipment. Nonstandard wire sizes are available from most manufacturers by special order.

How Wire is Made

Wire begins as molten metal that is poured into an ingot mould and allowed to cool and solidify. In small-scale production a goldsmith repeatedly passes the ingot through grooved rollers of a rolling mill, forming square wire. With each pass the wire becomes smaller and longer. This process, called extrusion, is possible because of the metal’s ductility.

Once the ingot has been milled into wire of a manageable size, the goldsmith reduces it further using a drawplate. In the case of square wire the drawplate also makes the wire perfectly square, because the grooves in the rolling mill will have slightly faceted the wires corners.

Standard drawplates for handmade jewellery are steel and have a series of holes in graduating sizes. The holes have different profiles which can transform a wire’s shape while making it smaller and longer. For example, you can pull square wire through a round hole to make round wire.

To draw large diameter wire, a goldsmith uses a draw bench. The draw bench is a channel of steel or aluminum with a notch for a drawplate at one end and a boat winch at the other end. The boat winch provides leverage to make the process easier. Turning the winch handle turns a belt or chain attached to draw tongues which slide along the channel, pulling the wire through the drawplate. A typical draw bench makes only short lengths of wire, usually about 30-40 inches.

Caring For Your Pearl Jewellery in Five Easy Steps

Pearls are a classic piece of jewellery traditionally worn as a necklace or earrings. Royalty and nobility from Tudor England and Capetian France wore pearls as a sign of status. The Duke of Saxony even passed a law in 1612 forbidding anyone but royalty from sporting the luxurious gems. Thankfully, us mere mortals are no longer prohibited from wearing pearls and their popularity remains consistently high. Some of the most famous women throughout history have worn pearls from Cleopatra to Anne Boleyn, Audrey Hepburn made them a style must have and our very own Queen Elizabeth II carries them off with unsurpassed elegance.

As the world’s only known organic gem, Pearls can be extremely delicate, however, they can last a lifetime and longer with the correct care and maintenance. There are five key pieces of advice that if followed, will enable you to pass your pearls from generation to generation for years to come.

1. Do Not Pollute Your Pearls: Just as we are sensitive to chemicals and pollution, so too is the organic calcium carbonate that forms pearls. This material is sensitive to chemicals that we use on a daily basis. To avoid a heavy build up of substances like hair spray, make-up and perfume, put your pearls on after you have finished getting ready.

2. Keep Them Clean: Daily life is dirty business and just as dirt builds up on our skin, it builds up on the surface of the pearls too. This pollution can erode the pearl nacre decreasing their value and aesthetic qualities. Gently wiping them with a warm, damp cloth before putting them away will prolong their life.

3. Store Them Separately: You have probably gathered by now that pearls are delicate. They are susceptible to scratches and damage from other objects they come into contact with and this includes your other pieces of jewellery. Storing them in a soft pouch or lined jewellery box will keep your pearls looking perfect for as long as possible, which is a long time!

4. Give Them A Drink: Pearls are grown naturally and with the help of man. While natural pearls are extremely rare and expensive, cultured pearls also take a lot of careful nurturing to grow at their best. This growth requires water above all else, and this need for moisture does not end when they leave their oyster shell home. Heat and dehydration can cause pearls to split and crack, with the maximum temperature most pearls can withstand no higher than 100 degrees Celsius. The moisture levels in the air are enough for the pearls and cleaning them with a damp cloth will also give them a moisture boost. Make sure that they are stored in a breathable container and away from direct heat, be it through sunlight or radiators.

5. Knot Them Up: Traditionally, pearl necklaces are strung together with silk. Silk however, is less inclined to moisture as the pearls which it carries. Annual re-stringing is necessary if you wear your pearls regularly and every two years if you wear them only occasionally. This should protect you against snapping silk and losing your precious pearls. As an extra barrier against losing your pearls should the silk snap, having the silk knotted in between each pearl is a good idea. This ensures that only one pearl will fall off the string.

By following these five easy steps you will be able to enjoy wearing your pearl necklace or earrings for a lifetime. Maintaining the pearls will conserve the value of your investment and preserve their reputation as the Queen of gems.