Sunday, April 26, 2015

36 New Ways to Organize Your Jewelry

Many of us tend to have a lot of jewelry, so it's no surprise that the question of how to organize your jewelry pops up quite often.

A good choice is to organize everything in a traditional jewelry box, but it's not the only option there is.

Depending on the amount of jewelry you have, you can also choose to organize everything in a large standing jewelry armoire, or a small jewelry stand if you just have a few pieces of jewelry that you need to keep organized.

If you are a bit creative, you can also choose to go for a DIY solution like the ones shown in this infographic:

DIY Ideas
As you can see, the DIY solutions vary, so you should be able to find something that fits you, no matter how much jewelry you have.

Your solution choice shouldn't be too difficult to make if you are into crafting, but if you haven't got the time for a DIY solution, you might want to take a look at some traditional jewelry boxes, made professionally.

standing jewelry armoire
Standing Jewelry Armoire, Definitely Non-DIY
From your friends at Chasing Treasure and

Friday, April 24, 2015

Pearl - Beautiful Jewelry, Special Care

Various Raw Pearls

Pearl jewelry has a unique beauty due to the way in which the pearl is created. To help keep its brilliance, you can do a few things to store them properly and ensure their value across lifetimes.

First, a dedicated jewelry box or specific drawer or compartment is a great way to safely store your pearls, especially if you keep them in a cloth pouch.  The most important point is to not them come in contact with other pieces of jewelry (including each other!).

Because pearls are an organic stone, they need humidity to keep them from getting too dry and becoming brittle and susceptible to cracking or fractures. This doesn’t mean you need to keep them in a humidor, but if you do store them in a closed box, be sure you wear them or take them out frequently to “air out” in the outside moisture, especially if you live in a very dry climate.

Avoid keeping your pearls by a heat source, in plastic, or among hard jewelry pieces, as they can be easily scratched. And never let them sit in the sunlight for long periods of time or be exposed to other sources of high temperatures. And if you’re inclined do to the laundry or wash dishes, while wearing your pearls, remove them to avoid contact with common household detergents.

In addition to household detergents, don’t let you pearls come in direct contact with your perfume and hairspray:  the alcohol and acids can be damaging to the translucence.  Similarly, perspiration can dull a pearl’s luster. Do not use normal jewelry cloths on your pearls, as they contain chemicals that damage the pearl.
Use cleaning products & cloths that are made specifically for pearls. Be sure to wipe your pearl’s with a dampened cloth after cleaning them, and lay them on a soft cloth to dry, never hang them if on a necklace:  if the string is wet, the weight of the pearl’s will stretch the string (usually made of silk). Likewise, do not swim or bathe in a pearl necklace.  (Want to know a common household item that will quickly dissolve a pearl?  Vinegar, due to its high acid content!)
Speaking of the silk string, it will need to be replaced over time due to stretching.  A professional jeweler can take care of the re-stringing.

Ever wonder what makes a pearl so lustrous? As you probably know, pearls are created in mollusks when an irritant gets inside the shell. The mollusk creates a pearl sac to seal off the irritant as a defense mechanism.  As the mollusk adds layers, these layers reflect light, the tighter the layers the better the diffusion of light.  Natural pearls are very rare and have the tightest layering.  Cultured pearls are grown on farms, either in salt or fresh water lagoons using specific “pearl oysters” and are the most common for jewelry; these can be died in various colors, such as pink.

Below is a great place to keep your pearled jewelry, the large, divided drawers and huge necklace cabinets keep them safely separated.  You can find other examples of safe jewelry storage here.

Pearls will always be a popular piece of jewelry.  With the right storing and cleaning, they can easily be handed down across generations!

standing jewelry armoire
Large Standing Jewelry Armoire

Friday, April 10, 2015

April’s Birthstone: The Diamond!

Popular Diamond Cuts

As we continue our series on birthstones, let's take a moment to describe how birthstones came to be! In the first century, it was believed that the 12 gems of Aaron’s Breastplate (a sacred breastplate worn by the High Priests of the Israelites, and sometimes referred to as the breastplate of judgment) were directly related to the 12 months of the year, the 12 signs of the zodiac. This concept was adopted into Christianity when St. Jerome recognized the Foundation Stones of the New Jerusalem (an evolution from Aaron’s Breastplate over the centuries). Finally, wearing a different colored gem for each month of the year is supposed to bring good luck.

Back to April’s Birthstone: the delightful, beautiful, and ubiquitous diamond!  The diamond was selected as April’s birthstone as it was thought to be a harbinger of strong relationships, and improve inner strength for those born in that month. It is supposed to provide other positives, such as balance, clarity, and abundance. While so much is already known about the diamond, we’ll describe some interesting aspects here.

Did you know that diamonds can be manufactured?
Most diamonds sold now are created naturally when carbon (coal basically) is compressed under high pressure about 115 miles beneath the Earth’s surface, and transported to the surface via tectonic plate shifting and volcanic eruptions that have occurred over eons (millions of years!).

However, starting in the last century, two different forms of manufacturing (“growing” actually) diamonds have been optimized:  High Pressure, High-Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).  Basically HPHT simulates the pressure and temperature of the natural formation, and adds microscopic diamonds to carbon.  This extreme heat and pressure causes the carbon to crystalize to the microscopic diamonds, and “grow” a bigger diamond.  CVD involves the energizing various carbon based gases to form the carbon structure unique to diamonds.

Synthetic diamonds are harder than natural diamonds, and (so far) are the hardest materials ever produced!

Cutting Glass is Not the Correct Way to Determine if a Diamond is Real
Quartz will also cut glass!  Nor is rubbing two diamonds together a good idea either, is both can be damaged.  The modern way to determine if a diamond is real is to check how readily it transfers heat. A heat source is applied at one of end of a diamond, and the measuring device (connected to the heat source) measures how quickly the heat is transferred through the material.  Very fast means a diamond!

The 5 C’s of Diamonds as Jewelry
Carat – the size of the diamond.  Obviously larger carats carry higher prices because they are rarer, but higher carats does not always mean better quality.  Carats are measured in 100 points, so 50 points would be ½ carat.

Cut – the cut of diamond is the most obvious style choice.  Round, Princess, Radiant, Emerald, Oval, Pear, Asscher, Flanders, Heart, Cushion, Marquise, Old Miner, & Trillion are the main ones, but most any shape can be created with proper milling procedures.  Just be careful:  most of these cuts are designed to refract white light, which creates part of the brilliance of the diamond.  A smaller diamond can be cut shallower to have a larger face, making it appear larger in a ring, however, this reduces the brilliance of the diamond. Keep that in mind if you want to show a bigger looking diamond, at a lower cost. Diamond masters can only do so much with the physics of light!

Color – diamonds are graded D through Z, with D being the most colorless (refracts white light the best).  D, E, & F are considered colorless, G-J near colorless, K-M faint yellow, N-R, very light yellow, S-Z, light yellow.  Obviously, the higher the grade, the more expensive.

Clarity – almost every diamond contains some flaw.  The less the flaws and the smaller the size of the flaws, the less imperfections to refract light, increasing the brilliance of the diamond.  Clarity is measured on the GIA scale: Flawless, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, & I3.

Certification – a grading report from an independent gemological lab will almost always accompany your diamond, giving you confidence in your purchase.

So for those April birthday’s you have the Emperor of Gems as your birthstone, the diamond!  And to safely store your diamonds and other treasures, you’ll need a beautiful luxury jewelry box or standing jewelry armoire.  And with Mother’s Day coming up, a womens jewelry box makes a great gift for that special someone!

Guest Blogger:  Noelle Price

 Jewelry Armoire
Large Jewelry Armoire for All Your Treasures!