Monthly Archives: September 2016

How to Care for Ruby Jewelry

A ruby is the birthstone for July and symbolizes immortal love. The 40th anniversary is also known as ‘Ruby Anniversary’, since it signifies undying love. The beauty of this stone can dazzle and maintaining it is not really a hassle. Ruby is the second hardest stone after diamond, and as such almost nothing can tarnish or affect the ruby chemically. So cleaning and maintaining the resplendence of this stone is not a very difficult job. The richness of the blood red color of the ruby depends on the iron content in the stone. More the iron, the redder the ruby will be. These natural stones are extremely expensive, and so, you now have lab created rubies, which have the same chemical composition as the real ones, minus the flaws. They are less expensive than the natural ones.

Significance of the Ruby

The ruby being a symbol of love, is the perfect gift for the 15th and the 40th wedding anniversary. It is believed that the ruby can help bring love back in a downhill marriage, and deepens the love that is already there. This “pigeon blood red” stone is also associated with passion, and energy. Its vibrancy is believed to heighten passions, enthusiasm, and sexual activity. It is a pleochroic stone, which means that it exhibits two colors when viewed from different angles. The good things associated with this stunning stone are endless! It is believed that the ruby personifies beauty and grace, and hence, is the perfect gift for any woman. This stone is also supposed to elevate motivation levels in a person and boost positive dreams and thoughts, as well as positivity in attitude and help better visualization. The ruby is known as the king of gems and is associated with powerful feelings. This multifaceted stone also gives the wearer courage, and shields him from bad things. After going on and on for so long about the virtues and benefits of this beautiful stone, it would be really heart breaking to see that it is not being taken care of, right?

Caring for Your Ruby Jewelry

Go through the following tips to ensure that your ruby jewelry continues to keep glowing over the years.

Wearing Rubies
While wearing rubies, remember that exposure to chemicals, although does not chemically affect the rubies, may tarnish it over time. Also, avoid wearing them when you are going to be doing rough work like gardening, washing, etc. I know that you will not wear your favorite ruby set when doing all this work, but what I meant was, in case your engagement ring has rubies in it, and if you wear it all the time, it is better to remove it while doing chores like the ones mentioned above. Or if you’re wearing it for any other reason like health or emotional well-being, then too. Many people wear ruby rings with another diamond ring. If this is the case, then make sure that your diamond is not brushing against your ruby continuously, since that will put scratches on your ruby.

Cleaning Rubies
Rubies are not affected by commercial solvents, so they can be used for cleaning the rubies effectively. A toothbrush dipped in warm water is also more than enough to clean ruby jewelry, which is set in an intricate design. The bristles of the brush will remove the dirt lodged in the tiny crevices of the setting. You can also use a toothpick to clean off any remaining dirt. Avoid using a toothpaste, since the granularity of the toothpaste may cause scratches on the ruby. Warm soapy water can also be used. When you take it off, never keep it directly in the box. Wipe it clean with a warm, wet, soft cloth, to remove any sweat, oil and dirt that has been transferred to it. A mild detergent should be used. Avoid contact with harsh chemicals, since they can cause damage to the settings and mountings of your ruby.

Storing Rubies
Storing rubies correctly will go a long way in making them last longer and better. If you store them in the wrong manner, then cuts, scratches and loosening of the stones are common problems you will have to deal with. To avoid these things, store your rubies properly in cloth bags before you put them in your jewelry box. Make sure that you are not piling your jewelry on top of each other. If you do not want to use cloth bags, or don’t have them, then spread a layer of cotton underneath the jewels. Place the rubies on this cotton layer, and spread another layer on top of it. Make sure that no two rubies are kept side by side without at least a layer of cotton between them, since they may grind against each other leading to scratches.

Tips for Caring for Rubies

  • Clean the rubies in a bowl. In case there is a loose stone, there is no danger of it rolling or draining away in the sink.
  • A professional cleaning and inspection once a year should be done to ensure that your ruby is in perfect order. If it has been oiled for giving it that extra shine, then it is important to avoid steam cleaning procedures or chemicals.
  • Make sure that your rubies do not come in contact with perfumes, or other sprays, cleaners or harsh chemicals.
  • Boil half a teaspoon of tea leaves in water and allow the mixture to cool down. Soak your rubies in this solution overnight, and wipe clean in the morning with a soft cloth to make your rubies resplendent once again.

Rubies, if flawless, are more precious than diamonds. They are very expensive, and if you think that you will not be able to afford a natural ruby, you can try the lab created ruby mentioned above. Rubies are extremely beautiful, and if taken care of properly, can be passed down through generations to become family heirlooms.

Tips to Sell Your Handmade Jewelry

The demand for handmade jewelry is huge, and selling this creative stuff can be a highly profitable venture too. However, you must know the right ways to promote your creations to boost their sales. For this, you must be thoroughly aware about certain tips for marketing and selling your handcrafted jewelry. Even more so, if you do not have a storefront or designated space to sell your handmade creations. Today, the Internet has opened up several avenues for small entrepreneurs and individuals with creative abilities to sell their products to a larger consumer base.

But there are certain things that are common to selling products, be it handmade or mass produced, virtually or in brick and mortar stores. Always package your products attractively, and always, always maintain quality. Also, it is essential to know what your target market comprises so that you can tweak your marketing and sales strategies accordingly. Here are few valuable tips that will tell you about the ways to sell handmade jewelry online and offline.

Host a Jewelry Party

Today, many homemakers with creative talent and aspiring women entrepreneurs are generating decent income by selling handmade jewelry from the very comfy confines of their own homes. All they do is host a jewelry party at their home, and invite their neighbors, friends, and family members to browse through their attractive jewelry on display over snacks and drinks. Most of the time, the guests end up buying something or even place orders for similar pieces.

Tip: Host jewelry parties during the gift-giving season so that your guest will always have a reason to buy your stuff.

Partner With Web Stores

One of the easiest ways to reach out to your targeted customer is by hosting your stuff on popular online jewelry shopping sites like Etsy and eBay. For a small fees, your jewelry will have an online presence and exposure to buyers across the world. Another option is to partner with boutiques, crafts stores, gift shops, salons, etc., and ask them to display your jewelry against a certain percentage in the sales proceeds. Many may not agree to this, but keep trying till you find the right store to host your jewelry. For example, if you are selling real or semi-precious birthstone jewelry, you can approach a fortune-telling paraphernalia shop to display your jewelry.

Tip: While speaking to the owners of boutiques or gift shops, try to convince them by telling them about the profit they will make on the total sales figure. This will definitely impress them.

Participate in Trade Fairs, Exhibitions, and Fundraisers

Participate in large trade fairs and exhibitions by having an enclosure or stall for your jewelry. Do not forget to have an attractive display of your jewelry, and a mirror in place for people to try out your baubles. Collect customer contacts in a feedback register so that you can call them up later. You can also work with your community or the local school to raise funds for a particular cause. For example, if a school needs to build a new gymnasium, offer them to sell your jewelry at a fundraiser. This will serve two causes. Firstly, your jewelry will sell by adding a noble cause to your sales pitch. You can always hand over a percentage of the sales proceeds to the cause.

Tip: Try to gauge customer preference and inclination by participating in local church markets and weekend markets before you pay for expensive stall space in professional exhibitions.

Use a Website and Social Media

Host an interactive website which will allow people to see your designs and contact you. Your own website will serve as an excellent marketing platform. Ensure that your website is search engine optimized and allows online payment through different modes. Create a blog for your business, and keep updating information about your jewelry and its photos. You can act as a jewelry expert and give free tips for jewelry-making and maintenance. Use Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp to interact with existing and prospective clients to help promote and enhance your handmade jewelry.

TIP: Ensure your website has the right keywords. Instead of tagging “cabochon earrings”, be specific and mention “Silver sea green cabochon earrings”. This will help the customer to easily search for the right jewelry.

Employ Conventional Advertising

In spite of today’s technology-driven marketing techniques, you cannot ignore the reach and power of conventional advertising mediums. You can advertise in various magazines, newspapers to route the readers to your online store or website. Post flyers and banners at public places or jewelry stores, which will help you to generate sales.

Tip: There is no point in advertising in jewelry-making magazines as they will mostly be subscribed by jewelry designers and not customers. Try to tap into women’s magazines instead, as they will be read by many fashion-savvy women.

Online Invoices

Your invoices can be a great way to market your products. For example, instead of handing out a paper invoice, send an online invoice that contains a preview of your new product range. This may interest the customer, and compel him/her to visit again. Further more, this will save paper and printing cost.

Tip: Ensure that you offer a discount to your regular customers on the sale of new products.

Adorn Your Jewelry

Needless to say, you will have to wear your new pieces of jewelry everyday so that people can see them and order similar pieces. Who knows, they may also recommend your work to others. Also, wearing your own designs for a day or two will help you judge their quality and get a user-like perspective on your creations.

Tip: Do not forget to offer a warranty for the material of the jewelry at least for 12 months after the purchase. This will portray you as a reliable jewelry seller.

Offer Discounts and Schemes

Depending on the occasion, offer discounts on jewelry. For example, a month before Valentine’s Day, offer 25% off on all heart-shaped jewelry. Offer a pair of earrings free on the purchase of every two products. Such schemes often act as customer pullers, and you may witness increased sales. However, don’t forget to advertise these schemes through all your communication mediums like word of mouth, social network, website, web-store, blog, etc.

Tip: Once you ensure that you are making a profit even after offering a free gift or discount, and only then announce such schemes.

After gaining popularity, you may also offer signature pieces of jewelry. Many people are ready to shell out a few extra bucks if they get unique customized jewelry. Also, many jewelry websites these days offer bidding for a piece of jewelry everyday. This way they end up earning far more than the quoted price. Hope, you will put these tips for marketing and selling your handcrafted jewelry into practice, and register excellent profit.

Cleaning Tips for Silver Jewelry

With time, silver and sterling silver jewelry tends to get tarnished and the build-up of tarnish makes it appear black. Tarnishing occurs due to climatic conditions and also due to the silver coming in contact with certain chemicals. The materials that cause silver tarnishing include eggs, rubber bands, wood, onions, etc., and hence, the fact remains that avoiding its tarnishing is nearly impossible and the only way to get rid of it is to clean it as soon as the tarnish starts to build up.

Methods
There are several methods that can be adopted to clean silver jewelry. However, while selecting the method you must take into consideration the degree to which the jewelry has been tarnished. You can make use of either commercially available silver cleaning products or you can prepare a cleaning solution at home and use it to remove the tarnish.

Commercial Products
There are a lot of commercial products available which include silver jewelry wipes, soap, polish, silver jewelry dip, ultra-sonic cleaner, etc. If the jewelry has been tarnished to a large extent and appears very close to the color black, then it is best to use the ultra-sonic silver jewelry cleaner along with the sonic cleaning liquids to remove the tarnish. Other products can be used for regular cleaning or for a mild to medium tarnish.

Homemade Products

Materials Required

  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup liquid dish soap
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • Water
  • Aluminum foil
  • A large pot
  • Towel
  • Strainer

Method
Line the inside of a large pot with the aluminum foil on all sides as well as the bottom. Mix the salt, liquid dish soap and baking soda in half gallon of water and pour it into the pot. Then, place the silver jewelry in the solution and place the pot on low heat for a few minutes. Turn off the burner and let the jewelry sit in the solution for a few more minutes. Strain out the solution from the pot using a strainer and rinse the jewelry under cold running water. Make sure you wash off the solution well, especially the salt. Next, place the jewelry on a clean, soft towel to dry. Dispose off the aluminum foil carefully.

Usage of Toothpaste
Usage of white toothpaste can also give excellent results. To begin with, you will need to dampen the jewelry to be cleaned. Then, take a generous amount of white toothpaste and apply it to an old soft toothbrush. Gently brush the toothpaste on the silver for a minute or two, rinse it, and dry with a clean and soft towel.

You should be very careful with the stones in the jewelry while cleaning it. Make sure you store your silver jewelry in jewelry boxes rather than storing them in paper, cotton, or unlined wooden boxes. Most importantly, remember to clean the tarnish on a regular basis.

Tips to Clean Sterling Silver Jewelry

If you are like me who loves to wear silver jewelry, then you too must be in a fix as to know how to clean sterling silver jewelry and preserve them. Silver is a delicate metal and it requires a lot of care, if you want to preserve its sparkle and luster. Pure silver is too soft and malleable and so is combined with some other metals to form jewelry. When silver is mixed with copper in the ratio of 92.5% silver to 7.5% copper, it is called sterling silver. There are many sterling silver jewelry cleaner available in the market as well as several ways by which you can clean them at home.

Tips to Clean Sterling Silver at Home

Silver tarnishes very easily and it tends to look darker with the passage of time. This is due to oxidation of silver with sulfides in the atmosphere. There are various ways of cleaning sterling silver jewelry.

  • Use a gentle and mild liquid detergent to clean sterling silver jewelry. Avoid contact of silver jewelry with any kind of abrasives such as acetone, chlorine and bleach.
  • The best way to clean sterling silver jewelry is by using a piece of soft cotton or flannel cloth. Rub the silver with back and forth motion to clean it. Do not rub it in circular motions, as doing this might leave scratch marks over the jewelry.
  • Another way in which you can clean sterling silver jewelry, is by using toothpaste. For this you need a soft cloth and a white toothpaste. Apply toothpaste on your jewelry and rub it with a cloth for 2-3 minutes. Rinse the jewelry with lukewarm water and dry it with a towel.
  • You can also use a solution of mild herbal shampoo to clean your silver jewelry. In a glass bowl, dilute some shampoo and immerse the silver jewelry in it for 10-12 minutes. Rinse with warm water and dry them thoroughly.
  • If you are wondering how to clean silver jewelry, then here is a good method. Line a shallow glass dish with aluminum foil with its shiny side pointing towards you. Place the silver jewelry over the aluminum foil and sprinkle 5-6 tablespoon of washing soda. Pour half a liter of boiling water over it and let the jewelry soak for 10-15 minutes. Rinse well with water and dry it with a soft flannel cloth. If your jewelry contains any stones like turquoise or pearls, then do not use this procedure, as you might damage the stones.
  • Store your silver jewelry in air tight containers or plastic pouches. While storing them, make sure that different pieces of jewelry do not rub against each other, as scratches may be formed on them.
    If your sterling silver jewelry has excess tarnish and dirt on it, then it is a good idea to clean your silver jewelry with commercial silver polish. It is available in a paste and liquid form, and works well for delicate pieces of jewelry. Apply small quantities of polish on a soft flannel cloth. Now gently rub the polish, in an up and down motion, making sure that you do not miss cleaning the small grooves in it. You can also use a toothbrush with soft bristles to clean the silver jewelry. Rinse thoroughly under running water to get rid of all the dirt.

One of the best and most economical sterling silver jewelry cleaner that you can use is by mixing ½ teaspoon of ammonia and 2 tablespoons of any mild detergent with 2 cups of water. Soak your jewelry in it for 10-15 minutes and rinse them in running water. You will find that your silver shines as good as new. If you wear your silver jewelry everyday, then make sure that you wear them after you have applied all creams, lotions and perfumes. Always ensure that you use very mild detergent for cleaning your sterling silver jewelry as harsh chemicals can dull their shine and damage them.