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Posts Tagged ‘Jewelry’

How to Know If Pearl Jewelry Is Real or Fake

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Cultured pearls are made by two types of mollusk: oysters create salt water pearls, and mussels create freshwater pearls. To culture a pearl, the technician performs a delicate surgery to insert a bead nucleus or tissue. A nice pearl will hopefully be the result, and will eventually make it you to purchase at a jewelry store. Pearls are often rated on the “triple A” scale, but there is no universal grading standard. So, it’s a good idea to figure out the different types and what denotes quality.

The first thing you will want to do when identifying a real pearl is to look at the luster of the stone. A genuine pearl will have a glow to it. A natural pearl can be detected by looking at the thickness of the nacre layers. Roll a strand of pearls on a bright white surface under a very bright light. They should “wink” at you. The color will appear lighter and darker as they are rolled on the white surface.

Take a strand of pearls to a professional jeweler. They will be able to do a number of tests to find out they are real. You may think that they are not real if they are not a true color, but the fact is that natural pearls can come in many colors, such as pink pearls and even gold. There are even some rare kinds of pearls you can find that are black or even blue-black.

Other items that you can factor in when looking at pearls are shape and skin. Higher value pearls will be almost perfectly round. Obviously, the larger the pearl, the higher value it is going to have. The fewer blemishes that you can see on the skin of the pearl, means it is a high quality pearl and is also going to be more expensive. Real jewelers are more than happy to scape the surface of the pearl to prove it is real, which is another thing to ask about.

Pearls can also be paired up with gems to make unique pearl jewelry pieces. Once of the more popular places to find unique pearl jewelry pieces are Japan. These unique pieces allow you a larger variety of selection for pearl jewelry.

If you are in the United States, there are some professional jewelers who also offer different unique pearl settings. A couple of tests you can do are to bite the pearl. If it feels gritty on your teeth, they you know it is authentic. If it feels smooth on your teeth, you will know that it is fake.

Silver Jewelry Cleaning and Care

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

All people who wear sterling silver jewelry need to care for it on occasion. Sterling silver tarnishes, and we need to clean and polish it to keep it sparkling. Highly polished silver can reflect up to 95% of direct light back to the viewer, giving it a truly mirror like finish. Some pieces just don’t look right unless they’re really polished – to a bright shine while other pieces look their best with an “antique style” finish.

As a natural material, silver reacts with its environment, especially the chemicals in the air and, over time, silver does become tarnished. This doesn’t mean that your fabulous new piece of jewelry is defective, far from it, it just proves that your beautiful accessory is good quality silver.

It’s very easy to get your silver jewellery back to its former glory and, like most things, the earlier you catch the tarnish the easier it is to get rid of it. When tarnish starts to turn any colour from yellowy brown to black you may have to get it professionally cleaned.

You can clean your mildly tarnished silver at home with sterling silver dips – but you do need to be careful! The dips, while very effective at removing tarnish, are equally as effective at removing the colour and polish off gemstones. It’s a good rule not to dip any jewellery with stones, but gemstones that are particularly affected are pearls, sodalite, malachite, lapis lazuli, white opals, turquoise or any soft or porous stones.

Also remember not to leave your jewelry in the dip too long and don’t rinse it off with cold water otherwise you could find your jewellery gets a white residue which can be as hard to remove as the tarnish. To make sure your jewellery stays perfect, always read the manufacturer’s instructions.

To clean untarnished silver (and keep it that way), use a phosphate-free detergent or non-abrasive cloth made for cleaning jewelry – these cloths should come with a built in jewellery cleaner.

There are also some preventative steps you can take – so that you won’t have to worry about tarnished silver. Cleaning your silver regularly is one way to avoid it but you can also avoid tarnish by wearing your jewelry often. Just be careful that when you’re wearing your silver that you don’t expose it to household chemicals, hair products, perfumes, cosmetics, perspiration, rubber, latex, chlorinated water or direct sunlight.

Avoiding (or at least reducing) tarnish is easy, just make sure you put your make-up, perfume and hairspray on before you put your jewelry on – and take off your silver jewelry before you go swimming and sunbathing. Getting dressed just like your granny used to, with jewelry last, has more than just quaint traditionalism to recommend it – it’s a habit that’ll help keep your jewelry sparkling and beautiful.