Friday, May 30, 2014

Earrings Take It All

Earrings are the most sculptural jewelry expression with unlimited possibilities for design.  Earrings are often suspended so that they are visible from all sides, as well as from above and below. 

Almost anything can be hung onto or dangled from an ear.  Earrings are not limited by the size of the wearer, as are bracelets and rings.  While most earring forms are specific to the ear, there are always, matching. 

The proximity to the face makes earrings highly visible; one has to look harder to find pendants – which are often covered by shirts or jackets – or rings, which can be small and hard to spot on someone’s hand.

Earrings have unique physical characteristics and requirements that compel designers to ask many questions.  Will the earring hug the ear or dangle?  Will it hang straight with gravity?  Will it be light enough to ear comfortably?  Will it use a conventional post and clutch, or a hook, or neither?  Will it sit up on the earlobe and cover the hole or will be suspended and expose the lobe?  How long will it be: moderate, long, down to the shoulder, down to the waist?  Will it be stationary or moving?  The answers make earrings the most dramatic and playful of all jewelry forms and they often come to life with the wearer’s movements.
Women own and wear far more pairs of earrings than other types of jewelry.  Generally earrings are perceived as “less serious” than necklaces, brooches, or bracelets.  They are less likely to carry the social significance of rings.  Gold and silver earrings are usually lighter, made from less metal, and therefore more affordable than bracelets or necklaces.  Earrings are an essential fashion accessory and are coordinated with apparel more often than other jewelry.  No doubt ladies all agree with!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Length of the Strand

When pricing pearls, you should take into consideration the length of the strand as well as the milimeter size of the pearls. The pearls trade has specific names for different necklace lengths.  If you need a bit of help choosing between different lengths of pearls, check out the guide below.

A 12"- 14" (30-35cm) necklace. Often considered the dressiest length of pearl necklaces, pearl collars are typically worn in multiple strands, and adorned with decorative clasps or diamond bars.  Pearl collars are ideal for women who enjoy wearing V-neck or boat neck fashions. 
A 14"- 16" (35-40cm) necklace whose central pearl normally lies in the hollow of the throat or just below it. It looks especially attractive with V-neck blouses and dresses.
A 16"- 20" (40-50cm) necklace. This slightly longer length is well suited for pearl enhancers (detachable pendants) and can slenderize the neck.
A 20"- 26" (50-66cm) necklace. Some people like to wear a matinee length along with a choker. Or they have it strung with two hidden (mystery) clasps so it can also be worn as a bracelet and a shorter necklace.
A necklace about twice the size of a choker. It is quite common to see them as a way to dress up otherwise casual attire.
A necklace longer than an opera length. The defined length will vary according to the jeweler or company using term. This type of necklace can be knotted or twisted and used to embellish necklines of all different types. 
Pearl necklace lengths are summarized in the following list:
12"- 14"
14"- 16"
16"- 20"
20"- 26"
26"- 36"
40" +
1 meter or longer
14 Ways to Wear Multiway Freshwater Pearl Necklace (Video)

Monday, May 26, 2014


When I was growing up my parents played a lot of Beatles music around the house, and I remember my mom telling us how the frenzy over the band was so crazy at one point that Ringo’s hair was snipped-off by a girl at a cocktail party as a souvenir.  What a horrible thing to do to somebody over fruit punch and a bit of chit-chat!
Those boys from Liverpool really made it to the top, and Beatlemania was simply a kind of widespread madness; companies fought over themselves to take advantage of the craze with merchandise like Beatles wigs, boots, shampoos, hair brushes and hair spray, just to name a few! The lads certainly have a thing or two they could teach the mostly talentless wannabes today.  But I digress! Congratulations to Jennifer Springfield for getting it right first, and the vintage postcard is in the mail as they say!
The earrings were made of braided hair, most likely during the time of Victoria and Dickens. Jewellery made with hair dates back to at least the 1600's, when hair bracelets were given as love tokens by both men and women.  This type of jewellery remained popular until the late 1800's.  Many people today may associate hair jewellery mainly with death, thinking it was made only for the purpose of mourning a deceased loved one.  This is not surprising because Queen Victoria herself made it socially proper and desirable to mourn deeply, and hers was a remarkable story in itself as she spent some 40 odd years mourning for Prince Albert. While there is no doubt that was a major function of hair jewellery, nevertheless, many pieces were in fact made just for sentimental reasons, and as tokens of love and friendship. In the days before photography, hair jewellery was something people could cherish as keepsakes.  For example, in the late 1800's and early 1900's, postcards and valentines were also sent with hair attached.  The sender would glue locks of her hair onto specially made postcards, and send it to someone as a memento.

Here are a few more tokens of love and friendship made of hair…

Lovely brooches are they not?

and a very fashionable fob watch chain. Napoleon had carried a similar one made from the hair of Empress Marie Louise into his battles.  At the end of his life, as his life was ebbing away on the island of St. Helena, he left instructions that upon his passing, his hair was to be preserved and fashioned into bracelets, to be given to Marie Louise, his mother, brothers and sisters, and a larger one reserved for his son. The watch chain made from his wife’s hair was important enough that it was bequeathed to his son.  In his will, he stipulated “My two watches, and the chain of the Empress’s hair, I entrust the care of these articles to Marchand, my principal valet-de-chambre, and direct him to convey them to my son when he shall attain the age of sixteen years.”


Friday, May 23, 2014

Pearl Matching is More About How They Fit Together

The term "Matching" here, does not mean that all of the pearls are absolutely identical - that would be impossible! Nor does it even mean that all of the pearls in the piece are generally uniform in size, shape, and color. It basically means that the pearls "fit together" in a pleasing manner, and that variations among them are either minimal, gradual, or for a specific purpose…

A pair of pearl earrings is a classic, iconic and versatile fashion accessory. You can wear pearl earrings with a formal outfit or go for a casual look and pair the earrings with jeans and a relaxed shirt. Keep in mind that a pair of pearl earrings can make you look older than you are, especially if you make conservative fashion choices. Keep your look fresh and young by wearing the earrings with a slightly unconventional, bold looks.

Formal Attire

You can't beat the combination of pearl stud earrings and a little black dress. Keep the look simple for a formal dinner party or other event. Choose a slim-cut black shift dress that falls to the knees or just above the knees. You don't want too much detail on the dress. Add texture to the look with a pair of textured tights. Lacy black tights or fishnets will work well. Add a pop of color with a pair of red pumps or keep the look monochrome by wearing black heels.

Ready for Work

Pearl earrings will look classy paired with an outfit for work, whether your office requires business attire or lets you be a bit more casual. For a look that's trend but still professional, try wearing a pair of gray or black pearl earrings with a gray wool shift dress and blazer. If you prefer to wear pants to work, choose a cropped, fitted blazer, white button-down shirt and slim fitting, cropped black pants. Finish the look with a pair of oxfords or ballet flats.

Keep It Casual

Even if you're relaxing on a weekend or holiday, going to lunch or shopping, pearl earrings fit right in. Wear your favorite jeans, whether they're boot-cut or slim fitting. Go for a darker rinse, unless you absolutely love the lighter washes. On top, wear a fitted t-shirt in a bold color. Purple or green will work nicely. If its fall or winter, a fitted sweater will work too or a long sleeved casual button-down!

Get Creative

Think outside the box when wearing your pearl earrings for an unexpected look that still looks great. Try pairing the earrings with dressy shorts. A pair of shorts made from silk or taffeta will look stunning with pearl earrings and a fitted sleeveless blouse. Those earrings will also look great paired with pleated shorts or a pair of shorts with a ribbon belt. Try mixing and matching elements for an interesting and unusual look. For example, take the casual look to the extreme and create a funky outfit by wearing your pearls with a pair of cut-offs or ripped jeans. It's unexpected and will make people look your way twice.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How to Identify Pearl Blemishes

A standardized terminology has not been developed for pearl blemishes.
The terms found below are based primarily on those listed in the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) pearl grading course. These imperfections are usually judged without magnification.

                      Some typical pearl blemishes- pits, bumps, welts, holes, pinpoints and dull area

 u  Scratches

Straight or crooked lines scraped on the pearl. These aren't serious unless the pearl is so badly scratched the luster and beauty is affected.

u  Cracks

Breaks in the nacre and/ or bead nucleus. Small cracks in the bead may look like little hairs trapped under the nacre. Cracks, even when not visible, can threaten the durability of a pearl.

u  Dull Spots

Areas of very low luster due to variations in nacre quality or contact with chemicals, cosmetics or skin secretions.

u  Dimples

Circular depressions or indentations which are often found in groups.

u  Pits and Pinpoints

Tiny holes on the surface which are normally hardly noticeable and, therefore, not serious. "Pinpoints" may also refer to tiny bumps since, from a distance, these look about the same as tiny pits.

u  Chips, Holes and Patches of Missing Nacre

Blemishes which may occur on any type of pearl but that are particularly common on those with thin nacre.

u  Discolorations

Spotty areas often caused from concentrations of conchiolin, a protein substance that holds nacre crystals together. Discolorations are not frequently seen because pearls are typically bleached to even out their color.

u  Bumps and Welts

Raised areas which are found alone or in groups. They may sometimes cover most of the surface area of the pearl. If bumps or welts are very large, they can put the pearl into the off-round category. Occasionally pearls have a wrinkled appearance. This is due to groupings of welts. 


Monday, May 19, 2014

B.E.S.T of Diamond and the Perfect Proposal

What are the four things anyone needs to do to get their BEST start before buying the perfect diamond ? (P.S. this time...pearl earrings are not going to do the magic :P)

Budget- Figure out what you have to spend, and stick to it.

Expectations- Listen to her. Try to understand her expectations (her needs and wants) so you will have a  feel for what to pick out.
Savvy- Become savvy! Know what any given diamond should cost and what the best qualities are to wear. Knowledge is power. You will never win the race without training.

Timetable- Figure out when you want to give it to her and do not rush. Haste makes waste. Give  yourself enough time to study up, shop around, and plan the perfect proposal!

The Proposal....."On the Radio"

Ron  called the evening DJ at the radio station he and Sarah always listened to and enlisted his collaboration. Saturday evening, as Ron and Sarah were in the car, heading for dinner at their favorite French restaurant- Le Bernardin, 155 W 51st St, Manhattan, NYC, the DJ began playing the pre-recorded interview he'd done with Ron. On the tape, Ron is telling the DJ about his wonderful girlfriend, and the story of how they met, and everything about her...Sarah gradually realizes that story sounds familiar. Then she realizes it's Ron's voice she's hearing on the radio!

Ron continues driving, grinning from ear to ear as Sarah listens in astonishment. Finally, over the radio, Ron's voice says, "Sarah, open the glove compartment." she does, and finds a ring box. "Open it," Ron's voice commands. Inside is a beautiful diamond ring. :)
Finally, Ron's voice comes over the radio, she hears the magic words, "Sarah, will you marry me?"

Saturday, May 17, 2014

X'mas 1914

Ron loves dead people's things! While cleaning up our place I came across this antique pocket watch case that I had bought him for his birthday last year, and I can smugly say that he actually treasures it. You know how it is about buying presents – you never know if they will be appreciated or not. But I know he likes collecting things with a bit of history attached to them. He's really a bit of a geek that way. So I went to an ancient shop stuffed with estate items, ie., dead people's things! And when I laid eyes on it I knew that was it. It's an empty pocket watch case which doesn't have the mechanism inside. Supposedly it is gold-filled, which I was told is similar to being gold plated. Well it cost me a pretty penny (far more expensive than the pair of black pearl earrings he gave me during our anniversary), so it had better well be!

The most striking feature of the case though is the inscription on the outside. It said Henry Bennett, Xmas 1914. Having been together with Ron for so long I have become a bit of a historian myself, and he's always saying how the centennial for the Great War is coming up soon. So Mr. Bennett had been the owner of this case with this very special time inscribed on it, for it was the very first Christmas of the First World War when the famous Christmas Truce occurred.

Yes it will soon be a hundred years since the guns of August started to speak in anger and tore the world asunder. Have we learnt our lesson though, looking around I have very serious reservations indeed. So I'll stick this musical video in this post, and wish you all a blessed and peaceful day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

DIY Exotic Pearl Earrings

Pearl jewelry doesn't have to be understated or monochromatic; it can also have an eclectic, ethnic style when combined with handcrafted beads from India and sparkling crystals. Talented metal artisans created the ornate sterling silver beads that give these pearl earrings an exotic flavor!
Connected to the powers of peace, love, luck, purity, and honesty, pearls are a favorite component for many jewelry lovers.  Here are a list of materials you will need to design your own fabulous pair of pair earrings:




2 sterling silver eurowire ear hooks                                               
Twelve  4mm sterling daisy spacers
Two  5mm gray pearl beads
Two 6mm clear crystal beads
Two 4mm white pearls beads
Two 1" (3 cm) 24-gauge (0.5 mm) head pins
Two 2" (5 cm) 24-gauge (0.5mm)eye pins
Two 8mm x 6mm sterling baroque dot beads
Wire cutter
Round-nosed pliers & flat-nosed pliers
Step by step
 1. Begin by stringing the following beads onto one of the sterling silver eye pins in this order: daisy bead, crystal bead, daisy bead, baroque bead, daisy bead, gray pearl bead, and daisy bead.
 2. Add an ear hook onto the top of the eye pin by using the wrap loop technique, remember to add the  ear hook to the loop before wrapping it closed.                 
 3. Now it is time to make the second part of the earring. Add one daisy bead, one 4mm white pearl bead, and one daisy bead onto a head pin.
 4. Use the wrap loop technique to finish the top of the head pin so that the loop is close to the beads added in the previous step. The finished piece should be approximately ½" (1 cm) in length.
 5. Trim the excess off the head pin using wire cutters.
 6. Now, pick up the first part of the earring, and use round-nosed pliers to slightly open the loop on the end of the eye pin.
 7. Slip the loop of the second earring part onto the open eye of the pin.
 8. Again, use round-nosed pliers to close the loop on the end of the eye pin. Repeat all these steps to make a second earring so that you have a matching pair.  
Sarah's Tip:
Probably the most difficult part of making earrings is to make sure that both match, especially in length. But do not make yourself too crazy when trying to do this. Remember that though you may hold them up next to each other to see how they look after you have made them, you will be wearing them on either side of your head. Therefore, if one is a little longer than the other, it will not be noticeable! To ensure that earrings are the same length, first be aware of the length of head pins and wire as you use them. You may even want to use a ruler to measure each section. Experiment and find a method that works best for you.
Wrap Loop
The wrap loop technique is extremely useful for a large number of jewelry projects. For this  technique, you will need a pair of round-nosed pliers, wire cutters, flat-nosed pliers, and your choice of wire to create wrap loops. Be patient, and be prepared to practice. There is no way you will do this perfectly the first time. The more you do it, the better you will become.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pearl Earrings & Diamond Ring - "Will You Marry Me?"

"Will you marry me, honey? Mmm...say you will....! Honey, It's a 2 carat diamond ring and a fancy pair of pearl earrings! Those four little words (Will you marry me) form what may well be the most important question you'll ever ask. The rest of your life flows from that question. It joins two families and begins a new family, and determines everything from what you will do and where you will spend your holidays, to what your kids will be like, what you will eat for dinner, western or Chinese cuisine...

In other words, this question is a BIG DEAL! Too big to treat casually... You seriously don't want to just pull out the ring box while you are watching TV or eating your chips and say, "Oh yeah, I thought you might like to...uh...would you?"

Make it a moment you'll both remember forever!
She will remember it, everything and every tiny detail of it....the date and time, what clothes and jewelries she was wearing, what you were wearing, the place and the weather. She'll remember who she told first, and what they said to her, and how her parents and your parents reacted... everything! So take the time and make the effort to plan it, plan it well and make the details come out just right. Why spend a lot of time and money getting the perfect diamond ring only to have the Big Moment turn out to be a flop? A diamond is just one part of a “Perfect Proposal”. It takes thought, planning, loving, attention to detail, and occasionally teamwork to create the kind of fireworks which will leave a lasting glow on your lives together. Don't you agree with me?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Cursed Necklace

Went through my dusty boxes today and found an old copy of my favorite cautionary tale 'The Necklace' by de Maupassant.  We studied the story for a literature class in school, and it had touched a raw nerve in me as a teenaged lass who coveted ridiculously colorful little trinkets and beady knick-knacks, and I felt chastised as I read it. The feeling somehow never really left me, even after all this time.

Beautiful Mathilde was convinced that fate had dealt her a bad hand, being born in modest circumstances.  She felt she was meant for finer things and her resentment against her station in life twisted her.  Although she had a comfortable home and a devoted husband, a lowly civil servant, she was so dissatisfied that she was oblivious to everything except the wealth which eluded her. Her desire for wealth was such a constant torment within her soul that she could not even visit her rich friends without being overcome with intense jealousy. It was the idea of going to a party without expensive clothes and the appropriate accoutrements, in this case the cursed diamond necklace which Mathilde lost the at the party, Mathilde had to exhort her entire savings and borrowed heavily to pay for the replacement diamond necklace. The ironic thing is after years of hard work paying off her debt, she eventually found out that the necklace itself was not even real diamonds, and was only worth 500 francs instead of the 36,000 francs. I too have experienced such moments of insanity that in hindsight made no sense. Haven't we all? 

One of the characters depicted by de Maupassant is like my boyfriend, Monsieur Loisel. He is the absolute antithesis of Ron. Who would want such an utterly doting husband? Absolutely cloying.  Since he bought me a pair of pearl earrings for our anniversary, he has been giving me little jewelry gifts every month.   My most recent gift is the pearly drops earrings. The fabulous Silver Art Deco Pearl Dangle Earrings that make me look like a princess. These pair of breathtaking white pearl earrings is silver plated and has round clear cubic zirconia stones encrusted for a fabulous trendy look. On the bottom of these CZ dangle earrings are a glistening shell pearl that has an enchanting appeal, and brighten up any outfit I wear.

Anyway, tidying up the house this time is bringing up many memories. Just you wait until I flip through the pages of some of Steinbeck's short stories!



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Are Earrings only for Ladies?

Earrings are not the only jewelry for ladies but also for men.  It's a little known fact, but men began wearing earrings even before women.  The tradition of men wearing earrings dated far back in our ancestry to primitive Indian tribes.  

Facial piercings and jewelry were used as tools to modify the bodies in religious and cultural initiations and rituals.  For many of these primitive Indian tribes, body modification is a symbol of age, status, wealth and standing within the tribe that is still used even today.    

In the 20th century, thanks to the hippy movement, punk rock and numerous male public figures sporting piercings such as Michael Jordon, pop stars such as Justin Bieber and Will Smiths, the trend of wearing an earring went from religious symbol to simple fashion statement.

Here is an interesting question: Should a guy wear an earring on the left or the right ear? Sometime ago, we thought that a guy should wear it on the left but not the right ear. Wearing an earring on the right ear is a sign of homosexuality. As time goes by, overgeneralization usually causes problems because nowadays people don't follow the rules. Some might even say that "right is right and left is gay". The days of men getting beat up, harassed or thrown in the gutter just because they wear an earring are finally over. The trend of men's earrings has finally hit the mainstream, especially for the younger generation, and it isn't going to disappear anytime soon. In contemporary American culture, a man's earring usually indicate social affiliations but not to their sexuality. Earrings on men can also be looked at as an extension of the man's personality, style or willingness to make a statement. As earrings have lost their false distinctions, the sight of a man with an earring has also lost a lot of its shock value.
Today, there are various types of earrings for men, ranging from classic studs, dangling and hoops to more elaborate forms of ear and facial modification. The following are several gorgeous men having earrings on one or both of their ears.


Guys, what are the reasons for wearing earrings? I have seen many guys wearing for the hack of fun without any sense of purpose. Some men earrings even look hideous and I think it must be very painful to put them on in the first place.  
Ladies, what do you think of men wearing earrings? Do you feel sexuality attracted when you see a guy wearing earrings?

Earrings Tips for Men

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