At one level, selecting and owning jewelry is a visceral, natural experience. Jewelry is supposed to be beautiful. So, all you need to do is pick pieces that appeal to your taste or the taste of their intended recipients. There is a deeper level to jewelry, though. Buying, selling and caring for your jewelry are all processes that can be improved by learning a few handy tips. This article will give you those tips.
If you want to buy sterling silver pieces, use a magnet and examine the jewelry very carefully. By using the magnet you can quickly determine if the jewelry item is made of a cheaper metal and not sterling silver. Look for the hallmark stamped on the piece of jewelry to determine what percentage sterling silver it is. Silver jewelry that lacks a hallmark may be a fake or composed of other metals.
Try adding a special personal touch to your pieces by getting them professionally engraved. You can add just about anything and it makes it a more special and memorable piece to you or somebody you care about. You can get names, initials, small messages, symbols, etc. finely carved into your pieces to truly make them one-of-a-kind.
Do not attempt to shine your silver or gold jewelry with toothpaste. It is simply an incorrect home remedy that many try to pass off as fact that it works. The chemicals in toothpaste will erode your jewelry causing the gemstones to permanently lose their luster. For only a few dollars you can buy a proper polishing cloth and jewelry shining liquid.
The best tool for any jewelry hunter, whether searching for personal treasure or for the profit in reclaiming gold or silver, is a jeweler’s loupe. Jeweler’s loupes are small, but powerful magnifying instruments designed specially for use in examining jewelry at very close range. Some jeweler’s loupes also have a built-in, battery-powered light which can be very handy if examining pieces in a dimly lit area. Most jeweler’s loupes are extremely economical in cost and can help you make the most of your jewelry-buying dollar, especially when buying from second-hand sources.
If wearing earrings makes your ears feel itchy or irritated, ensure that you buy nickel-free jewelry in the future. Nickel is often used in inexpensive costume jewelry, but it can be very irritating to some people. Look for earrings with solid gold or platinum posts for the most hypoallergenic option.
To open a jump link when making chain jewelry, hold the jump link steady with pliers your left hand, and grip the opposite side of the opening with pliers in your right. Gently twist your hands towards each other. This twisting action helps the jump ring maintain its circular shape without distortion, which will occur if you try to push the sides together without twisting.
When learning a new jewelry-making technique, use cheaper materials. For instance, if you are learning wire techniques, pick up some aluminum or copper wire from a local craft store, instead of using your sterling silver wire. This will help you get the valuable practice you need to master the technique, while sparing your pocketbook. If you mess up on your top-quality materials, they may become unusable.
Water is typically enough to clean most types of jewelry and precious stones. Simply use a damp cloth and wipe off any kind of residue or dirt that is on the jewelry. If there are any more stubborn problems, you can use a very light cleaning detergent to remove these issues.
Using such methods, you can improve the entire experience of owning or giving jewelry. Every piece of jewelry matches someone’s particular tastes, and finding the right one for you requires no education. But when you learn a little about the non-aesthetic considerations, you can make your experiences of buying, giving and owning jewelry more economical and longer-lasting.