Friday, December 31, 2010

HUGE FACEBOOK GIVE AWAY!!

I LOVE to give stuff away!!! So....I am going to give away a huge lotto pot when I reach 2000 fans on Facebook....HUGE......I want this to be exciting for the person recieving it in the drawing! So, if you want to get in on it, and become a sponsor for the big prize....just give me a shout with what you would like to donate...this will be fun!!!!

RULES FOR PLAYERS:
(sorry.....but there have to be a few of them to make it fair for all)

DO TO ISSUES WITH FACEBOOK NOT LINKING TO SHOP NAMES I HAVE HAD TO CHANGE THE RULES A BIT ON HOW TO ENTER THE DRAWING.......I SINCERELY APOLOGISE FOR THIS PROBLEM......

1. There will be 1, and only 1 winner, of ALL the prizes listed. Prize list will be updated as I recieve donations, for you to take a look at, and know what you are winning. (I am putting an item in as well)

2. Sponsors are responsible for sending out the items you win, unless they choose to send it to me to send it to you. You will be sent a list of the sponsors names/shop names, and they will be given your contact information, so they can get your mailing address, or give you your prize.

3. Items given by sponsors are not exchangeable, unless the sponsor chooses to do so for you. That will be up to the sponsors.

4. HOW TO ENTER:
Find the PHOTO Album on my fanpage,  that has a picture looking just like my blog back ground, and post a comment under that photo......when I reach 2000....we will pull 1 name out of the pot!

The more people we have get in on this the better, and more exciting it will be!!!

5. Get your friends, fans, and family involved! This is a winner take all give away.....and whoever does a mention of the sponsors and my page.....gets in the pot an extra time (using the @pagename method in the status line)

6. Make sure they know the rules.....give them the blog addy, so they can check them out!!!

I will be the first to show what I am giving away......and here it is:
This is the first ever of the circle of life....Norma Mae....pendants I made. It is made with solid copper wire, in a byzantine chain maille weave, and has light Saphire blue Sworovski crystals weaved in. The pendant is 1.5" wide/tall. This is a $20.00 value!!














This is  a Custom Etsy Banner by A Green Dress....wanna see her work?? You're lookin at it right here on my blog, and in my shop! She does really good work, and is so easy to work with! This is a $20.00 value!!















The Hook up has donated this $5.00 gift certificate to their shop as well! There are hats, leg warmers...just about anything you need to keep warm this winter found in this shop!! Go check out her page at
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Hook-Up-Custom-Crochet-Knitting-More-by-MC/153725758002815?v=info














Sock Monkey Emporium is adding to our huge giveaway pot a CUSTOM made sock monkey!!! wow! How cool is that?! You get to pick the color and everything! You can find The Sock Monkey Fanpage here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sock-Monkey-Emporium/107545582631888



The Beadin Artist is giving a $ 45.00 coupon to her shop OR her website!! If you haven't yet, you need to go take a look around in her shop, and on her website, she has some absolutely gorgeous pieces for you to choose from, and $45.00 will go a LONG way!!
You can find her Etsy shop here:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/BeadingArtist1
And Her website here:
http://www.beadingartist.com/









Archer Lane Design is also adding to our giveaway with this beautiful bracelet! This silver & black bracelet is just a gorgeous and fun item to have in our big drawing! A $15.00 value!!
You can find Archer lane design here:
http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=Shop&op=listing&product_id=2121202












These beautiful earrings have been added to our give away by Hannahs Hands....Don't ya just love black and silver together? A $15.00 value!!
You can find Hannah's Hands here:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/HannahsHands?ref=seller_info







Cute Things on Etsy has offered up a $20.00 gift certificate to their shop! This wreath is just an example of some of the wonderful things to be found over there.......wow!
You can find Cute Things here:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/cutethings6?ref=seller_info













Karen over at O.Sebastian on Artfire has also been very generous in giving to our ever growin pot! She is offering up a $25.00 gift certificate to her Artfire shop, packed full of just gorgeous chain maille jewelry!! wow!!!
You can find O.Sebastian here:
http://www.artfire.com/users/OSebastian


 
 
 
 
 

  Amber over at The Wild Tangent has generously offered to donate these beautiful Cross earrings to our fabulous give away! I just love crosses, and these are perfect!!
You can find Amber Here:
http://www.artfire.com/users/TheWildTangent













This gorgeous blue crystal bracelet has been generously donated by Kimberly over at My Celeste Creations! The crystal blues are just so pretty in this one....some one is gonna be a lucky gal!
You can find Kimberly here:
http://www.artfire.com/users/MyCelesteCreations




This is a beautiful pair of Brass earring from Tracey over at Wares Tracey! She has generously donated this pair to our massive giveaway, and if you haven't yet...you should go over and take a look around!
You can find Tracey here:
http://wares-tracey.artfire.com/


 
 
 
 
 

 
Bette, over at Gems Crystals and Wire, has offered up a beautiful Ammonite pendant, wrapped in Argentium sterling silver wire.....isn't that beautiful? AND, she is also giving, with the pendant, a 25% off coupon to her shop! wow huh?
You can find Bette here:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/GemsCrystalsAndWire













  Spirals and Spice on Etsy Has generously donated an 18.00 gift certificate to our HUGE give away! This ring is just an example of some of the items you will find in this shop!!
You can find Spirals & Spice here:
http://www.spiralsandspice.etsy.com/









Jen over at On a Whim Jewelry has also joined in on the fun! She is generously offering a $ 25.00 gift certificate to her shop!!! She has a lot of different items in her shop for you to brouse through, too!
You can find Jen here:
http://www.onawhimjewelrystore.artfire.com/












Mandy over at Faith Jewels has offered to give a $20.00 gift certificate to her Artfire shop! Wait till you see how far that will go!! She is even offering to waive the shipping!
You can find Mandy here:
http://www.artfire.com/users/faithjewelsbymandy









Penny over at Saniki Creations has also been sweet enough to donate one of her 2 in 2 chain maille rings, AND a $25.00 gift certificate to her website!
You can find Penny here:
http://www.sanikicreations.com/















Monique over at Rose Ange has generously offered up a $25.00  gift certificate to her shop! This Kilt pin is just one of the many things offered over there!
You can find Monique here:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/roseange?ref=seller_info












Lejla over at Ash jewels on Etsy has offered up this pair of beautiful copper earrings! Tese are a 12.00 value!!!
You can find Lejla here:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ashjewels











Sarah over at Bound in Chain is giving our winner a $20.00 gift certificate to her shop....or $20.00 in custom work! This bracelet is just 1 of the many items to be found!
You can find Sarah here:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/boundinchain









So there ya have it! Easy Peezy......and you could win a HUGE pot if your name is drawn out!!! Let's have some FUN with this one!!!!
In case you dont have it.......Here is my facebook page link!
http://www.facebook.com/SuperiorAgates

Friday, December 17, 2010

My latest fun stuff!

I am just sharing with everyone the new beaded bracelets I am making ....and they are only 6.99 each! Pretty pink and purple beaded chainmaille bracelets, these would be great as inexpensive gifts for teachers, friends birthdays....or whatever you can think of!! BVYK6A3W3NWA

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jewelry Designer

It occurs to me quite often, that what I think is "pretty" or "stylish", may not be what people are really looking for in handmade jewelry. I try really hard to come up with new, diverse designs, so that I have a large selection of different items available in my shop at any given time. Sometimes tho, I wonder, am I being diverse enough? Am I stepping far enough outside the box? Would the public prefer commercially made jewelry, or is handmade the priority?
Another thing I have been thinking about is, how long will this Large jewelry, or chunky jewelry, fad last? What is the attraction for most people to large pices of jewelry? I just wonder how long it will be around for?
What are YOU looking for? Do you lean more toward the commercial jewelry side of things? Or is handmade your preferance?

While I ponder these things, and maybe you can help me with the answers.....here is one of my latest works. This is a Turquoise jasper gem, wire wrapped in solid copper wire

Monday, November 22, 2010

Photo courtesy of http://northshore-rocks.com





Minnesota's State Gem: The Lake Superior Agate

Geologic History

More than a billion years ago, the North American continent began to split apart into two separate continents. This catastrophic event, spurred by molten rock moving deep within the earth, poured out massive, iron-rich lava flows. These flows now are exposed along the north and south shores of Lake Superior.
The tectonic forces that attempted to pull the continent apart, and which left behind the lava flows, also created the Superior trough. The trough eventually became the basin of Lake Superior and the lava flows became the birthplace of Lake Superior agates.
Water vapor and carbon dioxide became trapped within the solidified flows in the form of millions of bubbles, called gas pockets or vesicles. Later, groundwater carrying ferric iron, quartz, and other dissolved minerals passed through the trapped gas vesicles. These quartz-rich groundwater solutions crystallized into concentric bands of fine-grained quartz called chalcedony.
Over the next billion years, some of these quartz-filled, banded vesicles -- agates -- were freed by running water and chemical disintegration of the lavas, since these vesicles were now harder than the lava rocks that contained them. The vast majority, however, remained lodged in the lava flows until the next major geologic event that changed them and Minnesota.
About 2 million years ago, the world's climate grew colder signaling the beginning of the Great Ice Age. A lobe of glacial ice, the Superior lobe, moved into Minnesota 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. It followed the agate-filled Superior trough. The glacier picked up surface agates and carried them south. Its crushing action and cycle of freezing and thawing at its base also freed many agates from within the lava flows and transported them, too. The advancing glacier acted like an enormous rock tumbler, abrading, fracturing, and rough-polishing the agates.

Description
The Lake Superior agate differs from other agates found around the world in its rich red, orange, and yellow coloring. This color scheme is caused by the oxidation of iron. Iron leached from rocks provided the pigment that gives the gemstone its beautiful array of color. The concentration of iron and the amount of oxidation determine the color within or between an agate's bands.
The gemstone comes in various sizes. The gas pockets in which the agates formed were primarily small, about the size of a pea. A few Lake Superior agates weigh more than 20 pounds, about the size of a bowling ball. Such giant agates are extremely rare, but no doubt others are yet to be discovered.
The most common type of Lake Superior agate is the fortification agate with its eye-catching banding patterns. Each band, when traced around an exposed pattern or "face," connects with itself like the walls of a fort, hence the name fortification agate.
A common subtype of the fortification agate is the parallel-banded, onyx-fortification or water-level agate. Perfectly straight, parallel bands occur over all or part of these stones. The straight bands were produced by puddles of quartz-rich solutions that crystallized inside the gas pocket under very low fluid pressure. The parallel nature of the bands also indicates the agate's position inside the lava flow.
Probably the most popular Lake Superior agate is also one of the rarest. The highly treasured eye agate has perfectly round bands or "eyes" dotting the surface of the stone.
Occasionally, collectors find a gemstone with an almost perfectly smooth natural surface. These rare agates are believed to have spent a long time tumbling back and forth in the waves along some long-vanished, wave-battered rocky beach. They are called, appropriately enough, "waterwashed" agates.
Finally, the rarest Lake Superior agate is the one that recurs in a collector's dreams but is discovered in reality perhaps once in a lifetime. On average only one out of every 10,000 agates fits this description. They are the ones weighing 2 pounds or more and having perfect shape, color, and banding quality. They are the ones called "all-timers."
Treatment
The word "gemstone" implies that a stone can be used as a jewel when cut and polished. The Lake Superior agate certainly qualifies, although only a fraction of the stones are of the quality needed for lapidary -- the art of cutting and polishing stones. During glacial movement, most of the agates were badly fractured by tremendous pressures within the ice and by repeated freezing and thawing.
Three lapidary techniques are used on Lake Superior agates. The most common technique is tumbling. Small gemstones are rotated in drums with polishing grit for several days until they are smooth and shiny.
Medium-size "lakers" (one-quarter pound to 1 pound) often are cut with diamond saws into thin slabs, which then are cut into various shapes. One side of the shaped slab is polished producing fine jewelry pieces and collectible gems called cabochons. Cabochons can be set in rings, bracelets, belt buckles, and tie clasps.
A technique called face polishing is less commonly used on the state gemstone. It involves polishing a curved surface on a portion of the stone and leaving the major portion in its natural state

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How To Make Cabochons

There are a lot of places on the net which show how they make a cabochon, and  lot of them are helpful, just seeing someone else do it can help a person a lot. I am going to attempt to show you how I get my angles, in the beginning stage, the grinding wheel. This will be considered by a lot of cab makers as a "wrong" way to do it, but I dont think there is a wrong way. I believe you should use, and do, whatever works best for you, do whatever it takes to get the result you want in the end. This is just what "I" do.
The grinding wheel: I use a 100 grit SIC grinding wheel, not diamond, but either works just as well.
First, choose the side of your pre-form that will be the "face" of the cab, or the side you want to dome. In this photo you see me holding the cab face up, and pointing at the top edge of the stone. This is the edge we will begin getting our dome with. Always focus on this edge, alll the way around the stone for the first phase.

Here I have taken that stone to the grinding wheel, the stone's FACE edge, that edge in the previous picture, is against the wheel. I move mine up and down, a lot of others will hold it sideways, and go side to side. However you do it, make sure you are focusing on that edge of the stone, you need to get an "angle" on it, and you need to grind it down to a "girdle" thickness you desire, at that angle. Some people mark the girdle line with a permanent marker, I don't, I just eyeball it.

Something I have learned helps me is, a stone with corners, or points, grind the points first, to the girdle line, this gives you somewhat of a guide for the rest of the stone's sides/edges.

In these 2 photos you can see I have ground the corners down to my girdle line. This girdle line by the way, is not set in stone so to speak, through out the cabbing process, each step takes a little more rock off, layer by layer, so this may change a bit. The angle you see here, is just a guide, the angle you will need is going to depend on the thickness of your pre-form. For very thin stones, your angle may be slightly more slanted inwards (towards the middle of the stone).
OK, so in this picture you see that I have ground down the corners, then gone back and ground the side edges. Do you see the top edge has now moved in towards the middle of the face of the cab? THAT edge of the middle triangle is where we will be focusing our attention now, NOT down by the girdle line as we were before.

For this step, I like to turn my cab, so I can control, and see where I am grinding on the wheel. Since I am now focusing on that inner edge I created, this is how I hold the cab.

It's a little hard to see here, but I am actually able to see what I am grinding holding it this way on the wheel. The goal here is to move that inner edge in to the middle of the stone, so that edge touches each other so to speak.


These 2 photos show how I have met in the middle of the stone, and it is now a level dome. Unfortunetely, with a person being taught in person, hands on, it is almost impossible to show exactly how that happens, but hopefully the photos help you a bit.
For the remaining steps of making cabs, EACH STAGE will be repeated in the same exact way you did the grinding wheel. After each and every stage, dry the stone completely, and check for scratches from the previous stage. The most common areas to have these scratches is right in the middle of the face of the stone, and along the girdle. The hardest ones to get rid of, are the grinding wheel scratches, they are deep, so will require more attention to detail. If you are having a hard time getting rid of the scratches in the middle of the stone, it is highly likely that your dome is not level, and you are not actually hitting the middle of the stone on the wheels.
THINGS TO REMEMBER WHILE CABBING:
1. Moving the stones constantly - prevents "flat" spots on your cab - do not let your stone sit too long in one spot on the wheel, keep it moving
2. Make sure to dry the stone, and check to see you have removed all scratches from the previous round
3. Make sure you also remove scratches from the girdle, this presents a cleaner, prettier cab
4.If you are doing them by hand, like I do, clean up the backs of your cab as well, get rid of as many scratches on the backs as you can. If you are using a dop system, you will have to remove the cab from the dop stick in order to do this.
5. If you have scratches, don't assume you can remove them on the next stage, they do not always come out. It gets progressively harder with each stage to remove deep scratches, and at some point, impossible.
6. Scratches on your cabs will create a dull, no shine cab.

MY RULE OF THUMB:
Just when you think you have removed all the scratches from your cab.....go over it again, to be sure, on that stage.
WHAT I USE FOR PROGRESSIVE STAGES
100 grit SIC grinding wheel
100 grit SIC belt
220 grit SIC belt
320 grit SIC belt
400 grit SIC belt
600 grit SIC belt
Polish

If you are using diamond wheels or belts, these numbers may be different. BUT, the system is the same, the larger the number the finer the grit, and you must progress from course to fine to get a pristine finish.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What is YOUR State Gem stone??

Did you know that Thirty-five of the 50 states have designated an official state gem. (Montana and Nevada have named both a precious and semiprecious gemstone.) A gemstone is not necessarily a sparkling crystal—the majority of state gemstones are not crystalline minerals, but colorful rocks that look their best as flat, polished cabochons, perhaps in a bolo tie or belt buckle.
Have you ever wondered what your State Gem stone is? Well, here is a fun list that just might help you!
Alabama: Star blue quartz


Alaska: Jade

Arizona: Turquoise

Arkansas: Diamond

California: Benitoite

...Colorado: Aquamarine

Florida: Moonstone

Georgia: Quartz

Hawaii: Black coral

Idaho: Star garnet

Kentucky: Freshwater pearl

Louisiana: Agate

Maine: Tourmaline

Maryland: Agate

Massachusetts: Rhodonite

Michigan: Chlorastrolite

Minnesota: Agate

Montana: Sapphire and Agate

Nebraska: Blue agate

Nevada: Turquoise and Fire opal

New Hampshire: Smoky quartz

New Mexico: Turquoise

New York: Almandine garnet

North Carolina: Emerald

Ohio: Flint

Oregon: Sunstone

South Carolina: Amethyst

South Dakota: Agate

Tennessee: Freshwater pearls

Texas: Topaz

Utah: Topaz

Vermont: Grossular garnet

Washington: Petrified wood

West Virginia: Fossil coral Lithostrotionella

Wyoming: Nephrite jade

Did you also know that there are certain stones designated for Wedding anniversaries? I found a list for those as well!

WEDDING ANNIVERSARY STONES:

1st Anniversary - Gold Jewelry

Alternate: Peridot

2nd Anniversary - Garnet

3rd Anniversary - Pearls

...Alternate: Jade

4th Anniversary - Blue Topaz

Alternate: Blue Zircon

5th Anniversary - Sapphire

Alternate: Pink Tourmaline

6th Anniversary - Amethyst

Alternate: Turquoise

7th Anniversary - Onyx

Alternates: Yellow Sapphire, Golden Beryl

8th Anniversary - Tourmaline

Alternate: Tanzanite

9th Anniversary - Lapis Lazuli

Alternates: Amethyst, Green Spinel

10th Anniversary - Diamond Jewelry

Alternate:Blue Sapphire

11th Anniversary - Turquoise

Alternates: Citrine, Yellow Zircon

12th Anniversary - Jade

Alternate: Opal

13th Anniversary - Citrine

Alternates: Moonstone, Hawk's Eye

14th Anniversary - Opal

Alternates: Agate, Bloodstone

15th Anniversary - Ruby

Alternates: Rhodolite Garnet, Alexandrite

16th Anniversary - Peridot (evening emerald)

Alternate: Red Spinel

17th Anniversary - Watches

Alternate: Carnelian

18th Anniversary - Cat's Eye or Chrysoberyl

Alternate:Aquamarine

19th Anniversary - Aquamarine

Alternate:Almandine Garnet

20th Anniversary - Emerald

Alternate: Yellow or Golden Diamond

21st Anniversary - Iolite

22nd Anniversary - Spinel

23rd Anniversary - Imperial Topaz

24th Anniversary - Tanzanite

25th Anniversary - Silver Jubilee

Alternates: Tsavorite , Green Garnet

30th Anniversary - Pearl Jubilee

35th Anniversary - Emerald

40th Anniversary - Ruby

45th Anniversary - Sapphire

Alternate: Cat's Eye

50th Anniversary - Golden Jubilee

Alternate: Imperial or Golden Topaz

55th Anniversary - Alexandrite

60th Anniversary - Diamond Jubilee

Alternate: Star Ruby

65th Anniversary - Blue Spinel

70th Anniversary - Sapphire Jubilee

Alternate: Smoky Quartz

75th Anniversary - Diamond Jubilee

80th Anniversary - Ruby Jubilee

So...the next time you are wondering what to get her for your Anniversary, you'll know there are many choices, but gem stone jewelry is sure to be a winner!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A little Lake Superior Agate History lesson

The Lake Superior agate is a type of agate stained by iron and found on the shores of Lake Superior. Its wide distribution and iron-rich bands of color reflect the gemstone's geologic history in Minnesota. In 1969 the Lake Superior agate was designated by the Minnesota Legislature as the official state gemstone.




The Lake Superior agate was selected because the agate reflects many aspects of Minnesota. It was formed during lava eruptions that occurred in Minnesota about a billion years ago. The stone's predominant red color comes from iron, a major Minnesota industrial mineral found extensively throughout the Iron Range region. Finally, the Lake Superior agate can be found in many regions of Minnesota as it was distributed by glacial movement across Minnesota 10,000 to 15,000 years ago.

Geologic history


More than a billion years ago, the North American continent began to split apart along plate boundaries. Molten magma upwelled into iron-rich lava flows throughout the Midcontinent Rift System, including what is now the Minnesota Iron Range region. These flows are now exposed along the north and south shores of Lake Superior. The tectonic forces that attempted to pull the continent apart, and which left behind the lava flows, also created the Superior trough, a depressed region that became the basin of Lake Superior.



The lava flows formed the conditions for creation of Lake Superior agates. As the lava solidified, water vapor and carbon dioxide trapped within the solidified flows formed a vesicular texture (literally millions of small bubbles). Later, groundwater transported ferric iron, silica, and other dissolved minerals passed through the trapped gas vesicles. These quartz-rich groundwater solutions deposited concentric bands of fine-grained quartz called chalcedony, or embedded agates.

Over the next billion years, erosion exposed a number of the quartz-filled, banded vesicles -- agates -- were freed by running water and chemical disintegration of the lavas, since these vesicles were now harder than the lava rocks that contained them. The vast majority, however, remained lodged in the lava flows until the next major geologic event that changed them and Minnesota.




During the ensuing ice ages a lobe of glacial ice, the Superior lobe, moved into Minnesota through the agate-filled Superior trough. The glacier picked up surface agates and transported them south. Its crushing action and cycle of freezing and thawing at its base also freed many agates from within the lava flows and transported them, too. The advancing glacier acted like an enormous rock tumbler, abrading, fracturing, and rough-polishing the agates

Description




Lake Superior Agate from the Lake Superior region in Northern Minnesota.The Lake Superior agate is noted for its rich red, orange, and yellow coloring. This color scheme is caused by the oxidation of iron. Iron leached from rocks provided the pigment that gives the gemstone its beautiful array of color. The concentration of iron and the amount of oxidation determine the color within or between an agate's bands.



The gemstone comes in various sizes. The gas pockets in which the agates formed were primarily small, about 1 cm in diameter. A few Lake Superior agates have been found that are 22 cm in diameter with a mass exceeding 10 kilograms. Very large agates are extremely rare.



The most common type of Lake Superior agate is the fortification agate with its eye-catching banding patterns. Each band, when traced around an exposed pattern or "face," connects with itself like the walls of a fort, hence the name fortification agate.



A common subtype of the fortification agate is the parallel-banded, onyx-fortification or water-level agate. Perfectly straight, parallel bands occur over all or part of these stones. The straight bands were produced by puddles of quartz-rich solutions that crystallized inside the gas pocket under very low fluid pressure. The parallel nature of the bands also indicates the agate's position inside the lava flow.

Probably the most popular Lake Superior agate is also one of the rarest. The highly treasured eye agate has perfectly round bands or "eyes" dotting the surface of the stone.




Occasionally, collectors find a gemstone with an almost perfectly smooth natural surface. These rare agates are believed to have spent a long time tumbling back and forth in the waves along some long-vanished, wave-battered rocky beach. They are called, appropriately enough, "water-washed" agates

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Well, that's it...I've decided, after toiling over it for many, mnay days, I have decided to offer ad space for Etsy & Artfire sellers right here on my blog. You see, I wanted to come up with a way that folks can advertise, and if nothing else get some added extra backlinks out of the deal, and still be able to afford it. So for 24.00 a year, a person can place a clickable ad, right here on my blog. That's only 2.00 a month!! So for anyone interested, just shoot me an email, or contact me on my facebook page, Superior-Agates. Payments will be processed through paypal, and an invoice will be made for a yearly set fee of $24.00.

A lot of folks have asked me where I get my cabochons from, and let me tell you....she's good, and she's fair priced! Thought I would share that information with you today!

jewelryartistrybyjoanne

I now am offering rough Lake Superior Agates for tumbling in my shop, so if you like tumbling come check out my new stuff!
Agates

Have also recently added a box of small slabs, all Lake Superior material, for the Lapidariast!
Slabs

And if you have not seen my latest works, you should stop by my shop and take a look around!
Etsy

I have recently been interviewed by my local Newspaper, and hope that article will be coming out very soon. It was really fun to visit with the reporter, and talk about my craft. The newspaper is sent to thousands in Minnesota, and all over the United States, this should be fun! Will be working on getting a lot more new items in my shop before it comes out!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tricks of the Trade - a Helpful Etsy Guide

So, you have decided to open an Etsy shop? OK, well there are several things you should know before you actually open up shop.

1. Photos - This cannot be stressed enough. Have you ever looked for something online, and when you finally think you've found what you are looking for, the photos are so bad, that you feel you need to see it in person before you buy it? Well, think of your Etsy shop in the same manner. People, just like you and I, want to KNOW what they are getting, before they buy it. Need to take close-ups of your item, or is your item small? Make sure you have the Macros setting turned on for your camera. Angled photos provide another view of your items. Taking good pictures, from what I have learned is a matter of taking the picture at the same exact angle your item is placed in. So, you can turn your camera in different directions to get different angles, BUT, at the same time, your camera needs to be tilted in the same angle as your item is. Lighting is another issue some have in taking pictures. I personally prefer a black background, so my pendants kind of "pop" out at people. The best pictures I have taken, I had a lamp, with no shade on it, sitting about 12 inches from my item, black background, and let the camera decide whether to use a flash or not. Most times it did, and I got some very nice photos!

2. Commitment - Opening an Etsy store is not just listing some items and waiting for customers to find you. It's a constant daily system that you must develop, and be committed to doing on a daily, every day basis. Unfortunately, the web does not take a day off, so if you skip a day, you may be skipped in a google crawl, or not as well seen on the web because of it. If you are not willing to put in the work, you will not reap the benefits, and I don't mean to sound crabby, but it's just as simple as that.

3. Sections - This is important, titling your sections with just the word "sale" or "clearance"...well, it's ok, but, for instance in my shop, My shop name is superioragates, I actually have a section for JUST Lake Superior Agate jewelry, this gives a tie to my shop name. So, HAVE a sale section, by all means...but title it something like "jewelry sale", or "necklace sale", or maybe "scarf sale", tie it to your shop name if and when at all possible.

4. MUST haves - There are several things I consider to be MUST HAVES for marketing online. As I have said before though, I have not yet figured everything out, so if I miss something, I just have not found it yet.
Blogger
Facebook fanpage
Twitter
Stumblupon
Kaboodle
Myspace
Bebo
Google buzz
Orkut
Tumblr
These are all places to post your links, to your shop, and to your items. I do it every day, no matter what.

5. Another thing that is a huge help to you...is helping others promote their shops. If you follow someone on Twitter, and they post a link to something they have made, hit the retweet button, it's a simple thing to do, I know, BUT, did you know the more you tweet and retweet, the more followers you will gain, and faster? People can actually look at how many retweets you have done, and if you have a bunch, they will follow you right away, because they want you to retweet for them as well. (does that make sense???)
This is another tool I use for twitter:
Twitterme
I suggest signing up, to help build your follower base.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tricks of the Trade....an Etsy help guide

Ok, so now you have a few tricks of the trade, outlined in my previous posting....what's next? A few other items to consider are the following:


PRICING: Pricing your items is an artform in itself. Crochet items? jewelry? There are many different opinions on this subject, and I am constantly getting someone telling me I don't charge enough. I try to look at it like this: If I were shopping for a piece of jewelry...what would I be willing to pay for it? then I figure in my materials, and a small amount of my time, and come up with a price I can live with, both as a seller, and a human being...I do not want to feel like I have purposefully ripped someone off, that's just not a feeling I want to have on my conscience...do you? Your pricing needs to be fair, both to you, and your customers.

RENEW: Renewing items at key times of the day just may help you make a sale! Yes, it will cost you the .20 cent re-listing fee, BUT, look at it as an investment in your future. So you have just spent an additional .20 cents, what if your 20.00 item sells? Then you have just made......19.60 on your item. I think...I can live with that. Renewing items will also help google see you better when it crawls Etsy, because you are staying active in your shop, this is important for google searches....you need to stay active in your shops, this cannot be stressed enough, and not just a day or 2 a week, but every day, every week, no matter what. Even if you can only find 5 minutes a day to renew 1 item, pick a key time of day to do it, and get it done no matter what.

WHOLESALE: This is another consideration. I have had a couple of people convo me and want wholesale pricing. You can choose whatever percentage you want, and set your own limits on what they have to spend to get that percentage, BUT, my products are already marked extremely low, compared to others out there, so my response is simple. If they spend 500.00 or more in one purchase, I will give them a flat 25% off rate, and free shipping. BUT, they must spend the 500.00 on product, not including shipping. These folks chose not to do it, but thats ok with me, I am not willing to lose money on my products, just to make a sale. This is an area where I am personally sticky. Again, this is something a person needs to decide for themselves, and what they feel they can live with, there is no set system, and all the advice in the world cannot change what you yourself can live with.

TITLING: So now you have made a beautiful necklace from beads and stones, and silver or gold. Much I have read says your titles NEED to be descriptive, and including words like "sale" or "10%off", will not help your item to be seen. If you are having a sale in your shop, create a new section and name it "clearance" or "sale items", regardless of how many times you title something with the word "sale" in it, it's not gonna help your product get "found". Descriptive words...however...will....so....WHAT did you make your necklace out of? My listings are done pretty blunt, and to the point, for instance, "Lake Superior Agate Sterling Silver Pendant". A lot of folks will try to put every key word they can in their descriptions, this actually will hinder your listing, instead of helping it. Try to think of it like this: what do you want people to search for when they find your product? necklace? wire wrapped? stone? or the actual name of the stone? USE THAT as your main ingredient for a listing title, titling something with 10 different key words will actually make your listing show up as # 1,000,000,000 on the google listings...for EACH keyword...I would much rather be in the top ten, for 1 or 2 keywords. This one was difficult for me to figure out, and took me a few months to do it too!

DESCRIPTIONS:  Have you ever thought about how you would "connect" to your buyers? Especially since you never actually meet them face to face? Ok...this is the way I try to think about it....think about the last garage sale you had at your house, remember that lady/man who came up and asked you about something, and you actually had to engage yourself in a conversation with her? Maybe you had to talk her in to it, by telling her that the toaster still worked, you just decided to buy a new one? well, it's the same type of phylosophy online. People want to "engage", or connect with you, so describe your items as tho you were looking at the person in the eyes, be honest, and detailed, but try to do it in a way that you may "connect" with someone online, whom you will never meet. You must convince them to buy it, with common, everyday words you would use if you were looking at them. I call this "smiling with words" .

Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of backlinks, and the building of your SEO online. Soon I will be offering ads on this blog for 2.00 a month, a clickable photo will be included with these ads, so if anyone is interested, you can just shout at me on Facebook! This is also an awesome backlink builder...ads...but we will get in to that next time around!  

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tricks of the Trade....an Etsy help guide

This is just a few of the things I have learned since January of this year, and is by NO means everything there is. It seems to me that a LOT of Etsy sellers like to keep their little trade secrets to themselves, but every once in awhile, I will run across something, and find it to be a usefull tool in the "Etsy world" of selling.

Because etsy is so large.....do you know how many sellers there are on Etsy? It would probably astonish you to know.....but because it is such a large place to sell, it is sometimes hard to know what is what, and what to do next. For me it was a little overwhelming, because I knew NO ONE who was a seller on Etsy, and therefor knew NOTHING about what a person just starting out can do.



These are the things that have worked for me:



1. Are you in a treasury, and someone forgot to tell you? Find out here:

http://www.craftopolis.com/



2. Twitter - now a LOT of people see this as a nuisance, or something, I don't. In my SEO my twitter acct shows as #2 in the rankings for me, and also shows on the first page when you search for superioragates, so you tell me....The ONLY thing I do know about twitter is this: do not open any links sent to you in a direct message from anyone whom you dont know, or have not seen before in your circles, ther ARE some folks who like to spread virus' around, so just use common sense with it.

http://www.twitter.com/



3. Blogger...this is a great tool for Google...even if you cannot write anything to save your own rearend, try to come up with something. The most important thing tho is to STAY ON TOPIC, in other words, if you sell jewelry, use your blog to write ABOUT JEWELRY, if you want to blog, and help others, this is awesome, but, use a different blog for it.



4. customer service...this one should be obvious to all of us, but sometimes...well we get so busy living, we just seem to forget to say Thank you to those who have made it possible for us to continue to do our craft. Say thank you, answer any and all questions posed to you, etc etc etc



5. Sharing - now, this is NOT the traditional sense of the word....on the right hand side of your shop home page, you will see a "share" button, click it, and it opens up a short list of places to share you pages to. You will find this on every single page of your shop. Use it, it's great! Don't have an account with Kaboodle, or tumblr? create one. Even if you dont know anyone on those sights, your links can still be shared to these sights. When you create ANY acct. anywhere on the net, no matter what, use your shop name, this is important. Everything online you see about me, is under superioragates...everything, on every sight I am on. share, share share share, and share some more.



6. Everything you do online - Think of the web...punn intended...as just that, a huge spider web that YOU have to build, YOU have to connect all the ends of the web together to make it strong, and durable, and valuable. Now then, I am not saying that I have completely figured this out by any means, but, the way I see it is this example......."I uploaded an item to Etsy, tweet that page, I just shared something on Myspace....so now what? OH...I will tweet that page....then I share on Facebook....tweet my fanpage........so my friend Jo shared my link on her page....tweet her page.....get my system?



7. LINKLOVE - I had NOTHING to do with creating this awesome backlink builder, this is a great tool, and if you are not invloved in it you should be. You can read the guide, with helpful how-to's over on the LINKLOVE group page...really...think about those backlinks long and hard. It's one thing to creat a link that someone can see for the time being, but what about creating one that is behind the scenes, making sure your original link STAYS seen on the web? backlinks backlinks....LINKLOVE rocks



8. FORUMS - I have tried and tried to make people see...if you look online for "how to boost my rankings"....you will find that 7 out of 10 reccomend forums, because google LOVES them. Google likes to crawl them because they constantly have new and fresh content. This is why I created our linklove forum...every single time you post something, or comment on something, IF you have your links set up in the signature line, google will crawl those links...BACKLINKS again!! so now you have posted in the forum....oh yeah..tweet this page too!



9. Now you've done all this....now what...MORE BACKLINKS. If I had people who would do it for me this would be awesome. If you have folks who would put your shop link, and your face book link in the signature line of all their emails, this is another highly reccomended backlink builder.



10. Treasuries - If you are included in one, share it one everything you would otherwise share on. If you create one, click on everything in the treasury yourself, and share it on everything you normally share it on...twitter, kaboodle,facebook,myspace,bebo,gogglebuzz,delicious,orkut,tumblr,stumbleupon, or where ever else you might share your shop & items.



Well, those are the top ten I know of, and I KNOW there are a LOT more on the subject, so feel free to post what you have as well in the comments. This would be an awesome list of things for someone new to online selling to use.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Free Tutorials!

I am always having some ask me where I learned to wire wrap....how I do it, which in itself is something of a different deal, but I wanted to share with you where I learned to wire wrap. The basic come from a guy who goes by "bikerrandy"....he has this basic wrap tutorial posted on a forum that i frequent daily...I will share the link with you in a moment.........but the basics are actually pretty simple...it's those stinkin curly Q's that got me at first!!
If you can, wrap your mind around letting the wire do the work...that is, when you are trying to do the curlies, after the basic wrap, they should turn out smooth, and even. All wire has a creasing point, use a piece of scrap wire to find that, and it gives you an idea of how far you can "bend" the wire until it finally has a crease, trying to avoid that is key in wire wrapping. Gently bring the wire in to a loop, and you will see the wire start to work itself, instead of forcing it to do what you want it to do.
There are a lot of resources for free wire wrapping tutorials in which you can learn from, just type free wire wrapping tutorials in your browser, you will be amazed at what you find. The wraps you see here http://www.etsy.com/shop/superioragates all started from the basic wire wrap I learned from, and I progressed from there.
Find the basic wire wrapping tutorial here:
http://andy321.proboards.com/

Learn how to do the basic swirls, with double square wire here:
http://www.jewelrylessons.com/tutorial/how-make-double-square-wire-swirls
And learn how to make a more complicated wrap, my style, here:
http://www.jewelrylessons.com/tutorial/blue-agate-cabochon-sculpted-pendant

Wire wrapping gemstones is a wonderful hobby that just about anyone can learn to do! Take it from me....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

http://www.etsy.com/shop/superioragates Come check out the Lake Superior Agates!

Agate is said to enhance one's perceptiveness and to stimulate analytical capacity, and to provide balance between one's physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual states. Agate is also said to alleviate hostilities and promote goodwill. Agate is believed to help discern truth, accept circumstances, and is a powerful emotional healer. Legend says that Agate improves memory and concentration, increases stamina and encourages honesty.

It is believed to prevent insomnia and ensure pleasant dreams, to enhance personal courage and protect one against danger. Agate provides a calming influence, improves perception, concentration and helps to develop and increase one's analytical talents.

You should also know that, if you have a favorite stone that you'd like to have wrapped, I can do that as well!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/superioragates?section_id=6732180

Monday, June 21, 2010

HELPFUL TIPS

I am always struggling to find ways to get my Etsy shop out there on the net.....so I do a LOT of reading! I found this information about Ebay sites, and thought it would be helpful to those in tha Handmade world! We do everything when it comes to listing, re-listing,promoting......and buying adds on the net is so expensive! this just may be a small thing...but, maybe it will help someone somewhere!If you have time when you're done reading this....stop by my Etsy shop, and take a relaxing browse around....
http://www.etsy.com/shop/superioragates

Your eBay listing is your salesperson. Most sales people look smart and professional. Your eBay listing must also look smart and professional and give the appearance of a legitimate business. This will instil confidence in your buyers.




If you are selling the same item as someone else on eBay, but your listing is more professional and gives the impression of a legitimate business (whereas your competitor’s does not) then people will be more likely to buy from you. They may even be willing to pay more to buy the same item from you than from your competitor – because they have more confidence in you.



Make your eBay listing attractive and professional but avoid flashy gimmicks that distract. Just because you can add blinking images and flash video and music doesn’t mean you should. Whilst clever, they won’t increase your sales. They will just distract. If it doesn’t directly help you to sell your item, don’t use it.



A simple audio or video message in your eBay listing WILL increase sales.



Make your eBay listing EASY ON THE EYE. Some of your potential buyers may have poor eyesight. You don’t want to lose them because they can’t read your listing. But even if they have 20:20 vision, you are more likely to grab and hold their attention if reading your eBay listing is EFFORTLESS.



Dark text on a light background is the easiest to read. Black text on a white background is best and should be used in most cases. Different coloured text can be used sparingly to draw attention to a few key words and phrases.



Use a font that is appropriate to what you are selling. If you are selling children’s toys, “Comic Sans MS” might be an appropriate font to use. But this would create the wrong impression if you were selling something more “high-brow” such as a business course for which “Times New Roman” would be more appropriate. If in doubt, use an easy to read font such as “Verdana”, “Calibri” or “Arial”. Avoid difficult to read fancy fonts such as “Monotype Corsiva.”



SOME PEOPLE WRITE THEIR LISTINGS USING JUST CAPITALS. THIS IS A MISTAKE. IT IS ACTUALLY HARDER TO READ THAN LOWER CASE TEXT.



Capitals can be used SPARINGLY to draw attention to a few KEY WORDS and PHRASES.



Most people will skim through your listing to see if it’s of interest before they decide whether to read it fully or move on to the next listing. You want them to notice the most important words and phrases – the ones that describe your product’s major benefits – as they skim read.



So emphasise these important words and phrases by using a combination of CAPITALS, bold text, underlined text, high-lighted text or by using different font colours. But don’t over-use these as your listing will look messy and what you want to emphasise will no longer stand out.



These emphasised words and phrases must build sufficient interest in the skim-reader to encourage them to read your eBay listing properly.



A big block of un-broken text, many lines deep, is daunting. Break it up into several smaller paragraphs that are only a few rows deep. Don’t worry if this grammatically in-correct.



You are NOT writing a piece of prose for your English exam. You are writing a sales letter. Your style should be CONVERSATIONAL and EASY TO READ. Use SHORT sentences and SHORT paragraphs with SPACE between each paragraph. This breaks your text into small bite sized pieces which are easier to digest.



Whilst you don’t need perfect grammar (because you are using a conversational style), you DO need perfect spelling. Poor spelling is VERY unprofessional. Compose your listing in a word processing software program such as Microsoft Word with the spellchecker on and correct any errors. If spelling isn’t your strongpoint, get someone else to proof-read your eBay listing.



Write everything in a logical order such as headline, description, guarantee, shipping terms, payment terms. Break up the text with sub-headings such as Guarantee, Shipping Terms, Payment Terms, etc so that it is easy to follow.



You can use brand awareness to enhance your credibility on eBay. If all your eBay listings look the same, people who haven’t bought from you yet will soon become familiar with your listings. They may eventually buy from you instead of a competitor because this familiarity breeds confidence.



Consider having a logo made and used in all your listings to make you look more professional, differentiate you from your competitors and help build brand awareness.



Most salespeople dress conservatively, i.e. a business suit and sensible shoes. They don’t dress to “express themselves” and stand out. This would distract from their sales message. They just want to look professional so that customers will have confidence in them. Your logo and your listing design should do the same.



You can make your listings completely bespoke and unique by using HTML (which stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and is the code used to design webpages) even if you don’t know how to use HTML! You can use “What You See Is What You Get” (”WYSIWYG”) software such as Frontpage or Dreamweaver.



The way this software works is you design your webpage in a similar way that you would write a Word document, without using any HTML code. The program automatically converts your design into HTML for you. You then copy and paste the HTML code into eBay’s Sell Your Item or Turbo Lister templates. You can download a FREE WYSIWYG software program called NVu.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Superior Agates Handmade Wire Wrapped Pendants by superioragates

Oh the beauty of stone! Last week, because I am not in a position to make my own cabs right now, I ordered some awesome stones from my good friend Jo......If you are in need of cabochons, make sure you check out her website, and her Etsy shop!

http://jewelry-artistry.com
http://www.etsy.com/shop/jewelryartistry

So, I ordered a few cabs from Jo....WOW! I recieved some of the most beautiful stones to wire wrap! Already have several of them made, like a beautiful Blue Mule Chrysocolla, a gorgeous Brazillian agate,and the most wonderful Jelly Opal! There are just so many, it's hard to name them all, but I can assure you, there are plenty of them to be found in my shop! I still have a bunch of Lake Superior Agates, and many many other stones, all hand wire wrapped by me, in sterling silver wire.
Come and check out my Etsy shop! You are sure to find something for your gift giving needs!

Superior Agates Handmade Wire Wrapped Pendants by superioragates

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jewelry to suit your Lifestyle

Gemstone Jewelry That Suits Your Lifestyle




Author: Gen Wright



Many different kinds of jewelry have been used for decades as a way of adding more color and detail to the body and the outfits we wear every day. As well as choosing from hundreds of different colors, styles and sizes, you can find all kinds of gems and jewels which adorn the jewelry and make them available for either everyday, evening or occasional wear. Wearing the right piece of jewelry can change an entire outfit by bringing out certain colors or aspects of clothing which can enhance or play down specific features. For example, if you take an ordinary plain black top, you can create many different styles and looks through the simple use of adding different combinations of gemstone jewelry that bring color and interest to a simple look. The use of gemstones and semi precious stones means that you need not break the bank in order to accumulate a fine collection of jewelry items that allow you the freedom to create your own style depending on your mood or the occasion. Affordable jewelry is now widely available and the colors and textures of different gemstones allow you to choose items that enhance your natural style and suit your personal likes and desires. Of course, gemstones such as diamonds, sapphires and rubies will always be an expensive choice for anyone to consider, though, now we are seeing a lot of the less expensive stones such as aquamarines, quartz and jade being used in jewelry and these create stunning and interesting pieces that people can wear more frequently. As well as being diverse and interesting, these stones can be kept for many years as they retain their brilliance and gleam over long periods and are able to mask scratches and abrasions well. Unlike gold and silver, these stones are less susceptible to becoming tarnished and discoloured which allows them to remain brilliant and attractive for much longer. Another attractive feature of these stones is the fact that just one item of jewelry can be worn with so many different styles and bring out a variety of different aspects of the outfit. A nice bright teardrop necklace and a pair of earrings can be worn with jeans and t-shirt or can be worn with a little lack dress on an evening out, this kind of range and versatility makes the jewelry a brilliant investment and well worth the money. Gemstone jewelry is one of the most popular styles of accessory in fashion in current trends and this allows for people to branch out and find lots of varied and exotic styles to try as well as adapting new old features to all elements of jewelry. The range in price, color, size, style and design creates a chance to become unique, and individual in ones style throughout all lifestyles, ages and genders.



Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/clothing-articles/gemstone-jewelry-that-suits-your-lifestyle-902256.html



About the AuthorShop from over 6000 colored gemstone rings, pendants, earrings at leading online discount gemstone jewelry store - Livapo

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Home (Handcrafted Gemstone Pendants)

New google sites page! Come check it out!




Home (Handcrafted Gemstone Pendants)

An Alternative to Diamonds?

Original Gemstone Jewelry As A Diamond Alternative










Author: Pierre Perissel







Stop someone in the hallway and ask them, "What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say the word jewelry," and they will probably reply with, "diamonds." Diamonds have become so synonymous with fine jewelry that people often do not even think of one of the most marvelous alternatives, original gemstone jewelry.







Diamond jewelry is wonderful. However, I think you will agree that despite its allure and popularity, diamonds are just a tad on the colorless side.







Gemstones, on the other hand, come in the most wonderful and spectacular colors. In addition to the different colors, gemstones also often contain unusual visual phenomena inside the stone, as well as attention-grabbing features such as a fossil rarified in the gemstone.







You probably wouldn't treasure an item of jewelry as much when you know that thousands of other women are wearing the same or very similar items. No, for something to be truly treasured, it has to be unique. This is exactly what an original gemstone gives you, a truly unique jewelry item.







Such a unique jewelry item can bring joy way beyond your own lifetime. Think about it. How often do you see children and grandchildren wearing diamond jewelry that they inherited? Or, is it far more likely that they are wearing colorful gemstone jewelry that was passed down to them by their parents or grandparents?







So, even though you might pay a little more for unique gemstone jewelry, you are buying something that will not only give you tremendous joy, but will also give your children and your grandchildren joy. Fifty years from now, picture your granddaughter proudly explaining at a grand evening ball that the unique emerald gemstone necklace she is wearing was her grandmother's. Yes, the exact same one that you are wondering if you should buy now.







Kick your imagination into high gear for a minute or two and imagine how spectacular you will look with an original piece of ruby gemstone jewelry to go with that provocative red suit of yours. Or imagine yourself glowing with beauty in your classy blue gown with that unique star sapphire perfectly rounding off your tasteful elegance.







It is time to express your distinctiveness as a person, and there is no better way than to invest in a few choice pieces of unique gemstone jewelry.







Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/womens-issues-articles/original-gemstone-jewelry-as-a-diamond-alternative-120484.html







About the AuthorPierre Perissel recommends unique gemstone jewelry to express your distinctiveness and beauty as a woman. Pierre has an informative fashion column on TheFashionPro.com.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/48359125/handcrafted-large-amethyst-sterling

Monday, May 31, 2010

Gemstone Jewelry

Gemstone Jewelry




Author: Fille



Rose Quartz: The Gemstone Jewelry of LoveRose quartz has long been known to inspire love in all its forms, from self-respect and compassion to platonic and romantic love. Recognized as ' The Love Stone ', rose quartz can help those who are looking for true love, those mending troubled relationships and those improving their love life - an uplifting choice for anyone this February 14!Associated with Venus, the planet of love, rose quartz is a natural choice of crystal to use for inspiring romance. Wearing a rose quartz pendant helps open the hearts of those who are looking for 'the one', while those in need of a stronger bond in their relationship should opt for a delicate rose quartz ring.With its intense pink color, Fille Lilly's gemstone jewelry really stands out. Just take a look at our exceptional collection of premium grade pieces. Each piece is only of the best quality; and since they have almost no inclusions, they are difficult to damage and will last for lifetimes - a premium gift to give!Rose quartz is also an excellent stone for those who have trouble loving themselves. Experts say it heals emotional pain, mostly from loss or self-esteem. As a sweet reminder of your personal love, choose to give a unique piece of rose quartz heart gemstone jewelry - perfectly shaped for Valentine's Day!Rose quartz has been used in gemstone jewelry for centuries and makes for an ideal gift for a loved one, or even yourself! Plus, it's a stunning choice to complement the upcoming spring pastels. Choose one today.



Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/jewelry-articles/gemstone-jewelry-844922.html



About the AuthorFillelilly is an online Gemstone Jewelry store.We carry more than 50 diffrent stones and all are stones are studded in sterling silver .All our designs are unique and one of a kind.

Newest listings in my Etsy shop!

Been extremely busy trying to get pendants made......I have a few new ones for you to browse through

Hope you take a look!

Turquoise in sterling silver
http://www.etsy.com/listing/48388978/handcrafted-genuine-turquoise-sterling

Unikite in sterling silver
http://www.etsy.com/listing/48361586/handcrafted-unikite-wire-wrapped

Large Amethyst in sterling silver
http://www.etsy.com/listing/48359125/handcrafted-large-amethyst-sterling?ref=v1_other_2

Jade in Sterling silver
http://www.etsy.com/listing/48326873/handcrafted-sterling-silver-jade-pendant?ref=v1_other_2

Opal in sterling silver
http://www.etsy.com/listing/48325803/handcrafted-sterling-silver-opal-pendant?ref=v1_other_2

Green Agate in sterling silver
http://www.etsy.com/listing/48293627/handcrafted-sterling-silver-green-agate?ref=v1_other_2

Hope you enjoy your browsing session today! Have fun!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gemstones...Rivals to the Diamond

Gemstones – Emerging Rivals Of Diamonds




Author: Vibha Raj



While "Diamonds are forever" is a relatively new marketing punch line created by a diamond company, colored gemstones have actually been parts of human civilization since forever. There have been traces of gemstone usage from early human history with mention of gemstones in the holy Bible also. The emperors and royals of ancient ages had special affiliation to colored gemstones. Ancient cultures across the world sanctified colored gemstones and associated different beliefs and mysticism to gemstones. Recently colored gemstones have made a dramatic comeback with colored gemstones like ruby, emerald, sapphire, aquamarine, tanzanite, amethyst and many more dominating the runways, fashion circles, red carpet and of course our jewelry boxes. Here are a few reasons why colored gemstones score over diamonds. Cost The most defining characteristic that makes colored gems score over diamonds is the cost. In the cost of one diamond ring (I carat diamond) one can have around 7-8 gemstone rings with good quality gemstones in at least 6x4 sizes. So one can own a lot of gemstone jewelry in place of counted pieces of diamond jewelry. Bigger jewelry like bracelets makes much more sense in gemstones than in diamonds for the obvious cost benefit. Designs and styles Jewelry in colored gemstones has more fun and character. With the wide variety of colors and hues available, there are a whole lot of designs to choose from. Colored gemstones can be perfect accessories for all occasions from casual wear to sophisticated party wear to every day office wear. Colored gemstones can be combined in different colors to compliment multi-colored dresses. Variety Gemstones have a wide range of colors, styles and costs you could choose from to suit your preference. Even if you are looking for a gemstone of a particular kind, you still have a sea of choices in terms of color and quality available. You could also look for specialty gemstones like the star gems, cats eye species etc. With colored gemstones you can be never run out of options when ever you feel like dressing up differently. Exotic mysticism Gemstones have been associated to the occult since ancient times. In olden days gemstones were used as talismans to ward off evil and attract good luck. There is a different belief associated to each gem like sapphire is associated to purity in love; aquamarine is associated to happy marriage, emerald to verdure, amethyst to disciplined habits and so on. Gemstones are also believed to provide healing power.



Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/jewelry-articles/gemstones-emerging-rivals-of-diamonds-804362.html



About the AuthorI am a jewelry enthusiast, working with a well known online e-trailing jewelry company. Writing has always been the area of my interest and writing for jewelry doubles my zeal towards this creative field.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Significance of Colour!

Gemstones, the Significance of Colour




Author: Helen Quenet



Our response to colour is actually much more complex than most people realise. It's a mixture of instinct, cultural conditioning and the result of personal experiences and associations. We can see instinctive responses in nature, warning colours like red, orange and acid green are associated with being poisonous and animals have evolved to avoid those colours (as other animals have evolved to mimic those warning colours as self-protection. Associations of colours naturally come from our environment too, the blue of the sky, the gold of the sun, the green of grass, the red of blood and orange of fire, all produce memories and emotions. However, the memories and emotions about fire colours for example would be very different for someone who associates them with a log fire on an winter evening and someone who has had the isfortune to be caught in a house or car fire. Often negative memories mean a "gut response" to a colour; the person might not even be aware on a conscious level why they just "don't like" a colour. These individual responses are one of the reasons why you should wear colours and jewellery that you are drawn to, rather than wearing things that you are "told" are right for you. You can't feel confident and relaxed in clothes that you don't feel comfortable in.



One of the biggest cultural differences in the symbolism of colour is with black and white. In the West white is the colour of purity, innocence and marriage, in the Eastern traditions white is the colour of mourning and grief, while black is the colour of funerals and death in the West.



The power of colour to enhance or detract from our appearance is very marked, if you have ever experienced having a personal colour analysis session you can't have failed to be amazed how with some colours draped round your neck you look old, wan and even lopsided! Yet with others, you look younger, prettier and more vibrant. Basically, what colour analysis does is to examine your natural skin tone and classify it as "cool" fair complexion with a cool bluey undertone or "warm" where your skin tones are peachy to golden yellow. This dual classification is then subdivided once more according to how intense your other colouring (eyes/hair) is. Of the two cool skin tones the darker colouring is termed "Winter", she has dark, black or steel grey hair and looks best in clear, bright, true primary colours. The "Summer" person has ash blonde to mid brown hair, they look best in clear cool, subtle shades. The two warm skin tone classifications are "Spring" and Autumn". Autumn people have dark brown hair with reddish lights, they look best in warm, earth like tones which work with the natural glow of the skin. Spring people have lighter hair, normally blonde or red and look best in the lighter, warm colours. Although this may seem a very prescriptive way to choose outfits it doesn't in fact mean you can't wear any colours, it's just the shades you need to be careful of.



I'm going now to look at the colours of gemstones and detail some of the associations with stones of particular colours.



Blue Gemstones



Blue Agate, Lapis Lazuli, Tanzanite, Sapphire, Topaz, Chalcedony, Iolite, Sodalite, Azurite, Blue Tourmaline, Spinel, Aquamarine, Blue Goldstone and Blue Moonstone are all blue stones.



Blue is said to induce calm, peace, creativity and serenity in the wearer. It is also linked to clarity of mental thought, inspiration and helps with meditation.



Yellow Gemstones



Amber, Citrine, Carnelian, Sapphire, Garnet, Tigers Eye, Topaz, Beryl, Jasper and Tourmaline all have yellow forms.



Yellow stones are said to draw attention to the wearer and build self esteem and confidence. Like the sun they illuminate, warm and cheer the wearer.



Orange Gemstones



Coral, Chalcedony, Zircon, Citrine, Sardonyx, Sapphire, Garnet, Fire Opal, Amber, Sunstone, Carnelian, Topaz, and Agate all have orange forms.



As with yellow stones, the flamboyance of orange draws attention to the wearer, it is linked with creativity, energy and sexual ttractiveness. It's a "notice me"! "Pay attention" colour to wear.



Red Gemstones



Garnet, Ruby, Poppy Jasper, Sponge Coral, Sapphire, Red Jasper, Beryl, Tourmaline, Alexandrite and Spinel all have red forms.



Red is associated with excitement, energy and passion. It's bold, fiery and linked with courage. A red gemstone is probably the most popular choice for jewellery because of it's boldness and eye catching quality (red and orange are the colours that we see first at a distance).



Green Gemstones



Tsavorite Garnet, Opal, Sapphire, Malachite, Serpentine, Jade, Peridot, Gaspeite, Tourmaline, Emerald, Jadeite, Jasper, Zircon, Beryl, Adventurine,Topaz and Alexandrite all have Green forms.



Green because of its vegetative associations is linked with fertility and wealth, it is also said to the be most relaxing colour of all to look at and hence to be soothing and calming to wear.



Violet



Flourite, Amethyst, Charoite, Suglite, Jasper, Tanzanite, Garnet, Sapphire, Topaz, Agate, Chalcedony, Tourmaline and Spinel all have purple/violet forms.



Purple has been associated for centuries with royalty, power and wealth, more recently it has been liked with spirituality, creativity and insight.



Black



Onyx, Agate, Snowflake Obsidian, Jet, Black Spinel, Black Pearl, Haematite.



Black or the absence of colour/light has many symbolisms, the colour of mourning and grief, the colour of high fashion and chic, sexy dressing. In jewellery, black stones are said to protect the emotions of the wearer from being displayed, allowing the wearer to remain mysterious.



Aqua/Turquoise Stones



Aquamarine, Topaz, Turquoise, Amazonite, Opal, Tourmaline, Apatite.



The colour of water or of the sea these stones are loved for their associations with the coolness and cleanliness of pure water. Blue/green stones are said to promote feelings of tranquility and help with meditation as well as inspiring creativity in the wearer.



Pink



Beryl, Kunzite, Sapphire, Rubellite Garnet, Pink Jasper, Tourmaline, Rose Quartz, Topaz, Pink Pearls, Strawberry Quartz, Champagne Quartz.



Pink has many of the same qualities as red, only as you would expect, they are gentler and more muted. Said to help with feelings of anger and isolation. Pink represents friendship, love and trust.



White/Clear Stones



Diamond, Sapphire, Opal, Moonstone, Topaz, Pearls, Beryl, Zircon



White and clear stones represent purity and truth and are often used as protective stones. Associated with the moon and femininity they are often given to celebrate loving landmarks in peoples lives such as engagements, weddings and anniversaries.



Brown Stones



Amber, Agate, Smoky Quartz, Topaz, Sapphire, Diamond, Tourmaline, Zircon



Brown is the colour of the earth and the simple truths in life. Brown stones are said to promote wisdom, health, gravitas and stability in the wearer.



To summarise then, colour is a very powerful tool to use in projecting yourself to other people. It is also helpful in creating a desired mood or feeling through its personal assocations. Use it with care!!





Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/jewelry-articles/gemstones-the-significance-of-colour-169519.html



About the AuthorAbout Author:

Helen Quenet is a jewellery designer and silversmith working in the UK. She runs two websites stonesandsilver.co.uk and helenquenet.co.uk

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gemstone Pricing Factors

Gemstone Jewelry Pricing Factors - Gemstone, Design, And Craftsmanship




Author: Gen Wright



When it comes to pricing gemstone jewelry, the main factors that are looked into relate to the stone itself rather than the findings. Gemstones are priced using the very specific guide which is famously called the 'Four Cs'. The four factors, namely, colour, clarity, cut and carat, the most important of these being the color. Even though there are basic colors that we all know of such as sapphires being blue, rubies are red and emeralds are green, there are many gemstones that are very alike in color and it is important to make the correct distinction between them before pricing so that the correct value is being upheld. The general belief is that the brighter and more vibrant the color, the more expensive the stone. Clarity is the second most important factor that will need to be assessed is the clarity of the stone used in the piece of jewelry. The number of flaws and the clearness of the stone will affect the value placed on the jewelry, as the more clear and transparent the stone, the more value is attached to it. As well as just having an aesthetic affect on the beauty of the stone, cracks and scratches can cause the stone to be weaker and more prone to breaking which, again, will bring down the price and value of the item of jewelry. The third factor that will affect the pricing of gemstone jewelry is the cut of the stone itself. This is most recognised in the pricing of diamonds as they have vey specific cuts which create different styles and designs. The way that a stone is dealt with as it is processed from its raw natural state through to the finished product has a much marked affect on the value of the end product. The different cuts are designed to show of and amplify certain aspects and characteristics of the stones so that they are shown in the best way possible. Cut styles vary depending on whether the stone is being used for earrings, necklaces or pendants, each type of jewelry requires different shapes and sizes to be used in order for the piece to be designed to fit the style of the jewelry. The final factor which needs to be assessed when pricing gemstone jewelry is the weight of the stones used. Gemstones are measured in 'carats' which is a unit of weight equal to 0.200 grams. The higher the carat of a stone the higher the value will be which will increase the cost of the jewelry. As well as all these factors being important when pricing gemstone jewelry, there are of course some more aspects that will affect the final price of which an item of jewelry will be sold. The demand of the specific designer and the metal which is used in the findings will affect the price as well as the design specifications and rarity factors.All of these points will culminate once an item of jewelry has been completed and combine to determine the price of that specific piece of gemstone jewelry.



Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/clothing-articles/gemstone-jewelry-pricing-factors-gemstone-design-and-craftsmanship-904272.html



About the AuthorShop from over 6000 colored gemstone rings, pendants, earrings at leading online discount gemstone jewelry store - Livapo