How-To: Buy Jewelry Online.

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One of my recent purchases — a magical moonstone and labradorite necklace by local artist and small business owner Taneisa @_theopaque_photo taken by me

Ever since I started my metalsmithing and beading journey, I’d say its been about a year since I’ve made an in-store jewelry purchase. Why? Well, with all the local artists, small businesses and major brands at your fingertips — there’s so many options for you to choose from online! I’m here to tell you how you can make smart decisions when purchasing your jewelry online.

  1. Research You might have had your eye on a piece of jewelry for a while or seen one that stops you in your Instagram scrolling tracks. It’s an exciting feeling — but don’t pull your purchase trigger finger just yet! Before you add to cart, make sure you do thorough research first. Depending on the type of company you’re looking at — whether it’s a local artist, small business or a major brand — browse the shop a little further before deciding.
  2. Compare You’ve done your research, perused the online store and narrowed down your options. Now it’s time to compare! Make sure you look at the size, shape, color and see if the style resembles something you already have in your current collection. There have been times where I’ve looked up similar pieces and suddenly preferred one over the original piece I was set on. If you’re torn between two, take a step back and revisit them later. Still feeling unsure? Ask a friend or loved one for their opinion!
      • Pro tip: If you’re looking at a piece of jewelry that features a gemstone or crystal, make sure to check what other pieces with that stone are priced at.  Some stones like labradorite, amethyst or moonstone may be used in more pieces because of their commonality so their prices may vary. Other stones like citrine and turquoise can be fake as most sold in the market are actually heat treated amethyst or dyed howlite. So, just be aware and make sure you’re buying from a verified seller.
  3. Check the Material Used and How It Will Affect You Brass, nickel, sterling silver, gold, gold or silver filled — the possibilities are endless! However, some people are affected by one or more of these materials when it comes in contact with their skin. It’s important to check what the piece is made of and how it will affect you before purchasing it. If you know a certain material affects you — ask the artist if they are able to create a custom piece in the same style for you, or check the brand website to see if they make the piece in another material for an additional charge.
  4. Measure This step is crucial! In my first few online purchases, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I received a piece that fit longer than expected, was too small or sometimes didn’t even fit! One of the things to keep in mind when purchasing jewelry online is that a lot of the images you see are enlarged to show you the details of each piece. This is why measuring yourself is so important so you can order the size that is right for you!
  5. Read the Shop Policies Last but not least — when purchasing a piece of jewelry online, you need to make sure you read and understand the shop policies. Purchasing from a local artist or small business is a lot different than purchasing from a major brand. Each will have their own set of return and exchange policies, as well as prices. The local artist or small business might only make one of a kind pieces or have a limited release while the major brand might produce larger quantities. If the price is a concern for you, ask to see if there is a payment plan option available. A lot of local artists, small businesses and major brands are implementing them and is a great option to look into.

Now you’re ready to go shopping online and add some beautiful new jewels to your collection! Remember these 5 steps and you’ll be satisfied with your purchase every time.

Now It’s Crystal Clear: Malachite

Welcome to ‘Now it’s Crystal Clear’ series! Today’s topic is all about Malachite.

il_794xN.1487738947_ntmp.jpgRevered in ancient times, the Malachite stone has been used to make jewelry, bowls, vases, sculptures, pigments and other artifacts. Coming from the Greek word meaning “mallow”, this stone was named after the dark green leaves of the mallow tree.

Mines are found in Israel, Russia, Germany, England, Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Mexico, Sweden, parts of the United States and other areas around the world. [**]

Design: I’ve always been drawn to this stone — especially when it’s paired with gold or bronze. Also, being a Scorpio, it’s said to be a great stone to surround yourself with. Recently, I saw these malachite pieces that I had to get my hands on!

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These studs by Tiffany, owner of TheWestWindStudio, are a great option for everyday wear. I’m always drawn to little gold accents on jewelry & these were no exception! I then saw this ring by Charlotta, owner of JewelrybyClo, and thought they’d be a great match! Rings aren’t usually my jewel of choice (as you can see all the necklaces I own) but I liked how this ring was adjustable (since I never know my correct size) haha. I also saw these beaded bracelets by LuxeRebel and wanted to add them to my growing malachite collection! – photo taken by me

Decor: The Malachite stone and print are a great accent to add to your home! Pairing well with neutral colors and bright, bold prints — it’s a fun addition that will spice up any room. Bringing a calm, healing and transformative energy, the Malachite stone will open a meditative space for you to contemplate and enjoy. It’s also a must-have for those who live in a city to bring in the luscious green feel of nature. [***]

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[**] = https://www.jewelsforme.com/gem_and_jewelry_library/malachite

[***] = https://www.energymuse.com/malachite-meaning

[All photos and information are linked/credited to the original authors and sources unless otherwise stated].

Now it’s Crystal Clear: Druzy

Welcome to ‘Now it’s Crystal Clear’ series! Today’s topic is all about Druzy stones.

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Druzy (drusy) stones are made up of tiny micro-crystals that cover a rocks surface. It can form on top of many stones including quartz, calcite, malachite, dolomite, agate, amethyst and garnet. It can be found in Thailand, China, India and Brazil. [**, ***, ****]

Design: With its sparkle and shine, inexpensive price and many variations, druzy’s make a very popular stone for jewelry production. Used by high-end designers and Etsy creators alike, these stones are sure to find their way into your collection! Coming in all fun shapes and colors — some of the brighter colors are dyed, as it’s very rare to find vibrant specimens in nature. If you’d like to purchase all-natural druzy’s, stick to neutral tones and verify their authenticity with the seller.

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AmyKaeAltierJewelry
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I purchased this piece from Amy Kae Atelier and still can’t believe the grey ombré is all-natural! Can be used as both a bracelet and a choker — giving an edgy look with a bit of sparkle! – top photo taken by Amy, bottom photo taken by me

Decor: Bringing a relaxing and calming energy, Druzy’s are a great accessory to add to any space! Whether displayed or for everyday use — they’re said to help reduce stress, anxiety and provide creative inspiration. [***]

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[**] = https://whatisdruzy.com/what-is-druzy/

[***] = https://www.sunnyray.org/Druzy-crystal.htm

[****] = https://www.gemrockauctions.com/learn/a-z-of-gemstones/druzy-information

[All photos and information are linked/credited to the original authors and sources unless otherwise stated].

Now it’s Crystal Clear: Celestite

Welcome to ‘Now it’s Crystal Clear’ series! Today’s topic is all about Celestite [also known as Celestine].

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Latest addition to my crystal collection — photo taken by me 

The name Celestite comes from the Latin word for heavenly — and looking at this clear blue crystal, it sure is fitting!

Most commonly in Brazil and Madagascar — but can be found in locations worldwide — this crystal inspires deep relaxation, peace and joy. It’s also said to relieve stress, anxiety and clear your overburdened mind when times are tough.

The meaning of Celestite is that it’s a teacher for the New Age, bringing a restored sense of trust in the infinite wisdom of the universe.

It’s the ideal crystal to have in your home — especially in your bedroom to bring tranquility and harmonious energies to encourage a restful sleep. [**]

Here are some tips for using your celestite piece:

  • Put under your pillow to encourage healthy dreaming/dream recall and dispel nightmares. This can also help resolve anxiety and heal insomnia.
  • Place nearby to boost your creative expression and help promote your natural abilities to achieve success.
  • Keep around you to assist with detoxing your mind of stress, worry and despair.
  • Place on your desk to increase your ability to use reason and think rationally.
  • Meditate with your celestite crystal to bring you closer to the angelic and celestial realms.
  • Wear a piece near your throat chakra for when you want help with public speaking and for help with knowing the right words to say at the right time. [***]

[**]= https://www.energymuse.com/celestite-stone.html

[***]= http://askronandsue.com.au/Crystal-healing-crystal-tips-celestite/

[All photos and information are linked/credited to the original authors and sources unless otherwise stated].

Fringe, Tassels and Chains — Oh My!

Picasso Marble pendant in sterling silver with fringe accents
Picasso Marble pendant in sterling silver – piece made and photo taken by me

Ever since I started metalsmithing and making jewelry, I’ve come to notice how I’m drawn to this pattern of adding embellishments to every piece I make — especially fringe! I think it adds such a fun element and uniqueness to a piece.

Recently, I made a pendent with Picasso Marble (pictured above) and added chains in a fringe design at the bottom. It’s now one of my favorite pieces — I’m so proud of it!

This type of jewelry design has been around for ages.  Originating as a garment design by the Native American’s — it was used as a sort of gutter system to repel rain water from the wearer. During the 1920’s, this design became more prevalent as a fashion statement in clothing as well as with jewelry. [**]

Being a big fashion trend for 2018 — keep on the look-out for more fun pieces like these, made by me and in the market! Whether you find yourself drawn to fringe, tassels or chains — it’s a timeless design that is sure to add a little fun to your every outfit!

xo. Britt

[**] = https://www.encyclopedia.com/sports-and-everyday-life/fashion-and-clothing/clothing-jewelry-and-personal-adornment/fringe

[All photos and information are linked/credited to the original authors and sources unless otherwise stated].