Education - Jewelry Guide
Jewelry Guide - Jewelry Education
|This Jewelry Education Section describes the various types of jewelry as well as different types of findings used in jewelry. It also covers tips for jewelry care. By knowing this information, you'll be able to shop with confidence.
|Jewelry items are available for each and every body part. Jewelry can be differentiated in three major categories: Body Piercing Jewelry, Non-Body Piercing Jewelry and Jewelry Accessories. These heads cover all major types of jewelry which are described as under:
|Body Piercing Jewelry
|Jewelry specifically manufactured and used for body piercing is known as body piercing jewelry. Various types of jewelry items are available in this category, which are described as under:
A jewelry item that is worn on the ear, often in both the ears, is known as earring. It can be attached in a variety of ways, including with clips or screw backs that grip the ear lobe or with wires that pass through it. Earrings are mainly worn by women but sometimes men also prefer it to wear especially on one ear. Earrings are one of the oldest known types of jewelry and it is a very popular jewelry item, which is worn around the world in most cultures. In some cultures, ears of young girls are pierced soon after their birth.
There are countless styles and types of earrings available for pierced as well as non-pierced ears. To wear pierced earrings, piercing is done either in the earlobe or some other external part of an ear. Usually, an earlobe piercing is referred as ear piercing whereas piercing in the upper part of the external ear is referred as cartilage piercing. Cartilage piercing is more difficult to perform than earlobe piercing and it also takes longer time to heal. Continuous wearing of heavy earrings may cause stretched piercing and earlobe. On the other hand, non-pierced earrings can be worn by anyone even without pierced ears. Main categories of non-pierced earrings are Clip-on earrings, Ear cuffs, Magnetic earrings etc.
Earrings and its components can be prepared by metal, plastic, glass, stones and beads. Designs and size of this jewelry item can range from small loops to large hanging items. Usually the size depends on the physical capacity of the earlobe to hold the earring without tearing.
Types of Earrings
Earrings are available in various designs and shapes. Few major types of earrings are described as under:
- Stud Earrings - A small, usually round earring with a single stone or metal ball on a straight post worn on pierced ears.
- Hoop Earrings - A circular-shaped earring for pierced ears, which look similar to a ring, goes in a loop from the front to back of the earlobe. It is usually made of metal tubing and this hollow tubing is permanently attached to the wire at the front of the ear, which slips into the tube at the back. These earrings are available in many variations that include hoops with charms and with other jewelry items to be hung from the hoop.
- J-Hoop Earrings - A half hoop earring that resembles the English language letter 'J' and does not completely encircle the earlobe.
- Dangle Earrings - A dangle earring, which is available in various lengths from a centimeter or two to up to shoulders, is designed to flow from the bottom of the earlobes. It is generally attached to the ear by the use of thin wire, which goes through the earlobe and connects to it in a small hook at the back.
- Sticks - A type of fashionable earrings, which has long straight lines resembling sticks.
- Earring Jacket - A separate fashionable piece of jewelry that can be added to an earring by the wearer to create exceptional looks.
- Nose Ring
A nose ring is a type of jewelry item that is worn through a piercing in the nostril. Nose ring is usually made of metal and its shape is similar to a finger ring. Nose ring was very common in Middle East since ancient time but it was introduced after 1960 in Western culture and now it is gaining popularity as a trendy fashion item.
|Non-Body Piercing Jewelry
| Non-body piercing jewelry is a type of jewelry that does not require piercing on body. Various types of jewelry items are available in this category, which are described as under:
A ring is a circular band worn on the finger. Ring is the most popular and used jewelry item in the world. Rings are worn by both men and women mainly to display their emotions like love, friendship etc. and for various other purposes. In most cultures, rings are worn as an emblem of engagement or wedding whereas in some cultures it is worn for the religious purposes also. Rings are available in wide range of styles and designs, which can be worn on any finger. Rings are mainly made of precious metal with gemstones attached to them but they can also be made of any material like plastic, wood, bone, glass etc. Diamond rings look exceptional which make them topmost in demand but rings with other colored stones also very popular and look very trendy and different. Although rings are worn on various body parts but the word ring is used mainly for finger (hand) rings. For other body parts rings, that body part is added before the word ring, for example, toe ring, belly ring etc.
Types of Rings Based on Design and Usage
Rings are very popular in both men and women and they are available in countless styles and designs. Few of well-known and famous types of rings, based on their design and usage, are described as under:
- Anniversary Band - Anniversary band is a popular type of ring usually given as a gift by husband to wife on their wedding anniversary. Anniversary band contains a continuous row of diamonds or other gems of the same size and cut. These diamonds or gems can extend all the way or only part way around the band.
- Band - A band is a type of ring that possesses the same width all the way round. This style is mainly used for wedding rings.
- Betrothal Ring - A plain ring, without any stone, that is usually presented by a man to his fiancée, which shows his intention to marry her. This ring was mainly used in ancient Rome and other old cultures.
- Bridal Set - Bridal set is a combination of an engagement ring and wedding ring that often match or compliment each other.
- Charm Ring - Charm ring is a ring in which charm is also attached to its ring band.
- Championship Ring - A championship ring is a ring that is presented to members of winning teams in professional sports leagues as well as members of winning teams in college championships in North America.
- Cigar Band - Cigar band is a very wide band-style ring.
- Claddagh Ring - Claddagh ring is firstly crafted by Master Goldsmith Richard Joyce in 1689, and it is named after the fishing village Claddagh, where he lived at the time of his craftsmanship. This ring has two hands clasping a heart, symbolizing love and surmounted by a crown, symbolizing loyalty. This ring is traditionally used to indicate the heart of the wearer is yet unoccupied.
- Class Ring - A class ring, also known as graduate ring, is a ring worn by students and alumni in commemoration of their graduation. This ring generally contains a gemstone featuring one of the school's colors along with engraved name of school and the year of graduation.
- Cluster Ring - A cluster ring is a ring that contains a central gemstone, which is surrounded by a number of smaller stones.
- Comfort Fit - A ring that provides comfort to its wearer is known as comfort fit ring. This ring is curved from the inside of the shank.
- Compass Ring - A compass ring is a ring that rotates and can be used to determine compass direction based on the position of the sun and the time of day.
- Dinner Ring - Dinner ring is a large oversized ring, set with precious or semiprecious stones. This ring is also known as cocktail ring.
- Engagement Ring - An engagement ring is a ring worn by a woman on her left hand's ring finger, which indicates her engagement to be married. In some cultures, this ring is also worn on right hand's ring finger. A man presents this ring to a woman who accepts his marriage proposal. This represents a formal agreement to future marriage.
- Eternity Ring - An eternity ring is a ring, generally contains a continuous line of gemstone, symbolizing eternity with a partner.
- Fede Ring -A fede ring, also known as faith ring, has only two clasped hands, symbolizing faith and trust.
- Friendship Ring - A friendship ring is a ring usually worn by the young adults to display their friendship towards their friends.
- Mother's Ring - A ring worn by a mother showing the birthstones of her children is known as mother's ring. Sometimes this ring includes birthstones of mother and father also.
- Multi-Finger Ring - A multi finger ring is a conjoined ring of two or more rings, designed to be worn across two, three, or four fingers.
- Poesy Ring - A poesy ring is a ring with a short inscription, usually a love poem, on its outer surface.
- Poison Ring - A poison ring contains a small-hinged box, which is made to resemble a normal setting. This box can be opened easily and its small space can be used to hold poison.
- Prayer Ring - A prayer ring is similar to poison ring in shape but the small space of its box is used to keep a small piece of paper with a prayer written on it.
- Promise Ring - A promise ring is given to a romantic partner to indicate a promise to be committed in a relationship. These rings are generally small and inexpensive.
- Purity Ring - Purity ring is a ring that symbolizes virginity of the wearer.
- Regards Ring - A regard ring is a type of acrostic jewelry, which consists all or any of the precious stones named Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, Ruby, and a Diamond. The name 'Regard' taken from first letter of each gemstone.
- Ring Guard - A ring guard is a tight ring worn above another ring to keep it from slipping off the finger.
- Rosary Ring - A rosary ring is a ring worn around the finger with 10 indentations and a cross on its surface, which exhibits one decade of rosary.
- Signet Ring - A signet ring often contains a carved design like an intaglio. This ring was pressed into soft wax to authenticate or seal a document. The designs were usually a family crest, coat of arms or some other type of monogram or insignia.
- Split Ring - Split rings are most commonly used for key rings. It has an opening to the side of the ring at each end to allow a key or other small ring to slide into the slit and be pulled around the circumference of the ring until it reaches opening at the other end of the split.
- Wedding Ring - A wedding ring is a ring presented to spouse on marriage ceremony to exhibit marital commitment. This ring symbolizes marriage and is generally made of precious metals like gold, platinum and precious stones mainly diamonds. Originally this ring was worn only by a woman on her marriage ceremony, but now it is common for both spouses to wear such a ring. Wedding ring is one of the most popular and demanded jewelry items and these days, it is used in most cultures of the world. Wedding ring is often matched with engagement solitaire ring and set of matching engagement and wedding band is called as 'Bridal Set' or 'Duo'. Whereas set of matching engagement ring, woman's wedding band and man's wedding band is called as 'Trio'.
Types of Rings Based on Gemstone
Rings are also described on the basis of number of stones added in them. Few of well-known and famous types of rings, based on their number of gemstones, are described as under:
- Semi-Mount Ring - A semi-mount ring is a finished ring without the placement of center stone. Side stones and all other stones are placed and metal finishing, stone finishing, engraving etc. of the jewelry ring is completed. Jewelry ring is sold in this manner to allow a buyer to put a center stone of his own choice. Semi-mount rings are generally used for diamond rings.
- Solitaire - Solitaire ring is a ring with single gemstone often a diamond and does not contain side stones or any other gem embellishment. Sometimes in solitaire, colored stones and cultured pearls are also used in place of a diamond. This ring looks exceptional with a high quality and larger sized diamond. Solitaire rings are usually made of precious metals like gold and platinum with a round shaped stone. Prong setting is the most popular setting type, but the size and number of the prongs can vary to highlight the look and features of the stone. Solitaire ring is mainly used as an engagement ring and exhibits beauty and elegance through its single quality gemstone.
- Three Stone Diamond Ring - Three stone diamond ring is a ring that holds three diamonds of the same quality and shape representing the past, present and future of a relationship. Usually the center stone is slightly larger than the other two side stones.
A bracelet is an item of jewelry, which is worn around the wrist. Bracelets contain gemstones, rocks, wood and other precious material and these are usually made of a variety of material, including metal, leather, cloth etc. Bracelet can either slip on or open and close by means of clasp and hinge mechanisms.
Types of Bracelets
Bracelets are available in a range of shapes and designs. Few major types of bracelets are described as under:
- Tennis Bracelet - A bracelet which contains a symmetrical pattern of diamonds in a thin line is referred as tennis bracelet. The name, tennis bracelet, comes from an incident that took place in 1987 in a tennis match at US Open with tennis star Chris Evert, one of the all time great players of the game. In that match, she was wearing an elegant and stylish, light in-line diamond bracelet which accidentally broke during the match and the match was interrupted as she was allowed to recover her precious diamonds. After that incident, this type of bracelets got this new name and created a huge demand for this item. The tennis bracelet is one of the most popular bracelet styles.
- Charm Bracelet - A charm bracelet is a jewelry item which contains personal charms like pendants or lockets and worn around the wrist.
- Bangles - Bangle is circular in shape which comes in a solid form. These bangles are generally made of metals, glass, wood, plastic etc. Bangles are usually worn in pairs and in both the hands.
- Cuff Bracelets - Cuff is a wide or narrow C shaped band that comes in a solid form and fits over the wrist.
An armlet, also known as armband or arm ring, is a band usually of precious metal worn as a jewelry ornament around the biceps of the upper arm. Armlet is similar to bracelet or bangle but it fits over tightly on the upper arm. This jewelry item is not very common in modern world but it was widely used item in past and worn mainly by men in many cultures.
A chain is a flexible series of links, beads or rings, generally made of metal, connected or attached into one another. Chain is a widely used jewelry item and many necklaces and bracelets are made out of small chains. Chains are usually made of precious metals like gold and silver and worn by men and women both.
Types of Chains
Chains are available in many styles and designs and few of these are described as under:
- Box Chain - A type of chain, which has wide and square links where each link resembles a box.
- Byzantine Chain - A type of chain, which has close-fitting links that create an intricate design.
- Book Chain - A style of chain with rectangular metal links where each link resembles a book.
- Rope Chain - A style of chain with a series of small oval shaped links that are arranged in such a manner that they resemble a rope.
- Other Chains - Chain styles like Bead, Snake, Rolo, Mesh, Muff, Wheat etc are also popularly used in various jewelry items.
A necklace is a jewelry item, which is worn around the neck. Necklaces may consist more than one string and this type of jewelry item is usually made of a variety of material, including metal chains, beads, leather etc. Necklaces are available in a wide range of colors and can be ornamented with pendants or lockets. Necklaces have been worn for thousands of years and one of the most popular jewelry items of modern world. Necklaces come in numerous forms and styles. Necklaces are mainly categorized by its size as well as its design and material, which include pearl necklace, choker, collar, princess necklace, matinee necklace, opera necklace, rope necklace etc. Pearl necklace is made of pearls whereas choker is referred as a tight fitting necklace, worn high on the neck. Mostly women prefer to wear necklace to enhance their beauty and personality.
A pendant is a decorative ornament that hangs from jewelry items like necklace or earring. Pendants are generally made of precious stones and precious metals and often used to enhance the beauty of a necklace or an earring.
A locket is a small box or hinged case which can be opened and closed and generally contains a small photograph or other small item. These lockets are usually attached to chains and worn around the neck. Lockets are often made of precious metals and available in various shapes like heart, oval, circle etc. Normal lockets hold only one or two photographs, but some specially made lockets can hold up to eight to ten photographs.
An amulet, also known as talisman, is a pendant or charm worn as a protection from evil, illness or to bring good luck. The name amulet comes from Latin word 'Amuletum' which means, an object that protects a person from trouble. Amulets are usually made of metal and precious stones whereas other material like wood, shell, herb, seed etc can also be used.
A charm is a decorative jewelry item, similar to pendant or trinket, usually worn on a bracelet, necklace or earring. Charms are believed to possess magical powers to protect the wearer from any harm or illness.
A hairpin is a tool that is used to hold hair of a person in place or decorate hair in a particular style. Hairpins made of various metals often exhibit as ornaments and available in various shapes and designs. Hairpins are functional ornament and quite popular in modern women. Hairpins have long history and were used by many ancient cultures.
A barrette is a pin or clasp that is used to hold hair in place. Usually this is worn by women either as a hair pin to keep hair in place or just as an ornament.
A tiara, also known as diadem, is a type of ancient jewelry item that is similar to a crown, another ancient jewelry item. A tiara is a semi-circular or sometimes circular piece of jeweler item worn on the head mainly by women. Tiara is usually made of precious metals and gemstones and worn on special occasions like marriage ceremonies, pageants etc.
An anklet, also known as ankle bracelet, is a jewelry ornament worn around the ankle. Anklets are similar to bracelets or bangles in shape but these are worn around the ankle instead of wrist as well as anklets are slightly larger than bracelets or bangles. Anklets are more popular in women and used as a fashion ornament.
- Toe Ring
A toe ring is a kind of body ornament that is worn around one or more toes. Toe rings are very similar to finger rings except a major variation that is in toe rings, a small gap is available on the ring shank which allows the wearer to wear these rings easily. Toe rings are generally made of precious metals and worn mainly by women in second toe of either foot or both feet. In western countries, this jewelry item is relatively new, whereas in India, wearing a toe ring is an old practice.
| Jewelry accessories include jewelry items that are worn either as a functional item or as a fashionable item. Various types of jewelry items are available in this category, which are described as under:
A brooch, also known as fibula, is an ornamental pin with a clasp to attach it to a garment or clothing. It is made often with precious metal but sometimes with bronze or other material too along with gemstones. A brooch with a large central gemstone that is surrounded by a cluster of smaller gemstones is known as cluster brooch. In ancient time, men and women both wore brooches for fastening their cloths whereas in modern world, mainly women wear brooches either as a fashionable item or as a functional item.
A cufflink is an attractive fastener or clasp, to fasten the two sides of the cuff on a shirt, worn by men and women both. Cufflinks are used to link cuffs that have buttonholes on both the sides. Cufflinks come in various shapes and designs and the simplest design of cufflink contains two buttons or button-like parts connected with a chain or post that passes through buttonholes of the both sides of cuff. The most visible button or button-like part of a cufflink is often larger and decorated in some manner. There are two ways to join the cuff through cufflinks that is either both sides pinched together or with one side overlapping the other.
A tiepin, also known as tie clip, is a type of ornament that uses spring tension to attach the mid-portion of the tie to the shirt. Tiepin is usually made of precious metals and its front portion contains diamonds or other gems. Tiepins are generally worn by men on occasions like business meetings, marriage ceremonies, parties etc.
A button is a small object, often round in shape, attached to a garment to fasten two parts of the garment. In expensive and valuable garments, button can be used as a jewelry item and such buttons are usually made of precious metals and gemstones.
Chatelaine, an ancient jewelry item, is a set of short chains attached on a belt and worn at the waist mainly by women for carrying small items like keys, scissors, trinkets, purse etc. It is said that the word 'Chatelaine' comes from French word meaning 'Lady of the House'.
A fob is a short chain, ribbon or leather strap attached to a pocket watch at one end and a decorative medallion or some other ornament at the other end. Fob is used to locate and pull the watch out of the pocket. Fobs were popular when men’s watches were predominantly carried in the pocket and they are still used by some people as a fashionable item.
A buckle is a clasp or hook, which is used to fasten two objects together such as belt or strap.
Bauble is a small decorative piece of jewelry, which is of little value. It is also known as trinket.
A bead is a small, often round, piece of material such as stone, shell, metal, glass, plastic, seed, wood etc that is pierced for threading or stringing.
Cameo is a type of gemstone or shell which is carved in relief against a contrast background. The word 'Cameo' comes from the Latin word, 'Cammaeus' meaning 'Engraved Gem'. Cameo and intaglio, both exhibit carving but cameo features a raised relief image whereas intaglio features a carved down image.
Trinket is a small decorative piece of jewelry, which is of little value or worth. It is also known as bauble.
|Jewelry findings are basically components, materials and elements like clasps, pins, hooks, tabs etc that can be used in making or assembling a piece of jewelry.
|Categories of Jewelry Findings
|Jewelry findings can be classified on the basis of their usage into three main categories:
- Functional Jewelry Findings
Functional jewelry findings are used in making a piece of jewelry that serves to accomplish some sort of mechanical functions such as attaching, linking or joining. These findings are primarily required to provide a specific mechanical function and appearance is often unimportant. Functional jewelry findings include catches, pin backs, posts, screw backs etc.
- Decorative Jewelry Findings
Decorative jewelry findings are used in a piece of jewelry that provides beauty and good looks to that piece of jewelry. These are primarily included in a piece of jewelry to enhance the beauty and do not serve any mechanical function. Decorative jewelry findings Charms, Pendants, Festoons, Filigrees etc.
- Hybrid Jewelry Findings
Hybrid jewelry findings serve the purposes of both mechanical findings as well as decorative findings. These findings are used in making a piece of jewelry to link or attach whereas due to their beauty and looks, these are considered as decorative also. Hybrid jewelry findings include bracelet links, bead caps, locket bails etc.
|Types of Jewelry Findings
|Some of the most frequently used Jewelry findings are described as under in alphabetical order:
A bail is an oval or teardrop or D shaped metal element that is attached at the top of a pendant. It allows a pendant to hang from a chain in a free form.
Bead is a small rounded element, made from a variety of materials, with a hole through it.
- Bead Cap
Bead caps are metal findings that are placed on either one or both ends of a stone bead to cover any roughness or damage around the drilled hole.
- Bead Cone
Bead cone is a metal cone shape which is used to secure and cover the ends of multiple strands of beading.
- Bead Tip
Bead tip is a concave metal piece, attached to a metal loop, used to add thread to a clasp. It is used between the clasp and the beading thread to hide the beading thread knot which is covered inside the concave piece.
- Bracelet Link
Bracelet link, a type of decorative jewelry finding, contains rings or loops on each end for linking with jump rings or connectors.
- Bullet Clutch
It is a barrel-shaped clutch with a rubber or mechanical insert that grips an earring post.
- Butterfly Clutch
Butterfly clutch, also known as grip fastener, grips a grooved post. It has two wings that are squeezed to release it from the post.
Catch is a fastening device used to attach one end of a piece of jewelry to another by accepting and locking a top wire or a pin-stem.
- Figure 8 Safety Catch
A type of safety catch in which a figure eight shaped hinged wire snaps over a pin. The wide end of the eight connects at the bottom to the hinge whereas the smaller end slips over the pin to hold the clasp closed.
- Safety catch
It is a type of catch which contains a tongue or pin that can be operated to close the opening in the catch, which prevents the loss of jewelry.
- Chandelier Finding
It is a type of decorative finding, often used on an earring, with a drop or drops that hangs down from the earlobe and dangles like a chandelier.
- Charm / Pendant / Locket
Although charms / pendants / lockets are considered jewelry items but some people also consider these as decorative jewelry findings which are mainly used in necklaces and bracelets.
- Charm Hanger
A charm hanger, also known as charm holder, is a jewelry finding which can be attached to a necklace or cord with a jump ring or bail. The bottom part of the holder can be opened to add single or multiple charms.
Clamp, also known as cramp, is a metal prong or claw used for gemstone settings.
A clasp is a fastener, such as a hook or buckle, which is used to hold two or more jewelry objects or parts together. It usually contains a hook or buckle on one piece and a slot to hold that hook or buckle on the other piece. Clasps are mainly used in bracelets, necklaces, watchstrap etc. Some of the popular clasps are described as under:
- Barrel Clasps
A barrel clasp is a round or oval shaped jewelry fastener that resembles a barrel. The clasp pieces contain ridges around the barrel for easier grasping and these pieces screw together just by rotating one piece into the other. Barrel clasps are frequently used in necklaces and bracelets as they provide greater security than magnetic or hook type clasps
- Bead Clasp
A bead clasp is a type of clasp mechanism that is hidden in a bead or pearl.
- Box Clasp
A box clasp is a type of fastener that contains a box with an opening, which is notched on the top of the box on the one end and a flat piece of metal, which is folded over to form a spring with a knob at the other end. The folded metal spring slips into the hole in the box with the knob sticking out through the notch in the top. The compressed spring holds the two ends in place and it is released by pressing the knob.
- Hidden Screw Clasp
A hidden screw clasp is similar to screw clasp where clasp is partially covered in the bead or pearl, giving the necklace a clasp less look when screwed together.
- Lobster Claw Clasp
A lobster claw clasp is a jewelry fastener that resembles the claw of a lobster. A tiny spring keeps the arm of this clasp closed, which can be opened by a lever on its side.
- Safety Clasp
A safety clasp is a protected type of fastener that uses more than one method to secure the closure on a piece of jewelry such as necklace or bracelet. Safety clasps are frequently used for fine or more expensive jewelry items.
- Screw Clasp
A screw clasp is a type of fastener consisting two short barrels with screws, which are used to connect a necklace.
- Spring Ring Clasp
A spring ring clasp is a circular shaped tube, which is just short of a complete circle. Inside this tube, a wire exists that works on spring mechanism and projects from the tube to complete the circle. A lever exists on the edge of that incomplete circle and on pressing the lever, the wire can be pushed back into the tube, allows the ends of necklace or bracelet to be attached.
- Toggle Clasp
A toggle clasp is a type of fastener that contains a ring on the one end and a short metal bar on the other end. This bar is inserted through the ring which sits across that ring in such a manner that it does not slide.
Clip is a fastening device used to hold a piece of jewelry in its place. Generally clip is used in non-pierced earrings where its two pieces are closed around the earlobe, using mechanical pressure to hold the earring in place.
- Comfort Disc
Comfort disc is a plastic disc that fits over the post of a pierced earring to provide greater comfort to the wearer.
- Ear Nut
An ear nut is a type of clutch contains a hole through which an earring post is attached to secure the earring to the earlobe. The friction version has two curved wings that grasps a grooved post.
- Ear Thread
Ear thread is a small earring element that contains a thin pin and a small chain, which is threaded through holes in the ears. They usually have a small cup or ball or loop on the opposite end of the pin. Beads can be included to the chains before threading or can be fastened to the cup or loop on the end.
Eye is a loop or ring, made of wire or any other material, used as a connector for necklaces, pendants, etc.
Ferrule is a metal band or cap that is fitted to the end of wire, thread, cord or any other material to prevent fraying or to add decoration.
Festoon is a type of pendant that contains rings on both sides through which a chain or string can be attached. It generally functions as the centerpiece of the necklace.
Filigree, a type of decorative jewelry finding, is formed of bent wire that is soldered or stamped into delicate and complex designs similar to lace patterns.
It is a fishhook shaped finding often used to make pierced earrings. The hook end passes through the pierced ear, while an ornament hangs from the other end. It is also known as French ear wire.
Hinge is an assembled unit of a joint, top wire and catch, which permits movement to a piece of jewelry.
- Spring Hinge
It is a type of hinge that integrates a spring in its assembly to always keep a jewelry piece, such as a bracelet made of two halves, in closed position.
Hoop is a metal wire or tube that has been formed into individual rings. Hoops are often used for earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
- Jump Ring
Jump ring is a round or oval shaped plain wire ring available in various sizes and used for attaching jewelry parts. Normally, the ends of the wire are bent together instead of soldering.
- Pad Insert
It is a molded rubber insert that usually fits into or over the clip portion of a clip earring for greater comfort of the wearer.
- Pearl drop
A metal ring is attached to a real or imitate pearl which hangs from a piece of jewelry.
A pin is a type of fastener that contains small metal rod with a sharp point and generally used to attach a jewelry item on clothing.
- Pin Back
A pin back is an assembled unit of a joint, catch and pin-stem that is pre-assembled on a metal plate. This entire unit is attached to a piece of jewelry by soldering or gluing.
A post is a pin-like component attached to an earring that passes through the pierced earlobe and is usually secured by a clutch.
- Adhesive Ear Post
It is an ear post with a flat surface, which is used with a 2 sided adhesive dot instead of solder or fusion for attaching an ornament part of the earring.
Prong is a claw or wire used to fasten and hold a stone in a setting.
- Ring Guard
Ring guard is a type of jewelry finding which is made and used to temporarily reduce the inside diameter of a ring.
- Screw Back
Screw back, a type of fastener, consists of a nut or clutch that actually screws onto a threaded post for tightening an earring against a non-pierced earlobe through tension adjustment.
| Jewelry is a combination of two substances, gemstones and metal, which are extremely durable and tough in nature. But due to our life style and day-to-day activities, it is expected that our jewelry will get dirty and scratchy. Even gemstones and metal can be scratched or dulled if not handled correctly. In such a case, our jewelry requires proper care and treatment for its longevity so that it can even be handed down as heirlooms to future generations without losing their shine and sparkle.
So here are some tips that will help you to preserve the life and beauty of your jewelry:
|Cleaning of Jewelry
|Jewelry cleaning is the practice of removing dirt and soil from jewelry to improve its appearance. Regular cleaning of Jewelry is essential to maintain shine and brilliance of jewelry’s gemstones and metal. On wearing jewelry, it gets dirty as you use various skin and body care solutions such as soaps, lotions and even it becomes oily from your skin's natural oils. Even when you are not wearing them, they collect dust.
If you are cleaning your jewelry by your own then it will take few minutes to clean the same but before cleaning, you must be aware of facts about cleaning by a professional jeweler. Certain types of cleaning can damage some jewelry. For example, some jewelry items are coated with colors to reduce or improve their shininess and some gemstones, such as white topaz, have an overlay to produce certain colors. Ultrasonic cleaning can remove this coating and harm that overlay. Jewelry must always be examined for color coatings and loose stones prior to cleaning with ultrasonic cleaners or a steam cleaner:
- You can use a small soft brush such as an eyebrow or lipstick brush, soap and water to clean your jewelry. Simply make a bowl of warm sudsy water with a mild detergent and gently place your jewelry pieces in the mixture. Then brush the gemstones with the soft bristles of the brush while they are in the suds. You will need to make certain that you rinse them clear of the suds after cleaning them. After this process, use a soft cloth or a jewelry polish cloth to pat them dry. This treatment should not be done on jewelry items containing gemstones like amber, coral, emerald, jade, kunzite, lapis lazuli, opal, or turquoise. You should avoid cleaning by toothpaste as it can harm metal and some gemstones.
- Jewelry containing diamonds can be cleaned by a stronger cleansing solution that is one part ammonia and six parts water. Once it has soaked for 30 minutes, remove it and gently brush the mountings with a small soft brush. Then use the mixture of soap and water to wash it and after that use a soft cloth to pat it dry. This ammonia treatment should not be done on jewelry items containing peals or porous stones such as emeralds, rubies, lazuli, coral or turquoise.
- You can also use liquid jewelry cleaner products available in a kit form that are sold by many departmental stores. You just need to follow all the written precautions and instructions of cleaning. You must choose cleaner that is suitable for your jewelry as an inappropriate cleaner may actually damage stones or settings. Also avoid cleaners which are older than 3 months.
- Ultrasonic cleaners are also available in many departmental stones. Ultrasonic cleaner is a type of small machine that helps cleaning jewelry in a matter of minutes using high-frequency sound. Although it is safe for strong stones but it can damage settings and porous gems such as pearls and opals.
- In cleaning process, treat metal settings gently as metal can be scratched.
- It is also a good idea to have jewelry cleaned once a year by a professional jeweler, where he will check security of the settings. He will also give advice for repair of loose or bent prongs, which hold your gemstones in place. This will prevent the gemstones from falling out of their settings and becoming lost.
|Storing of Jewelry
|Storing of jewelry is also an important aspect and in case of improper storage, a piece of jewelry can scratch other jewelry pieces as well as settings and luster of jewelry can be affected. Storage of jewelry needs following precautions:
- Jewelry should be stored individually in a soft cloth pouch or plastic zip-lock bags to ensure that a piece of jewelry or gemstone should not scratch other jewelry or gemstones. Bead necklaces such as pearls, lapis etc should be stored flat and pearls should not be stored in plastic bags.
- Jewelry pieces are best stored in a fabric-lined jewel case or in a box with compartments or dividers.
- Jewelry should be stored in a dry and dark place to avoid extremes of temperature and humidity. Exposure to air and light may create tarnish on some metals.
|Wearing Precautions for Jewelry
|It is also necessary to follow certain precautions on wearing jewelry:
- You should not wear jewelry while doing heavy work, housework or gardening as it can be scratched.
- You should try to protect all jewelry from sharp blows, harsh chemicals, sunlight and extreme temperatures.
- You should avoid the situation where your jewelry comes in contact with chlorine bleach, hair spray or other chemicals because they can severely discolor and damage your jewelry as well as their settings.
| If you will follow the above mentioned caring tips then your jewelry will always shine and sparkle like new.