TURQUOISE FACTS : Tuquoise by Location

There was a time when I had no idea about anything related to turquoise. I thought turquoise was…just turquoise. And then I started getting serious about it and realized that there is so much info to consider when buying the stone or jewelry made with it, that it makes your head spin. Anyways, I feel like I have to start explaining some basic things since I mention them in my jewelry descriptions, and I don’t want people wondering what the heck is that crazy lady talking about.

Let’s start with the basics. What kind of turquoise are you buying when you are looking at jewelry? I bet many are like I was before, turquoise is turquoise is turquoise, and it comes from…where does it come from, anyway? If we are talking about actual turquoise and not imitation (about that later), then it may come from a lot of places.

I love and collect local North American turquoise that comes mostly from the Southwestern mines, and there were and are a lot of mines to learn about.

image

                                 American Turquoise from various mines.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://shirindesigns.com/turquoise-facts-location/

Choose Handmade (memes)

image

And by doing so, not only will you wear the best and most beautiful there is, but you will also support local and small businesses, keeping the money in the country and not sending it back to China (no offense, China).

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://shirindesigns.com/choose-handmade-meme/

Copper Jewelry Facts and Care

Copper jewelry is IN now, but not many people know much about copper. This prevents them from enjoying this wonderful metal due to their fear of the unknown.
I didn’t know much about copper myself before I started working with it. Then I did my research, tried making jewelry with it, wore it, and fell in love. It is not only more affordable than silver, but it is also very easy to care for, and looks just as beautiful when turned into a beautiful piece of jewelry.

Amazonite and Copper bracelet.

Amazonite and Copper bracelet.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://shirindesigns.com/copper-jewelry-facts/

What is wire wrapping?

Let’s talk about wire wrapping. You may have heard the term but may not know what it actually is. Or maybe you saw wire wrapped jewelry, but had no idea about this special technique used in its creation.

Wire wrapping is a way of creating jewelry pieces entirely by hand, and with the use of only wire and some basic tools. In addition to wire, you can use different objects for wrapping, such as gemstones, crystals, other types of beads, little objects that carry a special meaning to the owner, and pretty much anything wrappable (I think I just made up a word).
Usually, torches, soldering and other methods used in silversmithing are not used in wire wrapping. And that is the beauty of it. It is simple yet requires lots of practice and skill. And once you got the skill, the sky is the limit to what you can do with that wire.

Wire wrapping is an ancient jewelry making method that has been around for centuries. You will never find wire wrapped jewelry in department stores as a part of a mass produced line, because no machine or equipment can reproduce what only a skilled and passionate jeweler can create. That is why this kind of jewelry is extremely valuable, one of a kind, and good quality pieces can last for generations if cared for properly. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://shirindesigns.com/wire-wrapping/

Caring for your jewelry

 

My 'Jewelry Care'  card

My ‘Jewelry Care’ card I developed for customers.

All metals, except for pure gold and platinum, eventually tarnish. All good quality silver jewelry reacts with the chemicals in the air and, over time, tarnishes. Best way to prevent it is wearing your jewelry regularly. When not being worn, silver pieces should be stored in a polyethylene zip lock bag, or other airtight container, with either a piece of white chalk, silica packs (found in medicine bottles or with new shoes) or anti-tarnish strips. If using jewelry boxes, line them with anti-tarnish cloth or paper.
Silver jewelry should be removed before cleaning and swimming (chlorine bleach is very harmful to silver), as well as before gardening or playing sports.
Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://shirindesigns.com/jewelry-care/