Friday, April 26, 2013

Joined Pinterest and Wanelo!

Yay!  I've been following Pinterest for about a year now, saving favorite posts in my bookmarks.  I love all the tips on cooking, DIY, travel, home decorating, food, etc.  I am always surprised at how much I didn't know!  What did I do before Pinterest?!

So I decided to start a business Pinterest board, which features my jewelry on etsy, plus some other things I like too.  It's here:

I also joined Wanelo as a shop owner.  I LOVE that site (it's like pinterest, only with links for buying) and here is a link to my shop:

I have a LOT to add.  Maybe this weekend I'll get a chance.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sterling Silver - Tarnish does not equal "low quality"

Just a quick glance at Amazon's "askville" shows that there is a LOT of very bad information out there.  People seem to be very misinformed about Sterling Silver, what it is and why it tarnishes.  Here are a few very wrong bits of info shared there:

  • "Actually if you wear silver everyday, it does not tarnish. It is when you leave it that it gets oxidized. You can always use toothopaste to polish up your silver as the toothpaste has sodium bicarbonate that helps remove the tarnishing."
  • "There are invisible sealer coats that protect them from tarnishing; but I still would not risk taking a shower with it..."
  • "Some silver tarnishes badly, particularly the filigree type."
  • "i think that the 'sterling' part of 'sterling silver' means that it won't tarnish." 
  •  Silver tends to oxidize (tarnish) quickly, leaving it a yucky brown color. The 7.5% copper or other metals used to make sterling silver slow down the tarnishing process.
This is just some of the WRONG information I've read.  The last comment is THE WORST and absolutely crazy WRONG.   People mean well, and that's great, but I think it's important to know WHAT sterling silver is, and why it ALWAYS will tarnish.  Knowledge is power!!
Sterling Silver is an alloy (mixed metals) of 92.5% pure silver, plus another metal to harden it, since pure silver is very soft.  Most of the time, copper is used, but sometimes nickel is used to alloy the silver.   Nickel can cause allergic reactions so be careful.  By law, only sterling silver can be hallmarked ".925" to indicate the 92.5% pure silver content.  Sometimes sterling jewelry is hallmarked "sterling."  
Contrary to the Amazon contributor above, it's actually the COPPER alloy that tarnishes.  Pure silver (99.999% pure) is not very reactive and will not tarnish over time under normal conditions.  Some sterling silver is alloyed with zinc or platinum to resist tarnish, but copper is the industry standard.
When sterling silver is exposed to the air, a chemical reaction occurs resulting in "silver sulfate" which can even leave a "sulfate stain" on your skin where it touches!  Silver reacts to the air, and to chemicals touching it.  Silver also reacts to the following everyday things (in no particular order):  Wool, Rubber Bands, Latex Gloves, Oils from your Hands and Fingers, Ammonia, Chlorinated Water, Carpet Padding, Air Pollution, Perfumes, Hair Sprays, and believe it or not, some foods can even make Silver tarnish -- onions, Mayonnaise, Salad Dressing, Eggs and Salty Foods!  (Eating these foods, not just being near them!)
In fact, humidity can cause sterling to tarnish.  Just touching the AIR can cause the tarnishing process to begin.
The good thing is, it's easy to buff and clean sterling. It doesn't take much to polish jewelry with a good sterling polishing cloth.  Just a couple of minutes and your jewelry will look new again.  I highly recommend Connoisseur's (brand) polishing cloths for sterling silver jewelry---NOT liquid cleaner----because they work quickly and are less than $9.  You can find them at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target, pretty much anywhere.  Or take your jewelry to a jeweler for a professional cleaning.

Prevention is the best---storing your jewelry in a zip-top baggie will seal it from the air and prevent your jewelry from tarnishing.

DO NOT USE TOOTHPASTE.  That is too abrasive and will do more harm than good!

The jewelry industry is always looking for new ways to prevent tarnishing and improve metals.  Often, sterling silver jewelry (especially rings) will be plated with Rhodium.  This serves several purposes:  Rhodium is hard and will prevent the silver from scratching; Rhodium is a platinum metal and gives the silver a deeper grey color so it looks like a pure platinum piece of jewelry; and it helps prevent tarnishing.  HELPS prevent.  There is nothing that stops tarnish, despite what jewelry sellers will say.  I have no idea what the askville person is talking about regarding a "clear coat" but there is nothing that will prevent tarnish.

Some sterling is plated with gold.  When the plating is thick enough to meet legally instituted standards, it can be called "vermeil".  Vermeil is beautiful and looks like solid gold, plus it also HELPS to prevent tarnishing.  Vermeil does tarnish and can be more difficult to remove the tarnish (without removing the gold!).  I have a polishing cloth from Blitz specifically for vermeil and it works great!  A professional jeweler can clean your vermeil jewelry safely and for not much money.

I live in the desert southwest.  The humidity here is very low (9% today as I write this) and there isn't much air pollution or car exhaust fumes here.  My sterling jewelry doesn't really tarnish at all.  I consider myself very lucky!  Sometimes, jewelry will start to show a slight hint of tarnish and I just remove it with my cloth.  They say that artisan crafted sterling silver jewelry from the southwest never tarnishes!  Well, it's pretty true at least here IN the southwest.  I'm not sure how Native American jewelry reacts to the air in  urban areas like New York or Chicago. 

Dot Com Piracy!

WHAT THE....?  

Several years ago, I wanted to sell jewelry that I make as well as some vintage pieces I've collected over the years.  So I registered a domain (, via godaddy).  But life got in the way, and I never had the chance to start my website until earlier this year.  So the domain just sat with a "coming soon" holding page.

I've discovered recently that my domain was stolen!  Pirates!  (Gee thanks, godaddy.)   Looking up the domain on whois, I see it now belongs to:

royal sarees
   159, govind nagar west
   amer road
   jaipur, Rajasthan 302002
Yeah, that's not me!
How ANNOYING!!  If I google "invoguejewelry" I see their website comes up a few times.  


I'm brand new to blogging (I'm sure you can tell!) but I feel I have some things to say, and maybe someone will find something interesting.  Maybe informative.  Hopefully not boring!

I recently opened a shop on etsy where I'm offering some vintage jewelry for sale (at FABULOUS prices, I'd like to add!) and I have some things to say about gemstones, metals, etc.  There is a LOT of misinformation out there about stones and jewelry terms, and there really isn't enough space in my etsy page to write about everything.  So I'll try writing here.

My etsy shop is:

And if you find something you love, please use coupon BLOGGER10OFF and take $10 off your order, just for finding me through my blog!