Category: Jewelry

Beyoncé And Jay-Z Are at Tiffany’s for Breakfast

The jewelry company Tiffany is known for its extraordinary pieces. The Hollywood star Audrey Hepburn languished on the company’s window display in her legendary film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and now two superstars of our time are following in her footsteps. Tiffany brought Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z in front of the camera for their latest campaign. The focus is, of course, on the famous diamonds and a work by the artist Basquiat. Jay-Z even displayed a reference by adopting Basquiat’s hairstyle.

Picture of Tiffany Shop Sign

The famous star couple is known to be remarkably familiar with the art scene. Jay-Z has been a well-known art collector for years and has performed with the renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic. On the other hand, his wife quotes Piplotti-Rist in her videos, poses together with her children as the old master’s Madonna and has already worked with Arthur Jafa. In their joint video for Apeshit, the two even rented the Louvre in Paris as their royal palace.

Successor to Audrey Hepburn and Lady Gaga

Now the pop stars adorn the current advertising campaign of the luxury jeweler. In the photos, Beyoncé wears the famous yellow Tiffany diamond, which weighs an incredible 128.54 carats. The singer is one of only four women who have already been allowed to wear this stone. The other lucky ones were a diplomat’s wife Mary Crocker Alexander, Audrey Hepburn in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and Lady Gaga at the 2019 Oscars.

The campaign in which Jay-Z and Beyoncé are participating is called “About Love” and it aims to tell the love story of the Carters, which is the actual name of the married stars. But with this photoshoot, you hardly know who the bigger star is. After all, the diamond necklace on the singer’s neck outshines everything else. The 128.54-carat yellow sparkling diamond has 82 facets, which is the priceless highlight of this piece of jewelry. The jewelry set with over 100 carats of diamonds is the crowning glory of this precious piece. The company founder Charles Lewis Tiffany bought it in the 19th century, and it was the cornerstone of Tiffany’s success and still is the most famous piece of jewelry.

Successor to Audrey Hepburn and Lady Gaga
Successor to Audrey Hepburn and Lady Gaga

But this splendor was not enough for the advertising managers. In addition to Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and the necklace another highlight stands out in the campaign. It is a painting “Equal Pi” by the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Up until now, we could not see this work in public and the two celebrities said they were honored and delighted in a statement on the campaign.

Tiffany also expressed their excitement for the ad campaign, in which you can see the Carters as the epitome of a modern love story. According to the jeweler, the new testimonials stand for the values that Tiffany represents. So, it’s no wonder that the company was thrilled to win the iconic couple for its advertising project. But the campaign was also met with criticism. Observers said that the former street artist Basquiat had little pleasure in this display of wealth.

The Precious Stones of the British Crown During World War II

The special precious stones from the British crown were hidden in a simple can of cookies at Windsor Castle during World War II. It is such a weird and desperate story that BBC TV made a documentary movie about it. After all, the simple decision that was made of fear to lose the identity and national proud has worked so well!

Precious Stones
Precious Stones

The Top Secret

Those precious stones, including the famous ruby of the Black Prince adorning the crown, were hidden under a secret exit in a medieval castle. That exit was used only in case of an emergency. The stones were hidden by the order of King George VI, the father of Elizabeth II, so the values would not fall into the hands of the Nazis.

It was a great secret that even Elizabeth II, who lived in Windsor Castle for security reasons from 1939 to 1945, did not know where those precious stones were hidden. These details were clarified by Oliver Urquhart Irvine, Assistant Superintendent of the Royal Archives. Many decades later, the secret was revealed by Royal Librarian Owen Morshead’s “incredible collection of letters” to Queen Mary, the daughter of King George VI. The documents of Owen Morshead tell how a hole was dug in the limestone, and two hideouts with steel doors were installed there. The hatch that led to the hiding place where the tin box was hidden remains until today.

Interview of the Queen

The Queen Elizabeth II said that the 1.28kg crown of the British Empire, placed on her head during the opening ceremonies of the parliament, is very clumsy. She said that it is the only good thing that the shapes of head of her father and her head are almost the same. But as soon as she put the crown on, it stays that way. The monarch said the head with the crown attached should be kept straight because it is heavy and can fall down.

Precious Stones
Precious Stones

She cannot move her head down to read a speech, so it is necessary to lift that speech or piece of paper up. Because if she moves her head, her neck could break, or the crown can fall. So, crowns have some disadvantages, but on the other hand, they are quite important symbols and must be treated with extra attention.

A crown was made especially for the coronation of King George in 1937. This crown is decorated with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and hundreds of pearls. Four of these pearls were on earrings of king’s mother Queen Elizabeth I. Among other things, the crown has the ruby of the Black Prince. It is believed that King Henry V had this ruby on his helmet during the Battle of Azenkur in 1415. Queen Elizabeth II has repeatedly said that looking at this ruby makes her feel special. It is said that the pen of King Henry V was inserted into that ruby which was on his helmet.

The Secrets of Polymer Clay Jewelry Making Part 3

Earrings

There are multiple ideas you can come up with when making your own polymer clay jewelry. Unlike with the necklaces or rings, size doesn’t matter as much in this case. As long as you have all the tools and materials to create your own earrings, you’re good to go. In fact, making earrings is less stressful than making a necklace for example because there is less demand for precision and symmetry is preferred, but optional. We’ll share just some of the most useful techniques and tips for you to remember when you are making your own earrings.

Materials and tools you will need:

  • Polymer clay – you can choose whatever colors you would like, and you can mix them up in the process
  • Rolling pin or a small glass jar
  • X-ACTO knife
  • Earring posts and backs – you can use different versions of these depending on what you would like to make
  • Clay cutters – completely optional
  • Cutting surface
  • Baking sheet

When you have bought all the ingredients, start out with the surface. Keep in mind the surface should be covered, as clay can damage wood surfaces by leaving small particles. You can use tin foil or parchment paper to work on. After you have prepared the surface, start by working with clay and shaping it. If you plan on mixing colors, go ahead and experiment with them, but remember that once baked and dried out the colors will not be as bright as they used to be.

Earrings
Earrings

Once you have shaped the clay into a desirable form of earrings, it is the perfect time to make holes. If you are using earring posts and backs, we would advise you to be careful with this step as you don’t want to ruin the earrings’ unique shape. Pick up the earring gently, and carefully make a hole by pressing the earring post and back. Repeat twice and place the earrings on the baking sheet.

When you are done shaping the earrings and making the holes, you can place them in the oven. Bake the earrings according to the directions on the packaging. If you are not sure about the directions, and threw away the box (happens more often than you think) you can always look up the company that manufactured the clay, and find directions on their website. After the earrings are fully baked and dried out, you can add some glitter to them by using the super glue or you can paint over with liquid gold if you used white clay during the process. Don’t forget to match the earrings to the mechanism used, which will likely be metallic. If you are using posts for the earrings, make sure you use super glue to attach them by holding tight for at least 30 seconds each earring. Your handmade polymer clay earrings are ready, and you can wear them proudly to any occasion!

The Secrets of Polymer Clay Jewelry Making Part 2

Necklaces

When you are planning to go out somewhere nice, but don’t want to spend too much money on a single necklace, there is a solution for you. Try making your own polymer clay necklace that you can wear on various occasions. It is easy to make, inexpensive, and you get to proudly wear your own creation, which is sure to be one of a kind. Here are just a few steps on how you can make a beautiful handmade polymer clay necklace.

Materials and tools needed:

  • Polymer clay
  • Acrylic paint
  • X-ACTO knife
  • Small paintbrushes
  • Clasp
  • 2 mm thick chain
  • A jar or a rolling pin

Prepare the surface first and make sure it is all clean and perfectly flat. For this, you can use regular baking paper, or you can buy a small cutting board, as long as it is a comfortable workspace. Once you have prepared your working space and turned on the oven to start heating up, you can get ready for the next steps of making your necklace. Remember to follow your imagination and create anything you want. After you achieved the desired shape of the necklace whether it is a small pendant or a string of beads.

Use slightly wet paintbrushes to smooth the edges of your necklace. When you are just rolling out the clay, you can roll it out with a small rolling pin or a glass jar. Don’t be afraid to use your fingertips in the process as well, depending on the type of necklace you are using. Before you put the polymer clay necklace into the oven, make sure you are satisfied with the result, because it can’t be undone once baked.

Bake the necklace according to the guidelines on the polymer packaging. Also, this might come as a surprise that this is necessary to mention but remember that you cannot use the microwave to bake your necklace faster. Have some patience and trust the process. After the necklace is ready, set it aside to cool down. In the meantime, if you are using acrylic paint or liquid gold, you can start preparing the paint and paintbrushes.

Once the necklace is fully dry, go ahead and color it the way you like it. You can also play around with patterns for your necklace. For example, if you are making zebra-striped beads necklace, here’s a tip that will help you achieve it. Starе by painting the letter “Y” directly on the beads with some distance between the letters. Once you have covered the beads in the letters, you can add extra lines to them in chaotic order. This way you will achieve a classical zebra stripped beads necklace. After the paint has dried out you can wear your necklace. Make sure you don’t get the necklace too wet, as the paint might come off with time, and be careful not to drop it.

The Secrets of Polymer Clay Jewelry Making Part 1

Rings

Clay jewelry has been gaining popularity in recent years because it is seen as a less flashy way to accessorize. We live in the fashion age of subtle expressions of taste, which is why there has been a shift to the matte finish of certain metals, if metals are chosen. The advantage of clay is that you can achieve both matte finish and glossy finish using the same material and it will fit both the materialistic and the minimalistic tastes in jewelry. To make a polymer clay jewelry, you don’t need many ingredients, and an additional plus is that they are all relatively inexpensive. If you’re not sure what kind of jewelry you would like to make or whether you have enough patience to make it, here is a simple DIY guide on how to make a simple and yet trendy piece of jewelry.

Things you need:

  • Modeling clay – you can order it from Amazon or go to your local crafts store and they will help you choose the right clay. Choose any color you feel like choosing, there is no right answer here, the end product will be your own creation and interpretation of your personality.
  • X-ACTO knife – used specifically for precise cuts and shaping of the clay
  • Liquid gold paint
  • Small paintbrushes
  • Bamboo skewers

Once you have all the ingredients and tools ready, you can start the work! Prepare a clean surface where you will be rolling out the clay, as you don’t want to get dust or other particles on it. Start by rolling out a piece of clay into a longer shape, and you can adjust its thickness based on how thick you want the ring to be. After you rolled it out, wrap it around your finger to make sure you make it into the right size. Once you have completed this step, you can start shaping the ring.

Rings
Rings

The imagination is your limit at the next steps, and you can shape your ring to be edgier or softer, it all depends on your taste. Take the X-ACTO knife and start shaping the ring by cutting off or smoothing the edges. Once you have reached the desirable shape, transfer the ring to the oven. Now, different types of clay require different temperatures when baking. Simply follow the instructions on the box.

After the ring has been baked and cooled off enough for you to be able to pick it up, you can continue on to the pre-final step. Take the liquid gold pain and gently apply it onto the ring with the small paintbrush. The gold paint once dried out will give your ring a metallic kind of look. You can also choose another liquid paint based on your taste. The beauty is that you can apply as much or as little paint as you want. Once painted, gently put the ring on the bamboo skewers in a dry place. Let the ring dry out and you can start wearing your handmade ring made out of polymer clay.

How to Take Care of Your Jewelry

When we buy any kind of jewelry whether it is an engagement ring, earrings, necklaces or bracelets, they are all pretty and flawless. However, as we wear them on a daily basis, the jewelry is exposed to a variety of things: water, air, and our skin. In order to prevent jewelry from losing its beauty and make it look like new for as long as possible, here are some tips on how you can take care of your jewelry.

1. Keep it simple

Do not buy into different ads about super cleaners made specifically for your jewelry. You don’t really know what are the chemicals in those solutions and your jewelry will react with them. Keep it simple by using warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush. Of course, when cleaning a delicate bracelet do not rub it with the toothbrush with all your strength, as it still might cause damage. Use a soft toothbrush and after you are finished cleaning use a paper towel to remove any moisture.

2. Keep it in a special box

Keeping jewelry in a special case or a box eliminates the risk of losing it or accidentally causing damage. When placing the jewelry in the box, make sure the various pieces own are stored separately as they might get scratched accidentally against each other. To avoid that risk you can either buy a jewelry case on Etsy or you can make it yourself.

Keep it in a special box
Keep it in a special box

3. Put on the jewelry last, and take it off first

When you are preparing for work or for a birthday party, make sure you put your jewelry on last. Dressing up can take up some time, so all of the oils, perfumes, and even water can damage your jewelry without you noticing it. Make sure that rings or earrings go last in your finishing touches. Once you are back home, take off the jewelry first and then carry on with your evening.

4. Do not sleep in your jewelry

Surprisingly enough some wear jewelry when sleeping, and usually, those are wedding or engagement rings. Avoid sleeping with your jewelry on. First, it might cause scratches and it is uncomfortable. Second, it might cause damage to you. If you fall asleep with earrings on, they might end up inside your ear by the end of the night, and that would be a tough morning for you. If you are sleeping with your necklace on you might damage its lock during your sleep. It is best to keep yourself safe and your jewelry clean and undamaged.

5. Drains!

Yes, as silly as it sounds, be careful when taking off your rings, necklaces, or earrings over the sink or a drain. You might think you are being careful and it’s not slippery enough for the ring to slip inside the open drain, but you are wrong. Accidents happen, and you would not want to be upset all evening because you lost your late grandmother’s ring in the sink at your office. Be careful!

Why You Should Buy Handmade Jewelry?

With the mass production of various jewelry for consumers all over the world, there is little uniqueness to each piece that is being created. For the jewelry companies to survive, they need to appeal to the customer, and usually, a lot of people want the same thing or have something similar in mind. Finding something special, whether it is a necklace or a ring, can be a bit tough. What is the solution? Buy handmade jewelry. Here are a few reasons why you should consider this option.

1. The Jeweler

The person who is creating a piece of jewelry by hand puts their heart and soul into the whole process. This is not your regular mass production. The maker comes up with the idea, finds the right materials, and they pay attention to the process of making a specific piece. There is a lot of chemistry going on between the maker and the jewelry, and this is one of the reasons why handmade jewelry usually has a sense of “soul”.

2. Materials

The materials a maker uses can be extremely unique. They can range from wood to a stone picked up at the beach. Thanks to the creativity of the maker, the resulting jewelry always has a personal touch. Even if the maker sticks to such popular materials as gold or silver, they still add something interesting to the jewelry, which gives it a nice finishing touch.

3. Getting exactly what you want

Handmade jewelry is made not only according to the maker’s imagination, but also according to the desires of the client. Much like paintings, clothing, or tattoos, jewelry can be generic and can be individual to you. Handmade jewelers are the ones who will attend to your exact desires for a piece. You might want a ring with a family crest, or to incorporate a stone or pearl that has been handed down to you by previous generations, or you have a symbol in mind that connects you to a person, and you want to give it material weight – all these are excellent reasons to have something hand-made.

4. Time and value

Handmade jewelry is often considered precious in its value. Why? Because of the amount of time that was dedicated to a single piece. Of course, this does not include the time for coming up with the design and searching for the right materials. The process of carving and making one piece can take many hours. Especially, when it is a custom-designed jewelry. This ads exclusivity to the final product, making it not only a beautiful item, but a sought-after asset if you were to decide to put it on the market.

5. Support the locals

When buying handmade jewelry, you are not only supporting the environment, but you are also supporting your local community. When you go to someone who creates handmade jewelry, you are reducing the carbon footprint, as local artists and makers aim to be more environmentally friendly. When buying handmade jewelry, you also support their art and help them develop even more ideas and bring more joy to people who buy their products. Next time when you are thinking of buying a ring or a necklace, do some research and find someone who creates handmade jewelry. This way, your present will be truly unique and you will add more value to the local community!

handmade jewelry 2
Handmade jewelry

Engagement and Wedding Ring Ideas

The special day is approaching, be it a long-planned proposal or an anticipated wedding. The wish to commemorate this occasion in an original way is natural and understandable – since every relationship is unique, its representation that often comes in the form of rings has to reflect that. While there is nothing wrong with deciding to go with an affordable option from Pandora or another mainstream jewelry retailer, here are some options you can explore to give your occasion a more personalized spin.

Custom-made rings

You can easily combine the traditional engagement and wedding accessory with your individual love story. Some choose to buy pre-crafted jewelry and customize it to suit their vision, adding to them an engravement of their first date’s day, initials or another meaningful symbol. Others decide to order their special accessories to be made from scratch with their relationship in mind. In that way you get to choose everything, from core materials and decorative precious stones to accents and details individual to you.

Custom-made rings

Needless to say, the latter is a lot more costly since the services of quality jewelers don’t come cheap. Thus, consider your financial situation, because you most probably do not want to associate your special occasion with financial difficulties that can follow upon deciding to invest an excessive amount of money into its commemoration. You can always consider opting out for stones that are as beautiful as diamonds yet a little cheaper. However, the financial cap you put on this is completely up to you because at the end of the day no sum of money can represent true feelings.

Family relics

The symbolic significance that old grandma’s ring carries is undeniable. Choosing to use an inherited or gifted family relic for engagement and wedding is not only a wonderful way to automatically include your family into the future of your relationship, but also to ensure authenticity of the experience – most people know the stories of their significant jewellery very well so you can rest assured that you are offering your significant other a true piece of yourself and your family’s history.

Alternative

Explore some thrift stores, pawnshops or used jewelry retailers. You can find some real gems there! From vintage jewelry to pieces by renown jewelers – a lot can be discovered that would pleasantly surprise your bride- or groom-to-be. Another option to make your special rings more unique is experimenting with the band of the ring. While the usual round shape is timeless classic, no one is stopping you from making the look more edgy by using several bands, alternative shapes or various intertwining features and so on – it allows you to get as creative as you wish!

Tattoos

This one is a little more controversial; although most marriages are started with the idea of happily ever after, tattoos interpret it pretty literally. True, there are means to remove them but in general the concept of a tattoo is always associated with a permanent mark. However, it is becoming more and more popular to get wedding and engagement ring tattoos and it is a beautiful alternative to consider!

Understanding Precious Stones

There few feelings in this world that are worse than the one that comes after being ripped off and cheated because the other person took advantage of your lack of knowledge in a certain field. The jewelry industry offers endless possibilities for such deviant practices since being able to determine the value of precious stones and metals is beyond the capabilities of most. When it comes to family relics, you can easily take it to an expert and have them give you an answer in minutes; determination of actual value might take longer, but when it comes to authenticity, a trained eye will usually be able to spot a real gem in no time. You can also set your mind at ease if you decide to go to an official jewelry retailer – they protect their public image and will never attempt to trick you into buying something worthless. But what do you do when it comes to buying an expensive necklace you saw in a pawnshop’s window and fell in love with?

Terminology

Before jumping into the distinction between real and fake, understand all of the different ways in which precious stones are classified. Some fake stones can cost more than natural ones due to the materials used to create them and the techniques utilized for cutting and shaping them. Natural, genuine, synthetic, simulated, treated, simulated are all ways in which gems come and their value depends on that very highly.

Natural – there is no interference from human hands whatsoever. Gems labeled as natural come in shapes and forms the nature created. They tend to be the priciest option out there as it is very rare that gems naturally occur in perfect shapes and sizes for jewelry making.

Genuine – a gem as natural as the first one in its composition but worked in some way to improve its appearance and make it a suitable piece for an accessory. A lot less expensive than purely natural gems, they are the go-to option for those with limited budged who still want to treat themselves to authentic natural beauty.

Synthetic – created to resemble natural gems in their shape, size, chemical composition and optical qualities. It can be extremely difficult to distinguish them from genuine ones because our technology has improved to the point where it allows to create gems identical to the ones found in nature.

Simulated – they do not carry many similar qualities to natural stones, such as chemical composition or optical qualities. However, they can be made to look similar like precious stones and thus are liked by many.

Shopping tips

diamond ring

Ask questions. Read up on different way gems occur and are treated, understand how gems are cut and which ones can have blemishes and imperfections, how much they should weigh. If the salesperson is claiming that the gem on the ring is natural, they should be able to answer all and any questions you might have regarding it. Moreover, wherever you are, ask for certificates of authenticity. Regardless of whether the person evaluated the gem themselves or took it to an expert, they are supposed to be able to provide you with a document that proves its worth. Don’t take anyone’s word for it when it comes to buying expensive jewelry because if it turns out you purchased some neatly treated red garnet earrings instead of ruby ones, unless you have an official document, there is no way of getting your money back by proving fraud.

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