Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Charm Bracelets - Traditional and More Popular Than Ever!

Many people like to celebrate distinctive events, including birthdays, anniversaries or other significant events. Holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah are marked with the giving of presents that hold significance for the giver and the recipient. One time-honored tradition is the gift of a charm bracelet – a means to mark highlights in a noticeable way all the time and to have the memories with you whenever you wear it.

Regardless of who gives the charm bracelet, the initial charm is usually a "Baby’s First Birthday" charm to mark the arrival of a long-awaited person, usually a daughter since these bracelets are usually worn by women. Other charms can be added over time to signify occasions that ought to be respected, from the first day of school and First Communion to Bat Mitzvah and Sweet Sixteen. Charms representing faraway locales are often added as commemorations of an amazing vacation. For example, one might include a charm depicting the Eiffel Tower as a memento of a holiday in France and a palm tree to summon up the Hawaiian Islands.

Another kind of charm bracelet is based on a sole subject like a hobby. For a person who likes to garden, an appropriate gift is a flower-themed bracelet made up of charms that look like miniature garden tools such as watering cans, spades, flower baskets, small flowers or the sun. Additional charms can be attached on other occasions, expanding on the theme. A person who likes the cold weather might appreciate a charm bracelet that features several diverse snowflakes. A charm bracelet with a Christmas theme might feature the "gifts" from the long established Twelve Days of Christmas, right down to the maids a-milking! A patriotic charm bracelet would include American flags, the Statue of Liberty, stars and other symbols of national pride; likewise, someone attracted to world history or geography might sport a charm bracelet with flags from across the globe.

Other people prefer charms that are personalized with their name, an initial or a heart-felt message. It’s a fashionable practice nowadays to put on a stylized charm bearing the name of one’s pet – your pooch’s name on a dog bone, for instance. Individual letters can be engraved in a series of single charms to spell out an idea or a motto, the name of a hometown sports team, a fraternity or a sorority, or a favorite or motivational quotation.

A very recent supplement to the charm bracelet line is a chain bracelet with fabulously hued beads "strung" on like customary bead bracelet. The most treasured of these charm beads are made with incredibly detailed multi-hued glass surrounding a metal core that is most often sterling or gold. Other charm beads are made of precious metal - sterling silver or gold set with gems or patterned metal like decorative sterling silver beads from Bali. The beads are chosen individually and new ones may be selected whenever an occasion presents itself. The order of the beads can be adjusted to fit the wearer's frame of mind or complement an outfit, since the beads can be configured in any order.

No matter what you decide to celebrate or when you begin to build it, a charm bracelet is a marvelous way to keep your sentiments right at the end of your arm where you can instantly recall a happy occasion, loved ones or anything else that is dear to your heart.

Article ©2010 Written by Terry Salimbene, co-founder of Jewelry24Seven.com, a popular retail jewelry website featuring handcrafted silver bracelets. Terry is a jewelry designer and maker located in NYC with more than 30 years experience in the jewelry business. This article may be published on websites and blogs as content as long as all links and this author's statement remain intact.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Enough of a break ...

During the summer, it gets very hot in my office and I just didn't feel up to writing every day. I have been working, but sort of put the blog aside for a while ... these things tend to happen now and then. Of course eventually its time to get back to the old routine ... and so here it is - this is my first post in a couple of months!

I'm going to take this blog in a new direction. We'll have to see how it shakes out, but ... I'm planning on a series of articles about - no surprise here - handmade jewelry! Not anyone or any specific artist like in the past; although I may spotlight one or two here and there. More of a general series with articles that appeal to a wider audience. I've been writing articles for blog syndication, and some of them would work very well here; and of course I'll write exclusive content just for this blog as well. So here's to new things, a new direction and and a new season ...

I think things are going to get very interesting around here! Bob:J24-7

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Daily Jewelry Showcase: Beautiful Handmade Amethyst Jewelry by Etsy Artisans!

Almost every weekday I write a review of four handcrafted jewelry items made by Etsy jewelry artists. The Etsy site is fantastic for artists; it gives them a place to display and sell their creations.

I'm a jewelry artist, and so I like to write about ... jewelry! (Surprise!)

Featured in this article are four artisan made jewelry items that are all currently available for purchase from these shops. These amethyst beauties may be limited in availability or even one of a kind, so buy now ... or you may be disappointed! I always try to show different pieces here, and today I'm showcasing a pair of earrings, a necklace, a bracelet and a ring ...

Amethyst comes in a wide range of colors from pale violet to rich, dark purple. It has a long history, and was originally named by the ancient Greeks. This has always been a prized gem.

This gorgeous gemstone is fairly hard and durable, so it is well suited for rings and bracelets. Deep, well saturated purple stones can be quite valuable and are usually found in high end jewelry set with diamonds. This gem is commonly set in either silver or gold.

Amethyst jewelry comes in many styles ... from traditional to trendy!

This means you'll find it fits in very well with your wardrobe ... whether you are spending the day at the park in jeans and a tee shirt or going out for a formal dinner, there is amethyst jewelry to fit the occasion!

Amethyst is the birthstone for February.

Maureen, the jewelry artist at MCRDesigns has many of her beautiful creations on display in her Etsy shop, and its a colorful variety! Most of her items feature some sort of gemstone, art glass, vintage lucite or shell, like mother of pearl. This pair of earrings was made with 28 individually wire wrapped faceted amethyst beads; some or all can be removed, giving you many options!

These awesome hoop earrings were created by this talented jewelry designer with hand forged sterling wire. They have a fantastic oxidized patina.

These amethyst and silver hoop earrings are all sterling. They're very well made; if you like oxidized silver and amethyst you can't go wrong with these beautiful hoops!

Own this amazing pair of amethyst and silver earrings ... for just $32.00!

This next piece was made by Phyllis, the jewelry artist / designer at SendingLoveGallery on Etsy. Her fabulous shop offers amazing values on handmade gemstone jewelry. I saw this cool amethyst bracelet in her shop this morning and was really impressed with the color of the stones. It really is a strong, vivid purple, and I think anyone who loves amethyst will appreciate this piece.

The bracelet is made with center - drilled amethyst points that measure 1/2" - 3/4" long. The double strand gives the bracelet the appearance of a massive cluster; it looks like purple fireworks for your wrist!

This is a very stylish bracelet. It always will be! Amethyst jewelry has been popular for thousands of years; you could find this in your jewelry box 20 years from now, put it on and get compliments. This fabulous bracelet is only $49.00 ... truly a bargain!

Next I have a Rough Amethyst Crystal Necklace made by Leah, who offers original designs in her Etsy jewelry boutique - Michon. This jewelry artist offers affordable jewelry active women can put on every day; these pieces are designed to be very easy to wear and will match almost anything you can pull out of your closet!

This pretty pendant necklace showcases a rough amethyst crystal point. The amethyst is simply drilled at the narrow end. Silver wire securely holds the crystal; this simple design shows off the uncut crystal perfectly.

The wire wrapped stone is suspended from a hand formed and fused fine silver circle. The pendant will arrive at your home ready to wear on an 18" sterling silver snake chain. This unique amethyst necklace is very reasonably priced at $40.00!

This cool wire wrapped ring really is pretty! This sterling silver and amethyst ring was made by the talented artisans at BeadHeavenInc. This shop features a growing selection of wire wrapped gemstone jewelry, including pendants, rings, bracelets and earrings. The prices in this shop are very affordable, and the items look fabulous - all very nicely made and finished.

Only a wire artist can make a ring that looks like this. This fantastic artisan made ring features spirals, amazing wire wrapping and a beautiful 8mm amethyst bead. The amethyst is a true purple color. This is a really nice ring!

This ring can be made for you in any size on request. Order one for only $28.00!

These artisans all love what they do, and you can see that in every piece of jewelry included in this review. Handmade jewelry really is different from commercially made jewelry. Artisans believe in making things that last a long time and are of the highest quality. Each of these shops has a lot to offer - unique, beautiful jewelry you won't see anywhere else. Visit them all and support an artist; nothing compares to handmade!

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in handmade silver jewelry and custom made  silver chains. This article may be reproduced provided all content and links in the article including this author's statement remain intact. ©2010 Robert Edwards

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Look at Handmade Turquoise Jewelry!

Every day I write a review of four handmade jewelry pieces made by Etsy jewelry artisans. Etsy is home to MANY talented artists who create amazing things with their hands; everything from greeting cards to sculpture! I'm a metalsmith myself, and so I appreciate a great piece of jewelry when I see it. Of course this is all opinion ... but I do have a great eye for design!

The four artisan jewelry pieces reviewed below are all currently available and for sale in these shops. These beautiful pieces may be one of a kind, so if you see something you like here, don't hesitate ... or you may miss it! Today I'm writing about jewelry made with turquoise. I like to feature a variety ... so I'm showcasing a pair of earrings, a necklace, a bracelet and a ring. Turquoise has always been popular and today it is in demand more than ever.

This beautiful gemstone matches very well with silver but it also looks great with copper and gold! The rich blue and green colors of this gemstone go well with casual clothing but it can be a beautiful accent to a fabulous dress or an attractive suit.

Turquoise is one of the birthstones for December.

The jewelry artisan at NightSkyJewelry has some fantastic pieces in her shop, and these Black Onyx and Green Turquoise Earrings made with Sterling Silver components are no exception. When I saw them I said ... Wow!

These beautiful artisan made earrings were created by this amazing jewelry designer with great quality natural Chinese turquoise teardrops and rondelles, paired with genuine black onyx round beads.

You'll find a generous amount of silver in these dangles ... the wire, the spacers and the leverback ear wires are all sterling. These fabulous earrings are approximately 1.75" top to bottom, including the ear wires. And the color combination is perfect - the black and blue/green really do go together! Own a pair of these fashionable turquoise and onyx earrings ... just $25.00!

Mary, the artisan and designer at LittleBrownBird on Etsy offers gorgeous, stylish, top quality handmade jewelry at very reasonable prices. I found this awesome bracelet in her shop this morning and knew right away that I wanted to include it in this blog article/feature.

The bracelet is made with silver components from the Hill Tribe in the mountains of Northern Thailand and multi-colored turquoise button beads. In the center is a domed, hammer textured disc which serves as the focal point of the piece. The curved tube components provide a comfortable feeling bracelet. This bracelet will fit almost anyone - it will fit a small wrist - about 6.5" nicely; with the extender chain, it'll fit a medium to large wrist up to 8".

Bracelets like this are always in fashion; this is the kind of jewelry you bond with and wear every day for 30 years. This amazing Aryka Hill Tribe Silver and Turquoise Bracelet is only $69.00!

Next is a turquoise and silver ring from Bridget, the wonderful metalsmith and jewelry artisan behind the counter at Organikx, a truly unique Etsy shop. This jewelry designer's shop is a real show-stopper with almost 150 outstanding pieces of handmade goodness. If you like handcrafted jewelry, you'll love Organikx!

The ring features an unusual blue AND green turquoise cabochon from Nevada. This artisan made a setting fitting of this big, bold and colorful turquoise cabochon with a hand cut fine silver bezel and a chunky band for the shank. The turquoise cab is accented with an attractive beaded border surrounding the bezel; this ring will fit a size 7.25 - 7.5 comfortably.

The ring is quite substantial ... the cabochon is a 25mm stone, and the ring weighs 22 grams. This Large Handmade Nevada turquoise ring in oxidized fine and sterling silver is very reasonably priced at $135.00!

The last piece for today is a great turquoise necklace for a man! This attractive necklace was made by Amy, the jewelry artisan and owner of LucidJewelry on Etsy.
Her shop features a nice selection of masculine, chunky bead necklaces for the guys, in addition to a large selection of earrings, bracelets and more for the ladies. It is always a nice surprise to see jewelry made for men on Etsy ... there is very little available.

This Turquoise and Wood Men's Necklace features spidery blue turquoise tubes in a rough oval shape. They're a great blue color, and the black matrix adds character and interest. The turquoise beads are accented with chunky, dark brown wood cube beads. Brown and blue are colors men wear a lot; this necklace could easily become a favorite! The wood beads give a nice rugged looking accent to the turquoise, and the necklace is finished with a silver clasp. This cool necklace would make a fantastic gift for any occasion! This is a really great deal - grab it for $27.00!

Every one of these artists puts time, skill and their love for what they do into every piece of jewelry they make. Handmade goods are different; they last longer, look better and are generally more substantial than their commercially made counterparts. Please visit each of these shops and see what they have to offer! I'm sure you'll agree - handmade jewelry is fabulous!

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in handmade silver jewelry and custom made silver chains. This article may be reproduced provided all content and links in the article including this author's statement remain intact. ©2010 Robert Edwards

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Luxurious and Affordable -
Handmade Pearl Jewelry

At one time not too long ago, pearls were VERY expensive ... and rare. The reason is simple ... pearls were an accident of nature; the only pearls that existed were natural. Found by lucky pearl divers, or occasionally found by a diner eating oysters, pearls were among the rarest of gems until the early 1920's, after Kokichi Mikimoto had built his network of pearl farms and began producing large amounts of perfectly round cultured pearls. Now, we have many choices - pearls come in many shapes, sizes and colors!

These handmade jewelry pieces - a bracelet, a necklace, a ring and a pair of earrings - all are made with beautiful cultured freshwater pearls. These pearls are fabulous - and very affordable!

I'll start with this lovely pair of pearl earrings. These dangles are a nice everyday pair of pearl earrings ... they'll go with anything you wear, from jeans and a sweatshirt to formal wear!

You'll find these pretty earrings at LotusStone's shop on Etsy along with lots of this artisan's other great handmade jewelry!

These pretty Constance Earrings are a great choice! I love the little hearts on the bottom ... what a nice touch! This jewelry artist also offers a Red version made with ruby accent beads. These freshwater pearl and sterling silver earrings may be small ... but they sure are big on style - and low in price! As shown, the white pearl Constance Earrings are just $15.00 ...

Head over to BeadzNBling's shop for a TON of fabulous pearl jewelry! Its hard to choose one item to feature from this shop, but ... this bracelet caught my eye ... made with black peacock and ivory white freshwater baroque pearls, this eye popping double strand black and white pearl bracelet is finished with a sterling silver toggle clasp. This bracelet is a generous 8" length to fit a slightly larger than average wrist.

This artisan makes beautiful jewelry affordable ... only $29.00!

I love this style. The gallery wire bezel makes it look really special; and its such a classic design. The coin pearl is so lustrous you can easily see from the picture the quality is top notch.

This ring is just one of many beautiful designs you'll find while browsing at KiraFerrer's shop on Etsy; browse through and you'll find all kinds of handmade goodies!

When you order this ring, you have to specify a size; this is a good sign ... you know this jewelry is handmade just for you. Since this jewelry artisan makes each ring to order, the Tudor Pearl Ring is available in any size. Wear one ... for just $65.00!

Last for today is this pretty oxidized silver and freshwater pearl necklace. Created by Marcie Jane, the talented artisan jeweler at MarcieJaneDesigns, this very pretty pendant will arrive ready to wear on the oxidized silver chain shown.

The .999 fine silver circle was hand formed, fused and hammered by the artist; she wire-wrapped the pearl and applied the beautiful oxidized patina.

Necklaces like this are so versatile; they match almost any type of clothing from casual to business and are great for everyday wear. The Timeless Pearl Drop necklace could be yours ... for a great price ... only $48.00!

Each one of these jewelry artists puts time, design knowledge and skill into their beautiful jewelry. You'll love everything they have to offer! So take some time to check out these wonderful shops. Remember to add them to your favorites ... these are all great places to shop for a gift!

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in handmade silver jewelry and custom made silver chains. This article may be reproduced provided all content and links in the article including this author's statement remain intact. ©2010 Robert Edwards

Monday, July 12, 2010

I Love Chalcedony!

I confess. I really DO love chalcedony! There are so many varieties ... in so many colors! From black to creamy white with every color in between, this stone is a popular choice for jewelry of all types - rings, pendants, earrings and more.

Chalcedony is a silica mineral, but it doesn't grow in large crystals the way quartz - another silica mineral - does. It has a cryptocrystalline structure - it is composed of crystals so tiny they can't be viewed with a conventional microscope.

Agates are chalcedony with natural bands of color in a repeating pattern. Black onyx is a commonly used chalcedony; so is carnelian. My favorite is chrysoprase - the bright green type; although the yellow variety is also nice! Any "agate" without repeating bands of color is actually chalcedony.

The fantastic color of this 20mm faceted chalcedony briolette makes the pendant seem to pop right off the monitor ... this chalcedony, citrine and sterling silver Burnt Toffee necklace by Blue Scarab Jewelry - Ambersjewelry on Etsy - is beautiful!

Amber, the jewelry artisan and owner of this shop, made this piece. Although she doesn't call this carnelian, the name fits ...

Wire wrapped in a contemporary style with sterling silver and oxidized to contrast the vivid burnt orange of the gemstone, this necklace is ready to wear on an oxidized sterling silver rolo chain with a citrine accented sterling silver toggle clasp. You'll love this necklace - and you'll love the price too! Only $31.00 ...

Recycling is good. Recycling is even better when the result is fabulous jewelry! This gorgeous art nouveau chalcedony pendant was made with silver flatware ... a silver spoon, to be exact!

The Handmade Sterling Silver Upcycled Spoon Pendant with Blue Chalcedony is a great way to give new life to an antique silver spoon.

This piece isn't just art nouveau style - the spoon was new when this style was popular, at the beginning of the 20th century!

Made by Jessica, the talented metalsmith and jewelry artist at Metalsmitten, this could be an everyday favorite. The blue mist chalcedony is a top quality, gorgeous gem that is a perfect fit in this recycled silver pendant; just $55.00!

Here's a necklace featuring a pink chalcedony carved flower focal bead! The Pink Chalcedony Flower Rennaissance Necklace was made by the amazing jewelry artisan who designs and owns OliviasGarden on Etsy. Lovingly accented with luxurious freshwater pearl buttons, pale pink rose quartz rondelles and sterling silver spacer beads, the pink chalcedony flower is the center portion of the elongated sterling silver cable chain that completes this necklace design. There are two more pearl and rose quartz stations along the length; one on each side. This pretty and very fashionable necklace could be yours for $25.00!

This last choice for today is an awesome contemporary retro design chalcedony and sterling silver ring made by the metalsmith / jewelry designer behind the "counter" at AlisonTrowbridge, an Etsy shop showcasing her fabulous sterling silver and gemstone creations.

Her Retro Sterling Silver Ring set with Chalcedony is a very clean cut, simple design with an eye pleasing style and a gorgeous 8mm round blue mist chalcedony cabochon.

You can order one in any whole or half size from 5 - 10, and the ring will be made just for you! Attractively priced at $90.00.

Every one of the artisans above makes their jewelry by hand, the old fashioned way! They offer MANY beautiful pieces to choose from, and I highly recommend you take your time browsing through each of these extraordinary shops. They all welcome special requests and answer questions about their jewelry, and would love to hear from you ... so check 'em out!

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in handmade silver jewelry and custom made silver chains. This article may be reproduced provided all content and links in the article including this author's statement remain intact. ©2010 Robert Edwards

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Precious ... Handmade Jewelry featuring
Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald and Diamond

Today I'm featuring four pieces made with precious stones. These four gemstones are often thought of as the most valuable gems used in jewelry making; of course there are others like precious opal, tanzanite and demantoid garnet but the classic precious gems are sapphire, ruby, diamond and emerald.

I did try to find affordable examples; of course it is easy to find very expensive pieces containing these beautiful gemstones; just go to any mall and there are thousands of pieces in your average jewelry store featuring these gems. These four are all handmade one of a kind artisan jewelry pieces currently available on Etsy!

Sapphire is a multicolored gemstone also known as corundum; basically the stone is an aluminum oxide. The color of the gem depends on the chemical impurities it contains; deep blue sapphires have trace amounts of iron and titanium and are the most valued sapphire color. Red sapphires are always called rubies; fancy sapphires can be pink, green, yellow, purple, a bright orange color called Padparadscha - sapphires can even be black!

The wire wrapped sapphire briolette earrings shown on the right were lovingly handcrafted with sterling silver wire by Angelene, an Etsy based jewelry artist living and creating beautiful jewelry in Australia.

These earrings are a nice size ... just over 2" top to bottom, and the wire wrapped sterling silver forms are just over an inch wide.

These one of a kind AAA grade sapphire briolette earrings are priced very reasonably - at just $149.00!

This red-hot necklace features a combination of red pearls and ruby rondelles, accented with sterling silver beads and clasp. As I mentioned above, ruby is also a corundum, but is never called sapphire. The red color is due to chromium; ruby is an exceptionally rare stone, especially good gem quality ruby.

You'll find this gorgeous necklace at CrystalImpressions; it was made by Lucia, the jewelry designer and owner of this wonderful Etsy shop. Her Ruby Rose Necklace was made with top drilled cranberry colored freshwater pearls and bright red 5mm faceted ruby rondelles; the length is a versatile 18", but can be adjusted at your request. This necklace is a fantastic deal at just $95.00!

When people think of the color green ... one of the things they always mention is emerald! This beautiful green gem is available in many shades of green and various qualities from gem grade to ... well, almost gravel. Emerald belongs to a family of gems called beryl, and has several popular "cousins"; aquamarine, a bluish green variety; heliodor, a greenish to bright golden yellow gem; bixbite, a bright red variety; Goshenite, a clear, colorless stone; and Morganite, a pink beryl. Green beryl is always called emerald.

Clear, transparent emeralds are among the most rare and valuable gems. But strong green colored, included stones are fairly affordable. This Emerald and Silver Coil Necklace was made with individually wire wrapped faceted emerald stones by the very talented wire jewellery artisan at Shazzabeth Creations!

The necklace features 13 faceted emerald stone beads; five are wired to the coil in front as a focal component. The necklace is a 20" length; the price is $320.00.

Last for today is this simply beautiful olivine diamond ring handcrafted by the amazing metalsmith behind the scenes at DreamsandJewelry, an Etsy shop featuring a nice variety of handmade silver and gold jewelry; some pieces are made with diamonds, and this ring is a nice example!

A lightly hammer-textured band of sterling silver is topped with a 14k white gold tapered bezel setting; the bezel holds a .5ct natural olivine color 5mm round diamond. This is a pretty ring; the uncomplicated design is the perfect setting for the sparkling olive green gem. The style puts emphasis on the stone, where it should be! This olivine diamond ring could be your favorite for a very reasonable price. Only $175.00!

Diamonds are carbon crystals; natural fancy colors are caused in two ways: heat and radiation from naturally occuring sources near the deposit, and by other minerals "contaminating" the pure carbon crystal. Clear, colorless diamonds are highly prized; but there are many other diamond colors ranging from a pale yellow to black. Many famous diamonds are actually colored stones; one of the most well known is the Hope diamond, which is a deep, rich blue!

So ... that's today's look at handcrafted jewelry. I hope you enjoyed seeing these pieces as much as I did! Please stop in here tomorrow ... I'll have four more pieces for you to check out!

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in handmade silver jewelry and custom made silver chains. This article may be reproduced provided all content and links in the article including this author's statement remain intact. ©2010 Robert Edwards

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Celebrate the Heat Wave ... with
Amazing Handmade Sun Jewelry!

The East Coast of the United States is enduring a heat wave. Yesterday in NYC it was 103ºF. Today isn't much cooler, and it started me thinking ... what a great theme for my next blog post!

So ... Today I'm featuring four sun drenched examples of handmade jewelry! These four artisans are doing something artists have done since the beginning ... the Sun is depicted in ancient art all the way back to cave drawings.

These beautiful handcrafted jewelry designs all deserve the spotlight; each one of these fantastic pieces was created by a person who took the time to design and make them with their hands.

I think you'll love every one of these scorching hot designs; each is very different; they're all winners!

My first choice was made by the talented artisan and owner of stoutdg2, an Etsy shop that specializes in top quality bead jewelry made with unusual glass lampwork beads and components. Her brightly colored jewelry is a favorite of mine; I have found so many things I love in her shop!

This Here Comes the Sun Bracelet features a blazing yellow glass lampwork sun focal and multicolored Christmas trade beads from Ghana.

The sun focal is 1.5"x 1.5"; the bracelet is 7.75" long, with a 7/8" gold filled extender. What a great summer bracelet! This bracelet will be a favorite ... and it could be yours ... for $28.00!

This beautiful Apricot Sapphire Sun Dial Necklace in Argentium Sterling Silver was made by Madelynn, the jewelry designer and maker behind the scenes at OneGarnetGirl. Her shop features all original designs, and many of her lovely pieces are set with extraordinary gemstones of the highest quality.

This pendant is a classic looking design the artisan carved in wax; it was cast in solid Argentium sterling silver, which is a tarnish resistant silver alloy. The fabulous beaded surface consists of concentric circles, and inside the smallest - at the center - is a bezel set 3.5mm round apricot sapphire. The pendant is ready to wear on a sterling rolo chain; $148.00 ...

This very sunny pair of handmade dangle earrings was made by Barbara of CapitalCityCrafts. This jewelry artisan has a fantastic shop that's just full of handmade goodies!

This beautiful pair of earrings features linked gemstones suspended from 1/2" diameter beaded design sterling silver stud ear wires. The beautiful, rich colors in these earrings will be a great compliment to your summer wardrobe ...

The Sun and sky amber and turquoise earrings are a nice length; they dangle almost 2" from the top of the domed post.
Give these earrings a new home for just $35.00!

This pretty pendant is a mixed metal copper and silver design! I love the contrast between these two metals; and this pendant is just so well done. The You are my Sunshine Personalized Pendant is made to order by Ana, the amazing jewelry artist and owner of ThePrettyPeacock on Etsy. This artisan's shop specializes in hand stamped, personalized keepsake jewelry you'll love to wear!

This three layered pendant consists of a large copper disc at the rear, hand personalized with the names of your children or loved one. The silver disc is stamped with the signature lyric from the song; this is topped by a copper sun charm!

All three hang from a patterned copper bail; the necklace is finished with your choice of a black silk cord with a silver clasp or a sterling chain. Made just for you - only $72.00.

So there they are ... four hot choices for you on a 97ºF day! I hope you enjoyed these handmade jewelry pieces ... I'll be back with more tomorrow!

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in handmade silver jewelry and custom made silver chains. This article may be reproduced provided all content and links in the article including this author's statement remain intact. ©2010 Robert Edwards

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Call it a mini vacation ... its just too HOT!

Hi! I took the holiday weekend off, kind of. Of course I can't completely get any time off because things happen ... like the guy who called me at 9:40 PM on Saturday to ask about a chain ... I laughed and said this isn't exactly during business hours ... and he said ...

"Isn't this Jewelry ... 24-7?"

I repled ... "Yes. That means YOU can shop for jewelry any time of day or night. It doesn't mean I will be here working 24-7 ... I gotta sleep sometime!" ...

Of course ... he laughed, and I answered his question!

Saturday afternoon I shopped for commercially made silver earrings from my fabulous Thai silver jewelry supplier ... and I expect to see the package by next Monday. Once it arrives I'll have plenty of work to do, and the silver earrings section of the site will grow tremendously.

Yesterday I did a lot of updating in the silver rings category.

And ... I have a LOT of new handmade silver jewelry to list. I think I'm going to put some of it on the site, though ... it just makes sense. Etsy is a nice showcase for my handmade jewelry, but ... I also get lots of traffic on my site, with customers looking for handmade jewelry. Its time to use the site for that also ...

Just too hot in my office ... no AC. Its nearly 100 degrees in NYC ... so this is the blog post for today. I want to do the showcase, but ... I need to cool off. So ...

I'll try to do it for tomorrow! Till next time ...

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in handmade silver jewelry and custom made silver chains. This article may be reproduced provided all content and links in the article including this author's statement remain intact. ©2010 Robert Edwards

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Daily Handmade Jewelry Showcase:
Gorgeous Handmade Wedding Jewelry!

This Daily Handmade Jewelry Showcase is focused on wedding jewelry! Weddings are wonderful events that celebrate love and renewal.

They are also a very festive celebration, bringing family and friends together to make the day a special, memorable occasion.

Most weddings are very dressy, almost formal affairs with everyone in attendance looking their very best - the bride, groom, the entire wedding party and every guest wearing special dresses, tuxedos, fabulous suits ... and amazing jewelry!

Wedding ceremonies are one of the few occasions where jewelry actually plays a major part in the events of the day! Of course the wedding rings are going to be a big focus during the ceremony. But just about everyone attending a wedding is sure to be wearing jewelry, and today we're going to take a look at four pieces that were created with this very special day in mind ...

Black and Teal Twist - Chrysocolla, Onyx, Sterling Silver BraceletThis outstanding Black and Teal Twist Bracelet was made by Susan, the jewelry artist and owner of cSerpent Designs, where you'll also find earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, plus a large selection of gift items.

Susan made this fantastic bracelet for an Etsy Wedding Jewelry competition, and won First Place! It features pretty Chrysocolla and Onyx gemstones, with Swarovski crystals for maximum sparkle - and sterling silver component parts.

There are also Czech glass beads, seed beads and handmade lampwork glass beads in this beautiful one of a kind creation.

This bracelet will fit any wrist from 6 1/2" to 8 1/2" with the 1.5" extender chain on this fabulous piece. You could be wearing this twist bracelet to the next wedding you attend ... for $88.00!

This spectacular necklace was made by Jennifer Smith-Righter, the jewelry artisan behind Wearable by Design. This jewelry designer creates in .999 fine silver; visit her shop to browse her beautiful necklaces, pendants, rings, earrings and cuff links!

The Silver Blossom Necklace was made with individually formed blossoms; each was painstakingly sculpted with a wonderful texture and a unique shape. The fine silver blossoms are graduated, with the largest at the front; and they're linked together at the back, so the connections are almost invisible. Even the matching clasp is hand formed from fine silver. This is a stunning and elegant piece that will draw many compliments. It would be perfect for the bride on her special day!

This necklace was the North American Design Competition Winner of the prestigious Japan Association for Leisure & Culture Development Award in 2008. Reasonably priced at $375.00 ...

Weddings and pearl jewelry just seem to go together naturally. Many brides opt for pearl creations; the natural white color compliments most bridal wear; and of course white traditionally signifies purity, making pearl jewelry a popular choice.

This very special Neo-Victorian pearl necklace and earrings set would make any bride happy! Each pearl was hand wrapped in gleaming sterling silver wire by Victoria, the jewelry artist and creative force at Designs by Victoria. Over 100 pearls were linked together to make this one of a kind creation! This lovely necklace is appropriate to wear at the most elegant function. It could be yours for an amazing low price - just $150.00!

Designs by Victoria has MANY pieces that would be perfect to wear at a wedding. Visit today to browse her beautiful earrings, bracelets, necklaces and neo Victorian chokers ...

What would a review of wedding jewelry be ... without a wedding ring? Of course, I feature only handmade art jewelry here ...

This awesome Andromeda of Mokume Gane wedding band is sold by JulietLove. It is made with an ancient Japanese metalworking technique called Mokume Gane. A basic description of the process is ... Contrasting metals are layered together in a stack called a "billet" and carefully heated; this fuses the layers together without melting the metals. The billet is then twisted, re-formed and cut across - revealing unique patterns in the metal.

This ring was made with silver, bronze and copper. The interior is lined with .999 fine silver. It is available in common sizes for fast ordering, but can be custom made for you in ANY size. This is a 6mm wide band; 3mm is also available. As shown - $110.00!

Please check out the four shops listed above for lots of great handmade jewelry! They all offer unique, unusual and one of a kind, handcrafted jewelry pieces you'll love to wear. And remember to check back here tomorrow, when I'll have four more outstanding choices to share with you!

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in handmade silver jewelry and custom made silver chains. This article may be reproduced provided all content and links in the article including this author's statement remain intact. ©2010 Robert Edwards

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Daily Handmade Jewelry Showcase:
Fabulous Designs in Black and Red!

Welcome to another Daily Handmade Jewelry Showcase! Five days a week, I take you for a look at four amazing jewelry pieces created by very talented independent jewelry designers.

I'm Bob Edwards, and I began making jewelry more than 40 years ago - at the age of 14! I've been making and selling my silver jewelry for more than 30 years now. I simply love jewelry!

As I always do, we're going to focus on several outstanding handcrafted jewelry pieces made by Etsy artisans! I chose these pieces based on color, design, and workmanship. They're all attractive, very fashionable and a great value.

So ... Let's get this show started ...

This first piece is a necklace made by O.V. Gillies Designs! This jewelry artisan personally makes and designs every item she sells; her shop is filled with beautiful necklaces, earrings, oxidized silver jewelry and more. Most feature gems, pearls, art glass or crystal.

Olga works in her home studio located on the Isle of Arran, Scotland, UK. Her creations are influenced by her surroundings and she offers many pieces that show the inspiration behind her jewelry!

This necklace features a large black Swarovski crystal at the bottom; above, a cluster of red coral rounds. Each coral bead is wire wrapped and attached to the oxidized sterling silver chain. This coral & crystal necklace is only $52.00 ...

This lovely pair of vintage style earrings were made by Malves1009, also known as ... Elegant Vintage Inspired Jewelry by Michele! This fantastic New Jersey jewelry artisan loves to make new jewelry with both new and genuine vintage beads and other antique jewelry parts; lots of crystals, pearls, art glass and antiqued brass metal components go into her fabulous designs.

This wonderful jewelry designer made these cool Black and Red Earrings with fire - red faceted glass beads, black crystals and antique finish brass components.

Buy these pretty dangles today as a gift - or treat yourself! They're just $13.00 ... or spend some time browsing her amazing earrings, the necklace gallery, bracelets or her rings!

The beautiful necklace you see on the right was made by Kristy, the North Carolina jewelry designer and owner of CocosGreenhouse! Her shop's specialty is Handmade Bridal and Vintage Style Jewelry, and you'll find a great variety of necklaces, earrings and bracelets offered in her shop. Many of these styles are appropriate for wear to a wedding or other formal occasion. There are also styles for everyday wear featuring cameos, nature inspired themes and more!

This jewelry artist's Off With Her Head Necklace was made as a tribute piece to the new Alice in Wonderland film! It has a lot of style going for it ... a chain of red rose beads is suspended between two black hearts, with another black and a red heart dangling to one side. A second chain runs across, below the rose bead chain. This unusual and very fashionable necklace is a 16" length; chains are silver tone; the hearts are rubber. This necklace is available exclusively at CocosGreenhouse; only $29.00!

I rarely review jewelry for men, because there isn't a lot of it offered on Etsy. This morning, I was searching for handcrafted jewelry items to feature in my daily post and saw this amazing pair of fused glass cufflinks by Mandy Treptow. Of course I decided right away they would be included in this post. I work at home, and rarely dress in a shirt and tie; but if I did I would want these cufflinks ... they're just $20.00!

These were made with a layer of opaque black glass is fused over a clear base, with red lines forming crosses in the center as a focal point. The backs are silver plated spring bar cufflink backs.

Mandy is an artisan based in London, England. Most of her work is in glass but you'll also find other art in her shop. She makes beautiful fused glass Cufflinks, and there is a nice selection of jewelry items in her Necklaces/Rings/Earrings section.

Please visit these four artisans today and have a look at what they're offering. Handmade items like this are always a great value; when you shop on Etsy with artisan shop owners, there is no middleman - you're buying directly from the maker! Support an artist ... Buy Handmade!

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in handmade silver jewelry and custom made silver chains. This article may be reproduced provided all content and links in the article including this author's statement remain intact. ©2010 Robert Edwards

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Daily Handmade Jewelry Showcase -
Tuesday June 29, 2010

Welcome to my Daily Handmade Jewelry Showcase! Today I've chosen four fantastic examples of "alternative" handmade jewelry designs I think you'll love as much as I do!

These four designs all have a lot of planning, thought and work behind them. They definitely are NOT traditional jewelry pieces, and that is what makes them beautiful ... they are all unique pieces handmade by artisans, not in a factory!

Jewelry is an ornament - worn by a person. Taste in jewelry design is a personal thing ... we all have different likes, dislikes and favorites. But great design transcends personal taste ... I feel these four handmade jewelry pieces do just that!

These amazing handmade jewelry designs are all currently for sale on Etsy ...

Glass has been used in jewelry making for thousands of years. Artisans learned long ago how to mold and manipulate glass into beautiful objects that are useful, long lasting and beautiful. Today there are huge factories making beads and cabochons from glass for use in jewelry making ... and there are also artisans who work in glass - making single beads
and glass cabochons one at a time, the traditional way. RadicalGlass is an Australian glass artist that is carrying this time honored art into the present with her red hot fused glass pendant designs!

Here's an example of her work ... take a look at this very cool Strike From The Left Glass Pendant! Lines of bright color - in red, white and yellow - streak across the surface like a midnight meteor shower on a jet black sky. I love the slightly off square shape - which shows me this IS a handmade piece!

The pendant is fitted with a silver plated bail. The leather cord is not included. Only $15.00!

This next piece is an awesome sterling and fine silver cuff bracelet ... made by PeacesOfIndigo. This handmade jewelry artisan usually works in fine silver and sterling silver, making beautiful personalized jewelry and handmade rings, pendants and more featuring hand written inspirational and romantic quotes.

The body of this man's bold custom sterling silver cuff is sterling silver with a fantastic hammered texture. The cross connecting the four names is also sterling silver; the four ovals are fine silver. The ovals were rolled out with fine silver Precious Metal Clay. The artisan inscribed the ovals with the four names, then fused the entire bracelet together in her kiln. Finally it was oxidized to bring out all the wonderful texture and detail.

Have one of these masculine and very attractive silver cuff bracelets made just for you - or your husband - only $155.00!

These Rainbow Firescaled Hammered Copper Stick Tab Earrings are just SO unique ... made with copper sheet that has been heated with a torch to intentionally cause firescale - something metalsmiths usually do everything they can to avoid!

This process is unpredictable. The jewelry artist never knows exactly what will happen; but the result is a metallic rainbow of color. The process can be duplicated; but the earrings can't; every pair of these earrings by SilverSmack is truly one of a kind.

These rainbow firescaled copper dangles are on silver ear wires; the copper dangles have been sealed to protect the rainbow patina. Buy them for just $20.00!

This outstanding sterling silver and garnet coffin ring is a fabulous design! This ring is set with garnet, and that sort of fits ... the blood red color is just so appropriate!

This jewelry artisan has added awesome detail to this handmade silver ring ... roots snake up from the bottom of the setting to embrace the coffin shaped gem; and the open back setting allows light to travel through the stone.

Made by IdleHandsDesigns, this ring is also available in black Onyx, light green Peridot, champagne Topaz, dark purple Amethyst, dark green Spinel or your choice of light blue or dark blue Spinel. Made to order just for you - in your size. Order one of these fantastic coffin rings - for only $173.00!

When you buy handmade jewelry from these artisans, you're getting something very special! Wear jewelry that is unique - or made just for you! Please visit each of the shops above. They all have much more handcrafted jewelry to offer, and I know you'll enjoy checking them out!

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in handmade silver jewelry and custom made silver chains. This article may be reproduced provided all content and links in the article including this author's statement remain intact. ©2010 Robert Edwards

Monday, June 28, 2010

Daily Jewelry Showcase!

I've decided that it is time for a new focus on my blog ... and I'm excited about it! Each day I'll showcase four jewelry pieces chosen from my fellow Jet Team member shops, and I'm also going to include a piece or two from handcrafted jewelry I find in an Etsy search! Here's the first in this new series ...

I love handmade jewelry! I've enjoyed making jewelry since I was 14 and made my first piece in Metal Shop class ... a copper tie clip for my Dad.

I'm 54 now ... and I still get excited every time I make a new piece. This of course leads to an appreciation of jewelry as an art form, and so ... I love OTHER artist's handcrafted jewelry designs, too! This is why I enjoy writing jewelry reviews every day ... and why I'm beginning this series.

On the left are the four pieces I've chosen to spotlight in this article. These pieces are all currently for sale on Etsy. They are all fabulous in their own way, and I liked them so much I thought they all deserved to be shown and featured here!

First is the beautiful Hearts of Romaine - brass collage necklace made by Jean of 3squares. Thishearts-of-romaine-brass-collage-necklace artisan jewelry piece was made with a collage print in brilliant color; the print is sandwiched between a brass plate on the back and a layer of mica over the front of the print.

The top frame is brass with a hand applied heat patina. The eyelets are tube rivets that don't just look great ... they hold the assembly together. The pendant hangs from a brass chain with a lobster clasp.

This necklace would be a fantastic gift to that special someone in your life ... they'll love this handcrafted heart necklace! Priced at $40.00 ...

This original design Goddess Necklace is a fantastic handmade pendant in sterling silver, and you'll find it in just one place - Metalicious! This artisan's handmade silver jewelry is very contemporary in design, with a sophisticated yet playful edge.

The pendant drops in a graceful curve ... with sections of sterling silver tube graduated from large to small at the bottom. It will arrive at youe door ready to wear on a 16" sterling silver snake chain.

Goddess is one of a line - of Bubble Jewelry. Buy it today for $75.00!

The talented artisan at SenseofStyle made this red hot pair of Fire Sunset Earrings with art glass lampwork beads, Swarovski crystals and sterling silver component parts. I love the pattern and color combination! It does remind me of flame; this is very appropriate, because lampworking - the technique used to make these glass beads -is done in the open flame of a torch.

The central bead is an orange, red, and yellow combination on a clear base lampwork glass bead. The artisan added Swarovski bi-cone crystals for sparkle - red on the bottom and deep orange at the top. These dangles hang one inch from hook style earwires. These red hot dangle earrings are perfect for summer wear! Get them now - Only $10.00 ..

This Sapphire Puzzle ring in Sterling Silver - Handmade to your size from NellyVanSee is simply gorgeous. If you're a puzzle ring collector, you're going to want one of these!

This is a four part puzzle ring, made with nice thick sterling silver wire. On the front is a bezel set sapphire cabochon. This artisan offers this handmade puzzle ring in any size, ever quarter and half sizes.

This ring can also be ordered with other options, like different gemstones. And it is very reasonably priced ... just $120.00!

I hope you enjoyed looking at these wonderful handmade jewelry items. These artisans all deserve your attention! I'll feature four more beautiful handcrafted jewelry pieces tomorrow ...

Robert Edwards is a proud member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team - JET. He is a jewelry designer and metalsmith in New York City with over 30 years experience in the jewelry trade, specializing in sterling silver jewelry and custom made silver chains. This article may be reproduced provided all content and links in the article including this author's statement remain intact. ©2010 Robert Edwards