Archive

Category Archives for "Jewelry"

The New Enamel Jewelry

Lately I’ve noticed a profusion of artists working with what is sometimes called the new enamel jewelry , or cold enameling with epoxy resin. I’ve seen many designs using this technique with bright colors and powerfully fun designs. The new enamels aren’t made with glass, but with epoxy paint applied delicately with needles and brushes, then cured until an extremely hard resinous coating forms.

I’m a cat lover, and one of my favorite cat jewelry designs in this medium is a pair of perky calico cat earrings – not only is the design concept attractive, but the choice of colors matches my favorite calico, sitting right beside me now! The great thing is the potential for creativity using this new enameling technique. As far as I can see, the process isn’t as complex and wearing as the one using a kiln, and the effect is enchanting in its own right.

I know there are some who are purists, who wouldn’t go near something not created in the old fashioned way. My point is that there’s room for all in this enormous world of jewelry creation. I’m not one to pooh pooh a technique or medium just because it doesn’t have a long and noble history. Every technique now in use in jewelry making was at one time new and possibly looked at askance by the old timers. In the world of creation, specifically jewelry creation, I believe an open-minded approach is the way to go. Who knows what delightful techniques might develop from this one in the future?

This isn’t to discount the beauty of the original enamel designs. There are gorgeous objects, both jewelry and other items made with the painstaking method of heated glass enameling. Have you seen some of the Renaissance pieces in jewel-like tones? It’s remarkable how translucently lovely these are. Even the fearsome Vikings crafted beautiful enamel sword and other weapon hilts, an anomaly I find fascinating.

And closer to modern times, some of the deco and later enamel designs created both in the US and abroad are expressive and fun. The use of color by some of these artists really appeals to me, and the fact that many of the jewelry pieces are one of a kind is especially attractive. Now these sell for quite a bit of money, and I would say they’re absolutely worth it. If you are a true collector, there are still many gorgeous pieces to be had.

Chinese enamel, also known as cloisonné, is another variation originated long ago but is quite popular now, as well. I’m taken in by these detailed enamel jewelry pieces, even though I realize many of them are mass produced these days. The technique itself is so distinctive, that you just have to give the jewelry artists credit for maintaining the ability to produce them.

Whether ancient or modern, enamel jewelry will always be attractive to me, and I hope new methods to create wonderful colorful jewelry continue to appear on the scene.

1

Ethical Gemstones

Many end of the line consumers aren’t aware of how gemstones are mined or made into jewelry. Either assumptions are made that the miners and artisans are paid a fair wage or no thought is given to it whatsoever.

The truth is there are ethical companies and companies that exploit their workers. If you can support someone at a fair wage, why not shop a little more and make your money make a difference? Sometimes that may not be the least expensive route, but I’m a firm believer that just because something is cheap, it’s not necessarily the best at any level.

www.lucinajewelry.com is one company I’ve found on the web that has information on where the gemstone jewelry you’re purchasing actually comes from. They even give data about the shops where the jewelry is produced, many of which have jobs providing an income for women who might otherwise either live in poverty or have to resort to degrading practices just to survive.

There are women artisans from Colombia, Afghanistan, South America and other countries producing lovely jewelry in many different gemstones. I saw some beautifully creative pieces with citrine, aquamarine and fluorite, among others. The site is aesthetic and enjoyable.

There are, of course, many sources of gemstones to turn to for your special purpose; I’m just suggesting checking out some sources that will be supporting a more survival route.

Miners have been forced to work in unsafe environments in some third world countries where they’re put at risk for respiratory illness. There are documented cases of child labor in both the mines and in the finishing process of diamonds (cutting and polishing.).

If you’ve seen the movie Blood Diamond you’ll understand what this is all about.

Another site I found appealing was a sapphire mining operation in Australia that is environmentally sound as well as taking good care of their workers. The mining is done shallowly, after which the topsoil is replaced. What I appreciated about this site is the family run aspect of it and the genuine care of the environment, including concern for native wildlife.

Like many other things in life, shopping for a gemstone can be done ethically or without paying too much attention to the effect created. Part of selecting a reputable jeweler, besides the usual things to look for such as length of time in operation and quality of the products should be finding out where the gemstones actually originated.

Purchase Your Silver Jewelry Now!

Rumors about silver prices skyrocketing abound. Families are purchasing silver eagles and silver rounds as a hedge against what may come. I’ve noticed a little nervousness out there in the marketplace. Some silver coin dealers are having a hard time getting supplies.

What does this mean for the future of silver jewelry ? Will we, like one silversmith I knew years ago, be forced to start melting down our silverware in order to have enough supply to create the beautiful jewelry we’ve come to take for granted?

It’s been said there is not a lot of silver left to mine . Whether or not this is true, there can’t possibly be an endless supply of it. Besides its use in jewelry and as money, silver has manufacturing uses. This alone could drive the prices up into the stars. Not to be an alarmist, but it pays to stay informed about what the future may bring.

Sterling silver has been affordable for so long that’s it’s a little hard to wrap my wits around the idea of it, as some experts predict, outpacing gold prices. That still seems like something out of an alternative universe, something from the Twilight Zone.

But assuming this is a possibility, as unlikely as it seems, wouldn’t it be a good idea to buy those sterling silver earrings you’ve been coveting before the only thing you can do is look at them and dream? Or worse, kick yourself for not getting them when they were only $65.00 instead of $200.00?

At any rate, I think its unlikely silver will ever dip as low as it did in late 90s. If it’s true that the industrial uses for silver have increased dramatically and the supply can’t possibly keep pace with the demand, then I wouldn’t wait around for prices to drop dramatically. Of course, I could be wrong and so could all the so-called experts. Who knows? Maybe a huge supply of silver will be discovered on the moon. Anything is possible.

Some jewelers haven’t raised their prices much from several years ago. But I expect that will change before too long. It’s hard to ask customers to pay so much more than they’re used to for the same product, but it’s the same thing you may have noticed in your local supermarket. In order to stay in business, grocery stores and jewelry companies have to charge more.

My advice is not to put off buying your silver jewelry gifts till November or December. Traditionally prices are lower in the summer months, and tend to rise as the year progresses. And this year they may rise substantially.

The Timelessness of 14K Gold Charms

Will lovely gold charms ever go out of style? I don’t believe that’s possible. For one, I believe gold charms and talismans have been popular from the beginning of man as an artist. Of course, this would also apply to the wearing of a gold pendant . This, according to some of the latest findings, goes back to the time of the Neanderthal. Even they crafted simple works of art from whatever they could find. Think about the beauty of a seashell, and you’ll have a greater understanding of the primitive mind, and the way he looked at his environment.

I find this fascinating. Almost as much so as the early goldsmiths, and the beautiful and evocative work they created in their primitive studios. One of the things that I love about gold-smithing is that the skills and tools used today are pretty much the same as what the early Egyptian artisans employed. It’s been said that if you placed a very early goldsmith (think B.C. not A.D.) in the shop of a modern smith, in very short order he could manipulate the tools skillfully and be able to cast and finish a piece of gold into something marvelously beautiful. I find that fascinating! I don’t think the same thing would apply to an office worker of the early 20th century and the modern computer user in his or her little cubicle today. Come to think of it, in another five or six centuries, which of these skills do you think will be the most revered? Makes you think.

As anyone who knows me realizes, I’ve been a gold jewelry lover my entire life. When I was a young man, gold was not as expensive as it is today, and I collected quite a bit of unique jewelry. Since that time I’ve given a lot of it away (sigh) but to think I did hold it in my hand at one time still gives me pleasure.

Once the price of gold shoots out the roof, it may be only the ultra-rich who can afford gold jewelry. I hope that doesn’t happen in my lifetime, but all indications are that it very well might. I encourage anyone who can possibly purchase gold now to do so, whether it is in the form of collector’s coins, gold bullion, or jewelry. I don’t want to be an alarmist, but with the way the economy is down turning, it’s important to make sure that you and your family are well taken care of. Gold has always been considered the only real money, and has been the standard of trade for millennia.

Sure I digress, but who doesn’t? The topic was gold jewelry, after all. And I did mention it one time in the last paragraph!

Seriously, though. If I were able to do it all over again, I’d buy a lot more of that yellow shiny stuff!

Unusual Sterling Silver Earrings

I’m always on the lookout for unique sterling silver earrings , and I especially like the animal themed ones. Let’s face it, there are thousands upon thousands of sterling earrings advertised and sold on the internet, as well as in mall kiosks and stores. It’s refreshing to locate jewelry that’s surprising and fun among all the riff-raff. it’s one of my favorite things to do in fact!

For instance, dolphin earrings in silver have got to be one of the most common jewelry designs ever created. I thought it was just a passing fad back in the 1980s, but here we are over 20 years later and they haven’t yet lost their appeal. Almost everywhere I turn I see dolphin earrings in sterling silver with or without diamond eyes, .925 dolphin earrings with different finishes, and of course in a myriad of poses. Most, of course, are busy leaping from the “water,” the way most people tend to envision this animal. But please, artists make your animal jewelry at least marginally anatomically correct. You do know what I’m talking about, right? You’ve seen the crazy ones too right? I mean when I look for unique jewelry pieces I don’t mean I’m looking for odd shaped things.

When examining earrings of a particular type, something unusual tends to pop out at you. Cat earrings are like that too. Most of them are too cutesy for my taste, but since all artists have their own vision, there’s not a lot I can do about it. I like earrings that have a nice feeling, something artistic and if possible, hand made. They don’t have to be “edgy” and in fact I’m sometimes bored and often confused with what passes for artistic wearable art. Especially if it’s animal jewelry you’re talking about. I like animals to basically look like animals. Maybe I’m just old fashioned.

But having said that, I must admit I enjoy stylized animal jewelry as well. Maybe that’s what attracts me to primitive art. Some of the jewelry and religious charms originated in societies that really saw the essence of the design and created work that communicates on a very basic level. Have you ever seen the beautiful art in those famous caves in France? Yes, now that is art at a very basic level indeed.

One of the best metals for making this type of jewelry is sterling silver. I love sterling silver earings. I think they go well with almost anything and seem to be timeless in fashion. I know sometimes it seems like white gold or titanium is in fashion but sterling silver is always there when you need it. and silver is usually one of the first metals we get jewelry in when we are starting on our collecting journey. It’s not because it’s cheaper, because some pieces can be quite expensive, but I believe it’s because it is easier to mix and match in our wardrobe. It doesn’t require much sophistication since it goes with almost anything.

I guess that’s one of the appealing things about sterling silver jewelry. It’s instantly interesting (how many people are there who actually don’t like it) so from that point it’s just up to the artist to do something creative and inspirational, like sterling silver earrings that knock your socks off!

1

Pewter Jewelry Then and Now

Pewter has some fascinating characteristics that make it rather appealing in the world of jewelry making. If properly finished, it has a luster reminiscent of silver, but without as much possibility of tarnishing when exposed to the air. That is and of itself is a big deal in the world of jewelry.

It isn’t an expensive metal- which I believe makes it more likely to be used as whimsical jewelry designs in pewter that aren’t trying to impress anyone. If a jeweler is feeling especially creative, he or she can experiment with making something in pewter and get a feel for the public interest in the design. And let’s face it, we aren’t always looking to wear our drop dead impressive jewelry pieces when going out. Sometimes a more casual piece is just what the doctor ordered.

Today pewter can be cast without lead, making it safe to have around children and pets. With all the news today about toys and jewelry from China containing lead, this is an especially important factor. The fact that old pewter contained lead may have steered a lot of people away from it but that’s a thing of the past.

It’s thought that the early Egyptians had their uses for pewter, although there aren’t many samples of it around today. It’s possible that even then it wasn’t valued like gold or silver and most of the use was for everyday objects like eating utensils and plates. Since the melting point is low, it was easy to recast whenever necessary. think about that for a minute… bent your fork? just throw it in the pile honey and I’ll melt it down later! haha

Much pewter in the Middle Ages was utilized in this way. It’s easy to associate pewter mugs with beer and feasts around a large hand hewn wooden table. Who hasn’t fantasized about hoisting a huge pewter mug of ale like some “Game of Thrones” type character from back in the old days!

Pewter is very soft as it is primarily made from tin. Because of this, tools aren’t made from the metal. This might be another reason why there aren’t too many antique pewter objects, jewelry or otherwise, found in museums or private collections. I could be wrong, but the fact that it is rather soft might have limited its long term durability. The peices you do find from long ago are usually pitted and show their age very well. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on perspective.

Celtic jewelry is often cast in this metal, and it seems to go very well with the relatively rough look of pewter. I believe the Celtic knot type designs are lovely, but personally I prefer them in sterling silver. That’s not to deny that pewter, or “poor man’s silver” does have a certain appeal. Sometimes the beauty of the jewelry itself is in the old look that the metal’s softness will yield. This is an advantage that pewter has over silver.

There is some agreement that in the 11th century pewter became more popular than ever. Perhaps the ability to mix the alloys in a standard manner was discovered. Trial and error eventually triumphing over guess work with a formula that was fool proof? It’s hard to know for sure, but the fact that its popularity boomed during this period lends me to believe this could be the case.

Many people collect pewter jewelry, finding it more to their liking than silver or gold. I believe it will remain a popular metal for years to come, despite its association as a 2nd class citizen in the art of making jewelry. I think it’s great personally, so give it a shot yourself and see if it tickles your fancy too!

Beautiful Jewelry That Everyone Can Afford

Now that we’ve all acknowledged the economy is in for a bumpy ride, many of us are wondering how to keep up our life style of “buy whatever I want whenever I want.” Well, that might be impractical under the circumstances. However, what’s to stop you from finding well made, beautiful jewelry at low prices ? I tell you, it’s out there. If you can’t do a little bit of looking on your own, then you’re in worse shape than I thought! But don’t worry, we’ll go over some ways to find that elusive affordable jewelry in this post right here.

Seriously, you can find hand crafted jewelry made right here in the USA for bargain prices if you don’t mind searching a little. Some people have already discovered the fun of exploring thrift stores and local art fairs, (Not that the two venues really belong in the same sentence) I’ll bet you that some of your best friends may have some great ideas up their sleeves on where to look. Just the other day a friend and I hit some local estate sales and the results were interesting to say the least. While a lot of sales had expensive prices on everything, there were more than a few pieces of affordable jewelry to be found by the end of the day. Just a lesson in persistence. You might not find the perfect piece right away, but just keep looking and it will turn up.

One of my favorite art shows is the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar that takes place every December in Austin Texas. But you don’t have to wait until the holiday season, or fly to Texas to see what this eclectic group of artists has to offer. Go to their website and look at the listing of artists, complete with all of their web sites! I tell you, there are still ways to “let your fingers do the walking.” The Armadillo Bazaar is rich in jewelers from all over the country, and every one of them hand makes their own work. Maybe I’m just getting sentimental as I grow older, but it seems like a great idea to support your own country’s economy. And I would say the same thing to any readers out there in cyberspace from Germany, England, Japan and so forth. So I’m not being USA-centric. I believe all of us should support our local economies. This can start with buying your produce locally, and extend to other areas of life, including artistic ones. The estate sale I mentioned in the previous paragraph are another local avenue to go down. So you don’t always have to go far to find the jewelry of your dreams.

If all else fails, maybe you can learn to craft your own jewelry! This idea is not as crazy as you might think. There are lots of people who have developed skills over the years, some who are quite talented. You can easily learn to bead and work with clay. Casting and enameling may take more complex skills, but aren’t impossible to learn. At the very least you’ll create some great (and meaningful) Christmas presents! And if creating isn’t your thing, you can also check out Etsy where a ton of creative people make things and sell for low prices all day long.

Now if your only jewelry love is gemstone jewelry, things might be a little more complex. Cutting gemstones well is a delicate art. But hey, there’s no time like the present to expand your horizons! And you may just learn something that becomes a brand-new livelihood. Stranger things have happened. And in this day and age it seems like strange is the common way for things to happen!

Are You a Silver or a Gold Person?

Back in the early 90s, discovering what “fashion season” you belonged to became all the rage. You were a summer, fall, winter or spring, and all your clothing needed to coordinate depending. I think there is some truth to this. It was decided by my (then) best friend Beth that I was a winter. Thrown from my closet were all my pink and orange shirts (which I was known for) and into the closet were ties and shirts in burgundy, black and so forth.

I have always loved gold jewelry, but was told by Beth that I should from now and henceforth ONLY wear silver! Imagine my chagrin. But what emerged from that fashion evaluation was a new interest in both platinum and jewelry made from silver . I have some gorgeous silver cuff links now that I wear; the side benefit is that they look like paw prints, which shows off my “dog-loving” nature. My little Maltese is so proud!

I’ve discovered that actually, I do look a lot snappier in silver, but once in a while I get out my beautiful gold chain and put it on. There is something so wonderfully evocative about gold. And I don’t think I shall ever remove the gorgeous gold ring my father left me. These pieces of gold jewelry I cannot do without. So you can already see that what type of person really depends on a lot of different factors, Like a lot of things when it comes to jewelry.

Can you mix gold and silver? I don’t see why not. The idea that you should never wear gold jewelry with silver comes from someone’s personal idea, which I think should be subject to change. Why not? I suspect it has more to do with the idea that gold is for the wealthy and silver for the middle-class or poor. It is certainly true that in some cultures jewelry wearing was forbidden for any but the upper class. And keep in mind that a trend is only a trend when someone tries something new and it works. The idea that you have to always play by the rules in jewelry is ridiculous.

My advice is wear what you love to wear, and don’t worry too much about what is considered “proper.” Fashions are constantly shifting and some (I include myself) find the very idea of fashion anachronistic. I realize I am in a very small minority, but I doubt anything will ever change my mind about this. I have a feeling that most people think this way to some degree whether they choose to act on that idea or not.

Some may just think I’m lazy, and while that is certainly true, it has nothing to do with it! Now there are limits to this; I wouldn’t show up at a friend’s wedding, of course, wearing a t-shirt and sandals. But I would wear a t shirt and sandals to some restaurants where some might think it unheard of. Depends on the situation and who I might be going against. I mean if it’s a friend’s wedding, then I value their ideas but if it’s a public space like a restaurant, then I might push the envelope a little more because I take my ideals to be more important than others (within reason of course, we still have to live in a civilized society).

What does this have to do with jewelry? Everything! One of my favorite people, an elderly lady, enjoys wearing her bakelite jewelry from the 1930s with a pair of diamond earrings to church. I love that! If we can’t express our individualism by the time we’re 89, when can we?

So mix and match your jewelry, wear the clothing that makes you happy, and go buy something new to cheer yourself up! Stop worrying about what other people think, and have fun expressing yourself.

Are Key Chains or Key Rings Jewelry?

Well, that could be debated. Creative key rings? I suppose it depends on what you consider jewelry. If you are discussing an accessory that can complement an outfit, I suppose not. But if you are more concerned with a sort of artifact that has a use and is beautiful as well, I believe you could make a case for it. Think about it; a tie tack (who wears ties anymore?) a pair of cufflinks (not for everyday wear, that’s for sure) a belt buckle (does that count?) and maybe a gold chain (too 80s for me). What does that leave? The one earring pirate look isn’t for everyone, and a watch hardly counts in my book. Others may disagree. But there are no rules about key chains. In theory, you could have one to match every outfit you own. I’m not sure that even I would go that far.

I prefer fine pewter as a material for my key chains. My pewter paw print key ring , which I admit to owning, is not only attractive but it feels good in my pocket, like a worry stone. Remember those? Polished rocks you can rub when you get nervous. I’ve owned mine now for quite a while and it doesn’t seem to wear down a bit.

Long ago I owned a beautiful silver key chain made on one of the reservations in Arizona. It was a Hopi design, beautiful. I lost it somewhere between 1972 and today, but that was the point where my love affair with the key chain began. I adore Hopi jewelry and that was the only piece of decorative wear I could find for men. (Thank you, Flagstaff Arizona.)

I admit to being a bit of a freak, but I have 6 completely different key chains. And I do use them all. I own a sterling silver key ring that I reserve for my van car keys. I don’t drive the van so much these days; the gas prices killed me a few months back and I lost my desire for those long, luxurious rides in the country. But that lovely key chain still hangs on a special hook in my bedroom.
I have my other car’s keys on a key ring of a humorously dinky dollar bill. Not so funny anymore. And as I revise this several months later, it gets even fewer laughs!
Then there’s the pewter key chain that keeps safe the all important key for getting into the storage shed on the back of my property. (I happen to be an avid gardener with even more gardening tools than key chains.) Sure there’s only one key on that one, but it stays hooked on a nail where I’ll never lose it. That one I concocted myself from a child’s garden toy. It makes me laugh, and since no one else ever sees it, I think I’m safe.

Then of course I have to have a separate one for my house and my condo. And my favorite, my latest one with the paw print design I reserve for the office. Do I ever lose them? Nah, I’m so organized that they all have a place to “live” when I’m not using them. Besides, I choose them so carefully I couldn’t bear to misplace a single one.

You can keep your whiskey, drugs and wild women. I’ll stick to collecting unusual key rings.

The Meaning Of Giving Jewelry

Giving the gift of jewelry has never been so easy as it is today. With the options available online and the ease with which you can purchase, you can give jewelry for any occasion. But what message does it send? Is it always romantic in intent?

Sometimes, the meaning of giving jewelry has romantic significance. But just as often many people give jewelry as thank you gifts, bridesmaid gifts or even new baby gifts.

There are just as many styles as there are personalities to wear them. Pearls are sophisticated and classy, sterling silver is wonderful on so many levels and diamonds are still a girl’s best friend!

Let’s go over a few of the occasions that would call for jewelry as a gift and talk about what would be appropriate for the message you are trying to send.

Jewelry – The Height of Romance?

The most obvious occasion that calls for jewelry as a gift is a romantic occasion. The act of proposing marriage probably tops this category as well. What proposal would be complete (in a traditional sense of course) without a diamond engagement ring? Now, you don’t have to give a diamond ring for an engagement, but it is highly recommended by most women if you want the answer to be yes.

Know Your Audience

The act of engagement in marriage is probably the best scenario to talk about “knowing your audience”. Or in other words, knowing what your intended recipient expects. While most women expect a diamond engagement ring, some women are perfectly fine with something else. But there are many other gemstones besides diamonds to love. I’m especially fond of rubies and emeralds- their clear fine brilliance draws me in. I don’t know that I would wear a pair of ruby cuff-links myself, but I certainly admire them! Perhaps a different gemstone like a sapphire or ruby ring? Maybe a synthetic diamond like a cubic zirconia? These are options that would be delightful for certain women and horrible for others.

Not Just For Engagements

The concept of knowing your intended recipient’s expectations doesn’t just apply to engagement. For other romantic occasions that call for jewelry, you need to be aware of what your significant other expects and the message you are giving along with the jewelry.

For example, a less serious relationship might call for a pair of earrings or a necklace. Sometimes, giving a ring, even if it is not followed up by the ultimate question, can imply a level of seriousness to the relationship that either you or your recipient is just not ready for. Don’t make that mistake and make sure that is what you a re looking for if you give a ring as your jewelry gift.

Jewelry for Non Romantic Occasions

There are also perfect opportunities to give jewelry as a gift that do not have to be romantic in nature. However, jewelry is usually reserved for big occasions like achieving a milestone in life. The first one that is usually synonymous with jewelry is graduation. Either High School or College graduation is the perfect time to give the gift of jewelry.

What Are You Trying To Say

While giving jewelry for graduation is not unique, you can make it extra special by putting in a little extra thought into the gift. Something that signifies the moment like a watch (to commemorate the time involved in getting the degree or diploma) can be very thoughtful and show an extra level of caring in your gift.

Engraving can also be added to jewelry gifts to make an item unique and give you a way to set the tone of your gift with extra precision.

Other Occasions For That Call For Giving Jewelry

In addition to graduations, there are an infinite number of occasions where jewelry would go a long way in making your gift recipient happy.

  • Birth of a Baby
  • New Job
  • Promotion
  • Christening
  • Retirement
  • Christmas
  • Birthday
  • Mother’s Day and other Holidays
  • SURPRISE! (Probably the best one)

Don’t forget that you can surprise your significant other or loved one (or maybe just your friend) with a piece of jewelry! I know from experience that I have gotten the best reactions to this act alone. Everyone expects jewelry at certain times (ie engagement) so a surprise gift of jewelry can go a really long way.

There are practically infinity of styles and types of jewelry. All of them have a place, from the most primitive uncut stone to a highly polished emerald or diamond. And to me, every one of them has beauty and grace.

Gold Facts

One of the most common tuypes of jewelry is gold jewelry. It’s so common, that we take it for granted at times and forget both its elegance and its practicality in uses for everything from everyday wearing to an elite night on the town to celebrate. It can fit in at a local friendly gathering and a celebrity ball! But what is gold all about anyway? Where did it come from and why d owe value it so highly? That is what we’re going to explore in this article today.

Gold is a natural mineral found in practically all of nature. Rocks, oceans, rivers, and plants all have small amounts of gold as part of their makeup.

But finding it in concentrated areas is a rare thing, indeed. There are gold mines in scattered locations around the globe, and no one seems to know for sure from whence it came. I’ve heard it theorized that gold is from the stars, and others, perhaps less romantically inclined, believe it originates from deep within our own planet.

Gold comes alloyed with silver for the most part; sometimes the percentages are as high as 50% gold and 50% silver. Quartz is also commonly found with gold.

Rocks that contain gold are known as “auriferous” rocks, which mean “gold bearing” and can be of many different types. Volcanic rock is the primary type of this rock. Alluvial deposits are the secondary gold deposits. “Alluvial” rocks are rocks being broken down by the action of water working against rocks in a river bed or lake shore.

The most readily found were the alluvial or secondary deposits because the gold was so easily seen against the sand.

Panning for gold in California comes to mind with that one. The Egyptians had a method of separating the gold from the auriferous rocks by washing the mineral with water and trapping the gold. in the 1800s, gold being found in California changed the course of history. The influx of thousands of people hoping to find their share of the precious metal spurred industry and the huge population growth in that area of the country.

It’s fascinating that all this work was primarily for a metal used almost entirely for decorative purposes. Of course then, as now, gold had intrinsic value as coinage, but even in that case it’s the beauty of and rarity of gold that gives it appeal.

Interesting examples of gold as jewelry are found in many places today. Look around online and you can find examples that fit any style or budget.

Some are playful examples but most people ordering jewelry are quite serious about their purchase. After all, it isn’t cheap and deciding on a gold jewelry purchase is usually an extremely meaningful decision. Gold can be symbolic of one’s profession as well.

Oftentimes, people will use gold to give as a gift or a symbol of one’s achievement. Both High school and college graduation rings are usually commemorated with a gold ring. You can find silver class rings, but the most common is either white or yellow gold.

But gold isn’t just used for jewelry. It’s also a highly sought after investment metal. Although it can be a volatile investment, it is a very old form of currency and it should hold its value in the end.

With the price of gold soaring, it would be a good idea to invest in some of this precious metal as a hedge against future inflation. It would also be in most people’s interest to purchase any gold jewelry you might be interested in before the prices hit the roof. Some jewelers are reporting lower sales of their gold jewelry than previously while others have said their business in this precious metal is as brisk as ever.

Today anyone can wear any jewelry they want- it’s only a matter of cost. However, it wasn’t always that way.
In ages past jewelry was all about symbolism. There were whole casts of people unable to wear certain jewelry because they were of the “wrong” social cast. You had to know your place and stepping outside of the boundaries arbitrarily set for you could be dangerous indeed. Jewelry was used to set you apart as either a person of worth, or a person considered worthless.

It’s incredible how something as seemingly innocuous as a choice of gold jewelry once had such overwhelming significance.