Gilded in Gold

July 24, 2013

Gold and beauty are two words that work well together, but could it be... Is gold truly the fountain of youth? I recently came across an article in Harpers Bazaar whose columnist describes her afternoon spent bathing her skin in none other than 24-karat gold!  Her findings report that there is no solid data proving gold's beneficial effects on skin, but women who experience it firsthand are creating a gold rush all their own—one that  estheticians and cosmetic companies are more than happy to accommodate. And why not, at price points that have been seen to reach upwards of $1,500! GOLD is expensive, yes, but I hardly see myself paying top dollar for gold-infused products without any concrete evidence of gold's therapeutic qualities I think I will stick to my love for all things gold that lasts...
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Simply Soldered at Moxie Beads

July 23, 2013

This past weekend I attended what I would like to call a little jewelry making continuing education class. And while it wasn’t at the GIA it was at the quaint little Moxie Beads located on the north end of Main Street in Santa Monica. I could go on about Moxies extremely friendly and very knowledgeable staff, but I will save my wordy praise of customer service for a later dated yelp review.

Basic Soldering 101 was the class and Christy was the fabulous instructor. Christy started us off with some soldering basics from familiarizing ourselves with our work station, basic safety, getting to know the tools we were to be working with and lastly the process. Since I mainly work with wire wrapping and rings are my specialty I was super excited about gaining the knowledge behind the joining of two metals. The class focused on working with sterling silver and we began with getting the soldering technique down, this was perfect because we had ample time to practice practice practice, make mistakes, ask questions and then try again. We did this by practicing on closing jump rings and while I don’t anticipate myself using my skills to make jump rings in the future this was a great place to hone in on the art.

 After we worked on that for a bit Christy taught us to make our own toggle clasp, but also left us to our own devices to get creative. I decided to work more on rings. From cleaning, pickling, soldering, pickling again and then shaping I worked on a variety of mini stackables.

If you follow me on IG you have already had a chance to check out my brief workshop video, but if not you can enjoy below.

If you are interested in possibly taking up a new hobby and have a love for jewelry, I suggested looking into the classes that Moxie Beads offer. They are affordable, informative and come with 2 extra hours of in store bench time to return and practice more of what you learned! This place truly has something to offer everyone. I left Moxie Beads with my very own soldering kit which they conveniently packaged for our option to buy and I couldn’t be more excited to set up my very own work station at home and get to work on some fun creations of my own!  

Its a Boy: The British Royal Jewels

July 22, 2013

The baby watch is over and its been reported that the arrival of the newest British Royal is a boy! Being the first child of The Duke and Duchess, not only will newest Royal addition be in line for the throne, but also in line to wear perhaps some of most prized royal possessions!

There are several historically unique pieces which encompass the Crown Jewels, but described below are  six pieces of the Royal Collection, held in trust by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her successors and the nation (only two of which shall be worn by the reported most recent royal successor).  

The Imperial State Crown:

The most famous piece in the crown jewels is the Imperial State Crown (the front is left above, the back is center). It is set with over 3,000 stones, including several famous gems: the Second Star of Africa (also known as the Cullinan II, a 317 carat diamond shown in the top right detail above), the Black Prince's Ruby (which is actually a spinel with a small ruby plugging a hole, shown in the center detail), the Stuart Sapphire (bottom above), St. Edward's Sapphire, and pearls belonging to Elizabeth I.
The Sovereign's Sceptre:
The Royal Collection includes several famous individual stones, notably  the Cullinan Diamond, which was presented to King Edward VII by the government of South Africa.  The largest diamond ever found, the Cullinan was divided into nine numbered stones, the largest two of which now form part of the Coronation regalia.  They are set into the head of the Sovereign’s Sceptre and the band of the Imperial State Crown. The Cullinan set on the Sovereigns Sceptre can be removed from the Sovereign’s Sceptre and worn as a brooch.   
The tiara was made by Cartier in London in 1936 and is formed of a band of 16 graduated scrolls, set with 739 brilliants and 149 baton diamonds, each scroll divided by a graduated brilliant and with a large brilliant at the centre. 

Queen Elizabeth's Crown:
Queen Adelaide’s Fringe Necklace:

The Coronation Necklace:

This necklace features 26 of those giant diamonds. Set in silver, gold and platinum, the 25 set in the main necklace are a range of sizes up to 11.25 carats. The 26th diamond is the Lahore Diamond, the 22.48 carat pendant which was previously suspended from the Timur Ruby necklace from India.

For additional information about the royal jewels head over to The Royal Collection These gems are not only beautiful, but have a rich history and distinct gemological allure.

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