8 Must Know facts About Sterling Silver Beads

From fashion jewelry to faucets, there have been many significant changes in the popularity and prevalence of precious metals over the years. Few have withstood the test of time. Sterling silver is the exception, and it’s easy to see why. This affordable, durable, beautiful metal outshines competing options. What makes this the substrate of choice in the fashion and jewelry industries?

8 Must-Know Facts About Sterling Silver Beads

1.    Sterling silver beads are formed from a mixture of metals.

Sterling silver is an alloy, or mixture of metals. To bear the “sterling silver” namesake, sterling silver beads and findings include a blend of 92.5% silver, as well as several other metals (or combinations of metals). The most common combination is silver and copper, though composition may vary.

2.    Sterling silver is stronger than 100% pure silver.

Because silver is a soft metal, it’s prone to dents, scratches, and warping. For jewelry that sees frequent use, that won’t do. Adding copper and other metals to silver makes it harder and more durable, while still maintaining its beauty and value.

3.    Sterling silver bears markings of origin and authenticity.

Assayer’s marks denote the origins of each piece of sterling silver, bearing animals and other symbols that signify the country in which each item was made. In addition to this, sterling silver pieces will also boast a number showcasing purity, usually “925,” which stands for 92.5% silver.

4.    The value of sterling silver fluctuates.

Though it’s not a pure precious metal, the value of sterling silver changes based on the market price of silver due to the alloy’s high silver content.

5.    Sterling silver can tarnish.

While adding copper and other metals to form sterling silver imbues strength, it also makes it more prone to tarnishing with oxygen exposure. Fortunately, you can keep sterling silver jewelry looking its best with regular cleaning with a soft microfiber cloth and nonabrasive polish.

6.    Some chemicals can damage the sterling silver.

Always take off your jewelry when swimming in a chlorinated pool or cleaning with bleach, as these chemicals corrode silver. Long-term exposure to sunlight, salt water, perfume, and hairspray also accelerate corrosion. Be mindful of activities before donning your sterling silver creations.

7.    Proper storage can prevent tarnishing.

Storing sterling silver jewelry in sealable polyurethane bags, or with desiccants, can prevent tarnishing from humidity and oxygen exposure.

8.    Sterling silver can irritate the skin.

Fortunately, flashing with a thin layer of pure silver, plating, and other coatings can damper irritation.

Ready to Design with Sterling Silver?

With proper care, sterling silver can last a lifetime – or longer. Create jewelry designs that will stand the test of time with our wide variety of sterling silver offerings, including:

•    Sterling silver beads & findings

•    Silver Bali beads

•    Sterling silver alphabet beads

•    Ready-made silver jewelry

Create a beautiful, lasting, sterling silver masterpiece. Shop the amazing selection of beading supplies at Crystal Findings today.

Why are Swarovski Crystals so Popular?

Swarovski crystal beads offer widespread popularity. Swarovski jewelry and accessory designs are in high-demand worldwide, from Europe and America to Africa and Australia. Imparting a beautiful, sophisticated look to any jewelry, clothing, or accessory design, Swarovski crystal beads offer a timeless appeal like that of pearls and diamonds. However, this is not the only reason Swarovski continues to remain relevant among jewelry designers and customers. Why are Swarovski crystals so popular?

Stunning Looks at an Affordable Price

With a reasonable price, Swarovski jewelry is attainable to broad scope of consumers. Less expensive than precious stones, yet offering the stunning brilliance customers covet, Swarovski jewelry delivers beautiful, multi-faceted sparkle at a price that’s right. Perfectly cut and clear to maximize refraction, the web of rainbow-hued light of Swarovski jewelry is available to the masses, inspiring jewelry-jealousy and moving jewelry and fashion enthusiasts to get their hands on the latest Swarovski designs.

Wide Range of Sizes, Designs, & Colors

The Swarovski Company knows how to make crystal beads that appeal to a wide group of customers. Swarovski crystals are available in a rainbow of hues and designs, including:

•    Swarovski crystal pendants

•    Swarovski flat back stones

•    Swarovski pearls

•    Swarovski rondelles and rhinestone balls

•    A variety of bead shapes and sizes:

Celebrity Appeal

‘Bling’ is ever-present in today’s clothing, jewelry, and accessory designs. Well-known celebrities are commissioning entire dresses and jewelry designed with Swarovski crystals. At many shows, releases, and awards events, celebrities are making statements with Swarovski. Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss, Uma Thurman, and even Samuel L. Jackson have shown off Swarovski crystal clothing and accessories. This has kept the sparkling stones in the public eye and made them a desirable fashion centerpiece.

Versatility

Swarovski crystal beads pair well with a variety of co-stars, including sterling silver beads, gold-filled beads, squaredelles, and other beading favorites, allowing for an endless variety of brilliant, sparkling jewelry designs.

Constant Stream of New Designs

Because the Swarovski Company is constantly introducing new designs, their products remain relevant. Swarovski promotions inspire new, consumer and designer-inspired product ideas, with debates over potential Swarovski bead introduction ongoing. The company’s willingness to listen to customer feedback gives them widespread popularity among buyers.

Looking to put a little sparkle in your next jewelry design? Create a look that sets your work apart with certified Swarovski crystals, wholesale beads, and jewelry supplies at Crystal Findings today.

Don’t Know What Type of Wire to Use when Beading? Check out These Tips

For those new to jewelry making, the seemingly simple task of selecting beading wire can quickly turn into an overwhelming experience. With so many types, sizes, and manufacturers, how can you find the right one? The tips that follow offer general guidelines (not rules), and are meant to help those new to beading avoid trial-and-error frustrations.


First Things First: Understanding Beading Wire Measurements


To make an informed decision, the first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with beading wire terminology and how it applies to measurements and durability:


• Beading wire diameter

Wire diameter determines the overall strength of the beading wire. The smaller the number, the wider the diameter and more durable the wire. Wire diameter will also determine what types of beads will fit on the wire. Measurements are typically given as a fraction of an inch.


• Strand number


Beading wire is actually a cable composed of multiple strands. The more strands in the wire, the more flexible it is. The smaller the number of strands, the stiffer the wire will remain. For example, 19-strand wire is more flexible than 7-strand. This is a classic more = better scenario. More flexible wire feels higher quality, whereas less flexible wire will be prone to kinking. The tradeoff is in the expense.


• Pound test strength or “break”


This number is sometimes displayed on beading wire, denoting weight tests surrounding the maximum pounds of pressure beading wire can take before breaking. The higher the number the stronger the wire.


Tips for Selecting Beading Wire by Design


Considering these aspects of your project can help you determine the best beading wire:

• What diameter are bead holes? How small/large are the beads?

– Small, lightweight beads, such as sterling silver beads and Bali beads, work well with .010-0.15-inch wire.

– Light to medium crystal and stone beads work well with medium diameter 0.15-0.21-inch wire.

– Heavy beads are best with heavier 0.24-0.36-inch wire.



• What’s your budget (or your client’s)?


– Affordable & durable for gifts, crafts: 7-strand.

– Middle-of-the-road: 14-19-strand.

– Higher-end jewelry for sale: 19-49-strand.


• Will you be using oversized beads or large crystals?

Large, heavy beads and multifaceted crystals such as Swarovski crystal beads and Swarovski crystal pendants are best strung on beading wire with a pound test strength of 26-40-pounds.


• Necklace style:

The more strands, the more wire will drape. Seven-strand wire holds its shape; whereas 49-strand is supple like string, allowing for elegant draping. Here is a general rule of thumb you can use while choosing the number of strands for your beading wire:


– Stiff, choker-style: 7-strand.

– Artful drape/movement: 19-49-strand.

– Unsure: 19-strand.


• Visibility of the wire.

If beading wire will show between beads, carefully consider the color of beading wire. Bead wire now comes in an array of colors and finishes. Carefully chosen, your wire color can showcase or enhance your bead colors.

Looking for high quality beading wire and beading supplies? Shop the wide selection of quality jewelry making supplies at Crystal Findings today.

This blog was originally posted on https://www.crystalfindings.com/dont-know-what-type-of-wire-to-use-when-beading-check-out-these-tips/

Summer Project Ideas to Spend Time with your Kids – Make your Own Jewelry!

Already sweating summer boredom? Whether you are a parent or activities instructor, summer break is the perfect time to try a few fun jewelry making projects with your kids. Easy and inexpensive, jewelry projects help kids develop their fine motor skills and creativity and leave them with a unique memento of the summer season.

Inspire Your Child’s Creativity with these Kids Jewelry-Making Favorites:

We offer a variety of colorful and unique beads that children love for making necklaces and bracelets. Choose from some of the kid-friendly favorites below, complementing them with our wide assortment of gold-filled and sterling silver beads and findings…

•    Alphabet Beads

It’s easy for kids to get creative with a mix of alphabet beads and colorful spacers. We offer a wide assortment of alphabet bead options, sold by the letter.
  1.  A-Z alphabet bracelet or necklace for younger kids, placing colorful round beads between each letter.
  2.  Name bracelet.
  3.  Friendship bracelets: “BFFS FOREVER.” Or “X O X O.”
  4. ‘Positive message’ bracelets, such as, “BE HAPPY,” “DREAM BIG,” “THANKFUL,” “SMILE,” AND “U R AWESOME.”
•    Semi-Precious Stone Beads

Alternate colorful semi precious stones in a vibrant pattern of each child’s favorite colors, stringing on a stretch cord for an easy fit. Add in fun accent pieces such as Bali beads or gold-filled and silver charms with a jump ring to make a statement.

•    Cloisonné Beads

Colorful yet sophisticated, Cloisonné are favored by older girls, adorned with beautifully painted imagery with metallic accents perfect for pairing with gold and silver beads and findings.

The perfect way to add both color and texture to a jewelry design, smooth, shimmery cat’s eye beads make kids of all ages ‘ooh’ and ‘ahhh.’ Alternate bold colors of stones of the same shape, or mix shapes to stunning effect.

Don’t Miss Out on these Other Fun Bead Styles

Providing an assortment of beads allows each child to showcase their own unique personality through their jewelry making creativity.

•    Dice Beads
Dice beads add a touch of fun to any young child’s jewelry design.

•    Shamballa Beads
These shimmering, disco-ball like beads are always a hit with the girls!

•    Lamp Beads
These bright, colorful, luminous glass beads are like miniature works of art.

•    Star Beads
For those in your life inspired by the celestial.

•    Floral Beads
For the ‘flower child’ in your life.

•    Squaredelles
Add just a touch of sparkle with these rhinestone-studded spacer beads.

•    Bali Beads
A great way to add texture and visual interest to any jewelry design.
From simple shapes to flashy designs to liven up any creation.

While the day away, creating a new tradition. Discover the fun of jewelry making with your kids. Shop the wide selection of inspiring options at Crystal Findings today.

How to Clean Sterling Silver Beads

Tarnished silver abandoned in the jewelry box? The brilliance and versatility of sterling silver beads make them a wildly popular addition to many jewelry pieces. Unfortunately, exposure to air can lead to the tarnishing of silver jewelry, making items appear dirty or discolored. Luckily, however, you can give these pieces a fresh start, easily cleaning sterling silver beads and jewelry with these tips and tricks…


Electrolyte Method for Resilient Pieces

The electrolyte method is easy and science-backed, helping you avoid endless polishing and possible abrasions on ornate or engraved pieces. It reverses the chemical reaction that causes tarnishing. To clean with the electrolyte method, you will need a dish or bowl, aluminum foil, 1 cup boiling water, and 1 tablespoon baking soda. Line the dish with foil, dull side down. Place the jewelry in the dish, making certain it touches the foil. This ensures the silver sulfide atoms tarnishing the piece will transfer to the aluminum foil. (They will also cause a ‘rotten egg’ smell as they lift, so do not be alarmed.) Mix the baking soda with the boiling water, then pour the solution onto your jewelry in the dish. Let sit for 2-10 minutes to remove tarnish, then rinse with water and dry with a soft cloth.

Silver Cleaning for ‘Delicates’

Like your favorite cashmere sweater, some pieces are more delicate than others, requiring more careful cleaning. This includes jewelry held together with glue, porous stone beads (gemstones like opal, turquoise, onyx, and carnelian), as well as clear gemstones such as Swarovski crystal beads and pendants, Cloisonné beads, watches, and antiques. For these more delicate jewels, try one of the following methods:

•    Simple Soap & Water


This simple and safe method should be the first cleaning method you attempt on silver jewelry.


•    Baking Soda & Water


Make a paste of baking soda and water, polishing your silver beads gently with a pea-sized amount on a polishing cloth. For etched or detailed items such as silver fancy beads and corrugated beads, be sure to use a thinner paste. A soft-bristle brush can help on cracks/crevices. Run carefully under warm water when done and dry with a clean cloth.

•    White Vinegar & Baking Soda

This combination works better for items with heavier tarnish, applied in the same manner as the baking soda method, however it should NOT be used with soft gemstones, which can etch and scratch. Make a solution of ½-cup vinegar to 2-tablespoons vinegar for polishing. Expect it to fizz and bubble. Rinse well and pat dry.

The Easiest Tarnish Prevention


Many avoid wearing their sterling silver jewelry, saving it for special occasions. While silver can be effected by chlorinated pool water and sunlight, however, surprisingly, the oils from your skin can help your jewelry keep its shine. Thus, wearing silver jewelry often is the easiest tarnish prevention. When its not being worn, reduce oxidation by simply sealing each piece into a small craft bag separately. This also prevents scratching and tangling.


Ensure looks that last with premium beading supplies. Shop Crystal Findings today.

Do You Want to Make Jewelry?


Do you love making jewelry? If so, you can find a way to turn this hobby into a profession. You should do what you love, and if you love gold filled beads, sterling silver beads and trinkets, you need to consider a career as a jewelry craftsperson.

Sell Jewelry Online

Anyone who loves to make different kinds of jewelry can sell the pieces online. That way, you can develop a side line that could turn into a full-time occupation. You may also want to consider other bead materials such as stones or crystals. The choice is entirely up to you. You can become a jewelry designer overnight. You just need to learn how to make the art into a full-time venture. It’s easy when all your jewelry making supplies are available online.

Make the Internet as well as today’s technology work for you. Maybe you want to display your wares for people to buy. Again, you can turn to the Internet for this type of coverage. You can display all the jewelry you make from what you buy in beading supplies online. You can entice your friends to look at the selections by sharing your business with them on Facebook and introducing your website. You can also use other social media channels such as Twitter and Reddit for the same purpose.

Make the Process Fun

The whole idea of jewelry making is to make it fun. If you love to create pretty jewelry pieces, this is the way to do it. You do not have to assume a large overhead either if you take on this type of venture. All you need to do is to have a creative flair and be able to advertise your services via social media.

Once your business grows or you have more customers, you may want to advertise on sites such as Etsy or eBay. Again, you have it in your power to make a business out of jewelry making if you wish to succeed at this type of activity. You just need to know where to begin.

Realize Your Entrepreneurial Dreams Online

The best way to start the process is to go online and choose some supplies. Think about what you would like to make. By taking this initial step, you can realize your dreams as an entrepreneur. You can find an outlet for your creative skills and abilities, and you can make it happen on the Internet. Set up a website that showcases your jewelry and you will be in business almost overnight.

Take time now to go online and decide what you will offer. Look for website platforms that you can use as an online store. Make it your goal this year to become a designer – create jewelry that your friends and family will admire and love.

This blog was originally posted on https://www.crystalfindings.com/do-you-want-to-make-jewelry/

Personalized Jewelry for Moms: Ideas for Mother’s Day


META:
Banish boring Mother’s Day gifts with uniquely made personalized jewelry. Check out these 8 exciting jewelry design ideas. You may just want one for yourself.

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Sunday, May 12th of this year, moms everywhere will excitedly open their Mother’s Day gifts. Will your custom-made Mother’s Day jewelry shine center stage? Custom pieces are highly coveted these days, from celebrity to suburban moms, who love showcasing their shiny and sparkly customized kiddie coordinates. We’ve gathered some of our favorite options to inspire you. But buyer beware: You just may want one for yourself.

Personalized Mother’s Day Jewelry Design Ideas

Whether you are an individual who loves jewelry making, or an entrepreneur who crafts fine keepsake jewelry for others to enjoy, there are a number of options for creating a unique Mother’s Day jewelry design:

• Give Mom a Hug & Kiss

Shower mom with kisses and hugs, and maybe a little sparkle too, with an Xs and Os alphabet beads bracelet adorned with birthstones or clear, shimmering crystals.

• Make Your Mark

‘Mom’ jewelry always appeals. Especially when customized with initials or birthstone, inviting others to inquire about the family. Combine the initials of each child on a necklace or bracelet, alone or paired with a matching birthstone, using our premium quality glass, gold, and sterling silver alphabet beads. Lots of children? Pair things down with a simple ‘MOM’ piece.

• Showcase Your Personality

Sweetly remind mom of her most treasured gifts with a glistening birthstone necklace, bracelet, or ring. An ideal gift not only for Mother’s Day, but any occasion. Add the sparkling facets of similar Swarovski crystal stones, or choose from our wide array of semi-precious stone beads.

• Add a Little Sparkle

Show how her much she means with a stunning Swarovski pendant, necklace or bracelet adorned with Swarovski crystal beads in birthstone shades, or add a little sparkle and shine to any piece with our amazing selection of Swarovski rondelles and squaredelles.

• Give Mom a Bouquet

Create a bouquet that lasts, with our unique floral beads and cloisonné beads, available in an array of colors for cheerful spring tones to deep jeweled hues.

• Put a Name on It

Create a custom gold or silver nameplate piece for ‘Mom’ alone or adorned with birthstones or crystals.

• Emanate Mom’s Elegance

With a uniquely necklace showcasing a pearl or drop bead for each special member of the family. Choose from Swarovski’s latest pearl additions, or glowing gold or sterling silver beads. Add uniformly sized beads, or a different size for each family member, from oldest to youngest.

• Show Mom She Has Your Heart

Show mom she has your heart always with a heart-shaped Swarovski crystal pendant, gold-filled heart charm necklace or bracelet.

Short on Time? Shop Our Spectacular Ready-Made Jewelry

Including our collections of ready-made necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, and anklets.

Treat Mom to personalized jewelry that she’ll cherish for years to come. Create something as unique and special as the mothers that grace your life. Shop the wide selection of fine jewelry making beads and supplies at Crystal Findings today.

Create Something Beautiful with the Best Beads and Jewelry Making Options

 

Jewelry is one of those things that is about as universal as it gets from a cultural standpoint. From the latest offerings on Madison Avenue or Bond Street, the glories of the Ancient Mediterranean, India’s rich tradition of jewelry mining and making – the list goes on and on, and it’s a spectacular list to behold! Humanity has a certain fascination with both beauty, as well as eternity, and there’s just something about a finely-crafted piece of jewelry that speaks to both ideals at once.

This extends to the beads that make up necklaces and bracelets, as well. If you’re looking to make your own elegant bracelets, necklaces, and other such jewelry options, you’ll want to seek out the best beading supplies online.

Acquiring Supplies

First thing’s first – before you can start to create the jewelry of your dreams, you’re going to have to make sure that you have the supplies necessary to make that happen. This means having the strings, fasteners, and other such items necessary to fasten fine jeweled beads into place. In addition, you’re going to want to make sure that the items you’re getting are the right size. While string and the tiny holes in beads through which it’s slipped to create bracelets and necklaces may all seem “just small,” the fact is that there are many different sizes. You don’t want your jewelry making efforts to fail because the string is too long or the holes are too big or small. That’s why a great provider of jewelry making supplies will always work to provide their clientele with a wide range of sizes, ensuring that no matter what size beads or string you need, you’re able to acquire it, and all at a great price.

Gold Options

Then there is the question of the beads themselves. Without question, beads that make use of gold are the most popular on the market. That said, there are a wide range of different sizes and styles out there. Thankfully, the best providers of jewelry supplies always supply their clients with a wide range of spiral, spherical, ornate, elegant, and other such bead options. What’s more, you can find gold filled beads that are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.

Silver Options

The same holds true for sterling silver beads. These items are extraordinarily durable, and have a quiet elegance to them which is unmistakable. What’s more, as with the gold beads, you can find and purchase them in a wide range of different sizes and styles. You can even mix and match the two for an item that’s truly unique.

Create something beautiful with the help of great providers of fantastic gold and silver beads, as well as general jewelry supplies.

Getting to Know the Different Metals You Can Use in Making Jewelry

The use of metals for jewelry has existed for as long as the start of human civilization. Metals in jewelry were already used in ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian civilization. Since then, jewelry making has become so popular that there are many less expensive alternatives for precious metals right now like gold filled beads.

While there are a lot of different metals known to us, not all of them can be used to make jewelry. Among the most precious metals that are used in crafting jewelry are gold, platinum, and silver. They have a huge economic value and they are considered more valuable than most other metals.

Any kind of metals used in jewelry making that is not one of the three mentioned above is categorized as non-precious metals. While gold filled beads are cheaper, they are not really behind in terms of quality. In some cases, to get the best of both precious and non-precious metal features, they are mixed and termed as an alloy.If you are studying about the different metals you can use for jewelry making while planning your designs, take a look at this list of metals and their major characteristics.

#1 – Platinum

Compared to other metals, platinum would be the rarest and the most expensive one. It even has a higher preciousness rate compared to gold. Platinum looks very similar to silver and it is mainly characterized by its heavy weight. The most common and popular use of platinum in terms of jewelry is for wedding or engagement rings, paired with diamonds.

#2 – Silver

One thing that makes silver preferred by most jewelry makers is that it can be soft and easy to work with when it is pure. It makes it easier when silver is mixed with copper so it is more pliable. There are many kinds of silver metals accepted as jewelry making materials like fine silver, nickel silver, and sterling silver. Sterling silver beads are very common in jewelry making.

#3 – Copper
Copper is characterized by its reddish brown color. Unlike precious metals, copper is often used as a base for gold filled beads and findings. Usually, copper is oxidized and it becomes like a green patina. The oxidized copper is called an antiqued copper plate and it is popular as a material used for making fashion jewelry.

#4 – Stainless Steel

Stainless steel would be the most popular and widely used material in the craft of jewelry making. It is more industrial-looking with an appearance that can be very similar to silver. It is resistant to scratches, but it may contain some nickel that can cause allergies in some people.

#5 – Gold

Among the metals mentioned here, gold is the best metal for making jewelry. Gold has always been considered beautiful. To make gold easy to work with, it is mixed with other high-quality metals like copper or zinc. Most fashion jewelry is made from gold filled beads and findings, a cheaper alternative containing around 5% of pure gold.

For a wide range of custom jewelry making supplies and beading supplies, visit www.crystalfindings.com.

This blog was originally posted on https://www.crystalfindings.com/getting-to-know-the-different-metals-you-can-use-in-making-jewelry/

 

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