One of the best parts of my job is picking out and discovering new gemstones. I've always been interested in gemology and started collecting interesting rocks at a young age. The transformation from rough rock into wearable works of art never ceases to amaze me.
Before I begin making anything new, I spend some time with my new stones. I check all of the facets, inspect the clarity (when necessary) and look to be sure the stone has something about it that makes it unique and special. I usually play around with different gemstones to see which colors and shapes work best together. Then I begin designing...
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While getting dressed this morning, I grabbed one of my favorite necklaces sitting in a stack of tangled jewelry next to the old jewelry box on my dresser. Tired from the previous night, I hadn’t bothered to actually place the necklace in the box. I yanked the pile of necklaces apart, and magically, they detangled. I looked for my wedding ring, and realized I must have taken it off the night before while doing the dinner dishes. But where had I put it? I couldn’t remember. It had to be in the kitchen somewhere. Or had I taken it off before giving my daughter a bath? And that’s when I realized I needed to take better care of my jewelry.
So... I spent the morning re-organizing and cleaning my jewels, after finally finding my wedding ring in the top drawer next to my bed. How did it get there?! I wondered. So, while I clearly don’t always follow my own advice, here are my suggestions for caring for your jewelry. And remember, do as I say, not as I do!
First, gather all the jewelry you have. If you are anything like me, check all drawers and boxes in your room, and throughout the house. (Although ashamed to admit it, I even found a few pieces at the bottom of my purse.) Then, sort the necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets, by putting everything in velvet-lined trays, jewelry boxes with compartments, and small zippered plastic bags. Some people even like to use ice cream trays. For necklaces, to prevent knots, leave the end of the necklace hanging out of the bag - that simple move will save you hours of precious time. See how it looks.
You can also store your jewelry in its original box, if you happen to still have it. If you don’t have enough boxes, I suggest you take a trip to Container Store or Target. They’re everywhere, and with reasonable prices, they have everything you could need.
Stay away from harsh cleaners. Surprisingly, even everyday substances like hairspray, lotions and perfumes can cause corrosion. . Heavy detergents and chemicals can change the color of jewelry and damage the stones. Most jewelry can be cleaned with warm water, mild soap and a soft brush. Mild soap like Ivory is the better choice for most metals. (insert picture of Ivory) Keep it pure, simple and clean. If it was good enough for your grandma, it’s good enough for you. For diamonds and 14 karat gold or finer, windex is a wonderful way to get that sparkle back. And I hope it goes without saying, don’t forget to stop the drain. I’ll never forget when my best friend nearly lost her diamond necklace down the hotel sink, the night before her wedding. Fortunately for her – and all of us - the plumber on duty was able to open the pipe to retrieve it.
Be sure to dry everything thoroughly. After cleaning, you can always use a polishing cloth to bring back the shine. And take extra care with your pearls and opals. Pearls are very sensitive, and can scratch easily and lose their luster. Opals change color in strong light (like the window sill about the kitchen sink), as the light can dry out the water in the opal. Opals need a good balance of humidity and shouldn't be in a very dry location. Once dried out, they will crack. A crack in an opal is there for good, so take good care of your opals!
If you follow my advice, I’m confident you can keep your jewelry sparkling for generations to come. For nothing is more precious than being able to hand down that jewelry to your daughter, which was handed down to you years before.
So remember, get organized and keep clean. Any questions? Feel free to ask, and I’ll do my best to answer them. As always, head over to Instagram and use the hashtag #KBD
To mix or not to mix, that is no longer the question. Mixing metals used to be a fashion faux pas, but today it’s encouraged.
Just like wearing white after Labor Day - the question is not whether or not it is acceptable to wear white, but how to wear winter white all year long. The same holds true with wearing mixed metals. As the LA Times reports, “for jewelry, the old no-no of mixing metals has lost its power.”
Everyone is mixing and matching gold and silver jewelry in all its forms: rings, two tone bracelets, watches, earrings and layered necklaces. Yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, silver, platinum - you name it – are all key elements in the mix. In fact, we are in love with our fringe earrings - made from sterling, oxidized sterling, gold filled and rose gold filled chain and wire. Check them out here:
Gold and silver are all over the place with interior design trends as well. Silver and gold frames can cohabitate on the same wall - chrome door knobs with gold fixtures are allowed. Yes, with today’s fashion, breaking the rules is a MUST. Here is a favorite example of mixing metal at home.
(photo courtesy of Houzz.com)
This month, I challenge you to work some two-tone jewelry into your wardrobe. And then let me know your favorite combinations. Post a comment, share your advice, or send me a picture.
I’d love to hear from you!
Oh, and don’t forget to instagram it with the hashtag #KBD