Monday, January 8, 2018

How Jewelry Can Cause Skin Discoloration & How to Avoid It


If your skin changes color where it comes into contact with jewelry don’t assume the piece of jewelry is cheap. Skin discoloration can occur with a piece of good or high quality jewelry as well.  What is happening is metallic abrasion that causes tiny particles of metal jewelry to rub off on your skin discoloring it.  

One of the causes of discoloration is cosmetics that contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, ferric oxide and calamine.  All of these compounds are heavier than the metal the jewelry is made of which is why they remove pieces of metal from the jewelry. Another way that jewelry can discolor skin is from perspiration.  The salt in it is an enemy of metal especially sterling silver which is the most susceptible to salt corrosion.  

The last way jewelry can cause discoloration of the skin is through the use of household cleaners, natural tarnishing (sterling silver), taking antibiotics, and lastly the buildup of hand soap or detergent, wax, polish, or cosmetic cream on jewelry.  

The easiest way to avoid discoloration of jewelry is to take if off it before doing any cleaning using chemicals.  Also do not put jewelry on right after using cosmetics or hand cream.  Allow the cream or lotion to soak thoroughly into the hands before putting on jewelry or if you choose avoid putting it on for the day. Lastly care for your jewelry by cleaning it often so perspiration, soap, or anything else your jewelry could come into contact with isn’t allowed to build up with the potential to cause permanent damage.  

Ways to clean jewelry is with warm water and soap and using a soft toothbrush to scrub it without scratching the jewelry itself; there is also soaking jewelry in vinegar; and dropping your jewelry in Alka-Seltzer water. There are other means besides these which you can check out by clicking on any of the links posted below this post.  Any way you choose to clean your jewelry be sure to follow the instructions to avoid permanent harm.


Common Clips & Adjustment Techniques

Whenever making adjustments to clips, do it gently and gradually.

Just a 
little change will make a big difference in comfort, while a big change may mean that earrings won't stay on.

The Paddle Back Clip

This is a paddle back clip - the one many people associate with clip earrings.  If your paddle back clip earrings are too tight, insert tweezers under the "tongue" (shown by the green pointer below) of the clip and gently raise it very slightly.  It only takes a small adjustment to make a big difference in comfort!  If your paddle back clip earrings are too loose, or the paddle clip came off, please see the following instructions.

To reattach a Paddle Clip:

  1. Look carefully at how the paddle's "tongue" (shown by the green pointer) fits onto the back an earring on an attached working paddle.  Open and close the paddle, watching the tongues position, as it will need to be attached the same way.

·  If it is not even, use a pair of needle nose pliers to very gently bend the tongue back down even, or flat, with the sides (shown by the red arrows).
·  Hold the earring so that the front is facing out away from you.  Using the pliers (or your fingers), pinch the clip's sides and line up the "prongs" (shown by the blue arrows) to the holes in the holder on the earring's back.  Release the sides of the clip and it should pop back into place.
·  Try on the earring.
·  If the clip is now too tight, please see steps 5 and 6 below.  If the tension is fine, use your pliers to slightly and gently pinch in the sides of the earring back's holder to tighten the holes onto the clip's prongs.  This should help insure that the paddle stays on the earring. 

To Tighten a Paddle Clip:

1. Open the clip and look carefully at how the paddle's "tongue" (shown by the green pointer) fits onto the earring back:  It will need to be the same way when you are done.With a pair of needle nose pliers or your fingers, pinch the paddle's "sides" (shown by the red arrows) until their "prongs" (shown by the blue arrows) are out of their holders. 

2. With a pair of needle nose pliers, pinch the paddle's "sides" (shown by the red arrows) until their "prongs" (shown by the blue arrows) are out of their holders.

3. Using the pliers, very gently bend tongue back down even, or flat, with the sides.

4. Hold the earring so that the front is facing out away from you.  Using the pliers, pinch the clip's sides and line up the prongs with the holes in the holder on the earring back.  When the tongue is in the same position when you began, release the sides of the clip and it should pop back into place.

5. Try on the earring.  If the clip is too tight, see steps 6 and 7.
If the tongue is now too tight, using flat tweezers or perhaps a metal file's tip, very SLIGHTLY bend, or "raise", the tongue to loosen the paddle.  Do this very little each time, trying the earring on for comfort after each adjustment.

6. When the tension is right, use your pliers to slightly and gently pinch in the sides of the earring back's holder to tighten the holes onto the clip's prongs.  This should help insure that the paddle clip stays on the earring.

David's Simple Clip

David's Simple clip is designer David Sung's downsized paddle back clip that makes it possible for those who don't have pierced earlobes to wear a variety of fashionable hoops.  The way the hoop itself is balanced acting with the clip is what makes it work. The earrings should be comfortable without adjustment. If you do need to make one, please look at it first.

1. The red arrow points to its most vulnerable part. DO NOT put any pressure on this area.

2. The blue arrow points to the clip’s tongue which is very fragile so DO NOT adjust it.

3. The yellow arrow points to where the top of the hoop meets the clip and this is where you can make adjustments. Remembering that very small changes make a big difference, without holding any part of the clip, move the top slightly closer to or farther from the padded area of the clip.

The Simple Clip

This is a Simple Clip - one appropriate for lighter earrings. The back of the clip is hinged for easily taking it on and off.  To loosen this clip, use a pair of needle nose pliers and broaden, or bend out, the bottom of the "U".  An alternative way to loosen this clip is -  REMEMBERING that SMALL changes make a BIG difference - to pinch the the top of the clip's back, narrowing the space under the 'pad' (indicated by arrow in the image).  

Hinged Screwback Clip

This is a Hinged Screwback Clip.  These are used with weightier earrings. Adjust the screw until the earrings are secure and comfortable, then use the hinge to put it on and take it off without having to readjust the screw.

The Mini Clip

This is a 
Mini Clipused most often on children's earrings and some of the newer Linear and Petite earrings. These very rarely need adjusting, but when they do a tiny bit of pressure on the "U" of the clip can be used to widen the clip a small amount, moving it away from the earring and loosening the grip a bit. To make it tighter, narrow the "U" by using a tiny bit of pressure to close the clip a small amount by moving it closer to the front of the earring.  A small correction can make a huge difference in feel, and the earrings these go on can be delicate so be careful!

Information provided by:, an Internet store exclusively devoted to quality non-pierced earrings. Choose from 500+ clip-on earring styles including Pearl, Hoop, Gold, Silver, Child, Crystal, Chandelier, Beaded, Designer and Nickel Free. We also offer Magnetic earrings like CZ studs.

and, a service of, offering adjustment tips, earring recommendations based on face shape, tips to care for your earrings, and child & medical earring solutions.

Article - "Love to Know"

Little Girl's Clip On Earrings

Girl's clip on earrings

Jewelry Designer

Little girl's clip on earrings are a great earring option for a child without pierced ears. When your little girl wants to wear earrings but she is not quite ready for the responsibility of pierced ears, she can practice with clip on earrings. There are many fashionable clip on earrings for little girls of all ages.

Is Your Daughter Ready for Earrings?

Getting your daughter's ears pierced is a big decision. It takes months for pierced ears to heal and the piercing requires a regular cleaning and posts rotating for proper healing. Your daughter must be responsible enough to keep her ears clean, rotate the posts, not remove the earrings and tell you if there is any sign of infection. Due to this big responsibility, many parents wait until a little girl is at least eight years old or older to get her ears pierced. The great news is that your daughter can enjoy the look of pierced earrings with clip on earrings even if she isn't ready for pierced ears.

Benefits of Clip On Earrings

The most obvious benefit of clip on earrings is that piercing is not required. Clip on earrings are available in costume and fashion jewelry for children as young as three-years-old. Children's jewelry features many earring styles in clip on. Many clip on earrings are quite comfortable for children to wear. Little girls with or without pierced ears can find many cute clip on earring designs for casual or dressy occasions.

Little Girl's Clip On Earring Styles

Little girl's clip on earrings come a many adorable styles suitable for many different ages. Clip on earrings that resemble post earrings and dangle earrings come in a variety of designs. Children's clip on earrings come in a variety of materials such as yellow gold, sterling silver, pewter, resin or plastic. Some clip on backings include a cushion for comfort, while others are all metal or plastic.
Be careful if daughter has a nickel allergy because many of the whimsical children's fashion metal clip on earrings may contain nickel. Look for clip on earrings that say nickel-free on the packaging.

Designs include the following:
  • Hearts
  • Animal designs
  • Teddy bears
  • Apples
  • Ballerina
  • Music notes
  • Sport team themes
  • Dolls
  • Dress-up princess earrings
  • Flower designs
  • American Flag
  • Cross
  • Cartoon characters
  • Famous music group or movie designs such as Hannah Montana and High School Musical
There are clip on earrings to fit just about any little girl's interest and personality.

Where to Buy Clip On Earrings

Clip on earrings are not as popular as pierced earrings. However, you can still find clip on earrings for your daughter at a number of local jewelers and the children's jewelry section of department stores in many cities. The costume clip on earrings for dress-up play are even widely available at dollar stores.
The Internet is the best place to find a larger selection of children's clip on earrings. The following online retailers sell clip on earrings for little girls:
  • Cliptomania: The Cliptomania site sells clip on earrings exclusively. They have a number of children's clip on earrings in styles such as pearls, holiday themes, daisies, crosses, angels, hearts and animals.
  • Jewel Basket: The Jewel Basket site has a number of children's clip on earrings.
  • Crazy4Clipons: Crazy4Clipons sells a selection of sterling silver clip on earrings in traditional designs such as dangling pearls and animals designs such as ladybugs.


Gemstone Highlight: Garnet - January's Birthstone

cut garnets from

What is it?

Garnet, the most well-known red gemstone, comes from the Latin word "granum" meaning "grain." This not only refers to the rounded shape of the garnet crystals, but is also suggestive of the small red seeds of the pomegranate.

Garnets have also been called "carbuncles" relating to the color and refers to a boil or blister.  Used since the Bronze Age, garnets are silicate minerals used as gemstones and abrasives.  There are many forms and varieties of garnets, but the six main garnet types are Almandine, Pyrope, Spessartite, Grossular, Andradite and Uvarovite.  It is the harder species, Almandine, that is used for abrasive purposes.  Garnets can be found in other colors including, yellow, orange, red, blue, brown, purple, black, pink and colorless. The rarest is blue, found in Madagascar in the late 1990s. The color changing garnets - pyrope and spessartite - are often mistaken for Alexandrite.

On the Mohs scale, it has a hardness of 6.5 - 7.5, polishes to a vitreous (glass-like) luster, and if fractured it will produce a conchoidal (shell-like) to uneven split.

This jewelry set features Pink Garnet

Where is it found?

Types of garnet deposits vary by location.  The most notable mines are located in the United States, Russia, Brazil, India, China, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Canada and a few others.  The most valuable come from the Ural Mountains of Russia.

Ancient Uses:

Garnets have been prized for over 5,000 years. Ancient use of garnets is extensive and I have only listed a few interesting notations.

A necklace with garnet beads was found in a grave that dates back to 3000 B.C.  That's a long time, thus proving the durability and hardness of these gemstones.

The bracelet features garnet, ruby, and citrine
The King of Saxony was said to have a garnet that was 465 carets! That's a lot of stone considering one round 10mm garnet is the equivilent of 5.75 carets!

Plato had his portrait engraved on a garnet by a Roman engraver. I wonder how long he had to sit still.

Garnets were also used in the late antique Roman world, and the Migration Period art of the barbarian people who took over the territory of the Western Roman Empire. In a cloisonne technique, garnet was inlaid in gold cells, also known called garnet cloisonne.

In old Spain, where pomegranates were popular, so was the garnet. Spanish astrology used the garnet to represent the sun.

Bohemia was a large source for garnets at one time making it a very rich industry for that country. Bohemian castles and some churches have interiors decorated with these precious gemstones.
Chipita Non-pierced Earrings (Spessartin a type of Garnet)

Current uses:

Besides being an object of beauty, garnets have an industrial use as a good abrasive.  It is a common replacement for silica sand in sand blasting as the grains are rounder and better suited for it. Garnets can also cut steel and other materials when used with water jets.

Garnets are also used for gem identification purposes. A pick up response to a strong magnet separates the garnet from all other naturally transparent gemstones. Susceptibility measurements can also distinguish garnet species.

Care of Garnet Jewelry:

Care of your garnet jewelry is quite simple, with only a few do nots.

DO NOT expose garnet jewelry to extreme temperatures to suddenly.
DO NOT expose your garnet to chemicals, which includes cosmetics and perfumes.  As with most gemstones jewelry, it is suggested that jewels be put on last for this reason.

KJK's Pearls & Gems  Clip on Drop Earrings (Left has garnet) 

DO use warm water and a soft brush, keeping the brush gentle on the stone's surface.
DO use a cotton cloth to pat dry.
DO store it in a dry place separate from other jewelery.

Also, at-home ultrasonic units can clean garnet jewelry with proper care and caution.

Folklore & the Mystic:

Garnets are the traditional birthstone for January and the anniversary stone for the 2nd year of marriage.

During midieval times, garnets were believed to cure depression, relieve liver diseases and protect against nightmares. The Bible refers to Noah's use of a glowing garnet to illuminate the ark, as well as garnet being one of the twelve gems in Aaron's breastplate. The Koran holds that the garnet illuminates the Fourth Heaven of the Moslems. Greeks believed it guarded children from drowning as well as being a potent against poisons.  Greek mythology references garnet as a gift of love and associated with eternity.

Some carried a garnet as a protective talisman, as it was said to warn the wearer of danger, and if the garnet loses is luster, it is a sign of a coming disaster.

There are also beliefs of "garnet blood magjc" with ancient connections to feminine life forces, and therefore believed that only women should wear them. offers over 500 pairs of clip-on earrings in a variety of styles and colors including gemstone, crystal, gold, sterling, nickel-free, hoops, faux pearl, hoop and many, many more!  Site includes FAQ page, style guide, guide to clips, and other helpful pages.


The Origins of Birthstones

Various gemstones

What is the story behind the different color birthstone's attributed to each month?  Believed to have certain therapeutic virtues, they first were worn according to the person's affliction rather than their birth month. Many claimed these stones absorbed the earth's energies thus giving them healing and supernatural powers. Religious leaders wore them to summon spiritual guidance, while kings wore them on their breastplates to protect them from harm during battles.  The Egyptians put stones in tombs to buy passage to the afterlife.

A first century historian, Titus Flavius Josephus, proclaimed a connection between the 12 stones on the breastplate of Aaron, a priest and prophet, to the 12 months of the year and their zodiac signs.  Taking from Josephus, St. Jerome said the Foundation Stones were of the New Jerusalem and appropriate for Christians to wear. However, in the eighth and ninth century, religious treaties were specifically written to match a particular stone with an apostle. The practice became to keep twelve stones and wear one a month.  Modern authorities claim that wearing a single birthstone is only a few centuries old.  George Frederick Kunz, an American mineralogist, places the custom in 18th century Poland, while the Gemological Institute of America states it began in Germany in the 1560s.

The National Association of Jewelers met in Kansas in 1912 to create a standard for birthstones.  In 1952, the Jewelry Industry Council of America updated the list; however, the most recent change happened in October 2002  with tanzanite being added as a December birthstone.

Today, a month may have many birthstones, and we wear them to symbolize our birth month, with the hope of their proposed therapeutic properties, or simply because it's our favorite color.  Whatever the reason, they continue to sparkle their way into our lives.


Boutique @

Our Boutique section is made up of Also for Earrings. Below are pictures that offer a taste of what both areas have in this section.

Charm Sets for Hoop Earrings

Comfort Package for Clip Earrings

Cape Cod Polishing Cloths

Gemstone Highlight: Lapiz Lazuli

Polished Lapiz

Lapis lazuli is classified as a rock whose most important mineral component is lazurite (a formula comprised of sulfate, sulfur and chloride.) Along with other constituents, most lapis also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue) and pyrite (metallic yellow). Its intense blue color is due to the presence of the radical anion (a charged, free radical) whose molecularity creates a very intense absorption line. Lapis lazuli usually occurs in crystalline marble as a result of contact metamorphism, a result of the temperature increase caused by the intrusion of magma into cooler country rock.  Simply put, Lapis is a rock consisting mainly of diopside and lazurite and came into being millions of years ago during the metamorphosis of lime to marble.


Lapis is the Latin word for stone and lazuli is of Medievel Latin, taken from Arabic and formerly the Persian word lazaward, which is the name of the stone in Persian and also of the place where lapis lazuli was mined. The English word azur comes from the name and color of lapis lazuli. In many cases a color is associated with the naming of the stone, but not with lapis.  The name of the stone instead came to be associated with its color.

This deep blue stone ( usually abbreviated to just lapis) has a record of being mined in northeastern Afghanistan as early as the 7th millennium BC. However, beads have been found at 4th millennium BC settlements, and a dagger with a lapis handle, a bowl, amulets, beads and inlays have been found in the Royal Tombs of Ur dating back to the 3rd millennium BC.  The eyebrows of King Tutankhamun (shown right) are made of lapis. Another interesting fact is that powdered lapis was used as eyeshadow by Cleopatra.  As lapis began to be exported into Europe, it was ground into powder and made into the finest and most expensive of all blue pigments.  It was used by artists of the Renaissance and Baroque periods often reserved for the clothing of the central figure of the painting, like the Virgin Mary.  Afghanistan is still a major source of lapis, however other notable mines include Lake Baikal in Russia and the Andes Mountains in Chile.  Small mines include those in Italy, Canada, Mongolia and the United States.


On the Moh's scale of hardness, it sits at 5 to 5.5 and when cutting or polishing the stone, it must be handled gently and not given too much pressure.  It normally has a dull finish, but most lapis is sealed with a colorless wax or synthetic resin extending and improving the stone's wearing qualities and retaining its ability to be re-polished.  It is said that many a cutter "turns up his nose" when cutting lapis as it gives off a notable smell when it comes in contact with the cutting device.

Lapis jewelery should always be protected from acidic substances, and never exposed to too much sunlight. Cleaning is simply wiping with a polishing cloth, and a little warm water and very soft brush if necessary.  Because it is not very hard, lapis jewelry should be stored away from other jewelry as to prevent scratching or other damage.

Lapis is regarded as the stone of friendship and truth. Said to encourage relationship harmony, it helps its wearer to be authentic, wise and open.  It is also purported to be a powerful crystal for achieving a higher state of mind and enhancing one's intellectual ability.


Although the traditional birthstone for December is Turquoise, the recommended alternative is Lapis Laluzi. It is also the stone for the 9th Anniversary.

Cliptomania is an internet store Cliptomania®, an Internet store, selling 100s of clip earring styles.  Click on any of the pictured earring's item number (underneath image) to go directly to its page for further information and/or purchase.