Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Gemstone: Ruby

Multi Gemstone Earrings, Bracelet & Ring
Multi Gemstone Earrings, Bracelet & Ring
Note: Only the bracelet and ring feature ruby

The gemstone ruby is a corundum or aluminum oxide whose name comes from the Latin word ruber which means red.  This gemstone is found in over a dozen countries worldwide including in the United States.  Other varieties of gem quality corundum known as sapphires.  All natural rubies have imperfections in them including color impurities and inclusions of rutile needles called silk. Gemologists use rutile needles to distinguish natural rubies from synthetics, stimulants, or ruby substitutes that lack silk.

Natural ruby colors include all shades of red including pink.  They also have primary hues in addition to its natural color these include a vibrant shade of red called pigeons blood as well as other colors such as  orange, yellow, green, violet, or the most popular hue blue.  And rubies can also have a secondary hue or color. The possible colors include: orange, purple, violet, or pink. Determination of a ruby's grade through analysis of their color, cut clarity and weight.  Color is the most important evaluation specifically from hue, saturation and tone.

The most common cuts for rubies are oval and cushions which hold up best.  However rubies can also be cut circular, triangular, emerald cut, pear, marquise cuts all of which do not always hold up as well. Generally the size of a ruby is under a karat to keep cost reasonable any larger and its price will vary greatly.

Rubies are generally heat-treated to cut down on or eradicate impurities inside of the natural fractures in the gemstone. Or a rough ruby is only given a pre-polish and maybe a cleaning with hydrogen fluoride.   If there are fractures in the specimen lead glass fills them in.  Or if the gemstone’s color is lacking a glass powder with copper and another metal oxide like sodium or calcium are given a try to enhance the natural color of the ruby.  Otherwise rubies are left as natural as possible.

Cliptomania.com carries ruby jewelry including rings, bracelets and earrings from designers such as Michelle Pressler, Michal Golan, ThereseMade , and Emilie Shapiro Contemporary Metals.

All gemstones including ruby can safely be cleaned with warn soapy water with or without using a tooth-brush.  After cleaning the gemstone wipe it with a soft cloth.  Avoid contact of any type of gemstone with household cleaning chemicals and protect them from extreme heat to prevent permanent damage to the gemstone.

Always store gemstone jewelry inside a fabric lined box or wrap it in a soft cloth then store it separately from other gemstones.

References: gemselect.com and minerals.net

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hello Spring

Spring is here and cliptomania is celebrating it with a rainbow of colors!

Art Glass Clip on Drop Earrings

These beauties come in Watermelon Pickel (left) and Mardi Gras (right) and symbolize celebration and fun!

Jewel Glass Dangles Clip on Earrings

These clip on earrings make me think of the flowers that bloom in the spring season

Plumeria Blooms Clip On Earrings

See these and other earrings at cliptomania.com in a section called My Favorite Color.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Winter Colors!

One would think the colors of winter would induce chills but actually many of them remind us of a fond holiday, fit a particular fashion trend, or simply just make us feel good inside or improve our mood.

 All the colors of holiday ornaments and the sparkle of the season are in these clip on buttons!

 Crystal Dotted Non-pierced Dome Earrings
Crystal Dotted Non-pierced Dome Earrings

 The richness of purple and navy are just perfect for winter as seen in these Hula Dangle Clip on Earrings!
Hula Dangle Clip On Earrings

The pop of green & gold remind me of tinsel and Christmas trees and the striking black and grey remind me of the night sky.

Saturated Color Q3 Art NP Earrings
Saturated Color Q3 Art Non-pierced Earrings

These Faux Fur and Chain Clip On Drop Earrings sure make me forget the bitter cold! 

Faux Fur and Chain Clip on Drop Earrings

Monday, September 5, 2016

Emilie Shapiro @ Cliptomania.com

Multi Gemstone Earrings, Bracelet & Ring
A Emilie Shapire bracelet featuring garnet, citrine,and ruby

Jewelry artisan Emilie Shapiro grew up close to the Atlantic Ocean where water has been a source of constant inspiration. It isn’t surprising since her family is full of creative entrepreneurs, inventors and free spirits who have encouraged her to explore different medium throughout her artistic life.

As an adult Emilie attended Syracuse University and received a BFA in Art and Design with a concentration in jewelry and metalsmithing. She also studied at Alchimia, a contemporary school of jewelry  with locations in Florence and Italy where she learned from artists like Peter Bauhuis, Yoko Shimizu, and Marzia Rossi. Emilie learned a lot including how to sculpt hard wax pieces so she could cast her work in metal and how to merge rough gemstones in her work to show their natural beauty.

Once her studies were complete Emilie worked as the Production Manager at Pamela Love and then in the same job at Allforthemountain before launching her own jewelry line.  As much as possible she resources all her jewelry production locally, hand making every piece of jewelry in her New York Studio.  Emilie also teaches jewelry workshops at Liloeve Jewelry School, The 92Y, as well as giving private lessons in her studio.  You can view her handcrafted jewelry by clicking on the photo above.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Julie Vos @ Cliptomania.com

Spencer Pearl Drop and Chloe Open Bangle with Delphi

Jewelry designer Julie Vos began her business in 2006 filled with anticipation as she embarked on living out her dream to create jewelry using gemstones and 24k Gold patina as her mediums. (Each jewelry piece is 24K Gold electroplated over nickel free brass.) Vos is also careful about which gemstones she chooses to use in her jewelry because she strives to make each piece as affordable as she can. 

Her hard work paid off! By 2014 Vos has over five hundred boutiques that carry her jewelry.  And she has received praise from editors of Marie Claire, Instyle, Vogue.com and more for melding rich textures and vibrant colors in each piece of jewelry she designs.  Vos has also been featured on the covers of Oprah Magazine and Real Simple.  

 At cliptomania.com, beauty of Vos’ jewelry and affordability of it that drew me to want to add it to the website.  Check out the sets in our new section Jewelry Sets.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Gemstone: Tourmaline

Tourmanline Clip on Hoops
Tourmaline Clip On Hoop Earrings

Tourmaline is one of the most versatile gemstones on the planet. It comes in a wide range of colors, is very durable, tough, and is widely available throughout the world.  Most tourmaline gemstones display two or more colors in a single piece. It can be for example two shades of a single color or two different colors.   Or like watermelon tourmaline have a clear ring in it to separate the two colors comprising it:  the most common being pink and green or black and red. The least valuable and hardest to find is clear tourmaline and the most readily available is black tourmaline. 

Tourmaline exhibits a strong pleochorism meaning its crystals display different colors depending on the angle it is viewed at.  The gemstone is commonly opaque and the inclusions in it vary depending on the type and color of tourmaline it is. It has elongated crystals and because of this it is often cut into rectangular shapes to match. However, tourmaline can be cut into more traditional and fancy shapes. For example, darker tourmaline is cut to the table parallel and along the main axis, and watermelon tourmaline is sliced to exhibit its attractive multiple coloring. 

Most tourmaline is left untreated however yellow, pink or red varieties maybe irradiated to enhance color.  The treatment does not affect the value of the gemstones.  Lastly tourmaline is easy to care for but it does attract dust and will need to be wiped often with a soft cloth.  

All gemstones including tourmaline can safely be cleaned with warn soapy water with or without using a tooth brush.  After cleaning the gemstone wipe it with a soft cloth.  Avoid contact of any type of gemstone with household cleaning chemicals and protect them from extreme heat to prevent permanent damage to the gemstone.  

Always store gemstone jewelry inside a fabric lined box or wrap it in a soft cloth then store it separately from other gemstones. 

 References: gemselect.com , minerals.net, and Wikipedia.org

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Metalsmith an Jewelry Artisan: Lauren Blais

Jewelry Sets

As future metalsmith and jewelry artisan Lauren Blais grew up in Rhode Island, she became hooked on fashion and design. With the goal of becoming a fashion designer in her sights, she took several courses at the Rhode Island School of Design to achieve it.  However, when Balis took a Beginning Jewelry course her plans slowly changed and by the time she worked with Providence artist Boris Bally; jewelry became her career goal. 

After RISD, she enrolled at the Massachusetts College of Art to study small metals and how to be a metalsmith. After graduating in 2008, Blais opened her own studio. The jewelry she makes is influenced by Victorian Mourning jewelry worn by Queen Victoria of England upon the death of her beloved husband Albert.  She wore black dresses and jewelry to match often made from jet or another dark material like tortoise shell.  This spurred others in the country and across Europe to want their own mourning jewelry to celebrate loved ones they lost too.  

 The mourning jewelry of the time was intricate in detail and held great beauty some pieces were made from the same elements as Queen Victoria’s and others were created from human hair, featured photos of a loved one, or a carved cameo likeness set in gold or silver. Blais wants her jewelry to have the same feel and to tell a story. Only she wants the story to continue beyond creation but keep going as the jewelry passes from one customer to another family member and then to another and so forth each generation.

The materials Blais uses are leather, fur, silver, raw gemstones, and gold – often pairing two or more of these elements together into a piece or pieces of jewelry.  She also makes each component of the jewelry as much as possible by hand whether it is the links that create a necklace chain or the clasp of a bracelet. Blais strives overall to ensure her jewelry blends the old and new together to create unique pieces of jewelry.  

Last year I found Lauren Blais jewelry in a happy accident surfing the Internet and I knew I had to add her pieces to the cliptomania.com website.  You can see them by clicking on Gemstones and choosing the sub category Jewelry Sets.