Author: Clarence

A Cut Above The Rest: Wood Jewelry

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The hiatus is over! It’s been a long time, but now we’re back. Let’s talk about wooden jewelry, boxes, and watches.

Inspired by nature, wood jewelry captures the essence of our forests in delicate, intricate designs.

In recent times, the use of wood has changed from decoration to modern day fashion statement pieces. Likewise, these particular jewelry and watch pieces are made from sustainable, eco-friendly materials such as maple and walnut which are less expensive than many precious metals.

However, blending metals with wood jewelry and watch pieces have high quality aesthetics that make them desirable for this new, yet natural style.

Do You Know Your Roots?

Wood jewelry is one of the oldest, most popular, and most universal forms of adornment and a great way to express one’s individuality and taste. 

People have been wearing wood jewelry for centuries. Different cultures and time periods have produced different styles of wood jewelry. 

Ancient Egyptians wore wooden beads and jewelry made from the acacia tree. They believed that wooden beads could be used to cure diseases. The African Zulu people believe that wood is a symbol of purity because it is from the earth.

Wooden rings are also an ancient form of jewelry. This type of jewelry can be traced back as far as the 16th century, when people started to make wooden rings by carving wood.

Wood jewelry was seen as a status symbol and was only worn by the rich, mainly because it was rare at the time. because it was rare at the time and very expensive to acquire due to deforestation.

In Japan, it was a popular fashion to wear wooden rings before World War II.

Today, wood jewelry is still popular in some areas but not as glamorous as it once was.

However due to advances in jewelry making tools and technology and the introduction of blended materials like metals, stones, semi-precious stones, wood jewelry is making a strong comeback.

 

   

 

Types of Wood Used in Jewelry Production

 

Wood jewelry is a new trend in the fashion world today and is becoming a popular material for jewelry production, because it is sustainable, biodegradable and hypoallergenic. 

Wood jewelry is also made from different types of wood and used in different ways to make necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and other pieces.

There are basically two types of wood. Softwoods and Hardwoods. Softwoods come from coniferous trees with needles or leaves that remain on the tree all year long. Hardwoods are from deciduous trees that have broad leaves that fall off every season.

When it comes to choosing the type of wood for a piece of jewelry, there are many different considerations. The wood type used is usually chosen for its unique look, durability, and attractiveness.

There are many types of wood materials from which you can choose from, but the most popular ones include Bocote, Cherry, Ebony, Walnut, Mahogany and Rosewood.

  • Bocote – an exotic wood that comes from Mexico and Central America, it is often used in making jewelry because it doesn’t have any knots and its color variations are beautiful.
  • Cherry – one of the most popular woods for jewelry, cherry is strong and durable which means that it will last for years to come.             
  • Ebony – a rare type of wood, is one of the most popular materials for making jewelry. The color of ebony is dark and it has a beautiful luster. That’s why it is often used for things such as rings, necklaces, and bracelets.
  • Walnut – a hardwood with delicate grain patterns and creamy light brown colors.
  • Mahogany –  one of the most expensive woods due to its dark, gleaming appearance and durability                                                         
  • Rosewood – an expensive, luxurious wood that is a popular material for making jewelry. It’s hard to find because the trees grow in Southeast Asia. The color of the wood ranges from light pink to deep red, and it can be either straight or curly grain patterned.Different species of wood will have different characteristics when used in jewelry so it’s important to make sure you pick the right one before making your purchase.
  • Balsa –  a popular natural, sustainable material for jewelry. Balsa wood is lightweight and doesn’t react with the skin, no matter how long someone wears it. It’s also a good choice for people with metal allergies.
  • Bamboo – a beautiful material with properties that make it ideal for jewelry.  Its unique color, texture, and strength create a product that stands out from the competition. 

Tools and Equipment Used for Wood Jewelry Making

Woodworking tools are the primary tools used in woodworking. There are many different types of woodworking tools, and they are used for different processes in the making of a piece of jewelry.

Tools come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the task to be done; some examples include planes, chisels, saws, clamps, screwdrivers and more.

The following is a list of  the tools that are needed or useful for making a piece of jewelry out of wood:

  • Workbench with Mitre-square Clamp – a necessity for any woodworker. It provides a stable surface and ensures that the wood stays flat while you are cutting it.
  • Band Saw – used for cutting curved, straight, and other shapes that cannot be done with a table saw.
  • Bowl Gouge – typically used to carve concave surfaces, such as the inside of a bowl.
  • Bridge Saw – a blade that extends past the edge of the table to allow for cutting overhangs without having to move the workpiece.
  • Carving Chisels – a must-have, but not just any set will do. There are many different types of chisels, each for a different purpose, and they come in various sizes as well.
  • Chamfer Gauge – Used for a straight edge. One can cut an angle on both sides of the workpiece for tongues and grooves, biscuit joints, and tenons.
  • Mitre Gauge – Can measure angles up to 45 degrees in either direction and be clamped down to make accurate cuts.
  • Dremel Tool – an electrically-powered rotary tool that allows you to cut and grind materials such as plastic, metal, wood, glass, tile, stone and drywall more precisely than using hand tools like saws or chisels would allow you to do so.

                           

Current Trends In The Industry

3D laser printers and laser engravers were originally developed in the 1980s as a way to create prototypes. However, these printers have evolved into a new tool for artists and designers.

These machines can print any material including wood, metal, plastic and more. This technique is unique because it allows creators to use more organic materials in their designs.

Online Personalized and Customized Wood Jewelry 

Get inspired by the tree’s roots with original handcrafted wood jewelry designs.

Customized wood jewelry is one of the hottest trends in the industry right now with millennials purchasing them at an unprecedented rate.

Now, there are many companies that can personalize wood jewelry with your names, initials and insignias. 

Caring for Your Wooden Jewelry Pieces (Part 1)

There are a few things you need to know when caring for your wooden jewelry pieces to keep them looking new for longer!

  1. Never use any type of harsh chemicals or cleaners on wood or metal (especially if it has been dark-stained) because they could damage the surface of the material.
  2. Wood can get scratched so be sure to keep it away from other rigid objects that could  cause friction.
  3. Always keep separate from other jewelry.

Caring for Your Wooden Jewelry Pieces (Part 2) – Caution!

Another good treatment or restoration technique for wooden jewelry pieces is to use a piece of sandpaper to remove any rough edges and restore the natural luster.

You can also apply a coat of conditioning oil or polish with a soft cloth. However, I strongly suggest not attempting this if you are not experienced in performing the above tasks!

Nature’s Symbol of A Bright Future

The future seems bright for wood jewelry as it continues to grow in popularity across the world for both men and women because there are many options in styles, colors, designs.

Wood jewelry is eco-friendly material and is much cheaper than gold or silver. 

Wood can easily be recycled or even composted which means that the products do not have a negative impact on the environment like some types of plastic items do. 

Wood Jewelry is amazing!  The type of wood lends a distinct character to the jewelry that you create. The natural colors and grains of wood make each piece unique.

No two pieces will ever be the same. 

As a customer or designer, you will find that this allows for endless design possibilities and combinations as well as creative freedom in your own personal style.

The Epitome of Gaudy: Gothic Jewelry

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Visigothic Belt Buckle

Gothic JewelryThen-Gothic-Jewelry has and continues to be the epitome of gaudy.  Not only in an ornate, physical sense but it’s historical, cultural and spiritual context as well.

Thus, I truly believe it is extremely important for anyone who does or desires to make, market or purchase unique men’s Gothic jewelry to know its historical origins, cultural and social significance, spiritual connotations.

Because knowledge is power! And it is this same knowledge that TJDV  wishes to share with all!

The Epitome of Gaudy

Gothic Jewelry produced before the Victorian Era or Gothic Revival to its historical medieval Romanesque origin or more specifically, a period roughly highlighted by the end of the Crusades, European Age of Enlightenment, and First Industrial Revolution (~1270 to 1840 A.D.).

Gothic Jewelry produced during the Victorian Era often called the Classic Gothic Revival, focused on romanticism, a new spiritualism, and reverent macabre (~1840 to 1910 A.D.).

In reference to the word Now, I mean that Gothic Jewelry produced post-Victorian Era to present, or more specifically a period highlighted by fantasy and macabre like themes and imagery present in New Gothic Art and Medieval Gothic sub-genres and sub-cultures of today (~1910 A.D. to present).

The Birth of Gothic Jewelry

“Gothic” is a morbid term associated with the antiques Goths and Visigoths of medieval Northern Europe. Indicative of a Celtic motif shrouded in death, fantasy, transmutation, alchemy, terror and the macabre, Gothic jewelry enters the scene roughly 30 years after the Crusades.

By the early fourteenth century, trade between western civilization and eastern cultures once again thrive in the same magnanimous fashion as before the Crusades and the availability precious stones from the East, among other things, is in great supply. Along with new and innovative techniques in gem cutting, goldsmithing becomes a truly defined craft and skilled trade.

Therefore, the Romanesque jewelry of the 12th Century fell to the emerging Gothic jewelry in the late 13th Century. However, it is important to note that the real and inherent change from ‘Romanesque and Gothic’ style occurs in architecture, well before jewelry, as seen by the Gothic use of pointed, ribbed building arches as opposed to the Romanesque rounded ones.

In fact, Gothic jewelry does not make a real break from Romanesque jewelry well into the 15th century.  During this time, Gothic jewelry is primarily worn by the aristocracy and seen as a high rank in social hierarchy and laws were even passed to prevent the use of gemstones in certain jewelry sets.  Cameos were also highly prized and consisted of naturalistic forms of animals, ladies, and lovers.

In terms of men’s fashion, the classic garments and regalia of the 13th century Europe with their high collared necklines and long sleeves gave rise to both fanciful and gaudy belts, brooches, ring brooches, and rings.  More often than not, the brooches and ring brooches were engraved with love and religious epithets.  Belts were mostly leather with highly decorative gold plaques, buckles and belt ends with heraldic and agricultural motifs.  Rings and ring brooches were normally worn on all fingers, sometimes with more than one on a finger.

“By the 1450s the high necked dress made room for a new fashionable dress with a low neck.  This triggered the return of the pendant.  Other jewelry that was worn around the neck was the typical collars worn by the nobles.  Originally made of a fine fabric like silk or velvet and decorated with gold plaques the collar gradually was made out of gold only.  Golden discs or plaques would be attached to form a chain.  Collars were decorated with symbolic designs and often indicated membership to a knight’s order or specific function.  In Europe, the mayor of a town still wears a collar on official occasions (1)“.

Gothic-Jewelry-for-Men

 

During the “Age of Enlightenment” or “Age of Reason”, Gothic jewelry starts to again resend into the barbarisms ideals, such as feudalism, alchemy, superstition, mystery, and the supernatural. However still, most jewelry is an embodiment of social hierarchy, nobles, and the court.

 

A Romantic Rebirth and Macabre Sentimentalism

The turn of the 19th century marked a profound change in Gothic jewelry style in terms of its social, spiritual and cultural premise. Coined the Victorian Era’s “Gothic Revival”, jewelry becomes a representation of growing spiritualism and romantic fervor, bringing with it the sentiments of the macabre, dark middle ages and Renaissance spirit.Gothic-Jewelry-for-Men

In terms of jewelry, the Victorian Era can be broken down into three epochs: the Romantic Period (1837-1860), the Grand Period (1861-1880) and the Aesthetic Period (1880-1901).

Nevertheless, it is my intention in this section of the article to focus on the Grand Period.  It is at this particular time, I believe really illustrates the ever-alluring macabre, middle-aged and sinister sentiments that influence the Gothic Jewelry we recognize and wear today.

A new spiritualism emerges.  The devotion to and preoccupation memorializing the deceased, especially of loved ones, as seen in daguerreotype photography.

The Grand Period begins after the death of Prince Albert in 1861, where Queen Victoria begins to contract and adorn “mourning jewelry”.  Ideally, this jewelry was and is literally made of up of the physical mementos of loved ones lost and is meant to commemorate their lives by adornment.  These physical mementos include organs and bone (both human and animal), hair, skin, and even real blood.

Gothic Jewelry Now


What we think about Gothic jewelry today or New Gothic Art encompasses those old age sentiments of dark middle ages: macabre, death, mystery, terror, alchemy, and fantasy with the Victorian Era’s romanticism.

This combination of sentiments, termed “dark romanticism”, made popular in the 1980s, symbolizes the Gothic jewelry worn in current Gothic sub-genres like heavy metal, steampunk, post-punk, grunge, biker and occult jewelry.

Why Choose Gothic Jewelry?

In all, Gothic jewelry today is a representation of Gothic society and culture of the 18th and 19th century or “Dark Romanticism”, invokes the romantic sense of alchemy, fantasy, terror, and macabre.  Its allure and mystery has not only endured centuries and spanned continents, but remained a significant influence in jewelry design and fashion to this very day!

So! For those interested in Gothic Jewelry, do not be swayed by the gothic stereotypes that you have to participate or join a particular gothic occult or adhere to a gothic physiognomy, a theory where one’s dark appearance denotes their personal character.  But, just simply be avid jewelry enthusiasts like us at TJDV, who just like the ‘Gothic Look’!

 

Gothic_Plus_Jewelry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Unique Culturally Symbolic Motif: Celtic Jewelry

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Welcome Jewelry Aficionados to The Jewelry Design Venue! TJDV returns with a feature article spotlighting Celtic Jewelry!

With a unique, yet ambiguous past shrouded by the magic, mystery, myth and legend of the ancient, European Celts of the Iron Age and their leaders, the Druids, the true origin of Celtic Jewelry is difficult to determine.

Celtic Jewelry is highly decorative and aesthetically adorned with ancient Celtic symbols that incorporate cross, knot and spiral design motifs with subsequent pagan and/or christian meanings that reflect Celtic culture and traditional values as seen in Celtic Jewelry over 2,000+ years ago and even today!

In fact, many people believe that Celtic Jewelry gives them a “Feeling of Kinship”. So, let me enthusiastically assure you! By the articles end, I truly believe all prospective readers will have acquired a real appreciation, as I do, for Celtic Jewelry!

 

Celtic Jewelry and The Iron Age

Unlike Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek and Roman Jewelry, Celtic Jewelry has its ancient, Iron Age origins far north of Asia Minor, the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps, centralized around the Danube River in the geographical areas now known as Central and Western Europe.

Nevertheless, due to the lack of written historical record on the part of the areas indigenous people, the true origin of Celtic Jewelry on the historical timeline is still quite controversial. For instance, many archaeologists and scholars believe Celtic Jewelry has its origins in the Late Bronze Age, citing the type of jewelry worn by ancient, pre-Celtic Europeans found in unearthed grave sites dating back to that particular time period as evidence. While on the other hand, the majority agree Celtic Jewelry has its origins in the Iron Age.

Then, it is theorized the Celts, Celtic society and culture emerge. Plus, newly acquired materials, in addition to copper, bronze and iron, like gold, gold wire, silver and steel, advanced casting methods like lost-wax technique, advancements in gold smiting and metallurgy, and metal forgery take the forefront in Celtic Jewelry design in Iron Age Europe. Very impressive for the time!

The jewelry found at these ancient burial sites were very ornate and exquisite. One example, The Torq, a neck ring worn by both men and women in ancient celtic society, was an important cultural symbol in Iron Age Europe. Other jewelry found were gold arm bands, called fibulae, and classy metal rings.

Ancient Celtic Grave Site found in Varna

 

The Celts and The Iron Age

Ancient Celts in The Iron Age lived in tribes, clans and/or tribal confederations. Culturally, they shared similar customs, cultural symbols, languages, and religious beliefs, solely passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition and teachings. An ancient Celtic past completely devoid of written historical record!

In fact, the earliest surviving written historical accounts of the ancient Celts first appear circa the 3rd century BC by non-druids, like the Roman Empire, whom refers to the Celts as “Galli” or barbarians. In addition to being fierce and skilled warriors, ancient Celts were also devout pagans who championed life after death, eternity and the cycle of life.

They also practiced polytheism and animism openly and freely. In fact, most of their gods represent animals and nature with each having their own particular Celtic symbol and subsequent meaning.

 

Common Celtic Symbols found in Celtic Jewelry

The Celtic Cross is the most widely recognized celtic designs. Most probably equate celtic_crossthe origins of the celtic cross to early christianity and St. Patrick with the center of the cross representing the divination of Jesus Christ. However, this idea is a complete misnomer. The celtic cross actually predates christianity and has pagan origins with the center of the cross representing the sun god and the arms signifying the four seasons. The adaptation of the celtic cross by early christians made it easier to bring the ancient Celts and Druids into the christianity fold.

As a Neolithic Era symbol, the Triquetra, Triskele, Triskelion, Triple Spiral or Trinity Knot is one of the oldest known pagan celtic symbols. Literally meaning “three legs” or “three-legged”, the ancient triskele symbol has many different interpretations depending on its historical significance. In pre-Celtic society, the three spiral arms represent constant motion, energy, the cycle of life, or revolution. To Christians, the three legs represent the holy trinity, i.e. “The Father, Son and The Holy Spirit.”triquetra

 

 

 

The Claddagh Ring, typically an Irish symbol represents love (heart), friendship (hands), and loyalty (crown).

Claddagh Ring

Actually, The Tree of Life is another name given to the acacia tree and goes as far back as the Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Annalise Batista from Pixabay“>Celtic_Tree_of_LifeAssyrian cultures. It is the tree from which humanity stems. To Christians, the tree is the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

 

St. Brigid’s Cross is a design made of woven rushes and is meant to keep its bearer free from evil, fire, and famine.St_Brigid's_ Cross

The Shamrock, the national emblem of Ireland, in Gaelic means ” little clover“. The four leaves are thought to represent life, love, faith, and luck. To St, Patrick, the shamrock represents the Holy Trinity under God.shamrock

 

 

 

Definition of Terms

Celtic or “Of the Celts” refers to the descendants of the ancient, pre-Celtic Europeans, known as Celts, that inhabited Central and Western Europe between 1,200 BC and 500 AD. Or pertains to the Celtic languages and cultures of 8 Celtic Regions of Europe, namely Asturias, Brittany, Cornwall, Galicia, Ireland, Isle Of Man, Scotland and Wales.

  • Celts or name “Celt” is originally derived from the ancient Greek name Keltoi, meaning “those people north of the Alps”.
  • The Druids, celtic meaning “knowing or finding the oak tree, are thought to be the higher-educated, spiritual leaders, philosophers, teachers, poets, and doctors of ancient Celtic society. Most druids were either killed or converted to christianity following the Roman occupation Europe and the arrival of Saint Patrick around 432 AD.
  • The Iron Age is the last epoch of prehistory following the Stone Age and Bronze Age. In Central and Western Europe, the Iron Age begins about 800 BC and ends in 100 AD after the ensuing invasion and occupation of most all of Europe by the Roman Empire in the 1st Century after the Death of Christ, respectively. The Celts emerge as a true culture with similar religion and languages.
  • The Bronze Age is the second epoch of prehistory following the Stone Age. In Europe, Celtic Jewelry begins to culminate in the Late Bronze Age from 1,200 BC To 800 BC.

 

Celtic Jewelry Today

As we have seen, Celtic Jewelry is as awe inspiring today as it was thousands of years ago. The unique cultural symbolic motifs that encompass Celtic Jewelry have truly stood the test of time. That is probably why it still remains a forerunner in jewelry fashion and jewelry design and always will! St Patrick’s Day is coming soon. So feel free to acquire a piece of Celtic Jewelry for a ‘Little Luck of Your Own!’

 

Jewelry’s Top 3 Must Do List

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Hello Fellow Jewelry Aficionados!  In this particular article, we will identify Jewelry’s Top 3 Must Do List. This List’s focus is to inform you of the numerous ways to keep your personal jewelry properly maintained and looking good for the many years to come.

First on the List, we will start with tips on ways, where and typical cost to clean your personal jewelry.

Second on the List, we will highlight where and cost to repair your personal jewelry. Third on the List, we will briefly discuss the proper way to store your jewelry.

 

Ways to Clean Your Personal Jewelry

First and foremost, let me tell you that there is a wild array of cleaning techniques that can be performed right in your own household. Likewise, the particular home jewelry cleaning techniques that I will describe do actually work (some better than others), because I have personally applied them to mine own jewelry.

TOOTHPASTE

Let’s consider the age-old toothpaste myth: Can you clean jewelry with just simple toothpaste and a toothbrush? The answer is mostly ‘yes’, but partly ‘no’ as well. You see, standard toothpaste is a highly abrasive substance that contains hydrogen fluoride or HF.

HF has both the highest ionization energy and electron affinity of all the halogens in the periodic table, making it an excellent cleaner for heavier silver jewelry and most hard gemstones, but destructive to gold and pearls.

KETCHUP

Let’s consider ketchup as a cleaner: Submerge your jewelry for about 10 minutes in ketchup, scrub with a toothbrush delicately, rinse with warm water and then dry. Provides an excellent cleaning method for your silver and gold jewelry. However do not leave your jewelry too long. The weak acid in the tomatoes and vinegar will destroy it.

BEER

Let’s consider beer as a cleaner: Pour an ale, lager, IPA or stout beer (nothing dark) on a cloth and gently rub it on your jewelry with a final rinse.

Provides an excellent and quick cleaning method for gold jewelry, excluding gemstones.

DETERGENT

Let’s consider dish detergent as a cleaner: Squeeze a few drops of dish detergent into a bowl of hot water and submerge your jewelry for a few minutes, scrub with a clean toothbrush and rinse with cold water. Provides an exemplary and quick cleaning method for all jewelry.

AMMONIA + DETERGENT

Let’s consider ammonia and dish detergent as a cleaner: Squeeze a few drops of dish detergent and a cap full of ammonia into a bowl of hot water, let sit for a few minutes. Then scrub with a clean toothbrush for hard gemstones and soft q-tip for softer ones and rinse. Cool method, but a bit much for jewelry cleaning purposes.

 

ALKA-SELTZER

Let’s consider alka-seltzer as a cleaner: Put a tablet of alka-seltzer in a cup of water then submerge your jewelry until tablet dissolves or a little longer. Provides a truly effective method for all your gemstones.

VODKA

Let’s consider vodka as a cleaner: Pour an ounce of vodka into a cup with your jewelry and swish it around for a minute then apply a quick water rinse ( I personally suggest a triple rinse).

Provides an adequate method for jewelry cleaning, less the fact that you wasted good drinking alcohol on it!!!

JEWELRY CLEANERS

Now, lets consider traditional store or on-line purchased jewelry cleaners as a cleaner: These units are typically 8 to 12 oz plastic receptacles with factory made solutions with advanced polymers and etchants that require you to submerge your jewelry for a set time, applying a soft brush to clean them, then rinse.

Some are specific to all metals, gold or silver jewelry. And the average cost of these units range from $5 to $25.

Nevertheless, I will advise that if you forget for any reason to take your personal jewelry out of the solution after a given time as suggested by the jewelry cleaner’s manufacturer, you risk severe damage to your personal jewelry!

These solutions with etch the metal that may cause deterioration of your jewelry’s shape, loosening prongs, weakening gemstone settings, or complete destruction of the gemstone itself.

ULTRASONIC JEWELRY CLEANERS

Finally, lets consider using ultrasonic jewelry cleaners as a cleaner: These are units with motors that produce ultrasonic vibrations through a cleaning solution to remove dirt and other contaminants from jewelry.

The cost of these particular units range from $40 to $200, excluding the cost of the cleaning solutions themselves.  The cleaning solutions are usually sold as packages with the individual units separately, and typically range from $5 to $50.  The large industrial ultrasonic cleaners can be as much as $5,000. 

On the whole, ultrasonic jewelry cleaners are great, provided that you have a vast or significant amount personal jewelry.  Some will even clean coins, glasses and other items.  If not, I would highly consider using any of the home jewelry cleaning techniques described above.

LOCAL JEWELER

The last option would be to have your local jeweler clean your personal jewelry. Many choose this option. Typical jeweler cleaning costs range from $25 to $50, which include the cost of equipment use, time and materials.

JEWELERS OF AMERICA

If you do not necessarily have a jeweler and wish to find a reputable jeweler in your local area, I highly recommend use the Jewelers of America website as a reputable resource to locate one.

Within this site you will find the link entitled, Find a JA Jeweler, in which I have already provided for you. With over 8,000 jewelers across the country, Jewelers of America is a non-profit organization founded in 1906 by jewelers for jewelers with the mission of advancing the professionalism and ethics of the jewelry industry.

 

How to Repair Your Personal Jewelry

All people who possess fine jewelry know that it is susceptible to wear and tear over a period. These wear and tear can or may include metal deterioration, lack of luster, loosened or broken prongs, channels, and links, etc.

Thus, your personal jewelry will need to be serviced or repaired on a regular basis and you will need the expertise of a trusted and reputable jeweler to provide you with this service. As previously mentioned, if you do not have a personal jeweler, I would highly recommend the link entitled Find a Jeweler, located on the Jewelers of America website

 

How to Properly Store Your Personal Jewelry

Having fine jewelry means that your personal jewelry needs to be somewhat organized. This means not having your personal jewelry jumbled all together in a box or bag, etc., where damage is most likely to occur.

Hang or place your personal jewelry in fine fabric lined cases in an organized fashion as to not only protect them from damage, but be able to locate them also. And finally, store your jewelry in a clean and dry place.

 

Author’s Note

I truly hope Jewelry’s Top 3 Must Do List has helped and provided you with some answers on personal jewelry care.  Feel free to contact us anytime with any comments, concerns or questions regarding this particular article or personal jewelry care in general.

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Another Comic Book Craze: Comic Book Jewelry

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Superhero_Jewelry

Hello Fellow Jewelry Aficionados!  The Venue is back,  unveiling yet another extremely hot jewelry craze available: Comic Book Jewelry.  And hot, is actually an understatement and doesn’t completely give comic book jewelry the credit it actually deserves.  So let’s go with an exemplary euphemism here, like Crazy Hot! Let’s just take a look at the current DC and Marvel superhero universe movie production timeline.

This unique timeline emphatically introduces, promotes and incorporates each comic book superhero’s and super-villain’s legacy, while also acquainting each hero or villain with their particular superhero or super-villain alliances as per the current comic book model.  In addition, both DC and Marvel also have united in superhero universe movie productions as per the comic book model, and it looks something like this:

Personally, I love these new, high graphic, digital superhero universe movies, because as a child of the 1970’s the only time I was able to see my favorite superheros, namely Spiderman, Batman and The Hulk, was once a week. Spiderman appeared on Electric Company on Saturday mornings. Batman, starring Adam West, and The Hulk, starring Bill Bixby as David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as The Hulk televised afternoon and evening prime time, respectively.

Nevertheless, as you can see, this fantastic level of superhero universe movie production can only accumulate into one thing: a fantastic level of superhero universe movie products like comic book jewelry.  From DC’s Wonder Woman to Marvel’s Iron Man, there is an overwhelming volume of comic book jewelry to fit every man who finds interest.

 

Author’s Note

In this particular article, although there are a substantial amount and variety comic books, I will mainly concentrate on superhero and supervillain comic book characters. For they are the most popular comic book characters associated with comic book jewelry, besides that of the nostalgic and iconic “Betty Boop” of course.  Nevertheless, I will not include every superhero or supervillain for the list is very extensive, but those that are most recognized and popular today.

I will also say the traditional, typical American comic book is an attenuated periodical consisting of 32- printed pages. Thusly, the first American comic book, The Yellow Kid was created by Richard F. Outcault and first appeared in The New York World on February 17,1895, which sparked a publishing newspaper wave called “yellow journalism”.

YellowKid.jpeg

In addition, comic book historians classify and categorize comic books by their relevant time periods as follows: Victorian Age (1842–1897), Platinum Age (1897–1938), Golden Age (1938–1945), Atom Age (1945–1956), Silver Age (1956–1971), Bronze Age (1971–1986), and Modern Age (1987 to present).

 

Introducing The Superhero

According to Spiderman co-creator Stan Lee, “A superhero is a person who does heroic deeds and has the ability to do them in a way that a normal person couldn’t. So in order to be a superhero, you need a power that is more exceptional than any power a normal human being could possess, and you need to use that power to accomplish good deeds.” https://blog.oup.com/2013/11/stan-lee-on-what-is-a-superhero

The rise of the superhero literally catapults the Golden Age (1938-1945) of comic books with the introduction of co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster‘s Superman, who appears in DC Action Comics #1 in June/1938. However, contrary to popular belief, Superman is historically not the first superhero on the scene.  The first superhero on the scene is The Phantom created by Lee Falk on February 17, 1936.

 

The Golden Age (1938-1945) superhero timeline is as follows:

The Silver Age (1956-1970) superhero timeline is as follows:

 

The Bronze Age (1970-1985) superhero timeline is as follows:

The Modern Age (1985-Present) superhero timeline is as follows:

 

Introducing The Supervillain

According to Wikipedia, “A super villain is a variant of the villainous stock character archetype commonly found in American comic books and sometimes possesses superhuman abilities. A super villain is the antithesis of a superhero. Super villains are often used as foils and could present a daunting challenge to the superhero.

In instances where the super villain does not have superhuman, mystical, or alien powers, the super villain may possess a genius intellect or a skill set that allows them to draft complex schemes or commit crimes in a way normal humans cannot.

Other traits may include a megalomaniac streak and possession of considerable resources to help further their aims. Many super villains share some typical characteristics of real world dictators, gangsters, and terrorists, with aspirations of world domination or universal leadership.”

 

The Golden Age (1938-1945) supervillain timeline is as follows:

 

The Atom Age (1945-1956) super-villian timeline is as follows:

 

The Silver Age (1956-1970) supervillain timeline is as follows:

 

The Bronze Age (1970-1985) supervillain timeline is as follows:

 

The Modern Age (1985-Present) super-villain timeline is as follows:

Can Comic Book Superhero and Super-villain Jewelry Be Considered Keepsakes and Hold Actual Value?

Of course! According to 2-clicks-comics, “People who are into collecting comic books are called “pannapictagraphists”. These people buy rare comic books for various reasons that include personal interest in popular comic book characters, completion of comic book collection, and most especially for financial gain.” So it can be safe to assume that people buy Comic Book Jewelry for these same reasons.

Despite seeming overall diminishing interest in superhero comic books and superhero comic book jewelry as a whole, the digital age has afforded to keep such things of value and interests.  The internet has virtually kept those old comic book superheroes and supervillains alive and viral!  So there, in essence, is no limit to the authenticity and value of Comic Book Jewelry for hopefully years and years to come. Just look and see!

 

Where To Find Comic Book Jewelry Online

There is a long line of Comic Book Jewelry to be found online.  But here are the sites TMJDV found to be more diverse and cost effective in regards to Superhero and Supervillain Jewelry:

WA_Super_Affiliate_ Banner

 

Creative and Innovative Wrist Watches

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the-vacheron-constantin-reference-5726

Hello Fellow Horologists!  The Venue is back again with a feature article that takes a candid, new look at Creative and Innovative Wrist Watches for Men! In fact, when I say ‘Creative and Innovative’, I also mean ‘Abnormal, Abstract, Bizarre, Complex, Outrageous, Eccentric, Exquisite, Extraordinary, Surreal, Unique, Unusual, Way-Out, Wacky, and Weird’And aesthetically speaking, these particular wrist watches are just that! 

So one might ask, what deeming qualities or characteristics make a wrist watch creative and innovative? Its overall appearance?  Obviously.  Or the number of complications and/or features it has?  To a certain degree.

Also, do creative and innovative wrist watches for men include automatic, aviator, chronograph, digital, diver, dress, hybrid, quartz, LED, luxury, mechanical, military, smartwatch, and sports watches as well?  The answer to all three is a resounding YES! 

Nevertheless, because “knowledge is key!”, let us begin with a brief historical synopsis of wrist watches and describe the different types of wrist watches available for men.

 

A Brief History of Wrist Watches

Pomander_Watch_1505

Historically, the first wrist watch made for men is not easy to determine.  Although there were several watchmakers creating time pieces during the 15th Century, the credit for the invention of the wrist watch goes to Peter Heinlein in 1505 with the Pomander Watch in 1505.

Wrist watches made up until the 18th Century were traditionally worn by women and nobility.  As a matter of fact, wrist watches for men, as opposed to the then impractical pocket watches, do not come into play until The Second Boer War (1899-1902) and The First World War (1914-1918) with the overwhelming need for the military to accurately coordinate troops and synchronize battle maneuvers.   

In the post-war era, the utilitarian use of wrist watches with extended features and/or complications for men sparks a vast market.  By the mid 20th Century, wrist watches for men become fashionable and more and more men begin to adorn them as part of their everyday regalia.

 

The Types of Wrist Watches

  • Automatic – An automatic watch, also considered a mechanical watch, is self-winding and uses natural movement to power the watch.

  • Aviator– An aviator or pilot watch is usually over sized with large, easily read dials, a triangle at the 12 o’clock position and ratcheted “onion” crown.

  • Chronograph – Traditionally, a chronograph watch is also a stopwatch with an analog or digital display and an independent sweeping second hand that can be stopped or started on the stem.

  • Digital – A watch that displays electronic numbers for time, rather than hands on a dial (analog).

  • Diver – A diver watch or dive watch is one that is able to resist water pressure at least 100 meters in depth.

  • Dress – A dress watch is a particular timepiece (digital or analog) made to be worn with formal and business attire, typically with long sleeve shirts.

  • Hybrid – A hybrid watch or hybrid smartwatch looks like any traditional or ordinary timepiece, but is able to send you notifications or incorporate other apps like music, fitness trackers, etc.

  • Quartz – A quartz watch is more accurate than an automatic or mechanical watch.  It utilizes a battery to send electricity through a quartz crystal by way of an electric circuit at which point causes the quartz crystal to vibrate at a precise frequency of 32768 times/s.

  • LED – A LED watch is basically a digital watch that uses light emitting pulse nodes to generate light on the display.

  • Luxury – A luxury watch is a very high quality manufactured watch made with fine materials, and sold at an extremely high price.  These watches typically are made by long time reputable watchmakers.

Mechanical – A mechanical watch must be wound up manually and utilizes a mainspring to drive the hands on the mechanism to measure time.

  • Military – A military watch is one that is issued by the military to soldiers for strategic purposes and has no identifying marks such as logos and manufacturing labels.

  • Smartwatch – A smartwatch uses a touch screen to get notifications, receive and send messages, and utilize apps.

  • Sport – A sport watch is rugged with resistances to water damage, scratches, and shock due to physical contact.

 

What Makes A Watch Creative and Innovative?

Without a shadow of a doubt, the first characteristic that makes a wrist watch creative and innovative is its overall design and visual appearance.  Manufactured using the best materials available, these particular watches are unorthodox and unusual, yet sleek and high tech.  They tend to bold and loud with elaborate designs, interesting themes, fantastic colors, and rather odd shapes.

Other characteristics that make a wrist watch creative and innovative are the number of complications and/or features the timepiece (mostly mechanical) possesses.  To horologists, a complication is any additional feature (time related only) of a timepiece that exceeds just displaying hours, minutes, and seconds.   For example, there are alarm, calendar (month, day, and year), chronograph, moon phase, perpetual calendar, repeater, and striking complications.  The wrist watch with the most complications is currently The Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 with a total of 57 (see image right).

The_Vacheron_Constantin_Reference_57260

 

 

What Men Wear Creative and Innovative Wrist Watches?

Since creative and innovative wrist watches encompass automatic, aviator, chronograph, digital, diver, dress, hybrid, quartz, LED, luxury, mechanical, military, smartwatch, and sports watches as well, the answer to this question is All Men Wear Creative and Innovative Wrist Watches!   Athletes, Adventure and Sport Enthusiasts, Divers, Pilots, Entertainers, Technicians, and Yours Truly.  The list goes on and on and on.

In all , men’s fascination with wrist watches has almost grown exponentially after a century.  Whether it’s for function or sophistication or both, it is certainly safe to say that there are at best hundreds of millions of men across the globe wearing these timepieces today and the trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

 

Author’s Note

Writing this article has been enlightening and fun.  This said, I would like to dedicate this article to my beloved sister, Jennifer Mae Richardson, who passed on June 7th, 2020.  She was also fun I will miss her dearly.

 

Live yours dreams!  Become a part of Wealthy Affiliate.

Why It Is Always Hot: Personalized Engraved Jewelry

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brac engraved personal

Here goes The Venue again on another quest!  In this particular article, we explore the wonderful world of personalized jewelry for men. And why is personalized jewelry for men always hot? To put it simply, personalized jewelry is a fashionable, artistic and physical expression or representation of a person’s individual taste and style.

It allows the consumer to participate in, if not completely control every aspect of the entire jewelry design process, literally becoming a jewelry design consultant to their own finished product. Now if that is not exciting, then what is!

There are many types of personalized jewelry, of which includes personalized embossed jewelry, custom silicon sport wristbands, and rubber bracelets (I will describe these in an example given later), I will cover in another article. But for the intended purposes of this article, we will focus solely on personalized engraved jewelry, respectively.

 

Personalized Is Not Customized Personalized_Not_Customized

The personalized jewelry industry is continuously growing and trying to align itself with consumers perceptions on what is deemed ‘personalized’. In general, most consumers believe personalized jewelry and customized jewelry are synonymous with one another and can often be confused, as I myself was, by the difference between the two kinds of jewelry.

But do not be confused. Personalized jewelry is not customized jewelry! Thus, in order to have a better understanding of what to expect out of your own personalized jewelry pieces, it is important to accurately define what constitutes as personalized jewelry and customized jewelry. As stated in the introduction, personalized jewelry is indeed unique and highly contingent upon the particular aesthetics of the consumer.

Jewelry can be personalized by adding specific inscriptions or engravings to its original design (i.e. art work, emblems, insignia, letters, logos, names, photos, religious epithets, romantic sentiments, etc.). From a manufacturing standpoint, jewelry can be customized by providing or offering flexible, cost effective interchangeable components or elements to the jewelry itself (i.e. colors, font size, font style, material used, and types of jewelry, etc.) without changing its form, fit, and function.

Here is a simple example that I used to help me truly understand the inherent difference between personalized and customized jewelry. Take for instance, men’s personalized rubber bracelets are an extremely trendy and hot commodity at the moment.

Whether on-line, in a store, at the park, wherever or whenever, I’m sure you have seen these ingenious and simple rubber bracelets many times, dangling around a person’s wrist or wrists, often times with more than one per wrist. They are about half an inch wide, made to slip just over the hand onto the wrist, come in a myriad of colors, multi-colors, and patterns. And always contain some neat catch phrase, symbol, or logo engraved length wise through the middle of them like “Black Lives Matter”, “Smith Family Reunion 2018”, or perhaps even “Live Strong”.

Anyway, these popular rubber bracelets can be purchased online for about $0.06 a unit and a person can custom select a particular size, and choose from a wide assortment of colors and unique patterns. In addition, dependent upon the length, font size or style of the inscription, and actual size of the rubber bracelet itself, the bracelets can also be personalized with most any logo, name, or message a person wishes to engraved on them. Thus, it is strangely possible to purchase your own custom personalized rubber bracelet online! Wow!

 

A Brief History of  Engraved Jewelry

Even a caveman can do it, right? Of course, the first discovery of etching or engraving on wood and stone surfaces dates back to early prehistoric man. The Egyptians are the first to apply engraving to art and jewelry, and the Greeks and Romans continue engraving jewelry, like luxurious cameos, through the beginning and end of their respective time periods as well.

Nevertheless, engraving does not become a trade or craft until paper arrives in Europe from China (circa 1300 A.D.) and becomes ready available. By the 15th century, personalized engraved jewelry emerges in the form of devotional and romantic jewelry, whereas personalized, romantic inscriptions or ‘love’ messages were intricately engraved on the inside of wedding rings and signet rings.

If you remember in the previous article posted on The Venue, The Epitome of Gaudy: Gothic Jewelry, rings were typically and fashionably worn on all fingers by both men and women. Many hand engravers are required to keep up with the physical demand for engraved jewelry, spurning the first mass production of jewelry on a large scale in history.

By the end of the 16th century, goldsmithing is a well-established skilled trade in Europe and the mass production of engraved jewelry is prominently replaced by artistic expression. A period in engraving history called the Golden Age.

For men, the need for jewelry adornment lessens and personalized engraved short swords become the rage for both the hierarchy and civilians alike. Not only do they provide a means of self-defense, but also signifies the apparel for describing the social status of gentlemen. However, from the 17th century to the mid 19th century, the need for male adornment lessens.

Personalized engraved jewelry for men exists mainly in the form of military regalia, such as buckles, buttons, dog tags, swords and guns. Signet rings still thrive.

 

What is Engraving?

To put it simply, engraving is the process of etching or incising designs onto a hard, engravable surface by cutting grooves into it by use of a burin, hand engraver, machine engraver, laser engraver, etc.

 

Types of Engraving

There are several types of engraving, which include laser engraving, leather engraving, color engraving, wood engraving, photo engraving, glass engraving, line engraving, steel engraving, and stipple engraving.  In addition, there are a myriad of engraving kits, tools, and equipment that you can purchase online!

 

 

Where can you find personalized engraved jewelry?

Traditionally, you can find engraving products or have personal jewelry engraved by a local jeweler. Depending on the particular jeweler they may have it done in house or have your jewelry sent to another place to have this done. And this is OK provided that you know the risks, like losing or damaging jewelry in the shipping process, etc.

Another popular place to find personal engraved jewelry is online! There are virtually many sites that offer many engrave able products to fit your particular needs and tastes!

Engraving Costs

Since no two engravers are the same, costs may vary. According to Stanley London, ” Smaller parts can be custom engraved in single quantities for a set up fee of $10 (per engraved surface), and 

40 cents per character for the first 30 characters, 20 cents per character for the 31st through 49th character, and 10 cents per character for engraving in excess of 49 characters”.

 

A Final Thought

Personalized engraved jewelry for men is more hot than ever! It is seen practically

 everywhere you look 

and I believe helps us define ourselves as well as our character. And here at MJDV, we know that character is of utmost importance, so thus finding your own personalized engraved is also important! Good luck in your search and hope we helped in sending you in the right direction as far as personalized engraved jewelry is concerned!

 

Highly Recommended Personalized Engraved Jewelry Sites

Lost, but Not Forgotten Hip Hop Jewelry

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Malcolm-X-Inspired-Jewelry

A Brief Introduction

Completely overshadowed by the current hip-hop bling and ice jewelry craze, exists seemingly lost, but historically reverent and available pieces of Malcolm x inspired hip hop jewelry.  In this particular article, I plan to highlight Malcolm x inspired jewelry by taking a firsthand, historical look at its cultural significance to hip-hop music, myself and the still ever pursuit of changing of the status quo.

 

Born from a Hip Hop Music Generation

By the summer of 1987, there had emerged many politically charged and controversial rap artists and groups, such as Public Enemy and KRS-One, intent on changing the status quo by emphasizing the social inequalities and injustices committed against the African American community by media and government in their lyrics.  One example of this social inequality was the State of Arizona’s inability to recognize Martin Luther King Day as a state holiday.

Likewise, what also emerged at this time was the creation of Malcolm X inspired jewelry.  Why?  It was a symbolic attempt to give the racial problems and issues of today a past civil rights movement meaning.  It represented the desperate need of African Americans to unite and shed themselves of gang violence and drug-related crimes affluent in their communities and negative perceptions attributed to them.

So what is Malcolm X inspired jewelry exactly?  They are jewelry pieces (i.e. bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, brooches, cuff links, tie clips, etc.) comprised of either single or multiple images with the likenesses of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and other civil rights activists or engraved words, phrases and symbols indicative of the civil rights movement.

Characteristically, they can be highly ornate, decorated pieces or plain, simple ones.  They were available then and still can be purchased today.  Current rap artists, like Nipsey Hustle, adorn Malcolm x inspired hip hop jewelry and regalia on a regular basis.

 

A Moment in Time…

Born and raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, my father was a brazen, compassionate, proud African-American man with a matter of fact and witty personality. Though educated, he chose a career of shining shoes because it encompassed his passion for people. He spent a lifetime in this pursuit and succeeded. He was also an outstanding actor who frequently appeared in local theater productions, like “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Of Mice and Men“.  And also had a bit role in the movie, “Home Of the Brave“, partially filmed in Spokane, WA.

As a teenager in the summer of 1987, I reDriving Miss Daisy feat Clarence Forechmember sitting at my father’s shine stand, clad in my Malcolm x inspired regalia (a Malcolm X hat, shirt, shorts and handmade leather African medallion necklace) and listening to the many conversations with customers concerning civil rights.  He would exclaim, “I am happy for Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.  Because if it were not for them, Negroes would have gone completely crazy.”

Now, this was a profound statement coming from a man who not only witnessed the rampant, blatant racism and hatred encompassed by the civil rights era and the south but fell victim to it as well.  You see his eventual migration and relocation to Spokane, WA was an intensely brutal one.

Just a teenager himself, my father had all of his fingers and toes broken by local KKK members and while unconscious, placed in a train car that finally ended up in Colfax, WA.  It was in Colfax, WA. where a family discovered him and cared for his injuries.  They sent for my grandmother, who along with her new husband, came and eventually settled in Spokane.  He made a miraculous recovery and went on to graduate from Lewis and Clark High School with a varsity letter in wrestling and academics in 1961.

The rest is history.  But this statement I will openly and boldly offer:  Not ever! did he let what happened, either discourage him or propel him to racial hatred!  Not once!  Thus, I am proud to say he was my father and I miss him dearly, for he passed away on May 30, 2012.

 

A Statistical Fact:

The overall impact the criminal justice system, spurred by past and present racial bias and discrimination, has had on the lives of African Americans and African American community as a whole is well-established and documented. Blacks make up 13 percent of the population but represent 50 percent of the nation’s prison population.  In Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., more than 50 percent of the Black male population is under the jurisdiction of the criminal justice system. Black men are 6 percent of the population but are more than 40 percent of those on death row (1).

Black youngsters are dealt with no more sympathetically.  A report compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice showed that Black and Latino youth are treated much more harshly in the juvenile justice system than their white peers.  Among first-time youth offenders, African Americans are six times more likely than whites to be sentenced to prison by juvenile courts.  For drug offenses, Black youth are 48 times more likely than whites to be sent to prison (2). Currently, while there are 603,000 Blacks enrolled in institutions of higher education, there are 757,000 who are locked up in federal and state prisons. Moreover, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics projects that 30 percent of Black boys who turn 12 this year will spend time in jail in their lifetime if current incarceration rates stay constant (3).

 

A Brief Conclusion

To deny that racism and the degradation of the African-American community do not still exist would be complete heresy. Although the perception of African-Americans is slowly changing, ongoing police brutality and systematic, bureaucratic racial prejudice against African-Americans still remains a staple in the United States.  And so, Malcolm x inspired hip hop jewelry continues to be a symbolic proponent in the fight against racial hatred and prejudice.