Sundancegems: Biwa Pearls - not just any Stick Pearls

Today the term Biwa Pearls is used to describe all stick or irregularly shaped pearls. But did you know that there was a time that it was illegal to refer to pearls as “Biwa Pearls” unless they originated from Lake Biwa in Japan?

Lake Biwa, located NE of Kyoto is an ancient lake, almost 4 million years old, formed by the same earthquake that created Mount Fuji. It is one of the most important lakes on earth in terms of its history and bio-diversity.

Island Vintage Jewelry: Black Diamond Hematite Jewelry of the 1950's

As a young child, I remember admiring the huge Black Alaska Diamond ring my mother would wear whenever she and dad were going out for an evening away from us children. She would get dressed up in high heels, curl her jet black hair, put on her dark red lipstick and just before leaving the house, slip that stunning ring onto her right hand. We didn't see it any other time, it remained safely tucked inside her jewelry box where we couldn't reach it.

Adin: Platinum - From Trash to Treasure

Platinum has not always been considered to be the most precious metal to make jewelry from. Although there are some nice examples of platinum jewelry, people's attitude towards platinum has been different ...

The word "platinum" is derived from the Spanish "platina", which means "small silver". The first traces of platinum date from the Thebes epoch (about 7th century before JC), from when a small box was retrieved, adorned with a platinum ribbon.

The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry: Damascene Jewelry

A web search for a definition of Damascene will return several different definitions, but most of them refer to the art of inlaying or steel or other metals with gold or silver metals to make a decorative design. Often Damascus is listed as the city of origin - hence the name. However, Damascene jewelry comes from several areas of the world.

Cinsababe's: Fool Me Once, Shame on You, Fool Me Twice...

I have been at this resell game for 10 years now, so you would think I have enough experience to avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that newcomers often make. But even this week, I found myself ignoring my own rules and being taken advantage of by unscrupulous dealers and hawkers. I really need to take a refresher course in how not to be ripped off!

Vintage Jewelry Showcase: Don't Wear Your Fine Jewelry in the Hot Tub!

As my daughters and I languished in the hot tub this past Victoria Day holiday weekend (Canada), the last thing on my mind was jewelry. The night air was crisp, the hot tub was a hot 105 degrees, and the Panama Jack over ice tasted very nice indeed.

Adin Jewelry: The unlikely Evolution of the Dung Beetle

In the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, the use of the dung beetle (also called: scarab) as a symbol became common. The dung beetle's rolling of dung into a ball was seen as an earthly symbol of the heavenly cycle. Cut in bone, ivory, stone, Egyptian faience, or precious metals they were often incorporated into tombs, as grave goods, or given as 'gifts'. Over centuries till our days, to people with a fascination for the art and beliefs of ancient Egypt, the scarab is an item of popular interest.

Vintage Jewelry Showcase: Something Old, Something New - Modern Brides Love Vintage Jewelry, Too!

If you're anything like me, you're always trying to think up ways to market your lovely vintage costume jewelry. We hope collectors will want our designer pieces. We look for buyers who share our delight in fabulous fakes and retro glitz. But there's a market out there that doesn't quickly spring to mind until that market suddenly finds you. And that's what's happened to me twice in the past year.

Holly Cottage Designs: A Girl's Best Friend

“Hi Judith, The necklace and earrings are BEAUTIFUL... I have them on right now, and, they do make one (especially me) feel very feminine and pretty. A good thing right now as I am recovering from a mastectomy.”

That quote comes from an email I recently received from one of my customers. It started me thinking about the positive effect a new piece of jewelry can have for a woman.

Island Vintage Jewelry: How I got the 'bug' to collect Costume Jewelry

It looked innocent enough.  An article in our local newspaper advertising an upcoming flea market that would be held over a three-day period.  Only a small cover charge and I could spend a few hours browsing the colorful and glass-covered tables looking for those elusive Fire King Tulip bowls. Long before I had discovered online shopping, I had been searching without success for a set of these special mixing bowls that were identical to the ones I fondly remembered at my grandfather's house securely tucked behind his glass kitchen cupboards.

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