The Price of Jewelry and the Presidential Election

Rainbow Drusy PendantWow–Just–  Wait, What?  Jewelry? The Election?

You are likely wondering what  the price of jewelry has to do with the Presidential Election.  We had an historic election just happen, and the winner ended up being a surprise to many of us, including Wall Street.  The uncertainty of this candidate winning has caused a world-wide reaction that was swift and a little chaotic.  

As we watch the stock markets fall around the world this morning, we are already finding that investors will put their money into “safer” areas–and metals are one of those areas.  So if you think about it, these metals are the very ones we use in our jewelry. When the market tumbles, investors often purchase gold, silver and platinum, and metal prices shoot up.  This DIRECTLY influences the price of  Jewelry, and quickly!

A few years back, I remember when silver went up to nearly $50.00 an ounce and gold at $1900 an ounce, and  jewelers abandoned these precious metals for cheaper metals such as copper and brass (me included).  Jewelry became way more expensive, and people were selling their old gold and silver for cash.  Jewelers were feeling the pinch from both sides, purchasing more expensive supplies, and having to try to sell more pricey jewelry during a recession.

While today’s silver price is still fairly low, (approximately $19), it has shot up by 45 cents within the first hour after the stock market opened today, this first day after the election upset.  Will this uncertainty carry on for awhile?  Will we continue to see these stocks free-fall?

I am hoping this is a short term increase, and that metal prices will remain somewhat stable.  As an Art Jeweler, silver directly effects me in the pocket-book with up-front costs, and with having to increase the price to cover these costs, sometimes means fewer pieces get sold.

Let’s try not to buy into the uncertainty and chaos.  Let’s all settle down, keep our hearts and minds open, and live life, no matter who you voted for.  It’s all we can do for our own economy, and most of all–our own well-being….Petersite Pendant Jewelry

SilverSpiral Creations

Lynne Patnode is a jewelry artist whose mission is to create beautiful jewelry from Nature’s Beauty.  To see what is available for sale, please visit her Etsy Shop

Follow Up to This Post about Metal Prices…

Stock silver pricesIt is later in the day, and the Stock Market has already stabilized–so the price of silver and gold is still pretty good—phew!  For now, anyway.  But I still think the jewelry economics lesson was worthwhile–helps all of understand the volatility of the metals market and it’s direct effect on you.

 

How to Shop for Art Jewelry Gifts in this Holiday Season

Small Turquoise Cuff BraceletIf you are like me, you find that shopping for close family and friends can be a bit daunting, especially if that person wants and loves art jewelry.

 

So how do you go about finding that perfect one of a kind jewelry gift for that person?  Where do you even begin?

 

When you think about it, jewelry is a very personal thing.  When you are giving jewelry as a gift, it is usually because you really know a lot about that person.  For example, you probably know their favorite colors, whether they are casual or formal, and how they live.  Do they like to go out to events, or are they more the “stay at home” type?  Where do they work?  Is it an office job? Is it outdoor work?  Or do they work with children?  What about lifestyle?  And of course, most importantly, personality?blue abalone pendant jewelry

The more you know someone, the better the chance that you will find just the right piece.   So what are some ways you can be sure to pick the right piece of jewelry for a gift?  Here is a checklist that should help you out.

 

  • The best research you can do is to notice what jewelry a person already wears.  If your friend or loved one wears silver all the time, buying a gold piece might be risky–he/she might not like the warm color of the gold metal and it will end up in the jewelry box.

 

  • jewelry-nautilus-pendantLook at their style of dress.  A very casual person would probably not wear a high fashion gemstone piece with his/her wardrobe and might only have rare occasions to wear this fine piece (wedding or formal event).  While everyone needs a piece like this, the jewelry will not get much wear time.  On the other hand, a casual piece of jewelry won’t get much wear if the person works and lives in a formal environment.

 

  • Take note of their day-to-day activities.  A teacher of young children or infants may not find it wise to wear long earrings or necklaces, as they can easily be broken or actually cause harm.  Did you ever have an earring ripped out of your ear by a baby????   OUCH!!]

 

  • Do they like big showey jewelry, or small understated pieces?  I myself love to have my jewelry noticed, but I have good friends that like their jewelry to be an accessory that lightly accents their wardrobes.  You might also observe whether the person wears jewelry with textures or smooth metal.

 

  • And finally, does the individual like a particular theme, or item?  I think of charms that can be added to a necklace or bracelet, or perhaps a particular stone that is a favorite.  If you are buying a ring–make sure you know the ring size!

 

Often times, it is your gut that will let you know if you found the right piece.  Most importantly don’t fall into the trap of buying jewelry YOU would want—remember that the recipient IS NOT YOU!!!

Observing all of these things will go a long way in helping you to get started on selecting that wonderful piece of art jewelry.  Google can be your best friend, and the more specifically you define the search, the closer you will get to selecting that perfect piece.  Pink rhodochrosite pendant jewelry

 

 

If you want to see some custom art jewelry please visit SilverSpiral Creations–or you can create a Custom Order

 

 

 

Who wants tarnish???

So, you buy a beautiful sterling silver bracelet.  And it is bright and shiny, with no scratches and you are in love with this piece of jewelry.  You paid a premium price because it was an artisan made piece and it is of good, no, superior quality. And within 2 weeks, it begins to tarnish!  Why?  And how can you stop it from happening?  And how do you get rid of it when it happens?

First–the Why…

Sterling silver is made from 92.5 percent fine silver and 7.5% copper alloy.  The reason for this is that fine silver by itself is too soft for most jewelry–so they add copper to strengthen the metal.  Copper is a “dirty” metal which changes color or “oxidizes” making the silver turn dark.

How do you stop tarnish?  You really can’t stop it completely, however there are steps you can take to slow it down. First–you have to know what speeds up tarnish—and some of these are avoidable, others, not so much.  So what speeds up tarnish?

  • Pool chemicals
  • Perfumes
  • Skin Oils
  • Humidity
  • Ammonia
  • Hair Spray
  • Eggs, Mayonnaise, Some salad dressings,
  • And salty foods

So okay–you don’t want to necessarily give all of this up to wear silver. In some cases, you can think ahead and put on jewelry after you spray your hair, or take a shower, etc….but you can’t always avoid contact with chemicals or salt.

How do you slow it down, or remove it all together?

  • Well, to avoid oxidation between wearings, you should store your silver in a Ziploc baggy.  This will surely help.  You can purchase a “Sunshine Cloth” from a jewelry store jewelry supply company (even Amazon sells them) to polish your jewelry before wearing it.  These cloths last a very long time and work wonderfully.  Or you can use one of my favorite techniques–especially for chains, and hard to clean jewelry:
  • Take a Ceramic or glass dish
  • Line it with Aluminum Foil
  • Place your silver jewelry on the foil
  • Sprinkle with Baking Soda
  • Pour boiling water over the jewelry –the aluminum foil interacts with the baking soda and takes away the tarnish!  Use only glass or ceramic pans that can withstand heat!  The jewelry only needs a minute or two to get rid of the tarnish!

In my next blog–I will talk about a new silver alloy that does not tarnish….I am beginning to work with Argentium silver—-I love it and you might too…the same amount of silver so the quality is there.  (This was a sneak peak and a tease….So until next time!tarnish