Monthly Archives: May 2017

Bright Color Combination in Gemstone

It is known by most gem lovers that diamonds have a grading system known as the four Cs; cut, clarity, color and carat weight. These factors are taken into account when assessing the quality of each stone. Colorless white diamonds with a high carat weight, a well-proportioned cut and few inclusions are incredibly valuable.

However, when it comes to colored gemstones, many say that the most important thing is color, color and color. Thus, the most desirable aspect of colored gemstones is their color, and the other factors can be somewhat overlooked when a stone has a top color. For example, emeralds and rubies are admired for their beautiful hues, but often when they are looked at closely, they show inclusions. Similarly, a stunning blue sapphire could have a slightly asymmetrical cut, but because of its size and color, it is extremely valuable, so it is not recut because some of the beautiful color will be lost.

The colors of natural gemstones are beautiful by themselves, but there are some additional factors which can make them really come to life. For example, other colors that gems are seen with. Color can have an effect on mood, perception and even health, so it can be useful to know how to put colors together properly to achieve the desired effect. As a general rule, most color combinations work well when each color is not fighting for first place. Thus, one color can be allowed to dominate and the other/s provide support or accents.

Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel are paradoxically known as “complementary” colors. This is because although they are in contrast, complementary colors seem to look good together because they balance each other out. Examples of complimentary colors are purple and yellow, and red and green. In jewelry, this effect can be seen by setting a purple sapphire into yellow gold, or by pairing peridot with rose gold. These combinations work best in jewelry when one of the complements is muted. For example, yellow gold is not very bright yellow, but the purple sapphire is bursting with color. Similarly, rose gold is not bright pink, but peridot is a lively green hue. As can be seen in the image on the left, the red pyrope garnet is much smaller than the green emerald, so the two colors do not have equal command of the piece. A further contrast is provided by the yellow gold and silver detail.

Analogous colors are ones that are adjacent on the color wheel. Examples of analogous colors are red and orange, and green and blue. Analogous colors may be pairs or three colors which work well together. Like complementary colors, analogous colors work well when one dominates and the other supports. In gemstone jewelry, an example would be a yellow gold ring with a central golden orange sapphire and small, yellow gemstone accents. Alternatively, a rose gold pendant could have a pink tourmaline gemstone with small, ruby accents. Analogous color combinations can also be seen in the current trend for yellow and brown diamonds with rose or yellow gold.

Triadic colors are three colors that are equally spaced on the color wheel, so that if a triangle is placed on the color wheel, each point is in one color; for example, orange, purple and green. Triadic colors are quite tricky to balance well and create harmony, but by using one main color and two others as accents, it is possible to create something wonderful. For example, a blue zircon or a teal apatite in rose gold with golden beryl accents. Another example of triadic colors can be seen in the image on the right, where blue topaz, pink-purple tourmaline and yellow gold are used together to make a necklace pendant.

Split complementary colors are three colors; a color with the two that fall to either side of its complementary color; such as blue, pink and yellow. This could be achieved in a piece of jewelry by using a central gemstone such as blue sapphire, with rhodolite garnet accent stones in yellow gold. Split complementary colors tend to be easier to harmonize than some other combinations.

Tetradic colors are two pairs of complementary colors. On the color wheel, this looks like a rectangle is drawn with each corner in a different color, for example, red, orange, blue and green. A square color scheme has four equally spaced colors from the color wheel, as if a square has been placed over the wheel with each corner on a different color. Color schemes with four colors can often appear a little chaotic, so the colors should be well-balanced with attention paid to the harmony between cool and warm tones. It is best to choose one of the four colors to dominate the others when using four colors.

When designing unique gemstone jewelry, colors can be kept nice and simple or combined in many different ways to produce an effect that is pleasing to the eye. The most important thing is that the wearer is comfortable in the colors. With natural gemstones, and modern jewelry metals, it is possible to find almost any color on the color wheel and to have fun designing something new.

The history of Thai Silver Jewelry is very expensive

Thailand is world-famous for its exceptional silver and fine artisanal jewelry designs. The history behind Thailand’s well-developed silver market runs deep through many generations of Thai people. Originally, the majority of Thailand’s silver craftsmanship was for the production of fine silverware and decorative items such as trays, ladles and bowls. Through modernization, the industry brought about a shift in demand for finer silverwork and jewelry design.

The northern region of Thailand is most famous for the production of fine silverwork and jewelry, though silver craft is also abundant throughout Central and Southern Thailand. Northern Thai silver is renowned for its high level of purity (often up to 99.9%), and for its fine craftsmanship, typically featuring unique and intricate ethnic detail. The detailing of silver designs native to Northern Thailand incorporates many techniques, encompassing influences from ancient Hindu metalworkers, as well as Burmese refugees, Shan tribes and various hilltribes of Northern Thailand and the surrounding area.

The early Hindu settlers of Thailand were highly skilled in the art of metal-crafting. Although gold was their preferred medium, the ancient Hindu civilizations had a great influence on Thailand’s silver craft as well. As Hindu traders slowly made their way from Southern and Eastern India, the techniques of skilled goldsmiths eventually spread to natives throughout Thailand. Hindu influence and methods that were formerly used to design fine gold jewelry can easily be seen in some of the most astonishing pieces of modern silver jewelry fashioned by Thailand’s artisans.

After the fall of the Pagan (pronounced “Bagan” and not to be confused with the pre-Christian religion) Empire, many Burmese silversmiths fled to the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. For over 200 years, Lanna was an independent country, reaching south to Lumpang and extending north to the Shan State of Burma. The Kingdom of Lanna, now present day Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, inherited the fine Burmese silver-working methodology. Around this time, Shan tribes also began to establish themselves throughout Northern Thailand. The Shan tribesmen were also very skilled in the art of silver craft and many Northern Thai silver jewelry designs seen today draw their inspiration from Shan heritage.

Of the many hilltribes in Northern Thailand, none are as famous as the Karen tribe. The Karen tribe is actually one of the largest hilltribes in all of Southeast Asia. The Karen tribe has been hand making traditional silver jewelry for centuries, using methods that have been passed down for centuries from generation to generation. Many of the silver jewelry designs found in Chiang Mai, Thailand are handcrafted by silversmiths who are members of the Karen tribe. Many designs incorporate unusual traditional ethnic symbols or patterns, but nowadays, Western influences are creeping into their silver jewelry designs, in items such as necklaces, bangles and earrings.

Since the historical capital of Lanna was such a vast cultural melting pot, it evolved as a centerpoint for ethnic groups of Thailand, Laos, China and Burma. Here they shared and learned many different styles and methods of jewelry-making artistry. The same handcrafting methods used hundreds of years ago are still used today by many of the world’s finest silver jewelry artisans.

Today, handmade silver jewelry and ornaments can be found throughout Thailand, in places from ritzy five-star hotel gift shops to small shops located in Thailand’s many ‘open-air’ markets. The highly developed art of silver jewelry-making has because a source of local pride, not only for the Thai people, but also for the many other ethnic groups of Thailand and the surrounding areas, including Burmese, Laotian, Chinese and the Karen and Shan tribes of Northern Thailand, all of whom have helped play an important role in the growth of Thailand’s fine silver jewelry and craft trade.

Goth Jewelry

 The term “goth” or “gothic” has several meanings: Germanic people of the early Christian era (Goth/Gothic), an unrefined or barbaric person, or a follower of a particular style of music and fashion. Gothic rock is an alternative sub-genre which developed after punk in the 1970s. Religious motifs, especially Celtic crosses and ankh signs are popular gothic motifs. Similar to rock style, these may be worn as occult symbols. Pioneers of goth music include bands such as Joy Division, The Cure and Sioxsie and the Banshees. Gothic rock is characterized by darkness, introspection and romanticism. Along with the music scene came a goth subculture sometimes confused with “emo”, which came later. Typical goth fashions are pale skin, kohl-lined eyes, dark clothing, hair and nail polish, and red or dark lips. The clothing could be seen as a mix of Victorian, Vampire movies and punk style. Colors favored by goths include deep red, electric blue, purple and deep green. Lace and velvet are popular fabrics when it comes to goth-style clothing.

Gothic style is not all about death and darkness, goths also embrace romanticism, particularly the 18th century art and literary movement, which focused on intense emotion, and includes the poetry of William Wordsworth, Lord Byron and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Works of fiction classed as “gothic” are novels such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. These merge horror with romanticism. Such works may be the inspiration for gothic style, which combines the medieval with romanticism and horror, using motifs such as bats, skulls and roses. In fact, rose motifs can be often seen in gothic jewelry, whether they are carved gemstones, enamel work or metal. These may be black, red or another color and are attractive when used as necklace pendants, earrings or in bracelets.

Filigreed silver designs are popular goth-style jewelry items. Filigree is intricate metalwork that is made by twisting gold or silver wire and soldering it, making it appear like lace. While filigreed jewelry has been made for over 2000 years, it became popular in Europe during the Romantic era; the period of the emergence of the “gothic novel”. Filigree jewelry takes many forms, such as pendant earrings, rings and necklaces, where a central gemstone is surrounded by delicate metalwork.

Chokers, such as those worn by Queen Victoria are among the favorite gothic necklace styles. Chokers can be made from metal or may simply be a ribbon with a brooch attached at the front. A popular Victorian style is a ribbon choker with a cameo in the center, after the fashion of Queen Victoria. Mother-of-pearl and agate are materials often used for the carving of cameos. Alternatively, obsidian and ruby-zoisite are interesting and unique options for gemstone cameos. Cameos can be worn as brooches or pendants on chokers. Ribbon chokers may be made more durable and attractive by securing the ends into clasp fittings. Since chokers are close-fitting, the neck of the wearer should be measured before the length of the choker is decided. For those who do not like cameos, opal, rutile quartz or other interesting cabochons could be a modern interpretation of the style.

Since black is the usual goth color of choice, black metal is suitable for gothic-style jewelry settings. There is a choice of black metals, including black gold “alloys”, which have a black surface layer, black rhodium or ruthenium plating, plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of amorphous carbon, patination and femstosecond laser treated black metal. The most affordable option is black rhodium-plated jewelry, but this is subject to wear and tear, and may need replating from time to time. When it comes to black gemstones, there are quite a few options. Jet was a popular gemstone during the Victorian era, when mourning jewelry was worn and was often carved into cameos and other shapes. However, this is not very durable and also not widely available nowadays. Some good examples of affordable black faceted gems are black tourmaline, black spinel and melanite. When it comes to cabochons, agate, black star sapphire, cat’s eye scapolite, star garnet and jasper are suitable for black gemstone jewelry. With regard to black gemstone material that can be carved, black jade and onyx are possibilities.

While goths inhabit a certain style niche, it is not necessary to be considered a goth to enjoy the above jewelry. Goth-style jewelry can be an alternative embellishment to any outfit without engendering a particular stereotype. In fact, labels can divide, but jewelry can be appreciated for its intrinsic beauty, rather than be simply worn to be part of a particular subculture. Thus, those who are content to be themselves should wear the jewelry, rather than letting the jewelry wear them.

Beautiful gemstone jewelry

Colored gemstone jewelry has always been popular, but the range of choices and colors has never been so varied as it is today. Not so many years ago, you could find only sapphire, emerald and ruby pieces in your typical jewelry store. The choices expanded somewhat when jewelers starting carrying birthstone jewelry, and you might find amethyst, topaz, garnet and peridot rings as well.

However, for gemstone lovers it is often less than satisfying buying commercial gemstone jewelry. For one thing, many of the gems in such jewelry are low quality stones, designed to keep down the cost of the final piece of jewelry. Moreover, it is often impossible to get any information about the stones set in such jewelry, such as their country of origin or any treatment that may have been used in processing the stone.

The choice of gemstones in commercial jewelry also tends to be very limited. This is true of the choice of gem varieties, and the choices in cut, size and quality of each variety. Your local jeweler may carry some garnet jewelry, but can you choose from spessartite, rhodolite, hessonite, pyrope, grossularite and tsavorite garnet varieties?

Of course it is unreasonable to expect a retail jeweler to carry garnet jewelry in all those varieties, not to mention all the different cuts and sizes that a customer might want to consider. That is why many gemstone lovers take a different approach in buying gemstone jewelry. They buy high quality loose gems and have them set by a jeweler or jewelry designer.

This approach has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are numerous. They include the ability to buy exactly the gemstone you want, in the variety, color, size, cut and quality of your choice. Imagine being able to choose from 1,000 different pieces of tourmaline to find the exact color you’ve always wanted. You can buy your gems from a gemstone specialist who carries many of the 100+ varieties of gemstones available on the market. Some of these gems, such as natural spinel, are rarely found in commercial jewelry due to their rarity. A specialized gemstone dealer will know the origin of the gems for sale, and any treatments that may have been used to enhance them. The seller will also be able to provide certification for the gems on sale.

The main disadvantage of buying loose gems is time and, to some degree, cost. If you buy a gemstone in a standard or calibrated size, it will be easy for a jeweler to mount it in a standard commercial setting. If you are having a custom design created for you, then it is unnecessary to buy a stone in a calibrated size, since the jeweler can create a setting to accommodate whatever size of stone you buy. But there will be additional cost and time involved.

High quality gems are, of course, more expensive, but you might be surprised that the cost of many varieties are very reasonable if you find a wholesale dealer. Custom jewelry is naturally more expensive than commercial quality goods, but if you have purchased a special gemstone for a special piece of jewelry to be enjoyed for many years, the extra cost may be insignificant.