The Glorious Jewelry of Ancient Rome

Buongiorno!

I lived in Italy for 5 years and adore this country. Their food, their language and their culture. Like a sponge, I soaked it all up. I particularly enjoyed the exhibits of ancient jewelry, lovingly displayed in museum showcases.

When one thinks of ancient Rome, visions of gladiators, their swords flashing in the Italian sun, billowing cloaks fastened in front with ornately decorated gold brooches, women in flowing robes, fabulous necklaces resting beneath a head of curls, comes to mind. Glorious drop earrings of coloured stones adorn their ears, gold snake-style bracelets their upper arms.

Jewelry was big in ancient Rome. Very big. Since the Romans believed that jewelry warded off the “Evil Eye”, no one went without at least one piece.

The most common pieces of jewelry in early Rome were brooches and rings. The brooch was a versatile item, securing not only cloaks but clothing in general. Since clothing was generally pinned rather than sewn, decorated items called a fibula, made of gold and decorated with semi-precious stones, were used to secure the folds.

The early Italians sculpted jewelry from crude gold, rather than silver. This jewelry was afforded by the nobles. The poor wore cheaper versions, usually from bone or cheaper natural stones.

Romans, because of the reach of the Roman Empire, were able to make their jewelry from a myriad of wonderful and exotic materials. They had access not only to gold, but to bronze, bone, and natural stones. Egypt provided them with the treasured Lapis Lazuli and pearl. They imported sapphires and diamonds from the East. Emeralds, amber, turquoise, amethysts, garnets were all present in Roman jewelry, adorning necks, wrists and arms, as long as 2,000 years ago.

The affluent women, adorned themselves with trinkets all the time, at home and when in public. It was a sign of wealth and stature, just as it is today. Bracelets, rings, amulets, necklaces, cameos and rings and an assortment of adornments on their heads such as tiaras, diadems and coronets. They copied the filigree finish which was an Egyptian style. Filigree is a delicate, lace-like design, made then in gold. Filigree is popular today and is found in costume jewelry that looks as real as the gold version. Bracelets were kept closed with a toggle-type pin. A closure that is used today for practical and decorative purposes.

Men were fond of finger rings, and were expected to wear at least one. Some men would display a ring on every finger. Placing a seal on documents, to keep the contents safe from the wrong eyes, to identify the sender and to show prestige. Rings with an engraved gemstone were used with wax.

Another popular and important item was a large pendant filled with perfume. At any time, they could dab a little on their wrists. Bathing was not a daily event, particularly with the poorer classes so this was a means to keep themselves smelling fresh.

For centuries, adorning ourselves with precious, semi-precious and imitation jewelry has been of significant importance.

Adorn yourself. Never be boring.

CIAO!

Source by Anne Barrows

How to Clean a Diamond Ring

Diamond rings pick up quite some dirt and grime over the weeks and months they are on your finger and cleaning your diamond in order to bring it back to its original sparkling self is not as easy as it might seem as certain precautions must be taken before proceeding.

There are several cleaning methods of which the first, whether done at home or professionally is in using an electric high frequency vibrating machine where the diamond ring is placed in a recipient containing a special cleaning fluid and it is literally ‘shaken’ clean by the vibrations within the solution created by the machine.

We do not recommend this method as it can cause the diamond, especially if it is set in gold or silver and is of a certain size, to wiggle itself loose within the setting due to the vibrations.

This will allow a loose claw to get caught on any material. Pull apart, perhaps slowly, with as a result that the diamond will be prone to fall out especially if it is set between 4 claws.

So under no circumstances should you allow anyone to use such a method to clean your diamond ring even if it is offered to you free of charge unless of course you accept the risk factor.

The best method is what we call the ‘soap sud’ method.

You pour a small amount of boiling water in a small recipient in which a drop or two of liquid detergent has been added. Then taking an old tooth brush, dipped into the solution, you begin to brush the ring seeing to it that the bristles of the brush are penetrating the small openings around the diamond. This you do several times until you are satisfied that the bristles have penetrated all of the orifices around and within the mount and on the diamond itself.

Making sure, of course, that the sink has been blocked so that there is no risk of your ring falling into the water evacuation hole, rinse your diamond ring under the hot tap in order to remove whatever soap suds that may remain and then dry your ring using a clean kitchen towel or tissue.

Having done this there is one more important step to take and that involves methylated spirits.

Place the ring in a small recipient containing some methylated spirits for 15 seconds, then wiggle it a bit within the solution in order to create movement. The diamond ring is then dried using the kitchen towel or tissue again.

The methylated spirit will revive the brilliance of the metal and it will again shine and it will remove any ‘haze’ effect left by the liquid detergent, giving the diamond that extra sparkle it deserves.

This is the only method we at the Jewellery Web Shop actually recommend as no damage can be done to the diamond and its mount.

Under no circumstances must any hard objects be used to pry into the orifices of the ring nor anything harder than the bristles of a toothbrush as otherwise there is a risk of further scratching to the metal of the ring.

Source by George Zaidmann

How to Clean Ostrich Leather Handbags

Ostrich is a soft and exquisite leather distinguished by its pattern of quill. It’s also one of the toughest, but most pliable of the exotic leathers. Full of natural oils, ostrich leather handbags have a high resistance to drying, cracking and stiffness. This is not a license to get careless with them, however. There are some specific guidelines that need to be followed in the care and cleaning of ostrich leather. When cared for properly, ostrich leather handbags can last a lifetime.

  • Ostrich leather handbags don’t require a lot of maintenance to keep them in good shape. But there are some things that you should avoid at all costs.
  • Don’t use any soaps or solvents on the leather. Ostrich leather doesn’t have a heavy finish like other exotic skins such as alligator or crocodile, so there isn’t much protecting it.
  • This is okay. The leather’s natural oils keep it soft and well conditioned. The oils from your hands will also help condition the leather, adding to its natural sheen. Ostrich leather handbags are known to improve in appearance over time.
  • It’s resiliency to drying and cracking protect it from the elements, but certain steps should be taken to prevent extended exposure to moisture and especially direct sunlight.
  • Because ostrich leather finishes are generally transparent, sunlight can cause the leather to fade over time.
  • Ideally, you’ll want to clean your purse at least bi-monthly.
  • To remove moisture, simply wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.
  • To remove stains, all you need to do is wipe it off using a clean, damp cotton cloth (not wet). Remove stains immediately so they don’t have time to set in.
  • Let the purse dry naturally, indoors. Don’t dry it in direct sunlight or with a hair dryer. If it got soaked in the rain, you can use a small fan. Be sure to wedge it open and turn it regularly so it dries evenly.
  • Don’t use any cleaners or conditioners for conventional leathers or other exotic leathers. We have heard of ostrich-specific products, but we haven’t tested any yet, so we can’t recommend them. We will be testing them in the future on our website.
  • For greasy stains, sprinkle a light layer of talcum powder onto the soiled area and let it sit for an hour. Brush it off using a clean, dry cloth. Don’t use brushes or paper as these can scratch the surface.
  • Ostrich leather should be stored in a cool, dry place when not in use.
  • It should also be covered in its box or dust bag to prevent dust from settling on its surface.
  • Don’t fold or stress the purse in any way. Allow it to rest naturally, with plenty of space and nothing sitting on top of it, pressing it under its weight.
  • Tuck the strap inside, especially if there’s a chain or hardware on it. This will prevent it from scratching the leather.
  • Simply protecting ostrich leather handbags from the elements, not allowing stains to set and wiping off dust periodically will keep them in great shape.

Every stylish woman should add an ostrich leather handbag to her collection. The soft, supple leather feels gorgeous to your touch and the delicate pattern of the quill follicles is incredibly chic. It confers an air of sophistication and quality and though more expensive than most other exotic skins, it’s an investment that really does last for years. Ostrich leather handbags have been known to become family heirlooms, being passed on from one generation to the next. Understanding and caring regularly for your purse can give you a lifetime of happy memories and add to your stylish image.

Source by Alexandra Maria D

The Importance Of A Sewing Accessory

For many people, the art of sewing is a long gone skill that is no longer necessary. As we head to the many retail stores that offer the clothes and other materials that we need, we find that there is no longer a need to sit down with our needle and thread – or at our sewing machine – and create a piece that we can easily purchase in a fraction of the time. But for others, sewing is a skill and hobby they will never relinquish as it allows them to save money and infuse their own personal style and creativity into every piece they make. And for these people, having the proper sewing accessory at hand at all times is necessary for success and enjoyment.

There are a great many fabric stores today that offer all that you need to complete your latest sewing project – miles and miles of fabric and every tool imaginable. Of course, the added benefit of these stores is the helpful and knowledgeable employees who will assist you in finding everything you need. In order to begin and successfully complete your project however, you must know what sewing accessory is integral in the process.

For those who sew by hand, the sewing accessory that is needed is very different than if they were to sew by machine. In addition to material, hand sewn items require a needle and a variety of thread colors that match your fabric. Additionally, fabric scissors, a ruler, and a thimble are all worthwhile tools. For those who sew by machine, the needle is still a necessary sewing accessory. Of course thread, scissors, and a ruler are also needed.

In either case, for most people, a pattern is, by far, the most important sewing accessory needed to get the job done right. A pattern will act as a template to help you design and complete the project. A well-chosen sewing accessory will put you well on your way to a beautiful outcome.

Source by Michelle Bery

Casual Is the Mantra for Mens Fashion!

Men's attire mostly consist of a pair of trousers in dark colors or a pair of jeans topped by a collared shirt. With changing styles and men's designer clothes reaching new heights, the same old trousers and jeans have been given a totally different look. They now come in different fabrics and shapes. Bell bottoms, tights, elephant pants, low waist jeans, seamless pleated trousers, belt less jeans etc. have surfaced due to designers' innovation.

Today in men's fashion, the casual look is cool and trendy. A pair of jeans with a bright colored red, green, or half sleeve shirt looks great for a day out with friends and collections. If it's a slightly more dressy occasion, just wrap a bright colored scarf around your shoulders, pull on a shearling jacket, and you are set to make a cool style statement. Get a pair of military boots, and turn up the jeans to show off your shoes, this is another cool look and a perfect trendsetter!

Denims are here to stay. They will never go out of fashion. If you are in love with denims, then the double denim look is definitely for you. Opt for the double denim jeans with a light casual shirt, or if you think you can carry off a denim shirt also with this ensemble, go for it! Sport a scarf to give a relaxed party look. Denim trousers paired with a casual shirt suits almost all occasions.

The look this season in men's fashion is all about sporting a casual look with little bit of detailing. To your casual pair of jeans, tees and jacket, you can add a badge, or a contrast color zip. To get unusual stylish looks that set you apart from the rest, tune into the Ministry of Fashion site. They have a large collection of jackets, coats and blazers. You can choose from a bikers jacket, or a aviator jacket, or the happening shearling jacket.

Refined ruggedness is the key to men's designer wear. It applies to your shoes and boots too. If you can pull it off, try out bright colored ankle length socks with traditional suits, matching it to your shirt color. Men's military boots are making a fashion statement too this season. Military boots with bright colored socks, a pair of jeans with brightly colored shirt, or a leather coat with a scarf will complete the look, and floor any onlookers completely!

Source by Neil Martin

Marketing Strategy and Movie Distribution Plans

It’s too easy to neglect having a marketing strategy and movie distribution plan when producing on an indie film budget. Producers are focused on fleshing out a tight screenplay, hiring cast and crew while keeping track of every dollar they spend. Studio budget movies hire goliath companies to develop a marketing strategy and movie distribution plan for their latest blockbuster.

Indie filmmakers have to get creative with their marketing strategy and movie distribution plan so their creative hard work doesn’t just disappear after it’s done. I’ve been learning a lot of good stuff by following what other filmmakers are doing to market a movie in order to make film distribution money.

One movie with a sexually driven theme created artwork and an attention grabbing marketing package that included condoms with the name of the film printed on them. I read they stood out at film festivals with this creative approach. There are also rare indie produced movies that are so damn entertaining they secure meaningful movie distribution without a strong marketing strategy to promote them.

But why take the gamble that your movie will be one of the rare ones? Thinking about a marketing strategy and movie distribution plan early as possible is what successful indie producers do. I don’t read entertainment industry trades like The Hollywood Reporter or Variety because they don’t have information based off the real life indie cinema scene.

I’ve been turning to blogs more and more that are ran by indie producers and filmmakers that share what marketing strategies and movie distribution plans have worked for them. I really like reading Indie Slate Magazine and MovieMaker Magazine because they spend time focusing on the business of indie filmmaking not just the creative part of the process.

Creating an online buzz for an indie feature is one of the most effective ways to market a movie without having to spend money you don’t have. It only takes personal time to run a movie blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, Google +1 and other popular social networking outlets. Crowd funding for indie movies has really shown that people do respond to online marketing. The effort to keep a movie blog fresh and stay connected with people pays off in the end. Building interest for a movie online is the way to go.

Having an idea of what the movie distribution plan is going to be will depend on what you want as a producer. Are you going to self-distribute or look to land a distribution deal with a company?

Movie self-distribution makes financial sense for smaller budget indie films. Self-distribution allows the creators to keep control of the rights to their movie. Less money has to be made from direct sales to make a real profit from a movie because there aren’t distribution fees and percentages taken out by a distributor. Many filmmakers have made money for their film investors and themselves from their work through self-distribution combined with an aggressive online marketing push they do themselves.

Landing a movie distribution deal normally offers greater exposure and more people see a movie that is released by a film distribution company worldwide than a self-distributed titled. Movie distributors that cater to releasing indie films usually don’t put together a big marketing strategy. They have relationships with film buyers all over the world that receive their catalog of available titles or see what they have at film markets.

Avoid a past mistake I made by sitting back after signing a distribution deal expecting the distributor to market the hell out of the title. It’s important to still have a workable marketing strategy after you sign a movie distribution agreement. You’ll have to check with the distributor to see what you can and can’t do to market your movie online. But overall it’s a win-win for both parties in exposure and film sales.

Source by Sid Kali

Jewellery For The Ages

One of life’s great problems for many people is the regular worry and disturbance that comes with the responsibility of gift buying: exactly how do you keep coming up with fresh ideas that meet the wishes and expectations of those near and dear ones that you are buying for? As members of a consumer driven society and in an age when even tiny tots from the beginning apparently grow up with a certainty that their every wish should be fulfilled, a high degree of obligation is placed on many of us to repeatedly demonstrate our “duty” by presenting glorious gifts when it comes to Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and so on. A few lucky people seem to have the knack of conjuring up unique and pertinent surprises almost all the time, but the rest of us struggle. So what can you do?

Well, one approach is to focus on a theme. There are some tried and trusted concepts such as books, music or clothes, but what if you want to do something a little differently? What if you’re looking for an approach that is suitable for people of all ages, so that the theme woks for all members of your family or group of friends at times such as Christmas or is valid for close friends or relatives as time goes by? One theme that can give you a great deal of leeway, particularly for the ladies in your life that you’re buying for, is jewellery. It is widely welcomed and loved by most girls and ladies, and that statement in itself suggests one concept for a theme – buying jewellery for ladies at different stages of their lives:

– Young girls seem to assimilate their elders’ love of jewellery almost from the beginning. And by the time girls have started school and begun to socialise with friends, the concept of identity has taken hold – so how about a piece of personalised jewellery such as a necklace with their name picked out in letters as pendant items?

– Teenagers are more and more into the rituals of make up, appearance and relationships, so try out a romance-based item such as heart bracelets or a more diverse one such as charm bracelets.

– Bride to be are consumed by thoughts of the future and their big event to be, and rightly so. As a contrast, and whether she has opted for conventional jewellery or something more unique such as art deco engagement rings or vintage rings, try to find a matching piece of jewellery that will complement her choice.

– Moms frequently miss out when it comes to thoughts of glamour but a pair of carefully chosen silver earrings can work wonders in giving her some options for freshening up the look of her existing outfits.

– Grandmas have a lot of memories to look back on and a family to remember. One way to help with this is to give them a heart locket so that they can insert photos of their closest loved ones.

Those are just a few of the many opportunities and thoughts that jewellery can provoke – so the next time that you have a major gift buying task on hand, why not pursue the theme idea in general and the jewellery concept in particular to come up with some special surprises for the people you need to delight?

Source by Sue Stafford

Qualities of Gold Bracelets

Gold bracelets always cater women and men equally. There were times when these bracelets were only worn by women. Today, men and especially teenager boys have a craze to wear them. Gold is a metal that is expensive yet alluring. Its flexibility and malleability allows its inclusion in much gold jewelry like necklaces, rings and bracelets etc.

There are many designs available in the market. The price tags of these bracelets also vary. There are certain factors which determine the price and quality of a gold. Some of these factors are described below.

The foremost factor that catches the eye of a bead holder is the beautiful and elegant design of the bracelet. There are various designs that can be incorporated using the gold metal to create unique and attractive bracelet. It is this design which awestruck a woman and she is boosted up to buy that bracelet. This factor usually determines whether the gold bracelet would be purchased by a customer or not. Sometimes the gold metal used in the bracelet is of high quality but the design is not well enough to make up the minds of customers to buy it. Women go for a particular design and color of stones engraved in it according to their dresses. A bracelet that suits well with their dresses and personality is usually liked.

Next factor is the metal weight. Heavier the metal, more durable will it be. The total weight of the bracelets includes the weight of different gemstones used in it also. Inclusion of different precious stones means that more gold would be needed to support and secure the gemstones. Buy the type, which has a good gold percentage which will tell that gold bracelet is durable.

Gemstones engraved on this type of bracelet make up another factor. Gemstones, making up a bracelet, determine which woman will take that bracelet. Different persons have different likings. There are some religious, traditional factors also involved in choosing a gold bracelet type having a particular gemstone. Some people go for their birthstones. So whatever may be the gemstone is, always look for the genuine and real gemstones. Some jewelry manufacturers design and make gold bracelets using fake, unreal and artificial stones that resemble real ones a lot and customers can be fooled. Beware of those gold bracelets.

Price is also an important factor. Some of these bracelets are quite expensive while others are not and can be affordable. It is you who knows which one is affordable and which is not. If you are rich enough to buy an expensive gold bracelet, you should definitely go for it. But it is not at all necessary to buy the expensive items. Opt for the gold bracelet that is unique, elegant and beautiful in design, yet affordable and cheaper.

Source by Declan P Tobin

Wedding Jewelry Tips Tricks and Helpful Hints

So your not one of those fabulous actresses or models who has the luxury of the finest gems and diamonds being loaned to them by the likes of Harry Wintson. No matter, you can add a little sparkle and look extra-ordinaire in your gown on your wedding day. Here’s some helpful tips on how to shine on your most important day!

Faking It is Fine! It doesn’t matter if you cannot afford to adorn yourself in diamonds and pearls. The quality of Faux diamonds, gems, and pearls is amazing.

Gone are the days were anyone could tell real from fake. Only your gemologist will know real from fake. You can sparkle like a million dollar babe and you won’t break the bank.

The best way to choose earrings is to try them with your gown. The best styled earring will depend on the neckline of your gown, the type of necklace you are wearing, and how you will be wearing your hair. You want your earrings to be seen but you do not want them to be overpowering.

Drop earrings or short dangle earrings work well and pearls or diamonds [real or fake] add elegance and sparkle. If you’re not wearing a necklace you may want to wear more dramatic earrings. If your dress is beaded and sparkly then you’ll want to choose a more subtle earring so as not to detract from your gown..

Diamonds are a girls best friend, Pearls are truly a bride’s best friend. Pearls never go out of style, but this season they aren’t just in style, they are “hot”.

Not only are they “hot” they are very versatile. Pearls have been worn by fashionable women for ages. You can choose to spring for cultured pearl or purchase quality imitation pearls for a fraction of the cost.

When buying pearls you will need to choose a strand length that enhances the neckline of your gown. The best size pearls to choose are in the 5 to 7 mm range. There are many length choices with pearls.

A pearl collar is usually made of 3 or more strands and measures 12-13 inches. A pearl collar will hug the middle of the neck so it works well with a v necks, plunged necks or off the shoulder gowns.

A choker measures 14-16 inches and is the most versatile length to own. It will work with any gown neckline. The 17-19 inch

Princess with either very high or very low necklines. There are longer lengths of pearls available however they are not very suitable for wedding gowns.

If your lucky enough to have a fabulous piece of jewelry that’s a family heirloom, your wedding can be the perfect time to wear it. Feel free to ask family and friends to borrow a piece of jewelry you adore.

They’ll be honored that you asked. It’s also a great way to cover the “something borrowed.” Wearing jewelry that’s close to your heart is extra special because of emotional attachments.

Vintage jewelry is hot right now and can lend an added dimension to your bridal look. So if you have a favorite piece you’d like to borrow – ask. If you spot a wonderful must have piece to buy, don’t hesitate – it’s a hot statement this season!

Colorful jewelry is a great way to spice up your wedding day ensemble. Rubies, emeralds, and sapphires [real or fake] can add some punch to your wedding jewelry.

This season, colored pearls are a very “hot” fashion statement, available in a wide range of color from silver to bright pink. Just remember a little color is very good, but don’t go overboard and take away from your beautiful gown.

Dare to Be Bare. The options in jewelry can be overwhelming. How do you know which length necklace looks best with your wedding dress? Is your trendy four-strand pearl collar strung on wires a bit too trendy?

One way to go is to keep it simple. As for necklaces, you might decide to skip them altogether. This allows you to show off your dress’ stunning neckline whether it’s strapless or high or in-between.

And it allows you to show off your neck, which you might not want to show off in 30 years. You can also completely forego bracelets. Especially if you’re going to wear gloves, a bracelet can look funny and get in the way.

The norm is to not wear a watch unless it is elegant and delicate enough for wedding day attire. However, these day’s even your watch can count as a piece of jewelry.

There are some fabulous fashion watches available, many look like a bracelet. So if you just can’t bear not wearing a watch, go shopping.

The choices for your hair jewelry are endless. Tiara’s are very “hot” …

Men’s Watches: Jewelry or Tools?

Jewelry can bring happiness to both children and adults, young and old. A favored accessory, some jewelry combines aesthetics with functionality. Because of its versatility, a debate has ignited among jewelry wearers, specifically among men who wear watches. While nonetheless a friendly dispute, the question posed elicits an array of opinions. Is a man’s watch considered fashionable jewelry? Or is a watch a timepiece, a tool of sorts, created solely for displaying the time and date? As co-owner of an online jewelry store specializing in men’s jewelry, it is my opinion that watches are both jewelry and tool. In essence, watches are multi-purposed pieces. They are considered fashion jewelry, with many including bonus features. Today’s watches have the capability of performing a wide range of functions.

Men’s watches, in their various forms, have been around for centuries. Like many other things, the styles and functions of men’s watches have changed over the course of time. In the 1700’s, the traditional pocket watch was born. In 1920, chained watches were replaced with wristwatches, known as wristlets. As technology became more advanced, so did watches. The first electronic watch was developed in the 70’s proving that not only were styles changing; their purpose had matured as well. As the capabilities of men’s watches evolved, the watch became known as the only piece of jewelry having both style and functional attributes.

In order to understand why many consider a man’s watch a necessary tool, you need to look no further than its function. No longer are watches merely timepieces. Today, many of the men’s watches available come fully loaded with alarms, reminders, stop-watch capabilities, GPS (Global Positioning System) and yes, even some can monitor critical information such as heart-rate. It’s easy to understand with all the bells and whistles now available why many consider men’s watches much more than another piece of fashion jewelry.

When purchasing jewelry for my store, I make it a point to choose jewelry that is not only stylish and affordable but versatile as well. For example, many of the pendants and necklaces offered add style to both casual and business attire. The same rationale applies to many individuals who wear watches. While watches are indeed fashionable, they also fulfill a need. At a minimum, they provide the time. At most, they can save your life.

In my many years of working with consumers, I have come to a conclusion. Only one thing determines why a person buys jewelry: their individual need. Herein lies the answer to whether a watch is jewelry, a tool or better yet, perhaps both.

Source by Irit Zeevi

The Story Behind The Snowflake

When you see a young girl in winter wearing earrings or a pendant made in the shape of a snowflake, what would your first thought be? Is there any symbol behind the snowflake or is this just another new thing in fashion? If you look into it a little deeper, you’ll be surprised that even an innocent looking snowflake has not escaped the symbol stamping practice of man.

For people living in countries where it snows, the first sign of the arrival of winter is usually the fall of the first snowflakes. There is really nothing like watching the snowflakes swirling down from the sky and falling silently on the ground, mysteriously covering the land with a white blanket. It’s a delightful feeling to have a snowflake fall on your spread palm or even on the tip of your tongue as many have tried. Man, observing the snowflakes, came up with many meanings and embed many symbols behind the sky-borne ice crystals.

One obvious association based on the whiteness of the snow and its falling straight from the sky without touching anything before reaching the earth is of course immaculateness and purity. This sense of purity can be felt just by looking at an even once familiar land now covered with snow. The snowflake also symbolizes individuality as one very striking fact about snowflakes is that no two snowflakes are exactly identical. This is so because the water molecules which make up the snowflake grow in different rates and patterns depending on the temperature and humidity as they descend the earth. Many attempts were made to find two identical snowflakes by taking thousand of pictures of the snowflakes.

Another thing the snowflakes represent is perfection as they are found to have perfect geometric forms. Snowflakes possess a hexagonal symmetry of six roughly equal arms. Snowflakes also represent serenity and tranquility. Think how tranquil it is just to look outside the window and watch the snowflakes falling silently. It goes very well with the peace that the season brings. And speaking of the season, snowflakes also symbolizes the most popular image of the season – Christmas. This is evident by the silver and white snowflakes on display windows, wrapping papers, and Christmas cards that you can see at Christmas time.

This time when you see a snowflake swirling down from heaven or dangling on the ear of a beautiful girl, take another look. It may still contain meanings that you have never seen before.

Source by Troy Tun

Coach Bags – What’s So Great About Them?

If you’re a girl who loves to have some really cool, long lasting stuff in her wardrobe, then you probably own a Coach bag. But still, you may be a girl who loves cool, long lasting stuff and you don’t have one – yet. It’s time to go out and get yourself one. I’ll tell you why in a few moments, but first, who is Coach? We all know Gucci, YSL, DKNY and all the famous bag designers, but maybe not Coach.

Coach is a leading American designer of luxury goodies, all the way from handbags to purses to jewellery and sunglasses to shoes. They have been around for quite a while – a group of artisans came together in 1941 in Manhattan and founded a family run workshop that was based in their loft. Their unique selling point was to use the best leather possible, and they would treat it till they got it right. They are around to date, and this tells you that they must be producing some great stuff, right?

Anyway, back to why a Coach handbag is so cool?

1. They are made of simply the most beautiful leather. Coach bags have a hallmark – soft leather, and it’s not by fluke. It actually brings us to our second reason why Coach bags are so great:

2. The softer leather is, the longer it will last and the less it will show wear and tear. If you are a lover of things to keep, a Coach bag won’t let you down. They actually get better as they get older (that’s a mark of real fine leather). Even if you change your bags from time to time, you can be sure that when you clean out your wardrobes and get a new set of bags, whoever will get your Coach bag will get to put some mileage into it too.

3. Each Coach bag is made with great attention to detail. The artisans inspect each bag individually after it’s completed to make sure that only the best leaves the factory floors. This of course means that you will not find those unexpected faults after spending a few hundred dollars on a bag. There’s a quality control process that each bag must go through before it reaches a store, and of course they are returnable if you find something amiss (not that you are likely to).

4. The clutch, the zipper and all other bits on the bag are made of similarly tough stuff that will keep going for a long time. No zippers that don’t catch after a month or latches that just don’t sit. Depending on the bag you get, some of the latches are actually made of gold, or plated in gold. Now, that’s not something you see every day on a bag.

5. They are unisex – there’s a range of bags for him too, so you can get your other half something to make him stand out while you’re getting yourself one.

6. Coach bags offer great variety, style and color. They are made for all types of people and all types of occasions and they are designed to suit various body types; tall and full figured, tall and slim or even the right opposite. And the great variety and color selection means that you can have a different Coach bag for every occasion.

7. OK, finally, here’s the best thing about Coach Bags – they are affordable. A lot of designer bags go for thousands of dollars, even hundreds of thousands. You will get a good Coach for the $500-$1000 range that will give you the same service that any other designer bag would. So if you’re into a good bag, and want to save some money, a Coach is exactly the thing to get.

These really are a treasure in your bag collection. As with any other designer bags, there’ll be fake Coach Bags in some places you look. If you want to know whether or not you’re getting the real deal, check on the type of leather used and the kind of finishing. Originals are of the greatest quality. The leather will be soft and will have a subtle look. Do you want to get yourself a Coach Bag right now? Check out our site and get yourself a treasure!

Source by Ted Sikkink

Plastic Cellphone Accessory Markups Create Drastic Profits

For a brief period in my younger days I worked temporarily for an importer of cheap Chinese goods. Indeed, I was completely amazed at the markup of some of the plastic things we import, so cheap in fact, I used to pull them apart just to look at what was inside, after all, I could buy some of these items for around a dollar. I remember pulling apart a little cigarette adapter for a cell phone. I was blown away how cheaply it was made, yet how good it looked on the outside. It worked, worked well, but there was nothing to it.

Buy 1,000 at a time and your price was $.89 and if you buy 100 still only $1.19 and yet, they sold retail for about $15.99 as an impulse item – talk about a mark-up, wow. Okay so, let’s talk shall we?

While I was in the car wash business we used to have such items in the lobby of the car wash for business folks who needed them. At that time cellphones were new and the minutes were costly, not like today, thus, only business people really had them, as they could justify the cost, and yet, they still made their phone calls as brief as possible, and some had cellular phone bills of well over $800 per month.

Today, the quality of these small accessories hasn’t gone up much, although I’m sure they are a little better due to rules and regulations and UL ratings. The price too isn’t very much more than they were back then. The markups are still unbelievable, so there is plenty of money available in that deal. In fact if you offered a small business owner who was selling a cell phone accessory device a mere five dollars, their markup would still be 100%, and that is paying one-third the normal price. So even with all the inflation over the years, and the loss of the value of the dollar, folks that sell plastic cell phone accessories still have incredible markups that truly create intense profits.

It is amazing how valuable information is in this day and age – those that know where to get boxes of these types of items can make a killing, and all those little cell phone stores that can sign you up for service with one of the larger carriers, you wouldn’t believe how much money they make on all those accessories, or how much in bonus they’re willing to pay the sales people were able to get you to buy these items on impulse. Please consider all this and think on it.

Source by Lance Winslow

5 Most Important Things to Remember While Designing a Site

How many sites have you visited so for in your life? Well, this is not really a simple question to start with. But it's really relevant to this topic of discussion. You must be thinking what kind of a freak I am to ask such a nonsense question.

Now if I ask you to tell me the name of your favorite sites that you visit regularly, then you probably give a realistic glance at me. I am sure the ratio will be an outlandish one. So what's the reason do you think? Are there any certain features of a site that pulls you to it every now and then? There must be some.

Actually this parameter varies from person to person. But I think there are some common parameters or features that draw our attention almost immediately we visit them. In this jungle called World Wide Web, you will find sites on almost any subject, but only a few of them are worth a second visit. God save the designers of those sites. I think it mainly happens because of the poor research work or lack of it! Hardly any web design company performs a market survey before the building process, so most of the time they deliver you a poorly designed site with zero market value. But you can not complain as they had included all the features you asked them to do. Here I have pointed out some features that every web designer must consider before going for the building job.

o Load time: loading time is one aspect that always plays in the back of our mind before we visit a site. No matter how effective or captivating the site may be, if it's taking longer time than your tolerance level, you will most likely navigate away to a faster alternative. These are the factors that should be considered;

-Code length, huge coding are likely to cause slow loading.
-use of graphics, heavy graphics can make your site an eye candy, but you must first ensure your visitors a smooth entry to your site. So make a proper balance between both.
-make sure that your site is hosted in a high end server. This ensures faster speed.
-use of music files is not recommended.
-You can put your content on one server and the database on another. It will make your site faster and it is also secure to do that.
-use a slash at the end of the domain name of your site, which will indicate that it is a directory page and so server will take less time to load it.

o Compactness: what I first notice in a site is its compactness. It not only saves space but also sends a right no fuss signal to your audience.

o User friendship: your site must be user friendly; too much complicity will definitely spoil the soup. So keep it simple and avoid including unnecessary features.

o Open up your data: this is not the age of keeping the data in your volt; it is the age of exposing your data as much as possible.

o Think out of the box: you need not be conventional rather history never remembers the followers, it remembers the trailblazers. So if you think any of your approach is a bit absurd, do not get retarded rather if you think it will work for you and then go for it.

Hopefully these tips will come in handy for your website design

Source by Rupam Chakraborty

How to Cut and Clasp Jade Bracelets

Typically, jade bracelets come cut as a solid bangle or as a flexible bracelet with several sections of jade held by metal end caps and joints between pieces. With your bracelet, adding the spacer is a good idea but you will have to have two spacers, not one.

Since the solid jade is not flexible, the bracelet will need to be cut on opposite sides so each half may be connected with a spacer. You will need to find someone with a fine blade diamond saw to cut the jade. These saws are motorized using a 6″ or so circular blade of thin design. Steel tools simply will not do the job. You want a fine and neat cut so the ends are parallel and match nicely.

If a jeweler cannot do this, most will not have fine diamond rock saws, one suggestion is to contact a local rock and gem shop. The rock and gem shops cater to folks who like to do their own stone polishing and a diamond saw is one of the basic tools of the hobby. Ask the rock shop if they can recommend someone has a “thin kef” rock saw. People who do faceted stones or cut opal are most likely to have the diamond saw with a fine (thin) blade and may cut the bracelet for you. The rock shop may also offer this service for a minimal fee.

Spacers will take the form of “end caps” or shallow cups into which the jade is cemented. The spacers could be made with two opposing caps (shallow tubes) for joining the jade ends, with one spacer on each side of the bracelet. Any competent bench jeweler should be able to fabricate the spacer from silver stock or use available silver “findings” to make the caps. Findings is the word used by jewelers to describe the “parts” used in jewelry work, such as ring shanks, stone settings, clasps, catches, etc. Depending on the diameter of the jade, there is the possibility of the jeweler using “bezel cups” to make the spacers.

Bezel cups are stamped cups of silver (or other metal) used to mount stones onto bracelets, rings and other jewelry. Purchased, the bezel cups should work and will cost a fraction of the price if hand fabricated from silver sheet stock. Some silver design should be between each cap to allow the angle of the caps to match the angle of the jade ends for a clean look and secure fit. The use of a single section of silver tube for each spacer is possible but that depends on the angle of the jade at the cut ends and availability of silver tube of large enough diameter.

Yes, the job is certainly possible and not very difficult to do. The problem is getting the bracelet sawn in-two cleanly. After that, having the spacers made should not be a daunting task at all.

If you wanted, the spacers could be made one with a clasp and the other with a hinge, providing a bangle which opens and closes to be placed on the arm.

Joining the jade to the spacer cups (or tubes) will be cement designed for such work. I suggest fine quality epoxy cement which cures to a water clear color. One such cement is Hughes 330, designed for joining gemstone material and metals. Other epoxy cements will work just so long as the cement is applied with care with little excess to show at the caps.

Source by Victor Epand

Hip Hop Culture and the Rise of Bling

Hip Hop culture has added a variety of terms, fashion trends, music styles and even personalities to the culture at large. Nothing has captured public interest more than “Bling.” The late 1990’s first saw “Bing” come into the general vocabulary. Bling, originally used in several different rap songs of the time, was coined to describe elaborate jewelry and personal accessories that show that the wearer has taste, talent, and lots of cash.

Hip Hop culture has had a tremendous impact on fashion in general, well beyond the world of Hip Hop. Much of what is “cool” today originally derived from the world of Hip Hop. Jewelry has been particularly impacted by Hip Hop.

Bling is now more commonly used to refer specifically to flashy types of jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, watches, body jewelry, rings and grillz (braces and caps for the teeth). Of course it can also include other accessories such as cell phones or even jeweled glasses or purses. Bling is commonly associated with diamonds and other precious gems, and precious metal such as gold and platinum. This term has become so universally accepted it was actually added to Webster’s Dictionary in 2002.

Hip Hop has made ornate jewelry as prevalent for men as for women. The popularity of Hip Hop culture and bling has drawn a lot more attention to larger pieces of jewelry that are selected to become the center of focus, not to just add to the overall outfit. Hip Hop artists can be seen on music videos sporting huge link chains in gold and platinum with large diamond and gem-encrusted pendants. The designs are specifically designed for men, with heavier weight and larger scale.

Bling is big, bling is flashy, and bling is meant to impress. It is meant to symbolize success. The use of various symbols including dollar signs, ornate crosses and other religious symbols, gambling symbols, and even different breeds of dogs and animals are all popular within the Hip Hop jewelry world.

Bracelets and necklaces tend to be very large link or dog collar-type chains, however solid bracelets are also very popular for both men and women. Rings tend to be chunky, wide, and feature multiple small diamond chips or several larger diamonds, either real diamonds or cubic zirconia, depending on your budget, in elaborate patterns and designs. There is a general sense of more is better with regards to wearing Bling. Rarely will you find any piece being worn alone. More typically, pieces are worn in multiples.

Jewelry designers outside the Hip Hop world have integrated the concepts of large, heavy, and flashy elements into their own jewelry lines. Over the last ten years jewelry styles have definitely been impacted by the Bling style, becoming larger, bulkier, and more ornate. You can now find Bling-style jewelry everywhere from fine jewelry designers to department stores. Available Bling jewelry ranges from the high-end, in gold and platinum with genuine gem,s to the more affordable, in sterling silver with simulated gems. Today, everyone can sport a little Bling.

Source by Amy Carrington

How To Read Jewelry Marks

The number markings on precious gold jewelry are a bit of confusion to lots of people. We are generally used to seeing a karat or silver mark like this: 10K, 14K, 18K, Sterling, etc. The numbers mean the same thing.

For 14k the number is technically 583 but most manufacturers adopted the European way and make 14k gold a tiny bit over 14k, so the mark is 585 in most 14k jewelry. 18K is marked 750. If the mark is valid and there is a makers mark also in the jewelry, the number means these items are 18k gold.

Here is where the numbers come from. Pure gold is called 24 karat. For 18k gold, there are 18 parts of pure gold mixed with other metals to make the metal suitable for use in jewelry. 24k is too soft alone to stand up or to hold stones well. 18 parts pure gold divided by 24, or 18/24 equals 750. That is where the number comes from. The jewelry is 75% pure gold, 750 parts gold with 250 parts other metals out of “1000” parts. It is easier to think of it as a percent which is pure gold in the recipe.

Sterling silver is marked 925. Sterling is 92.5% pure silver and the rest is other metal, generally copper.

What does it mean if the ring marked 14K PR? The 14K simply means it is 14K (Karat) gold and because of the K means it would have been made in either South East Asia or The United States. The PR marks are just the Maker or Store ID or even a design mark, and have no relevance to the Value.

The basic decimal formula to work out the quality of gold content is quite simple, as they are all measured in ‘Parts per Thousand.’ This means that 9ct gold is calculated like this: 9 (for 9ct) is divided by pure gold (24) and then multiplied by 1000 (for pure gold as a decimal). ie: 9/24*1000=375 That 375 is the decimal quality for 9ct gold and is sometimes shown with a decimal point in front – .375

The old Victorian standard of 15ct gold is calculated the same way – 15/24*1000 = 625 (Not quite the numbers you have on your jewelry. Dental gold is 16ct or 666 recurring. But you can also reverse this formula by starting with the decimal and working back. ie: 375/1000*24 = 9

In your case we can use 698/1000*24 = almost 17ct

I have a platinum engagement ring and found a wedding ring that I really like but the band is made of palladium. Is it safe to wear these two metals together without one damaging the other?

It will wear the softer metal OVER TIME but that could take many years. My Grandmothers wedding ring eventually wore away the band of her engagement ring but it took over 20 years to do.

Platinum and Palladium and quite good together but I would take the advice of your local friendly jeweler and have them check both rings. Sometimes the Platinum may be a lower grade in order to make it harder – so have that checked.

Source by Victor Epand