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Womens Long Chain Necklace with Gems and Matching Earrings Set

March 7th, 2011 in jewelry-accessories by admin

This is the type of necklace that you could easily wear to school or on the dance floor. The chain is a dark gun matal and has gems with small chain metail hanging from them. It is a long necklace and can be easily paired with a shorter necklace for a great leyer effect. This necklace also comes with matching thing chain errings, so you never have to worry about finding a pair to go with your outfit.

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Stretching Your Ear Lobe Piercings

March 7th, 2011 in jewelry-accessories by admin

Ear Lobe Stretching/Gauging
It’s trendy right now to wear pierced earrings fashioned with thick, decorative posts and rings. Even if your ears were pierced to a more standard size, you can stretch your ear lobe holes using a gradual process that some people call gauging. Piercing pros will tell you that gauging is not the correct term, but I’m using it here because it is the term most people are searching for.
It will take time to stretch your ear lobe holes, but if you do it carefully you’ll be able to wear the newer styles and keep your earlobes healthy.

What’s a normal ear lobe gauge?
Most people’s ear lobes are pierced with a 20 or 18-gauge needle. Common gauge sizes are named in even numbers down to 00, with the size increasing as the numbers decrease. There are larger gauges that are expressed as fractions.

Isn’t it easier to punch larger holes to begin with?
Most piercers refuse to punch large holes, because totally removing a plug of skin makes it difficult, if not impossible, to size back down later. Skin is resilient, so leaving it there and forcing it to stretch makes it easier to return to a smaller hole if you decide to gauge down.

How should I stretch my ear lobes?
The method I’ll describe is the technique I used to stretch my own earlobes. It worked for me, but not everyone agrees that this technique is an acceptable way to change sizes. Always speak with a piercing professional before you attempt to stretch the holes of any of your own piercings.
It’s important to change your gauge gradually, allowing ample healing time between sizes. If you move too fast, you might damage the skin enough to create scar tissue. Scars will make your ear look as if it is cracking around the hole and also make it very difficult to change gauge.

Jewelry grade stainless steel rings or plugs are a good choice for stretching the holes. Stainless is not porous, so it does not absorb bacteria and dirt that can cause infections, and its heavier weight helps the stretching process. Save the decorative plastic and wooden pegs until your ears are healed.

I used these techniques to stretch my ear lobes to accept 6 gauge earrings. Everyone is different, so listen to your body during your gauging process. Don’t move on to a larger size until you feel comfortable about the change.

Compare your earring posts to a gauge chart to determine your current gauge.

Buy rings in the next largest size. For instance, if your current gauge is 20, purchase 18 gauge rings.

Wash your hands and earlobes with antibacterial soap.

Massage one of your ear lobes.

Insert the larger ring in that lobe. The new ring won’t slide right in, so take it easy or you’ll tear your ear and make it bleed.

Repeat the steps for your other ear.
Use a little antibacterial soap, such as Provon or Dial, to help the rings go in more smoothly.

Expect some soreness as your lobes heal and adjust to the new hole size. When they are fully healed, repeat the process to step up one more size.

I waited about two weeks between sizes, but you might find you need to wait longer.

Stretching Options
Special devices called tapering rings or insertion tapers can be used to stretch earlobe holes. They are round shafts that gradually taper from a smaller to larger gauge along their lengths. Your piercing professional can show you how to use the tapers, or do it for you. Not everyone agrees that using tapers is a good method for gaugint.

Keep Your Piercings Clean
Clean your jewelry and earlobes once or twice every day with an unscented antibacterial soap. Try cleaning them when you are in the shower, because heat and moisture combined make it easier, and more comfortable, to manipulate a sore area.
Saturate your ear lobes with lather and use a cotton ball or disposable cloth to remove crusty residue. Turn the rings gently to work soap into the area and to keep them from sticking to your skin. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

Now soak your ear lobes in a solution made by combining a pinch of sea salt in a cup of distilled water. Soak for five to ten minutes.

Get Expert Advice
Remember to talk to a professional body piercer any time you need advice about your piercings.

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Body Jewelry and Body Piercings

March 7th, 2011 in jewelry-accessories by admin

Use these resources to answer your questions about body piercings and body jewelry. Get facts about different types of piercings and learn which metals are good (and bad) choices for brand new body piercings. You’ll find a visual that illustrates gauge, to help you envision jewelry size. Common healing times are covered in other articles, and I’ve included a step-by-step of my own navel piercing from many years ago.
6 Reasons to Avoid Piercing Guns
Piercing guns are controversial, even though they’ve been around a long time and have been used to pierce millions upon millions of ears. Gun designs have improved in recent years, and now most retailers who pierce with them use the type with disposable cartridges. That type of gun makes it easier to prevent disease transmission, but the system is far from perfect. The gun itself still cannot be truly sterilized (its plastic parts would melt in an autoclave) and most casual piercers probably don’t have a solid background in standard hygiene practices. The delivery of jewelry into the ear can be a problem, too. Here are six things to think about before someone uses a gun on your earlobes.
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Best Metals for new Body Piercings
Not all metals are suitable for new body piercings. This list covers metals that are good choices for new body piercings and a list of metals that you should avoid.
Body Jewelry Gauge Chart
This quick-reference body jewelry gauge chart illustrates how jewelry thickness increases as its gauge number decreases. The chart previews jewelry thickness from 20 to 00 gauge.
Ear Piercings: Industrial, Daith & Tragus
Here’s an explanation of three different types of ear piercings, the Industrial, the Daith and the Tragus. It includes typical the jewelry gauge used for each type of piercing and offers some insight on the length of time it will take your your new piercing to heal.
My Belly Button Piercing
Your navel piercing experience could differ, but here’s a description of what the procedure was like for me. The story includes photos of some of the steps the body piercer took to complete the job.
Stretching Your Earlobe Piercings (Often Called Gauging)

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Readers Respond: How do you feel about piercing guns?

March 7th, 2011 in jewelry-accessories by admin

Have you had a piercing that was done with a piercing gun? Would you recommend the procedure to a friend? Tell us about your piercing gun experience, good or bad. Talk About Piercing Guns
Piercing guns work well
My experience with a piercing gun was good. My only problem was that it hurt my earlobes. So it was painful but less so than jamming a needle in my ear.
?Guest Mikala
Piercing gun not working properly?
Five of us had ears pierced all at once. All different ages. It was done at a department store with a piercing gun. This was over 30 years ago. Four had no trouble, my piercing bled a lot. When finally able to remove the earrings, my helper was covered in blood, it squirted everywhere. One of the holes had a long thin wire coiled inside. Removing it caused lots of pain and blood. But after several months everything was fine.
?Guest Bernie
My gun piercings were great
I had mine pierced in 1977 at a hairdresser’s. It was done with a gun. I have had no problems whatsoever, and earrings always look great whatever I wear. I would never pierce anything myself, just in case it all went badly wrong. I think that a lot of people don’t look after their piercings as they should, and that this is the reason for infection. Fiddling with them too much also makes them ultra sore.
?Guest Marie Celine
Guns are Pretty Safe
I work at Claire’s and I pierce ears. It’s my job, I can get fired for it. Anyway, The guns are sterilized with alcohol pads… or should be anyway. But, the earring NEVER touches the gun, the gun never touches the ear. Wiping it off with alcohol is generally a way to make the customer happy and feel safe. If your ear gets infected it’s generally because you have an allergy, all our earrings are 100% sterile by the way, or you just plain don’t take care of it.
?Guest Amanda
Owner of salon weighs in
I think that the piecing guns are great, compared to piecing using needles. It’s a revolutionary way to pierce and they do have throw away piecing guns that are made for each use per-person… you can get them out of Canada. I have seen and heard of more people getting infections from tattoo parlors than ever a gun.
?Guest Julie
No way!
A piercing gun is what pierced my first and second set of holes in my ears. I made a mistake and i got those done before i knew how much damage piercing guns do, and how unsanitary they are. Piercing guns are unclean and the plastic they are made of is porous and can absorb the body fluids that can get onto them. I also have two cartilage piercings in the top of my left ear, (both helix) that i did myself a few years ago. Piercing yourself is also very stupid too, because of the unsanitary environment. Self piercings often get infected, but luckily for me, mine did not. I used a needle myself, then inserted the jewelry. But please people if you do have the urge to get a piercing and want to do it yourself, buy a pre-packed sterilized needle, do not use a piercing gun.
?Guest Samantha
am i going to be ok?
i want to clarify: i got my ears pierced at “plaire’s” (wont say the name ;) ) and it is NOT a blunt earring. they are specifically made to be sharp, and yeah it hurts but i seem to be fine. people always assume that every “plaire’s” is the same and every piercer is the same, that’s not the case. they give you a huge bottle of cleaner and loads of good advice.
?Guest pedro
uh oh…
i got my ears pierced yesterday at claire’s with a gun, she sterilized my ears and the gun, she did my sister’s ears too (both with a gun) and now im scared that i am going to get infected ears, my sister’s have gotten infected with past piercings at claire’s, but that was because she didnt clean them and she twirled them too much and her hair got caught in them…how will i know if they are infected?
?Guest imscared!
Guns should be outlawed!
Do not be foolish enough to get your ears pierced with a gun. I don’t care who they are or how much experience they have, that gun is a portable germ factory.
?Guest SmarterthanThat
You Should Know.
Piercing Yourself Is Really Dangerous, it may be the easy option but can lead to serious health problems. the chances of obtaining blood poisoning is extremely higher than getting professionally pierced in a hygienic studio. Piercing guns are absolutely fine in my opinion. I’ve had many done with them and have never had any problems and have never known anyone else to. But really its down to personal opinion. if you piercing is infected its probably down to poor cleaning or touching the piercing itself with unclean hands.
?Guest Ashton
piercing guns are bad news
I had most of my ear piecings made with a gun before I knew better. Since then I cannot wear any kind of stud in my ear because it gets infected within a day or so. The other ones that I have had done with a needle heal faster and I can wear anything that I wish. The problem with piercing guns is that they cannot be properly sanitized and sterilized and so when you get yours pierced you are sharing that gun with everyone that has been pierced with it before you. Needle piercing is much more sanitary and safe in my book.
?Guest Sara
Needles, guns?
The first time I had my ears pierced was by a doctor after I was born. Not a problem at all. But, after a serious allergy problem I had to take my earrings off for a while, so the holes closed. I got them re-done at home with a friend’s help. We did it with a needle and thread, and it did hurt a bit. I got the allergy again after a little while, so I took the earrings off and the holes closed again. I did the holes a third time just using my earrings at home. It didn’t hurt and up to date they are perfect. Then I wanted another set of earrings, so I went to the mall to get the piercings there — they were done with a gun. Now, that was a problem. After awhile they got infected and each time I changed my earrings it hurt. So, if planning on getting your ears pierced, don’t use a gun. Go to a professional or do it at home. At the moment of the piercing the pain is the same, but after a while it’s better with a needle.
?Guest Danny
I hate piercing guns
I am 31 years old and I had my piercings done at a young age. I cannot remember the piercing, but assume it was with a needle. But, the holes are mix match. So when i was 14 I decided to even it out by going to a shop and getting it done with a piercing gun. Bad mistake. They became infected and I had taken out the cheap earring. From what I can recall I cleaned it correctly and twisted and did all the nonsense that everyone else mentioned here. So, I decided to do it again four years later and the same thing happened again. I believe it works for some and not others. I now have a little girl and I don’t want her ears to become infected. I will have it done professionally for the both of us.
I love the Piercing Gun
I have been a licensed Ear Piercing technician for 20 years at our jewelry store in Beverly Hills. I have also had my ears pierced with the gun. In about 1000 clients, only 2 have had any real problems: one girl was fine until she tried to change her earrings out too soon, and they closed up around the new earrings that were too tight. One guy didn’t do his cleaning routine and they got infected. It’s all about where you go to get pierced: The technician needs to be good and explain the daily cleaning routine, the gun needs to be sanitized after every use, and the person’s ears need to be cleaned and de-bacterialized. The piercing gun is the quickest way to insert the earring without any blood. The pain usually subsides within the hour. I love it.
Uneasy with piercing gun
I had my ears pierced with a piercing gun. It was quick, but the problem is, my ears got infected before I could wear any earrings. I have had my ears pierced at two times, and both times they were infected. I don’t know whether it is the problem with my skin or the problem with the way we go with the piercing gun.

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Zsa Zsa Gabor

March 7th, 2011 in jewelry-accessories by admin

Zsa Zsa Gabor
Zsa Zsa Gabor’s active role in Hollywood was winding down when I was born, but I’ve seen lots of clips of the actress during my lifetime, including audio of her trademark Dahhling, the name the Hungarian-born Gabor called most people she spoke to during interviews.
Born in 1917, Zsa Zsa Gabor has been married nine times (although one, to Felipe de Alba, lasted only a day and was annulled). Conrad ‘Nicky’ Hilton was her second husband (1942-1946) and the father of her only child, Constance ‘Francesca’ Hilton.

In July, 2010, 93-year-old Zsa Zsa fell at her Los Angeles home. Since then, there have been conflicting reports of her condition. Gabor’s husband of 24 years tells the press she is in critical condition, but her daughter claims her condition is improving. Gabor may have asked for last rites from a priest on August 15, 2010.

This gallery takes a look back at Zsa Zsa’s jewelry style — it’s safe to say that diamonds and pearls ruled.

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2011 Oscars Jewelry

March 7th, 2011 in jewelry-accessories by admin

Jewelry Trends at the Academy Awards
Emerald jewelry made a showy appearance at the 2011 Academy Awards. Amy Adams wore emeralds from Cartier (including a bracelet watch). Reese Witherspoon’s emerald earrings were from Neil Lane, while Annette Bening’s emerald drop earrings were by Lorraine Schwartz. Celine Dion chose emeralds for Oscar night, too, wearing a diamond and emerald pendant.
Fourteen year old Hailee Steinfeld looked perfect in a 10 carat diamond headband from Fred Leighton, and Natalie Portman’s tassel earrings were fashioned from a combo of white diamonds and beads in a range of colors that blended with her gown.

More Jewelry Trends on the Oscars Red Carpet

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Gem Mining in Franklin, North Carolina

March 7th, 2011 in jewelry-accessories by admin

Franklin, North Carolina, sits in Macon County, in the western tip of the state. No matter which direction you arrive from, you’ll pass through some of the prettiest areas of the Blue Ridge. Waterfalls, rock-clustered streams of rushing water, scenic mountain views?you’ll find it all along your route.

The Corundum Family of Minerals
Sapphires and rubies are both variations of corundum. We tend to think of sapphires as blue, but they can be green, pink, yellow, and many other colors depending on the presence of different impurities.
All colors of corundum are called sapphire except one: red corundum is always a ruby.

Mining Near Franklin, NC
In 1870, companies began mining corundum in Macon County. Second only to diamonds in hardness, corundum is used as an industrial abrasive. Commercial mining stopped when synthetic corundum became a cheaper solution for industrial needs. The mines were forgotten until locals and tourists became interested in them for another reason?finding their own rubies and sapphires.

The Sheffield Mine
We arrived at Franklin’s Sheffield Mine about noon. Sheffield is one of our favorites, because visitors nearly always find at least one nice ruby or sapphire to take home with them.
It’s one of the few mines in the area that sells native dirt, straight from the earth with nothing added or subtracted. You might find a ruby, or you might not.

Most mines enrich the dirt with purchased uncut gems. Enriched buckets are a sure thing. They’re a good choice for kids, or for adults who want to find a variety of gems. Sheffield offers enriched buckets of dirt, too, but they’re kept in a separate area so that visitors know exactly what they are digging into.

Looking for Native Rubies
The mine charges a per-person fee that covers two large buckets of earth for each miner. Choose buckets filled with either native or enriched dirt, and if you feel like digging through more, buy a few additional buckets, because they’re reasonably priced.

Take Your Buckets to the Flume Line
A flume line is a shallow trough with water running through it, kind of like a man-made, elevated creek. The running water helps you wash the dirt off of the materials in your bucket.

Looking for Rubies
Staff gives everyone a sifter box, a wooden box with a screened bottom that lets water rush out but keeps your stones inside.
Pour some of the dirt in your bucket into the box and place it in the water. Swish the ingredients around with your hands and move the box up and down to help the water rinse the clumps of mud off the contents.

If you have an enriched bucket the job won’t be too hard. Stones were probably clean when they went into the dirt, so what’s there should wash off easily. Young children have a lot of fun with the enriched buckets, because the colorful gemstones are easy to seee when the dirt is rinsed from them.

Searching native earth for gems in their natural state takes more time and effort, and you’ll need to develop a good eye for exactly what you’re looking for. The dirt on gems in a native bucket has been there forever and isn’t as easy to remove, and the rubies are still surrounded by their matrix, a crusty, gray, protective barrier.

Push large rocks aside and gather smaller gravel into a mound at the center of your tray.

Cup your hands over the pile and move it in a circular motion. The grinding action removes the dirt from the stones.

Rinse your stones and rub again. Repeat the process until no more mud is visible on your hands. Linda Smith, one of the mine’s owners, says you should always “rub and rinse one more time than you think is necessary.”
Spread your clean stones into one layer and look carefully for glints of lavender or deep purple-red. Staff will show you examples of what you should look for, because rubies at this stage look nothing like the brilliantly cut gems we’re used to seeing in jewelry stores. It might take a little practice to identify them, but once you’ve found a few you’ll be off like a pro.

Check Everything in Your Sifter
Don’t forget to check those larger chunks you set aside. Chances are they’re just rocks, but Eugene King found a 488 carat ruby that nearly fills the palm of his hand. Here’s a tip: a piece of corundum is much heavier than a plain rock of the same size.

Using Your Rubies and Sapphires in Jewelry
What can you do with your rubies and sapphires? There are many artisans in the Franklin area who will cut and mount the stones for you. Remember that when a gem is cut it does lose size, because the artist works around imperfections and determines the type and size of cut that will produce the most beautiful finished gem.

Star Rubies and Sapphires
The Sheffield Mine contains rare star rubies and sapphires, stones that produce a six-pointed star when they’re cut into a cabochon shape, with a smooth, rounded, dome-like top. The star is the result of needle-like inclusions that react with light.
It is so much fun to see how what looks like a plain grayish rock turn into a brightly colored gemstone, one you know is natural and untreated. Jewelry made from gems you’ve found yourself is special, even if the stone doesn’t have perfect color or clarity.

You were the one who found that ruby or sapphire. You plucked it out of a pile of rocks that has been buried for eons. I guarantee that once you’ve found a few gems, you’ll be hooked.

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