Archive for the 'Crystal Jewelry' Category...
Filed under Christmas Jewelry, Crystal Jewelry, Fashion Jewelry, Fleur-de-lis Jewelry
Fashion Items Consumers Can’t Live Without
The fashion items people can’t live without go by many names including impulse items. With fleur-de-lis being a hot item in Louisiana, these rhinestud ball caps caught on immediately. The hats have pizzazz and go straight to the heart of those captivated by the fleur-de-lis.
These are the kind of products we need to fit the just-got-to-have category. For women going to formal events, the got-to-have item can be breath-taking crystal jewelry. For church ladies it can be a stunning dress hat. The products in this category have to have an irresistible attraction shoppers just can’t live without out.
What items does your customer base find irresistible. These are the items you need at least a modest selection of in your shop. Irresistible beauty trumps cheap price for shoppers.
Filed under Crystal Jewelry, Rhinestone Jewelry
Posted by admin on Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
Rhinestone and Crystal Jewelry-the Sure Bet
We are in the heat of homecoming season for high schools and universities across the nation. In addition to parades, tailgating, and football games, most homecomings have a court and a dance. It is the homecoming court and the dance that calls for items you can supply.
Dressy jewelry has the greatest demand. Every woman going to the dance needs sparkly accessories. This is fall’s version of prom and many retailers overlook the opportunity. Both rhinestone and crystal jewelry are important in necklace sets, bracelets, earrings, and hair accessories.
The infatuation with iridescent crystals continues to obsess today’s shoppers. So including some iridescent rhinestone and crystal jewelry is a must. The rhinestone necklace set we are showing has jet highlights, but also has an option for iridescent stones. This necklace set is eye-catching without overwhelming. Members of the court, especially the queen, usually want jewelry that makes more of a statement. The crystal choker set in the sidebar provides exquisite design that is irresistible.
Combinations of dramatic earrings and bracelets are a popular substitute for necklace sets for many of today’s shoppers. Find bracelets on the site under the categories for rhinestone jewelry and crystal jewelry. The crystal bracelet in the sidebar is an exceptional look with iridescent stones and gold plating.
Dramatic earrings are also located under both categories with some especially exciting styles (like the ones shown) located in crystal earrings.
So why did we call rhinestone and crystal jewelry a sure bet in the title? Because glitzy jewelry has need beyond homecoming. Holidays, Mardi Gras, and prom are coming and all call for sparkly jewelry. Pageant, dance competition, choirs, performances are just a few more occasions that will need sparkly accessories.
Filed under Crystal Jewelry
Posted by admin on Saturday, September 27th, 2014
Filed under Brooches, Christmas Jewelry, Crystal Jewelry, Earrings, Fashion Accessories, Fashion Jewelry, Necklace Sets, Rhinestone Jewelry, Seasonal Jewelry
Glamorous Crystal Jewelry
Breath-Taking Beauty in Crystal Necklaces
The spring of 2013 introduced crystal necklace sets in magnificent designs that steal the show. Today new designs continue to roll out that are breath taking. A few of these crystal sets in a showcase of formal jewelry will mesmerize shoppers.
Most recent arrivals are choker sets with large sparkling crystals delivering lavish designs. Who wears this luxurious jewelry? Certainly, these sets will grab the attention of customers searching for pageant jewelry, or sets for Mardi Gras Balls and Ballroom dancing, but demand goes far beyond that. Any kind of gala, ball, or dressy evening event can be an occasion.
In addition, these extravagant designs will have your customers’ talking and draw attention to other sets in your showcase. This is another story to tell. Actually, these gorgeous crystal jewelry sets speak for themselves.
CONSUMERS TRUST SMALL BUSINESS FOR HOLIDAY & FORMAL JEWELRY
Did you notice the emphasis this year on supporting small business in Christmas shopping? Conventional wisdom says this is smart because small business is the backbone of the American economy. But how much does putting out the message help the Christmas season for small fashion businesses, especially when they are always competing with big box companies?
A far more effective way to draw consumers to small business is offering the fashion accessories that shoppers trust small retailers for far more than they trust the majors. We discovered 12 categories that do just that and covered the first nine in the last two blogs. Now let’s look at the last three, which are in the holiday or the formal jewelry and accessories area.
10) HOLIDAY JEWELRY—RHINESTONE SETS
Restaurants, clubs, and ballrooms offer special dining and entertainment every New Year’s Eve. This gives couples the opportunity to dress up and enjoy a romantic evening out. Women go shopping for the knockout apparel that will turn heads that night and plenty of retailers will be competing for the sales. But accessorizing the dresses is left mainly to small business because they have the abundant options to make the perfect match for the outfit.
Rhinestone necklace sets will be high on the shopping list for these consumers. Nothing seems more traditional than rhinestone for New Year’s Eve, but most major retailers have a very limited selection. It’s small business that has showcases of options because they specialize in the glitzy look all year. Yes, when New Year’s Eve is gone for another year, small business will have the glamorous jewelry for proms, bridal, pageant, and balls while the majors are changing their showcases to a casual look.
Small retailers offer the traditional looks that many women are comfortable with as well as the edgy designs that are rising in fashion. This season look for the glamorous looks in rhinestone that you would expect in the diamond jewels of royalty. Designs fit for a queen, grace the neck with lavish crystals surrounded by smaller rhinestones. This tasteful extravagance is the ballroom look for this New Years Eve.
When we think of rhinestone jewelry, sets crafted from rhinestone chain come to mind. This look actually never existed before World War II because the machine to produce the rhinestone chain hadn’t been invented yet. Before that, rhinestone jewelry was limited to handset stones that we call crystal jewelry today. And these crystal sets are back in a big way because of the fashion trend of statement necklaces. This has carried over into formal jewelry and crystal necklace sets deliver with larger stones and bold statements.
With bracelets so big in trends, we can’t overlook crystal bracelets that add a glamorous accessory to the wrist. Crystals again provide bold, sparkling designs that will stand out for holiday wear—everything from bracelets inspired by Art Deco to the gorgeous look of The Golden Age of Costume Jewelry. This really adds excitement to a New Year’s Eve ensemble and where do you find it—at the small retailer locations that not only have the wide selection, but provide personal service in putting together the perfect look.
11) GLITZY EARRINGS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Not every holiday dress is going to accommodate a necklace set and this is where earrings really step up to add the glamour. Options abound in glitzy earrings. Remember the chandeliers from a few years ago? Well they never went away. New designs deliver all the sparkle a girl could want with crystals and motion glimmering with every move.
If shoppers prefer something more traditional, the small retailers specializing in formal jewelry will have a host of rhinestone earrings from conservative size to shoulder duster length. Cascades, buttons, hoops, linear earrings, colored rhinestones—where else can you find this selection? And where else can shoppers get personal service that will have you leaving satisfied with accessories that really set off an outfit.
Don’t overlook crystal earrings. Small businesses have plenty of options for every hair do and outfit. Crystal earrings can have the very feminine look of filigree settings as well as dramatic buttons, bold drops, or the elegance of glimmering crystals in silver plating with black epoxy contrast—so stunning for New Year’s Eve. To find all these options, shoppers must visit small retailers with a focus on formal jewelry because the big box stores seldom have the variety or the personal service.
If we think back a few years, it seems like there was a new trendy fashion item every Christmas. In 2004 it was initials on accessories, in 2005 sequin handbags, and in 2006 crystal brooches. That year the showcases of department stores sparkled with brooches. Each item faded away except the crystal brooches that seem to be here to stay.
But even crystal brooches faded away in the department store showcases while demand continued. The gorgeous designs draw a lot of inspiration from the first half of the twentieth century—Art Nuevo, Art Deco, and designs from The Golden Age of Costume Jewelry. Brooches make wonderful Christmas gifts for Mom, for office gift exchanges, and for other special occasions like bridesmaid gifts. But the only reliable supplier is small businesses specializing in glitzy and formal jewelry.
Demand is high. According to Google, there are 450,000 searches for per month for brooches and another 673,000 searches for brooch. That means customers are looking for brooches and this is a wonderful opportunity for small business.
A high number of major businesses started as small businesses. Popeye’s Fried Chicken began with one chicken house in Arabi, La. Ugg boots took hold in the US when the Australian, Brian Smith, sold them to surfers in California. This is a small sampling of the importance of small business to the US economy. In addition to being the incubator for larger businesses, small business hires nearly half the US workers and is the engine for employment with 65% of new hires.
So survival of small business is important. Retailers can zero in on areas of fashion where consumers trust them more than they trust the big box companies and consumers need to keep small business in mind when shopping.
Filed under Bracelets, Christmas Jewelry, Crystal Jewelry, Earrings, Fashion Jewelry, Gemstone Jewelry, Necklace Sets, Pendants, Sports Jewelry, Uncategorized
Posted by admin on Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
In the fast pace of the Christmas buying season, how is small business doing compared to the majors. According to the US Small Business Administration, nearly half the employment in the US and 65% of new hiring comes from small business so their survival is vital to the American economy. There is a push this year to make consumers aware of supporting small business in their Christmas shopping. But ask someone if that reflects in their buying pattern, and most will embarrassingly say no.
If that isn’t working, something is. There are a number of items that consumers simply trust small business for over the majors when shopping. In fashion accessories we covered headwear and accessories in Part I and now let’s move forward with fashion jewelry.
5) STATEMENT NECKLACES
If there is anything radically different on the fashion scene in jewelry this year it would be statement necklaces. These brash works in metal strutted the runways of fashion shows and stunned readers on the covers of fashion magazines. But they are just a little too edgy for department stores and most of the majors.
These retailers like more toned-down style with the classy look often inspired by The Golden Age of Costume Jewelry. The Golden Age began in the 1930s during The Great Depression and extended through the 1960s with the most creative houses in costume jewelry delivering elegant works.
But glamorous jewelry didn’t stand unopposed in that era. A rebellious statement in jewelry countered these fabulous creations with hand-made works, mostly in metals, that expressed art with primitive designs. A look back on this medium collects the works into a category called Mid-Century Modern. No doubt, this had to be some of the inspiration going into the bold statement necklaces created in metals dominating high fashion this fall and winter.
Now where do fashion forward consumers find this look when shopping for themselves or others this Christmas? Certainly not in an upscale department store! No, only small business provides the high fashion look that has been dominating the runways. So when it comes to forward fashion and edgy designs, consumers know small business is the only answer.
6) QUALITY CHRISTMAS JEWELRY
Looking back twenty years in the jewelry industry, Providence, Rhode Island was the center of American jewelry manufacturing. Many businesses were cottage industries that specialized in aspect of production—linking, carding, soldering, casting, plating. But competition from China with lower prices and gradually improving quality dismantled the American industry piece by piece.
Then an economic slowdown caused Chinese manufacturers, importers, and major retailers to be extremely cautious. Seasonal jewelry was a risk because sell through had to occur in a short period of time. So the 2011 Christmas season is woefully short of quality Christmas jewelry that is traditionally part of the holiday spirit. Consumers wear it to work, while shopping, and to family gatherings. It’s as much of Christmas as stockings hanging from the mantle. But with short supply, where do shoppers find this quality Christmas jewelry that delighted everyone in years past?
Small retailers are suddenly the go-to source for classy Christmas jewelry. They do not need a massive inventory to satisfy their clientele and they have an uncanny instinct to find resources.
When consumers want to express the holiday spirit with charm bracelets that have enameled charms in Christmas colors or quality glass bracelets with lampwork beads, most likely the only source is the small retailer.
Classy resin pins in creative designs make wonderful stocking stuffers as well as accent pieces to spread holiday cheer, but this Christmas they may be hard to find outside of small business.
Pendants and earrings stamped from a thin sheet of metal with art and personality that is irresistible—you guessed it—only small business. “Best Brand” is the creator of these works of art and this line of fashion jewelry is so labor intense that it is simply impossible to supply the high quantities the majors would want. Each piece goes through stamping, plating, polishing, and often enameling for color. The finished product makes any consumer proud to give it as a Christmas gift, but this exceptional jewelry will only be found at small retailers.
7) PENDANTS AND EARRINGS
Actually, Christmas jewelry is only the tip of the iceberg for “Best Brand”. Their selection of pendants and matching earrings covers nearly every look in fashion plus endless themes. The workmanship is so fine that the company proudly has its name impressed on the back of each piece. And we are equally as proud to distribute the line, which we know from sales records goes exclusively to small business.
Just look through the pendant line and you will find something for nearly every event or location. And most pendants have matching earrings. On our site an items number is preceded by PD for pendants and FS for earrings. To find a matching earring simply change the PD to FS and put the code in the search box.
Most businesses buying this line follow a theme. It could be sea life for beach locations, horse and Southwest themes for a western store, motorcycles for a bike shop, baseball for little league fundraisers, and the list goes on. So where do consumers find this exceptional line of fashion jewelry—only at small retail locations.
8 ) LOCAL THEMES AND NICHE MARKETS
This brings us to another excusive of small business–local themes and niche markets. No national retailer will understand local interests as well as the small businesses that live and operate in the area. What a huge advantage this gives to the small retailer!
We are located in South Louisiana. If you watch Swamp People, you get a glimpse of a piece of our culture—Cajun music, crawfish boils, seafood, and the home of seasonings and hot sauces. The themes in jewelry that goes to the heart of locals is not found in major retailers. No, it is small business and often local artists. The same is true in every locale.
Even sports from local high schools that everyone has, to avid fans of college teams provides opportunity for small business. The LSU vs. Alabama game was billed the game of the century. Licensed jewelry for both teams is found on our web site and small businesses certainly have a market for it with all the dedicated fans these two teams have.
Now back to the local high schools. Small business can rally capitalize on this theme because no manufacturer can afford to produce a line for such a small market. Begin with school colors. Glass bracelets on the site provide a variety of two-tone color and most likely your colors are there. Next use the search to find your mascot in pendants and earrings. If it isn’t there, choose pendants for the sport such as football related pendants and earrings. These slide on chokers found under fashion jewelry. To really make the jewelry pop for your high school add school color. Pick beads in the right color from loose beads on the menu. These beads have a 4mm opening so they can slide on many chokers so make sure some of your chokers will accommodate the beads. Group all the pieces together in your shop to tell a story and sell individually so your customers can build their own look.
This the advantage small fashion retailers have that helps them overcome the heavy hitters in the majors.
9) GEMSTONE JEWELRY
The flight to quality in fashion jewelry dates back to the shocking tragedy on September 11, 2001. Suddenly family, prayer, and heroism trumped bling that was the trend of the day. Fashion jewelry went through a worldwide search for art and materials that were classic.
Crystal, Murano style glass, lampwork beads, and gemstone jewelry were some of the mediums that captured that attention of retail customers. But gemstone jewelry continues while interest in other forms of fashion jewelry receded. Department stores still grace their showcases with a few selections of semi precious jewelry, but small business is where consumers will find the extensive selection.
Yes, demand remains high because semi precious jewelry has intrinsic value and unique design that synthetics can’t duplicate. Department stores left lots of change on the table by moving on. Every time I am in a department store, I look at their showcases. Season after season turquoise and coral return. In addition, each season has at least one other semi precious stone included in fashion jewelry–amethyst was a recent example. But demand is exceeding this limited supply and customers that have grown to love the intrinsic beauty of semi precious jewelry know that the only place to really find selection is in a small retail location.
The blog that follows will wrap up the fashion accessories where small business excels with a look at the formal side of jewelry and accessories.
Filed under Bracelets, Bridal Accessories, Bridal Jewelry, Brooches, Costume Jewelry, Crystal Jewelry, Earrings, Fashion Accessories, Fashion Jewelry, Fashion Jewelry Trends, Fashion Trends, Hats, Necklace Sets, Tiaras, Uncategorized, Wholesale Jewelry
Posted by admin on Thursday, December 1st, 2011
Filed under Bracelets, Brooches, Crystal Jewelry, Earrings, Fashion Jewelry, Necklace Sets, Rhinestone Jewelry, Uncategorized
Accessories Magazine reviews trends shaping fashion jewelry and accessories each season based on the fashion shows that preview the coming season. Major fashion stories result from sorting all the tangents of designers crossing the runways. The last blog covered the first two for fall and this blog covers the next two—a dual that seems to contradict each other as fashion statements. Accessories Magazine’s Survival Mode borders on grunge while Ice Queen has a classy majestic look.
ARCTIC SURVIVAL TREND
As different as the trends seem, both find inspiration in the dominant mood of the times—economic uncertainty. Survival mode finds an obvious connection. First impression is the rugged attire of inhabitants of the arctic tundra. Earth tone colors with patches of fur deliver a nomadic appearance. Inspiration is global with Scandinavian prints, African crafts, English tweeds, and Alpine flairs all contributing.
Jewelry combines natural materials with metals for a close-to-earth feeling. Wood and raw gemstones blended with metals create fashion jewelry that delivers the story. Look for burnished metals in cuffs and bangles as well as braided leather in jewelry.
Trapper hats are a natural fit for these trends well as any headwear that is fur trimmed. Other hats include wide brim wool fedoras, crocheted caps, and wool buckets.
WINTER WHITE FASHION TREND MAKES LUXURIOUS STATEMENT
If the previous trend reflects a rugged response to economic times, this fashion story that Accessories Magazine calls Ice Queen uses a fantasy world to cope with financial stress. Opulence abounds in this trend characterized by shades of opal and winter white. Fur and cashmere add to the extravagance of the fantasy.
Fashion jewelry accessorizes the look with iridescent crystals, unconventional designs of pearls, and opalescent Lucite. Rhinestone or crystal mixed with frosted beads and pearls as bracelets or necklace sets. Jewelry with shades white, cream, and ivory fit into this theme with wintery snow and ice inspiration.
Headwear accessories include bobby pins with enameled flowers, lace and crocheted headbands or caps, and headwear with sequins, especially iridescent sequins. Winter white in nearly any hat can accompany the look.
This fashion story is easy to accessorize because the jewelry that delivers the sparkle for the trend also provides holiday jewelry that will soon be in demand. Actually, fashion jewelry in crystals, rhinestone, and faux pearls should have a permanent location in shops because of the endless line up of events that call for dressy accessories.
The following blog includes the fashion story for December delivery as well as holiday trends
Filed under Bridal Jewelry, Bridesmaid Jewelry, Crystal Jewelry, Rhinestone Jewelry, Wedding Day Jewelry
What is the difference between rhinestone jewelry and crystal jewelry? The terms are often interchanged leaving shopkeepers as well as customers confused. When we look back at vintage rhinestone jewelry before 1940 we see a noticeable change. The look is quite different than we equate with rhinestone jewelry today.
What changed? Well today’s rhinestone jewelry is usually made with rhinestone chain–that is a continuous chain of rhinestone that comes out of a machine with the stones already set. This look is conspicuously missing in the vintage rhinestone jewelry books that cover any era before the 1940s. The reason is the invention of the machine that creates rhinestone chain occurred in Providence, Rhode Island during the forties, the same time America was involved in World War II and saw the rationing of many metals.
The appearance of rhinestone jewelry made from rhinestone chain begins after the War and this is the look that we call rhinestone jewelry today. Machines produced rhinestone chain with stones mechanically set that would roll out continuously and was wound on spools. Designers would buy the spools and develop new designs by cutting and soldering the rhinestone chain. When we talk about rhinestone jewelry today, this is the look that comes to mind.
Now look at a vintage jewelry book showing rhinestone before the forties. The look is gorgeous, but very different. Designers created rings, brooches, bracelets, necklaces and earrings with glued in or prong set stones. The most fabulous designs began appearing in the 1930s introducing an era that continued to the 1960s called The Golden Age of Costume Jewelry.
Legendary costume jewelry houses put their name on fabulous designs and these pieces are collector items today. The era produced greats like Eisenberg, Haskell, Coro, Juliana, Dior, and Trifari. Inspirations from these design houses continue in fashion jewelry today, but we usually refer to this look as crystal jewelry and jewelry made with rhinestone chain as rhinestone jewelry.
TYPES OF RHINESTONE AND CRYSTAL JEWELRY
Are the stones different? Actually, they are not. The quality leader in crystal stones is Swarovski, and they produce rhinestone chain as well with the same process. What sets Swarovski apart? First, they were the pioneer in perfecting machine cut faceted stones. In addition, Swarovski perfected the lead crystal process according to http://www.jsbeads.com/Swarovski-Crystal/ with a finished product that is “32% lead, making the crystal optically pure”. Don’t worry; this lead is not going to release and in any way cause harm to health. Lead crystal is exempt from the lead content rulings.
Czech crystals are another source of crystals that are also used in rhinestone chain. The sparkle and perfection may be a small step below, but the price is cheaper and these stones get more use than the higher priced Swarovski crystals because consumers are very price conscious today.
The third option, used extensively in rhinestone or crystal jewelry from China, is Mideast stones. Sourced from the Mideast from countries like Dubai, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, these rhinestones have high radiance, but dull over time quicker than Czech stones. Mid Eastern stones are a favorite in Chinese manufacturing because they have eye-catching brilliance at a cheaper price than Czech or Austrian crystals.
Finally, Chinese stones are becoming a greater player in rhinestone and crystal jewelry. At first, the stones didn’t provide the quality for sparkling jewelry, but quality is improving for some manufacturers. Those with a keen insight to the market can save money with high quality Chinese rhinestone and crystal, but inferior quality is still in the market from lower end manufacturers.
So the bottom line is rhinestone and crystals are the same stone. The difference is when and how the jewelry is made. Before World War II, the terms are interchangeable because rhinestone chain didn’t exist. After the War rhinestone is more often applied to jewelry made with the chain while crystal usually refers to glued-in or prong set stones that are individually set.
Filed under Crystal Jewelry
Normally everyone thinks about casual jewelry and accessories as we reach Memorial Day and summer vacation season begins. Well, something else happens that is very formal—June weddings. And today as wedding costs are escalating through the roof, not every wedding couple can afford it. This is your opportunity to help out while generating some sales.
Accessories most important to the bride are tiaras, wedding day jewelry, formal gloves, and evening bags. You can provide all these accessories at affordable prices. The first step is to group bridal accessories together in your shop to tell a story.
WEDDING DAY JEWELRY
Wedding day jewelry is most important, so let’s start there. Flipping through a bridal magazine let’s us see the latest in bridal jewelry trends. The June issue of Brides begins with four pages showing long earrings with no necklace. Going further reveals the influence of trends in fashion jewelry on wedding day jewelry—multiple bracelets, statement necklaces, and multiple strand necklaces. Great stuff for the fashion conscious, but not the wedding day jewelry most brides choose.
No, the jewelry brides prefer is elegant, classy, and usually delicate. Rhinestone has an edge over faux pearl in bridal jewelry and sets with a combination of both are very popular. Clear rhinestones in silver plated settings are the winner for the walk down the aisle. Delicate sets with simplicity offer an elegance that never goes out of style so the review of wedding pictures twenty years from now reveals jewelry that is still appropriate looking.
Every bit as popular as rhinestone necklace sets is combinations of faux pearl and rhinestone. These sets are also simple and delicate. Again clear rhinestones in silver plated settings with white faux pearl are the most popular choice. Sets with simple cascades or a fringe of pearls offer the utmost in elegance.
Faux pearls alone also make wonderful wedding day jewelry, especially with chokers. This look can be more dramatic without sacrificing elegance. Something about pearls always spells out elegance. Very tailored looks with rows of faux pearl close to the neck give the dramatic look in a very graceful way. For ivory dresses off-white pearls in gold plated settings offer an alternative.
When the dress does not accommodate a necklace, earrings making the jewelry statement for the special day and bridal earrings when worn without a necklace usually are long and often dramatic. Cascades, linear drops, and hoops provide bridal earrings that make a statement.
In addition to rhinestone, brides can choose crystal earrings that make a statement as they deliver sparkle. The difference is rhinestone comes out a machine as chain with stones already set. Designers cut the chain and arrange designs that often have a flow of movement. Crystal earrings use individual stones that are handset. Both are fabulous as bridal earrings.
Most brides opt for the traditional look of one bracelet that is most often rhinestone in silver plated settings or faux pearl. Multiple bracelets are very trendy and popular in fashion, but when it comes to the wedding day, brides usually avoid edgy looks and go for traditional elegance. Rhinestone bracelets come in several widths determined by the number of rows of rhinestone. They not only accessorize the wrist of the bride, but also make wonderful bridesmaid gifts.
Speaking of bridesmaids, let’s not leave them out when choosing jewelry. Often color is important here—color to match bridesmaid dresses. Rhinestone jewelry often picks up color with highlight stones to match gowns. Crystal jewelry offers even more color options in both necklace sets and earrings. Best of all, bridesmaid’s jewelry is almost always multiple sales.
Color highlights are also available in rhinestone bracelets. Bridesmaid jewelry may be the most neglected area of wedding accessories so appreciation really goes out for the retailers that serve their clientele in this area. Following soon is Part II that will cover tiaras, formal gloves, and evening bags.
YOU’LL REMEMBER THAT RECENTLY, when we discussed diamonds, we said that we would soon take a closer look at some of the fabulous faux diamonds enriching the costume jewelry field. So…let’s now look at crystal, an extraordinary form of glass which, when cut and polished, can become a faux gemstone of amazing, diamond-like qualities.
—You see the flash and shine throwing light waves across the room with drama and intensity? Yes, it may be a diamond. It may also be crystal and, if you think you would always know the difference, well…don’t be so sure!
When we speak of crystal, the name Swarovski almost automatically comes to mind.
The firm was founded in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski, an expert glass cutter born in North Bohemia. Swarovski, whose father was also a master glass cutter, started his company after inventing a machine that literally revolutionized the cutting of crystal glass.
Over the ensuing years, Swarovski’s creative impact on the glass industry was immense.
Specifically, his role in developing crystals for the jewelry and home industry was remarkable. Swarovski developed crystals to mimic diamonds in all their majestic beauty. Colors were developed that were inspirational, allowing the company to create jewelry-ready crystals almost indistinguishable from natural stones. Blue diamond-like crystals. Yellow-tinged crystals. One after the other, these fabulous faux diamonds entered onto the jewelry stage with glamour and fascination.
YOU CAN ENJOY SWAROVSKI CRYSTALS IN MANY DISTINGUISHED JEWELRY FORMS AT SURPRISINGLY AFFORDABLE PRICES. HERE ARE JUST SOME:
- Large round Swarovski crystals create three-row dangling earrings of spectacular fire and beauty. Crafted in the USA, these exquisite earrings offer a piece of jewelry history that is no longer produced. Understandably, supply is limited.
IN THE 1950s, TOGETHER WITH the famed French couturier Christian Dior, and inspired by the display of color at the North Pole, Swarovski created a special Aurora Borealis crystal effect, one of the firm’s most sought-after crystal products, which remains extremely important in the jewelry field..
The firm has also made numerous historical steps forward in the field. In 1976, for example, Swarovski introduced its famous Silver Crystal Mouse, in honor of the Winter Olympics being held that year in Innsbruck. The loveable little creature represented the first time ever that any figurine had been made from crystal chandelier parts. It was also the start of the company’s Silver Crystal Collection. Crystal Paradise is another famed Swarovski collection representing objects from nature, from flora to fauna.
–Collections are big with Swarovski and include many special jewelry groupings. They are invariably sought after with gusto by customers, world-wide.
A Little Background
THE VERY WORD CRYSTAL IS confusing because it stands for so many different things, from sugar, to salt, to ice, to jewelry. This simple word, derived from the Greek, means a hard, solid substance made of molecules that bond together in patterns to form a shape with straight edges and flat surfaces. That may seem very specific but actually, within that form, there are many, many different shapes and kinds of crystal.
Diamonds, sapphires, amethysts and rubies are all types of crystals that, when cut and polished, become gemstones.
–But did you know that many cultures see these stones and their basic crystal forms as having healing qualities? Quartz crystal, for example, is thought by many to clear the body of negative energy and to realign the chakras, or energy centers, of the body. What New Age Spas could exist without crystals? They are central to their very essence.
In the United States, unlike many other countries, any glass that is perfectly clear is considered crystal. Of course, lead oxide is essential to that clarity. Fine crystal is a glass mixture with 6-to-10 percent lead oxide content. Lead crystal is 10-to-24 percent lead oxide. And full lead crystal is 24 percent lead oxide or more. Crystal used for jewelry is full lead oxide.
The highest quality crystal, which is used by Swarovski, has a 30 percent lead oxide content.
The Color Palette
COLOR IS AN IMPORTANT characteristic of crystals used in jewelry. Swarovski crystals come in an amazingly large variety of colors, one more mesmerizing than the next. Think Amethyst, Bermuda blue, Black Diamond, and Citrine, just for starters. Spectacular Swarovski beads have exquisite coatings and are called Hematite, Satin, Heliotrope, among so many, many others. Crystals are made in cubes, rounds, hearts, and dozens of other popular shapes, reflecting the enormous demand that has existed for these beautiful stones since they were first used in jewelry.
The marketing of crystal jewelry has also been exceptionally imaginative and useful. Retailers can make use of many basic concepts associated with real and faux gemstones, helping to boost sales and increase profits. Take the Anniversary and Birthday Month connections to these stones; the designations help to sell faux and real gemstone jewelry all year long as a special, highly personalized gift product.
Here are some quick examples of the Stone-Anniversary/Birth month connections: February is Amethyst. April is Diamond. July is Ruby. Real or faux, these stones mark the date with a special kind of light-intensity and importance!
YOU CAN MATCH THE MONTH WITH ITS STONE COLOR FOR A HIGHLY-SALABLE ANNIVERSARY/BIRTH MONTH REMEMBRANCE. CONSIDER:
Filed under Crystal Jewelry
Posted by Mary McGarry on Saturday, August 29th, 2009
Page through a pageant magazine today and the dramatic earrings jump out at you. You get the same experience with bridal magazines so in formal wear dazzling big earrings are definitely important. Today let’s look at some new crystal jewelry that fills the bill.
New jewelry designs arrive every week at Accessory Wholesale Inc. so we get a little insensitive to the beauty of recent developments. But a new arrival in crystal earrings even took our breath, and they’re just the thing for dramatic baubles.
One impressive design in crystal earrings uses dramatic drops that definitely show vintage inspiration. A large flat back stone glistens in the center seemingly suspended in open air with an outer border shimmering with smaller crystals. Tiny leaves blend into the border and a choice of five colors means these earrings can match nearly anything. Clear even works for bridal.
More excitement comes from dramatic ovals with a teardrop dangling below–definitely Victorian. Fine filigree frames add significantly to the vintage look. Antique gold or silver plating provides different looks and again there are color choices.
Dazzling color radiates from another design in this crystal earring family. Again the earrings make a statement, but this time more elegant with a pear-shaped crystal that is capped dropping from a small marquis-shaped crystal top. A filigree border gives the feminine lacey look and colors include vitrail, which has changing peacock colors as light hits the crystals from different angles.
This is some of the excitement this season brings for pageant and June brides. Dramatic earrings need to be an option this year in formal and bridal accessories. Colors will match bridesmaid dresses to make a 2008 statement for weddings. Now catch your breath because the next few blogs will take you through more gorgeous jewelry and accessories to please your June bride customers.