Ideas on how to re-use old jewelry, how to care for certain types of jewelry, fashion wearing recommendations, and buying tips.
1. Another Use for Brooches. Don’t discard or give away those large gaudy brooches that Grandma gave you – re-use them. Simply insert a necklace or chain through the closed pin, and voila – an instant vintage-looking necklace. Wear it with a v-neck top so that brooch is the focus of your outfit. I hang my brooch on a necklace of very small freshwater pearls. Also, you can pin the brooch on the strap of your purse. This is a very unique way of displaying your family jewels, without clashing with your personal fashion style
2. Fashion and Jewelry Trends. Combine anything pink, purple, aqua, or lime with chocolate brown. Dark brown is not just for fall and winter anymore. Bring out your brown pants and skirts, and pair them with these bright colors of the year. To go along with this trend, I have my Sterling Silver Wrapped German Stick Earrings in beautiful lime green, teal green and blue colors. The lime green is the top selling color.
3. Mixing Gold and Silver Colors. Yes, it’s OK to combine gold and silver jewelry, and in fact, it is more modern to do so. I’ve seen many women that wear only gold jewelry and thin gold watches come to my booth at art shows and really like the silver jewelry, but are hesitant to combine these two metals. I tell them that in Europe many people do this – then after showing them, they see how modern it looks. By the way, many upscale art galleries sell only silver jewelry – no gold. Silver is very “in” and is more versatile than gold. I combined gold and silver in my German wrapped wire bead necklace and earring sets for an interesting look. Plus, you can wear the combined metals with any outfit.
4. Layering Multiple Necklaces. For a luxury look, wear two or more necklaces in varying lengths at the same time. For example, wear a short sterling silver necklace layered over a longer pearl necklace, or vice-versa. I wear one of my Italian rubber chokers in addition to a doubled-up Tiffany sterling silver heart tag necklace from the “Return to Tiffany Collection”. Since EuroKraft Jewelry is designed with elegance and minimalism in mind, it can easily be combined with other jewelry.
5. Re-Using Yard / Estate Sale Jewelry. Have you ever seen a piece of jewelry at a yard or estate sale with a beautiful focal point (e.g. a pearl, bead, or gem stone), but did not like the rest of the setting or the length? If it’s a good deal, then buy it anyway, and disassemble it. It’s very easy to cut apart the necklace or bracelet with small wire clippers or scissors depending on the stringing material, disassemble the beads, and then re-use your favorite component(s). Take the component(s) to a local bead store and ask for their advice on how to restring the piece to better suit your taste. Some bead stores may offer to assemble it for you for a small fee. Some will show you how to do it yourself if you purchase the individual beads and tools, or they may offer formal beading classes. In any case, don’t pass up that one-of-a-kind item if it’s a great deal – there’s always a way to re-purpose it.
6. Enrolling in a Beading Class. After taking an introductory beading class (which means learning to string together beads, tie knots, and use crimp beads), you’ll be surprised at how many jewelry repairs and modifications you can do yourself. You can shorten necklaces and bracelets that are too long, substitute better quality or different colored beads, change or fix clasps, and make gifts for friends and family. The small tools that you learn to use are indispensable, and can also be used to change watch batteries. Basic Bead Stringing classes may be offered at your local bead store for around $40.00.
7. Sterling Silver Facts. Did you know that the “925” stamp on sterling silver means that the metal is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper or mixed metals? Fine Silver means that the silver is 99.9% pure silver. Sterling silver tarnishes naturally, but can be easily cleaned to restore the shininess. To clean, simply purchase a 100% cotton “silver jewelry polishing cloth” at any jewelry counter or watch repair shop. These cloths, which cost between $5 and $10, are coated with an anti-tarnish formula that cleans away the tarnish and then protects the jewelry from tarnishing more quickly than without it. They can be safely used on silver and silver-plated jewelry. EuroKraft Jewelry sells a premium cleaning cloth. A different type of cleaner for sterling silver is liquid silver jewelry cleaners with a dip tray, e.g. from Connoisseurs. This type of cleaner is ideal for quickly dipping intricate sterling silver wire wrapped beads, and can be used for cleaning EuroKraft Jewelry’s Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Swarovski Crystal Cube and Pearl Pendants. Never use the dip cleaner on natural pearl jewelry – it is too harsh. For a vintage look, do not clean the tarnish from your silver jewelry.
8. Extended the Life of Plated Silver Jewelry. If you buy plated silver items (e.g. department store items like Monet, Napier, Ralph Lauren, etc.) versus sterling silver items, you can keep them from tarnishing or chipping by painting the piece with clear acrylic nail polish. This also works well for cheaper rings that are not sterling silver. EuroKraft Jewelry recommends only purchasing genuine sterling silver items though, as the tarnish can always be cleaned or wiped away. Silver plated or electroplated items can chip, peel, or turn to an undesirable color, and are generally not worth the extra money for a ‘designer’ brand name.
9. Pendants and Leather Cord. Update your old pendants and charms by removing them from old chains, and stringing them onto long leather cord. Wrap it several times around your neck and tie in a knot. Leather is very versatile and comes in a wide variety of colors and thicknesses. Most every bead store sells leather cord by the yard, and it is not expensive.
10. Pendants and Neckwires. Another option (which is extremely popular with EuroKraft Jewelry customers) is to update your old pendants by removing them from old chains and placing them onto cable neck wires. Our 16″ and 18″ neck wires are comfortable and flexible, and hold lightweight pendants beautifully. The hypoallergenic, magnetic clasp makes it very easy to put the neckwire on and take it off, unlike the screw type clasps that are seen with other neckwires. Customers go crazy over these at art shows, too!