Caring For Gemstone Jewellery.

Jewellery is one of our most treasured and valuable accessories, therefore, it is imperative that we get familiar with how to properly take care of them in order to maintain their beauty and sparkle for generations to come. Your jewellery should be the last thing that you put on in the morning and the first thing you take off at night; this prevents your gemstone jewellery from being exposed to perfume and cosmetics that can harm gemstones and precious metals and it also prevents scratches and impacts when you sleep at night. Take rings off when washing hands, not just to keep them safe from harsh soap, but away from sinks and drains. Also, remove your gemstone jewellery when working with tools, moving heavy objects or doing anything that could potentially cause damage.

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It is good practice to always clean your gemstone pieces with a clean, slightly damp, soft cloth after each time you wear them. This will remove any chemicals and oils that might be on the surface of the gemstones and this will also enhance their luster after a long day out. Gemstones often get smudged, soiled and dusty from every day wear or even sitting on a shelf. Lotions, soaps, oils, and grease can create a layer of film on top of your gemstone jewellery, significantly decreasing their brilliance and obscuring their colour; so, a thorough cleaning of your gemstone jewellery is recommended every 3 or 4 months.

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Jewellery cleaning can be done via ultrasonic cleaning or hand cleaning. Ultrasonic cleaning machines clean jewellery by emitting high-frequency sound waves which creates many small cavitation bubbles. These bubbles agitate a liquid which then clears the surface of the jewellery from any contaminant substances. This type of cleaning is best left to jewellery professionals who know about different gems materials and understand when and how to use the ultrasonic cleaner safely. The safest cleaning methods are also the easiest; hand cleaning gemstone jewellery with warm water, soap (or toothpaste) and a soft brush is relatively cheap and safe. Mix together a solution of soap (or toothpaste) and water and then gently scrub your gemstones with a soft brush (preferably, a toothbrush). Afterwards, rinse the jewellery in a bowl of clean water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

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Caring for your gemstone jewellery also involves storing it in a clean and dry place such as a jewellery box. Ideally, choose a style of jewellery box that has many small compartments to ensure that each piece is well organized and separated. Without proper organization, pieces may knock into each other which can lead to gemstones becoming scratched or chipped. This level of organization will ensure that your gemstone jewellery stays 100% intact and ready to be worn whenever you need it.

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Properly caring for your gemstone jewellery using proper storage and cleaning techniques will keep your precious pieces sparkling until the end of time.
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CUFFLINKS FOR THE CLASSIC MEN.

Generally speaking, I’ve observed that most gentlemen don’t wear much accessories as compared to the ladies….. The cufflinks are one of the few unique pieces of jewellery worn by men; they are precious items that propose possibilities to highlight one’s style and fashion sense. Cufflinks for men come in a variety of shapes and materials: gold cufflinks, silver cufflinks.

Originally, men held their clothes together with pins, straps, laces. Period jewellers then began producing what they called ‘sleeve buttons’ in silver and gold, with etched or stamped designs and often encrusted with precious gems. Royals commemorated weddings and other special events with them and the wearing of cufflinks became the mark of a gentleman.

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THE BASIC CUFFLINK

A cufflink fastens a shirt by sliding through holes on either side of the cuff opening, then swinging into a locked or fixed position to hold the sides together.

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• The most common cufflink consists of a large head or ‘insert member’ with a decorative front face, a post that extends from the back of the head and a hinged toggle that swings out from the post to fasten the link.

• These are fastened by setting the toggle in its closed position so that there is a straight post descending from the underside of the head.

• The post slides through the holes of both sides of the cuffs and then the toggle is swung outward to prevent the post from sliding back out.

• That holds the cufflink in place, with the front face of the insert member placed decoratively atop the buttonholes.

Cufflinks usually add an air of playfulness that simple buttons don’t provide and most men will wear cufflinks in business and relatively social settings as an accent to a suit-and-tie ensemble.

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OCTOBER BIRTHSTONES.

October is counting already and I just thought to myself, why not just write about her birthstones?? So that’s exactly what I’ve decided to do. Individuals born in October get to choose between two birthstones – opal and tourmaline.
The name opal originates from the Greek word ‘opallios’ which means ‘to see a change in colour.’ This October stone occurs in a wide variety of colours and in its most valuable forms display a play of colours that is unlike any other gemstone. Opal’s classic country of origin is Australia. Seasonal rains soaked the parched outback, carrying silica deposits underground into cracks between layers of rock. When the water evaporated, these deposits formed opal. Although opals come in a wide variety of colours, five of the main categories are: white or light opal, black opal, fire opal, boulder opal and crystal or water opal.

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Tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese words ‘tura mali’ which means ‘stone of mixed colours.’ This October stone stands apart from other gems with its broad spectrum of colours in every shade of the rainbow. One of this gem’s most impressive traits is its ability to become electrically charged through heat (pyroelectricity) and through pressure (piezoelectricity). When charged, tourmaline can act as a magnet by oscillating and by attracting or repelling particles of dust. Tourmaline is of diverse forms such as: schorl (or black tourmaline), dravite (or brown tourmaline), elbaite.

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Opals and tourmalines form a broad range of colour choices and combinations that are sure to dazzle in the month of October. These unique birthstones can be fashioned into beautiful necklaces, rings and bracelets that create a sense of heritage and identity.

Which one do you prefer? Feel free to share your thoughts.

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THE FUTURE IS HERE.

We are the future,
We are the dream,
We are the nation,
We are part of this.
Yes we are so amazing,
That’s the least we shall be,
At the heart of the nation changing history.
How can they say that we are finished?
We have just begun,
When we have nowhere else to run to,
We have nowhere else to go…..
So get out of the way,
Out of the way,
Of the land of our dreams,
We are the nation we are part of this.
– The Future (TY Bello)

Nigeria is blessed with an abundance of precious and semi-precious stones that can fetch billions of dollars in the world market. However, for a long time now, we have dwelled so much on other resources (especially petroleum) that we have totally ignored the revenue that can be accrued from these gems. When we think of gems and precious stones, our thoughts immediately turn to lavish jewellery; howbeit, they can also be utilized in other fields.
Some of the major gemstones found in Nigeria include:
• Tourmaline: It’s the ‘chameleon’ of the gem world as it has a variety of colours. This is the most popular and most available gemstone found in Nigeria and can be found in Nasarawa, Oyo, Kaduna, Kogi, Taraba, Bauchi, Osun States. It is utilized in the manufacturing of hair care products such as dryers and hair straighteners.

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• Sapphire: It’s typically blue in colour, variety of corundum. It can be mined in Mambila Plateau in Taraba State (the sapphire gems found here are available in large rough sizes, some as big as 100 – 300ct), Kaduna State (Antah, Nisama, Gidan waya), Bogoro in Bauchi State, Bokkos in Plateau State and Gunda in Yobe State. They can also be used in the production of timepieces and pens (precious and special pens carry sapphires).

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• Aquamarine: It is normally light in colour. It forms in large crystals that can be quite large and totally transparent. It can be found in Akwanga, Nasarawa, Jenta, Igwo, Agwada in Nasarawa State, Ibadan in Oyo, Ijebu Igbo and Igbo Ora in Ogun State; Okene and Isanlu in Kogi State and many parts of Jos, Plateau State.

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• Emerald: The most valuable green gemstone – variety of beryl. Famous member of big three (ruby, sapphire, emerald). Its beautiful green colour, combined with durability and rarity, make it one of the most expensive gemstones. They can be sourced from Gwantu in Kaduna and Nasarawa Egon in Nasarawa State.

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• Garnet: It is red, but in Nigeria, we have one of the most unique colours: orange and it is called ‘spessartite garnet’ (however, traders often call it ‘fanta’ for intense orange colour) hardness and lack of cleavage makes it an excellent abrasive. They are used in water-jet cutting, sand-blasting, water filtration. It is mined extensively in Jos-Bauchi axis.

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• Amethyst: it is the violet variety of quartz. Nigeria’s amethyst is of very high quality and occurs in large quantities. Amethyst is being mined in Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Oyo, Nasarawa.

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• Topaz: It has a hardness of 8 on the Moh’s Scale (1 – 10).It is sold in a variety of attractive colours. In Nigeria, we have the famous ‘Imperial Topaz’ which is orange pink. There are large deposits of topaz in Jenta and Akwanga in Nasarawa State, Jos in Plateau, Koi in the Nok area and in many parts of Bauchi and Oyo States.

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As a nation, it’s high time we pay more attention to the solid mineral sector and harness all of its potentials in order to improve our economy.
Long live Nigeria!!!

 

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GEMSTONE SETTINGS.

What’s the first thing you ought to pay attention to when you pick up a piece of jewellery?? The colourful gemstone 😊😊😊…..not exactly. A logical place to begin your look at jewellery is with the part that holds the gems in place and it’s known as the gemstone setting. The setting can affect the gem’s appearance and add to the design’s appeal.
Generally, gemstone settings can broadly be classified into individual settings and group settings.
Individual Settings can further be divided into:
• Prong Setting: Slender metal claws hold the gem, the gem is usually above the body of the jewellery in this setting, making it the center of attention. However, gems in this setting are exposed to accidental bumps and scrapes.

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• Bezel Setting: A raised metal collar or rim surrounds the gem and wraps slightly over its edge; this protects the gem.

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• Gypsy Setting: A metal rim formed from the body of the jewellery holds the gem in place. Rings for men commonly have this setting.

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• Tension Setting: In this setting, the gems are held in such a way that makes it appear to float between two pieces of metal.

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So that’s for individual settings, let’s now talk about group settings.
• Cluster Setting: A number of gems set close together in a symmetrical pattern. The gems are secured by small prongs or bezels.

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• Channel Setting: A row of carefully calibrated, small gems set side-by-side between parallel ridges of metals. Gems in this setting must be very similar to each other in dimension and proportion in order for the metal to hold them securely.

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• Pave Setting: Small gems (usually round) set next to each other across the jewellery’s surface.

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So, tension setting is certainly a yes for me, I like it because it’s quite unconventional. What’s your favourite gemstone setting? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

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THE ANATOMY OF A LADY’S RING.

You’re probably thinking…..is this a biology class? Oh well, it’s not! It’s a jewellery class….lol. The rings ladies put on as an indicator of their marital status has so many lovely parts. So if you’re thinking of proposing to your girlfriend or you wanna take your relationship to the next level, you’ll certainly love to put these into consideration…….
* The center stone is usually the focal gemstone in a ring, it’s the largest stone and as its name implies, is located at the center of the design. Some ladies love big centre stones (the whole world should know that there’s a ring on her finger 😄😄😄), if that’s your kinda lady, you certainly wanna get her a ring with a bold and beautiful center stone.
* The side stones complement and place emphasis on the center stone and are typically larger than accent stones.
* The accent stones are small gemstones incorporated into the ring to add a touch of sparkle and glamour.
* The gallery encompasses the area beneath the stone. It is often of openwork fashion, thus allowing light to pass through.
* The bridge is a design element located beneath the center stone that can be seen when looking at the ring in the through-finger view.
* The prong refers to the metal tip or bead that actually touches the stone and holds it into place.
* The shoulder is the part of the ring where the shank joins the setting.
* Hallmark/Engraving provide an extra source of information to accurately determine the ring producer; it also indicates the total amount of gold or silver used to manufacture the ring. Some ladies will also wanna have the name of their loved one engraved in their ring….

* The sizing area is the space that allows her to fit in the ring. If you’re getting a ring for engagement purposes, you should have determined her size prior to the time of purchase (i’ll blog about how to determine a ring size soon enough)

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