Archive for February, 2009


Sunrise Challenge

Each month, give or take, we will submit a challenge to all JAMers to create a piece of jewelry to go along with our theme!  What fun 🙂

This month’s Challenge is SUNRISE.  It’s hard to imagine all the possibilities, but we have some submissions, and they are pretty darn fabulous!  Check them out.  And come back to see new submissions!


Is German silver really silver?

Interestingly enough, German silver was named this because of it’s color, not it’s content.   German silver has a silver white color, and is a very hard, and corrosion free.  This makes it perfect for tableware, marine fittings and plumbing fixtures.  It also has high electric resistance and is also used in heating coils. 

So what is German silver really made of?  It contains: copper, from 50% to 61.6%; zinc, from 19% to 17.2%; nickel, from 30% to 21.1%.

Other common names for this alloy are  White Copper, Nickel silver,   German silver, paktong, new silver and alpacca (or alpaca).  And other common uses for it are costume jewelry, zippers, model railways, the musical instrument: cymbals.  After 1920 it’s most common use was for making pocket knives, again due to it’s ability to reisist corrosion.

Thank you for the idea, Gerry!  I hope that answers the question of German silver, very interesting stuff  🙂   This information was obtained from and


Metalology 101

A few years ago I printed a little brochure to pass out at craft shows to help answer the questions my customers had been asking,  like “Is gold filled the same as gold plated?” and “Is there a difference between sterling and fine silver?”  Good questions!

So I though I would share some of that information here:

Pure silver, like gold, is quite soft, so it is often alloyed with a small amount of copper and this mix of metals creates Sterling Silver, which is 92.5% silver and is marked as .925

Fine Silver (specifically Thai Hill Tribe Silver, which is what I use in my jewelry) is 99.9% pure silver. It is this pure silver that is used by the silversmiths of northern Thailand, who have been producing silver crafts for centuries.  Fine silver has a slightly matte gray finish and a more earthy quality than sterling.

Thai hill tribe fine silver on gold filled chain

Thai hill tribe fine silver on gold filled chain

Turkish Silver has a brighter, cleaner look than fine silver, but it is not actually sterling.

It is composed of 95% silver and 5% cadmium, which prevents the silver from tarnishing quickly.  Turkish silver is lighter than sterling since it actually contains more silver, which weighs less.

Gold filled jewelry, contrary to its name, is not filled with gold but is made of layers of metal bonded together.  The gold content of gold filled jewelry, sometimes referred to as rolled gold, is regulated by law and must be at least 20% by weight.  It is marked and a typical marking of 14/20 means 1/20th (5%) of the total weight is 14 karat gold.   Gold plate, which is a thin film of gold over base metal, will wear away over time, but gold filled jewelry is durable and will wear like solid gold. (the information on 14/20 was corrected on 4/26/09.  Sorry for any confusion!)

Gold vermeil (pronounced “ver-may”) jewelry is also coated with a layer of real gold but the inner layer is sterling or fine silver.  Because of the silver content, vermeil is more expensive than gold filled.  Even though the silver is completely covered by gold, it may still tarnish and this can cause gold vermeil to take  on a darker hue over time.

Gold vermeil bead on sterling chain

Gold vermeil bead on sterling chain

My customers love getting this information and it’s a great opportunity for promotion to print a small hand-out to give shoppers at craft shows and markets.

Contributed by Carol of  Highwood Studio


Jewelry lovers UNITE!

Hey, if you love jewelry, have we got something for you.  How about a quaint little market in a quiet part of town, it’s really close by.  No hustle, no bustle, and what an amazing variety to choose from.

You ready?  Okay, now sit back and…yep, that’s it, just one click and you’re there!.  1000Markets’ Jewelry Artisans’ Marketplace.  The one and only place where you can sit back and relax, a nice warm cup of coffee, a scone (mmm) and a computer!

What?  The kids are running around screaming?  The dog is barking and the cat is hacking up a…hairball?  Oh, I’m am so sorry.  And I understand.  Just do a quick bookmark and come back when everyone is in bed.  Shh, it’s okay, I won’t tell 🙂

Wondering what kinds of goodies you will find on the Jewelry Artisans’ Marketplace?  Well, take a peek at our lineup:

Minimalist – small, simple, clean, sleek

Bold & Colorful – big, robust, bright, daring

Vintage & Retro – styles from the past

Elegant – weddings, black tie affairs, formal dinners

Personalized – custom pieces to suit your buyer

Quirky & Cute – strange and unique pieces, anything that makes you think, “Awww!”

Urban – chunky, metallic, no nonsense

Ethnic & Exotic – styles that turn you into anyone from Nefertiti to a Mayan Princess to a Celtic Queen

Gemstone: jewelry with gemstones (please know your materials: no glass “gemstones”)

Southwestern Style: turquoise, beadweaving, leather, ceramics

Natural Elements: shapes and materials from and inspired by nature

Holiday: holiday themed jewelry

So, whatcha waitin’ for! Git on over there and check out all the yummy, unique handcrafted jewelry.

~Jamie of Glasstastic Treasures

February 2009
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