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Fashion Jewelry Facts and Care Tips

Why we love fashion jewelry?

Fashion jewelry, also referred to as costume jewelry, is a fun and inexpensive way to express your individual style. Its low cost composition means that it is easy to get your moneys worth of use out of it and allows for a much greater variety of bolder, attention grabbing styles and colors that can be mixed and matched according to your mood or wardrobe.

Caring for your fashion jewelry

Although fashion jewelry doesn’t require much of an investment, it is still important to get the most bang for your buck by taking proper care of your costume jewelry by following a few simple steps:

– NEVER allow fashion jewelry to come in contact with oils, soaps, perfumes, or any harsh chemicals which can fade or even ruin the item.

– ALWAYS remove jewelry before sports, swimming, exercising, washing hands, showering, cleaning, doing laundry, or applying lotions or creams.

– NEVER store jewelry wet. Always dry with a soft cloth before storing.

– When cleaning, be gentle! Use a soft toothbrush and jewelry cleaner that specifically states that it is safe for costume jewelry. Make sure it does not contain acid, alcohol, or ammonia. Only use jewelry cleaner as directed. DO NOT over scrub.

– Store jewelry in a plastic ziploc bag or soft jewelry pouch away from other objects and jewelry items to avoid scratching.

– Store jewelry in a clean, dry, cool, not cold place away from heat and dust.

– Use a jewelry cloth for buffing.

– Regularly check for loose stones.

Fashion jewelry typically consists of three elements:

1. A base alloy such as brass, nickel, aluminum, tin or a combination of metals that has been altered to resemble more precious metals such as silver, gold, or platinum. This is achieved by a variety of methods including:

· tone: Have you ever heard of fashion jewelry that is referred to as silver or gold tone? This means just what the name implies. Tone refers to the color of the metal only. Gold and silver tone jewelry are silver and gold in color but contain no actual gold or silver.

· electroplating: This is probably the most common method. In this process an electric current is used to deposit a thin layer, as little as 2 micro inches (a micro inch is one millionth of an inch) onto the base alloy metal which is immersed in a salt bath solution of the precious metal that will be used to plate the object.

· layering: This method also utilizes the process of electroplating. However, the plated object is immersed for a longer period of time allowing for a much thicker layer of precious metal to be deposited. Layered gold or silver consists of approximately 20-50 micro inches of gold or silver. Although it doesn’t sound like much. This thicker layer results in a much more durable, longer lasting jewelry piece.

· overlay: This method utilizes heat rather than electricity to combine the base metal with the precious metal to form a new alloy. This creates a permanent bond between the metals which creates jewelry that can be as durable and long lasting as the real thing with proper care. Gold overlay jewelry is also sometimes referred to as gold filled. It is generally safer for sensitive skin than costume jewelry made by other methods.

· Technibond: This is considered to be one of the most desirable methods of gold plating because it uses a full 40 micro inches of 14kt gold over .925 sterling silver rather than a typical base alloy. It is the best of both worlds.

· vermeil: This is the top of the line in gold plating. This method uses as much as 100 micro inches of gold over .925 sterling silver and as you can expect is also a bit pricier. It may be worth it for someone looking for something closer to the real thing without paying the exorbitant price for solid gold.

2. Man made stones such as cubic zirconia, crystals, rhinestone, glass, or epoxy are the second component of most fashion jewelry The most popular of which is cubic zirconia because of its physical characteristics. It is used to create simulated versions of precious gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. Its sparkly appeal and inexpensive price tag allow for much larger, more glitzy fashion pieces that instantly attract attention. Colored glass can also be used to simulate precious stones and faux pearls. Rhinestone and crystal jewelry is also popular because of its glitzy appeal and color choices. Epoxy and acrylic are plastics that is often used to make inexpensive bead jewelry.

Although typical fashion jewelry consists of man made stones sometimes natural crystals and semiprecious stones such as pearls, topaz, black opal, amethyst, or peridot is used to provide a more fine jewelry appeal.

3. Fashion jewelry may also consist of unusual materials such as wood, stone, and shell which can be either natural or colored.

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