Sterling Silver Clip Earrings
On a tight budget, costume clip on earrings can be an affordable option to accessorize an evening ensemble or accentuate a party gown. If a woman does not have pierced ears, she still has a world of options with the increasing popularity of clip on earrings. Not only is a woman seeking to be fashionable no longer held back if she has unpierced ears, she still has many accessory choices open to her even if her budget is tight. Costume jewelry, often called faux jewelry, is fashionably designed yet quite attractive. The stones and metals used make the accessory more affordable than its higher end counterpart. Instead of diamonds and pearls, Cubic Zirconia diamond stimulants and faux pearls are used. The metals chosen for faux earrings are often alloy mixtures with lesser metals, such as vermeil or sterling silver clip earrings, mixed with about 6 percent copper or other base metals.
Faux jewelry has been used for years. This jewelry is primarily for fashion, while high end jewelry can be a status symbol or collector's item. A jewelry designer named Kenneth Jay Lane created quite exquisite faux accessories for some celebrities during the 1960s. A pair of costume clip on earrings can be an affordable and comfortable accessory to accompany an evening gown. Choosing a base metal, such as copper can greatly decrease the cost of the bracelet or necklace. Sterling silver clip earrings are made with 92.5 percent pure silver, alloyed with 7.5 percent of a base metal, usually copper. A precious metal alloy that is at least 92.5 percent pure will bear a marking, called a hallmark, of its authenticity and sometimes its designer.
There are many reasons that jewelry makers would choose to alloy an accessory, instead of make it completely out of precious metal. Besides reducing the cost considerably, alloying precious metals can also add to their strength. Pure precious metals are often too soft to be usable for accessories or industrial use. Though, there are some draw backs to mixing metals. Pure precious metals usually don't tarnish as much as alloys. Mixing them with copper makes them harder, but they'll need to be polished to rid the pieces of corrosion. Recently, precious metals are being alloyed with 10 different substances to produce a metal that is resistant to tarnish but is still strong. The word "sterling" is thought to have originated in the Easterling part of Europe. Because of the rarity of solid silver, the metal workers in Easterling alloyed it to make their currency. Throughout Europe, these mixed coins were first known as "Easterling silver." The name was then shortened to "sterling silver." From there, it branched out to make up flatware and jewelry. Now, it is quite a common alloy.
With the ability to tarnish and corrode, the purchaser should be prepared to clean their alloyed faux jewelry. The owner of an alloyed piece that is showing tarnish should be very gentle. Tarnish is not a layer of grime ON TOP of the accessory. It is actually sulfur that has mixed with the base metals in the piece of jewelry or flatware. Polishing the item with hard strokes trying to remove the top layer is not advised and will eventually lower the value of a treasured piece of flatware or accessory. There are many foams and creams that can remove tarnish from costume clip on earrings. By gently rubbing the cream or foam onto the jewelry with fingers, the owner can remove the tarnish and reveal the mirrored layer below, without losing the brilliant patina. Extra care should be taken not to harm any insignia that verifies the precious metal included in the alloy. A pair of sterling silver clip earrings will have markings authenticating that the metal is made up of 7.5 percent or less base metals.
Regardless of the careful diligence paid to a piece of faux accessory, damage may still occur. Sterling silver clip earrings can often break or bend. An injury such as this to a favorite item will need repair, rather than replacement. Not only this, but costume clip on earrings are sometimes too tight or become too loose through years of wear. Changing the tension of the clasp is not a difficult task. There is a paddle on the back of non-pierced earrings that can be removed gently with needle-nosed pliers. To adjust the tension, the owner can hold the paddle with the needle-nosed pliers and move the center prong away from the other prongs with a flat-faced pair of pliers to loosen the grip. The center prong can also be moved toward the other prongs to tighten the back of the earring. Small movements will still make a big difference in the feel of the accessory when worn. For a minor repair, the accessory owner can bend the connectors closer to the prongs, thus securing the back. New prongs and backs can also be purchased and replaced relatively affordably.
With the sleek look and strength of alloyed material and the comfort of non-pierced earrings, sterling silver clip earrings make an ideal choice for almost any woman. Faux jewelry is now the respected norm among even the elite. Not only that, but purchasing a more affordable accessory can ward off the worry that comes from wearing expensive jewelry to a gathering where it could be lost or stolen. Jewelry was thought as being worthy of God in the early days of Israel. With the advent of alloyed materials, the owners no longer have to worry that something worthy of God could be stolen or forever damaged. "And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the LORD." (Exodus 35:22)
Vintage Costume JewelryVintage costume jewelry is amazingly affordable, unique and hearkens back to certain eras in time where clothes and hair were a reflection of that moment. This jewelry, when looked at, reminds the person of certain times in history when everything worn mirrored the mood of the people at the time. Antique costume jewelry speaks long ago history. These period pieces allow a person to take on, in small measure, the persona and the look of a time when people viewed the world differently and perhaps held different values. The donning of perhaps some seemingly garish or outlandish pieces of antique costume jewelry may conjure up times memories of when life was simpler and more straightforward than today.
Over one hundred years of history is covered under the umbrella of old costume fashion accessories. From the 1880's to the 1980's, periods such as the Edwardian period, the Victorian era, Art Deco, the 1920's, the 1930's, the 1940's, 50's, and 60's all had very distinctive costume jewelry to express the mood of the day. Many women love to buy this jewelry for very special occasions because it is relatively inexpensive and can become conversation pieces for an entire evening, especially if a story behind the antique costume jewelry can accompany it, including the lives of the women who wore it, or its provenance. The hobby of seeking such items is fed by many online sites that offer beautiful accessories for very reasonable prices, and can offer a person many hours of enjoyment window shopping online.
One of the reasons acquiring antique costume jewelry can be so much fun is because there doesn't have to be a lot of pressure in worrying about whether or not it is a fake. Since the prices are fairly low for many of the pieces, people buy them for the look and not necessarily for the bragging rights of owning something from the Lusitania or Titanic. The thrill in vintage costume jewelry ownership is having something unique, something not of this generation, something others want to look at for the piece itself, not for its monetary value. Now if a person is wishing to be a true collector, looking for a way to make money on these items in a resale effort, buyer beware must be the slogan of the day.
One of the most fascinating vintage costume jewelry eras was in the 1930's and early 40's when Bakelite jewelry was the rage. Bakelite was a type of plastic resin discovered near the turn of the century and was used to make bracelets, necklaces and rings that became as popular as yo-yos did in the sixties. The most common colors of this plastic vintage costume jewelry are pea soup green and butterscotch. Imagine people paying pretty good money for plastic jewelry! This stuff is all the rage at flea markets across the country, but watch out! There are plenty of fakes out there ready to pass themselves as the real Bakelite so get on line and look up ways to spot the real Bakelite from the Fakelite! "For many shall come in my name saying, 'I am Christ,' and shall deceive many." (Matthew 24:5)
If a person wants to make money and buying and selling vintage costume jewelry, it would be important to really do the homework needed to become knowledgeable about the items. Many sites that sell these old accessories also have links to resources that are very helpful in gaining the information needed to make fairly good assessments of a piece's value. The real pros in collecting and buying are careful to follow designers' patterns and idiosyncrasies of making the fashion accessories in order to know the difference between the real and the fake. Even such hints as clinking Bakelite together to hear a distinctive sound or rubbing one's teeth with a pearl to see if it is real or cultured are nuances not learned overnight.
This very distinctive fashion genre is often seen being worn on cruises, to galas, proms, weddings, and other high profile social events because it is eye catching and people tend to focus on unusual objects. In generations past, there seemed to be a curiosity in fashion with the massive, the large, and the prominent. When looking at vintage and antique costume jewelry, the word subtle really doesn't come to mind very often. The pieces are dazzling, they are colorful, they are eye catching and the fashion accessories have no purpose other than to say, "Look at me, notice me." Often the word used in contemporary clothing or decor advertisements is the word "understated." Not so with accessory fashion statements of yesteryear.
This fun fashion interest for many is just for fun. The women who wear these old necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings know that they are exaggerated. They understand the gaudiness that can sometimes be associated with some of the fashion accessories from the past. But maybe, in some ways, when they are worn it's the remembrance of a time when front doors were never locked and children played outside from morning till evening with no fear, and the policeman and the clergyman was revered while the bad guys always wore black hats and lost at the end of the movie. Perhaps when these remembrances of bygones eras are worn, the memory of everyone taking off their hats for the National Anthem and respect for teachers and senior citizens is once again created in the minds of the wearers. Perhaps that's why so many love to wear the outlandish fashion accessories of the past.