Jewelry - A Gift for Men

4 Unique Alternatives To Traditional Diamond Wedding Rings

If you and your future spouse are shopping for wedding rings, then you might want to consider some options other than traditional wedding bands made of gold and diamonds. There is a wide variety of other stones and materials on the market today that make beautiful and lasting jewelry options.

Here are four alternative options besides the traditional gold and diamond styles:

Alternative #1: Wood Wedding Rings

Craftsmen who work with wood often create amazing rings out of exotic woods. Some of the most popular types of wood used are:

  • ebony
  • ash burl
  • cherry wood
  • rosewood

The wood bands are sometimes inlayed with metals or other woods for a unique look. Gemstones and precious gems can be inlayed into the wood as well or placed in prongs on top of the band.

Alternative #2: Wire Knot Wedding Rings

Metal craftsmen create metal knot rings out of a wide variety of different metals. Some of the most unique amongst them are made from the following recycled metals:

  • decorative silverware 
  • copper wire
  • hardware

In addition, the ring can have a single knot or multiple knots that are stacked on top of each other.

Alternative #3: Silicone Rings

If you or your future spouse often work around tools or machinery, then you should consider wedding rings made from silicone or another non-metallic material. Silicone rings will not catch on machinery and amputate your finger in the same way that metal or wood can. Silicone rings are made in a wide variety of colors and styles. Some of the most unique are swirls of different colors or imprinted with a personal message.

Alternative #4: Tattoo Wedding Rings

If neither you nor your future spouse like to wear jewelry, then tattoo wedding rings are a perfect solution! The tattoo artist can create a custom design for each of your ring fingers that has a special meaning for both of you. You can make the design as simple or complicated as you want. One fun idea is to tattoo the date you were married on your ring fingers.

Conclusion

If you and your future spouse are interested in exploring your options for wedding rings that are not made of traditional gold and diamonds, then you should speak with a sales representative at your local jewelry store like B And A Jewelers. They can advise you of all of your options and answer any questions that you may have about buying and caring for wedding rings of all types.

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3 Ways To Save On Your Engagement Ring

When it comes to buying an engagement ring, money is an issue, even if you want to say that money is no object. You still have to figure out how to pay for that ring, while paying for everything else. However, getting an engagement ring that everyone loves doesn’t have to break the bank. 

Look For A Bigger Surface Area

If you can’t afford to buy a pricey, multi-karat ring, look for a ring that is shallower but with a larger surface size. A .25 karat diamond that has a very shallow cut but a larger surface area may look bigger than a 1 karat diamond that has a much deeper cut. You will save money and have a more impressive looking ring than you might otherwise be able to get. 

Look For Alternative Purchasing Options

Look at the traditional jewelry store, but don’t stop there. Look for all kinds of other options, including online jewelry stores. They often don’t have the same overhead, so you may be able to get a better deal. You can also check out sites that offer crafters a a way to reach customers. If you are looking for something unique, the crafter may be able to find the right ring for you. If you want to visit a physical location, then you might want to check out a pawn shop like Desert Jewelry Mart & Coins. You might be surprised at the large variety of engagement rings that they will offer. Pawn shops also generally offer prices that jewelry stores just can’t beat. 

Look At Your Own Leisure

The more time you give yourself to look around, the more money you will be able to save. If you are in a rush, you are more likely to buy the very first thing you see, no matter how much it costs. Taking your time can also mean waiting until after you have asked your partner to marry you, and then taking them shopping with you. That will give your partner and you plenty of time to figure out what kind of metals and stone cuts that you each like, and find something that makes you both happy. If you aren’t sure what your partner likes, this is probably your best option.

Getting married is a very important step in your life. There are going to be a lot of expenses surrounding your wedding. Buying your engagement ring doesn’t have to be one of those expenses.

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Classic Cameo Brooch Styles You Might Find At An Estate Sale

The cameo brooch is an iconic image. They are synonymous with Victorian era jewelry. They were also very popular during the early part of the 20th century. You might have seen them on the popular television show Downton Abbey.

If you are interested in finding unique jewelry, specifically cameo brooches, then you might want to investigate estate sales. You can still buy cameo brooches today, but the new ones are usually made with agate. If you are looking for one made from ivory, glass, or shell, you should look for antique jewelry. This is why an estate sale is a fantastic place to look. The jewelry will be old. You might find authentic Victorian era brooches.

Here is an overview of the designs, the materials you should be aware of, and how to tell if it is genuine.

Cameo Materials

Cameo brooches were originally made from stone. Later on, craftsman started to use shell. The first shell cameos were made in Italy during the 14th and 15th century. Italy had the benefit of being a fishing culture. The cameos were carved out of mussels. Later on, in different cultures, other shellfish such as conch were used.

The second material that was used to make was Ivory. This is no longer being produced due to bans on ivory harvesting. However, there are plenty of examples of Ivory brooches in existence. The jewelers liked to use Ivory because of its beautiful color and the ease with which they could carve it. You will not find a modern cameo brooch made of Ivory, so if you want one you will have to look for antique brooches.

Italian cameos were often made of lava rock. This was because of the abundance of the material and how easy it was to carve. The lava rock was taken from Mount Vesuvius.

Finally, there are the agate brooches. These are the most common cameo brooches today. Agate is a type of rock. It is perfect for making cameos because it is multicolored. This helps the artist create depth and add shading.

Cameo Design

The most popular cameo motifs are Greek and Roman figures, along with female portraits.  One of the most popular designs during the Victorian era was the Cameos Habille. These cameos featured a woman who was wearing a necklace. This became a very popular design. You can see examples of the “dressed” cameos here.

How To Tell If The Cameo Is Vintage

If you are going to an estate sale, you still should check to make sure the cameo is vintage. You don’t want to buy a plastic mock up of real estate jewelry. There are two popular methods to check if the cameo is an antique.

First, remember that antique cameo brooches would never be made of plastic. They would only be made of stone, ivory, shell, or some other hard organic matter. So, the first test is called the “hot” pin test.  The process involved taking a pin and heating it with a cigarette lighter. When the pin is hot you press it against the cameo. If the material is stone, agate, shell, or Ivory, the pin will not make a mark. If the cameo is plastic, the pin will soften or press in.

Some people find this intrusive, so the prefer to do a less invasive test. This test involves using a magnifying glass. You are going to look for marks on the surface of the cameo. Plastic cameos are molded and are completely smooth. Classic cameos that were carved should bear marks from the engravers chisel. This method requires a good eye.

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Discover The True Beauty Behind Used Engagement Rings

Far too many people believe that the only benefit that comes with buying a used engagement price is a lower price tag. While it is true that these rings can often be bought for far less than a new ring, this is only one of the impressive benefits that used rings have to offer. In fact, once you discover the true beauty behind used engagement rings, the size of your budget will likely have little to do with your decision to buy a used ring.

Used Rings Have A Story To Tell

Engagement rings have always played a major role in any great love story. After all, a great love story simply would not be complete without the perfect proposal. When you choose to buy a brand new engagement ring, this ring will simply tell your love story. However, when you choose to buy a used engagement ring, you and your future spouse will be able to share in the great love stories that came before you as well.

If you are looking for an engagement ring that tells a specific tale, many jewelers who offer used and antique engagement rings will be able to help you find the ring that is perfect for you. For instance, if your future spouse is obsessed with royalty or the rich and famous, purchasing a ring that once belonged to a member of the royal family or to a Hollywood actress could really give your engagement ring the extra touch needed to transform it from a simple ring to a symbol of your undying love that should be shared with generations to come.

Designs Change Over The Years

Engagement ring designs have changed dramatically over the years in order to reflect the most popular styles of the time. However, not all brides-to-be will share the style of the masses. If you are planning to propose to a truly unique woman, you will need a truly unique ring as well. Choosing to purchase a used engagement ring will give you a much wider selection to choose from as you will be able to choose from both modern designs, and designs of days gone by.

The differences between engagement rings from one era to the next can be subtle. So if you are looking for a ring from a specific era, such as the Victorian Era, you will want to ensure that any ring you are considering is appraised by a professional who specializes in Victorian jewelry before committing to your purchase.

If you prefer a new ring, but also want that unique aspect, consider purchasing a custom-made ring from a professional jeweler like those at P.K. Bennett Jewelers.

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Buying An Engagement Ring On A Tight Budget

If you are interested in asking your partner for their hand in marriage, selecting an engagement ring is probably on the top of your list of priorities. Selecting an engagement ring can quickly become an overwhelming experience, especially if you are strapped for cash. Here are some tips to help you pick out the perfect ring when you are on a tight budget.

Learn The Basics

Before you head out to a jeweler, learn about the different diamond types so you are more prepared when asked what you are looking for. There are four grading methods used to distinguish between different diamonds. These are often called the four “C’s” and consist of the cut, the clarity, the color and the carat. If you are on a budget, you will not be buying top of the spectrum in any of these four factors. However, buying on the lower end for one of the four “C’s” allows you to get higher-quality on one of the other four “C’s”.

For example, buying a smaller carat diamond will allow you to upgrade on the color or clarity. Buying a diamond with less clarity will allow you to buy a larger diamond. Decide which factor is most important to you and look a diamonds within the range you select for this factor.

Know When To Shop

Many jewelers will hold sales throughout the year. Take advantage of a sale to get the best possible price on an engagement ring, instead of going to the store on a whim. Look up sale information online for the jeweler you have in mind to see when sales were held in the past. Often, sales are held right before Christmas and in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, because they are holidays where engagements take place. 

Stay Within Budget

Figure out how much you can comfortably afford for a ring before you start shopping. Stick with this predetermined number no matter what and take your time to find something under this price. Let salespeople know this number, and do not let them make you feel inferior because of the amount you are able to spend. If they start looking down on you because they want a larger sale, walk out of the store and move on to another. Consider looking in antique shops or jewelry stores going out of business, as they will have rings at substantially less than an established jewelry store. 

Try Something Different

If your partner enjoys unique jewelry, consider selecting a stone other than a diamond. This non-traditional choice is becoming increasingly popular in engagement rings. You can still use the same type of setting and band, but have the stone swapped for an emerald, ruby or sapphire. If you want to stick with a diamond, consider getting a ring with a solitaire diamond. The carat would be all placed into the one diamond instead of a bunch of smaller ones, making the overall appearance of the stone much more impressive.

For more information about buying a ring, check out jewelers such as Rinehart Brothers Jewelers.

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3 Tip To Think About When Starting Your Coin Collection

When you want to be sure that you are able to start a great coin collection, you will need the tools and advice to do so. There is a bit of a learning curve to get started with your new hobby, especially if you are looking to collect rare and valuable coins. With this in mind, take advantage of some of the following tips, as they will get you started with your new collection in a way that makes the most sense. 

#1: Get Your Hands On The Tools Of The Trade

If you are truly going to have an appreciation and understanding of coin collecting, you will need to collect the items that will help you to store and appraise your coins. You’ll want to purchase a high-quality magnifying glass so that you can zoom in on your coins and appreciate each and every detail. Next, you’ll need a Red Book, Black Book or some form of price guide so that you are able to easily find out what your coins are worth on the collector’s market. Since you generally are not supposed to clean collected coins, you will want to also purchase the right storage tools, such as folders, flips, and tubes. These storage mechanisms will help you keep your coins safe and sound while also putting them on display. 

#2: Begin Small And Simple, By Using Current Coins

Since you are a beginner, the last thing you want to do is be intimidated by your collection. That can easily happen when you start out by acquiring coins that are incredibly valuable and you aren’t quite used to handling and appraising them. To get a feel for being a coin collector, you should start out with coins that are in circulation right now. This takes a lot of the risk out of the equation and lets you get used to collecting, with no pressure. Some great places to start are limited edition commemorative coins or state based coins. 

#3: Scope Out Quality Coin Dealers 

Finding reputable coin dealers is your bread and butter if you’re trying to start a quality collection. In order to make sure that you are finding the best online coin dealers, check their accreditations and seek references from your numismatic organization or publication. The right dealer will help you to not only get some of the best pieces, but fair and trustworthy trades and appraisals. 

Follow these tips, and you will get off to the best start with your coin collection. 

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3 Places To Find Gold To Sell For Quick Cash

Once you weed out all of your unwanted gold jewelry to trade with gold buyers, you may be wondering where to find your next haul. Thankfully, you can find gold in great quantities if you know just where to look. The beauty and vast utility of gold ensures artisans will continue to use it for a number of man-made objects until someone identifies a suitable substitute. Furthermore, you can still use time-honored techniques to pull gold from the Earth in certain locations. Here are three ideas to get you started on your gold search mission.

Inside Electronics

Electronics utilize gold as conductors on their circuit boards and connectors. The conductive properties direct heat and electricity to the proper places without much loss. The never-ending production of new electronics means you’ll likely never run out of your gold supply if you know how to extract it.

The extraction process doesn’t take a lot of effort once you gather the right tools and learn the procedure from beginning to end. Many people strip gold from circuit boards using a mixture of hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide. After straining the gold out of the mixture, a rinse with water and methanol completes this process. Make sure to wear protective gear, like gloves, goggles and a facemask, to protect your body while working with these chemicals.

At The Stream

You can still pan for gold in mineral rich streams to net a tidy little profit. The amount of gold running through the stream varies day by day, so you have to stay diligent with this endeavor. However, if you stick with it, you’ll likely collect enough gold to make the process worth your while. You may even find gems, like rubies and diamonds, on your panning trips. Furthermore, panning for gold often turns into a fun hobby that you can share with friends and family.

You may want to try out several different streams known for gold accumulation before settling on the best one for your needs. You can also just rotate through the available streams in your area for a frequent change of scenery while trying your luck.

In The Sidewalk Cracks

A modern variation of panning for gold in streams is picking it out of the sidewalk cracks with tweezers. One man in New York has mastered this practice well enough to make a living doing it. In fact, he can gather nearly $1000 a week performing this simple task in a week’s time.

The gold fragments fall off the shoes of jewelry makers and lie in the cracks of the sidewalk just waiting to be discovered. Since gold is lighter than rocks and dirt, people tramping above push the gold deeper and deeper into the groove. During the search, gem pieces often come up to the surface with the gold as the man digs deep with a butter knife. If you have a jewelry-making district in your area, consider breaking out the butter knife, tweezers and small cup to give it a go.

Selling Your Finds

Once you gather a few grams of gold, you can bring it down to a gold buying facility to collect your reward. Make sure you weigh your gold before you go and pack it up in a secure container for the trip down there. The price of gold fluctuates frequently, so it’s important to check the prices before you head into the shop. On a day showing increased values, hurry in to net the highest price for your gold collection. The buyers will weigh the gold on a precise scale to determine the total amount you have on hand. Make sure this weight matches your prior calculations before finalizing the sale. 

For more information, contact Gold for Cash or a similar company.

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