If you want to make an impression on family and friends this holiday season with exceptional gifts, you may want to consider presents that leave a lasting impression. Instead of the conventional material present, consider practical or personalized solutions. Things like practical gifts and personalized items can mean a lot more than material items. Here are some ideas for Christmas presents that spread the gift of giving and the spirit of the holidays:
1. Practical Presents That Help Give A Meaning To The Gift Of Giving
To give a gift, you do not need to buy the biggest and most expensive present. Sometimes, a present that is practical can mean something more. Consider people close to you, such as those that work in trade, whom you may want to gift something like a good pair of gloves, a simple hand tool or other practical gift. Woodworking tools can be a great gift for a carpenter in your family. Maybe you know hobbies of those close to you, and your gift can be something to do with the person’s hobbies. A practical gift with leave an impression and be used.
2. Personalized Holiday Decorations That Will Be Remembered Year After Year
Sometimes, it may be hard to think of a good practical gift for those close to you. Instead of something practical, give them something with meaning. This can be personalized Christmas decorations that have a message. Decorations are good because they are something that will be used and remembered year after year. They also allow you to create something that is meaningful and has a message that you want to share.
3. Adding To Presents With Handcrafted Details Like Boxes, Wrapping, Displays And More
When you put forth an effort to create the perfect present, sometimes it can mean a mountain more than anything you could ever buy. This can be custom gift boxes that you make yourself to give your gifts. These can be fun decoration projects for kids, too. You may also want to do things like make your own wrapping paper. For presents you want to have a special meaning, consider displays and wood boxes. You can also make some presents or parts of presents, such as a wood case for practical presents, which can be brazed with a personalized design or message using a soldering iron.
These are some Christmas present ideas that can help you spread the true meaning of giving and sacrifice. If you are ready to start preparing presents that leave a meaningful impression, contact a company such as Creative Elements 4 You.Read More
If you are thinking about buying or selling silver coins, you may be curious about their worth, how to take care of them or other issues. Unfortunately, however, there are lots of myths about silver coins. Here is the truth behind several popular myths.
1. Myth: Only really old silver coins are worth money.
Truth: If you are hunting for coins with a metal detector and you find an ancient silver coin, chances are that it’s going to be worth some proverbial gold, but you don’t necessarily have to find ancient coins for them to be worth something. There are also relatively modern silver coins that can be worth cash. For example, quarters minted before 1965 feature more silver than their modern counterparts, and they can be worth over $3.
2. Myth: You should clean all the silver coins you find.
Truth: Cleaning coins can actually ruin them in many cases. If you find a coin that is so caked with dirt that you cannot even tell what it is, feel free to soak it in some water with a few drops of gentle dish soap. Then, gently rub it with a very soft cloth to help remove the debris. Don’t agitate the coin with a scrub brush, and don’t even dry it aggressively. Both of those things may wear down the coin or leave scratches.
In all other cases, don’t even wash the coin. You may accidentally scrub off some of the deep coloration that has formed over the years, and washing that off could diminish the coin’s value.
3. Myth: Silver is very durable.
Truth: Silver is more durable than gold, but it is still a relatively soft metal, and you should take extreme care not to damage your silver coins. When handling them, wear gloves if possible to prevent your skin oils from getting onto the metal. Also, place a towel under the area where you are examining your coins so that you don’t drop them and dent them. Finally, don’t even talk over the coin as you may accidentally spit on it, and that water is not good for it.
4. Myth: Only mint condition coins are worth money.
Truth: For coin collectors, truly mint condition coins are the ideal, but depending on the rarity of the coin, scuffed or slightly blemished coins can also be worth money. However, if you have a silver coin that is so old or nicked up that you can barely tell what it is, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth money. Take it to someone who buys silver coins or someone who buys precious metals in general. If it has no value as a collectible coin, it may still have value just based on melting down the silver in it.
If you are preparing to buy your fiance a diamond, don’t limit yourself to the jewelry store. Do consider buying it at a resale store or pawn shop. Because these establishments loan money for jewelry or buy it outright, they are able to offer you amazingly low prices for their wares. If you have a limited budget but a taste for elegance, a pawn shop can be the answer to your diamond needs.
The jewelry in these stores can often be purchased for approximately half the normal retail price. When you are in the market for an engagement ring, this price difference can enable you to buy a diamond that is twice the size of the one you originally planned. If you stick with the smaller diamond, you can take the savings and use them to pay for at least part of your wedding. Several thousand dollars can make a big dent in the reception costs.
The quality of these rings is exactly what you would find in a jewelry store. There will be a variety of diamond sizes and settings. Some of the diamonds will be a superior cut and clarity while others will be quite inferior. You will need to know something about diamonds when you are shopping for the ring. If you are afraid of making a mistake, take along someone who is well versed in diamonds or someone who owns a high-quality diamond. You can use their stone as a comparison point for any rings you consider. For instance, you should be able to easily judge the color of the stone in this way. Do look at the diamond through a loupe to judge its interior flaws.
You should consult with your fiance before purchasing the ring at a pawn shop. Although diamonds and gold are recycled all the time, some people have a negative view of “used” jewelry. If your fiance has a problem with the process, you should not proceed, no matter how tempting the prices are. However, many people see the practicality of this route, and will not object at all. Hopefully, your fiance is a member of the latter group.
A pawn shop or resale shop is an excellent place to get high-quality jewelry at extremely low prices. You do need to educate yourself before you buy, but as long as you go in armed with information, your mission should be a successful and highly satisfying one.
For jewelry, contact a company such as Sol’s Jewelry & Loan.Read More
Is your dream of owning your own craft business finally coming true? Now that all the legalities are out of the way, your focus is probably on building your business. If that’s the case, from advertising to providing the right glass beads, here are some ideas that might help you to be successful in your new enterprise.
Advertising – Order small bags that display the name and logo of your business. Put a discount card in each one of them and ask all your friends and relatives to pass them out to anybody they think will be interested shopping at your store. Ask nearby businesses if you can leave the discount cards with them, too. Before your store opens, put out a sign that says something like, Be Ready For A Memorable Shopping Experience. The day before your grand opening, change the sign to say something like, Tomorrow’s Opening Day – Don’t Miss Out! On opening day, have the children of friends and family members pass out balloons inviting people to come in to shop.
Classes – From the very beginning, offer fascinating classes and demonstration. For example, if you know of an artist who uses Czech seed beads as part of the design in his or her oil paintings, ask him or her to give a demonstration of that technique. Anybody can string beads together to make a simple bracelet. However, if you know of an artisan who designs rustic bracelets using a combination of wood, ceramic and clay beads, invite that individual to teach your customers that art form.
Displays – Carry diverse merchandise that may not be found in other craft stores. Think of different ways that you can display your beads. As your customers look at the way you have set up your displays, it will be natural for them to examine what you have chosen for each area you have planned. Here are some ideas on how to display beads.
- Beads that will be used by children will stand out when you put them on small children’s toys. For example, a tiny piece of doll furniture holding plastic beads in its drawers would be endearing to little ones.
- One-of-a-kind pottery beads from Honduras would look very dramatic set on a shiny wooden board.
- Stunning silver beads from Mexico would stand out when set on red, green and white fabric, the colors of the Mexican flag.
- Draw attention to unique ceramic beads from England with a background composed of pictures of the royal family.
- When displaying elegant Czech glass beads, set out long, formal gloves and put a Czech glass bead on every fingertip.
Get to know your customers and their crafts well. They may become potential instructors or demonstrators in your storeRead More
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:
- ash burl
- cherry wood
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
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.
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.Read More
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.Read More
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 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.
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.Read More