Janeos Jewellery

From around the world, Janeo Jewels presents today's hottest celebrities and budding fashion mavens wearing costume jewellery from 925 sterling silver, necklaces, bracelets and earrings with Swarovski crystals. They are setting the standard for fun and affordable fashion jewellery including leather wrist bands, men's stainless steel jewellery and women's charm bracelets. Janeo takes you center-stage to the juiciest news and hottest trends to hit the costume jewellery industry in years.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Economy Bytes: Diamond Dilemmas Call for a Creative Change

The effects of the economic downturn are showing up seemingly everywhere, from the smallest daily detritus to the major headlines and events that almost defy believability. Like nearly every other industry, jewelry is certainly taking a hit; several companies with substantial assets in fine jewelry are finding themselves unable to keep up an adequate inventory with loans, or to sell off their products. Consumers seem to be experiencing the effects of being bitten by the practicality bug; in an environment where many are struggling in earnest to rise from the clutches of debt, arguably frivolous purchases such as rare and expensive jewelery just doesn't make much sense. As a result, several chains and individual stores have liquidated their stock or declared bankruptcy, including big-name international brands such as Tiffany & Co's Iridesse pearl jewellery outlet.
One sub-industry experiencing a particularly low point lately is that of the international diamond industry. Sales and demand are significantly down overall, and have been on a substantial downward trend since last September, following the fail of several key banks and firms with interests in the diamond market. Retailers report that customers still seem to stay true to diamonds for engagement and wedding rings, though the general extravagance of former days in terms of carat size, cut complexity, and setting value has followed the gloomy sentiment and taken a dip. And though the Christmas and Valentine's Day holiday seasons are usually bustling periods for the diamond trade, the industry has been presented with a fairly dismal report.
The lull in the diamond industry doesn't just affect retailers, however. The many thousands of people employed by DeBeers and related companies in developing countries are feeling the crunch of the credit crisis, as well. From the highly productive Gujarat mines of India to the prized mining and polishing centers strewn throughout Namibia and other poor African nations, people with no other vocation to turn to are finding themselves jobless or facing enforced pauses in production, stemming from a simple and harsh drop in worldwide, and particularly America, demand. While some workers are being paid during the mandatory vacations, and optimistic retailers insist that demand will rise again to outweigh supply, the current status is unmistakable.
But the glitz and glamour of diamond jewelry is a goal easily attained by the age-old abilities of costume jewellery. Swarovski crystals are world renowned for their dazzling sparkle and high value, despite a perfectly practical price tag. From elegant chandelier earrings dripping with Swarovski gems to necklaces and bracelets that glitter with a thousand points of pure, multicolored light, costume jewelry knows how to embrace the attitude and aptitude of the diamond.

This bold necklace features pear-cut clear Swarovskis that impart all the shine and shimmer of the genuine article.

For a truly impressive statement, this super-sized clear Swarovski crystal is as affordable as it is attractive.

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Friday, 27 March 2009

NY Antique Jewelry & Watch Show Gets Set for Another Year

Antique jewelry is enough of a global interest to warrant a litany of specialty shops and dealers, from roadside shop owners in dusty, small-town cities to major outlets that buy old jewellery items by the kilogram. There's sometime truly special about an antique look, and the limitless fashion appeal provided by a sentimentally-themed necklace, bracelet, ring, brooch, time piece, or pair of earrings can impart a considerable amount of substance and depth to any outfit and overall impression. With that in mind, the annual New York Antique Jewelry and Watch Show is preparing for another exhibition this summer. Taking place July 24th through the 29th, this substantial showcase is in its third year of operation and is anticipating a large turn out in comparison to last year's bustling crowd. Despite the somewhat painful clutches of the current economy, the show organizers are hopeful that loyal jewelry fans and those simply looking for a fun day of shopping will part with a fifteen dollar admission fee (covering all four days of the event) to sift through the offerings in search of something truly special.

Of course, shopping is one of those past times that simply can't be replicated. But as far as antique jewelry is concerned, it doesn't take a hefty dose of Father Time to turn a piece into something with that special lustre and old-fashioned appeal. Antique jewellery is a subject of great interest within the greater scope of costume jewellery itself. As many genuine antique pieces carry with them an exorbitant cost or an absolutely priceless personal history, using the pieces as they were originally intended -- for show -- can be risky, or even impossible. An antique brooch may cry out to be paraded on a coat, scarf, or sweater, but its considerable monetary value may make visions of losing the item or threatening its value with moisture or sun exposure enough to sentence the piece to the jewelry box forevermore. And an old necklace handed down through the generations may be a perfect match for a new cocktail or special occasion dress, yet never see the light of day to ensure its findings are kept intact and that its stones aren't scratched or lost. It's a sad fate for jewellery pieces, but costume jewelry items are easily able to step up and take on the elements come rain or come shine.

This Emperor Brooch Pin, sparkling with a bevy of round and oval Swarovski crystals, imparts an otherworldly glow while hinting at the fashion and feel of yesteryear.

Equally elegant, these graphite Swarovski 925 sterling silver earrings with a whimsical yet understated structure evoke a classic look with none of the pitfalls of Grandma's pieces.

Those who don't find the items of their dreams at this year's New York Antique show, or who can't make it to the venue, can still show off an antique look with costume jewellery -- and boast its many benefits.

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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

A New Season Calls for a New Necklace

The emergence of spring is one of nature's most magnificent displays; from the cold and bitterness of winter frost and white skies comes a season bursting with color and life, capable of lifting even the darkest of spirits. New flowers peek up through the earth and hint at the beautiful blossoms they'll soon become, and birdsong once again fills the fragrant morning air. It is in celebration of this spectacular season that jewelry mavens and fashionistas the world over prepare to reinvent their wardrobes, pick up a few fresh new things, and step out in eye-turning style. For a simple way to invigorate your look without dropping a lot of cash, a costume jewellery necklace scores maximum points. And what better necklace to choose than one which embodies the many essences of spring?

Created with care and attention to detail, this “folk” or “handicraft” necklace achieves a bright and warm atmosphere around any neck, bringing the spirit of the season to the foreground. Starting with quality brass-coloured findings, the necklace spans a full fifty centimeters and is a blast to wear alone or pair with coordinating pieces. Many different kinds of jewelry treasures blossom along the necklace's length, from bright red pom-poms with a soft touch and lightweight feel, to sleek-looking burgundy cord-wrapped beads and wooden accents in complementary tones.

Exuding an air of creativity, this intriguing piece of costume jewellery mimics the new beginnings of spring, suggesting the bright and energizing colors that fill the landscape when the season takes over. It's lofty spirit is tempered by a flair of drama, owing to its rich and vibrant scarlet hues, able to accent, dominate, or simply top off any look, especially where a little bit of cozy warmth is wanted. Great for a small splurge as a gift to oneself, this fashion necklace is equally appreciable as a birthday, anniversary, or Mother's Day gift, and is a dead-ringer for Valentine's. Yet the whimsical fancy and fashion-forward piece makes an inviting statement when given at any time, year-round, and can easily adapt to the looks of summer, fall, and even chilly winter itself.

No matter the occasion nor the fury of the weather outside, Janeo's red folk necklace is the perfect cure for the blues -- whether of the fashion or the figurative kind. A quick glance in the mirror, a simple touch of the fuzzy, jubilant poms, or an intensive session of playing jewelry dress-up with this substantial statement piece can bring brightness and joy into any day, however dull. Accessibly priced and constructed with excellence, the necklace is sure to become an instant favorite amidst anyone's jewelry box or accessories closet. As the new season unfolds, so will the wearer's spirit -- and the smiles of all who gaze upon this modern yet irresistibly fun piece.

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Sunday, 22 March 2009

Mail Surprise! Company Attempts to Bait Consumers with Promises of Jewelry

It seems that people will do just about anything for money, and this simple observation is exacerbated considerably in times of financial stress. From robberies to half-baked ideas and desperate bids for generating a bit of wealth, schemes tend to pop up around the clock and head out into the worlds of trade and finance to test the waters and see what they can sink their hooks into. While agencies like the Better Business Bureau, or BBB, exist to help consumers locate and understand less than honest agencies and corporations, as well as to provide a platform to sound off and report unethical practices, not everyone is privy to the latest goings-on. With the sheer amount of information that passes between businesses and consumers these days, it's likely that any given person will come across a few crafty scams in their lifetime, and may not even know it. Well, jewelry lovers, beware: a plan to bilk consumers out of small amounts of money over a long time in exchange for promises of undervalued jewelry has recently hatched, and is making its way around America in the hopes of collecting enough cash to make its creators filthy rich.
As the Chicago Sun-Times reported today, many people have begun to receive nondescript green postcards in their mailboxes. The postcards report that the addressee has a package waiting for them, which contains jewelry valued at $50 -- referred to as a “cultured pearl necklace” -- and that they can receive it as soon as they send off a $6.95 shipping and handling fee. While the cards may seem similar to those sometimes sent by the post office or a corporate shipping company, they're not; they're actually from a company called Consumer Clearinghouse Distributors, which has racked up a lot of negative brownie points with the BBB lately. The company's methods are fairly sketchy, but there's more to the tale. The Consumer Clearinghouse Distributors' President, a Mr. Michael Connors, has been sued multiple times for his involvement in multiple companies that were found to sweet talk or swindle customers out of their hard-earned cash.
So what does the green postcard scam do, exactly? Well, if you send the “shipping and handling fee,” it certainly accepts the funds. Beyond that, it will attempt to get consumers to enroll in “special offers” and programs that charge them more small fees for other products. It's dubious that any products, including the original cultured pearl necklace, are ever actually sent, however. When times are tough and the eye catches sight of a glamorous bit of sparkle, it can be tempting to give in and go after the gold. But it usually pays to be prudent, and finding excellent and affordable costume jewellery is as easy and comfortable as hopping online.

Champagne pearl drop earrings, for instance, are an easily accessible and elegant option that won't leave you wondering where your funds went.

Pretty in purple, a Swarovski crystal brooch with a classic rose design has all the right looks and none of the nefarious trickery.

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Friday, 20 March 2009

The Madoffs' Jewelry Collection Shines its Last

By now, pretty much everyone has heard of Bernard Madoff and his astronomically large Ponzi scheme. Causing outrage and fascination in almost equal measure, Madoff's elaborate collection of lies, cheats, and cover ups has been crawling through the headlines for months. It's no surprise that at a time when financial concerns for most Americans -- and indeed, most people around the world -- are reaching a climatic peak, a story of dishonesty and cunning tricks should hold the media and the people so very captivated. Though the number seems to put on some bulk every few days, the most recent tally of the extent of Madoff's scheme has reached $170 billion. At this point, sums that can be easily imagined seem to be a little arbitrary by comparison; what's a few million more? But the total might be more easily envisioned when thought about in terms not of cash, but of something much more tangible: jewelry.

You've got to figure that amidst the various riches tucked away into the various Madoff estates, some serious sparklers are to be found. Like the yacht, the automobiles, and the elegant Steinway piano, fancy jewels seem like a necessary asset. And indeed, between the diamond necklaces and art deco bracelets, the charms, pendants, and sterling silver, the 24-karat gold and everything in between, Madoff, and his wife Ruth, had put together a respectable trove of jewellery. So in the face of government seizures, what fate befalls the Madoffs' twinkling accessories? They'll likely be appropriated by the government as well; almost three million dollars' worth of Mrs. Madoff's jewelry box contents have been indicated for seizure, along with a substantial collection of her husband's watches (at least 35 of the things - we shudder to think how many pairs of shoes this guy must've had!) and cuff links.
Among the jewelry bounty there are likely a few heirloom or estate pieces, along with designer finds and various over-sized gemstones. Whether the goods will be auctioned off for public sale or display is yet to be seen, but in the meantime it's clear that the Madoff's will need a less pricey alternative for getting glammed up. Well, costume jewelry is a friend to all who love the look of sparkle and shine but don't want to -- or simply can't -- shell out the big bucks for coveted materials or brands. Luckily for Madoff, costume jewelry isn't only for women; there are plenty of manly pieces to offset a nice wardrobe, whether it's a slick suit, casual duds, or a prison uniform.

Madoff & Co are likely finding themselves coming to understand the experiences of the clients they ripped off along with the majority of financially squeezed people today. And the mastermind of so many squandered billions will probably learn that sometimes, you've got to let go of your gold.

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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Pamela Anderson “Belts” it Out at Vivienne Westwood

As marvelous and full of exciting finds and trends as the fashion industry tends to be, it is not without its potential for the occasional disaster. Whether the result of a stressful season, and ailing designer, or rapidly tightening funds (a phenomenon that seems to be hitting a little hard these days), a show can sometimes flounder from high fashion statements to the low and simply lame. Of course, it all depends on who you're talking to. Some critics are a bit more enthusiastic when it comes to laying on the skepticism, but once in a while a show will end with a flop that no one can deny. Unfortunately for famed gown designer Vivienne Westwood, this seems to have been the consensus case about her showing during the recent celebration of Paris Fashion Week.
Full of gowns that didn't quite seem fit for the season, or at least, weren't up to the cheers and accolades of her critics, Westwood's show culminated in what was, doubtless, intended to be big-deal publicity stunt. Sure, ex-Baywatch actress and occasional Playboy model Pamela Anderson is famed for having an attractive figure, but her presence on the runway seems to draw a bit more upon her fame as a highly sexual and often overexposed icon. It may have come as no surprise to viewers, then, when one of Anderson's breasts was briefly revealed when her dress came apart during her strut. Hand in hand with Westwood, Anderson took off down the catwalk in a sculptural black dress with red accents and a brown belt, no doubt feeling confident in her designer getup.

But as she approached the end of the runway, whether by accident or as an intentional call for extra attention, the bust of the dress came loose on Anderson's left side, and plenty of flesh was let loose, in full view of onlookers. While the event easily could have been seen as an embarrassment, Anderson, Westwood, and most of those present seem to have been able to take the slip-up in stride. What's more, the speculation that Anderson's less than authentic asset actually saved the show has been circulating among fashion blogs and magazines, and at any rate has been getting Westwood and her designs a healthy dose of additional scrutiny.
The life of a fashion designer may, indeed, be a lot more complicated than it seems. Perhaps Pam would have felt a bit more cozy and well-contained in more casual attire, ditching the long-sleeved gown and accessories for a fashionably laid back look. Fashion belts aren't just for the runway - plenty of timeless and attractive designs come ready-to-wear, for both men and women, whether finished in simple leather or given a special touch with Swarovski crystals or cool metallic finishes.

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Sunday, 15 March 2009

Crime Watch: Jewelry Thefts Up 17% for 2008

The first thing that comes to mind for sellers and owners of fine jewelry probably isn't theft. But the problem of jewellery snatching, whether by means of a complicated and well-planned heist or a simple on the spot “grab and run” scenario, has been around ever since humans began wearing sparkling gems. While the number of jewelry-related crimes has ebbed and flowed over the years, there are certain conditions which seem to influence the rate of occurrences. Unfortunately for anyone with a worrisome disposition, one of those conditions is a faltering economy.
Case in point: the Jewelers' Security Alliance, or JSA, via the Jewelers' Circular Keystone, reported its annual statistics for 2008 this week, and the results are a bit nerve-wracking. The report details an increase of 17% in the number of jewelry-related crimes for the year, as compared to those committed in 2007. While the JSA notes that this does not necessarily indicate the state of the economy as being a factor, the specific details of the report suggest otherwise. The number of impromptu jewelry thefts committed on the spot by amateurs was up 49%, a startling increase that suggests more and more people desperate for quick cash are resorting to trying their hand at gem-grabbing.
But how do these numbers break down, and what do they mean in terms of lost revenue? Well, the crimes amount to 1,505, and the three states reporting the highest number of thefts are California, Florida, and Texas (the same states with the highest number of thefts for the previous year). The total approximated loss in terms of the stolen jewelry's value? It tallies up to 103.5 million, an alarming sum even within the context of the mega-money fine jewelry industry.
While there certainly aren't any calls just yet to lock away fine jewels forever -- the vast majority of these crimes occurred in jewelry stores, not in homes or public places --, those with particularly valuable pieces might want to consider toning it down out of doors, storing precious pieces in a secure location when not worn, and getting in touch with fashion that doesn't require insurance forms with costume jewelry.
Incorporating all the classic looks of fine pieces, from pearly affairs to crystal brooches, diamond stud earrings to sterling silver bracelets and bangles, and adding its own unique, creative flair, costume jewelry is a natural choice for carefree beauty and pizazz, no matter the state of the economy. Combination sets of finely-detailed necklaces and matching earrings are one of costume jewelry's greatest fortes, creating classic looks with refined features that nevertheless, come with price tags that won't make them a net loss.

Crystal and silver-toned necklace and earring set, bedazzling with nearly 400 individual stones.

Elegant, vintage-inspired set featuring gold findings and clear Swarovski crystals.

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Friday, 13 March 2009

Paris Fashion Week Features Bold, Creative Masterpieces

There's much to be said for jewellery that plays with the daintiness of gems and their settings, resulting in fluid and lofty pieces with an ethereal feel. But not every season, nor every fashionable look, is well suited to such delicacies, and more substantial side of jewelry can weigh in with powerful “statement pieces.” If the designers working the Paris runways this week are to be given any say (and we're inclined to think they should), the time is ripe for big, bold jewelry.
With Paris Fashion Week nearing its inevitable close, fashionistas, commentators, and afficionados are abuzz with talk of the big-deal bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings that have accompanied models down the catwalk. In the midst of worldwide economic woes, calls for subdued adornments may have threatened to make this year's event a bit less bright, but visionaries from Alexander McQueen and Galliano to Lanvin came through for jewelry lovers with substantial ornaments that reach back to the roots of our attraction to jewelry itself.

Absent ostentatiously expensive or rare gems, the pieces were dominated by a sense of size and structure, giving earrings a true role in framing the face, and allowing necklaces to spark the first impressions of a gown or suit. Incorporating multiple layers and materials, the jewelry making its debut for photographers and fashion-passionate attendees recalled elements of earlier trends such as charm jewelry and industrial incorporation, yet blended themes together with a smoothness and attention to shape that results in something entirely new.

Outfits have tended to restrain themselves to the classic, with futuristic and innovative edges, such as bubble-backed pea coats, sun pleats in vibrant colors, and evening gowns with a hint of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The simple yet elegant looks make ample room for large-format jewelry, calling for costume jewelry pieces that truly investigate and play with form and function. Exuding strength and character, such items seem a necessary reminder that though the times may be difficult for pocketbooks around the world, the human drive to create and communicate visually is undeterred; rather, it is invigorated.

Ethnic bead necklaces make great echoes of the eye-popping creations featured this week in Paris. With myriad materials and colors all resting on interesting and innovative structures of form, these pieces bring out the creativity of costume jewelry.

Opening up the jewellery box, and the wardrobe, to bold jewelry statements seems like a sure bet for the emerging season. With the value of costume jewelry enjoying a wide recognition, it's no wonder the runways of Paris have produced such strong pieces.

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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Egyptian Treasure: Archaeologists Find Fashionable Jewelry in Ancient Tomb

The Luxor area outside of Cairo, Egypt, is world renowned for its impressive Valley of the Kings and for the multiple fascinating treasures that have been dug up in the region over the years. From ornate burial accoutrements to important hieroglyphic writings and other artifacts, the items found beneath the sand at Luxor have enchanted the human imagination and taught us much about the lives and practices of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
This week, the stock of salvaged ancient goods was revitalized by a find from a Spanish team of archaeologists digging at the site of Dra Abu El-Naga on the west bank of the Nile River. In the burial chambers of Djehuty, the overseer of the treasury under Queen Hatshepsut, one of Egypt's greatest rulers and one of very few females to be charged with the job, the archaeologists found five gold earrings and two gold rings.
Possibly belonging to his wife or other members of his family, the goods are indicative of Djehuty's high social and political rank as well as what would have been a privileged ability to own luxurious items. Gold jewellery is certainly a prized find among archaeologists, but it is far more greedily coveted by grave robbers. Evidence of looting appears throughout Djehuty's burial chambers, but the jewelry, along with descriptive wall paintings complete with hieroglyphics and a ceiling mural depicting the night goddess Nut, remained intact.
While many people can openly claim to have great stores of antique jewelry in their collections, many of which are richly ornamented with costume jewelry from bygone eras, the newly discovered pieces have quite a few years on Grandma's crystal brooches. Hatshepsut ruled Egypt for twenty one years, ending in 1458 BCE, making the gold earrings and rings approximately three and a half thousand years old.
The veteran pieces will likely get a nice polishing from local curators and be studied further to ascertain what they have to tell us about Djehuty, Hatshepsut, and their time in ancient Egypt. After which, with any luck, they'll be put on display or sent to a circuit of museums for public view (though we can't quite see them being rented out for Oscar's night).
In the meantime, there's no need for a trowel and a degree in digging to get your hands on elegant gold jewelry worthy of a queen. Stepping out in classic style is as simple and affordable as reaching for gold costume jewellery, which takes the forms of its more costly cousins and reproduces all the right looks in materials that won't run the treasury dry.
For a refined and unusual yet undeniably fashionable look, gold jewelry sets make statements that will last millennia. With simple shapes and smooth textures, a gold pendant and earring set bedecked with Swarovski crystals blends drama and definition:

Cuffs are evocative of the styles of ancient Egypt and make bold impressions in golden tones:

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Sunday, 8 March 2009

Tiffany and Co's “Iridesse” Pearl Shops Are Belly-Up

It's a classic mainstay of American culture, especially for trend-hounds and the fashionista set: the classic blue Tiffany's jewelry box. In a color that evokes the timeless elegance of the company's trademark sterling silver jewelry, these boxes have held precious baubles and gifts for decades, becoming a notorious symbol of the American jewelry industry and of luxury itself. But in the face of the current economic difficulties, is the blue box on its way out?
Officially, Tiffany & Co aren't about to lock up their doors. But Iridesse, a pearls-only branch founded in 2004, announced late February that they'll be packing away the pretty earrings, necklaces, and bracelets and closing up due to disappointing sales. The chain, which was established with sixteen retail stores, featured austere interiors that attempted to highlight the glow and luminescence of the pearls. But whether shoppers simply weren't impressed or have become wary of investing in expensive fine jewelry, the effort to showcase these items has proved inadequate at best.
Some have speculated that the Chinese freshwater pearl trade, which has made less expensive pearls widely available on the modern market, is to blame for the drop in sales of fine cultured pearls. Others point simply to the inability of many to purchase such expensive accouterments during the recession. But gaze into the jewelry boxes of modern women and take a gander at any runway or fashion mag and you'll cave to the insider consensus: pearls are still hot, and they don't have to break the bank to win a place among your collection.
Costume jewellery pearls achieve warmth and brilliance without the financial pain of their precious cultured cousins. Pearls create a soothing and elegant backdrop for dazzling gems when strung together in costume jewellery necklaces:

Baroque pearls, mysterious and intriguing swirls of dark and iridescent colors in peculiar shapes hailing from the South Pacific, are a popular fine jewelry choice that may nevertheless fall victim to the problem of affordability. But never fear, costume jewelry has the baroque pearl look down pat:

For a look that really captures all the lustre of classic pearls, a mix of pearly and silk wrapped beads moving fluidly on a gold chain evokes the glow of the real thing:

Iridesse may be saying sayonara to the rigorous world of jewelry retailing, but the essential appeal of pearls is one which no economic downturn can stamp out. And so long as creative designers turn out affordable pieces that evoke all the creamy glory of these lovely pieces, no neck will have to go without.

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Friday, 6 March 2009

When Good Jewelry Goes Bad: One Engagement Ring's “Frosty” Adventure

If rings could talk, they'd likely have a lot to say about fingers. Some would prefer the traditional ring finger; others the index, or a fashionable pinky. They might have tales of close encounters with dish washing or moments of glory to regale about a day when the sun was warm and bright and they shone with all their might, dazzling onlookers. But of all the things a ring might have to impart, a story about being swallowed seems like a pretty unlikely one. Still, that's exactly what the engagement ring belonging to Kaitlin Whipple would be abuzz about if only it could communicate.
Why, exactly, would anyone swallow a ring? Well, it seems that Kaitlin's eager fiancée, one Reed Harris, whipped up an idea for an engagement proposal that was more heartfelt than well-planned. Harris, who bought the dazzling and sentimental piece of jewellery recently after deciding he couldn't wait to propose to his girlfriend of three months, opted for a spur-of-the-moment affair. On the night in question, while out with some friends at a Wendy's restaurant, Harris dumped the gold ring in a Frosty dairy shake, and rushed it home to Whipple.
The two proceeded to have a “finishing contest,” to see who could gulp down their frosty fastest. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Amazingly, Whipple reports she didn't feel the ring at all, and a distraught Harris searched through his friends' Frosties in search of the jewelry. Finding none, he whisked Whipple off to the emergency room, where an x-ray confirmed that the gold and diamond ring meant to be slipped on the finger was cozily residing in Whipple's stomach.

Far from putting a damper on the occasion, the accidental ring imbibing seems to have had just the right touch: Whipple said “yes,” and the pair plans to be wed in due time. The ring itself is reported as being in full recovery after passing through Whipple's digestive system. The happy couple has come out not only with a wedding date, but with quite a story to tell their grandkids -- and a great deal of national publicity as well.
Luckily for costume jewellery hounds, most trendy rings are a little too noticeable to go diving down the throat. And even if a cocktail ring found its way into the stomach, it'd be far less unnerving than the idea that thousands and thousands of dollars worth of jewelry were awash with digestive acids. So whether you stick to rings that can hold their own in a milkshake or you opt to purchase with accidental scarfing in mind, make sure you choose a piece that captures the sweet sentiments of Harris' and Whipple's engagement.

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Wednesday, 4 March 2009

And So Goes the Gold

For anyone with an interest in the stock market, dealing with a little debt, or working hard to reconcile the cost of living with the rewards of working (and let's face it -- that's really everyone --), times have been a bit rough recently. From layoffs to changing interest rates, bank closings to home foreclosures, many people across the country and indeed, around the world, are facing some difficult decisions about their finances. It's not too surprising that one of the first areas hit hard by the declining economic trend is gold.
Well, that depends on how you look at it, really. Gold has recently hit an all-time high, fetching nearly a thousand dollars per ounce. That's great news for some investors, but for most people, what it means is that a jewelry box full of seldom- or never-worn gold items might help make the days ahead that much brighter. Anticipating the increasing desire to sell private gold jewelry, some companies have begun advertising appraisal services, either online or by way of traveling appraisal shows. While selling private gold to such companies can be a positive experience, it's a good idea to do your own research first. A recent report on the subject suggests that potential sellers check out the current price of gold along with knowing the karat value of their pieces and an idea of the weight.
While getting a nice chunk of cash in exchange for old gold jewellery might inspire some relief and excitement, it can be a little sorrowful as well. After all, gold is a classic and handsome choice for jewelry and complements most looks and personal styles with a touch of richness. But jewelry makers have evolved over the years along with their craft, and today are able to create very realistic gold looks, either with faux finishes or easily affordable plating.
Bangle bracelets are a classic medium for the smooth look of gold, and when they incorporate the sparkle and glamour of Swarovski crystals, make for elegant pieces suitable for stopping traffic or subtly shining around a wrist.

Rings are also happily paired with the warm glow of gold, and benefit from a bit of shopper savvy when added to a collection of costume jewellery. Either plain and understated or showcasing a bold swath of color and texture, costume jewelry gold rings are a great way to make it through the economic slump in perfect style.

Letting a bit of one's old possessions go now and then is a good idea, and a natural part of life; it can be made a bit easier by pocketing the cash value. But the accessibility and great looks of costume jewelry make the extra space something to truly cheer about.

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Sunday, 1 March 2009

Making a Pair: Celebs Don Matching Jewelry Pieces

Giving the gift of jewellery to a friend or loved one has been a traditional expression of appreciation and love since mankind began crafting wearable adornments. There is a bevy of annual holidays that seem to call for such gifts, from Valentine's and birthdays to Christmas and anniversaries. Even one of the most important lifetime events -- a wedding engagement and ceremony -- incorporates the gift of jewelry. With all of these appropriate occasions and cues to slip a ring or necklace on your loved one, you've got to admit it's a good thing that not every piece is made for burning a hole in your wallet.
Costume jewelry lets the act of giving stud earrings, charm necklaces, bangle bracelets, fashion rings, and even accessories like belts and bag charms be an affordable and fun process, saving expensive designer pieces for more traditional affairs. And one of the best ways to enjoy the accessibility of costume jewelry is to mix and match collections, especially when it comes to adorning yourself and that certain someone special. Matching pieces for friends or lovers is a meaningful way to bond through jewelry, keeping a kindred spirit close at heart in a subtle way (though if you're comfortable wearing full-fledged matching outfits, more power to you) while creating a stylish and synchronised look.
Though the thoughtful and emotional components of shared jewelry matching reach beyond the scope of a fad, it has become a growing trend among Hollywood's hotlist. Perhaps a little disillusioned with super-expensive jewels and designs that can steal all the pizazz from even the most remarkable of designer gowns, celebrities have begun sporting matching pieces that give a firm nod towards costume jewelry's focus on attractive pieces that don't break the bank.

This week, Ace Showbiz spotted actress Camilla Belle and rumored boyfriend Joe Jonas sporting matching pieces from the Lori Lovitt collection. Belle's gold ring is complemented by her gift to Jonas, a simple yet handsome leather necklace.
Jewelry gifts don't have to be all about big stones and jaw-dropping price tags. You can travel back to the roots of why we give jewelry to our loved ones in the first place by exploring options for jewelry matching starting with some affordable costume pieces. In keeping with Belle and Jonas' leather theme, check out this rugged yet fashionable men's leather bracelet, paired with a classy yet creative leather flower corsage in matching tones and textures:

And when shopping for a grown-up version of the age-old “best friends forever” jewelry, look into classic combination sets, which do all the pairing work for you. Share your style along with your affection and make your next jewellery gift a perfect match.

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