Silver Lining For Jewelry Artists in Current Crisis?

Recent news about the jewelry industry has been grim. Rapaport News reported a 19% decrease in attendance at the prestigious American Gem Trade Association show in February. Tiffany announced it will close its sixteen Iridesse Pearl Stores, opened in 2004. And from the UK is the news that Diamonds and Pearls, a large retailer, is in “administration.”

What does all this mean for the jewelry industry? JCK, an industry publication, recently concluded a series of roundtables with leading manufacturers and retailers. Their conclusions: the industry will consolidate; the credit crunch will continue to be a problem keeping inventories on both the manufacturing and retail levels low; the high price of gold continues to be a problem for manufacturers and retailers; and, both industry sectors will have to find new methods of working together.

But despite low inventory levels and the credit squeeze, retailers will have to keep their shelves stocked. Nothing scares off a potential client quicker than empty showcases. So, it is highly likely that these retailers will be far more open to accepting goods on consignment than in the past.

This is an opportunity for jewelry artists, artists who create one-of-a-kind highly collectible jewelry and who may have previously confined their sales and marketing efforts to art and craft galleries. The opportunity is to educate the consumer about the wonderful work being created by studio artists, a term that originated after WWII and refers to an artist working alone in his studio.

Although many of these artists work in high karat gold and use gemstones, a number of them use lower cost materials. And it is likely that artists who use both expensive and less expensive materials in their work are highly interested in moving their jewelry in this economic climate. So, prices which would be high in good times are probably lower.

The opportunity for artists is to expose their work to a new audience, but one that is also interested in collectible jewelry. The opportunity for jewelers is to display new work. And, the opportunity for consumers is to acquire one-of-a-kind work from artists they may be previously unaware of.

Vintage Jewelry Lovers – Protect Your Collection With These Jewelry Organizers

What does it mean when we call something vintage? The common misconception is that vintage items are also antiques. While this is often true, it is not an absolute. Vintage items can come from any era or period, even last year. In fact, the word simply means a period of origin or a date of manufacture. An antique, on the other hand, must be at least fifty years old. In this article, we will discuss vintage jewelry and how to keep it safe.

Like most collectibles, jewelry often appreciates in price, especially if it is vintage jewelry. The most expensive types of collectible jewelry are also antiques that were created in and are representative of different eras. The most important eras for jewelry design were Georgian, Early Victorian, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco, and Retro.

Any serious collector or professional jeweler could tell you which era a piece of vintage jewelry belonged to on first glance. For example, jewelry from the Georgian Era, the earliest era for vintage jewelry, was handmade, which meant the quality of each piece was inconsistent. The designs were often inspired by nature, with lots of birds and leaves, and jewelers frequently used precious stones to decorate them. Pieces from this era are often over two hundred years old. Needless to say, they are expensive and very rare.

As you might expect, women who own rare collections of vintage jewelry can’t just keep them in a drawer. These pieces are often quite fragile and they can be damaged by dust, debris, or simply by jostling them around. That is why many collectors keep their vintage jewelry in a safe or safety deposit box. But for women who like to show their collections off to friends or perhaps even wear a piece or two on a special occasion, the only practical option is a good jewelry organizer.

There are many different types of organizers, from the classic jewelry box to the more commodious jewelry armoire. The type of organizer that you require depends upon the size and the type of jewelry in your collection. The standard organizer has separate compartments for earrings, rings, broaches, bracelets, and hangers for necklaces so that they don’t get tangled up.

If you are collector who only procures certain types of jewelry, like earrings or necklaces, then you might consider a specialty organizer. Folding earring screens, revolving earring organizers, and tiered earring holders can offer more protection and more space for a specialized collection. Most of these organizers can safely hold and display hundreds of pairs of earrings. For collectors who purchases vintage necklaces, necklace hangers or trees are the easiest way to keep your collection organized and safe.

Of course, most collectors do not own specialized collections. Most vintage jewelry aficionados procure all types of pieces from different eras or periods. They may have a fondness for Early Victorian or Art Nouveau or Art Deco jewelry. But whatever the period, they often need organizers that can store many different types of jewelry from earrings to broaches to necklaces.

The most popular organizer for the home is the upright jewelry valet. Like the standard jewelry box, the valet is designed to sit atop a dresser or on a vanity. It is about twice the size of a standard jewelry box and can accommodate small to medium-size collections. On average, the standard upright jewelry valet has four to six drawers for rings, broaches, pendants, and earrings. It may also have hooks on the inside of the swinging doors for necklaces or bracelets. For safety reasons, we recommend an organizer that has a lock and key.

The next step up from the jewelry valet is the jewelry armoire. These organizers are designed for people with own truly impressive collections that they have amassed over many years. The armoire organizer is available in two versions-the wall-mounted organizer and the free-standing jewelry armoire.

Fashion Advice For Contemporary Women Over Fifty

If you’re a woman who is over fifty, you’ve probably heard all the old standard fashion advice for ‘mature’ women. Wear turtlenecks, they cover up wrinkled necks. Wear your skirts below your knee, it’s more age appropriate. You’re too old to wear long hair, it ages you.

The list goes on. Well, that list is antiquated. Throw it out. Today’s 50-plus woman doesn’t have to give up her sense of style just because she had another birthday. Here are some suggestions to help you dress to make you look and feel good about yourself.

Be Confident in Yourself

Wear your confidence like a designer gown. You’ve lived enough life that you are knowledgeable, experienced and can believe in your own self worth. You’ve earned the right to trust your own taste and judgment. If it feels right to you, it probably is. Don’t let anyone dictate what your personal style must be simply because you’ve passed a mile marker.

Often, you are told to avoid trends, and that may be right sometimes, just as women of all ages should be selective about the fashion trends they choose to follow. That doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in certain ones that appeal to you and suit your particular body type. Being over fifty doesn’t mean you know longer love to look stylish and up to date. Trust in your instincts.

Know Your Flaws

Yes, your body has changed over the years. Your arms may not be as firm as they once were and the girls may not be quite as perky as they used to be. Maybe your rear has spread some or your tummy is no longer concave. So, yes, you may have to change your fashion strategies a bit. That doesn’t mean you are suddenly sentenced to live the rest of your life in drab, baggy clothes with no style at all. It just means

you need to think about ways to disguise the problem areas and flatter the rest of your body. If you are uncomfortable with saggy upper arms, then either don’t wear sleeveless garments or add a shrug or jacket. If you are bothered by widening hips, accent the top half of your body with shirts or sweaters with rich color, v-necks or vertical stripes and de-emphasize the lower half with solid, dark colors. A-line skirts and wide-legged trousers also help minimize a bulky bottom.

Invest in Well-Fitting Undergarments

Gravity does take its toll on our bodies no matter how hard we fight it. The best way to help control the g-factor is with undergarments that fit correctly and do their job properly. Indulge yourself and go have a bra fitted by a professional. You’ll be amazed at what a difference a quality bra that fits correctly can make in your figure. It is a well known fact that most women don’t buy the right bra for their body. It’s more important now than ever to change that.

The same goes with panties. Panty lines are unattractive on anyone, no matter what their age. If your butt or tummy is a little flabby, don’t wear tight bikini panties that cut in and emphasizes that fact. People may make fun of granny panties, but a well-fitting pair of briefs is a good option for many people. If you’re over fifty, don’t fall victim to out of date fashion dictates for mature women. Your love for fashion is still alive. Indulge it.