Saturday, January 28, 2012

Collecting Sterling Silver

The Jewel Seeker

Sterling silver will always be my first love, I have a nickle allergy, and so I struggle to wear anything but fine jewelry (gold, silver, platinum). I pick up vintage jewelry whenever I can find it. This past week-end I found a beautiful, like new, retired Judith Ripka Bracelet that offers a fabulous combination of Diamonique faceted onyx and sterling silver.


I was checking out other sterling silver designers on Etsy, and found a fantastic variety of designers: Dancraft, Jay Flex Sterling, Cini, Bell and a host of other Designers. Countries like Denmark, Normay, Germany, and the United Kingdom are also well known for their Sterling Silver Craftsmen.

Antiquing Online

As a collector and seller of vintage jewelry, I enjoy researching designers and companies. Discovering makers and designers can be a challenge, because in of the way various countries hallmark sterling. The United Kingdom used a picture code; as well as other European Countries.

Taxco and More
Mexican sterling silver is very popular, and designer Mexican Sterling silver is highly desired in the collectors world. It takes are real dedicated researcher to be able to identify the marks on Mexican Sterling, but one of my favorite resources for identifing it is Bille Hougarts The Little Book of Mexican Silver Trade and Hallmarks  This wonderful soft back book explains the differences in eagle marks, and gives examples of numerous hallmarks.

Vintage Native American Indian sterling silver jewelry is often unmarked. Some of the marks are easily identified and others are very difficult because the artist only signed the jewelry with their initials or a symbol.  The complication in identifying a specific Native American Indian craftsmen is that the silversmith often past his trade to family members.  The result is that there may be several  artists using the same or similar initials, only different font.  This can be very challenging to a seller who wants to attach a name or brand to a specific piece of jewelry.  Barton Wright's Hallmarks of the Southwest can be very helpful in learning more about identifying the works of many Native American Indian craftsmen.

Past Splendors

The Jewel Seeker
For more details about the sterling silver jewelry in this article, please click on the Shop name below each picture.  All jewelry provided here is courtesy of  The Vintage Jewelry Sellers Team on Etsy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Make your Photo's POP! - Photoshop for clarity

This tutorial will be helpful to those of you who are looking to create clarity in your photo's and improve color.  I hope it is helpful.  I'm still a beginner at making these video tutorials, and so I'm nervous, yet excited to share this kind of knowledge.  My own photos could use some improvement - but what better way to learn than to teach, right?  So, play around a little and have fun - you can't make a mistake, because you can always delete the picture and retake it or hit the "undo" button!  Have fun!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Treasury Making Is more fun using Shmetsy Treasury Making Tools

I love to make treasuries - especially treasuries using items of the members of my favorite team, The Vintage Jewelry Sellers on Etsy! When making a treasury, this is what I look for:
The most important part of a treasury, in my opinion, is finding the items that I want to include in it. So, sometimes I will search origin of item (ie: European, Scandinavian, German, Russian, Alaskan, Polynesian, Japan, Asian) or I will search colors, metal type (silver, gold) or gemstone (ruby, sapphire, amethyst). I will also search for styles (modernist, victorian, art deco), or dates (1950's, 1920's, 1800's). I also use terms like figurals, hearts, womens, childrens, mens, or sports terms. So, the words you use in the key word section of your description is vitally important in being found. I also specifically search for Etsy Teams, so if you belong to Vintage Jewelry Sellers on Etsy, make sure you have the key word "VJSE Group Team".
Another important feature that I look for is that the feature picture of the item I choose is clear (not fuzzy or blurry), and that the item in the picture is close enough that it is well defined and easy to identify. I also make sure that if I am searching for a specific color, that the color is accurate in the picture as to the key word used.