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red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.

 

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ringDid you know you can use some of these affordable, easy-to-find products for cleaning your fine jewelry and gemstones?

Alka Seltzer
Alumninum Foil
Dawn Dishwashing Detergent
Amonia
Beer
Baking Soda (for silver, not gemstones)
Vinegar
Club Soda
Denture Tablets (like Polident cleanser)
Ketchup
Toothpaste & a Toothbrush
Vodka (for selected gemstones)
Window Cleaner (for selected gemstones)
Tide Laundry Detergent

Now, we especially like the Beer and Vodka techniques, and believe you could probably prep with a couple of small glasses -- one for dipping and one for sipping!  ;-))

toothbrushWe found these jewelry/gemstone cleaning links to give you more details on how to use these simple home products to make your jewels, silver and gold sparkle and shine.

Using home products for cleaning jewelry:

http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/DIY-Jewelry-Cleaner-30499088

http://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/12-home-products-for-cleaning-jewelry/

http://www.food.com/recipe/jewelry-cleaner-180133

http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/how-to-clean-you-silver-jewlerypiercings

Cleaning sterling silver jewelry with gemstones:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s38TqS0oTN4

Gemstone cleaning chart:

http://www.firemountaingems.com/resources/encyclobeadia/charts/cleaninggemstones

For you pearl-lovers out there, know that pearls require extra-gentle care. You can wash with a very mild detergent (ivory flakes are good). Also be sure to wipe them with a soft, lint-free cloth as soon as you take them off -- then let them air dry before putting them away.
Here are a couple of sites on how to care for pearls --

http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Pearls

http://jewelry.about.com/cs/pearls/a/cleaning_pearls.htm

bowlOnce your jewelry is clean, there are also some best practices for how to store your jewelry -- ranging from soft cloth bags and fabric lined jewelry boxes, to the humble baggie and the higher-end tarnish-proof cloths you can find at some silver-supply shops. Here's a great site to give you more details on recommended storage:

http://www.kcdesignsnyc.com/jewelry-questions/how-to-properly-store-your-jewelry/

We hope you've enjoyed these tips. Please let us know if you have questions on any of the specifics, or comment with any secrets for success you have found! And if you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our post on Eco-Friendly Jewelry.

Until Next Time,

Sheila

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