Monday, November 12, 2012

The Science of Gemstones

Crisp, cool fall weather is here and the trees are almost bare here in the mid-western USA, which means a lot of us who live in cool winter climates will be spending more time indoors.  Many of us are baking cookies and other yummy delicacies to share with our holiday visitors or to serve at family gatherings.    Winter is also a good time to study and learn about our varied interests.  Gemstones have always been a passion for me and I'm always hungry for more knowledge about them.  I spend many hours researching different precious and semi-precious stones for the Gemstone Forum I moderate at  Providing valuable content for the members there has been a huge learning experience for me.  Last week, as I was researching an unusual gemstone, I found a sweet treat that I want to share with you.

Barbara Smigel, who is an Emeritus Professor at College of Southern Nevada, is offering a series of her college lessons online and the entire course is absolutely free.  These are the same lessons she uses in her college Gemology classes which she teachers from a scientific point of view.  Whether you work with gemstones or just love wearing them, this is invaluable information.

You can get all the college-level lessons here:

I should also mention that if you have an interest in learning to make wire jewelry, you'll find the best online learning experience at  I have referred many people to the site because I believe it's the best way to learn to make jewelry at home.  I hope you'll check it out too. 

Now these are the kind of treats that can be enjoyed without any guilt!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Swarovski Crystal Color Charts and Other Options

Welcome, readers!

This blog post will actually be a reference page where SilverTrove customers can come to select the Swarovski Crystal colors they would like on their jewelry.   As of this writing, my Sterling Silver Calligraphy Script Name Necklaces come with the option to choose Swarovski Elements crystal beads on each side of the name where it is attached to the chain, adding extra sparkle and color.  The other option would be to order an all sterling silver necklace without the crystals.

Below are two partial Swarovski Crystal color charts. You can view a complete Swarovski Crystal color chart with close-ups of each crystal here:  Swarovski Color Chart 2012   You'll find several new colors that aren't shown on the charts below.
Pearls are another option.  Swarovski makes beautiful crystal pearls in several sizes an many colors too. You can view the Swarovski Crystal Pearl color chart here: Swarovski Crystal Pearl Color Chart

All of these colors come in the bicone-shaped crystals, as shown on the charts.  Rondelle-shaped crystals are also available in most colors.  If you don't state a preference of bicone or rondelle, I will use whichever shape I have in stock.  I can order any shape or color you choose for your necklace at no additional charge.

For my larger sized name necklaces I use larger crystal beads, usually rondelles like the ones on this necklace:
 Rondelles come in most of the colors on the charts.  If you prefer to have larger bicone-shaped beads on your larger name necklace, I can order any color you choose from the four charts referenced in this post.
You can also order your name necklace with more than one crystal on each side in any combination of colors, shapes and sizes.  You may want to have three crystal beads on each side; a small bicone above and below a larger rondelle is a great choice for extra color, interest and sparkle.  I could even use round sterling silver beads above and below a crystal bead.  Swarovski crystal pearls can also be added to your necklace in various ways, such as two 4mm pearls with a 6mm pearl between them or two 4mm crystal bicones with a 6mm pearl between them.

For my customers who want to wear gold and silver jewelry together, I suggest any of the metallic gold crystal beads as shown on the Swarovski Crystal Color Chart 2012

Together we can come up with the perfect accents to suit your personal style.  Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Please let me know if you have any questions or special requests.

Ready to order or browse other SilverTrove jewelry designs?  Shop for exclusive custom-made jewelry by Carol Braden-Williams at my SilverTrove Shop.

Friday, September 21, 2012

My new Sterling Silver Caligraphy Script Cuff Bracelets are here!

By popular demand, I have designed a new personalized sterling silver cuff bracelet available for custom orders now at SilverTrove on Etsy! Ultra feminine and super stylish wrist wear, in my exclusive Calligraphy Script style, that shows the world who you are. Have you ever been invited to a party, shopped for the perfect outfit and jewelry to express your individuality? Shopping for a new fashionable look is half the fun of being invited to the party and it just makes you feel so good to know you are going to look absolutely stunning. Then on the night of the party, you make your grand entrance only to see someone else wearing the same thing!!! The shock and horror of seeing someone else wearing your shoes, jewelry or clothes can turn a great night into a night of embarrassment and regret. A fashion catastrophe like that can turn a social diva into a wall flower. It's and unpleasant experience that can stick with you for years and make you a little gun shy about going to parties. But, if you have something custom made just for you, there's no way anyone else will show up looking like your twin. Start with this gleaming bracelet adorned with your name and made to last through a lifetime of pleasant occasions. My personalized pieces make great conversation starters too. Have you ever watched a man that will steal glances of you all night but never get the nerve to actually talk to you or even ask your name? A personalized bracelet or necklace can open the door to a night, or day, of great conversation. I like bracelets because sometimes I need something I can touch when I'm feeling nervous, but some of my more outgoing customers have actually ordered bracelets or necklaces with their phone numbers on them! That's a little scary but, wow, I admire their confidence! These also make the perfect gift when you want to show someone how much you care about them. Sometimes shopping for a gift just doesn't feel like enough, but a custom made personalized gift says so much about you and how you feel about the recipient. Guys, your special lady will love you even more if you buy her one of these bracelets! I expect these bracelets to be just as popular as my other Calligraphy Script pieces, so order early. My current turn-around time for custom orders is 12 weeks. (You can go directly to the bracelet listing by clicking on it's picture in my mini Etsy shop on the right. There you will be able to read all about the bracelet, how it is made and how you can order one.) Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

SilverTrove on TV!

SilverTrove jewelry was featured in a segment called "Jennifer's Favorite Finds" in Saint Louis MO, channel 5 KSDK at 12:30 pm CST 08/21/2012.  You can watch a video of the segment here:  The host, Jennifer Woodall, models one of my large size Calligraphy Script Name Necklaces on the show.  My thanks to Jennifer for showcasing my jewelry!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Exciting News for SilverTrove!

On August 21st at 12:30pm, my jewelry will be on a TV show broadcast in the St. Louis, MO area. The show is called 'Show Me St. Louis' and my jewelry will be featured in a segment called 'Jennifer's Favorite Finds.' There are links to recent episodes of the segment on Jennifer's web site.  This link should get you directly to the Press page:  The most recent episodes will be at the bottom of the page in the right hand column and titled 'Jennifer's Favorite Finds'. Check back there after August 21st to see the segment featuring SilverTrove jewelry.  I'll try to re-post when it's live online.

Needless to say, I am VERY EXCITED!!! I was hoping for maybe a magazine but a TV show? I am still pinching myself!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

SilverTrove Giveaway!

SilverTrove Designs is having a giveaway! In conjunction with a YouTube review by , I am giving away one of my Sterling Silver Calligraphy Script Initial Pendants with Birthstone Charm and 18" Chain like the ones below! Find out how to win on my Events page here:

Good luck!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

SilverTrove April News

I love working with silver and gemstones to create beautiful and timeless pieces of art jewelry for you. I am also very passionate about protecting the environment and the people and animals who live within it, especially when it comes to the mining industry and the materials I work with. I search out ethically obtained silver, gemstones and other materials and recycle whenever possible. I am meticulous about properly handling and disposing of the chemicals and other waste that can't be recycled and I use natural products whenever they are practical and available. The world we live in and the creatures we share it with are affected by everything we do and every choice we make. My goal is to do no harm and give back to the environment as it gives to me each day.

In that spirit, I am a huge supporter of Earthworks and everything they are doing to clean up the mining industry by raising awareness and changing policies. Most of us are unaware of the scope of damaging effects the mining industry has on our natural resources. Many of them don't provide proper protection for their workers who are often children. Earthworks has been successful in changing these deplorable conditions and ending the destruction of our oceans, rivers and streams along with the wildlife that live and depend on them. But they are just getting started. There is so much more we need to do.

Because I believe their work is the most important thing that has ever happened for the jewelry and gemstone industry, I am offering a 10% discount to anyone who signs the 'No Dirty Gold Pledge' at and a 25% discount to anyone who makes a donation of at least $10.00. This discount is good on your entire order at or This promotion is for a limited time but the end date has not yet been determined. Signing the pledge and supporting Earthworks can help ensure that the beautiful precious metal jewelry we love and wear doesn't make an ugly impact on the world we live in. Although it is called the 'No Dirty Gold Pledge', the work it supports helps clean up all mining operations because very often gold, silver, gemstones, minerals and other materials come from the same mines. You will find lots of information and ways to help at

Thanking you in advance for your support,

Carol Braden-Williams