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.