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Introduction

Jewelry Then & Now

A jeweler or a is a person who deals in jewelry in many ways: it's design, make, repair, and in the end, sale. Metal and gemstones were used for body embellishment for centuries. Many tribe members used to wear animal teeth, bones and shells on their neck, which means that people always had a strong need to decorate themselves. Jewelry had a lot of forms and functions, but one was dominant – talisman protection.

Things are just slightly different today. We use hairpins, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, cufflinks, but most of all – rings (engagement and wedding) and crosses (for those who are Christians). Jewelry started to represent and symbolize (especially golden) social status and recognition.

Due to its high popularity, we are starting to see more and more people getting involved with jewelry design and creation. It became a hobby for many, especially in the last decade. You probably know someone from your closest surroundings that makes earrings and necklaces and sells them on Etsy, Instagram or Pinterest.

Opposite to those who take jewelry as a hobby, professional jewelers make artisan jewelry - they create true art by using precious materials, glass, plastic, wood or gemstones. There are many jewelry schools in US. They represent starting point for all of those who want to learn metal working techniques and jewelry design (we’ll tell you more about schools in Chapter 4). In lines below, we will introduce some of the necessary and most used jewelry tools, followed by CRATEX polishing abrasives for jewelry finishing and cleaning. 

Cratex Jewelry Finishing Tools

CHAPTERS

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 1

Jewelry Making Tools

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 2

CRATEX Jewelry Polishing Tools

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 3

Interview With the Jeweler - Morgan Asoyuf

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 4

Online Jewelry Schools & Programs

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 5

How to Clean Jewelry

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 6

Jewelry Making For Beginners

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 7

Selling Jewelry Online

Jewelry Making Tools

CHAPTER 1

Jewelry Making Tools

Tools are the only thing in common for hobby and professional jewelers. No matter if you design and make (or repair and clean) jewelry that costs $20 or $2000, you'll need quality jewelry making tools you can rely on.

Tools for making jewelry can be divided in many categories, below are the basic ones. These are necessary to get the job done:

  • Benches and bench blocks
  • Drills, burs and bits
  • Soldering equipment
  • Gravers
  • Hammers
  • Pliers and tweezers
  • Abrasives for finishing, polishing or cleaning jewelry
  • Flex shaft machines & handpieces
  • Safety wear
  • Measuring tools
  • Magnifiers and lamps, etc.

Jewelers with high reputation and years of experience have tools that allow them to work on much more complex projects, like casting and mold making tools, pneumatic engravers, welding machines etc. They can be rather pricey, but luckily aren’t necessary for beginners or hobby jewelers. 

Cratex guide to jewerly making tools (Infographic)

       

Jewelers Workbenches

A bench with a drawer is an essential part of every jeweler's shop. It can be made as a left or right-hand version. Benches can be made of metal, but most of them are made of solid wood. Every bench has arm rests, pull-out tray with shelves and utility drawers. It can be stationary and portable. Many are hand-crafted and can be customized to look antique and vintage. Addition to workbench can be the top organizer with multiple slots and bins.

Price can depend on the bench size. Price range starts from $200 for hobby workbenches to even $5000 for professional double workbenches made from massive oak. Brand to take into consideration is John Frei.

Gravers & Handles

For hand engraving you'll need steel and carbide gravers with handle. They are perfect for gold, silver, wood and gemstones. There are several shapes you'll need to have if working on gem setting, shading, or stippling – flat, round, oval, square etc. Most of them are suitable for work on flat and convex surfaces. Price per one graver is around $10. You could save a few bucks if buy graver kit with a handle. Handles are shaped as a mushroom, pear and oval. They are made of wood and will cost you around $3.

Soldering Supplies

Soldering is a commonly used technique when making jewelry. Equipment necessary to get the job done is: soldering board, solder, flux, tweezers and torches. Jewelry soldering kits can be found for as low as $140 and they include all the essential tools for basic soldering.

Pliers

Most used hand tools in jewelry making are pliers. Depending on your work scope, there are different types of pliers that you'll need. Standard pliers can be with chain-nose, curved chain-nose, flat-nose, needle-nose and round nose. Specialty forming pliers are: mandrel pliers, banding pliers, dimple pliers, shape pliers. Specialty task plies come as crimping, cutting, loop-closing, gem setting etc. Check this guide to be familiar with all pliers used for making jewelry.

There is a great number of cutters as well. They are not expensive and can be found in many online jewelry supply stores. If you have a few extra bucks, you can buy plier and a cutter kit.

Hammers

Like other metalsmiths, jewelers also use hammers. They are basically one of the cheapest tools in jewelry workshop. You can find a brass head jewelry hammer for $5. Choose a hammer depending on your workpiece and project demands. Different types are: raising hammers, forming hammers, chasing, cross pen, and many other. Jewelry hammers are usually smaller than the hammers you usually find at hardware store. If you are in doubt which mallet or hammer to use, read this article.

Jewelry Polishing Abrasives

If you are involved in polishing or jewelry cleaning, you will need abrasive wheels, points and cones for jewelry finishing. These abrasives are usually mounted on a lathe or flex shaft machine, and can easily remove scratches from used jewelry. Abrasives that are most commonly used are rubber abrasives shaped as small wheels up to 1 inch in diameter, or points for hard-to-reach areas or corners. Different types of grits are available - from coarse to extra fine. Since they are heat resistant, they can be used on a rotary handpiece with high RPM. Brand you should consider is CRATEX  

@caiazza_creations_

I use my Cratex wheels to smooth out and solder drips and insure there are no bumps and the seam is smooth. I also use it to smooth out any mars in the wire from shaping.

Drills & Burs

If you are serious about jewelry making you need to invest in a high quality/high speed set of drills and burs in different sizes and shapes. Drills can be used on drilling devices like presses and fixtures or mounted on Dremel or other hand rotary tools. Mostly used burs are: round, wheel, cone, cup, knife-edge bur, inverted cone and other.

Drilling holes in pearls, glass, gem stones or precious material can be a delicate task and requires not only drilling tools, but a steady hand and good skills. Manufacturers you should check out are Gesswein, Tungsten, Fox, Edenta Swiss, Foredom, Ikohe, Grobet etc.  

Flex Shaft Machines & Handpieces

Flex shaft machines are used for sending, grinding, polishing, engraving, decorative work and cutting. They are often the most expensive piece in a jewelry tool collection. Price range goes from $199 to even $2000. Operating speed, noise level, power and torque delivery are determining factors when buying a flex shaft and handpiece. Most of them are foot controlled.  

If you are looking to buy one, check out models from these manufacturers: Grobet, Foredom, CRATEX and Swiss Hammer.

Measuring Tools, Safety Gear and More

It is obvious why jewelry makers need measuring tools, like ring sizing gauge, stone diamond size gauge, ruler, digital micrometer.

Magnifying tools like eye loupes, bench magnifiers or microscopes are also important and used every day for many purposes. Magnifiers are not expensive (around $30), but a microscope can cost you more than $200, so think about whether you even need one before buying. Brands that you can trust are: Bausch and Lomb, Coddington, GemOro, Hastings and others.

Most used safety wear are glasses and cotton finger guards. Order them online at jewelry supply stores. Price for finger guards is around $10, and glasses can be found for around $20. 

CRATEX Jewelry Polishing Tools

CHAPTER 2

Jewelry Polishing Tools

There are several different ways to finish jewelry you created and give it a final touch. Polishing is the final step in jewelry finishing before it is sold to the buyer. 

Polishing jewelry can be done by hand, using hand tools or with a machine by using a flex shaft tool. Jewelry polishing by hand can be time-consuming and that’s the reason why CRATEX abrasive manufacturing company has developed an extended line of products for jewelry finishing.

@squarepeg_studios

#jewelleringisnotaword #jewellery #jewellerycourses #stonesetting #cratexwheel #contemporaryjewellery

@squarepeg_studios

Jewelry Polishing Wheels

If you need to grind, fix an uneven surface made of gold and silver (or other metal), polish to a high gloss or just clean old jewelry, use of rubber abrasive wheel is a MUST. They are real time-savers and they give you full movement control. Complete wheels selection is made of premium rubber and impregnated with silicon carbide, so they are heat resistant. They are used dry, so you don’t need a polishing compound.

CRATEX rubber polishing wheels are color coordinated from roughest to the finest:

  • Green C - COARSE
  • Dark Brown M - MEDIUM
  • Reddish Brown F - FINE
  • Grey Green XF – EXTRA FINE

Small Polishing Wheels for Flex Shaft Machine

For delicate work on small jewelry parts, use small rubber wheels. They need to be mounted on flex shaft machine (using mandrels) and they allow you to:

  • quickly and easily remove metal, tool marks, oxide, soldering remains and patina,
  • smooth necklaces edges,
  • polish flat surface on rings, necklaces, bracelets and brooches.

Small wheels have tapered and straight edge. Tapered (knife-edge) wheel (some call them polishing disks) are perfect for wire work and jewelry that has texture. The straight wheel is flat on the sides and it is excellent for polishing flat jewelry. The wheel comes as unmounted disks and need to be put onto mandrel before they are attached to the power tool.

Light pressure on the piece and mid-range speed will give optimal results when polishing. Coarse grit combined with high spinning speed may give you a cutting power, so be careful not to damage jewelry you are making.

To decide which wheel suits your needs best, order this MINI KIT for just $35 (shipping included for the US). It includes 10 small wheels in different grits and 2 screw mandrels.

Large Polishing Wheels for Bench Lathe

Forget about traditional sandpaper and old metal files. For larger flat jewelry surfaces use large rubber polishing wheels mounted on bench lathe or polishing motor. Remove jewelry heavy scratches, nicks, dents and tarnish in a second and restore the original look.

Large abrasive wheels have flat edges and come in different thickness and diameter sizes. Jewelers mostly use a 3-inch abrasive wheel. They come in many thickness variations and standard CRATEX grit sizes (coarse, medium, fine and extra fine).

To achieve best results in jewelry polishing apply light pressure to avoid overheating. For full details and order, visit this page.

Jewelry Polishing Pins

If you need to reach tight areas, recesses and spots, use CRATEX rubber bullet and cylinder point polishers. They also come in different grits and sizes, so you can effortlessly grind and polish every corner of a brooch or inside of a ring.

Pins are coming in three shapes: bullet point, tapered and cylinder. Length of 7/8 to 1 inch and different diameters gives them the ability to reach every corner of a piece of jewelry and provide an even and smooth finish.

Choose grit size from coarse for pre-polish to extra fine for fine polishing and mirror finish depending on jewelry material. They can be used on all kinds of materials – precious or semi-precious materials, ceramics, glass and soft minerals.

Like other CRATEX rubber abrasives use them dry, straight onto your piece. What does this mean? You can see clearly what you are doing and see the finish as you’re working. No messy clean ups like using rouge and Tripoli compounds!

Best way to try them out is to order this MINI KIT that includes 20 polishing points and two mandrels for $35 with included shipping.

IMPORTANT: Any time you use power tools like lathe or flex shaft machine to create jewelry, make sure you have proper eye protection (safety glasses) and a dust mask. Since jewelry will heat up during the polishing process you need to protect your fingers (thumb and first two fingers) as well. Use jewelers finger tape, since it doesn’t stick to tools or workpiece.

@brambleandfern

Dear @cratexsandiego, My only regret is that we didn't meet sooner. You complete me. #metalcraft #metalart #metalguy #cratex #cratextools #ustools #qualitytools #handtools #toollove #toollife #welder #welderlife #jewelry #jeweling #jewerlymaker

  

CRATEX Rotary Handpiece - Polish, Engrave & More

To operate flex shaft machine you need precision handpiece. It is an essential tool for finishing up jewelry, drilling holes, setting gemstones, cut and carve, clean up casting and much more. By using a diamond drill bit, you can even engrave and carve glass, metal and wood. The most important feature is that it is great for going into small, tiny and hard-to-get areas of a jewelry piece.

CRATEX developed perfect power tool for jewelry finishing. CTX-800 can reach the speed of 25,000 RPM and allows the user to quickly and easily change attached polishing bits or small wheels. It has ergonomic design, low noise level and is made of aluminum and stainless steel.

Interview With Jewelry Artist

CHAPTER 3

Interview With Jeweler

Morgan Asoyuf (nee. Green) was born March 24, 1984 in Prince Rupert BC, to parents Henry Green and Jean Gardiner. Morgan is Ts'msyen Eagle Clan from Lax Kwallams BC.

Morgans artistic career started with Blanche Macdonald Centres Fashion Design Diploma, and an interest in painting Ts’msyen Designs. She carved cedar and alder while working with Henry Green, learning about the properties of the wood and how to properly care for it.

She took Bronze Casting at The Crucible art compound in Oakland, where industry professionals taught her both investment mold and Sand Casting.

In 2010 Morgan began studying at Vancouver Metal Art School under Gerold Mueller, a goldsmith from Pforzheim Germany. She received diplomas in both Jewelry design and Stone cutting learning special techniques such as hollow construction, custom stone cutting, and advanced soldering.

Morgan has studied design and engraving with Richard Adkins, and completed Gem Setting courses at Revere Academy in San Francisco.

Welcome, Morgan! And thanks for accepting to do this interview with us. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself? What would you like the people to know about you right away?

I create one of a kind jewelry that is completely handmade from start to finish using the German technique of hollow building to produce layers and shadow.

Starting with flat sheet the metal is shaped and soldered.

I am both a purist and an experimenter. I handmake all my tools, melt and pour metal, make my wire and sheet. I use experimental textures and construction to see how far I can bend the ideas of form.

I am involved in every process of creating a piece, doing my own gem setting and stone cutting.

How long have you been working as a jewelry artist?

I have been working as a goldsmith, engraver and gem setter for 7 years. Previous to this I have been a full-time artist for 12 years doing woodcarving, painting, drawing and fashion design.

What kind of jewelry do you design/create?

I create one of a kind silver and gold jewelry using special techniques such as hollow construction, custom stone cutting, and advanced soldering. My practice is based in the northern style of Tsimshian art and culture. While representing the art form I experiment with new mediums and styles, while adhering to law and protocol.

What materials are you using for jewelry making?

I use silver, gold, copper, gems, stone (i.e. marble), ivory, hardwood. I also use nickel silver and brass to make models of difficult designs.

Can you describe a day on the job as a jeweler/goldsmith? Or your typical work week if more suitable?

- I do very different things each day, working on a mix of faster projects and long term high end projects. Cast line - creating gem settings, soldering, sanding, polishing, setting gems…

- higher end work- drawing, making models, cutting out silver/gold, soldering, making handmade chain. engraving, gem setting, cleaning - sanding polishing etc., oxidizing

- usually spend some amount of time every day using sanding and polishing wheels

- generally, have to re-supply fairly often with supply companies (weekly or bi-weekly)

- business stuff- replying to emails, pricing, accounting, speaking to galleries and clients via phone, social media (I attempt to do daily social media)

- toolmaking is more of a monthly thing, with sharpening/refinishing every week of steel tools for engraving, gem setting etc.

What's the last piece that you've created that you are especially proud of?

 

Jewelry Artist

“Winter eagle pendant”

Materials: Silver, Ivory inlay / Hollow built with handmade chain

How can people purchase your pieces? Do you ship outside Canada?

My work is available directly through my websitesocial media, or email. I ship anywhere in the world. I am also available though Vancouver galleries Museum Of Anthropology and Bill Reid Gallery. In Victoria BC Alcheringa Gallery. In the US I am available through Steinbrueck Gallery. If you are interested in lower end work such as hoodies and cups I can be found at Salishstyle.com (USA) or Nativenorthwestselect.com (Canada).

What are the most essential tools every jeweler needs to have, especially if just starting out? Can you name at least Top 5?

Foredom (with burrs, polishing, sanding, abrasives wheels), hammers, jewelers saw, files, torch and bricks. The most essential is the knowledge to make your own tools.

How did you learn about CRATEX products? Official website, forum/blog, recommended by other jeweler?

Recommended by industry professionals I was working with as well as mentors.

When did you start using CRATEX abrasives?

I used CRATEX products previously (such as large wheel abrasives) for knife making, as far back as 2006.

In 2012. I lived in Oakland California to learn bronze casting and was again introduced to the product line by industry professionals, for finishing work on small bronze sculptures.

I began using CRATEX products again but for jewelry in 2010 during my formal schooling as a goldsmith. They were recommended by my mentor.

Which CRATEX products do you use?

I use all of them. The large wheels, sticks, mandrels and blocks for knifemaking (shaping and sharpening steel), and all the smaller wheels and cones for jewelry - mostly polishing, and especially getting into harder to reach places where I want to maintain the texture (i.e. in engraved/gouged areas).

Why did you choose CRATEX products instead of some other manufacturer?

The quality - they last a long time and I find the polish to be superior to other brands.

Would you recommend CRATEX to other jewelers, and if yes, how would the recommendation sound?

CRATEX provides a high-quality product that lasts longer and provides premium results.

Jewelry Online Schools

CHAPTER 4

Jewelry Online Schools

Learn Jewelry Making From Home

If you like jewelry and you want to learn how to make it, but don’t have the time for conventional education, like studying at a university, consider applying for jewelry making online courses. This way you’ll have the opportunity to turn your love for jewelry into a bright career.

Online courses are very convenient if you want to learn basic and advanced techniques in jewelry making, work on repairs and design from the comfort of your own home, and learn at your own pace. And not just that – successful jeweler needs to know everything about packaging, tools and supplies, jewelry pricing, running a business successfully, marketing, etc.

As you know, there are a ton of jewelry schools on the Internet. Before you choose one for yourself, there are some things that you need to be aware of.

What to Learn Before Choosing Online Jewelry School

How Does It Work?

  • What is a course focused on engraving, gem setting, metal casting, stone cutting, advanced soldering, jewelry design and construction, fabrication and forging, or a course that includes elements from all of the above?
  • What is the time to complete the course?
  • How much will you pay for it?
  • Do you have access to all course material right away?
  • Are you going to have a personal advisor? Email or phone support?
  • Do you need to provide jewelry tool kit by yourself or is it included in the price?
  • What if you don’t like the videos and instructors, and you want to quit the course. Can you quit and request a refund? 
  • What degree or certificate can you complete online?
  • What knowledge will you get after completing and graduating?

What Will You Learn?

Top Online Jewelry Programs & Certificates

Below are schools that offer verified online jewelry courses and accredited diplomas and certificates.

Academy of Art University - Online Jewelry & Metal Arts Degree Programs

Founded in San Francisco in 1929, the Academy of Art represents one of the oldest educational institutions when it comes to jewelry. The academy offers online courses since 2002.

You can watch an online class demo on the official website to help you decide. Online education allows you to create your own schedule. The academy has its own custom Learning Management System (LMC) where students can submit their work, get feedback from instructors and grade information. LMC platform also provides discussions with other class members. To attend online classes, you'll just need an Internet connection and a basic PC or MAC configuration computer.

Courses for Spring 2018 Semester

If you decide to give Academy of Art University of San Francisco a chance, you can attend 13 online courses starting spring 2018.

Add them to your schedule planner and you are going to learn: the history of jeweling, how to create basic and advanced fabrications, everything about jewelry tools, stone settings, metal forging, die forming, enameling, forging and forming, wax model making and casting, basic and advanced jewelry design and fabrication, modern and temporary design and techniques, project development and digital design like laser cutting and milling.

Below are the degrees you can complete online:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree,
  • Master of Arts (MA) Degree,
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree,
  • Associate of Arts (AA) Degree.

Course Price

  • To learn about tuition rates, fees, and available financial aid, visit this link.

School Official Website

 

New York Institute of Art and Design

The New York Institute of Art and Design was founded in 1985, under the name of Sheffield School of Interior Design. In the fall of 2012, the school underwent a massive shift from the traditional correspondence model to an online learning model, with the rollout of its online learning center. All courses were put online, and enrollments in mailed programs ceased by 2013.

Online Jewelry Design Course is divided into 6 units and covers everything from jewelry making and designing to even selling your work online:

  • Unit 1 – Getting started in jewelry design. Starting unit will introduce jewelry tools and supplies and refer you to place where you can buy them; you will learn jewelry history and cover Eye of the Jewelry Designer, Tree Guidelines for Jewelry Design™.
  • Unit 2 –  Basic skills and techniques. In the second part of the course, you will learn about the design and colors, stringing techniques, wire working techniques and techniques for budgeting and logging costs.
  • Unit 3 – Advanced design skills. In this part of the online course you will continue to develop wire and stringing techniques; additionally, you will learn to develop signature look and learn about copyrighting law.
  • Unit 4 – Developing your style. In lessons within this unit, students learn how to create unique findings with wire, latest color trends, jewelry photography and very important how to build their own brands.
  • Unit 5 - Creating a unique brand. This chapter is more about business. Students learn how to create jewelry line, start their own business and find new inspiration.
  • Unit 6 – Designing as professional. This is the final unit of jewelry course that teaches students how to create jewelry photography and display their work so it grabs attention of potential clients, how to maintain creativity and sell their pieces online, like on the Etsy store.

Upon graduation, a student receives a NYIAD Certificate in Jewelry Design. 

Course Price

The New York Institute of Art and Design has a transparent Jewelry Design Course Tuition with two available payment options.

The first option is paying in Full. A student pays $699 for the complete course and gains access to all materials right away. The second option is Monthly Billing. Potential candidate pays $59. If you choose this option, the course will cost $1049. 

Risk free - If a candidate is not satisfied with the course, it can get cancel after 14 days and the candidate would get a full refund.

School Official Website

 

Ashworth College

Ashworth College is founded in 1987, as a family-owned school, and it was the first accredited online school in Georgia to receive a Delta Epsilon Tau National Honor Society charter. In 2000, Ashworth College introduced online associate degree programs, followed by master's degree programs in 2004 and bachelor's degree programs in 2007. The college is praised for online programs that are affordable, convenient and practical.

Jewelry Classes Online at Ashworth College teach students about the design, but the main focus is on the jewelry repair. The students also learn about molding, casting, engraving, embossing, plating techniques and enameling. The program can be completed in 4 months. The students are provided with: a tool kit, textbook, and study guides.

The curriculum is divided into 17 lessons, among them are: tools & equipment, fundamentals of design and theory, time management, stone setting, anatomy of gem, casting, fabrication and forging, model making, cold connections and soldering, general repair, ring sizing and repair, link and chain repair, designing with wire and watches repairs. Students also learn about job searching, interviewing and how to polish the techniques of selling jewelry they had made.

Upon the graduation, the students receive Jewelry Design and Repair diploma.

Course Price

Ashworth College offers three options when it comes to tuition:

     1. Pay in full $699

     2. Monthly auto plan $809 – automatic monthly credit card payments (this is the most popular option among students), and

     3. Monthly bill pay plan $899 – pay by email, phone or online

School Official Website

 

Penn Foster Career School

Founded in 1890, Penn Foster was one of the first pioneers of distance learning with more than 30,000 graduates. Penn Foster online programs give students the flexibility to learn around their own schedules, with 24/7 access to a supportive online community of students and faculty.

Penn Foster Career School's Online Jewelry Design and Repair program can be completed in just three months. Focus is on jewelry modification, repair and jewelry finishing like stone setting, polishing and sizing. The school provides basic tools and equipment students need for jewelry making: safety goggles, gloves, rotary tool with brushes, wires and solders.

The curriculum is detailed and consists of 7 units (every unit has 4-5 lessons) and covers the following topics:

  • Tools, design and repairs
  • Metals, casting and soldering
  • Repair evaluations on watches, pearls, bead stringing, engraving and other gemstones
  • Jewelry retailing and home-based businesses

After the program completion, the students receive Jewelry Design and Repair Career Diploma.

Course Price

Penn Foster Career School also offers three tuition payment plans:

     1. Full Pay $639,

     2. Monthly Auto Payment $699, and

     3. Monthly Mail Pay $719.

Career Services

The school also offers Career Cruising. This service helps students create their portfolios, create a solid CV, access local job posting databases. All this combined, will increase the chance of starting a successful career alongside an established jeweler, or starting your own business.

If you are creative, detail oriented, innovative and persistent, this is the right jewelry course for you.

School Official Website

How to Clean Jewelry

CHAPTER 5

How to Clean Jewelry -  CRATEX Article

Why pay money for harsh chemical cleansers, when you can clean your jewelry with natural cleaning remedies? Natural cleaners are safe and cost-effective, because you probably have most of the stuff that you'll need lying around the house anyway. Oh, and maybe it's just us, but it makes a looot of fun watching our everyday foods starring in neat science experiments.

This chapter will show you how to clean every type of jewelry: silver, gold, copper, brass, pearls and even costume jewelry.

How to Clean Jewelry - CRATEX Infographic

How to Clean Silver Jewelry

Ever wondered why your silver jewelry tarnishes over time? It actually doesn't have much to do with the silver as it has to do with other metals. Namely, although highly resistant to tarnish, pure silver is too soft to be used in everyday jewelry, so it is combined with other materials to be made stronger and durable. Jewelry silver is an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other materials, typically copper, and copper is the real silver tarnish culprit. Since copper reacts to the moisture and sulfur in the air, it will cause that gloomy and ultimately black layer on your jewelry over time.

If you've ever tried it, you must know that cleaning silver is no walk in the park. Using a silver polishing cloth is time consuming and you need to put some serious muscle into it. Luckily, there are some pretty neat and quick ways to reverse this chemical reaction, and they involve items that you probably already have at home. After some research and trying out a few methods ourselves, we have our favorite silver cleaning method.

Mind Blowing Method: Baking Soda, Water and Aluminum Foil

If this is not mind-blowing, then not sure what is! Instead of rubbing your silver jewelry (and silverware) for hours, grab some baking soda aluminum foil and watch the tarnish disappear like in a magic trick. You should cover the bottom or a bowl with aluminum foil and prepare the magic solution: bring water to a boil and add one table spoon of baking soda per cup of water (the solution will bubble, so don't get surprised!). Place the silver jewelry on the foil and pour the backing soda solution into the bowl. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or more if you're dealing with heavier tarnish and take your shiny silver jewelry out. No sweat, no hustle!

Spoiler alert: It's actually not magic, it's just letting the science do all the work. Thanks to a process, called ion exchange, the tarnish gets transferred from the jewelry t the aluminum and into the water. Neat, right?

 

How to Clean Gold Jewelry

Although gold doesn't tarnish like other metals do, it can lose its luster over time due to a lot of factors, such as dust, dirt, detergent and so on. You can take your gold jewelry to a jeweler and have a professional take care of the cleaning, but why would you when there are fun DIY ways to do it yourself.

Similar to silver cleaning, you can clean your gold jewelry by placing it in an aluminum-covered bowl and pouring a mixture of 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of dish soap and 3-4 tablespoons of hot water, with giving it a good toothbrush rub in the end. However, of all the detergent-rubbing cleaning ways we found the method that's obviously the most fun one.

Most Fun Method: Beer Bath

Now this is a really easy method and probably most suitable to do after you come home from work, kick off your shoes and sit back in your favorite easy chair. Grab a beer and two glasses. Open the bear and pour it: one glass is for you and one for your gold jewelry. As your jewelry is sitting in the beer for good 5 minutes, you can sip yours while going through Netflix.

After the 5 minutes are up, take the piece out, rinse and wipe it dry with a gentle cloth. You can use an old toothbrush for jewelry pieces with corners and textures, or you can dip a cloth in the beer and gently rub it. But we advocate the non-rubbing way, of course.

 

How to Clean Copper Jewelry

As you know, copper tarnishes over time, mostly due to the exposure to oxygen and the sweat on your skin. Patina or tarnish on copper-based metals is actually a good thing, as the tarnished layer protects and preserves the underlying metal from outside factors. Copper tarnish occurs in stages that are recognized by different colors: first, copper becomes dull, leading to gray and blue, then black and, lastly, it becomes aqua-green (this can be seen on building roofs and it's what you see when you look at the Statue of Liberty).

If your jewelry piece is lacquered, it will not tarnish as easily, but will rather become dull and less shinny. This is usually solved with a polishing cloth or a warm water and a dishwashing liquid or soap. If the copper is not lacquered, then it can be cleaned with some mild acidic substance, just as the lemon juice or vinegar.

The Fastest Way: Salt & Lemon Bath

When life gives you lemon, make a lemon bath for your copper jewelry! The fastest and the simplest way to clean copper would be to take a tablespoon of salt and some lemons. Mix the salt and the lemon juice in a bowl and dip the piece of jewelry. Squeeze enough lemon juice to cover the piece and let it sit for 30-60 seconds. Sit back, relax and watch the copper doing some self-cleaning without getting you involved. After the time is up, you'll get a super shinny copper jewelry piece and you'll need to rinse and dry with some soft cloth or towel.

 

How to Clean Brass Jewelry

Brass is a popular metal seen in jewelry quite often, because it is considered a great alternative to yellow gold due to its color and price. Over time, brass loses luster and gets a drab looke, so you'll need to give it its shine back.

Before you choose a cleaning method, make sure your jewelry is actually brass, and not just brass-plated. The best way to know for sure is to take a magnet and hold it against the jewelry. If it sticks – it's not brass. Secondly, you need to be sure whether your item is lacquered or not. If it's lacquered, it can be swiped with a damp cloth, but if not, you can use some of the super cleaning foods. Also, be careful with water, as brass picks up water stains easily, so make sure you dry your jewelry immediately after washing.

The Hotdog Method: Ketchup

There are quite a few really effective ways to clean brass jewelry, including the salt and white vinegar bath that doesn't require rubbing. However, we wanted to present a more interesting and fun way to do this, so we dug deeper.

We learned that people tried Coca-Cola baths and that it worked, but the method lasts for about three hours and, although the jewelry looked good, it did require some additional rubbing to obtain perfection. That's why we'll have to go with ketchup! You'll need either a soft cloth or a brush and just a little bit of ketchup.

We do prefer non-rubbing methods, but we love this one as you don't really need to apply much pressure and only a few rubs are enough to get the brass shinny again. The tomato acid is quite strong, so it dissolves tarnish quite fast without damaging the brass. Which is pretty cool. Just make sure you rinse the jewelry piece with warm water and dry it with a dry cloth immediately afterwards to avoid getting water stains.

 

How to Clean Pearls

Unlike cleaning tarnish, cleaning pearls is a delicate process. Pearls are extremely sensitive to chemicals and abrasives, so you'll need to clean them with care.  Besides, you'll need to take care of your pearls not just by cleaning them, but also by maintaining them properly. For example, always put your pearls on last, after you apply makeup, hairspray, lotion or perfume; always wipe them with a gentle cloth after wearing them to avoid oil buildup, store them flat, not hung, and store them in a separate fabric, not plastic bag to avoid scratches and damage.

The Tender Method: Water & Soap

For cleaning pearls, make sure you use an extremely mild soap, such as a baby soap as they are of high level of purity with very few chemicals in them. Use just a little bit of soap and little bit of warm water to create a pearl bath. If you want to clean a pearl necklace, never submerge it in water, because it will weaken the silk thread. Rather, dip a soft cleaning cloth in the mixture and gently wipe the pearls. After you're done, dry them with an extremely soft cloth or a towel and leave them to dry completely before storing (important for the string strand). Never forget: pearls need tender love, you make sure they get it!

 

How to Clean Costume Jewelry

Even though costume jewelry is low-priced jewelry, it doesn't mean it doesn't need cleaning.  Costume metals and stones are usually less durable than those found in finer jewelry, so you can't really use a jewelry cleaner meant for regular jewelry here, as it will ruin the finish. You'll need to use gentle cleaning methods that won't damage these pieces.

The Gentle Scrub Method: Toothpaste and Toothbrush

Get a soft-bristle toothbrush and a toothpaste that doesn't contain whitening or tartar-control chemical, as those might damage the metal. Put the toothpaste on the toothbrush and start rubbing the jewelry gently for about 5 to 10 minutes. The baking soda in the toothpaste will do all the dirt-removal action.

 Rinse with warm water and dry the piece with a dry cloth. In case the jewelry is not glued, you can prepare a gentle detergent bath and submerge the pieces. However, if the pieces are glued, avoid submerging the pieces and stick to toothpaste.

 

Quick Beginner DIY Jewelry Guide + 8 Helpful Tips

CHAPTER 6

jewelry making for beginners

Designing jewelry is an exciting and fashionable craft that anybody can perform. When you decide on that step, you’ll need ideas. Find them by either looking at others' possessions or having a closer look at your collection. That can help you understand what aspects of design you find the most important and will meet your needs the best. It doesn't matter if you get inspired by pieces owned by others or end up obsessing over a bead or clasp that you already have.

Although there’re numerous styles, materials, methods out there, starting with basic jewelry projects are the best ways to be ready for a more complicated task.

Here’re 8 useful tips to get started with DIY jewelry tips and how to make jewelry at home.

Choose Material

It can be overwhelming when you decide to make jewelry since there are so many possibilities. Just as you wouldn't expect to learn to crochet, knit, hand-sew, quilt, and embroider all at once, it's unrealistic to try every kind of jewelry making when you're at a fresh start. Instead, pick one type you would like to design and go from there.

Choose one material to focus, knowing that you can always try something else later. Metal is a popular choice as it comes in various forms and strengths that can be molded and shaped according to needs and the kind of design you have in mind. And because they’re relatively more durable like gold, silver, copper or brass, they can be a part of DIY jewelry in the form of wires, chains, and rings, clasps and stone holders.

Idea for Project

Look all around for the unique design. Search the jewelry for sale in clothing or accessory stores. Browse on Web. Check some bloggers whose style you prefer and look in their jewelry archives. Sometimes, you’ll find a helpful tutorial to follow step by step, or you may just find something that fits you and then can adjust the colors, size, or style a bit to meet your preferences.

Sketching Your Task

Sketch first and then draw out your ideas on a paper first. Now you can decide upon their size, shape, placement of elements, clasps and hooks without wasting time and supplies. You can also apply 3D application to simulate how exactly jewels are going to look when you make a final piece. With 2D software tools such as Photoshop or Corel are useful also if you want to have a clearer picture of how jewelry should look.

Prepare Work Space

The worst thing for jewelry making beginner is to have supplies strewn everywhere. If you can't find what you want, don't waste your time that you could use for creating.

Pick a room of the house or at least a table, desk or drawer that you can use only for this hobby. Then sort supplies and label. There are plenty of jewelry making storage ideas such as cheap bins and boxes you can get that contain dividers for efficiently storing different beads and findings. Apply a model that fits for you, and a great jewelry crafter is born.

Pick Supplies

There're countless options for where to buy jewelry making supplies. Before you choose favorite online vendors, though, try to find a local craft store and literally get your hands on some of the supplies. Check, touch and pick what you need.

Once you master the skills and know what you like working with, then you can order online.

You can choose a lobster clasp which is perfect for necklaces that give a more streamlined and fancier image. Also, barrel clasps which consist of two tube structures that screw together and then there are hook and eye which is the simplest clasp and best for securing heavy necklaces.

Adding beads to jewelry could make a big difference. They're frequently used in jewelry and create a great look to a simple string or accompany your pendants while balancing their opulence. Their materials vary and can be pricey or inexpensive. You can find wooden beads or plastic ones or glass, shell, stones, polymer, and even clay and the colors just seem to go on and on.

Gems are excellent for DIY making jewelry too. If you want to create a little bling to silver, then using real or fake gemstones is the best option. But you need to know how to handle them and make sure that you have the proper setting for it in your piece. The common ones are diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald, amethyst, opal, and topaz.

Tools

For the first jewelry project, you can use the wire cutters and pliers. But the better the tools you work with, the simpler the making process will be.

If you want to use any metals, you’ll need tools that can cut, mold, reshape, modify and polish metal into the desired shape and size. For that final touch of making jewelry, you will need a small, high-quality CRATEX rubber polishing wheels link to. They are great for grinding, fixing of uneven surface made from silver, gold or other metal and capable for polishing to a high gloss. They're heat resistant wheels made from premium rubber and impregnated with silicon carbide. They don't require a polishing compound since they're used dry. These discs are color aligned from roughest to the finest: green C – COARSE; dark brown M – MEDIUM; reddish brown F – FINE; grey-green XF – EXTRA FINE;

Work and Persistence

Like any other skill, crafting jewelry has difficulties. The first pendant you try to make is going to look like a curved fork. That's normal because the second one will look better and by the 20th one you’ll feel like a professional. Don't let one difficult or failed project affect on your enthusiasm. Just keep trying, practicing, and don’t forget that any skill takes time to develop.

Don’t afraid to try a skill because you think it looks difficult. Also, don't limit yourself to a specific style, color or size of jewelry. Experiment with your supplies, try new things and see how you make them. Exercise with different materials and see what happens. Once you begin, you'll realize that it is an addictive hobby.

Christmas is around the corner so let’s learn how to make diy earrings and surprise loved one. 

How to Make Christmas Earrings

How to Make Christmas Earrings

If you're a lover of shiny and sparkly things, your time is coming. Prepare early for Christmas parties with a unique pair of festive earrings. This step by step method will show you how to transform branded siam and emerald bicones into a beautiful pair of drop earrings.

If the traditional Christmas colors aren't your desired option, feel free to experiment with alternative colored crystals.

Step #1

Take 1 of the eye pins and thread on 2 x siam 9mm bicones, 1 x pearl, 1 x pearl cap, and 1 x 7mm emerald bicone.

Step #2

Use round nose pliers to bend eye pintail over the emerald bicone to provide a right angle.

Step #3

Take the end of the eye pintail and roll back towards the bicone to create a proper loop. Rerun the 1st and 3rd steps to make another one.

Step #4

Grasp a head pin and thread on, 1 x 5mm emerald bicone, 2 x 5mm ruby bicone, and 2 x 5mm bicone. Use round nose pliers and bend the tail of the head pin over to create a right angle. Then use snips to cut the tail to 1cm.

Step #5

Take round nose pliers, then grasp the end of the tail and roll over back towards the bicone to make a loop. Create 3 more of these.

Step #6

Use a threaded eye pin, and with the round nose pliers open the siam bicone end loop put on 2 of the head pin drops and close. Rerun the process with the other eye pin and 2 head pins.

Step #7

Take round nose pliers, open the loop at the base hook ear wire, add on one drop and close. Rerun to form the other earring, and you'll get beautiful handmade Christmas earrings.

All you Need to Know About Selling Jewelry Online

CHAPTER 7

All you Need to Know About Selling Jewelry Online

Now that you know in what jewelry making school to go, what tools do you need and where to buy them, and you’ve completed few beginners jewelry making projects it is time to learn how to successfully sell the jewelry online and make some money.

Personalization and customization of jewelry are one of the major trends in the global online jewelry market. Over 30 million people purchased jewelry online daily. So, purchasing and selling jewelry online is big business and can be hugely prosperous.

Online jewelry includes various items that are segmented into beautiful and fashion jewelry. Considering the retail value sales of various jewelry items through the online channel, Technavio’s market research analysts estimated that this market will register revenue of more than 34 billion USD by 2022.

Customers are becoming more and more comfy purchasing online, which will only boost the growth of this type of jewelry sales. Jewelry sellers are using the opportunity in this niche by coming up with innovative ways, from personalization to home trial options, to meet customers’ requirements.

This article will explain the advantages of selling jewelry online and guide you through the process of making a business plan, choosing the right type of jewelry for business needs, finding suppliers targeting market, choosing the best marketplace, finding suppliers, building a store, and marketing that eCommerce.

How to Sell Jewelry Online

If you want to launch an online jewelry store, you may have thought about how to sell jewelry on the web. This eCommerce market is a fast-growing, multi-billion-dollar industry, and it can be intimidating. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional metalsmith or a fresh beginner at jewelry business, or you want to set up a low maintenance dropshipping business for trendy jewelry.

There are no barriers to entry. Follow 10 easy tips listed below on how to sell jewelry from home.

Make a Business Plan

Make a Business Plan

Making a business plan helps you sell handmade pieces on the web, and it doesn't have to be demanding. It is more than a "useful tool" for anyone who wants to sell jewelry on the internet. It's also needed if you ever apply for a bank loan.

It can be like a one-page document that lists what you make, identify the type of jewelry you’re going to sell, who your customers are, where you’ll ship jewelry online and your financial goals.

Make sure to include all your costs to get to your bottom line: SSL, hosting, platform, domain name, email, website themes, plugins, extensions, monthly fees, payment gateways, credit card processing fees, advertising, inventory, packaging supplies, etc.

Choose the Kind of Jewelry You Sell

Choose the Kind of Jewelry You Sell

Any kind of jewelry can make a sale online. You need to identify and define what kind of jewelry you’ll sell. This will make things clearer for your buyers base and save you time and energy in the long run. Let’s explain these 4 categories:

Handmade Jewelry

Handmade jewelry presents not only the skill of the craftsman but their artistic style also. Semiprecious stones and more unique materials are used to design unique pieces. Clients are drawn to this one-of-a-kind quality. It allows them to buy something that looks truly special, without having to spend more money on fine jewelry.

Costume Jewelry

This type of jewelry is trendy, mass-produced, and crafted from inexpensive materials. It's super affordable to customers, but also means that you will have to sell a lot to turn a considerable profit.

Vintage Jewelry

Vintage and second-hand jewelry have become an increasingly popular option for online entrepreneurs. Some people just have a great eye and love scouring flea markets and second-hand sales. Vintage jewelry gives customers the opportunity to purchase something unique and with history also.

Fine Jewelry

This type of jewelry incorporates high-quality metals and precious stones like diamonds and sapphires, performed with superior craftsmanship. It promotes the high quality of materials over unique craftsmanship. Expensive materials can cost excessively high but make higher returns when you sale.

Choose Suppliers (If not Selling Jewelry You’ve Made)

wholesale or dropshipping

One of the first rules of business is to figure out where you're going to source the jewelry from. Look at your market and consider that when searching for your suppliers.

You have 2 options for sourcing supply: wholesale or dropshipping.

Choosing wholesale means that you'll purchase larger quantities of the jewelry. It's the traditional way of conducting business.

Or, you could go with dropshipping, which means that you partner with a dropshipping supplier who handles all aspects of packaging, storing, and shipping. Your only responsibility is to manage website, market, and handle customer support.

Target your Market

Target your Market

Women, men, young and old, everyone likes jewelry. But the kind of jewelry that different people appreciate varies tremendously. You will need to target folks who'll love jewelry that you are going to offer. It helps to think about who is your ideal, target customer.

Women and men are seeking different things in jewelry. Age factors also, since older customers are increasingly less likely to buy fashion jewelry for a one-time occasion, except it’s as a gift. Some folks actually “hate” secondhand jewelry, while other prefer vintage pieces. Most of the people can't afford fine jewelry, but some on the other hand think that anything less than diamonds look cheap.

Some cultures have traditional jewelry styles and understanding this can help you to determine better where the jewelry you are selling will fit. Get to know yourself with the motifs and traditions associated with the jewelry you sell to tell its story better. This will also help to understand your target client.

Try to wear some of the jewelry you plan on selling. If you can't wear it all day, future buyers won't be able to, too. It's also a great idea to take a photo of yourself wearing it.

Make deals your client won't be able to pass up. These deals may include earrings and a necklace, or a  set that consists of 3 items. Be sure to display the price for the set as well as the price for each piece separately. If you’re selling the set for $39, and want the set to look more appealing, type something like “Or, buy one for $28!”.

Set the Price

Set the Price - Best Price

One of the most paramount decisions you'll have to make is pricing your jewelry. Best way to set the price is to start with 4 times your material cost and packaging. Most dropshipments or wholesales take up 40 to 60 percent of your retail cost. By establishing a base price at 4 times your materials, it will save you from working for free or even worse losing money.

Think about are you going to charge consumers for shipping, too? If so, make sure to add in how much it'll cost them before they decide to buy your product.

Choose Right Marketplace to Sell Jewelry

Jewelry is one of the most grateful items to make a business from scratch. Whether you're finding precious pieces to sell, or you're just made these goods, you might be wondering about the right websites to sell jewelry.

The margins for entry is lower than ever, and with creativity, enthusiasm and working ethic, you can create your own business. Below you’ll see 5 best marketplaces for selling jewelry online and some tips that can help you choose the right site for your business.

Etsy

Etsy

This website is considered by many as the best place to sell jewelry online. Etsy has 54 million buyers worldwide with more than 40 million unique listings, which is a significant niche for the startup business. Many people have heard about Etsy, and they trust the platform when buying handmade jewelry.

When you pay the listing fee, your products can sit in your store until you sell them, because there are no monthly fees for keeping your goods on this platform.

Etsy has 1.8 million sellers, and that's a lot of competition. Consider that it costs $0.20 to list each one of your assets for sale, but if your inventory is extensive, listing all that goods can boost costs rapidly.  

Shopify

Shopify

Shopify platform has more than 600,000 stores and 1 million active users. This platform makes it easy to get your e-commerce business started with a Shopify Lite subscription for only $9 by month.

Capacity to serve buyers both large and small makes Shopify an excellent place for entrepreneurs and their e-commerce businesses. It supports more than 10 different payment gateways. These include PayPal, Amazon Pay, Stripe, Apple Pay, and Shopify Payments.

Shopify allows you to integrate your online store with some of the biggest online channels out there. You can connect to a Facebook store, Instagram shop, and marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.

eBay

eBay Store

eBay has more than 160 million active user, which means an enormous market for selling jewelry. You can list up to 50 items by month without listing fee, and when you pass that number, the price is $0.35 per item.

And you can set a minimum selling price to make sure to cover all cost and expenses you had for making that piece of jewelry.

The fee for selling the item is assessed as a percentage of the final value. Consider this fee into your business plan if you choose eBay as your selling solution.

If you want to avoid auctioning of jewelry, just create buy-it-now offers or pay additional fees to build your own store on the platform.

ArtFire

ArtFire Store

This marketplace is where folks from all over the world can come together to purchase, sell and interact. ArtFire provides a wide variety of handmade items and offers the solution for customers to post a "wanted" ad if they're seeking for something specific to be made. 

The platform offers search by category, colors, trends or boutique. It includes a listing fee, but it can be as low as 23 cents by-product. A Standard subscription costs $4.95 per month, plus the per-item charge for up to 250 items. 

ArtFire takes 9 percent of the final sale. A Popular subscription is $20 by month, but ArtFire only takes 3% of a sale, you can list up to 1,000 items, without listing fee. The high-end Featured subscription is $40 by month with a 3% cut of sales on 2,500 items and no listing fees. That version provides more visibility on the site.

Big Cartel

Big Cartel Store

Big Cartel is "made by artists, for artists." This marketplace promotes the originality of the crafters in a market dominated by mass-produced jewelry. With this website, you can easily customize one of the premade themes by changing images, colors, fonts and more. 

There are 4 plan solutions, ranging from five products that's a free option to 300 products and resources like Google Analytics and inventory tracking for $30 by month. It integrates with 4 payment processing services, each of which has its own per-transaction fee, but Big Cartel doesn't charge a transaction fee.

Create your own Website for Selling Jewelry

To take jewelry business to a higher level, you should consider building your own website. Having your own digital storefront allows you to skip the middleman and have more control over every step of the sales process.

If you want your own website, here're a few steps you should take in running your online jewelry store.

Choose a Domain Name

Picking a domain name is like choosing a brand name, it needs a lot of thought and consideration. Domain name is your online identity, so you should select a domain that not only targets your store, but it's also easy to find and promote.

A short and simple domain is a better option than a long and complex one. With a complex name, you risk clients misspelling or mistyping it. So, choosing a domain name that is easy to type is crucial for online visibility and success.

Use keywords that describe your business and target your area. There are countless registered domain names, so having a domain that is catchy and memorable is most important.  

Make a Functional Website

Selling jewelry on the web needs more than is usually included in a typical website. There's the sales process to start with, which needs a lot of work. Then there’s security when you start accepting payments online, you promptly become a target for hackers seeking for credit card numbers they can steal. Don’t hesitate and build an eCommerce site that:

  • Contains an SSL certificate to protect credit card info,
  • Is mobile friendly,
  • Provides customers a different payment option,

The easiest way to sell jewelry online is with WordPress and plugins that you can add to your website. This platform includes with an array of ready-made site templates made just for stores like yours. Payment processing, easy inventory management, shipping and a lot of other important stuff is built right in. Best of all, it’s free to setup and many plugins are free to use.

Be Google Friendly

Once your site is created, you must get as many eyeballs as possible on it. Search engine optimization or SEO is the best way to do this and is well worth the couple of hours it takes. Couple this with your learnings from Google Analytics to bring a steady stream of likely buyers to your store.

Social Media Channels

When it comes to jewelry that you make, always promote your items on social media platforms where jewelry lovers hang out like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Stay active, post frequently and respond instantly to anyone who mentions you online.

Social Media Channels

These are the core basics you should plan before you open an eCommerce site.

This information will allow you to be able to review the business plan, features, and platforms to know which will work best for your online store concept.

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