Thursday, April 30, 2009

Vote for me!

Please vote for me in the National Jeweler's Best of Silver - People's Choice Awards! Click here then follow the's a little bit of a pain...but I need your vote! Thanks!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Celebrating Earth Day as a Jeweler...

I have been debating for weeks if I should write an Earth Day post. The simple fact is, what I do for a living contributes to polluting and reaping the planet. Metal and gems come from the earth via mining and mining is a “dirty” business which has a huge impact on the environment. Here are just a few eye opening facts:
-A single gold ring generates 5 to 20 tons of mine and environmental waste.
-96% of U.S. arsenic emissions and 76% of lead emissions come from mining.
-2 to 5 grams of mercury are released into the environment for every gram of gold recovered.
-Cyanide used in leaching gold from ore can pollute water resources and kill fish and other life.
-Metal mining consumes as much as 10% of world's energy.
Kalgoorlie Mine, Australia. Photo courtesy of mattyp_ / Matthew Perkins on Flickr.

What is a jeweler to do? One way we can begin to "go green" is to use 100% recycled metals. Although a major percentage of the precious metals in circulation are already recycled (who throws it away?!), they are usually a mixture of recycled and newly mined material. At this time, it is impossible to police where all the metal in our manufactured findings come from. However, we can, at least, purchase our mill products from refiners who certify that they are selling 100% recycled metal.

Unfortunately, buying recycled metals will not solve the problems in the mining industry. We should also demand that the mining industry abandon practices that endanger people and ecosystems.

For more information on this subject please visit the following sites:
Ethical Metalsmiths
No Dirty Gold
The Alliance for Responsible Mining
Sky Truth
Responsible Jewelry Council
International Cyanide Management Code

Articles on this subject:
"The Real Price of Gold" By Brook Larmer (National Geographic)
"What Jewelers Mean When They Say Green" by Patrick Totty(Modern Jeweler magazine)

Resources for eco-friendly refiner and manufacturer of precious metals:
Hoover and Strong
Oro Verde/ Green Gold Corporation
Thunderbird Supply Company

Monday, April 20, 2009

Not all that glitters is gold...

My fellow Etsymetal member Chris Parry, shared this story with his fellow team mates in our private forums. I felt it was a lesson that needed to be shared with my blog readers as well....

fake-ring-2, originally uploaded by Chris Parry.

"A little story goes with this ring.

A customer brought this into me and asked me if it was real. At the time it was a very shiny gold colour. (It had been gold plated.)

Inside the ring, you can just make out two marks a 750 and a 18k. Both presuming to mean that it is 18k gold.

However, when he gave it to me, the colour of the gold was wrong and the weight as well. The spurious marks also made me feel this ring was a fake.

So I put it under my torch and as you can see the resulting black mess proves that it is just a brass/copper metal underneath.

It does infact look like a plumbers olive. Something used by plumber in the UK when installing water pipes in houses.

The client had bought this ring from a beggar in Lonodon for £5 and his own words, "it was worth a gamble".

You could probably buy a 100 of these olives for a £5.

So the beggar was no ordinary beggar, as he clearly had access to a gold plating unit, so he was in fact probably a scam artist.

Then about six months later, a lady bought an identical ring in to me and I gave her the same bad news, but she insisted it had been in her family for years (Probably just embarrassed that she had parted with good money for a fake)

Be warned you all, not all that glitters is gold"

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday at the bench...

I actually haven't spent too much time at the bench in the last 2 weeks. I have managed to get a handful of orders finished and out the door, but for the most part I have been working on marketing materials. I really enjoy this end of the business although it puts me in front of my Mac, which is a horrible time-suck.

With the help of a wordsmith friend, I put together several press releases and made beautiful presentation kits which were mailed to several local media.

I designed new postcards for an upcoming show I'm doing and sent them to the printer...

I finalized my new Etsy business card design and sent them to the printer...

...and I designed and made new Thank You cards for my customers.
ALL DONE! Next week I have to turn off the computer and crank out the jewelry!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Babycenter: MOMformation blog interview

I was recently interviewed for the Babycenter's blog : MOMformation. Babycenter is an amazing resource for all Mom' has information from fertility to parenting to fashion! I am participating in their week long jewelry giveaway. Read the interview to find out how you can enter to win a pair of my Bubble Earrings! Hurry you have to enter by midnight Thursday, April 2! To read and enter click here!