WigJig Jewelry Tools Presents our Jewelry Making Newsletter -- AKA Boomer Sez:
Our Spokesdog: If an insurance company can have a gecko, we have decided that we can have a spokesdog. Boomer, shown at right, is our spokesdog. If you select Boomer's picture at right, you will be able to view Boomer at work.
How to Unsubscribe: If you signed up for our newsletter and then decided you don't want to receive it any more, the proper way to unsubscribe is to select the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every newsletter e-mail or to follow our sign up link above. On that sign up page we also provide a way for people to unsubscribe.
Classes in Making Jewelry Using WigJig Jewelry Tools Held in South Portland, ME:
On Monday, April 21st, Marcia Wiggins, our WigJig Customer Service Director will be giving a class on the basics of wire working at Artascope in South Portland, Maine. The class will be held from 6 PM to 9 PM and will end up teaching how to make earrings using our WigJig tools. Anyone interested in attending can contact Artascope directly by calling 207-799-5154.
Making Green Jewelry:
In this case, we use the term "Green" jewelry to discuss environmentally friendly jewelry. Many people do not consider the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions, so we thought it worthwhile to spend a small amount of human energy discussing what those impacts might be.
First, let's discuss mining in general. If a mine were just a hole in the ground that would be one thing. Unfortunately, the worst environmental impact from mining is not the hole in the ground that is created, but is instead the "slag heap" or pile of dirt and chemicals that are created by processing what is removed from the mine and is deemed not commercially important. Many, many rural mining communities have serious environmental impact years after the mines have closed from the toxic chemicals that leach (wash out) from slag heaps and invade the ground water table. Some cities have problems because the dust that blows off of the slag heaps, in the wind, contains lead and is therefore very harmful. Mining is just not an environmentally friendly operation.
The second negative impact of making jewelry supplies is in the processing of the mined material. Most commercial gold today is mined from the ground and separated from the gold ore in a process that involves mercury (a hazardous chemical). Silver does not normally come out of the ground as elemental silver, but is usually combined with other chemicals in a new chemical compound called silver ore. Silver ore must be processed chemically to remove the elemental silver from the other compounds in the ore. One way of processing silver ore involved arsenic (another hazardous chemical). Processing of silver and gold ores can create environmental impact.
Given that mining is bad for the environment and that processing ore can be bad for the environment, what are some choices that aren't as bad for the environment? One obvious answer is that manufactured materials like glass, or man-made gemstones have significantly lower environmental impact than mining. The basic component in glass is sand and one doesn't have to dig very deep to find sand. It is certainly fair to say that a man-made diamond, cubic zirconia, ruby, sapphire or amethyst have less impact on the earth than a diamond, ruby, sapphire or amethyst mine.
Another potential green solution for making jewelry is to consider using gold filled wire and components instead of gold components. Normally, gold filled wire or findings are made of 5% gold alloy with the remainder being a gold colored metal. Using solid gold is wasteful, because one can't see, feel our touch the 95% of the item that is in the center of the wire. Why pay more for gold that isn't helping? Gold-filled wire and findings have a layer of gold that is millions of gold molecules thick and won't scrape off, or flake off. In fact, because gold-filled is relatively new, the laws don't regulate how gold-filled items must be labeled and sold. It is quite possible that your neighborhood store is selling some gold-filled jewelry and labeling it as 14K gold they just don't tell you it is "solid" 14K gold. Because making gold-filled wire and components are relatively new, it is something that is not well understood and often confused with gold-plated. The difference is the difference between 2 molecules of gold thick (gold-plated) and millions of molecules of gold thick (gold-filled).
While we aren't tree-huggers, we thought that it was worthwhile discussing greener jewelry. We hope that by adding a few pictures of green jewelry that we will have kept this discussion from being too boring.
New Jewelry Making Supplies:
We have natural blue topaz, and natural amethyst in addition to the natural peridot and garnet that we previously had. We only sell these gemstones in the 6mm size at this time. We have also added two different styles of Cubic Zirconia pendants in several different colors. You can view our new, natural blue topaz gemstones below left, our natural amethyst gemstones below center-left, our larger cubic zirconia pendants below center-right and our 7x18mm cubic zirconia gemstone pendants below right. Please select any picture below to view that item in our Internet store. Please note that while we are introducing these new products that supplies are limited, but we do intend to re-order once we run out.