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.
Birthstone for July: The birthstone for July is the ruby. Rubies are one of the cardinal gemstones and for this reason, good quality rubies are very rare and very expensive. Rubies are also the second hardest gemstone, with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. Rubies are only slightly less hard than a diamond. Because of the hardness of rubies they make an excellent choice for all jewelry applications as rubies will retain their polish and shine even when worn extensively. While high quality mined rubies are very rare and expensive, fortunately, man-made rubies are chemically identical to the mined rubies and are available at very reasonable prices. You can view our selection of man-made rubies here.
Some people aren't impressed with gemstones that aren't natural. Unfortunately, 90% of the rubies mined from the earth are "enhanced" artificially to improve their color. At present, there are no laws that require a jeweler to differentiate between a mined but artificially enhanced ruby from a completely natural, mined ruby. Given that the odds are 9 out of 10 that a mined ruby sold in a jewelry store is artificially enhanced, why not just purchase the chemically identical man-made ruby?
New Jewelry Making Supplies:
We added four new gemstones and one new jewelry making book to our Internet store. New to our Internet store are 8mm amethyst (Item 3411), garnet (Item 3409), citrine (Item 3408) and peridot (Item 3407). You can view these new mined from the earth gemstones below. We also now have the "Wire Jewelry Workshop" book with instructions for making jewelry with wire and beads (Item 3406). Select the picture or the text below to view these new items in our Internet store.
The "Wire Jewelry Workshop" book has several projects that use our WigJig tools along with some beginners instructions in the basic techniques for making jewelry with wire and beads. For those of you who aren't comfortable on the Internet, this is an excellent book.
Coping with the High Price of Gold and Silver: It would not be a news flash to say that gold and sterling silver are very expensive. In fact, the entire jewelry industry is hurting right now due to these high prices. Given the high price of precious metals, how should someone selling jewelry cope? While we don't have all the answers, we can describe how we are coping. Prior to this year, almost all the jewelry we made was made from gold-filled wire. The few pieces that weren't gold-filled were sterling silver. This year by contrast, we are making many pieces of jewelry from brass wire. While we don't have a complete selection of all the required findings in brass, we have many findings in brass and we are ordering some ear wires and other findings in brass for the future. Currently, when we need a finding in brass that isn't available, we make it. In our Techniques section below, we show how we made a standard ear wire out of 20 gauge brass wire. The bottom line is that while brass isn't gold and definitely isn't as tarnish resistant as gold, you can still make some very attractive jewelry with brass. We suggest that our readers consider brass as a replacement for gold and gold-filled wire. This will allow you to make more jewelry at more reasonable prices.