Silver Lining For Jewelry Artists in Current Crisis?

Recent news about the jewelry industry has been grim. Rapaport News reported a 19% decrease in attendance at the prestigious American Gem Trade Association show in February. Tiffany announced it will close its sixteen Iridesse Pearl Stores, opened in 2004. And from the UK is the news that Diamonds and Pearls, a large retailer, is in “administration.”

What does all this mean for the jewelry industry? JCK, an industry publication, recently concluded a series of roundtables with leading manufacturers and retailers. Their conclusions: the industry will consolidate; the credit crunch will continue to be a problem keeping inventories on both the manufacturing and retail levels low; the high price of gold continues to be a problem for manufacturers and retailers; and, both industry sectors will have to find new methods of working together.

But despite low inventory levels and the credit squeeze, retailers will have to keep their shelves stocked. Nothing scares off a potential client quicker than empty showcases. So, it is highly likely that these retailers will be far more open to accepting goods on consignment than in the past.

This is an opportunity for jewelry artists, artists who create one-of-a-kind highly collectible jewelry and who may have previously confined their sales and marketing efforts to art and craft galleries. The opportunity is to educate the consumer about the wonderful work being created by studio artists, a term that originated after WWII and refers to an artist working alone in his studio.

Although many of these artists work in high karat gold and use gemstones, a number of them use lower cost materials. And it is likely that artists who use both expensive and less expensive materials in their work are highly interested in moving their jewelry in this economic climate. So, prices which would be high in good times are probably lower.

The opportunity for artists is to expose their work to a new audience, but one that is also interested in collectible jewelry. The opportunity for jewelers is to display new work. And, the opportunity for consumers is to acquire one-of-a-kind work from artists they may be previously unaware of.

Fashion Advice For Contemporary Women Over Fifty

If you’re a woman who is over fifty, you’ve probably heard all the old standard fashion advice for ‘mature’ women. Wear turtlenecks, they cover up wrinkled necks. Wear your skirts below your knee, it’s more age appropriate. You’re too old to wear long hair, it ages you.

The list goes on. Well, that list is antiquated. Throw it out. Today’s 50-plus woman doesn’t have to give up her sense of style just because she had another birthday. Here are some suggestions to help you dress to make you look and feel good about yourself.

Be Confident in Yourself

Wear your confidence like a designer gown. You’ve lived enough life that you are knowledgeable, experienced and can believe in your own self worth. You’ve earned the right to trust your own taste and judgment. If it feels right to you, it probably is. Don’t let anyone dictate what your personal style must be simply because you’ve passed a mile marker.

Often, you are told to avoid trends, and that may be right sometimes, just as women of all ages should be selective about the fashion trends they choose to follow. That doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in certain ones that appeal to you and suit your particular body type. Being over fifty doesn’t mean you know longer love to look stylish and up to date. Trust in your instincts.

Know Your Flaws

Yes, your body has changed over the years. Your arms may not be as firm as they once were and the girls may not be quite as perky as they used to be. Maybe your rear has spread some or your tummy is no longer concave. So, yes, you may have to change your fashion strategies a bit. That doesn’t mean you are suddenly sentenced to live the rest of your life in drab, baggy clothes with no style at all. It just means

you need to think about ways to disguise the problem areas and flatter the rest of your body. If you are uncomfortable with saggy upper arms, then either don’t wear sleeveless garments or add a shrug or jacket. If you are bothered by widening hips, accent the top half of your body with shirts or sweaters with rich color, v-necks or vertical stripes and de-emphasize the lower half with solid, dark colors. A-line skirts and wide-legged trousers also help minimize a bulky bottom.

Invest in Well-Fitting Undergarments

Gravity does take its toll on our bodies no matter how hard we fight it. The best way to help control the g-factor is with undergarments that fit correctly and do their job properly. Indulge yourself and go have a bra fitted by a professional. You’ll be amazed at what a difference a quality bra that fits correctly can make in your figure. It is a well known fact that most women don’t buy the right bra for their body. It’s more important now than ever to change that.

The same goes with panties. Panty lines are unattractive on anyone, no matter what their age. If your butt or tummy is a little flabby, don’t wear tight bikini panties that cut in and emphasizes that fact. People may make fun of granny panties, but a well-fitting pair of briefs is a good option for many people. If you’re over fifty, don’t fall victim to out of date fashion dictates for mature women. Your love for fashion is still alive. Indulge it.

Is a Diamond Cocktail Ring What You Really Want? Fashion Advice Before You Purchase

Enjoy the beautiful pictures of diamond cocktail rings but still not sure how you could pull of wearing such a ring in public? There are definitely some “do’s” and “don’ts” with fashionably wearing a cocktail ring. They have been gaining considerable interest due to concerns about conflict diamonds in the last few years and taking the time to learn a few quick fun facts will help you out.

Here’s what you need to understand about diamond cocktail rings and when you should wear them.

1. If you want one to wear everyday make sure it only has one center stone and it’s less than 8 to 10 carats in size.

2. Wearing for a special occasion? An expensive cocktail ring with a center stone greater than 10 carats is ideal. Understand that if you go with a cheaper ring over 10 carats it tends to look pretty bad.

A ring is considered a cocktail ring when the center stone is colored and 3 carats or above. There’s many unique designs you can find and diamonds are often included as surrounding stones accompanying the center gemstone piece. There are two main types of cocktail rings to keep in mind. Disregarding the type of metal you go with for the band you have the less expensive ones which consist of crystal, cubic zirconia or blue topaz.

So if you’re in the market for a diamond cocktail ring but want to keep the price under $300 to $400 than going with these as center pieces will help. The second type of ring is more expensive, $400+, with such stones as aquamarine, amethyst, citrine, ruby, sapphire, etc. Depending on the size of the gemstone, additional diamonds and metal prices are vary greatly.

Fashion tips for shopping for your diamond cocktail rings.

1. Fashion advice 101 says to forget a cubic zirconia center stone. As a small stone on a ring they can pass and not look too bad but when it comes to a cocktail ring it’s out of the picture.

2. Try to stick with the darker center stones are you can wear them more often and compliment a woman’s wardrobe. You’ll also find that lighter gemstone cocktail rings are replicated more often for some reason and the darker tend to be more unique.

3. With cocktail rings it’s more acceptable to go with one center piece typically. If you do add additional stones such as diamonds, then make sure they don’t distract and clash with the main stone.

Do you know what’s great about looking for cocktail rings? You can save quite a bit more than you probably expect.