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Senin, 30 Juni 2008

The History of Costume Jewelry

There is virtually no difference between costume jewelry and antique jewelry. Costume Jewelry dates back to the 1930s. By the definition of antique that would also make it antique jewelry. However, most jewelry experts have come to agree that antique jewelry predates the 1930s.

Costume Jewelry came into being in the 1930s as a cheap disposable jewelry meant to be worn with a specific outfit, but not meant to be handed down through generations. It was intended to be fashionable for a short period of time, out date itself, and then be repurchased to fit with a new outfit purchase, or with a new fashion style. It became available in large quantities during the 30s.

Cheap jewelry also existed prior to the 1930s. Paste or glass jewelry as far back as the 1700s. The rich had their fine jewelry duplicated for a variety of reasons, using paste or glass stones. By the mid 1800s with the growth of the middle class there were now different levels of jewelry being manufactured using fine, semi-precious and base materials. Fine jewelry of gold, diamonds, fine gems such as emeralds and saphires continued to be made. Jewelry from rolled gold, which is a thin layer of gold attached to a base metal, entered the market for the middle class. This jewelry was often set with semi-precious gems such as amethyst, coral or pearls, and was much more affordable. And then there was jewelry that most anyone could afford, consisting of glass stones and base metals made to look like gold. All three types were intended to be passed down to future generations.

There are usually clues that can help one identify what era a piece of jewelry is from. Style, material, the type of piece. For example dress clips came in in the 1930s and were out of style by the 1950s. Jewelry reflects styles, designs, colors and stones of the era. For example from 1910 to 1930 silver was the favorite color for metal, so jewelry was found in platinum, white gold, silver or a base metal colored to look like silver. By World War II, gold was popular again but in short supply, since it was vital to the war effort. What gold was available was made into very thin sheets and usually bonded to silver (called vermeil) before being turned into jewelry. By the 1930s rhinestones popularity was ever increasing in Europe. It was not available to the Americans until the 1940s. As a result, many of the pieces from this period tend to feature lots of metal and a single stone or a small cluster of tiny rhinestones.

Today is certainly not much different from past times. We still have fine jewelry, semi precious jewelry, and of course costume jewelry available to us. Costume jewelry can add the finishing touch and show your fashion sense. Costume Jewelry styles of past years are now becoming very fashionable and many are being reproduced. Even with costume jewelry there is a difference in quality. Many of the new pieces do not have the vibrance in the stones or the weight of the older pieces.

Antique and vintage costume jewelry are both fun to collect and fun to wear. No longer is costume jewelry simply "collectable." It is "in style, and" "fashionable," and a terrific conversation starter. Dress to impress!

By Sher Matsen

Each Watch Band is Unique and Tells Its Own Story

Anyone who possesses a valuable and unique watch will also want something special from the watch band that is worn with it. HIRSCH artisanal watch bands are masterpieces, each created by craftsmen in a process involving over 60 separate stages, giving each individual watch band its own elegance and beauty.

HIRSCH artisanal watch bands

In the course of development activities which have taken place over a number of decades, HIRSCH, together with the finest Swiss watchmakers, have created and implemented standards of production and quality which today are a benchmark for the entire sector.

One milestone in quality optimisation has been the development of the Oysterglove Supersoft lining leather, which guarantees softness and comfort in wear. Oysterglove is a waterproof and perspiration resistant lining leather, tanned in a way that is kind to the skin and discreetly coloured, and contributing to a significantly extended duration of life for the replacement watch band.

The elegance and durability of a watch band depend largely on the quality of the materials used. It is essential to exercise the greatest care in the choice of materials, both for the upper leather and for the lining leather, in order to provide softness and comfort in wear.

Leather is a raw material of high quality and rich tradition, and it is also a living material that requires a great deal of knowledge and experience and a certain necessary "feel" in order to be made into a fine bracelet. Working with leather presents a new challenge every day, for no two animals are alike and no single piece of leather is like any other, either in its appearance or in its consistency.

The tanning process

The process of tanning must be undertaken in order to make the animal skin durable and to transform it into a resistant and to some extent water repellent material. The chemical combination of the protein in the skin and the tanning agent turns the hide into leather. The tanning agents used are either of vegetable origin (wood, bark, fruits) or of mineral origin (metal salts containing chromium, zirconium, aluminium, titanium or iron), or a combination of the two.

Alongside the quality of the raw products, it is the type of tanning that determines the quality and characteristics of the leather end product: strength, elasticity, water tolerance and also such characteristics as resistance and flexibility are decisively influenced by the tanning process. However, the finished leather always represents a genuine piece of animal skin, a true natural product with its own unique character.

The refining process

The refining process significantly affects the aesthetic character of the leather. The leather can be dyed, or it can be given a shiny finish, or it can be patterned in various fashion "looks". A distinction is made between two types of leather, depending on the refining process used:

? Smooth leather is a general term covering all types of leather with a closed surface. It can be smooth, but also grained, patterned, structured or shrunk, e.g. calfskin leather, nappa leather, goatskin leather, patent leather...

? Rough leather is the general term covering all leathers with a ground surface, e.g. velour leather or nubuck leather

Creation of leather watch bands

In order to create its leather watch bands, HIRSCH uses top quality skins from different kinds of animals (mammals, reptiles, fish, birds). Depending on the type of animal, different leather parts can be used. With cowhide, for example, watch bands can be cut from the neck, the crop and also the flanks. Alligator leather represents a special case. The underbelly and the tail are used, but also flanks, of small complete skins taken exclusively from farmed alligators. The main factors affecting the visual appearance and the price are the proportion of round to rectangular scales and the method used for cutting out the leather.

CITES - Washington Agreement

It is a natural part of the evolution of life on earth that species should die out - but recently it is mankind, not nature, that has been responsible for the disappearance of animals and plants. International trade in wild animals and plants and the constant reduction of natural habitats have played a major part in this. International co-operation is necessary in order to put a stop to uncontrolled cross border trade in endangered species. The responsibility lies with both producer and consumer countries in equal measure.

In a spirit of joint responsibility, the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) was signed on 3rd March 1973. This UN convention is also known as the "Washington Agreement", after the city in which the CITES was signed by 21 countries. Since the agreement came into force on 1st July 1975, the number of member states has risen to 158.

This ordinance envisages standardised import and export regulations and also governs the marketing of listed species for all member countries. The HIRSCH artisanal collection offers a selected range of watch bracelets made of alligator, crocodile and lizard skin, all of which comply with the strictest provisions of the Washington Agreement, i.e. these leathers come from controlled stocks and are purchased and sold with a certificate.


A HIRSCH leather watch band essentially consist of 3 parts:

? Upper leather - on the upper side of the watch band

? Lining leather - on the underside of the watch band

? Inlay layer - an intermediate layer between the upper leather and the lining, which gives the watch band its 3-dimensional form

All these three parts are made of pure natural materials. The utmost care is necessary in the selection of both the upper leather and the lining leather; only top quality materials are used.

Care of Leather Watch Bands

Watch bands are worn directly on the skin for up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are also, to a greater or lesser extent, subject to wear as a result of the actions we perform with our hands or arms. For reasons of hygiene, therefore, watch bands should be cared for and subjected to hygiene checks. Regular care of your watch band will considerably extend its life. Leather watch bands from HIRSCH can easily be cleaned with lukewarm water and left to dry.

HIRSCH watch bands are designed so that you can wear them with waterproof watches in the shower or while swimming in fresh or salt water. After spending any length of time in a swimming pool or in the sea, the watch band (like the watch, and your body) should be rinsed with clear water to remove any salt or chemical residues. A further point is that wet watch bands should not be left to dry on a warm surface, since rapid evaporation of water can impair quality. We therefore recommend that the watch band is simply allowed to dry on your hand.

By Michael Kares

Rubber Band Bracelets: Be In the Loop

Those colorful loops of rubber should be quite familiar to you by now. Yes, we are talking about rubber band bracelets. They have become ubiquitous in the last couple of years. You can see them on the wrists of Tsunami aid workers, citizens campaigning for a cause, and even the on wrists of school children.

The rubber band bracelets have become the most-preferred and the most inexpensive way to show your support for a cause, or to donate to charity, or to raise awareness about an issue or a disease. You can see them used for extremely different purposes, such as to proclaim one's religious affiliation, or as a fashion statement! The rubber band bracelet is the modern way of wearing your heart on your sleeve, er wrist!

What are rubber band bracelets? They are simply loops of solid rubber, worn on the wrist by stretching and sliding them over the palm of one's hands. They come in any color imaginable -- yellow, orange, blue, green, black, pink... Some are translucent, others glow in the dark... And they are worn in support of many a message or cause -- they are as versatile as they are stretchable! Not all rubber band bracelets are rubber, though. Some of them are made of silicone.

You can have any message stamped over the rubber band bracelets, or designs crafted on them. In fact, some of the latest rubber band bracelets sport more than one message! Rubber band bracelets usually sell for $1-5 a piece, and can be ordered online from many Web sites, in multiples of five hundred, or smaller packs of a dozen or more. The manufacturers often give discounts for the larger orders.

The most famous of the rubber band bracelets is the yellow 'Livestrong' wristband worn by cycling champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. The pink ones are worn to show support to breast cancer patients. SHeDAISY's 'Come Home Soon' yellow rubber band bracelets (named for the group's Top 15 single) with the words 'Come Home Soon' stamped on them are highly popular among relatives of American servicemen.

The rubber band bracelet is a very useful and inexpensive tool for crowd control: it is used as a cheap identifying device in restricted access events attended by large numbers of people, such as music concerts. The rubber band bracelets are also issued by hospitals to their patients as identifying devices with some basic medical information stamped on them.

So what makes these rubber band bracelets so popular? Sociologists say people have always used amulets in times of trouble. Now we are just using them in a more positive way. Yes, rubber band bracelets are more than simple loops of rubber; they represent the human urge to fight and survive great odds.

By Shannan Barrett

Dolphin or Not a Dolphin?

Dolphin or not a dolphin? That is the question! You see, there are several types of dolphins. Some are saltwater dolphins while others are river dolphins.

When people are asking the question: "What are the 32 types of dolphins?" they are actually referring to the saltwater dolphins that have their natural habitat located in oceans and seas. The river dolphins, which are living in fresh water, are not included in these species. But what would be the answer in this case if we ask: "Dolphin or not a dolphin?" The answer would obviously be yes, river dolphins are still belonging to the dolphins family.

Amongst the 32 types of dolphins, some do not actually wear the word "dolphin" in their name such as: the tucuxi while others actually have the word "whale" as part of their name even if they are not whales but in fact, belong to the dolphins family. Such dolphins species are: the Northern Right whale, the Southern Right whale, the Melon-Headed whale, the Pygmy killer whale, the Long-Finned Pilot whale, the Short-Finned Pilot whale, the False killer whale and finally, the Killer whale. So what would be the answer to the question: "Dolphin or not a dolphin?" in these cases? It would be yes, all these species do belong to the dolphins family.

Another question that people ask is: "Are the marine mammals that perform in acrobatic shows at aquariums such as Marineland and Sea World all dolphins?" So, it always seems to come back to the question: "Dolphin or not a dolphin?" Well the answer is no in this case. The marine mammals that perform there are not all dolphins. Some are dolphins like the Bottlenose dolphin and the Killer whale which is often referred to as an orca whale since the word "orca" is part of this dolphin specie scientific name "Orchinus orca". The beluga which people tend to think belong to the dolphins family because they display what seems like a smile, like most dolphins, but they are in fact a specie of the whale's family.

Another question that people tend to ask is: "Aren't dolphins and porpoises in the same marine mammal family?" or in other words: "Dolphin or not a dolphin?" Although they both have similarities, they are also different in several ways. You see, the differences are mainly regarding size and shape. The porpoise is smaller than a dolphin, stocky with small or no dorsal fins have a rounded snout and their teeth are shaped like spades or chisels. The dolphin is bigger, has a sleek figure, large dorsal fins, a pointy beaked nose and cone-shaped teeth. As you can see, the porpoise is not a dolphin.

Now that you read these facts about dolphins, you probably realize that while certain marine mammals may appear to be part of the dolphins species and that others seem to be part of the whale's family but in either cases, it is not obvious and can be surprising when you identify a marine mammal as being a dolphin or not a dolphin. That is the question!

By Kevin Leochko

Shopping for Plus Size Erotic Lingerie Online

Being overweight no longer excludes you from wearing sexy lingerie and thanks to the internet shopping for plus size erotic lingerie has never been easier.

Often it is difficult to find larger sizes in brick and mortar stores and when you do it is a petite woman with a "perfect" figure is staffing the lingerie boutique - something that can make a Rubenesque woman feel self-conscious shopping for plus size sexy lingerie. There is no lack of exotic sexy plus size lingerie on the Internet. You can find a plus size teddy or garter set or a sexy plus size costume with just a few clicks of your mouse.

Wearing sexy lingerie can be a boost to your self-confidence and put a spark in your relationship. Knowing that you are wearing such sexy clothing under your regular clothes puts you in control of your body and your sexuality and if you drop hints to your mate in the morning about what you are wearing he will be eager to see you in (or out of) full regalia by evening.

When you shop online, you will easily find erotic sexy plus size lingerie to fit every size. Most regular stores do not have the space to carry a very wide selection of plus size clothing, but online retailers are better able to satisfy the needs of everyone because they can work with different manufacturers and drop shippers to find sizes and styles for every body type.

The lingerie size charts on most sites make it easy to understand the size you need. For example, when you want to order a plus size bra, the sites will often give detailed instructions on how to take your measurements to ensure you get the perfect fit.

The best thing about shopping for your plus size erotic lingerie online is that many times you will not have to pay extra for the larger size like you do in retail brick and mortar stores.

There has been tremendous growth in recent years in the plus size lingerie industry in both quantity and quality. Not too long ago there were very few choices for big beautiful women for looking sexy and now there are whole stores dedicated to large size sexy costumes and garters and more. Plus size women can now enjoy feeling feminine and pretty underneath their everday clothing too.

Katie Rose

History of Hawaiian Heirloom Jewelry

Back to the era of the Hawaiian monarchy, the origin of Hawaiian heirloom jewelry can be found. The Hawaiian kingdom had long enjoyed a favorable relationship with England.

In February 1862, Prince Albert, husband to England's Queen Victoria, was dead. During the queen's time of grief, only mourning clothes and black-accented jewelry were acceptable apparel at the royal court. Meanwhile, jewelry accented with black jet or enamel and carved with floral, vine or scroll designs became the fashion trend in England. These pieces came in the forms of rings, broaches, pendants and bracelets.

Reacting to Prince Albert's death, a 23-year-old Hawaiian princess named Liliu Loloku Walania Kamakaeha (Hawaii's last Queen Liliuokalani) ordered two gold that precisely followed the style and detail of the black-enameled English mourning jewelry.

In 1887, Hawaii's Queen Kapiolani and Princess Liliu were invited to Queen Victoria's Jubilee. At the Jubilee, Queen Victoria bestowed them precious gold bracelets with each name of theirs imprinted in Old English Lettering filled with black enamel (here's an example of hawaiian jewelry). They adored the gift so that they had similar bracelets made for Hawaiian Royal members upon their return to Hawaii. Hawaiian Royal had adopted this sophisticated and hand-carved technique and developed it into its unique design inspired by Hawaiian nature. This Hawaiian royal heritage has been succeeded and lived on as Today's Hawaiian Jewelry.

Earrings The Ultimate Fashion Statement

Earrings are an important part of every woman's wardrobe, whether we are headed for a day at the beach, to the office, or to a wedding. Your earrings give a subtle hint about your personality. You can change the entire look and feel of your wardrobe by adding the right earrings. You can bring out your softer feminine side, the sexy goddess, or present simple charm, sophistication, or elegance. For both men and women, today earrings are a definite fashion statement.

Earrings have been a part of human culture since 3000 BC. In past times, earrings actually established your position in society, because only royalty and very wealthy were able to afford expensive jewelry. Fine jewelry was worn by only the wealthy. The rest of the population also wore earrings to decorate their body, but they were replicas of high society jewelry.

There are many styles of earrings. There are quite literally thousands of choices. There is an earring style for every personality. Fine jewelry remains popular with precious stones such as sapphire and emeralds. Semi precious stones are also very popular. But even more popular are the costume jewelry earrings. These are affordable, look great, and are great for staying trendy and in style.

From dangles, to chandeliers, to droplets, to hoops, to studs. The choices and styles are never ending. If you don't have pierced ears, no worries! These days there is a terrific selection or clip on earrings available. You can be dazzling, subtle, glamorous, sexy. You can be highly refined, professional, high classed, or fun and funky, and trendy! You can never have enough earrings. Your earrings can add the finishing touches your outfit. Change your earrings and you can change the entire appearance of your look. Think about that little black dress you own. Add a pair of sapphire studs and you'll be highly refined. Add a pair of large chandelier rhinestones and you'll be Hollywood glamour. Add a pair of wood dangles, and a pair of flip flops and you'll look fun and funky. Add a pair of red button earrings with a red bead necklace and you'll be "so sexy."

It's amazing what a pair of earrings can do to your look! So keep a good selection of earrings on hand to meet all your fashion needs. Earrings are the most important wardrobe accessory you can own. You'll get great value from your earrings. Choose earrings that meet your life style, your personality, and your tastes. There is no point in buying a pair of trendy earrings that you'll never wear because they don't feel like "you."

Earrings also make a great gift as they can be very personalized. Choose a style to meet their personality. From gemstones to beads, you can spend a little or you can spend a lot. The gift recipient will be thrilled that you were so thoughtful as to buy such a personal gift. Use your earrings to make a lasting impression, from the board room to the beach. Be sure people remember who you are. It's important to always Make Your Fashion Statement!

By Sher Matsen

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