Author: SaiLin Designs

In Honor of 婆婆

One of the things I enjoy most about jewelry-making is the flexibility that the process lends—both in terms of design elements, as well as in choice of materials. Say you’ve been admiring that turquoise beaded necklace a friend recently wore to a party, yet you’d really prefer wire-wrapped round beads to knotted oblong ones. Rather than purchase it as-is with design qualms, why not approach a jeweler who can custom design and fabricate a piece that meets all of your tastes. You’ll be likelier to re-wear your necklace time and time again with no regret, rather than lament the expense and leave it ignored in the jewelry box. My grandmother (婆婆), Sai, for whom my business is partially named after, passed away last winter. Following that time, my mother and her sisters took possession of and split the jewelry collection she had amassed over the decades. The collection ranged from special occasion jade and yellow gold pieces to more quotidian costume jewelry. Among the items my mother chose, was a double-stranded necklace of pearlized, rosy-toned, …

Caring for Your Jewelry

From rustic jewelry trees (featured tree above is from West Elm) to lady-like, painted ceramic wares, jewelry storage options have dug itself a nice little niche within the home and interior décor industry. However, as temptingly-stylish as those options appear, I encourage you to think twice and perhaps opt for something a little more orthodox. From left to right: Jewelry Box by HomePointe | Mid-Century Cufflinks Box in White Lacquer |Renee Sectioned Sueded Jewelry Box in Black by Mele & Co. The best way to care for and maintain the life of your jewelry is by truly treating it like treasure. Keep your pieces individually tucked away, cleaned regularly, and have your finer pieces examined by a professional on a yearly basis to make sure that your gem settings are secure. Taking these measures will help ensure that your jewelry indeed lasts a lifetime and longer. Here are some simple guidelines to follow: -Avoid wearing jewelry when using household chemicals such as chlorine bleach. These substances can lead to the discoloration or damage of your …

Finding the Right Necklace Length For You

When shopping for jewelry online, it can be tricky to imagine the scale and size of a piece relative to the rest of you, even when the seller provides the product dimensions.   With necklaces, it can be difficult to visualize where a given necklace is going to sit relative to the chest and neckline.  I’ve created this quick image guideline to make life easier:

Gem Highlight of the Week: Moonstone

For this week’s gemstone highlight, I thought we could continue along the mystical moon vein started last week by taking a look at the moonstone. All hallows’ eve is coming up soon, after all. Geology | Origins of a Gemstone Moonstone originates from the “potassium aluminosilicate” variety of the large mineral group of feldspars. With feldspar making up over half of the Earth’s crust composition, it’s likely that you could pick up a rock anywhere in the world, and it would probably contain at least one mineral from the feldspar group (University of Minnesota, Potassium Feldspar). In its rough form, potassium feldspars typically form pink, reddish or white, hard blocky crystal masses. The potassium feldspar series has its own sub-varieties, including: orthoclase, sanidine, oglioclase and microcline. Moonstone is typically cut from the sanidine or orthoclase. Sanidine is a high temperature form of potassium feldspar and has a less ordered crystal structure than orthoclase. It is primarily found in volcanic igneous rocks where magmas cooled more rapidly and crystals have less time to form, resulting in …

Altered Beauties: Gem Treatment

It’s very easy to feel spellbound by the first glimmering gem that you see in the jewelry case. How could Mother Nature produce such a vivid blue sapphire? Or, take a look at that stunning princess cut emerald! However, before you purchase that emerald pendant, make sure you are making an informed purchase. To do so, you need to know about gem treatments. Every natural gem comes from a piece of “rough.” Rough refers to the original rock or mineral chunk discovered and retrieved from the mine. Expert gem cutters and manufacturers than examine each piece of rough in order to assess how best to cut and polish it to yield the most marketable and attractive gemstone(s). Quite often, however, those gemstones still need a little “help.” Much to the chagrin of an unknowing consumer, the gems we see in the department store jewelry case are not always naturally quite so rich in color or “flawless” in clarity. Sometimes, they need to be enhanced through treatment. These treatments should be disclosed during the purchase of …

A New Facet to “Diamonds are Forever”?

Last year, The Atlantic published a fascinating article, “Where the Dead Become Diamonds,” which discusses Swiss company, Algordanza’s desire to transform the way in which we mourn our departed. It hopes to achieve this by converting the crematory ashes of our dead into diamonds, potentially bringing new meaning to the popular jewelry catchphrase, a diamond is forever. A man who weighs approximately 176 pounds when cremated will generate about 5.51 pounds of ashes, which can subsequently be made into 0.2 gram diamond. That’s equivalent to a one carat diamond! Wow. True to the uniqueness inherent in natural gemstones, no “memorial diamond” will necessarily look the same. As founder, Rinaldo Willy explained, ‘…we believe in no manipulations. As soon as you have additives, there’s something in the diamond that doesn’t belong.’ Despite the immediate “no additives or preservatives!” lunch-meat image that comes to mind, I enjoy the sentiment—maintaining the purity of the gem and of the person you are essentially eternalizing. “Instead of being predetermined, the color of each Algordanza diamond results from the specific combination …