Sunday, 24 April 2011

Silver Explained

So how do we find out what our jewellery is made from?

Well if a piece weighs more 7.78 grams it needs to be hallmarked otherwise it cannot be classed as "sterling Silver" (or any other silver, we will come onto that in a min!)

If your jewellery is hallmarked you will usually see 3 or more little marks

AB Sponsor
or maker
Assay Office

The sponsors mark is your initials or company initials in one of many different shapes. Mine is ZJ for Zazu Jewellery in a shield. Each sponsors mark is unique and when you apply you have to put a range down incase its already taken.

The standard mark states what purity of the metal is. In silver there are 3 main marks that you will see.
925 - Sterling Silver meaning there are 925 parts in 1000 of silver
958 - Britannia Silver
999 - Fine Silver, which is a lot softer than sterling and is the metal that is produced from Precious Metal Clay

There are four Assay Offices in the country and each has their own mark.



You may also have a date stamp although this isn't mandatory.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Keeping the sparkle in your silver

So far all my blog posts have been real ramblings about things going on with my business. I am now going to try and add some jewellery information and hints and tips too.

One thing that I really hate doing is cleaning silver, so why not try and prevent having to spend valuable time carrying out this tedious task in the first place.

So what is tarnish?

Well it is a thin layer of corrosion that can appear on metals making it look dull in colour.
It occurs from various airborne chemicals, which will speed up the tarnishing process if jewellery is left  out in the open.
So what can we do to prevent it?

1. Grip Seal Bags
Always store your jewellery in an air tight bag to try and prevent any airborne chemicals getting to your pretties.

2. Silver Tarnish Cloth
You can wrap your pieces in one of these cloths to keep them out of direct contact with the air.

3. Anti Tarnish Strips
These are tiny little black strips which can be bought and placed in your jewellery box or displays to help keep them glistening.

4. Acid Free Tissue Paper
Store your jewellery in white acid free tissue paper in your jewellery box, this will not only prevent it from scratches against your other items but also keep it out of the air.

5. Quick Wipe Over
After wearing your jewellery always give it a quick wipe over before placing it back in its box, this will remove any oils that have come from your skin.

6. Apply perfume before jewellery
Always make sure that you put your perfume on long before your jewellery as this can speed up tarnishing.

Silver Studs based on the seaside

Sunday, 10 April 2011

More Beadies For Sale

So I am back from the British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF) and busy making up orders. It was a really positive experience and learnt a hell of a lot from it. There are a few things that I would now do differently but all in all really good feedback was received.

This morning I decided to do a car boot sale to get rid of some unwanted items. Made a decent amount of money which unfortunately will be paying my credit card off :-(

I have ideas for some new ranges that require a little cash so some of my beads that dont make up my collections will be for sale. I still have a fair few beads that need to go to new homes and here are just a few.

Murano Glass Stars 13mm available in green, blue, dark gold. Each pair is £2.00 including postage
Murano Hearts also available

A 23" strand of various semi precious stones including Cherry Quartz, Tigers Eye, Goldstone, Jade, Black Agate hearts, Rhodonite, Jade Hearts and Jasper - £4.50 including postage 10mm Swarovski Crystal hearts in Bermuda. £4.50 including postage 20mm Jade hearts £4.00 including postage 15mm Black Agate Hearts £3.00 including postage

16" strand of 10mm Goldstone beads £2.50 including postage.

This is all for now bit still a few bits to go. If you are interested please dont hesitate to get in touch via: or leave a message on the blog

Sunday, 3 April 2011

British Craft Trade Fair - Day 1

The big event has finally arrived and day 1 now completed.

Yesterday we left home bright and early and got into Harrogate at 9am just in time for a spot of breakfast. We stopped at the famous Betty's Tearooms for an English Breakfast

We got to the Great Yorkshire Showground at about 10am and started to set up.
This was the space having just assembled the cabinets.

And this is us all set up.

There has been interest today but it did seem a little quiet. Maybe it was because it is Mothers Day?
Hopefully tomorrow will be nice and busy.