Monthly Archives: May 2015

The May Birthstone - Emerald

Amidst Spring, with summer inching closer and closer, the beautiful deep green hue of the May birthstone is perfect for this time of year! Emeralds come from the mineral beryl, which comes in a variety of colors. The green beryl was named emerald. Chromium and vanadium create the incredibly eye-catching green coloring of the stone.

Due to the metamorphic genesis that this gemstone goes through, many emeralds end up with inclusions or fractures, and to get the truly amazing color that you see, most emerald gems are put through treatments that enhance the color and clarity, so be sure to ask for a certificate for your purchase emeralds.



And while an emerald birthstone ring is a gorgeous piece of jewelry for anyone with a birthday in May, an emerald necklace, bracelet, or even an anklet would also make a great gift for anyone special in your life with a May birthday. Or, you could have a custom made pair of emerald earrings crafted, as well.


H.L. Lang & Company Jewelry Store to Close

After over a century of selling jewelry to the public from the same shelves that the store had when it first opened, after 130 years, H.L. Lang & Company will close sometime this summer.

The original mahogany display cases have been in the store since the inception in 1885, through four owners and one move from the corner of Beverly and Augusta streets. The current owner, Tom King, says that the store absolutely cannot close unless these original mahogany cases have a new owner, but with not just one interested buyer, but two potential interests in the display cases, the store is set to close around the end of June or beginning of July.

The town of Staunton says that not only are they losing one of the oldest stores in the area, but they are also losing a part of the town's history. This small jewelry store, this small piece of history in Staunton, has made it through the test of time, and has impressed its local customers with individualized attention each and every time a person has walked through its doors, as the owners have always taken an interest in chatting with folks.

Tarnished Silver? Try Ketchup!

We are constantly washing our clothing and taking care of our shoes, but our jewelry tends to fall by the wayside when it comes to cleaning. For most people, it's not because we don't notice it needs cleaning, but because we don't have time to drop it off to be cleaned AND we don't know how to care for our jewelry at home.

Thank goodness for ketchup!

If you have tarnished silver, all you have to do it set it in a bowl completely submerged in ketchup for ONLY 5 to 10 minutes. ( P.S.) Don't leave your jewelry in the ketchup too long, or the acid in the tomatoes and vinegar could cause some erosion!

Once you take your jewelry out of the ketchup (don't rinse yet), take a toothbrush and shine it up really good for the "finishing" touches.  Finally, rinse your jewelry off - and Voila! - it's ready to wear, all nice and shiny again.

Let us know how this works for you and come back to BC Custom Jewelry for more jewelry care tips.

London Jewelry Heist - Eight Charged

What was hailed as the "biggest jewelry heist ever" concluded in a movie-style ending, with eight men charged. These men were in their late 40's, 50's, 60's and even 70's, and while they pulled off the biggest jewelry heist in history, they just recently got caught.

There are no details at the moment of how they were tracked down or caught, but there were extensive raids that spanned southeast England. Regardless, considering that these men had to plot the heist, as well as tunnel their way to the underground vault, to steal the 15.5 million dollars worth of jewelry, the details will make a great movie!

Add to the fact that most of these men were over 50, and even in their 70's, we are definitely thinking movie material!

No pleas have been entered yet, so as we get more details about this story, we will share it with you. And when the movie comes out, you can tell everyone BC Custom Jewelry said it would become a movie first!

Branding Your Jewelry Part 2

We already introduced branding, so let's jump right into ways you can brand your jewelry online.

1. Use an email signature that is branded. There are plenty of signature making tools to use. Your email signature should include: your contact info, a professional photo of you, links to all of your active social media, your website, and wherever you are selling your jewelry.

2. A professionally crafted logo. This is the "identification" part of branding that will make people think of you even if they are not looking at your jewelry. Think about the Nike logo - you have probably become so used to seeing it that you ignore it now, but your subconscious still thinks and knows "Nike" when your eyes see the swoosh sign. Unless you have artistic drawing skills, consider hiring someone to design your logo for you. You will need a tagline, too. Think about what you want to represent.

3. Social Media, Social Media, Social Media. Use social media - Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and whatever else you are comfortable with, to put your branding in people's minds. Social media is one of the most powerful tools you can use to market your jewelry and find new customers.

You also want to show your face to your potential customers as much as possible, too, so that they can see that they are dealing with a real person. Good luck in your branding and jewelry endeavors!


Branding Your Jewelry Part 1

Here and there, we like to highlight the small business sector in one way or another. Whether we talk about a small jewelry business or a potential application for a grant or an upcoming or past gem show, we like to get you thinking in as many jewelry directions as possible.

If you are interested in jewelry enough to make it - AND SELL IT, branding is something that we think about a lot but do not necessarily talk about a lot.

For those of you selling jewelry, whether on Etsy or your own website, or at craft shows, or wherever you sell your jewelry, you want to make sure you are building your brand as well as crafting your jewelry. This is true for just about anything you want to sell, but let's just stick to jewelry making for the moment.

Branding - think about what that once meant. Branding once meant the mark that farms put on their animals with a branding iron. Today, there's a whole new meaning. Today, branding is what you want people to think about when they think about your jewelry. Or, rather, branding is what you want that MAKES people think about your jewelry.

How can you make people think about your jewelry? Join us Wednesday to find out.

Jewelry Cleaning Tips: Solid Gold & Beer!

You may not be a beer lover, but there is a very good reason to at least keep one bottle of beer in your fridge - your solid gold!

It's becoming more and more of a Do It Yourself world, as time becomes more precious and less of a commodity. Sadly, while we tend to spend time laundering clothes and will even tidy up our precious shoe collection, we also tend to set our jewelry and accessories aside rather than cleaning them like we should.

If you are looking for ways to clean your jewelry at home, BC Custom Jewelry has the tried and true tricks. When it comes to your solid gold, beer is the answer. Simply pour some beer on a cloth and start washing your solid gold clean.

Keep in mind, though, that this trick is only for solid gold or plated gold. Also, do not use beer if there are gemstones. And, do not use the dark ale - but any other beer of your choice will work just fine.

Let us know how it works for you!

Do-It-Yourself All Purpose Jewelry Cleaner (that you have in your home)

There is never enough time in a day! This seems especially true in May, when school is working its way to an end and sports gear up, and the non-stop, endless list of things to do seems to only pile up higher. The last thing you want to do is think about your jewelry.

But, for most people, summer is here! And, it's the time to haul out all of the pieces of glitter and glitz to add to your wardrobe. Often, this time of year, after all the layers of clothing we had to wear diminish down to simple shorts and shirts or skirts and mostly skin, we realize that our jewelry has lost its appeal.

Have no fear! There is one thing that we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, you will have around your house to clean your jewelry with - toothpaste! The only thing that you might have in your jewelry box that you should not ever use toothpaste on is pearls.

Just like you are brushing your teeth, grab a toothbrush and toothpaste and scrub-a-dub the silver, gold or gemstones, and use a soft cloth dipped in warm water to wash away the toothpaste. Shiny and new!

Spring Cleaning Gemstones w/Seltzer Water

The title pretty much says all that you need to know. As we promised in the beginning of the month, we want to help you with your spring cleaning - as long as you have added Jewelry Cleaning to your spring cleaning list.

While it may just be easier for some people to drop the jewelry off at a jewelry store and have it cleaned - and many will do it for free - there are plenty of people who would rather get what they can accomplish at home with the supplies that are already around the house done at home. Often, it's easier to grab the seltzer water out of the cabinet or the fridge and pour it in a cup and drop the jewelry into it.

How much time does that take? Well, you have to leave them in the cup overnight, but if you think about it, how much effort does that take? And then you dry the jewelry off with a soft cloth.

This is how you would clean your precious and semi-precious gemstone baubles. Stay tuned for more tips from BC Custom Jewelry. Later this week, we will talk about an all-purpose jewelry cleaner that everyone has in their house.

Jewelry Cleaning Tricks - Vodka & Diamonds

If you like taking the do-it-yourself route with your jewelry, but haven't yet found anything that will make your diamonds dazzle, go to the liquor store and pick up some vodka.

It seems like diamonds are never as shiny as they were when you first purchased them. Even if you never wear them and keep them packaged up all nice and tidy in a special place, they will still collect dust and other particles that take away from the dazzle that you first fell in love with.

So, to get back that original shine that makes people stare at your diamonds in awe, grab some vodka and pour it on a soft cloth. Rub your diamonds clean with the vodka. Try to get around the crevices with q-tips the best you can.

This trick will also work for crystal rhinestones. Some jewelry pieces can be dipped into vodka and then swished clean. Just be careful and keep an eye on the jewelry as you are cleaning it to make sure it comes out as you expect it to.

And, if you need your eyeglasses cleaned, vodka will shine them up real quick as well.

Come back to BC Custom Jewelry for more do-it-yourself jewelry tips in the near future.