Stones and Jewelry

  • Amy Lionheart
  • September 9, 2017 3:08 am

As a designer line we feel a high level of importance to use real genuine gem stones in all of our jewelry. Stones often have stronger meaning to individuals as well as portray many meanings as well. Real stones and jewelry go together as they have been throughout the history of mankind. We also believe that real people deserve real stones and go to great lengths to ensure the best prices and quality in each and every peace.

Stone Versus Plastic

Unlike many other designer jewelry lines, Amy Lionheart line of jewelry contains absolutely no plastic beads. We limit ourselves to using genuine precious and semi precious gem stones, artisan glass, silver plated silver, gold plated, and silver filled pieces and components. We string our necklaces and bracelets with 21 strand coated metal cording which offer the desired strength & flexibility while remaining hypoallergenic. All metal components are nickle free. We take metal allergies seriously and thus demand a higher quality standard from our suppliers.

Problems with plastic

Plastic fills our landfills and our oceans. It is a dangerous and unhealthy commodity that the world’s civilizations have grown addicted to. While “green” plastics are slowly making their ways into our lives, we have chosen to steer clear of this damaging material whenever possible. In doing so we have eliminated plastic & resin beads from our pallet of components. It is our way of trying to help keep our planet healthy & reduce waste products.

Benefits of stone

Genuine stones have value and meaning to many people. With proper care, stones can last a life time, making each piece heirloom quality. The durability of stone also allows it to become a daily accessory to your every day attire as well as for special occasions.

Real stones have a number of benefits. They are hypoallergenic and don’t cause the same problems as beads that may contain metals such as nickle, or other common allergens. Stones mined from around the world help strengthen their respective local economies where each stone is mined and those communities where the raw materials are processed.

Gem Stones

Gemstones are natural occurring formations of rocks and minerals. Because they are natural & from the earth, they often have variations in color, transparency, and cut. We take these factors into consideration when making each piece. In many cases we will try to ensure some level of consistency, but please be aware that stones can vary greatly from piece to piece. A great example of a common gemstone is Amethyst. It can very from a white to a dark purple in color, a solid to banded or stripped pattern, and a transparent to opaque transparency. It can also be clear or have inclusions.

Different stones also come in a hardness variation. Most stones used in jewelry are in the Mohs hardness scale of 6-8. This means many stones can become scratched by very hard surfaces and may scratch very soft surfaces. Regular care & caution often is all that is needed to keep your stones looking their best.

Gemstones not only are beautiful in color, but are often associated with different metaphysical properties. We do our best to compile information of each stone and present the most common associations with stones used in our jewelry.

Gems also have grading scales that are based on their quality and cut. High end jewelry is often created with A,B, & C grade materials. Most costume jewelry is made with either glass, resin ,or D grade materials. In our line we use materials from A & B grade with some C grade materials. Any D grade and some C grade materials that we receive in our material purchases are rejected.

Jewelry Varieties (quality)

Not all necklaces are the same. Walk into enough jewelry & department stores and you quickly realize there are strong price differences. Costume jewelry is often less expensive and are made mostly out of plastic and colored “base” metals. The metals used may have nickle or other metals that may cause a reaction to sensitive skin and are “finished” with a thin layer of colored metals used to imitate silver or gold. These low quality and inexpensive costume jewelry pieces often can cause allergic reactions and outbreaks to sensitive skin. They also discolor and tarnish quickly and their finishes wear off after only a week or two of wearing. There are no low quality costume jewelry pieces in the Amy Lionheart line.

High quality costume jewelry includes silver and gold plated nickle free metals, can contain resins, and gem stones. The metals are nickle free and have silver or gold plating for extended wear and shine. The plating can be worn off over heavy and extended wear but can be re-plated as needed for a life time of use. The metal pieces may also be silver or gold filled, where only a small center core is made of an alternative, yet safe metal, and the rest is solid gold or silver. Gems in this category range from A to C grade. Most of the Amy Lionheart designer line falls into this category, however, we go to great lengths to avoid using plastics, resins, and avoid plastic and resin beads.

Fine jewelry are pieces that have no nickle or other allergens in the metals. They are often silver or gold filled metals. In some cases they are solid silver or gold. Gold is a soft metal and so it can bend easily if it is does not have a core of another metal, and so even in fine jewelry it is often avoided. Other precious metals such as Palladium would also be in this category. Gems are often precious and some semi-precious gems that are A quality. Stones are often faceted or cabochon style and placed into settings for focal points. Beaded necklaces will have highly polished and manicured gem stone beads in a number of forms but very rarely in any “nugget”, “chip” or raw cut styles.

Why should you know the differences between jewelry qualities?

Price and expectations go hand in hand. When you examine a piece of jewelry you should have an understanding of its worth and how well it will wear over time. Knowing the different levels of quality also helps poise you to be familiar with what important questions to ask when purchasing and comparing to other jewelry.

Another important reason to know the difference is due to international travel and shipping laws. Most countries have strict laws specifically against the import and export of fine jewelry. If you do not have proper prior authority by the different countries your pieces may travel to, from, and possibly through, you run a very high risk of your fine jewelry being confiscated by those respective local authorities and may receive high fines as well. Undocumented shipments of such pieces can be considered an act of smuggling even if it is a simple event such as you sending a wedding ring to your friend in Australia.

We have taken many accounts into consideration including these laws which could hinder international trade. Amy Lionheart has shipped her designs for years to 16 different countries with no international incidences. With this experience we have learned the best cost, quality, satisfaction, and transportability of pieces that are considered “High Quality Costume Jewelry”. We strive to bring you the best quality with affordability and accessibility world wide.

From time to time we do create Fine Jewelry pieces. When available, these pieces are unable to be shipped internationally and are shipped in specially designed packages as well as with additional security measures and insurance. Additional information will be available with these specific items.

Care

Minor effort and consideration is often the best preventative care for your Amy Lionheart jewelry. Be mindful while wearing your jewelry to not strike, drop, or drag across hard surfaces or materials. Doing so can chip, crack, scratch and damage gem stones. Cleaning your jewelry when needed is suggested with a damp cloth and mild cleaner followed with drying with a soft cloth. Never use harsh cleaners or abrasive materials for cleaning your jewelry. These could damage your gemstones and scuff or damage the other components in your pieces.

If you wear your jewelry often or even daily you may wear down the silver or gold plating. Depending on the frequency of wear, you may need to have your metal pieces re-plated. Doing so will greatly extend the life of your jewelry. Wearing the same pieces daily may also cause build up of dead skin and oil onto the jewelry. This can often be seen as green, white, or brown build up as bacteria attempts to break down the dead skin and oils. This should not be confused with skin allergies towards metals. If you notice any discoloration to your pieces simply clean them and your skin with mild soap and water with a soft cloth.

If you notice the plating is wearing off, you should have it re-plated as soon as possible. While we strive to keep our jewelry Nickle free, which is the most common metal allergy, we can not guaranty the core metals might not trigger any one individual person’s particular metal allergy. Allergies often present themselves as a red rash that is hot to the touch and occurs often within minutes to hours after wearing an allergenic metal. If you develop such symptoms, you may need to have your jewelry re-plated before you continue to wear it. Allergies can also be developed towards the bacteria that may grow on jewelry that is worn very frequently. If you develop a rash and your plating does not seem to be worn, you may have developed this allergy to the bacteria. Simply clean your jewelry and your skin thoroughly before wearing and clean your jewelry more regularly.

Many times people blame metal allergies due to their body’s reaction towards jewelry. In some cases they will wear jewelry that contains Nickle without knowing or being told the piece was nickle free. Mislabeled and unlabeled metal jewelry components used to be a serious issue, but over time the costume jewelry industry has began to recognize this very important detail and has started to correct the past problems by labeling metal components that may contain nickle. Some times people develop allergies to specific metals. Many times they actually develop allergies to the bacteria that grows on jewelry that needs cleaning. Dead skin and oil build ups are some of the harshest unseen or unnoticed culprits of jewelry, because of this, we continue to stress the importance of minor up keep and cleaning of your pieces.


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