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Designer jewelry is more popular today than ever before. I suspect this is because people of today are more independent and want to show their individuality. Wearing one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces also gives a person a feeling of uniqueness...after all, no one else will have a piece like theirs. Often, pieces are created for an individual specifically with gem stones of their choice. This gives the piece more value and distills a sentimental attachment to their adornment. How do you go about finding wire jewelry that you will be pleased with? Hopefully, I will give you a few pointers to help you in your venture. *smile*
First, of course, you would do a search for "designer jewelry". WOW...so many sites! It is not pleasant to have a lot of unrelated sites pop up, right? You can weed them out by looking at the web address at the bottom of the advertisement. If is has "so and so jewelry.com" for instance, and you like the ad...that would be a good place to start.
Ok, you've found a site that you are pleased with the style of wire jewelry they offer. Now you will need to find out where they are located. Do you want to buy from the USA only or does it matter? When buying outside the USA, there are more costs involved due to customs and such. Something for you to think about, then again, maybe not.
How about quality? Years of experience in an artists field will often insure a better quality piece. Does the site have good clear pictures? Can you see close ups of the actual work on pieces? Are the links in that bracelet done clean and evenly? Are those ear wires plated or solid metal? So many sites I've seen will have silver or gold in their descriptions, but in actuality, they are cheaply plated. The price of an item will sometimes give you a clue as to whether or not this is true. If a pair of earrings cost only $6 or $7...chances are they are plated or a lesser metal than sterling silver for instance. A good site will state the materials used as components in each piece of wire jewelry in full detail for their potential customers.
Now can I please buy some jewelry? Sure...but you will now want to check and make sure that the site has a secure checkout. There will be a yellow lock either at the top of the page next to the browser, or at the bottom of the page where personal information is asked for. The shopping cart itself doesn't need the lock, only the pages that information you don't want anyone else to see needs to have the lock. If there is no lock, exit this site or be prepared to either call or fax the order. You could also send a check, IF they accept them. Many sites do not, so it is always a good idea to check out their payment policies as mentioned above.
One final note: Designer jewelry may very well cost more than regular department stores. As individual jewelry artists, we cannot purchase components as inexpensively as large businesses can. However, a lot of us hand pick our goodies by scouring over tons of beads, cabochons, etc. at gem shows. This is a lot of fun I have to admit...it is also addicting. *smile* Still, it gives our customers quality pieces with a touch of heart and soul that only artistic jewelry can give.
You can find more information on the making of wire wrapped jewelry in my blog.
I have also started to compile FREE wire jewelry tutorials which can be found HERE.
You will also find information about wire gauges to use and tips for those just starting out in wire jewelry.
Information on how to care for your designer jewelry can be found HERE.