Buying Jewelry for Motherís Day or How To Buy The Perfect Gift for Mom Without Getting Ripped OffWritten by Sam Serio
Jewelry can be perfect gift for mom on Motherís Day, but there are pitfalls, especially if you rush at last minute. Procrastination and a lack of knowledge can be rewarded with overpaying for a piece of jewelry or even worse, being ripped-off. A gift of jewelry can be expensive. Asking friends, family and co-workers if they can recommend a website, brick and mortar store or local crafts person can help. Checking with better business bureau is also a commendable approach. When you are shopping, ask salesperson to write down any information you might rely on to make your purchase and before you buy, ask for storeís refund and return policy. When ordering online, keep printouts of web pages with details about transaction, including refund and return policies if youíre not satisfied. Six Smart Shopping Tips for Motherís Day and Beyond 1. Thereís a big difference between 14 karat gold and gold-plated jewelry. Fourteen karat (14K) jewelry contains 14 parts of gold, mixed in throughout with 10 parts of base metal. Gold-plated describes jewelry with a layer of at least 10K gold bonded to a base metal. Gold plating eventually wears away, depending on how often item is worn and how thick plating is. 2. If youíre buying a watch, determine whether you want one that runs on a battery or one that must be wound daily. Ask if a warranty or guarantee is included, how long it lasts, and what parts and repair problems it covers. Also ask how and where you can get watch serviced and repaired. 3. Know difference between laboratory-created gemstones and naturally mined stones. Stones created in lab are visually identical to stones mined from earth. The big difference is in cost: laboratory-created stones are less expensive then naturally mined stones. But because they look must like stones mined from earth, they must be identified as lab-created. If you want a naturally mined stone, ask if it has been treated. Gemstone treatmentsĖ such as heating, dyeing or bleachingĖ can improve a stoneís appearance or durability. Some treatments are permanent; some may create special care requirements. Treatments also may affect stoneís value.
Amber Mysteries RevealedWritten by Sam Serio
Amber, gem of a stone that's not really a gemstone at all, is actually fossilized pine sap. People have collected, traded, carved, and coveted amber for more than 10,000 years. Yet despite our fascination with it, much about smoky yellow stone -- history of amber -- remains a mystery. The price for amber stones varies widely, in right price range for Average Joe's (and Joannas) who can spend as little as $20 for amber and silver jewelry, and also for high-rollers ready to spend $40,000 or more for a "slice of sunshine" in amber jewelry crafted in gold, platinum, and featuring other gemstones. And although it not an official "birthstone -- a designation reserved for actual gemstones -- amber is often presented to those born under sign of Taurus (April 19-May 19). History of Amber Amber is found in Myanmar home to largest piece of transparent amber in world (33.5 pounds and 40-50 million years old), as well as Lebanon, Sicily, Mexico, Romania, Germany, and Canad. The two main sources of amber on market today, however, are Dominican Republic and Baltic states. Once highly regulated, Baltic amber has become more widely available due to more liberal economic policies in Eastern Europe. Today, whole world enjoys amber minded from Baltic region, where largest mine is in Russia, west of Kaliningrad. Baltic amber may also be found in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Russia. Baltic amber has even washed up on shores of Baltic Sea in Denmark, Norway, and England. Baltic amber is oldest geological specimen to be used in jewelry. Archeologists digging near Baltic Sea have found evidence of Baltic amber jewelry that is approximately 40,000 years old.