The Glitter Of Rhinestones Past & Present

Written by Sher Matsen

Rhinestones have a glittering past. Originally rhinestones where referred to Czechoslovakian or Bohemian glass dating as far back asrepparttar 13th century in Bohemia andrepparttar 148430 Czech Republic. Both have a history steeped in beautiful hand blown glass as well as molded and cut glass. By 1918 glass was no longer limited to functional items. Czechoslovakian glass began to make its appearance in dazzling and brilliant jewelry. This Czech glass became known as rhinestones.

Rhinestones were manmade gems from highly refined glass. By using various metalsrepparttar 148431 glass was colored torepparttar 148432 desired shade. It was then pressed into molds. Each stone was then ground and polished by machine, resulting in a brilliant glass stone. Oftenrepparttar 148433 stones were foiled onrepparttar 148434 back which increased their brilliance.

Today,repparttar 148435 same refining process is still used. You will often here rhinestones referred to as paste. Originally paste was referred to a glass stone that made of ground glass which was molded and then melted, producing an opaque dense glass frosted stone. Paste had many air bubbles and swirl marks. The high lead content glass was then polished and faceted, and set on either copper or silver resulting in a brilliant stone. Todayrepparttar 148436 term paste usually refers to rhinestones. In Europe rhinestones are often referred to as paste, strass, and diamante. Austria is another area with a history in rhinestone production. In 1891 Daniel Swarovski created a new glass cutting machine which quite literally revolutionizedrepparttar 148437 jewelry business.

This machine could cut faceted glass, producing finely finished product in a very short time. Prior to this invention it would take a very long time for each stone to be hand cut and finished. Swarovski’s background in glass making, combined with his glass cutting machine soon found him producing rhinestones with a lead content of over 30%. The brilliance of these rhinestones was superior to anything seen onrepparttar 148438 market. Swarovski wasn’t content with his invention andrepparttar 148439 best rhinestones ever seen. His next invention was once again transforming torepparttar 148440 jewelry industry. He created a vacuum plating forrepparttar 148441 backs ofrepparttar 148442 stones with silver and gold, reducingrepparttar 148443 need for hand labor. Still today Swarovski rhinestones are recognized asrepparttar 148444 highest quality inrepparttar 148445 industry. Over 80% of rhinestone jewelry manufactured in America use Swarovski rhinestones.

Rhinestones have played an important role in costume jewelry for hundreds of years. It is used to enhance and accent, and sometimes rhinestones will providerepparttar 148446 entire design. Duringrepparttar 148447 Victorian period common motifs for jewelry included snakes, flowers, and hands most often adorned with rhinestones.

The 1890s were a time for extravagant jewelry heavily adorned with rhinestones. As time moved forward designs became simpler with figural shapes once again making their fashion statement. However this time they were small and more elegant with small rhinestone accents.

Duringrepparttar 148448 Edwardian period extravagance had made a comeback with diamonds and pearls beingrepparttar 148449 focal point. Once again rhinestones were in heavy use, often used to imitaterepparttar 148450 real thing.

Amber is Beautiful

Written by Sher Maten

Amber is a beautiful! A true gift from mother nature. It comes in many different colors - yellow, orange, red, white, brown, green, blue and almost black. It may be transparent or clouded. Transparent tones range from pale to dark yellow, to yellow light brown. Cloudy amber comes in a wide range of colors. Amber is fossilized resin of ancient trees that grew in amber forests. Through various physical and chemical changesrepparttar resin becomes Amber. Amber is unique because it is able to preserverepparttar 148429 organic tissues in it. It is very common to find pieces of plants and insects, trapped in amber making it extremely valuable to both collectors andrepparttar 148430 scientists. A beautiful and fascinating gem! Amber is found in various parts ofrepparttar 148431 world. The largest amber deposits are offrepparttar 148432 shores ofrepparttar 148433 Baltic Sea. Baltic Amber isrepparttar 148434 most sought after and valuable for making amber jewelry. Baltic Amber has been used for decorative items since prehistoric times. A Baltic amber amulet has even been found in Egyptian tombs . Amber was also very popular in ancient Rome duringrepparttar 148435 reign of Neron when: jewelry, ornaments, amulets, and even dice were made from amber. Duringrepparttar 148436 Middle Ages, amber prayer beads were exported. Fromrepparttar 148437 16th century intorepparttar 148438 18th century item made from amber included jewelry, dishes, buttons, pipe mouth pieces, chess sets and a host of other fine products. The majority of Baltic amber comes from a 400-square-mile area -repparttar 148439 Samland Peninsula, now known asrepparttar 148440 Kaliningrad region. The Kaliningrad amber mine supplies 99% ofrepparttar 148441 Baltic amber. Up untilrepparttar 148442 19th century amber was retrieved manually fromrepparttar 148443 sea. Duringrepparttar 148444 latter part ofrepparttar 148445 19th century operations became much more sophisticated as they began dredging and mining for amber. Since then millions of pounds of Baltic amber have been mined.. A small town inrepparttar 148446 Kaliningrad region hasrepparttar 148447 world’s largest amber mine.

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