Gemstone Jewelry, Necklaces, Tutorials and Questions

How to Easily Change a Pin or Brooch into a Pendant

Do you have vintage or sentimental brooches/pins that you never use? Then I’d like to share a simple and quick way to fix that.

Instead of letting your brooch sit in the jewelry box for years, turn it into a pendant, add a chain, and wear as a necklace!

Check out this video to see how a horizontal and vertical brooch converter works. You can find converters at either beadaholique or Amazon.

If you try this and find that the converter slides around a lot, you can use those tiny plastic earring back findings (aka tubes or stoppers) to stabilize it by placing one rubber piece on each side.

This opens up a world of possibilities doesn’t it? I may visit some estate sales or antique stores looking for some beautiful pins.

Or there are some amazing vintage brooches on Etsy.

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Earrings, Gemstone Jewelry, Tutorials and Questions

Stud Earrings Size Comparison Chart in mm – with Photos

Are you looking for a stud earring size chart to help you decide how big you should go with your earring purchase? Well I hope the comparison photos below will help! Whatever type of earrings you are looking for, diamond or other gemstone, I believe this will be useful in deciding.

I’ve included the most common stud earring sizes in mm (millimeters) and set them next to a common U.S. copper penny for comparison.

Stud earrings in 6 mm are a very common size and are probably my favorite size…not too big, not too small.

Stud Earrings Comparison Chart in mm
Gemstone Jewelry, Tutorials and Questions

How to Change Earring Backs from Fish Hook to Lever Back

I was recently given a beautiful pair of Larimar earrings. I adore them. The only problem was that wearing them was a pain. The fish hook backs kept falling out of my earlobes so I’d put on the tiny little clear plastic backs, which is not easy to do. Then, the ends of the hooks would stab me behind the ears. So, I decided to make a change.

It was actually pretty easy to change out the backs. I wanted leverbacks so I bought a set of .925 sterling silver findings from Amazon along with a set of jewelry pliers. I used jewelry pliers to bend the circular part of the fish hooks so that I could slide the gemstones off. Then I just had to slide the gems onto the lever backs. Easy peasy.

I am SO sorry that the below pictures are a bit blurry. It was difficult to focus on the tiny pieces. Hopefully, you’ll get the idea!

Larimar Earrings with Fish Hook Findings
Larimar earrings and the fish hooks they came with.
Jewelry Tools
The set of jewelry pliers I purchased from Amazon.
Round Nose Jewelry Pliers
Pliers I used to bend the fish hook findings.
fish-hook-findings
The tiny round wire holding the gemstone to the fish hook. This is the part I bent so I could remove the gem.
Sterling Silver Leverback Earring Findings
Sterling silver lever backs I bought on Amazon.
Ta-da! The finished piece which is much more comfortable!

Here are the supplies I purchased from Amazon:

I hope you found this useful and are inspired to bring new life into old jewelry pieces so you can wear them!

Bracelets, Gemstone Jewelry, Tutorials and Questions

What is a Bolo Bracelet?

I’m from Arizona, USA so when I hear ‘bolo’, I immediately think of the common and historic Western necklace known as the bolo tie. It is the official Arizona neckwear, after-all.

So the bolo bracelet and the lariat necklace are inspired by their Western cousins.

I love the look of bolo bracelets and necklaces and the best part is, they are adjustable. Keep in mind that not all lariat styles are adjustable.

Photo: Angara.com Bezel Set Diamond Bolo Bracelet. Available in white, rose, and yellow gold.

Check out some more bolo bracelets at Kay, Jared, Zales, and Ross-Simons.

Gemstone Jewelry, Tutorials and Questions

Natural vs Lab Created vs Simulated Gemstones

There’s a lot of gemstone jargon flying around and it can be confusing. Here are some definitions of gemstone types that I hope will help. We are going to explore the terms real, natural, created, and simulated.

Real Gemstones

It is important to note what it means for a gem to be labeled as “real” and I think its best to just use an example. A “real” ruby is a gemstone that has the chemical and mineral composition of a ruby. Whether the ruby was formed in a laboratory or in the Earth, its still an actual, real ruby.

Natural Gemstones

A natural stone is a real gemstone that was created by natural processes inside the earth and dug out or mined. Typically the more rare a gemstone is in nature, the more expensive it is. Check out this fun article about the most expensive gemstones in the world.

Natural gemstones are often times treated in order to enhance their natural beauty. You may see treated natural stones further classified as “genuine” gemstones. Heat treating gemstones is a very common, accepted practice in gemology. Do be a bit cautious when you see the term “genuine” as this label can get misused and check for other descriptive terms.

Lab Created Gemstones

A lab-created stone is a real gemstone as well, however, it was created inside a laboratory and not from within the earth. The chemical and mineral composition of lab-created gemstones are equal to that of their natural counterparts but are less expensive.

There is a growing market for lab-created gems as people look to purchase ethically sourced stones at affordable prices. Clean Origin is a beloved company that sells only lab-created diamonds.

Simulated Gemstones

A simulated stone is a gemstone that is created inside a laboratory that is made to mimic or look like a natural stone. For example, cubic zirconia (CZ) is created in a lab and its purpose is to look like a diamond. CZs are not diamonds but look like them and are less expensive.

You’ll also see the term “simulant” which means the same – its a stone or product that is used to look like its real counterpart. Examples of simulants include colored crystals or glass. A well-shaped piece of red glass can mimic the look of a ruby for a fraction of the cost.

Gemstone Combinations

To get into an even more grey area, because why not, let’s look at another example. A white sapphire is a real sapphire gemstone, but you’ll often see it used as a side stone in jewelry to simulate diamonds because a white sapphire is less expensive than a diamond, but it still has that beautiful, clear look.

The description of such a jewelry piece should tell you that the stones are white sapphire as in the beautiful ring below.

Natural London Blue topaz with lab-created white sapphires, Gem Stone King, Amazon.com

I hope that helped a bit! Always read through the product descriptions carefully for these terms so you know what you are purchasing. And enjoy lab-created stones as they are a beautiful, budget-friendly way to enjoy gems!