Saturday, January 14, 2017

Just What is Gunmetal Jewelry and How Do You Clean It?

Have you ever wondered exactly what gunmetal jewelry is made of?   I design and make jewelry like the earrings shown here.  When I opened the drawer of my gunmetal components some had a green corrosion on them.  I started to throw them away but thought perhaps I could find out if they could be saved.  I snooped around some to see what I could find out about what gunmetal actually is and if it can be cleaned.

Gunmetal jewelry is an alloy of 90% copper and 10% tin.  Gunmetal also refers to a blue-black finish caused by electroplating a coat of iron on an item and coloring it in a chemical solution. Electroplate is a thin coating of metal applied to the outside of a base metal through an electrical process.  The item is suspended in a chemical solution and current flows from a piece of metal to the item depositing a layer of metal onto the item.

So how does one clean gunmetal jewelry you ask?  Believe it or not, it is very easy to do with an everyday object.  A pencil eraser!  Yes, it is true.  Use a pencil eraser to rub away the corrosion on your gunmetal items and it will disappear!

I hope you find this tidbit of information helpful in cleaning any of your gunmetal jewelry.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The December holidays are over now and cold weather has set in for most of us.  January is a time to sit back, relax and enjoy a less hectic time of the year.  It is a time to enjoy your family and cold weather activities.  You have a couple of weeks before you need to think about the next event on the calendar.  That event is Valentine's Day!

Here is a little bit of information you may find interesting concerning the lover's day.  Did you know that Americans began exchanging handmade valentines in the 1700's?  A woman named Esther Howland began to sell the first mass-produced valentines in the United States.  Some people called her the "Mother of the Valentine".  She created elaborate cards made with ribbons, lace and colorful pictures.

According to the Greeting Card Association, there are an estimated 1 billion Valentine's Day cards sent each year.  Approximately 85 percent of the valentines are purchased by women.  Guess that isn't too surprising!

I found this fun map of the US on the Estately blog that shows by state what Valentine gifts are most popular.

If you are looking for a gift for someone special you might want to check out some of these beautiful items:

Red Lampwork Heart Earrings