The Gift to Last a Lifetime - Handmade Jewelry Boxes

When it comes to jewelry, it is normal to choose the best that fits our personal style, budget, and unique purpose. Everyone has purchased jewelry or had jewelry given to them at some point - and this is usually on a special occasion or just because, Why not highlight these gift by giving handmade jewelry boxes as a gift or getting one for yourself. As we begin to accumulate these valuable pieces of jewelry and accessories, we are more aware of their significance and worth - not only of their material value, but also their sentimental value. Handmade jewelry boxes are the perfect compliment to any jewelry collection and having one is an even better choice for you or a loved one.

In order to keep them safe and secure, it is best to put these jewelry pieces in a strong, durable jewelry box. A jewelry box that can match the value that we put into the jewelry itself is a perfect thing to consider when looking for one. A handmade jewelry box is just the thing to protect and shelter our well-loved rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, watches, and other trinkets we value.

The difference between a handmade jewelry box and others is something that cannot be measured. A handmade jewelry box, if crafted with care and a lot of skill, can become a family heirloom, passed on from generation to generation. Knowing someone took the time out to specially carve and create such a beautiful piece of art for the purpose of storing your precious jewelry is beyond measure when considering one for your needs.

There are many handmade jewelry boxes on the market nowadays, but the most common type is the one made with wood. This material is perfect for showcasing the craftsmanship that comes into play when creating a piece of art this valuable. Handmade jewelry boxes are often laminated and glazed to perfection from differently-colored wood such as cherry wood, oak, mahogany, elm, ash, or pine. Sometimes these different types of wood are combined to create an intricate pattern, and most of the time they are inlaid and carved with various designs or sawn or glued together (just like jigsaw puzzle pieces) to make a seam-free and gap-free handmade jewelry box.

Other types are made from metal, leather, ceramic and porcelain, painted glass, marble and stone, and woven fiber. Leather jewelry boxes are quite masculine-looking, and exude a strong, earthy style, while ceramic and porcelain jewelry boxes are usually hand-painted and dotted with bright colors. Woven fiber has recently become more fashionable, and these are made from straw, rattan, or dried grass, and are intricately beautiful as well. Marble inlay handmade jewelry boxes are a sight to behold, and are delicately pretty and sturdy at the same time. It all really depends on your taste, and of course, your budget. There are lots of different brands on the market to choose from as well so when making your choice be sure to pick the one that best compliments you or the family member or friend you're buying one for.

It must be admitted that handmade jewelry boxes are considered pricier than other kind, but the price is definitely worth it. After all, why would you buy a cheap heirloom that would only last a few accidental drops and scratches? A jewelry box is more than just a container for your jewelry - it should be chosen with love and care, and with the utmost attention to detail.

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Custom Handmade Jewelry, Wear Something Different

It is time to wear something different, custom handmade jewelry carefully handcrafted by some of the finest handmade jewelry designers ever. Custom handmade jewelry is the only designer jewelry that truly let others see your unique style! With custom handmade jewelry you can wear something different everyday to show off your individuality.  A pair of custom handmade earrings matched with a custom handmade necklace and bracelet can work magic and turn an otherwise bland ensemble into one that dazzles.

Custom handmade jewelry is the perfect fashion accessory to add vivid color and an artistic flair to your unique personal style. Finding the right jewelry designer who can handcraft a custom handmade jewelry necklace, earrings, bracelet, or ring that truly reflects your personality isn't difficult, if you know where to look! Even as fashion changes custom handmade jewelry is always in style. The one of a kind patterns, vibrant colors and variety of gemstones and materials all come together to create a wonderful style and beauty that mass produced jewelry can't give you. The unique embellishments and materials used in custom handmade jewelry are simply astounding. Whether your tastes lean towards the dramatic, flamboyant or the subtle, elegant or even unfussy, everyday casual style, a professional handmade jewelry designer can handcraft it for you!

Quality custom handmade jewelry doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg either! Nope, many handmade jewelry designers have affordable jewelry designs that will fit any budget, no matter the size. So you can treat yourself to something special without having to worry about feeling guilty afterwards.

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History of Wedding Rings

A wedding ring has a strong heritage and is steeped in tradition across many religions and cultures. It is generally accepted as the symbol of marriage, commitment and fidelity, worn by both partners in the relationship, and usually given on the day of the wedding. Traditionally there were gold wedding rings were made in gold, but today they can be made in almost any precious metal including platinum, gold (white, yellow or rose), titanium, palladium... Wedding rings are usually plain, but they can be set with almost any type of diamonds, depending on different style and personal taste


Main Chakra: Crown

Vibrates to the number 3

Astrological Signs Pisces, Virgo, Aquarius, and Capricorn

Birthstone: February, June


Violet - Archangel Zadkiel is the Archangel of forgiveness, mercy, tolerance, and transmutation of negative energy and his color is violet. Helps you when you are stuck in negative emotions such as anger, hatred, and guilt.

Amethyst is a member of the crystal quartz or silica group, which are the most common minerals on our planet.

MetaPhysical Healing Properties:

Amethyst is a stone of the mind.  It helps to bring calmness and clarity where there is anxiety and confusion.   Wear Amethyst if you want to get in touch with your intuition, your feelings, or your values.  Amethyst helps one learn of all things spiritual, mystic and psychic. Especially aids sobriety; alcohol, food, sex, and other addictions.

  • Stress: It is very good for overworked, overstressed, or overwhelmed metal states because of it extreme calming mental effects. It is considered an extremely spiritual stone.  In the Old Testament, it is written that Aaron, the Jewish High Priest, wore the amethyst in the center of his breastplate, and it was said to induce visions and revelations. Many people sleep with an Amethyst crystal under their pillow for this reason. The Catholic bishop still wears an Amethyst ring on the second finger of his right hand.

  • Addictions: Amethyst comes from a Greek word, amethusos, meaning not drunk. There is a ancient myth about Bacchus turning a young maiden to stone, and in remorse, he poured wine on the statue, staining it purple and creating amethyst. Goblets of Amethyst were said to prevent the drinker from being overwhelmed by the drink?s spirit.   Today those trying to overcome addictions, especially alcohol addiction, use the healing powers of Amethyst as an aid.

  • Protection: Amethyst is a crystal of protection, because it repels more than it attracts.

  • Spirituality: Amethyst fosters healing and  selflessness, and is associated with increased nobility, spiritual awareness, meditation, balance, psychic abilities, inner peace, and positive transformation.  Some say it should be called the Stone of Transformation. Known also as "Metamorphosis".


Amethyst ranges in color from light lavender to dark purple. Violet  Is the color of Spirituality.

Physical Healing Properties:

Boosts productions of hormones, calms nervous system,  insomnia, hearing, digestive tract, heart. Insomnia, headaches, hearing disorders, posture and skeletal system, stomach, skin, and teeth. As an elixir in the treatment of arthritis.


Over indulgence, grief, anger, guilt, fear, rage, confusion, impatience, and resentment, Insomnia, nightmares


Cleanses, cleansing, purifies, restructures and renews. Fosters psychic abilities, spiritual awareness, contentment, peace, stability, serenity, forgiveness, tolerance


Minister, Priest, Spiritual leaders, Counselors, Therapists,


meditation, , rehabilitation, stress,


Amethyst effects are enhanced when combined with Rose Quartz.  Amethyst calms the mind, while Rose Quartz soothes the heart and heals past emotional wounds. Together they balance Heart, Mind, and Soul.  Clear Quartz crystal, (an energizer and amplifier ) will enhance the effects of both crystals.


Exceptional handcrafted jewelry is designed and handmade by talented jewelers and artisan-jewelers the world over. While many designers create entirely unique designs, others are deeply influenced by their region’s historic cultural and traditional styles.

Jewelry expert Merlly Calisto works closely with hundreds of master artisan-designers in her homeland, Peru. There, she serves as regional director of, a worldarts website that assists thousands of artisans worldwide and features each artist’s biography and handcrafted collection online.

In the following interview, Calisto discusses handcrafted jewelry as an art form, and traditional styles and materials of handmade jewelry in Peru. Calisto explains what she looks for when seeking new jewelry designers and collections, who she recommends, and how she became a jewelry expert.

CG: Why does Novica specialize in handcrafted jewelry, instead of machine-made jewelry? What advantages does handmade jewelry provide over mass-produced designs?

MC: Handcrafted jewelry is more challenging. You can feel the artist’s soul in it. For artisans, handcrafted jewelry provides the chance to explore your creativity, to give more of yourself and to make it true, without requiring the artist to invest thousands to get his or her idea developed. With simple tools, basic raw materials, and talented hands, artists can express their feelings and beliefs in this art form, and show off their unique designs and their inherited culture. Machine-made jewelry, on the other hand, requires a significant investment in machines, employees, and many other related costs, while it removes the creative essence from this art.

CG: What are the typical styles of handcrafted jewelry a collector will find in Peru today?

MC: The typical styles for collectors of Peruvian jewelry include Pre-Inca, Traditional, Colonial, and even Modern. We are recognized for our gold and silver mines, which our ancestors put to use with considerable dedication. The most popular use was for the creation of exquisite, carefully handcrafted jewelry. Our ancestors captured their beliefs in their jewelry, and the symbols associated with those beliefs. You will popularly find Peruvian jewelry featuring royal birds, felines, the Sun God, and so forth. Peru is the Land of the Sun. Our Colonial jewelry, despite of being the result of the Conquest of the Americas, shows what our ancestors began to create after they learned an entirely new culture. So our Colonial jewelry merges our ancestor’s unique talents with new beginnings, and typically features a heavier emphasis on flora, rather than the emphasis on fauna that their predecessors maintained. Nowadays the art of jewelry design is opening up further in Peru, becoming a more attractive field for new jewelers who prefer modern jewelry — inspired by our roots, but featuring more abstract shapes and ideas. This means that the Peruvian artist may still express himself in a way that is inspired by our culture, but merged again with new beginnings.

CG: Can you describe more of the details one can expect to enjoy in Pre-Inca, Inca, and other Peruvian handcrafted jewelry designs?

MC: Pre-Inca and Inca jewelry share similarities, because the Inca Empire resulted from the conquest of various Pre-Inca cultures. Inca jewelry expresses the Inca’s beliefs and cosmology. You will find images of felines, people, or birds decorated with snakes or sunbeams which express royalty, power and loyalty. Some of our Pre-Inca cultures used a simple, attractive style to express their beliefs, most of those are still commonly represented in artistry today, and not only in jewelry. Colonial style jewelry is considered an elegant style. A Colonial jewel design, or a Modern jewelry design inspired by colonial times, gives you the sense of seeing something designed for the Queen. Although we do not use diamonds, for example, you cannot confuse this style with a bijouterie — you will feel it as a jewel. Colonial jewelry and Inca-style jewelry are typically stunning handmade works of art, perfect for collectors.

CG: What gemstones and metals are mined in Peru, and commonly found in handcrafted Peruvian jewelry? What about the quality level of those same Peruvian materials?

MC: Nice question, I love it. Do you know why? The Silver Institute has named Peru as the first world silver producer — yes! — followed by Mexico. Regarding gold, we are the first in Latin America, and the fifth in the world. About quality, we are considered one of the best. Regarding gemstones, we have a special stone, the Andean Opal. There is a lot of opal around the world, but Andean Opal is purely Peruvian. From this stone we have Crisocola, which was used by Pre-Incas in their jewelry. Other popular semiprecious stones are Sodalite, Onyx, Obsidian, Jasper, Serpentine, Angelite.

CG: When you are considering representing new handcrafted jewelry artisans, what do you look for, in their design style, materials, and quality? How do you determine those factors?

MC: What I look for first is the meaning of each design — immediately I imagine someone wearing it. Who would be the customer? How does he or she look when wearing this piece? Is it design for a market where the customer looks for something different, to convey tradition, culture, and soul? I usually look for some aspect of our roots, whether the design is modern or traditional. If it expresses Peru in any of its ways, it is of initial interest to me. I find myself grateful when the materials are Peruvian, especially our silver, gold, and local stones. Then, of course it must be carefully crafted and meticulously finished.

CG: Can you please name a handful of your favorite handmade jewelry designers? Please describe why they are your favorites.

MC: IIlaria is one of my favorites. She leans toward the colonial style we discussed, and she really designs for the customer, not for herself. You can view her collection at Novica, to see what I mean.

Patricia Jara is another of my favorites, because most of her items are in the modern style that is nonetheless always inspired by Pre-Inca cultures. Claudia Llaury merges tradition with her way of expressing tradition, in a simple way, and she uses always local materials, including high quality silver. Juan Contreras creates lovely designs, especially his Inca-style designs, such as his “Veil of the Incas” collection. Claudia Lira’s quality is very high, and her jewelry shows that Peruvian artists keep innovating. Anna Lia and Adrian feature a fusion of ethnic elegance and Art Deco, although they do not always use local gemstones. I feel very proud to represent these and many other extraordinary artisans and designers. They are each showcased individually within our Novica Handcrafted Jewelry division.

CG: What led to your experience in the handcrafted jewelry field? Did you begin as a jewelry artist yourself?

MC: I think I am more theoretical than practical. On a personal level, I love jewelry. On a professional level, my experience in jewelry began with a job promoting Peruvianjewelry abroad. For that, I visited many small and well-known workshops to learn about all aspects of jewelry production. I was involved with metal industry deals as well. I participated in expert meetings at the National Industries Society and Mining Society.

Personally, I noticed a lack of finishing expertise, especially in some of the smaller workshops, so I began to organize attendance for technical courses, and began designing educational workshops for small and new jewelers. I learned much over the years, but really never put this knowledge into practice as an artist myself. I have enjoyed participating in international jewelry fairs, including, for example, Iberjoya in Madrid, and I have attended international jewelry symposiums promoted by various international cooperation programs.

I have participated in an important local silver contest called Plata del Peru, sponsored by Patronato de la Plata, as an invited judge. My years with Novica have broadened my experience still further in many ways. Meanwhile, the market has enjoyed great growth, and I now feel myself closer to the market at Novica. New jewelry materials and concepts are always wandering around the world, so I keep learning about what’s new.

I enjoy visiting the Mining Institute, where one can learn much about local gemstones. And I have enjoyed taking some handmade jewelry classes to become more practically involved with our artists. Every so often I visit jewelry suppliers to see what is new, and to be updated about prices. I must stay up-to-date on all prices so that I can better assist artists, and understand their cost needs. It is a complex and fascinating profession!

Catherine Gallegos serves as editor-in-chief of Novica (part of the National Geographic family), a retail site featuring the handmade creations of artisans worldwide, including handcrafted jewelry.

The Green Bride







The Green Bride Guide

The Green Bride Guide is a comprehensive, easy-to-access resource for anyone interested in planning a green wedding. It provides readers with general advice and specific eco-friendly ideas for making their wedding more beautiful and more sustainable. The Green Bride Guide emphasizes elegance, ease, individual taste, and the sense that there’s no need to give up a treasured ideal of a wedding in order to lessen its impact on the Earth.

Using a simple chronological structure, The Green Bride Guide makes planning a green wedding easy.

Chapter topics include: Engagement, Location, The Eco-Chic Bride, Greening the Groom and Bridal Party, Green Save-the-Dates, Invitations & Wedding Websites, Sustainable Flowers, Transportation, Guest Comfort, The Green Ceremony, The Green Reception, Green Food & Drink, Green Music & Memories, Green Gift Giving and Receiving, and Green Honeymoons.

Each section offers low, medium and high end ideas, with resources and web links in each category to help you plan a green wedding on any budget. The Green Bride Guide is an invaluable reference tool for any environmentally conscious pair looking to start their lives together in a way that is consistent with their values and beliefs.




Custom Jewelry with dazzling details by Debbi Simon




Learn how to make fashionable jewellery and embellish it with sophisticated CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements. Author and artist Debbi Simon has created a collection that ranges from sophisticated filigree pendants to funky resin rings. With Crystal Chic, you’ll learn how to:

·                          shape elegant filigree components

·                          play with modern metal chain and findings

·                          embellish fabric, fibre, and leather

·                          mold and enhance polymer clay

·                          apture treasure in resin settings

·                          and much more!

You’ll be introduced to the techniques of working with hot-fix crystals and taught how to incorporate metal, resin, wood, plastic, polymer, and more, into your own designs. Thirty unique, step-by-step jewellery projects, bonus accessory projects such as stamping and resin-making, and other hot-fix crystal applications are included.


Debbi Simon, CREATE YOUR STYLE with CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements Ambassador, is an accomplished artist and jewellery designer. Her work is exhibited in juried and invitational shows. Her jewellery has been published in BeadStyle and Bead & Button magazines.