Types Of Cuff Links

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Cufflinks are a unique, sophisticated, functional, yet ornamental accessory used to secure shirt cuffs. They’re a great way to add a personal touch to an ensemble. Wearing cufflinks signifies that you pay attention to details, therefore, you always stand out from the rest of the crowd. Traditionally they were only worn at court and formal settings in the late 1800’s; however, today they can be worn in numerous sartorial milieu’ such as: casual-wear, informal attire, business suits, semi-formal/black tie, or formal/white tie. Cufflinks can be worn by both men and women and are typically worn with a french cuff or double cuff shirt.

Cufflinks are manufactured from a variety of materials i.e. glass, stone, leather, metal, precious metal or a combination of these. As well, the front section or most visual section of a cufflink is usually decorated with either gemstones, inlays, inset material or enamel. What’s more, they can be designed in two or three-dimensional form for added appeal, and they can be monogrammed. The most common types of cufflinks due to ease and security are the bullet back closure, whale back closure, and swivel back closure.

How to Wear Cufflinks

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Bullet Back Cufflinks

These cufflinks have a torpedo capsule that is suspended between two separate posts. The bullet has a narrow cylinder of metal that’s nested inside the frame and can be flipped on its axis to bring it through the buttonhole and then flipped outward to secure the cufflink on the cuff.

Whale Back Cufflinks

These cufflinks have a flat head, a straight post, and the infamous whale tail. This tail flips completely flat against the post, then it inserts into the buttonhole. Once its fitted firmly into the buttonhole, the whale tail end flips back and secures the cufflink in place on the cuff.

Swivel Back Cufflinks

These cufflinks have a back piece that swivels forward and makes it extremely easy to thread through a shirt cuff. Once the shirt is threaded, it then swivels back into place to hold the cuff together.

Pairing Cufflinks

When pairing cufflinks for everyday looks, neutral colors such as black, gold or silver go with just about all color shirts. However, if you decide to venture into brighter and bolder colored cufflinks suck as red, green or purple they pair better with beige or tan shirts or suits. On the other hand, special occasions such as weddings or black-tie affairs call for diamond or jewel encrusted cufflinks to add pizzaz. In addition, when choosing cufflinks as a gift for someone, it’s always best to go with solid gold cufflinks, as they pair well with most suits and tuxedos. Moreover, for a clean crisp look, a simple rule of thumb is to refrain from choosing novelty pieces and to always choose elegant and guileless cufflinks.

Happy Accessorizing!

 

 

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Jewelry Photography with a Smartphone or iPod

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There’s no need to deny it or even challenge it, but it’s become very clear that product photography is a huge part of an online businesses success. The clarity and quality of your photos can increase sales, improve customer satisfaction and also convey your brand story. Ultimately, your photos are the deciding factor of whether a customer will make a purchase from you or not.

Your smartphone or iPod is almost always with you, and everyone knows how much we love to take photos, especially selfies. So why not put your smartphone to good use while saving tons of money on hiring a professional photographer and start photographing your own jewelry for your website, eBay, Amazon, ETSY shop or social media marketing pages. It’s simple, easy and amazingly inexpensive. All you need is a table, a photo cube lighting kit, 1 desk lamp, 3 daylight bulbs, a diamond dazzler bulb, a mini smartphone tripod, a necklace stand, an earring stand, a bracelet holder, reflective acrylic panels, the Camera+ App and of course a smartphone or iPod.

As you may already know, jewelry is very difficult to photograph because it reflects everything in its sight. However, a simple and practical solution is to use an enclosed lighting system. The advantages are consistent lighting, even distribution of lighting and the elimination of glare. I personally use the Photo Cube Studio Light Tent Boom Stand Kit, which I purchased, from www.thelashop.com for $115.

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Photo Cube Studio Light Tent Boom Stand Kit

So lets get started with your setup. Prepare your table by assembling your Photo Cube Studio Light Tent Boom Stand Kit on it. (By the way, assembly is 1,2,3). Use daylight bulbs in the three lamps that are included in your kit. I used 5500K bulbs. Now choose a backdrop for your photo-shoot. For jewelry photography your backdrop should be white, black or grey to give your photographs a clean and consistent look and avoid distractions. Depending on the type of jewelry your photographing (i.e. diamonds, CZ or colorless gems) you will also need a fourth lamp, which can be a desk lamp. I got one for $10 on Amazon. In addition, you will need a Diamond Dazzler bulb for that lamp, as this bulb truly enhances the appearance of faceted stones. This bulb can be purchased for $39.95 at www.tabletopstudio-store.com.

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Diamond Dazzler

The following sets of items you’ll need are jewelry displays i.e. a necklace stand, an earring stand, a bracelet holder and reflective acrylic panels. These props and tools will inspire your creativity and help you take professional looking photos of virtually any type of jewelry. I purchased each piece on Amazon for about $5.

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Jewelry Display Stands

Next, purchase and download the Camera+ App. Trust me, it’s the best $2.99 you’ll ever spend. This App is uber phenomenal. It takes crisp, clear photos like you’re using a DSLR camera.

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Camera+ App

After that, mount your smartphone or iPod and position it on a Mini Desktop Aluminum iPhone 5S/5 Tripod Mount Holder. I purchased mine for $7 at www.lightinthebox.com. (Sidebar: Make sure you purchase the tripod holder compatable to your smartphone). Then, be sure to maintain the proper distance from your fabulous piece of jewelry in order to center it in the frame. I usually position my smartphone about one foot away.

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Mini Desktop Aluminum iPhone 5S/5 Tripod Mount Holder

Finally, you’re ready to begin your photo-shoot. So go ahead and place your jewelry in the photo cube. Now click on the (+) button to the bottom right, then choose macro if it’s a tiny piece of jewelry, so you can easily zoom in. Click (S) which is the Shutter. The shutter is the length of time that your camera’s shutter opens to take in light. Ultimately, this controls the amount of light that’ll be captured and also any movement in your frame. Next, you’ll click (WB) which is the White Balance. Then choose daylight. The white balance is used to correct any camera color imperfections and it helps keeps your jewelry as close to its natural color as possible. All you have to do is play with the scale until you have a frame that looks exactly how you want it to.

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Alas, take a picture of your jewelry. If it’s to your liking, click on the flower at the bottom left of the screen. This will lead you to your lighbox. In this area you will make basic adjustments to your photograph. You’re going to crop, straighten, contrast and filter your photograph. After you’ve done all these adjustments you should notice a huge difference in your photo. Now go ahead and save your photo to your camera roll.

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Congratulations! You have now used your smartphone or iPod to take a high quality professional looking photograph of your magnificent piece of jewelry. I’m sure you’ll be thrilled, but most especially your customers will be thrilled, because you’re providing them with great images and they can see exactly what they’re buying.

Contact us anytime for jewelry & accessories inquiries…

Phone: 917-933-1747

E-mail: info@madisongems.com

Website: http://www.madisongems.com

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Giving Back Is Always In Fashion

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As the holiday season approaches, we’re delightedly getting into the spirit of giving back. As there’s nothing more empowering than being able to recognize disparities in our communities and being in a position to actively assist in eradicating them. As a result, Madison Gems and Hey There Beautiful Inc. collaborated to birth a charitable endeavor named We Feed NYC.

We Feed NYC is an undertaking motivated by feeding homeless residents in the New York City area, with sustenance, but not limited to provisions, empowerment, encouragement and upliftment. Our mission is to provide enrichment not only on holidays, but also sporadically throughout the year in an effort to nurture a sense of dependability.

Last week We Feed NYC hosted a Thanksgiving dinner / clothing drive in the Bushwick community of Brooklyn, NY, at a chic and versatile venue named The Living Gallery. Accordingly, Madison Gems and Hey There Beautiful Inc. energetically sought the assistance of sponsors, volunteers and donors to realize our vision. Thus, we received an outpour of support, as we utilized our social media platforms i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ to promote awareness of our venture.

Our wonderful and magnificent sponsors for We Feed NYC, were none other than Taylor Cares Inc., Memorable Memories Event Décor & Planning, B’Discovered MagazineOMG! Sweet Jars By Beyond Sweets, Nathallia’s Catering & Events, Cakes & Sweet Treats by Erica, Jackson Designz, De L’or Cakery, Trinky Things, Coordinated To Perfection, EastGate Enterprises, Kaftans For Queens and The Rosedale Lion’s Club. Additionally, we were fortunate to have approximately 32 supporters, whom either prepared dishes, contributed beverages, made monetary donations, or gave their time. Likewise, we had a huge gathering of volunteers to serve our guests a magnificent Thanksgiving meal. Overall, our event was a huge success, as we were able to place joy and happiness on the hearts of our guests and volunteers.

Conclusively, giving back is immensely important. Therefore, no matter how busy we are, it is paramount that we set aside time for others. In view of that, they’re so many changes, that many of us would like to see transpire in our communities, however, no matter our circumstances, the most important asset we can give to our neighbors consistently is hope.

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Contact us anytime for jewelry & accessories inquiries…

Phone: 917-933-1747

E-mail: info@madisongems.com

Website: http://www.madisongems.com

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It’s The Season For Masquerade Masks

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Ify Onwualu as a “Bling Queen” for Halloween.

With Halloween around the corner and the holiday season rapidly approaching, an overflow of masquerade ball invitations will be headed your way via first class mail.

A masquerade ball is a soirée that requires attendees to wear a mask and costume. It’s a celebration that evokes a sense of excitement, mystery and opulence, giving your guests the opportunity to not only be creative with their attire, but to socialize more freely, as they are in disguise. Ergo, These social gatherings date back to the 15th Century, where elaborate and decadent celebrations of marriage, dances and pageants were held only for the upper class.

Conversely, the concept of the masquerade ball has changed considerably throughout the centuries; it’s still a party that requires attendees to wear masks and costumes. However, it’s not a secretive event meant solely for the elite. Oftentimes, they’re typically black-tie affairs for just about any occasion. (i.e. Halloween, Christmas, New Years, birthdays, weddings, valentine’s day, proms, charity events or just because).

Accordingly, when it comes to choosing a masquerade mask there are three main factors that play into deciding what to wear to an event; it depends on the occasion, your outfit, and the image you want to convey. For a general masquerade party, any type of mask goes. Whether you have on a LBD, a costume, or denim, the Ornate Feather Half Mask from www.madisongems.com will be the perfect pairing with your ensemble.

Ornate Feather Half Mask

Ornate Feather Half Mask $20

On the other hand, if you’re attending a fancy schmancy, aristocrtic affair, that requires an elaborate evening gown or a super glamorous dress, then you need to step up your game ten-fold. Undoubtedly, you must go with a majestic, stately mask, such as the Crystal Masquerade Mask, which comes in four different styles at www.madisongems.com.

Crystal Cat Eye Floral Mask $22

Crystal Cat Eye Floral Mask $22

Gold Pave Crystal Mask $22

Gold Pave Crystal Mask $22

Marquise Crystal Mask $22

Marquise Crystal Mask $22

Cat Eye Black Rhinestone Mask $25

Cat Eye Black Crystal Mask $25

Contact us anytime for jewelry & accessories inquiries…

Phone: 917-933-1747

E-mail: info@madisongems.com

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Accessorizing for a Milestone

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A prom is a teenager’s first social dance and the first opportunity for a young lady to feel not only special, but also glamorous. It’s a huge milestone at best, as it’s one of the most anticipated days of a High School student’s tenure, besides graduation, of course!

Earlier this year I was given the opportunity to visit The Young Women’s Leadership School of Queens in New York, where I met with a group of the most bright and intelligent young ladies, to speak about accessorizing for their prom. Thus, knowing how to choose prom accessories is key when putting together a formal look and opulent fashion jewelry adds a touch of glam and sparkle to any ensemble. Essentially, the jewelry you choose signifies your own personal stamp, while highlighting the details of your gown.

Accordingly, I gave the girls a crash course on choosing their jewelry based on the neckline of their dress, style of dress, color of dress, and hairstyle. Likewise, most of the girls had pictures of their dresses, so we had one-on-ones about selecting pieces from www.madisongems.com that would compliment their looks.

Ify Onwualu as instructor for the day.

Ify Onwualu as instructor for the day.

Furthermore, in conjunction with the teachers, we conducted fun academic challenges where three girls won fabulous prizes from Madison Gems to wear to the prom. Withal, I had a wonderful day meeting these young ladies. We bonded instantly as they expressed plans about their future goals and aspirations. They were a breath of fresh air and a joy to be around. I truly felt honored to be in the presence of tomorrow’s scholars, leaders, and entrepreneurs.

The grand prize winners.

The grand prize winners.

 

 

Contact us anytime for jewelry & accessories inquiries…

Phone: 917-933-1747

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Art Deco Styled Wedding Photo Shoot In Brooklyn

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Ify Onwualu accessorizing Model Carley Beck

 

Earlier this year Madison Gems was gratefully fortunate to be a part of a fabulous Art Deco Styled Wedding photo shoot. It was held at the swanky 501 Union in Brooklyn, NY. This awesome shoot was beautifully curated by wedding coordinator Simone Vega of Coordinated To Perfection and Jessica Schmitt of Jessica Schmitt Photography; in addition, to a host of unrivaled first-class vendors. As a result, our shoot was honorably featured on MODWedding.

Our art deco styled shoot was the perfect combination of colors and details for a contemporary 1920’s wedding. In that fashion, dazzling hues of pink, black, white and gold really complimented each other. Likewise, the bride and bridesmaid wore unconventional garments and ornaments that mirrored a bit of vintage, a dash of modern and loads of glam.

Accordingly, Madison Gems provided jewels that captured a modern and luxurious feel. The bride showcased three jewelry looks: edgy, vintage and glam-luxe. While the bridesmaid harmoniously flaunted a chic, in-vogue guise. Together, they forged a look that was symmetrical and unparalleled, complimented by an outstanding décor. Withal, we hope our gallery of photos illuminates a bit of inspiration and that our concept is one that you’ll adopt freely.

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Square Faceted Button Earrings – $13

Textured Door-Knocker Earrings – $14

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Gold Foil Statement Ring – $13

Check out this fabulous behind-the-scenes film by NST Pictures.

 

Wedding Coordinator: Coordinated To Perfection | Photography: Jessica Schmitt Photography | Venue: 501 Union | Flower And Event Design: Bastille Flowers & Events | Videography: NST Pictures | Black Feather Hairpiece: Olivia Headpieces | Brides Shoes: Brian Atwood | Dresses: Jean-Ralph Thurin | Linens: BBJ Linen | Metallic Tattoos: Jewel Tats | Pillow Decor: Starling On Bond | Table Numbers And Decals: LBV Designs | Jewelry: Madison Gems | Cake Pops: Cakes Jagla | Stationery: Royale Amethyst | Fashion Stylist: Vainglorious Brides | Hair Stylist: Lawanda Pierre | Makeup: Face The Day NY | Models: Carley Beck and Jillian Tayeh

 

Contact us anytime for jewelry & accessories inquiries…

Phone: 917-933-1747

E-mail: info@madisongems.com

Website: www.madisongems.com

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How to wear: Statement Necklaces

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Statement necklaces are the alpha and omega of any ensemble. Thus, wearing one makes a bold superlative unspoken statement, representing the focal point of your outfit.

Statement necklaces are characteristically unique, large, attention-grabbing pieces with intricate details and an excessive amount of sparkle, shimmer and shine. They come in a wide variety of styles i.e. bejeweled pieces, beaded baubles, and metals. They also come in an infinite number of colors and color combinations. In addition, statement necklaces come in different fits: like bibs, chokers, frontals, collars, and long/layered chains.

When pairing a statement necklace with a simple tee, solid peplum or tank top with a pair of jeans, the perfect go-to piece is the Chunky Chain Link Collar Necklace. It’s a metallic necklace that adds pop by dressing up your outfit and it comes in both silver and gold at www.madisongems.com. Gem Babes! don’t forget to wear heels to add that extra flair, especially if you’re wearing boyfriend jeans.

Chunky Chain Link Collar Necklace $20

Chunky Chain Link Collar Necklace $20

Another big hit is a colored statement necklace. It adds a certain je ne sais quoi to your look that’s unparalleled, as well as, spruces-up neutral colored wardrobes and simple prints. You can dress up a chambray shirt, add color to a LBD, elevate a casual graphic tee, uplift a sweatshirt, and colorize a white dress. The perfect colored bauble is the Bead Cluster Frontal Necklace Set from www.madisongems.com.

Bead Cluster Frontal Necklace Set $32

Bead Cluster Frontal Necklace Set $32

On the other hand, when it comes to cocktail attire you must dare to be noticed, by wearing your biggest, flashiest, and most electrifying bauble. I’m talking major objet d’art status; and the fitting conversation piece is the Snake Chain Statement Bib Necklace Set from www.madisongems.com.

Snake Chain Statement Bib Necklace Set $40

Snake Chain Statement Bib Necklace Set $40

However, for a bejeweled cocktail attire adornment that will have you looking like a fabulous red carpet-worthy celebrity, you should go with the pièce de résistance of necklaces; the Laurel Wreath Marquise Evening Necklace Set or the Stone Drama Necklace Set from www.madisongems.com.

Laurel Wreath Marquise Evening Necklace Set $36

Laurel Wreath Marquise Evening Necklace Set $36

Stone Drama Necklace Set $23

Stone Drama Necklace Set $23

Withal, whether you’re wearing a simple tee & jeans or you’re decked-out for a cocktail party, the right statement necklace can elevate your look dazzlingly. Nevertheless, being that your statement necklace is already so vivacious, you must make sure you tone down your other accessories because you don’t want to overwhelm your neckline or your overall look. In spite of this, I recommend wearing simple studs or hoops. Moreover, it doesn’t hurt to wear a nice statement cocktail ring to finish your avant-garde look and show off your awesome manicure while you’re at it.

Additionally, here’s a handy cheat sheet to learn which kind of necklace goes best with what kind of neckline.

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Image Credit: The Necklace Cheat Sheet – Charming Charlie

 

 

Contact us anytime for jewelry & accessories inquiries… 

Phone: 917-933-1747

E-mail: info@madisongems.com

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Shop For A Cause

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There’s no greater feeling than shopping; it feels fantastic, especially the excitement of finding a bargain or a rare find. That feeling of satisfaction puts a smile on our faces and ultimately boosts our day. Oftentimes, there’s even a thrill of sharing this news amongst family, friends and favorites. So imagine if you shopped for a cause at www.madisongems.com and that purchase enabled you to help send young children to school in Ghana, West Africa. You’d be guaranteed a complete sense of fulfillment and joy every time you see or wear a piece of jewelry from our Gems for Education collection, by way of the Mother Mary Children of Ghana Aid Foundation (MMCGAF) Inc.

Mother Mary Children of Ghana Aid Foundation (MMCGAF) Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that acts as an intermediary between Ghana and the United States campaigning for resources to support a needy child’s educational goals and ambitions by retailing an extraordinary collection of handcrafted goods. Designed to enrich and improve lives, this organization makes achieving an education possible for the children of the Mount Mary Demonstration School in Adjikpo Yokunya, Ghana, West Africa; which is an annex of the Mt. Mary College of Education teaching school.

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Logo Design: Brandon Torres

There’s an amazing story behind how Madison Gems and MMCGAF were able to collaborate. About a year ago I made a call to an organization with tons of inquiries pertaining to Madison Gems. The person on the receiving end of the phone was Haydee Torres of Nostri Momenta Photography. Immediately, Haydee and I connected so we exchanged e-mail addresses on that call. After a few weeks of corresponding via e-mail we friended each other on Facebook and Instagram where we were able to bond, not only socially but also spiritually.

In time, I came to understand that one of Haydee’s mantra is “People should help each other.” Considering, one day Haydee contacted me about a cause that her church instituted and offered me the opportunity to sell their jewelry on my website, as a means to educate less fortunate children, from a remote village in Ghana. Withal, I was super excited and thrilled to participate in this Global humanitarian effort. Haydee didn’t know it, but one of my goals for Madison Gems was to contribute towards charitable endeavors by way of donating my time and talent. Accordingly, as champions for education and charity, Madison Gems is now selling this masterful one-of-a-kind jewelry from Ghana on behalf of MMCGAF and a portion of all proceeds will contribute towards adolescent education, making it a meaningful symbol as well as a unique gift for yourself or a loved one. Shop now and bring hope to Ghanaian children in need of an education.

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Seed-Bead Cuff Bracelet $22

Hand-Painted Multi-Bead Necklace Set $40

Hand-Painted Multi-Bead Necklace Set $40

Carved Bead Stretch Bracelet

Carved Bead Stretch Bracelet $20

Beaded Hand-Painted Stretch Bracelet $15

Beaded Hand-Painted Stretch Bracelet $15

 

Contact us anytime for jewelry & accessories inquiries…

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Fashion Jewelry Cleaning & Care Tips

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We all know that fashion jewelry is a great and fun way to elevate an ensemble; it’s ideally wallet-friendly, but can also be very delicate. So to prevent those gems from tarnishing, follow our jewelry care and cleaning tips, which will keep your fashion jewelry always looking fresh and fabulous.

Care and cleaning tips:

  • Fashion jewelry should be worn last and taken off first when dressing. This is to prevent make-up and other cosmetics from accidentally staining your jewelry.
  • Always handle your fashion jewelry on the metal surfaces only. Don’t place your fingers on the stones. Oftentimes, even after you wipe off your fingerprints, residual oils remain and attract dirt.
  • Never wear your jewelry in the shower or pool. Soap residue, hair conditioner and other chemicals, don’t rinse off as thoroughly from your gemstones as they do from your skin and hair. As a result, your jewelry can discolor, dull or fade. In addition, rhinestone jewelry with foil backing should never be submerged into water. Also, remember to remove fashion rings prior to washing hands.
  • Don’t keep fashion jewelry in your bathroom. The steam and moisture can damage metals and stones.
  • Never have fashion jewelry in direct contact with perfume. It is best to put on your jewelry after you’ve sprayed on your perfume. Most perfumes are alcohol based and can destroy the coating on gold and silver pieces.
  • Wiping jewelry with a jewelry polishing cloth ($5 at madisongems.com) is sufficient to clean most jewelry items. However, for severely tarnished items, commercial jewelry cleaners i.e. Connoisseurs Jewelry Wipes ($10 at www.madisongems.com) can be used safely on most metals. However, organic gems like pearls, amber, coral and porous gems like turquoise and opal should never be subjected to chemicals. For these gems, wipe gently with a soft cloth after each wear.
  • Avoid wearing fashion jewelry while exercising. Perspiration and sweat can cause your jewelry to tarnish.
  • Protect your fashion jewelry by spraying it with Krylon Crystal Clear Gloss ($10.98 at Michaels, Walmart and Amazon.com). This miracle spray will make your metallic, wood, or plastic jewelry last for years without chipping or fading. However, if they’re gems in your jewelry, it’s best to cover them with masking tape before spraying to avoid dulling.
Krylon Crystal Clear Gloss Spray ($10.98, Walmart, Amazon, or Michaels)

Krylon Crystal Clear Gloss Spray ($10.98, Walmart)

  • Store fashion jewelry in a dry, cool and dust-free environment. They should be stored in cloth jewelry pouches or in a hanging jewelry organizer ($21 at madisongems.com). However, don’t have all your jewelry jumbled together. This will prevent tangling, scratching and minor breaks. It’s also best to store silver and gold pieces in separate compartments to avoid tarnishing. Nonetheless, jewelry with pearls or opal should be stored in fabric, as they are porous gems and they need to breathe.
  • Always store beaded jewelry on a flat surface. Beaded jewelry, especially those strung on silk like pearls, stretch over time. Additionally, take into consideration that pearls should be restrung every two years or so.
  • In the event that your jewelry or accessories break, you may use small tweezers to adjust links and Aleene’s Jewelry & Metal Glue ($6.61 at Walmart) to adjust and replace stones and crystals.
Aleene's Jewelry & Metal Glue ($6.61, Walmart)

Aleene’s Jewelry & Metal Glue ($6.61, Walmart)

Concisely, we love the jewelry and accessories we sell you, and we want your “Gems” to keep its sparkle and last for as long as they can. So use these care and cleaning tips to keep your jewelry looking like you just bought it!

Contact us anytime for jewelry & accessories inquiries…

Phone: 917-933-1747

E-mail: info@madisongems.com

Website: www.madisongems.com

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