Category Archives: A bit of History

Birthstones & Their Meaning

July – Ruby

The red ruby represents passion, desire, achievement and strength.  Ruby is also a gemstone of mystery and can evoke strong emotions of love, strength, leadership and power.

August – Peridot

As one of the emerald colors, peridot is a beautiful gemstone that represents mystery, passion, beauty and enchantment. Peridot has been adored since ancient times and has been valued for centuries. People in the Middle Ages wore peridot to gain foresight and divine inspiration. Legend has it that pirates favored peridot to protect them against evil. Peridot was greatly prized by Egyptian Kings. Some of Cleopatra’s emeralds were in fact peridots.

Chrysolite means “golden stone” in Greek.  Peridot is the anniversary gemstone for the 16th year of marriage.

September – Sapphire

A calming, soothing and beautiful stone, sapphire represents confidence, wisdom, strength and idealism.  It is uplifting and can evoke strong feelings of love, harmony and peacefulness.  If you have a peaceful but strong personality, this may be your gemstone!

October – Opal

Opal is considered to be a mystical gemstone and is commonly found as black opal, dark grey or a dark blue.  Black opal is the rarest, but it can also be found in fiery colors such as orange, red, and yellow.  It is considered to be the stone of good luck and fortune, and has healing properties that can ward off bad dreams and increase energy.

The name opal is derived from the Latin word opalus, meaning seeing jewel. According to another theory the word opal comes from upala, a Sanskrit word simply meaning a stone.

Opal is the anniversary gemstone for the 14th and 18th years of marriage.

November – Yellow Topaz or Citrine

Another “strength” stone, topaz is a yellow or brown “royal” stone that can balance emotions, calm passion and release tension.  It is also considered to be the gemstone of rejuvenation, and can be used to relieve mental pressure.

The name topaz is derived from the Indian Sanskrit word tapas, meaning fire.  Topaz is the anniversary gemstone for the 4th and 19th year of marriage.
Imperial topaz is the anniversary gemstone for the 23rd year of marriage.

December – Turquoise

One of the most attractive green-blue stones, turquoise represents wealth, happiness and strength.  It is considered to have healing properties and can ward off illness, but ultimately serves as a stone of happiness and good fortune.

The name turquoise undoubtedly comes from turc (Turkish in French) as it was transported to Europe through Turkey.  Turquoise is the anniversary gemstone for the 5th year of marriage.

 

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WordPress Theme Crisis

For those of you who are frequent readers here, you will notice the various  constant changes in my WordPress Theme….

The truth is, WordPress has a lot of nice themes to choose from and I have been enamored by all of them.  I have tried dark backgrounds thinking that it will help make the colors of my accessories and jewelry pop out.  Wrong.  First, my widgets were nowhere in sight and it was sooo dark! It turned out to be very heavy and too strong to the overall look of what the brand is all about.

So today, I braved the themes section and chose a more, light and airy theme.  I am not a techie kind of girl but when my widgets disappeared with my former theme, they somehow magically appeared! 

I think I will stick to this theme from now on.  It is minimalism perfected! 

It does not look complicated.

And most importantly, my photos seem to shine more.

That’s what’s important right? 🙂

So head on here to check out what I have in store 😉

BIRTHDAY CONTEST

It’s my birthday tomorrow (October 20) and I decided to have little contest of who can correctly answer the question:

PRIZE at stake:

One of the following necklaces of your choice of gemstone:

Garnet
Aquamarine
Mediterranean Quartz
Mediterranean Quartz with signature nest disc
Rock Crystal Quartz

MECHANICS:

1. “Like” my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ClassicSparklers/154565024586823

2. email me your answers at: joanne.ranada@gmail.com

3. first person who gets BOTH correct answers will receive a message from me via email or facebook message

4. relatives within the 3rd degree of consanguinity and affinity are disqualified. sorry guys! 🙂

5. Have fun!

Love,

Joanne

Everyday Necklaces

I like pairing my jewelry with the clothes I wear everyday. 

Well, not exactly pairing per se.  I just like wearing accessories to complete the whole ensemble.  They may not be in the same color family or theme but they should at least complement or highlight the look I am going for.

However, one cannot buy every and all kinds of jewelry! And knowing us, girls, with the way we love buying clothes, there should at least be that versatile piece of accessory to fit all kinds of look.

This dilemma can only be solved by affordable but elegant and timeless pieces that you can change everyday! 

Thus, I created the “Everyday”  Necklace. 

Wear it with your business suit, your casual outfit, or even your evening dress.  Pair it with a collared top and jeans during dress down days.  The versatility of the necklaces are enhanced by their unique designs.  Subtle but creative.  Semi precious gemstones, South Sea shell pearls, freshwater pearls, faceted Austrian crystals and more wire wrapped in 14k gold filled (rolled gold).  They hang from dainty chains that glimmer as they “disappear” into your skin.  A little twist and a little turn here or there, wait for the chain to catch the light and give out that sparkle.

The J. Pedreria for ClassicSparklers Everyday Necklace Collection is now available here.

Now for some eye candy 🙂

Getting To Know the Brand (Part 1 of 2)

A lot of things come into consideration when making jewelry.  For me, I’d like to call my craft “artisan handmade”. 

According to wikipedia, an artisan is someone who is involved in a skilled trade, esp. one that involves making things by hand.  On the other hand, merriam webster defines it as one that produces something in limited quantities often using traditional methods.

The word “handmade”, meanwhile, simply means what it is: Made or prepared by hand rather than by machine.

Jewelry making IS a skilled trade. Many jewelers undergo extensive education abroad just to be in the business but with the technology today, i.e., the internet, getting the right kind of knowledge, training, and know how will be as good.  This especially holds true for small scale jewelry or accessory business that hold office at home or employ less or no employees at all.  They mostly to their creations by hand and by themselves.  Thus, handmade.  They are artisans in their own way because, let’s face it, it takes more than just buying the materials to create something one of a kind and beautiful.  The trade involves more know how than you imagine it because research and product development also come into play.  Handmade jewelry artisans have to evolve themselves together with the times.  They also have to know what’s in and what’s not.  They have to know fashion as well. 

That goes without saying that they need to comply with every fashion prediction out there.  That is exactly what being handmade means.  Owning a small artisan business is about trends but not necessarily following them.  It’s all about applying what your instinct tells you and what the materials dictate in the design process.

I once came across an article that said, “Artisan jewelry is an entirely different category. It’s made to last. The materials are high quality. The designs are original and not often repeated.

I agree that artisan jewelry are made to last.

I agree that materials are of high quality because the artisan, the maker himself, personally chooses the materials he wants to work with. 

I agree that artisan jewelry is one of a kind.  They are customized in their own way.  They are made only in limited quantities or not even.

Combine these principles with handmade jewelry and you get the best fusion of all jewelry making techniques. 

While they are mostly the same is all aspects, I believe that handmade jewelry brings in more attention to detail.

These are what ClassicSparklers is all about. 

to be continued….

 

 

I’m an Empress!


You are The Empress Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation. The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents, beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful. The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.


Bordeaux

The latest object of attention of Neiman Marcus‘ Senior Accessories Editor,  Roopal Patel are fabulous bordeaux items. 

I have always loved this color.  Most of the time, however, I’d forget its name and would just describe it as dark red or the color of wine.  I think it’s a safe bet if you want to wear something within the family of the color red but are not daring enough to do so or if it does not fit your skin complexion.

Upon browsing through all of Ms. Patel’s bordeaux choices, I can’t help but realize that the color can and does resemble that of garnet!  Garnet has a deep dark red color which is sometimes difficult to photograph.  I have spent hours trying to get the right hues of the color come out.  Most of the time, I’d wait for different times of the day just to get that perfect shot. 

I am not a professional photographer but I do know how to balance light or ISO settings.  Most of the time I will use macro shots.  But thanks to my trusty Canon G10, which was a gift from my dad, I was able to capture these wonderful shots of garnet:


The necklace in the first photo is available here.

The one in the second photo was a custom request for a garnet necklace and earring set, garnet being her birth month.

The Classic Pearl

I’ve always considered the Pearl to be the most elegant and classic piece to work with.  That is the reason why I always name my pieces “The Classic Pearl”.  Pearls are timeless and versatile.  They can be worn during any occasion without the wearer looking over accessorized or under accessorized.

I first started using pearls last year.  Specifically, I opted for the freshwater pearl because it was much cheaper than the South Sea pearls.  I started off with simple designs to test the market and they were a hit! I decided on the regular wire wrap because aside from it being easy to construct, I believed that it was simple and elegant enough to match the focal piece, which is the pearl.

Fast forward to today.

The royal wedding draws near and the internet is flooded with photos of the royal couple, particularly the soon to be princess, Kate Middleton.  During one of my surfing, I found several photos which took my breath away.  The earrings she wore often were an uncanny resemblance to the classic pearl earrings I made last year!! Not only that, she wore another pair of earrings that was also similar to the citrine earrings also from the same collection!!

No, my friends, I did not make those that she was wearing (although I wish that one day she will carry one of my pieces…:). In my excitement, I have made a collage that emphasizes what I have just said.

Here is a photo of the faceted Austrian crystal earrings in citrine gold wire wrapped in sterling silver and another one wire wrapped in argentium wire:

Here is the collage/the photos of “The Classic Pearl” earrings made from freshwater pearls wire wrapped in 10k solid gold wire:

photos courtesy of lifetimetv.com

These two earrings were from my 2010 Collection.  I still make them now although I have upgraded into South Sea shell pearls.

For those who would like to request a custom item, please leave me a message here.

All About Diamonds

Quartz-t06-167b

Image via Wikipedia

But not The diamonds.  I’m referring to my current obsession with Herkimer diamonds.

Herkimer diamonds is the generic term for double terminated crystal quartz that were first discovered among the exposed outcrops of clolostone located in Herkimer, New York.  The stone’s diamond-shaped appearance are natural faces.  This means that the facets appear to have been cut but in reality, the facets were made by nature itself.  This becomes possible with a high percentage of the stone’s unimpeded growth.

In the next post, I will show you photos of what these diamonds look like and how I have interpreted them and incorporated them in my designs.

Stay tuned!


All About Pearls

Not just any other pearl, but the actual pearls I use in my 2011 Collection.

This is a new year and a new year entails new discoveries.  Late last year I discovered what will constitute my pearl collection for 2011: South Sea Shell Pearls.

Little is known about this variety of pearls and so I will share a little of what I have found out:

South Sea Shell pearls are the by-products of the REAL South Sea Pearls.  By this, it means that the shell of the clams producing these beauties are cut and pulverized or powdered and shaped to form a perfect round pearl.  Successive layers are added over and over again mimicking the process of how natural pearls are created.

The effect is practically a flawfless and perfect shaped pearl!

BENEFITS

When creating pearl jewelry, I prefer to up the ante and use these kinds of pearls.  They are unique and perfect and their quality is superb with the same feel and weight as the real South Sea pearls!

While considered man-made (although some real South Sea pearls are made from a nucleus inserted by man in the oyster to form the pearl), these pearls are not synthetic and neither are they made from wax or glass.

In my next post, I will be showing you what I was able to create using these beauties 🙂