Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry, Swarovski, Semi Precious Gemstone Sterling Silver Jewelry
New Zealand inspired jewelry, made in America
Why are Swarovski Austrian Crystals so sought after? What is Greek Leather? Softflex? Bali Silver? Questions answered here!
View Birthstone Month Colors/Stones and Anniversary Stones here.
Kiwi Jewels is proud to present:
Gold and Silver
Gold is almost never used in jewelry in its pure form. Pure gold (24K) is too soft to be used for jewelry and is therefore alloyed with other metals to add color and hardness.
Gold-filled is a material on which a layer of gold has been fused. The resulting ingot is rolled or drawn to make sheet and wire. The base is clad with 10% 12K gold. This is superior to gold plated jewelry, since the layer of gold is thicker and will wear better. We choose not to use Gold Plate in any of our items as the plate wears off. Gold Fill is a more cost-efficient way of using long-lasting gold in jewelry. The gold coloring of Gold Fill does not wear off unlike Gold Plate.
Pure Silver, like pure gold is much too soft to to create jewelry. Sterling Silver, otherwise known as 925 silver (sometimes stamped with 925) is an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, the other alloys included in Sterling Silver are used to provide strength. Sterling Silver is recommended for people that may have reactions with some types of jewelry as there is no nickel in Sterling Silver. Sterling Silver, like Gold Fill, will not 'wear off'. It will tarnish over time, but to stop the tarnish process, keep your Sterling Silver Jewelry in a zip lock bag, or something similar.
Karen Hill Tribe Silver
Karen Hill Tribe pendants used by KiwiJewels.com are made by the Karen Hill Tribe located in Northern Thailand using traditional crafting methods passed down from generation to generation. The purchase of these silver items helps sustain a traditional craft and provides the Karen people with a reliable source of income. The silver content in Hill Tribes silver pendants is 95-99%, even higher than sterling (Sterling Silver is 92.5%). Because these beautiful pendants are handmade, no two pieces are exactly alike.
Greek Leather cord is particularly renowned, because of its smooth finish and consistent color, strength and supple texture. Greek Leather has been used in Jewelry making for hundreds of years. Properly maintained Greek Leather will keep its good looks longer than other types of leather. KiwiJewels.com uses Greek Leather because of its long lasting durability. View Greek Leather Necklaces here.
Soft Flex® Wire is constructed of either 21 or 49 micro spun, marine quality, stainless steel wires woven together and then nylon coated. It is hypoallergenic and can be worn in and out of salt or fresh water. It has been designed to withstand the abrasion of glass, mineral or metal beads. I choose to use the most strongest diameter of Soft Flex wire, meant for the stringing of semi precious beads, which can sometimes be abrasive. This ensures the maximum strength of all necklaces and bracelets made with Soft Flex.
Swarovski Crystals (sometimes referred to as Austrian Crystal)
Many Swarovski Silver Crystal lovers believe that the raw material used in the manufacture of our crystal objects occurs naturally, like rock crystal from which contains spheres that have been carved since time immemorial. Swarovski Crystal is not a natural crystal but is man made. Swarovski Crystal is made at the factory in Wattens using basic formulae perfected by Daniel Swarovski and his three sons in the earlier part of this century. Swarovski Silver Crystal is fired using a combination of natural minerals and quartz sand, and then cooled slowly to avoid stress and inclusions. There is no comparison to the brilliance of Swarovski Crystals.
Sterling Silver Bali Beads
"Bali" style beads use designs that are not actually exclusive to Bali. These designs are hundreds of years old and have appeared throughout the middle east and Asia. The word Bali started being used to describe the style because tourists commonly bought silver jewelry items while vacationing on Bali beaches.
Seed beads were originally made thousands of years ago by drilling naturally occurring seeds and pods for stringing. Today seed beads are very small, round (seed shaped) glass beads that are generally sold by weight or volume.
Swarovski Crystal Pearls
Swarovski pearls are formed with iridescent, mother of pearl-like layers applied to a Swarovski crystal core. They are resistant to wear, ultraviolet radiation, perspiration, perfume and scratches. The crystal pearls are perfectly round with a uniform hole size and weighted to feel the same as real pearls. The closest imitation to a real pearl. View Swarovski Pearl Jewelry here.
Briolettes are a Teardrop or Pear Shaped gemstone or synthetic gemstones, they come either faceted or non-faceted. Briolettes are a more time involved bead to make and are considerably more expensive than a round bead to purchase.
Pearls are formed when an oyster or mussel is
irritated by grit such as sand being trapped in their shells. Layers
of aragonite nacre are secreted around the irritant and gradually build up
to form the solid pearl. Pearls get their opalescent color from light
reflecting in these layers producing an iridescent luster. Sometimes,
an irritant is introduced to the mussel or oyster to start the formation of
a cultured pearl (such as a Mother of Pearl Bead).
Saltwater Pearls - Akoya
Akoya pearls are the specialty of Japanese pearl farms. These were the first pearls to be cultured early in the 1920s, they have a white color with a slight rosé overtone. Akoya pearls are a high-quality pearl, they are well matched for size, shape, and color.
Akoya looks very similar to the Freshwater pearl. When compared side-by-side, the difference is a more rounder shape than a natural Freshwater Pearl and a very slight pinkish hue. Akoya pearls are more expensive than a Freshwater Pearl and are on average larger, smoother, rounder, and more lustrous than Freshwater pearls.
Sometimes, more than one nucleus can be inserted into the Oyster, producing more than one pearl at a time.
Black Tahitian pearls are created by the black-lipped oyster in the islands of French Polynesia. The oyster can reach up to 12 inches across and can weigh up to 10 pounds each. This results in sometimes larger than normal sized Pearls. Most Tahitian Pearls have darker colors, gray, silver, charcoal or similar shades. True black pearls are extremely rare, most 'black' Tahitian Pearls are a darker gray.
Tahitian Pearls come mainly from the surrounding Islands of Tahiti in French Polynesia, it is true that Tahiti is the main selling center for Tahitian Pearls.
In the early 1960's, cultured Tahitian Pearls began and these pearls were more readily available, still keeping their unique size and coloring. The larger size of a pearl may be created by inserting a larger nucleus into the Oyster at an early stage.
South Sea Pearls
South Sea pearls are among the largest
commercially harvested cultured pearls in the world (Tahitian Pearls are also
larger than 'normal'). The average size of a South Sea pearl is 13mm, with most
farms producing a range of sizes from 9mm up to 20mm.
How Pearls Get their Color
Pearls vary in color from white, cream or
silver/gray with a hint of color (often pink) to brown or black, depending
on the type of mollusk and the water. They are sensitive to acids, dryness,
and humidity, and so are less durable than many other gems. Please
read here for information on how to take care of your KiwiJewels Pearl
Freshwater and Saltwater pearls are mainly found in Japan and China. and the Mississippi River. South Sea, Tahitian Saltwater Pearls are found off the coast of Australia and Polynesia.
Birthstone Colors (commonly used)
|Other Swarovski Crystal Colors available at KiwiJewels.com|
|Tanzanite Swarovski Crystal|
|Siam Red Swarovski Crystal|
|Montana Blue Swarovski Crystal|
|Light Rose Swarovski Crystal|
|Black Diamond Swarovski Crystal|
|Jonquil Swarovski Crystal|
|4||Blue Topaz||25||Silver Jewelry|
|9||Lapis lazuli||50||Golden Jubilee|