Why buy standard jewelry when you can create or customize your own pieces for a far better price? A piece that is not created in a laboratory, will definitely make you stand out in a crowd or at a party. Jewelry has always been a constantly developing industry. The history of jewelry goes back 75.000 year ago and pre-historical beads have been found by archaeologists all around Africa and in some parts of Russia.
Thousands of years later, Egyptians became famous for their vividly colored jewelry. They used gold, silver, copper, colored glass, along with semi-precious gems, stones and crystals. Each color had a specific meaning. Green was associated with fertility, while red was associated with love or war. Gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise and carnelian were brought from beyond the country’s borders. Greeks started using loose stones round 1600 BC.
On the undiscovered side of the world, turquoise was the main gem used by jewellers. The world’s largest turquoise-producing region is the south-west region of the United States, so there is no wonder that we find this material in Mayan and Aztec jewelry, and later in Native America crafting. In India, Navaratna was a powerful amulet with 9 gems (diamonds, pearls, ruby, sapphire, emerald, topaz, cat’s eye, coral, and hyacinth) wore by the Indian imperial human-diety (the Maharajah) to represent the totality of the Hindu religions and universe.
Jewelry in general, and loose stones in particular, provide various insights into how both ancient cultures used to function and what were their beliefs, but they can also act as a spiritual indicator for the modern cultures. Nowadays, custom jewelry is a great way to make a statement, and thanks to online shops, doing this has never been easier.
Designing from Scratch
Custom jewelry created from loose stones can be an amazing gift idea. Rather than taking some already-made jewel, try to make something more personal and with a higher sentimental value. DIY jewelry will be a thoughtful gift that will impress even the pickiest friend.
When starting a DIY project, you may want to be as concise as possible. Baby steps make the world go ’round. You may want to start with the design. Choose your shapes and your colors and then combine them. If designing from scratch feels like a challenge, not a pleasure, you can try using an existing pattern. There are thousands of tutorials that will show you how to created different models of jewelry, from the simplest ones to insanely complicated ones.
A small tip: do not start with something complicated, otherwise you may get frustrated and it would be a pity to stop your jewelry designer career, after a single piece.
How to Choose you Loose Stones
You can find almost everything online, both precious and semi-precious gems: emeralds, tanzanite, zirconia, peridot, ruby, opal, amethyst, tourmaline, you name it! Let your imagination run wild and come up with your own combination of gems and stones: cubes, spheres, cabochons, everything for a fraction of the price you’d pay in a store.
White (Sapphire, Zircon, Moonstone, Topaz, Fire opal, Jade, Quartz, Agate), black (Diamond, Tourmaline, Onyx, Agate, Sapphire, Star Sapphire), yellow, blue, and all the colors of gems are waiting for you, and sometimes, you may even find combinations of two or more colors in a single gem (Tourmaline, Ametrine, Fluorite, Andalusite, Opal, Sphene, Sapphire).
The best part is that you can take as many as you want. Wholesale or detail sale, you get to choose the number of gems that you need. A piece of advice: try to buy more stones than you actually need. Let’s say that you need 20 pieces for your project, you may want to purchase at least 21 or 25 gems, just to be sure. Not to mention, that each time you purchase more items, you can get an additional discount, of up to 75%, depending on the supplier.
In general, we recommend rough stones, but if you are a beginner it may be easier to stay with the normal, already polished loose stones. Rough stones need to be polished with a rock tumbler at a different speed and intensity, as each stone varies in softness and you may end up destroying the rock.
Don’t forget to purchase some handmade jewelry making tools that are available online or even at your local store. You can find many great ideas for inspiration on jewelry-making blogs. After all this preliminary preparation, you can finally create jewelry with your gemstones.
Think about getting beads. You can give that extra “Oomph” to your DIY project by adding some colorful beads. These beads make the difference between a plain & boring necklace, for example, and a fancy sparkling piece of DIY art. Try not to make your first project too complicated.
Beads usually do add another dimension to jewelry, but they can destroy your piece just as easily. With a relative small amount of money, your project can go from sham to glam. If you think of purchasing them, pay attention to the price, as beads can be inexpensive or pricey depending on their material.
On the bright side, you can find them in all colors and materials, so dig in and find what you need.
Usually, necklaces and bracelets are made according to personal preference. If you are making a project for someone else, simply take a look at everything worn by that individual on a regular basis. Also, you may want to pay attention to the length of the piece, if for a necklace, size is not that important, for a bracelet or a ring, things change dramatically. Rings and bracelets need to be carefully sized. In the case of a ring, use a ring sizer, or if the project is rather secret, take one of the person’s rings and with a piece of thread, try to determine the length of the piece.
Usually the size of your loose stone determines the size of the other gems you will use. A big loose stone will automatically imply larger beads, while with a smaller gem, you may want to also use some smaller beads.
At the end of the day, you are the one who decides what will work for your project and these are only some general guiding steps you may, or may not follow.