Prom Dresses: What’s Your Style?

By , February 24, 2018 1:31 pm


Before you even start shopping for prom dresses, spend some time thinking about your personal style. Here are guidelines for finding the perfect dress for your memorable night.

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For many girls, prom night is the most important event of their high school years. It’s not an understatement to say that you’ll remember your prom night for the rest of your life. Given its prominence during high school and beyond, it’s crucial that you wear a dress that makes you feel and look your best.

Before You Start

Before you even start shopping for prom dresses, spend some time thinking about your personal style. If you like to blend in with the crowd, you probably won’t be comfortable in show-stopping bright red pageant dresses. On the other hand, if you like the spotlight, you may want to shy away from formal dresses that are reminiscent of a bridesmaid’s gown.

Keep in mind, though, that prom is a great opportunity to take a step outside your comfort zone. You’re probably not accustomed to wearing evening dresses, so all prom dresses will seem a bit foreign to you. If you’ve always harbored a fantasy of being a storybook princess, a prom dress can make you feel like royalty. Likewise, if you’ve always wanted to showcase your inner sultry siren, beaded cocktail dresses will let you dip your toes into those waters.

See What’s Available

Once you’ve thought about your personal style, go online to a site that specializes in prom dresses and see what’s available. You’ll likely find evening dresses by designers like Sherri Hill, Jovani, Nightline, Faviana, and many more. Spend time considering the type of dress that will make you feel great and let you shine on your special night. Are you comfortable with strapless gowns, or do you prefer straps? Do you like the shimmer of sequins and beading, or the rustle of tulle? Do you want to show skin and go with a backless gown or one that shows off your midriff, or are you more comfortable with a solid bodice? Are you bold enough for a thigh-high slit, or do you want a long dress with a train?

You may already have a distinct personal style and need a dress that will meet your needs. If you go for simple, clean lines and not a lot of flash you’ll probably want to go with a Niteline dress. If you’re a Goth, look for accents of deep red or purple against a backdrop of black, and imagine the ways you can accessorize with jewelry, stockings, and shoes. If your religious faith requires you to dress modestly, look for prom dresses that either fit the bill or that can be altered to accommodate your needs.

Go Shopping!

While you’ll undoubtedly be able to find the widest variety of prom dresses online, it’s hard to tell from a photo whether or not a particular style will look good on you. It’s worth it to go to a local store and try on dresses that have similar lines, cuts, and features as those you’ve found online. If you find a style that works particularly well for you, you can go ahead and order it online.

Remember, the best combination you can hope for is to find a dress that reflects your personal style, makes you feel great, and lets you take a step or two outside of your comfort zone. That way, you’re sure to create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

Sexy Costumes – Add a spark to your Love Life

By , February 21, 2018 6:42 pm


If your love life is feeling routine and the spark is threatening to go out, breathe some fresh air into the mix by using sexy costumes. Whether you would like to admit it or not, everyone has a fantasy.

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If your love life is feeling routine and the spark is threatening to go out, breathe some fresh air into the mix by using sexy costumes. Whether you would like to admit it or not, everyone has a fantasy. For most guys the Farrah Fawcet in the red swimsuit fantasy is ranked right up there with the Princess Leia in the bikini fantasy. Of course, any occupation with the word “sexy?listed before it finishes out the trifecta of guy fantasies. These include sexy nurses, police officers, maids, flight attendants, pirates, and even a lunch lady is she’s sexy enough!

Women on the other hand typically have fantasies about strong, capable men. Most women start drooling the moment they see anyone in uniform, including soldiers, sailors, police officers, fire fighters, or sports figures. However, women can become caught up in a fantasy that involves them dressing up in a provocative outfit just as easily as men. After all, why would any woman agree to wear a sexy costume if there wasn’t something in it for her?

Wearing sexy costumes is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, as many couples exercise these play roles to keep their love life from becoming tired, listless, or dull. Just because you use sexy costumes in your relationship does not mean that you no longer want to be with your partner, which is a common misconception. Just because you have a desire to see your wife or girlfriend in a skimpy maid’s outfit does not mean you have a secret wish to have sex with a maid. Instead, these fantasies allow us to cast ourselves and our loved one in a unique setting in order to experience something different. Think of it like Halloween, but instead of candy, you get something much more satisfying.

There are several different variations of sexy costumes that are available for purchase. If you are entering into the idea of fulfilling a fantasy for either yourself or your partner, you may be unwilling to purchase some of the more provocative costumes on the market. Consider starting out small by using accessories and accents to make a unique statement or choose a more subdued costume that is subtly sexy. Although there are only two people in a relationship, and you may have many years of history to fall back on, there can still be embarrassment present, so be sure to speak of any issues that may be of concern for either you or your partner.

Think of sexy costumes like lingerie or any other provocative clothing meant to get a rise out of your partner. When purchasing sexy costumes, you should be sure to choose a costume not only for its look, but also for its construction and materials. By purchasing a high quality costume, you can be sure that your partner will be able to enjoy his or her fantasy for many, many years to come. Most often, the fantasy wears out before the costume!

In addition to wearing a sexy costume to keep your sex life jumping, consider using different areas in your home for those intimate moments. A scantily clad maid is far more convincing on the kitchen table than in the bed. Furthermore, that muscle-clad mechanic will be a good deal more enjoyable in your garage to keep the fantasy realistic. Keep in mind that sexy costumes differ from person to person. What you consider sexy is probably different that what your friends consider sexy, but fantasies are unique to each individual. Be sure to support your partner with whatever fantasy tickles his or her boat and enjoy the ride!

Remember: You Make the Clothes, the Clothes Don’t Make You

By , February 18, 2018 11:15 pm


When it’s time to shop, though, what should you look for? Here are tips for picking casual wear this season.

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Each season, we’re faced with the same conundrum: what to keep, what to toss, and what to buy. If you’re like me, when you go through your closet and drawers, you run across jeans from two seasons ago, denim skirts, raggedy T-shirts, and cargo shorts that are oh-so-out. For the coming fashion season, it’s out with the old and in with the new – particularly for casual wear.

When it’s time to shop, though, what should you look for? Denim is still central to the casual wardrobe, but some of the more severe denim treatments of years past are out of date. Slubbing is still in fashion, but the thing to look for is embellishment. This season, the story isn’t so much rhinestones as it is embroidery. Look for women’s jeans and men’s jeans with geometric designs stitched on – the more the better. For example, look for jeans with triangles going down one leg, or designer jeans with the designer logo prominently placed on the front, just below the pocket. Black men’s jeans are also back, so keep an eye out for the sleek look of black denim.

Denim shorts are also showing up in the season’s offerings, but look beyond the short-shorts and go with a knee-length style. It’s a bit of a throwback to the pedal pusher era, but shorts length is definitely longer than in seasons past. This is true for both plus sizes and missy sizes.

Now, what about tops? The color story is season is solids, but solids are ranging from bright marina blue to coral to the more subdued khaki. Look for T-shirts in a variety of styles, from tanks to polos to plain round-neck tees. Again, designer logos are prominent, either to make a bold statement on the front of T-shirts, or a more subtle statement just below the neckline in the back.

Before you dash off to the mall, you should know that some newer designers are making a splash. Check out the online offerings of the new kids on the block. You’ll get both a price break and the ability to stand out from the crowd by being among the first to “discover” the next hip label.

In addition, remember that while you do want to be in fashion this season, you don’t want to look like everyone else. Always keep in mind that you make the clothes, the clothes don’t make you. Here are five tips to make fashion your own:

1. Accessorize – Your accessories make a statement about who you are. Don’t go overboard, but choose pieces that are unique and that make you shine.

2. Attitude is Everything – You can be dressed in a mega-bucks designer gown, but you’ll look dowdy unless you have the confidence to carry it off. No matter what you wear – even a pair of women’s jeans and a T-shirt – hold your head high and know that you belong.

3. Don’t Forget the Shoes – The wrong shoes can ruin an otherwise spectacular outfit. Make sure your shoe style is in sync with the style of your clothes.

4. Have Fun – Don’t be a slave to fashion. Have fun with it and don’t fret too much about every little thing. Experiment. Be bold. You may even surprise yourself.

5. Share the Joy – Remember those old clothes from last season or last year? Give them to a deserving charity. Your castoffs are sure to make someone else’s day.

Pearls Jewels of the Sea

By , February 16, 2018 4:30 am


Pearls are the traditional Birthstone of June. They are believed to be one of the oldest known gem stones and we don’t really know when people started harvesting them. Quality pearls are very durable, but proper care is necessary to keep them beautiful and lustrous.

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Pearls are the traditional Birthstone of June. They are believed to be one of the oldest known gem stones and we don’t really know when people started harvesting them. Pearls were the first truly prized gems because of their beauty and rarity, they need no enhancements such as cutting or polishing to help admire their captivating beauty.

Ancient Hindu writings refer to pearls as bringing longevity and prosperity. An ancient story tells of a Krishna who brought pearls to give to his daughter as a gift on the day she was to marry. This Hindu story is one of the earliest known accounts of pearls and weddings. The ancient Greeks also believed pearls should be a part of the wedding. They thought pearls would bring love and all guests of the wedding were adorned in pearls. Pearls were sacred wedding gems given as gifts.

Pearls come in two main categories: freshwater cultured pearls and saltwater cultured pearls. Freshwater cultured pearls are grown in lakes and rivers, whereas saltwater cultured pearls are grown in bodies of saltwater such as bays.

Quality pearls are very durable, but proper care is necessary to keep them beautiful and lustrous. Gently wipe the pearls with a warm, damp cloth to remove body oils or dirt (which may harm the colors) before putting them away. Wash pearls periodically with mild soap (NOT detergent) and a soft cloth. When finished washing the pearls, rinse them in clean water and wrap them in a thin, damp cotton towel to dry. If the pearls are especially dirty, wipe the pearl with acetone polish remover. Acetone will not hurt pearls. DO NOT use jewelry cleaners with ammonia or vinegar in them

Today Pearls are commercially cultured to bring them into a price range that is affordable for everyone.

Pearl Jewelry: The Epitome of Elegant Simplicity

By , February 13, 2018 9:50 am


Pearl jewelry catches attention because of its uncomplicated and serene elegance. It may seem like an oxymoron, but sometimes the simplest things are the ones that are the most attractive. A look at a simple pearl earring, a representative example of pearl jewelry, is enough to dispel all doubt.

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Pearl jewelry catches attention because of its uncomplicated and serene elegance. It may seem like an oxymoron, but sometimes the simplest things are the ones that are the most attractive. A look at a simple pearl earring, a representative example of pearl jewelry, is enough to dispel all doubt.

In fact, for many kinds of pearl jewelry, the operating principle is “the simpler the better.” At times a single pearl can even say much more than a dozen pearls all lined up. This is why some consider pearl jewelry to be even more beautiful than diamond, more valuable and timeless.

Pearls are formed when a foreign object, such as a grain of sand, becomes trapped in an oyster or mussel. The grain becomes coated with layers of a smooth, crystalline substance known as nacre. Over time this natural process produces the luminescent gem known as a pearl. Most pearls used in making pearl jewelry are cultured, meaning oysters are injected with irritants in order to induce nacre production. Finely-cultured pearls are rare, and they fetch an exorbitant price.

The mysterious glamour of natural South Sea pearls has prompted new combinations among necklaces of various colors and sizes. There is a growing demand for these pearls, as well as an increasing need to know more about pearls in general.

Remember Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady”, and as Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”? She wore such simple pearl jewelry, and yet they made her face shine. Pearls bring glamour to a woman’s face, catch the light and trap it in to create a very suffused glow not unlike a halo. Translucence is also a mystical quality of pearls, evoking mystery and sophistication in the wearer.

Due to its timeless elegance, pearl jewelry never falls out of fashion. They can be worn with almost anything; after all they serve to accentuate more the healthy color of the skin rather than the clothes a person wears.

Sexy Hosiery

By , February 10, 2018 2:48 pm


This article talks about the history and enjoyment of wearing womens hosiery.

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Sexy hosiery has been around for a long time. There is nothing more seductive than a black garter belt and thigh highs. Wearing a sexy pair of stockings can make a woman feel sensual no matter what she is wearing them under. A pretty pair of panty hose can add glamour to any outfit.

A black garter belt is a tasty treat for any paramour. Adding a pair of thigh high fishnets will turn that tempting treat into a full course meal of dishy sultry fun. Fine lingerie has always been a provocative way to entice any love interest into your boudoir.

Sparks will fly when you snap a sheer pair of thigh highs to a matching garter belt. It is amazing how easy it is to create some sexy chemistry with intimate apparel. The ambience will turn steamy simply by adding some silk stockings. Creating some passion is always worth a little extra effort. Just by slipping on some panty hose you can delight any recipient of your amorous advances.

Never will there be a dull moment when a pair of thigh highs is concerned. You will find that by adding some sexy hosiery to your love encounters your amorous adventures will reach new dimensions. Bringing some adventure into a romantic liaison is never a bad thing. Why let it simmer, when you can make it sizzle with a lacy garter belt to take things up a notch.

Sometimes its all in the details. Just knowing your wearing sexy hosiery can arouse your desires and set the stage for some unforgettable evenings. A bit of intimate wear may be just the answer you are looking for to bring out the deeply sensual creature inside. Your sexy self may just need a bit of coaxing and hot little naughty garter belt is sure to do the trick.

There is no reason to be shy when it comes to pleasing yourself and your lover. Sexy lingerie provides endless options for any women to keep her sex life a perpetual honeymoon. In the game of sexual attraction, a smart women knows that although nude is nice, not so nude is even nicer. Sexy hosiery is right up there with cupids bow in the love arsenal.

A women who will slide on a pair of slinky stockings, or pose in a pair of sheer pantyhose and nothing else, is the same women who knows the seductive secret of sexy hosiery.

Red Carpet Style: Leather Clothing for Women

By , February 7, 2018 7:24 pm


Everyone knows that it is not the person who is walking down the red carpet that is important, but rather their clothing! If you can’t be a star, do the next best thing and dress like one. One hot trend in Hollywood and all over the world is leather clothing for women.

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Everyone knows that it is not the person who is walking down the red carpet that is important, but rather their clothing! If you can’t be a star, do the next best thing and dress like one. One hot trend in Hollywood and all over the world is leather clothing for women. Before you run out and purchase a pair of leather chaps or bulky biker jacket, think again. Leather clothing can run the gamut from smoking and sexy to sweet and subtle. Furthermore, leather clothing is available in all shades and hues of delicious colors, express yourself with juicy greens and pinks that are hot, hot, hot these days. Leather clothing can take you from the board room to the night club, what other type of material can boast the same thing?

Without a doubt, every woman’s closet should have a pair of smoking hot leather pants. Take advantage of the current skinny pants trend and invest in a great pair made of leather. Since leather acts as a second skin, it will hug all your curves and show off your best assets. Just look at how great your favorite stars look in their leather pants? Sharon Stone, Cameron Diaz, and Jessica Alba regularly hit the red carpet with colorful leather pants topped with flowing tunics or gauzy tops. This pairing is especially great for the summer time scene, as the lightweight materials of the tops create an ethereal look that softens the smoldering look of your leather pants. Think of it as a little bit angel and a whole lot devil!

Especially with the cowboy theme that is sweeping Hollywood, leather tops and jackets that feature miles of fringe and Native American beading are back in style. Again, avoid fashion overload with a fringed top, jacket, purse, boots, and skirt. Go classic cowgirl in a sweet leather jacket and denim skirt or play the vixen on the range in a barely there fringe top and painted on jeans. Get your ready to rope, ride, and steal hearts! Keep in mind that there is a difference between cool and kitsch, so if you start looking like a movie extra on “Brokeback Mountain 2,?you may need to reconsider your wardrobe.

Just like there are fashion hits with celebrities, the red carpet has seen its fair share of fashion misses. Who can forget Britney Spear’s “biker chic gone bad?outfit that she donned for the MTV Music Video Awards? Major leather overload! Take this into account when assembling your killer leather outfit. Avoid head to toe leather. One exception to this rule is a leather suit, which is quickly making its way back on the scene. Layer your suiting look with a top of another material and keep the color of your suit subtle. Nothing looks worse than a larger than life leather lime walking down the street! Look to colors like eggplant, teal, and even white if you are tired of the typical black and brown leather.

If you are still wondering about whether or not you dare to don leather, consider purchasing leather accessories first. A leather version of the popular Newsboy style of hat is perfect for a saucy addition to any wardrobe. Just look at songstress sensation Alicia Keys! Of course, who could go without a killer leather bag? Fashion-minded celebs like Jessica Simpson, Lindsey Lohan, and of course the celebutante herself, Paris Hilton are seldom seem without a leather bag in their hand. Keep in mind that leather can easily make the jump between day and night, so invest a bit more in a quality bag that will be appropriate for any occasion.

Pearl Value Factors: Judging and Evaluating Pearls

By , February 5, 2018 12:54 am


Choosing diamonds is easy: We all know about the 5 C’s. But how do you choose pearls? This article explains how to evaluate cultured pearls using the seven value factors defined by GIA.

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Thanks to aggressive publicity campaigns sponsored by the diamond industry, anyone buying a diamond can confidently go into the transaction armed with enough information to ask the right questions. In the pre-purchase stage, you’ll likely query the seller about the five C’s: carat, cut, clarity, color and cost. As long as you trust the jeweler, you can be confident about the value of the gem you’re interested in based on his or her answers. But what about pearls? What questions do you ask? What does a high quality pearl look like? What are traits to avoid? Here we’ll tell you what makes a pearl valuable. We’ll also give you questions to ask your jeweler and tools to judge these lustrous gems yourself.

Pearl Value Factors
While there is no international standard for grading pearls, there is a system that is commonly used to evaluate these beautiful colored gemstones. Developed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the world’s largest non-profit institute of gemological research and learning, this grading system considers seven pearl traits when determining value. They are: size, shape, color, luster, surface quality, nacre quality, and matching. Let’s take a look at each one as it relates to the beautiful cultured pearl.

Pearl Size
Pearls can be as small as a pinhead or nearly as big as a golf ball, but, of course, somewhere between these two extremes is the norm.

Size is determined by many factors. These include the size of the animal that produces the gems, the size of the implanted bead, the length of time the oyster or mollusk was allowed to form the pearl, the climate and conditions of the environment, and the health of the animal that produced the pearl.

Different types of pearls have different expected size ranges. For example, because they are produced in a relatively small oyster, akoya cultured pearls are usually much smaller than their South Sea counterparts, which are grown in one of the world’s largest mollusks, P. maxima. This large animal can accept a larger bead nucleus and can lay down nacre, the combination of organic substances that makes up a pearl, much faster than its smaller cousin. Be sure to find out what type of pearl you’re looking at (freshwater, akoya, South Sea or Tahitian). All have different expected size ranges, and anything outside the range will be reflected in the price. A guide: akoyas typically range from 2-11mm; Tahitians from 8-14mm; South Sea pearls from 9-20mm, and freshwater pearls from 4-11mm.

All other things being equal, a larger pearl will command a higher price. Larger pearls typically take longer to grow, and are not as common as smaller pearls. As in anything, however, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For some people, another pearl value factor, such as luster, may be more important than size.

When evaluating size, keep in mind that high quality small pearls exist, as do poor quality large pearls. Thus, pearl size is only one factor to consider when judging pearl quality. Which brings us to?

Close your eyes and picture a strand of pearls. What do you see? Probably a lustrous necklace of white round gems, right? That’s because the white round pearl necklace is a timeless jewelry staple and traditional classic in many cultures. As you can expect, round pearls are desirable due to demand, but they are also valuable because they are rare. (Think about it: Irritant enters oyster, oyster secrets nacre, nacre covers irritant. Pearl comes outÂ…round? Doubtful.)

Although pearl culturing techniques are improving all the time, a perfectly round pearl is uncommon. (Akoya crops typically contain more spherical pearls than other pearl types.) According to GIA, collecting enough high quality round cultured pearls for a matched pearl strand can take years. Round or near round pearls will command more money than other shapes. That’s not to say that other shapes aren’t valuable. (Remember again the adage “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.? According to GIA, drop shapes can sometimes match the value of rounds, especially when they’re symmetrical and well-formed.

Not a traditionalist? Pearls come in many shapes, and, depending on what you like, can be just as desirable, but less costly, than round. Pearl shapes include button, oval, drop, semi-baroque and baroque. Some pearls even resemble bars, crosses, and coins. Some, called circled pearls, have grooves that go around the gems?circumference. These beauties can make wonderful jewelry.

GIA classifies pearls into three major shape categories:
1. Spherical: Round or near round pearls
2. Symmetrical: When bisected, these pearls have equal halves
3. Baroque: Pearls with no discernable symmetry

Although pearl shapes vary, those that display some type of symmetry typically cost more. But baroque pearls, either when set alone or grouped with similar shapes into a necklace or bracelet, can be highly beautiful and unusual. And baroque pearls often show orient, a desirable shimmering rainbow-like effect that adds to the pearls?value. Many designers prefer to work with baroque pearls for their infinite design possibilities-and many consumers buy them for their unique beauty.

Although white will likely always win the pearl color popularity contest, pearls come in a wide array of gorgeous colors. From the aforementioned white to grey-black, pearls can also be lavender, pink, orange and many shades in between. The choice is up to you, but keep the wearer’s skin tone in mind when choosing: Pearl color should complement the wearer’s coloring.

When describing a pearl’s color, jewelers talk about three traits: hue, which is the overall pearl color-the one you see on first impression; overtone, which is not always present but which is the secondary color you see when you look at the pearl (i.e. a pinkish blush on a white pearl) and orient, which is also not always present, but, as mentioned above, can best be described as a colorful, rainbow-like sheen.

The popularity of pearl colors waxes and wanes; value is determined by what’s in fashion. As can be expected, white is always “in.?Lavender pearls are very popular right now too. And Tahitian cultured pearls, which are typically dark gray, dark green, or dark blue/purple were, amazingly, pretty much unheard of before the 1970s, but are now widely coveted-and very costly. Sometimes, too, a model or celebrity will wear a certain pearl color and that color will experience a surge in popularity.

As with size, pearl types display typical characteristics when it comes to color. Akoyas, for example, are usually white or cream; Tahitians are typically black, gray or brown; South Sea are usually silver, white or a gorgeous golden color, and freshwater come in white, cream and a wide array of pastels. Acording to GIA, if the desirable pearl color is rare, fine pearls displaying that color it will command high prices.

Because pearls are known for their inner glow, a trait that sets them apart from other gems, this value factor trumps all others. According to GIA, “Luster is the most important of all the value factors to the beauty of a pearl.?

Dependent on many factors, among them nacre thickness and growth conditions, luster is only good when nacre is translucent and its plates overlap in such a way that the pearl appears lit from within. Thick nacre does not guarantee sharp luster, but it certainly helps. The sharper the reflection on a pearl, the better the luster. GIA defines four categories of luster:

?Excellent: Reflections are bright, sharp and distinct
?Good: Reflections are bright but not sharp, and slightly hazy around the edges
?Fair: Reflections are weak, hazy and blurred
?Poor: Reflections are dim and diluted

Luster is one of the easiest pearl value factors to rate. Just hold an object, like a pen, close to the pearl. (Be careful not to get ink on the gem.) The sharper the reflection, the better the luster, and the more valuable the pearl will be. Note, though, that each pearl type has its own characteristic luster. Akoyas are known for their sharp, fine luster, while South Sea cultured pearls, for example, have a subtler, softer glow.

Surface Quality
Pearls are organic, and therefore “imperfect,?meaning they are not uniform, shiny, perfectly round orbs every time they come out of an oyster. Rather, as natural, layered objects, they show many surface characteristics such as abrasions, bumps, chips, cracks, pits, scratches and wrinkles. Most people will never see a perfect pearl in their lifetime, and indeed, minor surface irregularities do not detract from a pearl’s value.

As defined by GIA, there are four classifications of pearl surface characteristics:

?Clean: Pearl can be blemish-free, or spotless, or contain minute surface characteristics that are very difficult to see when examined by a trained observer
?Lightly blemished: Pearls show minor surface irregularities when inspected by a trained observer
?Moderately blemished: Pearls show noticeable surface characteristics
?Heavily blemished: Pearls show obvious surface irregularities, which can compromise durability

The pearl’s overall appearance will determine its value. Obvious or multiple surface characteristics or large blemishes that affect the gem’s durability will detract from its value, while a more clean-looking pearl is worth more. Most of us cannot afford a perfect strand of pearls, but, luckily, small bumps and blemishes can often be hidden by a drill hole. According to GIA, ?a completely clean pearl is a rare treasure. Since rarity influences value, the prices of such pearls run extremely high. Most consumers must settle for some degree of surface irregularity in the pearl they purchase. Even the finest pearls can contain minor surface characteristics.?
Nacre Quality
Directly tied to luster, nacre quality/thickness is a very important value factor which, fortunately, can be judged by the naked eye. It’s better, of course, to evaluate thickness with an x-ray machine or by cutting the pearl, but most of us don’t have such a machine, nor do we want to wear pearls that have been chopped in half. (Picture that for a minute!)

Take a look at the pearl you wish to evaluate. A chalky, dull appearance means that the nacre is probably thin. In some cases, the nacre is so thin that the bead nucleus shows through. Do not purchase these pearls-they won’t last!

GIA classifies nacre into three categories:

?Acceptable: The pearl’s nucleus is not noticeable and the gem displays no chalky appearance
?Nucleus Visible: The pearl shows evidence of its bead nucleus through the nacre. The pearl shows strong “blinking?(a flickering of light and dark) when it is rotated across a light source
?Chalky Appearance: The pearl has a dull, matte appearance

Thin nacre has a negative effect on a pearl’s value, although thick nacre does not guarantee sharp luster. Thin nacre can crack, peel or otherwise deteriorate and the pearls won’t last very long. (Unlike other gems, polishing a pearl does not restore its original beauty.) Pearls with thicker nacre are more durable and more valuable. Ask about nacre thickness if you have the opportunity.

Interesting fact: Many freshwater cultured pearls are cultured with mantle tissue only, rather than a mother-of-pearl bead, and, as a result, are nearly solid nacre. Many pearl experts say that today’s freshwater cultured pearls from China now rival the beauty of Japanese akoyas!

As you can imagine, this pearl value factor only comes into play when a piece of jewelry contains more than one pearl. Some designers intentionally mismatch pearls for aesthetic effect, but when a strand is meant to be uniform, how well the gems match is an important consideration. Fortunately, this is easy to determine. Just look at the strand and note any obvious differences in the gems. (Some jewelers will try to hide small or imperfect pearls near the clasp, so check this area carefully.)

When evaluating a matched strand, keep in mind that cultured pearls are organic, not poured from a factory mold. No two are exactly alike, therefore it is impossible to make a perfect match. This does not detract from the jewelry, though, as long as, on a whole, the piece is uniform. To test, look at the strand, hold it up close and also view it at arms?length. Are the pearls the same overall size? Color? Shape? Luster? Nacre quality? If they look the same, they’re well-matched.

GIA defines three categories of matching:

?Excellent: Pearls are uniform in appearance and drilled in the center
?Good: Piece shows minor variations in uniformity
?Fair: Pearls are noticeably different from one another

According to GIA, “It takes an enormous amount of skill and labor to sort harvested pearls. The time and effort involved in producing a well-matched strand of pearls will reflect its market price.?
Because they are produced in different animals in different environments under unique conditions, each pearl type has its own expected characteristics. When the traits shown for a certain pearl are outside the norm for its type, the pearl will be more valuable.

Each pearl is unique, and uniquely beautiful. Which pearl and pearl type is the most beautiful? It’s up to you. (This author is partial to white baroque freshwater pearls and golden round South Sea pearls.)

Go Shopping!
Congratulations! Now you know what to look for and what questions to ask when shopping for pearls. Remember, a pearl’s worth depends on its overall look–how well it combines the seven value factors. Keep in mind that not all value factors are important to all people. You may be more interested in pearl color than pearl size, for example. As with anything, individual tastes reign supreme. Now, go forth and buy with confidence.

Top 9 Essentials Shoes

By , February 2, 2018 5:40 am


Top Essential Women’s Shoes

Women and shoes are a great combination and we love to have our shoes. Shoes have more of a purpose than just covering our feet. They will cover every different outfit and our many different moods. We might to portray confidence and professionalism. Another time we might want to portray to be fun and flirty. Whatever your attitude is Laura’s Treasures will meet your need. Here is the top list of the basic women shoes.

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Top Essential Women’s Shoes

Women and shoes are a great combination and we love to have our shoes. Shoes have more of a purpose than just covering our feet. They will cover every different outfit and our many different moods. We might to portray confidence and professionalism. Another time we might want to portray to be fun and flirty. Whatever your attitude is Laura’s Treasures will meet your need. Here is the top list of the basic women shoes.

1. The “Little black dress” of women’s shoes- A low heeled black pump
Here is the first essential for every woman’s wardrobe you can’t go too far without this pair of shoes.

2. New black- A neutral shoe

These neutral shoes are just as essential a the classic black pump. Add a neutral off white pump to your shoe collection.

3. The basic of women shoes- A semi-casual flat

These shoes will update your casual outfit you want to be casual but not dressing down. This loafer will make you be classic with your casual outfit.

4. A trendy black high heel shoe

Here is a classic heel which is great to make your legs look great. A dressy
high heel shoe will go with any professional or party outfit.

5. The outfit styler- A metallic high heeled dress shoe

When you want to look awesome in your dress outfits, sometimes you need
to a little daring. Why don’t you try a metallic dress shoe and you will look

6. Comfort Shoe- Your everyday oxford or loafer shoes

Here is a great shoe that will update your outfit but you still be stylish. It could make you a little preppy. You could be a casual and still have a little style that will never make you out of style.

7. Don’t fortget the Sneaker or athletic shoes

Don’t forget you can become stylish in that great pair of sneakers for that
perfect outfit. Athetic shoes have changed and they are not just for working
out. Having the right shoe with the right arch support is important.

8. The instant style up shoe- Wedge shoe

The new wedge shoe is the must have shoe of the season. It adds style to your outfit. This is the shoe that will make your spring and summer outfits just pop!

9. The must have- Boots

Boots have taken over the shoe market just when years ago no one would wear them if they were cowboy boots. Boots have taken over the market. There is every type of boot to feed every women’s style to taste. You go from short ankle boots to sexy high boots.

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