How You Can Use Gemstones To Create Native American Jewelry

Designing of Jewelry

The possibilities available to you when designing jewelry can sometimes seem like they border on endless.

There are so many different kinds of gemstones and materials out there that can make your jewelry pop. This is no exception when you narrow the style of jewelry to that of Native American jewelry, which itself has its own variety of options out there for your to consider. If you’re curious about Native American designs, gemstones, and other materials, read on for more information on creating Native American inspired pieces.

Styles and Traditions

Native American jewelry can range in styles and design due to the sheer number of tribes and traditions held by the Native American communities throughout North America, many of which go back centuries.

Additionally, many modern tribal artists in the American Southwest have a lot of inspiring new designs, whether they’re at independent markets and stores or through a more centralized vendor like the Southwest Silver Gallery.

Using Gemstones

Native American tribes typically use uncut gemstones that have been smoothed and shaped through water tumbling. By placing these stones in a machine called a rock tumbler, artists are able to give gemstones the smooth, polished finish you see in many pieces.

Pieces that are used for inlays often have to be more directly shaped to fit a specific mold, so these stones are often cut after they are tumbled.

Types of Gemstones

Some of the more basic design elements include the use of silver, natural, river tumbled stones, and strung beads. The most popular stones used in Native American designs include turquoise, coral, amethyst, lapis lazuli, onyx, and malachite.

Each of these stones often has some cultural significance and metaphysical meaning, so using them in jewelry is more than just a beautiful accent, it actually impacts the energy of the wearer. Turquoise, for example, is thought to protect the wearers spirit from negative intentions, while lapis lazuli is thought to enhance connection and awareness with spirit guides.

Decide on the Right Design

When it comes to designing your piece, you first should consider the stone you want to feature. Are you using beads or water tumbled stones? Are you casting in silver or working with leather? Your materials will help you dictate your design.

While beads may be a simple matter to string in a pleasing sequence, since water tumbled stones are not created in specific shapes or sizes, you will have to work around the inconsistencies and quirks of your chosen stone. Consider its size and shape when working on your design to ensure it fits correctly.

Let’s say you want to use multiple gemstones in a bracelet or necklace. First, they should probably be small or medium sizes to create a piece that isn’t too big, heavy, or overwhelming. You might also want to think about grouping your stones in a specific way around the piece or clustering them in the ideal design.

Consult with Tribal Representatives

As a matter of courtesy, if you yourself are not a member of one of the many tribes that design jewelry in the American Southwest, which include the Navajo and the Apache. It can be a major benefit to your designs and use of gemstones if you consult with members of one of these tribes.

In meeting with a tribal representative who can educate you, you can avoid any embarrassment or even offense at a design that means something you didn’t intend.

More importantly, you may well learn of new techniques and designs you didn’t think were possible. This can include traditional gemstone designs that anyone can use, such as pendants and bracelets you may see being worn in a non-formal manner by members of the tribe.

Creating Art

If you consider these tips and pieces of advice, you’ll soon be well-versed in your ability to design Native American jewelry that both honors and respects the traditional culture while still being gorgeous and eye-catching. Discover the beauty of Native American design today!

Blog – Economic Downturn

The economic downturn is all over the headlines and it’s making business owners everywhere nervous.  But you can join the businesses that are still doing well by remaining positive and applying clever strategies to generate revenue as well as save money in your businesses.

Cutting back on essentials is not the answer.  The secret is making your business smarter by looking at strategies that don’t cost a lot, but can generate good revenue for your business.  Many businesses are now using the popularity of the internet and the array of strategies it offers to their advantage – attracting new customers, adding value for existing customers, streamlining their internal processes and cutting administration time all at the same time.

Here are some tips:

Get smart about marketing

The number one strategy in any business to increase your revenue is working with your existing clients and prospects because they are more likely to buy from you than someone new.  An ideal strategy for communicating with your existing database is email marketing because it’s affordable, targeted, personalised and easily measured.  Best of all, it has a return on investment of around $50 for every $1 spent (Direct Marketing Association, 2007). Invest in some quality email marketing software then start sending regular emails to the past, present and potential customers in your database to keep your business top of mind and include special offers to build their loyalty.

Experiment with different strategies

The trick with email marketing is test, test, test until you find what works.  Some potential money-making ideas to try out include – a regular email newsletter to keep your business top of mind for your database (you can add value with great advice, tips and special offers just for them), promotional emails to generate instant sales with little effort, or more creative strategies such as seminar invitations, surveys, ebooks and referral programs.  There are a lot of cost-effective marketing strategies out there that are made even easier and cheaper by the internet, so it’s just a matter of finding what works for you.

Make your website visible

If you aren’t actively promoting your website, no one will ever find it and you will miss out on customers.  The best way to get traffic to your site is to have a presence on search engines like Google and Yahoo because millions of people use them every day.  If a prospective customer uses Google to search for what you sell, does your website appear on the first page?  Users tend to click on one of the first few listings, so if yours isn’t there, you miss out.  Find a search engine optimisation specialist to help you make your site search engine friendly with keywords and backlinks because a presence in the search engines will definitely boost your revenue.

Get your website working hard

With a few tweaks here and there, you can really make your website stand out from your competition and actively attract new customers to your business. Ultimately you would like website visitors to contact your business immediately when they see your website, but that won’t always happen so you need a back up plan.  Ensure that you don’t miss out on any leads by offering them some kind of incentive to capture their details, such as a competition or ebook giveaway in return for their email address.  This is one of the great strengths of the internet – there’s many ways to get a lead so you don’t just have to wait for the phone to ring.

Make information easily accessible

The internet can also help you cut your administration costs.  If you find yourself forever on the phone answering the same questions from your customers, you should use a searchable knowledgebase on your website to store all this common information and frequently asked questions – clients simply go to your website to get the answers they need rather than calling you.  You can even upload forms and documents for clients to download to save you printing and postage costs.  These things seem small, but they can make a huge difference to your budget and your productivity in the long-term.

Streamline your internal communication

The often overlooked application for the internet is communication with your staff and other internal groups like suppliers and resellers.  Of course you can use email marketing to send memos and organise events, but you can also set up online training videos and podcasts as a cost-effective alternative to traditional training days, have a knowledgebase for internal documents and information and even conduct staff performance evaluation surveys online.  These are just a few examples – if you get creative you will come up with many ways to streamline your internal processes, minimise costs and motivate your staff using the internet.

The best way to survive challenging times is to be proactive rather than reactive, so getting your online presence up to scratch now will help you save money and find new opportunities for making money in 2009.

Top Online Jewelry Stores

 

Brilliant Earth Review
With so many great features this company really should be our first choice. Brilliant Earth is quickly making a name for themselves as the most socially and ecologically responsible jeweler online. You can be confident that you will not only be getting a beautiful piece of jewelry but your purchase will make a difference as well, Brilliant Earth gives 5% of their profits to communities that are impacted by the jewelry trade. Here is a small sample of some of their many great features:

  • Financing options available
  • Free shipping on all orders
  • Award winning customer satisfaction
  • 30 day returns, resizes, & exchanges
  • 1.5% discount on purchases paid with bank wire
  • No sales tax on orders shipped outside of California

  

 

James Allen Review
This jeweler could easily be in the top two if only they had financing options available. That aside we have nothing but good things to say about James Allen, the presentation and packaging are amazing and their customer service policies are among the best we’ve seen. Browse their site and we guarantee you’ll fall in love with them too! Read our favorite features below and then see for yourself:

  • 1.5% discount on purchases paid with bank wire
  • Free shipping on all orders within the U.S. and Canada
  • 30 day return and exchange policy, 60 days for resizes
  • No sales tax on orders shipped outside of New York and Maryland
  • View high definition images of actual wedding rings and diamonds

 

Do You Want To Buy Jewelry Online? We Found The Best Online Jewelers For You!

Finally a website that takes the confusion out of shopping for jewelry online. We know that buying jewelry can be a frustrating experience but given the right resources it can be an enjoyable one.

There are many great benefits if you decide to buy jewelry online. Often jewelers that have a physical store are not able to discount their products due to the high cost of running their business. Online jewelry stores on the other hand can deliver the same beautiful designs at a fraction of the price.

We took the work out of finding the best online jewelers so you can focus on choosing the designs you love. So what are you waiting for? Visit one of the many fine jewelers below and find that beautiful design that you’ve been dreaming of!