Coin jewelry is divided into two different categories: whole coins versus cut coins. Whole coin jewelry features complete, unaltered coins set into a particular ornament; Cut coin jewelry – which first appeared in the 1600s – features coins that have been altered through carving or engraving. To cut a coin, a craftsman would pierce it with small holes until the main figure was released. In the period from the late 1800s to World War II, coins began to be etched and decorated by hand (in lieu of being cut). Because they were personalized with floral motifs and initials, they became known as "sweetheart jewelry".
Today, the increasing popularity of coin jewelry is the result of a trend that began centuries ago. So instead of tucking coins away in drawers or boxes, why not proudly display and enjoy them? By mounting coins in jewelry, belt buckles, key chains, or money clips, they will be showcased and honored in a way that conveys a respect for history, an affirmation of heritage, and a reflection of values.
Created or Simulated Gemstones: How are created or simulated gemstones different from natural gemstones? Natural gems are created by the forces of nature and must be discovered, usually by digging in the ground or sifting through a riverbed. When these stones are created in a laboratory, they are called created, simulated or synthetic gemstones.
The purpose of creating gemstones in a laboratory isn’t necessarily to reduce the cost, but also to produce larger, more perfectly consistent stones. Created or simulated gems can be made of any material. Synthetic gems, however, share virtually all chemical, optical and physical characteristics of their natural mineral counterparts.
Austrian Crystals: These are known for their excellent reflective quality and prismatic brilliance. This man-made crystal is created using natural minerals and quartz sand, which are then heated and slowly cooled using a process similar to that of creating hand-blown glass. This process creates an end product that can be fashioned into a beautiful crystal.
A special machine is used to create a highly faceted crystal. The crystals are cut in various directions, which allows for excellent light refraction, exceptional brilliance and unsurpassed color quality at an affordable price.
Today Swarovski® is one of the largest suppliers of high-end crystals. In the late 1800s, Daniel Swarovski invented a machine to cut crystal with extreme precision. He patented his technique and to this day, only select Swarovski family members and employees have unrestricted access to the production facility that creates these crystals. They are used to decorate everything from stilettos and sculptures, to chandeliers, jewelry and clothing.