5 Fun Facts About Opals, The October Birthstone

October’s Opals are quite the unique gemstone. They definitely don’t resemble many of the traditional gemstones we’re most familiar with and they look like you’re staring into a crystal ball. Come learn how to predict the future (your happiness) with opal facts and knowledge.

1. History: Thousands of years ago, rulers often wore the glittering orbs to guard their power and ensure their safety. These stones were placed in their crowns to protect themselves from enemies and ward off evil. At times, opals were even ground up and consumed to protect an individual from nightmares and evil spirits (although we don’t recommend this). In modern times opals are known to bring about happiness and confidence for the wearer.

2. Play of Color: Opals are most commonly found in ‘white,’ however within these white opals there is a rainbow-like iridescence which changes the colors that appear in the stone depending on the angle it is viewed at giving the opal a crystal ball look.

4. Opals come in many types: Mainly you can find opals in white, but you may find black opals, fire opals and crystal opals. Both the white and black variety have the play of color attribute, but fire opals do not. Ice also has stunning pink opal jewelry which is a type of fire opal. The best part about opals is that any angle you look at your stone, will show new amazing colors radiating within the piece.

3. Caring for opals: Since this stone is medium to soft you should be extra careful with it. I would recommend if you are wearing an opal ring to remove it when cleaning, working out or doing any sports and if you plan on going out be sure to put on makeup and hair products before you put your opal jewelry on. Do not use any harsh chemicals to clean it – simply wipe with a damp cloth. If you will not be wearing your opal jewelry for awhile, store it in a small plastic bag with a wet napkin so it doesn’t dry out and crack.

5. Opals on Mars: Several years ago in 2008, NASA announced the discovery of opal deposits on Mars! Since opal is made up of mostly water this means that Mars may have been wet for billions of years than previously thought which indicates it may have supported life. Fascinating!

Happy birthday to all the October babies this month! Check out our black, white and pink opals right here.

Be sure to comment below with any questions about opals or jewelry, we are always here to help you find the next best piece to add to your collection.

Have an Ice day!
-Reed

5 Homemade Jewelry Cleaning Remedies

Jewelry Cleaning

There’s nothing worse than choosing your whole outfit based off of a favorite piece of jewelry and realizing it’s tarnished or dull-looking. You’ll start to completely change your outfit, shoes, hair style and purse just because your favorite necklace and earrings were looking a little under the weather and you have no time to get polish from the store or take it to a professional.

It’s easy to panic when your jewelry is looking worn out because those pieces mean a lot to you, but fear not, Ice.com is here to tell you that your jewelry will shine and sparkle like new in 5 minutes with common household items.

  • Diamond, gemstone, gold and silver jewelry: The Alka Seltzer Trick

    • Drop two tablets of plain Alka Seltzer in a glass of water and let tablets dissolve.
    • Place your dull looking jewelry in the glass and let it sit for a couple minutes.
    • Remove jewelry and dry with a clean towel or microfiber cloth.
    • Enjoy the new sparkle and shine of your jewelry

  • Silver jewelry: The Baking Soda Remedy (removes built-up tarnish from your silver)

    • Mix 1/4 cup baking soda and two tablespoons of water to make a thick paste.
    • Apply paste to silver jewelry with a damp sponge.
    • Rinse the paste off and buff dry.
    • Note: Use with silver jewelry only. This solution can loosen glue on gemstone jewelry and may damage their finish.

  • Untarnished Gold

    • Mix a few drops of mild dish detergent in warm water and place gold jewelry in solution.
    • Carefully brush gold with a soft toothbrush.
    • Rinse and dry with a towel or microfiber cloth.

  • Tarnished Gold

    • Same method as untarnished gold, but add a few drops of ammonia to the dish detergent and warm water solution

  • Pearls: The Au Natural Method. Pearls are said to look best when they’ve been worn because they lose their lustre if they get too clean so use the oils in your own skin! Pop on your pearls for a few hours to get dull pearls looking their best.

    • If you feel you must clean stained pearls, use a drop of mild detergent (no more) in a bowl of warm water.
    • Place your pearls in a colander to minimize handling and dip in the solution several times.
    • Rinse thoroughly in clean water and pour on a towel to dry or use a chamois leather cloth and softly hand dry.

    Like these solutions, there are many jewelry cleaning home remedies that work, but also a lot that can hurt your jewelry so be careful when looking for a quick fix. It’s always best to consult with the experts, like us :) so you don’t end up having to take your jewelry to a professional. Best practice is to store your jewelry separate from other pieces so they aren’t scratched, keep it away from water and out of the pools and wipe it with a microfiber cloth after each wear to strengthen the sparkle and shine.

The jewelry experts at Ice.com are always here to help so comment below, message us at info@ice.com or chat with us live at Ice.com with any and all questions.

Have an Ice day,
-Reed

Myth Busted: Cleaning Silver with Toothpaste

Silver Jewelry

Many unfortunate silver jewelry owners stumble on the “ol toothpaste method” when looking to find cheap/easy ways to clean their silver jewelry. Sadly, what’s very unclear is that the same chemical used to keep your teeth clean can eat at your fine jewelry.

This is especially true when talking about silver, which is a very sensitive metal. The damage that toothpaste can cause may be so severe that only a professional jeweler will be able to fix it. Toothpaste will also scuff the surface on amber, opal, turquoise and other soft stones resulting in the fine polish to be permanently marred.

So how do you maintain and clean your silver jewelry?:

General Maintenance: gently wipe off excess make-up and skin oils after each wear using a smooth, 100% cotton cloth using only the soft pads of your fingers. This will increase the shimmer and shine of your jewelry.

Store Bought Remedy: Find a 100% cotton cloth and a good nonabrasive metal cleaner. We prefer Weiman Royal Sterling Silver Polish. Rub that on the silver (avoid gemstones!) and then rinse thoroughly. It’s important to remember that sterling silver is extremely soft. Even your fingernails can dent the metal.

Home Remedy (can be used with silver, gold, diamonds and gemstones)

  • Drop two tablets of plain Alka Seltzer in a glass of water and add jewelry.
  • Let jewelry sit for a couple minutes, remove and dry with clean towel or microfiber cloth.
  • Enjoy the new sparkle and shine of your jewelry

In order to prevent tarnishing in the future, wrap your jewelry in jeweler’s tissue paper and store it in a tightly sealed zip lock bag.

Although Ice.com jewelry experts recommend a manufactured and approved silver polish, we know many of us lead busy lives and can’t make it to the store or can’t wait a week for our polish to come in. Don’t fret because we’ve outlined the top home remedies to clean your gemstone, gold and silver jewelry. Check them out here!

If you have any questions about jewelry maintenance, care and storage or need helping finding that perfect piece, ask us in the comments below or log on to Ice.com to talk with a jewelry expert today!

Have an Ice Day!
-Reed

5 Tips for Storing and Caring for Gold

When speaking with friends and acquaintances, I’ve noticed that many people are unaware of how to properly care for their gold jewelry so I decided to post a few pointers.

First of all, it is important to know when to take it off. I know women who never remove their wedding rings, no matter what the circumstances. This is misplaced sentiment, however, as many activities such as sports, housework and gardening are likely to bring the ring into contact with destructive chemicals which will eat away at the gold and eventually make it unwearable. Additionally,chlorine and other disinfectant chemicals found in hot tubs and swimming pools can react to the alloys in gold and result in discoloration.

When you do remove your gold jewelry, you should wrap it in a soft cloth and keep it away from both costume jewelry and sunlight as sunlight can dim the gold’s glow.

Gold jewelry should be cleaned with a soft, non-abrasive material and soft, lint free cloth. There are cleaning solutions available which I would recommend for delicate or intricately carved gold pieces. I would recommend occasional (once every year or two) visits to your local jeweler for a professional cleaning and inspection. With the proper care, your gold can last a lifetime.

Just in case you are in the mood to buy, check out Ice.com Gold Jewelry selection here and add to your collection.

Cheers,
Dustin

Pearls Turned Into a Work of Art

Isn’t it amazing when designers take something so classic and turn it into a work of art? The latest arrivals at Ice do just that. Taking beautiful yet simple white button pearls and pair them with organic designs made from yellow gold plated sterling silver.

The organic design of this yellow gold pearl collection is so unique to each individual piece. The hammered jewelry trend I told you about a couple of months back is featured beautifully in this new pearl collection.

These new pearl pieces bring a fun, fresh twist to your beloved pearls. Half of this new collection features pieces with an intertwined design strewn with pearls (pictured below). Nature lovers will love the organic design of the brushed gold finish on these intricate pieces. I love that these pieces are classic meets modern but yet they look timeless that will be enjoyed for many more years to come.

Button Pearl Yellow Gold Cuff Bracelet

Would you wear this style of pearl jewelry?

Check out the new Pearl Collection here.

 

Top 5 Bridesmaid Gift ideas

Now that Spring has officially sprung that means wedding season is kicking off. This is the busiest time for brides to take care of all the last minute details for their wedding and thankfully they have their trusty bridesmaids by her side to help. As a gesture of your appreciation you should always give a gift to say thank you to your favorite gals.

Jewelry is the perfect gift idea since it saves them the trouble of finding jewelry to wear on your wedding day. Here are some of my favorite ideas.

1. Statement Earrings: The most popular bridesmaid dresses are usually strapless leaving exposed shoulders to either do a fabulous pair of statement earrings or a great necklace. Not both together, that would be overkill. If you decide to go the earrings route, chandelier earrings and drop earrings are my pick for a fabulous gift idea.

2. Color-coordinated gemstones to match the color of their dress is always a fantastic idea. Popular bridesmaid dress colors for 2013 are purple (pair with an Amethyst stone), pink (Pink  Sapphire) and blue (Blue Topaz, or Aquamarine). With the huge variety of colorful gemstone jewelry, you can always find something to match whichever color your bridesmaids will be draped in.

3. Initial Pendants are a nice personal gift. We have some beautiful diamond encrusted initial pendants in cursive writing which makes them much more elegant.

Diamond Initial Pendants

4. Bangles will put a smile on any bridesmaid’s face. It’s a safe & easy gift that almost all women love. Many bangle designs can be very glamorous, perfect for evening wear on your wedding day.

5. Cocktail Rings are always a huge hit at a glamorous event such as a wedding. On the night of your wedded bliss let your favorite ladies shine with a statement sparkler on her finger too. You can’t be the only one sporting a big rock on your hand. There are lots of different styles and gemstones to choose from to fit perfectly which each bridesmaid’s individual style.

What was the best bridesmaid gift you ever received?

Ice on Instagram

We’re obsessed with Instagram! The Instagram iPhone & Android app is a fun way to capture the little things in life that make us smile. Everything from what you’re eating, beautiful travel destinations and of course fashion!

Since we are an online jewelry store we love Instagraming pics of our jewelry worn by real people. Whether it’s the ladies at Ice or our customers sending in pictures, we love to show you how our jewelry looks in person.

Follow Ice on Instragram now for more great pics and fashion/ jewelry tips! Search our username @ice_jewelry.

One of our most popular pics on Instagram was this fabulous Green Chalcedony ring pictured with a front and side view to show all the wonderful detail with the Marcasite stones on the side.

Chalcedony_Ring

With Instagram, we also love showing our customers how to wear certain pieces in a way they might not have thought of. Stacking bangles is playful and creates quite the statement, here’s one of our gold and black looks we adore. These can be worn alone, or mixed and matched.

Stackable_Bangles

By following us on Instagram, you’ll also get access to exclusive contest, discounts as well as fashion inspiration, celebrity content and behind the scenes shots at Ice. Follow now!

Don’t forget we also have an Ice iPhone app available. Download it here & rate it. We’d love to hear your feedback.

Put a Pinky Ring on It

Rings have always been one of our favorite jewelry categories. From engagement rings to cocktail rings to dainty right hand rings, we love them all! But I do want to remind you about the sometimes forgotten pinky finger. Rings are most commonly adorned on the “ring finger”, your middle finger or your thumb. I think it’s time you give some love to your little pinky.

We’ve seen our favorite fashionable stars like Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Lopez in huge cocktail rings on their pinkies. Depending on your personal style or your outfit you can pretty much pull off any kind of ring on your pinky. We love chunky rings especially with large gemstones like this Purple Amethyst ring for a night out (pictured below). Delicate simple bands are great for everyday. I stacked a couple of bands for an extra boost of color you can see in the pic above.

RCY_110550_b_l-Amethyst_And_Marcasite_Sterling_Silver_Ring
Wear this statement ring on your pinky for your next night out!

We have lots of rings now available in smaller ring sizes such as 4 and 5 to fit your pinky. Check out our ring selection to find the right size for you. Whenever I find a fabulous ring that isn’t available in my size I don’t let that small detail effect me. I just get a smaller size for my pinky or larger for my thumb. Pinky rings will be a big trend in 2013. Will you be trying it out?

Tell us how you wear your favorite rings.

Jewelry Gets Hammered

One of the biggest jewelry trends of 2013 is jewelry with “hammered” or textured metals. Nobody can deny we’re all lovers of sleek fine jewelry but it’s fun to mix it up a bit with an edgier look. The hammered look is exactly what it sounds like, the metal is delicately hammered to create grooves in the metal like you see in the yellow gold Amethyst ring pictured right. This technique adds an earthy matte feel to the jewelry that fits so nicely with Fall & Winter wardrobe.

Belargo Jewelry has some fabulous hammered metal bangle bracelets. Available in both black rhodium and yellow gold. I love stacking these all together.

Belargo_Bangles

Another organic feeling jewelry design is having the metal textured with what looks like being rubbed with sandpaper like in this Rose Quartz Ring below. The Valencia Collection has a wide variety of colorful gemstone earrings, bracelets & necklaces all set in this style of textured gold metal.

Rose Quartz Silver Ring

What do you think of hammered or textured jewelry? Would you wear it or you prefer traditional sleek and shiny jewelry?

Top 5 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. You’ve probably noticed store aisles of stuffed animals, chocolates & flowers but we all know what women really want… jewelry. There are so many different options to choose from for jewelry gifts. Men normally tend to stick with the traditional heart shaped red gemstone pieces….which are cute and we’d be happy to receive any of them. But this year, we’d love to receive any of these non-traditional Valentine’s Day gifts that still feel romantic without over-doing the typical Valentine’s Day themes.

1. Watches: Big watches are very in right now, also known as “boyfriend watches”. The style is to have a large  face on the watch with a bulky metal band. Yellow & Rose Gold are hot watch colors right now so definitely consider this as an option. If you’re not sure if she likes colored gold, you could always opt for this white Michael Kors watch.

2. Studs: This is a great gift idea! Any woman would be thrilled to receive a pair of sparkly diamond studs or colorful gemstone studs. Simple with a big impact!

3. Statement Bracelet: Girls love receiving large jewelry pieces from their man. I highly recommend a stylish designer bracelet like this Vita Fede one (pictured below). I am a big rose gold fan and it makes a nice tie in with the romance of Valentine’s Day but with a modern, more stylish turn with this chain-link design.

4. Heart Ring: Ok I had to put at least one heart shaped piece of jewelry on this list but it’s not your traditional heart. This stylish smokey quartz ring is set in a fierce looking hear shape. Love the diamonds surrounding the ring to give it some extra sparkle.

5. The Splurge gift: A fabulous diamond piece of jewelry is always the best answer. A way to say I love you without a heart piece is with a beautiful infinity symbol. How beautiful is this shiny diamond infinity necklace?

Of course, if you’re ready to take the leap, an engagement ring would also be nice.

Check out the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide