We all know about St Valentine, marrying eloping couples in love when it was not approved. There are so many versions of the tale, but one thing we can agree on is that Valentine’s day has grown into a global day of spoiling loved ones, blind dates, chocolates, mugs and teddy bears.
Girls everywhere are secretly holding their breaths and even the less romantic ones are hoping for at least a teddy or flower. Don’t deny it! Girls everywhere, except for Japan.
In Japan, it will be the boys waiting for their chocolates. Valentine’s in Japan is marked by the girls and women handing out hand-made or bought chocolates to their crushes, boyfriends and husbands, and even friends, colleagues and male family members are treated. Now it might sound like the girls are missing out here…but it gets better.
Exactly a month after Valentine’s, White Day arrives. On the 14th of March, men who had received “chocolate of love” or “courtesy chocolate” are expected to return the favour in the form of gifts; so girls can expect jewellery, underwear or sweeties in return! Even if there is no romantic interest, obligation requires the men to return the favours, so all the hard work of delivering chocolates to all the men on Valentine’s Day is rewarded by treats a month later. There is also a general rule that the returned gift on White Day should be triple the value of the original gift, so the girls really do end up winning this one! And we thought we were getting spoiled with a teddy…
So it is a new year; new resolutions, new challenges, new goals and of course, new collections to add to the Trollbeads range! With new beads comes the opportunity to find that one with special meaning just for you; whatever happens this year, whatever is faced or overcome, there will be a bead to symbolise it and to add to your life’s story.
The newest collection is all about Spring and Summer; dolphins, butterflies, lazy breakfast in bed and beach colours. It is bright and playful; just what we need under the beautiful summer sun!
Like always the beads have their special meanings, but I’ve chosen only four to look at closely.
With work and life in full swing again, its important to remember to keep some time out for one’s self. Breakfast is a bead that reminds us to do just that. A lazy Sunday morning breakfast in bed or on the patio is the perfect way to unwind and recharge before the long, busy week.
And with it being our amazing African Summer, don’t forget your accessories! Sunblock is an absolute MUST even when we are trying to work on our tans. This little pair of sunglasses not only reminds us of summer and warns us of its heat, it also helps us to stay in the peak of fashion!
Few things shout summer like a butterfly floating lazily past. Never in a rush, and always calmly enjoying the flowers, they remind us to once again enjoy every moment and take things as they come.
And just for fun, we have the new Dolphins Lock. Dolphins are intelligent and very social creatures; they enjoy spending time with each other and are in constant communication. Just as we should be with our friends and family!
Visit http://trollbeadsuniverse.com to view all the new beads!
Summer fun, family, friends and taking time for ourselves; the perfect ingredients for a succesful and beautiful year ahead!
We all know where jewellery comes from; we know it’s been a part of society for centuries and that these personal ornaments always will be. Jewellery can be used to show who we are and it often carries with it social meaning, showing our status or wealth, showing our interests and tastes. Our personalities play a large role in what we wear as well; our psychology and state of mind on a particular day will affect what we wear and reflect our state of mind. Even introverts want to be understood and want to let people know who they are, and jewellery plays a part in this as much as the clothing we wear or how we do our hair. But how far does this actually go? Is it truly that psychological or is it practical?
As much as we know about psychological background and motivation, there are scores of men and women who do not wear jewellery at all; perhaps because of the particular work they do, perhaps because they are so busy that they have no time for what they consider to be superficial adornment. On the other hand, there are those people that never take their jewellery off; I have a ring in particular that carries with it such sentimental value that I have never taken it off the past few years. Perhaps they keep it on for ease; this seems to be the case in particular with stud earrings.
With all these vast reasons behind wearing jewellery or not, I was curious to see what the actual reasons are. Psychologists might tell us what THEY think it means when someone wears a particular piece in a particular way, but we are not concerned overly much with that. We are more interested in where real people, in everyday life find their motivations and reasons. Why do you wear that particular ring? Why do you never change a particular earring or piece? Why do you not wear any jewellery at all? What does it mean to YOU?
Jewellery is a beautiful thing. It makes us feel pretty and often has a special meaning attached because of the person we got it from, or even just a special reason we bought it ourselves. It expresses who we are and can change daily with our moods and feelings. But for all the centuries that jewellery has been around for, there have been individuals struggling to wear it. Allergies to metals and jewellery is often misunderstood and left unexplored, but rest assured that if you suffer from this allergy you are still able to wear jewellery if you carefully choose it.
Almost all reactions to jewellery pieces occur because the alloy the piece is crafted from contains nickel. The body and skin does not react to silver or gold, so if you have had a piece that looked like silver or gold and you felt a reaction, it contains nickel. Nickel gets absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin (almost no other metals are), which is why it is nearly the only metal that causes such irritation. Some individuals have resistance or tolerance for it and can wear nickel without any problems, but one in every 7 women develops the allergy. What makes it even harder to spot or understand is that the allergy could occur immediately or within an hour, or it can take years to develop after wearing it. Once the allergy develops, however, it will become a life-long irritation. It is best to avoid jewellery that contains nickel in that case, but it can also be managed if you have a special piece you do not want to give up.
The symptoms of nickel allergy, which is often referred to as Contact Dermatitis, varies greatly between individuals. The first symptom in most cases is itchiness, but redness of the skin, swelling (most often seen when the reaction is to earrings) and dry patches are also common. Blisters can occur if the allergy is severe. Sweat worsens the allergy’s symptoms, so keeping the skin dry and clean will help reduce the reaction. For some individuals this measure is enough to manage the allergy, but if cracking of the skin occurs the piece must be taken off immediately.
If you suffer from this allergy, choosing the right jewellery that will be safe for you is the key. Avoid gold plating and rather find gold filled pieces; gold filled pieces are not pure gold, but differ from gold plating because of the amount of gold applied over the base metal. Gold filled pieces usually have between 50 to 100 times more gold layers on them.
It is tricky to find gold filled pieces, however, and many places might claim that their gold plated pieces will suffice. Because of this, the safest metal to wear for those with allergies would be sterling silver. Other safe metals include copper, platinum and titanium.
If there is that one piece you just can’t do without, try coating it with clear nail polish on top of keeping the skin dry and soap and cream free. This might be a solution for short periods of time, but should not be considered a lasting, effective treatment. For severe cases of reaction always consult a dermatologist for treatment recommendations.
If you need to find safe, good quality pieces that are all nickel free, pop down to IYOS Jewellery at Palmyra Junction in Claremont. We are proud to stock products which are all nickel free for a worry-free, convenient shopping experience.
So I watched Snow White and the Huntsman over the weekend, and regardless of the merits of the movie, it did remind me of just how much I love fairy tales. Danger and magic, beautiful maidens and heroes, it truly takes your imagination to a new level. Every young girl dreams of a prince or a knight, and even at my age I still love imagining it! You might settle down and get married, but you never lose the love of that fairy tale that really COULD have happened!
So even though I live in a flat and not a castle, and I have a marketing director instead of a prince…I still enjoy filling my surroundings with fairy tale objects to keep the spirit of it all with me; the day I stop imagining myself in a long dress being crowned somewhere would be a truly sad day indeed. One way I do this is through my jewellery. My Nomination bracelet has a little dragon, something that reminds me of adventure, and the Cheshire Cat. Nothing speaks of childhood quite as well as Alice in Wonderland does.
My Trollbeads bracelet also has a few beads to remind me of fairy tales, in particular the little frog. We all know the saying about kissing a few frogs before you get your prince and this frog is such a cute reminder that those weird exes’s were there for a reason. That fairy tale is also quite underrated.
Rings! Rings are my flavour of the week I must admit. The Princess ring from the Spinning Jewelry range really is too perfect. With my mind on fairy tales as it is, this just screams out to me. Delicate with a cubic zirconia that gives enough shine to make you feel like royalty in your own way.
Share your favourite fairy tale with us and which jewellery you would wear to remind you!
Trollbeads Autumn Collection
The Trollbeads Autumn collection has been out for about 2 weeks already, and the little gems are gaining popularity every day. I find them quite fascinating as I am getting married in a few months and the beads are very wedding/family themed. Four of the beads just have to be shared here today, they have such beautiful meanings!
The first and my personal favourite (I’ve already bought mine and LOVE IT!) is the Dancing bead. “Two people dancing closely and happily together through life”. How lovely! Such an elegantly crafted design, too. My bead is going onto the bracelet I’m intending to wear at my wedding. This bead is a Price Group 1 bead as well, so it is only R315.
Speaking of weddings, I wish this next bead had been available when my fiancé proposed. The Marry Me bead. Once again an amazing design! The gentleman on his knee, asking the big question, “Will you marry me?”. If you are engaged or if you have been hinting at the ring, add this bead to your hints! At R470, you can mention to him that it is a lot more affordable than any engagement ring will be!
Now, starting a family isn’t on my to-do list yet, but the next bead is a must-have for any new parents. The Family bead depicts a mother and father walking with their newborn baby in a stroller – proud and filled with love. Carry that new-found pride and joy with you forever with this amazing bead. For only R470, you will have the memory of it even when they are out of the house and asking for help on car payments.
Lastly I want to share the Playing Cards with you. It’s a fun bead of Bridge, Solitaire or Rummy that my gran so loves. A card game is always a cozy way to spend time together when on holidays or on a rainy weekend afternoon, and I can’t count the hours my gran beat me so happily at Rummy. For me personally this bead speaks of my beloved gran and I am sure you will all have your own beautiful memories to go with it. Of a bigger design, the Playing Cards bead is R735, your own personal silver deck filled with meaning!
The Autumn Collection boasts many more beads including cute Chinese Zodiac designs and colourful glass beads. View them on the Trollbeads page at www.trollbeadsuniverse.com or pop into IYOS at Palmyra Junction to see them all!
Jewellery facts you might not know!
#1 – Men wore jewellery before women did! They wore jewellery in the form of amulets during wars, believing it would protect them in battle. So with that in mind, we really have to banish the thought of “jewellery isn’t manly”.
#2 – It was a normal custom in Asia to swallow whole precious pearls or pearls in powdered form to cure illness. A very expensive custom! Pearls are made of calcium carbonate, which is an antacid (neutralises stomach acidity) so the only thing they cured was upset stomachs. Hopefully they did not use this for anything more serious…
#3 – Opals are said to bring good fortune and wisdom. In ancient times people believed Opals were actual parts of heaven that fell down during violent storms, so having one of these precious little stones imbued one with heavenly qualities!
#4 – Gold had its interesting explanation during ancient times as well. It was believed to be from the sun itself and various groups at the time believed it to be tears from their Sun Gods.
#5 – All natural diamonds are around the same age, formed in the earth layer ‘Kimberlite’. Diamonds take anything from 1 billion to 3.3 billion years to form and grow. Do you think it was worth waiting for?
It’s almost spring! I know there is a trend amongst the majority of people to wear more jewellery during summer when every piece can be shown off to perfection instead of being hidden by a sleeve or a big coat. I have a beautiful Trollbeads silver bracelet waiting to see the sun! But with that in mind, let’s just consider safety for a moment.
Insurance. I don’t like the word, I don’t like paying my premiums every month, and I definitely hope every day my things are safe so that I don’t have to deal with paperwork. But in South Africa it is not something we can ignore, and increasingly I have noticed people do not insure their jewellery. It is not that complicated of a process either. Depending on who you are with, jewellery falls under your general household insurance so that during a break-in or fire, or any damage they would usually pay out for, your jewellery should be covered. It is best to check though as some insurers have their own strange ideas on the matter.
It is also true that in typical insurer style, you will not be getting back the full value of your jewellery even if it is insured. But at the end of the day getting back R3000 for something that cost R6000 is still better than getting back nothing. The paperwork and the few phone calls required to sort it out is definitely worth the effort if you are a jewellery fanatic like we are. A quick trip down to any accredited jewellery store to get a signed printout of the value of your lost or stolen jewellery is all it takes to get back at least half of what has been lost. How long your claims take or what percentage they pay out is up to your individual insurer, but any pay-out will soften the loss. As your Trollbeads, Nomination and Thomas Sabo bracelets and necklaces fill up, please make sure they are covered by your insurers!
As you know, IYOS has added the Thomas Sabo charm and jewellery ranges to our list of products we proudly stock. Thomas Sabo fits in perfectly with our desires to have a piece of jewellery for every personality, every day, every event or occasion, and every important occurrence in the lives of our customers. With our strong focus on individualising and matching our products to each customer, charms definitely form a strong part of that focus.
Charms have been around for centuries. The first records of charms were found to date back as far as 600 BC, with items being made from shells, animal bones and clay. Later charms were made from wood, rocks and gems, and throughout the ages charms have been worn for many different reasons. It is speculated that the first charms were worn as amulets; warding off spirits or darkness, and our more modern meanings started in ancient Egypt where charms were worn for symbols of faith and luck. During the Dark Ages, Knights wore charms to denote family origin, religious views and even political convictions, giving the little ornaments a very important part in society at the time. Charms were a part of every culture; for hidden meanings, to show some alignment or belief, or simply for their beauty.
It only truly became a fashion trend in the early 1800’s. Queen Victoria was an avid lover of charm bracelets, and she started a charm craze amongst the European nobles. She wore them constantly, gave them as gifts, and had many special charms made including “mourning” charms, which she had commissioned after the death of her beloved Prince Albert.
Charm bracelets only grew from there. From dangling charms to bead charms, to the more modern flat, interlocking charms, they are definitely here to stay. I was asked once whether I believed the charms to be only a “craze” that will blow over, and all I can say is that after more than two centuries of growth I don’t think it will, and I wouldn’t want it to! Start your journey today, express feelings to loved ones, remember important events and pass your precious charms onto your children one day. Memories must never be assigned to the picture books and the archives; wear them and keep them with you every day.