Classic Elegance with a little bit of Opa!

3 Tips for Buying Silver Jewelry

    1.  JEWELER’S HALLMARKS - Good jewelers leave their mark; they want people to know they created the jewelry you’re wearing. Look for a hallmark on the back or inside of your jewelry with the jeweler’s name or a branded symbol. This will tell you who made the piece and if it’s really worth the price. Watch this video for more information on Marks.                                                                                         
      2.  METAL CONTENT - Your fine jewelry should be stamped with numbers like .925 or .999 indicating its metal content. If you see .925 on your jewelry, it has 92.5% silver and 7.25% copper or other metal. Just like Gold, pure Silver is more durable when mixed with other metals. A .999 on the back of your jewelry indicates a higher grade of silver (fine silver) with 99% silver and the remaining 1% other metals. This higher grade silver is more malleable, tends to be more expensive but can be easier to scratch so choose the metal that works better for you.
      3.  PLATING – Some silver jewelry isn’t solid silver at all. At department stores and big box retailers much of the silver colored jewelry is only electroplated with silver. These plated pieces are actually made of less expensive metals such as brass, reducing the value of the piece.



      HAND HAMMERED – hammering makes the metal in your jewelry solid and more dense by actually condensing molecules, and getting rid of air pockets in the metal. Many of Maria-Tina’s pieces have been hand hammered, so you get more metal for your money.  All pieces are made in San Francisco and
      Marin Co. USA - we love to support our Local Small Businesses.
      CASTINGS – Cast pieces are used by jewelers to reduce costs and production times but they can mean a compromise on quality. Most jewelry is cast. During production, metal is poured into a mold which may form tiny pockets of air that makes the jewelry lighter. To detect if a piece was cast, look along the sides of the jewelry for ridges or seams. The better the jewelry, the less you can see. The majority of Maria-Tina’s jewelry is hand fabricated (sculpted by hand). Some pieces have been cast by hand using the lost wax method with the utmost attention to detail. Unlike commercial castings, Maria-Tina’s are made from originals maintaining the integrity of the design.
      MIX & MATCH – Inspired by the art of Ancient Greece, Maria-Tina’s jewelry can be mixed and matched with other pieces to create a unique and inspiring look every time. No matter what metal or stone, all of Maria-Tina’s designs have a cohesive style that can stand alone or be combined for a statement look. There are unlimited options, pairing Maria-Tina’s ancient look with modern pieces gives your outfit an air of old world sophistication like the eclectic architecture of Athens, Paris and London!
      Fabulous Gladys Lewis layers her MTMJ pieces - she is one of our Amazing Collectors & Proprietor of Gladiolis Collectables & Antiques at Fifteenth Street Books, Coral Gables, FL, USA
      Whatever jewelry you buy, we wish you radiance and happiness and a little bit of OPA from Maria-Tina and the Greek Island House Team!
      Maria-Tina Minoan Jewelry Images from top:
      • "Minoan Spring Flowers" - Hand fabricated, hand hammered sterling silver with blue topaz cabachons
      • "Minoan Man" collection - Hand fabricated, hand hammered sterling silver hand hammered cuff, pendant, and cufflinks 
      •  "Peace" pendant hand cast using the ancient technique of lost wax method from original, hand fabricated, hand stamped piece
           with Malachite cabachons, © 2015 Maria-Tina Karamanlakis

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