If you grew up in the 70’s or 80’s, class rings were the rage.  Most of us have those expensive class rings in our jewelry box but we never wear them.  As my kids are getting to graduation age I started thinking about what memorable gift I wanted to give them.  And I can assure you the Josten’s class ring is not it.  High school and college graduations are momentous and celebratory occasions. Elementary school and advanced-degree graduates also deserve recognition of their achievements as they enter the next phase of their lives.  No graduate is too young or too old to receive a gift.  When considering a graduation gift, keep in mind the age and life stage — not to mention personal style — of the graduate. The two things any graduation gift should have? Make it both meaningful and lasting. The right piece of jewelry does both.

Kid graduates



For the youngest set of graduates, or those being promoted from elementary, middle or junior high school, a fun but meaningful gift is best. Young girl graduates would love a small pendant necklace to remind them of the occasion. A heart-shaped pendant or small locket will go over especially well with this age.  Does your young graduate already have a charm bracelet? If not, think about getting her one along with a special charm to signify the occasion. If she already has one, give her a charm that will remind her of her promotion as she enters the next phase of childhood.  Most young girls will also adore a small, personalized pendant, engraved with their name or a meaningful saying, to place on either a necklace or a charm bracelet. Keep in mind you’ll want to steer clear of anything with the year engraved, as class year is usually reserved for high school and college graduations.

High school graduates



High school graduation is perhaps the single biggest milestone in a young person’s life. For some it will also be their final graduation, and even for those who continue onto college, vocational school or eventually graduate school, little will match the emotional significance of this celebratory bridge into adulthood. It makes sense to match the magnitude of the occasion with a gift that will last.  For girls, a personalized pendant necklace offers plenty of options. Choose one engraved with her initials, name or graduation year, or combine the year with her name or initials. Depending on what moves her, consider adding an inspirational saying such as “Let the journey begin” or gifting her a pendant with the saying alone.  You don’t need engravings to have the jewelry openly celebrate the occasion. A pendant necklace or charm in the shape of a graduate’s cap will also do just that.  If your graduate prefers more subtlety, drop the graduation theme altogether and gift her a piece of classic jewelry that will help start he jewelry wardrobe. A pair of timeless stud earrings, a solitaire birthstone necklace or even a simple, elegant birthstone ring would be fitting and treasured for years to come.

College graduates



When choosing a gift for a college grad, consider something that will last as she or he embarks on the path of independent adulthood.  College graduation is an ideal occasion to start or enhance a young woman’s classic jewelry wardrobe. A graduate planning to immediately enter the professional workforce would appreciate work-worthy basics like sophisticated stud earrings, a diamond solitaire necklace or a strand of pearls.  Most young women would love a birthstone piece either to start or complement their birthstone collection. Or does your graduate prefer a little flair? Choose a striking gemstone necklace or ring that fits her personal style.

Advanced degree graduates


Diamond Earrings

When considering what jewelry to gift an advanced degree grad, take your celebrant’s life stage into consideration along with his or her new career path.  A new doctor will usually be older than a newly minted lawyer.  A recent MBA grad may have spent several pre-business school years in the workforce.  For a woman entering a professional career with the likes of a law or business degree, opt for jewelry she can wear on the job. A classic pearl strand, a necklace or stud earrings with a solitaire diamond or other gemstone, or a delicate pendant necklace are all good picks.  A new doctor or nurse will likely want something small and unobtrusive — and not on fingers or wrists — like simple stud earrings or a delicate pendant necklace.  Don’t give a gift that states the year. Class years typically signify high school and college graduations.  If you keep in mind the age, life stage and personal style of your graduate, you’re sure to choose a jewelry gift that provides a meaningful and lasting memento of the occasion.


So buy your beads and components on-line, get creative and create a timeless piece for your special graduate!


The Elegance of Buttons

by abeadstore on April 7, 2015

This week we are focused on making beautiful pieces out of lovely buttons.  We wrote last year about the process to make these beautiful buttons and wanted to share the process again – it is simply amazing!  Almost all Czech Glass buttons are handmade.  Below is the production process and the tools used in the production of these beautiful buttons.

These are the negatives that are used to make the molds for the buttons. These negatives are valuable, and one of a kind, as they are the first step in the process of making the Czech Glass Buttons.
The negatives seen above actually make the molds. These hand-presses, with the molds inside, are what actually create the buttons.

This is a close up of the mold inside the press.

Glass rods of different colors first get melted in the oven.  This glass will later be pressed into the mold.
The shank of the button gets placed inside of the mold.
Our friend then takes the molten glass seen above, and presses it into the mold to make the shape of the glass button.
He carefully cuts the extra glass away with a pair of scissors.
Open the press….
And behold! A new Czech Glass button is born! (its still a bit crude, though).
The Czech Glass button you just saw gets its edges smoothed along a machine.
And the final touches include either hand painting…
Or more often, a particular chemical coating that then gets fired in the oven.
Recognize these buttons? True craftsmanship, born out of hundreds of years of experience.


So order your buttons on-line.  To make your job easier there are now easy to use button findings so that you can make earrings or pendants that are simply stunning.  So shop away and make your next piece out out of these timeless hand-made pieces.  They will add style to any jewelry collection.


Inspiration Thursday -Snow Day Organization

February 26, 2015

Reacquaint and Reorganize Okay – It feels like it has snowed for 30 days straight – well lets use this cold indoor weather to refresh and reacquaint ourselves with our bead stash!  We all know we have a bin or plastic container filled with stuff – that at one time was the crown jewel of […]

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Bracelets – Gemstone Chips Tutorial

February 24, 2015

So if you’ve seen our recent posts, stacks of bracelets and chunky bracelets are very hot right now.  In recent blogs, we’ve talked about types of wire and closures for your bracelets.  Well now lets make a bracelet.  Check out this gemstone chip bracelet – its not only gorgeous but very economical.  It looks like it is a lot […]

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The Art of Charms

February 19, 2015

So I received a beautiful charm bracelet on Valentine’s Day.  The bracelet included all my favorite things and made me wonder why and where charm bracelets were created.  So I did a little research and found that charms go back as far as the stone age when man would pick up an unusual stone or piece of […]

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Gemstones in the Marsala Color Palette!

February 6, 2015

We mentioned that Pantone made its much-anticipated announcement that Marsala is the color of the year for 2015. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director for the Pantone Color Institute described it as “hearty yet stylish tone,” and that it “embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness.” […]

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Go For the Gold – the Final Trend for 2015

January 30, 2015

So we are at the end of our big 2015 Jewelry Trends reveal.  And what a way to end. Golden Accents and Details.  Just in time for the Oscars, gold is showing up everywhere.  Golden details give a luxurious look to any jewelry pieces.  Golden accents can be found in chains, chokers, necklaces, cuffs, rings, […]

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Abeadstore’s Beaders & Bloggers Challenge (the ABC Challenge)

January 29, 2015

Contest Entry Details Here’s your chance to win a $50 gift card to abeadstore! Enter to win Our featured artist of the month will be featured on our home page and our blog. We will highlight your winning jewelry and other projects of yours in our blog and highlight you on our social media pages […]

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2015 Jewelry Trends – Unbalanced

January 28, 2015

Okay so we have talked about the single earring trend – one I just can’t bring myself to rock.  Well this spring – the single earring is going one better. Okay so we have talked about the single earring trend – one I just can’t bring myself to rock.  Well this spring – the single […]

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2015 Jewelry Trends – Part VIII: Large and Dramatic Pendants

January 22, 2015

I love this next trend – and of course its been around for a very long time – but it is going to be big this spring! Large and Dramatic pendants!  I have always worn long chains with unique pendants with my suits or even sweat shirts.  They just add a bit of class to […]

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