Wednesday, March 26, 2014

April's Birthstone: Diamond

Vintage Rhinestone Earrings Crystal Jewel Emerald Cut.
April's birthstone is diamond.
Of course we don't sell any real diamonds at Bumbershoot Designs and Supplies! But we do have a dazzling collection of clear crystals, cut and faceted to simulate diamonds at Bumbershoot Supplies
Swarovski Rhinestone ss20 Crystal Clear.
Vintage Swarovski Crystal Clear Octagon Rhinestone.
Diamonds come in many different shapes, sizes and colors, the most popular being colorless or white diamonds. Diamonds are also one of the hardest substances on earth making them ideal for all sorts of uses beyond decoration. 
Vintage Rhinestone Necklace Crystal Jewel in Brass.
Vintage Swarovski Crystal Rhinestone Clear Square Jewel.
Vintage Swarovski Crystal Clear Rhinestone Navette.
In 1870 Tiffany & Co. published a birthstone poem in one of their pamphlets. The April poem goes like this:

"She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow; this stone,
Emblem of innocence, is known."

Vintage Rhinestone Earrings Crystal Antiqued Brass.
Vintage Rhinestone Crystal Clear Flower Jewel.
For some bright and sparkling inspiration this April, we invite you to browse our vintage faux diamond collection at  Bumbershoot Supplies.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spanish Pearls: The History of Majorica Pearls

At Bumbershoot Supplies, we were very excited because we recently acquired a limited number of unfinished vintage bracelet strands made from Majorica pearls. But what are Majorica pearls and why are they special?
Off the coast of Spain, on the island of Majorca are made some the world's finest imitation pearls. The company, Marjorica, has been making beautiful faux pearls for over 100 years.
Established in 1890 and moved to the island in the early 1900s, founder Eduard Heusch set out to create pearls as good as the real ones but more attainable. It would not be until the 1920s and 1930s when cultured pearls would become more generally available on the market, and so there was room for Heusch's excellent alternative.
Throughout the twentieth century technological advances made it possible to produce more "Spanish pearls", as they were called, and at a higher quality.

Upon Heusch's death in 1937, his son took over the company and changed the name to "Majorica Pearls" in 1950, after the island where the pearls were produced. Majorica was the only company to produce faux pearls throughout World War II, due to Spain's neutrality, and the company exported over one million pearl strand necklaces to the United States during that time.

Majorica pearls have been long associated with beauty and refinement, and internationalization and glamour would continue to be the path for the company into the later half of the twentieth century. Majorica sponsored the Venice Film Festival in the 1960s where they associated their pearls with stars such as Sophia Loren.  Even today the brand continues to be associated with celebrities, as well as high end fashion and jewelry design.
If you visit the Majorica website, you can view a fascinating video showing how these pearls are made, from hand forming the crystal nucleus, to hand dipping in the secret "pearl essence" to checking, polishing and hand knotting.
If you would like to read more about the history of Majorica check out their timeline. To learn more about the process of making the pearls check out their website and this article Gemological Institute of America about Majorica pearls.

If you, like us, love vintage glass pearls you might also enjoy this post about glass pearls and Leonardo da Vinci's pearl recipe.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bumbershoot Designs and Supplies March 2014 Special for Newsletter Subscribers

At Bumbershoot Designs and Supplies we are about to reach a landmark five years in business! To celebrate we are offering newsletter subscribers a coupon good for $5 off their March order. The coupon is good for all vintage crafting items at Bumbershoot Supplies or beautiful handmade jewelry at Bumbershoot Designs!

Just use the coupon at checkout. The coupon will work for one order and can be used at our websites only. For more details and the coupon code see your March 1st and 15th newsletters. 

Not yet a newsletter subscriber?
You can read past issues, see the treats and bonuses we provide our subscribers, and you can also sign up, right here.