Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Brief Look at Pewter Jewelry

I am a huge fan of pewter jewelry. It gives the appearance of a silver look but without the headache of the tarnish, when exposed to air and moisture, that is inherent with silver jewelry. And it has a more "earthy" feel to it that I like.

I remember a particular gift that I received when I was leaving college. It was a Jonathan Livingston Seagull pendant in pewter. I still wear it and it gives me some lovely, nostalgic memories.

Pewter is not an expensive metal and this makes it perfect for use in whimsical designs. The Jonette Jewelry Company (JJ Jewelry) used pewter extensively for their figural designs, particularly dog and cats pins, and also in their "artifacts" series.

At one time, pewter was cast with lead, making it somewhat unsafe to have around children and pets, but this is no longer the case. Today, it is generally cast without lead, but imports from China can still be a problem in this regard.

People who enjoy celtic designs will find that pewter is often a metal of choice. It is also very popular with those who like twentieth century neo-Gothic and Wiccan designs.

Pewter is an extremely soft metal with a very low melting point, so it lends itself to great detail when made into jewelry. It was commonly used during the middle ages, not just for jewelry, but for everything from etchings, hand engravings, cutlery, and dinnerware. It was also widely used in the American colonies, in especially large quanties around 1700 to the mid 1800s. The 20th century saw a resurgence of pewter popularity. It's also currently enjoying a new phase in popularity.

If you believe in metaphysics, it is thought that if you place pewter on the head, it will relieve headaches, or directly on the chest, it will help with certain lung ailments.

Caring for pewter jewelry is very easy. Mild soap and water is enough to clean it , and just use soft cloths to avoid bending or distorting the articles since pewter is a very soft metal. Polishing the pieces made of pewter is also very easy, since it doesn't tarnish the way silver does.

It's a perfect low maintenance choice with great detail and appeal.

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