How our Etsy shop is doing!

Our etsy shop has been opened for a little more than two years.  It has been so fun to see our Etsy shop grow and have more products added to it.  Every time we have an order, I still get SUPER EXCITED.  And I have a feeling that will never change:)  There are so many wonderful jewelers and products out there, that it is a blessing every time someone chooses us.  All I can say is Thank you! Read more

Our Top Ten Youtube Videos

It is so exciting to be able to make a Top Ten Youtube Count.  A special tribute goes out to my family who made all of these videos.  It is fun to see these youtube videos and the story that goes behind them.  The countdown will begin from the least viewed to the most viewed video.

101 Link Parties!

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How to keep your Jewelry Selling

collageMy dad has been in the jewelry business for thirty years.  And to me that is quite an amazing feat, because jewelry styles change A LOT.  But he has been able to make a career out of doing what he loves.



I asked my dad how he has been able to keep his jewelry styles relevant and selling.

“Peoples taste change, so it is important to be willing to be versatile, but not to go with the fashion.  Companies who go with the fashion do not always succeed because when the fashion changes the need for their product is gone.  I have gone to some jewelry shows where one year they have the most sales on the sales room floor but then the next year they are gone or buyers are not interested anymore.

If you make your jewelry consistently you will begin to have a trademark look and buyers will know that you are reliable and they will see you jewelry year in and year out.   It is important to know what styles are popular and incorporate certain aspects of it that does not deviate from your style of jewelry.  An example is that when color was popular I would use the colorful metal niobium more. (The earrings below are an example of what the beautiful niobium wire.)

niobium spirals

There have been years when I was not as popular as others.  But there has always been someone who appreciated and bought my jewelry.  As time has gone on I have found that my designs have gotten better and better because I have developed a good foundation of jewelry making and knowledge.  I enjoy the challenge of seeing how many designs I can make out of a design I already have.  How I do that is that I constantly think of making jewelry designs.  The most effective way for me to create jewelry is when I work with a piece of wire without knowing beforehand what I am going to create.

The longer I have been in the jewelry business the more rewarding it has been!”

Tales of the Shop:


March 14 is Nicoles Birthday!  She is the reason why Hoops by Hand is here  She is the spunky one in the family who is not afraid of anything.  She loves to travel and has been to a lot of cool places like Africa and New Zealand.  I have lived in Michigan for five years and she has made it a point to visit me each year.  She has the cutest little girl and is such a good mom and wife. Nicole and I have spent many hours together working in the jewelry business and we have had a lot of fun adventures together.  Like when the Tarantula escaped, having contests on who could make jewelry faster (which she won every time) and having fun talks together.  Nicole was the one that could make the challenging jewelry designs and also was the best candidate to get the jewelry order to the UPS Man in time.  Nicole is an amazing sister!  Happy Birthday:)


All I Want for Christmas…

All I Want for Christmas…

101 Link Parties!Christmas when I was a kid seemed to take forever to arrive, but as I grow older it comes here before I know it!  So I already know what I am getting for Christmas.  The main reason is because I get the presents myself.  Surprises are not my favorite, never have been and probably never will…  So for next year I would like for Christmas is…


Last week I talked about Semi precious gems that look a lot like the Precious stones, Emerald, Sapphire, Ruby and Diamond, but are a lot cheaper.  So this week my quest was to find out the durability of these Semi precious gem copycats and then find a beautiful jewelry piece to go along with it.

The Emerald Look a like

Chrome Diopside has a brilliant green color that resembles an Emerald.  It is a soft gem and can be easily scratched.  But with this ring, I think that it can be well protected by having the Chrome Diopside be a smaller stone and then being protected by Diamonds (probably not real diamonds, because the ring is not that expensive:))

The Tourmaline can be several colors it can range from a pretty Emerald like color to a Ruby color.  In fact the only drawback it has is that it is rarely found to be colorless.  They can be multicolored and even dichronic which means that depending upon the angle of how you look at the gem it can appear to be a different color.  Add to the durability of this gem, and you’ve got your perfect gem!

Here is what I would choose for the Chrome Tourmaline  I do not have a lot of necklaces.  Probably because I have three boys that like to grab anything they can touch.  But for this I will make an exception.  I will wear it when my boys go to bed:)

Now to the Ruby look a likes:

The Sunstone Gem – is more of an orange color, but the darker the orange is like this ring you can pretend it has a little tint of red in it!  It is a beautiful gem regardless.  And it is the official gemstone of Oregon because there is a lot of Sunstone Gem available there.  This gem literally sparkles because of the beautiful copper in it.

With the ever versatile Tourmaline, it can also appear like a ruby, but with a much lower price tag.  I was drawn to this Rubellite Tourmaline ring just because it is from the 1960s.  How I love vintage.  Call me an old soul, but I believe I should have been born in the Cary Grant age.  So yes, I LOVE this ring. And it is an original, there will not be a copy cat of it, which I love:)

Sapphire Look a lite

This Sapphire look a like is also a Tourmaline.  This is a cool ring, it is not listed yet on etsy, but don’t you worry it will be!  Just keep on scrolling down and find the Afghan Tourmaline.  There are a lot of cool designs.  What a talented lady:)

Diamond look a likes

White Zircon is hard and durable.  It will not be as hard as a diamond, but nothing is!  This ring is quite the deal and if I wore it I would definitely be stepping out of my comfort zone, but it is stunning!  And just think if it was a diamond ring, how much more the price would have been?

White Sapphire – It is hard, and not just blue, Sapphire can be pink, pink-orange (which is really rare), yellow, or can change colors, blue outdoors, purple in doors, green gray or black.  I chose a wedding ring to show you how closely it resembles a diamond.  Isn’t this beautiful and for a fraction of the price.  Not only is it cheaper but a sapphire is also a precious stone, so you can’t go wrong:)

Goshenite Beryle got it name from being found in Goshen Massachusetts.  It is a hard material and in the past has been used for eyeglasses and lenses.  It comes from the same family as the Emerald which is also from the beryl family.  This Wire Ring is literally an artistic creation.  I love all the wires being wrapped around continuously around this gem to keep it safe.

Petalite – Was discovered in 1800 and can be grey, yellowish brown or pink.  It is also very durable.  I went with this simple, elegant and classic teardrop pendant.  It seems like it could be kid proof as well!

Danburite is durable and can be pale yellow, yellowish brown or pink.  It is named for being found in Danbury, Connecticut in 1839.  I chose another pendant that is artistic.  What she did was take the Danburite as it was and then created a beautiful wire setting to compliment the raw beautiful gem that it already is!

So there you have it!  May you have a Merry Christmas!

Tales from the Shop:

Everyone will be there this year except for me!  How I love my family.  I am one lucky girl:)

I asked everyone what there most memorable Christmas present was:

Angela – I got my favorite print from Storytellers festival and dad made a frame for it.  It is hanging up in my boys room.  And whenever I see it I think of my dad and the awesome Storytellers festival!

Nicole – Speed bag I secretly wanted it but didn’t dare ask it was a great surprise for my 15th Christmas.

Thomas – My most memorable was the year I got a tennis ball machine!

Lisa – Doll house I got with pops.  It was supposed to be one you build together, I was sooooo so soooo excited.  We opened it up and saw it was basically in pieces the size of popsicle sticks.  I think we spent two times on it.  And one of the times dad claims he waited in the garage for an hour waiting for me to come work on it with him.  I do not recall this, but it was a nice dream.:)

Dad – My first sleeping bag.

Mom – a doll that came with a bed, high chair and stroller.  I kept looking around at my siblings and wondered how come I got so much stuff!




Inexpensive Beautiful gems that you might not know about.

Inexpensive Beautiful gems that you might not know about.

101 Link Parties!The four Precious Stones the Sapphire, Ruby, Diamond and Emerald are beautiful but expensive.  There are other stones that may not be as rare, but still have a lot of great qualities to them.  In fact there are some stones that closely resemble these Precious Stones but for a fraction of the price.

Why would you want just one gem for a huge price tag when you can get other stones that are just as beautiful for less?

Let’s begin with the this Sapphire, it is perfectly eye clean and heated for $5,250.00 for 1.32 carats.  There is a lot lesser quality Sapphire that is 1.22 carats for $195.00.

Tanzanite is a beautiful color it has a more purplish color, but you can get it in a  Sapphire blue.  For the same price of the quality 1.32 Carat Sapphire you can get  9.41 Carats of the beautiful Tanzanite.  Or a 1.22 carat Tanzanite if that would suit you more with the cost of $136.00.

Let’s move on to the Rare Beautiful gem the Emerald.  The Emerald is the most rare Precious stone.  So lets look into other beauties such as:

Chrome Diopside, it is a softer gem, so it is best in earrings.  It is possible to put in a ring, but you need to be VERY CAREFUL!  However it is inexpensive enough being $112.o0 for 1.56 carats, that it will be Okay if something happens to it.  Which is the beauty of these least expensive gems, it will not be the end of the world if it happens to be lost or scratched!

Chrome Tourmaline – is another fun inexpensive option.  For $160.00 you can get a beautiful 1.06 carat gem.

Let’s move on the beautiful Ruby this beautiful Precious gem is worth $9,500 for 1.26 carats.

For those of you who love the Ruby color, there are other beautiful gems that can give you a beautiful reddish color!

There is this beautiful stone called the Rubellite Tourmaline, that does not necessarily have the deep red, but it has a lighter tone, which makes it more on the pink side, but there is a hint of red.  And the cost is significantly cheaper, for $255.00 you can get 1.74 carats.

Fancy Tourmaline is a neat gem, because it can be a lot of colors, including a red!  The Tourmaline I chose is more on the orange side of a red, but I am sure with all the choices of colors that tourmaline offers, that there could be a closer replica of that Ruby Red!  For $99.00 you can get 1.49 carats.
Since my birthday is in January I am a huge Garnet fan.  I know that Garnet is not a Ruby.  However, a Garnet can be darker or lighter depending on the gem that you find.  And the lighter the Garnet, the more of a Ruby like appearance it will be.  Take for example these two Garnet pieces are redder in color and for $70.00 for 3.21 carats, it is worth a shot!

The Sunstone Gem is more on the orange side.  It is a beautiful gem and very inexpensive, you can get a 0.97 carat for $58.00.  This stone can be as light and as dark you as you would like.  The darker you go, the more you will find the Ruby look.  Who doesn’t like orange though?  It is my moms favorite color!

The finale will be the Diamond.  I know that it will be hard to convince diamond lovers that there are other options…But I will do my best!  In fact this is the easiest one to duplicate, because it is white!  For the other gems, it is hard to get the perfect color to match what a Sapphire, Ruby and Emerald is.  But the diamond has some tough competitors:)

White Zircon is beautiful and to be able to get a 2.61 carat for 90.00, that is awesome!

White Sapphire is available for 1.31 carat for $225.00.  Sapphire is a fun gem, because it can be several colors, the dark blue is the most famous.  They do come in a brilliant white though!

Goshenite Beryl is hard, clear and it comes with a beautiful price of $48.00 for a  5.31 carat rock!  

I am not even finished yet:)  Here is Petalite for 3.74 carats for $56.00.

I will save the best for last, let me introduce Danburite, you can get 2.2 carats for $32.00!  I don’t know about you but I will be able to save up for that!

Oh let me remind you how much a Diamond is,  $1,056.00 for .40 carats.

My next challenge for myself will be to find a perfect jewelry piece for each of these beautiful gems and also research to know how hardy each of these gems are.  Stay tuned for next week!

My main point here it to let you know that there are other beautiful gems out there.  And though they might not be as rare, they are stunning nonetheless!  In fact how often do you see these gems around?  So many people are wanting to get the four main precious stones that oftentimes the most common but beautiful gems are overlooked.  And so by buying the semi precious gems, you may be the most unique of all!

Tales of the Shop! 

December 6th was my Dad’s Birthday, the creator of the jewelry designs in our Shop .

I asked each of my brothers and sisters something that our dad has taught them.

Collette – Dad has taught me many things but one of the things I admire most and have learned from him…is he has lived in a way that has taught me that anything is possible.  What a great way to think!  All things are possible!

Angela –  My dad has taught me how to be patient.  I cannot think of one time that he raised his voice to us.  He has always been so soft spoken:)  I also love how creative he is, he has taught me to think outside the box and to pursue your dreams.  He has also taught me how to work hard and to keep on learning.  I consider my dad the smartest man alive!

Nicole – He has taught me that taking the time to teach us kids how to make something was more important than getting the job done.

Thomas – Dad taught me the importance of trying new things and experimenting to find what’s the best!

Daniel – I learned from his incredible patience in forgiving low quality work.  he never gave up on me & never showed frustration.

Lisa – When I was playing tennis, dad would tell me to read books on how to serve better.  He’d come to all my matches and remember pointers to tell me after.  He always had a different outlook aside from my coach, I loved it.  When dad teaches you something, he’s willing to support it all the way.  He’d play with me, buy books (always buys books), and follow up.  The best kind of teacher.



Why Emeralds and other Colored Gems can be Disappointing.

Rule Number one – Before you buy a colored gem/stone, be sure to see it!

My dad when he was first starting out in jewelry, wanted to make a ring that included a nice Emerald.  Until this time he had only worked with diamonds and was only familiar with the strength and cut of a diamond.  So when he received the Emeralds he had purchased for his rings.  He was disappointed in a lot of ways.  The gem itself was very cloudy and not clear, the cut was different than a diamond cut and when he was working with them to set them in the ring they would break because there were a lot of weak spots and inclusions.


Gems and stones are measured in terms of quality by the 4 C’s: Color, Clarity, Carat and Cut
What you are looking for is for a gem that has no blemishes, cracks or inclusions to the naked eye.  An inclusion are the imperfections that nature caused to the stone., like rocks, minerals, change of heat, etc Some gems are harder than others and so can withstand what Mother Nature throws at them a little better. Which is why when my dad was trying to set the Emerald which is a softer gem, the stone broke because it has more inclusions than a Garnet that has less inclusions because of it’s hardness.

If you were to find some colored stones that have good clarity and zero inclusions.  The next step is how intense you want the color.  In gems there are three categories in Color –
The Hue – describes the Primary color
Tone  – describes how light or dark a stone is. An example of this would be a Garnet. The color can range to a red that is almost ruby like to a deep purple that is almost black.
Saturation – which describes how much of the Primary hue a stone contains, without grey or brown being included in the color.

Buying Colored gems is completely different than buying a diamond.  Gems are cut differently than a diamond to show off the color.  The cut of a colored gem does not come to an abrupt edge, because the gem is fragile and it is less likely to break with this type of cut. Some of them like an Emerald if they were cut like a diamond, it has so many cracks that it would break.  They are instead cut flat to keep it strong.

The size of the stone is important. To truly show off the color saturation of a colored gem they need to be a substantial size.  Sapphire, Garnet, Topaz and Amethyst look great regardless of the size.  And in fact make great accents to a diamond.


My dad uses a service called Memo where they send you colored gems for you to see them, and if you do not like them you can send them back.  You do need to be careful with this process because they try to get you to take the whole lot.  Sot there are few good ones with a lot of duds.  Another option is to go to a Gem show to know what you are getting and there will be a lot of options.  With this method you can see the seller in person and you do not need to buy in bulk

The hardest gems to find are the Rubys and Emeralds. They are more rare than diamonds and it is hard to find a clear one of these without inclusions and great color. In fact the best place to get a quality Ruby or Emerald is to look for antique jewelry.

So remember that when you are buying a Colored Stone/gem be sure to see it to know what you are exactly getting.  There are also other beautiful gems that are not as well known as the Birthstones but are equally as beautiful and more affordable.  You still get a beautiful gem that is natural but without the price tag.  I will write next week about my dad’s favorite Colored gems that are not as well known!

Tales of the Shop

Our Birthmonths – In our family, our birthdays would be a week long celebration and was eventually changed to your Birth Week.  We still carry that tradition as we start our own small families.  I myself have tried to extend it to a Birth Month…

Dad – December (For his birthday we would sometimes go up to Provo and go see three movies in one day at the movie theatre, we loved that!)
Mom – January (Loved having her birthday in January because you get the after Christmas sales!)
Collette – November It’s coming up! (She always got the best presents and she would always celebrate with the family instead of having friend parties.  We loved that!)
Angela – January (I always felt special having my birthday be two days after my mom.  We would celebrate our birth week together!)
Nicole – March (Always reminded us months in advance that her birthday was coming up!)
Thomas – July (He didn’t make such a big deal about it.  We would usually play tennis on his birthday or doing some athletic event.)
Daniel – June (Such a precious one.  He wouldn’t make a big deal about it.  But we would!)
Lisa – December – (If there was a girl that loved her birthday it would be Lisa!  Not only did she plan her birthday with a power point to show us what she wanted to do for her whole day.  She also would celebrate her half birthday in June!)


Celebrate your Anniversary with a Birth Stone!

Celebrate your Anniversary with a Birth Stone!

I have finally found a way to accumulate all the birthstones!   And that is through celebrating your Wedding Anniversary or any anniversary.  I focused on the Birthstones.  But there are several lists out there that has something for every year.  It will take time to get all of the birth stones…but it is possible!


January – Garnet – the stone of “Passion” -18th year

February – Amethyst – the stone of “Sincerity” – 4th and 6th year

March – Aquamarine – stone of “Beauty and Loyalty” – 16th and 19th year

April – Diamond stone of “Love around the world” – 30th and 60th year

May – Emeraldstone of “Everlasting love” – 20th, 35th and 55th year

June – Pearlstone of “Love and Happiness” – 1st, 12th, and 30th year

July – Rubystone of “Fire and Passion” 40th year

August – Peridotstone of “Dignity and Protection” 16th year

September – Sapphirestone of “Loyalty and Fidelity” 45th year

October – Opal stone of “Hope, Happiness and Truth” 14th and 18th year

November – Topaz –  Stone of “Strength” – 4 and 19th year, 23rd year will get an Imperial Topaz

December – Tanzanite stone of “Healing and Spirituality” 24th year

There are several lists out there of Anniversary gifts and meanings, like this one, this one.  or this one.  So the best strategy to receive as many jewels as possible, is to go through all the lists on google and start adding up all the jewelry that you definitely deserve!

So have fun looking and dreaming of all the fun pieces of jewelry out there.  My husband and I have been married for six wonderful years.  So according to this list, the jewelry items I qualify for are an Amethyst, Pearl and Topaz.  I also know that if I  search long enough, there are some more jewels that I could add!

Tales of the Shop!

My parents have been married 31 years.  They are wonderful and my brothers and sisters are lucky to have them as parents!

Nicole will have been married three years when January comes.  Her husband actually proposed to her on Halloween day!

Thomas will have been married two years when March comes.

They are wonderful additions to the family and we are so grateful to have them!

*Every birthstone is highlighted, when you click on it, that is the jewelry piece that I would love to receive!

** The pictures at the beginning of the post are of my husband and I at our reception.  Then fast forward six years, this is our family now.  I am one lucky girl!




How much is your Birth Stone Worth?

After last weeks article, I wanted to learn the value of the other birthstones. I tried to find a straight up value on the stones, and I couldn’t find it. So I went back to to see if there was a piece of jewelry that all of the stones had. Luckily all but one had a stud earring that was 5 mm the equivalent of 3/4 Karat in 18 Karat gold.

This experiment brought me back to my high school science experiments…and let’s just say that I am sure that there was a much easier and accurate way. But here are my findings! Garnet was the birthstone that only had the stud earring in 7 mm. Because of the huge size of the stone compared to the others. It is twelfth place. This is my birthstone. And I am so happy that it is the one of the cheaper ones, because then I can get a lot of them!

12. January – Garnet 7 mm $200.00
11. August – Peridot $155.00
10. February – Amethyst $155.00
9. November – Topaz – $160.00
8. June – Pearl – $190.00
7. March – Aquamarine – $200.00
6. October – Opal $215.00
5. December – Tanzanite – $465.00
4. September – Sapphire – $780.00
3. July – Ruby – $940.00
2. May – Emerald – $1.050
1. April – Diamond – $1.550

This is a great article that gives a brief explanation on each birthstone.

So the mighty diamond is the winner! 

March, June, and December have more than one birthstone so I went with the one that was most familiar to me, and that was on the bluenile sight. Also the 18 Karat white gold adds a lot to the price. For example a Garnet 8 mm in Sterling Silver is $90.00. Anyone who can find a better way to calculate the birthstone value will get a pair of hoops sent there way! I can’t wait to hear all of your ideas:)
I think that is all the disclaimers that i have!

Tales of the Shop –
We have never lived in Boise, ID

We have loved living in so many places. Because of all the fabulous people that have added so much so much to our lives.

Next week we will tell you each of our favorite jewelry item we love to make in the shop. Mine is actually in the hoopsbyhand store. If you guess it correctly you will get a small pair of hoop earrings.

The Four Precious Stones: So Why Do I See Only Diamonds?

There are four precious stones in this world: a Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. What makes them precious is that they are hard, have rich color and are scarce.

My question is, if there are four precious stones, why is the diamond the main engagement ring? I read a lot of different articles, and the main idea was that Diamonds have been around for a long time, but they were so scarce that only the very rich could afford them. Then in the 1870s there were diamond mines discovered in South Africa. So much so that the diamond was losing their value. That is why the company De Beer was formed to control the market of the dimaond and make sure it wasn’t being flooded, to keep the value high. It wasn’t until 1949 that the slogan “A Diamond is Forever.” changed the way America and eventually the world looked at diamonds. And within 20 years about 80% of America was sporting the diamond.

This is the article I felt summed it up the best.

So what I would like to do is show you that there is more to a engagement/wedding ring than just a diamond.

Let’s look first at the Sapphire.

What a beauty that ring is! It was hard to choose which one I wanted! While I was searching the world wide web, what I found interesting was the sapphire. It can be found in several colors such as “colorless, gray, black, yellow, green, pink, orange, brown and sometimes, clear. I also learned there are star sapphires that when viewed with a single overhead light you can see a six rayed star shaped pattern.

To to add to the magic of the Sapphire, there are some that can change color depending on the light. Some are blue when outside and purple with indoor light. Another type is pink in the daylight and green under inside light.

I had no idea about this. Basically the world is the limit when you choose this Precious Stone!

The next is a Ruby. I loved this engagement ring

Prices of Ruby are determined by color. The most desirable color is pigeon red. There are several shades of red and even can go into a pink color. Although there is a debate if it should be called a Pink Sapphire instead of a Ruby.

Rubies are very hard. Only the diamond and moissanite are harder, which lets you know how substantial a Ruby is.

To improve the color the Ruby is heated.

And now I will save the best for last. The Emerald.

Out of all the precious stones, the emerald is the most rare of all. And this is the engagement ring I would choose. Don’t you worry I didn’t choose the most expensive one…but wow this is awesome! I had to choose one that had an emerald cut to it, because this is the cut that best shows off the color of this rare and precious stone, hence the name.

An Emerald is graded by the eye, which means that if you look at an Emerald and it doesn’t have any flaws then it is considered perfect.

Columbia is the place to find Emeralds.

Cedar Oil is used to help clarify the stone. If there is treatment involved it needs to be made known to the buyer.


So what is your favorite precious stone? If you could do it differently would you still choose a diamond ring? I am torn. Because I am a traditional person and love the look of the diamond. But then the Sapphire is looking pretty good…maybe because I have three boys and I am drawn to that blue color. Then there is the mighty emerald. Wouldn’t that be fun to have such a valuable ring on your finger? And yet then I wouldn’t dare wear it because of it’s value. A ruby is stunning in it’s own right. In other words, I don’t think you can go wrong. They are called Precious stones for a reason!  But mostly a part of me wants to be untraditional and replace my diamond!


Tales of the Shop

We have lived a lot of places growing up.  And we have loved every single one of them.  Below are all the places we have lived, except one, can you spot it?

  1. Orem, UT
  2. Santa Fe, NM
  3. Spring City, UT
  4. Boise, ID
  5. El Paso, TX
  6. Spanish Fork, UT
  7. San Diego, CA

The picture on top was taken after my husband asked me to marry him.  Best decision I ever made!