Jewelry insurance comes in many forms and varieties and only an insurance agent can provide accurate and specific advice. I am only presenting some basic guidelines here.  

But, you need to know enough about jewelry insurance to ask your agent the right questions and to be aware of how the process works.  And furthermore, you need to ask your insurance agent the questions before you insure an item, not when you need to file a claim.  The most important thing you need to do is to read the fine print in your insurance contract to be sure it provides the coverage you expect.

If you like to work with luxurious materials, fine gems, and metals, then you consider one of a kind art pieces with your jewelry making. Even though there is an art to all jewelry making, becoming a designer that can market and sell hand-crafted jewelry in art galleries takes your craft to a higher level. Here are some ideas for getting recognized as an artist and getting your jewelry into art galleries.

1. Start with photography. If you own a great digital camera and some lighting, then stage them so they look like digital art when you take photos of your pieces If you don t have a good camera or if photography is not your forte, don t hesitate to hire a still photographer to take pictures for you. You might even find a photography student willing to do it for the experience or for a small fee. Your photos should be stunning like art that could be framed and hung on its own. Prints of the photos should go into a nice, professional looking portfolio case and on your website.

If you walk into a jewelry supply store, you will find a great variety of metals used for making wire wrapped jewelry. When you begin your own work, you will make mistakes.  Just be sure you make them for cents — not dollars. So start with an inexpensive craft wire, a brass alloy, copper, or plated wire.  Once you get the feel for how the material feels and how to make some of the basic pieces and simple wraps, you can then move on to more expensive silver and gold wires.

Silver-plated or gold-plated wire is made by fusing a microscopically thin layer of silver or gold over a base metal or copper core.  These wires are relatively inexpensive and are fine wires to start with.  The copper is easy to work with and bends easy, but if you have exposed ends or if you overwork the wire by hammering it, the copper or base metal will show through. Plated wire will only accept a limited amount of polishing before the base wire begins to show through.

The shape of jewelry wire refers to the shape of the cut end.

Historically, all wire was round.  Today, jewelry wire is manufactured in several shapes.  These include round, square, and half-round.

Although round wire tends to be more versatile, square and half-round wires are available and have their purposes. Half round wire is often wrapped around other pieces of wire, as bindings, to connect them.  Square wire is used because of its aesthetic value and can be used as is or can be twisted for a glittering, more decorative effect.

Jewelry wire gauge is a measure of the diameter of the wire.

The larger the gauge number, the smaller the wire.  For example a zero gauge wire is roughly the size of a pencil, while a 30 gauge wire is roughly the size of a human hair.  And as with wire hardness, you should use the wire gauge that is most appropriate for the piece of jewelry you are creating or wrapping.

For making wire wrapped rings, I usually use 14 to 16 gauge wire, while bracelet and necklace wire components are generally made from 16, 18 or 20 gauge wire.  And when creating earrings or earring components, I use 20 or 22 gauge wire.

Jewelry wire hardness, also called wire temper, ranges from those wires that are pliable and can easily be formed into different shapes to those are stiff and hard to bend.  Most jewelry wire is classified as either dead soft, half hard, or hard, and each has its own uses for different jewelry creations. No single hardness of wire can be used for all applications.

Dead soft wire is exactly that — extremely soft and pliable and therefore very easy to bend and shape.  Soft wire is good for decorative loops, swirls, and spirals. Because it is easy to manipulate, it is most often used in sculptured wire jewelry.  The disadvantage of using soft wire is that the finished piece can be bent out of shape if not properly handled.  It does not hold its shape in stressed situations such as clasps unless it is hardened.