Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Tips for Dating Success, Online and Off

Stephanie Schwab

Dating, online or off, can be scary and frustrating. Follow these ten simple tips to help get you in the right groove - and off to a great start!

1. Be Confident
Confidence, confidence, confidence! Nothing is more attractive than a person who is confident in their own skin. Once you are happy in your own skin and self-fulfilled, you will attract the matches you deserve, not just the ones you settle for. So relax and be your genuine self.

2. Be Interesting
Read the newspaper and know what's going on in the world. Current events are great conversation starters. Interesting conversation will attract others to start talking to you.

3. Increase Your Chances
Don't limit yourself by dating and approaching one type of person. Don't pass on someone until you get to know them. Love happens at the most unexpected times with the most unexpected people!

4. Use Great Props
Never leave your home without a prop -dogs, kids, unusual jewelry, a fabulous scent, a sweatshirt with your favorite passion, interesting ties, hats, or an interesting book or newspaper. Props can break the ice and help in starting up a conversation.

5. Network
Just as you network with your friends, colleagues and family for work, you can call on them to network for you on your dating quest.

6. Be Honest
Be yourself from the start. People can always sense when you are not being 100% honest and it is a turn off and leaves people feeling weary of you.

7. Be Proactive
Go after what you want. You have nothing to lose by trying, so get out there.

8. Stay Positive and Have Fun
Be playful, light-hearted and spontaneous. Show your vulnerability.

9. Start a Conversation
The best opening line is saying hello. Talk about the surroundings, ask a question, ask for help, or state an opinion.

10. Be Patient
The first person (or second or third) you connect with may not be the right one for you. Have patience and realize that you may need to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince (or princess)!

Stephanie is the Match Maven for iMatchup.com, a popular online dating service with over 2.7 million members in the U.S. and Canada. She is a relationship expert who fields questions from users on everything from online profiles to how to propose marriage. Visit www.iMatchup.com for more information.

History of the Claddagh rings
Paul Gibney

The Claddagh ring is Irelands most romantic and enduring Celtic jewelry tradition. It is customary for the ring to be worn as a wedding or engagement ring and then to be handed down from generation to generation.
Claddagh itself is one of Ireland's oldest fishing villages just outside Galway City in the west of Ireland. Legend has it that one of its residents a Richard Joyce was abducted while out fishing, by Moorish pirates and taken back to Tunisia. There he was to become a slave and learned the craft of a Goldsmith. In 1670 he was released when King William III came to the throne and concluded an agreement whereby all his subjects who where held captive were allowed to return to their homes. Richard`s former master pleaded with him to stay, marry one of his daughters and inherit half of all his wealth. But all to no avail Richard was returning to his one true Irish love back in Claddagh. When he arrived home he found that his true love was unmarried and still waiting for him. They set up a Goldsmiths store together. Where Richard made the first Claddagh rings and used at their own wedding.
In earlier times in Claddagh village the design of the ring was the symbol of the "fishing Kings of Claddagh" the meaning being then "in love and friendship let us reign". The heart symbolizes love, the hands symbolizes friendship and the crown loyalty. The popularity of the Claddagh ring was helped by the mass exodus from Ireland during the great famine 1845-50.
Some famous wearers of the Claddagh ring include Queen Victoria, Edward VII and lately Buffy the vampire slayer (who was given the ring by Angel). The present Governor of New York recently mentioned that over 200 Claddagh rings had been recovered from the attack on the world trade center on September 11th 2001.

The tradtional Claddagh symbols - heart for love, hands for friendship and crown for loyalty.

How to wear your Claddagh Ring;

Right hand with the heart pointing outwards = Fancy free
Right hand with the heart pointing inwards = Spoken for
Left hand with the heart pointing inwards = Found true love


Paul Gibney is a co-founder of http://www.claddaghstore.com one of Ireland largest online Celtic Jewelry Stores.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Is Your Trash Cash? 5 Easy Places to Sell Your Stuff

Karen Fritscher-Porter

The old adage that says "one person's trash is another person's treasure" never goes out of date. So when you're looking for some extra spending cash and you want to make some space in your home, combine the two endeavors by selling your stuff instead of donating it or trashing it. Use the extra cash to pay a bill or start a holiday gift fund. Even better, use the windfall to treat yourself to a weekend getaway! Plenty of people and places exist to buy what you could be selling instead of giving away or trashing. Here are some places where you can sell your stuff:

ANTIQUE DEALERS AND COLLECTORS: Sell anything from old coins and costume jewelry to old records and toys that are in great shape to dealers. And sometimes not so great shape. I got several offers for an old hand-me down jeweled pocket watch, even with its bit of chipped paint. Dealers often resell your item to make themselves a profit. The telephone book yellow pages yields the names of area antique dealers or check the local newspaper classified ads under the "wanted to buy" sections. Be sure to get more than one quote or appraisal before you sell it.

FLEA MARKETS: Got a bunch of stuff to sell like books, video tapes, figurines, fake (or real) potted plants, even clothing in good shape? Rent a booth at the nearest flea market that generates a lot of traffic. Often just $5 - $15 rents a space with a table. Visit first to scope out the best booth for your bucks. Perhaps even bring your own additional tables, shelves or hanging clothes racks. A sheet or cheap tablecloth will dress up your flea market table too (Sometimes good displays attract more shoppers!). Don't forget the lawn chair and $20 in small bills for change. And flea market shoppers like to haggle. So inflate your prices just a bit so they can strike a bargain with you. It's expected!

CLASSIFIED ADS: Make room for the new couch by selling the old one in your local freebie paper, especially if you're in a college town. Used furnishings are hot sale items to students. I once netted $200 bucks for a small quaint and deteriorating three piece wood bedroom drawer set someone gave me a few years back. I placed an ad in the local "Pennysaver" newspaper for just a few bucks, and dozens of potential buyers called almost immediately. It sold in two days (to a furniture design graduate student who wanted to restore the furniture).

CONSIGNMENT/RESALE SHOPS: If you have discovered that you like walking in fresh air or you stink at tennis, consider giving up your treadmill or tennis rackets in exchange for cash. Sell used sporting goods equipment to stores such as Play it Again; or put it on consignment at such stores. That means if the item sells, the store gets a cut. If it doesn't sell, you're still stuck with it and earn no money. Also, you probably have some clothing consignment stores in your community. Check the phone book and look around, or ask around, to find them. Sometimes resale shops or consignment shops will advertise in those weekly freebie "tell and sell" or community newspapers too. Make some inquiries with these shops about what seasonal clothes they're looking for currently; then give them your good stash of clothes that you no longer wear to sell on consignment. Make sure you inquire about what happens to the clothing if it doesn't sell (so you get it back and they don't cart it off to the nearest charity clothing shop which some will if you want them to do so).

FRIENDS AND CO-WORKERS: Sure it's okay to give things away now and then to friends in need. But if you're planning to sell an item and you happen to know a friend, acquaintance or co-worker seeking just such an item, why not give them first purchase option? When I married, I ended up with a lot of duplicate items just taking up storage space. One day during a casual conversation with a co-worker I found a new home for my almost new, small microwave. My co-worker had just divorced, moved to this new state, owned almost no household items and lived in a very small apartment; my small microwave was a perfect match for her needs. I ended up with $25 I needed and she ended up with a must-have item for her new apartment. So keep your ears open for people seeking what you're getting rid of and don't be afraid to say an item is for sale (after all, if you could afford to give it away, you probably wouldn't be reading this article.).

Karen Fritscher-Porter is the publisher/editor of http://www.Christmas-Cash.com, a Website that brings you simple pocket cash and freebie earning opportunities and ideas. She also publishes http://www.EasyHomeOrganizing.com, a Website that helps you organize your home. Both sites offer free articles, information and ideas and a free newsletter.

Art and Soul: A Spiritual Approach to Crafts
Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Cindy Lutz Kornet is a talented artist and craftsperson whose work encompasses many media. With "Art and Soul: A Spiritual Approach to Crafts," she shares her philosophy on how art can transform life and touch our souls. The quote that dominates the back cover of "Art and Soul" succinctly captures her perspective: "Creation is itself but a longing, a kind of Prayer to the Almighty."

An experienced art educator, Kornet believes that "everyone is creative by nature and is limited only by lack of experience, self-doubt or a lack of confidence due to other's criticism." In "Art and Soul," Kornet works to strip away some of those inhibitions that keep us from being the true creative spirits we were meant to be. She believes that art can teach us much about life.

For example, in the creative process, we may make a "mistake." Kornet encourages her students to go back and see how the project can be revised in order to make use of the "mistake" and take the project to a new level. This technique may also be used when we face problems in life. Such challenges can begin to be seen as opportunities.

Art can also be used in the healing process. Art offers an opportunity to express pain or grief that may otherwise just fester inside. The creative process offers both an emotional release and a finished project that can be used to remember a special person or time period.

"Art and Soul" offers many concrete ideas to get the creative juices flowing. Beautiful photographs of Kornet's own work illustrate many of the pages. In addition, a good portion of the book is dedicated to introductory how-to information. Some of the crafts represented include fabric arts, collage, jewelry, card making, gift wrappings, travel journals, and altered books. Kornet also offers suggestions on how to get the whole family involved in the creative process.

Kornet writes from a Jewish perspective, but "Art and Soul" crosses religious lines. It is a book about life and creativity which anyone can appreciate. To learn more about Cindy Lutz Kornet and her work, please visit her website at www.artandsoulbycin.com. To purchase "Art and Soul," please
visit http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=30842


Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur is editor of "The Spiritual Woman Newsletter" (www.spiritualwoman.net) and author of "Letters to Mary from a Young Mother" (iUniverse, 2004)

Precious Stones-The Big Five-Part 2 The Ruby

Sam Serio

What fairy tales of enchanted princesses and legendary lore of the Arabian Nights does not the mere mention of the ruby conjure up to our imagination! No stone has been more intimately connected with poetry and romance, and few gems can compare either in beauty or value with a perfect ruby. When Solomon exclaimed that "a virtuous woman was more valuable than rubies," and Job, that "the price of wisdom is above rubies," they both mentioned what to them was the most valuable thing in existence. And its value and rarity have not decreased since their time. Today a perfect ruby of five carats will fetch at least five times the value of a diamond of the same size and quality, while rubies without flaw or blemish, and of the true pigeon-blood variety, weighing as much as ten carats, are so rare and valuable that ten times the value of a perfect diamond would be considered a very low price to pay for so perfect a gem.

The ruby is the oldest or first known of all precious stones, dating far back in the early history of Chaldea and Babylonia. The finest specimens, as well as the largest quantities, are found in Upper Burma, and at the present time over one-half of the world's supply comes from this locality. The rubies found in Ceylon, Siam and Australia have not the deep rich color of the Burmese ruby which is a shade of red slightly inclined to the purple and is often called "Pigeon Blood Ruby." The value of rubies depends upon their color and transparency.

The red sapphire or ruby is the most valuable of the corundum family, and when found of a good color, pure and brilliant, and in sizes of one carat and larger, it is much more valuable than a fine diamond of the same size.

Rubies and Sapphires are scientifically the same stone, differing only in color. Corundum, the predominating mineral of both, is composed of nearly pure alumina. The coloring substance, which differentiates rubies and sapphires, is believed to be chromium. In the scale of hardness the gem ranks as No. 9 and is thus the hardest of all substances excepting the diamond. Color is the most important factor in determining the value of the ruby. The gem is always more or less imperfect, but its freedom from bad imperfections is also important. Since fine rubies of all sizes are extremely rare, the price increases very rapidly with an increase in size, and a fine ruby of more than four carats commands an extraordinary price and can be said to be the most valuable of all gems, exceeding greatly a diamond of equal weight. The color of the ruby varies from the lightest rose tint to the deepest carmine, but the rarest and most valuable shade is known as Pigeon Blood. This is the color of arterial blood. The ruby has always been greatly admired, and many say that the ruby in the British Crown is the most beautiful gem they have ever seen.

The ruby is found in limestone deposits on side hills, but the largest quantity is found in alluvial deposits of gravel and clay in riverbeds. These deposits are about fifteen to twenty feet below the surface and from a few inches to five feet in thickness. This material called "byon" is mined or removed and put through a washing process by which the rubies are recovered.

The genuine ruby is gotten from the mineral known as corundum. Emery, so much used, is an impure form of corundum. The superbly blood-red color of the perfect ruby is produced by the very tiny portions of impurity in the substance after they have been crystallized by Nature's wonderful processes. All genuine-that is natural stones, contain certain tiny flaws and blemishes and characteristic peculiarities. The fewer these flaws the rarer the gem. Imitation stones get their imperfections during manufacture, and as the chemists are more careful than Nature, these imperfections are less noticeable. By the following differences between the real and the artificial, you can test your ruby. A real ruby contains irregularly shaped bubbles; the imitation ruby contains bubbles that are perfectly round. Natural rubies all have a silky sheen, due to a number of tiny parallel lines going in three definite directions; imitation stones never have this characteristic.

While lab-created rubies and sapphires have a distinct use in jewelry, they can never affect the sale of the real gems any more than is the case with imitation pearls. Aside from the fact that the imitation can always be ultimately detected, the person desiring to purchase a ruby, as a ruby, and as a work of beauty and distinction wants a gem which he knows is one of nature's rarities and is therefore possessed of intrinsically great value. A good illustration of this fundamental feeling is given by Mr. Zell a noted mineralogist, who says, "Many perfect copies of the Sistine Madonna have been made by good artists, the original is priceless, the copies at the most are worth a few hundred dollars, this is the relation of a gem made in nature's laboratory to one produced by the chemist."

Today, the ruby is still considered one of the most valuable and beautiful of the precious stones. Artisans of fine jewelry throughout the world continue to utilize this fine gem in their creations. Ruby is the birthstone for the month of July.


For more information on jewelry and gemstones, we cordially invite you to visit www.morninglightjewelry.com to pick up your FREE copy of "How To Buy Jewelry And Gemstones Without Being Ripped Off." This concise, informative special report reveals almost everything you ever wanted to know about jewelry and gemstones, but were afraid to ask. Get your FREE report at www.morninglightjewelry.com.

Sterling Silver Jewelry Fashion Trends for the New Year and Beyond
Sam Serio



Each year, on fashion runways from New York to Paris, Milan, and Toyko, sterling silver is "new again" as designers interpret it in new and exciting ways. What makes sterling silver a fashion perennial? The answer is clear: when it comes to beauty, versatility, durability, and affordability, sterling silver jewelry is unsurpassed.
In the hands of talented artists and designers, sterling silver is constantly "reinvented" to suit the evolving tastes of the women who wear it. But whether as a ring, a necklace, or bracelet, standing alone or presented in combination with gemstones and other precious metals-sterling silver is always in fashion.
Here's a look at what's "hot" this year:
Peace of Silver
In 2004, many Oscar presenters and recipients wore gracefully and simply designed "Dove of Peace." pin. Embraced by such Hollywood luminaries as Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Drew Barrymore, and Leonardo DiCaprio, it has also been seen on the Dali Lama and Nobel Peace Laureates Oscar Aria Sanchez, Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, and former UN Assistant Secretary-General Gillian Sorrensom.
Now non-celebrities may purchase the pin in sterling silver pin to demonstrate both their commitment to peace and their fashion sense. The 2005 sterling silver interpretation was designed by award-winning American jewelry artist Henry Dunay to resonate the energy of Picasso's "Dove Of Peace."
Silver Screen
With the enormous popularity of the "Lord of the Rings" series, it comes as no surprise that designers have created jewelry based on the elaborately crafted pieces in the films. Based on the actual pendant worn in the Lord of the Rings film, the Arwen Evenstar Pendant is crafted in sterling silver and comes in a wooden gift box. Measuring 2-1/2 inches in length with a 18" sterling silver chain and a Swarovski crystal stone, each piece is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, adding long-term value to its other charms.
Works Like A Charm
Charm bracelets are both wonderfully retro and extremely cutting edge. Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Avril Levigne, Hilary Duff, and other high-visibility high-fashion celebrities are wrapping their wrists in silver bracelets with the hip L.A. brand "Eldorado Club."
The "Girlie Charm Bracelet" is adorned with charming femme-friendly charms including a cat, a cocktail glass, and a kitty.
Sterling Silver - Always In Style for Your 25th Anniversary No matter what list you consult -- traditional, modern or the now popular "ultra-modern" (which includes items like clocks and appliances) -- silver is the 21st Century gift of choice for a 25th wedding anniversary. Whether it's silver's durability, its strength, its flexibility or its unparalleled beauty, sterling silver is an exquisite memento of 25 years of loving commitment between a couple.
Topping the list of this year's "What's Hot" in silver wedding anniversary gifts, women say they want charm bracelets, hoop earrings, and hair ornaments. For wives who would like to present their husbands with sterling silver tokens, the "top of the charts" picks are cufflinks, tie clips, money clips, neck chains, and I.D. bracelets.
But #1 for him AND her -- a classic sterling silver Tiffany keyring.


For more information on jewelry and gemstones, we cordially invite you to visit www.morninglightjewelry.com to pick up your FREE copy of "How To Buy Jewelry And Gemstones Without Being Ripped Off." This concise, informative special report reveals almost everything you ever wanted to know about jewelry and gemstones, but were afraid to ask. Get your FREE report at www.morninglightjewelry.com.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Denim Is Big This Season - Dress It Up Or Down

Sher Matsen

For all you denim lovers, like myself, this is the season for you to shine. Denim is big this season. Denim has become a fashion statement of its own. No longer are we limited to boot cut, low rise, or relaxed fit jeans. It has come into its own - we can have denim hats, tops, belts, skirts, and even shoes. So wear denim with the attitude it deserves.

Many celebrities are really utilizing denim - they're dressing it up with embroidery, lace, fur, jewelry, accessories. What ever the heart desires. Dark denim, light denim, stone washed denim, colored denim - all good to go this season!

The gals can dress it up with pearls, the guys with a tie. Crystal or rhinestone jewelry will make you dazzling! Add some long fun beads, a chunky necklace, or an armful of bangles. Don't forget to accessorize. Add a hat, a belt, or how about suspenders just for kicks. Add a fitted blazer to that denim skirt, add some heals to your favorite pair of jeans. Try a pair of the ever popular wedge shoes with any of your denim items.

For women with small waists and wider hips Joe's jeans has a new jean line called "Honey Jeans" They are designed so they don't gape at the waist. They accomplish this by making a two part waist band which give them more of a curve. Low rise jean that truly fits the feminine form. Check them out. They run around $148.00 a pair and can be found online.

Paper Denim has grown in popularity and offers great body fits - Super low rise, low rise, x-low slash pocket, and x-low flare. As well as the trouser and boot cut if your looking for something different.

Marc Jacobs has a form fitting dress that is ever so sexy. Add a light cardigan for those cooler evenings and you'll look sensational.

There are a host of denim designers and manufacturers offering jeans of various cuts, mini skirts, bustle skirts, form fitting dresses, flowing dresses, capri pants, denim shirts, vests, hats, denim belts, denim shoes, the list goes on and on.

If you want to get some great ideas of what you can do with your denim I recommend you visit Misssixty.com Very interesting and informative site!

Denim is durable, wearable, comfortable, and now more than ever fashionable. So enjoy your denim and dress it up or down to whatever the occasion. Be certain to accent it with your favorite jewelry and have fun! Make your fashion statement!

Sher from Estate Jewelry International has been serving customers for over 20 years, providing fashion, jewelry,and wedding help. Please visit us at http://www.estatejewelryinternational.com/

The History of Bracelets
Sher Matsen

Bracelet popularity dates back to the Roman times and continues today.
Roman bracelets shared many of the design patterns of necklaces and earrings from that era. The ever popular ball earrings from that era were nicely matched with a ball style bracelet. Engraved bangles and snake bracelets were very popular during Roman times. Bracelets made of twisted coil with lion head ends were common place, as were the two part bracelets ending with a pair of lion heads. The Heracles knot bracelet is recognized as a Roman era piece. The Roman's were very creative in the designing of their jewelry. However they still borrowed from Greek motifs. Palmettos, fleeing dogs and acanthus leaves, all of Greek origin, were often seen in the designing of Roman jewelry.

Stones and glass were often used in Roman bracelets. . Gem stones were commonly found set in eyes. Open bands were cut to represent a row of ivy and entwined with pearls. Many of the leaf and berry bracelets were heavily adorned with decorative glass. The wealthier women could be seen wearing bracelets layered in bezel set emeralds.

During the Gerogiian times bracelets remained popular. Paris jewelers were known for their gold bracelets set with pearl edging. After the 1820s coral became the "in" fashion statement, so bracelets and other jewelry were heavily set with coral.

During the Gerogiian time it was very fashionable to wear many bracelets at once, including wide ribbon gold mesh bracelets, and silk ribbon bracelets. Gem and Diamond bracelets were designed in geometric patterns. Gold was heavily used during this era.

The Victorian era brought changes to the fashions of women, including jewelry styles. Earrings grew long and dangled, bracelets became rigid and were normally worn in pairs. The buckle bracelet became very fashionable.

The jewelry of the Victorian era expressed sentiment, and bracelets were no exception. Bracelets would contain lockets or charms with pictures or hair of a loved one, and engravings were common

Early Victorian jewelry enjoyed some mystic with hidden meanings being popular. The acrostic bracelets where the first letter of each gemstone spelled a word of friendship were very popular. For example a bracelet set with Lapis, Opal, Vermeil [hessonite garnet] and Emerald would spell Love.

The Art Nouveau period once again saw changes to fashion and jewelry. Chameleons and serpents entwined themselves around bracelets. The mystical Egyptian scarab was found on bracelets and rings. Other popular creatures included dragonflies, butterflies, bees, peacocks, swans, and even bats. This was a very figural period attached to nature.
If jewelry did not depict creatures it depicted flower blossoms or flower buds.

From 1910 to 1939 women's fashions saw sleeveless or short sleeve dresses appear. The result was flexible bracelets and bangles worn on the upper arm. These arm bracelets were often adorned with gemstones or diamonds.
From 1940 to 1949 US designers were greatly influenced by the designs from the French house of Van Cleef & Arpels. Bracelets with ribbon of hexagon lines centered on fine gemstones fastened with heavy clasps became very vogue.

From 1950 to 1960 daytime saw simpler lines for not only gold bracelets but necklaces as well. Gold mesh or twisted wire bracelets were very popular.

From 1960 to 1970 bracelets became more flexible and were often set with gems. Bangles on the other hand became more rigid and were often seen set with random diamond placements.

From 1970 to 1979 bracelets were flexible and often set with tiny baguettes. Delicate and dainty bracelets were vogue.

From the 1980s to now bracelet fashions have been mixed and varied. Bracelet styles have become more of an individual fashion statement than a trend. Gold has always remained popular as have gems, however sterling silver has become very popular and recognized for its versatility and wearability at affordable pricing. In the last few years we've also seen an increase in demand for titanium bracelets.
Today a women's fashion statement is about her! What she likes, what she feels good in. So your bracelet wardrobe can be what ever you want. Wear a dainty gem set gold bracelet or an armful of clunky bracelets, which is very vogue this season.

Your fashion statement is about who you are, so feel free to be you!



© Copyright Sher Matsen, All Rights Reserved.

About the author:
Sher has been serving customers for over 20 years, providing affordable estate jewelry, and a wealth of information on jewelry, fashion, designers, and beauty with on staff industry professionals. Please visit us at Estate Jewelry International.

When Your Customers Steal

Chris Malta

"When Your Customers Steal"
You know it's a slow news day when the news programs on TV turn their attention to their favorite new consumer warning
"Beware of online businesses!" they cry. "YOU could be SCAMMED on the Internet!"
Every time I see one of these news stories, I groan, and wonder how many sales my sites just lost. Then there are the ads for that new credit card that "protects" consumers against online fraud. They make Internet businesses people look like a bunch of thugs who meet in a sewer all day long to torture innocent consumers.
There a lot more honest, hardworking Netrepreneurs out there than scam artists. That doesn't make for a good news story, though, so we all take the lumps for the transgressions of a sordid few.
You know what I've never seen, though? I've never seen a headline story about the CUSTOMERS who scam the Netrepreneurs. I've seen stories about thieves robbing convenience stores. I've seen exposes featuring the practices favored by professional shoplifters. What about the "consumers" who target online businesses when they steal?
My partners and I market both informational products and brand name merchandise on the Internet. And we've been taken on both sides of the fence.
We publish a B2B (business to business) product called The Drop Ship Source Directory.
Recently, I received an email from someone who bought our Directory on EBay, and had questions about how they were to receive the information updates we send our customers every month. There was only one problem.
We don't SELL our Directory on EBay.
I was forced to write back to that person and tell him that he had been scammed. It was obvious to me that someone had purchased our product from us, and was reselling it to others illegally. How this scam artist expected to get away with reselling the product, I'll never know. At that time, it was a download that contained nearly a thousand pages. (Now, it's a much larger online database). There is a copyright notice on EVERY SINGLE PAGE. It's like me buying Stephen King's latest book on Amazon, typing it up into electronic form, and then reselling it on EBay. I'd have to be nuts to try something like that!
Last year, a site I was working with received an order for some moderately expensive jewelry. Nothing out of the ordinary. The credit card processed just fine, with the AVS (Automatic Verification System) coming back "green". This means that the online processing system had checked the card's information against the on-file address and zip code of its owner, and everything was OK. The Ship-to address was different from the card owner's Bill-to address, but that's nothing out of the ordinary either. LOTS of people buy jewelry and have it sent as a gift to another address.
A while later, we received a "chargeback" letter from the customer's bank. A chargeback means that the card owner has disputed the charge, and we have to show cause why we should not refund the money. At about the same time, we got a phone call from a police department in West Virginia, asking about that same order.
Turns out that a woman in West Virginia had inadvertently left her credit card on a checkout counter at a large department store. A clerk at that store picked up the card, and used it to make several online purchases. The clerk was having the purchases delivered to a vacant house RIGHT NEXT DOOR to his own. This guy must have left his brain cell in the 'fridge that day.
The above are both good examples of how WE, as Netrepreneurs, get "scammed". Maybe I've been luckier than most, but it has not happened to me all that many times.
We caught the guy who was reselling our Directory on EBay. What we did was this: The person who purchased the bootleg Directory was naturally very upset. I told him that if I were able to catch this person and confirm what had happened, I would see to it that his purchase was made good, and he would receive full access to our REAL Directory. He immediately sent me all the information he had on the auctioneer. Sure enough, the auctioneer was a customer of ours. I notified EBay's fraud department (SafeHarbor@EBay.com). I then contacted the perpetrator and elaborated on the penalties of copyright infringement. He pulled his auction listings immediately. We came to an agreement for restitution that I was satisfied with. I suggested to him that he refund the other people to whom he had already sold bootlegs, before THEY came after him.
The police in West Virginia caught the store clerk. They set up surveillance at the vacant house next door, and waited for more of his online purchases to arrive. After the case was prosecuted, we got the jewelry back. All we lost was a few dollars in shipping charges.
If you're in business, you're a potential target. Protect yourself as best you can. Use an AVS system when you accept credit cards. Confirm large-dollar purchases before processing them. When people charge thousands of dollars to buy large-ticket items from my sites, I always contact that customer to verify the purchase. I caught two stolen cards that way, BEFORE I got burned. Watch for multiple purchases of the same item by the same person. They'll end up being re-sold out of the trunk of a car, and you'll be stuck paying the REAL card owner back. Be aware of protection programs like EBay's Safe Harbor. And if you think you're being ripped off, don't just wait around to hear from someone about it. Contact the bank that issued the card, and the police in the area you think the perpetrator purchased from. They take credit card fraud very seriously.
Who knows? Maybe someday, someone will write a news story about it.
Chris Malta
WorldWide Brands, Inc.
For more information, visit http://www.YouCanDropship.com


Chris Malta is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. He has worked with computer Systems for 18 years. He's been involved in eCommerce systems, networking and site design for more than 6 years. He's taught college-level computer courses in Western NY. He developed The Drop Ship Source Directory, and he and his partners at Worldwide Brands, Inc., publish the Directory and run eCommerce sites of their own using Drop Shipping as their only business method.


How to Choose a Pearl Necklace for Your Wedding Day
Yan Berry

The elegant beauty of a strand of pearls has fascinated brides for centuries. People believe that wearing pearls on their wedding day will bring bliss to their marriage.

Pearls are classic wedding jewelry. How do you choose that perfect pearl necklace?

Here are some tips:

There are four types of pearls: Akoya, Tahitian, South Sea, and freshwater. Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea pearls grow in oceans. They are more valuable than freshwater pearls for their rarity and high luster.

Akoya pearls are the most popular. These pearls are valued for their rich color, mirror-like finish, and appealing roundness.

As with any other gemstones, the value of pearls is determined by their quality.
A pearl's quality can be A, AA, AA+, AAA, AAA+. The last two, AAA and AAA+ pearls, have the best quality and they are most valuable. For pearls of the same size, an 'A' quality pearl necklace costs only a small fraction of AAA quality pearl necklace.

The quality and value of pearls are based upon six criteria: luster, nacre, surface, color, shape, size and matching. The educated buyer uses his or her preferences to decide which criteria are most important.

Nacre: Most buyers of pearl jewelry pay most attention to the pearls' nacre thickness. Nacre is the coating that a pearl oyster produces to cover the pearl's nucleus; it is the key to how long pearls last. You should look for pearls with nacre thickness over 0.4mm.

Luster and Surface: Luster is the amount of light reflected from the pearl's surface. A strand of pearls with high luster, mirror finish and clean surfaces is most desirable and valuable.

Color: It is a personal choice. Consider buying a pearl necklace whose color will complement your clothing and your skin tone.

Size: The price of pearls that are larger than 7mm varies greatly. People usually buy the largest pearls they can afford.

Shape: Round pearls are most desirable and valuable.

Matching: For a pearl necklace or bracelet, matching refers to the ways in which all of the pearls are similar. It is difficult to find enough identical pearls to make a well-matched pearl necklace; therefore such a necklace commands a top price.

After you have decided the type, color, size and quality of pearls that you want, think about your budget. Take your time to shop around and find that perfect pearl necklace for your wedding day!

Copyright: © 2004 by Yan Berry


Mrs. Berry is a pearl expert and the founder of Premium Pearl, a leading online provider of high quality pearl jewelry.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Diamonds on the Internet! A new and better way of shopping for your diamond and jewelry?

Angelo Tambe

How safe is diamond and jewelry shopping on the internet? What do you need to know! An interview with Patrick J. Boening, President & CEO of the Diamond Wholesale Corporation, aka: DWC Inc. One of North America's top firms in the diamond online and wholesale business. (http://www.DiamondWholesaleCorporation.com)

February 11, 2004-- Interviewing Patrick J. Boening, President and CEO of the Diamond Wholesale Corporation.

Q: More and more people decide to purchase their diamonds online. DWC Inc. could improve its online sales by an impressive 83%. How come?

A: Price, Quality, Variety, Availability and good Customer Service. The confidence and trust in online diamond firms grow over the last years enormously, as most online businesses did. This is the 21st century; you don't have to spend hours in jewelry stores only to be shown a medium quality diamond, in dimmed light for a ridicules price. Then you need to compare and run to the next store to start the whole process over and over again. A tiring, long and expensive way to do business. Retail stores will not give prices over the phone. They need you trapped within their environment. They have to sell you what they have on stock rather then what is available on the market. Remember, when you purchase a diamond or a piece of jewelry in a store, you pay for everything, the expensive location, the beautiful and costly store decoration, sales and security staff etc. etc. The price differences between online and store can easily be 50 - 70 %. On the other hand, jewelers are spoiled and hate the internet. It is like a secret leaked out. Did you ever wonder why jewelers did so well and whenever you passed by the store, their is hardly customer traffic? The smart and educated client with access to the internet realized all that.

Q: Isn't it to risky to purchase such expensive items over the internet, and how can one minimize that risk?

A: I have never heard of an internet diamond firm that "ran off" with the client's money. That would be a one time action. The internet is the fastest media in the world, such actions would be known and spread in hours, around the world and this company would be black listed forever. Surely you should not trust anyone just because they have a web site. If you keep these 9 rules, your purchase will be safer then in most stores:

Rule # 1: Trust a web site (company or organization) only if they publish on their web site, the full businesses address (not only a PO. Box) and phone number. If they don't, they have a reason. Many web sites are owned by the same company or person and would show the same address and phone number.

Rule # 2: Check their references (Testimonials) and talk to existing clients. You will quick find out if they are real or made up.

Rule # 3: Check the professional trade networks and organizations, in the diamond and jewelry field: JBT (Jewelers Board of Trade), Polygon, Rapaport Network etc. If they are not registered there, they are no professionals.

Rule # 4: Check with your local BBB (Better Business Bureau). This is usually one of the first organizations that will receive a customer's complaint.

Rule # 5: Make sure the company you are dealing with gives a full money back guarantee of at least 5 days. This will give you enough time to have the item checked by a professional (Gemologist/Appraiser) of your choice.

Rule # 6: Always choose the appraiser / gemologist yourself. Never let the salesperson recommend one. If the firm recommends an "independent" appraiser or sends the item (s) to an "independent" appraiser/gemologist of their choice, rest assure, that they are in cahoots. (If you have to sign a contract, would you ask the other parties lawyer for advice? Or would you hire your own lawyer?)

Rule # 7: Don't be blinded by photos of diamonds. In most cases the are very misleading. Everyone who understands a little about photography knows that, photos are totally worthless. You need the scientific facts of the diamond, which are written in the Diamond Report, or Certificate. The more details you get the better. AGS (American Gemological Society) provides at the moment North Americas top certificate. It will mention details of cut that are most important and unfortunately most ignored. Crown angle in degrees and height in percent. Pavilion depth and girdle thickness. AGS is as tough as GIA (Gemological Institute of America), but gives you much more scientific details.

Rule # 8: If you found your stone, go for it! Don't wait too long because this diamond could be sold to someone else and you have to start all over again. There are no endless supplies on diamonds in every size, shape, clarity and color out there. Like with most things in life, you often have to compromise.

Rule # 9: Compare apples with apples! When you compare one diamond and it's price with another, hold both certificates (print out the copies that you get via e-mail) next to each other. Look at all the facts and compare, consult the gemologist if data is not clear or you need advice. Comparing one company and their prices with another, take in consideration if taxes, insurance during transport and shipping are included, is any extra cost involved, certificate, appraisal etc., or does it all come as a complete package?

Q: What will the New Year (2004) bring the Diamond Online Industry?

A: Growth! We expect a minimum total growth of 37% this year for the diamond online firms. The Diamond Wholesale Corporation (DWC Inc.) invested heavily and increased customer service as well as keeping the prices at the lowest level possible in order to insure satisfied clients.



Angelo Tambe is the PR Director of the Diamond Wholesale Corporation.

Seven Valentine's Day Tips for Spouses in "Less-Than-Perfect" Marriages
Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D.

Valentine's Day can be a depressing day when you're in an unhappy or shaky marriage. In every store or advertisement you see romantic cards, heart-shaped boxes of candy, or select jewelry for the special lover's day.

Restaurants publish their special menus in advance and give food items names such as "lover's delight chocolate dessert." Radio stations sponsor contests focused around the theme of Valentine's Day, and newspapers run pictures and stories about spouses with long marriages. Everywhere you turn, you are bombarded with pictures and stories of happy lovers.

What can you do to survive Valentine's Day when you are worried sick that your marriage is on the rocks? How do you deal with all the love hoopla when your spouse doesn't know if he or she really loves you or wants to stay married?

The following seven tips will help you to keep your perspective and sanity:

1. Be your own valentine this year and celebrate the wonderful person that you are. Make an appointment to have a massage or pedicure on Valentine's Day as a present to yourself. Or make plans with a friend to dine at a gourmet restaurant either on Valentine's Day or the day before. Buy yourself a new CD or book that you've been wanting. Leave work early, if possible, and do something fun such as going to a movie in the middle of the work afternoon.

2. Make a commitment to love yourself and to treat yourself with care and respect. Resolve to take good care of yourself by exercising, eating right, taking time to relax and see friends, and getting enough rest. Throw any martyr tendencies out the window and make your health and wellbeing a top priority. This is not being selfish. If you don't nurture yourself first, you won't be in any shape to give quality energy and time to your marriage.

3. Commit to being okay no matter what happens in your marriage. It's essential that you make yourself a promise that you'll have a quality life with or without your spouse. By showing respect for yourself and belief in your ability to thrive whether married or not, you'll be coming from a place of empowerment and strength. The attributes of personal strength and confidence attract others and engender respect, making you a more desirable partner.

4. Accept uncertainty and see it as an opportunity to flex your faith muscles, build resiliency, and develop the discipline to live in the present moment as much as possible. With practice, you can learn to curb your tendency to worry about the future and can expand more of your energy into making the most of the time you have now. Everyone has periods of time when everything is up in the air and how things will turn out is unknown. And as poet Walt Whitman reminds us, "The future is no more uncertain than the present."

5. Practice having fun, even when you're feeling miserable! Don't wait until your life is perfect to plan fun activities. Do something that you've wanted to do but have put off. You might have said to yourself, "One day I'm going to take piano lessons." Now is the time to get started. Make a list of things that you'd enjoy doing and pick one to put on your schedule. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to wait and see what happens in your marriage before you take steps to create a more satisfying life. The time to start enjoying life is now.

6. Expand your support circle. Stay in touch with your friends, even though your first impulse may be to withdraw when you're feeling blue. Look for ways to increase your contact with others such as taking a night class, going hiking with a local hiking group, or attending services at your church, synagogue, or mosque. Don't let fear of questions keep you at home. You can be discrete and give a response such as, "I can't get into it, but I appreciate your caring and concern so very much. Thank you."

7. Find your strong woman or strong man warrior
energy. Go rappelling, learn to scuba dive, ride in a hot air balloon, try para-sailing, plan a backpacking trip, go horseback riding, lift weights, explore river rafting, dance around a campfire, sing powerful songs, or sign up for a martial arts class. Do whatever empowers you and make you feel strong and energetic. Stretch out of your comfort zone and surprise yourself by doing something different. Then congratulate yourself for your spunk.

Tips adapted from the book Keep Your Marriage: What To Do When Your Spouse Says "I don't love you anymore!" by Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D. and Lee Hefner. Available only at http://www.KeepYourMarriage.com.



Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D., is co-author of Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says "I don't love you anymore!" Available only at http://www.Keep Your Marriage.com. Nancy can be contacted at Nancy@KeepYourMarriage.com.

Friday, July 29, 2005

How to Choose Fine Pearls

Amanda Raab

Pearls are very alluring and hold a quality that both defines elegance and natural beauty. There are more varieties and availability of pearls today than ever before. The "cultured pearl" now rivals with fine diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies.
Today most pearls are cultured, meaning that the mollusk is purposely inserted with an irritant or "nucleus" from which it creates a pearl. A better way to think of the difference between natural pearls and cultured pearls is to think of the natural pearl as a result of the mollusk working alone and the cultured pearls as a product of nature being helped by science. Cultured pearls are not "fake" like many people may think. The culturing process takes from two to three years and is a very delicate process. The pearl farmers have little control on what the outcome of the pearl will look like or if the mollusk will reject the nucleus. Not all pearls are fine quality or even desirable at all. The end result is ultimately a consequence of nature.
Choosing pearls that are of the best quality are determined by luster, nacre thickness and quality (the outer layer), color, surface perfection, shape, and size. The biggest factor of pearl quality is nacre thickness and quality which determines how long the pearl will last. Nacre thickness determines the longevity of the pearl and nacre quality determines how light reflects through the layers of the pearls. High luster and iridescence come from high quality nacre and any pearl with these characteristics has quality, thick nacre. When judging nacre look for uniform iridescence, intensity of luster, cracks and peeling, estimate thickness near the drill hole between the nacre and the shell bead (nacre is lighter). Pearls are very thick with at least .5 mm on all pearls, thick with at least.5mm on most pearls, medium with between .35 and .5 mm on most pearls, and thin with .25 mm or less on most pearls.
Luster is also important and one of the first factors to notice. Luster is an intense brightness that illuminates from within the pearl rather than just being "shiny" like in imitation pearls. The intense brightness results from light being reflected throughout the numerous layers of nacre. Quality pearls will have a sharp contrast between the brightest area where direct light is hitting the pearls and the shaded area creating an illusion of a "ball within the pearl." Check for luster by examining them under a fluorescent lamp and rolling them from side to side to examine uniform luster. Examine pearls over a light gray or white material and never black because it is harder to see the true quality of the pearl.
Pearl color is also important. When choosing pearls note there body color and overtones. The most desirable and more rare white pearls have "rose" colored overtones. Cream colored pearls are more affordable because they are less rare. Also, pearls can have tones rated in intensity. Darker toned pearls are more desirable and expensive compared to lighter toned pearls. Many natural body colors are available in pearls including white, black, gray, blue, gold, pink, and green. Distinctive colored pearls are rarer and harder to find. Have a qualified gemologist check the pearls to make sure they have not been dyed, especially for costlier pearls like the black or golden varieties.
Examine pearls' surface for blemishes. Although is best to check for most pearl characteristics on a light background, it is best to check for blemishes on a dark background. Check in both intense and diffused light. No pearls are perfect and small blemishes can be sacrificed for more important quality like nacre and luster. Pearls with higher luster conceal blemishes better.
When choosing pearls also consider shape. There are three pearl shapes including symmetrical, spherical, and baroque. The spherical is the rarest and most desirable. Symmetrical pearls include teardrop or pear-shaped pearls and desirable but usually less expensive than spherical pearls. Baroque pearls are irregularly shaped and often the least expensive.
Size should also be taken into consideration. Larger cultured pearls are rarer and more expensive. Akoya pearls over 7 � millimeters are much more costly and prices dramatically rise with each � millimeter over 8 millimeters. South Sea and Tahitian pearls also have high increase in price when size is over 15 millimeters.
One more factor to consider in pearls is the precision in matching the pearl quality in a string of pearls. It is important to take all of the above factors in consideration when matching the pearls. Graduated pearls also take careful matching. Pearl matching affects the value of the jewelry because when pearls are not matched properly it takes away from the appearance of the jewelry. Also, make sure the pearls are all drilled in the center so they lay properly. Off-center drilled pearls will not lay correctly and reduces the value of the piece.
It is always important to get a independent laboratory report when in doubt of pearl enhancements that may have been employed to make the pearls appear more valuable. Make sure the person appraising the pearls is a Graduate Gemologist (GG) which is the Gemological Institute of America's (GIA)highest award.
Other things to consider when purchasing pearls include finding out what the merchant's return policy is. Make sure they have at least a 30-day full refund policy.
Pure Pearls at www.purepearls.com is an excellent place to find fine quality pearl jewelry including Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, and Freshwater pearls. Pure Pearls has all of its pearl pieces appraised by a Graduate Gemologist and offers a 45-day guaranteed satisfaction policy.

President Of Pure Pearls
http://www.purepearls.com
Classic. Timeless. Luxury

Diamond Solitaire rings - The Ultimate In Engagement Rings
Peter Leigh

There are no better rings to seal your engagement than diamond solitaire rings. The ultimate in diamond rings, diamond solitaire rings are the only ring for the woman who wants the best in wedding jewelry.

What is a diamond solitaire ring? Simple. A diamond solitaire ring is a ring with one diamond. That's all. Just one diamond. Nothing else to distract from that one magnificent stone.

Why are diamond solitaire engagement rings the best engagement rings? Well firstly because they are a diamond ring. Diamonds are the best of all jewelry stones available to the serious jewelry buyer. And there are a lot of other stones out there. All sorts of colored stones, diamond copies, diamond simulants and so on. Most of them beautiful stones.
But none of them are diamonds.

Why are there so many diamond copies, man made diamonds? Because diamonds are the best, and it is the best that is copied.

Your engagement ring is one of the most important buying decisions you will ever make. Think about it. What else can you buy that will be with you for life?

Your house? No, not really, most people keep a house for a few years and then move on. Your car? Never!

Is there anything? I can't think of anything that is more enduring than a diamond solitaire engagement ring. Nothing else that goes through life with you. So if it's that important then get a good one. Once you've got it then it's too late to change your mind.

And why diamonds? Why not some other type of beautiful jewelry stone?

Diamonds represent the ultimate. The best. There is no better jewelry stone than a diamond, and no more expensive. By buying a diamond you're saying "only the best for us". You're making a commitment that you are prepared to spend some serious money on the one most important and enduring purchase you will ever make. Your diamond solitaire ring.

And why a solitaire ring? There are lots of beautiful rings with diamonds. Thousands of styles, a whole world of choices. Why choose a diamond solitaire ring?

Just because that's what it is. A solitaire. You are getting the biggest diamond for your money. One that stands out. One that people will admire.

There are some beautiful three stone diamond rings. Magnificent rings. But not solitaires. Three small diamonds just don't cut it like one large one.

Diamond engagement rings have a long and proud tradition. The giving a diamond engagement ring to a woman as a symbol of a promise to marry began in 1477 with the engagement of Archduke Maximillian of Austria and Mary of Burgundy. The Archduke selected a diamond engagement ring and his decision has been copied ever since.

It was even said then that cupids arrows were tipped with diamonds which imbued the couple with the magic of love.

Diamond solitaire rings encapsulate that magic of love.

Diamond engagement rings have a symbolism from centuries past. They are the ultimate in engagement rings. And diamond solitaire rings are the ultimate in diamond engagement rings.



Find out more about Diamond Solitaire Rings as well as many other types of Diamond Rings including Diamond Engagement Rings at Peter's website Delectable Diamond Rings. © 2005 Peter Leigh.

Ralph Lauren 2005 Summer Collection

Sher Matsen

The Ralph Lauren Spring 2005 Collection is simply fabulous! The collection ranges from Shimmering Luxury to Breezy Elegance to Throwaway Glamour - the common element appears to be the color white. Lauren said he used the sophistication of old-time Hollywood and the chic refinement of cafe society as starting points for his collection, which featured several halter gowns, fuzzy cashmere sweaters and some tailored jackets paired with capri-length pants or Bermuda shorts. The fabrics are flowy and romantic, the colors are outstanding, and the statement is sexy!
Ralph Lauren states "Spring is about romantic refinement - an old-Hollywood charm that's luxurios in a modern, off hand way." The spring line has a sexy blend of softness and glamour bringing out the feminine side in an elegant and sophisticated way. This is a collection most any woman can be part of. There are cuts and styles suited for all ages and body shapes.

Here's some great sites to see the Ralph Lauren Spring Fashions hitting the boutiques now.
� NewYorkMetro
� Ralph Lauren Runway Show
� MSNBC News Coverage

Did anyone watch the Golden Globes? Emmy Rossum wore this fabulous Ralph Lauren gown - strapless, silhoutte shape to accentuate every curve with this fabulous flowing layers of material from the knees down. Certainly a gown made for a star! How about the Amanda Coat with a cost of $1800.00? Amazing lines! The Bronson Vest with a cost of $898.00 teamed with the Amanda Skirt with a cost of $850.00. All lookers and all certainly make a fashion statement!

Pearls are hot this season and you only need to look at the Ralph Lauren collection to confirm this. Many of the Ralph Lauren spring fashions are being accented with pearls. Pearls are getting a whole new face lift this summer with a mix of colors and styles not seen before.

Yes I know. Ralph Lauren's may be out of the reach of many of our pocket books. Don't fret! Have a look at the designs he has to offer. Take good visual notes. Similar lines and looks can be found for much less. You can make your fashion statement on a budget! You need to find the syles and colors that suit you and that you are interested in, then go shopping for similar garments without out the designer name.
These seasons fashions are fabulous, fun, and very retro. Your certain to find something that makes your fashion statement in your budget.

Ralph Lauren was born in the Bronx NY in 1939. After dropping out of college he served in the US Army from 1962 to 1964. He married Ricky Low-Beer in 1964 and they had three children. In 1968 he was able to secure a $50,000 loan and Polo Fashions was born. SInce then it has grown into a $5 billion dollar industry. Ralph Lauren once said "I don't design clothes, I design dreams."

This season is truly a season of personal style and every woman is certain to find the right item[s] to make her fashion statement!

For more articles and information on summer fashions be sure to visit our resource pages at Estate Jewelry International

© Copyright Sher Matsen, All Rights Reserved.

About the author:
Sher has been serving customers for over 20 years, providing affordable estate jewelry, and a wealth of information on jewelry, fashion, designers, and beauty with on staff industry professionals. Please visit us at Estate Jewelry International.


Traditional Anniversary Gifts Year by Year for One Hundred Years
Elly Kendall

It's impossible to remember what gift is traditional for each anniversary. This article is perfect to print out or post on your website for easy reference,please keep my site links complete with this article. Plus gift ideas for each anniversary makes it easy, you'll never miss getting the perfect anniversary gift again.

The traditional gift for the first anniversary is paper. An addition of the newspaper from the year you were married, an old edition of a classic book like "Gone with the Wind", a postcard that's of a place meaningful to both of you, board games, plane tickets, football or baseball tickets, photo album filled with memories, write a love letter, drawing or pictures for your cabin, home or office or a gift voucher are all great ideas.

The second anniversary's traditional gift is cotton. New bed linen, attractive underwear or lingerie, cotton towels, a hammock, personalized T-shirt, cotton clothing or a cotton canvas shopping bag with your photo on the front.

Leather is the traditional gift for the third anniversary. Leather, boots, shoes, vest, skirt, pants, wallet, gloves, purse, belt, luggage or briefcase will do nicely. But how about something a bit more updated like leather cell phone case, leather framed photo or leather throw pillows?

Traditional gifts for the fourth anniversary are fruit or flowers. Of course having a fruit basket or flowers delivered to the home or office is appropriate. However, sharing a fresh fruit cocktail, floral bubble bath with floral scented candles set about and rose petals scattered across the bed sounds a lot more fun, exciting and romantic!

The traditional gift for the fifth anniversary is wood. This is a very good year for practical gifts like wooden deck furniture, frames or wooden utensils for the kitchen and new wood fencing. The romantic side of wood could include a weekend in a log cabin, camping in the woods, a walk in the woods, wooden plaques or signs engraved with words of love or an artistic wooden sculpture.

Iron is the traditional gift for the sixth anniversary. Golf clubs, iron sculptures, wrought iron furniture, iron skillets, a new iron or an Ironwood tree are good ideas. Don't forget the possibility of tools, hardware, a wrought iron bed or a set of weights.

Traditionally, wool or copper are gifts for the seventh anniversary. Gifts of woolen socks, scarves, blankets, hats, coats and copper kettles make very nice presents. A new wool suit, copper sculpture or copper fireside accessories are a bit more upscale.

The eighth anniversary's traditional gift is bronze. This is the year to make an impression with a bronze sculpture, antique bronze bell or a trip to a tropical beach with a bronzing lotion for the two of you.

Pottery is the traditional gift for the ninth anniversary. Planters, vases, bowls and coffee mugs fall into this group, so does joining a pottery class together!

Traditional gifts for the tenth anniversary are of tin or aluminum. Personalized license plate, tin of caviar, tin toy car, tin signs or plaques and vintage aluminum serving pieces are fun ideas.

The eleventh anniversary traditional gift is steel. Stainless steel cookware, watches and steel engraved key chains are great but a Calypso steel drum, steel ice bucket and cocktail shaker or modern steel sculpture are unique gift ideas.

Silk and linen are the proper traditional gifts for the twelfth anniversary. Silk lingerie, bed linens, linen table clothes, napkins, handkerchiefs and silk or linen clothing will surely be appreciated.

The thirteenth anniversary traditional gift is lace. Women buy that slinky, lacey lingerie for the men to enjoy! Okay, lace doilies, tablecloths and lacey curtains work too but they aren't near as much fun.

The fourteenth anniversary calls for the traditional gift of ivory. If you have the big bucks this year splurge on a piano or a trip to the Ivory Coast of Africa. The rest of us can enjoy ivory colored bed linen, scrimshawed ivory desk sets or key chains, ivory colored clothing or personalized ivory colored stationary.

Crystal is the gift for the fifteenth through the nineteenth anniversaries. Crystal vases, decanters, candlesticks and crystal faced watches are very traditional. Crystal chandelier earrings or a crystal chess set are more up to date. Billy Crystal movies are fun.

Twentieth through the twenty-fourth anniversaries traditional gift is china. Vintage china tea cups, bone china ornaments or a replacement piece for your own china are presents to consider along with a table for two at a Chinese restaurant or a trip to China.

Traditionally speaking, silver is the gift for the twenty-fifth through the twenty-ninth anniversaries. Silver dated ornament, a silver frame, a watch, silver cufflinks, silver pen and jewelry are appropriate gifts. Anything from Tiffany's silver collection or an anniversary wedding band would be grand.

The thirtieth through the thirty-fourth anniversaries traditional gift is pearls. Mother-of-pearl cufflinks, tie tack, frame and jewelry are wonderful gift ideas. Throw in an oyster dinner and you have an anniversary to remember.

Think tropical for the thirty-fifth through thirty-ninth anniversaries gift of corral. Snorkeling, scuba lessons, a trip to the Coral Reef or coral colored ties, cufflinks or clothing with a tropical flair.

Rubies are traditional gifts for the fortieth through forty-fourth anniversaries. A dozen ruby-red roses, ruby jewelry (maybe add a ruby into your wedding bands), ruby red clothing or lingerie and a bottle of vintage wine are lovely gift ideas.

Forty-fifth through forty-ninth anniversaries traditional gift is sapphire. Sapphire tie clip, cuff links, jewelry, sapphire-colored apparel and Bombay Sapphire gin could be considered.

Gold is for the fiftieth through fifty-fourth wedding anniversaries traditional gift. Without doubt gold jewelry or new wedding bands are in order. A gold themed party, golden oldie CD collection, gold watch, gold colored frames with a photo of the couple, gold clock or gold fabric accent pieces for their bedroom are good choices.

A fifty-fifth through fifty-ninth anniversaries traditional gift is emerald. A few ideas could include a trip to the Emerald Coast, emerald jewelry or cuff links and emerald colored night clothes.

The traditional gift for sixtieth through one hundredth wedding anniversaries are diamonds! For the inspirational couple making it through life together they certainly deserve all the diamonds they receive! To vary from year to year adding the stone from the couples' favorite year of marriage would be lovely such as diamond and ruby earrings. Bring on the diamond jewelry.

Tradition is wonderful and I hope this list helps in your anniversary gift choices. Many times these anniversary gifts end up as our family heirlooms of tomorrow.

Plesase keep the bio intact with this article.

Visit our web site for the complete article "Anniversary Gifts Year by Year for One Hundred Years". Shop for unique anniversary gifts at Log Cabin Fever Gifts & Decor.

Sex Toys - There's One For Everyone

Steven S. Ng

Dongs & Dildos

The most common of sex toys, dildos or dongs are designed for stimulation by vaginal and anal insertion and stroking. Dildos come in many shapes, sizes, color, texture and other accessories. Dildos do not vibrate and any vibrating sex toys would be categorized under vibrators.


Vibrators

Vibrators are any sex toys that vibrate. These are mainly designed for intense stimulation on the clitoris or vulva. Some can be used for insertion and some for external use only. Vibrators are commonly combined with other sex toys so you have vibrating dildos, vibrating eggs, vibrating undies and some even comes with a hands free kit or a remote control. They can be powered by battery or electricity. Vibrators are also commonly used in combination with other sex toys such as dildos.


BDSM

Bondage & Sadomasochistic. Pleasure from consensual inflicting or submitting to physical abuse. There are a variety of bondage gear and S&M toys designed for BDSM play. These include blindfolds, costumes, cuffs and leashes, whips, body jewelry, clips. An excellent range of Bondage Gear can be found at www.stockroom.com Or if you are new to BDSM, you can read all about it here


Lubricants

Potions and lubricants complement lovemaking and it blends well too with sex toys. Most sex toys have an increased effect when used with lubricants. There are three main varieties of lubricants; water based, silicone based and petroleum based. Water and silicone based lubricants are safe to use with condoms. Petroleum based lubricants such as Vaseline shouldn't be used with latex materials, such as condoms and diaphragms, as they can break down the latex material. Lubricants can also be used for body massages (massage oils). They come in a variety of aromatic, flavored and even edible lubes.


Toys For Men

Until quite recently, sex toys have been focused on women. Toys for men are designed for added stimulation and to create heightened sexual fulfillment skills. These toys can be used to help achieve harder erections, for solo masturbation or for men to men action. Some of the catergories in toys for men include cock rings, penis pumps, love dolls, penis extenders, and other novelty items. Some love dolls are designed after real life porn stars and are extremely lifelike. Toys for men are also widely used during BDSM play.


Aphrodisiacs

Alternative energy booster, either herbal or tonic, designed to improve sexual vitality and sexual desire in men and women. They can be used to achieve a stronger erection or to create a sexual desire. Some natural aphrodisiacs includes yohimbe, ginseng, deer velvet, and other herbal extracts. Aphrodisiacs and sex toys are perfect for creating a heightened sexual satisfaction. Read more about aphrodisiacs.

Anal Toys

Anal toys for rear penetration comes in a variety of silicone or non-silicone and vibrating or non-vibrating toys. Unlike dildos, anal toys usually comes with a flanged base or attached to a string to prevent accidental slippages. Butt plugs and anal beads are the more common of anal toys. Some anal toys can also be used for vaginal insertion. Just be sure to slip a condom over when switching from anal to vaginal.


Harnesses

Harnesses are specially designed straps that enables sex toys to be attached. They can be worn by a man or a women so they can keep their hands free. Harnesses are either strapped to the thighs or hips and can be used with a matching dildo.


Others

Sex toys and human sexuality is limited only by our imagination. Some of the sex toys or sexual aids that are not categorized in the above are love swings, erotic games, edibles, safer sex (condoms), female condoms, genital jewelry and other novelty items.

If you would like to take a look at the various sex toys, you can visit:

http://www.sextoysnirvana.com


Steven consults and provides advice to the online store http://www.SexToysNirvana.com which provides various adult toys and novelty products.Forgotten Dreams: At the end...Part I
James Smith

Forgotten Dreams: At the end...Part I

Treasures of a lifetime...

At the end of your life will you be able to stand at your grave and say I lived and amazing life, I have lived what many
didn't even know they could dream. I have loved, I have cried, and I have experienced all that I could find to experience.

At the end of your life who will you be?

So, often we run from death and morn for what has been lost when another dies. In the book "Tuesdays with Morie," Morie ends
up celebrating his death, by choice, while he was still alive.

How you embrace death is how you will embrace life!

This is a story of a little box. It is a box that is almost as old as Sally. You see Sally decided when she was about five
years of age that this particular box, a shoe box, would be perfect to keep her treasures.

Today at the age of 95 Sally has passed away and her shoe box of treasures, although buried under years of clutter and dust, has survived the journey with her. Sally kept her treasures with her for 90 years. The box quite warn bearing the scars of 90 years of wear and tear was still in tack. Hidden within the box where many of Sally's most treasured memories.

At the age of five Sally decided that her very first treasure would be a flower. It was a small and delicate white flower
filled with purple hues and the softest of scents. It was a flower that filled Sally with great memories and provided her with many smiles over the last 90 years.

Sally use to enjoy laying amongst the tall grass in a near by field while enjoying the company of her grandfather. Sally's
grandfather would sit beside her, resting on an old tree stump, while whittling away at a piece of wood.

On those special mornings Sally would watch the butterflies as they danced around the flowers, giggling as she listened to
grandfather and playing with the occasional ladybug. You see Sally's grandfather loved to tell stories as he whittled away
and the stories were always filled with adventure.

The stories,in one moment, would have Sally anxiously gazing into her grandfather's eyes as she waited to hear what was next, and in the next moment, she would be rolling in the tall grass filled with laughter.

It was at five that Sally's grandfather passed away. As Sally sat upon her grandfather's old tree stump there in the middle
of the tall grass stood a single flower. On this day no other flower could be seen. As Sally gazed upon the flower the
memories came to view and it was then that she knew, the flower was a treasure for her to hold.

The years would come and go, and Sally was always doing something to her treasure box. Her designs including the early
crayon markings, included little paper hearts and wonderful little paintings, all accented with special stones and broken
pieces of jewelry.

Sally was always placing a memory or two into her box of treasure.

Sally was a playful and rambunctious tomboy, and at the age of thirteen was asked to start handling the chores. No longer
could she leave the house at sunrise and return in the late afternoon after a day filed with adventure and sport.

You see Sally could run, jump, and climb with the best of the boys. She could throw and hit a ball with a stick just as well
as any of the boys. Often Sally's play was inspired by the stories her grandfather once told.

With Sally spending the better part of her day tending to her chores. Her only reward was the end of the day, and the
time she was able to spend with her faithful dog, Patches, up in the old tree house.

Life seemed to stop, for Sally, while she was up in the tree house. It was in the tree house that Sally started to write of
her life and the adventures she only dreamed of living.

Sally's diary and stories now where a big part of her treasure box, and the memories she once collected would now lay hidden
and forgotten under the pages of her writing.

Each day was a mystery for Sally as she began to write. As her pencil touched the paper her words would begin to flow. She
would write and write until there was no more to write.

It was around Sally's 16 birthday that her dog Patches passed away. Her companion and loyal friend. Patches, was with her
all the time. As Sally placed Patches' collar into her treasure box, she began to look at the treasures she hadn't viewed in
many years.

A small hand mirror, one her grandma gave to her little princess. Horse hair, from her favorite horse. The skin shed from the biggest king snake she had ever seen. The perfect stone for skipping across the water. The treasures were many, a child's lifetime in memories. Buried underneath it all was Sally's first treasure and the memory of her grandfather.

How life had changed.

Join me in 7 days for part 2 of "Forgotten Dreams:
At the end..." Forgotten treasures...

Copyright � James Smith, All Rights Reserved

Please Note: The author of this article has
authorized its distribution with the requirement
that it be published in its entirety, without
changes, including the author's resource box.

Please notify the Author with a copy of your
publication.

mailto:article0030003@alifeofpossibility.com


James shows you how to design and build the life of your dreams and through the process, "enjoy the success" you've always wanted. Download his "9 Key Strategies To Building The Life Of Your Dreams" and start taking action, today! mailto:9Keys0030003@alifeofpossibility.com

The Bigger the Carat the Better the Wedding?


Bracelet popularity dates back to the Roman times and continues today.
Roman bracelets shared many of the design patterns of necklaces and earrings from that era. The ever popular ball earrings from that era were nicely matched with a ball style bracelet. Engraved bangles and snake bracelets were very popular during Roman times. Bracelets made of twisted coil with lion head ends were common place, as were the two part bracelets ending with a pair of lion heads. The Heracles knot bracelet is recognized as a Roman era piece. The Roman�s were very creative in the designing of their jewelry. However they still borrowed from Greek motifs. Palmettos, fleeing dogs and acanthus leaves, all of Greek origin, were often seen in the designing of Roman jewelry.

Stones and glass were often used in Roman bracelets. . Gem stones were commonly found set in eyes. Open bands were cut to represent a row of ivy and entwined with pearls. Many of the leaf and berry bracelets were heavily adorned with decorative glass. The wealthier women could be seen wearing bracelets layered in bezel set emeralds.

During the Gerogiian times bracelets remained popular. Paris jewelers were known for their gold bracelets set with pearl edging. After the 1820s coral became the �in� fashion statement, so bracelets and other jewelry were heavily set with coral.

During the Gerogiian time it was very fashionable to wear many bracelets at once, including wide ribbon gold mesh bracelets, and silk ribbon bracelets. Gem and Diamond bracelets were designed in geometric patterns. Gold was heavily used during this era.

The Victorian era brought changes to the fashions of women, including jewelry styles. Earrings grew long and dangled, bracelets became rigid and were normally worn in pairs. The buckle bracelet became very fashionable.

The jewelry of the Victorian era expressed sentiment, and bracelets were no exception. Bracelets would contain lockets or charms with pictures or hair of a loved one, and engravings were common

Early Victorian jewelry enjoyed some mystic with hidden meanings being popular. The acrostic bracelets where the first letter of each gemstone spelled a word of friendship were very popular. For example a bracelet set with Lapis, Opal, Vermeil [hessonite garnet] and Emerald would spell Love.

The Art Nouveau period once again saw changes to fashion and jewelry. Chameleons and serpents entwined themselves around bracelets. The mystical Egyptian scarab was found on bracelets and rings. Other popular creatures included dragonflies, butterflies, bees, peacocks, swans, and even bats. This was a very figural period attached to nature.
If jewelry did not depict creatures it depicted flower blossoms or flower buds.

From 1910 to 1939 women�s fashions saw sleeveless or short sleeve dresses appear. The result was flexible bracelets and bangles worn on the upper arm. These arm bracelets were often adorned with gemstones or diamonds.
From 1940 to 1949 US designers were greatly influenced by the designs from the French house of Van Cleef & Arpels. Bracelets with ribbon of hexagon lines centered on fine gemstones fastened with heavy clasps became very vogue.

From 1950 to 1960 daytime saw simpler lines for not only gold bracelets but necklaces as well. Gold mesh or twisted wire bracelets were very popular.

From 1960 to 1970 bracelets became more flexible and were often set with gems. Bangles on the other hand became more rigid and were often seen set with random diamond placements.

From 1970 to 1979 bracelets were flexible and often set with tiny baguettes. Delicate and dainty bracelets were vogue.

From the 1980s to now bracelet fashions have been mixed and varied. Bracelet styles have become more of an individual fashion statement than a trend. Gold has always remained popular as have gems, however sterling silver has become very popular and recognized for its versatility and wearability at affordable pricing. In the last few years we�ve also seen an increase in demand for titanium bracelets.
Today a women�s fashion statement is about her! What she likes, what she feels good in. So your bracelet wardrobe can be what ever you want. Wear a dainty gem set gold bracelet or an armful of clunky bracelets, which is very vogue this season.

Your fashion statement is about who you are, so feel free to be you!


The History of Bracelets
Sher Matsen

Bracelet popularity dates back to the Roman times and continues today.
Roman bracelets shared many of the design patterns of necklaces and earrings from that era. The ever popular ball earrings from that era were nicely matched with a ball style bracelet. Engraved bangles and snake bracelets were very popular during Roman times. Bracelets made of twisted coil with lion head ends were common place, as were the two part bracelets ending with a pair of lion heads. The Heracles knot bracelet is recognized as a Roman era piece. The Roman�s were very creative in the designing of their jewelry. However they still borrowed from Greek motifs. Palmettos, fleeing dogs and acanthus leaves, all of Greek origin, were often seen in the designing of Roman jewelry.

Stones and glass were often used in Roman bracelets. . Gem stones were commonly found set in eyes. Open bands were cut to represent a row of ivy and entwined with pearls. Many of the leaf and berry bracelets were heavily adorned with decorative glass. The wealthier women could be seen wearing bracelets layered in bezel set emeralds.

During the Gerogiian times bracelets remained popular. Paris jewelers were known for their gold bracelets set with pearl edging. After the 1820s coral became the �in� fashion statement, so bracelets and other jewelry were heavily set with coral.

During the Gerogiian time it was very fashionable to wear many bracelets at once, including wide ribbon gold mesh bracelets, and silk ribbon bracelets. Gem and Diamond bracelets were designed in geometric patterns. Gold was heavily used during this era.

The Victorian era brought changes to the fashions of women, including jewelry styles. Earrings grew long and dangled, bracelets became rigid and were normally worn in pairs. The buckle bracelet became very fashionable.

The jewelry of the Victorian era expressed sentiment, and bracelets were no exception. Bracelets would contain lockets or charms with pictures or hair of a loved one, and engravings were common

Early Victorian jewelry enjoyed some mystic with hidden meanings being popular. The acrostic bracelets where the first letter of each gemstone spelled a word of friendship were very popular. For example a bracelet set with Lapis, Opal, Vermeil [hessonite garnet] and Emerald would spell Love.

The Art Nouveau period once again saw changes to fashion and jewelry. Chameleons and serpents entwined themselves around bracelets. The mystical Egyptian scarab was found on bracelets and rings. Other popular creatures included dragonflies, butterflies, bees, peacocks, swans, and even bats. This was a very figural period attached to nature.
If jewelry did not depict creatures it depicted flower blossoms or flower buds.

From 1910 to 1939 women�s fashions saw sleeveless or short sleeve dresses appear. The result was flexible bracelets and bangles worn on the upper arm. These arm bracelets were often adorned with gemstones or diamonds.
From 1940 to 1949 US designers were greatly influenced by the designs from the French house of Van Cleef & Arpels. Bracelets with ribbon of hexagon lines centered on fine gemstones fastened with heavy clasps became very vogue.

From 1950 to 1960 daytime saw simpler lines for not only gold bracelets but necklaces as well. Gold mesh or twisted wire bracelets were very popular.

From 1960 to 1970 bracelets became more flexible and were often set with gems. Bangles on the other hand became more rigid and were often seen set with random diamond placements.

From 1970 to 1979 bracelets were flexible and often set with tiny baguettes. Delicate and dainty bracelets were vogue.

From the 1980s to now bracelet fashions have been mixed and varied. Bracelet styles have become more of an individual fashion statement than a trend. Gold has always remained popular as have gems, however sterling silver has become very popular and recognized for its versatility and wearability at affordable pricing. In the last few years we�ve also seen an increase in demand for titanium bracelets.
Today a women�s fashion statement is about her! What she likes, what she feels good in. So your bracelet wardrobe can be what ever you want. Wear a dainty gem set gold bracelet or an armful of clunky bracelets, which is very vogue this season.

Your fashion statement is about who you are, so feel free to be you!



� Copyright Sher Matsen, All Rights Reserved.

About the author:
Sher has been serving customers for over 20 years, providing affordable estate jewelry, and a wealth of information on jewelry, fashion, designers, and beauty with on staff industry professionals. Please visit us at Estate Jewelry International.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Amazing Glyconutrients Breakthrough!

eConnect this refers to small businesses run tighter than others and link only to the road to wealth

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