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Beautiful and sustainable jewelry made with care in San Francisco. Edgy and unique styles to wear everytday. We have everything from tiny platinum stud earrings to Moissanite engagement rings made from recycled gold and fashion jewelry from solid sterling silver.

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5 Ways to Find Out Her (or His) Ring Size On the Sly

Sharon Zimmerman

You're in love, you know you want to get married and you’re ready to propose. So you run out to get a ring, but how do you know that it’s going to fit them? A ring, unlike earrings and necklaces, isn't a one-size-fits-all piece of jewelry, so getting the size at least kinda sorta close to right is important.  Here are a few helpful hints for getting things right the first time.

Option #1 - Find a ring that he or she wears on their ring finger

This is probably the easiest shortcut to finding out their ring size, but it also assumes that your beloved wears a ring on their ring finger. Some women don’t wear anything on that finger before engagement or marriage out of tradition. Just keep in mind that there can be a significant size difference between the right hand and the left hand, so if you find a ring that they wear on their right hand, it may not be exactly the right size for their left hand.

Option #2 - Ask her friends.

There is always a chance that she’s dropped hints. Big hints. And by hints, I mean that she may have actually told her best friend (or sister, or Mom) what her ring size is. So...not really a hint. More like a giant clue that she’s left for you to find. And a pretty easy-to-find clue at that.

 Option #3 - Find out while they are sleeping

This will assume that you have super stealthy ninja-like skills. Your first step is to acquire a finger sizer. Then, while they are asleep, carefully and without being detected slip the sizer onto their left hand ring finger. Et Voilà! Ring size!*

Option #4 - Order a placeholder ring

Have they already decided which designer they’d like a ring from**? If so, then it's a good bet that your future betrothed would like something else from that same designer. Ordering something smaller and less formal is a lot less risky and can create a sweet memory for the two of you. Then you can plan together which "official" ring to get. It could even be a ring that can stack with their eventual engagement and wedding rings.

Option #5 - Well, you could just ask

Sure, it’s not exactly romantic, but maybe you guys are a couple of rule-breakers anyway. Or maybe you are both super-communicative.  Either way, if you talk openly about your future together, asking for their ring size won’t be a downer. Besides, you don’t have to tell them when you’re planning to propose.

*If they wake up and you get caught, just tell them that you were trying to hold their hand.

**OK, so let’s back up for a moment and say that you have no idea what kind of ring they would like. The best place to do your secret spy research is on Pinterest. Take a look at their boards and see what kinds of jewelry they pin. There is a great chance that they already have a board totally dedicated specifically to engagement rings. And when in doubt, ask their friends.

How I Wear It - the Spear Huggies with Tiny Studs

Sharon Zimmerman

I'll admit it - I got into jewelry-making largely for my own self-interest. I wanted to have beautiful pieces of jewelry to wear and the best way to get something that's exactly what I want is to make it myself. So I started making jewelry. A lot. Obsessively. All the damn time.

Time passed, more jewelry got made and I got more curious about where my metals came from. I got more interested in creating a jewelry line that uses sustainable materials and incorporated more designs and more creative and wild visions. Each year, I make more and more jewelry that I love down to its core. It becomes pretty hard to figure out which pieces to put on each day when I feel like I have an embarrassment of riches. So much to love...so little ear space.

I mean, of COURSE - making more jewelry means that I need to be wearing more jewelry. So a couple of years ago I added two new piercings to my left ear to make room for more studs and earrings.*

I love how tiny studs accent the ear like a sprinkle of stardust. All the more so when those studs are made in rose gold. (14 karat rose gold is my not-so-secret favorite metal to wear). Though if yellow gold or platinum are your jam, by all means go to town and create your own ear party!

Sure, you can wear our spear huggies on their own, without any other earrings and they will still look great alone, but this was far too fun of a look for me to pass up and adding in all of these studs feels like I’ve armored up for the day.

Pictured on my ear from left to right, all of these are shown in rose gold, and available in yellow gold, platinum (except for the spear huggies) or sterling silver:

Tiny Stick Stud Earrings
Spear Huggies
In the Rough Diamond Studs
Tiny Pebble Studs

We’d love to hear from you and see how you arrange your ear party! Feel free to post a comment or reach out to us by email. We’ll post your image to our Instagram feed and tag you too!

How do you like to wear your tiny studs and huggies?

*I had mine pierced by Perry at Rose Gold in the Haight.

Why is my skin turning black under my rings?

Sharon Zimmerman

Hint: It's not an allergy.

A few years ago, I thought I was developing an allergy to silver and gold.  Almost overnight, my skin was turning black underneath my rings and I couldn't explain it. The answer?  Science!

Image of skin turning black underneath my  s ilver and gold rings

Image of skin turning black underneath my silver and gold rings

At about the same time that my skin started turning colors, I had started using a mineral sunscreen* containing zinc oxide.  Zinc Oxide, in its non-nano state, is a fantastic and safe sun-blocking agent as well as a common ingredient in many cosmetics. I am pretty obsessed with my skin care (though you wouldn't believe it if you saw my hands. Ah well, such is the jeweler's life). Zinc oxide is also, as it turns out, a very mild abrasive.  Veeeery mild. But gold and silver are soft metals, so the mild abrasive in my sunscreen was actually rubbing off minuscule particles of metal from my rings and these particles transferred to my skin and appeared black.

My solution?  Well, I wasn't going to discontinue using my sunscreen nor would I stop wearing rings and the problem goes away when I, you know, wash. My. Hands. I also wait to put on rings until after I've applied the sunscreen and washed my hands. Sometimes the simple solutions are the best. And don't forget to clean your jewelry to get rid of any residual make up, soap, sunscreen, etc. Here is our Step-by-Step guide to safely cleaning and caring for your jewelry.

And now, please resume wearing all of the rings.

"Conflict-free" Diamonds - My Take

Sharon Zimmerman

How can a diamond be conflict-free?

Have you been wondering if lab-grown diamonds are really as good as the real thing?  Maybe we should all start asking if supposedly "conflict-free" diamonds are really worth their trouble. So I present to you an infographic to illustrate why the term "conflict-free" makes me feel conflicted and why I've committed to only using lab-grown or recycled stones in my jewelry.

How is a diamond Guaranteed conflict-free?
Infographic by Sophia Renn.

Style - the Made in the USA edition

Sharon Zimmerman

Pink and black and Made in the USA

Live your values, wear your values. That’s what I always say.  OK, not really, but that should be my motto, for sure.

A little over 10 years ago, I made a personal pledge to try to shop for products Made in the USA. I felt good about this pledge...until I tried to go shopping at all of my usual haunts. I found a whole lot of Made in China and Made in the Philippines, but not so much with the Made in the USA. Flash forward to 2014 and in many malls and department stores, this is still the same story. I’ve spent some time researching American designers and seeking out makers who are not only committed to creating beautiful clothing, bags and shoes but have also kept their production here. Keep an eye on my blog for more outfits pulled together from American makers in the coming months.

Featuring Karina Dresses - made in Brooklyn, Nanette LePore shoes - made in LA, belt and bag by 49 Square Miles - Made in San Francisco and Wabi Sabi Earrings by me - Sharon Z Jewelry - Made in San Francisco.

Movin' on Up

Sharon Zimmerman

Mounds of unpacked boxes, with Corey Egan hiding somewhere in the pile.
Mounds of unpacked boxes, with Corey Egan hiding somewhere in the pile.

I've always had a love/hate relationship with moving. love the anticipation of being in a new space, of placing all of my things exactly where I want them, getting new furniture (new in my case equals found furniture on the sidewalk or used pieces from Craigslist), putting together tables and cases from IKEA (no really, I should hire myself out for this because I LOVE putting together IKEA furniture) and moving has always felt like a chance to start fresh...and then comes the hate.  Finding boxes.  Putting things into boxes.  Finding tape to tape up boxes.  Labeling boxes. Carrying boxes. Realizing that you somehow managed to tape your tape _inside_  an as-yet-to-be-determined box. Along with your scissors. Ugh.

The unpacked and set-up production space bathed in beautiful morning light
The unpacked and set-up production space bathed in beautiful morning light

All of this is to say that I moved into a new studio space! Along with the usual excitement and dread that comes along with moving, my studio mates and I also had renovations to complete and space to navigate as a group. The three of us managed this in spite of the fact that one of us (ahem, Luana) had not yet moved back to the Bay Area, so much of this planning happened long-distance and over a period of months. A challenge, but one that we were excited to embark upon as a group.

Here in no particular order, are our top three online tools for planning a studio move and layout:

-Homestyler.com - by far the best tool we used to plan the space.  This free tool helped us answer questions like, where will each of our benches go? Do we really have space for all of this? Can we each have a space by the windows (answer-yes!)? Many thanks to Corey for finding this one. Even though our final layout wound up being different than any of our layouts, this tool was essential for helping us visualize the space when we couldn't be in there. It also made move-in day go much more smoothly since we already had a good idea of where we wanted everything to go. You can see some of our initial layouts on our Pinterest Studio Inspiration board.  Speaking of which...

Succulents with a layer of pink aquarium rocks
Succulents with a layer of pink aquarium rocks

-Pinterest - I created a secret board for all three of us to pin our ideas onto and comment on.  This was a great way to keep visual track of fixtures and tools that we already had. We even pinned our own images - the Pinterest app lets you pin directly from the camera on your phone. This board is secret no longer and you can see it here - http://www.pinterest.com/zimmsha/studio-inspiration/  We pinned everything.  Practical pins like tools we either needed or had, and aspirational pins like the whale stapler that is totally impractical, but would make my office desk really happy. You can also see a lot of the ideas that we considered but ultimately rejected, or put on the back burner. Ideas like possibly building a loft to take advantage of our high ceilings, the vinyl and laminate flooring that we at one point considered installing ourselves (note, we eventually hired someone to install the floors for us.  Best decision ever.) I even did one of the projects that I pinned to this page.

The succulents in small pots with a layer of hot pink fish tank rocks?  Yeah, I did that one.  Who wore it better? Wait, don’t answer that.

-Google Drive - When we first decided to be studio mates and talked about tools we might need to buy, it quickly became clear that we had some overlap and that certain tools would be doubles.  It was even more clear that the each of us had missing pieces that the rest of us had been yearning for (rolling mill - check. Sandblaster - check.) We maintained a list in a spreadsheet that we could each add to. This list prevented us from running out and buying anything that someone else already had and kept us all within budget.  With only 740 square feet to work with and 3 people’s tools and offices to work with, we wanted to keep it simple.

So there you have it!  The space will probably always be a work in progress, and we still have some bigger ideas to bring to life, but we are moved in and set up and ready to make beautiful jewelry together.