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Where Does Larimar Come From?

December 31, 2014 10:34:10 AM EST

larimar braceletDeep in the thick rainforest region of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Islands surrounded by mountains, the Los Chupaderos larimar mine is is the only known source for this exquisite blue green stone. Larimar was very likely to have been discovered thousands of years ago, but is was officially recognized by the Smithsonian in 1974. The stone was named Larimar by a local artist after his daughter LAR and MAR the Spanish word for sea.

Because larimar is only found in one square kilometer of the world, it is very rare. No two larimar stones are alike. To bring out its natural luster, this precious larimar stone is carefully cut and polished, and designed in original sterling silver and gold jewelry settings. This luxury designer larimar jewelry is sold all over the world.

larimar necklace
Larimar jewelry is easy to care for. You can buff your larimar stone with a jewelry polishing cloth. Be careful not to expose your larimar jewelry to bleach, perfume, chemicals, or detergents which can discolor the stone.

I love the unique ocean inspired colors of blue and green of the larimar stone. Larimar jewelry is a stunning addition to your designer jewelry collection. This beautiful rare stone is captivating when set with iridescent pearls, faceted apatite, and London blue topaz in handcrafted sterling silver bezel. Discover my Chris Bales collection of natural larimar jewelry here.


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4 Easy Ways to Improve Your Jewelry Display

December 12, 2014 11:08:43 AM EST

elligators jewelry displayA New York packaging executive for a well-known cosmetic company once told me that they put a dollar lipstick in a three dollar case. Display and packing is important!

1. Tell a Story. Does your jewelry display tell a unique story? Maybe it’s time to reconsider your jewelry retail space. Merchandising is key to the success of a retail jewelry store. Create areas of interest with exciting merchandising to attract more shopper attention.

2. Jewelry Case Lighting. New lighting inside and outside the jewelry case can improve your business. Change up your displays often to create new jewelry sales opportunities.

3. Creative Color & Design. If you are bored with how your case looks, well so are your customers. Take the time to consider color, design, and style in your jewelry display case to attract more shopper attention. By creating a simple elegant, uncluttered jewelry display case to show off your handmade jewelry, you will enhance impromptu purchases. Remember, you can boost your sales by creating areas of interest with eye appeal.

4. New Jewelry Display Forms. I found these inexpensive linen jewelry displays that are fantastic to display my gemstone necklaces, silver bracelets, one-of-a-kind pendants, dangle earrings and stone rings. You can find great linen jewelry displays here.

You can find beautiful designer jewelry for your displays here!

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What is a Drusy Gemstone?

December 3, 2014 1:27:39 PM EST

One-of-a-kind blue druzy necklace with tanzanite, aquamarine, and blue topaz handmade in .925 sterling silver.
One of my very favorite natural gemstones to design sterling silver jewelry with is drusy (also spelled druzy). The drusy gemstone looks like a carpet of sparkling fresh snow covering the crevice of a mineral stone. This gorgeous unique gemstone is formed over millions of years by ground water carrying silica to the mineral under extreme heat.

Drusy Cuff Bracelet

There are many forms of drusy: chrysocolla drusy, pink calicite drusy, uvarovite drusy, chalcedony drusy, also known as desert rose drusy, but the most common is quartz drusy appearing in agates. Drusy is found worldwide.

Drusy Earrings Drusy Earrings

Natural drusies are beautiful and make gorgeous one-of-a-kind jewelry center pieces for designer silver necklaces, one-of-a-kind silver pendants, and gemstone bracelets. To create a stunning rainbow of colors in the drusy stone, the natural crystals can be treated with a with a film of titanium. It is then called titanium druzy. This coating process was invented in the US and bonds the titanium with the mineral to create a spectacular variety of colors in the drusy gemstone.

Drusy Ring

Every Elligators Silver Jewelry design by Chris Bales begins with a statement gemstone. The newest handmade art jewelry collection will feature the Calypso Blue Titanium drusy--full sparkling drusy crystals in gorgeous ocean blues, greens with a hint of amethyst.

Drusy Earrings

When I begin a jewelry design with a drusy gemstone, I accent the featured druzy with faceted blue aquamarines, denim hued blue kyanite, violet tanzanite, even American turquoise or maybe some facet amethyst or peridot gemstones. I love to create interest in my silver jewelry by mixing sizes, textures, and complementary colors. After the design is complete, every stone will be bezel set by hand in polished 925 sterling silver.

Discover our handmade sterling silver jewelry collection and wholesale jewelry designed by Chris Bales here!

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Mermaid Jewelry

November 12, 2014 11:37:54 AM EST

“I'm always happy when I'm surrounded by water, I think I'm a Mermaid or I was a mermaid." -Beyonce Knowles

Photo 1 mermaid necklace with cobalt blue and green sea glass, pearls, and blue topaz

If you love the beach and ocean, you probably love mermaids and their ancient story. The worldwide seafaring lore of mermaids trace to 1,000 BC. These mysterious creatures were fish like woman who swim through ocean and seas and often depicted singing. Capturing the imagination of humans, sightings of manatees or sea cows that live in rivers and intercoastal waters can be associated to mermaid fantasy. These rare animals, known to sailers as mer-maids, meaning woman of the sea, communicate between mother and their calves with a singing sound.

Florida manatee

You can celebrate the water spirit of mermaids with piece of jewelry from our art mermaid jewelry collection. I love these hand carved bone mermaids inspired by treasured antique Japanese netsukes. They make the perfect center piece for our sterling silver necklace, bracelet or pendant beach jewelry collection.

Mermaid bracelet with mother of pearl, prehenite, bone, quartz, peridot, freshwater pearl

I look for interesting colorful stones, pearls, sea glass and shells to accent our beautiful mermaid. The silver fish toggle clasp swimmingly secures our one-of-a-kind ocean inspired necklace and bracelet accessories. Appropriate for day or evening, all our luxury designer silver jewelry is hand crafted in sterling silver bezels.

Mermaid pendant -- scrimshaw bone, sunstone, and faced chrome diopside

Explore oceans of mermaid inspired silver jewelry here!

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Friendship Jewelry Gift Ideas

October 29, 2014 1:11:05 PM EDT

“Things are never quite as scary when you've got a best friend.” Bill Watterson

Friendship gifts for a special occasion,

for friends who love the beach, 

or a gift for no reason at all!

“Friendship is a gift that you enjoy opening every day.”

Treasures to make that day special here.

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Polo Style: Women in Polo

October 8, 2014 12:23:05 PM EDT

earthenware statues of the Tang dynasty 618-907I once read “Polo is a way of life” and “How to make a small fortune in polo? Start with a big one”. Both statements are so true. I became hooked on polo over 10 years ago and am still an addicted to the sport, horses, style, and people. Playing polo is like playing hockey on a horse. You may be surprised how many woman play polo. What I found even more surprising was how many years woman have been actually playing polo! During our recent visit to the Honolulu Museum of Art (fabulous museum by the way), we discovered these incredible earthenware statues of three lady polo players with their groom from China, dating all the way back to the Tang dynasty (618-907). Can you believe it? These ceramics depict a women's polo team from about 1,397 years ago! The saddle in the rear of the glass case in this photo is made of wood, lacquer, and inlayed mother of pearl from the Ming dynasty (1572-1620). Looks uncomfortable to me, but incredibly stylish!

Sterling silver Polo Grill logo horse pendantPolo is one of the few sports that men and woman compete together on the same field. I had the pleasure of meeting so many interesting woman polo players--many whom are now become close friends. We all share that common bond of love of horses and the thrill of polo competition. My girl friend, Jaymie Klauber, started an outstanding restaurant in Lakewood Ranch, FL, Polo Grill, with her husband, Tommy. Polo Grill is the place to meet at the bar after a game, enjoy a delicious gourmet dinner cooked by Chef Tommy, and burn up the dance floor. http://www.pologrillandbar.com/

Jaymie, a polo player of many talents and great style, created a horse charm necklace to displayDouble sterling  silver polo mallet pendant with freshwater pearl her own collection of Chris Bales silver polo pendants and silver equestrian pendants. 
She wears all the horse charms together on an oval silver collar that closes in the back. I love this idea--so fun to create and design your own personal style necklace using horse charms that are dear to you! Super cool! I am also introducing a new collection silver pendants, earrings and bracelets using the classy Polo Grill logo.


Sterling Silver polo mallet cuffThe action-packed sport of polo is my inspiration to design silver equestrian jewelry to wear both on and off the field. Our carefully crafted silver polo jewelry line is a key wholesale equestrian jewelry source for Womens Polo Tournament awards. Create, design, mix and match your own personal one-of-a-kind equestrian charm necklace or sport a beautiful sleek polo cuff. Experience the romance of the sport of kings with show stopping sterling silver polo and horse jewelry. Kick off your polo season here.Sterling Silver oval collar that closes in the back.Sterling Silver Double polo mallet cuff

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On The (fox) Hunt For Equestrian Silver Jewelry

October 1, 2014 11:31:45 AM EDT

Season just opened for South Creek Foxhounds, Florida’s oldest hunt club offering plenty of sport and fun. The club enjoys fox hunting on many beautiful properties which offer plenty of sport and enjoyment. Fox hunting originated back in the 16th century and is really a competition between fox and hound. Although it originally involved the tracking and chasing a fox on horseback with foxhounds; in North America, drag hunts are becoming more common where the scent of a fox is dragged through the woods and fields.

Early morning hunt with South Creek Foxhounds club.
Early morning hunt with South Creek Foxhounds club.

Fox hunting scenes are the subject of hundreds of gorgeous collectible prints, oil paintings, sculptures, and collectible horse jewelry. I am always on the hunt for vintage fox hunt jewelry and decor at my favorite flea markets and rummage sales. These beautiful collectibles are inspiration for many of my equestrian jewelry designs. I found some rare horse bridle rosettes which I utilized as the centerpiece of a silver horse shoe pendant. What better way to show these collectible rosettes off than to wear them as a pendant on a woven leather cord or sterling silver collar?

Collectible bridle rosette pendants, boot, fox & cap silver bracelet, sterling silver boot pin/pendant, pearl fox earrings, and stirrup silver bangle.
Collectible bridle rosette pendants, boot, fox & cap silver bracelet, sterling silver boot pin/pendant, pearl fox earrings, and stirrup silver bangle.

Elligators silver jewelry offers many traditional equestrian horse jewelry designs. Some favorites are the fox, boot, and hunt cap silver bracelet, the classic fox hunt boot silver pin/pendant, fox earrings, and horseshoe bangle. All our equestrian silver jewelry is hand made in 925 sterling silver. Wear it to the field, the high tea or the end of the season hunt ball.

Classic equestrian silver jewelry is the perfect gift for your fox hunt friends for a special occasion. Hunt for silver horse jewelry gifts here! Tally ho!

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Caring for Chris Bales Designer Sterling Silver Jewelry

September 25, 2014 12:45:33 PM EDT

Pure silver is a soft metal usually mixed with other metals to strengthen the silver to be handcrafted into sterling silver jewelry. Metal mixes are know as alloys. When silver is mixed, it is known as sterling silver, 925 silver, meaning the jewelry silver content is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5 percent of other metals. It is the other metals, usually copper or nickel, that tarnish in the sterling silver jewelry, not the silver.
Chris Bales designer gemstone bracelet handcrafted in sterling silver with larimar, aquamarine, faceted blue topaz and freshwater pearl. 

At Elligators Silver Jewelry, I have starting using a non-tarnishing alloy mixed with 92.5% silver in my Chris Bales sterling silver jewelry designs to slow down the tarnishing process. Caring for silver jewelry and reducing tarnish is simple. Keeping your sterling silver jewelry in tarnish prevention bags or cloths, or even a ziplock plastic bags is excellent for storage. This will also prevent the individual pieces of jewelry from scratching each other. Place a piece of chalk in the storage area to minimize tarnish and keep in a humidity free environment.

This luxurious biwa adjustable pearl ring is set in 925 sterling silver with titanium drusy and faceted blue topaz.

My favorite way to clean silver jewelry is to use special jewelry polishing cloths along with Wrights Anti-Tarnish Silver Polish. Use a back-and-forth motions that mirror the grain of the silver. Do not rub in circles. Then rinse with running water and remove all polish residue. Use a micro fiber cloth to dry you jewelry. You can find this Wrights cream silver jewelry polish and silver jewelry polishing cloths available in most grocery stores.
Make a statement with this stunning Calypso BlueTitanium druzy necklace handmade in 925 sterling silver apatite, tanzanite, American turquoise.   Check out the matching one-of-a-kind titanium drusy bracelet with beautiful denim blue kyanite, faceted apatite and blue topaz and quartz point designed by Chris Bales for Elligators silver jewelry.

Please avoid jewelry dips. They are too harsh, and can damage any stones or pearls set in your one-of-kind silver jewelry. Chemical dips could actually harm your handmade silver jewelry and cause it to have to be cleaned more frequently. Please don’t use household concoctions to clean 925 sterling silver, as they will eventually harm the finish of your beautiful silver bracelet, silver necklace or silver pendant. Avoid exposure to outside chemicals, like lotions, cosmetics, hair spray, perfumes. Oh, and please don’t wear your favorite Chris Bales silver jewelry while swimming or bathing!

You can keep your gemstone sterling silver jewelry free of tarnish with these easy sterling silver jewelry tips and ensure that your jewelry will retain its beauty for years to come!


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Hawaiian Sunrise Shell Jewelry

September 19, 2014 1:54:29 PM EDT

Hawaiian Sunrise shell jewelry
One-of-a-kind Hawaiian Sunrise shell necklace handcrafted in sterling silver with bezel set golden rutilated quartz, faceted lemon citrine, freshwater pearl, druzy, and blue topaz.

A natural gift from the sea, the Hawaiian Sunrise shell creates a stunning centerpiece for my art jewelry necklaces. I was introduced to this beautiful shell during my last visit to Hawaii. The prized prominent shell colors are deep red or pink on the bottom fanning gradually to orange or yellow. This shell, also known as Longford’s Pecten, is unique to Hawaii and usually found in deep waters off the North Shore of Oahu. Our beautiful handmade silver necklace tells a story of a treasured shell that was once worn my Hawaiian Royalty.

The one-of-kind Sunrise shell necklace is handcrafted in 925 sterling silver and accented with gemstones of golden rutilated quartz, pearlized titanium drusy, faceted lemon citrine, blue topaz, and freshwater biwa pearl. One of the Hawaiian islands’ rarest shells, our collectible designer shell jewelry makes a definite statement.

Discover our unique shell jewelry collection designed by Chris Bales for Elligators Silver Jewelry here! www.elligators.com

Hawaiian Sunrise shell jewelry
If you are lucky, you may find the Hawaiian Sunrise shell walking the beaches of North Shore Oahu, Hawaii or wading in the water. Sunrise shell jewelry tells a captivating story of the sea.

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Sea Turtle Jewelry: New silver designs hatching now!

September 11, 2014 1:08:54 PM EDT

sea turtle

Green sea turtle, North Shore, Hawaii

I love designing beautiful sea turtle jewelry out of sterling silver and natural gemstones for Elligators Silver Jewelry. A beautifully faceted pear shaped mother of pearl makes a treasured center piece for a hand crafted sea turtle pendant, or a ocean green/blue amazonite cabochon becomes the turtles back accented with polished silver head and flippers.

Here on the Gulf coast of Florida sea turtle nests are now hatching, Over 2462 nests, a 31 year record for the beaches from Longboat key through Venice. Sea turtles are earths’s most ancient creatures--since the time of dinosaurs over 110 million years ago. The seven existing sea turtle species migrate hundreds of miles between nesting and feeding grounds. Female sea turtles dig a nest with their rear flippers in the sand to bury their clutch of eggs, then return to the sea. After hatching, the young may take as much as a week to dig themselves out of their nest and crawl to the ocean. The average lifespan of a sea turtle is 80 years, yet few survive to adulthood.

Sarasota, Florida hosts the largest number of loggerhead sea turtle nests on the Gulf coast. The Mote Marine program enlists over 300 volunteers to monitor the nests and collect research data. Public support of this program is crucial to help the endangered sea turtles make a comeback. To make a
donation, click here.

All my encounters with sea turtles have been breathtaking moments. One evening I watched a huge loggerhead turtle crawl from the gulf, and lay her eggs on the beach. I also witnessed baby loggerheads leaving their nest to scramble to the water before predators could pick them off. Most exciting was swimming with the not so shy green turtles in Hawaii. These sea turtle moments inspired me to design sea turtle jewelry to honor these stunning ancient creatures. I hope you too will treasure our one-of-a-kind sea turtle silver bracelets, pendants, and necklaces--art jewelry that tells a story of the ancient seas.

Check out the new Chris Bales Designer gemstone sea turtle jewelry here!  

Turtle Pendant 
Carved bone sea turtle pendant
with sea glass and faceted blue
topaz handcrafted in sterling
silver designed by Chris Bales

Turtle Pendant

Sterling silver sea turtle pendant
with ocean blue amazonite
cabochon design by Chris Bales
for Elligators Silver Jewelry



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