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The Odissa Handmade Blog

Stay in the loupe!

PPL Cover for Arts and Crafts

posted by admin at 10/09/2019

We are pleased to announce that a new subscription is available to sellers of jewellery and other craftworks that includes £5M Products and Public Liability insurance cover.

Cover includes sales to the USA and Canada, the use of heat on third party premises, exhibiting at craft fairs and exhibitions and teaching. Read the Policy Summary to determine if it suits your needs.

Odissa is Evolving!

posted by admin at 08/20/2019

We are pleased to announce that the Guild of Jewellery Designers selling platform, Odissa, is now open to designer/makers of all arts and crafts.

We aim to hold on to our ethos of maintaining a handcrafted products platform and hope to create a vibrant and interesting place for visitors to shop so, if you make handcrafted products, feel free to join us on the adventure! :-)


posted by admin at 07/04/2019

Does your Sterling Silver tarnish?


Summer months can be a nightmare for lovers of Silver, when, for no obvious reason, your Silver jewellery doesn't look as lustrous as it should. Here we explore some reasons why this happens.


First of all what causes the discolouration?


Silver turns black when kept in the air because it reacts with sulphur compounds such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S) present in air. The phenomenon is called corrosion and, for silver in particularly, is called tarnishing. The black substance formed is silver sulphide.

This is a common issue with Silver, even British hallmarked 925 solid Silver can tarnish, it's not a fault, it's a natural occurrence. It is common and certainly not a sign there is a quality issue with your Sterling Silver and can infact be used to provide a decorative contrast against polished Silver to highlight detail, but, how can we prevent it from happening?

Sterling Silver is an alloy and is created when copper is added to pure Silver in order to make the resulting metal more durable and less soft. Usually, Sterling Silver has a purity of 92.5%, which is what the 925 stamp indicates (925 parts per 1000) meaning that 7.5% of the alloy is made of copper and other metals (eg. zinc).

Copper oxidises when exposed to the atmosphere especially when there is high humidity moisture. The Copper metal reacts with Oxygen, resulting in the formation of an outer layer of Copper Oxide. This reaction on Silver results in tarnishing and taking on a blackened appearance.


So, what are the common causes and how to avoid tarnishing?


1. Moisture and Humidity.


Summer months usually result in an increased moisture level on our skin (dare we say, perspiring, although we all know ladies glow!). Hot nights, and long sunny days, more showering, etc all increase moisture exposure, which can lead to tarnishing.

Solution: avoid wearing jewellery while sleeping, and showering/bathing.

Remove jewellery from bathrooms especially while showering, which can create a humid atmosphere (we all know what us ladies are like for popping trinkets on the side!).


2. Cosmetics and Sunscreen


Many beauty cosmetics, especially sunscreens, contain zinc oxide and other small chemical particles, this exposure to Sterling Silver results in tarnishing.

Solution: apply sunscreen before donning jewellery making sure it is well absorbed before doing so. This can reduce, but not stop, the tarnishing process.

Apply jewellery after makeup, we've all heard of the saying 'last on first off' with regard to wearing pearls as they are so delicate, by adopting this practice with silver and wiping with a dry soft cloth after wearing, it can again reduce tarnishing.


3. Swimming baths


Chlorinated swimming pools are a huge NO NO. Chlorine reacts with the Copper within the Silver and results in tarnishing and, even worse, can cause pitting. Again we stress this is not a fault with the Sterling Silver, it is a natural reaction when the Copper within Sterling Silver meets Chlorine.

Solution: remove all jewellery prior to swimming especially in chlorinated water.


4. Perfumes and sprays


Perfumes and sprays contain chemicals, again these can react with your Sterling Silver and cause tarnishing.

Solution: spray perfume onto your skin and allow it to dry fully before wearing your jewellery.


5. Diet


Not obvious, but your diet can actually affect your silver.

A diet which contains a higher amount of sulphur rich foods, such as eggs, garlic seafood, etc. can produce sweat (or perspiration for ladies) to have a higher concentration of sulphur compounds, which will cause a reaction with the copper within Sterling Silver and accelerate tarnishing.

Solution: Avoid high sulphur foods, there are lots of low sulphur foods available.

Never keep your Sterling Silver jewellery next to a boiled egg, it will oxidise/tarnish it!!!

* Please keep your diets healthy and varied *

So you can see how hot, humid, sunny days, spent swimming, applying sunscreen, increased showering, spray deodrant and perfume, eating a diet which is Sulphur rich, and make up can all contribute to tarnished Sterling Silver.

Solution: Avoid the above where possible, although no one is expecting you to put your life on hold for the sake of keeping your jewellery tarnish free.

Wipe your jewellery after wearing it and before storing it.

A small amount of tarnish can be easily removed using a Silver polishing cloth.

Store Sterling Silver in an airtight box where possible to limit exposure to humidity.

I hope this helps and you all have an amazing summer!


Written by Toni Hardwick - Grounded Soul Jewellery

Demi-Fine Jewellery? WTF?

posted by admin at 05/01/2019

What is 'Demi-Fine Jewellery?

Yet another made up buzz phrase but, what the heck, let's run with it as this is what jewellery on Odissa is all about! :-)

Demi-Fine jewellery is the mid point between costume jewellery and fine jewellery. It takes elements from both and allows more affordable price points to the upper end fine jewellery level by using lower priced materials such as plated Silver, lower carats of gold, Platinum and Palladium, mixing different metals, precious and non precious, Sapphires, lab created diamonds etc., and is a market growing year on year. An alternative way to create the look of fine jewellery and also bring it into the category of demi-fine is by not compromising on the higher carat of the metals, but to make the item smaller and lighter weight.

Price points for DF Jewellery, appear to be around the £300 - £400 mark and the consumer often sources brands and niche designers through marketplaces and social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook. The choice appears almost limitless for jewellery pieces in a whole assortment of materials and possibilities; bespoke, handmade items give the uniqueness and personalisation that the buyer demands at a price they can afford.

Demi-fine jewellery is far from a temporary trend and will become the norm as a way for men and women to enhance their everyday look with affordable jewellery both in precious metals and mixed media.

Combining modern, contemporary styles with advances in technology and innovative, imaginative designer/makers, makes demi-fine jewellery affordable yet visually appealing.


Author: Alan Hardwick.

CEO for The Guild of Jewellery Designers and owner of GETi Titanium Rings


Be Aware When Christmas Shopping Online….

posted by admin at 11/22/2018

....and all year round really!

Time, bad weather, battling through the crowds; all things to consider when shopping for Christmas presents. The option to shop online is becoming ever more popular as the advantage of clicking and waiting for a delivery becomes more apparent.

Rushing to get those last minute presents at the right price can sometimes cloud your judgment. It's easy to forget that some online marketplaces and websites can be a source of inferior products, counterfeit or non existent goods. 

A web address with .co.uk may also be misleading and not what it seems, making it difficult to tell where the goods are actually coming from. There is a risk of delays in getting the item in time for Christmas, if at all, should the website be selling non existent or fake goods. Check what you're buying, make sure it's genuine and check the small print terms and conditions in regards to returns, and be aware of costs to yourself returning unwanted goods as international sellers may not be as forgiving about taking goods back, making it harder to sort out problems.

Be careful when buying gifts online this Christmas. Designers and products on Odissa are vetted by The Guild of Jewellery Designers so you can be assured that you are buying from a reputable maker and all products are handcrafted in the UK. Also, look out for the Trusted Designer/Maker mark designed to provide extra protection for jewellery shoppers from fraudulent traders.




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