A great shoe is about more than gorgeous looks - it's about the sole, too
Tips for Finding a Comfortable Pump
Hold the shoe at the heel and the toe area. The sole should be flexible and bend at the front of the arch but have a stiff bottom through the arch.
Choose a pump with a high heel that is directly underneath the center of your heel. If it is too far forward or at the back of the shoe, you'll have balance problems.
Look for false fronts. "A pointy-toe shoe with an area that is much longer than your toes has a false front. It keeps your toes from being squished," says Suzanne Levine, a podiatric surgeon in New York City.
Make sure the toe area is wide enough through the ball of your foot.
Note that a wedge shoe distributes your weight more evenly and offers support all the way through the foot. Be aware, however, that the limited sole flexibility of a wedge increases the risk of rolling your ankle over the side.
Test a shoe for cushioning by pressing a finger into the ball area. It should have a little give or a slightly padded feel.
Avoid synthetics. Wear shoes with leather, suede, or fabric uppers. These materials breathe, which lessens the chance of blistering.
Tips for Finding a Comfortable Flat
Look for sturdy construction. "Try to push in the area around the heel," says Meghan Cleary, author of The Perfect Fit: What Your Shoes Say About You (Chronicle Books, $13, amazon.com). "If the heel collapses enough to touch the insole, the shoe is not supportive."
Hold each end of a shoe and try to twist it. If the shoe bends too much, it won't be supportive.
Look for flats with a little bit of a heel if you have high arches. Heels provide relief from foot pain.
Buy shoes with leather or rubber soles for optimum shock absorption.
Wear only shoes that have leather or suede insoles. Breathable and pliable, they help prevent chafing and blistering, and they mold to the feet.
Search for round-toe flats. They follow the shape of the foot and allow the toes to move.
Avoid slippage and cuts on your heel by finding a shoe with a back that fits snugly and holds your foot securely.
Tips for Finding a Blister-Proof Sandal
Avoid wobbly shoes. Examine a shoe's quality by looking at how it sits on a table. A well-built one will be balanced and look stable when standing on its own.
Find stack heels that have a broad heel tap (base), which allows for better shock absorption. You will also be steadier on your feet.
Stay away from backless shoes, such as thongs and slides, because they cause pain in the balls of the feet, says Suzanne Levine. Instead, look for a sandal with straps that hit just below the ankle (not encircling it). These will help stabilize the foot and hold it securely.
Wear only sandals that have leather or suede-lined straps to prevent chafing.
Make sure the toe-box area is wide enough for the broadest part of your foot.
Look for platform shoes that give the illusion of a higher heel without the feel of it.
Examine the insides of straps for seams and other construction details that might dig into feet.
Karat is the system used to state the amont of pure gold an item contains. The higher the karat number, the higher the percentage of gold in your jewelry.
The system of measuring karats is based on a scale of 24, with 100 percent gold equaling 24 karats. Since 24K gold is usually considered too soft for jewelry, the gold in jewelry item is alloyed with other metals to strengthen and harden it. The karat mark tells us the ratio of pure gold to these other metals.
24 Karat (24K) gold is pure gold
22 Karat (22K) gold contains 22 parts gold and 2 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 91.6% gold
21 Karat (21K) gold contains 21 parts gold and 3 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 87.5% gold
18 Karat (18K) gold contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 75% gold
14 Karat (14K) gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 58.3% gold
12 Karat (12K) gold contains 12 parts gold and 12 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 50% gold
10 Karat (10K) gold contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 41.7% gold.
In the United States, 10K gold is the minimum karat that can be called "gold".
GOLD JEWELRY SETTING
Most jewelry is crafted from individual components. The pieces are often created on the jeweler's bench and adjoined with molten precious metals. With a few components such as earring-posts, chains and hinges (often known as "findings"), these basic components are used to make everything from solitaire and gem-set rings, to earrings, necklaces, pendants and more complex pieces. Here we present the various setting styles used to set jewels in precious metals along with brief description of how each setting looks as well as what makes each setting special.
Is also known as claw setting. It has small claws with a vice-like grip that are bent over the girdle of the gem to ensure its secured position.
Typical claw setting has 4 claws. Claw settings with 6 claws are also called the "Tiffany" setting because it was originally developed by the founder of Tiffany & Co. in 1886.
The claws must always be equal.
The visible claw ends are often rounds, ovals, points, V-shapes (usually called "Chevron"), flat and sometimes formed into ornamental shapes (usually called "Enhanced Prongs").
As all gemstones are suitable for prong setting, it is the most frequently used method of setting gems into jewelry. Prong settings are frequently seen because they are easier to adjust to the size of an individual gemstone.
Pront setting brilliantly shows off the gemstone, since the gemstone is positioned higher and is more easily seen.
Prong setting is especially popular for solitaire engagement rings and in bridal rings. When combined with Pave settings, Prong settings are considered to be the most suitable for women as this setting is more feminine, especially for designs with smaller shoulders and smaller gemstones.
The more claws, the more secure and safe your gemstones will be !
Pronounced Pa Vay, Pave settings are claw-like settings but are so small that they are barely visible. The claws are triangular-like and are usually handmade.
The settings are either created by use of tiny prongs that hold the jewels on both sides, or are crafted by scooping beads of precious metal out to hold the gems in place.
Pave setting produce a carpet of brilliance across the entire surface of a piece of jewelry. The surface is encrusted, or quite literally "paved" in diamonds and gems, and the body of the jewelry is brought vibrantly to life.
Pave setting displays an illusionary bigger look using multiple gemstones.
Pave setting is usually combined with other gemstone settings to add more effect and beauty.
Pave settings are best for diamonds. Pave setting is often used in conjunction with white gold, which creates an effect of the whole piece of jewelry being crafted from diamonds.
Pave setting is best for round, oval, princess, emerald, square and baguette cuts.
A "bezel" setting is a crafted diskette of metal that holds the gemstone by its girdle to the ring, securely encircling the entire circumference of the gem. It is labor intensive and must be crafted to precisely circumnavigate the outline of the gem.
Variations of the "bezel" setting are the "flush" or gypsy" settings. The surface of the ring has a window cut into it that exactly fits the size of the gem. Secured from underneath, the crown of the gem rises from the ring beatifully catching rays of light.
A bezel setting needs to be balanced and straight, from angle-to-angle. Gemstones with sides/angles are considered difficult while oval and rounds are easier.
Bezels can have straight, scalloped edges and can be molded into a gemstone of any shape.
A bezel setting protects the edges, the girdle and the pavilion of the gemstones.
Bezel setting adds height, dimension and a great modern look.
Bezel setting is best suited to people with active lifestyles. Bezel settings are especially considered the best for men because these setting show masculinity, especially when the designs have BIG shoulders and BIG gemstones.
Bezel setting is best for earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings.
A setting technique whereby gemstones are held side-by-side by their girdles between two long tracks of precious metal. When used with square, princess and rectangular shaped jewels, the effect is breathtaking as no metal apears between the jewels -- they appear to float in a tightly bejeweled chain within the jewelry.
The gemstones in channel setting are set closely together, so that no gold between the gem is necessary. This produces the maximum amount of light and brightness from the gemstones and allows the jewelry to keep looking bright for a long time.
In channel setting it is very important precisely cut the gemstones pavilion, if not the gemstones will crack or be lost !
Channel setting is often used in commercial jewelry designs. Often seen in eternity bands and tennis bracelets, gemstones are held side-by-side by their girdles between two long tracks of precious metal.
Channel setting is best for diamonds and for round, oval, princess, emerald, square and baguette cuts.
Channel setting is best for rings and bracelets.
These are short bars that run like a railway track across a ring. Gemstones are individually set between these bars leaving the sides of the gemstones exposed to light.
An increasingly popular setting style, this technique maximizes the amount of light entering the gemstones creating superior brilliance and sparkle.
Bar setting is a version of the channel setting and can often combine a contemporary and classic loo in one design.
Bar setting is best for diamond rings and for round, oval, princess, emerald, square and baguette cuts.
invisible-set gemstones are placed very closely together, with the mdetal concealed underneath the stones, giving them the appearance of a continuous, uninterrupted surface. Since the metal of the setting is not seen, this type of setting is an excellent way to showcase the brilliance or color of the gemstones themselves. It also allows an increased amount of light to enter the stone (and thus give off more brilliance or color), since there are no prongs or bezels impeding the light's entry.
In a cluster setting, several stones are mounted together in a group, for a cluster effect. It is frequently seen with several small stones surrounding a central, larger stone.
This setting uses pressure to hold a stone between two open ends of the metal mounting, making the stone appear as if it's floating.
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