One of the most identifiable aspects when it comes to drag, is the big and bold jewelry that we wear. From the big, beautiful earrings, to the big, glamourous rings, the jewelry that wear is summed up in one word: Gorgeous.
Jewelry pieces can be one of the most expensive things that you will buy when it comes to your drag. Some pieces can go from $25 to even above $500 a piece. Depending on the piece, you can take something so simple, and make it extraordinary.
The Styles Of Jewelry
When it comes to your pieces, there are of course different styles that are put into parent categories (Necklaces, Bracelets, Rings, Earrings).
-Chocker (A Necklace that goes primarily around the neck that does not touch the Décolleté )
-Bib (A Necklace that hugs around the base of the neck)
-Waterfall (A Necklace that hugs around the neck with a dangle accent piece)
-Basic (The basic design of a bracelet)
-Dangle (A Bracelet with a dangle accent piece)
-Plate (A ring that is most commonly known as a statement ring)
-Small (A Basic small Ring)
-Button (Earrings that are small, primarily used for those that dance)
-Chandelier (Big, Extravagant earrings that have a big dangle piece to them. Most commonly similar to that of a chandelier.)
-Cuffs (Earrings that hook to the entire outside of the ear)
-Dangles (Earrings that have a dangle accent to them)
Magnet -VS- Clip -VS- Blank Back -VS- Pierce Back
When you order a pair of earrings, you will be given several options depending on the jeweler.
Most earrings have a simple Clip on the back that a performer will use to clip the earring to their ears. Queens will use a small dab of glue on the back of the clip, and the back of the earring to help secure the clip to their ears.
A magnet back is a magnet that is either glued or soldered onto the back of the earring that is used to do just that, magnetize the earring to your ear. Most queens prefer this method over the clip as the magnet helps to take away the gluing aspect of the process.
A Blank Back is an earring that has no clip, pierced, or magnet piece on the back of the earring. These are primarily used in pieces that are either brand new, or by the preference of the buyer. To attach these earrings, the queen can either attach their own magnets, or glue the back of the earring to their ear.
And then, there is the Pierced Back. These are the earrings that have the basic pierce to them like a regular earring. These are a new concept that many with pierced ears would like to turn to help ensure that their earrings will stay on.
When you order from certain jewelers, you will notice that they will offer a service called Electroplating. The jeweler will either (depending on the jeweler) electroplate their own jewelry, or send it off to an electroplating professional.
Electroplating is the process of adhering on a certain metal to the back of the earring to help create an even better support and hold in the pieces that you order. Electroplating will either come in Nickle, Brass, Or Black depending on the jeweler.
The Stones That Are Used
When you find your jeweler, and you finally come to mind what set you would like to order, it is important to know exactly what stones are being used.
Some of the most common stones used include:
Finding a reliable Jeweler:
Unless you know how to solder, and have the time to make your own jewelry, a performer will go through a jeweler to get their pieces made. When it comes to picking a jeweler, the world is an oyster.
When it comes to finding a jeweler, you must look at all aspects. Some aspects include: Price, Customer Service, Experience, Means Of Payment and Delivery, Turnaround Time and Quality of the pieces.
Just because a nice, big pair of earrings is less than $100…does not mean it is a good deal. And vice versing, if the nice, big pair of earrings is more than $400 does not mean it is also a good deal. Finding a perfect price for a good, quality piece to be made for it is the biggest point when finding a good, quality jeweler.
Is the jeweler willing to answer all the questions that you have? Do they seem friendly? Will they stay in contact with you even after they finished and delivered your set (and not just to ask if you are going to buy again)? How long does it take for them to reply to your messages? These are just a few questions that you should ask yourself if you are going to buy a good piece of jewelry. The jeweler should have at least the basic customer service skills.
This is one that you should always ask yourself. Have they been around long enough to make an impact? Do they make good, quality pieces of jewelry? Do they use good materials when it comes to their pieces? How long have they been doing jewelry? These are just some of the basic questions about experience that you should ask yourself, and subsequently them, when it comes to finding out their experience.
Means Of Payment
If your jeweler has a website, that is more power to them with having a payment form on their website. However, what about the jewelers that are strictly through Facebook? My philosophy for jewelry goes, unless the jeweler is well-known, do not use any other means of payment, than PayPal. Which means, if you are using a first-time jeweler, or someone who you barely know, I recommend using PayPal due to their money-back guarantee policies that they have in place. If something happens on the other end of the payment deal, you are easily able to put in a complaint, and you will have your money back.
Means Of Delivery
One of the things that comes with the delivery of jewelry, is to know what to expect when the jeweler sends it. Most jewelers will send you your jewelry as if they are sending a very valuable piece of art. It is common to open your box from USPS to bubble wrap, tissue paper, some will send it with cardboard between the pieces to act as extra protection. Unless otherwise noted, your jeweler will send you your pieces via the regular postal mail. It is your job to make sure that you are aware of any insurance put on your package in case of any problems that happen between the jewelers place, and yours.
This is where I personally spend my time when I first looked for a jeweler (before I found my all time favorite one: Rox By Cox). Turnaround time means the time it takes from the time that you order, to the time that your pieces are finished and shipped. Performers are on a time frame, and sometimes, you have to find the most reliable jeweler by the means of time. Whether it be a pageant you are preparing for, or a show you are needing it for, it is best to know what your turnaround time will be.
Quality Of The Pieces
When choosing your jeweler, it is best to know the quality of the pieces. Quality should always be chosen over the quantity. Are the stones in your pieces going to be shiny? Will the piece break before you even have a chance to wear it? How is the plating on the back? Are any stones loose? These are the biggest questions when it comes to checking the quality of the piece. A pro-tip to always consider when having a jeweler, especially when it comes to quality, is making sure that if something breaks, the jeweler should always have a plan in place for these problems.