Tagging Handmade Jewelry Gifts
by Judy Ellis
They're one of those cultural things that seem everywhere. On your car, in movies, needing attention every couple of years: license plates. License plates, surprisingly, began in France in the 1800s, before the car was invented. On this day, April 25, in 1901, New York became the first state to require license plates; but rather than provide a metal plate with year and month stickers, as states do nowadays, drivers were expected to make their own! Early license plates were made of cardboard, copper, plastic, leather, porcelain, and even pressed soybeans before standards were put in place.

What does that have to do with jewelry?
Well, I drive a Toyota Camry. I love my car, but it's not exactly unique; there are usually a couple other Camrys in the same color when I park at the mall or to get groceries. And if I didn't have my electronic key FOB that I can press to make my car beep, I'm sure I'd have a harder time finding my car. Now could you imagine if we didn't have license plates, either?
I was thinking about license plates and I started to wonder how I identify my jewelry. Sure, compared to the rest of my jewelry box, my jewelry stands out pretty well: I recognize what I've made (much better than remembering where I parked). Even my wild and crazy experiments still are familiar to me. But what if one of my circle of friends, who gets showered with handmade jewelry on her birthday, can't remember who made her bracelet, can you blame her? So here are a few ideas I came up with to help "license" your jewelry.

  • Does your jewelry tarnish? Include a small polishing cloth, or an anti-tarnish strip and a plastic bag with the gift.

  • Give your jewelry in a special box: many gem shows will have a vendor who specializes in beautiful wood, silk, cloissone, or ceramic tiny gift boxes and pounches.

  • Include a personal note on scrapbooking or handmade paper that begs to be saved in her jewelry box

  • Do you have a special symbol, or a special thing that will remind your friend of you? Attach a small charm, such as a cross, peace sign, dolphin, or "Mom" charm near the clasp, so she thinks of you whenever she puts it on.

  • Search online for jewelry tags and metal jewelry stamping punches so you can stamp your initials on the jewelry tag charm
  • What ways can you think of to "license" or "mark" your jewelry that you give as gifts?

    Materials

    Wire
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    Gold Filled Charms
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    Sterling Silver Charms
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    Rose Gold Filled Charms
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    Sterling Silver Filled Charms
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    Ultra-Polish Pads, 20 pack
    POL-695.00
    • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
    • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
    • Price: $6.38
    • Gold Club Price: $4.78
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    Packaging
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    Tools

    Stamps
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    8 Inch Brass Hammer with Wooden Handle
    G3-23
    • G3-23
    • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
    • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
    • Price: $5.97
    • Gold Club Price: $4.48
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    Bench Block Helper with Steel and Nylon Blocks
    DAP-500.30
    • DAP-500.30
    • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
    • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
    • Price: $29.95
    • Gold Club Price: $22.46
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    • Category: Design
    • Technique(s): Stamping, Design, Selling, Storage, General Education