Showing posts with label harmony necklace. Show all posts
Showing posts with label harmony necklace. Show all posts

Monday, May 22, 2017

Things to Consider When Buying a Harmony Necklace (Bola Necklace, Angel Caller)

Important Considerations when Buying a Harmony Ball Necklace (Bola Necklace, Angel Caller Necklace, Pregnancy Necklace)

Genuine Sterling Silver Harmony Necklaces for UNDER $50

  "You can Buy Genuine Sterling Silver for just a few dollars more than merely 'plated' necklaces" ... read on


There are so many websites out there to Choose from when Buying a Harmony Necklace ... So this is good for the consumers, right? .... well Yes and No ... let me explain

 ... as with many other things it really is a case of 'Buyer Beware' ... Beware of websites with just pretty pictures and fancy presentations that lack details about the product, its actual size and importantly what it is made of, and offering fantastic deals. Competition no doubt creates more competitive pricing for all of us but it also brings about potential traps for consumers.
As a Jeweler myself who is passionate about quality and very concerned with the increasing number of websites misleading customers about jewelry,  I feel compelled to offer some advice, based on industry and scientific facts and my own training and experience, to help intending purchasers to understand the pitfalls they may face in buying Silver jewelry.

"Silver is not always Silver when it comes to jewelry and far too many people are being mislead about what they are actually buying." .... author unknown.

a Quality Harmony Necklace becomes Keepsake Jewelry to pass from Mother to Daughter
"Beautiful Keepsake jewelry to pass on from Mother to Daughter when she is expecting"

This article is worth reading as it will arm you with the knowledge that will help you make an 'informed decision' when you purchase your Harmony Ball Necklace / Bola Necklace / Angel Caller / Pregnancy Necklace.


A few years ago there were far fewer websites selling Harmony Ball necklaces (and other quality jewelry items) than there are today. The explosion of websites selling these chiming necklaces is due to the Chinese manufacturers getting in on the act - making and selling simply silver 'Plated' copies of the original Hand Made Sterling Silver Harmony Balls, hand crafted by Artisan Silversmiths in Bali and in Mexico, the places of origin of these wonderful jewelry items. (by the way I am not anti-Chinese, I am anti-misleading consumers when buying Silver jewelry).

It is fair to say that prices have become cheaper - but so has the quality - if you really shop around you can buy a Harmony Ball / Bola Necklace for under U.S.$5 ... but would you really want to?

Genuine Sterling Silver 'Angel Caller' Necklaces for UNDER $50

As a Consumer there are Essentially Two Main Choices - 

1. Buy Quality Genuine 925 Sterling Silver or,
2. Buy merely Silver Plated (Costume jewelry)

Please take the following into account before you spend your money;
  • - the price saving between the two choices is in the vicinity of about $10 to $15 - the average price for a typical size (18mm or 3/4" diameter) Harmony Ball in 925 Sterling Silver is in the $45 to $55 range (more than $55 for that size and you are likely paying too much) - for a silver Plated one of the same size the range is generally $30 to $40 (if less than $30 it will likely be very poor quality and have a very poor chime sound, and over $40 you will be paying too much for just silver Plated)
  • - this will be a 'very Special' jewelry piece', right? ... purchased and worn for a 'very Special Reason' - and possibly for more than one pregnancy!
  • Silver Plating WILL WEAR OFF ... the facts are that the plating process adds a only a very minute thin coating (only a few microns thickness) of Silver onto whatever the material underneath is - most of the materials used in the making of Costume Jewelry (called Base Metals in the Jewelry making industry) are just made up of a mixture of scrap metals thrown into the melting pot, it could be anything - refer to this authoritative article about plating of costume jewelry here for more details (Silver-Plating-and-How-it-Differs-from-Sterling-Silver)
  •  Why will the silver plating will wear off? - "I have other silver plated jewelry that I have had for years and the plating hasn't worn off"!! - plating quality can vary greatly between manufacturers and Silver itself is a very soft metal and can be easily worn off with abrasion - that is why copper is added to Silver to create Sterling Silver, to give it strength and toughness - see details about Sterling Silver below). Additionally a major difference is that a Harmony Ball necklace is worn day in and day out for 6 months or longer (200+ days and nights) and is in continual contact with either the skin or clothing or both intermittently and is being touched regularly - hence there is abrasion or wear of that very, very thin silver plating, the pendant bouncing and rubbing against an abrasive surface of  clothing materials and even the skin with its natural oils plus any sweat or perfumes, body lotions etc can also be abrasive. So compared to any other piece that is not worn every single day and night for moths on end and is not in direct contact with clothing etc the Harmony Ball plating is copping some really harsh punishment. The rate of wear will vary, no doubt, depending on circumstances. Some clothing materials are 'rougher' than others, some people have oilier skin than others and some perfumes and body lotions have some pretty harsh chemicals that can accelerate the rate of wear of the very thin silver plating - all of these factors effect abrasive wear. It may take some time but it will wear off, especially if it has been a poor quality plating process.
  • What happens when the Plating wears off? with whatever the metal mixture is underneath the worn off plating rubbing on the skin it can lead to any number of things - rashes, dermatitis, dirty marks on the skin (green from the copper content is common) and worse if by chance the material the pendant is made of contains Nickel, a known cancer causing carcinogen  - "but the website said it didn't contain Nickel", I hear you say. The problem with this is that virtually ALL Websites selling these silver plated Harmony Ball pendants are simply resellers, buying in from wholesalers in China via sites like Alibaba.com or DHGate.com and not even from the actual manufacturer and as such they have to take the word of the wholesaler who in turn takes the word of the Chinese manufacturer - there really is NO WAY to VERIFY for the consumer or anyone else for that matter what the metal alloy content actually is made up of and hence whether or not it contains Nickel. So it all comes down to trust.
  •  TRUST and the website you buy from - aside from fancy professional appearance and impressive product images it is important that the website is giving you all the necessary information you need so that you know exactly what it is you are buying - information like actual size on the pendant (diameter) and what it is made of ... and not just the word Silver - in this day and age there is no such thing as just silver - it is either Sterling Silver or it is silver plated. Most sites selling Chinese made Harmony Balls refer to just silver so you will not know if you are buying Sterling Silver or merely silver plated, and rarely do they say silver 'plated'. Some are indeed up front whilst others will say Sterling Silver and in the fine print, in a hard to get to page, they will sate it is Sterling Silver 'plated' (a Chinese invention) to confuse or mislead consumers. Some sites do not even say what the pendant is made of on their fancy web pages, simply relying on the 'wow' factor and impulse buying based on a pretty picture. We probably need to ask ourselves the question 'Why are these websites so evasive in providing factual information?' The problem is the Chinese manufacturers are very good at making something look pretty. Some sites are run by very nice honest folk who believe they are selling a quality product, they have believed the wholesaler, others are sharks knowing they are misleading consumers.
Be wary of sneaky misleading embellishment terms like "generous layer of high quality Silver" or " silver filled" or "rhodium plated silver" (rhodium adds extra shine and reduces tendency to tarnish - it is used often on 'fine' jewelry, including Sterling Silver) - the term 'Rhodium plated' or 'coated' is used in conjunction with plated jewelry to try to deflect from the fact that it is only plated. The worst is just the word 'Silver' on its own leaving it the judgement of the buyer, and unfortunately none of this is regulated.
 "Silver is not always Silver when it comes to jewelry and far too many people are being mislead about what they are actually buying." .... author unknown.
    •  FAKE Gemstones - in addition, any so called gemstones on any Chinese manufactured silver plated Harmony Ball / Bola Necklace / Angel Caller are simply colored glass - (I know, I have smashed a few very easily with a gentle tap with a small hammer).
    • Sterling Silver complies to International Standards - Sterling Silver, sometimes called 925 Sterling Silver or 925 Silver is made to International Standards - it is consistently made up of 92.5% Pure Silver (or 925 parts per 1000, hence the tag of 925) with the remainder being Copper to give the Silver the 'tensile strength' it needs to be formed into jewelry (pure silver is too soft for making jewelry). Sterling Silver is classed as a 'Precious Metal Alloy' so the quality of Sterling Silver is regulated and is consistent and jewelry pieces made with it are regarded as 'fine' jewelry. (refer to this link to an authoritative website for detailed information about Sterling Silver)

    At the end of the day we all have to make our own choices - it is much easier to do so armed with knowledge. Hopefully this article has provided some beneficial knowledge to assist you in your purchasing decision.

    We all want to get a 'Bargain' but maybe we should look for 'Quality Bargains' ? ... so maybe ask yourself if you want save about $20 or so on a possible throw away or spend that $20 and buy a beautiful quality 'Keepsake', something that can be handed down from Mother to Daughter and on to further generations.

    Ask any Jeweler, your local jeweler, for his or her opinion.

    "Value for money is better in the long run than just getting a bargain" ... author unknown

    p.s. it is not just individual websites that you need to be careful with - many sellers in the huge shopping sites like Amazon, eBay, Etsy and others are offering plated products 'without full disclosure to the shopper' (i.e. using just the term 'Silver') and it seems these big sites do not enforce stringent enough policies or controls about materials that their jewelry for sale is made of or how the seller projects that aspect of their product. So do not fall into the trap that it is a big name site so it must be OK. Over 90% of the Harmony Ball products on these sites are simply silver 'plated'.

    references:
    website: www.SterlingSilver.net.au with additional content from WikiPedia.org, the Free Encyclopedia

    Author: Mike O'Shannessy

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    Benefits of Wearing a Harmony Ball Necklace During and After Pregnancy


     SHOP over 150 fabulous Harmony Necklace models at great prices - and read this article below about the 'Benefits of Wearing a Harmony Necklace During & After Pregnancy'.

    A Harmony Ball is essentially a chime pendant, a lovely piece of jewelry originating from Bali in Indonesia. As the name implies a Harmony Ball can bring a sense of calm and harmony to the wearer as the pendant emits a soft but just audible chime sound with movement, creating a relaxing effect in a similar way that the sound of a rippling brook or small waves gently lapping the shore is relaxing. A harmony Ball is also known in Mexico as a Bola (Spanish for Ball) or Bola Necklace or Angel Caller. 

    Pregnancy Harmony Necklace

    Aside from bringing a sense of calm and harmony to the wearer, the Harmony Ball has been worn as a necklace for centuries by pregnant women in Balinese and Mayan cultures for the calming effect it can have on the unborn baby in the womb. Unfortunately this is where western society’s interpretation of the benefits of a harmony ball stops, the ‘during pregnancy’ phase. This doesn’t make a lot of sense really – does the unborn baby in the warmth and comfort of the womb need calming? I think not, there is no reason for the baby to be stressed inside the womb. Stresses in life begin after we are born, right.

    So if this is the case then what is the real benefit of wearing a harmony ball during pregnancy? Why have women in Balinese and Mayan cultures been wearing these chime pendants for centuries?


    The pregnant woman will wear the harmony ball on a long chain or cord so that the harmony ball pendant rests somewhere on her ‘bump’. As the mother-to-be goes about her daily tasks the pendant will move emitting the soft chime sound which is only just audible. This sound will penetrate into the womb and will be even softer.

    An unborn baby will begin to hear at about 20 weeks gestation so your unborn baby will begin to hear your soothing voice and your loving words, and the baby will also hear the soft chime sound of the harmony ball. Of course the unborn baby will hear other sounds too however particularly in the quiet surroundings of the home away from loud noises the baby will hear the soothing chime sound every time mum moves, whilst doing her housework, or simply getting up off the sofa to make a cup of coffee and even at the supermarket or walking down a quiet street - anytime she moves. Aside from mum's own voice the sound of the harmony ball will be the most frequently common sound a baby in the womb will hear (sorry Dads).

    The real benefit of the Harmony Ball worn during pregnancy comes after the baby is born!

    The real benefit comes during breastfeeding.  In the short term after coming out from the warmth and comfort of the womb breastfeeding can be a stressful period for the newborn (and that can affect mum too). Newborn babies have one priority and that is to feed. Breastfeeding (nursing) is often a wonderful experience however it can be a very stressful time for baby and mum at times.


    Soon after birth mum will shorten up her long harmony ball pregnancy necklace so that it is now around her breastbone area so whilst breastfeeding and gently rocking her newborn the chime sound from her harmony ball will be heard by the baby. It is a familiar sound to your baby, a sound associated with warmth and comfort. In addition to mums soft soothing words as her baby feeds the newborn hears the familiar chime. We are all much more comfortable and relaxed when we are in a familiar environment with familiar sights, sounds and smells – so too is baby.
    As the newborn grows he or she will extend their little hand to touch that shiny thing around mums neck and play with it and enjoy that familiar sound. Because baby is calmer then so is mum – many of the stresses often associated with breastfeeding for some mothers, are now taken care of – not necessarily on every occasion but often enough for there to be a tangible benefit.

    And as time passes and mum stops wearing her harmony ball there are times she may bring it out of its place of safe keeping and give it a shake or two to entertain or calm a young toddler.


    In Balinese culture a harmony ball becomes a keepsake, passed on from Mother to Daughter. 

    Harmony Balls come in a wide variety of designs with many having gemstones and are made from Sterling Silver making then a lovely piece of jewelry suitable as a keepsake. In fact many women wear harmony ball necklaces simply for the reason that they are a beautiful and often stunning piece of jewelry - you do not have to be pregnant to enjoy wearing a gorgeous Harmony Ball Necklace.

    Harmony Balls with Birthstone Gemstones add another dimension – not only are they a fabulous jewelry item but also mothers-to-be can choose to wear a harmony ball with their Birthstone gemstone, or as many do they select a Harmony Ball with the Birthstone which is for the expected birth month of their baby, adding even more significance to the jewelry item becoming a keepsake and being passed on to the child. Even if the baby is a boy it can be a keepsake from his birth that he could eventually pass on to his daughter – or even mum to her daughter-in-law.

    a few examples of over 250 Pregnancy Harmony Ball designs available


    The custom of wearing a harmony ball has been carried out for a long time in Balinese and Mayan cultures so the benefits to mum and baby are likely to be realized in western society also. My personal experience is that it works, at least to a degree and any help is good help.

    Mothers of newborn (and older) babies have searched for centuries for ways to keep a baby calm, quiet, entertained – we use pacifiers, rattles, music, singing, rocking, toys and mobiles dangling over the cot(crib, bassinet) and many other things – put many of these together and you have …. a Harmony Ball.

    ** footnote -  Before buying a Harmony Ball please read this article FAKE Sterling Silver Harmony Balls ... Don't be misled into buying Fake Chinese Copies