Harry Potter Wands – An Overview of Those Made by The Noble Collection

Harry Potter Wands are very popular replicas purchased by many fans of both the books and the movies. For years, The Noble Collection has produced exact copies of the various wands used by the characters in the movies.

If you've been to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in the UK, you will have been lucky enough to see up close the massive range of wands that were used in the movies. Every character who wielded a wand had a different design.

Of course, the central characters (Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Grainger and Dumbledore) are the most popular wand choices, but some stunning wands belong to some of the other lesser known Characters. For example, Luna Lovegood had a particularly pretty wand that as proven popular by collectors.

The wands in the movies were made of wood. However, the large scale demand of fans wanting replicas, mean wood would be impractical and too expensive to use. So, The Noble Collection rely on cold-cast porcelain moulded around a metal rod. This enables them to accurately recreate exact models of the wands from the movies. The porcelain is then hand painted to simulate the look of wood. The result is surprisingly realistic.

Taking Harry Potter's wand as an example: The wand weighs around 160 grams and measures 14 inches in length. This differs to the book measurements, but is supposedly screen accurate.

The Noble Collection offer four types of wands:

The most expensive are the bronze wands which are available in either Harry Potter's or Dumbledore's models. Although made of Bronze, these appear to be painted to still look wooden. Being made of bronze, they are stronger and heavier then the porcelain versions. They retail around the £ 100 mark.

The most screen accurate wand and box is the style that comes with the Ollivanders box. These come with the cold-cast porcelain wand in a screen accurate box, featuring a luxurious interior as well as a name tag and clip. They retail £ 29.95 around.

Slightly cheaper is the same wand but in a standard box. This is still a nice box, but not as nice as the Ollivanders one. They retail at about £ 27.95.

Finally, there is a range of illuminating wands, which simulate the look of the wands when they light up in the movies (Lumos!). These wands are made of plastic and are thicker than the other wands (to house 2 x batteries). The wand brightness can be controlled by a button on the wand handle. Despite being plastic they are still finished nicely and look close to the movie versions. These retail at around £ 39.95.

The central characters of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Dumbledore all have their wands recreated in the guises mentioned above. The Ollivanders range also include some of the other characters such as Sirius Black and Voldemort. Wands from characters with smaller roles in the movies can only be found in the standard character range.

The Noble Collection also have a range of wand displays and stands to accompany the wands giving you a wide variety of display options.

The Noble Collection is a US company but most of its items are avaialble in the UK by a variety of stockists including my own store.

7 Great Tips How to Look After Marcasite Jewellery

Marcasite jewellery usually refers to silver jewellery inlaid with small stones made of Pyrite. The most common precious metal used with Marcasite is sterling silver. Due to the contrast between the two metallic grey shades, the combination is very striking and it gives a special vintage look to silver jewellery. Nowadays Marcasite earrings, rings, pendants, and brooches are present on the market at very affordable prices and they have their own antique charm liked by people of all ages.

Properly maintained Marcasite silver jewellery actually improves with age and it develops a lush patina layer when treated well. Given the fact jewellery with Marcasite is usually made of Sterling silver, most of the tips on caring for silver jewellery apply here as well. Here are some top tips about Marcasite jewellery care:

1. Store your jewellery in a clean, dry place.

2. Keep your silver Marcasite in a fabric-lined jewellery case, or even better in a box with compartments and dividers. If you prefer to use ordinary boxes, wrap each piece individually in special plastic pockets or soft tissue paper.

3. Don’t put together your jewellery pieces in a drawer or jewellery case. Pieces are prone to scratching.

4. Never leave Marcasite silver jewellery lying against bare wood. Wood, especially oak, contains an acid that will mar the surface of the silver. Paper and cardboard, since they are wood pulp products, have the same effect, so avoid paper envelopes or small cardboard boxes also.

5. The only way to clean and sanitise Marcasite jewellery is to clean it with mild soap and water solution, after which the jewellery should be gently wiped dry with a soft non-tarnishing cloth.

6. Don’t soak Marcasite jewellery in water.

7. Avoid steamers and ultrasonic jewellery cleaners as these may damage the Marcasite stones.

As with Sterling silver jewellery in general, taking good care will make Marcasite jewellery more beautiful and more vintage with time.

Nine Super Gift Ideas For Your 9th Wedding Anniversary

Did you believe that only landmark anniversaries need to be celebrated? Think again. Each year together is a cause for celebration. And, look at it this way; the ninth wedding anniversary is just one year shy of the landmark 10th year. So, that makes the 9th very special indeed! And, all things considered, nine years of being married to the same person is certainly a milestone in its own right, given the blink-and-miss nuptials that have become common these days.

As with all significant occasions in one’s life, giving gifts to celebrate the moments is an inescapable ritual. And the husband who is staring at the wrong end of the gift giving stick (so to speak) has to combat stress concerning giving the appropriate gift and trying to better the previous year’s record.

Even if you consider yourself creatively-challenged, fret not. All anniversary years have a handy list of traditional and contemporary gifts along with the distinctive flower and gemstone for the year. Choose one theme or let your creative juices flow and do a bit of everything for her this year.

Here are nine super gift ideas for your 9th wedding anniversary:

1. The traditional gifts for the ninth year are willow and pottery. Willow represents a delicate strength while pottery symbolises beauty and creativity. So, how about commissioning the local wood craftsman and getting a specially designed willow chair or table or even a bookshelf, if she’s into reading? Personalise a willow gift by having a tender message carved for her on it.

2. Or, if willow isn’t quite your style, then get funky with pottery. If she’s into collectibles, give her a whole array of beautiful and exquisite clay pots of all shapes and sizes and painted in colourful motifs. Or, give her a customised ceramic vase, with her name written on the outside and nine ceramic roses inside.

3. Whisk her off on an exotic holiday to Tuscany, Italy. Delightfully romantic, picturesque and the home of some of the most exquisite ceramic pottery in the world. She can actually see the artisans at work and pick up some locally made pieces to flaunt in her living room.

4. Okay, so we all have our likes and dislikes. If neither of these two does it for you, fall back upon the modern alternative – leather. Always, classy, always elegant and never out of style, leather is the texture for all seasons. In fact, you’ll be spoilt for choices when it comes to leather. Leather handbags, purses, clutches and jewellery boxes – all a perennial favourite for most discerning women (and she is one of them). Leather-bound organisers are a life-saver for the working woman.

5. You are lucky in the jewellery department as well this year. The ninth year has not one, but two, distinctive gemstones – Tiger Eye and Lapis Lazuli. Both are attractive gemstones and look great when teamed with sterling silver. Maybe a lapis lazuli pendant set in the shape of a nine or a tiger eye bracelet imitating the number nine would look superb.

6. Nine customised chocolate bars for her, each with a special message carved on it for her, ranging from ‘I love you’, ‘You make my life complete’ to ‘Thank you for being in my life’, are all guaranteed to get her all misty-eyed.

7. Nine hand-made cards, scattered in strategic locations all over the house and where you know she’ll see them. Stick memorable photographs on each, use colourful, glitter ink to write your feelings for her. Place one under her pillow, one in her handbag, one on the kitchen counter and so on. A trail of nine heart-warming surprises will definitely set the tone for the day.

8. A nine-course meal for her. Either cook for her yourself, or make arrangements at her favourite restaurant and have the chef line up nine of her all-time fav dishes for that special dinner you have planned for her.

9. Nine days of unadulterated romance. If you have the mooloah, take her on a slightly extended mini break that lasts nine days. Spend that time to savour each other’s uninterrupted company, sans irritating office emails, official phone calls and social networking urges. Give her your undivided attention and recapture the magic and romance of the early years.

Romance is always the key to put a smile on your woman’s face. No matter how silly it may seem to you, serenading under her window even after nine years of marriage will have her over the moon!