If you want to take a professional looking photo from jewelry or other little items, you can get problems with reflections, shadows and the automatic flash.
I found several pages with tutorials on how to avoid those problems and take really good photos without spending a lot of money.
On the photo I tried it with an old lamp shade and natural light, but it didn’t work so well.
Taking good shots of jewelry
The original site doesn’t exist any more and is now available through webarchive: Digital Photography
This was the first tutorial I ever found on this subject – and it is very good. Take also a look at Connie Fox’s jewelry – and appreciate the soft reflections and shadows on the photos ;-)
At the following tutorial I found the idea brilliant to put the pendant onto glass to create a distance between the item and the background
How to take good photos of jewelry and other small objects
Articles about Jewelry Photography
At instructables.com (with explaining photos):
Budget photographic lighting “tent”
Do It Yourself Photography Light Box for Under $40
Super Simple Light Tent
Inexpensive Light Studio for Photographers