Saturday, 15 December 2007

Gemstone - Amethyst

Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz often used as an ornament. The name comes from the Greek a ("not") and methustos ("to intoxicate"), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness; the ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.

In the 20th century, the color of amethyst was attributed to the presence of manganese. However, since it is capable of being greatly altered and even discharged by heat, the color was believed by some authorities to be from an organic source. Ferric thiocyanate was suggested, and sulfur was said to have been detected in the mineral.

More recent work has shown that amethyst's coloration is due to ferric iron impurities.[1] Further study has shown a complex interplay of iron and aluminium is responsible for the color.[

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I would like to introduce to you Amethyst with Silver that is in my collection at present.

Tiger's Eye

Tiger's eye (also Tigers eye, Tiger eye) is a chatoyant gemstone that is usually yellow- to red-brown, with a silky luster. It is a fibrous silicified crocidolite (blue asbestos), a classic example of pseudomorphous replacement. An incompletely silicified blue variant is called Hawk's eye. A member of the quartz group, its physical and optical properties are identical or very near to those of single-crystal quartz.

The gems are usually cut en cabochon in order to best display their chatoyancy. Red stones are brought about through gentle heat treatment. Honey-coloured stones have been used to imitate the much higher valued cat's eye chrysoberyl (cymophane), but the overall effect is unconvincing. Artificial fibreoptic glass is a common imitation of tiger's eye, and is produced in a wide range of colours.

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I would like to introduce to you 2 pieces of Tiger's Eyes which are in my collection at present.

Himalayan Ammonite Fossil

Ammonites are an extinct group of marine animals of the subclass Ammonoidea in the class Cephalopoda, phylum Mollusca. They are excellent index fossils, and it is often possible to link the rock layer in which they are found to specific geological time periods. Ammonites' closest living relative is probably not the modern Nautilus (which they outwardly resemble), but rather the subclass Coleoidea (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish). Their fossil shells usually take the form of planispirals, although there were some helically-spiraled and non-spiraled forms (known as "heteromorphs"). Their spiral shape begot their name, as their fossilized shells somewhat resemble tightly-coiled rams' horns. Plinius the Elder (died 79 A.D. near Pompeii) called fossils of these animals ammonis cornua ("horns of Ammon") because the Egyptian god Ammon (Amun) was typically depicted wearing ram's horns.[1] Often the name of an ammonite genus ends in ceras, which is Greek (κέρας) for "horn" (for instance, Pleuroceras).

Fossils (from Latin fossus, literally "having been dug up") are the mineralized or otherwise preserved remains or traces (such as footprints) of animals, plants, and other organisms. The totality of fossils, both discovered and undiscovered, and their placement in fossiliferous (fossil-containing) rock formations and sedimentary layers (strata) is known as the fossil record.

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I would now like to introduce to you this unique Himalayan Ammonite Fossil piece that is currently in my collection.


Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium, with the chemical formula CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue.

The substance has been known by many names, but the word turquoise was derived around 16th century from the French language either from the word for Turkish (Turquois) or dark-blue stone (pierre turquin).[4] This may have arisen from a misconception: turquoise does not occur in Turkey but was traded at Turkish bazaars to Venetian merchants who brought it to Europe.[4] The colour, however, has been employed extensively in the decorative tiles adorning Turkish places of worship and homes for hundreds of years, beginning with the Seljuks, and the association quite possibly has caused the name to take root.

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Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Not just Pearls....Akoya Pearls

Akoya pearls are the classic round white pearl made famous by the most elegant women of our times. In addition, Akoya are the first round pearls to be successfully cultured. In the late 1800’s to early 1900’s pearl cultivation technology was developed in Japan and Akoya saltwater pearls became a part of the worldwide jewelry market.

White Akoya is the classic pearl. Within the classic white pearl color there are also overtones. This is the subtle color the pearl reflects. The pearls themselves have an inner glow that reflects ambient light in a very complementary way so they literally reflect the wearer's radiance.

Recently, darker pearls with more of a metallic, satiny sheen have also become popular. Akoya pearls are now available in these darker colors as well.

The value of each Akoya pearl and finished pearl jewelry piece is dependant on a variety of factors.

The appearance of the pearl is paramount with factors such as luster, roundness and surface quality.

The matching of the pearls on a finished jewelry piece can influence it’s value.

In addition, less visible factors such as nacre thickness may also effect the pearl’s and pearl jewelry’s value.

The most important factor evaluating Akoya pearls is the luster. Luster or shine is how well a pearl reflects. A good example is a mirror. An outstanding luster will have a mirror like shine and very sharp image reflection. You can make out your own facial features. A smaller pearl with better luster will appear larger. Also, a more lustrous pearl will appear rounder and blemishes will be less noticeable.

The size of the pearl also does effect the value. A larger pearl with similar other value factors will be more valuable than a smaller one. However, there is a size range where values increase exponentially. Akoya pearls average between 6mm to 7mm. As a result, pearls at or under that size range are more readily available. When the size range increases to 7mm to 8mm and subsequent 8mm to 9mm and greater than 9mm+ ranges, the value increases dramatically.

As cultured Akoya are bead nucleated, the nacre thickness and quality are both important.

Another pearl value factor is the cleanliness of the body or surface of the pearl. The more clean the surface, the more valuable the pearl. Pearls are a naturally formed organic gem so some minor surfaces blemishes are perfectly acceptable.

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Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Baltic Amber

What is Baltic Amber you ask? Well...

Of all the amber deposits in the world, probably the most famous and certainly the largest is that of the Baltic region. It represents some 80% of the worlds known amber resource. Going back into prehistory this amber has been used and fashioned by humankind in countless ways and in measureless quantities.

Amber from this source can be found on the East Coast of Britain all the way to the far shores of Estonia. The Baltic amber deposits range between 35 to 40 million years old and is without the largest source of amber yet discovered.

Botanical Origins

The source of most of this amber has for many years presumed to be the extinct species of tree Pinites Succinifer. This conclusion was originally made by Aycke in 1853. However, as recently as 1985 Poinar and Haverkamp completed research involving infrared spectroscopy and drawing on earlier thin-layer chromatographic studies by Kucharska and Kwiatkowski cast some doubt on this long held view. Poinar et al speculate that probably more than one tree was responsible for the Baltic amber deposits.

Despite this original position of the amber forest, fossil resin from this area has been discovered in: Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, the United Kingdom and Belorussia, some areas are more prolific in their amber bearing strata than others. Significantly around the southern coast of the Baltic sea and predominantly the Samland Peninsula, particularly the Northwestern part of Kalingrad, an area of some 1280 square kilometres.

Baltic amber generally has the following characteristics;
Hardness: 2.0 - 2.5 Moh’s Scale.
Specific Gravity - 1.050 - 1.096
Refraction Index - 1.54
Melting point - 480/720Of (250/3800c)

Please visit my website for more pieces for purchase from my collection.

I would like to introduce you to my collection of Baltic Amber jewellery. Each piece is carefully selected for style and quality. I hope you'll enjoy them.