Thursday, May 3, 2012

SABOS Spring Bead & Jewelry SHow

For SABOS Members, be sure and pick up your 2012-2013 Membership Card at the door this weekend at the LIve Oak Civic Center.  The current SABOS Membership card will be needed to get your member discount at many of the vendors.  Be sure to ask and present when so advised.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

"FIESTA SAN ANTONIO" - What is it ?

100 Events - 11 Days - 1 Fiestival

Fiesta San Antonio started in 1891 as a one-parade event. A group of ladies decorated horse-drawn carriages, paraded in front of the Alamo and pelted each other with flower blossoms. It evolved into one of this nation’s premier festivals, with an economic impact of more than $284 million for the Alamo City.

The funds raised by official Fiesta events provide services to San Antonio citizens throughout the year. So you could say that Fiesta never ends! Fiesta really is one of America’s truly great festivals. It began as a way to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. That commemoration still takes place. But over the past century and more, Fiesta has grown into a celebration of San Antonio’s rich and diverse cultures.

2012 marks Fiesta’s 121st anniversary.

All Events 2012

Go to the following Web-site for an alaphabetical listing

Thursday, April 5, 2012

2012 FIESTA SAN ANTONIO ! - April 19th - 29th

Fiesta Spirit Seed-Bead Necklace and Earring Set .

Be prepared to shine during Fiesta San Antonio 2012 with a "Fiesta Necklace and Earrings".

Thursday, March 22, 2012

PEDDLER's SHOW - Fredericksburg, TX

Yes, for those of you who are interested, a few miles away from the Texas Topaz Day festivities in Mason, Texas, this same weekend you will find the Peddler's Show at the Gillispie County Firgrounds in Fredericksburg, Texas. The Peddler's Show runs Friday afternoon and all day on Saturday and Sunday. Fredericksburg is also where you may find hotels or motels available if you are planning on staying overnigh for the festivities going on in Mason.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Topaz Day - Mason, Texas 24-25 March

For those that have asked for additional information concerning Texas Topaz Day in Mason Texas on 24 March and the Faceters Day on the 25th, go to Google or Yahoo and enter 'Texas Topaz Day'. You will get about 5 pages of listing concerning the events, including lists of motels (not many) and restaurants and directions as well as the times of different events.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Texas Topaz Day - Mason, Texas - Mar 24-25, 2012

This coming weekend the Southwest Gem and Mineral Society in San Antonio and the World Gem Society invites everyone to come to Mason, Texas, to join in the Texas Topaz Day festivities on Saturday, March 24th, followed by the Texas Faceters Guild Seminar Day on Sunday, March 25th. Mason, Texas, right in the heart of the Texas Hill Country is located in some of the most interesting geological formations to be found anywhere in the world. The festivities and events start at 10:00 am on Saturday and run all day with gemstone cutting and faceting demonstrations, jewelry and arts shows, and contests and music events to cap off the day. Then on Sunday you can join the Texas Faceters Guild for a day of learning about the latest in gemstone cutting and faceting. From novice to expert all are welcome.

The Blue Topaz was adopted as the Texas State Gemstone as a result of legislative approval on March 26, 1969. Petrified Palmwood was also named the State Stone by the same legislation. This Swiss Blue Topaz just above has been given a special cut to show the Texas Lone Star. A limited supply of these will be available over the two days in Mason, Texas.

Topaz occurs naturally in many colors including blue, orange, brown, green, pink, beige and red. Naturally occuring Blue Topaz is quite rare. Colorless topaz, the most common variation, can be treated by irradiation to produce a wide range of shades of blue, which are known as Sky Blue, Swiss Blue and London Blue. This treated, Blue Topaz is one of the most popular and widely used of all gemstones. London Blue is the most famous and most highly prized, but takes over 18 months to produce. Radiation scares have centered around the process and lasting effects from the making London Blue Topaz.

Some clear topaz crystals from Brazilian pegmatites can reach boulder size and weigh hundreds of pounds. Crystals of this size may be seen in museum collections. One famous Topaz is The Topaz of Aurungzebe and weighed 157.75 carats. Colorless and rarely light-blue varieties of Topaz are found in Precambian granite in Mason County, Texas, within the Llano Uplift in the Streeter, Grit, and Katemcy areas. It is usually found in streambeds and ravines but occasionally can be located atop the ground. Currently, only three Mason County ranches offer the public the opportunity to go Topaz hunting. They charge by the day, you keep what you find. You can enjoy Topaz hunting throughout the year except during the months of November, December and early January, when the ranches are closed for the deer season. There is currently no commercial mining of Topaz in that area. The natural Blue Topaz found in this area is the scarest of all the Topaz varieties.

Topaz is also the Birthstone for the month of November.

So as not to confuse the Lapidary enthusiasts, the Official State Rock of Texas is also Petrified Palmwood.

Monday, February 27, 2012

"Benitoite" - the Blue Diamond of California !


Sometimes called the " blue diamond", it was first discovered near the headwaters of the San Benito River, in San Benito County, California in 1906, from which it derived its name. It was at first thought to be a varirty of Sapphire, because of it's blue color. The gem is extremely rare and ranges in color from a light transparent blue to dark, vivid sapphire blue, and occasionally it is found in a violet shade. Benitoite is a somewhat obscure, but it is a wonderful gemstone. Benitoite was designated as the Official State Gemstone of California in 1985.

Benitoite is associated with a few rare minerals such as black-red Neptunite, snow white Natrolite and brown-yellow Joaquinite . The only source of this rare combination occurs at San Benito, California. A rare cluster of blue Benitoite and black Neptunite on top of a crust of white Natrolite is a treat for collectors. Gems much over one carat are uncommon. The sapphire-blue or colorless crystals are small. Gem quality specimens larger than two carats are rare. Faceted stones are usually under 1 carat, the largest documented stone is 7.8 carats and resides at the Smithsonian. Benitoites sell for over $1000 per carat and the price has been raising rapidly as the deposit has been largely worked out and available gems sold.

In 2000, Brian Lees of Colorado purchased the site from the long time owners. He brought in a mining crew and worked the mine for five winters. The current owner is now Dave Schreiner who bought the mine from Lees in 2005. Dave's vision was to open up the mine to collectors, since it is probably the most famous gem location in the world, and is on everybody's list of "places to collect." So now thanks to Dave Schreiner, gemstone and mineral collectors alike have that rare opportunity to come and try and find this unique and rare genstone.

California is a virtual cornucopia of gems, with the best known being Tourmaline, Kunzite, Serpentine and Topaz, all available to the public at open mines where you can buy buckets of dirt to dig through. In recent years, top-notch finds have helped restore the region’s splendor.

Serpentine, a green Jade looking material, is considered the State rock and of course Native Gold, a picture of which is shown at the right, is the Official State mineral. Of all the states where gold is found, only Alaska also considers Native Gold to be its State mineral.