Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Almost everyone knows the story of Alexanderite and its connection to the Russian Zars and the rarity of the gemstone. Alexandrite was originally discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830 and named after the boy Czar, Alexander ll. But few seem to be aware of another spectactular Russian gemstone. It is a commonly known Mineral Specimen stone due to its softness, but few realize it can also be a fantastic jewelry gemstone.
Seraphinite is a lovely dark-green stone that changes its sparkle and coloration as you view it from different positions. It comes from the mine “Korshunovskaia” which is situated not far from Baikal Lake in Eastern Siberia, Russia, near the same area where Chrome Diopsite and Charoite are mined. Seraphinite forms through the metamorphic and hydrothermal alterations of other iron and magnesium silicate minerals. It crystalizes in the form of foliated or granular masses and also as tabular crystals. It has a hardness is 2 – 2,5 (Moh’s Scale), density of 2,6, and a Chemical formula H8 Mg5 Al2 Si3 O18.
Seraphinite is the gem quality variety of Clinochlore. Clinochlore was found by the Russian mineralogist Nikolai I. Koksharov (1818 – 1892) who was once the director of the Russian Imperial Mineralogical Society. This mineral got its name from the Greek words for inclined and green since its structure is monoclinic and its common color is green.
There is a common opinion that seraphinite can be used only as a mineral specimen, because of its softness. But Seraphinite looks great in jewelry and can keep a polish/shine quite well, and it is not as fragile as it appears. But because of its softness it can easily be formed into beads of all shapes and sizes.
Seraphinite definitely looks best mounted in Platinum, White Gold or Silver. It can be mounted in rings, but greatly discouraged because it can be so easily damaged due to its softness.
A good pendant or earring mounting is best for protecting the cut and polished Seraphinite stones.
In the past several years, a variety of Clinochlore has been found in the West Chester area of Pennsylvania. Many call it Seraphinite because of the close resemblance to the Russian material.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Most transparent and hard gemstones can endure being cared for by simply cleaning the jewelry with mild nonabrasive hand detergent and a soft bristled toothbrush; then dried with a soft clean cloth. It is wise to place a soft washcloth in the sink covering the drain, as doing so will aid in preventing any gemstones from becoming chipped or falling down the drain while you are cleaning your jewelry. Some would suggest using ultrasonic cleaners, while this may be the fastest method for cleaning your jewelry; it is also the quickest way to damage your gemstones. Be very careful when using an ultrasonic cleaner, make sure that your gemstones is one that can withstand such cleaning before using this type of method.
Here are some suggestions for cleaning and caring for your gemstone jewelry----
1) Use 2 cleaning bowls. One that has warm water plus the cleaning liquid and one that has only warm water to rinse. Note: If you are using sinks, place a soft washcloth over the drains, this will help to keep stones from going down the drains and also help to prevent possible chipping.
2) Use lukewarm water, never use hot water.
3) Use a mild dishwashing liquid or mild jewelry cleaning solution. One that is safe for your specific jewelry gemstones and metals.
4) Several soft, clean, dry cloths (1-for cleaning and 1-drying)
5) Small, unused soft bristled toothbrush
The process is simple, fill your sink with warm water, add a little drop of mild dishwashing liquid and swish around to make bubbles. Carefully, place a few pieces at a time in the sink allowing them to soak a few minutes (don’t overload the sink as this may cause jewelry to hit against each other causing chips, cracks and/or damage). Then take each piece out and carefully clean with the soft bristled toothbrush. Caution, you only need to use a toothbrush if you have a piece of jewelry that has tiny cracks, holes, and small places where dust and dirt can get in; otherwise, there is really no need to use a toothbrush. Rinse in a separate sink that only contains warm water. Place the jewelry on a soft cloth and carefully dry your jewelry pieces. As a side note, allow an hour or so for your jewelry to 'air dry' to make sure that all water is gone before placing back into their jewelry box or containers.
Cleaning your jewelry doesn’t have to be done often, but several times a year to protect your gemstones. As a rule of thumb and if in doubt, clean your gemstone jewelry with warm, soapy water. Avoid harsh chemicals or high heat which can cause gemstones to fade or crack. And try to store your gemstone jewelry in a clean jewelry case out of the reach of harsh light or sun to prevent fading and possible damage to your gemstones.
As a last note, it is also wise to have a jeweler check any gemstones that have been put in settings at least once a year. This is to make sure that the prongs are secure and your gems are safe. When in doubt, ask a professional jeweler about the care and cleaning of your new gemstone jewelry.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
AGTA Gem Fair and the JCK Show
Sands Expo & Convention Center/Venetian Hotel Ballroom
May 29 to Jun 2, 2009
Wholesale Credentials Required/pre-registration Suggested
Wynn Las Vegas Resort
May 28 to Jun 2, 2009
Wholesale Buyer Credentials Required
Gem & Lapidary Dealers Association
Mirage Casino Hotel
Wholesale Buyers Credentials Required
Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show
Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
May 28 to Jun 1, 2009
Wholesale Credentials Required
International Gem & Jewelry Show
May 29 to 31, 2009
Open to Public
Gem & Lapidary Wholesalers Show
Bally's Las Vegas Hotel
May 29 to 31, 2009
Wholesale Buyers Only
The Bead Renaissance Show
Palace Station Hotel & Casino
May 20 to May 31, 2009
Open to Public
Additional informations can be found on-line at:
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
"Authentic, more natural stones are the 'new bling,' " says Julie Gilhart, senior vice president and fashion director of Barneys New York. "There is a handmade craft and artisanal feel to these new designs, which feels fresh and new." Pieces that feel special but without over-the-top glitz make sense right now, says Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Devon Leigh. "People are reaching back to the Earth and to things that happen naturally," she explains. "There are a lot of negative things happening in the world, and ideas found in nature are balancing and comforting." Leigh uses geodes -- plain on the outside, glittery crystal on the inside -- in her work, slicing them for one-of-a-kind earrings and necklace pendants.
Yves Saint Laurent's spring collection of rings and necklaces has a similar handcrafted aesthetic, incorporating stones such as turquoise and agate. The stones that sit on top of the "Arty" cocktail rings are encased in what looks like molded gold, formed and set in a rough but sophisticated way. The swerving lines of the setting and varying surface textures add to the organic appeal. "I love the way designers are mixing metals with these stones," Leigh says. "It's not over-the-top hippie. It's edgy and feminine." Erickson Beamon tempers the hippie vibe by using extra-large stones and setting them at random angles, making a multi-strand necklace look like an eclectic statement piece. Jessica Kagan Cushman strings dozens of stones over four tiers to make an eye-catching conversation starter of a necklace. And Etro clearly showcases each stone, faceted on a gold arm cuff to reveal varying grains and gradations of color.
Some designers love the juxtaposition of earthy and shiny elements. "I have always been drawn to the organic and more unusual stones," says Irene Neuwirth, a Los Angeles-based jewelry designer. "Most recently it's been boulder opals, which I set with diamond pave. No two are ever the same, and the contrast of the earthy stone and diamond pave is really beautiful to me." The large, vividly colored stones make the accessories they're attached to statement pieces. And because the prices of quartz and geodes are so much lower than those of precious gems, designers can take creative liberties with the stones and sell pieces at reasonable prices (unless they add diamonds as decorations, of course).
The bohemian feel of this jewelry lends a relaxed and romantic vibe to any ensemble. Play up the art nouveau elements by pairing pieces with something soft, pale and flowing. Or use them to soften an outfit that's crisp and stark. The look is distinctive -- and decidedly down to Earth.
Monday, May 11, 2009
To purchase the book please contact Ron at www.theimagebooks.com where there are more interior images from the book and a little about the author and the history of the book.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
There has always been a delima as to how one sets up a sales display for Craft Fairs, Bazaars and Shows. I am sure there is no right or wrong way, but over the years we have come to find certain ways seem to be preferred by customers. This may be a regional thing also. What works in Texas may not in Oregon or New York, but may in Georgia.
When we first started out other vendors seemed to use the "L" or "U" shape, where the customers came directly into the sales area. So we started out with a "U" shape at the first show (pic #1), which wasn't too bad in a 12x10 space, but it made for very close quarters when using a 10x10 tent outside (pic #2 & 3). Outside events generally mean vendors use tents in a 10x10 or 10x20 ft vendor space. However, we have found inside spaces can be 10x10, 12x10, 15x10 and in some case 10x8 ft in size.
.Using the larger 12x10 or 15x10 ft spaces inside, we tried several different varients on this theme for a while (pic #4, 5 & 6), but being so close to and almost in the face of someone looking at the items, seemed to be a bit awkard and intimidating to the customer.
Now after several years of trial and error, we have decided that usually the best presentation is where the items being sold are placed on a table towards the customers, and we stay behind the table to discuss their options and purchases with them (pic #9 & #10). We then leave a walkway, where once they are pretty sure what they want, we can go outside the tables to help them try items on and hold a mirror for them.
Friday, May 1, 2009
See these "Cool Blue" Necklace and Earring Sets at the
St Helena Spring Craft Fair
Sat May 2nd 2009
10AM until 3PM