Thursday, October 6, 2011

SOUTHWESTERN FLAIR - Turquoise, Yellow and Copper Colors !

At times colors are not what they seem. Sometimes it is possible to substitute one gemstone for another to achieve a similar effect. That is what has been done with this Southwestern Flair Set.

Turquoise colored Howlite coin discs, that are substituted for actual Turquoise, are mated with Yellow Jade coin discs, that are substituted for Amber, are then seperated by copper highlights.The overlapping coin discs provide a unique and different look.
The 21 inch necklace is finished with a copper Toggle clasp.
Matching copper French Hook earrings complete the set.

Howlite, named for its discoverer Henry How, who found it in Tick Canyon, California in 1868. Howlite is one of those minerals that is more famous for imitating another mineral than being used for itself. In most cases the other mineral is Turquoise, a phosphate gemstone. Although natural Howlite is always white or gray, it can accept dyes fairly easily and be dyed a turquoise blue. The look of turquoise is so good that dishonest dealers have been unfortunately successful at this hoax. In more honest circumstances, dyed howlite is an affordable substitute for turquoise carvings, beads, polished stones and cabochons. It accepts a nice polish and its porcelaneous luster is attractive and enhances even undyed beads and carvings. Unfortunately it has low hardness, but it still has a distinct toughness. California is the source for most all of the howlite trade where nodules of up to one hundred pounds have been found. In addition to the famous turquoise color Howlite is dyed, it also can become a very bright red color to mimic red coral, or any other color in the rainbow.

Jade on todays market is primarily composed of Nephrite; Jadeite Jade has become quite rare and in its emerald-green, translucent form is referred to as Imperial Jade or "gem jade". A small amount of cromium in Jadeite accounts for the color of Imperial Jade. Other color-based names for Jadeite Jade are Yunan Jade, for a uniquely appearing dark green, semitranslucent Jade, Apple Jade for apple (yellowish green) green Jade, and Moss-in-Snow for white Jade with vivid green spots and streaks. Nephrite and Jadeite Jade ranges in color from a somewhat greasy-appearing, white to dark and light shades of green, gray, blue-green, lavender, yellow, orange, brown, reddish-brown, and black. An important dark green variety of Nephrite is sometimes known as "spinach Jade". The chromophore in all Nephrite Jades is usually iron. Nephrite jade is usually opaque to translucent in thinner pieces. This particular Jade used in this piece is a shade of yellow. The name Jade has been, and continues to be, applied to a variety of materials that superficially or closely resemble Jade but are not composed of either Jadeite or Nephrite. So as the old saying gos "Buyer Beware !".