Thursday, June 21, 2012

What's your name? Turquoise?

Here starts my "What's your name?" series. This series will, I hope give you as a jewelry buyer the information you need to become a knowledgeable jewelry buyer.

Today, I'm going to talk about Turquoise. Turquoise is a beautiful stone that is very popular today because jewelry made from this gemstone is versatile and can be worn for almost any occasion. In fact, Turquoise has been popular for thousands of years; it's that great a stone.

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise
But, today, because of it's popularity, there are many stones being sold as Turquoise when they are not real Turquoise at all. A reputable jeweler will not just label Turquoise jewelry as Turquoise, but will label it with a name. Like Sleeping Beauty Turquoise or Kingman Turquoise, to name two mines where good Turquoise is mined.

Since Turquoise is a relatively soft stone, it can absorb perfumes and oils and because of this the color of the stone will change. Most purchasers would not like to see their pretty blue Turquoise change color as they wear it. Because of the stones softness and absorption capability, most Turquoise is stabilized. Stabilizing Turquoise makes the color permanent and hardens the stone so there is less chance for breakage.

Now, because Turquoise from American mines is more expensive than other Turquoise and will increase in value over time, many shops will sell stones they call Turquoise, but isn't. You always need to ask "What mine did this Turquoise come from?"

Dyed Reconstituted Turquoise
Since Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is considered the finest Turquoise by many buyers because of it's lovely robin's-egg blue color, many shop will try to cash in on this name. I'll give you a couple of examples.

Some shops will label their Turquoise as just Turquoise, with no mention of where it was mined or if any treatment, such as dying or stabilizing, was done. You can't tell by the price either, since this jewelry may cost less or the same as named Turquoise. A lot of this Turquoise is "Reconstituted Turquoise." Reconstituted Turquoise should not be called Turquoise at all because it is made out of the dust left over from cutting and polishing mined Turquoise. This dust is mixed with epoxy and usually dyed to give it a nice color and then molded to look like a stone. So, what you are buying with Reconstituted Turquoise is colored glue, not a Turquoise gemstone at all.

Continuing on, another way fake Turquoise is sold is by dying another stone, usually Howlite, and then sold as "Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Howlite." Well, there is no such stone as Turquoise Howlite, unless you are trying to call it turquoise colored, and Howlite is definitely not mined from the Sleeping Beauty mine, only Turquoise is.

I've just scratched the surface of what a knowledgable buyer of Turquoise needs to know. I'll be writing more about Turquoise and other jewelry information as this series progresses. If nothing else, you need to remember that before buying any Turquoise or Turquoise jewelry, you first ask the seller, "What's it's name?"

To keep up with new jewelry releases, jewelry tidbits and sales, please become a fan on Facebook at:, follow me on Twitter as JewlryJaynmarie and, of course, to see all my jewelry at

Friday, June 15, 2012

I'm baaack! :)

I knew I haven't blogged in a while, but I didn't realize that I was away as long as I was. Time flies when your having fun.  :)

My life went through some major changes in 2012. I lost my dog Shadow, my Aussie sweetheart who thought he was a lap dog at 40 pounds. He always looked like he was smiling and no matter how bad I felt, he made me feel better.
I miss him every day.

I also had foot surgery because I had trouble walking and didn't know why. Turns out I had a bunion! And I didn't even know what a bunion was. I thought the surgery was going to be easy and I could bounce back in a few weeks. Hah! My surgeon really laughed at that! When I looked at my foot after surgery, it was puffed up like a ballon; I couldn't walk at all for 6 weeks and when I could finally put some weight on my foot, I had to wear a splint and special shoe (kind of like a removable cast). Walking was very difficult and don't even ask about stairs. Even now, 3 months later, I'm still wearing a small splint and even though I can walk up stairs, it's not easy when your foot doesn't want to behave like a regular foot.  :)

Nicky at 10 weeks
And, 8 weeks after surgery, we received our new puppy. An adorable, mischievous blue merle Aussie with one blue eye. We all had different ideas of what to name her - the funniest one was from my husband. He said that since we had an Aussie named Penny, we needed to go one up from there to a Nickel - Nicky for short. Well, we all had a laugh about that, but we couldn't agree on a name. So, we had a vote. And, the winner was: Nicky! Well, it's hard to get a picture of an Aussie puppy - they never stay still. You can see this in her puppy picture her breeder sent us before we got her! She is sitting, but because she's vibrating and ready to run off again, the picture is kind of blurry.

To get a good picture of her, I decided to hold her. Well, you can see how well that went over. Have you ever seen such a sad face on a puppy? But, at least you can see her one blue eye.

Well, I'll finish this post here, where you have been introduced to the newest member of this menagerie we have here in California.

But, I'll leave you with a thought for what I will be writing about next - names. What's in a name? You might think this is an easy topic, but you will see in this series that names, in jewelry as much as everywhere else, are very important!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ten years and celebrating!

My husband and I own a small electronics company that makes instruments that measure water quality. Well, this is a very special year for us and for Turner Designs.

For us, it is special because it was 10 years ago that Jim (my husband) came home and said, "Can I buy Turner Designs, dear?" I think I was actually stunned into silence for a few minutes. Buy a company? How? Why?

Why? Well, Jim wanted a chance to work for himself and he really liked the company he was working for and he thought that the people there were also great employees.

OK, those were good ideas, but this was going to be a big leap for us because in order to purchase Turner Designs, we had to pledge everything we owned and there was a chance that we could lose everything we owned. That was scary! But, we decided to go ahead and take this chance; this was really a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Sunset over Lake Tahoe
Now, ten years later, Turner Designs is doing well due to the hard work of everyone. And, this year was the best year ever! There was going to be great profit sharing for everyone and in addition, Jim and I decided that to reward everyone for working so hard that we would take the entire company to Lake Tahoe for the weekend!

So, that's what we did. This past weekend, we and 21 (out of 25) employees and guests went up to Stateline, Nevada, and stayed in one of the casinos. And, on Saturday, everyone got to play a special slot machine tournament for prizes of casino chips. When Jim and I got there, we decided to check out the casino floor and we were very pleasantly surprised to see that there was a set of slot machines set up just for us! And, the casino put up a sign for everyone to see.

All in all, this was a great weekend. I am very glad Jim and I took this plunge into capitalism. Over these 10 years, there have been very scary times and some very good times. And, I am glad to say that this year has been, I think, the best time. It took a lot of work from Jim, me and all of our employees, but this is one year we all get rewarded for that hard work. It really says something that many of our employees have stayed with us throughout this journey; and I am glad they did.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


With the royal wedding occurring such a short time ago, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about heirloom jewelry. Don't royalty and heirlooms go together? Especially heirloom jewelry?

What did you think about the ring that Prince William gave Kate Middleton when he proposed? This ring was easily recognized as the ring that Princess Diana, Prince William's mother, wore as her engagement ring. I thought it was a very sweet gesture. This is a great example heirloom jewelry; beautiful piece of jewelry with history of making it very special.

Handmade Peach Lacework of Pearls Necklace
I think most people would love to have some heirlooms of their very own. I know I would, wouldn't you? And, even though I concentrate on jewelry, jewelry isn't the only type of article that can be an heirloom. Heirlooms can range from a serving dish or platter that your mother or grand-mother used, to furniture and clocks.

Being expensive is not required for something to be an heirloom, in my view, but the linking of an item with a special person. Even better is having this item be linked to a special occasion as well.  And, I believe that the quality of an item helps; poor quality items usually are not kept or cannot last. And, in the latter quality, pearls are a good example - poor quality pearls will just wear away.

The Black Tie Affair
Handmade Pearl Earrings
In the end, I believe that we should try to purchase items that not only are special for ourselves, but also will be cherished for a long time after. That is why I make the jewelry I do, I want to make jewelry that can be worn for a special day, like your wedding, your graduation, a prom or an anniversary. Jewelry that is of great quality, what I call heirloom quality, that you will be proud to wear now and can pass down through the generations.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Musings on this week

As I look back on the events this past week, especially the one the United States will always remember, which is the death of Osama bin Laden. I do not want to celebrate the death of a fellow human being, but this case is different. He attacked us; took scores of innocent lives for his warped ideology and bragged about it. We, as a nation, needed to fight back. And only his death would sufficient punishment for his heinous crimes.

In addition this raid showed that the ben Landen of the medias was not the actual ben Lauden. through this raid, we showed ben Laden as the fraudI Not for him the life of the brave commander of his troops, the ascetic who lives simply with only a bedroll and his gun in a cave. No, he lived in a $1M villa in a resort community outside of ?????, Pakistan, with his youngest wife and their sons. There was no view from outside into the grounds; shielding bin Laden from view. For if you could see into this compound, you would see Coca-Cola and Pepsi and other products from a "decadent" society.

For in the end, what really took him down was us; our life, our dreams and our successes. He thought we were weak because we did not behave the way he thought we should and therefore, in his twisted mind, it was his duty to find and destroy the infidels. He thought it would be easy; bomb a few major targets and we would not be able to recover. What he didn't take into account, was the fact that for all our rhetoric against each other, we could and would pull together to fight him. There may be detours and some failures alone the way, but in the end, we knew what to do and pulled off this surgical strike agains him and his closest aids.

And, in the end, we are left with these words from the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence. Reading thee words always gives me chills. For almost 250 years, our country is unique because it was founded by men of ideals. The Preamble is simple, but what other country makes it the purpose of the state to allow its individuals "the pursuit of Happiness."

These four little words, "the pursuit of Happines," means that you and I can do what we want to do. If we want to collect figurines, we can, if we want to collect shot glasses, golf balls, jewelry, we can! We can start businesses to sell what we make or collect and no one can stop us!

So, what do you think about this momentous occasion? Did you do anything to celebrate? Let me know; I'd like your thoughts on this.

Thank you for letting me express myself. I look forward from hearing from you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


California Buckeye Bud
It seems like Spring is finally here in Los Gatos. I guess it took Easter to make sure of that. A month ago, the California buckeye trees were starting to leaf out; now they have flower buds - very long buds.

So, now I go outside and it is all sunny and I can't wait for our deck work to finish. That's one thing I had to get used to living on the hillside of the Santa Cruz Mountain chain. Deck maintenance! Constant deck maintenance. We don't have a backyard, our house is tucked into the hillside and because of that, we live on our deck. That means every year we have to take a look at our decking and decide which part really needs to be done this year and what part we can leave off until next year.

Well, this year we decided the next section to be done would be the portion of the deck out to what we call our "View Deck." The former owners had just a tiny little spot about 8' x 10' and the walkway out was just boards laid down on the ground. You had to walk single file to get to the view. Being on the ground, the walkway boards were rotting away and the ground shifts (lots of rain, hills begin to move... ) were making it hard to walk out. Plus the view deck itself was coming apart.

Deck Work with Snow
Back in February when it snowed here for the first time since 1976, I had taken a shot of the "skeleton" in trying to get more pictures of the snow.

Deck Work almost complete!
Now, it much closer to completion and we are eagerly awaiting its finish.  As you can see, we are almost there.

To give you a little idea of what I mean when I say our house in built into a hillside, take a closer look at the deck work. To the right of the decking, those are tree branches.  And, to the left is the retaining wall to hold back the hill.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'll be back soon.....

I have to apologize to all my followers for my lack of updates on me, my life in the Santa Cruz mountains in California and the antics of my two dogs.

My Sleeping Beauties
This has been a very rough month for me. I don't like to complain, but this month my CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) has flared and left me with virtually no energy and a lot of pain. My best shot of getting over this hump is for me to rest as much as possible.

I know I have missed playing with my dogs and seeing what is going on outside, and I hope you have missed my updates. All I can say, is please hang in there with me and I will be back soon with more funny dog stories.

I have to say that my dogs have not abandoned me during this time; they are sleeping right along with me. Well, not with me exactly, but they are sleeping none the less.  :)