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?"

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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!