Saturday, October 31, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
When one thinks of topaz, a warm honey color comes to mind, but the gemstone also occurs in many colors, including red, blue, violet and green.
Topaz is a very durable and hard gemstone. It is rated 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness and is quite resistant to scratching. It is the hardest silicate mineral and one of the hardest minerals in nature.
Topaz is a durable gemstone that's resistant to scratching. It's rated 8 on the Mohs scale (compared to diamond, the hardest gemstone, at 10). The name of the gemstone is thought by some to have come from an island Topazos, which is found in the Red Sea, and was an early source for this gemstone. Others believe that it comes from the Sanskrit word "topas" meaning "fire".
Topaz stones are mentioned in the Old Testament, but many scholars believe that this reference of Topaz in the bible was actually peridot. Many scientists believe that real topaz were yellow crystals discovered in the early 1700s in Germany.
The main sources of mining today of Topaz are Brazil, Sri Lanka, Russia, Australia, Africa, Mexico and Pakistan. When purchasing topaz stones, particularly the yellow variety, the buyer must be prepared. Many of the stones sold as topaz (particularly from overseas) are actually the lesser valued citrine stones.
In natural form, topaz crystals can reach the immense size of several hundred pounds. Because of thier high luster, multi faceted crystals, and nice colors, Topaz can make very attractive mineral specimens.
The largest faceted Topaz specimen ever found was a whopping 31,000 carat stone from Brazil named El Dorado. The rough crystal weighed an astonishing 37 kg, when discovered in 1984, and after cutting and polishing the final weight was only 6.2 kg.
Other large stones include a rare, perfect blue gemstone which was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1965. It weighed 100 kilograms and a 137 pound crystal was found in Norway in 1901 that was two feet long.
Most colors of topaz are relatively common, and quite affordable, some colors like red and pink are quite rare and much sought after, so their price is much higher.
As with other gemstones, Topaz has mystical properties associated with it. It has long been attributed with gentleness, integrity and fidelity and it thought to bring wearers love, wealth and protection. In physical terms, topaz is thought to aid with poor appetite, gout, blood disorders, hemorrhages, and diseases of the endocrine system.
Caring for topaz is relatively easy. Warm soapy water and a soft brush will usually keep it in good condition. Because it is sensitive to sudden temperature changes, ultrasonic and steam cleaners should be avoided. Bright light can cause the stone to fade, so it should be carefully stored when not being used.
Here is a lovely Georgian poem which talks about the gemstone Topaz:
Who first comes to this world below
In dreary November’s fog and snow
Should prize the topaz amber hue
Emblem of friends and lovers true.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
A brushed finish is a type of metal finish which has no gloss at all. The process involved gives the finished product a textured finish which is much less reflective than a normal metal finish.
This finish is produced by soft scratch-brushing a polished metal surface so that it produces a soft sheen. The finish is also known as a Satin finish, a Butler finish, or a scratch brush finish.
Many designers of vintage jewelry used the brushed finish, but one of the most well known and, in my opinion, one of the best manufacturers of this technique is Trifari. Their brushed goldtone and silvertone finishes, especially on their brooches, are superb with fantastic detail.
Here are some examples of this type of finish on vintage jewelry pieces. (click the pictures to open for greater detail.)
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
- The dates of operation of the company are 1914 to the present day.
- The founder of the company emigrated from Austria in 1885
- Design Characteristics: use of Swarovski rhinestones and custom color rhinestones
- Used aeronautical glue in their designs
- Switched to the use of sterling silver in the war time years
- Many designs were rhodium plated
- Famous for Christmas tree designs
- Many whimsical designs from the 1940s are very collectible today
I am considered a high end designer and very collectible today. For more information and the answer to today's riddle, you can go to this designer page of the resource library on my website Vintage Jewelry Lane. (answer is also shown reading backwards at the bottom of this blog post.)
I'll be doing more of these riddles over the next weeks and months. Have fun with the series. Answer: (read it backwards) grebnesiE
Monday, October 19, 2009
Scorpios have very magnetic and dynamic personalities. They are generally well liked and can have a soothing affect on those around them. People born under this star sign tend to be very creative and inventive and excel in professional careers such as medicine chemistry and physics. On the negative side, they can be jealous and resentful, somewhat compulsive and obsessive, as well as being secretive and obstinate.
Thinking about buying jewelry for your Scorpio friend and don't know where to start? Let's examine some of these zodiac facts for a bit of inspiration.
- Their special color dark red
- Their lucky numbers are 3 and 5
- The gemstones associated with this birth sign are topaz and opals
- Scorpios love all types of flowers, including geraniums, black-eyed Susans, gardenias and many other types.
- Their best location is near the water
Since their lucky numbers are three and five, how about choosing a multi strand necklace for them with this number of rows of beads? My Carolina Collections Jewelry Shop has a lovely range of 3 and 5 strand beaded necklaces.
How about this goldtone Scorpio bracelet? It is a clamper style and features a cute scorpion charm dangle and is available at the give away price of $4.99 from Vintage Jewelry Mall.
Dark Red? That is an easy one. All of my stores have a lovely range of red jewelry to choose from. How about this blood red rhinestone brooch that incorporates both their color and their love of flowers. It's available on Vintage Jewelry Lane for only $18.99
Since Scorpios love to be near the water, they would probably appreciate any piece of jewelry with a nautical theme.Finally, here is a Georgian poem which depicts the Scorpio personality well:
Who keeps an arrow in his bow,
And if you prod, he lets it go?
A fervent friend,
a subtle foe-Scorpio!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Memory wrap bracelets often use glass beads and depending on the length of the wire used, can be quite a fashion statement when worn. Some of them end up several inches wide, depending on your wrist size.
My online stores all have glass memory wire bracelets for sale. The one featured here is from my Vintage Jewelry Lane shop and consists of a fabulous combination of cloisonné enamel and faceted glass beads. The price is $22.99, and it is just stunning in both color and design. I don't normally think of burgundy and red matching well together, but on this bracelet, the combination just works for me.
Feeling creative? Why not try your hand at making one of these? Head off to Michael's, get some memory wire, and glass beads and use your imagination. You'll end up with a lovely hand made creation.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
My Fair Lady photo courtesy of Ruby Lane seller The Vintage Princess
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Figures are then drawn on the scored surfaces. The whole item is then blued to produce a black background by a total oxidation of the surfaces which are not damasked. A delicate and light process of chipping gives a lovely sheen to the object. Finally, the piece is mounted to give the final object.
Damascene jewelry is one of the specialites of my main website Vintage Jewelry Lane. I have a very large range of it, at competitive prices. There are several styles of damascene jewelry, most notably Tourist damascene, Amita damascene, and Reed and Barton Damascene. Each type has quite a different look to it.
I've written a reference article with lots of information on damascene jewelry, and photos to explain each style. You can find the damascene article here.
Here are some photos of pieces that I currently have for sale. You can click the pics to get more details. Prices range from $15.99 to $49.99 for the pieces featured here. Other styles start at $11.99. I have many more styles on my sites - Vintage Jewelry Lane.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I've just purchased a new collection of Christmas jewelry from the designer Gerry's. This company was founded in the 1950s by Geraldine Giles and closed its doors in 2001. The company was founded in New York, but moved later to Folcroft, Pennsylvania.
Their designs were often small metal figural pins, and especially Christmas pins, which were decorated with enamel and rhinestones. Gerry's jewelry has always been collected by those who collect vintage Christmas jewelry, but the pieces may now start to rise in value, since the company is no longer in business.
Here are a few choices. You can view more of these Christmas jewelry pieces at my Vintage jewelry Lane and Vintage Jewelry Mall sites and at my Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry store on Ruby Lane. Prices range from $8.99 to about $18, so they will make cute and inexpensive Christmas gifts.
Some of the pins that I have in my stores are from unsold dealer stock and have never been worn, so they would make great stocking stuffers. Other's are some older Gerry's vintage Christmas pins, including some book pieces. Here are a few choices from the collection: