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Tid-bits About Turquoise...

  Turquoise is an interesting stone - it even has a color named for it - but, did you know... --- Is Turquoise always blue? No, actually the blue color comes from the presence of Copper in the area which causes that blue tint.  When Iron is present, the stone turns a beautiful spring green. --- Is there such a thing then as *white* Turquoise? Although some purists say no, and there are many fakes, the answer is yes.  A white version of Turquoise (mined mostly in China) is called *Chalk Turquoise* and is usually dyed with Prussian Blue to look more like it's Copper-infused cousin.  Beware, however, when the ston... » Read More

What is Paua anyway??

  We've all seen various jewelry designs containing Paua. It's very colorful, downright beautiful in fact! But what, exactly, is it? And how is it different from other, similar-looking materials? Let's start at the beginning... the word "Paua" comes from the Eastern Polynesian language of the Maori people, indigenous to New Zealand. (That's the island country just southeast of Australia in the western Pacific.)It's the name they give to several (three, to be exact) species of marine gastropod mollusks (large edible sea snails). In layman's terms, they're basically just big sea shells. In the UK, they're known as "Ormer" shells, and elsewher... » Read More

About Gold Fill...

It's a common question... "Just what is Gold Fill anyhow?" Well, the answer is a bit lengthy, but not all that complicated. As you probably know, Gold can be purchased in various degrees of purity.  Let's start at the top: 24K Gold or pure Gold is, as you would expect, VERY expensive (over $1,200 per ounce).  But that's not it's only drawback.  It's also not very good for jewelry.  Why?  Because in addition to being very costly, it's very heavy, and worst of all, very soft.  A bracelet clasp, for example, made from pure 24K Gold would bend so easily it simply wouldn't hold even under light wear. 18K,... » Read More

Cleaning Sterling Silver

As everyone knows, Sterling Silver tarnishes.  Well, Argentium claims not to, but eventually, even that will develop a bit of a coating. That coating is actually an oxide (AKA "rust") which forms when the metal comes in contact with oxygen in the air.  We're not talking "patina" which is deliberately created to produce "character" in the design - we're talking good old-fashioned tarnish - the kind you'd prefer not to have on your jewelry. There are as many theories, devices, and products for tarnish removal as there are human beings on the planet - or so it would seem.  Let's take a look at some of the commercial prod... » Read More