General Questions and Interesting Facts
Jasper is a special form of chalcedony that generally comes to us in exquisite earth tones of browns, gold, greens, and autumn reds, although it can occur in lighter and brighter shades of these colors, as well. The name refers to the sometimes mottled or speckled nature of the stone. It is considered the “supreme nurturer” in that it absorbs negativity, and supports in times of stress. It is thought to be a stone of purity in that it protects the natural environment, as well as the human landscape of the individual, both spiritually and physically. An energy stone, it transports individuals from the world of ideas and thoughts, into the world of action and the production of tangible outcomes – the products of ideas. The ancient Egyptians wore jasper as ornamental scarabs in jewelry and thought that wearing these stones increased sexual energy. Native American Indians consider the stone to have healing qualities and also see it as a “magical rain stone.” Both the colors of the stones and the symbolic manner in which various cultures viewed them to connect them to the earth and to its fundamental spiritual and physical fertility. This pendant would make the perfect gift for the environmentalist in your life – that special “someone” who honors the symmetry of the natural world.
What is Labradorite
Labradorite, carries unique characteristic, turns sea blue, gold and green in bright light from grey or dark green color if viewed in dim light. It is a variety of plagioclase feldspar which is found in igneous rocks. Polished labradorite is called labradorescence. The crystal is transparent to translucent. The darker variety is known as “black moonstone” which has bluish inclusions.
Labradorite is generally cut with a flat surface to highlight the flashes of color. Originally it was found along the coast of Labrador in 1805. Today, it is also found in Newfoundland, other parts of Canada, Ukraine, the Ural mountains, and the USA.
It is believed that Labradorite gemstone brings joy and kindness and provide variety and good fortune. It energizes and provide a balanced mental plane and also heals infections. It is said to raise the level of consciousness and act as a barrier against all negative energies.
Things to know when buying Turquoise Beads
- Turquoise comes in many quality grades and many types. About 90% of the Turquoise in the market, American or Chinese, have been stabilized to improve the hardness since Turquoise is a very soft mineral with a hardness of 4-5. Without being stabilized, the beads would break easily. Stabilized turquoise maybe green or blue depends on the color of the original rough. Some turquoise is reconstituted, or ground up into a powder and then made into what’s called “Block Turquoise”, and these beads may be misleadingly labeled as “natural turquoise”.
- Wholesale turquoise beads come in strands of 16 inches or longer. Some very high-quality turquoise beads and large pieces are sold individually and it’s hard to get wholesale prices on them.
- There are some websites that have very low prices on their “Stabilized Turquoise” beads while those beads are merely Howlite beads. Howlite is a mineral that’s mined very close to the Turquoise mines and often have very similar characteristics as genuine Turquoise except that Howlite is naturally white. The absence of Copper is what makes the stone white instead of the green or blue of genuine Turquoise beads. These Howlite beads are then dyed into turquoise colors and sold as substitutes of Turquoise beads. Because of the abundance of these Howlite stones, the prices of these beads are much lower when comparing to genuine Turquoise beads. These Howlite beads are often dyed into different colors when needed. Turquoise beads and Howlite beads can be compared on our website since we carry both of them.
- Turquoise beads only come in colors like green, blue, yellow; and they usually have black, brown or red veins that we call matrix running through the beads. I have seen websites that sell “Red Stabilized Turquoise” which makes it obvious that these beads are not real Turquoise.
Mata Oriz Pottery
Mata Ortiz pottery is a recreation of the pre-Hispanic pottery found in and around the archeological site of Paquimé in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. It is named after the modern town of Mata Ortiz, which is near the site and where a man named Juan Quezada Celado learned on his own to recreate this ancient pottery, then went on to update it. By the mid-1970s, Quezada was selling his pottery and teaching family and friends to make it when it was able to penetrate the U.S. markets thanks to efforts by Spencer MacCallum and later Walt Parks. By the 1990s, the pottery was being shown in museums and other cultural institutions and sold in fine galleries. The success of the pottery, which is sold for its aesthetic rather than its utilitarian value, has brought the town of Mata Ortiz out of poverty, with most of its population earning income from the industry, directly or indirectly.
Process and the final product
Mata Ortiz potters generally work in their homes, with bedrooms often doubling as studios. The workspace generally consists of just a table, with simple tools such as a hacksaw blade, a butter knife, broken spoons, sandpaper, a small stone and paintbrushes generally made from clippings of children’s hair, sometimes just four or five strands tied on a stick. The shaping of the clay is relatively faithful to the original Paquimé techniques, but each potter has its own variation in how they make their pots. However, they are generally based on Quesada’s single-coil method, using the gray, yellow, orange, red and white clays from the area just as those in Paquimé did. The paints are made from clay or from crushed minerals such as manganese, also mined locally.
The formation of the vessel is done without a potter’s wheel; instead, it is a kind of wheel throwing making them essentially pinch pots. To begin, a ball of clay is pressed into a round flat shape, which is called a “tortilla.” This tortilla is pressed into a bowl to help it keep its shape as the bottom of the vessel. More clay is added as a coil which is pressed into the top edge of the tortilla, then upon itself to form the walls of the vessel, as the bowl is turned which helps keep the shape and thickness even. The walls are then scraped smooth and thin (for finer vessels) with a hacksaw blade, a process called segueteando. If there is to be a lip, and the extra coil is added and integrated. Then the pot is set aside and once completely dry, it is sanded smooth using a stone or deer bone with a little vegetable oil as a lubricant. After painting, the pots are fired on open ground or in pit ovens. Two or three small pots may be fired together, but larger ones are fired individually. They are set on a pile of dried cow dung and wood and if fired on open ground, covered with a large overturned pot called a “saggar.” For polychrome pots, the air is allowed to circulate inside the firing chamber. If the pots are to be turned black, the chamber is sealed to keep smoke in and air out. Lydia Quezada is credited for the black variation. She says she learned how to do it when she accidentally sealed the chamber for a polychrome pot, creating black clouds. The effect prompted her to experiment.
Mata Ortiz pottery pieces are made for their aesthetic value and use pre-Hispanic pottery only as inspiration, not as a means of continuing a folk-art tradition. The painted designed is where the artistic variation is most evident and skill levels vary greatly. Some potters stick to geometric patterns and colors very similar to those on original Pakimé pottery with the oval-shaped vessel considered “classic”. Others have developed shapes and styles using new colors such as green, yellow, even purpose, sweeping lines and extremely thin lines. Newer painted designs include zoomorphic shapes such as lizards, snakes, fish, birds, and others, almost always related to the desert environment. The most common decoration is burnishing to give a soft shine and fine lines in black and ochre. Another form of decoration adds decorative elements in clay over the walls of the vessel and sgraffito is usually done with only one color such as black on black. A relatively rare form of decoration for the pottery is the incision of the clay vessel while the clay is still moist. Emphasis is generally on quality rather than quantity, differing from pottery production in central Mexico. Most pottery that is produced is of lesser quality with thicker walls and less-artistic painting. There is a middle group that makes good quality and an elite number who can make truly artistic wares. These top artists include members of Quezada’s family (Lydia, Nicolas, Noe, and Damian Quezada), the Ortiz family (Felix, Nicolas, and Macario), Taurina Baca, and Hector and Graciella Gallegos, among others. Nicolas Ortiz, best known for creating sculptural pieces. From the last category comes some of the best handmade pottery in the world.
Lampwork is the creation of ornamental, decorative objects with glass. It’s commonly used in making beads, especially for jewelry.
Perhaps the best example of lampwork is in the making of beads. Handcrafted beads are the result of the skill to prepare molten glass and the creativity to envision the glass being used to create unique and colorful beads that can be used in a number of ways. By blowing the molten glass into various sizes and shapes, these beads can be used to make colorful strands in the preparation of wrist and ankle bracelets. When it comes to clothing, lampwork can be the means of preparing a special bead to be sewn into the fabric of a sweater, jacket, or other garments. These beads differ from other types of beadwork in that the glass can provide a richness of hue and sparkle that cannot be provided by many other types of beads.
While the traditional round bead is a favorite, many lampwork creations are shaped in other geometric forms, as well as sometimes depicting animals, human faces, or other objects. This process can yield beads that are tiny and ideal for adorning a beautiful piece of jewelry, or they can be used to create wild and sassy jewelry pieces.
What are Netsuke and Ojime beads?
A netsuke is a form of small sculpture, which developed in Japan over a period of more than
three hundred years. Netsukes served both functional and aesthetic purposes. The kimono,
the traditional form of Japanese dress had no pockets. Women would tuck small personal
items in their sleeves, or hung little silk purses on a silk cord, from their sash (obi). To stop
the silk cord from slipping through the obi, a small toggle was attached, This toggle is called a netsuke.
A sliding bead (ojime) was strung on the cord between the netsuke and the little silk purse
(sagemono) to tighten or loosen the opening of the silk purse. The entire ensemble was then
worn at the waist and functioned as a sort of removable hip pocket. All three object, the
netsuke, the ojime, and the silk purse were often decorated with elaborate carvings. Both the
netsukes and ojimes developed into highly coveted and collectible art forms but it is the
netsuke that has by far most captivated the collector.
Today, contemporary netsuke of the finest quality are still being carved, as highly
respected original works of art. In the early part of the century, dealers encouraged netsuke
carvers to emulate antique netsuke both in style and subject matter. Now, contemporary
netsuke artists are exploring new techniques, new subject matters. This vibrant approach to
netsuke has captured the interest of both old and new collectors throughout the world. Also,
netsuke carving is no longer confined to the Japanese. There are talented, enthusiastic
carvers all over the world, excited by the worldwide collector interest. There are carvers now
in Canada, China, Africa, Australia, Belgium, and Germany. There is a strong renaissance
in creating and collecting netsukes.
It is an exciting opportunity for us to be able to combine netsukes and ojime beads into our
The right length for you
Beauty comes in many different sizes…
Therefore our necklaces come in all different lengths: 16″, 18″, 20″, 24” and 30” to enhance the beauty of our unique beads, to accommodate the size and preferences of the wearer. Petite women typically wear 16″ necklaces while women with an average build, an 18″ necklace falls just below the neckline and a 20″ necklace falls below the collarbone.
For accurate sizing, we suggest you take an 18″ length of string and measure it around your neck. If it is too big, special order your necklace in a 16″ length. If 18″ is too small, order your necklace in a 20″ or place a special order for a custom size.
Our bracelets are available mostly in 7” or 7 ½ “ length.
For an accurate sizing either use a flexible ruler or measure your wrist with a piece of string and hold it up to a flat ruler.
1. Wrap the ruler around your wrist at the smallest point to measure your wrist.
2. Add 1″ to the measurement and that is your bracelet size.
The pearl is the only gem created by a living creature. With more than 5000 years of history in mankind’s history, the pearl is the “queen of gems”. From ancient emperors to the royalty and celebrities of today, pearls have been adored as a sign of wealth and exquisite taste.
Nowadays, freshwater pearls are becoming more and more fashionable for people around the world. 95% of freshwater pearls are grown in China. The annual output is around 1500 tons.
With great quality and affordable price, the freshwater pearl has become a popular alternative to the Japanese Akoya pearl and south sea pearl. Freshwater pearl has created a renewed fashion in pearls world as an affordable alternative to the costly saltwater pearls, like Akoya, South Sea Pearl and Tahitian Pearl.
Caring for Your Pearls
Even cultured pearls with thicker coatings are more fragile than most other gemstones, so you must handle them carefully to keep them in the best condition.
• Your pearls will stay cleaner if you put them on after you’ve applied your makeup and perfume.
• Wipe your pearls with a soft, lint-free cloth as soon as you take them off. The cloth can be dampened with water or it can be dry. If damp, allow the pearls to air dry before putting them away.
• Dirty pearls can be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution (try Ivory flakes).
• Never clean your pearls with solutions that contain ammonia or harsh detergents.
• Don’t put pearl jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner.
• Don’t use abrasive cleaners or rub pearls with abrasive cloth. Both can wear away the nacre coating, leaving you with a plain looking bead.
Crystals & Stones
The meaning of color and the energies contained in their corresponding crystals and stones.
Color is all around us. Most of us have no idea of the impact color has on our lives. This impact of color is usually not conscious.
Much has been studied and written about color and its impact on our daily lives. Color research is going on in laboratories all over the world. Color therapy is being used by artists, psychologists, and business people, etc. Color can influence our emotions, our actions and how we respond to various people, things and ideas.
Take a moment every day to look around you and feel the colors, enjoy the colors.
Live your life in full color.
Here are some of the meanings of colors and the energies contained in their corresponding stones.
Red symbolizes: action, confidence, courage, vitality
Pink symbolizes: love, beauty
Brown symbolizes: earth, order, convention
Orange symbolizes: vitality with endurance
Gold symbolizes: Wealth, prosperity, wisdom
Yellow symbolizes: wisdom, joy, happiness, intellectual energy
Green symbolizes: life, nature, fertility, well being
Blue symbolizes: youth, spirituality, truth, peace
Purple symbolizes: Royalty, magic, mystery
Indigo symbolizes: intuition, meditation, deep contemplation
White symbolizes: Purity, Cleanliness
Black symbolizes: Death, earth, stability
Gray symbolizes: Sorrow, security, maturity
What are Blister Pearls?
These are freshwater Blister Pearls from the South Pacific.
We were told that these are from Pearl Farms. When the irritants are being put into the oyster sometimes by accident more than one gets in there. Since it irritates the oyster, when it secretes the nacre it tries to cover all of them. That is why some of these formations show more than one pearl starting. While forming it also sticks to the oyster shell’s wall instead of just attaching to the oyster, therefore it has to be cut out of the shell and one side is flat. Each and everyone is nature’s art, a true one of a kind piece.
The wires, which hold the pearl don’t tarnish. They are made out of nonferrous metal.