" Without a little help most mussels or oysters won't grow a pearl either. "
Freshwater cultured pearl means cultured pearls produced in mollusks in freshwater. Normally, freshwater pearls are referred to as “freshwater cultured pearls” in commerce.
Freshwater cultured pearls come from freshwater mussels and are produced by Japan,China, and the US. The most famous type of freshwater cultured pearl is the Biwa (pronounced bee-wah) pearl which use to come from mussels grown in Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake. Because of pollution, production has stopped. Freshwater shell and pearl mussels are from the family Unionidae, from which about 20 different species are commercially harvested. The tones of the freshwater cultured pearls are dictated by the mother shell. White is the most common, followed by pink. Other colors depend on the type of mussels. Big washboard mussels (Megalonaias nervosa) usually have pink pearls, as do the wartyback mussel (Quadrula nodulata). Threeridge mussels (Amblema plicata) have pearls in shades of blue-green and lavender. Muckets (Actinonaias ligamentina) produce fine pink pearls, and sand mussel (Lasmigona costata) have salmon-pink pearls. Other mussels used to produce freshwater cultured pearls include the ebony, heelsplitter, pimple back, elephant ear, mapleleaf, three-ridge pigtoe, pistol grip, and butterfly.
For non-nucleated cultured pearls, the grafting process begins by selecting a suitable donor mussel and cutting a strip of tissue from the mantle. This strip of tissue is then cut into 3mm squares. These square are delivered to a technician who performs the operation. Unlike saltwater bead nucleation, this process is not considered difficult, and technicians need only minimum training to perform the operation. The technician creates small incisions on the upper value and inserts the tissue piece. A small twist of the tissue upon insertion is believed to create a higher ratio of round pearls. After the maximum number of grafts had been performed, the mussel is flipped, and the procedure is performed once again on the reverse side of the value.
The production of freshwater pearls with a nucleus is difficult. The workers at the farm are trained at a high level, which is constantly being improved. It is now possible to implant up to nine nuclei of an average size of 5 to 7 mm into the connective tissue of the mantle, together with a tiny square of mantle tissue from a donor mussel. The mussel is used at the same time for the production of non-nucleated pearls, and 10 to 20 tiny pieces of tissue are implanted in the mantle. Only one nucleus of over 7 mm in size is implanted into the gonad.
After the implantation procedure and after two weeks of intensive care, the mussels are placed foot-up into labeled plastic nets or baskets, which are hung from ropes just below the surface, the water depth rarely exceeds two meters.
The density should not exceed 150 to 225 mussels per one hundred square meters, but the smaller farms probably do not adhere to this rule.
Cleaning take place twice a year, but only the larger farms use cleaning machines. Water quality is monitored constantly, at least on the larger farms. When water temperatures increase, the farmers will add cooler, flowing water from neighboring rivers and canals, but they also use ground water.
the mussels are quite strong and they can survive several days in the dry without damaging the quality of the pearls they hold. They are also able to endure a certain amount of water pollution. However, the farmers do everything to protect them during the rain season. Moreover, nets at the entrance of each pond protect the mussels from their natural enemies.
The farmers determine the end of the growth period in accordance with their financial requirement. Harvests may take place each month, especially on the small farms. But October and November, the late autumn months, are considered the best time as the growth rate slows down due to the cooler water temperatures. The smaller size of the growing aragonite platelets will have a favorable influence on the luster of the pearls.
The skilled workers open mussels and gather the pearls quickly. It took only a few minutes until a colorful mixture of pearls of all possible sizes, shapes and colors appeared on the bottom of the tubes. They were immediately collected and seemed to disappear quickly into sheds where they were weighted and packed without undergoing any further treatment.
The result of the harvests depends on the size of the farm and may range from several kilograms to several tons. It’s usually thought that one hundred mussels produce about 500 to 1,000 grams of pearls. Only about 10 to 20 percent of the marketable pearls are of good quality, and only a tiny amount is of very good quality.
After harvest the pearls are delivered to a first stage factory. This factory is responsible for cleaning and sorting the pearls by size and shape. After this process has been completed, the pearls are considered ready material for processing factories.
The pearls are pre-treated in a warm and cold chemical solution and then bleached. The pearls that exhibit strong coloration will only go through the pre-treated.
After the pearls are bleached they are drilled and then polished with a mixture of cornmeal and wax.
The rounded shapes are sometimes dyed artificially in loud blue, green, yellow, pink, dark grey and black. The dyed pearls are all in the lower price ranges.
Moissanite is a rare mineral found in very limited quantities or as minute particles in the earth. It is a natural silicon carbide within a meteorite. It is also called (SiC) silicon carbide.
Moissante is the Jewels Born from the Stars™ - perfected on Earth.
Harder than Sapphire and Ruby, and second in hardness only to diamond, it is acclaimed for its exceptional brilliance and fire.
Meteorite carrying a trace amount of silicon carbide crashes to the Earth, creating a meteor crater in Arizona, called Canyon Diablo. Particles will not be discovered until modern times. In 1893 French scientist Dr. Henri Moissan examines small geological samples and discovers crystals with extraordinary sparkle. As you can conclude the natural mineral is named after Dr Henri Moissa - in 1905 - an honor recommended by mineralogist, gem experts and former vice president of Tiffany & Co.
These natural silicon carbide crystals were so rare and unrefined, they couldn't be used to make jewelry. It was in the 1980's with the combination of advanced science and propriety technology, that gem-quality silicon carbide was lab-created and finally produced and available for use in jewelry.
In 1995, with the collaboration of a master gem cutter and a world-renowned scientist in the field of physical chemistry, a spectacular jewel with incredible visual characteristics would emerge.
1998 Charles & Colvard created Moissanite and we saw its debute in the jewelry industry. Charles & Colvard remain the sole source of Moissanite today, making the jewel available in many stores. Across the world people today enjoy and cherish the unique brilliance of stunning Moissanite Jewelry.
Citizen Watch has launched a new model in its Eco-Drive range that hooks up to an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 and offers a number of very interesting features.
Introducing the Citizen Eco-Drive Proximity Watch has low energy sapping Bluetooth 4.0 so you can talk directly to an iPhone application in order to sync wirelessly with your phone. no need to manually set your watch again. This cutting edge Timepiece will sync to the GSM time and date after your phone has been adjusted. Convenience at its best!
As well as alerting the wearer to incoming calls, emails or calendar entries - through a discreet vibration function and the second hand pointing to a specific icon - the Proximity has an Automatic Date and Time Synchronisation feature which ensures the time and date on the watch are the same as on your iPhone. This works across time zones too, so if you land in San Francisco, for example, as soon as your phone switches to local time, so will the watch.
iPhone Search: Can't find your phone? No problem, The Proximity also has a Watch Find feature, you can easily locate your phone by simultaneously pushing the buttons on your watch. An audible alert will sound, even when your phone is in silent mode.
THE CITIZEN ECO-DRIVE PROXIMITY SOLD AT 25% OFF
Key Watch Features and Bluetooth Features:
Are you a Real Local?
Let's begin with some statistics which were reported by the University of Southern Maine's Institute for Family-Owned Business:
- Some 35% of Fortune 500 companies are family-controlled.
- Family businesses account for 50% of U.S. gross domestic product.
- They generate 60% of the country's employment and 78% of all new job creation.
Yes Family-owned businesses form the backbone of the American economy.
Here are 5 good reasons to THINK LOCAL and Buy from small family owned businesses in your neighborhood:
Topaz the birthstone of December and also of of Sagittarians, named after Topasos Island in the Red Sea. In antique times, the name was probably used for the gemstone that is now known as Peridot.
It occurs in pegmatites and high-temperature quartz veins, also in cavities in granites and rhyolites, as a rock forming mineral in igneous rocks, pegmatites and rhyolites, hydrothermal veins, metamorphic rocks and greisens.
Transparent, Translucent, its colors range from colorless, white, pale blue, light green, yellow, yellowish brown, or red. Topaz is a very hard material and durable, on Mohs hardness scale is an 8.
November we were talking about the orange topaz, but December we are cooling with the Season and looking at Blue topaz.
Blue Topaz in nature is very rare indeed, and tends to a very pale blue. The vivid blues available in the market have all been produced by treating white Topaz. The color change is permanent and stable.
Topaz is a fairly common and inexpensive gemstone. The largest Topaz producer is Brazil. Other sources are in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, China, Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Australia, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mexico, and the U.S. (California, Utah, and New Hampshire).
Of all the topaz gems, blue topaz is the most popular. There are also known by the three hues of Blue Topaz which are Sky, Swiss and London Blue. The deepest blue is London Blue and is often used as a substitute for Sapphire.
HEALING AND MAGICAL THOUGHTS ABOUT TOPAZ:
If you dream of a blue topaz, it translates into protection and good fortune in your affairs. It is no wonder that Topaz is associated with the zodiac Sagittarius as it promotes movement in your business, action and motivation, which are strong personality traits of the December/January sign. Like the Sagittarius straight arrow shooter, Topaz promotes bold truthfulness in relationships. It helps control passions and also helps in forgiveness.
If you have thyroid issues, wearing a topaz jewelry against you or having a topaz gem on you, is very helpful. It is said that it strengthens the Thyroid. On a last note, it is also known to help blood circulation.
Traditions hold that topaz bestowed many benefits upon its wearer. It would dispel cowardice, calm the temper, cure madness and plague, and sharpen the wit. It was also thought to aid in sleep and eliminate nightmares, as well as cure rheumatism and soreness in the joints. The stone has also been credited with being effective against bleeding and heart disease. It has been said to instantly lose its color to indicate that poison is present, thus protecting its owner. The stone has also been thought to bring fidelity and friendship if constantly worn without being set aside. It was also believed to be an effective talisman against accident and fire, and to bring increased intuition and long life. To Christians, it has been known as a symbol of uprightness and virtue.
While I wouldn't promote Topaz as a medical cure which it is not, wearing one in a beautiful jewelry setting not only helps promote all the above mentioned, but will bring a wonderfully cool and bright disposition to the wearer.
The Evil eye charm used to ward off evil, originated in Greece thousands of years ago - today they are made into fun and fancy bracelets made of mainly blue eyes and one with red, green and blue. With four distinct charms hanging along side. One uses the evil eye amulets as protection against harm and bad luck.
The most popular method of escaping the evil eye’s effects in many cultures is by the use of evil eye talismans, evil eye symbols, and of course evil eye jewelry. These are meant to “reflect” the power of the evil look.
Sounds like a condition, and in the world of gems, it is. When needle-like inclusions (often minerals composed of titanium dioxide) intersect following the underlying structure of the crystal, it creates a six-rayed pattern on this type of Sapphire, exhibiting a star-like phenomenon which is called - yes - Asterism. These crystals are cut in cabochon as seen in picture, with the star on the top of the dome.
The Black Star of Queensland is believed to be the largest star sapphire ever mined weighing 733 carats, discovered in the 1930s in the Anakie Sapphire fields of the Rubyvale area in the State of Queensland, in northeastern Australia. Followed by the Star of India weighing 563.4 carats. The latter is currently in display at the American Museum of Natural History, in NY city.
The visibility and intensity of the Asterism (the star-like pattern) along with the weight will determine the value of the Star Sapphire. The Black Star of Queensland would make its way around the world, weaving in and out of spotlight and obscurity, with stops in the Smithsonian in the '60s, on Cher's neck in the '70s, and at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto in 2007. Currently, the sapphire is owned by an unknown private party and is not believed to be on public display.
Another beautiful hand crafted bracelet. This one combines fiery carnelian popping out among the Fluorite, Aquamarine and Chrysoprase.
Chrysoprase was one of the most sought after stones during the middle ages. This magic stone was recharged outdoors at half moon to ensure good health and happy marriages. St Wenceslas chapel in Prague has decorations made with Chrysoprase. It has the healing power of balancing body, mind and body. If you suffer from high blood pressure, wear this stone against your skin. Chrysoprase calms you down and also clears the mind, you'll begin to think more clearly. It is believed to be an important stone for those born under the sign of Cancer. It provides balance between the conscious and subconsious.
Aquamarine will always be a great facilitator to meditation, aquamarine also symbolizes peace and promotes love and friendship. One of its many benefits is the effect it has on the tyroid gland.
Carnelian is one of the oldest gemstones in history. In ancient Egypt it was placed in tombs as a magic armor. The healing properties of the carnelian are promoting a good digestion and great for woman who suffer from abdominal pain. Carnelian is a great stone to wear during pregnancy. It increases vitality and zest for life, gives strength to carry on daily tasks. Activity and courage are associated with carnelian.
There are many more attributes to these stones, the Healing Crystals and Gemstones is a great book to own if you enjoy discovering the nature of earth's gems.
• I am the result of volcanic activity.
• Discovered in the black sands of Hawaii.
• Known as tears shed by Pele, the volcano goddess.
• I glow with light even as darkness falls.
• You can find me in Burma, Pakistan, China, Vietnam
and the United States.
• But my finest quality traditionally come from Mogok in Burma,
the land of jewels...
WHAT AM I?
ANSWER: PERIDOT the month of August Birthstone.
If you were born in August you're in luck as it is assumed that the semi-precious gemstone Peridot brings good luck to the wearer. If you're going through hard times, either on personal matters or financial ones, wealth and prosperity is also attached to this gemstone's powers. So if you're feeling blue, reach for the green. The bright lime green gemstone set on a ring, earrings or necklace will surely encourage you to wear outfits that will compliment the stone and liven up your spirit consequently.
The Peridot color is fresh and very appropriate to celebrate a fun and light Summer season. One of the few gemstones to occur in one color though you will see many tints, from yellow green to the most valuable dark olive green. Peridot is a relatively soft gemstone with a hardness of 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale, and therefore a better choice for pendants and earrings rather than bracelets and rings that get more easily scratched up during normal wear.
Ancient Hawaiians believed Peridot to be the tears of the Goddess Pele. In ancient Rome, Peridot was called the "evening emerald" because it didn't darken at night, both Romans and Greeks praise this gem then called Chrysolite. In medieval times, Peridot was used to decorate churches, at Cologne Cathedral in Germany, you will find over two hundred carat size stones in the Shrine of the three magi. When I think of Peridot, I think of Egypt where it was mined on the Island of Zabargad in the Red Sea. Today Peridot is mostly found in China and Sri Lanka, as well as Burma and Arizona.
So if you are an August child you should consider this often overlooked gemstone. And here's a bit FYI from Wikipedia:
Peridot crystals have been collected from some Pallasite meteorites. A famous Pallasitewas offered for auction in April 2008 with a requested price of close to $ 3 million at Bonhams, but remained unsold. Peridot is the only gemstone found in meteorites.