Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Talk about multi-tasking

So yesterday I had to take my youngest daughter to the emergency room. She is ok they took lots of blood and she is feeling like a pin cushion right now. But with having four kids and 3 grand-kids seems like I have spent my share of time at a doctors office or in a ER. So I never go without my tote bag and plenty to do. So 3 pairs of earrings and one bracelet later, and 4 to 5 tubes of blood. we have new jewelry and a daughter that is going to be fine.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pearls, Pearls and if there is time more Pearls

Pearls, Pearls and if there is time more Pearls, as you can tell Pearls are a passion of mine and one of my favorite gems to create with They are the only gemstone formed within a living creature. Have been a symbol of wealth and sophistication. So now to look at some of the differences in pearls. Natural vs. Cultured. A natural pearl is actually begun as a foreign object inside an oyster’s inner body. In response to the intrusion the oyster goes into defensive mode and secretes nacre, a substance to protect itself from the object. Adding layer after layer till a beautiful pearl is formed. Natural pearls are very rare about one in 10,000 will produce a single natural pearl. Just recently, a double strand of 68 perfect natural pearls, know as the “Baroda Pearls” was auctioned at Christie’s Auction House for $7 million. Google “Baroda Pearls” to see a picture of these wonderful pearls. So because of the rarity of natural pearls, most of today’s pearls are cultured. In 1916 Kokichi Mikimoto patented the process of culturing pearls inside Akoya oysters in Japan. This then made pearls affordable to the public and the pearl craze began. Now cultured pearls are still actual pearls, similar in most ways to the natural pearl. The only difference is a small piece of polished shell or mantle tissue is introduced by hand to the oyster. The process from there is the same, to creating a pearl. Cultured pearls come from saltwater or freshwater mollusks. The freshwater ones can be found in lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of freshwater. The majority of the freshwater pearls today come from china. The Saltwater pearls come from oysters that live in the oceans and are in protected waters such as lagoons, The Akoya, South Sea and Tahitian pearls are the best know and are certainly deep sea treasures in there own right.

Part one of Pearls, Pearls and if there is time more Pearls.

Written by Diane Brixey, Pearl lover and self taught jewelry artist. Her work can be seen at

Sunday, May 11, 2008

May's Birthstone "Emerald"

The Gemstone Emerald is the green variety of the mineral Beryl.Emerald is May 's birthstone.
The wonderful green color of emerald is unparalleled in the gem kingdom. Emerald's precious green color is caused by small amounts of chromium and enhanced by traces of iron. Unlike other beryls, emeralds usually contain inclusions and other flaws. These flaws are not looked on as negative aspects for emerald like they would be for other gemstones. Indeed, these flaws are considered part of the character of the stone and are used to assure the purchaser of a natural stone. Even artificial emeralds often contain flaws, however, as the process of growing artificial emeralds mimics the way nature does it (slow crystal growth from a molten mix). Nearly all emeralds, even many "natural" stones, have been treated to improve clarity, generally by immersing them in oil. For gemstones, a green colored oil is often used, "improving" the color as well. Unfortunately, this oil may evaporate over the years, making flaws appear where none were visible at the time of purchase. A high-grade mineral oil may be used to improve the appearance again. This month's contest has a freshwater and emerald green swarovski crystal bracelet as the prize. So make sure that you stop in and enter at