Monday, May 30, 2011

Black Star Diopside Phenomenon Gemstones

You have probably heard of a Star Sapphire, but what about a Black Star Diopside? Black Star Dioside, also referred to as the Star of India is a natural untreated gemstone, that has a four pointed star on the gemstone. This is called a phenomenon gemstone. A Star Sapphire has a six pointed star, that is how you can be sure what you are purchasing. Plus a Star Sapphire has a simulated and synthetic version, where as Star Diopside does not. Star Diopside is very popular in India, but not so much here in the states. Even though it is totally natural it doesn't get the showtime of a Star Sapphire. I own several of these beauties, and will hope to be making jewelry with them soon. Check out the video to see exactly what a four pointed star looks like. As with all star phenomenon gemstones, the star is best see outside in natural sunlight. Indoor light makes it look washed out, and difficult to see.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How To Buy Gemstones

That is my whole collection of gemstones, minus the ones I have sold or set in jewelry. I have been collecting gemstones for about 8 years. I started because I just loved them, there are so many. Oh this doesn't include the cabachons I have either. As I started to really learn about gemstones, I really wanted to collect rare and exotic ones. The rarer the stone, the more expensive. Always by the largest and best quality stone you can afford. If that means you can afford a 4mm round Blue Diamond with good color and clarity, then that is what you should buy. Then work from there.

I mostly buy in large parcels, then have to try to figure out what they are. You usually can pick out the unique or better quality stones from just general stones. A lot of parcels will contain Amethyst, Peridot, Garnet, Citrine and Blue Topaz. They are the most abundant and least expensive stones on the market, for the most part. These are great for starter collections and making jewelry. Most people know what they are, and would be willing to buy them. There are some from each of those families that are more expensive, and of course bigger carat sizes draw a bigger price tag. For example Tsavorite and Mandarin Garnet are more valuable than traditional red Garnet. Imperial Topaz is extremely rare and expensive. Natural Swiss Blue Topaz is very difficult to find, and Madeira Citrine is a natural form of Citrine that looks like red wine. These are all highly collectible gemstones from their traditional counterparts.

So what I am saying is, buy the large parcels, you will get some special stones, but for truly collectible stones search for the exact item you want. Know what a quality stone looks like, and sells for on the retail market. Then go hunting for a deal. They are out there you just have to look and be patient. It took me three years to find an Alexandrite that not only could I afford, but had good quality. I love Alexandrite, and all color change gemstones.

I buy loose gemstones from JTV, Rio Grande, Fire Mountain Gems, and Ebay. I find Ebay you can get a good deal by buying overseas. The shipping is higher but they sell their gems for a fraction of what they do here. Just be sure to read their feedback and ask all questions before you buy. An honest seller will answer all questions. I have looked at other websites, but I find their prices to be exceptionally high. Like most people, I love a good deal. Read, read, read all the information you can before you begin. Educate yourself and be knowledgeable.

Know what flaws a gemstone may have and how it can affect the price. Because I love the more rare gemstones, I don't mind a flaw here or there. Also ask about treatments done to the gemstone. All sellers should know this info, it is required to be disclosed by law. If they don't know and the gemstone is really really high priced, I wouldn't buy it. If the price is decent I might take a chance. Resellers might not know, especially when they buy large parcels like me. If you don't have a way to test for treatments, you won't know. Most gemstones are treated, I think something like 95% of them. Be cautious of words like all natural. This usually means the gemstone has no treatments to it what so ever, but this is not usually the case. Sometimes all natural is used to mean it is a real gemstone not a fake or faux. So ask questions, always.

I think the last and most important thing is, don't buy if they don't offer a money back guarantee, unless of course it is the best price you have ever seen and just can't bare to not have it. If they aren't willing to take it back, that is usually a red flag at least for me.

Please note I am not an expert, just an enthusiast and learner of gemstone identification. Always know your facts before you make a purchase from anyone.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Team FEST May Giveaway

The FEST Team proudly presents our May Daze BLOG GIVEAWAY selection from Laura of Tierrasolpaz. Laura is an accomplished artist who enjoys creating mixed media art, jewelry, photography, zines, stationary, decoupage pieces, paper crafts - anything that materials may inspire her with. Laura uses recycled materials, or follows an upcycle philosophy whenever possible helping to keep the final cost of her creations affordable to the buyer. She is proud to be part of the etsy community of independent designers, creators, artists, and crafters alike.

Her giveaway is a stunningly beautiful and glorious sunset over water with mountains in the background of Lake Mead in Las Vegas, Nevada. The photograph will be delivered as an 8 x 10 glossy professionally printed picture.

HOW TO ENTER: Visit the team blog post May Daze BLOG GIVEAWAY to enter to win the lovely and colorful photograph by visiting Laura at Tierrasolpaz or any of the FEST Team Members listed in the Member Section. Find your favorite item, share it with us and tell us why you love it. Remember to leave your email or contact info so we can reach you if you're the lucky winner. The winner will be picked on June 4rd. Simple and Easy!

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Alex Toys Super Embroidery Kit

My 7 year old has been watching me working on my counted cross stitch, and asked if she could learn how. Counted cross stitch is kind of difficult for a seven year old, but I did find this neat embroidery kit for kids. I think I will go ahead and purchase this and see how much she likes it. She also wants to learn to make jewelry too. One thing a time though, I think.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rare Amblygonite Gemstone

I actually have some light yellow colored stones that I wonder if they could be Amblygonite. I wish, but probably not. The ones shown in the video are super stunning with hints of blue and green. Amblyganite is a completely natural and untreated gemstone and one of the rarest in the world. There is also a purple form of Ablyganite. I wish I had one in my collection.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Red Andesine/Labradorite Ring

If you love red gemstones, and gemstones that are rare and unique, then the Red Andesine/Labradorite is for you. This is how they have decided to name this particular gemstone. I guess it is not quite Andesine and not quite Labradorite but a kind of mixture right on the border of both. It is kind of weird. But it is a beautiful stone. It is enhanced to get the better color as they all are. It is a 5.5 mm cushion square cut set in sterling silver, size 5, with puff heart accents on the side. It is a very simple setting to showcase the beauty of the stone. It sits low to the hand so it doesn't catch on things, or get knocked around. If you would like to purchase this lovely ring, please visit my Etsy store. I do offer combined shipping and a free layaway service.

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