26 March 2019

JULY BIRTHSTONES – RUBY  is the most valuable variety of the corundum mineral species, which also includes sapphire. Rubies can command the highest per-carat price of any colored stone. This makes ruby one of the most important gems in the colored stone market. In its purest form, the mineral corundum is colorless. Trace elements that become part of the mineral’s crystal structure cause variations in its color. Chromium is the trace element that causes ruby’s red color.
Mineral: Corundum;
Chemistry: Al2O3;
Color: Red;
Refractive index: 1.762 to 1.770;
Birefringence: 0.008 to 0.010;
Specific gravity: 4.00 (+/- 0.05);
Mohs harness: 9;
COLOR: is the most significant factor affecting a ruby’s value: Fine gems are a pure, vibrant red to slightly purplish red;
CLARITY: If a ruby’s inclusions affect its transparency or brilliance they reduce the gem’s value significantly;
CUT: Rubies are commonly fashioned as mixed cuts, which have brilliant-cut crowns and step-cut pavilions;
CARAT WEIGHT: Fine-quality rubies over one carat are very rare and price goes up significantly as size increases~26.jpg

25 March 2019

JUNE BIRTHSTONES – ALEXANDRITE Green in sunlight. Red in lamplight. Color-changing alexandrite is nature’s magic trick. Often described by gem aficionados as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is the very rare color-change variety of the mineral chrysoberyl. Originally discovered in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 1830s, it’s now found in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil, but fine material is exceptionally rare and valuable.
Mineral: Chrysoberyl;
Chemistry: BeAl2O4;
Color: Bluish green in daylight, purplish red in incandescent light;
Refractive index: 1.746 to 1.755;
Birefringence: 0.008 to 0.010;
Specific gravity: 3.73;
Mohs harness: 8.5;
COLOR: Fine alexandrite is green to bluish green in daylight and red to purplish red in incandescent light;
CLARITY: Good quality alexandrite has few inclusions. Rarely, needle-like inclusions create a cat’s-eye;
CUT: Alexandrite is most often available in mixed cuts. Its rarity means it is often cut to save weight;
CARAT WEIGHT: Most cut gems weigh less than one carat. Larger, higher-quality gems rise in price dramatically;
JUNE BIRTHSTONES – MOONSTONE A ghostly sheen moves under the surface of this feldspar, like moonlight glowing in water. Moonstone is a variety of the feldspar-group mineral orthoclase. During formation, orthoclase and albite separate into alternating layers. When light falls between these thin layers it is scattered producing the phenomenon called adularescence. Adularescence is the light that appears to billow across a gem. Other feldspar minerals can also show adularescence including labradorite and sanidine.
Mineral: Feldspar;
Chemistry: KAlSi3O8;
Color: Colorless to White, Gray, Green, Peach, Brown;
Refractive index: 1.518 to 1.526;
Birefringence: 0.05 to 0.008;
Specific gravity: 2.58;
Mohs harness: 6.0 to 6.5;
COLOR: The finest moonstone is a gem of glassy purity with a mobile, electric blue shimmer;
CLARITY: Characteristic inclusions include tiny tension cracks called centipedes;
CUT: As it displays moonstone’s phenomena to best advantage, cabochon is the common cut;
CARAT WEIGHT: Moonstone comes in a wide range of sizes and carat weights~25.jpg

24 March 2019

MAY BIRTHSTONES – EMERALD is the bluish green to green variety of beryl, a mineral species that includes aquamarine. Gem experts differ on the degree of green that makes one stone an emerald and another stone a less-expensive green beryl. Most gemologists, gemological laboratories, and colored stone dealers call a stone green beryl when its color is “too light” for it to be classified as emerald. Even among that group, however, there’s a difference of opinion about what’s considered “too light.”
Mineral: Beryl;
Chemistry: Be3Al2Si6O183;
Color: Vibrant green;
Refractive index: 1.577 to 1.583;
Birefringence: 0.005 to 0.009;
Specific gravity: 2.72;
Mohs harness: 7.5 to 8;
COLOR: The most desirable emerald colors are bluish green to pure green, with vivid color saturation;
CLARITY: In Emerald expect to see inclusions that dealers like to call an internal “jardin,” or garden;
CUT: Due to the crystal shape emeralds are commonly cut as rectangular step cuts called emerald cuts;
CARAT WEIGHT: Because its density is lower, a one-carat emerald will appear larger in size than a one-carat diamond~24

23 March 2019

APRIL BIRTHSTONES – DIAMOND are among nature’s most precious and beautiful creations.
Mineral: Diamond;
Chemistry: C;
Color: Colorless;
Refractive index: 2.42;
Birefringence: None;
Specific gravity: 3.52 (+/-0.01);
Mohs harness: 10;
COLOR: Clarity grades assess the number, size, relief, and position of inclusions and blemishes;
CLARITY: The less color, the higher the grade. Even the slightest hint can make a dramatic difference in value;
CUT: Cut (proportions, symmetry, and polish) is a measure of how a diamond’s facets interact with light;
CARAT WEIGHT: Rarity means larger diamonds of the same quality are worth more per carat~23.jpg

22 March 2019

MARCH BIRTHSTONES – AQUAMARINE  Named after seawater, aquamarine’s fresh watery hue is a cool plunge into a refreshing pool. Aquamarine’s name comes from the Latin for seawater and it was said to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. March’s birthstone was also thought to enhance the happiness of marriages. The best gems combine high clarity with limpid transparency and blue to slightly greenish blue hues. Like many beryls, aquamarine forms large crystals suitable for sizable fashioned gems and carvings.
Mineral: beryl;
Chemistry: Be3Al2Si6O18;
Color: greenish blue, light in tone;
Refractive index: 1.577 to 1.583;
Birefringence: 0.005 to 0.009;
Specific gravity: 2.72;
Mohs Hardness: 7.5 to 8.0;
COLOR: Aquamarine’s preferred color is a moderately strong dark blue to slightly greenish blue;
CLARITY: Most cut gems are eye-clean. Large examples are available without visible inclusions;
CUT: Because aquamarine’s color is light, cutting is important and well-cut gems show brilliance;
CARAT WEIGHT: Aquamarine crystals range from tiny to very large—some even up to 100 lbs~22.jpg

21 March 2019

FEBRUARY BIRTHSTONES – AMETHYST  The essence of the color purple, amethyst is beautiful enough for crown jewels yet affordable enough for class rings. Amethyst was as expensive as ruby and emerald until the 19th Century, when Brazil’s large deposits were discovered. It was believed to prevent intoxication—amethystos means “not drunk” in ancient Greek. Today, as the most valued quartz variety, amethyst is in demand for designer pieces and mass-market jewelry alike, and its purple to pastel hues retain wide consumer appeal.
Mineral: Quartz;
Chemistry: SiO2;
Color: Purple;
Refractive Index: 1.544 to 1.553;
Birefringence: 0.009;
Specific Gravity: 2.66;
Mohs Hardness: 7;
COLOR: The finest amethyst color is strong reddish purple to purple with no visible color zoning;
CLARITY: Most amethyst doesn’t have inclusions you can see without magnification;
CUT: Amethyst is cut into a variety of standard calibrated shapes, including rounds and ovals;
CARAT WEIGHT: Amethyst is available in all size ranges for setting into a variety of jewelry styles~21.jpg

20 March 2019

JANUARY BIRTHSTONES – GARNET  are a set of closely related minerals forming a group, with gemstones in almost every color. Red garnets have a long history, but modern gem buyers can pick from a rich palette of garnet colors: greens, oranges, pinkish oranges, deeply saturated purplish reds, and even some blues. Red garnet is one of the most common and widespread of gems. But not all garnets are as abundant as the red ones. A green garnet, tsavorite, is rarer and needs rarer rock chemistries and conditions to form.
Mineral: Garnet group;
Chemistry:
Almandine- Fe3Al2(SiO4)3;
Andradite- Ca3Fe2(SiO4)3;
Grossular- Ca3Al2(SiO4)3;
Pyrope- Mg3Al2(SiO4)3;
Rhodolite- (Mg, Fe)3Al2(SiO4)3;
Spessartine- Mn3Al2(SiO4)3;
Color: All colors;
Refractive index: 1.714-1.888;
Birefringence: None;
Specific gravity: 3.47-4.15;
Mohs harness: 6.5-7.5;
COLOR: Garnet includes affordable dark red varieties, rare and valuable greens, and many colors in between;
CLARITY: Garnet clarity often depends on garnet type. Red garnets often don’t have eye-visible inclusions;
CUT: Many garnets are cut into standard shapes and calibrated sizes to allow setting into manufactured jewelry;
CARAT WEIGHT: Garnets can be found in all sizes and weights, although some varieties are rare in large sizes~20.jpg

19 March 2019

MR SQUIGGLE 60TH ANNIVERSARY 2019 UNCIRCULATED 7-COIN SET Celebrate the 60th anniversary of one of ABC Television’s favourite characters with the Mr Squiggle 60th Anniversary 7-coin set. Featuring six current Australian coins and a special edition 1c coin, the 60th Anniversary Mr Squiggle 7-coin set features all your favourite characters.
COLOURED $2 AUSTRALIAN COINS EACH COLOURED TWO DOLLAR COIN FEATURES:
Mr Squiggle;
Blackboard;
Gus the Snail;
Bill the Steam Shovel;
$1 AUSTRALIAN COINS EACH ONE DOLLAR COIN FEATURES:
Mr Squiggle;
Rocket Ship;
SPECIAL EDITION 1C AUSTRALIAN COIN:
Features Mr Squiggle’s home – the Moon~19.jpg

18 March 2019

IKEA VESKEN WHITE SHELF UNIT Assemble the shelf unit quickly and easily by clicking the parts together without any tools. Everything stays in place, from your shampoo and conditioner to sponges, as the shelf has high edges on all sides.
Size: 36x23x100 cm;
Designer: David Wahl~18.jpg

17 March 2019

LET’S EAT FRANCE! 1,250 specialty foods, 375 iconic recipes, 350 topics, 260 personalities, plus hundreds of maps, charts, tricks, tips, and anecdotes and everything else you want to know about the food of France. There’s never been a book about food like Let’s Eat France! A book that feels literally larger than life, it is a feast for food lovers and Francophiles, combining the completist virtues of an encyclopedia and the obsessive visual pleasures of infographics with an enthusiast’s unbridled joy.
Here are classic recipes, including how to make a pot-au-feu, eight essential composed salads, pâté en croûte, blanquette de veau, choucroute, and the best ratatouille. Profiles of French food icons like Colette and Curnonsky, Brillat-Savarin and Bocuse, the Troigros dynasty and Victor Hugo. A region-by-region index of each area’s famed cheeses, charcuterie, and recipes. Poster-size guides to the breads of France, the wines of France, the oysters of France—even the frites of France. You’ll meet endive, the belle of the north; discover the croissant timeline; understand the art of tartare; find a chart of wine bottle sizes, from the tiny split to the Nebuchadnezzar (the equivalent of 20 standard bottles); and follow the family tree of French sauces.
Adding to the overall delight of the book is the random arrangement of its content (a tutorial on mayonnaise is next to a list of places where Balzac ate), making each page a found treasure. It’s a book you’ll open anywhere—and never want to close~17.jpg