Grouse mountain, April, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

While it was hot in the valley, lots of snow still laid on the ground up in the mountains. It was the last day of the skiing season. Why did we decide to go up there? My husband could not think of another place that our guests have not seen yet. So, we got all the winter gear we needed and drove to the Grouse mountain in search of great views. 

We could get up earlier and make it in time for a breakfast with the grizzly bears, but felt sorry for the kids. So we deliberately missed that, but still saw the bears though. The bears are always there. Then we went up to the wind mill. The destination is even higher than the first gondola takes you to. Now it is not a gondola, but just a sit for four people. The views is what everybody goes up there for. However, the view from the mill (you can go up the mill itself) is even more amazing! 

We met a grouse bird too! Now we know that that was a good reason to give its name to the mountain. The bird was vicious! )) It wanted to stay on the pass and attacked everybody who was walking by. We had to run from it. Other naive people in shorts got their legs pecked!

It was an awesome destination! If you are ever in Vancouver and trying to decide where to go and what to see, the Grouse mountain is a great choice all year around if you are a landscape hunter.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

In Arizona, the Apaches had made several raids on one particular settlement. After these raids, the military and some volunteers banded together and followed the tracks of the stolen cattle back to where the Apaches lived. At dawn, they attacked. The Apaches were completely surprised and outnumbered in the attack. About two-thirds of the Apache warriors were killed by the first volley of shots. The rest of the Apache warriors retreated. As they were almost completely surrounded, the only place for them to go was to the edge of a cliff. Rather than die at the hands of a white man, these last warriors chose death by leaping over the cliff's edge. The apache women of those who had died gathered at the base of the cliff, and for a moon they wept for their dead. They mourned, not only because their warriors had all died, but also because the fighting spirit of the Apaches had died with them. Their sadness was so great that the Great Spirit encased the tears of the Apache women into black stones we now call apache tears.

Rough apache tears (obsidian)

Nature's gems

Titanite with Clinochlore

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Cubic zirconia (CZ) is the synthesized material is hard, optically flawless and usually colorless, but may be made in a variety of different colors. Its commercial production began in the USSR in 1976. In 1977 cubic zirconia begun to be mass-produced in the jewelry marketplace. By 1980 annual global production had reached 50 million carats (10 tonnes). [source]

Color grading a white diamond is really about the absence of color. Any hint of color lowers the value of the diamond, and the stronger the color, the lower the gem's worth. The color grading scale established by GIA, and recognized around the world, has letter grades to describe the increasing presence of color.

Bead Day

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Moissanite. Without special testing equipment, distinguishing it from a natural diamond is very difficult. Moissanite, in its natural form, is very rare. It has only been discovered in a small variety of places from upper mantle rock to meteorites. Moissanite was introduced to the jewelry market in 1998. It is regarded as a diamond alternative with some optical properties exceeding those of diamond. Its lower price and less exploitative mining practices necessary to obtain it make it a popular alternative to diamonds.

Record-Size Natural Moissanite Crystals Discovered in Israel

Jewellery photography

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Among gems, diamonds are actually the most common. If you doubt this ask yourself; “How many women do you know that do not own at least one diamond?” Now ask the same question about other gems.

The Cullinan III and IV brooch

Jewellery masterpieces

Bell Epoque diamond brooch by Cartier

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Christian pastor has discovered one of the world's largest uncut diamonds in Sierra Leone's Kono district. The diamond, weighing 709 carats, is now locked up in Sierra Leone's central bank in Freetown. It is one of the 20 largest diamonds ever found. Freelance, or artisanal, miners are common in Sierra Leone's diamond-rich areas, reports the BBC's Umaru Fofana.

Artisanal, or freelance, miners are a common sight in Sierra Leone's diamond-rich Kono district

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