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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

Nature's gems

Gorgeous gemmy ruby red Realgar clapsed by translucent Calcite scalenohedrons, from Jiepaiyu Mine, China

 
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