is a hemispherical shaped pearl that grows and forms against the inside of the oyster's shell, rather than within its tissue.
    Mabes occasionally appear in nature.

    In the oyster a mabe pearl is actually considered a 'blister pearl' not a 'mabe pearl'.

    After the blister pearl has been 'worked' it then becomes a mabe pearl.

    When 'blister pearl' is cut out of the shell it has an unfinished flat surface on the back that is usually being capped with a piece of mother-of-pearl and polished to complete the mabe pearl.

    Cultured mabes are grown intentionally, by using a hemispheric nucleus, rather than a round one, and by implanting it against the oyster's shell, rather than within its tissue.

    The pearl then develops in a hemispheric form, with a flat back.

    Mabe pearls are more often used for items as rings and earrings, rather than for stringing on necklaces. They tend to be very beautiful with high luster, but are priced much lower than round pearls.

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    is a way of cutting the glass or stone beads in order to create facets.

    Facets have highly polished plane surfaces and sharp angles which create brilliance and sparkle; faceting is regular and consistent.

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    is a clasp built with two high tech magnets. Easily opens and closes.

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    is an opaque semi-precious stone, a basic copper carbonate. The appearance is generally vivid green to bluish green and is usually seen with bands in several shades of green.
    The beautiful green color comes from the copper contained in the stone; it is about 57% copper and is usually found in copper mines.

    The transformation of copper into malachite occurs relatively quickly. Bronze objects have been found at ancient Assyrian sites partially or wholly converted into malachite.

    Malachite has a hardness of 4 and a specific gravity of 3.80. The refractive index is 1.655.

    Zaire is the major source of malachite. It is also found in Namibia, Chile, Zimbabwe, Russia, Mexico, Australia, England, France South Africa and USA.

    Except for the green color, the properties of malachite are similar to those of azurite.

    For this reason, the two are commonly found together, sometimes going seamlessly from one to the other.

    Typically, malachite is seen cut into cabochons, beads, tablets, inlays and tumbles.

    Because of its low hardness, malachite is especially fragile, easily scratched and sometimes becomes dull.

    Malachite is sometimes coated with colorless wax, oil, or hardening agents to increase its durability and enhance its appearance

    Protect it from scratches and sharp blows and avoid large temperature changes.

    Washing malachite in water will remove its protective polish. It is best to clean it with soft, dry cloth.

    If you attempt to cut or carve the stone, be aware that its dust is highly toxic!

    Malachite was popular with the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for jewellery and amulets.

    It was often carved and inlaid in furniture.

    Malachite was also ground along with galena, then mixed with water, to use as eye shadow.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Malachite is a stone of transformation and balance, assisting with life changes, facilitating intuition, insight and acceptance.

    One of the metaphysical uses of this stone is to gain insight into various emotional factors that may be manifesting as physical symptoms.

    Malachite is said to bring harmony and understanding into one's life, to balance emotions, and help clear subconscious blocks.

    On a physical level malachite is said to aid in the regeneration of body cells and lend extra energy; it is used to help the tissue regeneration, circulatory system and assist in a good night's sleep.

    In the past malachite was considered to be a talisman particularly appropriate for children.

    It was thought to protect the wearer from falls and warned them of impending danger by breaking into several pieces.

    If a piece of this gemstone were attached to an infant's cradle, all evil spirits were held at bay and the child slept soundly and peacefully.

    Today malachite is still used as a children's talisman to ward off danger and illness.

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    are beads with a velvety, "frosted" surface, rather than a shiny or reflective surface.
    This is a relatively new thing which the Japanese are pioneering, and the resulting beads are wonderful.

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    Is a soft, velvety finish on a metal’s surface, that reduces the metal's reflectivity.

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    is base metal wire which as its name implies, springs back into and retains its coiled shape.

    Manufacturers offer different size of coils for bracelet or necklace.

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    on glass beads

    Today it is possible to electroplate the glass with a metallic finish. One of the most interesting of the metallic treatments is to put silver nitrate into the hole of the bead.

    Such treatment is called silver lining and makes the bead much brighter and reflective.

    Seed beads are often silver lined.

    Lampwork artists usually just embed the foil in the glass and case it in.

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  • MICA

    is general term for a large group of soft, lightweight, transparent aluminium silicate minerals most commonly found in the form of scales and thin, elastic sheets.
    It has a perfect basal cleavage.

    There are about 30 different types of micas, ranging in color from yellow to green to gray to violet to white to brown.

    Mica has a hardness of 2.5 and a specific density of about 3.

    The word "mica" is thought to be derived from the Latin word micare, meaning to shine, in reference to the brilliant appearance of this mineral (especially when in small scales).

    Tiny mica particles give the shimmer to aventurine (goldstone).

    Mica is used for lampshades and electrical insulators. Scrap and ground mica is used in wallpaper, fancy paint, ornamental tile, roofing, lubricating oil, and Christmas-tree snow.

    Ground mica is sometimes pressed into sheets (micanite) that can be used as sheet mica.

    Synthetic mica was produced in the United States after intensive government-sponsored research began in 1946.

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    are pictures or decorations that are made out of extremely small pieces (tiles) of stone, glass or other materials.

    Italian micromosaics were common souvenirs.

    Older examples are much more intricate, have smaller mosaic tiles, and generally have better workmanship.

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    (meaning "thousand flowers" in Italian)
    is style of glass making whereby the cross section often has the appearance of a many petaled flower.

    Millefiori glass can be made into beads.

    The components of a millefiori bead are murrine (millefiori slices) and a wound glass core, usually of a solid color

    The murrine are created with glass rods, or canes, of various colors that are bundled into patterns and fused with heat.

    They are then reheated, drawn while hot, and sliced. The murrine slices are carefully pressed onto the molten core of a lampworked bead and fused again.

    The history of the millefiori bead stretches back for thousands of years.

    It is fascinating that aside from the technological advances the construction methods have remained essentially the same.

    Murano glass factories still make millefiori beads.

    Moretti is the most well known factory today. They produce murrine cane that is sold both in rods and pre-sliced packages.

    Most of the contemporary patterns are the traditional floral type.

    See also Venetian glass beads

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    Minerals are natural compounds formed through geological processes.
    The term "mineral" encompasses not only the material's chemical composition but also the mineral structures.

    To be classified as a "true" mineral, a substance must be a solid and have a crystal structure. It must also be a naturally-occurring, homogenous substance with a defined chemical composition.

    Minerals range in composition from pure elements and simple salts to very complex silicates with thousands of known forms (organic compounds are usually excluded).

    The study of minerals is called mineralogy.

    Chemistry and crystal structure define together a mineral. In fact, two or more minerals may have the same chemical composition, but differ in crystal structure.

    A crystal structure refers to the orderly geometric spatial arrangement of atoms in the internal structure of a mineral.

    This crystal structure is based on regular internal atomic or ionic arrangement that is often visible as the mineral form.

    Even when the mineral grains are too small to see or are irregularly shaped the crystal structure can be determined by x-ray analysis and/or optical microscopy.

    Crystal structure greatly influences a mineral's physical properties.

    For example, though diamond and graphite have the same composition (both are pure carbon), graphite is very soft, while diamond is the hardest of all minerals.

    There are currently just over 4,000 known minerals, according to the International Mineralogical Association, which is responsible for the approval of and naming of new mineral species found in nature.

    Thereof not more than 100 are considered beautiful or durable enough to be used as gemstones. Of these, only 20 are commonly used in jewellery.

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    Minerals must be distinguished from rocks.
    A mineral is a chemical compound with a given composition and a defined crystal structure, while a mixture of one or several minerals in varying proportions is a rock.

    However, a rock may also include organic remains.

    The specific minerals in a rock can vary a lot. Some minerals, like quartz, mica or feldspar are common, while others have been found in only one or two locations worldwide.

    Over half of the mineral species known are so rare that they have only been found in a handful of samples, and many are known from only one or two small grains.

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    are very bright japanese beads made from a fibreglass-like material.

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    is one in which the style of the facets above and below the girdle are different. A standard mixed cut is brilliant cut above and step cut below.

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    is a scale that measures a substance's hardness, that is, how resistant it is to being scratched.
    In the Mohs scale, which ranges from 1 to 10, one substance is harder than another if it can scratch it.

    For example, a diamond (hardness = 10) will scratch garnet (hardness = 6.5-7.5), but not the other way around, so a diamond is harder than garnet.

    This scale was invented by Austrian mineralogist Friedrich Mohs (1773-1839).


    Talc ----------------------------- 1
    Amber, Fingernail -------- 2.5
    Ivory, Shell, Jet -------------- 2.5
    Gold ------------------------------2-3
    Bronze, Coral, Pearl ------- 3
    Iron ------------------------------ 4
    Glass ----------------------------- 5
    Opal ------------------------------ 5.5 - 6.5
    Amethyst, Quartz ----------- 7
    Chalcedony, Steel ---------- 7
    Spinel, Topaz ----------------- 8
    Ruby, Sapphire --------------- 9
    Diamond ------------------------ 10

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    are cameos that are made by the molding process and not as traditional cameos by carving the material.
    Molded cameos are usually made from plastic, glass, or porcelain that is formed in a mould.

    Often, two colors of material are used, one for the relief pattern (often depicting a person or scene) and another for the background.

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    is a general name for any animal which has a soft body, no spine and is often covered with a shell.
    Many mollusks live in water. Oysters are mollusks, as are snails and cuttlefish.

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    is a pearly, semi-translucent gemstone made of albite and orthoclase or plagioclase feldspar. It is often whitish-blue, but can be colorless, pale yellow, pale orange, gray, or even reddish with iridescent sheen. Moonstone exhibits a floating-light phenomenon and billowy effect, called adularescence or schiller, which can occur in various color nuances.
    The light is scattered by alternating layers of two kinds of feldspar and produces a misty luster of pearly white, dull yellow, yellow-gray or greenish-gray.

    High-quality moonstone is usually chatoyant and sometimes displays asterism.

    Adularia is a common type of moonstone, Oligoclase is another type of moonstone, Labradorite and albite are rare forms.

    But, there is also a beautiful variety of Moonstone which is called 'rainbow' for it displays all of the colors of the rainbow in one stone.

    Moonstone has a hardness of 6 and a specific gravity of 2.5 - 2.8. The refractive index is 1.518-1.526.

    Major sources are found in Brazil, Europe, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Tanzania and USA. Sri Lanka produces the highest-quality moonstones.

    This gemstone is usually set as a cabochon. It is relatively easily chipped and therefore should be protected against hard blows.

    The best way to clean moonstone is to gently wash it in lukewarm soapy water and dry with a soft, non abrasive cloth.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Known as the "Stone of Purity" moonstone is highly regarded for its nurturing, harmonious, introspective and receptive qualities.

    Considered to be the crystal of renewal and new beginnings, moonstone is believed to promote good fortune, help balance the emotions, and gracefully accept the transitions in life.

    Moonstone is thought to inspire wisdom and flexibility and enhance one's capability for giving and receiving.

    It is also believed to enhance good vibrations and bring happiness to the environment in which it resides.

    Among some crystal healers moonstone is considered to be the key to the door of the subtle realms.

    Excellent meditation stone, it is reputed to promote spiritual understanding, stimulate awareness, understanding and insight, increase intuition, and enhance one's creativity, compassion, endurance and inner confidence.

    On a physical level moonstone has been recommended to treat insomnia, digestive disorders, water retention, menopause, and fertility problems, elimination of toxins Also for the symptoms of
    degenerative diseases and allergic reactions. Many believe it to align vertebrae and act as a digestive aid.

    The feminine energy of moonstone makes it a good stone to help balance the menstrual and hormonal cycles.

    It is also know as the 'traveler's stone', and it is used by some for protection against the perils of travel.

    The Romans thought moonstone was formed out of moonlight and began wearing it in jewellery around 100 A.D.

    Europeans of the Middle Ages thought that by looking into a moonstone, one would fall into a deep sleep that would tell the future.

    The gemstone has always been considered sacred in India, it has been revered for centuries as a stone which can bring harmony and good fortune to love relationships.

    Moonstone was very popular early in the 20th century and was used extensively in art nouveau jewellery.

    Legend suggests that moonstone is supposed to awaken tender passions if placed beneath the tongues of lovers at full moon.

    In addition, it has been recommended that holding a moonstone in the mouth will refresh one's memory.

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    Is the art of arranging and inlaying numerous small pieces of marble, glass, tile, wood, or other materials to produce a surface ornament.

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    is the basic substance which is secreted by oysters and mollusks to form the inside of their shells. It is the same iridescent substance which forms pearls.

    It is so named because when an irritant gets inside a shell, the shell protects itself by coating the irritant with the same material (nacre) of its lining that creates pearls (therefore, this substance is the creator, or mother of pearls).

    Nacre is composed of alternate layers of the aragonite form of calcium carbonate and conchiolin. In caring for your mother-of-pearl beads, be particularly aware that alcohol will eat right through the nacre, causing irreparable damage to the color and luster.

    Among the chief sources of this gemstone are the pearl oyster, found in warm and tropical seas, chiefly in Asia;
    the freshwater pearl mussel, which lives in many rivers of the United States and Europe; and the abalone of California, Japan and other Pacific regions.

    Mother-of-pearl shells have been treasured as jewellery for many centuries.

    It was used extensively in Europe for buttons, knife handles and jewellery.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Mother of pearl symbolizes faith, charity and innocence.

    It has been used traditionally to strengthen the environment and bring greater purity to the atmosphere.

    Crystal healers believe it to stimulate intuition, sensitivity, imagination and clarity in decision-making.

    In China, mother of pearl has been prescribed for thousands of years to treat heart palpitations, dizziness and high blood pressure.

    In Vietnam, it has been powdered and taken orally to improve vision and remove cataracts.

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    are beads made from the hardened gum resin of the fragrant Myrrh tree. The essence of myrrh is often used in perfumes, medicine and incense.

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    is topaz that has been color enhanced by coating it with a fine layer of metal atoms (in a process called vacuum deposition).
    This stone has red, green, violet, and blue streaks. Mystic fire has a hardness of 8.

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