is a protective jewel to which protective and other magic properties are attributed.

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    are minerals that emit bright light when heated. For example, chlorophane is a variety of fluorite that emits bright green light when heated.

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    Is the name for a single strand spun out of several fibers. Special threads are used for jewellery and beading.
    Regular cotton sewing thread is not recommended for beadwork of any kind because it rots, frays and breaks easily.

    Beading thread is often made of nylon and is used in beadweaving and loomwork.

    Other types of thread used in beading include decorative cords such as rattail.

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    is a head ornament worn by woman during formal occasions, typically gem set in the front.

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    is the high pronged setting most common today for large stones such as a diamond solitaire. This setting was introduced by Tiffany & Co. in 1886.

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    a.k.a. Tiger's Eye; Tigereye
    is a type of chatoyant quartz gemstone with fibrous inclusions, silky luster and richly colored yellow and brown swirls and stripes.
    Tiger eye is sometimes found in the blue, red and green varieties as well.

    Tiger eye is usually highly polished and set as a cabochon (or cut as beads) to display the stone's chatoyancy.

    It gets its name for the iridescent flicker of its colored bands, with resemblance to the yellow eyes of a tiger.

    Tiger eye has a hardness of 7.0. Most tiger eye is mined in South Africa, other sources are found in Australia, Brazil, Myanmar, India, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Canada and the USA.

    Tiger eye is sometimes heat-treated, for example, most reddish stones are brought about through gentle heat treatment.

    Honey-colored stones have been used to imitate the much higher valued cat's eye chrysoberyl (cymophane), but the overall effect is unconvincing.

    The names of o the"eye" quartzes depend only on their background colors and reflections:

    Green-grey varieties of this stones are called cat's-eye quartz.

    Blue-grey to bluish varieties are also known as hawk's-eye.

    Deep brown varieties of this stone are sometimes called bull's-eye or ox-eye.

    Because of its chatoyancy, tiger eye should not be cleaned with alcohol or abrasives; it is helpful to treat the stone with a bit of oil polish occasionally.

    As with all gems, protect tiger eye from scratches and sharp blows. Also avoid large temperature changes.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    A very grounding and balancing friend to the user, tiger eye is believed to pull one into a more positive and flexible attitude, to bring cheerfulness and optimism, and enhance clarity of perception and insight.

    Among crystal healers it is used for increasing physical energy, stamina, will power, strength and decisiveness.

    Tiger eye is said to balance the yin/yang energies.

    It also is reputed to relieve such physical conditions as high blood pressure, bronchial asthma, heart disease digestive problems and psoriasis.

    Many wear the stone to acquire courage and confidence.

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    is an altered rock composed chiefly of tiger's eye, red jasper and black hematite.
    The undulating, contrasting bands of color and luster make for an attractive motif.
    Tiger iron is a popular ornamental material used in a variety of applications, from beads and cabochons to knife hilts.
    Along with tiger's eye it is mined primarily in South Africa and Western Australia.

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    is a brand name for nylon-coated stainless steel wire which is used for stringing necklaces.
    It is stiff so it does not require a needle and it holds its shape. Tigertail It come in gauges, .012 being thinnest, and .026 being thickest.
    It is strong, flexible and durable, however, it doesn't knot well

    As a rule one could say the more strands are incorporates into it's construction, the more flexible and less prone to kinking wire is.

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    (also called a bar and ring clasp)
    is a type of jewellery fastener consisting of a bar which can be inserted into a ring to fasten a piece of jewellery, on the same principle as a button.

    It is used to attach the two ends of a necklace or bracelet. .

    This clasp can also be used to make a necklace that clasps in the front. The clasp is a decorative part of the necklace which is then much easier to put on and remove.

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    is a hard, transparent gemstone with a vitreous luster that has been used for centuries as jewellery.
    Topaz is a silicate of aluminium (aluminium fluorosilicate), and it is the hardest silicate mineral found in nature.
    In nature topaz most often occurs colorless, but it can occur in a variety of colors such as pale blue, yellow, pink and brown.
    "Burnt topaz" is often known as Brazilian ruby, as is the very rare, natural red topaz.

    Topaz usually contains about 20 percent water and fluorine and minor impurities.
    The relative proportions of these impurities are responsible for the color of the stones.
    For example - the pink, red and violet tones in natural topaz are due to chromium impurities in the topaz crystal structure.

    Crystals with more water are yellow to brown, while those with more fluorine are typically pale blue or colorless

    A natural, golden, orange-yellow topaz is called 'Imperial topaz', it is the most valuable topaz and more rare one.

    The colors of a topaz can change when exposed to sunlight and/or heat. Many of the faceted gemstones on the market are enhanced through heat or irradiation.
    This improves the color and appearance of each stone, thus commanding a higher price per carat. Nearly all of the beautiful blue topaz on the market today is enhanced form of colorless topaz.

    Pink topaz is usually created by irradiating common yellow topaz.

    This phenomenon was discovered in 1750 by a Parisian jeweller who used it to create the first artificial pink topaz.

    Topaz has a hardness of 8 and a specific gravity of 3.5-3.6. The refractive index is 1.619-1.627 and the specific gravity is 3.53.

    It is a very hard gemstone but can be split with a single blow, a trait it shares with the diamond.

    Consequently, topaz beads should be protected from sharp blows.

    Important sources of topaz are in Australia, China, Russia, Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico, USA, Myanmar and Pakistan.

    The safest way to clean topaz at home is in lukewarm, soapy water.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Highly energizing and warming, topaz is also known as the "Abundant One".

    Among crystal healers today it is believed to be strong healing and rejuvenating mineral, giving new vitality, good health and protection against many diseases.

    This lovely stone is also referred to as the spiritual rejuvenation gemstone.

    It is thought to enhance intelligence and creativity, to impart wealth and wisdom, and to aid in the realization & manifestation of one's goals.

    Physically topaz is said to to help strengthening almost every organ and gland and give powerful assistance to tissue regeneration.

    It is reputed to help detoxify the body, and is specially valued in the treatment of blood disorders.

    It increases blood circulation, stimulates the endocrine system, improves eyesight, helps in treating arthritis and rheumatism, as well as a disorders of the liver, kidney, gall bladder and endocrine glands.

    In addition, blue topaz is said to enhance one's communicative abilities, helping to more easily and clearly express oneself.

    Imperial (golden) topaz is considered helpful in boosting self-confidence, optimism, creativity and abundance.

    Historically, topaz has been thought to give long life, good looks and intelligence.

    It is also thought to given protection from poison, disease and sorcery.

    Topaz was said to change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink.

    The ancient Greeks believed that the fiery crystal had the power to increase a person's strength and make its wearer invisible in times of emergency.

    When the powdered stone was mixed with wine, it was considered a cure for asthma, insomnia, burns and haemorrhages.

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    was a popular material for 19th century jewellery and haircombs.
    It was banned by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species in 1975 and is no longer used for these items.
    There have been numerous attempts by artisans and conservators to create a successful imitation tortoiseshell.
    While many mirror the appearance of genuine tortoiseshell, they do not posses the physical properties that make tortoiseshell so appealing to craftsmen.

    One technique to differentiate tortoise from its imitations is to touch the surface with a hot pinpoint.

    Tortoise will give off a smell like burning hair, while plastic will emit and acrid, chemical odour.

    Paint, resin, dyed horn, and synthetic plastic have all been used as substitutes in the past, but such materials are often too rigid, brittle, unstable, or unevenly pigmented to accurately imitate the genuine material.

    As an alternative, Mr. Donald Williams (SCMRE) has developed a more convincing imitation using collagen instead of keratin.

    , as he has named it, can be created in any pattern, molded to almost any shape, and shares (almost) the same physical properties as the original.

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    is the name given to a group of related, transparent to opaque, minerals all having essentially the same crystal structure but varying considerably in chemical composition and in some of their physical properties.
    Tourmaline is best described as a very complex aluminium borosilicate.
    It is a dichroic type, gemstone that occurs in the greatest color range of any gemstone.

    Specific names have been given to tourmalines of specific colors or color combinations such as -

    Rubellite for pink to red shades, Indicolite for blue-green shades, and Watermelon for tourmalines showing concentric colors of both pink and green shades.

    Elbaite and Liddicoatite occur in a wide range of colors and shades including green, yellow, blue, pink to red, colorless and brown.

    Schorl is usually black, dark blue or dark blue-green. Uvite is usually black, brown or green. Buergerite is dark brown to black.
    Dravite is usually brown to black, but it can be found colorless Achroite is colorless too.

    The color in tourmaline is due to the presence of metal ions in its crystal structure.
    The color we see in tourmalines is produced when light is absorbed by these ions or by interactions between these ions. It sometimes appears to have different colors depending on the angle at which it is seen.

    Tourmaline is used as a gemstone but it also has many scientific and technological uses due to the fact that an electrical charge can be induced in some tourmaline crystals simply by applying pressure to the crystal in the direction of the vertical crystal axis.
    This effect is known as piezoelectricity, and has many uses in pressure measuring equipment and other scientific applications. Some tourmalines also show pyroelectricity, which occurs when the crystal is heated yielding a positive charge at one end of the crystal and a negative charge at the other.

    Tourmaline was only discovered in the 1700's. It has a hardness of 7-7.5 and a specific gravity of 3.02-3.25.

    It is found on every continent but has important occurrences in Brazil, Russia, Sri Lanka, southern Africa, Madagascar, Myanmar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Australia, USA and Mexico.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Sometimes called the "Aquarian", this gemstone symbolizes the evolving consciousness.

    Tourmaline is reputed to stimulate balance between the left and right sides of the brain.
    It is said to enhance one's sensitivity and comprehension, to encourage self-confidence and increase one's psychic energies.

    Among crystal healers tourmaline is believed to be a deflector of negative energy, and helpful tool in treatment of infectious diseases, heart disease, and arthritis.
    It also is believed to calm nerves, regulate hormones and fight genetic disorders.

    Besides those general properties, each color is said to have its own distinctive properties:

    Black tourmaline is said to enhance vitality and give protection against negativity from both people and electrical & magnetic fields.

    Blue tourmaline is said to enhance one's communication skills, intuition and spiritual perspective.

    Green tourmaline is said to bring abundance, success, prosperity and peaceful sleep.

    Pink-Red-Purple Tourmaline is believed to inspire love, to facilitate spiritual insight and creativity.

    Watermelon tourmaline: is believed to be very effective in aiding emotional recovery; a stone which can help one to overcome sorrow or traumatic memories.

    In medieval times, tourmaline was thought to heal physical and mental disorders, and prevent death.

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  • TRANSLUCENT materials

    is a general name for different materials which allow light to pass through them, but the light is diffused (scattered).
    Some translucent stones include moonstones, opals, and carnelian. Lucite and other plastics can also be translucent.

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    is a term used for gems that appear to be of three different colors or shades when viewed from different directions.

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    is a non-translucent, porous, opaque mineral widely used in jewellery.
    It occurs naturally in shades ranging from sky-blue to lime-green to grey-green.
    Turquoise is usually found in association with copper deposits. The presence of copper gives it the blue color, while the green color is caused by iron or chromium.

    Through research of various ancient sources it has been derived that turquoise has been mined, highly appreciated and used for rituals and adornment since 6000 B.C.

    Turquoise today has a permanent and prominent place in the world of jewellery, whether it be worn like costume jewellery or delicately set with diamonds.

    The intense polished blue stone is considered to be of more value than the stones leaning more towards green.

    A clear, even texture without veins is usually preferred. However, some people prefer turquoise with veins.

    In any case, the blue of this gemstone is so memorable, vivid and distinct that it has given its name to the color

    The hardness of this gem varies, but on an average it remains between 5 and 6 on the Mohs hardness scale, and a specific gravity is 2.60-2.85.

    Turquoise is quite porous mineral and this can cause it to discolor over time, unless it has been treated. Common treatments include the use of wax, paraffin and resin.

    This enhances the color, and reduces the porosity of the gem.

    These processes are easily identified by any gemologist.

    On the market today most turquoise is stabilized; many qualities and types of "turquoise" are available:

    - High-grade natural turquoise
    is the hardest grade and takes the best polish. Many mines produce stones with distinctive color or matrix whose origin can be identified by an experienced person.

    - Enhanced turquoise
    is the common name for medium-grade turquoise treated by a proprietary process that impregnates and hardens the stone with vaporized quartz. The process is undetectable by normal testing methods.

    - Stabilized or treated turquoise
    is treated with a plastic resin. Most nugget and heishi beads today are made from real turquoise that has been stabilized. Stabilization allows genuine but lower-grade turquoise to be used in jewellery.
    - Wax-treated turquoise -
    is turquoise stabilized with paraffin. The paraffin treatment only affects the surface. Much of the turquoise from China is wax impregnated.

    - Reconstituted turquoise -

    This term describes small pieces of stone mixed with blue dye and plastic binder.

    - Imitation and simulated turquoise
    Several stones can be dyed to look like turquoise, including howlite, magnesite and dolomite. Glass, plastic, faience ceramic and polymer clay also can look like turquoise.

    - Block turquoise
    is a mixture of plastic resin and dyes that is produced in loaf-size blocks. This turquoise contains no actual rock of any sort. Block is used heavily for inlay, heishi and beads. It is sometimes mistakenly called "reconstituted."

    In 1990 a new and improved
    unidentifiable process, known as the Zachary Treatment, was discovered.
    Zachary Treatment is said to significantly decrease porosity of the stone, hence reducing the chances of the gem getting discolored by agents such as skin oils.
    It also improves the stone's capacity to accept treatment such as polishing. The Zachary Treatment does not modify the composition of the stone in any way.

    There are not many turquoise mines and this lends to its value.
    The most important natural occurrences of turquoise are found in Iran, Tibet, China, USA, Peru, Mexico, Africa, Egypt, Australia, Siberia and Europe.

    Iran (Persia) has been a major source of this gemstone for thousands of years. Turquoise from Iran is often said to be the best because of it's clear, sky-blue color, and overall lack of matrix streaks.

    A high quality turquoise is produced in USA as well, however, it is known to be somewhat greener and it has more matrix streaks.
    There is another, rare lime-green variety that is available in limited quantity from the mines of China.

    Even when a stone has been stabilized, its color can be changed over time by pollution, soap, skin lotion and oil.

    Turquoise should be kept away from cosmetic products and other chemicals. Clean it with warm soapy water only.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Sometimes referred to as the "Eco Friend" turquoise is reputed to be a powerful protector against all environmental pollutants, in particular background radiation.

    This sky-blue stone symbolizes unity of the earth and the sky.

    Turquoise is a stone of wholeness, balance, protection, happiness and good fortune.

    It is said to enhance feelings of love and completeness, the sense of unity and oneness with all that surrounds us.

    Turquoise is said to facilitate communication, attract prosperity, new friends and lovers.

    On a physical level Turquoise is believed to help strengthen the immune system and stimulate tissue regeneration and the absorption of nutrients;
    it is used in relieving migraines, healing the respiratory system and various infections.

    Some crystal healers recommend it for detoxification of alcohol, poisons or radiation.

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