Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Spring Festival-Year of Horse

The Chinese Spring Festival or the Chinese Lunar New Year is the most important and widely observed festival throughout the whole country. The dates for this annual celebration are determined by the lunar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar, so the timing of the holiday varies from late January to early February. The Spring Festival falls on Jan 31th this year 2014.

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To the Chinese, the Spring Festival is a time for family union, for visits with friends, for good wishes for the coming year. Before the eve of the New Year, everyone tries to come back home from every corner of the country to join the entire family, just like Americans’ practice for Christmas, to greet the New Year.

A New Year big dinner is served. After the meal, the table is cleared, dishes washed and put away. Then it is time to undertake final preparations to meet the New Year.

At midnight following a nice family banquet on the New Year’s Eve, the young members of the family would bow and pay their respects to the parents and elders.

In the morning, people put on their new clothes and shoes. Men, with their wives, call on relatives and friends to wish them a “Happy and Prosperous New Year “. The caller is served tea with sweet-meats; melon seeds, both red and black; and fruits and delicacies such as puffed rice cakes, dump-lings and deep-fried round doughnuts. In addition, liquor and tobacco are offered. Before leaving, the well-wisher present gifts of money wrapped in red paper to all the unmarried children of the family.

Starting from the New Year’s Day, people began going out to visit friends and relatives, taking with them gifts such as fruits, wines, flowers, etc. The entire fortnight was a time for socializing and amusement. Common expressions heard at this time are: Guonian Hao (Happy New Year), and Bainian (to congratulate the New Year).

The burning of long strings of firecrackers accompanies the Eve of the New Year. Most adults and children do not touch their bed the whole night, busy at all kinds of activities welcoming the New Year.

The New Year celebration lasts for fifteen days, allowing time for various entertainments to be enjoyed, including games of mahjong and dominos at home or at clubs. There are also animal shows featuring trained dogs and monkeys, theatrical plays staged by amateur and professional troupes, acrobatic performances, magic shows, puppet shows, storytelling and lion and dragon dances, especially in the country.

Today a lot of traditional customs are still observed among the Chinese people across the world.

February Birthstone

Amethyst is birthstone for February.

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Amethyst composition is sio2, hardness is 7, specific gravity is 2.65, and refractive index is 1.54 to 1.55, has the dichroism. Viewing from different angles, amethyst shows purple tones of blue or red, usually cutting to facets. Natural output amethyst includes iron, manganese and other minerals, which forms beautiful purple colors, mainly light purple, purple red, scarlet, bright red, deep purple, blue purple and so on, amount all the color, deep purple red and bright red is most valuable. Natural amethyst often includes natural ice cracks or white clouds impurities. Amethyst widely distributed in nature, and the main origins are Brazil, Russia, South Africa, and Madagascar.

Amethyst is the gemstone believed by ancient Greeks and Romans to ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus. It is said that Bacchus were filled with anger because of arguing with moon goddess Diana, he sent his ferocious tiger to revenge. But accidentally he meet up the girl Amethyst who is going to meet Diana, in order to save the girl’s life from the ferocious tiger’s mouse, Diana turned the girl into a clean flawless crystal. Seeing the flawless crystal, Bacchus feel deeply regret, his repentant tears dripping onto the crystal figurines, dyed it to purple immediately.

Amethyst is “Guardian stone for love”, it can give lovers and couples deeply love, chastity, honesty and courage. Also amethyst is said to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. Throughout history, the gemstone has been associated with many myths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures. English regalia were even decorated with amethysts during the Middle Ages to symbolize royalty. It has been associated with many myths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures. Amethyst is purple quartz, a beautiful blend of violet and red that can found in every corner of the earth. Historically, the finest amethyst was found in Russia and was featured in much royal European jewelry. Today, while Brazil is the primary source of this gemstone, fine material can be found elsewhere, especially in Zambia.

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Matching Your Lipstick to Your Dress

Monochromatic looks have been having a major moment. It’s all about picking a color and sticking with it. For Kanye West (i.e. Kim Kardashian) it’s separates in a shade of black or white, but recently we’ve seen other celebrities in one bold color, quite literally, from lip to toe. Matching gowns and lipstick have been all over the red carpet this Award Season—and if you’re rising fashion star Lupita Nyong’o, you take the trend a step further with coordinating eye shadow. 

Cate Blanchett

Kanye West

Lupita Nyong’o

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Coco Rocha

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Drew Barrymore

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Julie Delpy

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Patricia Arquette

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Taylor Swift

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Ariel Winter

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Juliette Lewis

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Naomie Harris

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Ashlee Simpson

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From ELLE.com 
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Sterling Silver

What is Sterling Silver?

The highest quality silver for jewelry is called Sterling Silver or 925 Silver. It is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by mass of silver and 7.5% by mass of other metals, usually copper, which helps strengthen and stabilize the metal. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925.

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Is pure silver better?

Fine silver, for example 99.9% pure silver, is generally too soft for producing functional objects; therefore, the silver is usually alloyed with copper to give it strength while preserving the ductility and beauty of the precious metal.

Here are three main reasons pure silver is not good for making jewelry:

– Pure silver is not ductile, meaning it can’t be easily formed into jewelry or adjusted to fit

– Pure silver is soft, making it less functional

– Pure silver will mix with small amounts of hydrogen sulfide in air and will tarnish

How is it stamped?

Typically 925 silver will be stamped with a “S925”, “925”, “Sterling”, or “Ster” marking. Not all 925 silver is marked, so you may need to consult the seller on how the quality and purity is assured. Often, if a silver item is not marked the jewelry may only be electroplated with Silver—which makes its value much lower than 925 silver. Metallurgists or reputable jewelry dealers may be able to confirm the purity of the silver by measuring or by applying chemical tests to the metal. Purity test kits for silver can also be purchased and tested at home.

Garnet Quality Analysis

For healthy caring, the same gemstone power is almost same, only different between different sizes, the carat weight. But to learn more about its price, different stone will be huge differs in price; here are some factors that influence the value of garnet stone.

1. Varieties and colors

There are many varieties of garnet, their price differ a lot because of the difference of scarcity, so the scarcity is very important factor that influent garnet’s price.

Normally there are two colors garnet in the market, one is normal red, and the other is fuchsia, these garnet is cheaper consider to others, including pyrope, almandine and some spessartine; the other one is beautiful green garnet, mainly demantoid and tsavolite. Demantoid shows sparkling viridis, refractive up to 1.89, its high dispersion values 0.057 is twice of other garnet stones and higher than diamond, when processed into gems it shows sparkling fire, very attractive. Demantoid is very rear in nature, so its value is much higher than other garnet stones. And due to those facts, demantoid is always a very high grade gemstone loved by people, its value equal to high grade Sapphire. High grade demantoid’s price is even near to or higher than same color emerald. Orange spessartine, red pyrope and dark red almandine are Low-grade gems on the other hand.

But there are exceptions when the garnet stone is color changing, this kind garnet is very rear, value is higher than normal ones. Color changing garnet is named Malaya, it is mixed by pyrope and spessartine, shows green under sunshine, and shows red purple under incandescent light. Malaya mainly comes from Tanzania and Sri Lanka.

2. Transparency

The more transparent garnet value is higher. Containing inclusions will devalue the garnet’s price, but containing parallel tubular inclusions is exception. Garnet that contains tubular inclusions can be processed to cabochon and then shows four or six corners-star radiance, and is high valued.

3. Cutting

Cutting is an important factor to analysis price for all kind gems, semi-gems and zircon and all others, garnet is no exception

A. Type of cutting: there are two main cutting methods for gemstone, one is facet cutting and the other is cabochon cutting. High quality garnet stone mostly use facet cutting, and low quality garnet mostly use cabochon cutting.

B. Proportion and symmetry: both cutting should make sure correct proportion and symmetry. Except demantoid, other garnet’s dispersion all lower than diamond, but if cut into appropriate proportion and make sure good symmetry, it can also shows good fire. Demantoid has higher dispersion than diamond, if the cutting is perfect, it will shows very beautiful fire.

C. Polishing: polishing will affect gemstone’s luster, good silk polishing will make the gemstone more shinning, and thus price will be also higher.

4. Weight

Under same condition, the bigger size and heavy stone value is higher than small one.

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Garnet and Goethe

In Europe’s Bohemian garnet museum, there is a piece of red garnet that already sleeps a few hundred years; she sleeps there quietly telling each visitor a beautiful love story.

Ulrike is the owner of this garnet stone; she is the last lover of the famous poet Goethe. When 17 years old young Ulrike first met 72 years old Goethe, she falls in love with Goethe. But due to the huge age difference, her love gets big obstacles. But the headstrong young girl’s love was strong as the garnet stone in her family. Every time when she went dating with Goethe she will take that garnet stone, she deeply believes that the garnet stone will transfer her love to Goethe. She let the garnet bear witness to her constancy love.

Maybe the garnet stone really works; Goethe was deeply touched by Ulrike’s love, and thus, a great ancient poem “Marienbad Elegy” was born. Ulrike remained a bachelor woman for all her life and died at the age of 95.

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Shopping and checkout via credit card

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For your reference, please check the below order amount that different payment methods support:

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How to checkout via Paypal

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Garnet and marriage

People commemorate their marriage the same day every year. On that day, mostly exchange of gifts between couples, or invite family and friends to celebrate. Anniversary has different alias, in addition to known as silver and golden wedding, there are lots wedding anniversary we don’t know.

Garnet wedding is one of them, but this wedding is little confused, some countries consider the second anniversary is garnet wedding, some consider the 18th anniversary is garnet wedding while second anniversary is cotton wedding.

No matter which year you think is garnet wedding, garnet has its special advantage which made us like to have one garnet jewelry. It is its charming red color and cheaper price consider to ruby. Some high quality garnet looks similar to ruby, but price much lower, after designer’s work, garnet become a highlight of the numerous fine jewelry, wouldn’t you want one charming red color to highlight your necklace or fingers?

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Garnet stone in the ancient Greek mythology

Garnet is one of the 12 important gemstones, there is a beautiful story about garnet stone in the ancient Greek mythology.

People all know Penelope is the faithful wife of Odysseus, who keeps her suitors at bay in his long absence and is eventually reunited with him.

Odysseus is the king of Ithaca, his wife Penelope gave him a new baby son Telemachus just before he was called to fight in the Trojan War. Before leaving, he gave Penelope a garnet stone, ask her to keep the stone and always remember him. After that it is 10 years Trojan War, there was bad news for the Greeks always come; when the war ended, many other Greek heroes come back home but Odysseus was not. As time went, people say Odysseus was dead already and all others trust it is true. Penelope suddenly changed to be a young, beautiful and rich widow, many men were after her. But Penelope always loved Odysseus; the garnet Odysseus gave her brings her self-confidence, the garnet’s red color made her think of Odysseus’s superhuman strength and courage, like lover’s blood. The long time wait didn’t make her come decadent and aging, she was still beautiful and graceful. She always believes Odysseus still alive and will be back to her. After 20 years leaving, Odysseus finally back, and brought huge wealth.

Since then, garnet stone was recognized as representative of faithful love; people also believe garnet stone can maintain honor, enhance healthy and keep women young and beautiful.

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