Jade is the gemstone name for two different mineral forms, Jadeite and Nephrite. These two minerals can be identical in appearance and are similar in their physical properties. Until modern times no distinction was made between the two different types of Jade. As scientific methods improved it was discovered that, however similar they appeared, their mineral compositions were different. Both minerals are silicates, but Jadeite is an aluminum-rich pyroxene of tightly packed microscopic crystals, while nephrite is a magnesium-rich amphibole composed of extremely dense mineral fibers that are interlocked and very tough.

What does that mean in English? Nephrite is slightly softer (6-6.5 Mohs) and more prone to scratches, and Jadeite (6.5-7 Mohs) is not as dense and is more prone to chipping.
Both are beautiful. Both are valuable. There seems to be an attitude lately that Nephrite is not AS valuable as Jadeite. I think that difference is based more on availability. Jadeite is harder to get, because the main source is the trade embargoed Myanmar. Nephrite comes from China, Russia, Brazil, Wyoming, Alaska, and California.

Now you know the two stones, so let's navigate the 'grades' of jade and what they stand for.
Type A - natural, untreated, undergoes a traditional process (plum juice washing and polishing with beeswax), no “artificial treatments” (e.g. high temperature or high-pressure treatments), no color enhancing. (see picture above)
This is the good stuff and harder to find than you might expect {industry reports less than 10% of the material on the market is A grade}. It will always be extremely expensive and most reputable dealers will supply an infra-red spectrometer certificate- but more on that later...
Type B - Chemically bleached to remove impurities, injected with polymer with the use of a centrifuge to enhance translucency, covered with hard and clear plastic like coating, subject to instability and discoloration over time because polymer gets broken down by heat or household detergent, still 100% real jade with 100% natural color.
This is the majority of jade on the market, according to industry reporting. This includes overseas markets, so watch what you buy on vacation too. It isn't bad, as long as it has been disclosed and you are buying the piece to enjoy, not as an investment.
Type C - chemically bleached, dyed to enhance color, subject to discoloration over time due to reaction with strong light, body heat or household detergent. Cheap souvenir, mostly carved into figurines and low end bangles.
Type D - This stuff is not stable, and usually the bleaching has so weakened the stone that it takes very little to break. Not only is it brittle, but there have been reports of acid burns from the bleaching agent leaking out of the stone over time. I suspect this grade is made up of material that did not respond well to the initial bleaching process {remember type b} and was over-treated in an attempt to get the discoloration out.

Jeweled Legacy Receives 2018 Best of Shawnee Award

Shawnee Award Program Honors the Achievement

SHAWNEE December 12, 2018 -- Jeweled Legacy has been selected for the 2018 Best of Shawnee Award in the Watch Repair Service category by the Shawnee Award Program.

Each year, the Shawnee Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Shawnee area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2018 Shawnee Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Shawnee Award Program and data provided by third parties.

We are very honored and would like to thank everyone.

These custom built anniversary bands were made using diamonds from a ring she inherited. We pulled the stones, sketched several designs until we had the look she wanted and then carved the wax. We cast and finished the design with 14k yellow gold and set her diamonds.

Made another anniversary band to go on the other side of her wedding set, and Denise said "Can we add a diamond on each side in that empty spot?"

So we did, and the results are brilliant. Never be afraid to make suggestions or ask questions when getting work done, your input is vital (and makes for some really awesome jewelry).

Arthritis sucks. A lot. I don't just say that because I have it and today's rainy weather made it flare a bit. No, I say that because people tell me sadly that they can't clasp necklaces or bracelets. They hold up their swollen finger joints and tearfully relate how long it's been since they wore their wedding rings.

Over the years, products have slowly appeared to help work around these problems, but most of the folks that walk in my door don't know about them, so I am going to go over them with my next few posts. An estimated 21 million Americans suffer from Arthritis- that's a lot of fingers!- so we are going to start with rings.

When the knuckles become swollen, a ring that will fit over the joint will spin like a tire on your finger. Wedding rings are especially bad because they are top heavy.  You can size it as tight as you can stand for the knuckle and use Windex to help slide it over your finger, but it will still be loose once you get it on (not recommended). You can size it for the knuckle and have two metal balls soldered inside the shank to help it grip (not as uncomfortable as you would expect). Or you can have a specialty shank put on- one that opens over your knuckle and then closes.  The old version of this had some issues- namely it didn't take into account that arthritic swelling is not fixed. Some days your finger is smaller, some days the joint has a flare that makes it bigger than the circumference of the fixed opening on the shank. They finally came out with a truly adjustable shank, and I can't praise it enough. There are two pieces that slide over one another, giving you a wide range of sizes, instead of one fixed closed size. They are easier to put on and take off than the old version too- open it up to pass over the joint, then push the bars forward until the ring is comfortable.

Most people look at this watch and think 'Men in Black', but the Hamilton Pacer's true claim to fame is that it carries the first electric wrist watch movement offered to consumers. There are two versions of the movement- the 500, released in 1957, and the 505, a later upgrade. This is the original, and it is a marvel of engineering that was ten years in the making.
There were two problems that Hamilton had to be overcome: the first was coming up with an oscillator system using electrical current that would work in a wristwatch, and the second was coming up with a battery small enough to fit in a watch case that could meet the device's demands. Engineers at Hamilton began work on the problem in 1947, and what they came up with is fascinating. There's no mainspring – the power to move the gears and hands comes from the movement of the large balance wheel, which indexes the gears as it swings. The Model 500 is a "moving coil" electric watch – if you look at the movement, one side of the balance looks more or less normal, with balance screws; the other side has a large wire coil mounted on it. The coil is an electromagnet. Below the balance, set into the plate, are two disk-shaped permanent magnets. As the balance swings, the coil enters the gap between the two magnets, and one of the two very thin wire springs you can see passing below the balance feeds a short trickle of current to the coil, via a contact on the hub of the balance.The induced magnetic field in the coil interacts with the fields of the permanent magnets, which keeps it swinging. (The balance spring is made of non-magnetic alloy, but Hamilton's engineers still had to get creative to keep magnetic field leakage to a minimum, requiring them to develop a platinum and cobalt battery.) The second of the two long, thin springs is actually a trip spring, which is tripped by a jewel on the hub of the balance, which acts to break the electrical contact between the spring. This cuts off the magnetic field in the coil and the balance is free to swing through it's full arc.
Unfortunately, Hamilton rushed to get the 500 on the market ahead of Bulova and Elgin, and it has some problems. The contact point on the balance hub was prone to corrosion and even the most minute amount will stop the watch. Magnetic interference was also an issue. The 500 has a well deserved reputation for being temperamental, but it is a fascinating piece of history.

This classic 18k white gold band was made by Belais. The company was founded by David Belais in 1863 and would remain in business until 1933. They created many beautiful pieces, but they are best remembered as the creators of white gold.

They didn't actually invent white gold, but they were the first US company to patent their formula (in 1917) and it was the gold standard (pun intended) for the industry. In fact, during the 1920s, white gold was often referred to as “Belais metal" in the advertisements of many different jewelers.

Why did they make white gold, and why is it such a big deal? Because it looked like platinum. When the oxy/acetylene array was invented in 1895, it made it possible to work platinum. Hard, white and incredibly strong, it became pivotal to the designs of the new era. Everyone wanted it. Unfortunately, so did the military.

As WW1 progressed, demand for platinum for military efforts increased. The costly metal was becoming harder and harder for jewelers to acquire, and eventually, in 1918, the government enforced a ban on all non-military use of platinum.

David Belais must have seen the writing on the wall, because his US patent #1,584,352 reads “white gold that will have the appearance of platinum and that may be used as a substitute for it, especially in the jewelry trade,” and which “will have more nearly the appearance of platinum, and that will be more malleable and ductile than any white gold previously used for this general purpose” Which is certainly does. Even now, almost 100 years later, every piece I have come in contact with polishes back up to that brilliant platinum white.

Compacts were such a huge part of the Hollywood Glamour- there were thousands of designs and women bought them to match outfits the same way we buy shoes. I love the look of them, but I knew that they weren't making many of the refills (and certainly not in Alabaster, which was the closest match the last time I had reason to buy powder). But a couple of WW2 reenactors put me wise to their compact hack.

Props to Vixen Vintage for figuring out how to turn loose powder into a perfectly pressed cake so you can powder your nose in awesome retro style.

What You Need

Loose powder
Rubbing alcohol
New powder puff or sponge to fit in compact
Small bowl
Scrap of fabric
A knife or thick paper for smoothing

1. First thing to do is wash out your vintage compact very well. Bacteria can spread through the leftover makeup so make sure it is washed with soap and let to dry.

2. Scoop some powder into a small bowl.

3. Add about a cap full of liquid to the powder.

4. Mix to a thick paste. You will need to add more powder and liquid as you mix to reach the correct consistency.

5. Scoop the paste in and spread the paste around the dish and press a little to make sure there are no empty bubbles hiding.

6. Smooth out the top with a flat item such as the back if a knife or strong piece of paper.

7. This step is optional, but I like it because it feels more finished.
Take a scrap of cloth (a woven cotton will work best) and lay it on the powder. Press gently onto to cloth with your fingers, making a mark in the powder. If the powder is of the correct thickness, then it will not stick. Now you have that professional "woven" look.

8. Set it in a safe dry place for about 24 hours and after that you are ready to go! As with any other pressed powder compact, be careful not to bang it around in your purse, or drop it as the powder will break. But if that does happen you can just do the process over again reusing the broken powder.

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