Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You can have the real goodies for a price

If you want the real stuff why not try the Eternal Diamond stiletto, for a measly 100,000 pounds. They're made entirely from gold and diamonds and will give a shine to the most witless of women.
They have been created by bespoke jewellers the House of Borgezie, and the world's first designs have already created a stir among celebrities.

Made by British jewellery designer Christopher Michael Shellis, each pair is handcrafted from solid gold and then encrusted with 2,200 brilliant cut diamonds, totalling 30 carats.

Shellis has spent three years working on the creation, perfect for summer balls, society weddings and red carpet events. Not to mention broken ankles, necks and getting mugged for your Cinderallas.

The betting books are closed on Victoria Beckham getting the first pair.

Just another eBil lesson

A synthetic stone is not a fake. Synthetic describes a gem made in a laboratory which has the same basic chemical composition and similar chemical, optical and physical properties to its natural counterpart.

Imitation is glass or plastic.

Synthetic diamonds were first produced in the early 1950’s for industrial use. Synthetic rubies were produced in the 19th century for the watch making industry in Switzerland.

Synthetic diamonds have essentially the same composition as natural diamonds but usually without the flaws like included minerals that come with the way diamonds are formed. Manufacturers are now deliberately putting flaws in their stones to fool the eye or a jeweller’s loupe.

There are now instruments that detect the synthetics. When placed against a natural diamond, they emit a sound but not with synthetics.

A cubic zirconia is not a synthetic diamond, it’s an imitation with a different chemical composition. It also weighs more than a diamond which is why it’s always sold by size not carat weight.

So now to eBil.

1. Buy from a reputable buyer (Ha!) in Australia so you can hunt them down and kneecap them.

2. If you do get lab diamonds, you have to make sure that they’re hand cut and polished not machine cut in a factory in China.

3. Have them appraised by someone who knows the difference between Czs and lab diamonds or a jeweller who has a beep machine because they don’t beep.

4. Don’t buy them on eBil if you’re smart.

The large stone at the top is 207 carats and from Thailand, in other words, take your chances.
The square modified Asscher cut ones are mine. I paid .01 cent for them because nobody loves a square diamond that doesn't sparkle larkle larkle like 207 carats of bling. They're machine cut because I can still see the tooling marks on the back of one of them and they don't have as many facets as shown here but I didn't expect much for one cent. Tomorrow I'll find out if they're lab diamonds, CZs or glass.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I knew it wasn't going to be easy

For one thing I don't know how to fix my optusnet email which is tied to Outlook Express. I'm still getting emails in but I can't send anything which means copying and pasting by going over to gmail. I don't like gmail.
I'm reading the booklet which has all the Telstra instructions and you know what I'm like with instructions, hopeless. And then there's what will happen when the dial-up finally cuts out on July 3, do I still have an Optusnet email?
So, today I get a large envelope in the mail telling me I have 10 days to cancel my contract with Telstra wirless broadband and mobile phone. Wtf, I didn't sign up for mobile phone but it sounds as though I get charged on the phone bill for a phone I don't have. Collect all papers and prepare to storm Telstra shop on Thursday. Why don't the bastards get it right.

It's just another thing to deal with. I'm already dealing with depression by hiding in a corner hoping it will get tired of looking for me. It's no big thing just making me not function a bit more than I don't function normally. I feel for people who deal with real depression every day and more are not coping at all especially younger teens. To help myself and get out of bed each morning, I write down three things to do in a day. If I get one done, I'm happy.

I suppose if I go back to the blog at this time for the last 5 years, I'll have been the same way.
Still it has been a stressful year and I haven't opened a vein yet not even when I weighed myself on Sunday. Eating is not an option to make myself feel better neither is drinking and it's too cold to go out spending money. I think it's winter blues, greys and dead browns.

When's spring?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The jungle or politics, it's all the same

Researcher, Dr. Greg Johnston from Flinders University and Adelaide Zoo has been studying the rold of bright colours in frog breeding behaviour in the Panamanian rainforest.

He said, "They're brilliantly coloured. They're green on the back, they have bright orange feet, they have gold and blue stripes on the side and they have bright red eyes and they have purple flashes on the thighs." (Lady Gaga of the frog world)

When the frogs strike a particular pose that displays the bright colours on the side of their body, they start shaking the branch they're on. What Dr. Johnston noticed was whenever they displayed this behaviour, they were also doing what looked, to him, like little tantrums.

The research team also used a miniature seisomograph to measure the vigrations made by the frogs to make sure they were not the product of wind or some other random movement.

Johnston and colleagues set up contests between male frogs and found they interchanged vibrations until one frog finally gave up, or the two had a fight to determine who would stay. They also put together an experiment using a robot frog to play back vibrations to male frogs in the field. They reacted to the robot as if it was a competing frog.

I'm trying not to say it but I can't help myself, isn't that so male, flashy, tantrums and sex.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why am I still sitting like a frog on a log?

Simply because I've been so used to waiting waiting waiting for pages to load that I don't realize it already has.

One problem from last night, not from the connection but the fact that I confused the poor Telstra boy so much he forgot to swipe the card and while I'm telling him the connection is working well, he's telling me I haven't paid for it and he's about to get fired.

So it was walk to the bus, sunny and almost warm, get out at Cheltenham and drop off the rest of the gemstones for testing, have coffee, catch another bus to Southland and stagger round to Telstra. It's been a long time since I had a male of any age almost throw himself at my feet.
3/4 of an hour later after three of them tried to fix up the account and swipe the card, I was free.

I looked at the movies since I was already there but not one good viewing at Gold Class and Prince of Persia was on at the Europa and the seats are a little snug in that theatre. Everything
else started too late so I took the money and blew it on lunch and a very large glass of wine.

And while I'm doing all that, Jules took the country. And I was so looking forward to referring to Kevin O'Lemon until the election. On the upside, I'll probably go back to voting Labor, sorry Greens but you'll be second on my list.

So I am home and ready to play with my new toy and blank. Computer still wants to play dial-up
and it's taken me a while to figure everything out. I just disconnect not take the little stick off the cord thingy. I am not good with electrical things.
Which brings me back to the beginning, sitting like a frog on a log waiting for pages to load.
And yes, The Age is ghastly with sound, I went straight over to ABC news which keeps its gob shut.

Redheads Rule.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back as soon as I get broadband

Current download speed is 12kbps and that's after spending half an hour with the Peter Sellers Memorial call Centre who assured me that my down load speed was working fine on their end.

Now going out tomorrow to do a deal with Telstra about broadband and telling Optusnet to get stuffed. Of course, I might have to do that with Telstra as well which means posting from the first internet cafe I find.

I blame the World Cup, Tony Abbot, Kevin the Lemon and the Solstice vibes, they're all bad.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

eBil lesson No. 4

The lovely Amethyst of all shades, shapes and sizes. This one is 32 carats, cut in the Portuguese style and synthetic. The deeper shading in the middle made it look a winner for a while but no, another on the list of mistakes.
Now for above and below. A cushion shape and an oval both showing that lovely deep pink flash when moved around. The one above is synthetic and the oval, well, the jury is still out on that one. The gem has a very deep pavillion and there are some marks that look like natural inclusions so only more testing will tell for certain if it's another dud. The richness of the two colours means that I'll be happy to look at them. I emailed the seller who confirmed that both stones came from the same dealer, overseas dealer I suspect.

But in all this, I have a winner. This lovely light shade of lilac which some sellers refer to as "Rose de France", a clever pr thought that one up to sell this particular light stone which is not as valuable as a deep purple gem. It is delicate and would look lovely in a ring and didn't cost as much as the synthetics.

Now to this lovely deep deep purple cushion cut gem from Africa via a laboratory. Just goes to show that even the crooks can't always get it right. It happens to be a synthetic sapphire.

I have to say even for a synthetic, it's a beautiful shade.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

eBil lesson No. 3

I know this lesson was supposed to be diamonds but I forgot so we'll have a lesson on Ametrines.
They look rich and luscious and gorgeous and they'll all synthetic and photoshopped for glitz.

This one was too dark in the amethyst section, it's almost burgundy but in the hand, the shade was the right colour for amethyst. The citrine section, shown here as gold to deep gold, was a pale lemon colour, not right for a geniune ametrine. The size was large, too good to be true and it was. It appears to be laboratory grown, by looking through a loup but not by chemical testing.

Now I was sure this was a winner. The shading of the purple, pink and yellow is beautiful and I loved the cut and shape but again, opinion is that it is also a laboratory grown synthetic.

Look at all the photoshopped sparkly bits on this delightful heart. In the hand, it is a dark mauve/violet on one corner, violet on the bottom and the citrine band across the middle is a lightish lemon/yellow colour. Opinion is synthetic laboratory grown.
The gemmologist who is advising me on these stones, in fact on all of the gems that I've bought, is qualified but is doing this by looking with an experienced eye. It will cost me a great deal of money to have them assessed by chemical and other tests.
So, after a post not long ago about ametrines, why did I fall for and buy these? Because the country of origin was listed as Bolivia, the home of ametrines and it was an Australian seller with a supposedly good reputation.
If they had been listed as synthetic, I still would have bought them but not paid as much because I love the colours and shapes.
I will get to those diamonds but the minefield that is simulated diamonds needs to be negotiated with eyes wide open.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

eBil lesson No.2

I came across this pink tourmaline while trawling the web and fell in love with it. The colour, the sparkle, the shape and so when the gem below came up on eBil, the 'must have' sign went off in my brain and I didn't look any further than the colour or the shape.
The seller, in this case, thought she had protected her buyers by selling certified gems in sealed packages direct from the GHI. That's the Gemological Hallmark International Co. Ltd. which happens to be located in Thailand. It is sealed, the information on the pack is dated April 30, 2010 with a report number. The deal is that there is a secret password underneath the flap with which you can access the full report at the website, if you have 50 years to figure out how to do that since they give no information at the site.
So here is the report on the back of the sealed packet.
Result: Natural Tourmaline
Object: One loose stone
Weight: 2.16 cts.
Colour: Pink
Measurement:8.79 x 8.43 mm x 4.69mm
Comment: None.
Additional information on eBil says the origin is Namibia, the gem has had heat treatment, it's clarity is VS1 and it is jewellery grade.
Now have a good look at both gems. See how the top one sparkles all over but the bottom one has a blank look in the middle. It's blank and it's called a window. The cutters have gone for weight instead of cutting it smaller and removing that window. If you hold the gem straight and look down over a newspaper, you can actually read the print through this window. The 'Catch 22' here is that you can't see this unless you open the sealed package and once the sealed package is open, the gem is no longer certified. I could even read the fine print on the back of that package with this window and there was a lot of fine print.
When I emailed the seller, she was genuinely upset and offered me a full refund but I've kept the gem as it wasn't her fault. She then offered me a discount on any other gems I might buy from her, sorry nice person but not a chance. Anything from Thailand is suspect even with a certificate unfortunately Thailand was not mentioned anywhere on the report shown on with the stone on the eBil site or I might have taken a bit more care.
The next lesson will be on Laboratory grown diamonds.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Shopping on eBil

Now I liked this pendant from first look. Starting bid was $39.00 so I bid $39.00. It's 9cm long and 4 cm across the top. The flowers are carved shell, the round stones are pink, dark green and light green tourmalines. There is one small pearl next to a tiny coral bead, further down is a faceted briolette of citrine next to a topaz pear. It's marked as 925 sterling silver and quite well executed, dainty but balanced. It was according to the website and the faded price tag, originally $625.00 but it didn't appeal to anyone but me and for $39, it was mine. Of course I might not have been the first to own it, it could have been returned for a full refund.

But why would anyone return it? The arrow at the top is pointing to a delicate curved silver scroll which has become detached from the back. Quote to be re-soldered in silver, $70, but since it is decoration only and not structural, I can live with it. The second arrow near the citrine briolette is to show you that the topaz pear has been crossed over the citrine. The two arrows pointing to the pear shape would show you the internal stress lines if the photoshopping hadn't been done so well. Actually I could feel with my finger the outline of one of the stress lines and it will, no doubt, shatter completely if I ever drop it or it might just do it because it feels like it.
The X shows the difference in the colours on the background where the photoshopping has been applied. The drop was crossed with the briolette to best hide the flaws which I can clearly see now because I have the pendant in front of me. The tourmalines all have stress lines and inclusions but those are only visible with light underneath.

I can live with all of this because it is a lovely piece regardless. The problem was what to hang it from, silver chain, ribbon, beads? The chains I had were all wrong, I'm too old for dinky ribbon but I did have 6mm smooth, round semi-precious moonstones, perfect. So, in spite of all the faults I didn't return it because the seller didn't lie, just omitted to divulge a few things.

Tomorrow's lesson will be about a seller getting done like a dog's dinner.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Heaven in a grain of sand

This is something remarkable and it measures just 7.5 x 5.4 x 3.1 cm.
The vug (a small cavity in a rock or vein, often filled with crystals) is of shattuckite in a blue velvety botryoidal (like a bunch of grapes) form coating the inside. As well there is a spray of acicular (needle shaped) malachite which is dark green with tiny clusters of needle shaped crystals.
There have been a number of these specimens from the Kaokoveld region of Namibia, south-west Africa but it would be hard to go beyond the beauty of this piece.
And I gave you all the meanings so you can kill the competition at Scrabulous.