One Year Lived - A Journey To Last A Lifetime To be the daughter of the owners of Happy Mango Beads, is to be a well-traveled gal. Not only have my parents picked up a travel bug and put it in my pocket, but they have also shown me a way in which one can make travel a lucrative business. Happy Mango Beads was formed on the basis of a love...
Some Thoughts About Gemstones In recent weeks, I have been working on a project which has led to a lot of reading and writing (and rewriting) things about gemstones. I am working my way through a list of over 50 stones and learning more and more as I go. This has been a very fun project for me. I spend a lot of time researching...
Inherited My jewelry is a personal statement. From me to the world: It's how I like to see myself. How I want the world to see me. It is who I am inside, being worn on the outside for everyone else to see. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, but I do have one piece that I absolutely love. It is my owl ring that...
Color me HAPPY! A few days ago, on our Facebook page, we posted the question, “What colors inspire you?” The response was amazing! Our fans listed almost every color imaginable in their replies, even the mysterious, puce, which seems to be known as two different colors. Now, I’m thinking the bigger question...
Another Working Holiday? During our flight from Denpasar to Bangkok the flight attendant, who was distributing the Thailand immigration forms, says to Dan and I, “Another working holiday?” Then he laughs hysterically. The rest of the crew in our cabin laughs along with him. Apparently when we departed Bali, Dan was asked...
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Our Turquoise Gemstone Beads are among the most popular we sell at Happy Mango Beads. Our stock is hand selected allowing our customers to purchase a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and prices, without sacrificing quality. I feel privileged to be able to touch and work among these Turquoise beauties on a near daily basis, so I wanted to bring the experience to all of you with some fascinating information and folklore about Turquoise.
Turquoise was one of the first gems to be mined and although many ancient sites have been depleted, some are still worked today. Many are small-scale, often seasonal operations and due to the limited scope and remoteness of the deposits, most are worked by hand with little or no mechanization. Deposits are found worldwide. Some of the most notable mines are located in China, Iran (a region formerly known as Persia), Afghanistan, Australia, northern Chile, Cornwall, Saxony, Silesia, Turkestan, China, Mexico, and southwestern United States (Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada).
Turquoise is a hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate mineral. It is a cryptocrystalline mineral, meaning the structure is made up of microscopic crystals. Turquoise is opaque and has a waxy luster. It may appear semi-translucent in thin segments. Color is quite variable, ranging from white to a powder blue to a sky blue, and from a blue-green to a yellowish green. The blue is attributed to copper impurities while the green may be the result of either iron impurities or dehydration.
Exposure to heat or sunlight is also detrimental to the color of the turquoise. The stone can be very porous and chalky, therefore it is usually treated prior to use in jewelry. The stones are “stabilized”, meaning they are treated with a resinous substance. Stabilizing the turquoise makes it less susceptible to chipping and keeps the color from changing due to
contact with the oils in your body or moisture. Turquoise usually includes flecks of pyrite or is interspersed with dark, spidery yellowish-brown to black mineral veining known as matrix. Turquoise is rarely found without matrix, although Sleeping Beauty turquoise is often found in the pure form; they are vivid sky blue. The Sleeping Beauty mine is located in Arizona, USA.
The name Turquoise is said to be derived around the 16th century from the French language either from the word for Turkish (Turquois) or dark-blue stone (pierre turquin). It has been used widely for centuries and is one of the gems still used today. Turquoise is reputed to heal all kinds of ailments. New age healers use it for the skeletal, digestive and respiratory systems. It is said to help remove toxins from smoking and other pollutants from the body. It is believed to bring inner awareness, help strengthen friendships, aid those who have trouble speaking in public, and improve empathy and honesty. Turquoise is also thought to enhance creativity.
Turquoise is a very soft stone with a hardness of never more than 6 (depending on the form) on the Moh’s scale. It is the modern birthstone for December, as well as the anniversary gemstone for the 5th and 11th wedding anniversaries.
Browse our selection of Turquoise Gemstone Beads here and save 20% through March 6th, 2013.
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With March just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about birthstones again. The traditional birthstone for March is Aquamarine.
The name Aquamarine comes from a Latin word meaning “water of the sea”. Like the water of the sea for which it is named, Aquamarine comes in an entire spectrum of shades from blues to greens and most people find the colors soothing and calming. These colors are also a beautiful compliment to most any skin tone and work well with a variety of colors and textures making Aquamarine an excellent choice for use in jewelry making.
This delicately colored stone is rather hard, with a rating of 7.5 to 8 on the Moh’s scale. It is found in many places worldwide including Brazil, Russia, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and the United States. The finest specimens are found in Russia and Africa. It is the official state gem of Colorado.
No doubt, its watery blue color adds to its reputation of being a good talisman for sailors. Sailors in the middle ages believed it would ensure a safe passage. Legends from the middle ages claim that Aquamarine was the treasure of mermaids and could cure the effects of poisoning. Some even claimed that the fish-like lower body of mermaids consisted of Aquamarine. It is also thought to facilitate good communication and to soothe, or wash out, the fire energy and help communication take on a cool and fluid tone. Many also believe that Aquamarine is helpful to anyone who is in transition in their life and that it helps speed the transition and remove resistance to change by washing away emotional baggage and stagnant energy.
Aquamarine gemstone in the raw photo courtesy of Gunnar Ries.
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1) To make jump ring connections more secure use oval in place of round ones.
2) Beads need breathing space to prevent necklaces from being too tight or “buckling”. Beads should be pliant.
3) More important: bracelets need even more space due to the sharp curve of the wrist. The larger the beads, the more space needed. Try the bracelet on your wrist to find the best spot for the clasp. If the beads are too tight, the bracelet will be difficult or impossible for the owner to put on.
Do you have 3 beading tips you’d like to share?
Email them to: email@example.com and if we choose your tips for one of our weekly blog posts you’ll receive a $15 gift certificate to Happy Mango Beads!
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While traveling in Ghana, Africa we were told of a small village near Kumasi where beads are made using old, discarded (recycled) glass. We drove out to the village and found it to be small and simple, more like a large family compound. The only water source was a well, located in the center of the complex. At least a dozen happy children followed us everywhere we went. They laughed at us and teased us, we were a novelty to them. We talked to the village “father” and he told us there had been no work in many months and they would be happy to make us some beads. He then instructed us to return the next day and confirm. We suspect he was testing us to be sure we were serious. We returned on the second day to make the deal and then left with a chicken, a REAL LIVE CHICKEN, it was a gift. And so – with the help of all the residents of the village, they made us thousands and thousands of sandcast glass beads.