NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
Subscribe Now to our Newsletters
Ruby Lane's Past Times Newsletter for March 2008
In This Issue
- Announcing Ruby Lane's New Blog: Notes from The Lane!
- March Birthstones
- Guide for Laundering Vintage Textiles by Karen Nappo of Design Connection
ANNOUNCING RUBY LANE'S NEW BLOG: NOTES FROM THE LANE!
Happy New Year to all! Ruby Lane is pleased to announce the launch of its new blog: Notes from The Lane. This new blog is designed to complement the Ruby Lane site, offering articles on topics relating to antiques & art, collectibles, jewelry and everything vintage, as well as loads of tips on how to succeed as a seller in the online marketplace. It is designed to increase traffic and awareness of Ruby Lane and its shops and their items, and to serve as a participatory venue for all visitors, both Ruby Lane sellers and shoppers. Register on the blog and you can join in and comment on articles and add your own opinions and insights. We hope you'll stop by. Visit http://blog.rubylane.com
Those born in March are fortunate to have two traditional birthstones to select from: Aquamarine and Bloodstone.
Aquamarine is the better known of the two and is a blue or blue-green variety of the mineral Beryl. This mineral also has gem varieties in green (Emerald), pink (Morganite), yellow (Heliodor), and clear (Goshenite). Other colored examples of Beryl usually just use the color name in their identification, such as Red Beryl. The red variety was involved in a controversy a few years ago when attempts were made to market it as Red Emerald.
However, it is the blue variety known as Aquamarine which is associated with March birthdays. The name derives from Latin, and translates as "water of the sea", and its color range varies, from a light greenish blue through deeper and rarer "true blue" varieties, which can vary in hue and intensity.
It is a beryllium aluminum silicate, colored by traces of iron. Unlike its green cousin, Emerald, a large amount of Aquamarine is free from distracting inclusions. Material which has more inclusions is often turned into beads or cabochon cut stones. It is a hard, rather durable stone, with a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Moh's scale. Most cleaning methods are safe, such as ultrasonic and steam, as long as the stone is relatively free from natural inclusions.
Brazil is the major source of Aquamarine, with Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and Sri Lanka also contributing a significant number of stones, some in deeper colors which rival the finest South American stones. Pakistan and China have become more important sources in recent years. The majority of the Chinese stones appear to be in paler color ranges.
Much Aquamarine is heat treated. When iron is present in colorless or greenish Beryl, this material may produce a blue color when heated. This treatment is permanent. There is also a Maxixe Beryl which occurs in blue, and is sometimes sold as Halbanite. It can be separated from Aquamarine by spectral analysis and sometimes from the color. The blue of this stone does fade over time.
Aquamarine occasionally has a cat's eye effect, although it is rather weak. Some beryls have been reported with asterism, appearing as a weak 6-pointed star. We are unaware of any examples of the Aquamarine variety showing this phenomenon.
Other gems which can be confused with Aquamarine include Blue Topaz, synthetic blue Quartz, and synthetic Spinel. The synthetic Spinel has been used in birthstone pieces for years, and often imitates the finest color available in natural Aquamarine. If you encounter a large fine blue stone like this in an inexpensive setting, you will want to examine the possibility that it is a simulated Aquamarine of this composition. Ultraviolet testing is a relatively easy separation for this imitation. It fluoresces under LW and SW ultraviolet lighting, while Aquamarine appears inert. Blue Topaz has some different optical properties from Aquamarine and can often be identified by this, either with the naked eye or magnification. Blue Topaz is also a rather new arrival on the jewelry scene, in any quantity, and is rarely seen in older jewelry pieces. Blue glass of appropriate color is used in many costume pieces to mimic Aquamarine. All these stones may be separated from Aquamarine by measurement of the refractive index of the stone or by spectral analysis.
Aquamarine is also the birthstone for Pisces, and this sea colored gem is an appropriate stone for those born under this water sign.
Bloodstone, cryptocrystalline Chalcedony quartz, is opaque or slightly translucent, with a dark greenish body color, which is nearly black in some cases. It has flecks of red or reddish brown color throughout, caused by the presence of iron. Some stones will exhibit a wider range of color than this, but are then often referred to as fancy Jaspers. Bloodstone will sometimes be referred to by its traditional Greek-derived name: Heliotrope. The stone was associated in legend with the crucifixion of Christ, the colors representing blood shed on the green earth. It was often carved with religious scenes, often of the crucifixion, because of this association.
Bloodstone was popular in Victorian times as well, and is seen more than many other stones in jewelry items for the Victorian man. It has also been associated with the healing of blood disorders, for rather obvious reasons.
India and Australia are probably the major world producers of Bloodstone, but the United States, China, and Brazil also are known as sources.
GUIDE FOR LAUNDERING VINTAGE TEXTILES BY KAREN NAPPO OF DESIGN CONNECTION
A vintage textile, from yesterday will be a nice addition to almost any decor, especially the shabby, traditional, country and romantic, or chic look of today. You can look through almost any home style magazine, and see many ways to use old linens. When you acquire a linen or lace, it may need some "TLC". There are many types of textiles, so the following hints are general. If you do not know what type of fabric it is, there are many places on the web to help identify them. Some helpful suggestions in cleaning are:
When dealing with old textiles it is important to be gentle, and patient. Start by soaking an item in a gentle detergent. For tough stains you may want to try a non-chlorine bleach. It may take a couple of days to soak the stains out. Avoid bleach and products containing bleach as they can do more harm than good. Bleach can destroy and weaken fibers. Rinse, rinse, and rinse again. I do use a washer on the gentle cycle to wring the water out if it is a large piece.
When drying linens it is best to dry them in the sun, EVEN in winter. I live between Buffalo, and Niagara Falls, so if I can hang out in the winter, almost anyone can. Any stains that were left should disappear from the help of mother nature's sun. Avoid the dryer, especially if there are still stains or spots left on your linen.
When it comes time to iron, it is best that the linens are damp. I usually iron in the morning when the dew is still on them from an overnight stay outside. I check to see if the sun did its job the day before, and if all stains are gone, the linens are ironed. If there are still stains, they will stay on the line for another day. Do not starch items that will be stored away as starch attracts little bugs which can eat away at the linens.
Store linens in a dark place - never in direct sun. And linens should not come in contact with wood. I either roll or hang my linens on a padded hanger.
Hopefully, if well cared for, these works of art will last for more generations to come.
We invite you to visit Design Connection.
Subscribe Now to our Newsletters
© 1998-2013 Ruby Lane Inc. ® All Rights Reserved.
Press the Back button on your browser to return to the previous screen.