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Monday, March 30, 2009

Amber-look alike reverse cameo

This almost looks like a nice fine piece of amber reversed cameo...

But in fact, its actually made of plastic. However, this piece of plastic was not moulded but carved!
Got this piece as a gift from my jeweller when he returned from overseas.
I think if it was real amber, must have caused a bomb. It kind of matches the style of my reversed carved amber cufflinks though!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chlorite in Quartz

This is a very interesting piece of chlorite in quartz specimen:

The layered inclusions on the face of the crystal look like that of a thumprint, check out the zoom up below:

Chlorite inclusions are very common in alpine-type environments, and generally occur in fissures and pockets inside igneous and metamorphic rocks, and in sedimentary rocks that are rich in clay minerals. "Chlorite" is actually the name for a group of phyllo-silicates (sheet-silicates), minerals of mica-like appearance. The name refers to the very common green color, although chlorite minerals do not have to be green.

Chlorite minerals form at low to moderate temperatures. Often quartz from alpine-type clefts has a chlorite "icing" on the crystal surface, giving them a rough and dull look, because the crystals started to grow at high temperatures, and when their growth slowed down at lower temperatures, chlorite formed in the pocket and settled on the crystal faces.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Got an MMS

Got an MMS from my jeweller that my order is ready:

There you have it...

Not going to reveal more details on what could this possibly be.. I will only do so when I have collected the item!

Anyone wanna guess?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Amethyst flowers

A gorgeous amethyst flower crystal, take a look does this really look like a boquet of flowers with the leaves?

Amethyst flowers are a rare form of the mineral amethyst.

Unlike its deep, dark purple cousins, this piece demonstrate the diversity of amethyst in general, and the highly unique and rare character of this amethyst in particular. This gorgeous mineral is simply elegant!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


This piece of halite (crystallized sodium chloride) has in my collection for nearly 8 years.

I have been keeping it in a air tight container as I feel that halite tends to be very hydroscopic... the humidity in the air would reduce it to a pool of salt in no time...

The mineral is typically colorless to yellow, but may also be light blue, dark blue, and pink depending on the amount and type of impurities. It commonly occurs with other evaporite deposit minerals such as several of the sulfates, halides and borates.

Unusual, purple, fibrous vein filling halite is found in France and a few other localities. Halite crystals termed hopper crystals appear to be "skeletons" of the typical cubes, with the edges present and stairstep depressions on, or rather in, each crystal face. In a rapidly crystallizing environment the edges of the cubes simply grow faster than the centers. Halite crystals form very quickly in some rapidly evaporating lakes resulting in modern artefacts with a coating or encrustation of halite crystals. Halite flowers are rare stalactites of curling fibers of halite that are found in certain arid caves of Australia's Nullarbor Plain. Halite stalactites and encrustations are also reported in the Quincy native copper mine of Hancock, Michigan.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

More Chinese seals

More Chinese calligraph seals...

This one carved from picture jasper:

And this one carved from agate:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Serpentine Tea Pot

Another tea pot set carved from serpentine.

One big one.. and a smaller one...

they make a interesting conversation piece on the table. Have not tried making tea in them though!

Too precious to do so.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cleaning marble: the clean and green way!

With the Earth getting more and more polluted with each passing day, it is time to turn to greener alternatives that produce less waste and aid in conserving our environment. We engage in area cleaning nearly everyday, but did you know that there are a lot of chemical additives in the cleaning agents that we use?

If you need to clean your marble flooring at home, did you know that marbles are extremely porous and their surface chemistry varies from species to species and many times can be quite problematic to clean.

Introducing Green Bean cleaners, these cleaning products are derived from ingredients found in remote locations around the globe like the jungles of Brazil and Mountains of Peru. Just as these thousand year old cultures have lived a healthy lifestyle, the manufacturers found these ingredients and formulated them to be commercially available in their marble cleaning products.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Agate Chinese Seal

This seal is carved from bright red agate.

You can see the bands of the agate on the main body.

Bought this piece from a trip in Taiwan!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Rutile in Quartz carving of bottle gourd

Here's a bottle gourd (hulu) carved out of rutiliated quartz.

Look at the nice gold needles in the carving!

The hulu is an ancient remedy for health. In the old days the doctors would carry medicine inside so it has fabled properties for healing. The hulu is believed to absorb negative earth-based qi (energy) that would otherwise affect health and is a traditional Chinese medicine cure. Dried calabash is also used as containers of liquids, often liquors or medicine. Calabash were also grown in earthen molds to form different shapes and dried to house pet crickets, which were kept for their song and fighting abilities. The texture of the gourd lends itself nicely to the sound of the animal, much like a musical instrument. It is a symbol of the Xian immortals.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Calcite butterfly on quartz

A simple wirework that mounts a butterfly with wings carved from orange calcite onto a quartz point.

Bright colours which liven up the surroundings!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Chinese seal carved from quartz

This is a chinese seal carved off quartz. The top part of the seal is a carving of a dragon.

Most people in China possess a personal name seal. Artists, scholars, collectors and intellectuals may possess a full set of name seals, leisure seals, and studio seals. A well-made seal made from semi-precious stones can cost between ¥400 and ¥4000.

Seals are still used for official purposes in a number of contexts. When collecting parcels or registered post, the name seal serves as an identification, akin to a signature. In banks, traditionally the method of identification was also by a seal. Seals remain the customary form of identification on cheques in Mainland China and Taiwan but not in Hong Kong where signatures are required. Today, personal identification is often by a hand signature accompanied by a seal imprint. Seals can serve as identification with signatures because they are difficult to forge (when compared to forging a signature) and only the owner has access to his own seal.

Seals are also often used on Chinese calligraphy works and Chinese paintings, usually imprinted in such works in the order (from top to bottom) of name seal, leisure seal(s), then studio seal. Owners or collectors of paintings or books will often add their own studio seals to pieces they have collected. This practice is an act of appreciation towards the work. Some artworks have had not only seals but inscriptions of the owner on them; for example, the Qianlong emperor had as many as 20 different seals for use with inscriptions on paintings he collected. Provided that it is tastefully done (for example, not obscuring the body of the painting, appropriate inscription, fine calligraphy, etc), this practice does not devalue the painting.

Seals are usually carved out by specialist seal carvers, or by the users themselves. Specialist carvers will carve the user's name into the stone in one of the standard scripts and styles described above, usually for a fee. On the other hand, some people take to carving their own seals using soapstone and fine knives, which are widely available and is cheaper than paying a professional for expertise, craft, and material. Results vary, but it is possible for individuals to carve perfectly legitimate seals for themselves.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Carved Teapots

This is another tea pot carved out of serpentine. As you can see, the workmanship is quite delicate!

It resembles a leaf when its lid is closed. View of pot when lid is opened, interior is hollowed like a true teapot!