How-To: Surround Yourself with Success.

Whether you are advancing your career, looking for love or making a change to your daily routine — we always strive for success in everything we do. While it is not always guaranteed, there are ways to help present success into your life. I’m going to show you how you can add success into your life by surrounding yourself with crystals and gemstones.

Pyrite

Commonly known as fool’s gold, Pyrite is associated with wealth, abundance, prosperity and good luck. If you are looking for success within your career, place a piece of Pyrite on or near your workspace. That way you can look into its shiny, reflective surface and tell yourself you are ready to take the next step.

Garnet

Looking for love and success in your relationships? Purchase a Garnet gemstone necklace and make sure it lays right next to your heart. This deep red gemstone represents love, endurance, self-confidence and courage. Just like its namesake of ‘granatum’ meaning pomegranate in Latin, Garnet can help you plant the seeds of success into your love life — if you let it.

A beautiful Garnet gemstone necklace – photo taken and piece created by Gardens of the Sun. Don’t worry guys — there’s a fun, unique version for you too, click here to check it out!

Citrine

From a smokey to a light warm yellow hue, Citrine crystals are beautiful but one of the most deceiving on the market. Unknown to many buyers, most Citrine sold are actually heat-treated Amethyst or Smokey Quartz. This crystal symbolizes joy, optimism, creativity and inspires positive outcomes. Wearing a piece of Citrine in the form of jewelry or carrying one in your pocket will help you manifest success into your life by providing a clear mind and positive energy to focus on your pursuits.

Sodalite

Promoting truth and self-expression, Sodalite gemstones emit a tranquil energy to help you think logically while exploring your creative side. This gemstone encourages discipline, trusting your intuition and helps to calm your emotions. Wearing a piece of Sodalite in the form of jewelry or having one near you when working on your pursuits and creative interests will help bring success into your life by allowing you to believe in yourself, think clearly and act efficiently to help turn your dreams into a reality!

These crystals and gemstones are just some ways to help you surround yourself with success. While success is not always guaranteed, it’s important to remember to always believe in yourself and your abilities. If you continue to work hard and dream big — success will come to you!

How-To: Buy Jewelry Online.

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One of my recent purchases — a magical moonstone and labradorite necklace by local artist and small business owner Taneisa @_theopaque_photo taken by me

Ever since I started my metalsmithing and beading journey, I’d say its been about a year since I’ve made an in-store jewelry purchase. Why? Well, with all the local artists, small businesses and major brands at your fingertips — there’s so many options for you to choose from online! I’m here to tell you how you can make smart decisions when purchasing your jewelry online.

  1. Research You might have had your eye on a piece of jewelry for a while or seen one that stops you in your Instagram scrolling tracks. It’s an exciting feeling — but don’t pull your purchase trigger finger just yet! Before you add to cart, make sure you do thorough research first. Depending on the type of company you’re looking at — whether it’s a local artist, small business or a major brand — browse the shop a little further before deciding.
  2. Compare You’ve done your research, perused the online store and narrowed down your options. Now it’s time to compare! Make sure you look at the size, shape, color and see if the style resembles something you already have in your current collection. There have been times where I’ve looked up similar pieces and suddenly preferred one over the original piece I was set on. If you’re torn between two, take a step back and revisit them later. Still feeling unsure? Ask a friend or loved one for their opinion!
      • Pro tip: If you’re looking at a piece of jewelry that features a gemstone or crystal, make sure to check what other pieces with that stone are priced at.  Some stones like labradorite, amethyst or moonstone may be used in more pieces because of their commonality so their prices may vary. Other stones like citrine and turquoise can be fake as most sold in the market are actually heat treated amethyst or dyed howlite. So, just be aware and make sure you’re buying from a verified seller.
  3. Check the Material Used and How It Will Affect You Brass, nickel, sterling silver, gold, gold or silver filled — the possibilities are endless! However, some people are affected by one or more of these materials when it comes in contact with their skin. It’s important to check what the piece is made of and how it will affect you before purchasing it. If you know a certain material affects you — ask the artist if they are able to create a custom piece in the same style for you, or check the brand website to see if they make the piece in another material for an additional charge.
  4. Measure This step is crucial! In my first few online purchases, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I received a piece that fit longer than expected, was too small or sometimes didn’t even fit! One of the things to keep in mind when purchasing jewelry online is that a lot of the images you see are enlarged to show you the details of each piece. This is why measuring yourself is so important so you can order the size that is right for you!
  5. Read the Shop Policies Last but not least — when purchasing a piece of jewelry online, you need to make sure you read and understand the shop policies. Purchasing from a local artist or small business is a lot different than purchasing from a major brand. Each will have their own set of return and exchange policies, as well as prices. The local artist or small business might only make one of a kind pieces or have a limited release while the major brand might produce larger quantities. If the price is a concern for you, ask to see if there is a payment plan option available. A lot of local artists, small businesses and major brands are implementing them and is a great option to look into.

Now you’re ready to go shopping online and add some beautiful new jewels to your collection! Remember these 5 steps and you’ll be satisfied with your purchase every time.

Feeling blue? Relieve your stress with these helpful gems.

person-holding-teapot-3363097There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world today due to COVID-19, which brings a lot of fear, anxiety and stress. It’s in these moments that we need hope and reassurance to help us get through these troubling times. What usually brings me peace is being surrounded by Mother Nature, especially in the form of jewels and gems. I want to share with you a list of gemstones that are best to be surrounded by when you’re stressed, and will help bring you a sense of calm and control within this new reality.

Amethyst 

A must-have in every crystal collection, Amethyst encourages you to trust your intuition and soothes away your day-to-day stresses. If you’ve set up a new workplace in your home — it’s great to add to your space!

Blue Lace Agate

Visually appealing with its light blue hue, Blue Lace Agate is said to bring a calming, soothing effect on the mind. It encourages you to speak your truth, embrace your self-confidence and inner stability.

Celestite

Coming from the Latin word for heavenly, this crystal inspires deep relaxation, peace and joy. Helps relieve stress, anxiety and clear your overburdened mind when times are tough — it’s a great piece to add to your space for creative expression, increase your rational thinking and even encourage a great night’s sleep.

Fluorite

Known as the genius stone, Fluorite carries a calm, stable frequency that brings order to the chaos. Making it one of the most collectible and highly sought-after crystals, it’s said to neutralize negativity and inspire peace and harmony.

Sodalite

Known as the logic stone, Sodalite emits an easy, tranquil energy that clears the mind and elicits deep thought — expanding your ability to arrive to logical conclusions, rationally. It’s said that sculptors, painters and artists were known to carry this stone around for inspiration! Remember that tidbit when you want to spark your creativity!

Black Tourmaline

Black Tourmaline is the ultimate stone of protection. Helping you build boundaries between yourself and others, it’s a great stone to put outside of your home to ward off any negative energy that people might bring with them and stop it in its tracks. It will help you feel more centered and calmer within your space.

A crystal’s healing ability works differently for everyone. It is not one-size-fits-all and will take some experimentation and exploration on your part to find which crystals and gems work best for you. Every gemstone is unique and calls out to us in distinct ways, which is part of the fun when building your collection!

Do you associate a gemstone or crystal with stress-relief that was not presented on this list? Comment below!

[All photos and information are linked/credited to the original authors and sources unless otherwise stated].

How-To: Authenticate Citrine

November is the month of citrine and recently I’ve been noticing that there are a lot of variations of this stone sold on the market. I decided to do my research and was surprised with what I had found! Here’s my how-to guide on how you can authenticate citrine’s!

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Being my birthstone, I’ve always been intrigued by this stone. Its beautiful yellow hue has always been so warm and inviting. Said to provide positive energy, Citrine’s associated with wealth and abundance known as the “Success Stone”. Naturally found all over the world, including Brazil, Africa, Madagascar, Spain, Russia, France, Scotland, and the U.S. [**] What a lot of people don’t know is that a lot of the citrine sold in todays market is fake — say, what?! Yes — it’s true! Here’s what to look out for when you’re shopping for your own citrine to add to your collection.

You may have seen citrine stones like these sold in gem stores or out shopping. What you aren’t being told is that these are heat treated amethysts. You can see a side by side comparison below. If it has an orange hue, it’s fake.

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Real citrine is a clear, yellow stone that can also come in a smokey hue.

So now you know what to be on the look out for the next time you’re in the market for citrine!

[**] = https://www.energymuse.com/citrine-meaning

[All photos and information are linked/credited to the original authors and sources unless otherwise stated].

How-To: Recognize White Buffalo Turquoise

One of my Instagram friends Valentina, who is the artist behind Solis.Designs,  recently had a shop update with a great selection of beautiful pieces. From large statement rings to dainty layering necklaces, it was such an inspiration to see her creative designs as well as her abundant use of turquoise and other natural stones!

I just love her work — so you can imagine how hard it was deciding which of the pieces in her collection to choose from!

I ended up purchasing this beautiful dainty White Buffalo turquoise necklace!

Solis.Designs dainty White Buffalo Turquoise necklace
Solis.Designs dainty layering gemstone necklaces, white buffalo turquoise, royston turquoise
The necklace I purchased and some of her other dainty layering necklaces — so cute! I love the bright blue Royston turquoise piece as well — too bad I didn’t get to it first 😉 Happy with my little White Buffalo though! 🙂 – photos by Valentina, Solis.Designs

However, it got me thinking — as beautiful as White Buffalo turquoise is, I don’t know much about the stone.

It turns out that it’s a rare stone! Found and mined by the Otteson family in Tonopah, Nevada, it’s the only location in the world where it’s found! Sometimes called ‘albino turquoise’ or –incorrectly– ‘white turquoise’, this white stone is surrounded by black and brown flint-like chert (an opaque variety of quartz). This creates beautiful patterns, and sometimes in rare pieces, a spider-web matrix. The stone appears in veins and is as hard as turquoise (Mohs hardness scale of 5.5 to 7.5). It cuts and polishes just like turquoise, which is why a lot of people incorrectly call this stone ‘white turquoise’. [**]

For in reality, there is no pure ‘white turquoise’ that exists — white turquoise-type material that surrounds turquoise in the mines and tests as turquoise, is too light and soft to use. Most pieces that are usable will have some form of a blue or green tint to them. [***]

Being in such high demand and very popular, some stones are sold off as ‘white turquoise’ to consumers in the market. Those stones are Howlite and Magnesite. So — how can you tell which is which and what is sold to you is real or fake? This is my how-to guide on how you recognize white buffalo turquoise!

Howlite is a porous borate mineral that often appears in irregular nodules resembling cauliflower. It is a snow white to milky stone, often with brown, grey or black veins. It is sometimes passed off as white turquoise or White Buffalo. It is also dyed to imitate blue or green turquoise. It is quite soft with a Mohs hardness of 3.5 in contrast to turquoise which usually ranges from 5-7. It also scratches easily — which is something you should look out for when purchasing jewelry with this stone. [**]

Howlite stones

Here’s an example … a White Buffalo turquoise pendant vs. a Howlite pendant — can you tell the difference?

If you look closely, you can see that on the left — the veins are a grey/light black and the stone looks soft, opaque and milky, which makes it a Howlite stone. On the right — it’s a harder looking stone with black veins and some flecks of brown mixed in, which makes it a White Buffalo turquoise stone.

Magnesite is a calcite group mineral that contains the chemical formula “magnesium carbonate” (MgCO3). It usually forms in three-dimensional rhombohedral shaped crystals and cleavage fragments when magnesium-rich rocks come into contact with carbon dioxide-rich water.

When mined, Magnesite usually appears as chalky white, but can also be found in gray, brown, yellow, orange, pale pink and colorless varieties too. In terms of luster, it is often dull, with a matte surface in its original state. A little harder than Howlite, it rates 3.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs scale, still below that of most turquoise.

It is often dyed to a light blue color and because of its dark veining, it very closely resembles turquoise. In some cases, Magnesite is passed off as turquoise by unaware or unscrupulous dealers and sellers. [**] So be on the look out for it next time you’re in the market for turquoise!

stock image of gemstone beads

[**] = https://nativeamericanjewelrytips.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/white-turquoise-demystified/

[***] = https://www.durangosilver.com/white-turquoise.html

[All photos and information are linked/credited to the original authors and sources unless otherwise stated].