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HELLO WORLD! December 17, 2013

Filed under: About Special Things Antique Jewelry — Victoria Padgett @ 2:40 pm

"Special Things" Gallery

Welcome to “Special Things” Antique & Collectible Jewelry Memphis,Tennessee   

“Antique jewelry is not just our business, it’s our Passion!

Our aim for the blog is to offer helpful topics and answers to your questions about antique and collectible jewelry crafted in the past thru today.

  • How and why it was made.
  • How to tell if it’s the real deal.
  • How it should be repaired, restored and/or updated if needed.
  • Where to find other sources of information and more!
  • And, we’ll be posting “white paper reports” that will help in your search and rescue of jewelry treasures.

Special Things offers a large selection of antique, collectible and exciting custom-made fashion jewelry and gifts plus, expert, old-school repair, restoration and updating services.

Need help:

  • Getting your antique jewelry expertly repaired or updated?
  • Finding correct antique replacement gem stones?
  • Choosing the best antique jewelry investments for you?
  • Making sure what you are considering is a real antique?
  • Special care needed for your jewelry treasures?
  • Knowing what’s collectible and what’s not?

Just email, come by or contact us, we’re to help.  (If possible, please send pictures)

Please ask questions, I’ll be happy to answer them and, if you’re in the Memphis, Mid-South area, feel free to stop by for a chat and review of our collection.

(Bye-the-way, the shop is pet friendly, our 2 full-time helpers, Teddy & Tucker “HavaMalt” pups, love kids & love to play with everyone.)

 

AQUAMARINE March 7, 2014

Filed under: Gemstones — Victoria Padgett @ 8:30 am
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Aquamarine

Aquamarine, the modern March birthstone as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912, is a variety of Beryl that is transparent and of various shades of blue and blue-green; almost all the specimens of the preferable sky-blue in color are (since 1920) the result of heat treatment applied to greenish or yellow-brown beryls. The stones are dichroic, and are usually cut as a brilliant or step cut. They resemble the Emerald (the chemical composition is identical, as is the hexagonal crystal form) but the stones are paler and, being less rare, are much less valuable. They also resemble euclase and blue Topaz, from all of which (as well as from glass imitations and synthetic gemstones) they can readily be distinguished. Aquamarines on the market today are usually faceted, but when cut as a cabochon, they may display a cat’s eye effect known as asterism. 

Aquamarine Cat Eye

There are many sources, but Brazil has produced the finest and some very large specimens, e.g. one found in 1919 weighing 243 Lb. Some ancient aquamarines were engraved with portraits, e.g. one with a portrait of Julia, daughter of the Roman Emperor Titus. The synthetic stone resembling aquamarine is the blue Synthetic Spinel.

Folklore, Legend, and Healing Properties:

Since early times, aquamarine has been believed to endow the wearer with foresight, courage, and happiness. It is said to increase intelligence and make one youthful. As a healing stone, it is said to be effective as a treatment for anxiety and in the Middle Ages it was thought that aquamarine would reduce the effect of poisons.

A legend says that sailors wore aquamarine gemstones to keep them safe and prevent seasickness. 

Aquamarine 3

 

AMETHYST February 17, 2014

Filed under: Gemstones — Victoria Padgett @ 12:49 am
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Amethyst

Traditionally February’s birthstone, Amethyst is a variety of Quartz that is transparent and crystalline, usually deep purple to pale bluish-violet; the hues are sometimes mingled in the same stone, owing to irregular color zoning, and some show patches of yellow. Other colors are reddish-mauve (Siberian stones), reddish-violet (Uruguayan stones) or grey-mauve (Mexican stones).

Specimens containing inclusions of goethite or other fibrous minerals are polished as cats eye’s. Amethysts have been set in globular or pear-shaped pendants and as pierced beads for necklaces and ear-drops. Some large stones have been embellished by having set into them a design of small diamonds.

Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed in antiquity for intaglio engraved gems.

For centuries, people have believed this mystical stone possesses healing power: The Greeks believed amethyst gems could prevent intoxication, while medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle in the belief that amethysts heal people and keep them cool-headed. Beads of amethyst were found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England.

In the 19th century, the color of amethyst was attributed to the presence of manganese. However, since it is capable of being greatly altered and even discharged by heat, the color was believed by some authorities to be from an organic source. Ferric thiocyanate has been suggested, and sulfur was said to have been detected in the mineral.

When natural amethysts (not the variety from Madagascar) are heated, the color changes to pale yellow (sometimes then mistaken for Citrine, but distinguishable by its dichroism); when the heat is increased, it changes to dark yellow or reddish-brown and, when increased further, to milky white. Some Brazilian amethysts when heated change color to green.

amethyst 3

 

ANTIQUE JEWELRY January 31, 2014

Filed under: Time Periods — Victoria Padgett @ 3:35 pm
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Antique Jewelry Blog Post

To know something about antique jewelry or antique jewellery one really has to dig into many (sometimes complex) factors. Some of these will be touched upon in future posts. Although we do not intend here to delve into matters in depth, the following paragraphs give a good idea on antique jewelry and what it’s all about. I may also go more in depth in future posts.

The word “antique” comes from the Latin word “antiquus”, meaning “old” and the  word “jewellery” (British spelling) or “jewelry” (American spelling) is a derivation of the word “jewel”, which was anglicised from the Old French “jouel”  some 800 years ago, in around the 13th century. The word “jouel” itself comes  from the Latin word “jocale”, meaning “plaything”. Jewelry can be made out of  almost every known material with the purpose to adorn nearly every part of the  body.

Antique jewelry is jewelry that has reached an age of 100 years or more and that  makes it a witness of a previous era in human history. It is in generally used  for previously owned jewelry and for pieces of jewelry made in earlier periods and not necessarily pre-worn jewellery. It is not a dequalifying designation as many pieces of antique jewelry typically feature fine workmanship  and high quality stones, as well as one-of-a-kind pieces.

Antique jewelry includes many decades or eras. Each era has many different designs. These eras include Georgian, Early Victorian, Mid-Victorian, Late Victorian, Arts and Crafts era, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco and Retro.

 

 
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