Year of the Ox, Colored Beads & 15% offer

 Kung Hei Fat Choy - Happy New Year!

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Because of Chinese New Year orders may be delayed between 16th - 26th January.  For your lucky New Year jade Ox pendant click here in dollars or here in pounds.

Year of the Ox
Real Color - dyed beads
15% offer

Year of the OX
The Chinese Year of the Ox begins on 26th January 2009.  Also known as the Year of the Cow or Yi Chou.

MrBead is based in Hong Kong, where the main annual holiday is Chinese New Year.  Called "Spring Festival" in Mainland China.  Lion dancers and carnivals take to the streets and fireworks to the skies.  However, your orders will only be slightly delayed over this period.  In Mainland China many people work inside large prosperous cities in the South East, a long way from their poor native village homes.  Over Spring Festival hundreds-of-millions commute back to their village to be with the family.  It's always a big strain on the railway and airways, and often made worse by severe snow cutting off power lines and runways!

People born in the Year of the Ox are patient and inspire confidence in others. However, they are also eccentric, bigoted, and anger easily. They have fierce tempers and although they speak little, when they do they go wild. Ox people are mentally and physically alert. Easy-going, but remarkably stubborn, and they hate to fail or be opposed.  The typical Ox is a tolerant person with strong character, working hard without complaint.  They know that they will succeed through sustained efforts, and donít believe in get-rich-quick schemes.  The Ox is a lover of stability, tradition, and a homemaker.  They are most compatible with Snake, Rooster, and Rat people.

Ox Years: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 (if you were born in one of these years, then you are an Ox)     Western CounterpartóCapricorn

Famous Ox People:  Catherine Freeman, Heather Locklear, Jane Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Margaret Thatcher, Meg Ryan, Meryl Streep, Princess Diana,  Vivien Leigh and George Clooney.

 For your lucky New Year jade Ox pendant click here in dollars or here in pounds.

Real Color?   

 If you have been making jewelry for a while, you've probably wondered about color enhanced gemstones. What does it really mean? Have the stones been dyed, heat-treated, or irradiated? Are these treatments common? As a consumer, you should know the answers - and if you sell your own jewelry, you should definitely learn about these treatments so that you can inform your customers.

Color enhancement has existed for thousands of years. In ancient times it was common to submerge turquoise in animal or vegetable oil. This formed a luster that lasted a long time, but with oil stains appearing when worn. Today some stabilized turquoise is "color shot" or "color stabilized".  Color stabilized infers that it is the natural color which is "stabilized." This is untrue, as color has been added. However, this is not so bad, as jewelry making is art and color enhancement improves the appearance.

Dyeing is one of the oldest enhancements. Ancient Romans knew how to dye agates, and today it is common practice to dye jade, pearls, and porous stones like chalcedony and opaque quartz.  Natural chalcedony comes only in pale periwinkle gray.  Blue topaz and garnet beads are dyed to make them appear more vibrant.  Dyeing makes your beads look much more interesting and has few drawbacks.  Itís so common, that even if a seller tells you the beads arenít dyed, they properly are!  The dye usually wonít come off, but itís still best to rinse some stones before using them just in case.  Color will fade if left in the sunlight too long Ė either dyed or natural stone.  Some pearls are exposed to sunlight to bleach them a brilliant white. And almost all red coral these days, is white coral dyed red.

Heat-treatment is another technique that has been used for thousands of years. Carnelians are often heat treated to intensify the bright orange color, and most citrines sold today are actually heat-treated amethyst. Although you won't see much of these stones in bead form, sapphires and rubies in most fine jewelry today are heat-treated as well.  Finally, irradiation is a more recently discovered way to alter colors of gemstone - commonly used to intensify blue topaz, and to create smoky quartz out of ice quartz.  Like most things: the more you pay, the more natural the stone will be.

For 15% off anything in our main stores, key the code "ox" in the box at checkout (without the commas), and click "redeem coupon".  No minimum order.  Note: offer ends Thursday 15th January 09, so claim now!

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