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TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads
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Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/14/2008, 16:46:27

I'll show some of the scans of stuff I got at Tucson last week. Not the whole bag-o-beads, because I OUGHT to be paying attention to my computer issues right now..., but I couldn't resist playing for a while. (I just got a new Mac, and my partner is antsy to get files transferred and the new machine running. Once we get involved in that, it may be a day or two of debugging, downloading, and formatting, before I can get back online again—so best to do this now anyway.)

So, in no particular order, here are some of the interesting things I managed to lug home.

Let's begin with these two bracelets of Chinese agate eye beads, I bought from Abdul Touray. These are made for the fake-Tibetan-antiquities-market, cost little, and can be very attractive. Many of you know I LOVE this stuff (but work hard to counter the misrepresentation). Several people in my group had bought similar bracelets elsewhere, each slightly different in color or shape. I can see they were popular with lots of people.

Needles to say, I will figure out how to make these into a two-strand necklace....

Jamey

175_agate_bracelet.jpg (39.5 KB)  


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Chinese Agate Eye Beads - More Stuff
Re: TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/14/2008, 16:58:37

From a vendor at the Quality Inn (formerly the Rodeway), called Phoenix beads (from whom I nearly always buy some new Chinese stone beads), I bought this selection of more agates made for the "Tibetan market," that consist of stuff Tibetans never had, but that tend to fit (by design) into their traditional symbolism.

I have collected these sorts of carving for the past eight to ten years, and remain impressed by the quality of the carving, versus low cost. My goal is to string them all together and make this "Liberace visits Lhasa" necklace.

Note the two elaborate eye beads, colored a very odd medium-pale opaque chocolate brown color (above left and lower). Most of these pieces, in the recent past have either been black-&-white or carnelian—so this is a recent departure. Likewise, I had not seen the bird efigy pendant (carnelian) on the right, nor the thick round tabular (also carnelian) on the left. One side has a character (looking more Chinese than Tibetan), and the reverse has a circle in a square ("sky door" and "earth door" symbols). The lower brown piece and the smaller oval carving (above right, with a central eye) are both pierced on their opposite ends, front-to-back, rather than drilled-through like beads.

JDA.

199_chinese_agate.jpg (43.1 KB)  


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From the Same Seller - Crackled Agate
Re: Chinese Agate Eye Beads - More Stuff -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/14/2008, 17:03:18

From the same gentleman, I bought this (pricey) strand of small white agate beads that have been made crackly. We all know that Chinese beadmakers currently distress a lot of stone beads to make them seem old—but here this effect is added for the sake of an attractive appearance. I am assuming the agate itself has been treated to make it white or yellowish off-white. The distressing may be little more than heating and quenching to cause cracks.

I'll show the rest of the beads I got here later.

JDA

205_crackle_agate.jpg (36.5 KB)  


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More Chinese Agate Beads
Re: Chinese Agate Eye Beads - More Stuff -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/15/2008, 02:17:52

This is the group I bought from Phoenix Beads, that includes two similarly-colored strands of barrel and roundel beads (orange, red, and mottled green); the white crackled agates; and a strand of very small decorated carnelian beads imitating Tibetan zi beads (apart from the central disk with a star on it).

I'll show some of these in details.

JDA.

201_chinese_agate.jpg (51.7 KB)  


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Mini Zi Repros
Re: More Chinese Agate Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/15/2008, 02:24:27

Here's the strand of small carnelian beads that imitate zi beads (and/or pumtek beads from Burma).

I was in Taiwan in 1997 at the time the first generation of decorated carnelian beads had been produced, and may have been the first American to bring them back to the US. (They had been making zi imitations in brown agate for about four years, but not carnelian beads.)

The present beads are pretty similar, but quite bit smaller (like Pyu beads).

Oddly, it was because of the round tabular bead with a star that I initially wanted to buy the strand—it being so different from most beads of this class.

I passed up buying an interesting necklace from an Afghan seller, with imitation decorated carnelian beads (in the Sassanian style), because they were too expensive, and two beads were damaged. But I wish I had some of these for my specimen collection too. Maybe next year....

JDA.

204_mini_zi_repros.jpg (40.9 KB)  


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Re: Mini Zi Repros
Re: Mini Zi Repros -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Finfan Post Reply
02/27/2008, 10:57:31

Jamey: Was this the dealer near the NE corner of the "Rodeway" tent? I bought a strand of imitation Pumtek from them that was supposedly made of fossilized palm. One of the beads got damaged and I am now fairly certain they are ceramic. If I ever manage to get a new digital camera I'll post a picture.



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Re: Mini Zi Repros
Re: Re: Mini Zi Repros -- Finfan Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/29/2008, 02:19:24

I would be lost to have to guess where in relation to the main tent the "northeast corner" would be!

Phoenix Beads (based in New York) is located across from the main tent, up an aisle between buildings, on the right side. He mostly has new Chinese mineral beads.

I don't recall any pumtek or pumtek-like beads.

I have recent (late 1980s) and newer pumtek beads (2000s) made from fossil palm wood. I also have wood beads decorated with metal wire, inspired by pumtek beads (1990s), from Indonesia (!). But I don't recall any ceramic copies of pumtek beads.

If you can show them, I would like to see them!

Jamey



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White Amber
Re: TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/14/2008, 17:10:09

At the Electric Park show, one of my group was searching for white amber, and I pointed out this small booth where the owner had quite a lot of amber. But when asked he said he didn't really have any white amber (which means opaque pale yellow material). Nevertheless, I saw two groups and remarked "this would be white amber if one cleaned off the external crust." He disagreed with me, and said. "no, this stuff is DARK inside"—an opinion I rather doubt.

Finding that the price per strand was pretty good, I selected this necklace of graduated tumbled nodules. I am pretty confident that with more cleaning, these would be white amber. I may file down a few. But I think they are very handsome as they are.

JDA.

233_amber.jpg (38.1 KB)  235_amber.jpg (47.8 KB)  


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Red Amber
Re: White Amber -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/14/2008, 17:28:06

Many of you know I have said over and over that there is very little red amber to be had from the amber marketplace. Most of the time, "red amber" is really only red (or reddish) plastic. Sometimes it may be normal amber that is heat-treated or dyed (or both). Rarely, actual red (or reddish) amber comes to us from México and the Dominican Republic (and a few other sources). But red Baltic amber is quite a rarity (unless treated to become red).

At one of the fossil shows, I found a Russian company, and on one of the rings holding strands, I gleaned two strands of spheroidal dark-colored beads. Holding them to the light, I saw that they were indeed translucent and deeply red-colored. I could tell the amber was real, but not whether it were natural or not (though of course I suspected not).

I asked if the amber had been heat-treated or dyed to make it red. The Russian lady was quizzical and/or pretended to not understand the question. Her male partner jumped in with "these are natural Baltic amber." Knowing that this was—if not impossible—very unlikely, I nevertheless decided not to press the issue. These strands were being sold by weight, at $1 per gram. So one strand was $37., and the other was $31. I selected the lesser cost. This is a really good price to pay for any real amber—but is phenomenal for RED amber....

One member of my group had already heard my morning lecture on amber, and how frequently it is faked and trumped-up. She was disinclined to buy ANY amber. However, noting that I was taking the risk, she followed suit and bought the other strand.

Having gotten it home, and now taken some time to examine it, I am inclined to believe these beads are heat-treated, which made them turn red. (Many of the beads have tiny fractures that indicate heating.) Also, though sold as "Baltic amber" I have to wonder if they might be Dominican or Méxican (based on the quality of the material and the sorts of inclusions I can see) (?). I plan to do a hot-needle test, and to have my friend Pat look at them.

In the photos, we see the strand in reflected light—so they look nearly black; and in transmitted light (two views), showing their translucent colors.

JDA.

212_red_amber.jpg (35.1 KB)  red_amber_comp.jpg (52.4 KB)  


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"Ancient Roman Glass"
Re: TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/14/2008, 17:40:26

Every so often, someone posts a question about the recycled bangle-beads, that are routinely sold as "ancient Roman," that have been made in Pakistan over the past (about) ten years. This past year, a new wrinkle (I suspect from the same makers), is many, many strands of "ancient Roman glass" pieces, pierced and strung into necklaces. The story is similar: "old broken Roman bottles [not bracelets, in this instance], reworked into beads and pendants."

I first saw these last year at the BABE Show in Oakland, where the going price was about $25 per strand. (Quite a good price, considering the work involved and the supposed age of the material.)

Of course, I am more inclined to believe the glass is not nearly so old..., and I suspect it may be so recent as to require artificial aging to make it appear decayed and/or iridescent.

At the Manning House show, I was told a seller had these strands for $250. (!). That's ten times the going price.... I was fortunate to talk to Steve Dunning, at the Quality Inn, who had them for the standard $25. Nevertheless, when asked, I told Steve I did not believe the story connected with these necklaces—as mentioned here. Steve said he would now call them "old glass"—which is good enough for me.

JDA.

182_SD_old_gls.jpg (42.4 KB)  184_SD_old_gls.jpg (50.4 KB)  


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Fossil Ammonite Pendants
Re: TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/14/2008, 17:45:31

I LOVE fossils! Also, having studied invertebrate biology in school, and loving mollusks, I am crazy for ammonites. However, many ammonites from fossil shows are either undrilled or set in metal—and I am too lazy (or frightened) to drill them myself. So, what a surprise that Wild Things Beads, had oodles of stands of very nice ammonite slices, already drilled and (temporarily) strung.

I was excited to buy this strand, and look forward to making a great necklace from it.

JDA.

196_ammonites.jpg (40.6 KB)  197_ammonites.jpg (41.6 KB)  


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Jamey, I saw these also. Very cool and nice specimens.
Re: Fossil Ammonite Pendants -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Carl Dreibelbis Post Reply
02/14/2008, 19:14:47



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Violet Hexagonite
Re: TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/14/2008, 17:49:32

Also at Electric Park, where a sign said "purple jade" I went looking and found a guy who had strands of hexagonite beads. Hexagonite is a variety of tremolite (closely related to jadeite, but not the "purple jade" advertised. that was on the other end of the booth), that can be violet, pinkish, or yellow. Since I am a fool for any violet or purple beads, I had to have these—and they were not pricey.

JDA.

194_hexagonite.jpg (37.9 KB)  


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Bead Volcano
Re: TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/14/2008, 17:58:28

At Electric Park, there's a guy who had a seven-feet-square table, onto which he was piling up beads to make a "volcano." The beads were mostly Chinese, but included minerals, organics (coral, bone, etc.), glass, and what-not. Amazingly, the price was $6 per strand— six strands for $35.00. Who could resist?

Cheryl and I pawed through the pile, and made some selections....

Here's a photo of my choices, minus a strand I'll show separately shortly.

From the top down: 1) apple coral roundels (probably dyed, but real "sponge" coral); 2) dyed bamboo coral; 3) & 4) two stands of fake turquoise (probably dyed magnesite), 5) opaline glass (faceted roundels), and 6) citrine roundels.

More shortly.

JDA.

218_bead_deal.jpg (62.8 KB)  


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Coral
Re: Bead Volcano -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/14/2008, 18:07:49

The upper strand here is the "apple coal." This material has been available, usually from the Philippines, since the 1970s. It is often dyed red, and sometimes hardened with a lacquer or plastic coating that's added (by dipping) or painted on. Apple coral is closely related to "tiger coral"—basically the same material, not dyed red, but being light yellow with brown lines.

Apple coral is not (or should not be) expensive, but it also should not be taken for granted. Like ALL organic materials we exploit for decoration, these and other corals and materials are in danger of being over-exploited.

The lower group is dyed bamboo coral from China—a material that has been around since about 1995. However, we have seen a lot of red-dyed coral, and this is different for being more orange—the common color of many natural corals. So, in some respects these are more natural-looking, in not having the unrealistic strident red of many similar beads. That is to say, these are slightly more difficult to identify as having been treated, because their color is close to what many people will expect.

JDA.

222_apple_coral.jpg (36.1 KB)  224_dyed_coral.jpg (30.8 KB)  


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Fake Turquoise
Re: Bead Volcano -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/14/2008, 18:15:47

In recent years, Chinese beadmakers have—with considerable cunning—made gazillions of fake turquoise beads from treated magnesite. The magnesite itself is opaque white and featureless. First, they have to add the "matrix" that consists of irregular dark lines suggesting the random matrix lines of actual turquoise; and then they have to dye (or artificially color) the stone blue-green. A great deal of this material is also hardened through some process that may be something like plasticization (but remains a secret).

This work has become better and better each year. Magnesite has been chosen because, unlike other materials, the coloring agent percolates all through the stone, uniformly coloring it throughout. (Many other dyed stones remain white (or whatever) in their interiors.)

I selected the present beads because I thought they were both realistic-looking and beautiful. Each in its own way. However, looking at them through a lens, they fare less well.

Still, who can beat $6. a strand?

JDA.

220_fake_turq.jpg (50.9 KB)  


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By the way....
Re: Fake Turquoise -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/15/2008, 17:07:48

I meant to mention, at Tucson and many bead shows nowadays, you can buy what is being represented as "white turquoise"—that is merely magnesite that has the matrix effect added, but has not been colored. It is a bizarre twist in misrepresentation to call this stuff "turquoise." If it's been dyed blue, it's fake turquoise..., but to called the undyed material "white turquoise" is quite a stretch.

Last year, I was talking to a bead seller who maintained that ALL the magnesite beads were actually made from reconstructed magnesite. (Basically, presumably, magnesite powder that has been glued together—as with epoxy—to make reconstructed blocks.) I have not determined to what degree this may be true—but it's an interesting observation and admonition that should be considered.

JDA.



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Dyed Magnesite is an improvement
Re: Fake Turquoise -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
02/15/2008, 19:25:19

for sure over dyed howlite from 20+ years ago. I think the brown pseudo-matrix is nice looking. Russ told me they are doing it in other colors now, too, not just to emulate turquoise.

About the so-called "white turquoise" - "White Buffalo" is still all over the place. Does this site explain correctly what it could be? Or? ....

Thanks!


Related link: White Buffalo...

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"White Buffalo Turquoise" - I wish I could believe this story.
Re: Dyed Magnesite is an improvement -- Joyce Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/16/2008, 03:20:40



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"White Buffalo Turquoise" - A marketing name
Re: "White Buffalo Turquoise" - I wish I could believe this story. -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Russ Nobbs Post Reply
02/16/2008, 11:43:16

There are some good threads over at the mndat.org forum on this.

http://www.mindat.org/forum.php?read,6,5549,5549#msg-5549

http://www.mindat.org/forum.php?read,11,80084,80237#msg-80237

Bottom line? "White Buffalo Turquoise" is NOT a turquoise as we know that stone in the US. It is not a copper aluminum phosphate. It might be an alumina phosphate but it is more likely magnesite or magnesium carbonate.

Previous conversations about this asked if the so called white turquoise on the market were made from ground up stone. There are a few "carved" beads that might be made from molded, compressed powder but most of this stuff is just solid white magnesite, dyed blue (or various colors), crazed in some manner to give it good "matrix" markings and sometimes tumbled with shoe polish type materials to give solid blacks in the crevices of the "brain" or "cauliflower" style nodules.



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Re: "White Buffalo Turquoise" - A marketing name
Re: "White Buffalo Turquoise" - A marketing name -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/16/2008, 14:57:45

Hi Russ,

These are very interesting dialogues—to be sure—but they do not address, or barely address the issue we are facing here: that a Chinese product (not a supposedly rare material from Nevada, supposedly used by Native Americans) is being mass-marketed as "white turquoise."

As long as they are discussing an American mineral, they are not discussing a significant and broader Chinese scam..., I mean "marketing ploy." To be sure, there are elements of parallelism. Perhaps the Chinese makers got the idea from the NA situation (since the selling of howlite as "turquoise" [of any type or variety] has been going on for as long as I've been around).

I. for one, am glad that here at BC.N we mostly speak/write in complete sentences. Some of the mineral dialogue was hard to follow, and verging on being too jargonistic. "Help" that I have to think about too hard or for too long, is not much "help." I don't think these guys have the Big Picture, but I also don't think they claim to have it.

Jamey



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Magnesite Public Service Announcement
Re: Fake Turquoise -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Russ Nobbs Post Reply
02/15/2008, 21:58:09

Last year I introduced Jamey to Tammy and Eddy Thomason at Thomason Stone and Supply. Here's a picture of the PSA at their booth this year. Tammy wrote a great article about magnesite selling as variously named turquoise in the G&LW Show book.

Many vendors still sell all the colors of magnesite as a type of turquoise. Magnesium Carbonate, MgCO3, a mineral that is not related to turquoise in any way. Turquoise is a hydrated phosphate of copper, aluminum and often iron. Turquoise is a variable mineral with a variety of chemical formulae representing it. One is Cu(Al,Fe3+)6[(OH)4(PO4)2 + 4H2O (sorry this forum does not do equations well) Turquoise is a copper mineral. ALL forms of turquoise contain copper. Magnesite contains NO copper.

--Russ (Rings & Things)

MagnesitePSA.JPG (127.1 KB)  


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It was great to meet and talk to Ed last year. I'm sorry I missed you both this year.
Re: Magnesite Public Service Announcement -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/16/2008, 03:22:39



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Thank you Russ and Jamey
Re: Magnesite Public Service Announcement -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
02/16/2008, 07:50:16

I've seen magnesite with next to no "matrix" that will surely pass for turquoise in the future, even if it's debut at shows and in stores is represented correctly. Since it's value is very minimal compared to quality turquoise, it's a red flag to turquoise lovers.

But...having not bought any magnesite, I haven't broken any beads - does the dye really penetrate all the way through, even big chunks?



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Penetration..., Reconstruction
Re: Thank you Russ and Jamey -- Joyce Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/16/2008, 15:06:16

Hi Joyce,

I haven't broken lots of pieces yet, but I will take the word of Ed on this matter, since my experience confirms what he said, as much as I have done it. The dyed magnesite beads I have seen inside are green or bluish green all the way through.

What is really surprising (in my opinion) is that the "matrix" is entirely superficial. It is purely a surface treatment—leading me to believe these marks have been strategically placed on the stones or bead-blanks (however you want to think of it). It is not merely the distressing of the material to make cracks (for instance), but is a style of application that is designed to be "turquoise-like." HOW they do this would be very interesting to know. Also, a reasonable idea of the percentage of material (in this arena) that is reconstructed would be useful information.

Jamey



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Enhanced matrix in magnesite
Re: Penetration..., Reconstruction -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Russ Nobbs Post Reply
02/16/2008, 20:19:15

I think I've posted this picture before. It shows the detail of the matrix that is created on the surface of the beads in BOTH the blue dyed and the plain white. I've never seen this process. I can only guess that it's done after the beads are cut with heat/cool and a brown dye that penetrates a short way into the stone. I'll start asking about the process when I next visit Chinese stone factories. I don't think it is much of a secret process anymore.

The blue dye does penetrate the bead, nearly all the way in most cases. Some beads have white areas. I'm not sure if this is because the dye does not penetrate there or because of some problem in the process. I see that mostly on the nuggety stuff they call cauliflower or brain nodules. The nuggety stuff is not always crazed with the brown dye. It's often seen with black dye (shoe polish?)tumbled into the crevices.

I wonder how similar the enhanced matrix process is to the process that produces the crazing on the Tibetan style agates discussed in the start of this thread?

image


Related link: Magnesite picture
Modified by Russ Nobbs at Sat, Feb 16, 2008, 20:22:01

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PHOTO of Enhanced matrix in magnesite
Re: Enhanced matrix in magnesite -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Russ Nobbs Post Reply
02/16/2008, 20:24:33

Here's the picture

Magnesite.jpg (157.9 KB)  


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Thanks Russ,
Re: PHOTO of Enhanced matrix in magnesite -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
02/16/2008, 22:33:13

This is nice looking material! I do now remember seeing the green-dyed gaspeite appearing color last year. And seeing stuff out of China marked "chalk turquoise". Are they faking sugilite and dying it purple yet?



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There is definitely already fake sugilite. I bought some about 6 years ago.
Re: Thanks Russ, -- Joyce Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/17/2008, 01:37:33



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Re: PHOTO of Enhanced matrix in magnesite
Re: PHOTO of Enhanced matrix in magnesite -- Russ Nobbs Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/17/2008, 01:40:43

Hi Russ,

I think it's clear that a crackle effect has been applied to some turquoise-dyed magnesite. And I think we can reasonably assume it's a distress process that involves heating and chilling. But the MATRIX effect is something different. It is artful, and not random cracking.

Many of these beads have "matrix" and do not have crackle.

Jamey.



Modified by Beadman at Sun, Feb 17, 2008, 01:41:35

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Opalino & Citrine
Re: Bead Volcano -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/14/2008, 18:24:44

The seller had different sorts of opalino beads, and I discarded plain roundels for faceted roundels (or oblates). Opalino is the name Italians have given to a glass they invented that is dichroic and pale blue/yellow. In reflected light the glass is somewhat milky and bluish. In transmitted light, the glass turns bright yellow, tending toward orange or even flashes of red. It is pretty stuff. These beads are Chinese.

Unfortunately, over the past six years, a plethora of Chinese glass beads have been passed off as "stone" and particularly "quartz." But it is some of the nicest glass around.

The citrine strand, below, may have begun as amethyst. It is a well known fact that if one were to heat-treat some amethyst, it can turn either green or yellow. So, commercially, some "citrine" is just yellowed amethyst. Ametrine is likewise so-heat-treated (but also found naturally, more rarely).

I selected these because I like the color, and find their look comparable to amber (though also different).

More after dinner....

JDA.

225_opalino.jpg (40.2 KB)  164_citrine.jpg (38.3 KB)  


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Interesting selection in this "Volcano" pile.
Re: Bead Volcano -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Carl Dreibelbis Post Reply
02/14/2008, 19:16:42

I saw this guy also and looked through his stuff. This was my first time to the Electric Park show but will go again. Interesting stuff.



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Isis Ray
Re: TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/15/2008, 02:31:06

Every year I try to buy at least one bead from a contemporary beadmaker, and usually someone who works skillfully in glass. This year I was taken by the work of Isis Ray—who is remarkably talented. Among other things, she creates excellent reproductions of Roman Period face canes (work I have done in Fimo, which is itself hard enough).

Although I didn't feel I could afford to buy a face plaque, I was very attracted to this set of lampwork beads, made with the most juicy, luscious fuscia glass you can imagine. Isis created the color by combining gold rubino (a glass that makes a very nice red tone with mineral gold) with a lavender glass. The beads are pretty simple in design—but simple can be good.

I expect this is the beginning of a future necklace.

JDA.

236_isisray_bds.jpg (38.4 KB)  


Modified by Beadman at Fri, Feb 15, 2008, 02:31:44

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Vintage Venetian Millefiori Beads
Re: TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/15/2008, 02:40:15

It is always a pleasure to visit Mike and Marie who operate East Of Oz beads, and set up at the Gem Mall. (My favorite place after the Quality Inn.) Mike and Marie can be counted upon to have the best vintage Venetian beads made for the European/American market (as opposed to typical trade beads—though they have some of these as well).

Some Twenty-five years ago, I managed to buy a group of five furoca beads, made from red and yellow flower canes, and cut into bicones (almost), from the 1920s. They are so weird and hard to use, these five beads have never been in a necklace since their original tattered Liberty necklace, I bought for a song at The Bead Store in San Francisco. And I have wanted to make something spectacular with them.

So, when my eyes focused on this group of millefiori beads from the same time, using the same cane (conventionally), I felt I had to have these. I was so gratified that Marie and Mike were kind enough to let me have them for a good price.

So, down the road I will be showing-off what I think will be a unique and amazing necklace. Thanks to Marie and Mike!

JDA.

240_1920_venetian.jpg (41.4 KB)  


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Calcite & Sugilite
Re: TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/15/2008, 02:51:56

Being a Pisces, I love the color combination of sea-green and violet. The day we went to the River Park (still called the Pueblo by many people), I hung out with Walt and Nancy Seifried for a while, but also wandered around. I noticed a booth advertising strands of beads for $10 each, and also their table with a PILE of greenish-blue calcite beads of various shapes and sizes. The color is something like that of an aquamarine. It turned out these beads were not included in the ten-buck sale, but they were not too pricey.

When I went inside, I found this was the Sugilite Company, and that they specialized in this gorgeous mineral that many people have come to love over the past couple of decades. I own a few sugilite beads, but not many. I was attracted to a few necklaces they offered for sale, that consisted of pale-colored material. This is perhaps not "the best" sugilite, but the colors are, at eye level, very easy to appreciate for being violet. (A lot of "good" sugilite is rather dark in tone, although it's also very intensely violet.) So I bought one of these.

Details next.

JDA.

246_calcite_sugilite.jpg (38.9 KB)  


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Details
Re: Calcite & Sugilite -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/15/2008, 02:53:34

Here are these beads, seen closer. JDA.

253_calcite.jpg (36.7 KB)  sugilite_comp.jpg (45.9 KB)  


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Irises in spring grass.
Re: Details -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Logan Post Reply
02/15/2008, 03:18:16

Yep. My colors, as well. Lovely.



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Chinese Star Canes
Re: TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/15/2008, 03:03:57

Last year, much was made of the fact that a company at the Electric Park show was selling Chinese star canes for making chevron beads. I had intended to buy some, but passed until this year. These guys also had Chinese chevron beads, some of which I did acquire last year and this time.

Art Seymour also bought them last year, and has made some beads from the canes—performing his usual excellent job of cutting, shaping, and polishing. Oddly, while I was selecting the four canes I decided to buy, someone came up behind me and said "are you planning to cut some chevron beads?" And I replied, "I don't think so—I'm not Art Seymour." And it WAS Art Seymour....

So here are those four lengths of cane, being blue, green, black, and red on their exteriors, followed by a close-up.

JDA.

282_chinese_canes.jpg (35.5 KB)  chinese_canes_close.jpg (39.9 KB)  


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And Some Beads
Re: Chinese Star Canes -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/15/2008, 03:05:26

These are the four strands of Chinese chevron beads I selected at the same time I bought the canes.

JDA.

269_chinese_chev.jpg (61.4 KB)  


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Ginormous Chinese Chevron Beads
Re: TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/15/2008, 03:15:49

From Abdul Touray I received two H U G E Chinese chevron beads, that he bought in China on a recent trip. I imagine these are the beads that Phil has been mentioning to us in the past few months, but hadn't shown yet. (Joyce has already shown her's here.)

The conventional oval red bead can be seen from two angles. As may happen, the perforation is much larger at one aperture than the other. It's a six-layer bead of alternating translucent red and white.

The lower bead is a monster of a bicone, in six layers of dark blue and white.

My immediate plans are not to make these beads into jewelry (until I acquire a pet elephant or camel), unless I am inspired to do that. Anything is possible—but these will probably just be nice display pieces..., and some day they will be in The Bead Museum.

Until I get my new computer set up (in a day or two), that's all for now.

Show us YOUR beads!

Jamey

271_giant_red_chev.jpg (43.4 KB)  275_giant_blu_chev.jpg (38.9 KB)  


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Perhaps a water buffalo or a rhino?
Re: Ginormous Chinese Chevron Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Carl Dreibelbis Post Reply
02/15/2008, 05:00:51



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At this point, it should be a WHITE water buffalo (!)
Re: Perhaps a water buffalo or a rhino? -- Carl Dreibelbis Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/16/2008, 15:07:41



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Re: Ginormous Chinese Chevron Beads
Re: Ginormous Chinese Chevron Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: SanDiegosBestBeads! Post Reply
02/15/2008, 09:38:29

Yup Jamey - these are the giants I was referring to! We have 3 full strands of them - Green, Blue & Red - that all (especially children) seem to be enchanted with! They do make great exhibits. I wore a strand for about 20 minutes and had a sore neck for 3 days!!! By the way - I got in Tucson - another GINORMOUS BEAD. This is a Dzi bead...with (gasp) 99 eyes....which I understand may be emblematic of the 99 names of God? This bead is the size of a Shiva Lingam....or about the size of perhaps a dozen or more of these large Chevrons. Enjoy!



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Hi Phil. We HAVE to see that new zi bead!
Re: Re: Ginormous Chinese Chevron Beads -- SanDiegosBestBeads! Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/15/2008, 16:32:38



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Incredible beads!!
Re: TUCSON ACQUISITIONS - Chinese Agate Eye Beads -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
02/15/2008, 13:01:49

Jamey, these are beautiful. They have the look of laminated wood, the layers are so distinct. Have you posted information on these previously? I would like to learn more about them.

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

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referring to your first pic.
Re: Incredible beads!! -- Luann Udell Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
02/15/2008, 13:03:42

I realize my post ended at the bottom of the heap, not directly under your first images. All the beads you bought are interesting, but especially the beads in the bracelets you bought from Abdul, the Chinese "eye" agates are the ones that fascinate me.

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

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I agree they are attractive. Here's how....
Re: Incredible beads!! -- Luann Udell Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/15/2008, 16:48:18

Hi Luann,

Over that past few years I have shown new Chinese banded agates quite a few times, but I can't think of much that would be quite like these. The "laminated" effect derives from the layered structure of the agate they selected for these beads.

Basically, the Chinese are acquiring Brazilian agate, that is nondescript and boring, but that takes color treatments well and easily. This is the stuff the Germans at Idar-Oberstein have been using since about 1881, for these same reasons and processes. This Brazilian agate has terrific "porosity"—being able to absorb the mineral baths it is subjected to to add color.

In the case of the present agate, these beads have been made brown/black and red. (The red to a much lesser degree.) This makes the material banded brown or black agate, with some red or reddish areas (appearing more reddish-brown). Presently, the Chinese can color agate multicolors—and I have specimens that combine red with yellow, green, and black. Lately a lot is black and red. The brown/black color results from soaking in a sugar solution (providing carbon). The carnelian effect comes from iron. (The Germans dissolved iron nails in sulphuric or nitric acid. I don't know what the Chinese are doing to get an iron-rich solution.)

Then, depending on how the agate is cut, the patterns are either linear (stripes) or circular (spots and circles), or combinations—a lot depending on the layered structure of the agate too. So, over the past fifteen years, Chinese beadmakers have taken advantage of these methods, and have a made a lot of beads that I would say are closely related. So, the answer to you question is, yes—I have shown and discussed similar beads a number of times. (Often right after Tucson!)

Be well. Jamey



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thanks Jamey! n/m
Re: I agree they are attractive. Here's how.... -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
02/16/2008, 11:56:48

xxx

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

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