Month: June 2010

Spotlight on Turquoise

Turquoise is a popular gemstone that has been used in art for centuries. Egyptian and Aztec artists and artisans first used turquoise in jewellery, sculpture, and mosaics. Found in light blue to green hues, it may also be flecked with pyrite, or have white, brown or black “marbling”, or matrix. Iran, Egypt, and Arizona, USA are the current top producers of turquoise.

Traditionally, turquoise is the birthstone for December. This honour is now shared with modern December birthstones tanzanite and blue topaz. Believers in the healing power of gemstones believe that turquoise is soothing and grounding, and a great stone for meditation.

This relatively soft stone rates a 5-6 on the Mohs hardness scale. Because turquoise is naturally soft and porous, soemtimes even chalky, it is treated to enhance its colour and durability. Traditionally, turquoise was lightly waxed or oiled. A simple heat test can prove if this treatment has been used, and purists generally agree that this treatment is acceptable. More commonly, plastic and water glass treatments are used to “bond” or “stabilize” turquoise, and these treatments are more permanent and stable. It is up to the individual purchaser/wearer whether to purchase treated turquoise.

Because of its porosity, some care should be taken when wearing turquoise. Its colour can be affected by perfumes, body oils, cosmetics, and even strong sunlight. Store it in a location where it won’t be scratched by other items, and clean gently with a soft cloth.

Because great-quality turquoise is in such high demand, there are plenty of imitation and simulated turquoise items out there. Some common look-alike stones include dyed howlite, and magnesite, both of which are naturally white. These can often be identified by inspecting the beads – the inside of the drilled hole should be the same colour as the stone. If it’s white, it’s fake. There are also plastic and glass fakes, which can usually be identified by their feel/texture, and by the potential presence of bubbles. Plastic can be identified by introducing a hot item to an inconspicuous spot to see if it melts.

Find some great gift ideas for yourself or your favourite December birthday!

Turquoise and Moonstone necklace and earring jewellery set

Event! Basement Artists Music & Art Show

Drakestail Jewellery will be at the July 3rd Basement Artists Music & Art Show at Babylon Nightclub in Ottawa. Doors open at 7:00 and the show goes until 10:30.

This event features 3 bands (Harvey Cartel, Courtney Thorman, and Hot Corn, Cold Corn) as well as 20+ local artists and artisans. If you’d like a ticket you can get them from Robyn or myself, just leave us a message here. We’d love to see you there, it promises to be a really fun night!

For more information about Basement Artists please visit their website here:


Event! Simply Raw Festival 2010

This Saturday, check out the Simply Raw Festival in Central Park, on Clemow in the Glebe.  There’ll be food, vendors (including Drakestail!) , food, presentations, yoga, food, and even a pie contest.  The festival is all day, from 10am to 9pm.  If you do go, stop by and say hi!
Festival information is here: http://www.simplyra festival- 2010/, or check out the Festival Facebook page.

Upcoming show!

Drakestail Jewellery has donated pieces to a charity auction supporting Engineers Without Borders and a Ugandan medical student. There will be an open mic night on Thursday June 10th, at Raw Sugar Café, 692 Somerset Street W. in Ottawa.  Please see full details at the EWB Ottawa website.

Hello world!

This is the home of Drakestail Jewellery.  We have lots of content coming soon: event listings, galleries of our work, and much more.  Please be patient as we set up our new home.

If you wish to contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

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