Merry Christmas, Turquoise Beads, Selling Online, & Gem Properties

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Turquoise & the birthstone for December
How to Sell Beads Online
Properties of Gemstones
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Turquoise & the birthstone for December
Turquoise is a soft, opaque gemstone & formed by volcanic rock reacting to copper deposits brought by water. Ranging from blue-green, to yellow-green with grey, black or brown veining. Turquoise has been found in 5,000-year-old Egyptian tombs and the Tibetans used it as currency centuries ago. North Africa and the Middle East hold large deposits, but most turquoise today originates from Burma and is carved in China. Turquoise didn't reach Europe until the crusades when the name originated, meaning "Turkish stone".

Ancient doctors thought turquoise prevented injury in accidents and ground it into a powder to cure stomach disorders, internal bleeding, and insect bites. Turquoise has always been used to protect the wearer from danger, attract wealth, and warn as a talisman or good luck charm. Some believe it will fade when danger or illness is near, or a lover is unfaithful. It is also said to protect against pollution and strengthen the body.

Turquoise is porous, so contact with liquids, oils or even perspiration should be avoided. Jewelry should be removed before washing. Turquoise is commonly impregnated with plastic, colorless oil or wax to improve color and increase durability. Untreated turquoise will eventually turn green. As genuine turquoise is expensive, reconstituted turquoise is made today. Crafted from real turquoise chips fused with other stones to cut the cost.

How to Sell Beads Online
Selling beads online is easy. Much easier than selling from a bricks & mortar shop or a trade show. Also, because beads are small and relatively light, they are an ideal product to trade online. You can sell them by the strand, in batches of loose beads, or strung together as necklaces or bracelets. It all depends on your supply, if you can get a lot, then strand or loose will sell faster online. Here are my top ten tips selling beads online:

1. Make sure your heading is catchy and descriptive. The heading is the first thing that catches the eye of a potential buyer when selling on auctions. Unless the heading is good a buyer won't even get as far as looking at your auction. Especially with so much competition these days. Go through eBay and note good selling titles for similar beads you want to sell.
2. Make a good photo. The main thing an online buyer has to go is the photograph & good pictures sell! Get in close, crop hard, enhance the contrast, and reduce to about 400 pixels wide. Although many have broadband these days, too large an image will put off buyers with a dial-up connection. If your camera won't focus close enough to fill the frame with your beads, then shoot from further away and crop with an image editing program. One of the fastest and easiest to use is ACDSee - not as sophisticated as Photoshop, but much cheaper and simpler to use. To down load for under $50 go to
3. Get the price right. If you are selling on auctions, then many other sellers force you to set your minimum bid at a competitive price. With too high a price you won't get any bids. Check successful sales of similar beads to give you a guide.
4. Work out your best strategy selling on eBay. This will depend on what site you're selling on. In the US eBay increased fees make a preference to sell on 7-day auctions. Where on their UK site I favor 10-day listings because they cover two weekends (when most buyers are online), and don't cost any more. eBay gallery pictures can be expensive if you have a lot of listings, but I think the increased exposure more than covers it.
5. Good contact between you and the buyer is important. Answer e-mails fast (within 24-hours most of the time), and send out prompt letters to winners, non-payers, and problem customers. Make as much clear on the actual action as you can to save unnecessary letters. Especially shipping prices and payment options.
6. Offer Paypal as a payment option. Paypal is simple once set up, fast, and economical. It's also the best way for buyers to pay internationally. And make sure you do offer sales to international buyers & there's no disadvantage with a wider catchment.
7. Don't just rely on eBay auctions. One tip worth more than your computer system is to establish an eBay store & easy and cheap to do. Then just put your best sellers on auction and everything in the store, relying on links from the auctions to bring sales to your store. Works a treat and saves you a packet in eBay bills. And the more stores you have, the more you will sell. If you're selling a lot, consider a MarketWorks store too. This is linked to your auction sales and encourages extra add-on purchases outside of eBay. And for high-volume sellers, Miva offer the best online store software & get the store for free by signing a hosting contract with someone like NetNation at Because of less competition you should also see at a higher price in your store.
8. Don't loose out on postage & packing! It's not a rip off to charge buyers more postage & packing than the mail costs you. Consider all the time it takes to sort and mail orders, apart from purchasing materials and the actual packing. If it's a business, someone has to pay for this time. I bet your bank charges you more for a simple letter than most sellers charge to mail a string of beads. Also, eBay doesn't take a commission from your shipping charges.
9. Don't try to do everything yourself. Sign-up to an auction management system like MarketWorks at (the best) or Andale at To see a comparison of 50 of these auction tools go to Any fees incurred will be more than covered by the increased sales you have more time to make. Many of these management systems list automatically, send personalized winner letters, combine shipping on multiple wins and automate feedback.
10. Find a good bead supplier like MrBead at & click the wholesale link to see what you can save. Buying in bulk will allow you a larger mark-up on sales. Always buy more than you need because you don't want to loose future sales if you can't get any more the same. It's a lot of work photographing and listing new items, rather than relisting older beads. However, to keep sales rolling, you do need to keep adding fresh stock to your inventory too.

Gemstone Properties

Properties of Gemstones
Each gemstone has a different effect - take this into account when choosing. Your Christmas gift could help your relatives and friends more than any other present!

Agate was highly valued as a talisman in ancient times and has been used as a traveler's amulet for centuries. Believed to bring good fortune, health, wealth and long life. As well as quenching thirst and preventing fevers, Persian magicians used agate to divert storms and athletes to increase vitality. It's also said to bring self-confidence by banishing fear. Some swear that wearing agate heightens spiritual consciousness and balance the body's physical and mental states.
Amethyst is an especially powerful stone, a symbol of sincerity, security, and peace of mind. It protects, reduces negativity and brings spirituality - hence the name "Pope Stone". Although some say amethyst is less powerful than fluorite, which also carries the purple ray, linked with the zodiac it can help psychic knowledge. Healers of times gone by suggest this stone could help dream inspiration if placed under the pillow at night. Legend even says drinking from an amethyst chalice will prevent intoxication.
Aventurine & Amazonite
Spiritualists believe aventurine has the ability to purify the spirit and bring balance to male and female energies. Its capacity to calm and bring inner-peace makes aventurine a very important stone in the spiritual realm. Green is the color of healing - with aventurine the all-purpose healer. Not only good for physical disorders, blockages and migraine, but also healing on all levels. Amazonite, sometimes called Amazon Jade, is a similar stone to Aventurine. Some say Amazonite makes your married life happier.
Carnelian is for confidence. Said to help blood disorders and eliminate toxins from the body. Carnelian is in tune with the energies of the Earth, making you feel anchored and comfortable with your environment. Allowing you to pause and reflect, while feeling settled and more secure. Carnelian also stimulates energy that influences the reproductive organs; hence it's long use as a fertility symbol. It is said to stimulate creativity and have a clearing effect, replacing negative energy with positive. Making it easier to find direction and feel in control of your life. A good stone for people starting new projects or who feel they are going nowhere. It motivates, allowing you to find the energy to make the most out of life.
This yellow color is a natural reviver, and citrine focuses the mind bringing a feeling of self-esteem. In medication it helps re-establish the link between your conscious and subconscious minds. If you are feeling down, try holding citrine to lift your spirit. It's also very good at healing the body and helping people communicate. Citrine has warm energy, promotes optimism, and attracts abundance.
Fluorite brings perceptiveness, peace and calm to a troubled mind. It's particularly useful in medication, because holding even a small piece in the hand brings a sense of inner peace. Those who choose this stone are likely to be artistic and creative, being able to earn money from their talent & as well as self-critical with a fear of failure. Fluorite is considered to be the most powerful healing stone, especially for strengthening the bone tissue.
Travelers wore garnets as they were considered talismans and protective stones, because it was believed garnets illuminate the night and wore off evil. Said to remove nightmares and depression. Today science says the proverbial luminosity of garnet is caused by its high refraction.
Gaspeite was used by Aborigine's to bring good fortune, visions and grant success. It is known to reduce stress and help with gallbladder, lung and heart problems. It's also thought that Gaspeite brings spirituality into everyday life. It awakens illusions, attracts friendship, and removes the veil between distress and ignorance and aids assurance. Gaspeite also helps to reduce emotional ignorance and prevents loss.
Hematite is a protective stone and it's energies help you connect with the Earth and its benefits. Use this stone during meditation to escape the illusionary chains of physical reality and become more connected to your true, spirit self - its been used as an aid to astral projection. It also bolsters low self-esteem, making you feel more comfortable and better about yourself. Its grounding and soothing energies can help you relax and unwind both physically and mentally. Hematite is said to be closely tied to the blood due to its iron content. Believed to aid the kidneys, speed tissue regeneration, and contribute to improving the blood, and so the overall health of your entire body.
It is believed to radiate divine unconditional love and balance the emotions. Held in the hand it can improve judgment - ancient silk traders often held jade while bartering. A small piece of jade worn around the neck was said to dispel illness.
Jasper is known as the "Patron stone of counselors and healers". Being very healing and balancing, it was used for many different medications. Ancient people used jasper to relieve pain, especially childbirth. Jasper is reported to sooth the nerves and to treat the kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver and stomach. Red jasper is an intensely protective stone, stabilizing the aura and bringing contentment - even said to assist astral travel during meditation. Poppy jasper is thought to heal allergies to animals. Picture jasper helps to evaluate life's issues and develop business pursuits leading to increase. Fancy jasper believed to clear the mind, bring tranquility and eliminate worry and depression. And green jasper is thought to be lucky in monetary trades.
Lapis Lazuli
Through the ages, lapis has been associated with power, wisdom, love, and a stimulant for psychic ability. For many people lapis is a stone of truth and friendship. Bringing harmony to relationships and helping its wearer openly state their individual opinion. While aiding inner vision, wisdom, insight and good judgment. It's also said to be good for treating thyroid problems and helping to get in touch with our inner selves. A powerful gemstone that should not be worn by those who lack strength of character.
The green stripes have the ability to soothe and bring rest - helping sleep, meditation, the circulation and balancing emotions. The copper content helps rheumatism. It's also the guardian stone of travelers who wear it to warn of danger. The magic of malachite is also thought to attract love and wealth and change energies in your life and environment. Some say malachite travels the world in search of energies to change. If your life is in a rut, try wearing malachite - but beware of unstoppable change.
Rhodonite has similar properties to malachite - stabilizing the emotions, soothing and bringing order to feelings. Its steady uplift gradually makes your emotional foundation more solid and secure - allowing body and emotions to harmonize and respond to life's situations.
Moonstone is thought to grow stronger or weaker with the moons cycle. During full-moon it's a very powerful stone for the reconciling of love, and as the moon decreases, is said to allow person to foretell the future. In India it's sacred for lovers. A feminine stone for the inner-child, female issues and nurturing - but also used by men who want to reach their female side and to understand dreams. Moonstone brings confidence and calms the emotions, easing an understanding of spirituality, intuition, and clairvoyance. Also known to protect against fever, dropsy, fluid-retention and urinary problems. Especially protective to seafarers who have been using it since ancient times.
An Australian aboriginal healing stone that bestows strength. It helps heal wounds and regeneration. Useful in stabilizing health and in fortifying the immune system, Mookaite also purifies the blood in the liver and the spleen and can help with the glands in general, the stomach, water retention and with hernias. Mookaite encourages the desire for variety and new experiences. It makes thoughts more flexible and enhances decision making. It also helps us to recognize that there could be several possibilities for the outcome of any issue, and helps choose the best solution to that issue. It also celebrates new circumstances and helps dealing with negative situations. Mookaite helps us to be kind to others and to ourselves. It is a very protective stone, and is particularly good as an emotional protector.
Obsidian is a nurturing stone that can help you to accept the changes that are a part of everyone's live. Its energy has a grounding, stabilizing influence, and can help dispel negative energy. But for healing, it's recommend to balance obsidian with a lighter crystal, like smoky quart. Also used to improve vision, relieve digestive problems, and clear the mind. And is sometimes gazed into like a crystal ball, to obtain images and help find inner spiritual vision.
Although regarded as protective, onyx has a reputation as a stone of discord. Onyx was worn to cool the ardors of love, probably because it helps to balance the mind and emotions. Not only avoided by lovers, but also at night, as it provoked nightmares. However, it does improve concentration and devotion, hence many onyx rosaries. Onyx is a strength-giving stone, aiding confidence and useful for athletes or people under stress. Its energy is a mental tonic and can help you cope with fears and worries, making you feel in harmony with your surroundings.
The ancients esteemed the opal highly, and attributed to it an influence for every possible good. This belief outlasted the Middle Ages, and in the early part of the seventeenth century the opal is recorded as being as highly valued as ever. Then arose a superstition that the fiery stone was unlucky, and this became prevalent everywhere until Queen Victoria gave opal to each of her daughters at their marriage. Today opal is again regarded as a lucky, if not expensive, stone.
Peridot is recommended for insomnia, digestive problems and to stimulate the mind. Some say peridot has the power to drive away evil spirits, intensified when the stone is set in gold. And it's also said to strengthen the power of any medicine drunk from peridot goblets.
The ancients all knew the magical powers of quartz. Using it to strengthen the sun's rays to bring heat, and Chinese Feng-shui teaches that arranging crystals around the home retains positive energy. Crystals were important to these people because of the belief in their capacity to store and amplify any power source fed into them - physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Today's crystal therapists say that the stones' ability to work as a conductor allows energy to be focused via a person's thoughts to stimulate healing. And many people use crystal to focus attention on what they want. With a little imagination, you too can use crystal's energy to access a higher level of consciousness and turn a desire into reality. All types of crystal have this power, but individual color crystal is believed to have other uses too. Rose quartz, the stone of unconditional love, is great for emotional healing. Red, yellow, and orange stones are said to produce energy; clear and aquamarine stones are healers; and lavender and blue-violet are calming stones.
Sodalite & Unikite
Especially valuable for those in mental confusion & it helps rationalize decisions and calms the emotions. It also encourages self-expression, by uniting logical thought with the spirit and helping you realize that you don't have to do things the way you always have. And it's been said that a piece of sodalite under the pillow can help you remember dreams. Unakite is famous for finding the root cause of an illness & useful for conditions where the symptoms can't otherwise be treated. It works by allowing the gentle release of long-term energy blocks, leading to an emotionally calm state. Also believed to stimulate the reproductive system, encourage pregnancy, and helping the healthy development of the baby in the womb. Some people even say Unakite can neutralize the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation from television sets.
Tiger's-Eye is good for those worried about health as it's said to guard against hypochondria. It builds will-power and inner-strength, and has traditionally been used to heal wounds, eyes, and the lower legs and feet. It's also said to bring spiritual well-being and psychic protection & as well as attracting beauty and abundance.
Turquoise & Howlite
Ancient doctors thought turquoise prevented injury in accidents and ground it into a powder to cure stomach disorders, internal bleeding, and insect bites. Turquoise has always been used to protect the wearer from danger, attract wealth, and warn as a talisman or good luck charm. Some believe it will fade when danger or illness is near, or a lover is unfaithful. It is also said to protect against pollution and strengthen the body. Howlite has similar properties.

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