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Monthly Archives: September 2010

  • Chinese Gaming Counters

    Since Roman times, games of chance have used gambling chips to keep track of wagers. Originally crude metal or clay disks, they slowly evolved into todays casino chips.

    The heyday of counters existed in the 1720 to 1840 era. Trade routes with China brought back exotic silks, spices, and handmade goods never seen in Europe. Anything Chinese was all the rage, and among the most popular items were the beautiful mother-of-pearl chips known as gaming counters.

  • What is a Tourmaline?

    Found in such varied locations as Sri Lanka, Siberia, and California, tourmalines are a family of gemstones noted for their variety of colors.  They exist in hot pink shades known as rubellite, deep blue shades called indicolite, and numerous other tints of greens and blue-greens. Some of the most desirable gemstones in the world are the electric turquoise blue gems known as paraiba tourmalines, which are mined in Brazil.  Occasionally two or more colors will exist in the same tourmaline crystal, often referred to as bi-color or watermelon tourmalines. Gems that show two distinct color differences are particularly prized.

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