Christmas Newsletter

December 14, 2006

Just a quick note to outline Christmas trading and delivery arrangements as well as remind you of some great last-minute gift ideas.

Time is running out for delivery by Christmas.  If you live overseas, we cannot guarantee parcels will arrive by December 24th even if sent by Fedex so please keep this in mind when ordering from now on.  Our Australian customers only have a few more days for guaranteed delivery by Star Track Express.

If you have left things to the last minute, may we suggest our new Gift Certificates.  This new feature allows you to load funds into your Gift Certificate account and then send to anyone via email.  Your recipient can redeem their certificate by simply following the instructions in their email. 

We have a lot of great items in the online shop now so there is plenty to choose from.  Have had a big run on our rough sapphire catalogue and a great response to our parcels of rough so we hope to list more when time permits. 

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We will be working through the Christmas holiday break so please feel free to contact us any time.  Our mining activity will be a little interrupted by the need to harvest our oats crops and take care of other farming jobs.  Apart from that it will be business as usual.

Aussie Sapphire would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for their support over the past year and wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

cheers from Andrew and Leah

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Calling Crafty People

December 3, 2006

For all of you gemstone and opal cutters out there, we recommend you take a look at our newly stocked Blank Jewellery Setting catalogue.  Just added lots of new items so if you have been wondering what to give your loved ones this Christmas, why not the ultimate gift – something you have made with your own hands.  A gem cut and polished by you, set in a quality piece of jewellery.  The cost is very reasonable and the process is simple so dont leave it too late.

The catalogue is split into Rings, Pendants, Earrings and Cabachon Settings – all stock is in sterling silver (14k gold can be supplied as a special order but will take a little time to arrive from our USA supplier).

Settings are listed here.

We have increased our stock of settings designed for cabbed gems – these are particularly suited for opals and the like.  Note that we do have some cabbed gems in stock that we hope to list as soon as possible but there is a huge range of possibilities out there in the gem world.

While we dont recommend you leave it to the last minute, if you supply an address where parcels can be signed for, we can send by Star Track Express for fast, courier delivery within Australia.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire


Newsletter Dec’06

November 25, 2006

Hi all,

Plenty of time left for shipping all your needs for the perfect Gemstone Christmas.

New stock:  After being asked time and again we have decided to offer full Mine Run Sapphire,the real thing with no specials removed, just $5 AUD/ ct.  Unbeatable value for the serious Gemstone enthusiast.  More mine run parcels of quality Tourmaline, Spessartite, Emerald have also been added with  small parcels at large parcel prices – check them now as next stock will be dearer.  Just check out the new Parcels of Rough category.

We have also added more great individual sapphire rough including some very affordable pieces – still great quality so take a look at these new items.

Christmas special is a 20% discount on all our handmade Gold Jewellery.  A great gift idea for the special person in your life.  Truly unique one off designs at 40-50% off  High Street Retail prices.

Andrew’s Christmas picks:  If you cant see anything above, try these super deals:

  • Gem carat electronic scales just $36 AUD – weighs to 0.05 carats, great value, warranty etc.
  • Diamond powder for faceting  20cts just $26 AUD Hard to buy this cheap – proven quality.
  • Bag a beauty fossicking wash, great for young and old,fun and find guaranteed!! (Aussies only only sorry, overseas buyers look at the concentrated gravel). Check our Fossicking link.  Have fun!

Dont forget free Shipping for combined purchases over $100 AUD – just enter free_shipping in the box at the checkout (Redemption Code) to redeem this offer.

In the TRADE ?  Dont miss out on possible further discounts, ask today.

We have been spending a lot of time listing new products so please take a look – I am sure you will find something of interest.  Courier delivery is available so plenty of time to arrive before Christmas.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire

  


Halloween Greetings

October 31, 2006

happy-halloween-2.jpgHappy Halloween to everyone who celebrates this traditional holiday.  Although this holiday is not widely celebrated in Australia, for those who are about to go “trick or treating”, have fun!

Of course, black is the colour of choice for Halloween so we suggest you browse our great range of black spinel jewellery.  Dont worry if you missed out on buying something for this year, Black is always in fashion so get in early for next year.

The prices are no trick – so treat yourself !

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Since Glen Innes is known as Celtic Country, I thought it might be of interest to point out that Halloween actually derives from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.   Many of the modern traditions and symbols for Halloween date back to this “fire festival” of the Celts.

Samhain Eve is one of the main festivals of the Celtic calendar, and is thought to fall on or around the 31st of October representing the beginning of winter and the final harvest.   Celtic mythology holds that on this date, the boundary separating the dead from the living became blurred.  It is still the custom in some areas to place food out for the spirits or to set a place for the dead at the Samhain feast, and to tell tales of the ancestors on that night.

Traditionally, Samhain was time to take stock of the herds and grain supplies, and decide which animals would need to be slaughtered in order for the people and livestock to survive the winter.  Bonfires were an important part of the festival – with the bonfire ablaze, the villagers extinguished all other fires. Each family would then light its hearth fire from the common flame, symbolically binding the community together.

For those who would like to learn more about Halloween, we recommend the following links of interest:

cat-full-moon.jpgCheers for now from Aussie Sapphire – the most comprehensive source of faceted Black Spinel Gemstones.


Gourmet in the Glen

September 23, 2006

The New England region is starting to develop a reputation for producing quality wine.  Wine production is not new to the area with vineyards near Inverell dating back to the early 1900’s.  With this century, the industry has been reinvigorated with new vineyards and a vibrant wine show to discover and celebrate the best of the best.

Gourmet in the Glen
Saturday October 7th 2006 

After a modest beginning as “Grapes on the Grass”, this local wine festival now known as “Gourmet in the Glen”is a showcase for New England wine producers.

The day will include tastings of the local wine to enjoy while you sample wonderful culinary delights from local restaurants.  The festival also features a range of a range of local produce from regional food producers.  Many of the successful Wine Show exhibitors will also have stalls where you can purchase bottles of your favourite drop to take home.

Something new to the festival is the Cook-Off competition where two apprentice chefs from the town team up with invited chefs in a “ready, steady, cook” style of event – the teams of two will be put to the task of preparing a meal in twenty minutes from a mystery bag of ingredients.

Music will be provided by a number of talented young people from the district and beyond.  All you have to do is choose a mouthwatering dish and a suitable wine from the wide range on offer and enjoy the music during a beautiful spring day in Glen Innes.

Please see the New England Wine Show website   or the  Gourmet in the Glen website  for more information about this great event.  Please note that entry to Gourmet in the Glen (held at the Glen Innes Showground) is free.  If you wish to taste the wines entered in the wine show (150 of them!), this costs $20 and includes a souvenir tasting glass – great value for the opportunity to sample the best wines of the region.

The festival finale is the Glen Gourmet and Grape Ball.  Held at the Showground on Saturday evening (October 7th 2006), you will be treated to a fabulous night of wonderful food, exceptional local wine and fantastic entertainment.  Dress is Black Tie with music provided by Maxwell Street (from Armidale) who will keep the party atmosphere well and truly jumping.

Next post will look at some of the local wines in more details so stay tuned for more on this subject.  Cheers from Aussie Sapphire.


Vale Steve Irwin

September 20, 2006

Like many around the world, we were saddened to hear of the untimely death of Steve Irwin and our heart goes out to his wife and children.  Both our kids were big fans of the Crocodile Hunter.  As a husband and wife team who work closely together every day ourselves, we know it must be incredibly hard when you lose one member of that team.  Our thoughts are with Terri during this difficult time.

A memorial service will be held today and broadcast worldwide.  For those wanting to honour his memory in a more tangible way, we suggest a donation to Wildlife Warriors.


Wattle Day

September 2, 2006

pycnantha.jpgIn honour of National Wattle Day yesterday (1st September), this post is largely about our National Floral Emblem – Acacia pycnantha or the Golden Wattle.  Australia has over 900 species of Acacia (or wattle) with some yet to be described – there will be some species flowering almost through the whole year but the distinctive yellow of the wattle flower is most apparent in Spring.  The bush in our area is ablaze with yellow right now – just in time for Wattle Day.

com-coat-arms.jpgWattle was incorporated into the design of the Australian Coat of Arms on the recommendation of the Rt Hon. Andrew Fisher, Prime Minister of Australia, when the Commonwealth Armorial Ensigns and Supporters were granted by Royal Warrant on 19 September 1912.  Although wattle was largely accepted as Australia’s national flower for most of the 1900’s, it was not officially proclaimed as the national floral emblem until 1988, the year of Australia’s bicentenary.  In 1992, the 1st September was formally declared “National Wattle Day” in recognition of the importance of this plant as an Aussie symbol.

The genus Acacia belongs to the family Mimosaceae and is found in Australia, Africa, Madagascar, the Asia-Pacific region and in the Americas. With almost 1000 species, Acacia (commonly known as Wattle) is the largest genus of vascular plants in Australia. 

Acacia cultriformis showing globular inflorescence - Photo M. Fagg A3457The wide distribution of different species across the variety of habitats in Australia has resulted in great diversity of form, flower and foliage type.  Individual flowers are arranged in inflorescences that may be either globular heads or cylindrical spikes.  Flowers mostly vary in colour through cream, pale yellow to gold and may perfumed.  Foliage colour ranges from light or dark green to blue or silver-grey and ranges in shape/form from true leaves to highly modified phyllodes

Wattles make excellent garden plants. They range in habit from prostrate and low-growing species to larger shrubs and shade trees.  Acacia are a good source of pollen making some species popular with bee-keepers and the seeds are also an important source of food for birds.

Various Acacia species have been or are used by people.  The seeds from some species provide a valuable food source.  Various extracts from the bark and the leaves have been used by Australian Aborigines for a wide variety of medicinal purposes.  The wood of various species has been used to make clubs, spears, boomerangs and shields. Some species are used to make fine furniture while others were used as early building material hence the term “wattle and daub” huts.  As a leguminous plant, wattles are also important for improving soil fertility by fixing atmospheric nitrogen in the soil.

Links of Interest:

What does all this have to do with gems or sapphires ?  Not much really except to point out that Australian parti sapphire with its mix of yellow and blue-green colours is a great way to wear the “Green and Gold” wattle colours all year round.

a206a.JPGa326s.jpgThe photo at left is a particularly lovely golden yellow sapphire set in a simple solitaire white gold setting.  The photo on the right was a real challenge and we didnt really succeed in capturing the distinct yellow and blue zones of this parti (bicolor) sapphire which looks great set in yellow gold.

Hope you all had a enjoyable Wattle Day – it was a beautiful start to Spring in our neck of the woods so here’s hoping for a great season for everyone. 

Cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire