Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brazilians flaunt Kate's engagement ring, for 3 dlrs

A three dollar ring like this would have a Sapphire made of glass!!

AFP - Saturday, November 20

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - – Britain's upcoming royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton has sparked a fever in Brazil, with Rio residents snapping up three-dollar copies of Princess Diana's engagement ring.

Shops selling the cheap imitations of the 45,000-dollar sapphire-and-diamond encrusted piece of jewelry the prince gave to Middleton have been overrun by Brazilians wanting to share in the glamor of the occasion, the O Dia daily reported.

"The original item was on the fingers of princesses and queens, and that helps the ego for just about anybody," said Raquel Pontes, a 27-year-old teacher trying on one of the cut-price copies.

Shopkeepers were rubbing their hands together at the thought of a Christmas-time sale boom of the rings.

For Brazilians wanting a replica with a bit better quality, online vendors were also offering versions for significantly higher prices.

Brazilian fever over the wedding was further fueled after Middleton made an appearance wearing a blue dress by London-based Brazilian designer Daniella Issa Helayel when her engagement was announced.

Copies of that dress were also flying off the shelves in Rio, almost as fast as in London.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Completion of Unit

Far East Gemological intistute held a graduation ceremony for students who have completed the WSQ courses in the past months. Prof Hugh Bari was invited to give us a talk on Pearls

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Moh's scale

We learned more about the properties of gemstones today. Using the MOh's scale gems are given a number that indicates how hard there are. Rubies and Sapphires are 9 on the scale.This determines how gems are set into jewellery. You cannot use Kiyanite which is 4 on the MOH's scale to set in a ring. The stone would not last long. It is safer to set it into a pendant.One must take note that this scale gives only an order of relative hardness. For example Diamond is 10 on the scale and Corundum is 9 on the scale but diamond is actually 140 times harder than corundum

Moh's scale of hardeness
1 - Talc
2 - Gypsum
3 - Calcite
4 - Fluorite
5 - Apatite
6 - Felspar
7 - Quartz
8 - Topaz
9 - Corundum
10 - Diamond

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Introduction to the wonderful world of Gemstones

Amethsyt crystals in marble matrix.This piece came from a mine in northern Vietnam

Out of the 10 people attending this class only three were working in the trade.As usual, the first class is always the easiest.

Out of about 4000 minerals that have been identified only 90 of them have the beauty and durability to be sought after by man. Out of these 90, 20 are inportant in the trade

We were taught about how Gemstones are grouped according to their similarities of chemical composition.For example under the Corundum group we have 2 species- Rubies and Sapphires.Sapphires come in different varieties like blue sapphires,yellow sapphires and pink sapphires.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Certificate in retail- advice customers on Gemstone Products

I signed up for one more course before funding ends on 30th November.

This Certificate is jointly awarded by Singapore Poly and Far East Gemological institue.
At the end of the course I am suppose to know how to advice my customers on the different types of gemstones.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Students from the Higher Certificate class learning how to fell a tree with a chainsaw

After the Certificate one can choose to upgrade further by enrolling in the Higher Certificate

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hands on modules

Pruning shrubs manually with a pruning sheare
Operating a Hedge Trimmer
Spraying chemicals on pest infected plants
It was really hot under the raincoat

Operating a lawn mower
Knapsack cutter
Rubbing in the top dress into the turf

The classroom modules were a walk in the park. We had 4 modules that had to be completed outside the class.

The first one was conducted at West Coast Park where we learned how to operate a Hedge Trimmer.

We got to plant trees at Bedok Reservoir Park

Learned about the procedures in spraying chemicals at Tampines Sun Plaza

The final test was at Choa Chu Kang where we learned how to operate lawn mowers and Knapsack Cutters

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pest and soil media

Mulching helps retain moisture in the soil.It is a soil conditioner and not a fertilizer.

We got to explore the Botanical Gardens for these two modules. We needed to find samples of plants with pests or diseases.

The instructors were veterans of the industry. Most of them had been in this line since Singapore started planting trees to green the island n a massive scale.