Posted in beachcombing, Glass, History, Nature, Pebbles, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Sea Glass, sea glass / beach glass, stones, Uncategorized, Wire Wrapped Jewelry

Why is it important for me to know the Gemstone Moh’s Scale of Mineral Hardness?

I have been working on my website lately and have been including the Moh Scale of Hardness as part of the description. My father was looking over my website, and asked me what the Moh Scale was. I tried to explain it to him, and thought maybe you would like to know as well. It is important to know the Moh Scale for jewelry to determine how durable the stone is, and how you would wear the piece of jewelry. For example you may not want to wear a soft stone as ring, since we are usually hard on our hands and a soft stone would scratch easily, but you could wear a softer stone as earrings.

In 1812 the Moh’s scale of mineral hardness was devised by the German mineralogist Frederich Mohs (1773-1839). He selected the ten minerals because they were common or readily available. The scale is not a linear scale, but somewhat arbitrary.

Some minerals are very soft; others are very hard. The degree of hardness is an aid in identifying the minerals. Diamonds are harder than quartz and will therefore scratch quartz, quartz will scratch calcite, calcite will scratch gypsum, and so on. To help identify minerals, geologists have assigned numbers to the hardness of several minerals. In this hardness scale, the softer minerals are assigned a low number and the harder minerals a higher number.

In the field, an easy way of estimating the hardness of a mineral is by trying to scratch it with common objects such as a fingernail with a hardness of 2.5, a penny is the hardness of a 3, or a pocketknife, hardness 5.5. Glass has a hardness of slightly less than 6 and will scratch most minerals. Anything on the Moh’s scale that is less than a 7 is easily scratched.

Hardness Mineral Associations and Uses

2.5- Fingernail,
2.5-3 -Gold, Silver
3 -Copper penny
4-4.5 -Platinum
4-5- Iron
5.5- Knife blade
6-7- Glass
6.5- Iron pyrite
7+- Hardened steel file

To test a mineral for hardness, try to scratch it with one of these common objects. For example, a sample can be scratched by the knife (H=5.5) but NOT by the penny (H=3). Therefore, the sample has a hardness of about 4. Using other property tests that you will learn in lab, you then determine that the mineral is calcite.

The Moh’s Scale of Mineral Hardness goes as follows….

1 is Talc- Talcum powder.
2 is Gypsum- Plaster of Paris. Gypsum is formed when seawater evaporates from the Earth’s surface
3 is Calcite- Limestone and most shells contain calcite
4 is Fluorite- Fluorine in fluorite prevents tooth decay.
5 is Apatite- When you are hungry you have a big “appetite”.
6 is Orthoclase- Orthoclase is a feldspar, and in German, “feld” means “field
7 is Quartz
8 is Topaz- The November birthstone. Emerald and aquamarine are varieties of beryl with a hardness of 8.
9 is Corundum- Corundum Sapphire and ruby are varieties of corundum. Twice as hard as topaz.
10 is Diamond- Used in jewelry and cutting tools. Four times as hard as corundum

Sea glass is on a Moh scale of a 6-7 and that is why I do not recommend sea glass for rings. We are extremely hard on our hands and wrist and tend to bang them around, and as we all know glass will break. I do recommend using seaglass in pendants or in earrings.

Delaware Bay Diamonds are clear quartz crystals and have a Moh scale of a 7 and is fine to make jewelry out of.

How to Perform the Test

1. Select a fresh surface
2. Hold the sample and attempt to scratch it with the point of an object of known hardness, start at the higher (harder) end of the scale and work down. In this example, we use a sharp quartz crystal (Hardness = 6)
3. Press the object firmly but lightly against the unknown sample
4. If the test object is harder, you should see and feel a definite “bite” into the sample
5. Inspect for an etched line
In this case, we notice a deep scratch in the sample, which indicates it’s hardness is less than 6 . Repeat several times, always with a sharp point and a fresh surface.

From the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies

You Might Be A Rockhound If….

Visit Michele shop in Lewes, DE and her website Sand N Stones  also Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page

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Posted in Nature, Pebbles, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Uncategorized

You Might Be A Rockhound If…

You Might Be A Rockhound If…

  • You think you KNOW how to pronounce “chalcedony.”
  • You are thinking about giving out specimens for Halloween.
  • You planted flowers in your rock garden.
  • You purchase things like drywall compound just to have another nice bucket to carry rocks in.
  • The club you belong to uses rocks for centerpieces for the annual Christmas dinner.
  • The first thing you pack for your vacation is a chisel and a hammer.
  • You spend hours and hours in the ugliest room in your house.
  • You give directions like, “turn right at the green farmhouse …”
  • You bought the ugliest boots available because they were waterproof.
  • You know what “findings” are for.
  • You watch the scenery in movies instead of the actors.
  • They won’t give you time off from work to attend the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, but you go anyway.
  • You begin fussing because the light strips you installed on your bookshelves aren’t full spectrum.
  • You’ve spent more than ten dollars for a rock.
  • You’ve spent more than ten dollars for a book about rocks.
  • You still think pet rocks are a pretty neat idea.
  • You have amethyst in your aquarium.
  • You associate the word “hard” with a value on the Mohs scale instead of “work.”
  • You know the location of every rock shop within a 100-mile radius of your home.
  • You’re retired and still thinking of adding another room to your house.
  • You’re planning on using a pick and shovel while you’re on vacation.
  • You bring your entire rock collection into Sand N Stones to have made into jewelry.

Author Unknown

Visit Michele shop in Lewes, DE and her website Sand N Stones  also Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page

Posted in Delaware, Delmarva, History, Lewes, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Uncategorized

Lewes, Delaware Insignia

As you are driving around town or stroll down Second Street Downtown Historic Lewes, Delaware you may have noticed a new twist to the Lewes Coat Of Arms, which hang from the flag poles in the Spring. 

The big white house at 112 Front Street is located in a town that is humming with history. It is the home of  Sand N Stones, Delaware and Nature Shop owned by Michele Buckler.

Michele designs and crafts wire-framed jewelry. Typically customers in her shop pick out the stone from among hundreds of different semi-precious stones in her collection and she custom wraps in silver or gold wire to form a pendant, pin, earrings, or ring. Upon researching her craft, Michele discovered roots in some of her designs in the 17th century Holland.  To commemorate Lewes’ Dutch heritage, she designed a ring made entirely of wire using a braided pattern from this time period.

Marsha Holler is a graphic artist who like to say all her designs tell a story.  When Michele mentioned she had an idea for a graphic design that brought together Lewes’ Dutch English and American heritage, the ladies brought it quickly to life.

The earliest European settlers of the Sussex County coast were 32 Dutch men who arrived aboard the ship “Walvis” in April 1631. They called the spot Swanendael, later spelled Zwaanendael, or Valley of the Swans. The second settlers called the place Hoorn, after their home in Holland. The name changed often  in the beginning. In 1682, Delaware was conveyed to William Penn by the English Duke of York and Lewes received its present name in honor of the town of the town of the same name in England. It is pronounced Loo-iss.

The Coat of Arms that the City of Lewes uses on its police cruisers and on City Hall is actually from Lewes, East Sussex,  England. It’s origins date back to the Norman Conquest a thousand years ago.  The gold and blue checkers are the arms of the de Warenne family who held the Barony of Lewes from the time of the Norman Conquest until 1347, when the last de Warenne died.

A nephew, Richard Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel, succeeded to the barony and added the gold lion on the red ground. The introduction of the silver crosslets has never been satisfactorily explained
they will probably remain a subject for speculation.

Tulips, like wooden shoes and windmills, are known all over the world as an emblem of the Netherlands. The humble flowering bulb had its origins in Persia and began trading throughout Europe The tulips were soon distributed throughout Holland. This was the beginning of the Dutch bulb business. Early in the 17th century, rich Dutchmen, Englishmen, and Frenchmen were competing with each other for these prize status symbols. Tulip appreciation became tulip-love, which then became what has come to be known as tulip-mannia.

Tulips were first sold in the 17th Century Netherlands by way of trade from Turkey and Russia. Where they had been cultivated for a long time. New varieties developed quickly including ones with flame like petals that were a result of disease.  Whether solid color or patterned, their relative ease of cultivation made the demand for tulips far greater than the supply.  Thus the “Tulip-mania” phenomena where ridiculously high prices were commanded for bulbs of the once humble wild tulip lower from Central Asia. The Netherlands are still today, after almost 400 years still identified with growing and supplying the world with the greatest variety of tulips.

Crawling on the tulip is a lady bug. Millie Rust-Brown’s second grade class from Lulu Ross Elementary School in Milford, Delaware studied state insects, and discovered that Delaware did not have a state insect. After much discussion, the class wrote then-governor Sherman Tribbertt with the request that the Ladybug become Delaware’s State Insect. With the help of some local high schoolers they took it to the Legislators.  Rep. Lewis B. Harrington introduced the House bill number 667, on March 9, 1974. On April 25,1974 the Ms. Brown’s class dressed up as ladybugs, and walked the halls of Leg Hall.  The vote was unanimous the lady bug was adopted as our state bug.

The idea of combining these three elements the Lewes Coat of Arms, the tulip and the ladybug to form a visual link to Lewes’ past. Separately it is just a shield, a flower, and a bug, but after reading about Delaware’s and Lewes’ fascinating past the three elements are symbolic.  The shield is official governance, the tulip is agriculture and the ladybug is natural beauty; all still present in Lewes.”

The inspired graphic design is available on various merchandise exclusively at Sand N Stones.  Lewes Insignia was designed and  Copyrighted by Michele J. Buckler in 2006. In 2010 it became the official Logo for the Lewes Chamber of Commerce’s  Tulip Festival.

The Coat of Arms is seen  throughout Lewes in many diffrent places. It was first used by Col. David Hall Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in the early 1950’s when they used the seal to mark historical significant buildings in the History of Lewes, Delaware. The History of Lewes Delaware book was published in 1956 and a revised edition appeared in 1981. The Chapter requested permission to use the Coat of Arms from the official of Lewes, East Sussex, England. The Police and Fire Department as well as City Hall all use the Coat of Arms in Lewes, Delaware.

The City Flag of Lewes also uses the Coat of Arms Seal  in the center of the flag. The flags blue and white background also has some historic significance. The original Lewes, Delaware settlers traveled from the Netherlands town of Hoorn in the North Holland province.  The Hoorn’s people first sailed South to the town of Veere, in the Zeeland Province. The flags background was adopted from the flag of Zeeland Province, (its name translated is “sea land”) since the Zeeland people share the affinity for the love of the sea.  The Hoorn’s people established the town of Lewes, Delaware in 1631.

The flag was designed by Alan Keffer a Lewes, DE resident. The flag was first used it 1991 and copyrighted in 1993 and was officially sanctioned as the city flag of Lewes, Delaware in 2005.  Resource Lewes Delaware, Celebrating 375 years of History, by Kevin N Moore page 19 ISBN 0974899887

Visit Michele shop in Lewes, DE and her website Sand N Stones  also Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page

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