Man-Made Diamonds; A Buyer's Guide

It seems almost impossible to watch TV or open a newspaper without seeing something about man-made diamonds. For centuries of years science has tested to create a perfect synthetic diamond. Finally, 21st-century technology has made that prospect a reality.

There are many reasons to purchase synthetic diamonds instead of the mined variety. The prices charged for mined diamonds are, in the very best verbiage, an illusion. To put it more bluntly, Cecil Adams, in his award-winning newspaper column "The Straight Dope" says: "Diamonds are a con, pure and simple." Diamond prices are largely controlled by the DeBeers diamond cartel, and they are not a fair reflection of diamond scarcity. Additionally, studies show that one out of three diamonds sold in the US today has been altered to artificially increase its value. Further studies have shown that on average a couple pays 40% too much for their diamond engagement ring.

Beyond deceiving pricing, there are the issues of "blood diamonds", forced child labor, and a myriad of other disturbing diamond facts.

Recently, socially conscious celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Minnie Driver, and Angelina Jolie have made a vocal issue of wearing only synthetic diamonds to the many gala events they attend.

Good synthetic diamonds are naturally indistinguishable from the mined variety, but without the baggage, and additionally, they cost thousands of dollars less. But, which synthetic diamond is the best choice?

There are many types of man-made or synthetic diamonds available. The choices are numerous, but unbiased information is scarce. Here is an overview and comparison of the synthetic diamonds currently unavailable on the market:

Cubic Zirconia

The grandfather of simulated diamonds, Zircons are available wide. In their best examples, CZ's are actually a fairly decent diamond replica. Unfortunately, the commodity-like availability and vast differences in quality have made the stone synonymous with low-cost fashion jewelry. Perhaps a good choice for cheap bling, but not for fine jewelry. Many sources are available, a decent one is: http://www.czfantasy.com

Russian Diamonds

Including Russian Brilliants, Russian Stars and others, they are in fact nothing but high quality cubic zirconias. This is not mentioned prominently on their web sites and they will only cop to it when pressed, but that is the fact. Russian diamond simulates are priced around $ 280 per carat.

Russian Diamonds are a fine jewelry selection and are usually mounted in quality precious metal settings.

Russian Brilliants are one of the best and oldest sellers of "Russian Diamonds" available at: http://www.russianbrilliants.net

Moissanite

Moissanite is a lab-created mineral that is a very good diamond simulant. Moissanite has been on the market as a fine jewelry choice since the early 90s and has picked up quite a few fans. Moissanite is a hard mineral that, like diamond, will cut glass. There are a couple of minor downsides to moissanite however. First, it is quite expensive, (though still cheaper compared to diamonds) usually priced about $ 500 per carat for good samples.

Secondly, moissanite does not have the same optical qualities as diamond and there are several indicators that make them easy to spot with the naked eye for an experienced practitioner. It is difficult to produce a pure white moissanite and they often appear slowly green when viewed in natural light. Also, moissanite has significantly higher radiance and brilliance factors then natural diamond, causing them to appear "too sparkly" to some. Overall though, moissanite is a beautiful synthetic diamond choice.

"Moissanite From the Sky" at http://www.fromthesky.com is a good source of fine moissanite jewelry.

Diamond Nexus

Diamond Nexus gemstones are the result of a fairly new scientific advancement in processing technique, and have only recently been available in the United States.

Diamond Nexus gemstones are excellent diamond simulants and come very close to matching the properties of mined diamonds at many different comparison points. They cut glass, being virtually identical to diamond on the Mohs (hardness) scale. They refract perfect "hearts and arrows" and have radiance and brilliance statements very close to flawless diamond.

Best of all, they are currently introductory pricing for the US market, and are a steal at $ 79 per caret. Diamond Nexus gemstones are only available in precious metal, solid-gold settings.

Diamond Nexus is only available from Diamond Nexus Labs at: http://www.DiamondNexusLabs.com

White Sapphire

Sapphire is the second hardest natural mineral on the Mohs scale, surpassed only by diamond. They are, unlike the others in this review, a natural stone. Their radiance and brilliance are not up to the standards of diamond however. Neverheless, quality white sapphires priced at around $ 220 per carat are a good diamond alternative.

A quality source is: http://www.TheNaturalSapphireCompany.com

Gemisis Cultured Diamond

Gemisis diamonds are beautiful and almost perfect diamond replicas. Unfortunately, they are not available in a clear, white color, so they are not a good choice for traditional diamond settings. However, if a yellow, orange or pink diamond is what you crave, Gemisis offers stunning choices in beautiful precious metal, fine-jewelry settings.

Gemisis Cultured Diamonds are only available at: http://www.gemisis.com

Recap:

Synthetic diamonds offer many advantages over the mined variety. You can buy with confidence, knowing that you are getting exactly what you paid for, and have not been the victim of diamond pricing chicanery. If you are concerned with the world around you, you can have a clear conscience, knowing that your money has not contributed to the support of an unethical and abusive industry.

However, there are many choices of synthetic diamonds, with varying degrees of quality. Take a little time to review the seller's information to get a clear idea of ​​what the science is behind the gemstones you are buying.

For my money, I believe the best choices are quality Moissanite stones or the new diamond simulant gemstones available from Diamond Nexus Labs.

Facts and Care for White Ink Tattoos

When you hear people talking about getting a white ink tattoo, they usually mean a design which is in all white ink with no other colours. These tats are typically more subtle than the blaringly loud designs you would get with black ink or coloured marks. A white ink tattoo will more often than not, look more like a scar/brand. It is a great way to get inked in a more private way. These marks are usually only really visible when you deliberately show it someone. It is the best of both worlds. You can have your very personal art, without getting any kind of negative attention at formal gatherings or at work.

Simplicity is key when it comes to white ink tattoos. Keep in mind that your tattoo artist will be working with ink which is a little bit trickier to see. Simplistic art has a solid shot at showing up more clearly than a complicated one. Trendy selections include shooting star tattoos, dragons, writing, key tattoos, Kanji symbols, hearts, and basic tribal patterns. These are so much easier to ink and way less likely to end up as a confusing and disappointing blur. All white tattoos will require to be inked over a few times to make sure the finished pattern is as noticeable as possible. Also, darker coloured skin tends to dampen the brightness of white ink.

With a typical tattoo, the design is usually stenciled in before shading begins. The outlines are done with a dark ink, usually black. This provides a very noticeable pattern the artist uses to keep on track. Tats without any dark ink tend to be a bit more blurred. It is more difficult to follow what you have inked when using only white ink. If a different coloured ink is used with the white, it can result in blended mess.

The ink used is completely different from base white inks which tint other colours. When used as the primary ink, you get a much thicker, top quality mixture which is created solely to stand out as much as it can.

White ink tattoos will lose a portion of their brightness and clarity if they are constantly in the sunshine. If you get this type of design, be sure to keep it out of the sun as much as possible. The easiest way to do this is to get inked in an area which you normally cover up. Your back or chest make for ideal areas. If you normally wear clothes with a bit more cover in the summer, you could also try using your shoulder or just below the ankle. (Keep in mind – any tattoo applied near a bone will hurt more than one that is put on muscle).

If a stencil is used on your white ink tattoo, the artist can either make the outline in your own blood or with purple dye. As a warning, your blood can sometimes tint the ink pink, and the purple can also mix. Your best bet is to have a pro do a simple design without a stencil. Ask your tattoo artist if he or she has much experience with white ink before you let them draw on your skin.

Sometimes people have some bad reactions to white ink. Reactions can also happen with black ink, but they are happen more often with white. Reactions include itching and swelling. In some cases the ink can also turn yellow if it mixes with sweat. As a prevention method, there is nothing wrong with asking for a small sample ink in the area you are aiming to have the full design. This way you be more confident that you will be left with a great tattoo instead of an ugly scar.

As with any ink, if you do not put in the effort to take special care of your new tattoo, you might end up with something that only barely resembles the art you wanted. Don’t scratch or touch the area. Always keep the gauze on for the minimum of 2 hours. Never ever cover up a new tattoo with plastic/saran wrap. Use only lukewarm water, mild liquid antibacterial soap, and your own hands to clean the area. Lightly dab with paper towel to dry it off. Do not put anything like sunscreen or Neosporin over the area. Lastly – take extra care to not let your new tattoo to get too much sunlight until it heals.

Just follow these steps and you will have the best chance of having a clear yet subtle design you can show of to your friends.

Is a House a Good Investment For You?

Are you among the crowd who is still thinking of where to invest the money they earned from years of working hard? There may have been unsolicited advises convincing you to put your share on various networking companies. Some may have even told you to put up a startup company. But is this the most practical thing you could probably do to your money? Perhaps, yes, if its your choice.

However, investing has its ups and downs depending on the industry you’re going to delve into. Yet, do you know that buying a house or owning one is one of the most intelligent investments you would probably make. Why?

Homes can be turned into rental properties. With necessary adjustments and with proper leasing or rental documents, you can turn your house into an additional income stream. What’s even good is rental fees tend to increase on regular intervals. There are persons who often move because of job changes. They constantly look for homes which they can rent, and yours can be their next rental homes.

Depending on a home’s location, it can also be a perfect vacation house. Typically, families, especially those with children, and those which embrace the concept of extended families – do love to have vacation houses. During specific periods of the year, the house can serve as a reunion spot for relatives to gather. So, thinking of having a vacation house? Should it be near a beach, the woods, or perhaps one that offers mountainview or cityview otherwise?

Home values typically increase. Thus, if you’re going to put your house for a resale – chances are you’re going to get good profits. So you better ask your local real estate agent which areas have markets in which home prices experience surges. Commonly, these areas include those where professionals flock because of employment opportunities.

Buying a house is also seen by financial houses as a better investment than credit cards. This is one reason why there are many lenders that charge low-interest rates on home mortgages.

Are these reasons still not enough to convince you how good of an investment is owning a house? Another bonus benefit of owning a house is the local community attachment you’re going to build. You’re start to have acquaintances who’ll later become your friends. Your neighbors will likely become close to you like family. There will be some sort of emotional attachment.

The Differences Between A Digital Camera And A Traditional Camera – Digital Camera Inner Workings

Digital Cameras use lenses and a shutter to capture light inside the body of the camera just like traditional film cameras, but that is where the similarity ends.

Instead of using film to capture an image as the traditional cameras do, the digital camera captures the image using an image sensor.

These sensors are completely electronic in their operation. They have various internal electronic devices to measure light intensity and a host of other duties.

The complexity of the image sensor determines its rating, measured in MegaPixels. The higher the number of megapixels that a digital camera offers, the greater the clarity and quality of the resulting picture. Also the higher the megapixel rating of the digital camera, the higher the cost of the camera.

Digital cameras function by converting light into an electrical signal that is, in turn, converted into binary (1′s and 0′s) so they can be processed through the digital camera’s on-board computer. After the binary numbers are processed they are stored on the digital memory card or floppy disk.

The digital camera processes the light in such a way that the light is converted into the primary colors of Red, Green and Blue using internal filters. The photographs must be further refined by computer processing to produce the full color photograph. This process is called Demosaicing.

Many cameras offer photo sharpening to make the digital photographs clearer; usually, there are controls on the digital camera to adjust brightness, contrast, and color saturation.

After all this is done — inside the digital camera — the last step is to compress the image and then store it on the memory card.

To load images from a digital camera onto a computer and give you the ability to process the digital picture manually, requires a digital camera that offers this cability. If you would like this feature you should ask if the camera you are considering includes it before making your purchase.