These beautiful faceted stones in the image above are serpentines also called olive jade. This gem comes in a variety of green colors. Sometimes it’s a deep emerald tone which caused naming the stone after the Latin word for snake in ancient times.
In above picture the stones are opaque and uniformly colored. Together with the drop cut and light faceting it makes them appear like delicious sugar candy. But Serpentine can also occur translucent and with inclusions of dark hematite or white flecked, too.
When serpentine is opaque and colored light green with brown undertones exactly like an olive, I prefer to call it olive jade. Which actually is a common synonym for this gem. Retailers like to use this term because it implies another much pricier precious stone. Namely the widely known though very rare real jade. Just as the serpentine, jade comes also in a wide variety of greens though usually people associate a whitish green color with it. Both minerals can be carved but as there is no sparkly shine, figure sculpting is more widespread although real jade is very hard and needs skilled craftsmanship to shape it.
The similarity of both stones leads to a lot of fraud. So, if you’re on the look out for real jade be careful what you buy. Jade is a complete different mineral yet the name is not protected. Just like the Serpentine the real jade naturally occurs in different types of structure and many other stones became called jade as well.
A good indicator is hardness. Jade is amongst the hardest of minerals and in complete opposite serpentine is very soft making it difficult to use in jewelry especially set into rings. If you happen to wear serpentine jewelry… well, just don’t drop it on the floor for it will easily break.
I like to discuss the world of gems from time to time here at this place and offer some light insights. But I am not an actual expert so I will put down some links below if you’d like to inform yourself further on this beautiful olive gem. And don’t worry none of the links lead to esoteric sites, I don’t believe in any healing powers or whatsoever of gem stones.
As much as I love ancient buildings, I also admire monoliths of neo-modern architecture.
Today we went to a zoo located in the outer rims of Freiburg. The whole district is called Rieselfeld and a part of it got transformed into a residential area. A very new borough with a very new church. Continue reading →
This is my great-grandfather Hessan and it is the only image I think ever existed of him. I just recently came to view it when my mother sent the picture on my phone. Probably she saw the photograph also for the first time. Who knows where she discovered it after all these years. Continue reading →
During last weeks Art Cologne fair Jack in the Box in Ehrenfeld offered the alternative gallery space Far Off for artists from all over. At night downstairs located club Jack Who had some programme, too. Continue reading →
A cool bar space. Enough room to find a seat while still feeling cozy. Modern interior design but not too chic. Clean and not shabby. A place for a decent drink after work or on weekends when you actually don’t want to have a night out but still go out… This kind of bar I thought was missing in Cologne.
Did you ever eat out at an Indian restaurant and didn’t find the food particularly tasty? That means lack of flavor, too greasy or other issues with it?
I know there are many great Indian food places in the UK or for sure in Berlin but I really do think that Cologne comes short. Although my friends always like it when we have Indian, Middle Eastern or Asian food outside. It could be that im very picky, ok, admit, I am picky. Still, the problem exists if curry (in Iran it would be khoresht) style foods don’t become cooked with lots of love and care they will easily taste bad. As I said before very often there are not much ingredients involved but the ones that are need to be of good quality and prepared non-hastily.
Well, here is a recipe for a curry that will blow your taste buds though I even cut a big amount of the fatty ingredients. Continue reading →
The other day a delivery of greeting cards arrived at the Apricot Room and when I saw the vibrant colors of this one I had to take a picture immediately.
The motive is called ‘Frühlingsstrauß‘ and was painted by German artist Oskar Koller in 1999. It feels so contemporary, right?
Oskar Koller was born in 1925 in Erlangen and was also educated in graphic design which you can clearly see in his execution of form and color. His water color paintings are so vibrant and highly aesthetic yet free from any kind of please or kitsch though he very often chose to draw flowers. To paint with water color has not the best reputation as it is considered a beginner’s medium and very easy to perform. But you can reach very high artistic standards as for example Japanese 19th century artists have shown us before.
Oskar Koller died a few years ago and I couldn’t find out where the original Frühlingsstrauß is located though I stumbled upon other works which are available. They’re not especially super expensive, I mean still too much for me right now but if you’re willing to splurge… I always preach to invest in art and I think his works are pretty much worth it.
Anja Noack and Saskia Wragge, two wonderful women making art in Cologne. Works sold at Saisongeschäft Körnerstraße Cologne until 31st of March. Prices are very reasonable but they’re also postcards for like 1 Euro or so.
I might have spent 16 Euros more wisely or more glamorous before. Was it good? Satisfying at least.
Since my visits in Egypt where practically every food place offers delivery I have missed being able to order anything that I have an urgent desire for and not only some dingy pizza directly from home.
This gap got recently closed by apps who offer an easy and safe process. Continue reading →
Aren’t these contact lenses containers to die for. So sweet and pastel. I found this picture on the Cherryblossomgirl blog who brought them once from Japan. I did a little research after my last short trip to Berlin where I wondered why lenses containers always have to be so outrageously unesthetic and straight functional.
Need an example? Here:
Now compare. This is the situation in Germany and I suppose the rest of Europe, too. Someone should tell Bausch&Lomb that this is a serious market gap. I want eye pleasing design even to the little things of everyday life!
Now, excuse me while I go and waste hours finding and stocking up on those kawaii lenses boxes on the internet.
I am back from a wonderful and turbulent visit in Berlin. The way there I took the plane and wasn’t aware of a change on the rules for cabin baggage (again…seriously it’s so annoying) and had to throw away some of my stuff.
To restock I spontaneously went into a pharmacy at Hackescher Markt and standing inside I got instantly struck by a most intricate old world wood interior. Turns out this is Berlins oldest existing pharmacy also once called Rothe Apotheke dating way back to 1954.
Focal point of the inner structure is a beautiful Rococo painting on the ceiling in soft pastel tones depicting chubby little angels enjoying themselves in the sky as you see above. Don’t miss out on this site visiting Berlin though if you happen to need medicine or French pharmacy beauty products be aware that much of the stuff is more expensive than at less exposed locations.