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Beware of Fakes and Disinformation of Marlborough Chrysoprase
If you are a green stone fan, chances are that you have come across the highest valued chalcedony of all time – chrysoprase. Originally mined in Poland, chrysoprase today can be found in many other parts of the world including Tanzania, Brazil, United States, Russia and Australia.
Australia recently is known for its gem grade material particularly grades sourced from Marlborough, Queensland in a remote part of the state, a couple of hours drive up north from Rockhampton. The terrain is rough, experiencing high temperatures around the 30 to late 30 degrees Celsius for the most part of the year.
Undoubtedly the best chrysoprase source in the world, Marlborough chrysoprase is rivaled by other sources of chrysoprase all vying for the lucrative share of the gem market.
Marlborough chrysoprase is characterized by the apple and peppermint greens devoid of black dendrites and found mostly in vugs and in seams in the rough. The rind of the “skin” of the rough is usually a whitish color due to the silcrete cap which helps to protect the core to keep its nickel content and hence its color. Marlborough chrysoprase also tends to command a higher price for their green rock.
For this reason, I have noticed a recent increase in a number of sites and traders selling chrysoprase cabochons, rough and jewelry as “Marlborough chrysoprase” and a noticeable number of articles submitted by various websites about the unavailability of the Marlborough rough. One website I know even went as far as stating that the rough is not made available to the general public and the other writing that the mines closed down way back and that they were no longer mining. Both these claims from these sites are completely untrue.
As far as I am aware and both mines are operating at full steam ahead; one based in Hong Kong and sells mainly to China and the other an Australian operation selling to everyone else.
Interestingly though, recently it seems that the market’s thirst for the great green has not only resulted in disinformation but also in recent times I have seen an incredible number of fakes, quartz injected with a colour shot of chrome, plain coloured glass or acid bleached amazonite made to look like chrysoprase, all selling for the same Marlborough price. I have noticed this particularly in the last gem show in Shenzhen and also in many parts of China where we frequent but also recently in internet trading. Obvious pieces to us which looked nothing like chrysoprase were being sold for a hefty price.
There is even a photo of a chrysoprase cabochon showing the chrome coloring using the Chelsea/ jadeite filter on my site for those of you who might be interested in a visual of what to look out for.
Interestingly 20 years ago, chrysoprase was worth a fraction of the price it commands today and continues to rise each year in price. Marlborough gem grade chrysoprase is extremely rare and is worth quite a bit of money, one of the many reasons why for a rising number of substitutes, fakes and misrepresentations in the marketplace.
If you are interested in genuine chrysoprase from Marlborough or Western Australia, do come and stop by our website; we have chrysoprase rough, cabochons, jewelry and carvings available for sale soon. We are very active on Facebook and have created an Australian Chrysoprase group which will provide you with more information and discussions on the green front.
Assertive Communication – 6 Tips For Effective Use
What IS assertive communication?
Assertive communication is the ability to express positive and negative ideas and feelings in an open, honest and direct way. It recognizes our rights whilst still respecting the rights of others. It allows us to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions without judging or blaming other people. And it allows us to constructively confront and find a mutually satisfying solution where conflict exists.
So why use assertive communication?
All of us use assertive behavior at times… quite often when we feel vulnerable or unsure of ourselves we may resort to submissive, manipulative or aggressive behavior.
Yet being trained in assertive communication actually increases the appropriate use of this sort of behavior. It enables us to swap old behavior patterns for a more positive approach to life. I’ve found that changing my response to others (be they work colleagues, clients or even my own family) can be exciting and stimulating.
The advantages of assertive communication
There are many advantages of assertive communication, most notably these:
- It helps us feel good about ourselves and others
- It leads to the development of mutual respect with others
- It increases our self-esteem
- It helps us achieve our goals
- It minimizes hurting and alienating other people
- It reduces anxiety
- It protects us from being taken advantage of by others
- It enables us to make decisions and free choices in life
- It enables us to express, both verbally and non-verbally, a wide range of feelings and thoughts, both positive and negative
There are, of course, disadvantages…
Disadvantages of assertive communication
Others may not approve of this style of communication, or may not approve of the views you express. Also, having a healthy regard for another person’s rights means that you won’t always get what YOU want. You may also find out that you were wrong about a viewpoint that you held. But most importantly, as mentioned earlier, it involves the risk that others may not understand and therefore not accept this style of communication.
What assertive communication is not…
Assertive communication is definitely NOT a lifestyle! It’s NOT a guarantee that you will get what you want. It’s definitely NOT an acceptable style of communication with everyone, but at least it’s NOT being aggressive.
But it IS about choice
Four behavioral choices
There are, as I see it, four choices you can make about which style of communication you can employ. These types are:
direct aggression: bossy, arrogant, bulldozing, intolerant, opinionated, and overbearing
indirect aggression: sarcastic, deceiving, ambiguous, insinuating, manipulative, and guilt-inducing
submissive: wailing, moaning, helpless, passive, indecisive, and apologetic
assertive: direct, honest, accepting, responsible, and spontaneous
Characteristics of assertive communication
There are six main characteristics of assertive communication. These are:
- ably more important than WHAT you say
The importance of “I” statements
Part of being assertive involves the ability to appropriately express your needs and feelings. You can accomplish this by using “I” statements. These indicate ownership, do not attribute blame, focuses on behavior, identifies the effect of behavior, is direct and honest, and contributes to the growth of your relationship with each other.
Strong “I” statements have three specific elements:
- d when you are late for meetings. I don’t like having to repeat information.”
Six techniques for assertive communication
There are six assertive techniques – let’s look at each of them in turn.
1. Behaviour Rehearsal: which is literally practicing how you want to look and sound. It is a very useful technique when you first want to use “I” statements, as it helps dissipate any emotion associated with an experience and allows you to accurately identify the behavior you wish to confront.
2. Repeated Assertion (the ‘broken record’): this technique allows you to feel comfortable by ignoring manipulative verbal side traps, argumentative baiting, and irrelevant logic while sticking to your point. To most effectively use this technique use calm repetition, and say what you want and stay focused on the issue. You’ll find that there is no need to rehearse this technique, and no need to ‘hype yourself up’ to deal with others.
3. Fogging: this technique allows you to receive criticism comfortably, without getting anxious or defensive, and without rewarding manipulative criticism. To do this you need to acknowledge the criticism, agree that there may be some truth to what they say, but remain the judge of your choice of action. An example of this could be, “I agree that there are probably times when I don’t give you answers to your questions.
5. Negative assertion: this technique lets you look more comfortably at negatives in your own behavior or personality without feeling defensive or anxious, this also reduces your critics’ hostility. You should accept your errors or faults, but not apologize. Instead, tentatively and sympathetically agree with the hostile criticism of your negative qualities. An example would be, “Yes, you’re right. I don’t always listen closely to what you have to say.”
6. Workable compromise: when you feel that your self-respect is not in question, consider a workable compromise with the other person. You can always bargain for your material goals unless the compromise affects your personal feelings of self-respect. However, if the end goal involves a matter of your self-worth and self-respect, THERE CAN BE NO COMPROMISE. An example of this technique would be, “I understand that you have a need to talk and I need to finish what I’m doing. So what about meeting in half an hour?”
There’s also no guarantee of success, even when you use assertive communication styles appropriately.
“Nothing on earth can stop the individual with the right mental attitude from achieving their goal; nothing on earth can help the individual with the wrong mental attitude”