Jade – The Gift That Brings Out the Unique and Mythical Powers

Jade, the precious stones synonymous with a sense of eternal mystery, an aura of uniqueness, legendary wealth and mythical powers. Jade immediately conjures to the mind the fabulous past era of Imperial China, its majestic cultures and traditions. Since early times and to this day, jade is associated with the grandeur color of green precious stones and is believed by many people of having power to promote good health and wellness.

Civilisation across continents have appreciated this majestic stone. All races of the world keep their highest regards for this remarkable precious natural gift to mankind.

Scientifically, the term jade refers to two minerals, jadeite and nephrite. Their lustre and compact structure have rendered these precious minerals eternal favourites among gem lovers all over the world.

The most treasured and valuable is imperial jade, a translucent, rich emerald green jadeite found mainly in Burma. The crystalline homogeneous tone and color of the stones made them well sought after. The apple-green jade, a brighter yellow green version of extraordinary vibrancy, is also very highly prized and in great demand. The are many other shades, tones and color. The beauty of this natural stone can only be appreciated when one sees and holds it.

Other countries where jade is found in abundance are China and India. In the United States, jade is found in Alaska, Carolina and Wyoming.

Traditionally, jade is also associated with a good luck gem stone. Wearing jade stones is believed to promote good health, self healing, longevity and peaceful passing to the next world upon death. It inspires people to have good mental agility, consciousness and wisdom.

Besides its magnificence, jade is highly sought after as costume jewellery, gem stones, ornamental gems, display and decorative purposes. This precious stone will be a wonderful gift or present for loved ones, relatives, friends and people of all ages

We Need An Education Policy, Not A Campaign

Rhetoric and policymaking are two different skills with two different aims. Though politicians need both, it can be tempting to substitute one for the other.

President Obama has never had a problem with the rhetoric. It’s what made him such an effective campaigner. Unfortunately, in playing to his strengths, Obama is inclined to continue to craft ideas that sound more like the attractive watercolor of a campaign platform than the unglamorous blueprint of real policy reform.

The new college affordability plan the president unveiled at the start of his recent Northeast bus tour is a perfect illustration of the problem.

“Higher education cannot be a luxury,” Obama said at the University of Buffalo unit of the State University of New York. “It’s an economic imperative. Every American family should be able to afford to get it.” (1)

In the transition from “what” to “how,” the stirring rhetoric gave way to fuzzy policy. The president proposed to create a ratings system for universities that would eventually tie federal financial aid dollars to the schools’ performance and value. The idea is to create an incentive for colleges and universities to limit costs without sacrificing the future success of their students.

Another component of the plan is to ease student loan burdens by expanding the existing “pay as you earn” system, allowing more borrowers to cap their monthly payments at 10 percent of their discretionary income and, in many cases, to have the balance of their loans forgiven after 20 years (10 years if the borrower is employed full-time for a public service organization).

Almost everybody wants to get college costs down, but Obama’s plan displays a flawed understanding of what is driving them up. We will not rein in costs by enabling more students to borrow more money, more cheaply. And how do you create responsible, cost-effective borrowing by telling the borrower that the less economic return she earns on the money she borrows, the less of it she has to pay back?

Making borrowing easier up front and less risky down the line will postpone the day that students and their parents finally abandon the most expensive schools as out-of-reach. When students find it easy to borrow the cost of tuition, schools can raise those costs without experiencing any substantial dip in their admission pools.

Further, you can’t put more people through school, or keep them there longer, by limiting the number of schools at which you will finance their educations. All this will do is create more competition to get into the schools that are favored by the president’s rating system. As Andrew Kelly points out at AEIdeas, the American Enterprise Institute’s blog, capacity in existing institutions is finite, and schools are already rewarded for selectivity; the more people apply, the better for the perception of the institution’s desirability. (2) These slots will become the focus of even fiercer competition if they also become the only ones offering federally subsidized aid.

What happens to everyone who can’t get into a top-tier school? How, specifically, would the top-tier schools even be determined? Campaigns don’t bother with specifics; the president hasn’t said.

The real problem is that schools are in the business of selling not a skill set, nor even an education, but a ticket – a degree from an accredited program. The academic community, with a powerful financial interest in the status quo, sets accreditation standards that determine which programs are ticket sellers. The result is unsurprising: You generally can’t go on to any sort of graduate-level education without first having paid the toll at a four-year undergraduate school. And more and more jobs require at least an undergraduate degree.

If we really want to reform education, accreditation practices have to change. The government should set standards for college-level courses just as it does for high school. We could go further. How about accrediting courses – whether traditional on-campus, high school Advanced Placement, or online – rather than entire undergraduate-level programs? Government-accredited courses, in a variety of combinations, could lead toward a government-issued degree, more or less the way high school diplomas work today. The equivalent of a high school graduation can be earned via the GED test. There is no reason not to offer the same sort of option for an undergraduate degree.

A degree that reflects a sequence of accredited courses, however the credits were earned, ought to be acceptable for admission to many if not all graduate-level programs, enforced by the federal government’s role in financing graduate education. Nobody should have to sleep in a dorm or eat in a college dining hall in order to get into a nursing program. Admission to most graduate-level programs ought to be available by testing in. It should not be a function of having paid for a certain number of undergraduate-level credits, whether outright or with loans. It certainly should not be a prerequisite that one has paid a college activity fee.

This sort of reform will not eliminate the traditional campus model, any more than public high schools and the GED eliminated private prep schools and other academies. But it could create a much cheaper, mass-scalable avenue toward an education that is appropriate for the 21st century. A host of occupations require specialized training in addition to a four-year degree – training that is not so much beyond undergraduate work as apart from it. If students and parents chose a four-year degree in this scenario, it would be a conscious form of consumption, not the only way to access specialized graduate work or entry-level white collar jobs. And a more-flexible model could educate a workforce based not on years studied or credits collected, but more precisely on subjects studied and mastered.

Education is valuable, but not everyone wants or needs to be educated in the same way, or at the same price point. Putting the choice back into students’ hands would be real education reform. It would stand the current financing model on its ear, and it would channel money, regardless of its source, far more efficiently.

It will take a whole reform program, not just a campaign, to create this sort of change. I wish I could say the president’s proposal is a start, but it isn’t. It is just another campaign speech from someone who does not seem to realize that his campaign days should be over.


1) ABC News, “Obama Unveils New College Affordability Plan”

2) AEIdeas, “3 questions on Obama’s new higher education plan”

The Rarest Diamonds in the World

Believe it or not, diamonds are not rare. Each year twelve metric tonnes of diamond – or sixty million carats are mined each year – a huge amount in comparison to some other precious gemstones. There are, however, some rare types of diamond; namely coloured diamonds called fancies as well as ones that weigh a considerable amount of carats. If you are lucky enough to have the pleasure of owning one, please make sure you have the jewellery insurance to cover it!

When it comes to colour, the rarest diamond in the world is The Ocean Dream Diamond. It weighs just 5.51 carats, yet its colour is unique: a stunning bluish green which is believed to have been brought about after thousands of years of natural radiation exposure in Central Africa. It is currently owned by the Cora Diamond Corporation.

In terms of size, the Cullinan diamond is in a class of its own. Weighing an astonishing 3,106.75 carats, the Cullinan was split into nine parts, all of which are owned by the British Royal Family as part of their crown jewels collection. The two largest diamonds cut from the rough are the Great Star of Africa and the smaller Lesser Star of Africa, weighing 530.2 and 317.4 carats respectively.

The Blue Diamond is rare due to its vividly blue colour and decent weight. Those who have seen the 1997 film epic Titanic will recognise the blue heart shaped diamond, mounted with white diamonds around its edge, however The Heart of The Ocean was not based on The Blue Diamond, but was in fact based on the infamous Hope Diamond.

The fifth heaviest diamond in the world is also the largest black diamond ever found. Known as the Spirit of Grisogono this spectacular jewel weighs 312.24 carats, and is mounted on a ring encrusted with 702 white diamonds.

In 1967 the (then) largest brown diamond in the world was discovered. Called The Earth Stone, it weighed a huge 248.9 carats uncut, and was transformed from the rough into a dazzling pear cut shape that was to weigh 111.59 carats. Since its discovery, two bigger brown diamonds have been found, the largest of which is The Golden Jubilee.

Your Wrists Deserve Some Dressing Up Too

It’s always fun to experiment with different accessories and go with the trend and sees what suits you and your sense of style the most. There are tons of varieties available now in the market now a day’s that gives you a lot of options to experiment with your fashion game.

Bracelets are one of those accessories that a lot of girls really have fun to shop for, they love experimenting with various looks and buying different styles to match with different kinds of outfits. Just like your obsession with earrings and pendants, bracelets can change your fashion game very creatively as well!

Let us have a look at some very favorite types of bracelets that girls love to wear!


Just like you would wear a number of bangles together, these bracelets are worn in multiples too just to give that bangle like look to it as well as the feeling of them clanking like bangles. They usually do not have any kind of opening and look like a ring; it is probably one of the most versatile kinds you will find in the bracelets section. What makes them really chirpy and fun is that they can be mixed with various colors and materials and look very flashy.


Though you might find some similarity with the bangle bracelet, the cuff bracelets gives a more classy touch to your accessory game. This kind however has an opening at the end and finishes around one third on the wrist. This kind has been very famous since the time of the royals and rightfully so because of its regal look. They have a firm hold over your wrists and are not very easily flexible.


As the title goes, the ones with a very strong liking towards metal jewellery should surely go for this type. This kind is a big hit amongst the youth because of its rough look and since it’s made of leather, it gives a very trendy touch to your western outfits as well. These are not that costly to buy and the young crowd usually opts for this kind.


Beads bracelets have a certain charm to it that is hard to ignore. This kind look rather creatively made and looks quite pretty when worn. You will most of the times see these bracelets made up of beads that comprises of certain objects like stones or plastic or for that matter, wooden beads. Not only they are very easy to make, they are fun to it. You might find a lot of people taking up the job of making these fun accessories in some hobby classes.