ASTRO STONE OF THE MONTH – AUGUST

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Peridot – For Prosperity And Peace Of Mind

It’s found in colours ranging from lime to green, is popular for its mellow, soft shades and is also known by its nickname – The Evening Emerald. Yes, we are referring to this lovely gemstone which also goes by the name ‘Peridot’ and is also the birthstone for people born in the month of August.

This stone is the perfect foil for the self-assured, smooth talking, confident and sometimes overbearing way of the zodiac sign of Leo that people born in this month fall under.

It’s a gemstone that is associated with prosperity, growth, dignity and love. Often gifted to couples celebrating their 16th anniversary, Peridot is also believed to bestow peace and progress to the wearer while simultaneously enhancing loyalty, commitment and harmony.

About The Gemstone:

Peridot is a variety of olivine. It is a yellowish-green, lustrous stone, also called Chrysolite. The stone is of igneous origin, often found in areas of intense of volcanic activity in shades of pale green, olive green and lime.

In times gone by, Egypt had one of the biggest resources of Peridot which was revered there as the – Gem of the Sun God. Contrary to popular perception, the famed Queen Cleopatra was not fond of emeralds but the subtle hues of Peridot – a gem that was said to be very dear to her.

Elsewhere like in Hawaii, Peridot is believed to be the tears of their ancient goddess Pele – owing to its slightly yellowish look. References to this ancient gemstone have also been found in books like the Bible, wherein it’s mentioned as Pitdah – its Hebrew name.

Healing Powers:

The ancients Egyptian priests believed that the Peridot contained the forces of nature and used cups encrusted with this gemstone to achieve communion with their Nature Gods. Pirates also revered this stone as a talisman to ward off evil on the high seas.

Peridot is also believed to heal ailments associated with the lungs, spleen, intestines, lymph and breasts. Amulets with Peridot stones were used in ancient times as a remedy to cure Asthma, Sinus, Thyroid, Eye and Liver infections.

These gemstones are also believed to alleviate depression, anger, stress, jealousy and other negative emotions, while enhancing the confidence and self-esteem of the wearer. The stone is also known to be rejuvenating and invigorating, promoting clarity of thought for the wearer.

Famous Personalities born in August:

  • Barack Obama. (44th U.S. President) 04 August 1961.
  • Singer Michael Jackson. 29 August 1958.
  • Model Kylie Jenner. 25 June 2009.
  • Model & Actor Cara Delevingue. 10 August 1997.
  • Actor Jennifer Lawrence. 15 August 1990.
  • Actor Anna Kendrick. 09 August 1985.
  • Actor Saif Ali Khan. Aug 16. 1970.
  • Saint Mother Teresa. Aug 27. 1910.
  • Actor Kajol. Aug 05. 1974.
  • Actor Sridevi Kapoor. Aug 13. 1963.
  • Actor Dalip Singh. Aug 27. 1972.

(Disclaimer: The information provided here is purely for entertainment and reference purposes only.)

ASTRO STONE OF THE MONTH – AUGUST

DE BEERS PIONEERS RESEARCH PROGRAMME TO MAKE CARBON-NEUTRAL MINING A REALITY

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De Beers Group today announced it is leading a ground-breaking research project that aims to deliver carbon-neutral mining at some of the company’s operations in as few as five years.

The company’s scientists are working in close collaboration with a team of internationally-renowned scientists to investigate the potential to store large volumes of carbon at its diamond mines through the mineralisation of kimberlite ‘tailings’, the material that remains after diamonds have been removed from the ore.

De Beers Group will investigate the storage potential across its diamond mines globally. It is the first time such extensive research has been undertaken to assess the carbonation potential of kimberlite, a rare type of rock that has been found to offer ideal properties for storing carbon through mineral carbonation technologies.

The project aims to accelerate what is already a naturally occurring and safe process of extracting carbon from the atmosphere and storing it at a speed that could offset man-made carbon emissions. Scientists estimate that the carbon storage potential of kimberlite tailings produced by a diamond mine every year could offset up to 10 times the emissions of a typical mine.

De Beers Group’s Project Lead for the initiative, Dr Evelyn Mervine, said: “This project offers huge potential to completely offset the carbon emissions of De Beers’ diamond mining operations.

“Mineral carbonation technologies are not new, but what is new is the application of these technologies to kimberlite ore, which is found in abundance in the tailings at diamond sites, and which offers ideal properties for the storage of very large volumes of carbon.

“As part of the project, we are looking at how these existing technologies can be modified to develop specific solutions suitable for storing carbon in kimberlite tailings.

“The research is in its early stages and it may take some time before it is economically or practically achievable to tap into this full storage potential. However, even just tapping into a small amount could greatly reduce the net emissions at many of our mine sites in the near future, and possibly lead to carbon-neutral mining at some sites within the next five to ten years.

“As technology improves over time, more and more carbon could feasibly be stored in kimberlite tailings, meaning we could ultimately offset more emissions than we are producing.”

Mineral carbonation is a natural or artificial process whereby rocks at the Earth’s surface react with carbon dioxide sourced from the atmosphere and lock it away in safe, non-toxic, solid carbonate materials – taking that form in kimberlite rock in this instance.

The work being undertaken by the project team could have significant applications for the broader mining industry, as the ideal carbon storage characteristics of kimberlite rock are also found in rocks mined for other commodities, such as nickel and platinum.

De Beers Group CEO, Bruce Cleaver, said: “By replicating this technology at other mining operations around the world, this project could play a major role in changing the way not only the diamond industry, but also the broader mining industry, addresses the challenge of reducing its carbon footprint.

“By investing in ground-breaking projects such as this, aligned with the FutureSmart Mining™ innovation programme of our parent company, Anglo American, we have the real potential to leave a positive, long-lasting legacy for the global mining industry.”

De Beers started the project in 2016. A key part of its early work was centred on supporting academic-focused mineral carbonation studies of old (pre-1912) and recent (post-2008) kimberlite tailings samples from Voorspoed Mine in South Africa, which provide a great ‘natural laboratory’ for understanding carbonation reactions in kimberlite.

Mineral carbonation potential assessment studies are currently underway for Venetia Mine in South Africa and Gahcho Kué Mine in Canada. Further research and detailed studies will continue in 2017 and 2018 to assess the carbonation potential at these and other De Beers Group mines.

Source: https://www.debeersgroup.com/en/news/company-news/company-news/de-beers-pioneers-research-programme-to-make-carbon-neutral-mini.html

 

DE BEERS PIONEERS RESEARCH PROGRAMME TO MAKE CARBON-NEUTRAL MINING A REALITY

ASTRO STONE OF THE MONTH – JULY

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Ruby – A Gem Fit For Kings

People born in July are ruled by the zodiac sign Cancer and have the good fortune of the ruby as a birthstone, which was worn by royalty in days gone by and is still counted among the most precious of gemstones.

The fiery red hues of this gem are symbolic of love, passion, energy and power with an unquenchable zest for life – qualities which are an apt description of most people born in July. They are also said to possess a love for harmony, contentment, integrity and mental fortitude to deal with some of life’s biggest challenges.

 About The Gemstone – Ruby:

Ruby belongs to the family of the Big Four precious gemstones with the others being emerald, diamond and sapphire. Interestingly enough, both the Ruby and Sapphire are from the same gemstone family, Corundum, with the only difference being their colour – sapphires are blue, while rubies are red.

Ancient Hindus called it the – King of Gems – courtesy its intense red colour and associated it with the power of the Sun God – Surya.  Said to symbolize strength, vitality, confidence, leadership, and courage, this blood-red stone has also adorned Kings, head of warrior tribes and political rulers as it was believed to enhance their leadership skills and power of decision-making.

The stone has also featured prominently in the popular famous children’s movie, The Wizard of Oz, in which one of the main characters wore shoes made of Blood Red ruby.

Healing Powers of Rubies:

The ruby is said to possess many healing and supernatural properties. For example, it’s believed to help the wearer take important decisions, particularly those related to money. Often associated with the Sun, the ruby is also believed to protect the physical and mental health of an individual. Many believe the ruby is the stone of love and passion, and enhances sexual activity.

Earlier cultures also believed in its powers of prophecy with the stone said to change colour to a deeper red when danger was imminent. Rubies were also believed to cleanse the body of toxins, restore youth and vitality when rubbed on the skin. An ancient cure for liver problems lists powdered ruby as the main ingredient.

Rubies are said to energize and bring balance to the body, stimulate the heart Chakra and spur a passion for life. This stone is also believed to motivate the wearer to achieve goals, acquire leadership skills and amass abundant wealth.

Famous Personalities Born in JULY:

  • Actor Priyanka Chopra. Jul 18. 1982.
  • Actor Sanjay Dutt. Jul 29. 1959.
  •  Actor. Saravanan Sivakumar. Jul 23. 1975.
  • Actor. Dhanush. Jul 28. 1983.
  • Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Jul 07. 1981.
  • Actor Ranveer Singh. Jul 06. 1985.
  • Singer Sonu Nigam. Jul 30. 1973.

(Disclaimer: The information provided here is purely for entertainment and reference purposes only.)

ASTRO STONE OF THE MONTH – JULY

ASTRO STONE OF THE MONTH – JUNE

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Enhance Your Luck with Alexandrite & Pearls

The zodiac sign for June is Gemini – symbolized by the twins. People born in June are trustworthy, friendly, loyal and extremely sociable. However on the flip side they can also be extremely moody, temperamental and are frequently caught in two minds about issues.

Not surprisingly people born in this month can stake their claim on not one but two birthstones – Pearls and Alexandrite.

While pearls have been sought-after for centuries for their luminescence and shine, Alexandrite gems are rare and known to change colour depending on the light available. Both of these gems complement and enhance the nature of those born in June in many ways with their distinctive qualities.

About Pearls & Alexandrite:

While everyone knows about the beauty of white pearls, few are aware that they can be found in other colours too, namely silver, cream color, white, green, lavender, black, blue and golden shades.

Alexandrite on the other hand is a relatively new gemstone and exhibits exotic shades of green in daylight but a superior quality gem can change to a reddish purple color when held under incandescent light.

Genuine pearls are the only gems that are organic in nature, found in living mollusk shells and depending on their quality, size and rarity are sometimes prized even more than diamonds, rubies and emeralds.

Healing Powers:

Pearls are said to symbolize faithfulness, friendship and loyalty and are even considered to be symbols of purity, chastity and virtue by some cultures. Ancient Greeks believed that pearls were in fact the tears of Goddess Aphrodite that fell on earth.

Pearls were also widely used for medicinal purposes across Persia, Europe and China and were said to be a cure for insanity. They are also considered to provide an effective remedy for ailments connected to the stomach, heart and spleen and believed to be able to calm the mind of the wearer.

The dark green hues of Alexandrite are associated with good omens and good luck. It is also supposed to strengthen the intuition and creativity of the wearer and build a bridge between the earthly and spiritual dimensions. Some believe it also grants the wearer the gift of foresight and prophecy.

Alexandrite is also sought after for its calming properties and is said to be helpful to balance the functioning of the circulatory system.

Famous Personalities born in JUNE:

  • Joseph Vijay (Actor). Jun 22. 1974.
  • Sonakshi Sinha (Actor). June 02. 1987.
  • Michael J. Fox (Actor), June 09, 1961.
  • Kajal Aggarwal (Actor) June 19. 1985.
  • Donald Trump (US President), June 14, 1946.
  • Lionel Messi (Footballer), June 24, 1987.
  • Karisma Kapoor (Actor) June 25. 1974.
  • Salman Rushdie (Author/Writer) June 19. 1947.
  • George Orwell (Author) June 25. 1903.
  • Shilpa Shetty (Actor) June 08. 1975.
  • Sonam Kapoor (Actor) June 09. 1985.

(Disclaimer: The information provided here is purely for entertainment and reference purposes only.)

ASTRO STONE OF THE MONTH – JUNE

ASTRO STONE OF THE MONTH – MAY

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EMERALDS: A SYMBOL OF NEW BEGINNINGS

Coveted the world over for its distinctive bright green colour and brilliance, the emerald is the perfect astro-stone for those born in the spring/summer month of May. People born in this month are known to be expressive and witty.

They are also among the most sociable and are always ready for fun and making friends. On the flip side however, they also have a tendency to get restless, serious and moody without warning.

As the birthstone for May, the emerald whose name is derived from the Greek word – Smaragdus – which literally translates into – Green – the emerald is also said to symbolize rebirth and new beginnings.

About the Emerald:

First mined in Egypt as early as 330 BC, Queen Cleopatra is said to have been obsessed with emeralds – even going to the extent of claiming ownership of all the mines in Egypt that produced them.

Like Aquamarine, an emerald belongs to the mineral family of beryl with a colour range from a light green to a much deeper, rich green. The darker the colour, the more valuable the emerald.

It’s also one of the reasons why most emeralds are heat treated – to enhance, darken their colour. However, very often the colour of emeralds used in jewellery depends on the quality and precision of the cut given to it by the gemologist. The most sought-after emeralds are an intense blue-green colour that is not easy to find.

Though the availability of high-quality emeralds is limited, this gemstone is mined in countries including Zambia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Colombia. Some estimates state that the oldest emeralds date back approximately 2.97 bn years.

Mystical Powers:

Like most gemstones there are several beliefs of mystic and healing associated with this green gem. Some believed they could cure stomach ailments, stop bleeding and control epileptic fits.

Emeralds are also supposed to ensure loyalty and domestic bliss among married couples. They are said to keep partnerships on an even keel and change colour if things go amiss. As per ancient Vedic beliefs, an emerald is associated with the heart chakra and is said to have a soothing effect on both the emotions and the heart itself.

They are said to ensure physical, emotional and mental equilibrium, bringing harmony to all areas of one’s life.  Raising consciousness, an emerald is believed to be able to bring in positive actions, eliminating negativity and enhancing the wearer’s ability to enjoy life to the fullest.

Famous Personalities Born in MAY:

  • Priscilla Presley (Actor/Singer), 24 May, 1945.
  • Florence Nightingale (social reformer/ statistician), 12 May, 1820.
  • James Stewart (Actor), 20 May, 1908.
  • Michael Oher (American Football Player), May 02, 1729.
  • Sunny Leone (Actor/Model), May 13, 1981.
  • Madhuri Dixit (Actor), May 15, 1967.
  • Anushka Sharma (Actor), May 01, 1988.
  • Rabindranath Tagore (Poet/Nobel Laureate), May 07, 1861.
  • Ajith Kumar (Actor), May 01, 1971.
  • Trisha Krishnan (Actor), May 04, 1983.
  • Mohanlal (Actor), May 21, 1960.

(Disclaimer: The information provided here is purely for entertainment and reference purposes only.)

ASTRO STONE OF THE MONTH – MAY

MEENAKARI: CREATING A MASTERPIECE OF ENAMELLED JEWELLERY

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The 2008 period flick Jodha Akbar, was a success on multiple fronts. While the movie itself was a blockbuster success at the box-office, lead actress Aishwarya Rai gained rave reviews for her sensitive portrayal of the ethereal Rajput princess Jodhabai. Aishwarya’s costumes and heavy Meenakari jewellery made especially for the movie by Tanishq, earned kudos from moviegoers and historians alike for their intricate beauty and authenticity.

The movie, according to many, also had an unexpected consequence – a sudden resurgence in demand for Meenakari jewellery – the ancient art of colouring and ornamenting the surface of metals by fusing over it brilliant colours, decorated in intricate designs.

Rajasthan, with its rich history of making intricate enamel jewellery is today the main hub for Meenakari work in India. It’s a delicate art form that calls for lots of skills and perseverance. The creation of a brilliant Meenakari ornament is preceded by a long laborious process of chiseling the surface into the desired shape and then embedding a variety of enamel paints into it.

The end result is breathtakingly intricate, its beauty only enhanced by the use of vibrant colours that are typical to this style of jewellery making.

Origins & History:

Historical evidence indicates that the art of Meenakari was first introduced to India by Mughal ruler Shah Jahan in the 16th century. However, it was Raja Man Singh (of Amber) who ensured the art flourished when he brought down skilled workers from Lahore to the Mughal palace.

Jaipur continues to remain the mainstay of this art in the state with the best examples of Meenakari jewellery said to originate from here. While Delhi, Jaipur and Benares are renowned for their gold Meenakari creations, Nathdwara, Bikaner and Udaipur are equally famous for their Meenakari creations in silver.

The Process:

Traditional Meenakari jewelry features detailed etchings of flowers, birds, and other animals. This craft involves layering various mineral substances over a metallic material that could be decorated with precious gems, shaped shilpakar clay, and engravings. The grooves left around the stones or engravings are filled with enamel dust of various colors.

The Evolution:

Although the traditional base metal used in Meenakari is gold – since it’s compatible with many of the minerals used to lend colour – emerging techniques have made it possible to use copper, silver and white metal albeit with some limitations.

While gold continues to remain the popular choice, silver is finding increasing use among Meenakari craftsmen in the making of accessories, cutlery products, jewellery boxes and art pieces.

Maintenance Tips:

Meenakari products are durable and can be used on a daily basis, yet it is important to maintain them to ensure that they last for a long time. They also tend to lose their sheen over time hence it’s important that gold and silver products are cleaned regularly (with a dry cloth).

The Men Behind The Craft:

Called Meenakars, the artisans behind this art practice and learn Meenakari from one generation to the next. The delicate work involved in the making of every piece ensures that it passes through several such artists, each of whom is specialized in a particular aspect.

For example, the process begins with the designer or sonar who makes the initial design, followed by the kalamkar who engraves the final design after which the piece reaches the enamellist (meenakar) before it’s polished and reaches the Kudansaaz (stone setter).

The final cog in this wheel is the stringer or the patua who readies the ornament. Like many other traditional crafts, Meenakari is also facing a shortage of skilled manpower today with a majority of the new generation craftsmen opting for better-paying jobs and professions.

Meenakari Today:

In the modern world, new and sophisticated styles have emerged to cater to the urban populace, although the old traditional styles of jewellery like Meenakari are considered classics and still enjoy a strong demand.

Today Meenakari is practiced extensively even outside its main hub of Jaipur. Interestingly, each place has added its own distinctive style, technique and variation to the final product.

For example, the meenakars from Lucknow are known for their skill in the use of blue and green enameling on silver, while their counterparts in Benaras are famed for the use of motifs Lotus blooms and buds and pink brush strokes set on white enamel.

In the contemporary Indian market, one can find a beautiful blend of the rich old cultural heritage and the modern design sensibilities that now veer towards lighter, more intricately designed baubles.

Fashioned in gold, silver, and the now popular platinum, precious coloured stones set in Meenakari is also easily available online and is fast becoming a popular choice among women buyers today.

MEENAKARI: CREATING A MASTERPIECE OF ENAMELLED JEWELLERY

7 MUST-HAVE APPS FOR START-UPS & SMEs

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Setting up and running a small business is not for the faint of heart. For starters, it involves wearing many hats – that of a problem solver, administrator, communicator & marketing pro and a finance & accounting whiz – to name just a few.

But thankfully in this age of the Internet and technology, there exist several efficient online Apps that can help you increase productivity and efficiency. Or just make your life as an entrepreneur a little easier.

Here’s a breakdown of the 7 handy online tools compiled by GEMATLAS, which could be game-changers for your start-up this year!

  1. 1Password (.com)

Keeping track of all the different passwords that facilitate your business online can be a huge challenge. This site changes all that by giving you a single Master password, that will enable you to access to all the others. Designed specifically for businessmen and professionals on the move, 1Password is fast, convenient, efficient and safe, and offers new users a free 30-day-trial version.

  1. Workflow (.is)

These days there is an App available for almost every task. While multiple options give one the power of choice, they can be a little confusing at times when all you want is simple commands.

This App offers the perfect solution to the problem by simply combining Apps that boast of similar features. What’s more – you can build your own workflows with a simple drag-and-drop interface, mix & match hundreds of actions to create quick shortcuts, manage your media, share content, and much more.

  1. Hotjar (.com)

No, this one has nothing to do with creating the perfect recipes, rather it’s a handy little tool to find out more about the visitors visiting your website and what exactly is catching their interest on it.

Fast and quietly efficient, Hotjar features the latest in analytics and user feedback information using Heatmaps – their custom feature which tracks the scrolling behavior, clicks and visits of the users and visitors to your website. Armed with this vital info, you will know exactly what is working and what’s not and get your site optimized accordingly.

  1. Wistia (.com)

For frequent online users, Wistia is a familiar name mainly for their video hosting services, which has been used by businesses for well over a decade now. But, did you know that in addition to hosting your videos, Wistia tracks how each viewer watches your video, second by second, to give you detailed insights into how your videos are performing, to help you optimize the impact of your visual uploads!

  1. Zoom (.us)

Setting up a new business often involves frequent travelling, leaving little time for staff sit-downs or important business meetings. But Zoom can make all this happen for you with its ability to handle multiple tasks effortlessly. So, now, whether you need to conduct an urgent webinar online or meet with multiple clients, Zoom makes it possible with HD video and voice quality.

In addition to its easy-to-use interface, this App also features handy options like low bandwidth handling, multi-person screen share and a mobile app.  What’s more, you also have the option of recording your meetings – in case you need to refer to them again at a later date.

  1. MailTime (.com)

We all have been inundated with unwanted emails at one time or the other. What makes the situation worse is following the thread of the conversation, which often becomes a complicated affair, and more so on mobile devices. With this App, you can now convert all your long email conversations into the same format used by text messages with its content parsing engine which cuts out annoying metadata to display emails in clean bubbles.

Its intelligent inbox also sorts out the important conversations from the junk mail (newsletters, discounts, promos, etc) ensuring that you never miss a mail from an important contact.

  1. Square (squareup.com)

Given the government’s ongoing thrust on promoting cashless payments, Square can be a useful ally specifically for people selling products online. It’s designed to run on a smartphone or tablet, on your counter or on the go.

This PoS App allows businesses of all kinds to accept and process card purchases made using MasterCard, Visa and American Express, among others. An added incentive – this App accepts both magnetic and chip-enabled cards and the money is credited to your bank account the very next working day.

7 MUST-HAVE APPS FOR START-UPS & SMEs