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i just had this cute idea LETS GO
Everyone who makes a cute valentine of someone else's Tokota (not necessarily fullbody but colored, with effort and a cute message) between now and the 14th and sends it to them via note WILL BE ENTERED IN A RAFFLE for a breeding slot to one of these Tokotas of their choice!!!

SPREAD THE LOVE

Arturo 11071 by TotemSpiritBoon 11072 by TotemSpiritTalulla 11073 by TotemSpirit

Simply make your valentine (it can be quickie but as long as it's cute and not totally unefforted!) and submit it here: 

docs.google.com/forms/d/1MsPp6…

You can enter as many times as you want but the valentine must be different each time and not just recolored or smth

AND KEEP THEM PG 13 
Facts about Hitler:

Hitler never visited a single concentration camp.

Adolf Schicklgruber would have been Hitlers last name. His father changed his last name in 1877.

Hitler suffered chronic flatulence and took 28 different drugs to fight it.

Hitler led the first public anti-smoking campaign in modern history.

During the First World War, a British soldier spared the life of a wounded German: Adolf Hitler.

Hitler had a portrait of Henry Ford behind his desk regarding him as an inspiration.

Hitler was a vegetarian and created laws against animal cruelty.

Hitler was saved from drowning by a priest when he was 4 years old.

Hitler, while in prison, wrote to a Mercedes begging for a car loan.

There was a Jewish-Austrian doctor who didn't charge Hitler's family due to their economic hardship. Hitler had him protected and called him "Noble Jew".

Hitler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1939.

Adolf Hitler was obsessed with America's Old West.

A Jewish lawyer called Hans Litten put rising politician Adolf Hitler in the witness box and cross-examined him for 3 hours. Litten was later arrested when the Nazis came into power and was brutally tortured for 5 years until he committed suicide.

The Nazi party tried to turn Christmas into a nonreligious holiday celebrating the coming of Hitler, with Saint Nicholas replaced by Odin the “Solstice Man” and swastikas on top of Christmas trees.

Hitler admired the Greek resistance to the invading German army so much that he ordered the release of all Greek POWs for “their gallant bearing.”

When the battle of Stalingrad seemed lost for the Germans, Hitler expected his General, F. Paulus, to commit suicide. His response was: “I have no intention of shooting myself for this Bohemian corporal”. Paulus surrendered in Feb 2, 1943.

Plans to assassinate Hitler were cancelled because it was feared his successor would be a more rational and effective leader.

Hitler wrote a second book after Mein Kampf in 1928. In it he describes why he would go to war in Europe and how he admired US eugenics programs. It was never published because he feared it would hurt already-low Mien Kampf sales.

Hitler grew to hate soccer because it couldn’t be fixed to ensure German victory over non-Germans.

Hitler accidentally bombed his nephew’s house in Liverpool, so the nephew moved to the United States to fight with the Allies.

As a child, Hitler wanted to be a priest.

When the D-Day forces landed, Hitler was asleep. None of his generals dared send re-enforcements without his permission, and no-one dared wake him.

Before the Holocaust, Hitler gave the U.S., Great Britain, and many other nations a chance to take in Jewish refugees. They refused.

Hitler believed he was attractive to women, so he remained single for political gain. The German people were unaware of Eva Braun until after the war.

During Hitler's years in power, his book "Mein Kampf" was given away for free to every newlywed couple.

The American secret service tried to spike Hitler's food with female hormones to feminize him.

In 1938, Hitler was TIME Magazine's Man of the Year.

Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Mussolini and Hitler, all suffered from ailurophobia, the fear of cats.

Hitler planned to collect thousands of Jewish artifacts to build a "Museum of An Extinct Race" after the war.

In 1913, Hitler, Stalin, Trotsky, Tito and Freud all lived within a few miles of each other in Vienna, with some of them being regulars at the same coffeehouses.

Hitler never learned to drive. Yet, he spearheaded the development of the Volkswagen car.

The German WWI officer that recommended Hitler for an Iron Cross was Jewish. He was later arrested, then released by the SS once they discovered his identity.
Your suggestions are so, so terrible. 




cleaner


News

Valentines is coming up very soon! Are you planning on participating in the Valentines Day Art Exchange? There's still time to submit art! I'm going to try to make a valentine this year for the first time :D

Valentine's Day Art Exchange 2016!
Google+
Twitter
Facebook

Valentine’s Day 2016 Art Exchange

Love is in the air! Now’s the time for you to celebrate Valentine’s Day by sending valentine-deviations to your special someones!
Send a Valentine

Take part and spread the love!
From now until February 16th, deviations in the Valentine Exchange category can be sent as valentines to your friends and loved ones. If you’d still like to create and submit a new valentine to be sent, make sure to submit it to the Valentines category before February 16th so your fellow deviants can share it!
Send a Va


Have you hear about the changes over at projecteducate? Now people can sign up to lead weeks! If you enjoyed the PE stock week, this might be a fun opportunity for you:

2016: Big changes at Project EducateProject Educate
Dear members,
Project Educate is an ongoing endeavor for the Community Relations team -- one we have a lot of passion for and one that we want to lead as successfully as possible. These past few months we have been analysing feedback from the community and from our own team with regards to what we've been doing well here at projecteducate and what we should consider improving upon. We'd like to roll out a series of changes in 2016 in an effort to better cater to the community and offer you all new, long overdue opportunities.
We want projecteducate to be a place where everybody feels welcome; where everybody has a chance to teach, to learn and to lead. Below you will find some of the core changes we will be implementing within the next few weeks:
Community Led Weeks:
The majority, if not all weeks at projecteducate have been led by Community Volunteers. We'd like to change that. projecteducate is a project that was made for the community; so


LiliWrites's Daily Deviation Drive is active right now over at DDSuggestionDrive during the entire month of February! There are awesome prizes for participating and plus you help us CV's feature artists from across the community! 

Drive Active: February 1 - 29Our first drive is officially active!
We're currently hosting a drive from February 1 to February 29. Prizes will be distributed in March. Anyone who has a DA account is able to participate and eligible to win a prize, this includes Community Volunteers and Staff! We all love great artwork, and we can all suggest great artwork to be featured. This project is all about spreading the warm-tingly feeling when we see great stuff shoved at a spotlight.
:new: The prize list continues to grow thanks to the kind donations of the community! Be sure to check out the updated list below. We've still got just about 3 weeks to go until the drive closes, and we're smashing previous records like nobody's business! :eager:
What is a drive?
A drive is a period of time, usually one calendar month, in which DDSuggestionDrive is actively encouraging everyone on DeviantArt to suggest pieces of art and writing to the Community Volu


CelticStrm-Stock wrote about a new trend in the stock and resources gallery--offsite linked resources. Please take the time to read this! We cannot feature resources that are not accessible on deviantART. Tutorial previews for patreon etc are best to be posted in scraps or in your journal. 
Off-Site Linked Resources and Daily DeviationsI wanted to take a personal moment and address a trend that I've been seeing in the Stock & Resources gallery. Over the last few years I've noticed a trend of hosting resources off-site on a different website, but uploading a preview to advertise it on DeviantArt in the S&R gallery. 
I've received several Daily Deviation Suggestions recently for these advertisements, which I have declined to feature. I do consider them advertisements, not DeviantArt resources. I will not feature them with a Daily Deviation. 
I understand that the authors may have worked very hard on these resources or tutorials, and they may be of excellent quality. That's great. Go you. Wish you the best of luck. I still won't give it a DD, though. I will only consider resources that are available on DeviantArt through downloads or premium content. If it requires me to click a link to a different website like patreon, for example, you are out of luck. Out there be monsters, as the old war


And as usual, you should take a look at ErikShoemaker's photo-manipulation newsletter! There's good info about contests, groups, and more:
Photomanip Newsletter February 2016Hi folks! :wave:
It's time again for our monthly photomanip newsletter. Find out what has been going on in the past month and what not to miss in the coming one. :work:
The latest
DD Suggestion Drive
I know many of you have already sent me tons of cool DD suggestions. DDSuggestionDrive is a group encouraging deviants to write more DD suggestions. They currently have a contest running from 1st to 29th of February, during which your task is to write as many DD suggestions as possible. The more, the higher your chance of winning! They are giving away tons of prizes, so it's worth it!
Find more info on how it works here:

To get an idea what could be great DD material, you can check the Photomanip DDs of January and my DD suggestion guidelines. I updated my guidelines to make suggesting easier for you. :-)

Artist interviews:
Two outstanding members of our community have be


Finally the Exploration Contest winners have been announced:
Exploration Contest WinnersDrum roll please :la: :la: :la: :la:!!!!!
Winner of Traditional Art:

by MoonFey
More by MoonFey

  
Winner of Digital Art

by Energiaelca1
More by Energiaelca1

   
Winner of Stock

by RavienneArt
more by :devravieneart:

  Little white ship I by RavienneArt
Thank You to Prize Donors!
 communityrelations CelticStrm-Stock Cassy-Blue ErikShoemaker WakefieldDesigns Wesley-Souza :devst


:new:Group Spotlight :new:


Well I'm going to start this section off with StockandResources. StockandResources is the group that the Stock and Resources cv's use to host contests and send out information as well as curate a collection of past dd's and stock relate news, features, and contests. If you haven't joined yet, I highly suggest you do! 

THE3-ContestEvents is the hub for contests run by CD-STOCK, EveLivesey, and YBsilon-Stock. Keep an out eye for interesting contests here!

 Independent-Manips is hosted by Aeirmid and LiliaOsipova. This group aims to help manipulators learn about how to create and use their own stock through tutorials, challenges, games.  This is more focused toward manipulators, but I figured it was worth a share since many stock artists do both photography and manips :)

Features

Stock the Mood FeatureOver at my very first stock group, The-Stock-Directory, we had a little bit of fun with a poll. The challenge was to select an animal stock image by a different stock provider that reflected our moods. I want to encourage you to have a little fun and do the same in the comments section! The-Stock-Directory was a group I took over in my baby years of being a stock provider, so it will always have a special place in my heart. Through it I learned to navigate the community, it was where I met some wonderful friends, and improved as a provider. The submissions strictly adhere to FAQ 809, so the images you link in the comments should, as well. 
:faq809:
Stock The Mood! 




Note: Remember, if you use the featured stock images, always follow the terms and conditions of the original provider. By dow
  The Unseen Stock - January (II):heart: If you like this feature please add it to your :+fav:s (:


Lady Winter II by RavienneArt
Knight's tournament by AskebodaStock
Scythian Ranger (Step) 14 by Null-Entity Red Queen - female stock by Dea-Vesta Peacock by Fran-photo Witch VIII - Stock by gilraen-stock
Watching by RavienneArt little trees by jl-modelstock Yuni Sham by RoverOdds
Dark alice and Mad hatter by MajesticStock Lady 23 by Anna-LovelyMonster Sonya 003 by metzad99
  Stock and Resources DD Roundup: Jan 2016:iconcelticstrm-stock: Features by CelticStrm-Stock




Winter forest and a cabin by YvaineGlareStock Lake 75 - fantastic lake on the top by Momotte2stocks WNB 14 by CastleGraphics
yosemite 26 by erl-stock Red Deer 9 by landkeks-stock Chelloenix Stock - Sundial 3 by chelloenix-stock

:iconcassy-blue: Features by Cassy-Blue

Easy Cosplay - Game of Thrones Tutorial by kirilee Tips for various blur filters (Photoshop) by Autlaw Tutorial: How to clean traditional art photos! by LauraPex Jedi Dress by Eveningarwen Winter stock at night by darkoantolkovic
Lady of the Lake by SomniumDantis Andalusian Stallion Stock by xxMysteryStockxx Rabbit3 by mrscats
  Beautiful Stock Images - Feature Beautiful Resources and Stock Images
 :iconthe-imaginarium:





Dark Alice in wonderland 24 by MajesticStock
Zombie VII by RavienneArt
Bug with wings by YBsilon-StockCoffee Cups 0 by Black-B-o-xReed by YBsilon-Stock
Medieval castle by Jean52
Tangled Trees by EveLivesey
STOCK_Parachute1 by Bellastanyer-STOCK Untitled by elenartphotography IMG 3270-3a by elenartphotography
Nymph 11 - female stock by Dea-Vesta
  The Imaginarium - Thematic Art Feature #4Member Thematic Art Feature, Theme of the week:
D a r k   t h e m e
work of the members caught from poll:

Digital Art


 




Cracked in Time by LeenaHill
Moirae by liadan-bran The Evil Queen by Mocris The Circle by liadan-bran
Welcome to Hell - Please Stay to the Left by TheStockWarehouse Vampire Lust Mixed Media by WDWParksGal-Stock
Necromancer by Mahhona
Horror by Lolita-Artz Behind the window by mimi-san3
 

Stock Articles

PE: Share and LearnCommunity Week
Sharing
Various artists are creating tutorials, sharing their resources, submiting speedpaints and starting Livestreams [1][2][3] to support others to improve their skill.
If you have any questions about your current software or "How to draw ...", those are the 4 points to check out.
Tutorials

Tutorials are easy to understand with the proper pictures and information given by the artist. The design of each tutorial is individual matched by the artist's way of learning and their thoughts
  Stock Photo TipsAfter browsing and practicing on many stock photos, I have decided to compile a couple of tips for taking stock photos. I don't see myself as a professional at all, but I have noticed a couple of issues with my amateur experience and want to highlight those.
I include examples of photos that are done right, because I don't want to show examples of where it was done wrong. I don't want to put people on the spot like that.
I'm focusing mostly on model stock photos, but many, if not all, of these tips are applicable to other types of stock photos too. 
1. Make sure the photo is in focus.
If it isn't in focus, it cannot be made in focus on Photoshop. If the photo fails in this aspect then the other aspects go down with it.
 
This photo by jl-modelstock is beautifully in focus, so the details are clear and nothing gets "lost."
 
2. Be aware of the sunlight.
Sunlight can easil


Contests

Fan Art Masterpiece ContestFan Art Masterpiece Contest
Hey, everyone!  It's time for a fun Fan Art contest Woohooooo! 
Have you ever wanted to see your favorite fan characters in a famous work of art?  OF COURSE YOU DO.  Well now is your chance! Go out and find a famous piece of art that inspires you and re-create it as a piece of fan art!

Prizes
Bullet; Pink1st Place will receive a 1 year core membership and 2500 points
Bullet; Pink2nd Place will receive a 6 month core membership and 2000 points
Bullet; Pink3rd Place will receive a 3 month core membership and 1500 points
Rules
Bullet; GreenThis contest starts on February 10th and ends on March 18th 11:59 PM Pacific Time.
Bullet; GreenAll entries must comply with DeviantArt's Policies and Terms of
  Short Challenge #20Short Challenge special with the winners Challenge for stocks Providers
Stock Required
You decide which to use in your Photomanipulation.

Prizes
3 winners
Exclusive Stock from:
:iconevelivesey: : :iconwesley-souza: :iconhermitcrabstock: :iconirinaponochevnaya: :iconamberseree: :iconravienneart:
Feature from:
:iconsetsiangelsailor::iconwesley-souza::iconhermitcrabstock: :iconmariasemelevich::iconlauraypablo::iconunknown-designer092: :iconthenaughtypirate:  :iconamberseree:
Llama from :iconthenaughtypirate:  :iconamberseree:
Feel free to donate prizes.

Others Information
- Begins  February 1th. and ends on  February 13th.
- All stock and resources must come from legitimate s
 

Show and Tell

:iconcd-stock:

wants to share three uses of her stock photo Light in the Mist by CD-STOCK by CD-STOCK:
As the Light Fades by Emerald-Depths Nostalgia by Lior-Art Voyage to the stars by alexamorath



:iconwesley-souza:

wants to share two of his new stocks. I like these butterflies since they are different:
Exotic Butterflies Stock Package by Wesley-Souza
And this mermaid tail, I'm pleased with the result:
Blue Mermaid Tail PNG Stock by Wesley-Souza



:iconmarphilhearts:

I'm making progress on hair, though it is not perfect. So, I'm offering my first full handmade hair stock:
Renaissance Hair by marphilhearts Renaissance by marphilhearts


Food for Thought


What are your plans for Valentine's Day?

C.R.E.A.T.E.

Community
Respect
Excellence
Artists
Trust
Empower.


StockandResources

Semi-official Community Relations group for the Stock and Resources Galleries on dA. Your hub for Stock and Resources Daily Deviations, Articles, Contests, Challenges and news.


Community Groups

:iconcommunityrelations: :iconstockandresources:

Stock CVs

Cassy-Blue
CelticStrm-Stock



Super Love

Fri Feb 12, 2016, 2:03 PM
Valentine's Day is nearly here. Whether you have a love of your own, dream of meeting that perfect person, or are content to be alone, it's always a bit of fun to indulge in romance through our favorite fictional couples. This feature will showcase some of our favorite "couple" moments from the series -- now and in the future. We'll also have a special showcase of the "many loves" of the various characters in alternate universes/timelines.



Canon Love

Sometimes forever, sometimes short-lived, sometimes unrequited, sometimes fantasy, here are a few canon couples.

Point Commission: Ring by jen-and-kris

Heck! I love you! by CristianaLeone Bling and Sara by mirz333

Going Out by elfdust

Ravenswood and Melody by Sayara-S by mirz333 Night Thoughts by CristianaLeone

Commission 111 by Nike-93






Different Times, Different Loves

The following pieces feature romances which are not a part of canon. However, we love love blossom between the cast and with other characters in various universes and time-periods. You can learn more about these alternate pairings (and see many more) at our sister-site, Relativityuniverse.xyz, or our Alternate Universe folder over at RelativityComic

Dance your pain away by SBS-Axari

The Relativity II by Maryneim That Old Melody by InkyRose

Would You Like to Dance? by mirzjiles Distraction by mirzjiles 

C: Ballade by Fayerin  Commission: Vincent and Sara by InkyRose

Lovesheet - Babs and Brent by CristianaLeone

Purity by mirzjiles   Dick and Sara by Sayara-S by mirz333

Valentine's Contest Entry! by Gnewi

A Gentleman and a Lady by mirzjilesMadge and Charles by CristianaLeone

Under the Mistletoe by mirz333

Beauty and the Beast by mirzjilestaste the rainbow by Know-Kname

Contest Entry - Aardrin and Dark Flame by dragondoodle

A Little Bit of Magic by mirzjiles Surprise by mirz333

Bewitched by Kimir-Ra



Journal Design and CSS by PreetikaSharma

Feature Friday - Edition #11

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 12, 2016, 1:04 PM


:spotlight-left: Feature Friday :spotlight-right: 


To FULLY enjoy this feature, please put window to FULL VIEW :heart: 


:bulletpink: Weekly Deviations :bulletpink: 

Doctor Who wallpaper by saffiremoon21
Doctor Who by Joe-Roberts
Doctor Who by mydogatelaDoctor Who Nails by jeealee

Dr. Who and Tardis by Mirz123
:thedoctor: by GuyFlash

Some Doctor Who Art since I've just become ADDICTED to the show

365 Daily Challenge #27 by hairyproblems
Curious BB-8 by VarastettuLapsiFire Fashion by FeatherCandy
Blue crane by NaaThann
Wolf by FourthHoundDiner by juscenko
kitten - 45min speedpainting by speedy-painter
Rosalina by Namwhan-KMiss Fortune -NSFW optional- by Namwhan-K
Cry by i-am-courtney
Asian Persuasion by ChillyBubbles1418959676-2368 by TroyeSivan123
WORK IN PROGRESS - You are My Eternal Valentine by VintageWarmth
Live Art Breathe Art by LiveArtBreatheArt
Wild type corn snake wet specimen - for sale by AleTheRatdominique  by dhunni
Puschel by Gehirnzellum

Enduring by NessayusLights in Love. by Gabbes86
Viewfinder: The Russian Duct by maciek04
{ Inktober #13 } by HardrockangelThe fish lamp by Borys-the-Walrus
Cara Delevingne by Elizabeth-AmongStars
Zdalnie Sterowane Pszenzyto by maciek04Bowie Tribute. by Elizabeth-AmongStars
Bulldog puppy by GeorgeArt23
In the Shadow of the Ruins by donovanfitzgeraldFree float by kaseyclemons
Did you hear the rain? by Excelicious
Alien Princess by eReSaW


:bulletpink: Promoted Users :bulletpink: 



:bulletpink: Groups :bulletpink:

:iconphotohunt::iconiphotograph::icondudeletsdiet:
:iconart-colony:::iconthumbhub::icondawelcomewagon:
:iconprojectchallenge::iconcritiquestation::iconsixwordstories:
:iconprojectcomment:



Every Friday I put out a mixed feature of Deviations, Users, Contests, Comissions, ETC. Want to be added to this? Send me a note with what you'd like me to promote! (If you want deviations promoted please limit it to 2 only :) )( Also please label the note as "promotion" ) Feeling nice? Send me some deviations by other people to promote! Want me to promote a certain user? Let me know and give a little description why you'd like them promoted :heart: 

P.S. Would someone be interested in helping me with a CSS journal for my weekly features? If so please shoot me a note :aww:

:blowkiss: Keep Rocking Deviants :blowkiss:

-AshleyxBrooke
:gummybear::camera:


Twist Fate - Coming Soon

Fri Feb 12, 2016, 2:13 PM

Valentines to Send

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 12, 2016, 4:31 PM
Boxtop Left Rose by Rythea         Apocalyptic Garden web-divider by EuTytoAlba     Boxtop Right Rose by Rythea

All sorts of Valentines can be found by using the Browse Function in DeviantART and searching as follows:
Community Projects/Holidays/2016/Valentine Exchange


. Hershey Kisses - divider . by SugareeSweets

Valentine's Day Art Exchange 2016!
Google+
Twitter
Facebook

Valentine’s Day 2016 Art Exchange

Love is in the air! Now’s the time for you to celebrate Valentine’s Day by sending valentine-deviations to your special someones!
Send a Valentine

Take part and spread the love!
From now until February 16th, deviations in the Valentine Exchange category can be sent as valentines to your friends and loved ones. If you’d still like to create and submit a new valentine to be sent, make sure to submit it to the Valentines category before February 16th so your fellow deviants can share it!
Send a Va

Free Pink heart-Pink bkg by TheStockWarehouseRibbon Banner Divider in Purple by TheStockWarehouseFree Heart Avie by TheStockWarehouse



Lily Magic Fountain (Free) by daniya-ART     PurpleGirl by KmyGraphic     Ira Magic Light (Free) by daniya-ART


Another way to find awesome Valentines to send is to just check your watch!



Red Hearts- Free to use by Undead-Academy Red Candle (R) by AngelicHellraiser  Cherry Heart by PaMonk    Red Candle (L) by AngelicHellraiser  Heart2Heart -Free 2 Use by Undead-Academy

Cat love by Digithalie Happy Valentines day Icon by PaMonkHot Pink Heart -Free2Use by Undead-Academy 





Divider by AudraMBlackburnsArt

PaMonk has loads of awesome Valentines to send. Here is a link to the Valentines in her Gallery!


MOAR VALENTINES!!


Rosa rosa by gala2025 San Valentin-2.016 by gala2025 Hearts and Flowers Valentine by WDWParksGal ArmouredBear Valentine by TheArmouredBear  Valentine Day Exchange Card by PointsForDevNews Lots of Hearts for Valentines by WDWParksGal-Stock Valentines Day Card by TheDreamFinder Ace of Hearts and Friends Valentine by WDWParksGal Floating Hearts Wallpaper by WDWParksGal Flower and Hearts Valentine by TheStockWarehouse
 Pencil Heart by KarinClaessonArt Red Heart by KarinClaessonArt

Happy Valentine by pranile by pranile Undying Valentine by GillianIvy 


First Rose by Lilyas I'll give you the moon by MariLucia be mine? by kokotea LOVE by MariLucia Take My Heart by Lilyas Sweet Treat by Miss-Melis Happy Valentines All Deviant Art by PaMonk Valentine11 by PaMonk Valentine06 by PaMonk Valentine05 by PaMonkSweet Mew-sic by rockgem Jiji Valentine by RoosmaRoo Valentines Gift : Pure Love by Izayoi1265 Valentine Card Free to Use by FreeAvatarProject Heartbroken by poserfan I'm Cupid, Stupid!! by poserfan

Twins72-Stocks-Happy Valentine-2 by Twins72-Stocks Twins72-Stocks-Happy Valentine-1 by Twins72-Stocks Twins72-Stocks-Happy Valentine by Twins72-Stocks


Heart by KmyGraphic Love Swing by KmyGraphic LovingCat by KmyGraphic

Right Rose by Rythea          Ima.Lil.Teapot.Divider by PhoebeRose          Left Rose by Rythea


CSS by UszatyArbuz :iconuszatyarbuz:
  • Mood: Pleased
i dedicate this special feature to a nice landscape photographer NikolaiMalykh :iconnikolaimalykh:
i fell in love with his Icelandic photos :)
  Sunset by NikolaiMalykh At the road by NikolaiMalykh    
 
Rock Gate by NikolaiMalykh Photo session by NikolaiMalykh Evening at the ocean by NikolaiMalykh Airplane by NikolaiMalykh 

At the glacier by NikolaiMalykh Evening by NikolaiMalykh Single cutter by NikolaiMalykh
On the black snow by NikolaiMalykh Snowy waterfall by NikolaiMalykh The rock tooth by NikolaiMalykh
Abandoned house by NikolaiMalykh Vulnerable tundra by NikolaiMalykh Trio by NikolaiMalykh
Pyramid by NikolaiMalykh Rainbow waterfall by NikolaiMalykh Evening icebergs by NikolaiMalykh

Shades of gray by NikolaiMalykh Troubled water by NikolaiMalykh Icelandic weather by NikolaiMalykh
Hello all the good people of dA, once again I have the honour to write a little article for you during the Artisan Crafts week :woohoo:

Many of us crafters use gemstones. Before we can use the little pretty thing, we have to get it first. And here's where my humble article may get useful. I am a historical goldsmithing specialist with a personal focus on gemstones used throughout centuries in artisan crafts. I've seen quite a few of them and believe me - 200 years ago people were as eager to push fakes as natural gemstones as they are now ;) Hell, even ancient Greeks and Romans could say something about it!

We will leave the brave people of bronze age for now though and will concentrate on what are most common manmade fakes you can stumble upon while buying gems now.

Let's get it started with a stone that is officially most frequently faked stone ever. No, it's not even precious. It's TURQUOISE.
So turquoise is a semi-precious gem that was mined even in ancient Egypt. It was easy to work with, vibrantly coloured and easy to mine - a great thing when you don't have powertools. ;)
But the thing with turquoise is that it's very rarely found in crystals - most of its motherlodes is sedimental, therefore they are soft and fragile [around 4 to 6 on Mohs scale, 10 being diamond - not very good]. In addition the sedimental stones have inclusions of other elements - when it's very dark or black it's manganese oxide, when it's brighter it's limonite. Those are the signature veins you probably know turquoise for. Funny fact: the best type of this stone, a crystallized version, has no veins because it's pure turquoise.

So how to tell a fake? Much depends on the kind of fake you're dealing with. Many cheaper stones, like howlite, magnesite or calcium, can be dyed and altered to resemble turquoise. If you can get your hands on one before buying more - crack the little bastard open. They can be dyed outside, but the inside will tell you the truth - and the inside of a real turquoise will never be white, like in fakes.
But if you buy other stone as a turquoise it's not so bad. I mean - sure, you don't have what you want, but it's at least still a gem, right? Much worse is buying that plastic-smashed-burned-all-together-then-dyed-and-baked things that are on sale very cheaply, described as turquoise or sometimes as "reconstructed turquoise". Like "there was nothing but dust but we managed to cook it, slap some stinky plastic on it 'till it started to look like a stone. Kinda stone. Cool right?". Not really. They will probably dye your skin and clothes and make you regret the moment you've decided to buy them in other ways, including disintegrating [which is particullary unfortunate if you sell your crafts - nothing makes a customer more happy than a stone they paid for falling apart, right? ;p]. So here are some photos of real, natural [often stabilized with shiny layer of resin, so it will be more durable - it's perfectly OK since it's a really fragile gem] turquoise and some fakes.

THE REAL DEAL [in de-luxe version just there and a cheaper, yet still natural below]:
Blog Bukowiec - turkus

Blog Bukowiec - turkus

OTHER GEMSTONES DRESSED AS 'TURQUOISE':
http://blog.sklepbukowiec.pl/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/blog_bukowiec_howlit_czesto_brany_za_turkus.jpg

MANMADE IMITATIONS:
New-1 by Dark-Lioncourt

And a very nice and clever clip on the difference between natural and imitation turquoise [just 5minutes and you'll know lot more! :)]



In sake of not boring you to death, I'll go onto just one more stone today. But it will be a big one. We've had a semi-precious turquoise, now it's the time for something from the highest shelf: precious OPAL. A magnificent, mesmerizing stone that is being imitated with a very poor yet crazy popular imitation. Don't get me wrong - it's more that OK, to buy the imitation if you like it. What makes me raging mad is the fact that many, many sellers - both of gem supplies and of finished pieces, mostly jewelry, try to push the imitation as a precious stone. Which, by the way, it's illegal almost anywhere in the world. So dear crafters, let me introduce you to his Australian majesty, the one-true-OPAL:

Untitled by Dark-Lioncourt Untitled by Dark-Lioncourt Untitled by Dark-Lioncourt

Those photos shows ONE stone - crazy colour play is even more stunning in real. From blue, green, teal to red and yellow flashes - a natural opal in all it's glory.
If you wish to see more natural precious opals, you can for example take a look here [no, I wasn't paid by the shop :) I just sometimes buy a gem there and know they have the genuine stones there. Also the photos are great and most of the stones are shown on short YT videos, very useful if you're not familiar with precious opals: sklep.opale.pl/opale-szlachetn… ].
If you know a good source of genuine opals, please let us know in the comment! :la:

Ok, so that should be hard to imitate, right? So what's the problem with manmade?
Opalite - it's over a 100 years old attempt to make something 'opalish' in the lab. With no success in the look-alike part, but it's nice and pretty, so people all over the world buy it. And it's OK that they do so. As I've said: what's not OK is saying/writing/claiming in any way it's the natural opal. Opalite is a mix of glass, resin and plastic - depending on method of production. Just bare that in mind while shopping for gemstones and don't let anyone fool you :)

OPALITE:


Hope you've enjoyed and found it helpful! :)
If you're not sure how the stone want to buy, especially online, should or can look like, it may be a good idea to visit for example www.gemselect.com shop, when they have thousands of detailed photos of many gemstones and they are known to be a true and honest source.

PHOTO SOURCES: www.claylessons.com, www. aliexpress.com, blog.sklepbukowiec.pl, www.firemountaingems.com, www.curiousgem.com, www.gemselect.com, www.gemstonebuzz.com, www.crystalage.com, www.mrbead.co.uk and yours truly ;)