Happy Hockers Blog
Australian gemstones weren't always well-known. In fact, up until 30 years ago, there were virtually no Australian gemstones perhaps only the opal. It was only around 1980 that they discovered their first diamond seams – in Western Australia. And seemingly overnight, they became the world's biggest producers of gemstones.
Since then, they've discovered that all of Australia is awash in precious stones. New South Wales and Queensland have for very long yielded high-quality sapphire. But since the 80s, they've discovered vast resources in these areas of commercial grade sapphire.
Most Australian sapphire is a very dark tone with banded color. This isn't really considered naturally desirable in the gem market. But in the 60s, gemstone experts in Thailand discovered a way to treat these Australian gemstones to lighten their color.
These days, Australia is not really known for its sapphire. African and Asian sapphire is considered much higher quality.
In one kind of stone, Australia is quite undisputed – with the opal. Australia has what appears to be an endless supply of high-quality opal. And it produces a great deal of it. Almost all of the world's opal comes from Australia. And just the way the black swan is exclusive to Australian, the black Opal is, too.
Oddly enough, when Australians buy Australian gemstones, they don't buy it locally. They buy from Thailand. Most of Australia's gemstone production is exported to Thailand, where it is cut and polished. If you buy Australian gemstones in Australia, you'd pay a higher price.
If you love Australian gemstones, you'll find that the land here produces just the widest the right a of precious material. Amethyst, sodalite, chrysoprase, chrysocolla – Australia has everything.
In our jewellery section you can find many items with Australian gemstones, particulaly some nice opal rings.
If you had a computer back in the olden days, then you likely remember playing some exciting games. Some of those ‘primitive’ games seemed cool at the time and even if you did not like them, you had two choices, either quit gaming or develop your own games. For many, however, they stuck to playing whatever was available at the time and patiently waited on game developers to come up with new games. As the years rolled by however, video game consoles started to emerge. One of these video game consoles was ending man. This long-term game console introduced many people to such games as Mario, donkey kong and other not-so-popular games. In fact, the wide appeal of these game consoles would eventually bring about the development of a new field in computing – game development.
Today, it is hard to imagine life without your playstation, Xbox and Nintendo. Game development is also one of the fastest growing, if not the fastest, branches of software development. Everywhere you look today, game adverts abound. New ways of gaming have also come up as a result of the development and growth of the internet. This has in turn resulted in the gaming world taking a revolutionary turn that even the most optimistic gamer would not have envisioned just ten years ago. One of these is online gaming.
Today, virtually all video game consoles offer players game modes that feature some form of online gameplay. Online gaming is the new wave in the gaming world. If you haven’t tried it, then brace yourself, because this wave does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Video game consoles are also taking another turn in terms of features that these gadgets pack. Today, many game consoles have the processing power of desktop computers. Some of these consoles, like the Playstation 3 can easily outdoor desktop computers in speeds and processing capabilities. This means that such things as the graphics and gameplay become more real and interactivity is enhanced in ways it would not have been possible a few years back.
The different genres of games on the market have played a significant part in the development of these features. In fact, video game consoles sometimes act as platforms to test out new technology features. A good example was with the Playstation 3 cell processor as well as the motion sensitive feature that allows certain games to take advantage of pad motions. Evidently, the gaming world will continue to revolutionize, not only entertainment, but also technological developments as well.
We always have a huge range of great video games and consoles both in-store and on our online store, call us on 9358 1005, 9300 0888, 9398 6968, 9906 5722, or visit our gaming section
Its nice to know we are recognised as an upmarket business, an Australian Blogger has written a nice article about how the Pawn Industry has moved upscale, read it here...
Founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young in New York City in 1837 as a "stationery and fancy goods emporium", the store initially sold a wide variety of stationery items, and operated as "Tiffany, Young and Ellis" in Lower Manhattan. The name was shortened to Tiffany & Company in 1853 when Charles Tiffany took control and established the firm's emphasis on jewellery.
When Charles Lewis Tiffany passed away in 1902 his son, Louis Comfort Tiffany started to create jewellery.Tiffany received approval to become a member of Tiffany & Co.’s Board of Directors, afterwards becoming vice-president and art director. This gave Tiffany the ability to make executive choices; without being under the shadow of his father any longer Tiffany was able to focus his creative energies on his jewellery.
Tiffany began to experiment with jewellery designs in 1902 at Tiffany Furnaces, with the intent of showing his pieces as part of Tiffany & Co.’s display at the St. Louis Exposition. It was the perfect venue for him to show his range of talent in a variety of media. All the jewellery Tiffany made during this time was stamped with “Louis C. Tiffany,” along with “Artist.”Unfortunately there are no surviving day books nor ledgers to help provide information on how Tiffany went about his jewellery prior to 1907, however his exhibit at the St. Louis Exposition provides some knowledge of his ventures.
Most of Tiffany’s work has a lot of pattern, and looks busy but his use of colour makes his work stand out from everyone else’s. He uses mostly different tones of greens, blues and yellows in his glass work and lamps.
Once Tiffany and Co.’s began to manufacture his jewellery, there was a marked evolution in his pieces. His earlier pieces went from being made in a “hand-wrought” looking manner, to a much more symmetrical and stylized fashion.There was a great variety of jewellery produced during the 26 years that Louis Tiffany’s enamelling and jewellery division was in operation at Tiffany & Co. It has been estimated that nearly 5,500 pieces were produced during that time, an impressive amount considering the detail and craftsmanship in each piece.
He produced the same high-quality artisan ship that was very much prized during the Arts and Crafts movement, and liked to use lots of pattern and colour in his work, and quite a lot of his work included animals, trees and flowers.
In the late 1980s, Tiffany & Co. ventured into the fragrance business. Tiffany for women was launched in 1987, a floral perfume for women by perfumer Francois Demachy. At $220 per ounce, "Tiffany" was successfully marketed by major department stores across the world.
For anyone trying to buy a gift for a man, jewellery can be a great off-the-wall idea. We live in a time where a gift of men's jewellery is accepted with great appreciation. And yet, it can be an unusual gift as most people tend to not think is jewellery and men in the same context. The great thing about finding men's jewellery to give as a gift is that designs or themes for men don't really change much by season, as they do for women.
Designer jewellery for men tends to be to a few narrowly defined purposes - usually cufflinks, rings, necklaces, bracelets, tie bars and of course watches. Men's jewellery doesn't usually come with much by way of precious stones set into them. It tends to be mostly all metal. This makes men's jewellery not very expensive usually; the price is usually determined entirely by the designer name attached to it. Let's take a look at some of the most prominent kinds of items that men tend to prefer;
Cufflinks make for the perfect gift idea for men. Designer houses like Cartier and Mont Blanc have a lot to offer in this area. Still, since these happen to be quite tiny, you could get away with going unbranded. In fact, the unbranded variety can offer much more by way of style, goldplated or in sterling silver.
For the more flamboyant of taste, cufflinks can come with great trimmings in precious stones. Depending on the kind of taste a man is likely to have, bracelets can be an understated handcuff style, or a chunky chain or cable style. Designer brands like Dolce & Gabbana have a lot to offer in overstated fashion. As far as men's jewellery is concerned, the main theme that runs under all of it is an attitude of "why not?". For men who constantly try to raise the bar on self-expression, jewellery just tends to be the next thing to reach for.
For some great and unusual gift ideas head over to our jewellery section, there are some really unique items that just might be the perfect gift!
How about a watch?
People have been writing an obituary to the idea of watches for men for quite a long time now. A quarter century ago, before cell phones, you could make exotic watches for men with expensive materials and designer touches, because basically, watches had a function – people had to be able to tell the time. When everyone began to go around with a cell phone that showed the time, it just took a great deal of value away from the watch. If you wore one, it became clear that you did it for no reason at all. Or at least that's how the reasoning mistakenly goes. As much as people have tried to bury the watch, it has proven surprisingly unburiable.
Men's fashion magazines are beginning to realize that they've made a mistake. Men wearing jewellery isn't such a strange idea anymore. Male fashion magazines and other influential authorities are beginning to go after Rolexes, Omega Speedmasters and Cartier Tanks with a gusto that hasn't been seen in the watch market for ages.
The thing is, the new trend in watches for men aren't about technology. If that were so, Casio with its bombastic products, would be well-positioned to take advantage of the development. Right now, watches are not about telling the time at all. And if people wanted to get a bunch of functions in one small package, they could always go back to their iPhones. Watches are just jewellery now, plain and simple. And that means nothing but proper mechanical watches will do.
A used guitar can be a great buy!
Used guitars are bought and sold more than you think. There are always people that plop down big bucks for a guitar that they never learn to play. Some are in a band, have quite a collection, and then decide that it is time to move on and they want to get rid of some of these. This is when buying used guitars is a great idea. Not only can you find a great guitar, you can find one that has some use, which can mean a more unique sound than the ones you can buy new. Some people, no matter how much they have to spend, prefer to buy used for those very reasons.
When buying a used guitar, you have the option to buy something that may be out of your league in terms of affordability if you were looking for a new guitar. There are plenty of musicians out there that take care of their guitars as if they were babies. They clean them, repair them, and protect them at all costs. Well maintained used guitars are easier to find than you may think. You are going to pay more for them, but those prices are still not nearly what they could be if you are buying new. You can find a real gem if you search, luckily we always have all kinds of guitars coming and going in our stores and many of them are right here on our website.
If you do need to have the best however it helps to have one or two of the many great acoustic electric guitars that are out on the market. Many music aficionados prefer the sweet sounds of a Taylor, Ibanez, Martin or a finely tuned Takamine, both acoustic electric guitars, but most will tell you that nothing beats the sound of a Gibson J-45. Gibson started making acoustic electric guitars back in 1936 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Gibson J-45 acoustic electric guitars are now made at the Gibson acoustic guitar factory in Bozeman, Montana by the finest luthiers in the world. Bozeman has some of the finest atmospheric conditions to work with the fine woods that are needed to make these gorgeous instruments.
Gibson J-45 acoustic electric guitars were first invented in 1942. This great guitar has been nicknamed “The Workhorse” because of its fine workmanship and durability. This is the classic “dreadnaught” design with round shoulders and deep hollow body. Gibson J-45 acoustic electric guitars are built with a solid spruce top and mahogany sides and back. The workmanship and artisanship of these fine guitars ranks them with the very finest acoustic electric guitars ever produced.
Gibson also has other models of acoustic electric guitars including the Hummingbird, the Songwriter, the J-200, the Blues King, and the AJ 500-R. All of these finely crafted instruments are used by great popular musicians all over the world. The deep and wonderful tones that they emit are valued highly among the world’s top songwriters and singers.
The Gibson Les Paul
The Gibson Les Paul is without a doubt one of the greatest guitars built. There has never been an instrument like it and I highly doubt that there ever will be. This icon of modern music has made its mark in history and it will never be replaced. If you really want to experience playing the ultimate guitar, then you should get your hand on the Gibson Les Paul.
This brilliant guitar was a pioneering force in music back in its inception back in 1952. The Gibson Les Paul was the first electric guitar made by this company that boasted a solid body. Once this instrument’s sounds hit the airwaves, music was changed forever.
Some argue that the Gibson Les Paul guitar has had such a profound impact on the rock and roll scene that its sounds are still resonating in popular music of today. There is definitely a difference in the tones that emit out of the Les Paul than out of other instruments.The tones that this instrument emits are thick and deep. The Gibson Les Paul has a throaty voice that carries an emotive force that you can actually feel. There is nothing that compares to listening to a talented musician work with a Gibson Les Paul. Other guitars just don’t match the sound.
Take your typical Fender Stratocaster. This guitar is wonderful and it offers great sounds for rock and roll music but there is a high, almost plucky undertone to the notes. That is, compared to the rich, deep tones that emit from the Gibson. There are certain songs that just don’t sound right when played on a Fender Stratocaster.It makes you wonder where the difference lies, the Stratocaster is a solid body guitar, as is the Gibson but the tones are completely different. Anyone who has an ear can hear the disparity. I guess that you could even say that the Gibson is a little more masculine in tone.
Consider the Blues. You can play many blues songs on any number of different guitars. However, you are not going to get the emotive force that comes from the Gibson Les Paul in another instrument. The heavy, bold sounds that emit from this guitar are beyond compare. Considering that Blues is the foundation for rock and roll, there is no better choice to play either than on the Gibson Les Paul.
Tips on buying a used guitar (and it doesn’t need to be a Gibson!)
Though some think its better to buy guitars that are new, most want to have used. Some people simply cannot afford to buy new ones, or they have an older model in mind that they have used before and has the sound that they want. All brands of guitar have subtle differences in sound and how they play, and each guitarist that plays for any amount of time has his or her preferences. When searching for used models when buying electric guitars, there are a few things to check on before you make your purchase.
The overall quality of the item is important when you are buying guitars used. You can find these through some stores or through individual sellers, but the same rules apply when you are choosing what you want to buy. For one, you should look at the state of the paint. Though some like the worn look, you may not. That one is obvious. However, you should also study the neck when you are buying electric guitars this way. The neck has to be straight. If warped, you may get it fixed, but you should ideally buy one that is in the shape it needs to be as it is.
You also have to see how the strings lay against the frets when buying guitars. This is commonly called the action of the guitar. The strings will be a certain height from the frets and that can differ with each type of guitar out there. You should know what works for you and what does not. Some like the strings to lay very close to the frets for easy action and play, and others want to buy electric guitars that have higher action as that might better fit their playing style. Be sure what you have before buying.
You should also find out about the pick-ups when buying guitars used. When you are buying for someone else, this is something you may not know about on your own. Pick-ups are what carry the sound of the strings out of the guitar and to the amp. Each type has their own sound, and what you want depends on the type of music that the person prefers to play. These can be expensive to replace if they are not what you or someone else wants, so remember that when buying electric guitars. Ask questions so you know what you are getting, here at Happy Hockers we have experts in most types of guitar and are able to advise you, unbiased, about our large range of used guitars in stock, if you don’t see the guitar you’re looking for on our website, call us, we may have what your looking for in one of our shops!
When buying electric guitars used, remember that not everyone is as honest as you would hope. Though most dealers that have used guitars are going to charge you what something is worth, plus a small profit, some will try to sell something far beyond what it could ever be worth, even in perfect or new condition. Do the same research when buying electric guitars that you would do when you would buy anything else. That will save you from buying something for a thousand dollars that may only be worth a few hundred, if that.