How Much Does an Amber Cost?

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The price of amber is determined by the different life forms which are found in the stone. Intact insects, plants, flowers etc will increase the value of amber and these stones will be highly priced. Typically, an amber necklace with say, a trapped dragonfly, will have a high price and will enjoy a heavy demand in the market.

The prices of these gems can vary depending upon the clarity, color, polish and size of the piece. The prices mentioned in this article are in general for gems of fairly good color and good clarity. Opaque pieces of amber can usually be bought quite cheap – for as much as $0.10 to $1 for a carat or less. For pieces around an inch in size and with insect inclusions, the prices can range from $50 to $60. An average stone of a good size and with inclusions would cost around $195.

Good wholesale quality beads can also be purchased for as low as $15. Shapeless and uneven pieces without any fossil inclusions ranging from 1 to 1.5 inches in size and weighing around 10 to 12 carats would cost anywhere between $30 to $40. Polished beads without any inclusions of about 1 centimeter usually cost from $1 to $2 per carat.

Many a times, this gem is heated to give it an old or aged look. These pieces usually cost less compared to a similar piece having the original color.

Amber pieces with unusual flora and fauna are a collector’s item. Fossils in this gem always increase its value and beauty. A pendant with inclusions is guaranteed to get a good price in the market. A carved ring is also very highly priced in the market.

A significant difference in the price of the amber is made depending on the period from which the amber originates from. The older the gemstone, the higher is its price. However, it is not easy to identify the age of the stone. Most gemological laboratories also do not often certify amber gemstones. The process of finding out the age of the amber stone involves identifying the inclusions present in the stone and estimating the period in which it existed.

There is an interesting piece of news about a piece of Dominican amber with inclusions. Recently, such a piece with a large lizard trapped inside it was sold for $ 75000. This figure cannot really give us a hint of how high a price this gemstone can fetch.

In fact, the amount of history associated with amber jewelry would only serve to increase its market value. Similarly, antique jewelry or a pendant with insect is very highly valued in the market.

There are frequent attempts made in the market to sell amber ‘simulants’ as genuine amber. Simulants of this gem include ambroid, copal resin, kauri gum, dammar, celluloid and plastic. These simulants would normally cost a fraction of what a real stone costs.

Thus, we can see that the price of this gemstone mostly depends upon factors such as age, inclusions, quality and size.

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Making Money on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace!

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The question for most Internet Marketers is should you be making money on Social Sites like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace? These are the top three most used sites although other sites like Linkedin, YouTube, Pownce, Yahoo, Delicious and Friendster to name a few have their following as well.

With these Social Sites acting as a Cyber Worldwide meeting place, the question for all network marketers is how and should I try to monetize my use of these sites? Often, if you are a member of these site you will see posts advertising their business opportunity or product disguised cleverly at times and very obvious at other times. These are usually the persons you don’t quite understand the Psychology of the prospective customer or recruits that they are targeting.

It has become apparent to many Top Producing Internet Marketers that a lot of money should, can and will be made on these sites. The question that is giving many marketers problems is how to monetize these sites without being perceived as the proverbial used car salesman trying to sell anything to everyone in site! The truth of this matter is that the majority of the subscribers to these sites are doing exactly that.

There are some, a small number of individuals who have learned the secrete techniques of making money on Twitter and Facebook and Likedin. MySpace has become more of a Social Site for individuals who wish to share their own brand of interests and points of view, A Place where they feel they can be themselves with total anonymity. Many experienced Internet Marketers do not try to Market on MySpace.

The Technique that works on Social Sites to make money is to Network. Networking means building a relationship with those who share the same interests and want to achieve the same things as you do. This takes time to develop just like any new relationship. The foundation for any successful relationship is Trust, Honesty, Communication and Bringing Value to the relationship.

There is a basic truth in Network Marketing and Direct Sales. That truth is People buy from People! They, you prospective buyer or recruit must feel that they can trust you. They must feel that you can bring Value to there lives and help them to get what they want. They want to be sure that you will be honest with them and not tell them anything just to get on their good side so you can use them. This is all accomplished by communicating with them on a continual basis and giving value to the relationship.

To often the marketer forgets that no one likes to be sold or pressured every time they see you or hear from you. Always having something to sell them. They forget the psychology of why people buy and join. They forget to put themselves into the shoes of these people they are trying so hard to sell or recruit. This method may get some results, but the fact of the matter is, overall they will do poorly.

When you network, you build relationships that should last a lifetime. If you take the time and help others to succeed by connecting them with others that can help them succeed and don’t worry what’s in it for you, then you can start to build value into the relationship. If you can teach or share knowledge that will help them and not try and sell them the information, you will build trust and loyalty. If you don’t try to sell them every time they see or hear from you then they will begin to really like you. If you can share moments about yourself, your family or that trip you just took, you are developing friendship. This is the art of Networking.

Making money on the Social Sites like Twitter, Facebook and others is not only a Smart Marketing Campaign, it is also the best way to make life long friends and develop a massive network. A network that will allow you to succeed in many ares of Internet Marketing the rest of your life.

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I Dare You! By William H Danforth – A Book Review

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Title and Author: I Dare You! by William H. Danforth

Synopsis of Content:

In this mid 20th Century motivational classic the author, a successful businessman and crusader for youth programs in St. Louis, Missouri, William Danforth dares you and any other reader to do great things and to be great. Originally published in 1953 it has been republished by several sources in recent years.

Although the book is aimed at youth and young adults challenging them to become more than they might first believe possible it has motivational value for all ages. Danforth was a strong believer that we limit ourselves and that by seizing opportunity and believing in our virtually unlimited potential we could exceed all expectations, including our own, and dare to be great.

In addition to providing raw motivational material the book discusses seven primary areas, called “dares” where the author challenges the reader to go deeper and strive further in life. They include adventure, accomplishments, strength, creativity, magnetic personality, character, and the willingness to share what you have. These qualities will be recognized as common to most success books and materials published over the past two centuries. What distinguishes Danforth’s little book is his framing his challenge as a dare.

While the attributes which Danforth promotes are found in works by Marsden, Hill and others the daring approach used by this author is unique. It appealed to the young and youthful, whether it be the high school aged children who attended his summer camps or the young men entering the business world.

Readability/Writing Quality:

The Executive Books edition is only 144 pages. It is easy to read, having been aimed at young people. It may appear somewhat na├»ve and simplistic by today’s standards. However the motivational truths in this work are no less true today than they were over 60 years ago.

Notes on Author:

William Danforth was the founder and long time President of the Ralston Purina Company. He also served as President of the American Youth Foundation and was very active in the YMCA. During his summers he devoted his time to training and helping less fortunate young people at summer camps in Michigan and elsewhere. He died in 1956.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

1. “Wealth, notoriety, place, and power are no measure of success whatever. The only true measure of success is the ration between what we might have done and what we might have been on the one hand, and the thing we have made and the thing we have mad of ourselves on the other”.

2. Each of us has four hidden giants or resources which we must develop constantly to attain greatness. These include the physical, the mental, the social and the spiritual aspects. To attain a balanced and powerful life you must nourish each of these aspects fully.

3. Continuous learning and improvement are essential to achievement. The author recommends a program of reading not less than one book per month. It will pay you back many times.

Publication Information:

I Dare You! by William H. Danforth. Copyright 2009 by Executive Books in the form presented in their publication. Published by Executive Books, Mechanicsburg, PA.

Over-all Rating for Book: Fair

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Marketing Strategy and Movie Distribution Plans

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It’s too easy to neglect having a marketing strategy and movie distribution plan when producing on an indie film budget. Producers are focused on fleshing out a tight screenplay, hiring cast and crew while keeping track of every dollar they spend. Studio budget movies hire goliath companies to develop a marketing strategy and movie distribution plan for their latest blockbuster.

Indie filmmakers have to get creative with their marketing strategy and movie distribution plan so their creative hard work doesn’t just disappear after it’s done. I’ve been learning a lot of good stuff by following what other filmmakers are doing to market a movie in order to make film distribution money.

One movie with a sexually driven theme created artwork and an attention grabbing marketing package that included condoms with the name of the film printed on them. I read they stood out at film festivals with this creative approach. There are also rare indie produced movies that are so damn entertaining they secure meaningful movie distribution without a strong marketing strategy to promote them.

But why take the gamble that your movie will be one of the rare ones? Thinking about a marketing strategy and movie distribution plan early as possible is what successful indie producers do. I don’t read entertainment industry trades like The Hollywood Reporter or Variety because they don’t have information based off the real life indie cinema scene.

I’ve been turning to blogs more and more that are ran by indie producers and filmmakers that share what marketing strategies and movie distribution plans have worked for them. I really like reading Indie Slate Magazine and MovieMaker Magazine because they spend time focusing on the business of indie filmmaking not just the creative part of the process.

Creating an online buzz for an indie feature is one of the most effective ways to market a movie without having to spend money you don’t have. It only takes personal time to run a movie blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, Google +1 and other popular social networking outlets. Crowd funding for indie movies has really shown that people do respond to online marketing. The effort to keep a movie blog fresh and stay connected with people pays off in the end. Building interest for a movie online is the way to go.

Having an idea of what the movie distribution plan is going to be will depend on what you want as a producer. Are you going to self-distribute or look to land a distribution deal with a company?

Movie self-distribution makes financial sense for smaller budget indie films. Self-distribution allows the creators to keep control of the rights to their movie. Less money has to be made from direct sales to make a real profit from a movie because there aren’t distribution fees and percentages taken out by a distributor. Many filmmakers have made money for their film investors and themselves from their work through self-distribution combined with an aggressive online marketing push they do themselves.

Landing a movie distribution deal normally offers greater exposure and more people see a movie that is released by a film distribution company worldwide than a self-distributed titled. Movie distributors that cater to releasing indie films usually don’t put together a big marketing strategy. They have relationships with film buyers all over the world that receive their catalog of available titles or see what they have at film markets.

Avoid a past mistake I made by sitting back after signing a distribution deal expecting the distributor to market the hell out of the title. It’s important to still have a workable marketing strategy after you sign a movie distribution agreement. You’ll have to check with the distributor to see what you can and can’t do to market your movie online. But overall it’s a win-win for both parties in exposure and film sales.

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Cactus Diet Plan

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Who wants to eat a cactus? Just about everyone in the world wants this particular cactus. You may not have heard about the Cactus diet but most people have heard about Hoodia.

The basis of the Cactus diet is a substance called Hoodia. Several diet pills on the market claim to contain the substance. Hoodia is the name of a rather ugly cactus that grows in the Kalahari region of Africa. The Bushmen that live there use the Hoodia cactus, specifically Hoodia Gordonii, to keep them from getting hungry on long hunting trips.

The native tribes eat the plant and can survive for days on little or nothing to eat while they search for food. The Hoodia cactus suppresses their desire to eat. It fools the brain into thinking that they are already full.

The discovery of this plant sent pharmaceutical companies after the secret to stopping the obesity epidemic. Taking Hoodia is supposed to suppress the appetite and therefore lead to weight loss. When hunger does start to kick in, Hoodia users can eat healthier foods to fuel the body.

Taking Hoodia and following an exercise plan leads to weight loss according to those who swear by the substance. Natural Hoodia has no side effects and can affect the appetite after the first pieces are eaten. Pharmaceutical companies are trying to synthesize Hoodia for market to the rest of the world.

The cactus diet plan is still not perfected. The Cactus diet involves taking supplements that contain Hoodia. There are many types of Hoodia and you may be buying a pill that claims to suppress the appetite but may not. The amount of Hoodia may not be enough to cause the same effects that the Bushmen experience from eating the actual plant. Since this plant has not been found outside of this desert-like region of Africa, to follow the Cactus diet plan, people have to rely on commercial pills that make boastful claims about their product having the same effects as the original Hoodia plant.

According to the Hoodia tale, the substance is hard to reproduce with the same efficiency. Those who buy products that contain Hoodia should beware. We all know what they say about something that seems too good to be true. Until further notice, watch what you eat and exercise regularly to lose weight. Set aside the gimmicks.

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Namibia From The Air

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Last October I joined the Schoeman family on one of the fly-in safaris they have been operating in Namibia’s Skeleton Coast region since the 1970s. Words won’t do justice to what was a real adventure, but hopefully this provides just a taster of the experience.

These incredible safaris began when Windhoek based lawyer, Louw Schoeman, realised the potential in this wilderness area for flying in small numbers of guests and giving them a ‘desert experience’. Over the years, his name became synonymous with the Skeleton Coast and his safaris became known in the international travel circles as a   unique  wilderness experience. In the late 1980s his sons Andre and Bertus became part of the team as pilot guides. They have now been joined by youngest brother, Henk, and latterly by Bertus’ wife Helga.

Today the family members take groups of up to eight guests into this beautiful and remote region. My three night, four day trip was hosted by husband and wife team Bertus and Helga, and even though John had raved about a similar trip a couple of years ago, I had no inkling of the experience to come.

Having already seen the majestic Sossusvlei Dunes and had a quick look around the Wolwedans Nature reserve which is also pretty special, I wasn’t sure the scenery could get any better. I was wrong – very wrong!

Our two planes set off from Wolwedans heading towards the coast with Helga and Bertus giving a running commentary on what was unfolding below us. We flew over the Sossusvlei dunes – almost more spectacular from the air than the ground – before turning north to fly along the Atlantic shoreline. Dropping down onto a deserted beach for lunch we had a chance to experience at first hand the howling wind and wild sea that caused misery to many ships in the past. Flying further up the coast during the afternoon was wonderful – just sitting back and watching the sea whiz past about 100 feet beneath us. Every now and then we’d swoop inland to look at a shipwreck, abandoned mining post or a seal colony before heading back out to skim the clear blue sea.

Around mid-afternoon we turned inland, flying over the spectacular grey/brown Ugab formations. After a couple of exhilarating circuits flying just above the peaks, we landed on a makeshift runway on a valley floor. After a brief walk to examine the extraordinary geology of the region we set off again for the short hop to the first night’s camp, leaving the planes parked for the night like two very lost large birds. After 20 minutes drive through a remote desert landscape we rounded a corner to be greeted by a small thatched mess tent with sundowners all ready. The camp was simple, but given the logistics of getting things to these remote wilderness areas this was not surprising, and the twin-bedded tents were perfectly comfortable with everything you need for the night.

Early morning coastal fog means flying tends to start around lunchtime, so our second morning was vehicle based, exploring the strange moonscape features of the area. Round each corner there was something different to look at, from ancient cave paintings and weirdly wonderful rock formations to welwitschia plants, a distant relative of the fir tree that lives for up to 2,000 years. Fascinating, and unlike anything I’ve seen before.

The highlight of the second afternoon’s flight was flamingo spotting. With no warning – the Schoemans love to surprise their guests – we flew over some man made salt pans and startled huge flocks of flamingos into the air with us. With cameras clicking like crazy, it was spectacular watching these graceful birds flying just below.

After another beach landing we set off into the coastal dunes of the Skeleton Coast National Park which were every bit as spectacular as Sossusvlei and far better for the fact that there was no one else around. We spent a wonderful couple of hours revelling in the sand but I can’t say more as it would spoil the surprises for anyone intending to do the trip themselves!

We arrived at Purros, the second night’s camp, as the sun was setting. Situated in the heart of the Kaokoland region – one of the last strongholds of the Himba tribes and home to the elusive desert elephant – the camp is idyllically located in a pretty, tree-lined sandy river bed with stunning views to the distant mountains.

There is more game in this area, but we got off to a shaky start the next morning when Bertus and his team had to add a large stone and a stick to the components under the bonnet of our game vehicle. The logistics of keeping mechanical things working in this environment must be enormous but they are all first-class mechanics, so we were soon moving again.

Among the things that really stick in my mind from this morning – apart from more glorious scenery – were the enormous flocks of ostrich we saw: 40, 50 and more, just wandering across the vast empty planes. Bertus knows the whole area like the back of his hand and was determined to find desert elephant: after some searching, he succeeded. A lone bull to begin with and then a few females. Taller and thinner than their non-desert counterparts, they have evolved over the years so that they can scratch out a living in this arid area. They don’t get many visitors but seemed quite content for us to sit and watch for a while.

Back in the planes, we landed briefly on the beach to search for multicoloured agate stones. This seriously challenged my 10kg baggage allowance but the stones still look every bit as lovely in their new home back in the UK. Then it was on up to Namibia’s northern border with Angola, where we turned inland to follow the Kunene River. As the coastal dunes gradually disappeared behind us we started to see the occasional crocodile in the water below.

Vehicles were waiting at the landing strip and we set off for the final camp of our trip. Just as it seemed we couldn’t be surprised by anything else, we dropped into the huge Hartmann Valley. What the early explorers must have felt when they reached this bit of land is anyone’s guess. Vast, empty, hostile and yet spectacularly beautiful. After winding along the valley floor, we climbed a hill to stop and look back. I was entranced by the seemingly endless orange/red landscape dotted with a few lone oryx, and perfectly framed by the distant Angolan mountains. Words could never do it justice, and sadly, nor do my photographs.

The following morning a gentle boat ride down the Kunene River, spotting birds and drinking in the river scenery, was the perfect way to wind down, before a final bit of excitement: prospecting for diamonds on the Angolan river shore. I felt as if I’d been away for weeks, not a couple of days, and had seen almost more than I could take in.

This doesn’t even begin to describe the adventure that is a Schoeman trip. It is by no means a luxury holiday. Accommodation and food are simple, and the packed itinerary is, at times, quite demanding. But I feel privileged to have experienced the guiding and knowledge imparted by Bertus and Helga. Bertus grew up here and his passion for all that we saw was infectious. I would be amazed if I experience another assault on my senses quite like these four days – but then I doubt there is anywhere else on earth quite like the Skeleton Coast.



http://www.aardvarksafaris.com/articles-namibia-fromtheair.htm

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