Kayaking Tours Near Vancouver, BC

We love recreational kayaking in quiet waters around Vancouver.

We have been enjoying these areas  now for five years. Here are our favorite areas we love and revisit often.

A few years ago we were visiting our daughter in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory in Canada. One evening we took a walk along the Yukon River and saw a group of kayaker’s taking a lesson in a quiet eddy of the river. They were doing log rolls in the icy water. After watching these people for a few minutes we decided there was no way we were ever going to ever do this, absolutely not!

We were in our late seventies at the time and did want to try kayaking. We still had the urge when we arrived back in Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley, a 1-½ hour drive from Vancouver. We checked around to see what was available for us to get safely into the sport of kayaking.

We decided on an inflatable kayak called Sea Eagle.

They are sold in the USA and come with a three-year warranty so we bit the bullet and ordered a two-person unit with the deluxe seats. We checked it out once it arrived and the first thing we noticed was that it fit into the trunk of the Honda easily along with the paddles, life jackets, foot and electric pumps, seats, rubber boots and towels.

Beautiful Cultus Lake

We headed for Cultus Lake near Chilliwack and fell in love instantly with the whole concept of kayaking. This lake is perfect: 8 km long and 2 km wide. I don’t know why but the weather in Chilliwack can be windy but when we arrive at the lake it is almost calm.

During the week there are plenty of areas to put in. For the first excursion we inflated the kayak at the east end of the lake at the number 1 beach. It took us about 15 minutes from the time we arrived but once we got things right, we got that time down to 10 minutes flat.

 

There are many good places to enjoy kayak tours near Vancouver on this lake. This parking lot may be full on nice summer weekends but the boat launch is good as not many people swim there. A kilometer past the boat launch there is a little cove where there are 10 parking spots and a great place to launch.

Further down the lake, Maple Bay is another great launch area. You can drive to the lake and unload your stuff and then head back up the road to a parking lot on the left side. Park staff do not allow parking in the boat trailer lot so take the walk.

This lake is clean and a treat for sore eyes. There are quite a few picnic tables on the east end and a group picnic area about halfway down the lake. The lake is a perfect place for mergansers and the geese keep the grass clipped and fertilized.

Mill Lake, Abbotsford

The history of Mill Lake goes back to well over a century when this lake was a landing place for logs that were harvested from the area and dumped into the lake for sorting before being sent to a huge sawmill that once rested at the end of the lake.

The lake is 43 acres in size and is home to many Japanese lilies that were brought here from Japan by  some ladies who were homesick for their home country.

Parking is at a premium on the weekends. There is a good launching area at the end of Mill Road. This is not a place for huge waves as it well protected from the wind but Irma and I love it as it is right in the middle of the city.

Fraser River Kayak Tours at Fort Langley

There is a nice place to put in at Fort Langley that will take you to the boat launch just below the Fort. Make a right onto Mavis St from Glover Road and a left on Church St and the boat launch is at the end.

This is the river, which means the water is flowing, but we didn’t have any trouble paddling upstream. If the river is in flood, I would make this tour a little later in the summer. There is a tide that comes up from the ocean that helped us the last time we did this. The current was quite slow with the tide coming in.

Deas Island Kayaking Tour

This is a nice, quiet paddle that is easy to access. You can put in at Delta Deas Island Rowing Club. This tour is straight down the water area to the tunnel bridge. Pass under the bridge and there are many good options for your excursion.

This park is a wonderful place to have a picnic as there are many tables and a clean washroom.

Pitt River

The first time we arrived here to go across to Widgeon Creek, as close as we could get to park the car, was well over a kilometer. That was on a Sunday in August. We should have known it would be difficult to find parking. Late September was our second choice and the correct one because the area was busy but not too bad. You can put in and then park either in the lot or along the road.

Widgeon Creek is truly gorgeous. You must paddle across the river and find the entry to the creek. Go up this creek and it is the perfect place to poke along. Try some of the narrow waterways to see what is there. A waterway goes off to the left and goes up to a campsite where you can hike to a waterfall. We love it here and so do many more who find their way to this beautiful spot. Kayaking tours such as this one is represent what kayaking is all about!

Whonnock Lake

You can get to this little lake off of Dewdney Trunk Road turning south on 272 St and left on 112 Ave and 276 Street.

This is a nice lake to spend a sunny afternoon. Parking is easy and you can put in anywhere.

Hayward Lake Kayaking Tour

Go to the end of Dewdney Trunk Road and you come to the Stave Lake Dam. On the right is a road to Hayward Lake and go a short distance to the lake. If the parking lot is full you must leave as there is no overflow parking area.

This is why we only go here during the week. Good washrooms are next to the boat ramp. This is another beautiful lake that has been created by a dam. There are places where old trees that were killed by the rising waters still exist and can be fun to paddle through. There are a few nice beaches along this lake where you can swim or simply relax on a nice sunny day.

Harrison Mills

I’ve skipped along this north side of the Fraser River as I want to post only the areas where Irma and I have kayaked already. The Harrison Mills area is a great place to start. A little to the west of Harrison Mills is a small lake called, Lake Errock. Irma and I drove around this lake but couldn’t find a place where we could park. Perhaps someone can help us on this one and I can include it on this blog.

Just before you are about to cross the Harrison River Bridge on the right-hand side of the highway, there is a driveway to a mobile home. The gent who lives here allows people to park on his property. He has a box similar to a mailbox where you can deposit the $5 parking fee. Do this and you will find a good launch area and a few places to park.

From this area you can go west on the lake or go under the bridge and along the side of the Sandpiper Golf Course. On a nice day, we always enjoy going up along the golf course and if there are planes in the area you will get a bird’s eye view as they use the runway that is between the water and the golf course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you go north past the houses you will come to a big old log that has been sitting there on the bottom for a long time. The log is a great place for a lunch. Late in the summer the water level drops and this area is very shallow. Later in the fall when the salmon are running you can see them here by the hundreds as they make their way to their spawning grounds. You will certainly see plenty of eagles everywhere as they await their turn at the dining table.

Harrison Lake Kayak Tours

Head east to Harrison Hot Springs where you will find Harrison Lake. We have two favorite areas where we put in. If the wind is down we put in at the north end of the barge area. Here you will see the breakwater jutting out. Usually there is a barge moored here. Note the portable toilet at the north end of the lot. There is a boat launch here so be alert to that when you park. You can put in here or if it is breezy there is a spot at the inside of the breakwater next to the barge.

 

 

If it is too windy then proceed north along this road for about 3 or 4 km and go straight ahead to Sasquatch Park instead of turning right at the nice homes you will see in front of you. Cross the bridge and the boat ramp is on your left.

This area is protected from the wind from the north and east as well as the south. This park is a mecca for the children. The water is perfect for swimming, there are plenty of picnic tables and a very good washroom.

There are a few nice homes to the south of the boat launch.

Hicks and Deer Lakes

I bunch these two beauties together as they are near to each other and approachable from the same area. Both have good parking areas and easy to launch sites. The scenery here is captivating and something you will never get tired of seeing.

To get here from Sasquatch Park, simply cross the bridge and turn left and follow the unpaved road that veers to the right about 1 or 2 km ahead. Slow down as the potholes will shake you up. The road gets graded once a year but there is plenty of traffic heading to the campgrounds at the lake and the pot holes soon show up again.

Kawkawa Lake in Hope

When you want a place to kayak away from the wind, hop into the car and head for Hope at the eastern end of the Fraser Valley for a wonderful kayaking tour. From the Old Princeton Road turn left on 6th Avenue and then right on Kawkawa Road and this will take you to the lake. Look for the sign as it is tricky to find. The lake is set in a bowl and you can drive down to the boat ramp to unload but you must park back up the hill where there are a few parking spots. We love this lake as do the residents.

Lightning Lakes Manning Park

These lakes are gorgeous! Kayak or canoe these two lakes and you will downgrade everything else to ho-hum status. They are not in the Fraser Valley but well worth the spectacular drive for a perfect kayaking tour.

From Hope leave town on Highway 5 and exit right on Highway 3 to Manning Park. This will take you past The Hope Slide (stop here to get the feeling of the volume of rock it misplaced) and on the way to Manning (30 to 40 minutes) you will travel over Allison Pass with simply spectacular scenery to enjoy.

Turn right at the Park and follow the signs to the lake. The lake is a popular one but there are plenty of parking areas. There is lots of room to offload your kayak in the open areas.

I refer to the lake as lakes but Lightning is one lake with a portage between two lakes. There may be a foot of water between two bodies so does that count as one lake or two? Either way, both are fantastic. There is a very busy canoe rental station here and they do a good business on the weekends.

Expect to see Giant Blue Herons, Eagles and Ptarmigans  as they seem to have accepted the fact that we humans may show up in their territory from time to time.

Irma, Colette and I drove up from Chilliwack one weekend, kayaked the lake and stayed overnight in Princeton and hit the lake again on our way back home the next day. After dining at a nice restaurant, we strolled the downtown and were surprised to have five deer cross the street a few meters away from us as they headed to their lunchroom at a cute little park.   

Final Thoughts

These are the various lakes Irma and I and our daughter, Colette have been enjoying for the past few years. The Fraser Valley does have more places to enjoy your kayaks. We try to not travel on unpaved roads so we have not kayaked on the lakes that are only accessible from forestry roads.

This is a never-ending list and as we discover more lakes and quiet waters for us older folks, I will post them here.

If you have a favorite site in mind please add a comment and I will include it here.

The Beauty of Opal: The Sunset in a Gem

 

Opal is Beautiful

If ever there was a most beautiful gemstone contest I believe the opal would win hands down. It is like the sunset and sunrise wrapped up in a volcano.

From the first time I laid eyes on opal I have been enthralled by the beauty of the stone. There is no question that the gemstone is a sight to behold. But I stand corrected in that opal is not a gemstone in the true sense of the word. The four true gemstones are diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald and they are crystals.

Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica and may often have a water content as much as 10%. It is classed as a mineraloid along with glass, jet, obsidian and pearl.

In the article, “Are Cultured Pearls Real?” I described how pearls are coated with layers of very small, little bricks of nacre. Similarly, opal is made up of microscopic layers of little spheres and it is with the way light reflects its way along these layers that creates the spectacular colors we see. Precious opal ranges from clear through white, gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, brown, and black. Of these hues, the black opals are the rarest, whereas white and greens are the most common.

Singles, Doublets and Triplets

Generally opals are cut and polished in the cabochon shape and can be in singles, doublets or triplets. The singles will be comprised of the solid stone from front to back. A doublet may be made by cementing a layer of a dark stone to the back of the single stone to enhance the color of the stone, most commonly ironstone, dark or black common opal (potch), onyx, or obsidian. The beauty of opal is everywhere.

 

 

The darker backing emphasizes the play of color and results in a more attractive display than a lighter potch. An opal triplet is similar to a doublet but has a third layer, a domed cap of clear quartz or plastic on the top. The cap acts as a protective layer for the opal. The top layer also acts as a magnifier to emphasize the play of color of the opal beneath, which is often of lower quality. Triplet opals have a more artificial appearance and are not classed as precious opal. These changes are made to bring out the beauty of opal.

More Types of Opal

Along with the gemstone varieties of opal that show a play of color, many other kinds of common opal include the milk opal, milky bluish to greenish (which can sometimes be of gemstone quality); resin opal, that appears as honey-yellow with a resinous luster; and wood opal, which is caused by the replacement of the organic material in wood with opal. This change can take place over millions of years.

Mexican Opals

Mexico produces a wonderful array of fire opals. Fire opal is a transparent to translucent opal with warm, body colors from yellow to orange to brilliant red. Although it does not usually show any play of color, occasionally a stone will exhibit bright green flashes. Mexican opals are sometimes cut in their natural rhyolitic host material if it is a hard enough quality to allow cutting and polishing. This type of Mexican opal is referred to as a Cantera opal. Mexican water opal often is a colorless opal which exhibits either a bluish or golden internal sheen to the stone.

Girasol Opal

Girasol opal is a term that may be mistakenly and improperly used to refer to some fire opals, as well as a type of transparent type milky quartz from Madagascar which sometimes displays an asterism, or star effect, when cut properly. However, the true girasol opal is a type of hyalite opal that often will exhibit a bluish glow or sheen that follows the light source around. It is not a play of color as seen in precious opal, but rather an effect from microscopic inclusions. It is also sometimes referred to as water opal too when it is from Mexico. The two most notable locations where this type of opal can be found are Oregon and Mexico. The beauty of opal may be found everywhere.

Australian Opal

Australian opal has often been reported as accounting for 95 to 97% of the world’s supply of precious opal, with the state of South Australia accounting for almost 80% of the world’s supply. Ethiopian opal has been making inroads in world production in the last while but due to the different methods of weighing, it is difficult to determine the proper figures. The opal, found mostly in the form of nodules, is of volcanic origin and is found predominantly within weathered layers of rhyolite. Rhyolites that cool too quickly to grow crystals form a natural glass or vitrophyre, also called obsidian.

Black Fire Opal

The Virgin Valley opal fields in Humboldt County in northern Nevada produce a great variety of precious black, white, fire, crystal and lemon opal. The black fire opal is the official gemstone of Nevada. Most of the precious opal is partial wood replacement which occurs over eons of time. The precious opal is hosted and found within a subsurface horizon or zone of bentonite in place which is considered a lode deposit. Opals which have weathered out of the in-place deposits are alluvial and considered placer deposits. Other Miocene-age opalised teeth, fish, bones and a snake head have been found. The beauty of opal is in its fire but there are other colors which are highly sought after.

Tweed Squares to Die For

For every special occasion you need something special. Why not consider Irma’s fantastic recipe for Tweed Squares? Your family will love you for making these.

Special People

I have always admired those among us who can go to the kitchen and cook up a great meal or bake something in the oven. Irma and I both reaped the benefits of growing up in a family where we had mothers who did just that. They were great cooks. Imagine the scene in Irma’s home where she had 10 more brothers and sisters who had to be fed three times a day, every day.

Irma and I were visiting with my brother, Mike and his wife Cindy some years ago. I volunteered to boil up some hot dogs for lunch. I put a few in a pot, covered them with water and in short order, I invited everyone to dig in.

Can you imagine my surprise when suddenly it was discovered that I forgot to remove the plastic skin from the hot dogs? What a “rolling on the floor” laugh we all had.

Since then I have moved on and now I can prepare a few meals but my amazing wife, Irma can bake up a pan of Tweed Squares that are so good we cannot stop eating them until they are devoured.

TWEED SQUARES

½ cup margarine

⅔ cup sugar

½ cup milk

1-⅓ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

Mix together these six ingredients.

Grate 2 squares of semi-sweet chocolate.

Beat 2 egg whites until frothy and mix together with the chocolate.

Fold in the egg whites and chocolates to the first six ingredients.

Spread into an 8-inch pan and bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Mix 2 egg yolks with 1-¼ cup of icing sugar and ½ tsp vanilla and spread on top.

Let stand until room temperature.

Melt 2 squares of semi-sweet chocolate with 1 large tsp of margarine in the microwave oven and then spread on top of icing.

 

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy the adulation. Don’t forget to try these great muffins.

Parkinson’s Disease: Win the Battle With Constipation

Just when I thought I knew all of the symptoms, I find out my constipation is caused by a  lack of dopamine in my brain. What next will it be with Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s Disease: win the battle with constipation. What a title for a post!

It was about eight years ago when I noticed my finger trembled without my direction and I began to wonder why. I didn’t have a clue what Parkinson’s was all about and hadn’t given it a second thought. A few months later, after we settled into our new home and found a family doctor who took us on as patients, I asked him if that tremble could be Parkinson’s. He decided to refer me to a neurologist and sure enough, it was Parkinson’s disease. I didn’t think much about it at the time because I didn’t know anyone who had it and didn’t know anything about the disease. I am not the type to worry about something over which I have no control. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease so there is really nothing I can do about it.

Eventually Irma and I joined up with a PD support group in our city. We met some really nice people who openly shared their version of the disease. We soon learned about medications, exercising both the body, brain and voice and how to do them.

Exercise is Key

We learned that the body must be exercised every day by walking, running, working out in the gym or pool, as well as playing sports like golf, tennis, pickleball, curling and pretty well any exercise you can imagine. We love our inflatable kayak as it is a fantastic exercise for both of us.

Don’t Forget The Brain

Then, there are the brain exercises and to do this we must change from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one. What changes could I make? I enjoy watching TV and there is not much to doing that. I purchased a book on how to do the Sudoku puzzles. Then, I made sure I tried to do the daily crossword puzzles in our local paper. Next was the voice exercise and this was the toughest to do. It is hard to find a place where you are able to yell loudly without causing a disturbance! My wife, Irma, is not only profoundly deaf but she is also legally blind. She is able to read with the aid of a screen that allows her to alter the size of the type but that is very slow. So to kill two birds with one stone I began to read a book to her for about an hour or so each day. She enjoys me reading and I reap the benefit of getting the vocal exercise I need.

Disease Progression

I believe doing all of these things has certainly helped me to keep the Parkinson’s disease symptoms at bay. Not much has changed over the last eight years in that regard. I do have a few more tremors in my hand but not much of a change. Walking a straight line and keeping my balance at the same time is evolving over time but most people would not even notice it.

I’m So Lucky

For some reason I can’t stand my sock on my right foot as it bothers my big toe. These are little changes that have happened to my body over time but I am not complaining as I have met a great many people who have severe complications from the disease and I am sure they would gladly trade their symptoms for mine any day.

Constipation

Today, I heard that the lack of dopamine in the brain can cause constipation. I never knew that and have read what I thought was everything there was to know about Parkinson’s disease, but I had never heard about this symptom.

It just so happens that for the past eight months or so I have been trying to overcome constipation. I tried taking a few remedies including a product called Senokot but the label advises to not use this for too long. We have had a container of Smooth Texture Fibre Laxative with Psyllium on hand for some time. I decided to try this product and it is working, goodbye constipation! I take a heaping teaspoon mixed in an eight-ounce glass of water and follow that with another glass of water once a day. If you want to try it or a similar product then I suggest you start off with a glass full once a day and see how it works. I’m not a doctor so I suggest you talk with your doctor first.

The active ingredient in this product is Psyllium Hydrophilic Mucilloid and there is a good information website here that explains how it works and the benefits of taking it.

There goes another symptom of Parkinson’s I don’t need to fret about.

Quite a Story

Have you heard about the lady in England who has the ability to smell Parkinson’s disease? This is her interesting story.

 

 

 

Blue Sapphires – Three Reasons Why People Are Fascinated By This Gem

Ever wonder why many people enjoy the color blue? Blue seems to dominate the clothing market at times. Blue goes with almost everything, doesn’t it? Blue sapphires appear to be the top choice of the Royal Family when it comes to choosing engagement rings. Perhaps that is because men are in on the selection as most men will prefer blue when asked. The color blue releases chemicals in our bodies which are calming and make us feel good about ourselves.

The Gemstone Sapphire

Even though we commonly think of sapphires as a stone with a gorgeous, rich, deep blue colour, sapphires can be colorless, yellow, green, orange, brown, pink and even black. In fact, the most popular color is blue. It brings to us the energy of loyalty, honesty and devotion. The sapphire is often used in the design of engagement rings. Some of the most famous sapphire engagement rings belonged to the late Princess Diana, the actress, Penelope Cruz and the supermodel, Elizabeth Hurley. So why are so many people fascinated by this beautiful gemstone?

  1. Blue sapphires [including the other colors of sapphires] are one of the four true gemstones (ruby, emerald, diamond and sapphires). The mysterious deep blue sapphire has been fascinating and inspiring humanity for as long as there are records of its existence. Infused with the power of integrity, strength and wisdom, the sapphire has been used by people in power since ancient times.
  2. The beautiful sapphire represents the month of September and is the birthstone of the astrological signs of Taurus and Virgo. Sapphire is also the birthstone of the Chinese zodiac sign of Tiger and expresses the energy of two days of the week: Thursday and Saturday.
  3. For centuries, sapphires (excluding blue) were often called the same name as a popular gemstone of that color with the prefix “oriental” added to it. For example, green sapphire was called, “Oriental Emerald”. The practice of applying the name of a different gemstone to identify the sapphire was misleading, and these names are no longer used. Oriental Emerald is now called, “Green Sapphire”. The same holds true for all other color varieties of sapphire; however, the word, “Sapphire” in its plain context refers only to blue sapphire unless a prefix color is specified. Sapphire with a color other than blue is often called a “fancy” in the gem trade.

 

The beauty of the blue sapphire is that it blends so well with diamonds. Diamonds bring out the true blue of the sapphire so well that the two colors complement each other. Strange that the supposed lack of color of the diamond enables the blue color of the sapphire to literally leap out to our eye. In this photo of the engagement ring notice how the two sapphires draw the eye to the diamond.

Blue sapphire engagement rings will be popular for a very long time and certainly have moved to the top of the heap as the number 1 choice among those contemplating marriage.

 

Gemstone Versus The Diamond Engagement Ring

Where Jewelry Trends Begin

The traditional engagement ring set with a diamond or diamonds has undergone plenty of changes in style over many years. From a simple solitaire diamond ring set in a white and yellow gold band to emerald, sapphire, jade, and many other gemstones; engagement rings have come a long way.

When I entered the jewelry business as a youngster many years ago, there was no reason to debate the selection of gemstone versus the diamond ring because there were only diamonds on the market.

Tough Times

My dad Joe was a great judge of character.

My dad owned a small jewelry store in a little coal mining town. In 1935, two months before I was born, my parents moved from a city to this little town out of desperation due to the Great Depression. He had spent every penny to purchase some stock for the store. The second night he was there, thieves broke his front window and stole every item he had in stock leaving him with one man’s ring. He phoned the company in Toronto to discuss the problem and the company owner immediately sent a replacement order along with a dozen diamond engagement rings. The gentleman told him not to worry about paying for the stock until he made some sales. For the next 40 years my dad bought all of the goods he ever needed from that company.

A True Gentleman

The owner of the company was a man by the name of Harry Fogler and he was a wonderful gentleman. He had a traveling salesman who toured the Maritime Provinces for the company called Tru Blu Diamonds. When the company salesman was beginning his tour of the Nova Scotia stores that carried his line of diamonds, Harry would leave Toronto and fly into Sydney on Cape Breton Island so that he would meet his customers personally. In my mind I can still see my mother getting excited when my dad told her that Harry was due to arrive.

My mother, Margaret thought the world of Harry.

He was one of those gentlemen of long ago who truly believed ladies should be treated with respect. Harry’s visit always featured a fine dinner as only my mother could prepare. I can still remember his high-quality eyeglasses frame made of gold with wide temples. Harry was one of those rare individuals who would make you feel important and whom you would never forget.

He Took Time to be With Friends

He also owned a watch company under the name of The Fontaine Watch Company. That company also sold ladies and gents rings and a nice line of jewelry items. After a day visiting with the other local jewelers, Harry would return home and leave his salesman to carry on with the rest of his territory. If you looked under the description of a classy gentleman, you would find the name, Harry Fogler.

Emerald Becomes Popular

My dad sold hundreds of diamond and wedding rings over the years but it wasn’t until he retired from the business that the colored gemstone engagement ring became popular. The emerald gemstone versus the diamond engagement ring is probably the most popular stone to challenge the diamond. This beautiful, green stone is the third hardest gemstone next to the diamond and is sometimes called beryl. Another beryl stone is aquamarine that occurs as a beautiful pale color as well as a pale yellow.

Sapphire Has its Day

 

Princess Diana engagement ring

The beautiful, blue sapphire that became so popular when worn by Princess Diana is a crystal of corundum and when enhanced with a few diamonds can be a beauty that is hard to match. It is second only in hardness to diamond.

The gemstone versus the diamond preference will come and go over time. It was not that many years ago that all bridal gowns were only white. It is amazing how times and styles tend to change through the years.

Inclusions

Emerald engagement rings become popular from time to time. The emerald is a real beauty and it is one of those stones that seems to defy the tide in that a gemstone must be flawless. Most emeralds are not and may have many inclusions. In order for the gemologist to play down these inclusions (small cracks) the gem is treated with oil which makes the cracks less obvious. This treatment is normal and accepted in the trade; however, if the emerald is treated this way it must be accompanied with a certificate stating it has been oiled and the type of oil that was used.

Another gem that has found popularity over the years is the pearl. Many beautiful designs of pearl engagement rings have been used but there are some facts that a person should consider with the pearl in mind. It is soft and can be damaged by oils and soaps.

Here is the history of the engagement ring that I purchased for Irma in 1957. The ring was made of white and yellow gold and contained a .25 carat diamond solitaire and 2 small diamonds on the shoulder. We have had the claws, which hold and protect the diamonds, replaced every 8 to 10 years, which is probably the norm. The diamonds are still the same as when she first wore the ring. I occasionally check them and they are still perfect as viewed with my 10X loupe. The white gold claws wear down over time. This is proof that diamond is the hardest gemstone of all.

How Long Will Your Marriage Last?

In the gemstone versus diamond engagement ring debate a person must keep in mind that there is a possibility that a marriage could last for 60 years or more. Will the colored gemstone maintain its popularity or will it fade away?

The Opal is Similar to Pearl in Construction

Opal is a beautiful gemstone and is very popular. It is easy for a person to fall in love with these stones. The main problem with opal is that it is quite porous and will absorb oils and soaps easily. Water can find its way inside and what once was a beautiful, colorful stone with excellent flashes of radiance may now be a lifeless, dull stone with very little appeal to the eye.

Your Comments Are Welcome

So what do you think of this gemstone versus diamond discussion? Have you had any experience with these or other stones being used as engagement rings? Please feel free to comment.