The Mystery of Oak Island – Part 4

Restall family and Robert Dunfield (1959–1966)

Robert Restall, his 18-year-old son, and work partner Karle Graeser, came to Oak Island in 1959 after signing a contract with one of the property owners. In 1965, they tried to seal what was thought to be a storm drain in Smith’s Cove and dug a shaft down to 27 feet (8.2 m). On August 17, Restall was overcome by hydrogen sulfide fumes. His son then went down the shaft, and also lost consciousness. Graeser and two others, Cyril Hiltz and Andy DeMont, then attempted to save the two men. A visitor to the site, Edward White, had himself lowered on a rope into the shaft but was able to bring out only DeMont. Restall, his son, Graeser and Hiltz all died.

That year, Robert Dunfield leased portions of the island. Dunfield dug the pit area to a depth of 134 feet (41 m) and a width of 100 feet (30 m) by using a 70-ton digging crane with a clam bucket. Transportation of the crane to the island required the construction of a causeway (which still exists) from the western end of the island to Crandall’s Point on the mainland, two hundred metres away. Dunfield’s lease ended in August 1966.

Triton Alliance (1967–1990s)

In January 1967, Daniel C. Blankenship, David Tobias, Robert Dunfield, and Fred Nolan formed a syndicate for exploration on Oak Island. Two years later, Blankenship and Tobias formed Triton Alliance after purchasing most of the island. Several former landowners, including Mel Chappell, became shareholders in Triton. Triton workers excavated a 235 feet (72 m) shaft, known as Borehole 10-X and supported by a steel caisson to bedrock, in 1971.

According to Blankenship and Tobias, cameras lowered down the shaft into a cave recorded possible chests, human remains, wooden cribbing and tools; however, the images were unclear and none of the claims have been independently confirmed. The shaft later collapsed, and the excavation was again abandoned. The shaft was later re-dug to 181 feet (55 m), reaching bedrock, but work was halted due to lack of funds and the collapse of the partnership. Divers sent to the bottom of Borehole 10-X in 2016 found no artifacts.

An account of an excavation of the pit was published in the January 1965 issue of Reader’s Digest. The island was the subject of an episode of In Search of… which was first broadcast on January 18, 1979.

In 1983, Triton Alliance sued Frederick Nolan over the ownership of seven lots on the island and its causeway access. Two years later, Nolan’s ownership of the lots was confirmed but he was ordered to pay damages for interfering with Triton’s tourist business. On appeal, Triton lost again in 1989 and Nolan’s damages were reduced.

During the 1990s, further exploration stalled because of legal battles between the Triton partners and a lack of financing. In 2005, a portion of the island was for sale for US$7 million.[c Lot Five is currently owned by Robert S. Young of Upper Tantallon NS who purchased it from Frederick G. Nolan of Bedford, NS in June 1996. Although the Oak Island Tourism Society had hoped that the government of Canada would purchase the island, a group of American drillers did so instead.[

Oak Island Tours & The Michigan Group (2005–present)

See also: The Curse of Oak Island

It was announced in April 2006 that brothers Rick and Marty Lagina of Michigan had purchased 50 percent of Oak Island Tours from David Tobias for an undisclosed sum. The rest of the company is owned by Blankenship. Center Road Developments, in conjunction with Allan Kostrzewa and Brian Urbach (members of the Michigan group), had purchased Lot 25 from David Tobias for a reported $230,000 one year before Tobias sold the rest of his share. The Michigan group, working with Blankenship, said that it would resume operations on Oak Island in the hope of discovering buried treasure and solving the island’s mystery.

In July 2010, Blankenship and the other stakeholders in Oak Island Tours announced on their website that the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage had granted them a treasure-trove license which allowed them to resume activities until December 31, 2010. After December 2010, the departments repealed the treasure-trove license and replaced it with an Oak Island Treasure Act. The act, which became effective on January 1, 2011, allows treasure hunting to continue on the island under the terms of a license issued by the Minister of Natural Resources. Exploration by the Lagina brothers has been documented in a reality television show airing on the History Channel starting in 2014.

More about The Mystery of Oak Island in Part 5 of this series.

(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Mystery of Oak Island – Part 3

Early excavations (1861–1898) (continued)

In 1866, a group known as The Oak Island Eldorado Company or more commonly The Halifax Company was formed to find the treasure. By this time there were many shafts, bore holes, and tunnels under Oak Island by previous treasure hunters. When a plan to shut off the alleged flood tunnels from Smith’s didn’t work, the company decided to shift focus to the original main shaft. Exploratory holes were drilled that turned up bits of wood, more coconut fiber, soft clay, and blue mud. The group gave up the search in 1867 having found nothing of interest.[

In 1896, an unknown group arrived on the island with steam pumps and boring equipment. Although the pumps were unable to keep water out of the flooded side shaft, boring samples were taken. It was claimed that one of the samples brought a tiny piece of sheepskin parchment to the surface. The parchment had two letters, “vi” or “wi”, written in India ink. The second accidental death occurred on March 26, 1897 when a worker named Maynard Kaiser fell to his death. Red paint was poured into the flooded pit by the group in 1898, which reportedly revealed three exit holes around the island.[

Old Gold Salvage group (1909)

Captain Henry L. Bowdoin arrived on Oak Island in August 1909 representing the Old Gold Salvage Group, one of whose members was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. By this time the area now known as the “money pit” was cleared out to 113 feet (34 m), and divers were sent down to investigate. Although multiple borings were taken in and around the pit, none of the cores revealed anything of interest.[

Bowdoin also examined Smith’s Cove, where drain tunnels and a ring bolt in a rock had reportedly been seen. Although the group found the remains of an 1850 cofferdam, no evidence of anything else was found. Bowdoin later examined the “stone cipher” in Halifax, and found it a basalt rock with no symbols. He was doubtful that symbols could have worn off the rock, given its hardness. The group left the island in November 1909, but Roosevelt kept up with Oak Island news and developments for most of the rest of his life.[

William Chappell and Gilbert Hedden (1928–1939)

Black-and-white photo

August 1931 aerial photo of digs and buildings

In 1928, a New York newspaper published a feature story about Oak Island. William Chappell became interested and excavated the pit in 1931 by sinking a 12-by-14-foot (3.7 m × 4.3 m) 163-foot (50 m) shaft southwest of what he believed was the site of the 1897 shaft (which was thought, without evidence, to be near the original pit). At 127 feet (39 m), a number of artifacts, including an ax, a fluke anchor and a pick, were found. The pick was identified as a Cornish miner’s pick, but by this time the area around the pit was littered with debris from previous excavation attempts and finding the owner was impossible.

Gilbert Hedden, an operator of a steel fabricating company, saw the 1928 article and was fascinated by the engineering problems involved in recovering the reported treasure. Hedden made six trips to Oak Island and collected books and articles about the island. He went to England to consult Harold T. Wilkins, author of Captain Kidd and His Skeleton Island, about a link he found between Oak Island and a map in Wilkins’ book. After Chappell’s excavations, Hedden began digging in the summer of 1935, after he purchased the southeastern end of the island. In 1939, he informed King George VI about developments on the island. Further excavations were made in 1935 and 1936, none of which were successful.

More about The Mystery of Oak Island in Part 4 of this series.

(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Mystery of Oak Island – Part 2

History (continued)

Early accounts (1790s–1856)

In 1802 (est.), a group known as the Onslow Company sailed from central Nova Scotia to Oak Island to recover what they believed to be hidden treasure.[ They continued the excavation down to about 90 feet (27 m), with layers of logs (or “marks”) found about every ten feet (3.0 m), and also discovered layers of charcoal, putty and coconut fiber. According to an 1862 account, at 80–90 feet (24–27 m) they recovered a large stone inscribed with symbols. The diggers then faced a dilemma when the pit flooded with 60 feet (18 m) of water for unknown reasons. The excavation was eventually abandoned after workers attempted to recover the treasure from below by digging a tunnel from a second shaft that also flooded. Another company called The Truro Company was formed in 1849 by investors who re-excavated the shaft back down to the 86-foot (26 m) level, but the pit then flooded again. It was then decided to drill five bore holes using a pod-auger into the original shaft. According to a nineteenth-century account, the auger passed through a spruce platform at 98 feet (30 m). After this platform, the auger hit layers of oak, something described as “metal in pieces”, another spruce layer, and clay for 7 feet (2.1 m). This platform was hit twice each time metal was brought to the surface along with various other items such as wood and coconut fiber.

Another shaft was then dug 109 feet deep northwest of the original shaft, a tunnel was again branched off in an attempt to intersect the treasure. Once again though seawater flooded this new shaft, workers then assumed that the water was connected to the sea as the now flooded new pit rose and fell with each tide cycle. The Truro Company shifted its resources to excavating a nearby cove known as “Smith’s Cove” where they found a flood tunnel system. When efforts failed to shut off the flood system, one final shaft was dug 118 feet deep with the branched off tunnel going under the original shaft. Sometime during the excavation of this new shaft, the bottom of the original shaft collapsed. It was later speculated that the treasure had fallen through the new shaft into a deep void causing the new shaft to flood as well. The Truro Company then ran out of funds and was dissolved sometime in 1851.

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The initial McGinnis excavation first appeared in the Liverpool Transcript in October 1856. The first published account, which mentioned a group digging for Captain Kidd’s treasure on Oak Island, was published the following year. A more complete account, by a justice of the peace in Chester, Nova Scotia then followed in the Liverpool Transcript. The account based on the Liverpool Transcript articles also ran in the Novascotian, the British Colonist, and is mentioned in an 1895 book called A History Of Lunenburg County. In early 2000, investigator Joe Nickell reviewed the original accounts and interviews with descendants of McGinnis and the original Oak Island landowners. While later sources state that the treasure had been discovered by three young boys, Nickell reported that the story was about three adult lot owners who discovered the depression on the island and began digging.[

Early excavations (1861–1898)

The next major excavation attempt was carried out in 1861 by a company called “The Oak Island Association”. The original pit was re-excavated to a depth of 88 feet, and two more shafts were dug. The first one missed its intended target of an alleged flood tunnel, while the other intersected the original shaft via a branched off tunnel at around 105 feet deep. Both of these shafts were filled with water when an alleged flood tunnel was again breached. At one point one of the platforms placed in the original shaft at 98 feet collapsed, and dropped to a lower level. The effect caused the next two platforms to drop as well with the treasure now resting some 119 feet below ground along with an estimated 10,000 feet of lumber. The first of six accidental deaths during excavations occurred during the fall of 1861 when a pump engine boiler burst. The explosion was first mentioned in an 1863 novel titled Rambles Among the Blue-noses, while mention of a death came five years later. Another shaft was dug in the spring of 1862, which was 107 feet deep. This new shaft was parallel and connected to the original shaft as it was used to pump water out of the original shaft to a depth of 103 feet. Although the pumps could not keep up with the floodwater, tools that were used by the Onslow and Truro companies were recovered.[ The Oak Island Association also did some work at Smith’s Cove by drilling a few shafts in an attempt to shut off and seal the alleged flood tunnels. All of these attempts were failures in the end due to the tide which eventually broke through barriers that were put in place. One final attempt was made in 1864 to intersect the money pit which resulted in an alleged flood tunnel again being breached. By this time saltwater was undermining the walls of the original shaft which some workers refused to enter. The original shaft was inspected by mining engineers who declared it unsafe, and the company abandoned their efforts when their money ran out.

Read more in Part 3 of The Mystery of Oak Island.

(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Mystery of Oak Island – Part 1

The Oak Island mystery refers to stories of buried treasure and unexplained objects found on or near Oak Island in Nova Scotia. Since the 19th century, a number of attempts have been made to locate treasure and artifacts. Theories about artifacts present on the island range from pirate treasure, to Shakespearean manuscripts, to possibly the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant, with the Grail and the Ark having been buried there by the Knights Templar. Various items have surfaced over the years that were found on the island, some of which have since been carbon dated and found to be hundreds of years old. Although these items can be considered treasure in their own right, no significant main treasure site has ever been found. The site consists of digs by numerous people and groups of people. The original shaft, in an unknown location today, was dug by early explorers and known as “the money pit.” “The Curse” is said to have originated more than a century ago and states that seven men will die in the search for the treasure before it is found. To date, six men have died in their efforts to find the treasure.

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History

Early accounts (1790s–1856)

Very little verified information is known about early treasure-related activities on Oak Island. It wasn’t until decades later that publishers began to pay attention to such activity and investigated the stories involved. The earliest known story of a treasure find by a settler named Daniel McGinnis appeared in print in 1856, while excavation information regarding the Onslow and later Truro Company weren’t published until the early 1860s. Many of the following early accounts are thus word of mouth stories going back to the late eighteenth-century. The first of these stories by early settlers involves a dying sailor from the crew of Captain Kidd (d. 1701), in which he states that treasure worth £2 million had been buried on the island.[

According to the most widely-held story, Daniel McGinnis discovered a depression in the ground around 1799 while he was looking for a location for a farm. McGinnis, who believed that the depression was consistent with the Captain Kidd story, sought help with digging. With the assistance of two men identified only as John Smith and Anthony Vaughn, he excavated the depression and discovered a layer of flagstones two feet below. According to later accounts, oak platforms were discovered every 10 feet (3.0 m); however, the earliest accounts simply mention “marks” of some type at these intervals. The accounts also mentioned “tool marks” or pick scrapes on the walls of the pit. The dirt was noticeably loose, not as hard-packed as the surrounding soil. The three men reportedly abandoned the excavation at 30 feet (9.1 m) due to “superstitious dread”. Another twist on the story has all four people involved as teenagers. In this rendering McGinnis first finds the depression in 1795 while on a fishing expedition. The rest of the story is consistent with the first involving the logs found, but ends with all four individuals giving up after digging as much as they could. In either case word spread fast as by 1801 another man named Gordan Chase attempted to find the treasure. Chase ended any more future attempts after he was wounded by another treasure hunter named Micheal J. Whynot, it is unknown if either man found anything of value.

Image result for Oak Island Today

More about The Mystery of Oak Island in Part 2.

(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Emeralds – Part 3

Origin Determinations

Since the onset of concerns regarding diamond origins, research has been conducted to determine if the mining location could be determined for an emerald already in circulation. Traditional research used qualitative guidelines such as an emerald’s color, style and quality of cutting, type of fracture filling, and the anthropological origins of the artifacts bearing the mineral to determine the emerald’s mine location. More recent studies using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy methods have uncovered trace chemical element differences between emeralds; even emeralds mined within close proximity to one another. American gemologist David Cronin and his colleagues have extensively examined the chemical signatures of emeralds resulting from fluid dynamics and subtle precipitation mechanisms, and their research demonstrated the chemical homogeneity of emeralds from the same mining location and the statistical differences that exist between emeralds from different mining locations, including those between the three locations: Muzo, Coscuez, and Chivor, in Colombia, South America.

Synthetic Emerald

Both hydrothermal and flux-growth synthetics have been produced, and a method has been developed for producing an emerald overgrowth on colorless beryl. The first commercially successful emerald synthesis process was that of Carroll Chatham, likely involving a lithium vanadate flux process, as Chatham’s emeralds do not have any water and contain traces of vanadate, molybdenum and vanadium.[ The other large producer of flux emeralds was Pierre Gilson Sr., whose products have been on the market since 1964. Gilson’s emeralds are usually grown on natural colorless beryl seeds, which are coated on both sides. Growth occurs at the rate of 1 mm per month, a typical seven-month growth run produces emerald crystals 7 mm thick.[

Hydrothermal synthetic emeralds have been attributed to IG Farben, Nacken, Tairus, and others, but the first satisfactory commercial product was that of Johann Lechleitner of Innsbruck, Austria, which appeared on the market in the 1960s. These stones were initially sold under the names “Emerita” and “Symeralds”, and they were grown as a thin layer of emerald on top of natural colorless beryl stones. Later, from 1965 to 1970, the Linde Division of Union Carbide produced completely synthetic emeralds by hydrothermal synthesis. According to their patents (attributable to E.M. Flanigen), acidic conditions are essential to prevent the chromium (which is used as the colorant) from precipitating. Also, it is important that the silicon-containing nutrient be kept away from the other ingredients to prevent nucleation and confine growth to the seed crystals. Growth occurs by a diffusion-reaction process, assisted by convection. The largest producer of hydrothermal emeralds today is Tairus, which has succeeded in synthesizing emeralds with chemical composition similar to emeralds in alkaline deposits in Colombia, and whose products are thus known as “Colombian created emeralds” or “Tairus created emeralds”. Luminescence in ultraviolet light is considered a supplementary test when making a natural versus synthetic determination, as many, but not all, natural emeralds are inert to ultraviolet light. Many synthetics are also UV inert.

Synthetic emeralds are often referred to as “created”, as their chemical and gemological composition is the same as their natural counterparts. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has very strict regulations as to what can and what cannot be called a “synthetic” stone. The FTC says: “§ 23.23(c) It is unfair or deceptive to use the word “laboratory-grown”, “laboratory-created”, “[manufacturer name]-created”, or “synthetic” with the name of any natural stone to describe any industry product unless such industry product has essentially the same optical, physical, and chemical properties as the stone named.”

In culture and lore

Emerald is regarded as the traditional birthstone for May as well as the traditional gemstone for the astrological signs of Cancer.[

One of the quainter anecdotes about emeralds was told by the 16th-century historian Brantôme, who referred to the many impressive emeralds the Spanish under Cortez had brought back to Europe from Latin America. On one of Cortez’s most notable emeralds he had the text engraved, Inter Natos Mulierum non sur-rexit mayor (“Among those born of woman there hath not arisen a greater,” Matthew 11:11) which referred to John the Baptist. Brantôme considered engraving such a beautiful and simple product of nature sacrilegious and considered this act the cause for Cortez’s loss of an extremely precious pearl (to which he dedicated a work, A beautiful and incomparable pearl), and even for the death of King Charles IX of France, who died soon afterward.[

The chief deity of one of India’s most famous temple, the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, is the goddess Meenakshi, whose idol is traditionally thought to be made of emerald.

(Information from Wikipedia, the free
encyclopedia)

EMERALDS – PART 2

Clarity

Emeralds tend to have numerous inclusions and surface breaking fissures. Unlike diamonds, where the loupe standard, i.e. 10× magnification, is used to grade clarity, emeralds are graded by eye. Thus, if an emerald has no visible inclusions to the eye (assuming normal visual acuity) it is considered flawless. Stones that lack surface breaking fissures are extremely rare and therefore almost all emeralds are treated (“oiled”, see below) to enhance the apparent clarity. The inclusions and fissures within an emerald are sometime described as jardin (French for garden), because of their mossy appearance. Imperfections are unique for each emerald and can be used to identify a particular stone. Eye-clean stones of a vivid primary green hue (as described in Part 1), with no more than 15% of any secondary hue or combination (either blue or yellow) of a medium-dark tone, command the highest prices. The relative non-uniformity motivates the cutting of emeralds in cabochon form, rather than faceted shapes. Faceted emeralds are most commonly given an oval cut, or the signature emerald cut, a rectangular cut with facets around the top edge.

Treatments

Most emeralds are oiled as part of the post-lapidary process, in order to fill in surface-reaching cracks so that clarity and stability are improved. Cedar oil, having a similar refractive index, is often used in this widely adopted practice. Other liquids, including synthetic oils and polymers with refractive indexes close to that of emeralds, such as Opticon, are also used. These treatments are typically applied in a vacuum chamber under mild heat, to open the pores of the stone and allow the fracture-filling agent to be absorbed more effectively. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission requires the disclosure of this treatment when an oil treated emerald is sold. The use of oil is traditional and largely accepted by the gem trade, although oil treated emeralds are worth much less than un-treated emeralds of similar quality. Other treatments, for example the use of green-tinted oil, are not acceptable in the trade. Gems are graded on a four-step scale; noneminormoderate and highly enhanced. These categories reflect levels of enhancement, not clarity. A gem graded none on the enhancement scale may still exhibit visible inclusions. Laboratories apply these criteria differently. Some gemologists consider the mere presence of oil or polymers to constitute enhancement. Others may ignore traces of oil if the presence of the material does not improve the look of the gemstone.[

Emerald mines

A Colombian trapiche emerald

Emeralds in antiquity were mined in Egypt at locations on Mount Smaragdus since 1500 BCE, and India, and Austria since at least the 14th century CE. The Egyptian mines were exploited on an industrial scale by the Roman and Byzantine Empires, and later by Islamic conquerors. Mining ceased with the discovery of the Colombian deposits; only ruins remain.[

Colombia is by far the world’s largest producer of emeralds, constituting 50–95% of the world production, with the number depending on the year, source and grade. Emerald production in Colombia has increased drastically in the last decade, increasing by 78% from 2000 to 2010. The three main emerald mining areas in Colombia are Muzo, Coscuez, and Chivor. Rare “trapiche” emeralds are found in Colombia, distinguished by ray-like spokes of dark impurities.

Zambia is the world’s second biggest producer, with its Kafubu River area deposits (Kagem Mines) about 45 km (28 mi) southwest of Kitwe responsible for 20% of the world’s production of gem-quality stones in 2004.[ In the first half of 2011, the Kagem Mines produced 3.74 tons of emeralds.

Emeralds are found all over the world in countries such as Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In the US, emeralds have been found in Connecticut, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In Canada, in 1997 emeralds were discovered in the Yukon.

(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

EMERALDS – PART 1

Emerald is a gemstone and a variety of the mineral Beryl (Be3Al2(SiO3)6) colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium.[ Beryl has a hardness of 7.5–8 on the Mohs scale. Most emeralds are highly included, so their toughness (resistance to breakage) is classified as generally poor. Emerald is a cyclosilicate.

Properties Determining Value

Emeralds, like all colored gemstones, are graded using four basic parameters–the four Cs of connoisseurship: colorclarity, cut and carat weight. Normally, in the grading of colored gemstones, color is by far the most important criterion. However, in the grading of emeralds, clarity is considered a close second. A fine emerald must possess not only a pure verdant green hue as described below, but also a high degree of transparency to be considered a top gem.[

In the 1960s, the American jewelry industry changed the definition of emerald to include the green vanadium-bearing beryl. As a result, vanadium emeralds purchased as emeralds in the United States are not recognized as such in the UK and Europe. In America, the distinction between traditional emeralds and the new vanadium kind is often reflected in the use of terms such as “Colombian emerald”.

Color

In gemology, color is divided into three components: huesaturation, and tone. Emeralds occur in hues ranging from yellow-green to blue-green, with the primary hue necessarily being green. Yellow and blue are the normal secondary hues found in emeralds. Only gems that are medium to dark in tone are considered emeralds; light-toned gems are known instead by the species name green beryl. The finest emeralds are approximately 75% tone on a scale where 0% tone is colorless and 100% is opaque black. In addition, a fine emerald will be saturated and have a hue that is bright (vivid). Gray is the normal saturation modifier or mask found in emeralds; a grayish-green hue is a dull-green hue.

(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo (pronounced [ˈsiŋko ðe ˈmaʝo] in Latin America, Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is an annual celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.[ The victory of the smaller Mexican force against a larger French force was a boost to morale for the Mexicans. A year after the battle, a larger French force defeated Zaragoza at the Second Battle of Puebla, and Mexico City soon fell to the invaders.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. More popularly celebrated in the United States than Mexico, the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. These celebrations began in California, where they have been observed annually since 1863. The day gained nationwide popularity in the 1980s thanks especially to advertising campaigns by beer and wine companies. Today, Cinco de Mayo generates beer sales on par with the Super Bowl.

In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades or battle reenactments. The city of Puebla marks the event with an arts festival, a festival of local cuisine, and re-enactments of the battle.

Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16, commemorating the Cry of Dolores, which initiated the war of Mexican independence from Spain.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations.


Today, revelers mark the occasion with parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional foods such as tacos and mole poblano. Some of the largest festivals are held in Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.

(Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )

Brands of Designer Handbags That Are The Most Affordable – Part 4

For the average handbag shopper, there are some standout brands that allow them to have the feel of a designer purse slung over their shoulder without breaking the bank. Here are some designers that are most likely to have lower prices and still have a great feel and design.

Matt & Nat

Fashionable women living a green lifestyle need handbags, too. The handbag brand Matt & Nat offers designer vegan leather bags made of recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber and cork with linings made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. Matt and Nat bags are available from about $100 to $200 and can be purchased at Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, and the brand’s site, Matt & Nat.

Foley & Corinna

Fashionistas and celebrities both have a fondness for handbag collection Foley & Corinna. The modern handbag line with a vintage aesthetic runs from about $50 to $450 and includes a range of clutches, crossbody bags, hobos, satchels and totes in a variety of skins and animal hair. Foley & Corinna is sold at Foley & Corinna website, Bloomingdale’s, Shopbop, and Zappos.

GEO PATCH FC LADY TOTE IN BLACK MULTI

Michael Kors

Michael Kors Handbag Fashion Store Spring 2014 Collection.

Michael Kors Handbags

Michael David Kors made his fashion debut in 1981 when he launched his first-ever women’s apparel line. From his stint as a judge on Bravo’s Project Runway to outfitting First Lady Michelle Obama, Michael Kors has solidified himself as a truly gifted American designer time and time again. Michael Kors’ handbag collections burst onto the scene in 2001. Today, they can be found all over the world.

The brand ranks #3 according to Poshmark’s Closet Selling Report and, according to Brooke James, is typically “on the best sellers page” for Zappos.com. The award-winning designer also claims major real estate in department stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Dillard’s.

According to an interview given to the Wall Street Journal, the iconic designer describes his design approach as “pragmatic indulgence.” The Michael Kors lifestyle is about timeless quality. The handbags are marked by clean lines and are both chic and luxurious, much like his sportswear. Some of the most popular styles include the Jet Set and Hamilton totes. The Michael Kors collection of handbags are priced from about $300 to $3000.

You can purchase Michael Kors handbags at MichaelKors.com and at major department stores across the country.

Find an Outlet Store

One surefire way to find the best deal you can on a designer bag without risking auction sites like eBay, where it’s easy to get a fake, is to seek out outlet stores. You’ll find Coach, Dooney and Bourke, Fossil, and more!

Brands to Skip

If you’re on a budget and you don’t want to tease yourself, stay away from Gucci, Marc Jacobs’ regular line, Prada, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton. Those are routinely out of the reach of most people’s budgets, reaching the mid-thousands in price. There is a rare gem from time to time within these designers that will fall into the mid-hundreds, however.

Get a Great Bag on a Budget

Next time you’re looking for a new bag, you can buy with peace of mind knowing you’ll be getting a great bag at a price that easy on your budget. Bags from these trusted designer brands are made with quality materials, great style, and a price you can love. There’s bound to be a dream bag in there for you somewhere.

(Information from handbags.lovetoknow.com)

Brands of Designer Handbags That Are The Most Affordable – Part 3

For the average handbag shopper, there are some standout brands that allow them to have the feel of a designer purse slung over their shoulder without breaking the bank. Here are some designers that are most likely to have lower prices and still have a great feel and design.

Rebecca Minkoff

Since 2005, designer Rebecca Minkoff has been designing statement-making bags for fashion-forward women. The collection includes handbags made of leather or suede with tassel charging key fobs to satchels and backpacks. Handbags within the collection range from about $50 to $400 and are sold on the Rebecca Minkoff website, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Shopbop, and Zappos.

Rebecca Minkoff Michelle Medium Zip-Top Hobo Bag, White

Furla

Furla is an Italian handbag company proving that luxury doesn’t have to break the bank. As a contemporary handbag line that maintains the brand’s traditional design quality, the Furla line includes leather mini bags, satchels and backpacks from about $250 to $1000. The Furla line is sold on Furla.com and Bloomingdale’s, however, discounted selections can be found at Nordstrom Rack.

Furla Candy Sweetie Mini Satchel

Tory Burch

The Tory Burch handbag collection consists of designs that exudes loads of chic appeal with a vintage twist. Some of the designer namesake bag creations includes half-moon shapes, satchels, cross body styles and totes ranging made of leather, suede and other materials priced between $180 and $1,100. Tory Burch handbag designs can be found on the Tory Burch website, as well as the Tory Burch outlets stores for discounted selections.

Image result for tory burch handbags

One surefire way to find the best deal you can on a designer bag without risking auction sites like eBay, where it’s easy to get a fake, is to seek out outlet stores. You’ll find Coach, Dooney and Bourke, Fossil, and more!

Next time you’re looking for a new bag, you can buy with peace of mind knowing you’ll be getting a great bag at a price that easy on your budget. Bags from these trusted designer brands are made with quality materials, great style, and a price you can love. There’s bound to be a dream bag in there for you somewhere.

Read Part 4 for more about Designer Handbags that are Affordable!

(Information from handbags.lovetoknow.com)