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Other than flowers, there is no better way to express your love, affection or gratitude than with the sparkle and shine of jewelry. To help you select or care for your jewelry gift from FTD, we offer you these simple tips

DIAMONDS

 
Diamonds: Romance and the Stone
  Throughout history no other gemstone has kindled more desire nor sparked more passion than the diamond. Greeks and Ancient Romans associated the diamond with the heavens and deities. Due to its hardness, the diamond was thought to provide protection. It was not until the 15th century, however, that the diamond ring was used as a symbol of betrothal. Its traditional placement on the fourth finger of the left hand was believed to encircle the "vein of love." The diamond is the traditional birthstone of April.
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Diamonds: Timeless Beauty from an Ancient Source
 

Whether you choose a contemporary or classic setting, your diamond is probably more than 100 million years old. Formed under intense heat and pressure within the earth's core, and brought to the surface by volcanic eruption, that sparkle on your left hand was literally billions of years in the making.

Diamonds are pure carbon, the hardest material on earth, and rate a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Relative Mineral hardness. Only a diamond can cut another diamond.

Although they are mined around the world, South Africa and the surrounding area produce the largest quantity of gem-quality diamonds (a mere 20 percent of all rough diamonds). When extracted, diamonds are crystals, usually with eight sides.

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Diamonds: Each is Unique
  Just as every individual has a unique personality, so has every diamond. Whether you purchase a diamond for yourself or someone special, you can be certain that no other gem will match its sparkling personality. Every diamond exhibits a unique combination of character traits, just like the person who wears it. Gemologists study these traits to appraise each stone—a process that is both art and science. With a little study, however, most anyone can compare diamonds and make an informed purchase.
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Diamonds: The Four C's
  Gemologists grade diamonds according to four characteristics: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. The highest quality diamonds are sold as "certified diamonds" and come with a certificate that provides a rating for each of the 4 C's. This unique combination of characteristics affects each diamond's appearance and cost.
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Diamonds: Color
 

In general, the less color a diamond has the more valuable it is. To the naked eye, most diamonds appear colorless, but they actually have hints of yellow or brown hue. Depending upon the setting you choose, and your personal preference, a colorless diamond may be less desirable than a colored stone. Red, yellow, green, and blue diamonds are so rare they can cost much more than white diamonds.

As the accompanying chart illustrates, diamonds are rated on a color scale that goes from colorless to fancy.

GIA Color Scale

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Diamonds: Clarity
 

Most diamonds have slight imperfections, called "inclusions", which appear as dark dots, tiny white points or cracks. Depending upon where they are located, inclusions can affect the clarity of the stone. Since no two stones will have the same inclusions, these tiny imperfections serve as identification markers.

The diamond clarity scale grades diamonds from flawless to those with obvious inclusions that are visible to the naked eye.

The GIA Clarity Scale, which follows, is the most commonly used diamond grading scale in the United States.

Diamond Clarity Scale

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Diamonds: Cut
 

The cut refers to the number of facets, the quality, and the shape of a diamond. By cutting the stone with mathematical precision, a master diamond cutter brings out the fire and brilliance (color and brightness) within the diamond.

Although, the most common diamond cut is a 58-facet brilliant cut, there are several popular cuts, as shown in the accompanying chart.

Diamond Cuts

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Diamonds: Carat Weight
 

The weight of all gemstones, including diamonds, is measured in carats. A carat is 1/5 of a gram, or 200 milligrams. Diamonds weighing more than a full carat are more expensive than those that are a fraction of a carat. When more than one diamond is used in a piece of jewelry, the carat weight is given as a total carat weight (for example, 1/4 ct tw).

Round, brilliant cut diamonds are used to estimate the carat weight of the stone based upon the diameter, as shown in the accompanying chart.

Diamond Carat Weight

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Diamonds: Care
 

Although hard, a diamond is not unbreakable. Do not wear your diamond while doing outdoor yard work or other tasks that could expose it to sharp blows. Do not let it come in contact with chlorine bleach or other chemicals. Clean your diamond with a jewelry cleaning solution or a mix of ammonia and water and a soft bristle brush. You can also use an ultrasonic or steam jewelry cleaner. Avoid scratching your diamond by storing it in a protective, fabric-lined jewelry box or pouch. Once a year, ask your jeweler to give your diamond a professional cleaning and check the mounting for signs of wear.

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GEMSTONES

 
Gemstones: Colorful Personalities
  Like diamonds, gemstones have been associated with powerful attributes for centuries. We prize gemstone jewelry as a colorful expression of our personalities. Traditionally, specific gemstones are representative of the months of the year and considered the "birthstones" of the individuals who are born in those months.
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Gemstones: Natural
 

A natural gemstone of good size, quality, and unenhanced color is rare; it can cost much more than a comparable diamond. For this reason, it is common for jewelers to treat a gemstone with heat, pressure—even irradiation—to enhance its color, improving upon what nature began. Like diamonds, gemstones are rated on the Mohs Scale of Relative Mineral hardness.

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Gemstones: Synthetic or Lab-Created
  Chemically identical to natural gemstones, synthetic stones are created in a lab. They are an affordable alternative to natural gemstones. Thanks to advances in science, these synthetic stones are now of such high quality, they would fool Mother Nature. Only a trained professional can differentiate between natural and lab-created gemstones.
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Gemstones: Precious
  Of all the colored gemstones, only three—the emerald, the sapphire, and the ruby—are considered precious gemstones. Large, deeply colored examples of these gemstones are rare; it is accepted practice to use stones with small inclusions in the jewelry pieces.
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Gemstones: Semi-Precious
  Other than an emerald, sapphire, and ruby, gemstones are considered semi-precious. Although they are generally less rare than precious gemstones, the value of semi-precious gemstones depends upon the available sources of the minerals.
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Amethyst
Amethyst

These popular gemstones come in various shades of purple, from the deepest plum shade to the lightest lilac hue. Amethyst, the February birthstone, is associated with tranquility, protection and peace. Commonly treated with heat and irradiation to enhance its color, this gemstone should not be exposed to prolonged sunlight. Use jewelry cleaning solution or warm, soapy water to clean your amethyst.

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Aquamarine
Aquamarine

With its cool, serene nature, aquamarine is a sparkling symbol of the people born within the month of March. This birthstone is associated with love, hope and health and was once also thought to protect those at sea. Use jewelry cleaning solution or warm, soapy water and a soft brush to clean this gemstone. Avoid an ultrasonic cleaning machine.

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Blue Topaz
Blue Topaz

Known for its amazing robin's egg blue color, blue topaz is one of the most popular gemstones in jewelry today. The birthstone for people born within the month of December, blue topaz is linked to eternal love, faith and happiness. Although durable, the blue topaz should be protected from scratches, sharp blows and extreme fluctuations of temperature. Clean your blue topaz jewelry with jewelry cleaning solution or warm soapy water and a soft brush. A home ultrasonic jewelry cleaner should not be used.

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Citrine
Citrine

This sunlit, glimmering gemstone takes its name from the French word for lemon, citron. The birthstone for November, citrine has been linked to good cheer, strength and a long life. Do not expose this gemstone to prolonged sunlight as it may dull and fade. Use a soft brush and jewelry cleaning solution or warm, soapy water to clean your citrine jewelry. A home ultrasonic cleaning machine may be used.

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Coral
Coral

Not a true gemstone but the skeleton of a marine invertebrate, coral is a mixture of calcium carbonate and carotene. Regarded as a gem since ancient times, coral is found in several shades, the most prized being red, black and pink. It grows in colonies, forming tree-like branches. Today, most of the coral used in jewelry comes from the Mediterranean Sea or off the coasts of Japan and Taiwan.

Coral has a long history of religious significance and ornamental use; and is used in every form of jewelry. Due to its softness and porous structure, coral requires special care. Protect your coral jewelry from scratches, sharp blows and extreme fluctuations in temperature. Do not let it come in contact with household chemicals. Wipe your coral jewelry with a soft, moist cloth. Do not use a home ultrasonic cleaner.

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Cubic Zircona
Cubic Zircona

The cubic zirconia is a synthetic stone with a fiery brilliance and clarity similar to a diamond. This lab-created stone offers an affordable alternative to a diamond at a fraction of the cost. Like a diamond, it comes in clear stones and fancy colors. It is cut and measured just like a diamond. Since cubic zirconia is denser than a diamond, it will weigh more than a diamond of the same circumference. For this reason, cubic zirconia weights are stated in diamond size equivalents.

Although not created in labs until the 1970s, the cubic zirconia has acquired a certain fashion, if not a legendary status. Trendsetters, Hollywood stars, and everyday people have made the cubic zirconia a popular source of glamour.

Care for your cubic zirconia as you would your fine diamond, using jewelry cleaning solution or a mix of ammonia and water and a soft bristle brush. Do not let it come in contact with chlorine bleach or chemicals. Avoid scratching your cubic zirconia by storing it in a protective, fabric-lined jewelry box or pouch. Do not wear it while doing yard work or other tasks that could expose it to sharp blows. Once a year, ask your jeweler to check the mounting of your fine cubic zirconia jewelry for signs of wear.

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Emerald
Emerald

With its incredible color and allure, emerald is a sparkling symbol of the people born in the month of May. This gemstone is linked to good health and the ability to see into the future, giving it a bewitching and intriguing reputation. Clean your emeralds gently using a soft brush and warm water. Do not use an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Best results come from a professional jeweler. Emeralds should be re-oiled every few years to keep them colorful and smooth.

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Garnet
Garnet

Garnets come in a rainbow of colors, including pink, red, purple, orange, yellow, violet, green and colorless, but most commonly are recognized when displaying a deep reddish brown color. With its rich, fiery tones, garnet is a sparkling symbol of the people born in January. The gemstone is known to protect the wearer from nightmares, offer guidance through the dark and keep them safe during travel.

Although durable, the garnet should be protected from scratches, sharp blows and extreme fluctuations of temperature. Clean your garnet jewelry with jewelry cleaning solution or warm soapy water and a soft brush. A home ultrasonic jewelry cleaner may be used.

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Jade
Jade

Two different minerals are known as jade. The most ancient source, China, produced carvings and jewelry from a mineral now called nephrite jade. Today, what we commonly call jade is the mineral pyroxene, also called jadeite jade. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is the chief producer of jadeite jade. A smooth and durable stone well-suited to carving, jade is often fashioned into beads or cabochons. Although vivid green is the most prized color, jadeite jade also comes in lavender, yellow, white, and pink—often with subtle patterns. It varies in translucence; the more opaque stones are considered less valuable.

Revered in China for centuries, where it is still considered the gem of royalty, jade was also treasured by the ancient civilization of Central America. Throughout history, jade has symbolized status, power, love, virtue and longevity.

To ensure a long life for your jade jewelry, keep it away from sources of heat and avoid contact with acids or household chemicals. Wipe it with a soft cloth. Periodically, wash it gently in jewelry cleaning solution and dry it thoroughly. Do not use a home ultrasonic jewelry cleaning machine.

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Onyx
Onyx

A member of the chalcedony family, onyx is opaque quartz that derives its color from silicon dioxide. In black with random lines of lighter color, onyx makes a striking backdrop for a cameo. Cutting reveals the underlying band of color. Since onyx cannot reflect light, it is usually cut into a cabochon, a smooth, polished dome shape.

Onyx requires the same care as most gemstones. Protect it from scratches, sharp blows and extreme fluctuations in temperatures. Clean your onyx jewelry with warm, mild soapy water and a soft brush. Do not use a home ultrasonic cleaner.

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Opal
Opal

These gemstones are known for their flashes of red, orange and blue but are relatively soft, making them somewhat fragile. With its array of endless colors, opal is an elegant birthstone for people born within the month of October. Opals have been linked to healing forces, friendship and strong emotion. With this gemstone's ability to change color it has experienced its fair share of folklore over the years.

Opal jewelry may be cleaned with a soft brush and warm, soapy water, but never with harsh chemicals or by immersion in an ultrasonic machine. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperature changes or high heat.

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Pearl
Pearl

Not a gemstone, the pearl is the result of an oyster's attempt to protect itself from an irritant. In nature, a grain of sand may irritate the oyster, causing the oyster to coat the intruder with nacre. Over time, this process creates the lustrous object known as a pearl. The higher the luster, the more valuable the pearl. Cultured pearls are cultivated by farmers, who implant the oyster with fine beads. Pearl is also the birth gem of June.

There are many types of cultured pearls. All require treatment. Since pearls scratch easily, they should be wrapped in tissue or stored in a chamois bag. Do not let your pearls come into contact with perfume, lotions, hair spray or chemicals. Wipe them with a soft, clean cloth and give them an occasional cleaning with mild soap and water. Once a year, take your strung pearl necklaces to a jeweler for re-stringing, if necessary.

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Peridot
Peridot

With its bright and colorful beauty, peridot is a sparkling symbol of the people born in the month of August. The gemstone is commonly linked with protection against unfortunate events and is known for its healing properties. Use a soft brush and jewelry cleaning solution or warm, soapy water to clean your peridot jewelry. Do not clean this gemstone in a home ultrasonic cleaning machine.

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Rhodolite
Rhodolite

This unique gemstone derives its name from the Greek word "rhodon," which means, "rose," signifying their deep raspberry hue. The birthstone for people born within the month June, rhodolite has been linked to love, comfort and joy.

Although durable, rhodolites should be protected from scratches, sharp blows and extreme fluctuations of temperature. Clean your rhodolite jewelry with jewelry cleaning solution or warm soapy water and a soft brush. A home ultrasonic jewelry cleaner should not be used.

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Ruby
Ruby

One of the most expensive and luxurious gemstones, ruby is second only to a diamond in hardness, making ruby well-suited to daily wear. With its rich, fiery beauty, ruby is a sparkling symbol of people born in the month of July. This gemstone is traditionally linked with love and passion and is regarded as a source of supernatural power and protection.

Use a soft brush and jewelry cleaning solution or warm, soapy water to clean your rubies. A home ultrasonic cleaning machine may be used.

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Sapphire
Sapphire

This gemstone can come in a variety of colors but the most common and well-known color is deep blue. With its cool, eye-catching beauty, sapphire is a sparkling symbol of people born in the month of September. This gemstone has been linked with faith and purity as well as foresight. It is thought that the stronger the sparkle of the gem, the more faithful and honest the wearer. Sapphires are known for their durability and are commonly treated with heat or chemicals to enhance their color.

Use a soft brush and jewelry cleaning solution or warm, soapy water to clean sapphire jewelry. A home ultrasonic cleaning machine may be used.

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Turquoise
Turquoise

An opaque mineral, turquoise is used in jewelry worldwide. Named for the ancient trade route that brought it to the European market, turquoise means "Turkish stone." Colors range from sky blue to blue-green to apple green. Some varieties of turquoise are treated with wax or oil, a change that may not be permanent. Avoid exposing your turquoise jewelry to scratches, sharp blows, hot water or chemicals. Clean your turquoise jewelry with warm, mild soapy water and a soft brush. Do not use a home ultrasonic cleaner.

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White Topaz
White Topaz

With its eye-catching, fiery beauty, white topaz is a sparkling symbol of people born within the month of April. This gemstone is linked to love, eternity and strength, making it one of the most popular gems in the world.

Although durable, the white topaz should be protected from scratches, sharp blows and extreme fluctuations of temperature. Clean your white topaz jewelry with jewelry cleaning solution or warm soapy water and a soft brush. A home ultrasonic jewelry cleaner should not be used.

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PRECIOUS METALS

 
Karat Gold Jewelry:
 

Pure gold (24K) is naturally soft, which is why it is rarely used in jewelry. To add durability and color, gold is mixed with other metals. This mixture is called a gold alloy. The amount of gold within a gold alloy is expressed in karats. For example, 18K gold is a mixture of 75% gold and 25% other metal. The higher the karat weight, the more valuable the gold jewelry. Nothing under 10K gold can be sold as gold jewelry in the United States.

Depending upon the alloy, gold can take on many beautiful colors. Yellow gold contains copper and silver. Pink gold gets its color from copper. White gold contains nickel, zinc and copper. Green gold includes a mixture of silver, copper and zinc. Rose gold acquires its lovely hue with the addition of copper and silver.

When you choose gold jewelry, you choose one of nature's most precious, lustrous and durable materials—the perfect way to celebrate life's milestones. To keep your gold gleaming, treat it with respect. Avoid wearing your gold jewelry while doing yard work or other tasks that could expose it to grit, dirt and harsh chemicals. Chlorine is especially harmful to gold; therefore, you should remove your gold jewelry before swimming.

Store your gold jewelry items in individual, lined compartments or soft fabric pouches to avoid scratching and tangling.

Clean your gold with jewelry cleaning solution or a mixture of warm water, mild detergent and ammonia, and thoroughly dry it with a soft cloth. A home ultrasonic cleaner may be used. At least once a year, take your gold jewelry to a jeweler for a professional cleaning. This is also a good time to let him inspect it for signs of wear.

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Platinum:
 

Although similar to white gold in appearance, platinum is more durable and tarnish-resistant. Mined in only a few locations, platinum is one of the rarest and most precious metals on earth. To increase its durability, platinum is mixed with even rarer metals, iridium and ruthenium. Unlike gold, platinum is not measured in karat weights, but stamped with a "PT." Nothing containing less than 50% platinum can be marked as platinum.

The pure white beauty of platinum is a stunning complement to diamonds—making it a popular metal for wedding and anniversary designs. Since it is hypoallergenic, it is also a practical choice for people who are allergic to other metals.

Despite its great strength, platinum requires the same care as fine gold jewelry. Avoid wearing your platinum jewelry while doing yard work or other tasks that would expose it to grit, dirt, chlorine and other chemicals.

Store your platinum jewelry items in individual, lined compartments or individual soft fabric pouches to avoid scratching and tangling.

Clean your platinum jewelry with jewelry cleaning solution or a mixture of warm water, mild detergent and ammonia, and thoroughly dry it with a soft cloth. A home jewelry ultrasonic cleaning machine may be used. At least once a year, take your platinum jewelry to a jeweler for a professional cleaning. This is also a good time to let him inspect it for signs of wear.

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Sterling Silver:
 

Like gold, in its pure form, silver is too soft for practical use in jewelry. Another metal—usually copper—is alloyed with silver to add durability. Sterling silver is the designation given to a silver item that is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metal. A sterling silver piece will bear a stamp of "925" or ".925." Silver-plated items must be labeled as such.

The white metal look of silver lends itself to bold, contemporary designs as well as classic looks. This timeless appeal, coupled with its affordability, makes it the perfect choice for men and women. Of course, sterling silver is the most popular way to mark a 25th wedding anniversary.

Wearing your sterling silver jewelry is the easiest way to care for it. With daily wear, it will develop a lovely patina, making it an even more personal accessory. There are certain things to avoid, however, including chlorine, ammonia and other household cleaners. As with other precious metals, protect your sterling silver from scratching, grit, dirt and other abrasive materials.

Preserve the cool beauty of your sterling silver by storing it in an equally cool—and dry—location. Over time, sterling silver will oxidize. To prevent it from tarnishing, keep your sterling silver jewelry in individual compartments lined with tarnish-proof cloth or add tarnish-resistant strips. Clean your sterling silver jewelry with specially treated cloths or polish. If your sterling silver jewelry contains gemstones, do not let them come in contact with the polish. Marcasite and sterling silver jewelry should never be polished with cleaning solution.

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Gold over Sterling:
  Gold over sterling jewelry is sterling silver plated with at least 100 millionths of an inch of 10 karat gold. It is a beautiful and affordable alternative to gold jewelry. For long lasting enjoyment and wear, our gold over sterling jewelry is plated with one micron of gold over sterling silver. One micron equals 3/100 millionths of an inch. Care for your gold over sterling jewelry as you would gold jewelry.
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CARING FOR FINE JEWELRY

 
With a little care, your fine jewelry will reward you with a lifetime of beauty. For detailed information about specific gemstones and precious metals, please read the corresponding sections in the guide. The following guidelines apply to all your fine jewelry purchases.
 
  1. Protect your fine jewelry from scratches, sharp blows, and extreme fluctuation in temperature. Do not wear it while doing yard work, housework or similar tasks that could expose it to dirt, grit or chemicals—especially acids or chlorine bleach. Remove all your fine jewelry before going swimming.
  2. Make sure your hands are clean and free of lotions or creams before you put on or remove your fine jewelry. This is especially important for pearl jewelry.
  3. Gentle cleaning methods maintain your fine jewelry. Depending upon the gemstone or metal, this varies from wiping it with a soft cloth to washing it with soapy water, ammonia and water, or jewelry cleaning solution. An ultrasonic cleaner may be used for diamonds and gold jewelry. Color-enhanced gemstones should not be cleaned in a home ultrasonic cleaner. Thoroughly dry your fine jewelry before returning it to storage. Pearls require special care during and after wear (see Pearls).
  4. At least once a year, ask your jeweler to give your fine jewelry a professional cleaning. It is also advisable to have him check the settings of stones, especially in rings, to make sure they are secure. Pearls and beads require periodic re-stringing.
  5. Store each piece of your fine jewelry in an individual, lined jewelry box compartment or soft fabric pouch to avoid scratching and tangling. Although it is the hardest gemstone, a diamond can scratch another diamond. Pearls require special storage.
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