Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rock On!

I've never been the type of jewelry maker to stick with one style of product. I have really 
enjoyed trying out new ideas and working with all sorts of mediums. Looking back to some of 
the very first pieces I've made, to what I have in stock right now, you may or may not find a 
similar style. But I do know what types of beads I enjoy working with best and they are 
semi-precious stones or gemstones. 

Gemstones qualities have been valued throughout the ages, across continents and by different 
peoples, from our earliest ancestors to the present-day. It may have been the colour of the 
crystal, shape of a gemstone, or a brightly coloured shell that first attracted the attention of 
someone who then bent down to pick it up. 

Somewhere along the way cultures started adoring these stones by wrapping threads around 
them, drilling holes into them and forging them into metal to make crowns, swords and jewelry. 
Today possessing these gems are still regarded with great prestige. 

Gemstones are also said to have certain energies associated with them making them favorable 
to mystics and healers. Stories have been told about famous stones whether it was the luck
they may hold or a curse they inflicted . 

I'm going to show you some my favourite gemstones to work with:

Red Coral

Known by the Navajo, Hopi, Pueblo and Zuni, red coral was used by these Native Americans. 
Apparently known as "Red Gold" these indigenous people believed that  red coral was so 
powerful that blindness could be cured, or stop the venom in a snake bite. 
Any person who wore red coral was also thought to draw on luck or bring the wearer long life. 

Red Coral, Zebra Inspired Earrings

Rose Quartz

With a colour unique among gems, rose quartz is probably the most popular of the quartz 
varieties.  Its pink hues have adorned ornaments and jewelry since ancient times. The cause of  
rose quartz's pink tint is thought to be due to tiny impurities of manganese, titanium or iron. 
Neat huh? Who knew they could make such a pretty colour!

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis stone has always reminded me of the sky. This beautiful stone looks stunning on its own 
and when found naturally can be treated to give many different effects. When I read up on this
particular stone, it seems to have appeared everywhere in history. From the time of 
Gilgamesh and Tutankhamen to ancient Persia. The Greeks and Romans also used this stone
to reward bravery. No wonder I feel great when I wear it ;)

Tiger Eye

This dark brown stone is enlivened with yellowish fibers that create the cat's-eye colour. 
Tiger eye is said to attract wealth as well as helping you stay focused and determined.
My mom has always loved this stone which is probably why I have such an affinity for it.


Little did I know when I first began making jewelry, that turquoise naturally occurs in more
than one colour. While its blue form is widely known and a favoured stone by many
Native Americans it it can also be found in white and brown. This stone is another
gem that has a long history of use. It was mined in the souther parts of North America 
by tribes such as the Zuni, Navajo and Apache. It also naturally occurs in other 
parts of the world including Egypt, where turquoise has been found buried with mummies.

Turquoise and Red Coral Chip Bead, Memory Wire Bracelet

Even as a child I remember being drawn to gemstones, I even had a rock collection. 
(I still have a few pieces in my memory box). So it only seems natural that I took a liking to
these natural and earthy materials. I even have decor around my home with stones
in them. I definitely wear turquoise the most and I can never pass up the opportunity
to ogle at other crafter's jewelry when they use gemstones. (OK really.. I can never 
pass up ANY jewelry..) So maybe next time you're looking at gemstones you'll
be curious enough to find out what they're all about!

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