Monday, December 3, 2018

December's Birth Stone and a FREEBIE for you!!



December’s birthstones offer three ways to fight the winter blues: tanzanite, zircon and turquoise – all of them, appropriately, best known for beautiful shades of blue. But for simplicity sake, we will stick with turquoise for this post.

Cultures around the world have admired the distinct color of turquoise since ancient times.

The earliest evidence comes from ancient Egyptian tombs, which contain elaborate turquoise jewelry dating back to 3000 BCE. Egyptians set turquoise in gold necklaces and rings, used it as inlay and carved it into scarabs. Most notably, King Tut’s iconic burial mask was extravagantly adorned with turquoise.

The oldest turquoise mines are located in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. One sat near an ancient temple dedicated to Hathor, the Greek goddess of love and joy – worshiped as a protector in the desert and as the patron saint of mining. Egyptians called turquoise mefkat, which meant “joy” and “delight.”

Ancient Persians decorated extensively with turquoise, often engraving it with Arabic script. Turquoise covered palace domes because its sky blue color represented heaven. (This later inspired the use of turquoise in buildings like the Taj Mahal.)

Believing turquoise guaranteed protection, Persians adorned their daggers and horses’ bridles with it. Their name for turquoise, pirouzeh, meant “victory.”

Persians wore turquoise jewelry around their necks and in their turbans. They believed it offered protection by changing color to warn of pending doom. (Turquoise can, in fact, fade if exposed to sunlight or solvents.)

When Turkish traders introduced this “Persian blue” stone to Europe via the Silk Road in the 13th century, they influenced the gem’s name. The word turquoise comes from the French pierre tourques for “Turkish stone.”

Meanwhile, pre-Colombian Native Americans mined turquoise throughout the present-day southwestern United States. Shamans used it in sacred ceremonies to commune with the spirit of the sky.

Apache Indians believed that attaching turquoise to bows (and later, firearms) improved a hunter’s accuracy.

Turquoise became valuable in Native American trade, which carried North American material toward South America. Consequently, Aztecs cherished turquoise for its protective power, and used it on ceremonial masks, knives and shields.

The turquoise-studded silver jewelry that’s commonly associated with Native Americans today originated in the 1880s, when a white trader convinced a Navajo craftsman to transform a silver coin into turquoise jewelry.

While many historic turquoise deposits have depleted over the gem’s long lifetime, some small mine operations (mainly in the U.S.) still produce fine material today.
Source: American Gem Society

Come check out this beautiful Turquoise and Copper Dragon Bracelet at 
Handmade Jewelry Haven.
Dragon Bracelet
Need some great birthday gift ideas for your 'all time fav' born this month? Get your FREE December Gift Guide here!




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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Winter Sea Glass?!



I really did not have anything to post today. 

I have been trying to do the 'responsible' thing and batch my blog posts at the beginning of each month. It's been going ok for the last 3 months...but, the holidays are here, and I am backed up.

So enjoy one of my favorite things (seaglass) during my favorite time of year (winter) at one of my favorite places (the beach).



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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Did you know that Lobster, Seal and Swans were on the Pilgrims' menu?



So...we are all anticipating the big Thanksgiving Feast and have heard, time and time again, the stories of those crazy colonists that were selfish enough to NOT want to be a part of the heard and follow everyone else's mainstream religion and so they sailed across to the new world to try and do something a little different. But did you know that throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received a visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them, surprisingly, in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees (for which, Mrs Butterworth is eternally grateful), catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans. Something we could probably reflect on carefully today.

After the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts.
Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast, followed by a feast!! Thank goodness we have lost the 'fast' portion of THAT celebration...eh?
In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.
Source: The History Channel
Sea Anemone Nautical Knot Necklace
Why not celebrate this year by treating yourself or that hard working person in your household to a beautiful piece of one of a kind jewelry from Handmade Jewelry Haven! Show that person how special they make you feel with a unique jewelry piece that can not be bought in ever store in the mall.


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Monday, November 12, 2018

Novembers Birthstone and a FREE Gift Guide for YOU!




Individuals born in November can choose between two sunny gemstones to brighten up this chilly month. November’s birthstones, topaz and citrine, are both known for their calming energies, bringing warmth and fortune to those who wear them.

This month, we will focus on one of MY personal favorites, the Citrine. Maybe I am so attracted to this beautiful gem because I live in the Sunshine State, where Citrus Fruit flows like rain. Who knows?
So lets dig in and see what we can learn today!

The citrine, is the variety of quartz that ranges from pale yellow to brownish orange in color. It takes its name from the citron fruit because of these lemon-inspired shades. Brazil is the largest supplier of citrine. Other sources include Spain, Bolivia, France, Russia, Madagascar and the U.S. (Colorado, North Carolina and California). 
Citrine is sometimes known as the “healing quartz” for its ability to comfort, soothe and calm. In the Middle Ages (500–1500 AD), topaz was ground into a powder and mixed with wine to guarantee a good night’s sleep. It can release negative feelings, spark imagination and manifest fresh beginnings. It’s even called the “merchant’s stone” for its tendency to attract wealth and prosperity.

Citrine quartz has been adored since ancient times. The name citrine was used to refer to yellow gems as early as 1385, when the word was first recorded in English.

Throughout history, people believed that citrine carried the same powers as topaz, including the ability to calm tempers, soothe anger and manifest desires and according to the Chinese Feng Shui philosophy, especially prosperity. To leverage these powers, Egyptians used citrine gems as talismans, the ancient Greeks carved iconic images into them, and Roman priests fashioned them into rings. The ancient Greeks believed that topaz could make a wearer invisible. Topaz was also thought to have healing powers—reducing fevers, relieving asthma, improving vision, and preventing premature death.
If you dream of topaz, a problem with which you have been struggling will soon be solved.

Show her that she became 'prosperous' when she met you by getting her this lovely citrine inspired beaded bracelet! See it here!


Come check out some other great jewelry at Handmade Jewelry Haven!
Sources: American Gem Society, The Farmers Almanac


Need to find a gift for that special person born in November? Check out our Free November Gift Guide here!



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Monday, November 5, 2018

Unusual Finds Along Chesapeake Bay



This is a very cool article that I am sharing from my North American Seaglass Organization newsletter.

By Sharon Brubaker

Long, long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and the skies were pierced with cries of enormous birds, something was happening geologically just below the water. Unusual formations in the silt and mud began to take shape that would, millions of years later, reveal themselves and wash up on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. These “formations,” resembling hollow rock balls, tubes, ocarinas, and more avant-garde shapes, are created from sand, clay, and iron oxide.

When my family and I first moved to the shores of the upper Chesapeake and roamed the beaches in search of beach glass, we also began to find peculiar, round, metal-like objects.  We felt certain they were a type of ammunition for guns used during the Revolutionary War because George Washington had munitions created in the Principio Iron Works just a heron’s flight across the bay, near the port of Charlestown.

Being new to the area and excited to show our finds to our neighbors, our newly found friends chuckled and told us that the strange formations were called ‘pop rocks,” small hollow stones of which our neighbors would toss into beach fires and watch them explode. Another neighbor told us that the formations (are) derived from ‘Indian paint pots” and that Native American tribes used the iron oxide inside the stones to paint their faces. But it was not until we met another neighbor, and now long-time friend, Alice Lundgren, that the mystery was solved. The formations, in all their various shapes, are known as “concretions.”

Alice has a collection of well over a thousand concretions ranging in size from a quarter of an inch to about twelve inches, all of which she has gathered from the bay. Alice was a true inspiration to my family and me, and we soon joined forces to not only hunt for sea glass, but to eagerly search for concretions. These unusual rock formations date back to the late Cretaceous and Eocene eras.  Even more fascinating than the “pop rocks” are tubular rocks. The tubular concretions are iron oxide formations that reflect a pipe-like structure.



When we go exploring along our nearby beach, Alice, a seasoned concretion seeker, has the ability to spot the stone tubes instantly, yet the rest of us are not so fortunate, as the finds appear camouflaged to the untrained eye. Some of the concretions boast unique shapes, such as small cups, snowmen, and acorns while the tubular concretions often resemble coral, branches, and even small musical pipes (although they do not carry a tune))! Similar to sea glass, each concretion seems to carry its own story and personality.

Having been formed millions of years ago from sedimentary rock, concretions have been significant and mystical to many cultures. Some cultures believe them to be holy stones while other cultures believe the stones bring luck, or perhaps represent the divine feminine. However, theories of modern science suggest the concretions are fossils or meteorites.

As beachcombers, we are treasure-hunters.  We are always seeking the next great find. The Shard of the Year Contest, which is one of the highlights of the North American Sea Glass Association’s annual Festival, would be ideal opportunity to view both natural and man made treasures (this year’s North American Sea Glass Festival will be held in Wildwood, New Jersey on October 27 – 28).


*Many thanks to Alice Lundgren for sharing her collection of concretions, and to Meredith Keating and Brandon Boas for their photography.

Why not own a one of a kind find, made by nature, and formed by the sea?
Come check out some of our beautiful Seaglass Jewelry at Handmade Jewelry Haven!

Bronze Sea Glass Necklace


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Monday, October 22, 2018

How Jewelry Trends have evolved over the past 100 years



So I was reading an article on how the internet has evolved and has subsequently changed the way we do business and it got me thinking on how Jewelry has evolved over the years.

From sparkling Hollywood glamour in the 1930's to punk rock chokers in the 1990's, here is a look at how jewelry trends have evolved over the past 100 years.

While jewelry is often an expression of an individual's personality and unique sense of style, trends still heavily influence what women (and men) choose to wear. 

Whether it was diamond encrusted pieces in the 1940's or bohemian styles in the 1970's, style icons have always inspired women to wear specific kinds of looks and materials.

1910's


Filled with all kinds of creative arts, music and films, the 1910's were all about 'Art Nouveau' when it came to jewelry. 

Stars at this time like Ruth Clifford, were all about diamonds, sapphires and accenting their looks with platinum beads. 

Peacock feathers were also all the rage, along with white on white color schemes, long necklaces with tassels at the end and pieces inspired by leaves.

The style during this period was a reflection of the industrial boom and designers 'sought a more naturalistic aesthetic.'




1920's

The 1920's were all about Art Deco - an array of often contradictory geometric styles that oozed glamour, luxury and wealth. 


And while the architectural style was represented through decorative interiors, household objects, cinema and building designs, women also reflected the trend through their jewelry. 

The post World War I economic boom saw women spending more money than ever on jewelry, with 'flapper girl' style looks including sapphires, emeralds, pearls and diamonds, white gold and geometric pendants. 

A-listers and designers of the time like Coco Chanel would often be seen wearing costume jewelry, jeweled head wear, stacked bracelets and layered necklaces. 

1930's 


Hollywood glamour reached a new peak in the 1930's, with stars of the time like Joan Crawford donning bold, vibrant pieces. 

Highly polished golds were popular along with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emerald cut stones. 

Three dimensional styles were also increasing in popularity and dress clips became 'sought after.'







1940's

Whether it was simple ribbons and bows or diamond encrusted statement pieces, women in the 1940's were all about elegance, glamour and, of course, diamonds. 

Marilyn Monroe's Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend inspired many women to spend big on the precious stone while others opted for brooches and wide, gold bracelets.

Earrings during this period were worn high on the lobe and gold was the metal of choice. 

Celebrities like Bette Davis were often seen high polished pieces and over sized dress clips.

1950's 

The 1950's were all about 'Ultra-Feminine' Glamour. 


Women and celebrities of the time, like Jayne Mansfield, enjoyed lavish styles that complemented a more 'simple and classic' fashion period. 

There was still an emphasis on diamonds however women also donned full ensemble pieces, dramatic and extravagant designs, light and textural looks that 'contrasted with the polished look of the 40s' and brooches. 

Platinum was often worn with diamonds and copper also started to become popular. 

1960's 


This was a time of practicality. 

Female A-listers of this time, like Elizabeth Taylor, were into plastic jewelry, milk glass, bright colors, layered necklaces often made from beads and floral motifs. 

Other trends included princess cuts, non precious materials, cocktail rings, bohemian styles, handcrafted pieces and lightweight creations. 

Jackie Kennedy heavily influenced trends during this period. 





1970's 

Women in the 1970's loved to use jewelry to make bold statements and weren't worried about being too flamboyant or vibrant with their choices. 

Plastic was used regularly to create elaborate pieces and celebrities during this time, like Karen Valentine and Elizabeth Ashley would wear mixed materials, a lot of gold, beaded jewelry, large golden earrings and diamante jewelry. 

Colored quartz, coral and international styles inspired by cultural influences also became popular during this period. 

1980's


Everything in the 1980's was big. 

Women during this time were all about big hair, defiant 'punk rock styles' and mixing and matching their jewelry to make bold statements. 

Stars during this time, like Heather Locklear, would step out in faux pearls, over sized necklaces and earrings, brooches, gold and lighter cheaper materials.

Mixing and matching jewelry was a trend exemplified by Princess Diana who wore a choker as a headband. 






1990's


While this was known as a more 'fun and feisty' period, the punk rock choker styles reached a peak during this time. 

A-listers of the time, like Jennifer Aniston and Britney Spears would also arrive at awards shows in body jewelry, tasteful silver pieces, plastic creations and subdued colors inspired by alternative rock music. 

David Beckham also inspired men to embrace male jewelry like necklaces and engagement rings. 

2000's


Women in the 2000's enjoyed bold jewelry including large hoop earrings, layered chain necklaces, personalized jewelry and chokers, which remained popular. 

Celebrities during this time, like Megan Fox, would wear diamonds, rhinestones, cuffs, plastics and wood - many of them rocking a 'Boho-chic' look. 

Hip hop music heavily influenced jewelry trends and stars like Victoria Beckham and Liz Hurley showcased pieces inspired by Africa and the Middle East. 




2010's 


Current jewelry trends are diverse and nonrestrictive.

Celebrities are becoming increasingly innovative and experimental with their looks and often wear bold embellishments, platinum, colored gem stones and bright gem stones, such as surfer Vanina Walsh layering seaglass bracelets.
sources: The Daily Mail, Bella Beach Jewels





So come visit Handmade Jewelry Haven and become a trend setter in your own right with some of our Seaglass and Nautically designed jewelry!

Waves Necklace


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