Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Find out about August's Birthstone here!

I have a fascination with birthstones and August's even more so as it is one of three months 
in our calendar that have not one - but THREE gemstones! They are: The Peridot, the Sardonyx, and the Spinel. 
August did not always have three birthstones, in fact, the other two were only added in 2016, because...well, why not! But seriously, each stone is represented by certain qualities that align with each birth month and as more and more precious stones come into being, I expect that you will see more birth months being associated with more than one stone.
But isn't that the fun of it? If you don't like one...well now you have a couple more to choose from!

For the sake of time and space, this year we will concentrate on the Peridot. 

Peridot has been found in volcanic lava in Hawaii and in meteorites that have fallen to Earth. 
It was once believed that the green peridot crystals found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. 

In the 1700s, a meteorite that landed in Siberia contained many Peridot crystals that were large enough to be used for jewelry.
When set in gold, this gem was said to protect the wearer from nightmares. 
Peridot is believed to help depression. If you dream that you find a Peridot while digging in the garden, you will have an unexpected visitor.

Though peridot is widely recognized by its brilliant lime green glow, the origin of this gem’s name is unclear. Most scholars agree that the word “peridot” is derived from the Arabic faridat which means “gem,” but some believe it’s rooted in the Greek word peridona, meaning “giving plenty.” Perhaps that’s why peridot is associated with prosperity and good fortune. 

Peridot is the rare gem-quality variety of the common mineral olivine, which forms deep inside the earth’s mantle and is brought to the surface by volcanoes. Rarely, peridot is also found inside meteorites. 

Peridot’s signature green color comes from the composition of the mineral itself—rather than from trace impurities, as with many gems. That’s why this is one of few stones that only comes in one color, though shades may vary from yellowish-green to olive to brownish-green, depending how much iron is present.

Most of the world’s peridot supply comes from the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona. Other sources are China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Africa.

Peridot only measures 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, so while the raw crystal is prone to cracking during cutting, the finished gemstones are fairly robust and easy to wear.

Also known as “the Evening Emerald” because its sparkling green hue looks brilliant any time of day, peridot is said to possess healing properties that protect against nightmares and evil, ensuring peace and happiness. Babies born in August are lucky to be guarded by peridot’s good fortune.

Peridot jewelry dates back as far as the second millennium BC. These ancient Egyptian gems came from deposits on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known as St. John’s Island or Zabargad.

Ancient Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun,” believing it protected its wearer from terrors of the night. Egyptian priests believed that it harnessed the power of nature, and used goblets encrusted with it to commune with their nature gods.

Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famed emerald collection may have actually been peridot. Through medieval times, people continued to confuse these two green gems. The 200-carat gems adorning one of the shrines in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were long believed to be emeralds as well, but they are also peridots.
Peridot colored Seaglass

This gemstone saw a revival in the 1990s when new deposits were discovered in Pakistan, producing some of the finest peridots ever found. Some of these “Kashmir peridots” measured more than 100 carats.

The most productive peridot deposit in the world is located on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona. An estimated 80 to 95 percent of the world’s peridot supply is found here. 

Thanks to these rich deposits, the modern demand for Peridots can now be met easily, giving people born in August affordable options for wearing this beautiful green birthstone.

If you are not into gem stones per se hop on over to Handmade Jewelry Haven's website to see some beautiful green peridot colored alternatives to wear!
source; The Farmers Almanac; The American Gemstone Society

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Cobalt Sea Glass - Where does it come from?

One of my personal favorite colors of seaglass is dark blue, otherwise known as Cobalt or Cornflower Blue. There is something about that bright yet deep blue color that is just so....well...relaxing. 

Cobalt has been in use before Roman times with the discovery of the cobalt mines in Central Africa. Did you know that Minnesota has the biggest supply of Cobalt in the US?

Cobalt and Cornflower Blue are made by adding Cobalt Oxide to molten glass and was originally made to protect the contents of a bottle from the sun. Exposure to bright light or sun could change the effectiveness of a medicine that was in a bottle. Cornflower Blue was made primarily for Milk Of Magnesia bottles where cobalt was reserved for bottles that contained poison. As there were many types and brands of poison produced throughout history, the Cornflower Blue of the Milk Of Magnesia bottle became the harder to find of the two. Both colors rank as 'Rare' on the Seaglass Rarity Color Chart.
(source: Pure Sea Glass)

Who knows....maybe I find it so calming as that is the feeling you get after taking Milk Of Magnesia!

My Milk Of Magnesia Bottle probably dates anywhere from 1928 to the late 1930's due to the 'M' stamp (Maryland Glass Company), and the sideways number 8.
(source: Society For Historical Archaeology)

So after ceremoniously finishing a bottle of Milk Of Magnesia, the bottle is tossed into the nearest dump and some of this refuse is hauled out to sea and dumped, or perhaps it gets buried in a land fill that is next to the ocean and then it starts to erode into the sea with the coming and going of the tides - think Dead Horse Bay (see an earlier blog post on this place here). After about 20-50 years of tumbling around on the ocean floor it gets broken and sanded down and WHA LAH! Blue Seaglass is born! 

Then some very lucky person, such as myself, finds it along the Jersey Shore and makes a beautiful necklace for some lucky person to wear...such as yourself!

Blue Milk Of Magnesia Seaglass Necklace 
To see more beautiful Seaglass Jewelry, visit Handmade Jewelry Haven here!

To learn some more interesting history of the Milk Of Magnesia history and to see some beautiful examples of blue seaglass, I have a cool downloadable .pdf.
Just tell me where to send it!

Also, come watch our short video on Cobalt Seaglass here!

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Wordless Wednessday- Cobalt Seaglass

Just a little teaser for another great Seaglass post! 
Can you guess what it is going to be about?

Blue Seaglass Candy

Blue Seaglass Necklace
To see more of our nautically inspired jewelry, visit Handmade Jewelry Haven here!

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July's Birthstone - The Ruby

With July comes one of my personal favorite gemstones, the Ruby.

Rubies represent love, health and wisdom. It was believed wearing a fine red Ruby bestowed good fortune on its owner. A Ruby is the most valuable gemstone and its value increases based on its color and quality.

The Ruby represents love, passion, courage and emotion. For centuries this gem has been considered the king of all gems. It was believed that wearing a fine red Ruby bestowed good fortune on its owner. Rubies have been the prized possession of emperors and kings throughout the ages. To this day the Ruby is the most valued gemstone.

Symbolic of passion, protection and prosperity, the ruby has been revered since ancient

Rubies have been particularly prized in Asian countries. Records suggest that rubies were traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 B.C. Chinese noblemen adorned their armor with rubies because they believed the gem would grant protection. They also buried rubies beneath building foundations to secure good fortune.

Ancient Hindus believed they’d be reborn as emperors if they offered rubies to the god Krishna. In Hindu folklore, the glowing fire within rubies burned so hot that they allegedly boiled water. Greek legends similarly claimed that ruby’s warmth could melt wax.

In Burma—a significant ruby source since at least 600 AD—warriors believed that rubies made them invincible. They even implanted rubies into their skin to grant protection in battle.

Many cultures also admired ruby as a symbol of love and passion. Rubies have long been considered the perfect wedding gem.

Though ruby has a long history, it wasn’t recognized as a variety of corundum until 1800. Prior to that, red spinel, tourmaline, and garnet were also believed to be ruby. Even the Black Ruby, one of the famed crown jewels of England, was considered one of the largest cut rubies until determined to be spinel.

Imitation ruby dates back as far as Roman times, though it wasn’t synthesized until the early 1900s.

The red fluorescence power of ruby helped build the first working laser in 1960. Rubies—both natural and synthetic—are still used to make lasers, as well as watches and medical instruments.

After classical Burmese mines depleted, the Mong Hsu region of Myanmar started producing rubies in the 1990s. Though these lacked the rich red hue of traditional Burmese Rubies, they were treated with heat to improve saturation and transparency. Heat treated rubies is a common practice nowadays.

Ruby is a powerful stone to shield against negative energy, psychic attack, and energy vampirism, especially of the heart energy. Working with Ruby one may feel that all sense of limitation has been removed, strengthening courage, joy, leadership qualities and selfless work in all spiritual endeavors.
(source: American Gem Society)

Come see our Dragon Bracelet that has her magical Ruby Red Eggs tucked under her scales for the ultimate protection!

Dragon Bracelet
Come see some of our other Dragon Bracelets at Handmade Jewelry Haven here!

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