Monday, December 31, 2018

January's Birthstone with Gift Guide!



The word “garnet” comes from the 14th Century Middle English word “gernet” meaning dark red. The word is derived from Latin “granatum” which means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to the beautifully red seeds of the pomegranate.

The garnet is found all over the world, including Wyoming, Czech Republic, Greece, Russian, Tanzania, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and India.

The folklore on garnet is extensive. Legend has it that the garnet can bring peace, prosperity and good health to the home. Some even called it the “Gem of Faith,” and it’s believed that to those who wear it and do good, more good will come. (Conversely, it was also said to bring very bad fortune to those who commit bad acts while wearing it.)

The garnet also symbolized deep and lasting friendship. With that legend in mind, give a garnet to someone whose friendship you deeply value.

The garnet is so durable, remnants of garnet jewelry can be found as far back as the Bronze Age. Other references go back to 3100 BC when the Egyptians used garnet as inlays in their jewelry and carvings. The Egyptians even said it was the symbol of life. The garnet was very popular with the Romans in the 3rd and 4th Century.

This gemstone was also used as a talisman for protection both by warriors going into battle and to those who wanted to ward off pestilence and plague. Some ancient healers and wise men even placed garnets in wounds and praised its healing powers.

Garnet jewelry has been a fixture throughout the ages. Garnets were often used as signet rings in ancient Rome, and the nobility favored garnets in the Middle Ages.

The Victorians made garnets very popular during that time period. Some of the loveliest garnet jewelry from that era mimics its pomegranate namesake, with clusters of tiny red gems forming a larger statement piece.

Today, the garnet can be found in a range of jewelry pieces and styles, from beautiful rings to stunning tiaras. Since the garnet can come in a range of colors, rare garnets in green or blue make breathtaking pieces, especially in pendants or drop earrings.
Source: The American Gem Society

Are you stumped on what to get that special someone born in January?
Let us send you a free January Gift Guide!




Also check out our Garnet colored Red Dragon Bracelet at Handmade Jewelry Haven!
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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Wordless Wednesday!



Happy Wordless Wednesday!!
But if you DO need some words...
Don't forget that special someone on your list!
Christmas Dragon Bracelet



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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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