Jewelry Made From Precious Stones

A Bold Lapis Ring Makes A Statement

I knew she was a woman that wasn’t afraid to speak her mind because she wore a bold lapis ring on her right hand.
Surrounded by a flock of friends, she spoke only the truth and everyone was drawn to her…….
Lapis Lazuli, the deep blue stone has been a valued gem for thousands of years. It is no doubt that many an ancient pined for a lapis ring or bracelet to help them gain wisdom. Used in ancient Egyptian ceremonies, it was believed to have powers of the occult and was therefore often made into talismans and amulets.

Originally mined in Afghanistan 6000 years ago, lapis consists of many minerals including sodalite, lazurite, calcite, mica and pyrite. It has been used for many carvings and as an inscription stone. Mixed with oil it was used to create a deep greenish blue pigment known as ultramarine. Today, it comes in many shapes and sizes including beads and cabochons perfect for a lapis ring.

Lapis is considered to be a stone of wisdom. It is said to help it’s wearer shown their own unique self and not be afraid to speak ones mind. It promotes harmony in relationships and is considered a very spiritual stone and a stone of truth. Wear a lapis ring and experience mental clarity and emotional balance.

What Is Sleeping Beauty Turquoise?

Named for the mine it comes from, sleeping beauty turquoise is a vivid sky blue with no matrix.
It’s beauty is quite outstanding and makes a wonderful stone for jewelry. The mine, located in Arizona is one of the largest in North America and still produces turquoise today. Sleeping beauty turquoise is favored by the Zuni Pueblo silver makers who use it in jewelry inlay and needlepoint.

When buying sleeping beauty turquoise, as with any other gem stone, one must be aware of certain manufacturing practices and “fakes”. It is normal for turquoise to be put through some sort of process to stabilize it and make it useful for jewelry. Sometimes it is impregnated with resins and dyes.

Buy Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Jewelry

Reconstituted turquoise is really pulverized turquoise powder and pieces that are mixed with resin and molded to form a “stone” and some untrustworthy dealers try to pass off other stones as turquoise, the most common of which is dyed howlite. If you buy from a reputable dealer like those we promote on this site, you can be assured you are getting the real thing!

Sleeping beauty turquoise is very porous and can change color to a greenish hue. To keep it in it’s beautiful blue state, you must care for it properly. Never clean it in a ultrasonic cleaner or use chemicals on it. Avoid exposure to any lotions, perfumes or sprays you wear by putting your jewelry on after apply them. It is natural for turquoise to turn green over time even if it is only exposed to skin oils. Some of the most sought after turquoise jewelry is vintage from the 1940’s that has aged to a mellow greenish patina from years of loving use.

The History Of Turquoise Beads

Making turquoise beads as well as other stone beads is an old craft and integral part of Native North American history.

Many bone and stone beads are still made like they were hundreds of years ago. Used as trade for thousands of years, beads made from shell, turquoise and other gem stones have a magical lure and important place in the making of jewelry.

Turquoise beads can be smooth and round, carved into the shape of an animal or other interesting form, freeform nugget shape or flat disks called heishii beads. One ancient form of beaded necklace is to combine carved turquoise animal and other figures in conjunction with other beads to make story necklaces.

Each character in a story is represented by a bead in the necklace and the storyteller can show the children each character as the story unfolds.

Today, turquoise beads can be combined in a multitude of ways to create beautiful designer jewelry. You can still get a story necklace, although they are commonly called fetish necklaces today. Beads can be combined with other gemstones such as coral and mother of pearl or can be used exclusively in long or short necklaces. Graduated strand necklaces are quite desirable as are necklaces that combine bali sterling beads with turquoise. Of course the heishii necklace is quite popular for both men and women.

All turquoise and turquoise beads are quite porous and can change color to a greenish hue over time. Proper care must be taken to keep your turquoise looking new. Never use chemicals to clean it or put it in an ultrasonic cleaner. Put your jewelry on after you are done with hair spray, lotions, perfumes and makeup as these substances can build up on your jewelry and cause it to discolor. It is natural for turquoise to turn green over time when exposed to body oils and this greenish patina can give your jewelry a time worn look that is very sought after today.

Akoya Pearls

Akoya pearls, one of the first pearls to be cultured, have been harvested in Japan since the 1920’s.
Of the highest quality and luster, these saltwater pearls are larger and smoother than most freshwater pearls. They are the most popular pearl, the most beautiful, and , of course, the most expensive.

Although mother of pearl taken from shells of the Akoya pearls oyster has been valued in Japan as a decoration for inlay of jewelry and other items for quite some time it wasn’t until the 1920’s that the culturing of these pearls was first established by Kokichi Mikimoto. Since then, these pearls have come to be known for their quality and perfect roundness that makes them indistinguishable from natural pearls.

Multi Strand Turquoise Necklace

Bold and trendy, the multi strand turquoise necklace brings visions of jeans and tie dyed shirts.
But it can be worn with virtually anything and makes a smashing statement with a sharp business suit or a casual jeans and tee shirt.

Used as adornment since ancient times, a multi strand turquoise necklace can take many forms. One ancient form of beaded necklace is to combine carved turquoise animal and other figures in conjunction with other beads to make story necklaces. Each character in a story is represented by a bead in the necklace and the storyteller can show the children each character as the story unfolds.

Today, a multi strand turquoise necklace can be fashioned in many ways. It can contain only turquoise beads or a mixture of turquoise and semiprecious gems, pearls, crystal and or sterling silver bali beads. They still make the old story necklace, but today it is referred to as a fetish necklace. Of course, one of the most popular necklaces is a necklace made of flat disc like beads called heishii beads which is quite popular for both men and women.

Proper care must be taken to maintain your multi strand turquoise necklace in pristine condition. All turquoise and turquoise beads are quite porous and can change color to a greenish hue over time. Wipe your jewelry with a clean cloth to clean and never use chemicals or an ultrasonic cleaner. Hair spray, perfume, lotions, soap and even the oils from your skin can discolor gemstones so always Put your jewelry on after you have finished all other preparations. It is natural for turquoise to turn green over time when exposed to body oils and this greenish patina can give your jewelry a time worn look that is very sought after today.

What To Look For In A Quality Handcrafted Necklace

Wearing a handcrafted necklace can really set you apart from the crowd and be a great way to express your individuality.

Handmade jewelry is unique and beautiful and in addition to enhancing your own collection makes a great gift too! Here’s some tips on how to make sure you get a good quality piece.
Materials

Jewelry doesn’t necessarily need to be made from precious materials to be high quality, but typically the better made items will be made of high er quality materials. When purchasing a handcrafted necklace look for necklaces made with sterling silver or Vermeer findings.

Semi-precious gemstones are common in handmade jewelry of quality but you may also find precious gems, pearls, shell and other interesting items. If your piece features beads, make sure they are quality Austrian or Swarovski crystal – you’ll be able to tell the difference just by comparing them to lower quality items.

Construction

Pay attention to how the handcrafted necklace is constructed. Is it entirely handmade or a mish mash of machine made parts cobbled together? If it is beaded the beads should be either hand wired individually or strung by hand. Check the clasp to be sure the necklace is secured properly and the clasp is of solid materials.

Style

You want your handcrafted necklace to have style! Something that will draw a bit of attention, after all if you didn’t want it to be noticed you wouldn’t wear one at all would you? So the most important thing is to buy something with a unique style. Stay away from look a-likes that you can find similar but less costly in department stores and go with the bold unique designs of true handcrafted jewelry. And of course, most of all, buy something you like!

Majorca Pearls

Majorca pearls are considered to be the highest quality man made pearl today.

Although not real pearls, they are painstakingly made and have a beautiful sheen and coating. Close enough to a real pearl to fool most people at a glance, these are a good substitute if you want the look but can’t afford the real thing.

Originating from the island of Majorca, Majorca pearls are actually glass that is coated in a substance of fish scales. It sounds gross, but this substance resembles the nacre of real pearls so much that the exact ingredients are a closely guarded secret.

Great pains are taken to give these glass fakes a real pearl look. They are coated 29 times with polishing in between to even out the finish and dispose of any drips. This is what makes them the highest quality of a man made pearl today.

With the availability of cultured pearls, however, Majorca pearls are really only necessary when you want an overly large pear. For most other jewelry need, the cultured pearl – a “real” pearl, should be sufficient and the cost would not be prohibitive. In fact, you can buy beautiful and unique designer jewelry made with cultured pearls at reasonable prices.