Even in their raw forms, gemstones are so beautiful.
Throughout history, gemstones have been worn as jewelry, used for healing, and carried for protection. Some gemstones have been used as currency by many cultures, while others were ground into cosmetics, paints & dyes. It is believed Cleopatra used powdered gemstones as eyeshadows. (And you thought your makeup was expensive.)
Funerary Mask of King Tut
This exquisite funerary mask includes gemstones, such as lapis lazuli and turquoise among others, embedded in the gold.
Made as gifts for his wife, Russian Tsar Alexander III commissioned a series bejeweled works of art, known as the Fabergé Eggs. The one shown above is called the Renaissance Egg.
Sodalite & Clear Quartz Earrings
Fortunately, today, we don’t have to be royalty to enjoy gemstones. There are many resources for purchasing supplies, including craft stores, trade shows, and online suppliers. One of the best resources available is called Fire Mountain Gems & Beads. Their inventory is impressive, and they offer excellent customer service, great pricing, lots of how-to videos, and reliable information for all jewelry making needs.
Best known for its rich purple color, Amethyst is a very popular gemstone, but did you know amethyst also comes in green?
Unakite & Fluorite Beads
Each type of gemstone can have a variety of shades and colors. Some are available in one particular color, but the shades vary from light to dark. Others come in a variety of colors, such as Fluorite, which includes purples, greens and clear stones. Unakite is typically a pink and green gemstone, however some stones are all green or all pink.
Blue Topaz can be found in a wide range of shades, from the lightest, Sky Blue, to the darkest, known as London Blue.
Tigerseye & Glass Necklace
Tiger’s Eye has an almost magical property – it changes color. This phenomenon is called chatoyancy, which is a French word meaning “Cat’s Eye.” It occurs when bright light reflects off fibers in the Tiger’s Eye stone, causing the color to appear to “change.”
Peridot has a very unique color, ranging from soft shades to brighter, more intense greens, just like those found in nature.
Black Onyx & Carnelian Necklace
There are many industry standard treatments (eg. Chemicals, Heat) applied to gemstones to improve color, durability, etc. Before making a purchase, make sure you know if the gems are genuine stones natural from origin or if they have been lab created, and what if any treatments have been applied.
Like a little pieces of sunshine, Citrine brightens any day with its cheerful yellow colors.
Historically, Rubies are one of the four “precious” gemstones, along with diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires. Love the color but not the price tag? Garnets are a beautiful alternative.
Exposure to heat or sunlight can fade or weaken some gemstones. Did you know air causes gold and silver to tarnish? Anti-tarnish strips will protect these precious metals. After wearing your jewelry, the best way to keep it clean is to gently wipe it with a soft cloth prior to putting it away. Avoid using chemicals, which can destroy or damage gemstones..By taking care of your gemstone jewelry, it will last for generations to come.
Interested in reading more about gemstones? Please read, “Gemstone Healing Traditions.”
Thanks for reading & Happy Crafting!