Thursday, July 31, 2008

Peridot: The August Birthstone

The August birthstone, peridot, is a beautiful bright green gemstone also known as olivine. Its use is ancient, and the peridot has been confused with the emerald. The ancient source of peridot was from Saint John Island in the Red Sea, also known as the "Serpent Island" (apparently the miners had to fight snakes during their work) and therefore, peridot is often thought to protect against snakes. Today, much of the peridot used in peridot jewelry comes from Arizona.

Peridot is often associated with wealth, likely a modern view of the gemstone. For those who believe in the power of gemstones to effect change, the peridot is credited with increasing energy and strength, and protecting the wrists, lungs, and sinuses. Emotionally, it is said to relieve negative feelings, prevent nervousness, and dispel anger. Insomniacs would do well to wear peridot to bed at night since one of its benefits is to encourage sleep. Many also believe that peridot possesses the power to help heal hurt feelings, so if you believe in the Victorian sensibility of letting gemstones send a message, peridot jewelry is a gift that for the person whose feelings you've wounded.

In addition to being the August birthstone, peridot is also the gemstone for the 16th year of marriage and the gemstone of Saint Bartholomew.
Peridot is a gemstone that I like to work with when I can find it in a decent size. It is extremely difficult to find peridot nuggets - or any form of peridot bead over 5mm in size. Gem quality peridot is especially beautiful, clear and bright, a green that zings when it hits your eyes. Peridot looks great alone or when combined with one other or several gemstones. The first peridot bracelet has just a hint of amethyst suggested by the lampwork bead, a peridot coloured lentil with a purple design on it. The amethyst accent is repeated in the gemstone clasp of the bracelet (see second picture).
Rose quartz and lampwork beads enhance the next peridot bracelet, and freshwater Biwa pearls and intricate sterling silver dominate the next bracelet.
Smokey quartz combines with peridot and lampwork in the peridot necklace with a rather large faceted peridot in its gemstone pendant. Below, peridot earrings boast bezel set peridots in one pair, and larger peridot nuggets in another.

If you've never worn peridot, give this pretty gemstone a try - it's as satisfying to wear and as becoming as emeralds!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

If It's Not One Thing, It's Another.....

This rhodochrosite bracelet really cheers me up, and wow! do I ever need cheering up! While I usually don't get into personal issues here on the jewelry blog, this last week (and it's been some kind of month, too, but that's another story) has really been rough.
Orders, orders, orders, and I have lost the person who does the packing/wrapping for me. Unfortunately, I'm not the fastest wrapper/packer in the world, so I'm behind on getting orders mailed out - tomorrow I plan another marathon day to catch up finally.
On Tuesday of last week, I ate some lemon frozen yoghurt. Sounds delicious, right? But even though it looked as though it could have melted and refrozen and there was a slit in the top, it was late, and I wanted, really wanted, that lemon yoghurt. Food poisoning is not fun. I had salmonella once in India, and this ran a close second to that and lasted almost as long. This food poisoning, like salmonella, makes you feel bad all over; all you can do is lie as still as possible - not that easy since no position is really comfortable and you feel too bad even to read.
In addition to everything else, Startlogic, the company who hosts my website, has put in a new server that is supposed(!?!) to be wonderful. Today, my site has been offline almost all day. In the last 2 weeks, my site has been offline more than it had in the 4 previous years totaled. I still can't check my e-mail through the site at this moment, and just when I thought it was back on, it's down again! Sometimes I hate "improvements."
But I do like the bracelet above (there are 2 different views of it) made with rhodochrosite, rubies, and the lampwork of Lynn Nurge. I've also been looking at a lot of Georgian and Victorian jewelry; the ruby bracelet below features rubies and tuquoise, a combination I found in a Victorian brooch and liked. The colours complement each other very well - I can't wait to try the combination with gold.
Aquamarine is featured in the jade earrings in the shape of lilies. A small smooth nugget of aquamarine forms the stamen of the lily. The earrings hang from sterling silver posts with a good-sized white freshwater pearl cabochon. Very elegant earrings.

The tiger-eye bracelet below features a focal carved oval tigereye surrounded by genuine aquamarines, a large aquamarine slab, and once again, the lampwork beads of Lynn Nurge.
Now if my website will just stay online, I'll be able to get these posted!
And keep your fingers crossed for me that this week will be a significant improvement over the last one!