Monday, July 27, 2009

Peridot: The August Birthstone

Peridot is a gemstone that I feel is often under-rated. It is beautiful in its purest form: a clear almost spring grass green, but equally appealing when included and opaque in colours from a milky green to an olivine colour. The only problem I have with peridot is that I like to work with larger gemstones much of the time, and it is quite difficult to get large nuggets - or any other cut for that matter - of peridot.

I do love the folklore surrounding peridot. Early on, from before the time of Cleopatra, peridot was mined on the Egyptian island known today as St. John's Island (called Topazios previously). Mining peridot was difficult because the island was infested with snakes - probably the reason that peridot came to be associated with protection from snakes and snakebite. The miners also worked at night since they believed that the peridot was invisible during the day. To this day peridots are sometimes confused with emeralds; supposedly many of the "emeralds" that Cleopatra wore were, in fact, peridots.

Peridot was said to have many powers including the power to heal asthma, promote good luck and good fortune (it is known as a "money" stone), to guarantee a happy marriage and a good night's sleep. It releases negativity, draws love to you, and soothes the nerves. It is also thought to help one with spiritual enlightenment. No wonder those miners braved serpents to procure this gemstone!

I cannot guarantee that the peridots in our bracelets will perform all the feats listed above, but these bracelets will certainly look good on your wrist. We have them for every taste (and will have peridot bracelets with gold soon). So if you wear peridot, you will be wearing it in good health!
Find all these peridot bracelets soon on Peridot Bracelets page on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Stones of Summer

I wrote a blog entry once about how some gemstones are seasonal; that is, they seem to belong to a certain season or seasons (the main division being, however, winter and summer). This really doesn't have anything to do with the Color Me Beautiful idea that women should wear certain colours based on their "season" (meaning the season they fall into determined by their complexions, eye colour and hair colour). This is simply a subjective feeling I have for probably very silly reasons. For instance, I think of rubies as summer gemstones because they are the July birthstone (although rubies do work well in the winter - probably because of the red we habitually see at Christmas?), sunstones are summery because they are reminiscent of the summer sun, bright, orange, glinting, aquamarines because they echo the colours of the ocean, and of course, corals because of the colours and the relationship to the sea (meaning the beach, of course). So some of the most recent bracelets here are summer bracelets from the ruby bracelet at the very top of the page to the last coral bracelet below.
But despite my designating these as "summer stones", they do work well at other times of the year, especially with the addition of a "wintry" stone such as the pietersite in the aquamarine bracelet above.
However, the ankle bracelets that you see below, one ankle bracelet of gold and sunstone and one with aquamarine and sterling silver both sing out summer loud and clear!

Above, coral bracelets page, and   the turquoise and coral bracelets page on the Cluny Grey Jewelry website.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

It's July and that means working with rubies - those red gemstones that I dearly love. Rubies are great in jewelry alone, but it's most fun to mix them with other stones, especially those that may seem an unlikely mix as in the bracelet above where deep blue turquoise has been mixed with dark pinkish-red rubies. I love this combination; it's very Victorian, but also very versatile and goes with a lot more colours in your closet than you may realize. And yes, that is a cabochon ruby toggle clasp also - the perfect finishing touch!
The bracelet below is a good example of how versatile rubies are and how well they mix. Here the rubies join aquamarines, lampwork beads, and kunzite, one of the rarest of all gemstones, a light pink. The lampwork beads here are slightly "dimpled" which gives them an interesting look, and they combines all three colours of the gemstones in the bracelet. The sterling silver toggle clasp here came to me straight from Bali, and it has its intricate raised design on both sides! A very elegant bracelet.

Below, rubies show off their beauty accompanied by intricately decorated sterling silver and borosilicate beads that glow in the light. A second strand of this ruby bracelet is made of one of my favorite Karen Hill Tribes chains dangling little ruby charms. I've used the pretty lavishly decorated toggle clasp again here.

Aquamarine is a perrenial favorite, and a gemstone that is especially beautiful for summer; it looks great with clothing in summer colours and beautiful against lightly tanned skin. The bracelet below is accented by complex borosilicate lampwork beads with little "bumps" on them for texture. The aquamarines are a pretty light blue.
The last bracelet is made of blue lace agate and blue chalcedony and features little charms around the bracelet. It's another combination of stones that looks great for summer!
I'm hoping that we'll have a grand view of the D.C. fireworks this Saturday from my apartment. If we do, it's going to be wonderful to sit in the living room and watch the fireworks flash across the sky without having to park and walk to find a viewing place. It will be my new grand-daughter's first Fourth of July and while the significance of the holiday is lost on her, the fireworks should get her attention.