Tuesday, May 11, 2010

And back to metals again...

As you can't tell I am an information junkie. So again, my husband picked me up another book from the library - one of the Eyewitness books about gemstones. Of course, I had to look at the pages on my favorite metal for jewelry, silver.

Did you know that the best silver comes from a mine in Norway? At a mine in Kongsberg, Norway, dendritic silver is found naturally in the shape of twisted wire. Convenient… (now of course I want to see how I can get my hands on some - will let you know)

Silver in its natural purity tarnishes and is too soft to work into jewelry, so is alloyed with other metals, often copper or gold. The standards are Sterling silver at 92 ½ percent or more pure silver (often with copper), Britannia Silver with 95 percent or more pure silver. Additionally, one ancient alloy contains 20 to 25 percent silver alloyed with gold and is called electrum.

Personally, I like the coloring of silver and its starkness against other colors. Just suits my work well.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Emerald

May is finally here. Several big things for me this month: first up is Mother’s Day then I have a birthday, and finally at the end of the month a craft show in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Onto the stone for the month: Emerald

The name comes from the Greek smaragdos, meaning green stone. The stone symbolizes growth and hopes for the future. It concentrates the green of nature and provides relief from emotional suffering. Additionally, the emerald is associated with artistic creativity. The stone has represented a symbol of innocence and purity.

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans associated the stone with eyesight and improved vision.

The zodiacal signs of Taurus, Cancer, and Capricorn have special attachment to the stone. Taurus will be able to see clearer. The sometimes indecisive Cancer will be invigorated by emeralds. And Capricorns will be encouraged in their meditation and reflection by emeralds.

On a final note, as you will remember emerald is one of the ‘precious’ stones.