This necklace is a celebration of Spring and all the green plants and blooming flowers. I have gathered some of the most colorful natural gemstones into this one long necklace, interspersed with some flowery handcrafted Cloisonne beads. These beads are strung on a strand of tiny red Coral beads. These multi-colored beads are as follows: green Oval Nephrite (Jade); white Howlite: pink Rhodonite; yellow Moukaite Jasper; blue Turquoise: light green Serpentine: Magenta Impression Jasper: orange Carnelian. The necklace has a brass-plated Pewter leaf toggle that allows it to be worn doubled around the neck.
Enameled Cloisonné beads are handcrafted in China, where artisans begin with a copper base, create patterns by soldering brass wire in cells. Enamel paint is filled in the patterns and fired to permanently fix the colors. The painting and firing process can be repeated as many as four times. The bead is then smoothed and polished, and the exposed brass wire edges are gold or silver plated.
The name Jade is derived from the Spanish term for ‘loin stone’ ‘Piedra de ijada’ and the Latin ‘kidney stone’ or ‘Lapis Nephritis’ as Central Americans associated the stone with curing loin or kidney ailments. Nephrite is one of the two minerals in the Jade family. It is very tough and durable ranging in color from white to green to brown. It has a long history particularly in China and other parts of the Orient for making weapons, tools, decorative carvings and jewelry. It has a special significance to people of many cultures; in China is it a symbol of all that is good, embodying the Confucian virtues of wisdom, justice and courage. It is also highly regarded in Central America (Mayans) and New Zealand (Maoris). The Nephrite ovals in this necklace comes from Canada.
Howlite is named after its discoverer, a Nova Scotian geologist Henry How. It is a soft white opaque semi precious gemstone with characteristic gray/black web-like streaks interlaced through the stone. Vast deposits are found in California. It is a soft stone and rough handling should be avoided. Natural healers associate Howlite with an appreciation of all things beautiful and decent in this world. They also think it helps those who procrastinate.
Rhodonite: The name comes from 'Rhodon' the Greek word for rose. Unlike Rose Quartz, it is opaque, pink with black running through it. It is thought to promote self-esteem and self-confidence and is also known as the 'singer's stone' as it is thought to improve the wearer's sensitivity to sound. It was also used to cure problems of the ear and lungs. As with all pink colored stones, it also associated with love.
Jaspers have been used as ornamental and gemstones from ancient times. They are microcrystalline Quartz in association with a variety of other minerals which give the Jaspers colorful patterns and bands. Jaspers are often named according to its color or patterns. Moukaite Jasper is found in Australia and the different combinations of clay and iron oxide gives it a wide range of colors, from white to mustard yellow to brick red and mauve.
Turquoise is associated with gods and goddesses of many ancient cultures from China, the Middle East, and the Americas. It was worn by Pharoahs and Aztec Kings. Native Americans used the stone symbolizing the sea and sky coming together, to bless warriors and hunters. Turquoise is thought to attract prosperity and success, enhance creativity and communication. Turquoise is the alternate birthstone for December.
Carnelian is a translucent Chalcedony with color ranging from light orange to reddish brown. The red color is due to the presence of Iron Oxide. It is commonly found in Brazil, India, Siberia and Germany. Carnelian has been used in jewelry since the Neolithic times. It is associated with the heart and emotional warmth, considered by some to promote courage, confidence and self-motivation. It is the alternate birthstone for July. In Arabic and Oriental cultures, it was thought to protect the wearer from the 'evil eye' of envious persons.
Coral beads have played a significant part in jewelry throughout history. People of many cultures thought that red coral provided protection from fire and violence.
Length: 37 inches
Beading Wire: 0.19"/49 strand clear-coated stainless steel professional quality beading wire with gold-filled crimps, crimps and crimp covers.
Bead size: 10 mm round gemstone beads: 15 x 30 mm Nephrite bead: 12 x 19 mm Cloisonne bead.
Care: Clean with soft fabric, or non-abrasive polishing cloth. Avoid direct contact with perfumes, hairspray, and deodorants. Jewelry should be worn after application of cosmetics. Store wrapped in soft fabric or sealed in plastic bag.
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Photographs by Michael Santerre.
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