Other Items I make
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I strive to always use the best quality materials available. Since
some of the terms I use to describe my work may be unfamiliar, I thought
you might like an explanation of what goes into my jewelry.
(Possibly more than you ever wanted to know!).
- Beryls, including emerald and aquamarine
- Copper minerals (including azurite, chrysacholla, malachite, and
|moonstone and sterling earrings
- Moonstone and other feldspars (amazonite, labradorite, sunstone)
- Pearls and coral
- Quartz (including agates, amethyst, chalcedony, cherry,
chrysoprase, citrine, carnelian, jaspers, rose, smoky)
- Rhodenite and rhodocrosite
- Clasps and ear wires
- Other materials
Many of my jewelry pieces use semi-precious stones. There are a
lot of different stones available today, and I like to work with
unusual stones when I find them. However, these are some of the
stones I am likely to have available to use.
Amber is not actually a stone, but fossilized tree resin,
so it is warm and light-weight to wear. It is soft, and should be stored separately
from harder stones and metals. Besides the
usual honey gold color, amber ranges in color from milk white, through
butter yellow, to honey gold to deep red to cherry amber so dark it almost looks black.
Amber floats in seawater and sinks in fresh water, which is one way to tell
it from plastic imitations. Most of the amber currently available is
Baltic, from eastern Europe. I like amber a
lot, and usually have a good selection. I try to keep my prices as
reasonable as possible.
amber necklaces with handmade beads in 1) silver and 2) enamel. $75. SOLD
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Beryls include bright green emeralds and pale
aqua blue aquamarine, as well as the rare pink morganite and
golden heliodor. I prefer aquamarine when I can find it to blue topaz, which often fades.
And the emeralds I commonly have available are not the highest quality -
they will be opaque, but usually have good color. All the beryls are
very hard and make excellent jewelry, though they may be a bit more
Large aquamarine nuggets with lamp work
beads and silver spacers, knotted on silk. $110. SOLD
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Copper minerals include several very nice stones
colored by the copper in them. These are soft stones, and should be
stored with care.
5 strands of vintage turquoise heishi, about 22 inches long,
with hand forged sterling silver ends and clasp. $225.
The most familiar is turquoise, which is often found
in silver and copper mines. Turquoise ranges in color from greenish to a beautiful sky blue, and
sometimes has veins of the matrix rock running
through it. Another familiar stone is the beautiful green malachite.
Once the principal ore for mining copper, it is now more valued for its
beautiful green banding. Its close relative, azurite, is a beautiful
deep blue, similar to lapis, but is relatively rare. Azurite is most
often found in combination with malachite, so the stones have the deep blue
plus the green and some intermediate turquoise colors. Chrysacholla is
another relative that resembles turquoise, but has more lovely color
variation and pattern. (I think it is usually prettier.) It is also rather rare.
Chrysacholla pendants with sterling silver mountings. Top about
10x15mm, $45. Bottom, about 1 1/2 inches, $65 SOLD
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Fluorite can be a lovely stone. The main colors are
transparent purple, similar to amethyst, and transparent light
green, though sometimes other colors, such as yellow may be found. It can be quite
striking, but the stone is soft and fractures easily, so it should be
treated with care.
facetted round multi-colored fluorite with green and purple
focal stones. $55. SOLD
Garnets are the deep wine red birthstone for
January, and have been popular stones since ancient times. Garnets are
quite hard and wear well in all kinds of jewelry. Garnet is not
totally transparent, so smaller stones tend to have better color.
Garnet also comes in a purple (rhodolite), an orangey brown (hessonite), a
mossy green (grossular), and a very rare bright emerald green (tsavorite and
5mm round garnets accented by teardrop shaped moonstone, set off by
sterling silver "Bali" style accent beads. Center is sterling silver
bead set with garnet cabochons. About 20 inches long, sterling
silver toggle clasp $65.
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Goldstone is a pretty coppery colored "stone"
with sparkles in it. It is actually a glass with copper filings in it.
(When used to decorate glass beads, it may be referred to as "aventurine
glass"). There is also a blue goldstone (midnight blue, verging on
black), and a green goldstone (very rare).
Hematite is a lovely metallic gray. As it is
a high-grade iron ore, it is heavy, and sometimes slightly magnetic.
The majority of hematite on the market today is synthetic, so it is
relatively inexpensive and is available in a variety of shapes (stars,
Howlite is a nice white stone with grey veining.
It is inexpensive and rather soft. It is commonly dyed to imitate
turquoise or occasionally malachite or lapis. It is sometimes sold as
"white turquoise" (there is no such thing).
Iolite is a deep blue stone that in the finer grades
can resemble sapphire. I usually use the slightly less expensive
forms, which are not always transparent. The blue is a dark, denim
Jade is very popular in the Orient, and good jade is
fairly rare in the US. The characteristic color of jade is a dark
green, though jadeite also comes in white, lavender (rare), yellow,
red-brown, and black. Jade is a very durable stone and wears well.
||Good green jade, hand-knotted on silk,
with vintage Japanese "flower" beads and gold-filled spacers. About 22
inches long, gold-filled pearl clasp. $65. SOLD.
Jet, another of the organic "stones", is similar to a
fossilized coal. It was very popular during Victorian times for
mourning jewelry, but is hard to find now. It is a nice lustrous
black, light in weight, and somewhat soft. I occasionally find some
||Necklace of octagonal jet beads, strung
on silk and hand knotted. About 20 inches long, sterling silver
toggle clasp $65. SOLD.
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Lapis Lazuli, the stone of kings, has been popular
for its royal blue color since the time of ancient Egypt and Ur. The
best lapis still comes from the same mine in Afghanistan. It is a soft
stone, and should be treated with care.
|AA grade lapis lazuli chips accented by
handmade "warring states" beads and "Bali" style sterling silver accent
beads. Strung on silk and intermittently knotted. About 20
inches long, sterling silver toggle clasp $65.
Moonstone, a feldspar, has that lovely eye effect that makes
it so interesting. The most common color is translucent white, but it
also comes in peach and gray. Rainbow moonstone is white with flashes
of blue fire. A closely related stone is labradorite (sometimes called
spectrolite), which has the blue and green fire of rainbow moonstone in a
darker gray translucent background. A peach to orange stone in the
same family has more sparkle (called "schiller") and is called sunstone,
appropriately enough. And a pale sea-green form is known as amazonite.
Occasionally it will display the eye-like effect, but that is rare.
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass.
The color ranges from transparent grey-brown Apache tears to dark opaque
black with brown mottling.
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Onyx comes in several colors. The natural stone
ranges from translucent
white and grey through yellow and green to tan and
brown. But onyx (actually a relative of calcite) is somewhat soft and porous and will take a dye
well. So there is also translucent medium blue and dark green onyx, and opaque
black onyx. The original term "onyx" was applied to a black and white
banded agate, which today is marketed as an agate (see Quartz, below)
handmade enamel beads with 1) gray onyx and 2) blue lace agate
& sodalite SOLD. Each $65.
Opal is typically precious opal from Australia, which
I don't work with. However, there are lower grades of opal from
Mexico and Peru that are sometimes available. These usually have no
"fire", and may be translucent to opaque. Colors may include orange (from
Mexico), pink and turquoise blue (from Peru).
|Blue Peruvian opal strung on
silk and hand-knotted, accented by sterling silver and opal drops.
About 22 inches, sterling hook and eye clasp. $95. SOLD.
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Pearls and coral are both organic gems from the
ocean. Coral comes from coral reefs, especially in the Mediterranean,
and is becoming increasingly scarce due to damage from pollution.
I work mostly with freshwater pearls, as they are more abundant and less
expensive than salt-water cultured pearls. Natural colors for pearls range from
white to cream, peach, pink, and gray to black. Some of the black
Akoya salt-water cultured pearls, about 7mm, strung on
silk and hand-knotted. About 18 inches long, 14K gold pearl
(fishhook) clasp. $115. SOLD
bronze freshwater pearls are color enhanced by the addition of chemicals to the water
where the mollusks are being raised. Other colors are often dyed.
I don't often use dyed pearls, unless
Natural red short branch coral, strung on silk and knotted
intermediately, about 20 inches long. Gold-filled hook and eye
I can find a very nice strand. I string pearls on silk and knot them
for security. Pearls should be stored away from other jewelry and
protected from makeup and hair spray.
|Gray freshwater pearls,
about 6mm, strung on silk and hand-knotted. About 20 inches,
sterling silver hook and eye clasp. $45. SOLD.
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Peridot is the olive to lime green transparent birth
stone for August. It is a good hard stone, but is a bit more expensive
than some. It is usually only available in smaller sizes.
facetted 5mm peridot, hand-knotted on silk, with gold-filled spiral elements and
hand forged clasp $75. SOLD.
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Quartz, in one form or another, comprises much of
the earth's surface. But some varieties make really nice jewelry, and
quartz stones are hard and durable. Transparent quartz includes clear
(sometimes known as rock crystal), purple amethyst, yellow citrine,
and gray-brown smoky quartz (sometimes erroneously called smoky topaz).
Translucent quartz includes orange to brown carnelian (or cornelian), bright
green to sea green chrysoprase and pale pink rose quartz, as well as
chalcedony in various colors including blue. Banded quartz is an
agate, including pale blue lace agate, black and white agate, and
orange and tan crazy lace agate.
||8mm Rondels of dark
amethyst and rainbow moonstone are set of by smaller rondels of bright
garnet. About 22 inches, sterling silver toggle clasp. $75.
Opaque quartz in interesting patterns is
called jasper, and usually named for the place where it is found or given a
fanciful name to encourage sales.
Opaque rust red jasper is usually solid colored, and bloodstone is a dark
green jasper with "drops" of red jasper, very hard to find of late. .
Recent additions to the quartz line are strawberry, cherry, raspberry, blueberry,
and pineapple quartz, which are
synthetics, but have interesting colors. Transparent colored
quartz (amethyst, smoky, and citrine) and some color-enhanced chalcedony are
subject to fading with prolonged exposure to sunlight (or UV light).
|Large flattened ovals of
banded carnelian (or agate) are set off by 3mm gold-filled beads and
centered with a handmade lamp work bead. Hand-knotted on silk,
about 20 inches long, gold-filled hook and eye clasp. $75
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Rhodenite and rhodocrosite
are similar opaque pink stones. They often have grey,
black or white veining in interesting patterns. Both
are somewhat soft and should be treated with care. Rhodocrosite comes
primarily from Brazil, from stalagtites.
fine rhodecrosite 6mm beads, hand-knotted on silk with gold-filled
Sodalite is a nice dark blue that resembles lapis
but is not as bright a blue. It tends more towards navy, and sometimes
has white veining in it.
Tigereye is the very nice golden brown stone with
an eye effect (from fibrous inclusions). It is popular for men's
jewelry and is especially nice set with gold. There is also a red
tigereye, which is a nice chocolate brown (caused by heating regular
tigereye to about 250 degrees F), and rare blue tigereye (sort of a Prussian
blue or navy blue), which is formed naturally from iron inclusions in the
Tourmaline supposedly derives its name from a
Singhalese word meaning "many-colored", since it comes in several colors.
Tourmaline is a hard stone and wears well in jewelry, but tends to be
expensive. The most common color is a dark olive green, though some
pieces are closer to emerald green. Other colors include blue
(slightly greenish blue), pink to red (rubellite), and bi-colored stones,
such as red/green watermelon tourmaline.
tourmaline, hand-knotted on silk, about 24 inches, sterling silver
hook and eye clasp. $60. Pendant of vintage
mother-of-pearl with sterling silver and tourmaline chips. $50.
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Bracelet sizes: The usual size for a link or bead bracelet for a
woman's wrist is about 7 inches long. A small woman or a young lady
might need a 6 inch bracelet, and a man or a larger woman might be more
comfortable with an 8 inch bracelet. I can make bracelets in any size
you need. Measure around the wrist and allow 1/2 inch to operate the
Necklace sizes: The usual size for a woman's choker is about 16
inches or for a man's choker is about 18 inches. A young lady or
someone with a very slender neck, who wants the choker to ride a bit higher
up, might want a 14 or 15 inch choker.
A 20 inch necklace will usually hit about the top of the breast bone, 22
inches falls about the top of the breast, and 24 to 26 inches will usually
hang between the breasts. A 30 inch necklace hangs below the breasts
and 36 inch necklaces can be doubled and worn as a choker. Just let me
know what length you need, and I can accommodate you.
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I primarily work with sterling silver. This is the standard
silver alloy, consisting of 92.5 % silver and 7.5 % copper (to add
strength). It is often stamped "sterling", "stg", "ster", or "925".
Sterling silver has no nickel in it.
I also like to work in copper, because I like the warm rosy color.
Most of my designs can be made in either copper or sterling. The
copper will be slightly less expensive. Copper will oxidize to a warm
brown over time. If you prefer your piece not to change, I recommend
coating it with clear nail polish. If you have a copper piece that
needs brightening up, apply a bit of vinegar with a pinch of salt
I sometimes use gold-filled components. This is a very
heavy layer of 12 or 14 karat gold over a base metal. The gold
accounts for 5 % of the weight of the piece. Gold-filled beads and
clasps wear very well for most people, and are resistant to tarnish.
They are also sturdier than many light-weight 14K gold beads (which often
bend easily). Gold-filled pieces are often stamped "12/20 gf", "14/20
gf", or "1/20 12K gf".
I also use gold vermeil components. These are gold-plated
sterling silver pieces. If the gold plating eventually wears away, you
still have a sterling silver piece.
By special order (at an additional cost), I can make some items with 14K
gold. Please feel free to contact me
Karat is a quality mark indicating the weight of gold in an alloy.
24K gold is pure gold; it is also very soft and bends out of shape easily.
18K gold is 18/24 or 75 % gold. This is widely used overseas, and may
be stamped "18K" or "750". 14K gold is 14/24 or 58 % gold. This
is the most common alloy used in the US, and is usually stamped "14K" or
sometimes "583". 12K gold is 12/24 or 50 % gold. 10K gold is
10/24 or about 42 % gold. 10K is the lowest quality gold that can be
stamped and sold in the US. The other metals in the alloy affect the
color (white, green, pink gold) and working characteristics of the alloy.
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Clasps and earwires
All my earwires are sterling silver or gold-filled.
I can also provide surgical steel, niobium or titanium French hooks, if desired. I offer "kidney wires", which have a small hook on the back side to keep
them fastened, or "French hooks", which are a longer, almost P shaped hook
with no catch on the back. Most earrings can have either style.
Sometimes I have sterling silver lever-back ear wires (not pictured) A few
earrings have sterling posts or wires made as part of the earring. I can
sometimes attach base metal clip backs to earrings.
I offer the following clasps on necklaces and bracelets, in either
sterling or gold-filled. A few vintage clasps may be base metal.
- Spring ring - a circle of metal with a spring that
opens enough to attach to a ring on the other side, then closes
- Lobster claw - operates much like a spring ring, but is oval and
- Toggle - has a bar on one side that passes through a circle on the
other side. These are secure when worn (though they may not seem
like it in the box)
- S hook - a decorative S shaped piece, closed on one end, that hooks
into a ring on the other side
- Pearl clasp (necklace only) - decorative oval piece attached to one
side, v shaped piece on the other side that goes through the end of the
oval, then pushes in to latch. Sort of a safety clasp.
- Box clasp - one side is round or square and decorative, the other side
is a tongue that slides into the box and latches.
- Sometimes I have silver or gold colored magnetic clasps. A
small round magnet attaches to each side. These are very strong and
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Many of my necklaces are strung on silk and hand-knotted. This
helps the beads hang better, and prevents damage to soft stones like pearls
and amber. Sometimes I may use nylon or another synthetic for extra
strength. Seed beaded necklaces may use silk or any of several fine but strong
synthetics to accomplish the design. Very rarely I might use Beadalon™
or a similar coated wire for extra strength.
Some of my glass beads and clasps are vintage pieces (more than 25 years
old). I try to note that in the descriptions of completed pieces.
If you want to order a special piece and would like me to include vintage
components, please be sure to let me know.
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