The Gemstones of Spring!
It's almost spring, when a young beader's thoughts turn lightly to those of…new gemstone beads, of course! Spring is a time of renewal and fresh starts, so take a look through your bead stash and see if you have any of my top picks for the gemstones of spring. The bright colors of these beautiful gemstone beads will add a lightness to your spring jewelry designs!
|Peridot was believed to be a gift from Mother Nature to herald the return of spring!|
|Carnelian was once considered to be the property of the noble class.|
|Stashing a rose quartz under your pillow is said to add a little fire to your marriage!|
Peridot is one of my favorite gemstones. A bright, spring green, this gemstone is also known as olivine and is formed from volcanic activity. Peridot has also been found on some meteorites! In ancient times, it was believed that peridot was a gift from Mother Nature to celebrate the return of spring. Looking at the bright, sparkling hues of peridot, it's easy to understand why this gemstone would be associated with the blossoming of trees and plants after a long, cold winter.
Carnelian is another of my long-time favorite gemstones. I've always been attracted to the bright, rich orange tones of this gemstone, and I love the way it looks when you mix it with sterling silver or even African brass beads. Never let it be said that I don't have good taste when it comes to my love for carnelian — at one time, carnelian was considered strictly the property of the noble class, and people of high social status were often buried holding a carnelian gemstone.
Rose quartz has always been a popular gemstone for jewelry makers. Quartz, in general, is the second most abundant mineral found on Earth, and jewelry made with all types of quartz have been found dating back to prehistoric times. Rose quartz gets its pink color from trace amounts of titanium, iron or manganese. Rose quartz crystals are extremely rare, and need special care to prevent the color from fading in sunlight. It's believed that this gemstone can help add a little fire to your marriage if you stash one under your pillow — it's worth a try, right?
|Orange calcite is said to alleviate the symptoms of depression.|
|Don't try this at home: amethyst was once believed to prevent drunkenness.|
Orange calcite is another one of those warm and yummy gemstones that will brighten up your spring jewelry making projects. But how's this for adding a little interest to your beaded jewelry made with calcite: during the second world war, high-grade calcite was used to make opticals for anti-aircraft weaponry and bomb sights! Calcite is also important for marine animals. The ancient Trilobites (now extinct) had a lens of clear calcite that helped them see underwater. In ancient times, it was believed that orange calcite could alleviate depression. It's easy to understand why, when you look at the bright, sunny color of calcite gemstone beads!
Amethyst is also a type of quartz, but how it gets its gorgeous purple color is still something of a mystery. Manganese and sulfur have both been detected in amethyst stones, and when heated, amethyst gemstones can simulate the bright yellow color of citrine. Amethyst has been used for centuries to prevent drunkenness — not that I've ever put that to the test — and when placed under your pillow, amethyst is supposed to help alleviate insomnia.
Learn more about your favorite gemstones every month in the pages of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine. Each issue focuses on a different gemstone with great information on source, tips for cutting and cabbing, and use in jewelry designs. Along with all you need to know and up-to-the-minute product reviews, you'll find each issue packed with inspiration and instruction. Subscribe to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine today and discover more fascinating facts about your favorite gemstones!
What gemstones say "spring" to you? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and share your favorite gemstones for spring!