December Birthstones-Beautiful Blues

Did you know that December has claim to three birthstones?  They are Zircon, Tanzanite and Turquoise!

 

They all have a rich and beautiful blue color, and each has a different meaning behind it.  So let’s take a look at these beautiful December Birthstones.

Blue Zircon is very beautiful and desirable.  Prices are often fairly reasonable,  and the good news is that it comes from many parts of the world, including right here in the USA! This stone has blue-green hues and is fun to cut.Blue Zircon Cabochon

Blue Zircon is thought to protect the wearer from negative energy, and to help change our negative thoughts to positive ones.  Blue Zircon is said to be able to improve the quality of lives, and to help a person to achieve happiness.  What a good stone to have during the dark days of Winter. I don’t know about you, but the lack of daylight sure affects me!

Another beautiful December birthstone is Tanzanite, a pricey, rare and beautiful deep blue stone.  Tanzanite is only found in one part of the world, in Tanzania (go figure) and it is only in a small area of that region. Tanzanite Gemstone The natural deep blues are the most desirable, and in fact, lower grades of this gem are heated to create that deep blue color.

Tanzanite changes colors when it is viewed from different directions. This shifting of colors has been said to facilitate raising consciousness. The stone is often referred to as the “trust” stone.

It also helps you in realizing your own ideas. The gemstone opens an awareness of the comparison between how one lives and how one could choose to live more consciously. Those who wear it will become aware of their calling. It is a stone for people who have not yet recognized their strength and fearfully close their hearts to it. This creates trust and we gradually open ourselves for further possibilities. On the level of sub consciousness, it helps us to better come to terms with ourselves.

 

The third stone, and perhaps the most widely known in the USA, is turquoise.  Turquoise is one of the oldest protection stones, and was seen as a symbol of wealth in ancient cultures.
turquoise bracelet jewelry

 

Turquoise is one of those stones that you must attune to–rather than the stone attuning to you. The stone will bring you good fortune and protects the wearer from harm.  It’s healing properties include helping with rheumatism, gout, viruses and other inflammatory conditions.  Those who own turquoise have a special relationship with that piece–whether in jewelry or as a stone.  The colors range from bright robin’s egg blue, to green tones.  Different mines in the USA have very distinctive turquoise, and many can instantly tell where the turquoise comes from.  American turquoise is becoming increasingly rare, and many mines have closed.  This turquoise continues to increase in value.

So if you are a December Birthday–which birthstone are you?

If you want to shop for YOUR birthstone or to have a custom piece made, you can email lynne@silverspiralcreations.com with the details of your request.

Loving Rocks

Loving Rocks and Jewelry

She receives an Ametrine Earring and Necklace Set for her Birthday, made by SilverSpiral Creations

Any of you who know me, know that I love rocks and jewelry.

 

I have since I was a child, and I don’t really know why or how it started. To me, rocks and minerals are part of Nature’s art. Much like we create art, nature uses elements for her canvas, and they are fire, air, water and earth. The major difference between art created by us and art created by nature is time. It can take nature from a season to millions of years to create her art, and for us humans it might take an hour, a day, month, or a lifetime.

 

Loving Rocks

Showing off her jewels and new Rockhound T-shirt

So who loves rocks, and how does it start? I have had the pleasure of meeting some very young children who are already rock hounds (one of them is pictured here in this post)  and I feel a kinship towards them, partly because they are girls, like me.  I remember how excited I was to find a new cool rock, fossil, or crystal. I also remember how great it was to get a gift of rocks, especially if it came as a necklace, bracelet or ring that I could wear (when I was young, pierced ears were not a “thing” for young children, or I would have wanted earrings as well).
Now many years later, I am making those wearable rocks, fossils and crystals. I just love to share nature’s art, and I really love sharing this passion with children. I really believe that connecting our children with the earth will help them to appreciate our natural resources and make them want to preserve and protect our world. I also believe that nature’s art will inspire creativity for jewelry and other arts. Just go outdoors and look at some of the color pallets that nature creates! We think WE are artists, but nature has us beat for sure!

If you would like a custom made piece of “rock jewelry” from SilverSpiral Creations, please click here to order!

The New Obsession-Handmade

istock_000020448352_mediumSo what is this new obsession to have things handmade?  You see it everywhere.  Amazon.com has a new “Handmade” section-supposedly to compete with Etsy.com–but I see handmade popping up everywhere.  Martha Stewart has a handmade initiative, as do many other major retailers–even Ebay is trying to hop on to this bandwagon.

So what is driving this trend?  After researching a little, I found out that customers want to connect with the maker of items.  This gives their new acquisition more meaning, something which we all seek.webmoonstars

Another driver for this trend is the human desire to be individual–we have been told over the years that we need to have the latest designer this and that–but after high school–do we really want to look like everyone else?

There is also the need for us as humans to have an impact on our society, and buying from local, handmade artisans helps to support the community, contributing to art and beauty in our society.  Buying handmade also allows us to make statements about our own beauty–not physically, but spiritually–whether it is buying furniture for your home, accessories for your room, jewelry for yourself or gifts for family and friends.webswan1

There is also a need to return to our roots–we are nostalgic for things that were made by our ancestors, grandparents and parents–we want to replicate this by purchasing handmade.

This has become a trend for gift giving–people want their gifts to be memorable, not always utilitarian, or something that can be easily found in stores.

So there you have it–a willingness to pay a little more for all of these wonderful benefits!  Do you buy handmade?

The 800 Pound Gorilla, Let’s Get Him Out of the Jewelry Studio!

Hello again.  This is Part II of “How to Talk to an Artist,” a blog series about wanting a special something custom made just for you.  Last time, we spoke about having the confidence to approach an artist to ask for a custom order.  Today, let’s talk about making that order!

Since I am an artisan jeweler, I am going to use jewelry as my example, but this would be true if you wanted to order anywebmoonscene2 custom art, painting, sculpture, glasswork, pottery, woodwork, any art!

So what is stopping you from asking for that order?  Well there is an 800 pound Gorilla in the room, and that is price.  It seems to be the biggest hurdle for both customer and artist to jump through, and often stops an order before it begins.

webspinnergold2My thought on this, from an artist’s point of view, is to discuss this first and foremost, even before hearing what the custom order is going to be.  Most often, a customer has an idea of what s/he is willing to spend on something for themselves.  For example, I got an order the other day, where the customer says, I really always wanted a gold bracelet, a big cuff that has a flared shape, and is about 2 inches wide, with a pretty wavy pattern on it.  So I asked her, what did she think it would cost for something like that, and she answered that she thought that would be about $200.  Unfortunately, if that were to be made with gold, the material alone would have been approximately $1400 with gold prices the way they are.  But instead of discouraging her, I mentioned brasscuff1some ways she could get the look she wanted, using gold-filled metal or gold plated metal, and perhaps she could be happy if the cuff were 1.5 inches to 1.75 inches wide.  I would make a prototype in brass, and she could see, or maybe she would like it in brass, which is a gold tone.    But because price was out in the open, it became fun to discuss the possibilities!  She made an order, and ended up paying $225.00 for a gold-filled metal bracelet that was 1.5 inches wide, and she couldn’t be happier.

In other words, we found a way to fulfill her desire!  And it wasn’t the least bit uncomfortable!

What do you think about this?  From either an artist’s point of view or from a customer’s perspective?  Are you willing to talk about pricing first?  Let me know in the comments section what you think!

Cheers!  Lynne

SilverSpiral Creations