Australian Bolder Opal
Most opals come from either Ethiopia or Australia.
Bolder opals have distinct blue, white, purple or rainbow veins that run through brown stone (dark siliceous ironstone matrix). It is found primarily in southwest Queensland.
Black opals have a dark background which offsets a blue/gray display of color. They are found in the Griman Creek Formation around the town of Lightning Ridge in New South Wales.
Bear claws are often used in Native American art, they symbolize strength and power. Bears are sacred for many native tribes across North America, it can represent protection, family and vitality. Native Americans see themselves as living in harmony with the land therefore it is important to honor an animal if it gives its life to feed or clothe the tribe. Using bear claws in jewelry honors the animal and symbolizes the power of the bear and our connection to the natural world.
Today hunting provides population control as well as funding for conservation efforts to protect these beautiful creatures in their natural environment.
Bumblebee Jasper has a very distinctive bright yellow color. The yellow comes from its high sulfur content, which makes it dangerous to breathe in the particles while cutting and polishing the stone. As jewelry especially backed with silver Bumblebee jasper is safe to wear and is said to have energizing properties. Bumblebee jasper comes from a mine in an active volcano in Indonesia.
Charoite is a stunning purple stone found only in Siberia, Russia. It is a silicate mineral made from a complex variety of elements which gives its distinctive pattern and coloration. Charoite is marked by swirling pearly white streaks, flecks of black, and a range of purple hues.
Coral can be red, orange, pink, black, blue or golden. Most corals are a calcium carbonate. They are the skeletal structure of coral polyps and therefore form in a variety of shapes and colors. Un-dyed natural coral is hard to find. Coral beads can dull over time with extensive wear.
Ox-blood coral is the type most commonly used in Native American pieces. It is naturally bright red or burgundy in color.
Elk Teeth "buglers"
Elk buglers are located in the upper jaw, they aid in making the elk's distinct bugle during mating season. Both males and females have two buglers. They are made of ivory similar to elephant tusks. Native Americans prized the elk or wapiti for its strength and endurance. It is also a symbol of love and masculinity. Elk teeth are used by Native Americans for both jewelry and ceremonial clothing.
Today elk hunting provides population control as well as funding for conservation efforts to protect these beautiful creatures in their natural environment. Using elk teeth in jewelry is a way to honor the whole animal, and provide a unique reminder of a special hunt.
Lapis Lazuli is a beautiful deep royal blue stone prized my many different ancient cultures. It is found in small quantitates in many places throughout the world. Today the largest known deposits are in Afghanistan. Lapis is composed mainly of Lazurite which gives the blue color, it also contains pyrite and calcite which create the white veins and flecks of "gold" amidst the deep blue.
Larimar is a beautiful blue stone found in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. This Caribbean stone is a form of Pectolite which is found in many places throughout the world but it only achieves this beautiful blue color in the Dominican Republic.
Spiny Oyster Shell
Sterling Silver is an alloy, a blend of silver, copper, zinc, or nickel. Silver is too soft for jewelry in its pure form so sterling silver is 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent alloy. Stirling sliver can tarnish (turn black and cloudy), but it is easily cleaned with a polishing rag.
Turquoise comes in an incredible variety of blue and green hues. It is a prized stone for many cultures around the world, and was actually one of the first gemstones to be mined 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia, making turquoise one of the oldest of the precious stones. For more on the many different varieties of turquoise please see the home page.