Light of the Silvery Moon
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Have you ever heard of Toadstone? To the Tudors and Jacobeans it was something sought after and to be worn in amulet and jewelry. This amazing “stone” desirability goes as far back as the days of ancient Rome. This stone had such a reputation that even royalty wore them. It was told that toadstone came from the head of toads and that it had miracleous power! Toadstone was said to cure many ailments and offered protection against many diseases among which included, kidney diseases, protection for newborns, protection from epilepsy, palsy, counteract all kinds of poisons, cures fever, cures sores and bowl problems, it was also helped to ease the pain of childbirth. Amazing!
Most often it was placed into an open bezel ring (twin bezels if you needed extra strength) the toadstone was thought to give off heat to the finger on which it was worn if the presence of poison were detected. Think of all the toads that had to die in order for people to feel protected!
In reality toadstone are the button-shaped fossil teeth of the fish Lepidotes. In folklore they were once thought to have come from the heads of living toads.
Friday, January 14, 2011
One of my the shops that graces my "favorites" on Etsy.com is Paper Finch Studio. The artist creates eco-art that leaves the view with the feeling of enchantment. Prices are reasonable and the product is incredible. Don't just take my word for it...take a look! http://www.etsy.com/shop/paperfinchart
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Diamonds have a long history. As early as the sixth century in India there is a description of the perfect diamond. It was said that it should have six sharp points, 8 very flat and similar sides and twelve straight and sharp edges. Even though the perfect diamond was described it was very rarely found. In India only the Brahmins were allowed to possess colorless diamonds. Only a few good quality diamonds made it out of India prior to 1000 A.D. After sixteen hundred years of operation the Indian diamond mines finally dried up. The Chinese were not interested in diamonds for esthetic qualities only in their usefulness as a cutting tool and for their mystical qualities. It was not until the fifteenth century that gemstone faceting was perfected.
In 1730 an alternate source for diamonds was found in Brazil. It only took about 135 years for the Brazilian mines to dry up and it did not take long for entrepreneurs to discover the much sought after gemstone in South Africa in 1867. Today South African mines produces about 97% of the world’s diamond supply.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Pearls, cultured or freshwater, are considered to hold the power of love, money, protection, and luck. Pearls are thought to give wisdom through experience, to hasten karma and to bond engagements and love relationships. The Greeks believed that wearing pearls would promote marital bliss and prevent newlywed women from crying.
Early Chinese myths told of pearls falling from the sky when dragons fought against each other. Other ancient legends say that pearls are the tears of the gods.
Monday, January 10, 2011
What is a diamond? A fine diamond with desired fire and clarity is 100 percent pure carbon. Only one atom of nitrogen in a hundred thousand atoms of carbon can give off a yellowish tinge to the stone making it less valuable. Most diamonds are so small that the off color is barely noticeable. A truly flawless diamond is rare, about 1 in 800.
It was not until diamonds were faceted that they were considered more valuable then rubies and emeralds. Diamonds are the hardest of all natural substances and is the only gemstone that can be used as a cutting tool, making it more useful then any other gemstone.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Gemstone Folklore: In ancient times, garnets were exchanged as gifts between friends to show their mutual affection for each other and to insure that they meet again. Garnet’s powers are said to include healing, strength, and protection and it is often worn to relieve inflammations of the skin. It is also thought to regulate the heart and blood flow as well as curing depression.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
One of the London’s Natural History Museum great treasures is the Heron-Allen Amethyst also known as the Delhi Purple Sapphire. This infamous stone has quite the spooky tale.
Some 37 years ago Peter Tandy, a young curator at the Natural History Museum, happened upon a jewel while working among the vast treasures of the museum. From a scientific perspective, the stone was nothing special, though its setting was rather bizarre, bound by a silver ring decorated with astrological symbols and mystical words with two scarab-carved gems attached. It was a typewritten note that was with the jewel, that caught Tandy’s eye.
The note said “This stone is trebly accursed and is stained with the blood, and the dishonour of everyone who has ever owned it,” which had been written by Edward Heron-Allen, a scientist and the amethyst’s last owner.
According to the Heron-Allen family, the Delhi Purple Sapphire had been brought to the United Kingdom by a Bengal cavalryman Colonel W. Ferris. He had recovered the amethyst in India, after it had been looted from the Temple of Indra in Cawnpore during the Indian Mutiny in 1857. Ferris and his son both lost all their money and their health after owning the jewel. A family friend committed suicide after possessing it for a short time.
Heron-Allen when took possession of the amethyst in 1890 he was immediately struck with bad luck and misfortune. He gave the jewel away twice – both friends were consequently fraught with disasters. He tried to throw the amethyst into the Regent’s Canal to be rid of the cursed jewel. The Delhi Purple Sapphire was returned to him only three months by a jeweler who had purchased it from a dredger.
By 1904, he had it locked away until after his death. However, even after the amethyst passed into the hands of the museum, it is still exerting a baleful presence on any that touched the jewel.
John Whittaker, the museum’s former head of micropaleontology, took the amethyst to the first symposium of the Heron-Allen Society. He encountered the most horrific thunderstorm he had ever experienced on the way home. The night before the second annual symposium he became violently ill with stomach flu and he didn’t make the third symposium due to a sudden kidney stone.
This interesting stone as of 2007 is now on display (for anyone who dares) a the London Natural History Museum What do you make of this? Cursed or luck of the draw? Would you touch the Delhi Purple Sapphire?
Friday, January 7, 2011
This brooch is patterned after the dragonesque (also known as “S” brooches)brooches found in the UK dating back to 100 A.D. in the Romano-British period. Most of the samples found to date are made of bronze enameled in colors of blue, red, green and white. Some have stones in the eyes and other do not. These popular dragonesque brooches were not only decorative, but highly functional fasteners with a strongly-curved pin that would have held a thick fold of cloth. http://www.etsy.com/listing/55228220/celtic-sterling-silver-dragonesque-s
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The Black Orlov diamond also known as “the Eye of Brahma,” was discovered in India in the early 1800’s. According to legend the 195-carat black diamond was allegedly found in a Hindu idol at a shrine near Pondicherry, India, where it was stolen by a Hindu monk. The theft of the diamond supposedly summoned a malicious spirit to embrace the Eye and the Eye’s owners.
The “cursed” jewel took its name from Princess Nadia Vyegin-Orlov in the late 1800’s. Coincidentally, the diamond was named the Black Orlov because of its “natural fancy black color but also to differentiate it from the Orlov Diamond, a 189.6 carat white diamond with its own storied past.
According to an Associated Press article, Princess Nadia Orlov leapt from a building in an apparent suicide in Rome, Italy, on Dec. 2, 1947, after fleeing during the Russian Revolution and selling her family jewels.
Russian Princess Leonila Galitsine-Bariatinsky also previously owned the Black Orlov. In a disturbing coincidence in November 1947, Galitsine-Bariatinsky also committed suicide by leaping from a building.
Some fifteen years earlier, J.W. Paris imported the Black Orlov into the United States and after securing the sale of the diamond also leapt to his death on April 7, 1932. After the two Russian princesses committed suicide, supposedly the curse was broken when Charles S. Winson, another jeweler in New York, purchased the Black Orlov on Friday, May 13, 1949.
Just another “cursed” gemstone. If I were a treasure hunter, I would leave the gemstones.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Tonight I felt inspired and put together a new Etsy.com treasury. It is called "A Modern Romance". The pictures are set in a sequence that tells a story.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Today one of our dragonesque brooches was featured in a new Etsy.com treasury! The treasury features pieces of jewelry that have January's birthstone, garnets. Take a look!
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Prospecting for gold was a worldwide effort going back thousands of years, even before the first money in the form of gold coins appeared about 700 B.C.
Early miners would use water power to propel gold-bearing sand over the hide of a sheep, which would trap the tiny, but heavy, flakes of gold. When the fleece had absorbed all it could hold, this ‘golden fleece’ was hung up to dry, and when dry would be beaten gently so that the gold would fall off and be recovered.
This primitive form of hydraulic mining began thousands of years ago, and was still being used by some miners as recently as the California gold rush of 1849.