I recently designed a series of birthstone necklaces that are unique, elegant, and simple.
I fill custom made hand blown glass globes with rough nuggets of colorful gemstones.
The globes are capped with sterling silver, and they dangle from a long, sturdy sterling silver chain.
Finding the right stones for these necklaces has proven to be quite a challenge. They must be small enough to fit in the globe, and bright enough to look pretty behind the glass.
Some stones are significantly transformed processing, and the original rough looks very different from the finished product. Blue sapphire is one example – frequently the rough looks like ordinary rocks. Happily, I found a mix of tiny golden, orange, greenish-blue, and pink sapphires from Tanzania that look great in the little glass globe.
Bright green emeralds are very expensive. I was lucky enough to find a small quantity of emerald rough stones from Brazil. It took hours to sort through the tiny pebbles and chip away the host stone where possible (happily, I like doing this sort of thing). From that I was able to get an even smaller quantity of lovely green pebbles.
I made this Aquamarine version on special request. I have enough stones left over to make a few more.
I was a little worried that the stone would be too pale, but I think it turned out very well.
Finding enough stones to make more than one necklace has been the biggest challenge.
Even though the design of the necklace is simple, the materials to make them come from seven different sources (and counting)!
In general, I strive to use stones that are minimally processed. Most have only been cleaned up and perhaps polished or rough faceted. Bright red rubies are an exception – nearly all rubies you see on the market have been treated with very high heat to improve their color and clarity. Some have a “flux” solution added to fill in cracks and make the stone stronger. These rubies were certainly heat treated.
I’ll be adding more necklaces to the series as I locate the materials. If you are interested in purchasing one of those you see here, act fast – I have a very limited amount of supplies on hand.