One of our most popular posts was about the addiction to beading. I have to admit I show some signs of this problem myself, and that’s probably why I loop back to this theme from time to time--and in my case, the fascination is often with gemstones beads and cabs. Today I was thinking about how the earth and how it’s a sort of Library of Congress of the entire earth; every gem on every piece of jewelry was originally forged deep inside our planet, in the wildness of elements, heat, and pressure.
For years, geologists have been trying to figure out the ‘recipes’ in the natural cookbook of gemstones. For example, jade formed in dying oceans, and rubies formed from continental collisions. The earth is covered with tectonic plates, a sort of ‘crust’, of two principal types – oceanic and continental. In some places, ocean plates get pushed underneath continental ones, and get squeezed and ‘cooked’. Under these extreme conditions, the atoms involved are combined into new molecular arrangements that would never otherwise evolve. In other cases, pressures cause mountains to rise, and these forces form crystals that develop into rubies or sapphires.
The metaphors used to describe this process often remind me of cooking and baking. The elements are stirred; they are kneaded and baked, mixed and crumbled. I don’t know if it’s crazy to compare a Herkimer diamond to a finely crafted beignet (mmm, that makes me hungry for one with some chicory coffee from Café Du Monde!), but in my mind, that’s how it is; a creation combining natural elements in a specific way, exposed to heat, embellished by its own specific and unique ingredients, and in both cases, delicious!
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our post on ‘Emeralds’.