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red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.


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sugilite pendantThere's a delightful poem I'm fond of that you may have heard -- "When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple". I've included it below if you haven't had the pleasure of reading or hearing it before -- or even if you have, you may want to revisit it. After the poem, I talk about my favorite kind of purple BEADS and GEMSTONES, in case you, too, would like to get an early start on wearing purple.

Note: The gorgeous purple Sugilite pendant you see here is by Mahajewels on


Jenny Joseph’s “When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple”

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
My purple gemstone of choice? Sugilite! Pronounced 'Soo-Gi-Lite' abd also known as Lavulite, it  is a relatively rare pink to purple cyclosilicate mineral with a complex chemical formula. The mineral is commonly pronounced with a soft "g", as in "ginger". However, as with most minerals, its pronunciation is intended to be the same as the person it is named after; in this case, the Japanese name Sugi has a hard "g", as in "geese".

Sugilite was first described in 1944 by the Japanese petrologist Ken-ichi Sugi (1901–1948) for an occurrence on Iwagi Islet, Japan. It is found in a similar environment at Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada. It is now most commonnly mined in South Africa, Liguria and Tuscany, Italy; New South Wales, Australia and Madhya Pradesh, India.

sugilite stonesThe tumbled Sugilite stones shown here (from TheWindingsShop on have a wonderful light to dark purple color. Some use this type of stone for meditation or crystal healing. Those who follow such practices believe it to be a very spiritual stone, promoting individuality as well as universal love. Sugilite is said to help with understanding the "big questions" in life, and to help those who feel alienated or alone. All I can say is that we were completely entranced with the Sugilite pendants we found at the last Tucson Gem & Mineral show, and came home with one beautiful specimen for the shop.

What can I say? Consider pairing Sugilite with your best purple dress and a red hat 'that doesn't go' -- and eating three pounds of sausages in one sitting. And celebrate the joy of getting older.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our post on jewelry designer Lauren Alleyne, who also loves purple!

Until Next Time,


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