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Bead of the Week

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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emeraldThe Gregorian calendar provides this little snippet of a poem for the lucky ones whose May birthstone is emerald.

Who first beholds the light of day
In spring's sweet flowery month of May
And wears an emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and happy wife.

Lara's Perfect Gems (from features this necklace using natural, untreated, translucent emerald beads. Yes, emeralds are usually much more faceted and glittery, but I'd never seen natural emerald beads and thought I would share this version with you -- also quite lovely!  Emeralds are a variety of the mineral beryl, colored green by additions of chromium and sometimes iron.  Emeralds are the rarest of gemstones, and by weight, considered the most precious.  It is easy to find (and afford) synthetic emeralds, so if you're looking for the real thing, beware of imitations!  The clear emerald stone you've likely seen more often, unlike these more opaque beads, have been cut and polished to create the 'clear green crystal' effect. 

Emeralds have been found in Colombia, Brazil, Russia and Africa.  Qualities/conditions associated with emeralds include prosperity, love, compassion, healing, and abundance in general.  Having once owned a fairly large emerald, I can testify that it is an incredibly beautiful stone, to be greatly enjoyed whether or not it happens to be your birthstone.  I am now entranced by the idea of finding and acquiring actual emerald beads such as those shown here. 

If you enjoyed this blog post on the birthstone of May, you may also enjoy a previous post on the precious birthstone of April, the diamond.  You're also invited to check out our blog posts out at The Bead Collection and learn more about jewels, gemstones, precious metals, and all the makings of fine beadwork and jewelry!



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