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jade newThis is a lovely hand-carved pendant of natural Nephrite Jade from New Zealand. Maori designs carved in jade are steeped in religious and spiritual belief. They tell stories of ancestors long lost, depict spirits from the heavens, earth, and underworld, show historical lineage and paint images of the natural world that surround and surrounded them. They are no doubt beautiful, but they’re more than a form of art. For Maori they create a strong connection with their ancestors and the natural world they live in. It was believed by Maori that as a carving was worn against the skin it absorbed some of that person's essence. As carvings were passed down through the family they absorbed essence from each family member, creating a direct ancestral connection through the necklace itself. This is one reason why Maori design is so special, it is more than just an art form.

This special piece measures approx. 70 mm long (approx.. 2 3/4") x approx. 35 mm. (just shy of 1 1/2") at its widest point. Thickness is approx. 3 mm. Hole at top for hanging is approx. 2 1/2 mm. wide.

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agateAgate, June's birthstone, is a product of volcanic activity, and is found throughout the world in stone nodules called 'geodes'. If you've never seen or held a geode, look for them in stores that deal in minerals and gems -- they are fascinating. They remind me of an oyster or a fortune cookie -- you never know what special thing you are going to find inside. Agates have been used for art and craft purposes since ancient times -- for rings, cameos, drinking vessels, and carvings. They come in many colors -- white, bluish gray, yellow, orange, green, brown, black, and purple, as shown in this example from MiskiaD on Etsy.com. The stone is characterized by bands of concentric, irregular rings, and are often referred to as 'banded'.

You may enjoy the optimistic nature of the Gregorian calendar's poem for those who are born in the month of June:

Who comes with summer to this earth,
And owes to June her hour of birth,
With ring of agate on her hand
Can health, wealth, and long life command

Who wouldn't be tempted to just pretend their birthstone was agate, with a 'fortune' like that?  If you enjoyed this post on agate, you might also be interested in The Bead Collection's post from some time ago called 'A is for Agate Beads'.  Find that here on this web site, and also don't forget to check out our sister Etsy store at http://tinyurl.com/atcs2p3    We have a wonderful strand of Picasso Agate beads for some lucky jewelry designer's next creative necklace/earring project. 

Comments   

0 # Pamela Weaver 2012-12-19 23:42
Thanks for the info! Loved the poem as well.
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0 # Sheila McLaughlin 2012-12-21 23:41
Thank you, Pamela!
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