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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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yellow sapphireI'm not sure how meaningful it is to reference the Gregorian calendar just as we recognize a critical date (today) on the Mayan calendar, but even though the former calendar was released in 1582, and even though it has plenty of competition from other times and other cultures, I'm going to go ahead and share the Gregorian calendar's poem for the September birthstone (Sapphire):

A maiden born when September leaves
Are rustling in September's breeze,
A sapphire on her brow should bind
`Twill cure diseases of the mind.

So...we've encountered the various theories that the specially designated birthstones can create lasting love, happy marriages, and promote the virginity of women, and now we find that the Sapphire is the ancient precursor of Prozac!  But seriously, even today devotees of the power of stones say that Sapphires promote mental and spiritual clarity, and encourage inner strength and confidence.

The exquisite example from SilverGirlUK on the site shows just how special this stone is, in terms of beauty and elegance.  A side note -- I always encourage you to peruse the shops I mention from the site -- there is so much incredible talent out there in the jewelry design and beading world! 

But back to the subject at hand; Sapphire is a transparent to opaque precious gemstone, a form of aluminum oxide known as corundum.  It is one of the most prized gemstones; though they can be found throughout the world, those with the highest value come from Kashmir.  Most people think of Sapphires as blue stones, but in fact, they can be yellow, as shown here, or colorless, pink, orange, green, golden, purple, and black.  Many sapphires today are heat-treated to improve or darken the color.  When dealing with a stone as precious as a Sapphire, I would always recommend you consult with an expert, to ensure you are paying an appropriate price and getting the value and purity you are seeking. 





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