Jun 26, 2014

A to Z of Gemstones - Q is for Quartz

Along with Feldspars, Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals found on earth. It is also one of the most popular gemstone groups in the world of coloured stones.The name 'quartz' is thought to be derived from the German word 'quarz', which likely originated from the Slavic and Polish words meaning 'hard'.

All quartz gemstones share the same silicon dioxide (SiO2) chemical composition, but they have differing crystal classes and formations.  The two main varieties of Quartz are macrocrystalline quartz and cryptocrystalline quartz. 

Macrocrystalline quartz is typically transparent to translucent and forms with larger crystals than cryptocrystalline quartz. Macrocrystalline quartz includes amethyst, aventurine, rock crystal, blue quartz, citrine, hawk's eye, prasiolite, quartz cat's eye, smoky quartz, rose quartz and tiger's eye.

Cryptocrystalline quartz is usually opaque or translucent in clarity. It forms with microscopically small crystals, which in most cases cannot be seen even under magnification. Cryptocrystalline quartz intergrown with moganite, a polymorph of quartz, is referred to as chalcedony. Chalcedony actually includes a wide variety of quartz gemstones, including agate, chrysoprase, bloodstone, jasper and carnelian.

Quartz gemstones are found in locations all around the world. Their colours are as variable as the spectrum but clear quartz is the most common colour followed by white or cloudy quartz. Purple, rose and grey or brown are also common colours. Cryptocrystalline quartz varieties can be multi-coloured. Colourless, transparent quartz crystals represent the modern concept of "crystal". 

Quartz crystals are among the earliest talismans and every culture on the planet has attributed magical powers to them. Native American Indians, African tribes, ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Romans, Scots and countless other cultures used Clear Quartz in diagnostic healing, meditations and spiritual development, as religious objects and in funerary rites, and to dispel evil and magical enchantments.


Pictured above is my Snow and Crystal Quartz Sterling Silver Necklace. This is an asymmetrical necklace which includes two large Rock Crystal (clear quartz) bead. Pictured below is my Rose Quartz Butterfly Necklace where the Rose Quartz has been used for both the body and the wings of the butterfly.


 Below are some more examples of Quartz jewellery from members of the Jewelry on Etsy team.




Jun 25, 2014

Midnight Dreaming

I am currently working through updating a few of my product pictures as well as taking pictures of new pieces. One of the products for which I have updated the photos is my "Midnight Dreaming" or Snowflake Obsidian and Onyx Necklace.

Having previously just had photos of the necklace sitting on a bust it meant that only the front of the necklace could be seen rather than the whole chain. As you can see from my new photos the chain is now visible.

This necklace is made up of five central beads of shiny faceted onyx. Forming frames below the onyx beads are beads of Snowflake Obsidian in their distinctive black and white pattern. Sterling silver wire forms a frame above the onyx beads with some added Jet coloured Swarovski Crystals. The chain is made up of "S" links alternating with bead links of both jet Swarovski crystals and snowflake obsidian.


Jun 19, 2014

A to Z of Gemstones - P is for Prehnite

Prehnite is a translucent to transparent gem-quality hydrated calcium aluminum silicate. The first mineral to be named after an individual, Prehnite was first discovered in 1788 in the Karoo dolerites of Cradock, South Africa. Prehnite was later named after its discoverer, Colonel Hendrik von Prehn (1733-1785), a Dutch mineralogist and an early governor of the Cape of Good Hope colony.

Until recently prehnite was a rare collector's gemstone but new deposits have now made it more readily available. In China prehnite is sometimes referred to as 'grape jade' owing to its typical nodule formations which often resemble a bunch of grapes.

 Its color is usually yellow-green to apple-green,with a soft apple green considered the most desirous. It can also occur in rarer colors including yellow, orange and blue, with the rare orange colour having been discovered in South Africa as recently as 2000.

Some of the most important deposits of Prehnite come from South Africa, Australia, Canada and China with deposits also being found in Namibia, Germany, Scotland, France and the United States.

Above is a picture of a Prehnite necklace that I made that has since been sold. Below some prehnite beads have been used for my popular V style earrings.


Below are some more examples of Prehnite jewellery from members of the Jewelry on Etsy team.




Jun 16, 2014

Newsletter Launch

Having had a sign up list for quite a while at markets etc. I have finally set up and published my first newsletter!


Sign up sheets for my newsletter can be found on either my website, (on the contact page) or on my facebook page. Alternatively you can click on the link above and then subscribe that way.

Jun 12, 2014

A to Z of Gemstones - O is for Opal

Opal, my absolute favourite gemstone, is a gem-quality form of hydrated amorphous silicon dioxide. The name Opal was probably derived either from the Sanskrit word "upala" meaning "valuable stone", or from the Greek work "opallus" which means to see a change in color.

Precious opal is known for its remarkable ability to diffract light, which results in rainbow-like colours that change with the angle of observation - known as 'play of colour'. This  colour in precious opal is caused by the regular array of silica spheres and voids diffracting white light, and breaking it into the colours of the spectrum. The diameter and spacing of the spheres controls the colour range of an opal. Small spheres produce opal of blue colour only (the most common), whereas larger spheres produce red (the rarest colour).

Fire opal can sometimes exhibit slight colour play, but it is better known for its vivid body colour. Common opal is usually opaque, rarely translucent, and lacks play of colour.

Approximately 95% of the world's precious opal comes from Australia, and opal is Australia's national gemstone. The remaining 5% are mined in Mexico, in Brazil's north, in the US states of Idaho and Nevada, and more recently in Ethiopia and Mali.

According to an old Australian Aboriginal legend, the Creator came down from the heavens on a rainbow and delivered a message of peace for all mankind. Stones that were near the place where His feet touched the ground suddenly came to life and began to sparkle. This was believed to be the birth of opal.


Pictured above is my Boulder Opal and Sterling Silver Necklace.

Below are some more examples of Opal Jewellery from members of the Jewellery on Etsy team.




Jun 11, 2014

Launch of New Website

I've enjoyed having my own website for the last few years and really liked the design that my website designer came up with. Unfortunately it was not user friendly and I was unable to make any changes to it myself.

I have therefore now created a replacement website using WIX. While I had to use a pre-determined template I liked the fact that it was easy to alter and change the set up of the template in order to make the website my own. Even better - the website set up includes ecommerce functions so I can now sell direct from my own website rather than redirecting traffic to my Etsy store.

So now I can celebrate the launch of the new Shazzabeth Creations website! Let me know what you think.

Jun 3, 2014

Handmade Weekend

Handmade Store

Handmade, as mentioned in previous posts, took place this weekend. It had taken me a lot of time to get ready for the weekend but it was all worth it in the end.

 Felt Exhibition

Everything at Handmade centred around a central Handmade Hub that included the Handmade Store, a Felt Exhibition (from 16 of their artisans), a Brother sewing machines display, a coffee shop and a couple of areas where people could sit and complete their creations.

Handmade Hub

My Byzantine chainmaille classes were held in the afternoons with the Saturday class being completely full and the Sunday class just one short of being full. Not having taught chainmaille to so many at once before I had underestimated the time it would take and in the end only one student managed to complete her bracelet in the class time. Fortunately though all students had decent lengths of chain going by the end of the class and had mastered the weave.

My Class

Looking forward now to another great Handmade weekend next year!


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