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Pamela Huizenga is about the beauty of color, textures and shapes found in gemstones.

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Pamela Huizenga, Jewelry Designer

Summer-Time Jewelry

Rough Aquamarine Bracelet for Summer

When I think about summer-time jewelry I think of cool, crisp and blue! Now, this may be because I am from Florida and I think about the ocean. Traveling around coastal Florida and over to the Islands, I have gotten to see a huge variety of blues; greenish blues, light blues, rich blues, deep blues and more. The ocean and beach say Summer to me!

When designing jewelry for the summer I try to keep in mind the clothing being worn. Up and down the coast, summer often means linen, khaki, white, pastel colors. These characteristics hold true for most landlocked locations as well.

The first stone I go to when designing for summer is Aquamarine. I love it’s varied hues, it’s crispness and it’s similarity to cool fresh water. I use cabochons, faceted stones and rough aquamarine. It is easy to combine it with other summertime colors.

Many of my summer-time pieces will combine Aquamarine with Rainbow Moonstone, White Topaz, Pearls, Crystal Quartz and usually some sparkling Smokey Quartz to give some grounding. I actually do a whole series called “Seaside” that uses variations of those stones. I will also throw in some cool shells or sea biscuit fossils.

The key to summer-time jewelry is comfort, easy and relaxation. Find something that will go with a number of outfits. Find something that isn’t too trendy or that will be out of style for next year. And above all, find something you Love!

Seaside Bracelet for Summer

The Healing Attributes of the Kyanite Gemstone

Are you a believer in the saying that “Everything that Happens is for a Purpose?” If so then this stone may be especially important to you. The Kyanite Stone brings a calming energy to the mental madness that surrounds us daily. It is also known to not retain negative vibrations, helping to calm the mind and spirit during life.

Tuning your mind and body to get rid of the imbalances in life is important to keep your body functioning at the highest level possible. The Kyanite gemstone is known for its ability to open and clear communication channels in the body, allowing the brain to better communicate with other parts of the body. According to the chakra system, this stone is suggested to be worn near the throat, other known as throat chakra, however wearing it anywhere can allow the same calming effect.

This light reflecting stone is known to bring a sense of calmness to every situation it is confronted with, dispelling anger and frustration, encouraging perseverance in difficult situations. During meditation the Kyanite stone is at its best allowing the mind to be clear of confusion and garbage, creating better communication and better reasoning without distractions.

If you feel as though you are not communicating effectively with a person in your life, perhaps meditating with the Kyanite gemstone will help resolve obvious conflict.

Four other attributes of this stone include:

  • Bringing tranquility
  • Boosts immune system
  • Manifesting properties
  • Induces dream recall

Life can be stressful at times and we participate in many activities to alleviate stress and increase our productivity. The dark blue variation of the Kyanite stone is said to be more powerful in increasing self-healing. It is also effective for brain problems, infections, bringing back physical strength and healing conditions that are due to a lack of oxygen. Purchase a kyanite stone necklace and see for yourself if it helps you alleviate your stress. We want to hear about your experience…

The Colors of The Kyanite Gemstone

The blue Kyanite stone is a beautiful stone that looks much like the sapphire gemstone. The Kyanite gemstone actually comes in multiple colors, from blue to green to clear to brown, however the most popular form of the stone is deep blue like the sapphire stone. Although the Kyanite gemstone is nowhere near entering the elite circle that the sapphire stone runs it, it is becoming more popular among jewelry designers and stone cutters.

The strength of the Kyanite gemstone is not as durable as some other stones, therefore the gem is better worn as earrings and pendants, however making stone bracelets with this stone is not completely out of the picture. We enjoy making stone bracelets with the Kyanite stone using bezel settings, a band of metal containing a groove or flange to place the stone in. With a bezel setting the prepared stone is placed into the bezel and the metal is pressed down over the edges of stone, locking it into place, making the stone within the bracelet more stable.

The most desired color of this beautiful gemstone is in a deep blue, translucent Kyanite stones are the rarest form this stone is found in. Deposits of the stone can be found in Australia, Brazil, India, Switzerland, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Serbia and the United States.

This gemstone is a beautiful stone all by itself, there are no known treatments that enhance its beauty. When cutting this stone it is best cut as a cabochon or fact cut. A cabochon cut is when the stone is cut with a flat bottom and a convex top allowing the stones star features to shine through.  A facet cut displays the internal reflections of light known as brilliance, creating brightly colored flashes of reflected light known as scintillation.

This beautiful Kyanite stone is works well as both Silver and Gold Jewelry as earrings, pendants, rings and necklaces. The Kyanite gemstone goes well with:

  • Your Little Black Dress
  • Jeans and a Summery White Shirt
  • Your Holiday Dress
  • Outfits Containing: Blacks, Blues, Whites, Reds, Oranges, and Purples among others

Wearing this stone is easy and taking care of it is even easier as it does not require much care. Cleaning solvents should not be used on the Kyanite stone as with most quality gemstones. This stone is known to be the self-cleaning stone that never needs to manually be cleaned.

 

The Fine Tuned Art of Gemstone Cutting

Like preparing a fine meal, or capturing a photograph at the exact moment so that motion is preserved in a still image, the art of cutting a gemstone is a delicate science that demands control, precision, and most of all, intuition.  It is crucial to have just the right balance between technique and spontaneity in order to achieve optimal results.  This standard holds true for most artistic endeavors, but especially pertains to the process of cutting the opal gemstone.

Gemstone cutting is the process of applying progressive abrasion to raw materials.  Professional gem cutters are called lapidors, and those who specifically cut opal stones occupy only a small niche in the field.  Opal cutting is mostly a trade passed down from generation to generation, and prominent in regions containing operative opal mines.

The process begins with the parcel, or rough material, that the lapidor has decided is worth cutting, a decision that often yields unpredictable results.  A diamond saw is the most commonly used tool to cut rough opal into ‘ rubs’ (opal in the rough shape of a stone).

There are 5 ways to cut opal free-form:

  1. On the wheels of a regular cabbing unit, silicon carbide or diamond
  2. With a Dremel or Foredom flexible shaft device and changeable bits
  3. With the sponge blocks that have diamond mesh of various grits on one side
  4. On a piece of glass with a slurry of grits
  5. With sandpaper by hand, glued to wood blocks or to wood dowels of various thickness

During this process, any excess material, cracks and potch (colorless opal) is cut off, and what remains is cut into a basic stone shape.  With stones such as diamonds, sapphire, or topaz, the play of color relies on the application of facets to fully develop.  However, in the opal the play of color has already been determined by nature, and man’s interference should remain at a minimum.

When cutting opals, the lapidary must assume the role of a passenger instead of a driver.  He/She must be receptive and responsive to the material in order to activate the natural beauty.  Novice opal cutters are often warned not to “chase the fire,” a term that refers to the imposition of any pre-conceived expectations or ideals on the process.

Aspiring to certain ideals is a habit present in all aspects of life- personally, professionally, culturally-but when cutting an opal it is necessary to begin from a point of complete neutrality.  Only then will the lapidary be free to adapt to the unique set of circumstances which arise with each stone.  Intuition is an equally important ingredient in discovering the opals play on color, and when combined with proper skill and technical expertise, the lapidary is able to give life to an inanimate rock.

The Turquoise Gemstone

History of the Stone:

The Turquoise Gemstone other known as the stone that heals. The Turquoise stone was initially discovered in the ruins of Ancient Egypt, dating from approximately 3000 BC where grave furnishings with turquoise inlay were uncovered in the famous tombs of King Tutenkomen. It is believed that the stone was associated or fully represented the goddess Hathor, one of the most important deities of Ancient Egypt who personified the principles of love, beauty, music, motherhood and joy. A similar blue ceramic has been recovered from Bronze Age burial sites in the British Isles. To date, there are six turquoise mines in this region, all on the southwest coast of the peninsula.

Medial Uses:

  • The attributes of the turquoise stone are widely recognized. In holistic medicine, the color turquoise purportedly has a calming effect on patients, and is particularly used to treat patients prone to anxiety disorders.
  • Mainstream psychiatric hospitals use turquoise and other light tones of blue and green to calm patients by painting the walls in these colors. Nurses often wear turquoise colored clothing to enhance the calming nature of these colors.

Where this Stone is Found:

Many historic sites have been depleted, the SouthWest US has become a significant source of the turquoise gemstone, with Arizona and Nevada being especially rich in resources. In the US, turquoise is often recovered as a byproduct of large-scale copper mining operations, yet Nevada has yielded significant quantities of the turquoise gem that has not been recovered as a byproduct of other mining operations.

The finest qualities of the Turquoise gemstone are found in Iran (near Nishapur). Other deposits are in Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Israel, Mexico, Tanzania and the United States.

Interesting Features of the Turquoise Gemstone:

One of the most interesting features about the turquoise gem is not the prophylactic qualities it’s said to have, but the longevity these have claimed. Placing value and personality on inanimate objects has been common in human history, but throughout the course of time the characteristics or meaning the object represents seems to shift.

The fascinating attribute of the turquoise stone is that it has represented a holy property that has extended to nearly every culture throughout the history of time. This illustrates a genuine sacred nature. Below are a few examples of the many ways turquoise has been used for religious purposes:

  • In Exodus 28, the Jewish high priest wore a breastplate made of turquoise
  • In Persian culture, turquoise was thought to change color to reflect the wearer’s mood and protect from untoward forces.
  • The Aztecs used turquoise to craft mosaic objects such as masks, knives and shields.

 

The Sapphire: September’s Gemstone

The sapphire is beautiful in this custom designed pendant in 18k gold by Pamela Huizenga

The sapphire, a precious gemstone of the conundrum family, was once said to be the firmament in which Earth is embedded.  Over the years it has served as a timeless symbol of truth, faithfulness and peace and has been used to promote protection and prophetic wisdom.  This gem is primarily known and favored for its striking shades of blue, ranging from rich and velvety navy to dazzling and reflective indigo.  The color blue has long been associated with feelings of harmony, friendship and loyalty, qualities which require time to cultivate and solidify, yet prove their worth in the long run.

Sapphires are actually found in almost every hue, the only exception being red, in which it is then referred to as a ruby.  Although primarily composed of aluminum oxide, the color of the stone is a result of the small amounts of iron and chrome, thought of as impurities, crystallizing under the pressure and heat of great depths.  Stones of the conundrum family are classified by their hardness, wherein the sapphire is exceeded only by the diamond.

The geographical origins of the stone can be traced to Sri Lanka, but today significant sapphire deposits are found in:

  • Eastern Australia
  • Thailand
  • Sri Lanka
  • Madagascar
  • East Africa
  • North America in a few locations, such as at “Gem Mountain”, and in or near the Missouri River in the region around Helena, Montana.

The presence and significance of the sapphire in human life dates back to ancient times and has served a wide variety of purposes over the centuries.  In addition to its prestige, the sapphire was highly regarded to have medicinal properties, such as curing blindness, mental illness and protecting those who wore it from envy and ill will.

It was even said to contain enough power to ward off snake poison, and a common practice during med-evil times was placing a serpent in a sapphire chamber to reduce the poisonous effects of its venom!  Although many of these myths have dissolved over the course of time, sapphires remain synonymous with healing and protective qualities. Ground to a powder, the blue stone was believed to strengthen eyesight and to cure:

  • Colic
  • Rheumatism
  • Mental illness

The ritual of assigning specific gemstones to zodiac signs emerged centuries ago, and has evolved into the birthstone tradition we know today. The sapphire corresponds with the month of September, and allows those who wear it to embody all of the elegance, timelessness and reverence it represents.

The pendant pictured shows a natural sapphire crystal. The stone has not been cut, shaped or polished. The crystal structure is trigonal. This pendant is set in 18k yellow gold and is accented with natural yellow rose cut diamonds.

 

Copyright 2011 Pamela Huizenga Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.