See Beadshaper Gallery for fabulous fashionable hand crafted jewelry.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Amethyst is a purple quartz that was known to prehistoric people as evidenced by amethyst stones found in neolithic graves. The word comes from Greek and means without drunkeness. The ancient Greeks believed that drinking wine from an amethyst cup would prevent intoxication. Nobility from those of ancient Egypt to the more recent monarchs of 19th Century Europe wore amethyst jewelry. Its purple color is traditionally associated with royalty. Each of the 12 tribes of ancient Israel had its own stone. Amethyst was the stone of the tribe of Dan. The Christian clergy in Rennaisance times considered amethyst a sign of chastity and often wore amethyst rings.

The amethyst gems pictured above are part of a necklace that can be found at METAL JEWELRY SHAPER

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Affair of the Necklace

This is a complicated story, but one with great political effect in 18th Century France. King Louis XV commissioned a very expensive diamond necklace from the jewelers, Boehmer and Bassenge, for his mistress, Madame Du Barry. Louis the XV died before the necklace was completed and Madame Du Barry was removed from the scene. The jewelers then tried to sell it to the new king and queen, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, but they refused. Then along came a woman by the name of Jean de Saint-Remy de Valois whose claim to fame was that she was the daughter of the illegitimate son of an earlier French king. She became the mistress of Cardinal Rohan who aspired to become a minister of the king. Jean de Valois and her husband concocted a plot in which she duped Cardinal Rohan into arranging a fictitious purchase of the necklace by Queen Marie Antoinette without the queen's knowledge. Jean de Valois' husband took the necklace out of France where it was broken up and the parts were sold off for large sums of money. When the jewelers tried to collect their commission from the queen, she refused to pay saying she knew nothing about the fictitious sale. Cardinal Rohan and the other people involved in the affair were arrested and there was a sensational trial. Cardinal Rohan was eventually aquitted. The queen then lost favor with the people because she appeared to be frivolous. This ended up being one of a number of factors leading to the French Revolution.
The necklace in the picture is not the one in the Affair and is not diamond. You can find an assortment of necklaces at Beadshaper and at Metal Jewelry Shaper. You can also purchase Rose's necklaces at various art shows in California. See Classes and Shows for upcoming shows

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cubic Zirconia

Cubic Zirconia is a synthetic material that looks like and feels like diamond, but is less expensive. Baddeleyite, the natural precursor of zirconia was first discovered in 1892. Pure natural zirconia was discovered in 1937 by Stackelberg and Chudoba. The first attempts at synthesizing zirconia were made in France in the 1960s, but the method for the practical production of zirconia began in Russia in the 1970s. At first, its main use was in laser physics. Later it became used in jewelry as a less expensive substitute for diamonds.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Beaded Clothing

Beaded Clothing

Embroidering clothing with beads goes back to prehistoric times. A fossil of a Cro-Magnon man from 30,000 B.C was excavated in Russia. His fur clothing was beaded with ivory beads. Northern Chinese animal hide clothing containing embroidered shell beads dating from 5000 BC have been found. In ancient times the Egyptians embroidered beads made of quartz into their clothing. Clothes with beaded sleeves were found in an excavation in Central Asia of a Bactrian settlement of the first Century B.C. Beads were embroidered into religious clothing in Europe in the Middle Ages (from around 1100 A.D.). Later beginning in Renaissance times beaded embroidery became more common and elaborate in secular clothing. Beaded clothing was particularly popular in African and American Indian cultures. Beaded clothing was considered a symbol of royalty in many African cultures. In some African tribes from the 16th Century, the king would wear clothing made completely of beads. Beaded clothing, belts, and moccasins have been used by American Indian tribes for centuries. The beads used in making clothing were important items of trade in various cultures. The beads used for embroidery were usually made of shells, bones, or stones in prehistoric and early historic times, but with the invention of glass, that material became popular for sewing into clothing.

Would you like to sew beads into your clothing?
One focal bead sewn into your dress can make it unique. There is a focal bead gallery at BEADSHAPER . .

Monday, June 1, 2015

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis lazuli is a rare opaque blue stone. The darker the blue, the greater the quality. The word lapis comes from the Latin word for stone. Lazuli means blue and comes from Sanskrit by way of Persian to Arabic to Latin. It was first mined in the Indus Valley in what is now northern Afghanistan (known in ancient times as Bactria) around 7000 BC. Lapis from Afghanistan is still considered the finest quality even to this day. Lapis was subsequently traded to other places where it was prized for its beauty and rarity and available only to the nobility. Carvings made of lapis were found in burial tombs of the royalty of ancient Sumer, the first historical civilization in Mesopotamia. The ancient Egyptian royalty owned jewelry made of lapis which they imported from Bactria . They ground up lapis to make paint and cosmetics. Medieval artists also used lapis to make a bright blue color for their paintings.
The lapis ring pictured above can be found at METAL JEWELRY SHAPER