Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nadine (Bracelet)(Sterling Silver/Quartz)

("Nadine" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Beautiful and full of sparkle, this bracelet is perfect for both formal occassions, as well as, for everyday wearing.  This is a sterling silver Alternating Half-Romanov bracelet with Rock Crystal beads. Rock Crystal is the term used for the highest quality clear Quartz.  The bracelet also features accent rings made from Dragondust sterling silver wire which gives the bracelet even more of the gloreous glitz! The bracelet is 7 3/4 inches long.

Alternating Half-Romanov is an original design by Handmaden Desigs LLC.

Gemstone of the Week: Demantoid

(Demantoid image found on

Demantoid is a very rare variety of Andradite Garnet.  It was discovered in 1851 in the Ural Mountains of Russia and is considered to be one of the rarest varieties of Garnet (the blue Garnet being the most rare).  Demantoid is the green variety of Andradite and it's name comes from the old German word "Demant" meaning "diamond." It was named this because it has a very high brilliance giving it a diamond-like appearance.  Being as it is a Garnet, it has a fairly good hardness.  It's hardness ranges from 6.5-7.  It is a translucent to transparent gemstone and has a vitreous luster. An interesting thing to note is that Demantoids were often used in antique Tiffany jewelry from the mid to late 1800s into the early 1900s, so if you collect antique jewelry you should not automatically assume that the beautiful little green gems in your jewelry are Peridot as they could possibly be Demantoid (you will need to have an appraiser or gemologist look at the piece to determine which stone it is).  Demantoid Garnets can command a very high value depending on the quality, size, and what shade of green the stone is.  You can find the current per carat value of Demantoid on GemVal's website.  Demantoid may be found in a few locations in: Afghanistan, Argentina, the Canadian provinces of Quebec and the Yukon Territory, China, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, Nambia, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tajikistan, and the state of California.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Shadow Elf (Bracelet)(Sterling Silver)

("Shadow Elf bracelet" by Handmaden Designs LLC)
Elegantly complex, this is a solid sterling Shadow Elf chainmaille bracelet.  It features the beautifully faceted 'Dragondust' sterling silver wire in combination with the traditional round to create a stunning affect. Whether fore everyday wear or dressing up for a formal occasion, this is the perfect bracelet for just about any outfit or occasion.  The legnth is 7 1/4 inches long and about 1/4 inch wide.  Every part of this bracelet from the links to the clasp has been made by hand.

Shadow Elf is an original weave by Handmaden Designs LLC.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Shadow Elf

("Shadow Elf" by Handmaden Designs LLC)
Shadow Elf, as indicated by the name, is a member of the Elfweave sub-family of weaves. Specifically, it is a variant of Dark Elf.  It belongs to the Möbius-Mage-European weave families. 

Shadow Elf is an original weave by Handmaden Designs LLC.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nadine (Bracelet)(Sterling Silver)

("Nadine" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

This is a very elegant sterling silver Alternating Half-Romanov chainmaille bracelet.  The beads are a blue/green Jasper.  This bracelet combines both the beauty of the round sterling wire with the faceted "Dragondust' sterling wire.  Every link in this bracelet is entirely handmade.  It measure at a little over 7.5 inches long.

Alternating Half-Romanov is an original design by Handmaden Designs LLC.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Spessartine

(Spessartine image found on

Spessartine is an absolutely gorgeous stone.  As mentioned in a previous blog post, Spessartine is a variety of Garnet. It was discovered in 1832 and is named after where it was first found: the Spessart Mts, Germany.  Spessartine has a hardness of 6.5-7.5, may be transparent or translucent, and has a vitreous or resinous luster.. When most people thin of Garnets they think of red, however, that is not the only colour that Garnets may be found in.  Spessartine may be red, reddish orange, yellowish brown, reddish brown, or brown in colour.  Like all gemstones, Spessartine varies in value based on size, colour, and quality.  It's per carat value an can range from as low as $5 to as high as $1,500.  Spessartine is find a a great many locations.  It may be found in: Afghanistan, Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma(Myanmar), Chile, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, French Guinea, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, the moon, Turkey, England, Scotland, Wales, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, the Canadian provinces of: Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland; and Labrador, and in the states of: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Lizardite

(Lizardite image found on

Lizardite is a member of the Serpentine group of minerals/gemstones.  It was discovered in 1956 and was named after the place where it was found: Lizard Penninsula in Cornwall, England.  Lizardite only has a hardness of 2.5 so you do need to be very careful with it, if your intent is to make jewelry out of it pendants and earrings would be the safest choice for it as they receive the least of rough treatment.  It's colour may be green, green blue, yellow, or white and many examples may be a marbling of these colours or contain black specs of Magnetite. Lizardite is most often found as very fine-grained and massive aggregates, and only very rarely as small crystals.  Lizardite tends to be slightly opaque or translucent and has a resinous, waxy, pearly, or greasy luster.

When cutting Lizardite, it should be cut wet to prevent dust as Serpentine tends to contain asbestos.  In particular, the fibrous varieties, and although Lizardite is not one of the fibrous Serpentines caution is still advisable. 

Lizardite may be found in Argentina, the Atlantic Ocean, Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo(Zaire), Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kosovo, Mongolia, Morroco, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, the Pacific Ocean, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, England, Scotland, the Canadian provinces of: British Colombia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec, and the states of: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Oregon,  Texas, Utah, and Vermont,

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


("Reina" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

An elegant cuff bracelet, this piece is handcrafted from sterling silver with Prismacolored copper centerpiece.  It combines Half Persian 3in1 micromaille chains with metalsmithing accents.  All parts of this bracelet, from each ring in the chains to the clasp, has been handmade.  The centerpiece has been hand-embossed and coloured using Prismacolor pencils. This bracelet measures at about 7.75 inches long and is 1 inch wide at the widest point.

Gemstone of the Week: Moldavite

(Moldavite image found on
(Moldavite image found on

Moldavite is a beautiful and interesting "gemstone."  You may be wondering why I've placed the gemstone in quotation marks, well, the reason is that Moldavite is actually a naturally occurring green glass.  Moldavite was first discovered in 1787 along  the Moldau River in Czechoslovakia. It is a type of impact tektite (also called an impactite) and generally though to have formed from the heat and impact of a meteorite in Bavaria.  The impact (and the heat involved in it) transforms silica in the gound into larger, and oddly shaped, pieces of glass.  I have also read that some have though that Moldavite may be the outer surface of the meteorites that fused and melted as they entered the earth's atmosphere. However, as meteorites have hit in many locations yet Moldavite is only found in a few locations in the Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany and only in areas newest to the Moldau River Valley this is likely not accurate.  I have also yet to see this theory supported elsewhere, but, really, I don't think anyone actually knows for sure how Moldavite formed. The colour is no doubt do  to what ever minerals were present in the soil. Moldavite has a hardness of about 5-5.5.  The colourant in Moldavite is believed to be iron.  It is found in a variety of shades of green, however, beware of so-called Moldavites that look to be about the colour of 7UP bottles at this is most often the colour of fake (man-made) "Moldavite."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Jeremejevite

(Jeremejevite image found on

Jeremejevite is a very beautiful and rather rare gemstone.  It is an aluminum borate based mineral, and is often considered to be one of the world's rarest gemstones.  Jeremejevite was first discovered in 1883 by a Russian mineralogist and engineer named Pavel Vladimirovitch Jeremejev.  Jeremejevite is about a hardness 6.5-7.5 and is a transparent gemstone with a vitreous luster.  Its colour may be light yellow brown, pale to a deep cornflower blue, or colourless. It transmitted light it tends to appear colourless or pale blue. Jeremejevite generally forms as well-sized crystals or as slender prismatic crystals.  It may be found in Burma(Myanmar), Germany, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, and Tajikistan. As can be expected due to its rarity, Jeremejevite tends to be quite valuable.  One site I checked listed the current market value of Jeremejevite, as of 2012, to be about $2,000 per carat.