Emerald, Moonstone, & Findings

This month's theme is May's gemstone Emerald, Moonstone, & Findings. Scroll down, or click one of the links below on the html version to go to a certain section. If you have any suggestions for the future, please e-mail me at suggestions@mrbead.com. To unsubscribe click the link at bottom of page.

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May's Birthstone - Emerald
Moonstone - Nature's treasure with a sensuous and seductive charm
Findings Make the Beads!
15% Off Offer

May's Birthstone - Emerald
Emerald is known as the gem of Spring. This beautiful green stone is a variety of Beryl and was thought to foretell the future. The ancients of Peru, believed the Emerald ripened like the fruit of the tree, turning from clear to green as it faced the sun. The stone was carried by travelers on land or sea as a talisman to safe guard the journey.

Beryl is often unknown, even through it is one of the most important gems. Beryl is colorless in pure form, but many impurities give its varied coloration. Emerald is the green variety and aquamarine is the blue variety of beryl.

Emerald's precious green color is caused by small amounts of chromium and enhanced by traces of iron. Unlike other beryls, emeralds usually contain inclusions and other flaws. These flaws are not looked on as negative aspects for emerald like they would be for other gemstones. Indeed, these flaws are considered part of the character of the stone and are used to assure the purchaser of a natural stone.

Nearly all emeralds have been treated to improve clarity, generally by immersing them in oil. For gemstones, a green colored oil is often used. Unfortunately, this oil may evaporate over time, making flaws appear where none were visible. A high-grade mineral oil may be used to improve the appearance again

Moonstone - Nature's treasure with a sensuous and seductive charm
Moonstone's characteristic feature is a magical play of light. Moonstone is translucent, and softens the light shining through it to give a pearly moon-like glow which appears different whenever the stone changes its position. Years ago, thought to be brought upon by the moon's phases. This shimmering affect is called adularescence, and is caused by light being refracted inside the stone and scattered. Moonstone comes in colorless, white, grey, and subtle yellow, but always has a blue or white sheen. Rainbow moonstone is colorless with a blue sheen and a rainbow-like array of colors.

Much mystery surrounds this stone. In India it's considered sacred to lovers, and is also known as a "dream stone" bringing beautiful dreams. In Arab countries women often were moonstone sewn into their garment as a symbol of fertility. It was also believed to be especially protective to seafarers, who have been using it since ancient times. During full-moon, moonstone is very powerful for reconciling love - and as the moon decreases, is said to allow one to foretell the future.

A feminine stone for the inner-child, female issues and nurturing - but also used by men who want to reach their female side and to understand dreams. Moonstone brings confidence and calms the emotions, and aids spirituality, intuition, and clairvoyance. Also known to protect against fever, dropsy, fluid-retention and urinary problems. Its soft shine will support the emotional and dreamy tendencies of a person. Wearing moonstone will also increase your sensitivity for others.

Classical moonstone from Sri Lanka shimmers pale blue on almost transparent ground. Moonstone from India has cloudlike plays of light on beige, brown, green, or orange backgrounds & and some have a cat's eye or a multi-rayed star. Since blue moonstones in fine qualities have become scarce in recent time, the prices have increased. An uncut moonstone looks boring and lacks the play of light. This is brought out by the cutter's skills, who must locate the crystal axis exactly in the zenith of the stone. Classical moonstones are always cut as cabochons. Moonstone is fragile and should be handled carefully. However, a jeweler can polish a dulled moonstone back to its original glory.

When purchasing moonstone you will find astonishing differences in price. The more intense the color, the larger and more transparent the stone, the more valuable is the gem. Really top quality fine blue moonstone shows an incredible "three-dimensional" depth of color, which you will see clearly only when tilting the stone. Such specimens are rare and accordingly valued. Brighter colored Indian moonstones are usually less expensive, so are opalite moonstone.

Opalite moonstone is most common today & this looks similar to genuine moonstone, but is man made. Opalite is a synthetic stone that's only been around for the past decade or so. Also called opalized glass, the stone has two personalities. Against a light background, it's milky white and has golden highlights mixing with faint lilac-blue and other colors around the stone. The pastel glow is soft and captivating, and it compliments other light-colored stones like lilac amethyst, blue chalcedony, and rose quartz. Opalite, under these circumstances, will add a romantic feminine allure to your beaded jewelry.

Once opalite is placed against a darker background, though, the whole stone changes to a bright icy blue. The golden highlights also change to intense oranges and reds, like the "fires" you see in opals. The stone practically glows on its own, and demands attention by outshining the stones around it. It loves to compete with bright colors like fuchsias and turquoise. This is the edgier, more distinctive side of opalite that makes it perfect to wear during the night out in the town. The great thing is, opalite always looks refreshingly cool, whether it's milky white or flashy blue - ideal for summer jewelry. By being creative with your outfits, you can really have fun wearing the stone. A beaded belt made with opalite, for example, can become the perfect summer accessory to a brightly colored evening dress.

To see all our moonstone beads click here

Findings Make the Beads!
Although findings are essential for creating any kind of jewelry, it's easy to forget about them when you are shopping for beads. Findings are like background music in movies. Jewelry with no findings will fail to dazzle, just like a movie with no music will fail to thrill the audience. The findings enhance and accent the focal beads without drawing too much attention to themselves, but you really need to have them to create a functional jewelry.

You need wires to string the beads onto, whether they are flexible beading wire or rigid wire. You must also have a clasp to create necklaces or bracelets, and jump rings to attach those clasps. Toggle clasps are the easiest to handle, but you can also use spring ring or lobster claw clasps if you want an adjustable length necklace. Spacers are also useful to both add-design and to economize on the beads used in a project. Items made with flexible wires will need crimp beads to secure the ends, and you'll want ear wires if you want to make earrings. These are the must-have items for jewelry making.

You could create beaded jewelry without any metal beads, but they will help your jewelry appear more professional. They vary greatly in size, thickness, and shape so you can dramatically alter the style of your necklace by exchanging the metal beads. Spacers are excellent for adding just a sliver of metallic flash, while larger beads (often called Bali Beads) may be fancy enough to function as the focal beads in your designs. Try using small 925 gothic spacers in between colorful single beads for a classy effect as above - and cone or dome-shaped ones called bead caps are great for topping off a drop.

To see all our findings click here

Many new beads this month, see here
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Special 15% Offer!
Sample our beads with 15% off any order from our MrBead bead store, just key in "moonstone" at the checkout (without the inverted commas) and click "Redeem Coupon".

Offer valid until 4th May only - so act now! Only for use in our store at the checkout and not valid with any other offers.

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