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That’s what it’s all about! Creating jump rings small enough for the Dragon Bracelet was one of my first challenges. For the jump rings, I chose 14kt white gold wire for its added strength. To create the very small jump rings, I began by twisting the white gold wire around a T-pin. A somewhat slow process that delivered perfect same size jump rings. With all the twisting and shouting, I now was ready to begin soldering 3 tiny rings onto each Dragon link.
With my interest in the animal myths and the animal kingdom, it should not surprise anyone that I love a good fantasy. From time to time, I depart from my morphed animal images to a simple animal depiction. I had a bracelet idea floating in my head while, like many Americans, I was watching Game of Thrones. Rather than depict a mythical dragon complete with wings, scales and claws, I wanted to attempt a more modern, abstract dragon. Often I find my drawings take on a life of their own when I begin carving my drawing into wax. Since there is such a variety in what is considered a “dragon” I felt a certain freedom to create the two headed magical creature seen in the drawing and photo above.
My biggest challenge was the connection of each two headed dragon link. Originally, I drew a basic link to link for each connection, but once I began soldering each sterling link, I felt the bracelet lacked interest. Pushing myself to find a more interesting connection I, after chatting with another artist I came up with what I think is a perfect solution. Between each link will be a very small egg like connection that will somewhat cover the jump rings used to connect the links. The small dome shapes reminded me of the dragon eggs. I am excited to rework the linkage using 14kt white gold jump rings for added strength.To complete the look, I am planning on setting 5 red garnet cabochons between each dragon link representing the hot, fierce fire-breathing dragon I could carve.
With the AGTA Gem Show in full swing this week, I thought I would highlight gemstones in reference to birthstone. Occasionally, I run across a potential client asking me about what the correct birthstone for their birth month is. “Why are their two or three different stones for my month? I was told there is a certain stone is designated for each month. Is it not my stone and the one I should use to celebrate my birth into this world?”
The concept of 12 birthstones seems to date back to Aaron, the high priest of the Israelites and brother to Moses. On his ceremonial breastplate were 12 gemstones, each one representing a tribe of Israel. Josephus, a Jewish historian, is responsible for connecting those stones to the 12 months of the year and the zodiac signs, thus the concept of birthstones.
It is interesting to note that many cultures have kept different lists of traditional birthstones, giving rise to a vast range of birthstone options. Some months, such as October and December list two different stones for their particular month.
With the many gemstone options available today, I suggest you look at a recommended “birthstone” for your birth month, keeping in mind the history behind the list of “appropriate” stones. If you feel a relationship to a gemstone, regardless of the recommended stone, then I say go for it. Your choice is personal, or should be regardless of a given list.
I pulled this article by Chloe Foussianes because of the amazing sale of Marie Antoinette's pendant. Accoring to Chloe, Sotheby's brought a few of the French queen's jewels to the auction block last November. I found it interesting not only because its historical reference, but also the amazing bidding war that brought in the huge price of $36 million dollars! Nothing would have made the queen happier.
The pendant more than tripled the previous world auction record for a pearl, which was held by a necklace that once belonged to Elizabeth Taylor.
All of the French queen's jewels would likely be lost to history, were she not able to smuggle them to her family in Austria before she attempted to flee France. Indeed, in the words of Le Vian CEO Eddie LeVian, "This is about far more than the gems themselves: Marie Antoinette’s jewelry is inextricably linked to the cause of the French Revolution."