Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Posted by: Phat Mama Post(s) by this bloggerWhen jewelry made of semi-precious stones, also known as gemstones, was the craze in Malaysia sometime back, I felt it was the best thing that has hit the fashion scene. So I added gemstones and crystals to my collection of silver jewelry as I do not fancy gold. And luckily the craze has not died down to this day.
In Kuala Lumpur I frequent Inspiration Accessories in Bangsar, which sells quality gemstones complemented by fine workmanship. But on a recent hunt for a birthday gift I had to settle with a different outlet because I was in Singapore. Arraya’s Treasures in Novena Square, Singapore stocks a massive collection of gemstones imported from around the world.
There is such a vast selection to choose from Arraya's Treasures.
In choosing my stone, I decided to get expert help from the in-house designer who suggested that I either get pearls or any other gemstone in blue as they are favorites among European ladies. I had to tread carefully here and decide correctly because I like the dramatic and unsafe colors such as that found in Tourmaline and Dalmatian Jasper for example.
So I decided on a strand of Lapis Lazuli to make a necklace for my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday. Keeping the design simple, I opted for silver beads instead of the suggested crystals or pearls to place in-between the stones. Bearing in mind the wearer’s physique, especially the neck, we decided to keep the length at about 18inches or so. This is important as you would want the necklace to sit nicely when worn. Finally, we used silver clasps to place at the end of the strand.
The step-by-step process to string the stones into a necklace.
The Lapis Lazuli is actually a silicate of alumina, soda, lime and sulphur. Although the stone is mainly azure in color, which is a light purplish shade of blue, you can at times find streaks of gold in it. This is actually iron pyrites found in the stone.
The Lapis Lazuli is the ancient birthstone for those born in December while my mother-in-law, Dorothy Newman, was born in October, which makes her birthstone to be a choice of between Opal, Chryophrase, Peridot and Aquamarine.
According to the experts, Lapis Lazuli can protect the wearer from evil and this stone can only be found in USA, Chile, Argentina, Russia and Canada. Opal though is linked to hope, purity and innocence. The stone serves as a link to friendship, emotion and healing forces.
However, over the years, a lot more birthstone lists have cropped up so at the end of the day it is what you want that matters. That aside, I called Dorothy to wish her happy birthday and she did say she loves the necklace anyway.
Dorothy matches her birthday necklace with a simple top in shades of blue, white and brown.
If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at jewelry-making, Arraya encourages its customers to do so by making their purchases there and have a one-on-one lesson on putting the design together with the designer.
In my next post I will give you some facts and tips on buying and caring for your jewelry made of semi-precious stones.