Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Mommy / Mother’s Day – Custom Birthstone Necklace

Joshua Charles Hunsaker

This idea, for a Mother’s Birthstone Necklace, came to me right after my niece had her first long-awaited child. He is a week old today. As I was constructing the necklace as a little keepsake for my niece, I realized that it would be a lovely gift for any mother – new or old - especially with Mother’s Day coming up soon. As soon as I completed the necklace for my new-mommy niece, I decided that I should make another version for my dear sister representing her children as well.

These photos are merely an example of what the necklace styles look like when completed. Obviously, each necklace will be a custom design based on the chain (link chain or beaded chain), types of birth stones (see chart below), number of stones and type of metal (sterling silver or 24K gold vermeil). I am more than happy to lay this out and photograph so you can see what your design will look like before beginning the actual construction. The stones listed below are the standard birthstones but, certainly substitutions for some of the more precious stones (diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, etc.) can be made at your discretion.

Pricing Examples From The Photo Featuring Both Necklaces:
Top necklace with moonstone beaded chain and 5 birthstones (Mother, Father and 3 Children) – consists of 3 September (kyanite substituted for sapphires), one December (sky blue topaz) and one April (ruby). As shown - $97
Bottom necklace with link chain (sterling silver) and 3 birthstones (Mother, Father and 1 Child) – consists of one August (peridot), one May (emerald) and one March (aquamarine). As shown - $74

Please email me with your design questions – I would love to work with you on a special gift for either a Mother’s Day surprise or a New Mommy gift.

Birth Month - Modern Birthstones - Stone Substitutes
January - Garnet
February - Amethyst
March - Aquamarine
April - Diamond - Rock Crystal (Substitute)
May - Emerald - Green Onyx (Substitute)
June - Pearl or Moonstone
July - Ruby
August - Peridot
September - Sapphire - Kyanite (Substitute)
October - Opal or Tourmaline
November - Citrine or Yellow Topaz
December - Blue Topaz or Turquoise

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Turquoise Lesson from History

Purdy Wallcoverings

Veranda - Jan.-Feb. 2007

When I was five years old my mother suddenly passed away at the young age of 29. There are very few of her possessions that I have and now that I am an adult, I realize why. At such a young age, she simply had not enough time to acquire meaningful treasures to pass on to me. Be that as it may, of the few possessions I have from her, one of them is a simple little ring of oval turquoise stones set in sterling. Although I have always cherished the ring and have never altered the design, I can honestly say that I have never been a fan of turquoise set in silver. I believe it lacks warmth and elegance.

On the other hand, as an interior designer, I have always been enamored with the turquoise/aqua family and it is scattered all over my home. One of my collecting passions is Sevres Blue. Additionally, I have had entire rooms in my home that were designed around this aqua blue family. It is a very calming and restful color to me. I still hold onto the theory that everyone looks tan when surrounded by aqua (even though it may be February when we are at our most pasty white)!

As I studied my little Sevres Blue collection, I came to realize that historically, it was always trimmed and banded in gold. Apparently, I am not the only person that thinks that gold brings out the richness of the color and counterbalances the coolness of aqua and turquoise.

While researching some images for this post, I stumbled across two unusual blog sites called “House of Turquoise” and “Everything Turquoise” with some of the most divine images of all ranges of turquoise – what an inspiration! Who knew! Erin, thank you for allowing me to “borrow” a bit of inspiration for this post.

At the Tucson Gem Show recently, I came across some wonderful Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, purchased it and promptly set it aside for later. Later came sooner than I suspected. I received a call from the agency that is handling some of my PR, that a local magazine was looking for some turquoise jewelry set in gold for a photo shoot. Needless to say, it jogged my memory and an entire weekend was devoted to creating an earthy but elegant - lovely turquoise necklace and earrings set in 24K gold vermeil.

Since I had design carte blanche with this set, I indulged my senses by mixing the elegant Sleeping Beauty Turquoise with little frills of gorgeous Capri blue Kyanite, soft Sky Blue Topaz and a heavy dose of mesmerizing blue flash Labradorite. Of course, the piece de resistance of the necklace is the free form turquoise slice pendant encased in 24k gold.

Just as the Sevres Blue collection lives happily in my home with a more relaxed atmosphere – the chic turquoise and gold of this jewelry design can live contentedly with either a ball gown or a blue jean skirt.