Jul 31, 2014

A to Z of Gemstones - U is for Unakite

Unakite is altered granite that is composed of green epidote, pink orthoclase feldspar and colorless quartz. It is named after the Unakas Mountains of North Carolina in the United States, where it was first discovered. 

Unakite exists in various shades of green and pink and is usually mottled in appearance. A good quality unakite is considered a semiprecious stone; it will take a good polish and is often used in jewellery as beads or cabochons and other lapidary work such as eggs, spheres and animal carvings.

Unakite can be found as pebbles and cobbles from glacial drift in the beach rock on the shores of Lake Superior. It also occurs in Virginia where it is found in the river valleys after having been washed down from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Unakite is not limited to the United States, but has also been reported from South Africa, Sierra Leone, Brazil, and China.

As  with  all  gems  and  minerals,  there  are  numerous  beliefs  regarding  the  spiritual  and  healing  qualities  of  Unakite.  Most  of  all  it  is believed to bring unity and balance to all areas of  the  owner’s  life.

Pictured above are my Unakite V Style Earrings. Below are some more examples of Unakite jewellery from some members of the Jewelry on Etsy team.




Jul 30, 2014

Preview of new Supplies and Tools Website

This picture is a sneak preview of the website that I am currently building for selling chainmaille and wire jewellery supplies and tools. While I am currently selling some of these items on TradeMe, and will probably continue to do so, I am hoping to get this site up and running as the main source for people buying these supplies in New Zealand. So watch this space!

Jul 27, 2014

Citrine and Topaz 14k Gold Motif Necklace

Sometimes I can find it really difficult to decide on the final design for a new piece of jewellery and that was certainly the case with my newly listed Citrine and Topaz Gold Motif Necklace.

The motifs themselves weren't the problem. These, each of which features a gorgeous emerald cut AAA+ Citrine were easy to decide on and to complete. They were made with 14k gold fill as I felt that the gold worked better with the pale golden yellow gemstones that silver would have done.

No, the motifs fully completed actually sat on my table for quite some time. The problem was with the chain.

I must have gone through my supply of gemstones and crystals several times trying to decide if any of them worked with the citrine. I also toyed with the idea of just hanging the motifs from a simple chain. However it just didn't look right when I tried it, a manufactured chain with a hand made motif just didn't work. I also toyed with the idea of making up a chain with simplified versions of the motifs without set stones.

Finally I settled on making up a chain with the gemstone topaz. Although not a perfect match colour wise with the citrine I felt that it still worked. The chain is therefore made up of topaz on gold fill links alternating with S links.

I hope you agree with my final decision.


Jul 24, 2014

A to Z of Gemstones - T is for Topaz

Topaz is an aluminium silicate that contains fluorine and hydroxyl. In its pure form it is colourless (white). Impurities are what cause variations in colour. The name topaz is believed to come from either the Greek word "Topazios" or "Topazion"; the ancient name of an island in the Red Sea where the ancient Greeks mined a yellow gem that they believed to be topaz, or from the Sanskrit word "tapas", which means "fire".

Topaz ranges from colourless (white) to yellow, orange, red-brown, light to dark-blue, pink to red, violet and light-green. Most unadulterated topaz is colourless or pale blue. The most rare and valuable topaz is yellow, or pink to reddish-orange. Red and violet topaz is incredibly rare.

Topaz is often enhanced to produce the most desirable colours. The most popular colour for topaz is blue, but in nature, blue topaz is usually pale blue rather than bright or deep blue. The brilliant blue shades of topaz are usually achieved by artificial means. Topaz is exposed to radiation  and then usually heated, to produce striking blue colours. A deep blue enhanced topaz is known as "London blue"; medium blue is called "Swiss blue" and light-blue is termed "sky blue". Mystic topaz is colorless topaz which has been artificially coated giving it the desired rainbow effect.

Deposits of topaz have been found in Brazil, Afghanistan, Australia, Myanmar (Burma), China, Germany, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and the USA.

Topaz has a history that goes back at least two thousand years. The ancient Greeks believed that topaz was a powerful stone that could increase the strength of the wearer and even provide invisibility in desperate times. Both the ancient Egyptians and the Romans associated topaz with the Sun God.

Pictured above is my newly listed Swiss Blue Topaz and Crystal Gold Necklace. Below are some more examples of Topaz jewellery from some members of the Jewelry on Etsy team.




Jul 23, 2014

Chainmaille Giveaway

This month I am holding not one but TWO giveaway draws. The winners of each draw will receive one of my colourful chainmaille bracelets. The bracelets are also stretchy. Made with rubber and aluminium rings the bracelets are also incredibly light. I have a choice of several different bracelets in a variety of colours and the winners of the draws will get to choose the one that they want.

Both draws will be held on the 31st July.

So how do you enter into the draws?

Draw One

The first draw can be entered via my Facebook Page, Shazzabeth Creations. There is a post pinned to the top of the page about the draw. You will need to "like" my facebook page and then like/comment on the post about the draw.

Draw Two

The second draw will be held for all my newsletter subscribers. To subscribe to the newsletter you can fill in the below form:

Subscribe to Shazzabeth Creations Newsletter

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The newsletter subscription form can also be found on my website and on my facebook page.


Jul 21, 2014


Having just taken a whole bunch of new pictures of some of my jewellery it's great to see how better defined some of my pieces now are in the new pictures. One piece for which this is especially noticeable is my Chrysocolla and Orbital Chainmaille Bracelet.

What I think can now be clearly seen in the new pictures are the orbiting rings. These are the rings that sit around the central chain. In chainmaille "orbiting jump rings", unlike the other jump rings making up a weave, are not actually connected to any other rings.  Rather they are held in place by the connections made between other rings.

As you can now clearly see with this bracelet, the inner chain is a simple 2 by 2 chain. The orbiting rings are then held in place at each join, where the two sets of rings of the inner chain connect. There are two orbiting rings at each join.

These orbiting rings give a really fluid feel to the bracelet that sits very smoothly on the wrist.

Of course the feature of my Chrysocolla and Orbital bracelet are the gorgeous Chrysocolla gemstone beads in their mixture of green and blue colours.


Jul 17, 2014

Friday Favourites


Work in Progress - Bi-coloured Quartz Necklace & Earrings (1)

Something a bit different today - a quick snapshot from my camera phone of some work in progress.

I am currently wire wrapping some green and yellow bi-coloured quartz into some sterling silver frames. The quartz gemstones are briolettes. I am making up seven frames and am currently half way through my sixth. Five of the frames will be formed into drops for a necklace and then the two remaining frames will become earring drops. The seven frames are all made at the same time so as to ensure consistency between them.

Once I have finished getting all the frames to the same stage then I will need to decide exactly how I want to complete the top of each frame/drop.

Hopefully in a few days I will be able to share an update on my progress.

Jul 16, 2014

A to Z of Gemstones - S is for Sodalite

Sodalite is a mineral composed of sodium aluminium silicate. It gets its name from its sodium content. Sodalite was first discovered in Greenland in 1806 and it was later used as an ornamental stone when large deposits of gem quality material were found in Ontario, Canada.

While the Sodalite used as a gemstone for jewellery is typically a deep blue colour, sodalite can also be grey, yellow, or pink. Sodalite often has white veins or patches running through it and these are composed of calcite. Sodalite can often be mistaken for Lapis Lazuli however Lapis has a higher density and is a rock as opposed to a mineral.

Sodalite is found in Brazil, Greenland, India, Canada, Namibia, Russia and the USA.

Throughout history it was believed that Sodalite improved creativity. This led to a high use among writers and artists. It is also said to be an ideal gemstone for athletes as it is believed to add to endurance and willpower.


Pictured above is my Trizantine Blues Necklace featuring sodalite beads. Below are some more examples of sodalite jewelry from some members of the Jewelry on Etsy team:




Jul 15, 2014

Chainmaille Supplies

I have now starting listing some chainmaille supplies on TradeMe. I've started off with brass and copper jump rings with anodised aluminium rings also in the process of being added. Hopefully by next week I will have some sterling silver rings ready to list as well. 

I will also within the next few weeks be starting to make up kits for some weaves for making complete bracelets. 

Other complimentary supplies will also soon be listed including clasps and wire. Tools are already listed. 

The plan will then be to create a website, linked to my jewellery site, for selling supplies and tools. Busy times ahead so watch this space!

Jul 13, 2014

Amazonite and Sterling Silver Pendant

My Amazonite and Sterling Silver Pendant was one of the pendants that I initially made to stock the Handmade store over the Handmade expo weekend in Wellington. I am now in the process of gradually listing them online.

Amazonite, as you can see, is a gorgeous pale blue gemstone. For this pendant I have wire wrapped the pendant with square sterling silver wire, which has then also been used to form the bail for the pendant. 

One set of wires, with the central one twisted, have then been swept across the front of the pendant. The other set, again with the central wire twisted, have then been used to form coils to sit just below the bail.

While the basic wrapping of these stone follows a fairly set process, it is the finishing of the wires that produces the main variations, as will be seen as the various pendants get listed.


Jul 10, 2014

A to Z of Gemstones - R is for Ruby

Ruby is a variety of the mineral corundum that gets its red colour from chromium.When corundum occurs in any other color it is referred to as a sapphire. The word "corundum" comes from the Tamil "kurundam", meaning "ruby sapphire". The English name "ruby" comes from the Latin word "ruber", meaning red. In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, ruby is called "ratnaraj", which translates as "king of precious stones". 

The most famous source of fine rubies is Upper Burma, now known as Myanmar. The ruby mines of Myanmar are older than recorded history; Stone Age and Bronze Age mining tools have been found in the mining area of Mogok. Next to Myanmar, the most important historic source of ruby is Sri Lanka. Today the most important sources for ruby include Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

The colour of ruby is its most important quality factor. It can vary from vermilion to red. The most sought after colour is a strong pure red to red with a hint of blue. This vibrant red hue is known as "pigeon's blood". If the color is too pink, the stone is classified as a pink sapphire.

Ancient Hindus believed that by making an offering of a ruby to Krishna, rebirth as an emperor was assured. Burmese warriors believed that rubies would make them invincible, and even inserted rubies under their skin for this purpose. According to the story of Marco Polo, Kublai Khan offered the King of Ceylon a city in exchange for a large ruby. Medieval Europeans believed that rubies assured good health, prosperity, wisdom and a successful love life.


Pictured above are my Ruby and Gold Herringbone Earrings featuring rubies wrapped in 14k gold fill wire. Below are some more examples of Ruby jewellery from some members of the Jewelry on Etsy team.




Jul 9, 2014

Pink Gemstone Charm Bracelet

With new photos taken I have now added my Pink Gemstone Charm Bracelet to my own website. 

This bracelet has a lush collection of gemstone and crystal beads, 64 in all, all securely wired onto a sterling silver chain. There are three varieties of gemstone in the bracelet: rhodonite; ruby and calcite; and fresh water pearls in three different shades of pink. There are also Swarovski Crystals in four different shades of pink. As you can see from the pictures the bracelet is then finished off with an art deco style toggle clasp.

All in all this is a perfect bracelet to gift to that someone special.


Jul 7, 2014

Sapphire Tumbled Stone Pendant

This is one of the pendants I made for the Handmade weekend. With several of the pendants not sold that weekend I am now in the process of photographing them individually so that I can list them online.

This pendant is the exception as I've decided to keep this one for myself, something I don't actually do as often as I should.

Unlike most of the other pendants that are cut cabochons, this pendant utilises a tumbled but uncut stone of sapphire. You can see the streak of blue across the front of the pendant. This is also one of the few pendants that I wrapped with round wire as opposed to square. I must admit that I ran out of the square wire.

Anyway, my keeper, a tumbled stone Sapphire Pendant.


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