By Danielle Olivia Tefft, Jewelry Writer
It’s not summer quite yet. But the weather on the East Coast is pretending otherwise. It’s the very last week in May in upstate New York. We had to pull out our heavy jackets last week as the daytime temperatures struggled to reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit. And now, it is the opposite: stifling hot and humid. A thunderstorm is brooding in the distance. You’d think it was the middle of July!
Well I say, let summer begin! I welcome the summer sun; the breezes; the colorful flowers; and the beautiful myriad of butterflies that visit my garden daily. I love costume butterfly pins/brooches because I can carry the beautiful creatures with me away from the garden without harming them. Let me explain…
You see, when I was a young girl, I caught a magnificent Swallowtail butterfly in the field by our barn. I’d gotten a butterfly preserving kit for my birthday just days prior. And I was anxious to claim my first trophy. But as I watched that beautiful creature struggle to survive in the toxic jar I placed it in, my heart sank.
When it finally died after what seemed like hours later, I was devastated. I threw the preserving kit away and vowed never to kill another butterfly. From then on, I was a butterfly pin/brooch girl.
Sometimes, I even wear my butterfly pins/brooches in the dead of winter. They remind me that the earth will abound with life and beauty once more in just a short time…..
These photos are of some of my very favorite butterfly brooches/pins from past and present. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!
Do you have a favorite butterfly pin/brooch or other butterfly jewelry? Let us know in the comments section and please subscribe to this blog if you enjoy vintage and antique jewelry as much as we do!
Danielle Olivia Tefft is a professional writer with a lifelong passion for gems, jewelry and fashion. She is a GIA accredited jewelry professional and the owner of online antique and vintage jewelry shop, Treasure Box Antiques. Current projects include ghostwriting jewelry and fashion blogs for clients worldwide. When she is not writing, she spends time in the garden, spoiling her cats and traveling with her significant other. Would you like to hire her to write for you? Visit her website danielleoliviatefftwrites.com for clips, terms and more information.
By Naomi Shaw
Forget the purity and reputation of colorless diamonds for a second: the world contains some of the rarest and most colorful gemstones that will leave you speechless. Some of them are even more valuable than diamonds, so the following might just become your new best friends.
Taaffeite gemstones contain a range of purple shades, such as lavender, mauve and violet. You can find these gems in Sri Lanka and Tanzania, but they are one of the rarest and most valuable stones in the world. Another purple gem is the amethyst, which is a much more common name. Although amethyst stones are usually heated when used in jewellery so as to deepen their color, serious collectors will opt for the prismatic (or pencil-like) crystals that are rare and naturally filled with color.
Beautiful in Black
Darker gemstones add sophistication and style to jewelry. The rarest type of opal is the black opal. Most of it hails from New South Wales. What’s so amazing about the black opal is that you can see multi-colored flashes in its surface. Its uniqueness and rarity obviously makes it a pricey affair.
Red might not feel like it’s uncommon in gems, but some red stones are actually highly rare and precious. One of these is the Red Beryl. Known as the scarlet emerald, this gemstone is regarded as 1,000 times more valuable than gold. It also has a mystical element to it, believed to possess healing qualities.
Pretty in Pink
Remember when celebrity Jennifer Lopez displayed her gorgeous pink Harry Winston diamond engagement ring? It was a six carat diamond that certainly caught our attention. Since then, pink has grown in popularity in jewelry. An example of a rare pink gem is the poudretteite, first discovered in Canada. The only other source of this gem is the area of Mogok in northern Myanmar, Burma. Poudretteite has a glassy, sparkling appearance but since it is of a soft consistency and vulnerable to scuffs, it is unsuitable for rings. It can, however, be used in other jewelry pieces.
Green with Envy
When thinking ofgreen jewelry we often hear of emerald stones, but jadeite is actually one of the most precious and rare green gems. However, in spite of its name it comes in a variety of colors. Its darker green specimen is specifically valuable as it is of the finest quality, known as the Imperial Jade. It is almost transparent and contains a bright green color tone running through it.
Some rare gemstones have a chameleon characteristic to them that allows them to change color, like Alexandrite. It was named for Tsar Alexander II of Russia and it changes color depending on the light. In one shaft of light it might appear to have a reddish glow, while in others it will look green. Excitingly, it has been found in a variety of regions, such as Sri Lanka, Brazil and East Africa, but it is still one of the world’s most wanted gems.
Another gemstone that changes color is the painite. It shifts from pink to red and even brown, all depending on the light that is shining down on it. Interestingly, if the painite stone is set under shortwave ultraviolet light, it will become a deep green color. There are only 18 samples of this gemstone that have ever been found.
Although the rarest gems are also the priciest, it’s interesting to see how some of these stones are giving diamonds a run for their money. As they have become more intriguing and popular, you can find less costly colored gems in a variety of jewellery without having to burn a hole in your pocket.
Naomi Janelle Shaw is a journalist, beautician and full-time mom. After being a stay-at-home mom for seven years, she now works full-time as a freelance writer, which she enjoys because it allows her to still be at home and there with her kids in the mornings and when they come home from school. You can Follow her on Facebook. Or check her work samples at https://www.25karats.com/articles/
Danielle's Note: I Hope you enjoyed this guest post by Naomi Shaw as much as I did! And if you love gems and jewelry of all kinds, please subscribe to this blog!
About This Blog:
The Found in the Jewelry Box Blog is my attempt to teach others about the wonderful world of gems and jewelry, past and present. Please enjoy!
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