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Stone of the Month: Opal



Happy birthday to all you October babies! Here are some fun facts about your birthstone; the opal...

  1. The opal is associated with hope, innocence, happiness, purity, faithfulness, loyalty, and confidence.
  2. The opal is often used to enhance visualization, imagination, dreams, and healing.
  3. 95% of opals are mined in Australia. The remaining 5% come from Mexico, Brazil, and the United States.
  4. The name "opal" means "to see a change in color". The stone comes in a variety of colors; black, crystal. yellow (fire), and white. All of these variations have their own set of characteristic colored flecks. The milky white opal is most common.
  5. Opals should be worn often, because they only contain 2-6% water. They can become brittle when stored in a dry place, but if worn frequently they absorb humidity off the wearers skin.
And just in case opal doesn't strike your fancy, pink tourmaline (pictured above) is an alternate stone for October birthdays. Do you have any interesting facts to share about these majestic birthstone? Let us know!

IPhone Apps, Ancestry.com, and Jewelry Design Inspiration

Secretly, in the evenings when everyone is in bed, I am an app geek. I like to unwind with my iPad in hand exploring fun new apps. I typically love apps that I can use to create and edit videos or pictures. As I was searching through the top suggested apps for the new IOS 7.0, I clicked on an app called  Ancestry out of curiosity.  Ancestry, and other similar apps, help you build a family tree. I’ve been playing with the program for a couple of weeks, admittedly with slight addictive tendencies, filling out my family tree. I am very close with my family, but as I got further and further back in our family’s history, I realized how much heritage my mom's Polish roots and father’s English and Irish blood contained that I never knew about.

I’m always looking for inspiration for my next great design. Sometimes it’s with intention and other times I just stumble on it. On this stumble, I’ve discovered fascinating facts, names, and locations, all of which have inspired me to make some commemorative charms for my relatives. Different than your typical family charms which celebrate people, places, and events close to you, these charms will memorialize our rich family history. I know these will be passed along as heirlooms from generation to generation helping to keep or lineage known.

Aside from the information and inspiration, I found that this endeavor of searching for my family history has put me in contact with my distant relatives more frequently than I have been in the past. It’s those intangible results that this experience has yielded that I find as much or more fruitful and meaningful than the facts themselves.

 In the next weeks I will share my progress as I incorporate my family history into my next design.