I did some cleaning and organizing in my studio in October, which always includes time to go through through my collection of stones that are waiting for me to wrap them in beautiful wire and turn them into something wearable. As I went through the alphabet of gemstones, I noticed that an awful lot of these stones originate from Russia. So I did a little research and found that Russia is an incredible source of mineral and gemstones.
And I said to myself, “Self, let’s do a blog post about all these stones that I have that are from Russia,” and I answered, “Self, great idea!” So here we are.
Since I organize my stones alphabetically (I know, it’s a sickness), I guess I’ll introduce them to you that way. If it makes you crazy to read it that way, feel free to jump around on the page to suit your randomness.
First up, Amber. The milkiness comes from lots and lots of miniscule bubbles in the resin as it cools and hardens. The fewer the bubbles, the clearer the stone. Fun fact, if you want to check to see if your Baltic Amber is real, put it in salt water (1 part salt to 2 parts water)…if it floats, it’s real! More information about Baltic amber can be found here. These milky stones are awaiting inspiration.
While Amethyst is found in many places, one of the finest versions is Siberian Amethyst. Siberian Amethyst is found in the Ural Mountains, with deposits outside the town of Mursinsk near the city of Ekaterinburg. Amethyst has been mined in this area since at least the 18th century and probably earlier.
Charoite (pronounced shär-ō-īt) is unmistakable and can vary from light lilac to medium-deep purple. Most charoite gemstones exhibit several violet to purple shades within a single stone, with very unique patterns, often swirling, streaking or feather-like in appearance. The swirling patterns are considered a signature trait of charoite.
Emerald is one of the most recognized gemstones you can find, and Russian Emeralds are well-known for their clarity and color. In case Russia and emerald didn’t immediately connect for you, think Faberge Eggs.
Eudialyte is hallmarked by its distinctive colors of red, magenta, pink, blue, yellow and an attractive brown. The intensely carmine color has been referred to as “Dragons Blood”, by some Russian dealers. It was originally discovered in Greenland, but today, the lion’s share of eudialyte comes from the northernmost part of Russia.
Serpentine is not technically a gemstone, but actually a collection of minerals, and like Siberian amethyst, it’s also found in the Ural Mountains of Russia. This set is one of my favorites.
I think it’s kind of neat that just by wearing some of these pieces, we can be a world traveler!
Until next month!