Flag Day is June 14th, and commemorates the adoption of the United States Flag, which happened on June 14, 1777. Interestingly, the U.S. Army celebrates its birthday each year on June 14th (not July 4th, as you might imagine). The only thing that might make the day a little more patriotic is an apple pie and a Chevrolet…and some red, white, and blue jewelry. I think I can help on that last bit.
All three colors of our flag can be found in the materials I like to use for jewelry. Everything from fossilized coral (which is usually dyed red), to white pearls to blue cinnabar, not to mention glass and some other gemstones and crystals. Let me break it down by color before putting it all back together.
Since it’s the word we usually say first in the flag colors, we’ll just start there:
Colored glass is most often the truest red. Millefiore, which stands for a thousand flowers, is a glasswork technique which produces distinctive decorative patterns on glass.
Or, there’s always some plain colored glass, often in shapes.
This Red Mountain Jade pendant is a spectactular example of how red is expressed in nature. The stone is a favorite of mine and so many of my customers.
As you might remember, I recently started creating chain maille jewelry, and I’ve discovered a way to add some color to the mix. These earrings feature silver chain maille and red rubber rings.
Sponge coral comes in many colors, mostly because it’d dyed. These red coral earrings fit the bill if you’re feeling patriotic.
White is actually a little trickier to get just right. Of course, one can always go to the old standby: pearls. Freshwater, cultured or mabe (which can be freshwater or cultured).
I like the sparkle that druzy quartz gives, and when featured in white, hits the spot, whether pairing with red and blue or adding some sparkle to something dressy.
Howlite, in its pure form, is white-ish. Probably more on the cream-colored side, but in a pinch…well, you know. Fun fact: did you know that 90% of turquoise sold on the market is actually dyed howlite or magnasite? How do you tell the difference? A stone that looks like turquoise but has an extremely low price tag is most likely dyed howlite.
When I was looking through my pieces to feature on this blog, the first one that jumped out at me was cinnabar. Known for their distinctive carvings, you can find cinnabar in red, too.
I found these dichroic glass and sterling silver earrings that are a little less in-your-face, but still pays homage to the flag blue.
Lapis lazuli (or lapis for short) is well known for its deep blue hue.
Now, let’s put it all together. I’ve got a couple of pieces that combine all three of our featured colors.
Red, White & Blue
Some Millefiore beads in the colors of the day.
Cloisonne, the ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects using enamel can show off the colors without being too ostentatious. The designs are usually intricate and delicate.
So there you have it…the flag in a nutshell. Well, actually, the flag abstracted into jewelry, but you get the idea. Take your love of our flag and make it your own with jewelry that reflects your personality.
Until next month!