Components

*Opal carving in matrix
*Hand-carved Australian opal beads
*Freshwater pearls
*Sterling setting, beads, findings, leverbacks
*Necklace is signed, numbered, dated

Length: 17" - 21.5" (43 cm - 54 cm) Shown on model at shortest length
Centerpiece: 1" x 7/8" (2.5 cm x 2.4 cm)
Weight: 1.4 oz

Earring drop length: 1.25" (3 cm)
Earring weight: 1.7 gm ea (a nickel weighs about 5 gm)

Item #572 (set)  - $450

Necklace and
Earrings - $450:
    Necklace alone
$425:

Opal Ladybug Necklace and Earrings

Opal Ladybug Necklace
Opal Ladybug Necklace Detail
Opal Ladybug Necklace on model
Opal Ladybug Earrings
Opal Ladybug Necklace
Hover to zoom, Click to expand

A sweet little ladybug for your pleasure! The cute little opal beetle sits on matrix. The background was shaped even more oddly when I bought it, but I trimmed it into what I hope is a more interesting asymmetrical shape. The seller priced it by the carat even though there isn't a trace of opal in the base. For good measure, the base was about an inch thick which doesn't work for jewelry but certainly adds carats. The things I go through for you to have a charming necklace! At any rate, it is no longer an inch thick and the remaining matrix is a very nice background contrast for the ladybug. Check out the detailed photo to see that even her little legs are carved.

I've called her a ladybug because it seems to me that's what the artist had in mind. The common name "ladybird beetle" is preferred because ladybugs are not true bugs. Biologists often show off in conversation by pointing out to the uninitiated that beetles are not bugs, ants are not bugs, spiders are not bugs (in fact, spiders aren't even insects), etc. The class of "not bugs" is rather large so we often have occasion to call this to people's attention. True bugs are insects in the order Hemiptera. Beetles, in the order Coleoptera, might be called bugs but they are not true bugs. A true bug has two sets of flapping wings, the front set is partially hardened. In contrast, a beetle has a hard pair of front wings (the elytra) which together form a carapace (the same word is used for the top shell of a turtle). The elytra open prior to take off and do not flap in flight although they do contribute to the creature's aerodynamics. Ants don't have wings and spiders and centipedes have the wrong number of legs to be in the class Insecta so none of them could possibly be bugs. Nonetheless I cling to the name "ladybug" because there's something sweet about it, like this necklace.

To complete the discussion of the components, please note that the spiral beads and tubes are hand-carved Australian opal. Freshwater pearls complete the composition.

Did you hear the news of the recent re-discovery of nine-spotted ladybugs in New York State? The precious and beneficial creature is the New York State insect but had not been seen there for 29 years until 2011 when one was found. And it wasn't in decline just New York State. Apparently the Lost Ladybug Project started surveys in 2000. By 2006, five had been found in the entire United States. You are saying to yourself, "I see ladybugs all the time, what are you talking about?" Good! However they may be Asian ladybugs which have been widely imported and released for pest control, not one of our native species. The Lost Ladybug Project website will help you determine which ladybugs you have and would love to have your photos and information about the ladybugs you find. Nobody is sure if our native nine-spotted ladybug declined to apparent near extinction because of the competition from the Asian imports, pesticides, loss of farmland, disease or other problems. However, the Lost Ladybug Project is urgently seeking answers and working to protect our native ladybugs. I urge you to participate!