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San Blas Necklace

San Blas Necklace   This necklace includes:
*Sagebrush jasper cabochon cut by Gary Wilson
*Dendritic (common) opal
*Rutilated quartz (sagenite)
*Picture jasper
*Mother of pearl
*Sterling beads, bezel, findings
*Signed, dated

Length:  16.5" - 22.5" (42 cm - 57 cm)
Centerpiece:  2" x 2.5" (5 cm x 6 cm)
Weight:  6.5 oz (185 gm)

Photo: Melinda Holden

  Item #378                       SOLD

The gorgeous picture in the centerpiece stone is natural, I like to say of images like this: "God painted it." The material is not a plant fossil as it appears but rather the giant tree fern, palm or pine tree you see is composed of what are called "dendrites" from the Greek dendron meaning "tree." In normal usage, the term "dendrite" refers to the branched projections of a neuron. Rock lovers use the same term to describe tree-like inclusions of (mostly) manganese oxides. Apparently it is not possible to determine the exact mineral composition of a dendrite by its physical appearance, but "some form of manganese oxide" is a good guess. The cabochons in the centerpiece, the clasp and the tiny one in my maker's tag are all set in sterling.

The large stones in the top strand of the necklace are dendritic opal, common opal which does not have the opalescence one typically associates with the term "opal." The colors and patterns blend perfectly with the sagebrush jasper. The odd silver beads next to the dendritic opal are from Nepal and look very old though they are most likely modern copies of old beads (the vendor wasn't certain about their provenance). The rutilated quartz chips in the same strand and faceted disks in the bottom strand sparkle with thin needles of rutile, gold-colored titanium ore.

Other beads of picture jasper, faceted mother of pearl, sterling and pearl complete the composition. The top strand which supports the cabochon is strung on cable for strength, the other two strands are hand knotted on silk.

Kunz (see below) quotes Bartolomaeus Anglicus on the etymology of the Greek and Latin name for jasper as follows, "in the head of an adder that hyght Aspis is founde a lytyl stone that is called Jaspis." He says it is of "wunder vertue... it hath as many vertues as dyvers coloures and veines." Jasper is the twelfth stone in the Hoshen, Aaron's breastplate of judgment, Exodus 28:17-21. The stones represented the 12 tribes of Israel, the twelfth was Benjamin, Rachel's child. Most of the same stones are mentioned, in different order, in Rev. 21. The text says "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb... the first foundation was jasper." Kunz provides an extended essay on these Biblical associations.

Stones with amazing natural images like this one don't come along that often. I hope you will order this piece and enjoy its extraordinary beauty.

One-of-a-kind, subject to prior sale

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