We have returned to Arizona!!!

Hi Everyone,

We have just returned from the Pasadena Hilton and had a wonderful time at the Garan-Beadgio show.  We renewed friendships and met so may new and innovative artists.  What a truly life changing experience!!!  My daughter and I have done a few local shows but were extremely impressed with this excellent venue.  We learned so many new items about industry norms and standrds in regards to jewelry and have a number of new ideas to try out before our next show.  What a super group of professionals who are such a friendly and tight knit group.  I have utilized a variety of products from many of these fabuous vendors in my designs and loved shsring ideas with them.  We look forwrd to seeing them all in Tucson in February as well as at the Sants Barbara Fess Parker Resort Doubletree Hilton on March 27-29th for another Garan Beadgio Show.  Nancy


Semi-Precious Gemstones and Mineral #2 –Amazonite

Once again if you see any information that you may question or want to add, please let me know so I can research and make corrections to make these Gemstone articles as accurate as possible.


Description-Amazonite is a soft stone with a hardness of 3.5-4.0 which is mined in Granite rocks. It is an opaque green Feldspar which may have veins of white or yellow.

History – Amazonite was used by Egyptians according to archeologists who are said to have found it in burial chambers. Two myths appear in various texts involving the origins of Amazonite. One suggests that Amazonite was called the stone of courage. It was named after the Amazon Woman Warriors who are reputed to have lived in the Amazon region during the Bronze Age according to archeological evidence. The most popular legend suggests that Amazonite was found in the Amazon regions and was thus named Amazon-ite.

Location – Amazonite is found in many places around the world. Today the most important source is said to be India. It is also mined today in the U.S.A., Brazil, Zimbabwe, Russia, Australia, Namibia and South America. Additional location sources are Austria, Canada, China, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Japan, Madagascar, Kenya, Norway and Portugal.

Folklore – Amazonite is said to have a soothing or calming effect by dispelling negative energy. It is also said to strengthen a persons’ ability to bring order out of chaos. It is noted in some sources as being a “Hope Stone”, enhancing hope and confidence as well as creative expression. There are many other metaphysical qualities; however, these appear to be the most relevant properties.

Care – Amazonite is a relatively soft stone which makes it susceptible to scratch easily or be damaged. It is sensitive to pressure and should be stored in a small cloth or jewelry bag to avoid damage from other necklaces.

My Newest Design #2

Rhodochrosite Elegance 5226

Rhodochrosite Elegance is an amazing necklace made from the finest Rhodochrosite semi-precious stones.  It occurs in rock veins naturally and has a zig zag pattern.  The lovely pink color is blended with cream and coral.  Rhodochrosite is said, metaphysically, to promote love, peace, and energy.  Also included in this necklace are pale rose Swarovski Crystals which add a sparkle.  Natural Freshwater Pearls are added to bring a beautiful luster.  Sterling Silver Embossed Rounds and Smooth Rounds are included to add texture and elegance to this spectacular piece.

It is another great example of the fine and unique jewelry creations Absolutely Unique has available on their website, Etsy Shop, as well as at their shows in California and Arizona.  If you live in the Phoenix area, feel free to visit us at the Arizona Opera.

My Favorite Jewelry Books — Addition #2

DSC05565Creative Gold and Silver Smithing;  Sharr Choate;  Crown Publishers, Inc.;  NY; 1977;

ISBN: 0-517-524139

Sharr Choate has created a book that explains every detail in sequence on how to create a lovely silver or gold project.  She starts by explaining metals followed by textures, annealing and pickling.  She continues with shaping and sawing as well as filing and sanding. She covers details on buffing and polishing your project, soldering, metal coloring and finishing.  Finally, she delves into the world of mountings and findings.  She then steps into design categories of wire followed by chains, tubing and hinges. She even discusses rings, pendants, and appliques.  She basically covers the entire process of smithing.

A wonderful refresher course or beginning step by step approach to silver smithing.  This has a very precise layout.  A wonderful book that I would recommend to anyone who would like to expand their jewelry artistry and/or perfect their current artistic designs.

Man Proposes with a Little Help from a Drone

Diamonds Ruled This Year’s Yule

Man Proposes With a Little Help From a Drone
By Logan Sachon, Social Media Journalist
Posted on January 1, 2015
A Cambridge, Mass., man proposed to his girlfriend using a drone.

We’re going to go ahead and call this the first-ever drone-assisted proposal, a nice reminder that the technology can be used for good.

The drone delivered the ring to Andrew as he and his girlfriend, Sophie, took a walk on the beach; he took the ring and the drone flew away, recording Andrew’s proposal (Sophie said yes).

A video of the proposal was produced by Above Summit Films, the company that also provided the drone. Above Summit is based in Somerville, Mass., and provides aerial videography for clients.



To receive the latest jewelry news and blogs every day, subscribe to JCK’s e-newsletter here.

Recommended Reading for Jewerly Designers by Nancy U

Steampunk Book and Necklaces
On the left is a Wright Brothers Necklace. On the right is a train motif.
Steampunk Emporium is in the background.

Steampunk Emporium
Jema ‘Emily Ladybird’ Hewitt
Northlight Books
Cincinnati, Ohio
copyright ©2011
ISBN -13:978-1-4403-0838-3
ISBN -10: 4403=0838-1
$27.99 USA/$31.99 in Canada

Absolutely Unique has a large stock of books which are utilized for ideas. We have a vast array of categories from Scandanavian to Space and Fossil, and each necklace is an unique item. Recently we were requested by Event Network and Greenfield Village to create Steampunk designs for the gift shops at the Ford Museum. One of my favorite Steampunk books is “Steampunk Emporium”. It has many ideas that we drew from to create our designs. Better yet, it includes a story line with extraordinary expeditions in addition to patterns and lovely pictures. I especially enjoyed the Jurassic Valley Expedition. Two brief exerpts from the book are included:

“Dear Mr. Dickens,
The jungle grows even thicker and more oppressive. At night the crys of distant unknown beasts fill the air. Lord Phillip Barhan is an exemplary expedition organizer…We have real hopes of entering Jurassic Valley again tomorrow.”

“Dear Mr. Rivett,
As we were flying over the extraordinary world of Automatopea, the balloon started to lose altitude. Mr. Woppet did his best, but slowly and surely we descended into some rose gardens adjoining an exquisite chateau…”

This is a lovely and informative book with imagination which strongly appeals to my muse. It starts with a brief description of what Steampunk is and then delves into the various themes that Steampunk is so famous for. Although the cost is somewhat prohibitive, I feel that the quality of the book makes it well worth the price. I am delighted to have this book in my jewelry library and would recommend “Steampunk Emporium” to anyone in the jewelry field or those interested in the World of Steampunk.

Russian Ladybug Necklace

Absolutely Unique’s Newest Necklace Design

My newest design completion is a Russian Fabergé Egg Pendant, which was purchased in St. Petersburg, Russia on a trip there in 2011.  These eggs resemble the famous Fabergé Eggs which originated in Russia.  The jeweled eggs were created by Peter Carl Fabergé and the most famous were presented to Alexander II and Nicholas II as Easter gifts for their wives and mothers.  The trademark is now owned by Fabergé Limited, which makes egg-themed jewellery.  These tiny replicas have a jeweled exterior and open to reveal a delicate design or dangling golden angel or butterfly enclosed in a golden case.  Each tiny Fabregé Pendant is different and only five were purchased on this trip.

This exquisite and unique egg is embellished with crystals and opens to reveal a delicate Butterfly and Ladybug nested within a golden orb.  Azurmalachite, a lovely green and blue semiprecious gemstone, matched the jeweled case beautifully.  Also included in this delicate 22″ piece are lovely 4mm Malachite Beads, forest green Freshwater Pearls, sapphire Swarovski Crystals, and 14K Gold Beads and Toggle Clasp. This is an exquisite example which returns one to an oppulent time of kings when ladies of the court wore necklaces of quality and beauty.  Earrings are included in this lovely set.

Semi-Precious Stone and Mineral Catalog from A-Z

Absolutely Unique LLC enjoys assisting their customers utilizing descriptive cards which tell about the Semi-Precious Stones and Minerals.  The cards reveal the Description, History, Location, Folklore, and Care of the Stones in the necklaces created.  This blog will be on-going and will feature different stones each week.  If you have additional information or know of something that may be incorrect, please feel free to comment, and I will be delighted to research and update the information to its proper form.  I have explored many sites to obtain accurate content and look forward to your input as well.  I will include a picture of each stone or a necklace which was created with that semi-precious stone or mineral.


Today we will talk about Alexandrite,

Description – Alexandrite is a rare variety of ChrysoBeryl which has a hardness of 8.5.  The best Alexandrite is a bright green, yet in candlelight or under a red light it changes to a bright red.

History – It was found on the Czar Alexander’s birthday in an emerald mine in Russia and was named after him.

Location – Alexandrite was first found in the Ural Mountains of Russia.  Red and Green are Russia’s Imperial colors.  Today the two most important sources of Alexandrite in the world are Brazil and Sri Lanka.  It is also found in Rhodesia, Burma, Tasmania, and the US.

Folklore – It is believed to help treat swollen lymph nodes. It is a magical gemstone with universal appeal by astrologers, scientists, and gem lovers throughtout the world.  They are often known as healing stones and is said to balance the mind and help to achieve calm.

Care – It is sensitive to knocking and heat can distort the color.

Ancient Roman Jewelry Hoard Found Under U.K. Department Store By Logan Sachon, Social Media Journalist Posted on September 8, 2014

530x519xScreen,P20Shot,P202014-09-08,P20at,P201.10.54,P20PM.png.pagespeed.ic.BxFh6fZ02GThis interesting Blog was published in the JCK Online Newspaper on September 8, 2014. It was very informative and I loved the unusual scope of the article.

Ancient Roman Jewelry Hoard Found Under U.K. Department Store
By Logan Sachon, Social Media Journalist
Posted on September 8, 2014
Courtesy Colchester Archaeological Trust

Archaeologists in the U.K. have uncovered a collection of 1st-century gold and silver jewelry thought to be the finest discovery of Roman jewelry in Britain’s history.

The find includes “three gold armlets, a silver chain necklace, two silver bracelets, a substantial silver armlet, a small bag of coins, and a small jewellery box containing two sets of gold earrings and four gold finger-rings,” according to the Colchester Archaeological Trust, which discovered the hoard.

Adam Wightman, site supervisor for the trust, uncovered the jewelry during an excavation at the Williams & Griffin department store. The trust was hired by the store’s owner, Fenwick Group, to excavate the area in preparation for a planned redevelopment.

The jewels were found buried under the floor of a house that was burned down, along with the entire town of Colchester, during Boudicca’s Revolt of 61 CE, when the Iceni tribe, native Britons led by Queen Boudicca, rebelled against Roman occupiers.

Fenwick has announced plans to give the jewelry to the Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service.

“We were pleased to fund this excavation at our store as part of its redevelopment program,” Hugo Fenwick, trading director at the Fenwick Group, told the East Anglican Daily Times. “There was always a very real possibility of unearthing a significant find in the centre of Colchester, with its antiquity and stature as Britain’s oldest recorded town. We are delighted that the archaeologists found this treasure during the very last week of their excavations, strengthening our understanding of this important Roman town and the ferocity of the Boudiccan raid.”