Pendants Tips

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What is an animal totem?

Animal Totems

When considering a gift for a friend, or a piece for yourself, you may consider an gemstone animal pendant. Many people believe in animal totems, a symbol used by a person to connect with an animal so as to take on some of their characteristics, whether it be speed, patience, aggression, sweetness or magic. If you want to discover your own animal totem, ask yourself what animal you are drawn to, what characteristics of that animal do resonate with you? If you can identify your animal totem, consider choosing an animal pendant to remind you of your tie to nature and to that animal.

How do I choose the right pendant bead gemstones for my finished piece?

Semi-Precious vs. Precious Gemstones

How do you tell the difference between precious and semi-precious gemstones when choosing pendant beads? Rare gemstones are called precious gems, and are made up of stones like emeralds, diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Semi-precious stones are not as rare as these stones, and comprise the rest of the gemstone market. Semi-precious stones are rated by their color intensity, sheen, and attractiveness. You should look for unblemished stones that are smooth, shiny, and appealing. If the gemstone includes a pattern, it should be evenly distributed throughout the stone. Wholesalers can help you choose the right stone for your needs and price range. Knowing how to choose your gemstone pendant beads will add to the beauty and depth of the finished piece.

Can I find pre-wrapped gemstone hearts to use in pendants?

Heart Pendants

Wrapped gemstone pieces are hot right now, including wrapped hearts to create stunning pendants as a token of love and affection. You can wrap your own gemstone hearts with wire, but there's an easier way to create these striking works of art. You can purchase a wide variety of gemstone hearts, already wrapped. These stones also come with a loop or bail for mounting. What could be simpler? They also come in many different sizes. Add your own designer touches to these gemstones, and you'll have created an eye-catching piece in a fraction of the time.

What are some metaphysical properties of the stones used in pendants?

The Properties of Stones and Pendants

Have you considered choosing your gemstone pendant based on the properties of the stones from which they are made? For example, Amethyst is purported to be the "stone of spirituality and contentment". It's a calming stone that helps in meditation and in the acceptance of new ideas. Carnelian is known to encourage kinship and to encourage analytical capabilities and precision. Carnelian also enhances creativity, individuality and prosperity. Hematite is a stone for mental acuity, memory enhancement, original thinking and technical knowledge. It is said to bring peace and inner happiness. Jasper is a stone known for its nurturing properties. It is often used to encourage and hasten healing and was often worn by high priests for protection. Many people also select gemstones for enhancing specific chakras, for example blue stones such as Sodalite for the throat chakra.

What do semi-precious gemstones have to do with pendant light?

Pendant Light

Many people believe there are healing and beneficial properties in semi-precious gemstones. They feel the different hues of the gemstones can capture light and radiate it into our bodies. Our bodies are made up of seven different types of light, according to ancient principles. If one of these lights is deficient, then our health suffers. Knowing the right light takes study, but creating gemstone pendants in different colors can help enhance the pendant light reflected into the body, and possibly enhance the wearer's mood and health. So, when you choose gemstones for your pendants, make sure to choose an assortment of colors and shades for maximum beauty and health.

Which are some of the more colorful gems to use for pendants?

Lace Agate Pendants

Crazy lace agate is also known as Mexican agate. It is typically a white stone, opaque in nature and patterned like a multicolored cloth. At one time, this type of agate was worn to please the gods, and to enhance courage. Now, it makes a beautiful pendant. Colors vary among butterscotch, tan, brown, orange, creams and dark grey. Some lace agate pendants have translucent sections. In many cases, these are used in mini collar style necklaces or fans. By placing several of these pieces together in a fan style, you can truly see the varying color and texture of this unusual stone. Crazy Lace pendants are also available in some cases, the stone looks its best in flat styles because you get the full effect of this multi-tonal stone. If you are interested in a more facted look, you should consider Rose Quartz and Amethyst which look amazing when cut as a faceted gemstone.

I'm tired of gold pendants. Do they come in other shapes and colors?

Be Creative with Pendants

Pendants are popular because they can be beautiful and have wonderful meaning. Heart pendants are often favored for gift giving, as are cross pendants. Don't feel that you need to limit yourself to a typical gold heart or cross pendant - you have many wonderful and creative options for materials. Heart pendants in Carnelian Agate, Rose Quartz and Russian Amazonite are beautiful and available online. Or you might try shell heart pendants with a spiral design on one side and a fan design on the other. Cross pendants come in Jasper, Lapis Lazuli and Blue Goldstone, to name a few. These stones give a unique twist to the pendant tradition and will let you get just the right piece for that someone special.

What makes crystal heart pendants so dramatic?

Crystal Heart Pendants

One of the most dazzling effects of a large pendant piece is the way the central stone catches and reflects the light. Crystal heart pendants are an excellent example of this pendant lighting that catches the eye and won't let it go. Crystal heart pendant stones come in a variety of colors and sizes. They can be predrilled with a bail, or you can drill them yourself. Several small crystal hearts side-drilled and mounted on a chain make a stunning choker, while a large crystal heart can be the focal point of a dramatic pendant. Most dealers stock a wide variety of crystal hearts and other crystal shapes, because they are extremely popular now.

How do I plan for stringing a pendant on a beaded necklace?

Stringing Your Pendant

Using a pendant in your necklace design requires planning. You must interrupt the bead strand in the middle of your design to attach your pendant. Typically the pendant will be larger in size and it may be made of a different material. Cross Pendants and heart pendants are both very popular options and can make beautiful bead jewelry pieces. Half of the beads must be strung prior to stringing the pendant then the remaining beads should be strung. There must be sufficient thread on both sides of the pendant to string all the beads and the clasp (if any). This is especially important if the beads are going to be knotted to keep them in place. This is a great example of how helpful a bead board can be - and how important it is to plan out your necklace before you begin to create it.

Are there pendants geared towards motherhood and the earth?

Earth Mother Pendants

Some women celebrate their motherhood by wearing specialized and meaningful pendants. Motherhood pendants or earth mother pendants can be made of several types of gemstones including sodalite, jasper and tiger iron and are carved into a beautiful rounded shape that exemplifies the roundness and fertility of both a pregnant mother and the round earth. Another popular earth mother symbol worn as a pendant is the Quan yin protector. Quan yin represents the divine mother in Buddhism. These pendants are usually carved on both sides and can be made of amethyst, rose quarts or crystal.

What size chain should I choose for my pendant?

Pendants and Chain Length

Pendants can range in size from delicate to quite large. Dramatic pendants will take up significant space on the wearer's chest. When planning a necklace pendant, factor in the size of the pendant accent piece. If you are trying to create a choker like bead necklace or pendant, you will want to keep your length at about 16 inches. For a necklace or pendant that should dangle at the collarbone, lengthen up to 17 or 18 inches. For below the collarbone, a great location for a dramatic pendant, your chain or necklace should measure about 20 inches. A 22 inch chain or necklace will land at your neckline, depending on your shirt or top and a 24inch chain or necklace will run below the neckline.

What types of gemstones are available to use in cross pendants?

Gemstone Cross Pendants

Many designers think of gold and silver when designing cross pendants, but a visit to any jewelry wholesaler should give designers a wealth of other ideas. Cross-shaped pendant beads are available in everything from Venetian glass to gemstones. Many of these pendant-sized stones are hand carved and predrilled for stringing. Others come with a pin embedded in the stone itself, along with a bail. Most crosses come with silver or gold findings for additional sparkle, but simple and elegant gemstone cross pendants make a statement all their own, and really don't need "bling," they carry their own message without it.

How can I spot synthetic gemstone pearls and pendant beads?

Synthetic Gemstone Pendant Beads

Some unscrupulous dealers will sell gemstones that are not really gemstones at all. They are synthetic stones created to look like the real thing. They are made at a fraction of the cost, but sold as the more expensive stones. Tip-offs that your stones might not be what you think they are can be the names. Gemstones with country names, such as "Arkansas diamond," "Korean jade," or "Spanish emerald." True gemstone names come from the stone, not a country, and this can be a tip-off the gems are not real. The same holds true with pearls. Many descriptive names are applied to them, such as "Red Sea pearls," or "Roman pearls." These are often synthetic pearls sold as the real thing. The best way to protect yourself from phony gemstones is to always deal with a reputable dealer. Build a relationship with your wholesaler, and don't be afraid to ask questions if you're not sure about a stone or its origins.

Are different gemstone religious symbols available for pendants?

Other Religious Pendants

Cross pendants are extremely popular, but when you design religious jewelry, think outside the box. There are many other religious symbols that work into themselves into spectacular pendants, from the popular fish symbols to doves of peace. Don't forget other religious symbols too, like Buddha, Earth Mother symbols, or the Star of David. Limiting designs to one religious symbol limits your sales. Most wholesalers carry a wide variety of religious symbols and designs, from crosses to Celtic knots, so you can create a wide assortment of religious pendants that appeal to a cross-section of customers.

Can I mix gemstone pendant beads with precious stones?

Pendant Beads and Diamonds

Don't be afraid to combine gemstones and precious gems in your pendant designs. Diamonds are a girls best friend, but everyone can have too much of a good thing! Dressing diamonds down by combining them with beautiful gemstone pendant beads means your creation can be worn for everyday wear, or dressed up for upscale occasions. Pendant beads come in a variety of pre-drilled and undrilled shapes and sizes so you can mix and match them with many precious stones, like diamonds. Most dealers will drill their pendant beads any way you'd like, which makes it easier to created mixed designs, no matter what size pendant you're creating.

Can I create a cross pendant with gemstone beads?

Creating Cross Pendants

You don't have to use a large, pre-drilled gemstone for your cross pendant. Try creating your own cross out of small gemstone beads. You can create a cross with different colors, graduated sizing, and any number of unique elements. Using small pendant beads to create a gemstone cross is also a good way to use up a few leftover beads. A beaded cross pendant would be stunning with a gold or silver chain, but you could also create a beaded necklace to match the cross with smaller beads, or a combination of cord and beads. Spend some time at your bead wholesaler to see the many different items they carry. You can get fresh ideas for cross pendants and other designs simply by browsing in the bead store for a few hours.

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Lynda Moultry