September 17, 2012

shimmering kyanite

Kyanite raindrop necklace woodgrain silver link by Jennifer Kistler
opaque blue, darker streak on side
Some years back, when I was still fairly new to making jewelry, I stumbled across an intriguing stone in my favorite color on a web site. I had never heard of it, but felt like I had found "my" stone!

Kyanite is a lesser-known gemstone. It has two different hardnesses, 6-7 (moh's scale) across the width of the crystals, 4.5 across the length. This makes it difficult to cut. It has industrial uses, such as in heat resistant porcelains, spark plugs, and electrical insulators. Kyanite that is cut into beads is usually blue or green, but it comes in a few other colors as well. Blues range from transparent royal blue (AAA grade gems) similar to Sapphire, to medium and light blues that can be transparent, opaque, or anything in between. Blues range from cool cornflower blue to light watery aqua that can look similar to Aquamarine. Kyanite has subtle or obvious shimmery streaks through it like thin layers. Quite a bit of Kyanite is medium blue with royal blue streaks.

Kyanite horse bracelet by Jennifer Kistler, not for sale
light blue Kyanite with royal blue streaks, shimmery layers, and black inclusions
Sterling Silver snowflake earrings with Kyanite
earrings with watery Aquamarine-like Kyanite accents

Kyanite continues to be one of my favorite natural stones, so you'll see it turn up in jewelry I make. Today I'm sharing photos of a few pieces, showing some variations of the stone. It is good to know that Kyanite is a somewhat heavy stone. For instance, a necklace full of good-sized Kyanite beads will weigh noticeably more than one of, say, Jasper beads the same size. In smaller amounts it is not as noticeable. Also, it may break more easily than some stones. I recommend putting on/taking off ALL stone jewelry over carpet, a bed, or couch, in case it is fumbled and drops (I speak from experience!).

The necklace at top is currently for sale in my Etsy shop, the bracelet is my own, and the earrings are available in my secondary Etsy shop.

No comments: