Greek Jewelry Part 3: Earrings

Purchase Handmade Bead Jewelry at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/carmilitaearrings

The almost complete absence of specimens of jewelry from the mainland of Greece is due to those acts of pillage which continually took place at localities well known as cemeteries. Only in tombs concealed by their environment, or lost to sight in semi-barbarous countries, have sufficient ornaments been found for us to form an estimate of the perfection which this branch of the industrial arts then attained.

The chief sources of these discoveries have been the Crimea, the Greek islands, the west coast of Asia Minor, and Southern Italy—known in ancient times as Magna Graecia. Of these districts by far the most important was that on the northern shore of the Black Sea, called formerly the Tauric Chersonese and now the Crimea, where in close proximity to the warlike Scythian tribes a Greek colony had settled as early as the sixth century before our era.

Excavations made also in the adjacent peninsula of Taman have revealed numerous articles of gold, all belonging to the latter half of the fourth century. The wealth of gold on. the shores of the Black Sea, which is the basis of the early Greek legends of the Golden Fleece, had attracted merchant adventurers at an early date.

And the Greek goldsmiths who settled there forwarded their productions both to their mother-country and to the neighboring lands of the barbarians. Excavations undertaken by the Russian Government near Kertch, the ancient Panti-kapaion, gave rise to an important discovery in 1831, when the opening of the celebrated tumulus Koul-Oba revealed a magnificent display of Greek jewelry.

These treasures, and others which the enterprise of the Russian Government has brought to light, are preserved at St. Petersburg in the Museum of the Hermitage.

Italy, less systematically ravaged than Greece, has proved exceedingly rich in finds of antique jewelry. Except for a few scattered fragments from Greece proper and the other sources mentioned above, public and private cabinets, outside Russia, are made up almost exclusively of the results of excavations in the burial-places of Magna Graecia.

In no ornament did the Greek jeweler exhibit his-fertility of invention to a greater degree than in the variety and beauty of the forms given to earrings. They divide naturally into two classes.

The first, the earlier, are ring-shaped, of two halves formed in a mold and united together. They terminate at one end with a human head—like that of a Msenad in a specimen in the British Museum—or more usually with the head of a lion, bull, or some other animal.

To the second class belong those attached to the ear by a hook masked by a rosette or disc. From this hang one or more pendants of a variety of designs. In rare instances these consist of beads hung to little chains; but the logical sense of the ancients preferred for the purpose things that might be imagined as floating, such as a little figure of Eros, or a tiny Victory bearing a wreath. The place on the ring where the pendant is attached is almost invariably made prominent by a saucer-shaped rosette, a mask, or similar object ornamented with fine threads of gold. Opaque enamel, of white, blue, or green, is sometimes found applied thinly to the surface of the metal.

Many earrings are of the most complicated design. When the ear-pendant was confined to a ring with a crescent-shaped lower part, this ornament would produce no effect except when the wearer was seen in profile.

In order to make the ornament visible from the front, the idea suggested itself to hang the crescent ring on to a smaller one.

Wonderfully well executed are some of the later Greek earrings in which small figures are attached directly to the hook which is inserted into the ear. Among these are figures of Eros playing a musical instrument or holding a jug as if pouring a libation.

By the amplification of the appendages we find the simpler earrings assume such an immense increase in dimension as to make it impossible that they were attached to the lobe of the ear. It may be assumed that they were fastened to the diadem or front-let, or to a plaited tress of hair, and hung over the ear, or more to the front over the temples. Naturally this species of ornament, owing to its weight and the many separate pieces of which it was made, would prevent the wearer from making any rapid movements, but was adapted to a slow and dignified pace in walking. It would also have the additional motive of increasing the commanding appearance of the individual. A splendid pair of head appendages of this character discovered at Kertch are now at St. Petersburg.

They are composed of two large medallions representing the head of Athene, whose helmet is adorned with sphinxes and gryphons. From these are suspended several rows of amphora-shaped ornaments covered with fine filigree decoration.

Purchase Handmade Bead Jewelry at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/carmilitaearrings

Continued in Part 4

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Bead Dangle Earring Jewelry Making Technique Part 1: The Open Loop

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What is an open loop bead dangle? The open loop bead dangle is one jewelry making technique for making eye loops in the end of a wire jewelry component. This technique is used most often for making bead dangles to hang beads from earrings or necklaces. It is an acceptable technique to use when making lightweight earrings. For earrings having significant weight the “wrapped loop” technique is better and stronger to be able to hold greater weight.  However, for lightweight dangle earrings, the open loop works very well. Most of the earrings I am creating now are lightweight and are made using the open eye loop. In fact, I use the one step looper tool which works excellent in making consistently nice open loops.

In the photograph you can see an open loop.

To make the open loop without using the one step looper tool, you will need either about 4 inches of jewelry wire or an eye pin or head pin. The photograph here is actually the top of an eye pin. Eye pins always have the open loop at the end. You can open the loop with round nose pliers to start the beading process or to hang whatever you choose on your earrings, then close the loop back using the pliers. I use head pins for most of my earring designs. A headpin usually has a “stopper” at the end to keep the beads from falling off at least one end. This stopper point is either flat or on some head pins it is round.

You will also need round nose pliers, bent chain nose pliers and cutting pliers to make open loops on wire or head pins, that is, if you do not use the one step looper tool.

Step 1: Add your chosen beads to the head pin or wire.

Step 2: Grasp the wire or headpin immediately above your last bead u sing the bent chain nose pliers. To minimize the amount of wire or head pin above your last bead, grasp the wire or head pin right at the last bead using the tip of bent chain nose pliers. The technique is easier when you use 1/2 hard wire and even easier using the one step looper tool.

Step 3: Push the wire over 90 degrees with your thumb as close to the pliers as possible making a nice crisp bend. You do not want a “rounded” bend, and again, if you want perfect open loops every time, invest in the one step looper tool. This tool will save you a lot of headaches especially if you are making a lot of open loop earrings designs or you are a novice.

Step 4: Re-orientate the wire in your pliers to complete the loop and push the wire until you have completed a nice loop as shown in the eye pin photograph. Best loops are not exactly circle size, but a little like oval size.

Step 5: Inspect the loop to be sure it is centered. If the loop is off center, use your pliers to insert the loop fully and twist it one way or the other until the loop is centered over the vertical wire or head pin. The open loop forms a connecting point for earring hooks. You can either leave the open loop a little open or open up the loop on your earring hook. I usually just leave the open loop a little open and then close the loop after placing an earring hook.

Step 6: If you are using wire, you will now need to cut the excess wire using your cutting pliers. Place the flat side of wire cutter toward the finished wire component and cut excess wire at the point where it overlaps the beginning of the loop. If you are using a one step looper tool, the tool will cut the wire at the precise point needed while making your perfect size loop all in one step.

Step 7: After you have cut off the excess wire, you will need to close the loop with bent nose pliers. Simply grasp the loop and twist it closed.

Creating loops is actually the very first and most basic technique you will need to learn when making dangle earrings.

Written by: Connie Limon

Meet Joy:

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Joy is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Christmas Collection. She dangles about one inch from hook. She is appropriate for gift giving. She is also appropriate for wearing to any kind of Holiday celebration.

Materials used:

2 antique copper head pins

 

2 antique copper French earring hooks

3 antique copper 3 mm bead caps

2 red glass crackle beads 6 mm

2 milky white faceted glass bead

I chose to call these earrings “Joy” because of the joy people usually feel during the Christmas holidays. Joy is a popular name for girls born around Christmas time.
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Carmilita’s Christmas Collection Handmade Red and Silver Dangle Earrings: “Bailey” (FREE SHIPPING)

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Bailey is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Christmas Collection of dangle earrings. She dangles a little more than one inch from the hook. Bailey’s focal point is the “lampwork” beads 12 mm. These are absolutely out of this world GORGEOUS Chinese Glass Beads. They have markings of gold splattered through the bead. Every time you turn your head and the light flickers through these beads it gives an illusion of a lamp shade with the light on inside, beautiful patterns of flowers light up behind the shade. Leave it to the Chinese artists to give us beautiful flower patterns in all designs!

These earrings say “holiday celebrations” for sure. They are appropriate for Christmas or New Year Party wear. They are appropriate for Holiday gift giving.

I chose the name “Bailey” for this pair of earrings in memory of the character in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.” When you wear these earrings I suspect you will feel happy, gay, in the spirit of Christmas, and “it’s a wonderful life.” When I look at these earrings, they say all those things to me. The beads also resemble “Christmas Bells.”

Materials used:
2 silver plated french earring hooks
2 silver plated beaded bead caps 3 mm
2 silver filigree (cut-out) beads 3 mm
2 sparkling red Swarovski glass round faceted beads 6 mm

Bailey’s Price is $15 (includes shipping)
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August Birthstone Peridot May have Been the “Emeralds” of Egypt’s Famous Queen Cleopatra

I was born in August so I am keenly aware of the birthstone for that month which is “peridot.” The word “peridot” is derived from the Arabic word for gem, which is ‘faridat.’

The August birthstone of peridot is sometimes known as ‘the poor man’s emerald.’ It has always been associated with light. The Egyptians called the peridot gem, “gem of the sun,” and some egyptians believed it protected its owner from terrors of the night especially if the gemstone was set into gold.

An interesting note about the peridot gemstone is that some historians believe Queen Cleopatra of Egypt wore peridot gems referred to then as “emeralds.”

Queen Cleopatra was not actually Egyptian as she resided in her famous role of Queen of Egypt. She was of the Macedonian dynasty and was the last of her bloodline.

The peridot gemstone has other interesting aspects in past history in that the Romans called this gemstone “evening emerald,” because its color did not darken at night and could still be appreciated by candle light as well as campfire light. Ever notice the beautiful lime green colors in a peridot gemstone under candle light? It is a beautiful sight to see. Peridot gemstones come in several color variations ranging from a yellowish green to brown. I, like many lovers and buyers of the peridot stone prefer the bright lime greens. The Peridot stone is used a lot in smaller cut sizes for beaded earrings, necklaces and bracelets. It is a very much prized gem for its resting, peaceful yellowish green hues and interesting background history. The larger cut pieces can be super gorgeous and very attractive smaller cuts are widely available for all price ranges.

The Peridot gemstones is found in rounded rocks with peridot crystals inside in some lava flows in the U.S., China and Vietnam. Large crystals are found in some types of solidfied molten rock. Some people have said the Peridot gemstones have even been found on the planet Mars. It may be a bit softer than other stones requiring extra care from scratches.

Store handmade Peridot gemstone jewelry pieces separately from other pieces of jewelry most preferably wrapped in a soft cloth and in a fabric-lined protected jewelry box if possible to help preserve the quality of the stone. Peridot stones clean up easily using warm, mild soapy water and a soft toothbrush and cloth. Always rinse well after cleaning and never use ultrasonic cleaners or heat steamers to clear Peridot stones.

Written by: Connie Limon for Carmilita’s Handmade Jewelry

Meet: Joy

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Joy is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Christmas Collection. She dangles about one inch from hook. She is appropriate for gift giving. She is also appropriate for wearing to any kind of Holiday celebration.

Materials used:

2 antique copper head pins

2 antique copper French earring hooks

3 antique copper 3 mm bead caps

2 red glass crackle beads 6 mm

2 milky white faceted glass bead

I chose to call these earrings “Joy” because of the joy people usually feel during the Christmas holidays. Joy is a popular name for girls born around Christmas time.

Purchase Joy here: Carmilita’s Handmade Jewelry

Advantages of Costume Jewelry Over More Traditional Jewelry

Have you thought of costume jewelry as a collection say in the same way more expensive jewelry becomes collections to those who can afford it? Costume jewelry collections is certainly a less expensive alternative with styles, designs and colors to match every outfit in your closet as well as your personality all without breaking your bank account. Costume jewelry is widely available in almost every material known to mankind, which means none of have to do without just because we are not part of the rich and famous crowds of people. Sterling silver, wood, metals, resin plastics, glass just to name a few types of materials available to us today for creating our costume jewelry designs is widely available leaving it all up to just whatever each of us can imagine and create from it all. The use of sparkling “colored” gem stones helps create a pleasing to the eyes and senses sensation giving way to an appreciation of beauty jewelry artists around the world can all relate to as well as those who purchase our handmade pieces of works of art.

At one time costume jewelry was considered “junk jewelry,” but this is not the case anymore as more and more people become obsessed with the beauty of costume jewelry art. It is now being seen more as artistic, tasteful and in good taste. The price of costume jewelry depends upon the cost of materials, but also, the appearance of each piece plays a huge part of pricing costume jewelry. The huge advantage of having more costume jewelry (a particular piece, color, shape or style for every outfit in your closet) as compared to traditional more expensive pieces of jewelry seems to be more and more the trend for many people unable to afford the high prices of traditional jewelry. We are also seeing costume jewelry, especially that made by hand artisans, is much more unique as well. It is much less likely you will show up wearing the same pair of earrings that anyone else in the crowd is wearing to any given event, whether it be in the office, the company picnics, or evening life. It is difficult to buy expensive jewelry as often as a person buys new clothes, and much more economical to purchase unique handmade costume jewelry instead. You don’t have to worry so much about loosing a $1,000 earring out of your ear while on the dance floor as you would a $15 pair instead. For many people more expensive traditional jewelry is just not a sensible or practical choice. Affordable handmade costume or fashion jewelry assures you have jewelry for every outfit and every occasion. Costume or fashion jewelry definitely reflects the wearer’s personality without checks bouncing from your bank account. I also love to find FREE shipping incentives. Don’t you just hate to pay for your earrings and then find that you have to pay an additional $5 or more just to have them delivered to your door. At Carmilita’s Handmade Jewelry, I offer FREE shipping for every purchase. Your shipping costs is within the total price you pay. There is no add-on shipping fee at the end of your check out that perhaps you never figured when you decided to purchase. I decied to offer free shipping because of my own shopping experiences. I would find a pair of earrings for $5 to $7 and then find at the check out I had to pay $6.99 just to have them delivered to me. After seeing the shipping charge, I often abandoned the choice.

Although many people still “bark” about costume jewelry being fake or imitation jewelry, it is in higher demand now in the year 2014 than ever before. With so many people out of work and the prices of everything that sustains our survival keep going up, people are just accepting there is beautiful pieces of jewelry that does not come with an expensive price tag and oftentimes is even more beautiful than the more expensive traditional jewelry. Costume or fashion jewelry definitely is also a “collector’s item.” Of course higher priced traditional jewelry still has its own buyers, costume or fashion jewelry is in demand. It is affordable, there is a wide range of styles, designs, colors, and flexibility which makes it now much more sought after than days gone by.

And there are many mass producing costume jewelry manufacturers, but why purchase a piece of jewelry “everybody else” is most likely to have the same of when you can purchase from hand jewelry artists and receive pieces that are most often just one of a kind?

As collections, handmade costume jewelry is a great choice. Most of us “collect” something we display on our desks at work or keep hidden away in orginal packaging in our closets. People spend hours upon top of hours researching, digging, looking and finding things to collect in every nook and corner imagainable. From designer bags, comic books, shoes to handmade costume jewelry, each of us have a space reserved for collecting “something.” Handmade costume jewelry is a great choice for the collector.

 

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Materials used:

2 silver plated French earring hooks

2 silver plated headpins

2 silver plated 4mm bicone metal beads

2 pink 8×5 mm glass crystal rondelles

2 pink crazy lace agate 20 mm semiprecious puff coins

Robin’s Price is $15 (includes shipping fees)

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Carmilita’s Christmas Collection Red and White Dangle Earrings: “Joy”

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Joy is a pair of dangle earrings I added to Carmilita’s Christmas Collection. She dangles about one inch from hook. She is appropriate for gift giving. She is also appropriate for wearing to any kind of Holiday celebration.

Materials used:

2 antique copper head pins

2 antique copper French earring hooks

3 antique copper 3 mm bead caps

2 red glass crackle beads 6 mm

2 milky white faceted glass bead

I chose to call these earrings “Joy” because of the joy people usually feel during the Christmas holidays. Joy is a popular name for girls born around Christmas time.

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Joy’s Price is $10 (includes shipping)
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