I call this general earring design “diadem,” which means “a jeweled crown or headband” and is a synonym for tiara, crown, and coronet. I find this term especially fitting for a design that features a focal stone “crowned” with painstakingly arranged decorative metal and gems. Hours of meticulous wrapping go into this design and the result is a true labor of love. I have been making this design for years but no two pairs of earrings are alike – I carefully choose each combination of gems to create a new breathtaking design each time. This pair is a little smaller than usual – but I have packed a lot of high-quality, untreated stones into them, including pink sapphire and ruby. The focal stones are pink sapphire in a dreamy, raspberry shade. Above and below them are little round pink tourmalines, perfectly uniform in their bubblegum color, and below are also Tanzanian rubies – and I want to emphasize that these rubies are all natural, no dye. All the way at the top there are faceted rose quartz, pale ballet-pink, wrapped up in a coil. This is the first time I’ve done a “fringe” on these earrings and I’m glad I did! I used my hand-forged headpins to hang the beads. These earrings start as frames I make to fit each individual pair of focal beads, and then I spend hours wrapping finer wire and adding gems until the earrings are complete. This pair is 1 and 7/16” long including the ear wires, and they are entirely sterling silver, which has been oxidized and polished.
About the stones:
PINK SAPPHIRE: Sapphire is one of the precious gemstones, along with ruby, emerald, and diamond. It is typically thought of as blue but comes in many colors. It is a variety of the mineral corundrum, just like ruby. In fact, all gem quality corundum that is not red is called sapphire. Sapphire that is any color besides blue is termed “fancy sapphire.” It is often heat treated for color and clarity, and occasionally fractures and cracks are healed or filled. These are industry accepted treatments.
ROSE QUARTZ: Rose quartz is a cloudy translucent pink variety of quartz. It is abundant and found in many locations all over the world. It’s highly cherished in the healing crystal community, notably for its effect on unconditional love. The hue of rose quartz is so treasured that it was the Pantone color of the year in 2016!
TANZANIAN RUBY: Ruby is a variety of corundum, just like sapphire. All red corundums are called rubies, and every color besides red in the corundum family is a sapphire – the non-blue ones are called “fancy” sapphires. It is one of four precious stones along with sapphire, emerald, and diamond. Corundum is a very hard mineral, ranked 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale, with only diamond above it at 10. “Ruby” comes from the latin word ruber, which means “red.” Ruby is frequently heat treated or dyed for color and clarity, and fractures and cracks may be filled. These treatments are accepted by the industry, though an all-natural ruby will always command a higher value. It is a July birthstone.
PINK TOURMALINE: Tourmaline is found in a huge range of colors. It is famous for its watermelon variety, which is pink, white, and green, and truly looks like sliced watermelon. However, tourmaline’s other colors are also valued. It is found in many countries, including the United States. Occasionally it is heat treated or irradiated, to improve the color – an acceptable practice.