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Gemstone Beads in the Necklace







Gemstone Beads in the Necklace      


Sourcing Gemstone Beads 

Gemstone beads vary widely in quality. Being a natural product they are reliant on what is dug out of the earth. Many of these stones are relatively soft in nature so don't lend themselves easily to being shaped. This makes the production of regular bead shapes problematic.

A comprehensive description and definition of what constitutes a gemstone can be found on Wikipedia. Briefly, a gemstone is a piece of mineral that has been cut and polished for use in jewellery.

Precious gemstones (diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire) are created from hard rocks which lend themselves best to cutting and shaping. The remainder are known as semi-precious gemstones.

Some semi-precious gemstones (amber, jet, pearl, coral) are not stones at all but are created from organic materials. They are regarded as gemstones as a result of their use in jewellery making.

Bead necklaces, especially in the case of pearls as well as some gemstones, are graded according to the matching sizes and colours of the individual beads. Not only are individual beads graded in their own right but they are also assessed as part of the necklace as a whole.

Semi precious gemstone beads can be graded as A AA or AAA. Lower quality beads are  ot graded at all. Many of the gemstone beads offered for sale online are ungraded.

The larger a bead, the more relevant grading becomes. Small gemstone beads (those under 5mm) do not detract significantly from the overall appearance of a necklace if they do not match.




The Beads in Birthchart Necklaces



My birthchart necklaces are created to be affordable items of costume jewellery. At the same time, however, I want them to look attractive.

All the necklaces rely on a difference in size between the 120 smaller beads which make up the background to the chart and the eleven larger beads which represent the planets.

I originally only made necklaces using 4mm semiprecious gemstone beads for the background. This was not a problem as these are relatively easy to source at a reasonable price. The single 6mm beads used for the planets did not have to match anything else so were also easily sourced at a good price.

Many coloured birthchart necklaces made from gemstonesA selection of 4mm birthchart necklaces

Then one day I wanted to create a bigger statement necklace for myself to wear to a wedding. I wanted to use 6mm beads for the background and 8mm beads for the planets. I managed to find a source of 6mm AAA rated Lapis Lazuli beads for my necklace but they weren't cheap! 

Although the necklace with the 6mm background beads looked great, I realised that to offer these with gemstone beads as background wouldn't be viable in terms of either cost or availability. I therefore considered other sources for the background beads.

Because customers often like to choose strong colours  for the main part of the necklace, I started using glass beads for this and only adding single semiprecious beads to represent the planets. Glass beads are readily available in both bright and subtler colours and blend well with the gemstone planets.

In the case of the necklaces made up of 4mm background beads, I still create some using gemstones as background as these are acceptable with variations.

Many coloured birthchart necklaces made from gemstonesA selection of 4mm birthchart necklaces

My birthchart necklaces are created to be affordable items of costume jewellery. At the same time, however, I want them to look attractive.

All the necklaces rely on a difference in size between the 120 smaller beads which make up the background to the chart and the eleven larger beads which represent the planets.

I originally only made necklaces using 4mm semiprecious gemstone beads for the background. This was not a problem as these are relatively easy to source at a reasonable price. The single 6mm beads used for the planets did not have to match anything else so were also easily sourced at a good price.

Then one day I wanted to create a bigger statement necklace for myself to wear to a wedding. I wanted to use 6mm beads for the background and 8mm beads for the planets. I managed to find a source of 6mm AAA rated Lapis Lazuli beads for my necklace but they weren't cheap! 

Although the necklace with the 6mm background beads looked great, I realised that to offer these with gemstone beads as background wouldn't be viable in terms of either cost or availability. I therefore considered other sources for the background beads.

Because customers often like to choose strong colours  for the main part of the necklace, I started using glass beads for this and only adding single semiprecious beads to represent the planets. Glass beads are readily available in both bright and subtler colours and blend well with the gemstone planets.

In the case of the necklaces made up of 4mm background beads, I still create some using gemstones as background as these are acceptable with variations.



Why a certain gemstone bead was chosen to represent each planet in the birthchart necklace




The gemstone beads used in the necklace to represent each of the planets were chosen with care. Just as each planet traditionally represents certain characteristics and influences so too gemstones have specific qualities and exert certain influences of their own.

When deciding which gemstone bead would be used to represent each individual planet, I carefully considered the qualities of each and tried to find one whose charateristics matched to some degree those of the planet in question. This wasn't possible in every case. 

Where the symbolism of gemstone and planet didn't quite match up I matched them using other attributes such as the appearance of planet and bead.

 The gemstone beads I chose to represent each planet are as follows:



single amazonite gemstone bead

Mercury - Amazonite

The Amazonite was so called because green stones of a similar colour had been found in the Amazon River. It is doubtful, however, as to whether this stone has ever been found there.It is a form of feldspar which has been found in parts of Colorado and Virginia in the US, as well as in Madagascar, Brazil and parts of Russia.

The Amazonite is associated with helping in matters of communication. In particular it is said to help you tell the truth and to sort out difficult situations. Mercury too is associated with all forms of communication.


single aventurine gemstone bead

Uranus - Aventurine

Aventurine is a form of quartz. It is found in India, Brazil, Russia and Tanzania among others.

This gemstone enhances decisiveness, creativity and a pioneering spirit. In astrology Uranus is also associated with freedom of spirit and a dislike of rules.


single carnelian gemstone bead

Pluto - Carnelian

The Carnelian is a form of chalcedony which gets its red colour from the presence of iron oxides. It is found commonly in Brazil, India, Siberia and Germany.

As a gemstone, the Carnelian is relevant to thespians as it can be of assistance in drama and activities related to theatrical presentations. It also helps provide a stable atmosphere within the home.

It was chosen to represent Pluto for its link with sexuality and attraction. Pluto is the ruler of Scorpio which is also noted for sexual attraction and desires among other attributes.


single citrine gemstone bead

Jupter - Citrine

This is yet another variety of quartz and comes mainly from Brazil.

The Citrine as a gemstone is associated with Jupiter. Just as Jupiter is astrologically a planet of good things, success and expansion, so too the Citrine is regarded as the bringer of health and prosperity.


single garnet gemstone bead

Mars - Garnet

The Garnet is a silicate mineral. It has been used in jewellery for hundreds of years. It can be found in other colours although red is by far the most common. The name "garnet" comes from the word for dark red in Middle English.

This gemstone revitalises and energises. In the necklace it represents Mars which is the ruler of the sign of Aries. Aries, regarded as the first sign of the zodiac, relates to drive and going forward.


single gemstone bead of lapis lazuli

Neptune - Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli is a metamorphic rock which has been used in jewellery for thousands of years. It is attractive due to its deep blue colour and is much prized. Most of it comes from Afghanistan and Pakistan although it is also found in Russia, Chile, Italy, the United States, Canada and Mongolia.

This stone is ground into powder to create ultramarine pigment - the source of the very valuable blue colour used in painting.

As a gemstone, Lapis Lazuli inspires creative expression. It also enhances serenity and self-acceptance. It was chosen to represent Neptune, named after the sea god, for its colour. 

In astrology, however, Neptune is also the ruler of the water sign of Pisces and is associated with dreaming and creative ideas.


single gemstone moonstone bead

Moon - Moonstone

This stone is made up of two species of feldspar. It can be found in many countries including Armenia, Austria, Australia, Mexico, Madagascar and the United States.

The Moonstone has been used in jewellery since earliest times and has always been associated with the Moon. This made it a natural choice to represent the planet in the necklace.


single peridot gemstone bead

Chiron - Peridot

The Peridot is a form of olivine and only occurs in green although the shade of green may vary. It is mined in several US states as well as several other countries including Australia, Brazil, China and Egypt.

The Peridot is said to have the power to provide a shield of protection around the body. it can help heal a bruised ego and inspires internal happiness. As such it was felt appropriate to select it to represent the planet known astrologically as the "wounded healer".


single rock crystal gemstone bead

Sun - Rock Crystal

The Rock Crystal is a form of quartz. It was chosen to represent the Sun because it is strong and bright and makes a statement. In the birthchart the position of the Sun represents the person themselves.


single gemstone bead in rose quartz

Venus - Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz is exactly what its name implies - pink quartz. It is known as the "love stone" so is appropriate to represent the planet named after the goddess of love - Venus.

It is said to be able to remove negativity and bring calm and harmony again as well as engendering loving relationships.


single gemstone bead in tiger eye

Saturn - Tiger Eye

This is a metamorphic rock. It is so-called because its colours resemble the eye of a tiger.

It was chosen to represent the planet Saturn mainly for its appearance which is similar to that of the planet itself as seen in photographs.



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  1. Ooak Gifts
  2. Birthchart Necklaces
  3. Gemstone Beads