Mohs Scale of Hardness

This blog post is dedicated to Mohs scale of hardness. We use it frequently with our stone of the month series so we wanted to take this opportunity to dedicate an entire post to explain it. It is important to know the Mohs hardness in order to better care for different gemstones.

The Mohs scale is a way of measuring a stone’s scratch resistance against a harder material. It was invented in 1812 by the German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs and ever since has been used to test and describe the hardness of minerals. While Mohs was the first one to invent an actual scale, testing the hardness of minerals by scratching them against each other was nothing new to people at that point. As a matter of fact, people had been doing it for hundreds of years prior.

The scale goes from 1 being the softest to 10 the hardest. If you have been following our birthstone blog series, then you know that diamonds are the hardest of all minerals, measuring a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. The turquoise on the other hand only measures a 5-7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which makes this stone soft and prone to scratches.

To give you a better idea of how hard a diamond actually is let’s compare it to common objects. For example a fingernail is a 2.5 on the scale, while a copper penny is not much higher with a 3 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Glass on the other hand is already about a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it about as hard as quartz.

I hope this helped you understand what we are talking about when we get a little bit carried away with all of our jewelry and gemstone talk!

Jasper – Stone of the Month

An alternative birthstone for March is Jasper, a gemstone known for its many colors and its beautiful and unique patterns.

Jasper is often thought to be part of the chalcedony class of gemstones. However, it can contain up to 20% foreign material, which results in the beautiful patterns. This makes Jasper considered a group of its own. The Jasper is a 6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which makes it a fairly hard gemstone.

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The Jasper rarely comes in one uniform color. Most of the time these gemstones have streaks or spots of other colors, which results in many names for the varieties of the gemstones, including my favorites “picture jasper“, “ocean jasper” and “nebula jasper“. Because the jasper is an opaque gemstone it tends to be cut as cabochons with a smooth rounded surface. Some versions of the stone can be very inexpensive while other more rare deposits can be very expensive. The patterns and colors are what makes these stones so beautiful, many jewelers go for larger cut stones, making sure to showcase the best aspects. Most jaspers do not need to be treated or enhanced, however some are color-dyed.

Just like most gemstones, the Jasper is also believed to have healing and protective powers. In ancient times, parents often put a jasper in their children’s room in order to protect them from nightmares, snakes and spider bites. Jasper has also been said to instill confidence and courage when touched. This is why some people like to wear a necklace with a small Jasper pendant, so they have the stone close to them at all times.

Photo Credit: Flickr.com – rockman836

Trendseeder Exclusive!

This year is already so crazy, we have yet another exciting development to share with you! We are now selling some of our pieces, including one very EXCLUSIVE piece on Trendseeder!

Trendseeder is a super fun and new website, where you can get unique limited edition fashion pieces from emerging designers. We love Trendseeder, because they spend a lot of energy describing the very strong connection between the designers and their products. I myself did an interview with Trendseeder, explaining my work a little bit more in depth. Click here to check it out.

The exclusive piece for Trendseeder comes from the brand new Cumulus Collection. The cuff I created for the collection was a collaboration with blogger Claire Geist – vintage but modern, avant-garde yet classic. As you will find out soon in our upcoming blog series “Collections – Inspirations”, I have always been very intrigued by the hard to see parts of nature, especially the abstract structural connection between biological cells and celestial bodies. The Cumulus cuff is no different, and got its inspiration, as well as its name, from cumulus clouds which looks very similar to dividing cells.

Cumulus Cuff - Exclusive piece for Trendseeder.com

Cumulus Cuff – Exclusive piece for Trendseeder.com

The Cumulus cuff is elegant and delicate yet strong and fun to wear. We like to wear the the opening of the cuff on top of our arm, so the “clouds”, which are what makes this piece a little different, are visible and add a unique touch to any outfit, be it day or night. We also like to stack the Cumulus cuff with a couple of other bracelets, such as our Nebula or Shooting Star bracelets. It is like one big party on our arm!

New Blog Series: HOW TO…

Me at my bench...

Me at my bench…

Happy New Year!

We have exciting news to share! Next week we will be introducing our brand new “HOW TO” blog series! We are very excited about this blog series, as it will not only feature many new and exciting pictures but also videos featuring how the magic happens!

We want to give you a better insight on how we make our jewelry, how we take care of it and many more insider tips and tricks. Also, we would love to hear some ideas from you! So if there is something you want to see or if you have a question that you have been burning to ask… leave us a comment or shoot us a quick email at info@rebeccazemans.com

We are excited to hear from you!

Last minute holiday sale!

We hope your holiday season is going as well as ours!

Thank you so much to all of you who came out to the One of a Kind Show and our studio sales! Each show was a great success and we couldn’t have done it without you… Thank you!

To all of you who couldn’t make it to any of the shows, don’t worry, there is still a way for you to get your hands on beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry for the holidays!

One-of-a-kind Satellite Cluster

One-of-a-kind Satellite Cluster by Rebecca Zemans

Like us on facebook and get 10% off when you come by the studio this week to pick out a piece! If you like us already, you will automatically get 10% off. We will be open Thursday, December 20th and Friday, December 21st from 11a-7:30p, Saturday December 22nd from 3p-8p and then Sunday, December 23rd from 12p to 5p. Please call 312.636.5557 or email info (at) rebeccazemans.com to set up an appointmnet. This is our Final Holiday Sale for 2012!

If we don’t hear from you this week, we hope you have a joyous, healthy and peaceful holiday.

With Gratitude,

Rebecca

Dawn Clark Netsch Award

In September, the Illinois Artisan Gallery contacted me to submit a design to create a brooch that would serve as an award to honor a woman in Illinois that exemplifies Dawn Clark Netsch. I was extremely honored and excited to win the commission. Not only is Mrs. Netsch a role model for many, it was extra special because my mother worked with her and I had always heard so many wonderful things about Mrs. Netsch growing up.

Dawn Clark Netsch

Mrs. Netsch is a pioneer in education, law, and politics. In addition to being a professor at Northwestern University, she was a state senator for 18 years. In 1990, she became the state comptroller, making her the highest-ranked woman in Illinois government history. She is known for being the first woman to be nominated to run for Governor of Illinois in 1994. Her commitment to racial and sexual equality continues to maintain her status as trailblazer. She was inducted as a “friend of the community” to the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 1995 and every year she marches in Chicago’s Gay Pride parade.

Dawn Clark Netsch’s brooch made out of sterling silver with oxidization

The brooch was inspired by Mrs. Netsch’s love for billiards and the modern aesthetic. The entire brooch is made out of sterling silver, and the “ball” and “cue” has been oxidized to create this two-tone effect.