Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rubies, Diamonds, and Pearls--Inspiration for a Crown Brooch

Of all the gemstones that exist I enjoy rubies the most. I love the color green and am amazed that emeralds aren't my favorite gem. Emeralds are warm and green and beautiful. However, for some reason rubies are my favorites. Rubies are talked about in the Bible and had great value in Bible times. Job 28: 18 says, "...for the price of wisdom is above rubies." Proverbs 8:11 says, " For wisdom is better than rubies..." Proverbs 20:15 says, "There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel." And the verse that comes to mind most often when I think of rubies is Proverbs 31:10 "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." As much as I enjoy rubies and think they are the prettiest gems...wisdom and knowledge and virtue are all BETTER than rubies and are more important to gain than any ruby in existence!

Perhaps it was my mother's gold and ruby-red class ring that first inspired me. I remember as a child just wishing for a ruby ring. Though March is my birthday month and aquamarine my birthstone, July's rubies were hands down my favorite. My great-grandmother gave me one in a fuzzy box--the only memory I have of her giving me anything. I do not believe it was a "real" ruby, and very sadly the box and the ring have long disappeared. But I remember how enamored I was realizing that I actually had a "ruby" ring! As the years passed, my parents sweetly bought me a "just because" ring--a ring that had a circle of rubies with a diamond center. It looks like a flower. When I graduated from high school, they bought me the matching pendant and earrings. I cherish the set to this day. My husband took up the torch and bought me a ring with a small marquis cut ruby surrounded by two small diamonds for our anniversary one year. He was a full-time college student, and I was working to help put him through. We were broke, but somehow he managed that ring. I was sick when years later I lost the ruby out of it.

Rubies (real ones--no manufactured rubies for this gal!) are warm and rich in color and are offset best with yellow gold. Of course, diamonds set off any gemstone and naturally enhance the gorgeous color of rubies. When I found the small gold-toned crown setting above, I just had to embellish it with "ruby" glass beads and "diamond" glass beads and a few "pearl" glass beads. Some inspiration came from research I did on the "oriental circlet tiara" in Queen Elizabeth's set ( see The diamond and ruby jewels are breathtaking! Regardless, the color combination for my latest brooch came naturally to me. We who make handmade things really do put a little of ourselves into them.

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