Friday, July 29, 2011

A Sale, A New Logo, Tweeting, and Other News from Lunar Blue

Hello readers! It has been busy in the Lunar Blue Studio and I want to fill you in on all the activity.

First, you can now follow us on Twitter!

I was reluctant to start "tweeting," but I'm surprised how relevant and fun it can be. I've already found one great article about why press releases don't work anymore as a way of promoting your business, and what does. (Hint: it all comes down to that niche marketing/figure out your angle way of thinking.)

Second, we are releasing our first monthly newsletter in a matter of hours! I'm very excited about this new way of connecting with our clients and providing some great information: an in-depth column about gemstones written by our own Ph.D planetary scientist/jewelry designer, advance notice of sales in our online boutique, news about Lunar Blue events and workshops, and a special discount every month created especially for our newsletter subscribers. Click here to receive this free newsletter.

Finally, you may notice that we are transitioning to a new logo. It's a little sad to see the old one go, but it's truly fun to make the change to something brighter and rather nifty.

One final mention as a courtesy to our readers--all of our charms will be 50% for the entire month of August! That's $6 for a spiffy adornment to your purse or handbag, cell phone, zipper, belt or jeans loop, or just about anywhere you want to add some classy individual style. Add just $1 for First Class shipping and a free small organza bag and you have yourself a great gift or treat for yourself.

All of our charms are handmade with sterling silver and gemstones, crystals, and designer glass. Just because it's little doesn't mean it shouldn't be high-quality, beautiful, and made to last!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Glories of Amber - Part Two: Finding and Using

Raw Amber
Gemstones are (for the most part) hidden treasures.  If they are not buried deep underground, then they are in hard to find, off-the-beaten-track places.  This isn't a surprise, since any easy to reach gemstones were found by humans long ago and carted off.  Amber is no exception.

Given that amber is a product of ancient trees, it is now found in the areas where large forests of those trees once existed.  While small amounts might be encountered globally, the largest deposits of amber, possibly 90% of the Earth's retrievable storehouse, can be found on the Baltic Sea.  Baltic amber has long held the position as the most dependable and desirable amber for gemstones (although this market is quite competitive).  Baltic amber is mined, but some amber can actually be found by "fishing."  Since amber is one of the very lightest stones, it will float in saltwater.  Storms in the Baltic Sea stir up the seafloor, and allow nodules of amber to float to the surface.

Cloisonne Necklace Highlighted With
Orange Amber (Ambroid) Beads
Amber burns when heated and gives off a scent like pine.  Because of this, it wasn't only used for jewelry, but for incense and in religious rituals.  Combined with other materials, it was also historically used in perfumes.  Its soft nature allows it to be carved easily, and so it was, and is, used to create pipes, urns, parts of musical instruments, pieces of light fixtures, and much more.  Today the most common use for the best pieces of amber is in high quality jewelry.  Lower quality amber or small pieces are pressed together to create stones that rival the best for beauty, but are considered lesser because they have been through a manufacturing process.  The very lowest quality amber is generally processed into oils and resins.

Finding and using amber is also a trick for the gemstone artist, since this material is expensive, exclusive, and easily imitated.  But more on that later!

Image Credit:
Raw Amber from
Cloisonne Necklace from our site,, one of our unique designs!  This one includes vermeil gold (gold plated over sterling silver) accents, along with Swarovski crystal, amber (ambroid), and fresh water pearl.

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