These two bracelets both have hexagon buttons that I cut, sanded, & polished. Both are also stamped with my signature on the back. The loop that goes around the copper hexagon to secure the bracelet is hematite. Hematite isn't a hard solid when its mined. The variety of shapes and looks you see hematite in are actually machine pressed, cut, & polished, similar to lapidary work but they are heat treated to form a solid. You can find hematite in ancient spiritual drawings as it was a sought after powder used for painting.
Did you know the red stones aren't stones at all? They're coral! Red bamboo coral, found in the Philippines. They are very popular in tribal and modern jewelry. It naturally comes as a whitish creme color. Before red bamboo coral, Mediterranean coral was extremely popular however, due to unregulated over-harvesting, the coral was not given the proper time to rejuvenate. So as a great substitute, red bamboo coral has been used as a replacement and takes on color fairly well. If the bamboo coral is dyed in an oil base the longevity of the red pigment lasts much longer.
I have a few dyed bamboo coral care tips & tricks for you.
- Don't leave pieces out in the sun for long periods of time. This will cause the red color to fade.
- If you purchase a strand of bamboo coral there is a trick to see if it is properly dyed. Place the strand in a glass of room temperature water for an hour or so. If the water is red it was poorly dyed. If the water is light pink thats fine because most beads and shells don't go through a thorax cleaning processes. (I always clean and check the coral I purchase and it's dye job. If it is a poor, it isn't used in my jewelry pieces).
- Coral is strong but can be scratched & also break when dropped. Be careful.
- If you want your red coral's color to fade into a pink color. You can lay it in the sun for an hour on both sides. Just keep an eye on it so you can get the color you desire. Note: some coral is dyed so well it could take years for the color to fade.
I hope you enjoyed the tips above & learned something new! I really enjoy sharing everything I've learned over the years. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.