May 24, 2013

Gemstone Station Necklace - Inspired By An Old Favorite

I guess I'm still having flashbacks to favorite pieces of jewelry from my college days.  This time, it's a necklace that is well worn but still a favorite.  It probably doesn't look like much - but it's very special to me.

I guess the simplicity of the style could lead you to believe I picked up in the local Macy's, but it's from the
store I worked in during college.  The owner loved handcrafted jewelry and had her own jewelry line that was made in Tibet.  She went to Tibet and Bhutan once or twice per year to buy textiles and jewelry for the store.  This piece is from one of those trips - sterling silver with coral.  I think it was about $20 (which made it a steal at $14 with my employee discount - lol!).  If you need some inspiration - try an image search for Tibet Old Silver Coral Jewelry.  Such incredible jewelry!  I threw the word 'old' in the search just because the newer Tibetan jewelry doesn't have the same handmade craftsmanship...

I love the rustic look of this piece and how easy it was to wear.  It worked perfectly alone or layered with lots of other necklaces.  It also used to break all the time because the links are rosary chain, not wire wrapped - so the fine chain would slip out of the loops constantly.  But I always found the necklace before it went far and twisted it back into place.

I have been meaning to make a new version of this necklace for a long time - and I bought the coral beads for it ages ago.  But, it didn't seem right to re-create it exactly since it would never be the same.  Instead, I decided to keep the design, but go  for a more modern feel.  Something that suits my current style.

For the updated necklace, I used smooth aquamarine rectangles.  They are still rustic though - pretty without being glitzy.  The rest of the necklace is pretty faithful to the original - 1/2 inch chain stations separated by alternating gemstones and sterling silver balls.  Of course, one of the things I loved about the original necklace is that the round silver beads are handmade and have dents and seams.  I was tempted to hammer these silver beads, but  held myself back. To stay faithful to the original, I used rosary loops on this necklace - and it's already fallen apart on me.  So, while I appreciate the nod in authenticity to the original - I am second guessing that choice!

One last picture combining the inspiration necklace with the newly created necklace.  I honestly can't wait to wear this necklace today!  I'm also planning to make another for my Etsy store - but that one will have wrapped loops.  I doubt anyone else wants to repair their necklace for nostalgia sake!

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