Lapis Lazuli

Did you know that I keep a list of interesting places based on gemstones? That’s not really surprising, is it? Well, one of these spots is the Water Wave Life Fountain on display in Vienna, Austria. It’s a massive structure carved out of 18.3 tons of Lapis Lazuli from Chile.

The Water Wave Life Fountain. photo by Ted McGrath
Water Wave Life Fountain photo by Ted McGrath

I probably won’t be visiting that spot any time soon (I’d rather check out the original source in Chile anyway), but when I spied a strand of hand-carved Lapis Lazuli oblongs I was immediately reminded of the fountain so I snatched them up. And then I sat on them for about a year. Well, didn’t actually sit on them… I just kept not making jewelry out of them. I did try to make one pendant, but it wasn’t until this month that I felt my skills and designs could do them justice. Because my eight lovely pieces of Lapis were carved to show off the Pyrite and White Calcite in them, each piece is different yet equally beautiful. Energetically, the combination is magical!

Lapis Lazuli necklace with Rainbow Moonstones
ACJ Lapis Lazuli and Rainbow Moonstone necklace

Lapis Lazuli  

Know yourself and stand in your power.

Lapis Lazuli resides in the deeper blues of Serenity blue. It vibrates most frequently at the third eye and throat chakra centers. Lapis Lazuli aids us in our ability to expand our self-awareness. It is a good stone for us to use during meditation where we can achieve a clearer perspective of our abilities as well as our limitations. In this sense, the Serenity comes from tapping into Lapis Lazuli’s assistance with our self-knowledge and self-reflection. Lapis is sometimes accompanied by Pyrite and/or Calcite and both of these gemstone’s energies add highly desirable dimensions to how this gemstone can be called to action.

Lapis Lazuli that contains golden flecks of Pyrite is considered to be the finest grade of the gem. Lapis Lazuli with Pyrite inclusions assists us in putting our expanding self-awareness into action. Pyrite’s vibration is considered masculine energetically. What’s significant about this is that it allows women and those more aligned with feminine energy to tap into a different way of accessing manifestation, willpower, and creativity that we might not normally consider.

ACJ Lapis Lazuli and Labradorite pendant
ACJ Lapis Lazuli and Labradorite pendant

Calcite is an amplifying mineral: it takes the energy of the gemstones or people around it and expands it. Calcite also has the ability to help clear negative energy rather than amplify it, which opens up the way for more positive energy to flow. Lapis Lazuli with white Calcite inclusions is an excellent stone to enlist when dealing with the negative push-back. Calcite can help us to not just refrain from feeding into the negativity but to draw strength and determination from it.

Lapis Lazuli is definitely one gemstone we can all benefit from having in our jewelry collection for its beauty as well as its energetic properties. Think of it this way: If knowledge is power, then self-awareness = knowledge = power.I’ve added these pieces and a few more to my Into The Blue series. I redesigned the pendant with Labradorite to allow more of the Lapis to show. Check them out here.

Ummm, where’d the ACJ site go? Not to worry – it’s right here!

I am finally giving the ACJ website the love it deserves!
What that means is for a very short time, the best way to get to all of the ACJ goodies is directly through my Tictail Marketplace page. So here’s the link.

http://tictail.com/s/amycousinjewelry

 

I’d planned to have it all shiny and new before I announced the big update, but the last thing I want to do is leave you hanging in an endless redirect to my blog. Cause, that’s what happenin’ right now…

So, let’s just avoid the “wait, wasn’t I just here? where’s the site? I need my gemstone energy like right now!” drama and go to

https://tictail.com/s/amycousinjewelry

 

ACJ will be up and running on its own very soon.
Soon… that’s oh so vague, isn’t it? Okay, ACJ will be up and running by the end of June.

Who’s Afraid of Quartz? Not me… anymore (facepalm)…

acj-crystal-herkimer-chakra-collection-2

A friend asked me about Herkimer Diamonds – are they actually diamonds? What are they supposed to do? Are they expensive? All good questions. And you know how much I love to talk about gemstones! So I pulled out my strand of Herkimer Diamonds as we talked.

 

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Herkimer Diamond. Photo: RobLevinsky _ irocks.com

Herkimers are not actually diamonds. They are a variety of Quartz Crystals with a high level of clarity or brightness. They can be referred to as Herkimer Diamonds, Herkimer Quartz Diamonds, or Herkimers. They should never be called Diamond because they are not diamonds. Herkimers are double terminated (pointy on both sides) Quartz crystals which are only found in and around Herkimer County, New York. While double terminated quartz is fairly rare, it can be found in a few other parts of the world – Arizona, Norway, Afghanistan, China and Ukraine – it’s just not a Herkimer Diamond if it wasn’t mined in Herkimer.

 

My friend and I chatted for a while longer and she asked me to design a bracelet for her. With pleasure! After we said our goodbyes I sat quietly, holding my strand of Herkimers and feeling their energy. I had purchased them a few months ago, not because I had a specific design in mind, but because the strand is phenomenal, and I knew I might not find a strand like this again. That’s not the way things roll for me (see my post on Hemimorphite). As I said, Herkimers are rare, which means they are difficult to mine and limited in quantity, which means their price is starting to rise. I almost hadn’t bought the strand because I haven’t used quartz in my designs that frequently. Actually, I’ve avoided using clear quartz in my personal jewelry, and I’ve even been known to caution my customers to limit the amount of quartz that they wear too. Why? Why would I do such a thing??

First, let me say there is absolutely nothing wrong with Quartz. I actually like it a lot. It’s sparkly, it’s beautiful and it goes with everything! The thing is, Quartz (I’m talking Clear Quartz Crystal including Herkimers) is most commonly regarded as a high-energy amplifier. An Amplifier. Of any and everything. When the any or everything is another gemstone in a piece of jewelry, that’s generally a good thing. But too much of a good thing can also be a not so good thing. Quartz does not discriminate in what it amplifies. Again, it amplifies everything, including the wearer’s vibe as well as the energies around the wearer – meaning the vibes of other people. So if you’re wearing certain gemstones to help you deal with negative energies around you – say at work –  and you add Quartz to the mix, yes it will amplify your intended energy. But… it can also amplify the vibe of the work environment, which can potentially cancel out your intended energy if that negative vibe is stronger. Being hyper-aware of this tendency in quartz was one reason I why I avoided creating jewelry with it. Instead, I have always chosen to work with gemstones that are high energy and high quality enough to not need the extra boost of quartz.

Think I’m avoiding the question? Here’s my answer (gulp): the truth is I’ve been afraid. Of Quartz. Yep. Hard to believe, isn’t it? I’m all about working with and wearing super energy gems like Moldavite and Diaspore. But Quartz?… shudder.

Again, with the question – why Amy, WHY? I have been afraid to use Quartz because I didn’t think I could handle any more amplified energies in my life, including my own. I let my good-intended wariness of quartz spin out of control because I was also afraid to let it amplify my own feelings. I’ve avoided feeling and expressing so much – hurts (real and imagined), fears (real, imagined, and taking on other people’s fears as if they were my own), and even joy. I’ve been holding myself so tightly for so long that I’ve been crushing myself. For no good reason – no good reason that I can’t work through. I’ve got just about all the power gems anyone could need! Seriously, have you seen my “studio”?! I know I’m not the only one going through life stuff – hell, everyone goes through life stuff. But my way of handling life stuff had been to mostly clamp down on my feels, get small (obviously not literally) and hope it didn’t bubble up to the surface, out of control.

Back to me at my desk holding the strand of Herkimer Diamonds. I started to feel … really good. Energized. Amplified! I went back to my gem research sources and found that the double termination of Herkimer Diamonds allows the flow of energy to go in through one point and out through the other point. Sending and receiving. Clearing and replacing. And there’s more:

  • “Herkimers are extremely useful in a healing environment, where their clarity, brilliance and high vibration facilitate the removal of energy blocks or debris and introduce a clear, high frequency into the aura…
  • Herkimers can assist in meditation by opening one’s higher chakras and helping one remain focused on the meditative state. They are highly stimulating to the third eye, crown and etheric chakras and tend to increase psychic sensitivity”.  The Book of Stones – Naisha Ahsian
  • Wearing or placing a Herkimer between two chakras will help it align and attune both chakras.
  • Water included Herkimers help the wearer face their fears while maintaining a self-loving heart space. Carbon included Herkimers help purify healing spaces and other gemstones.
  • All Quartz is a stone of light. And while quartz is also an amplifier, it is also programmable. With concentration and intent, the wearer or holder of quartz can program it to help achieve just about any goal in life.

Wow. It’s definitely time for me to bring Quartz back into the mix where it belongs – in the jewelry I create for all of us. I held the Herkimers again, concentrating on connecting with them in the ways I’d just read. And then I had a good cry, which turned into a good laugh as I let go of the life stuff that I’d been holding on to with soul-crushing intensity. I let the Herkimers help me in the way they do best:

Face your fears and your self-imposed blocks. See them for what they really are, not what you’ve let them become. Let them go. Replace them with clear light and clear vision. Use that clarity to get back to living, to truly living. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Herkimer Diamond Quartz to Amy

You know me. I’ll never say that any gemstone can or will do the work for you, but they most certainly will work with you, if you let them. It’s not always easy and it most likely won’t happen in one amazing session. It has already helped me to approach not only my personal life but also my jewelry designs with more than I’ve been allowing for myself. And because you do know me, you know that one way that I’m living it is by creating some new pieces.  

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hand-carved Quartz – Amy Cousin

I pulled out all of the Clear Quartz I’ve had stashed for an embarrassing number of years – a few shaped beads, points and some eggs that were hand carved by as a wise and lovely gem intuit named Andras from Sedona. Andras had also given me a beautiful oblong piece of quartz that he carved. He told me to keep it for myself, to work with it. Instead, I tucked it away – “too powerful, that piece is.” I thought (yes, sometimes I think in Yoda-speak). It’s not too powerful anymore.

I’ve created a very small collection using Herkimer Diamond Quartz and Clear Quartz.

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ACJ Herkimer Diamond & Quartz Chakra pendants

I’ve posted some Chakra pendants on my website. And yes, the flow of energy between the Quartz and the gems is wow! I used silver plated copper wire on them, which is something I don’t do that often, but these pieces called for it, and instead of avoiding, I listened. After I finished the Herkimer-Quartz-Chakra pieces, I started working with the hand-carved Quartz eggs. I have a few of them posted on my website and will be rolling the rest out over the next few days. I’m using sterling silver wire netting and love-knot techniques on them, which is simply lovely against the soft curves of the Quartz. I’d keep one for myself, but there are only five more eggs and a small sphere. It’s a really small collection and it’s meant to be shared with you. Besides, I have Andras’ oblong Quartz to make something for myself. I’ll post it on Instagram after I get these pieces out for you.

I want to thank my friend for allowing me to share her questions about Herkimers for this post. I welcome any gemstone questions you have as well – they too might become post topics. I also thank my daughters for all of the jewelry photos they’ve taken for me over the years. I now get just how much patience they have.

Big Hugs,

Amyamy-cousin-1

Crystal Healing with ACJ and Kimberly Elise: Intuition

Sunstone Moonstone Labradorite - we sparkle, we shine and we know it!

I’m pleased to share my latest gemstone energy and crystal healing post on Kimberly Elise’s website.

Like my previous article, I had a great time talking about three lovely sparklies – Sunstone, Moonstone, and Labradorite. I also created a few new pieces to add to my Sun Moon Stars collection while writing this article and I think they demonstrate how beautiful it is to connect to the amazing energetic flow of these gems.

Intuition, Confidence, Action. And looking darn good! Read my post about these three stones of intuition on Kimberly Elise’s website, then head back to ACJ to get your jewels!

~ Amy

Crystal Healing with ACJ and Kimberly Elise

I’ve started talking about gemstones – energy, lore and crystal healing – over at KimberlyElise.com, where the award-winning actress celebrates natural beauty and healthy living.

As much as I enjoy talking about gemstones here, this time I invite you to hop on over to Kimberly Elise’s website and read my post there. While you’re at it, take a look around – she and Team Kimberly have created a beautiful space!

~ Amy

Gemstone Energy: Hemimorphite Joy!

Gemstone Energy: Hemimorphite Joy!

Handful of Hemimorphite

Look at the beautiful beads I’m holding. They’re called Hemimorphite. Don’t they just make you want to smile? That smile is part of their energy: Light Activation, Joy, Optimism. Keep reading to the end of this post: I’ve got something special to share to bring in the joy!

I got these beads several years ago at a gem show that used to come to my area once a year for one day. Starting months before the big show day, I would plot my gemstone and supply purchases oh so carefully to make sure I got exactly what I needed for the designs I had planned. Then I saw these happy beads… they made me smile, so I quickly reshuffled my list to make room for them. Other gem buyers close to me started to smile and gravitate toward me – well, actually they gravitated toward the strands of gems I was clutching. Most thought they were turquoise because of their lovely color. They eventually wandered back to their own purchases, but their eyes kept flickering back to the strands, to see if I’d put them down. Not a chance!

Hemimorphite courtesy of Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com
Hemimorphite
courtesy of Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com

Sky blue Hemimorphite is the most sought after kind, making it hard to find – I won’t go as far as to say it’s rare, but it is hard to find, especially in good quality. The gemstone also forms in green, white and brown. Without knowing anything about Hemimorphite when I picked the beads up, the first thought/feeling that came to me was happy. Smile. When I got home and did my research (thank you, Naisha Ahsian), I learned that Hemimorphite is primarily a stone of light activation, radiating optimism and joy. And when you tap into that energy flow… whoa! I always say tap into the energy, because no gemstone can give you its energy quality – you can connect to the vibrational flow, but more ideally, you can tap into that very same vibration within yourself. Oh yeah, it’s right there within you … wearing Hemimorphite helps remind you of that.

acjE285b Hemimorphite Green Hemimorphite
sky blue Hemimorphite with cool green hemimorphite accents

Part of what took me so long to make anything with these hemimorphite beads was because I was over-thinking the design. I wanted big cool fancy. Not needed with these subtle but powerful gems. Hemimorphite is meant to be worn every day, from morning meditation, through that (dreaded) staff lunch meeting, to a night out on the town. It doesn’t take center stage in your ensemble because people will notice the light bright joy that you radiate when you wear it. These earrings are simple and complete. Hemimorphite with accent dangles in Rainbow Moonstone, green Hemimorphite (yep, I snatched up some of the green variety too!), or Aquamarine.

I’m glad you stayed with me. Here’s my special treat: I think everyone should experience a bit of Hemimorphite joy and optimism, so I’m giving away a Free pair of Hemimorphite earrings with every order over $100! Your choice: Hemimorphite with accent dangles in Rainbow Moonstone, green Hemimorphite (yep, I snatched up some of the green variety too!), or Aquamarine. If you just want a pair of happiness, I mean Hemimorphite, I’ve reduced their price from $45 to $30… while stock lasts. Have an amazing day!

~ Amy

Jewelry Talk: Custom Jewelry and the Joy in Co-creating

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“Done right, custom jewelry creation is a fun process that ends with a beautiful treasure that you cherish. That’s what I want for you.”

Who wrote that? I did. I was in an email dialog with a client as we started the process of creating her custom piece. Over the years, she had purchased several pieces from my website or at my former shop. This time she wanted something that was uniquely hers, to mark a special occasion. I love creating jewelry that becomes a treasure, and I am especially honored when someone enlists me to create one for them.

We chatted about the colors that she liked to wear, and I told her about all the different gems that coincided with those colors. That lead to a discussion about the energies associated with gemstones. When I made jewelry for my shop, I used to include a little info card describing the gemstone’s lore or attributed energies. My client said she frequently got compliments on those earrings, and she enjoyed telling people about the stones. I include gemstone energy info with to my ACJ pieces too.

When we finished our email chat, I sent her a rough drawing of the piece, along with pictures of the stones we talked about.

amycousinjewelry custom design ideas
gemstone and color ideas for a custom piece

I checked in with my client throughout the creation process, sending pictures of my progress on her treasure.

amycousinjewelry custom jewelry design
creating a gemstone pattern for a custom piece

By the time her treasure was ready to ship, she had ordered a pair of earrings for her best friend as well.

This is the process I will use to create your custom jewelry. There is still time to get a treasure for yourself or for someone special made for the holidays.
Contact me at info@amycousinjewelry.com and let’s start creating!