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.

ACJ featured in The Wellness Universe … Releasing the myth of gender-based gemstone energy

ACJ _ Wellness Universe Sunstone Labradorite Moonstone necklace

My article on gender-based gemstone energy is featured in The Wellness Universe.The Wellness Universe I wrote it a few months ago in response to the many requests I’ve had – from women and some men – to help them balance their feminine and masculine energies in order to deal with the all that has been unleashed in 2017.

Read my article on The Wellness Universe

Also, I submitted the article – which I titled Moonstones Aren’t Just For Women: Gender-Based Gemstone Energy – several months before the original #MeToo hashtag was embraced and adopted by Hollywood. I’m sure I’ll write a follow article.

Click here to read my article

 

What’s new at ACJ besides a new look? Rings!

assortment of Amy Cousin Jewelry rings

The new ACJ website has been up and running for a few weeks now, and in between finishing custom orders, I’ve had a chance to create something that I’ve wanted to give you for a while now: Rings!

This collection is made up of an assortment of faceted cubed gems suspended between the coiled ends of the ring’s shank – copper, silver or 14k gold filled.

This setting allows you to see all of the pretty and interesting characteristics of the gems. They can be stacked on your fingers or worn as a pendant, so grab a few!

Need help figuring out your ring size? Here’s a handy measurement tool to help.

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.  

acj-crystal-eggs-focus-close
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.

acj-crystal-herkimer-chakra-collection-2
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

Never been this happy to wear an apron

Happy Monday! We’re expecting at least twelve inches of snow today. Normally I would be ranting about winter too soon and such, but last week I won the Halstead Bead Inc Apron Challenge Giveaway, and that definitely trumps a rant about snow.

Why am I just now writing about winning something last week? Pictures. Of me. Major reluctance going on here. When I emailed Erica at Halsted to thank them, I also promised to post a pic of myself in said apron. I clicked send, and then realized that in order to post a picture, I’d actually have to take a picture. of myself. What have I done??? I’ve become somewhat of a Lemony Snicket unenthusiastic

"Lemonysnicketgrave". Via Wikipedia.
Lemonysnicketgrave“. Via Wikipedia.

when it comes to photos of moi. I’d much rather take pictures of my jewelry. Took a few pics, hated them all. put the camera down. Remembered that this isn’t about me, it’s supposed to be about my new apron from Halstead Bead.

So I put on my new apron, and made some earrings. I’m in my tiny studio, wearing my new jewelers’ apron, and I’m making earrings. It doesn’t get much better than that – except when someone squeals with delight after they receive a pair of my earrings.

I discovered that my new apron solves one of the inconveniences of my tiny studio. Whenever I drop a bead (which is fairly often), retrieving it requires a bit of maneuvering under my table with a flashlight. Because, you know, under the table is the favorite hiding place for rogue beads. Well, my lovely apron caught every bead and wire in its front pockets. Score! I am in my jewelry making happy place – thank you, Halstead! I will wear my apron proudly. And here’s a picture of one happy jewelry designer, rockin’ her new apron.

Winning a Halstead Bead jewelers' apron is worth taking a picture!
Winning a Halstead Bead jewelers apron is worth taking a picture!

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Happy Weekend!

ACJ happy weekend Sale_conva2Hi all! I know Labor Day Weekend is almost over, but I just wanted to put a little more happiness out there to ride the rest of the weekend out. Hope everyone stays safe. I’ve been finishing up some custom pieces – which I will share after their intended owners have sufficiently oooh-ed and aaah-ed over them. I’ve also been testing out a recipe or two for vegan sushi. Delish! But that’s a post for another day.

Anywhoo, I also decided to put the remainder of the pieces on my website on sale for 50% off. See, I told you I was all about spreading happiness this weekend! ACJ Sale_conva

Click on over to Amy Cousin Jewelry, and finally get the piece(s) you’ve had on your wishlist for so long. Go on – they’re waiting for you!

 

Spring Cleaning = Clearance Sale

Spring is almost here! How do I know? Because I heard a bird chirping (its been such a long time) and I swatted my first mosquito. Yep, even with the dusting of snow falling outside my window, I know spring is almost here! Good-bye, Winter!

 Over this winter, I’ve spent a lot of time playing with my gemstones. Er, I mean I devoted time to designing a new collection based on my gemstone stash. I also thought about my pieces that are carried in other shops, and I decided everything must be refreshed. I called a few boutique owners, and asked them to send my pieces back to me for some TLC. Polishing silver can be a real pain, so most shops were happy to oblige.

 I’ve sent most of my jewelry back out into the retail world, but I held on to a few pieces because I kept getting ideas for creating something else out of them. I’ve heard from my other shops that customers often stop by to ‘visit’ a piece of jewelry that they intend to get, someday. I guess it wouldn’t be fair of me to snatch them away without offering one last chance to own them as they are…So here’s the deal:

I’m having a Spring Clearance Sale

Everything in the Sale section has been marked  50% off for 1 week

Friday, March 21st thru Saturday,March 29th.

Then I’m going to  harvest whatever is left, and rework it into new pieces.

That means this is your last chance to get these beauties!

 Take a look at the Sale – since a lot of it was in local  shops, you’ll see pieces that I haven’t posted on my website before.

Watermelon Tourmaline Slice_acjN127_aCharoite_Amethyst_acjE182aThis Watermelon Tourmaline Slice pendant  and these Charoite & Amethyst earrings are some of my favorite pieces on sale.

Note: This sale only applies to pieces in the SALE section of my website, so don’t hesitate – most pieces are one of a kind, and when they’re gone, they are truly gone.

Shop Now!