19thC Antique 1½ct Finland Labradorite Ancient Roman England German Barbarians

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,564) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 382192946745 Two Antique 19th Century Genuine Natural Three-Quarter Carat Hand Crafted Finnish Feldspar Labradorite Semi-Precious Gemstones. Mounted into contemporary high quality sterling silver French hooks. CLASSIFICATION: Handcrafted Finnish Labradorite Feldspar. ORIGIN: 19th Century Finland. Handcrafted in 19th Century Yekaterinburg, Russia. SIZE: Length: 7mm. Width: 5mm. Thickness: 3 3/4mm. Measurements approximate. WEIGHT: 1.57 carats (combined weight). NOTE: Other setting styles (studs, euro clicks, lever backs, kidney wires, ball/stud dangles) are available upon request, both in sterling silver, as well as 14kt solid gold and in 14kt gold fill. NOTE: If you would like only the gemstones, and not the settings, we can dismount the gemstones and offer you the gemstones without the settings. Just let us know, and yes, we’ll discount the price by the cost of the settings. DETAIL: Labradorite seems to have been found in many locales in Ancient Europe, and was accurately described by the first century Roman naturalist and historian “Pliny the Elder”. There’s archaeological evidence that labradorite was used in Roman jewelry produced in England, and that it was also used by the “barbarian” Germanic tribes during the Roman era. Labradorite has been used in Russian jewelry since the Medieval era, and was immensely popular in eighteenth century France and England. Here are two very rare, transparent yellow labradorite feldspar semi-precious gemstones. Labradorite is generally an opaque gemstone with an iridescent surface (like abalone shell, or black opal). However on very rare occasion a large crystal of labradorite feldspar will be found, and in even rarer instance, it will be transparent and facetable. Labradorite is part of the feldspar family, and although feldspar makes up an estimated 60% of the earth’s crust, feldspar itself is very rarely found as a transparent, facetable gemstone. Transparent, facetable feldspar labradorite gemstones are even more rare. Here are two such rarities. The gemstones originated in Finland, where there are very large deposits of labradorite which have been exploited since antiquity. These particular gemstones were hand crafted by a 19th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia. These specimens are particularly nice, absolutely clean to the unaided eye. This is not to suggest that the gemstones are absolutely flawless, but even in a 5x jeweler’s loupe or in these photo enlargements, it is exceedingly difficult to discern any flaws. Under magnification the gemstones shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone. These characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones. Unlike today’s computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of gemstones such as these are the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. The earring settings are of contemporary origin. They are high quality settings manufactured by one of the USA’s leading semi-custom mount producers. They are constructed of sterling silver; they are not cheap, silver electroplated earrings. It is genuine sterling silver, designed to last a lifetime. It's a first-class piece of jewelry throughout. We can reset in 14kt solid gold or 14kt gold fill upon request, and there are also many other setting styles available upon request. The gemstones possess superb luster and sparkle, and to the eye are completely transparent, but one cannot say with absolute certainty that they are unconditionally flawless. True, the blemishes they possess are not visible to the naked eye, and the gemstones can be characterized at a minimum, to use trade jargon, as "eye clean". To the eye they are indeed flawless; however were one to examine them in a jeweler’s loupe, it’s almost certain that a few minute blemishes could be detected. Of course the same may said about almost any natural gemstone. An absolutely flawless gemstone simply is not the rule in nature. Most absolutely flawless gemstones will upon close examination be revealed to be synthetic. You might also notice under magnification occasional irregularities in the cut and finish. Naturally these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques prevalent did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so common today. Keep in mind that two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. For these reasons antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as these more than makes up for minor blemishes both within the gemstone as well as in the finish, which by and large of course, are (if at all) only visible under high magnification. LABRADORITE HISTORY: Labradorite is a variety of feldspar closely related to “moonstone”, typically found in colors of gray, brown, green, blue, yellow, or colorless. The most common variety of labradorite is best known for its play of colors called labradorescence. The labradorescence, or “schiller” effect (similar to the iridescence of pearl or opal), is most commonly blue in tone, however sometimes green, purple, gold and yellow, red, or bronze-toned flashes can be seen. The bright metallic looking colors created on the surface of the labradorite are seen as the stone is moved at different angles to a light source. The iridescent shimmer of color has been compared with the wings of tropical butterflies, peacock feathers, black opal, black abalone mother-of-pearl, and the sheen of gasoline floating atop a puddle of water. Labradorite is also known as "black rainbow" in India for its astonishing rainbow colored reflection. The variety of labradorite exhibiting the highest degree of labradorescence (typically in a black body) is called “spectrolite”, and is found only in (and is the national gemstone of) Finland. Labradorite is also sometimes found as large transparent red, yellow, champagne, or colorless crystals which may be cut into faceted gemstones. Labradorite was “officially discovered” on St. Paul Island in Labrador, Canada, in 1770. However, pieces of the gemstone also have been found among artifacts of the Native Americans in Maine. Archaeologists have also found reference to it by the ancient Indian tribes of Canada. Calling it “firestone” because of its captivating play of color, the Native Indians of Labrador attributed mystical qualities to labradorite, using the powdered gem as a magical potion to cure their ailments. According to an Eskimo legend, the Northern Lights were once imprisoned in the rocks along the coast of Labrador, and then a wandering Eskimo warrior found them and freed most of the lights with a mighty blow of his spear. Some of the lights were still trapped within the stone however, and thus the shimmer of color which may be found within labradorite. It turns out that despite the fact that the official “discovery” of labradorite is attributed to 1770, labradorite has actually been found in a number of countries, most European, many of which have produced the gemstone for centuries, if not millennia, including Russia, Finland, Norway, England, Scotland, Bavaria, Austria, and India (it is also been discovered in Australia and Madagascar in the past few centuries). In fact, labradorite was accurately described by the first century Roman naturalist and historian “Pliny the Edler”. There’s archaeological evidence that labradorite was used in Roman jewelry produced in England, and that it was also used by the “barbarian” Germanic tribes during the Roman era. Labradorite has been used in Russian jewelry since the Medieval era. Labradorite was immensely popular in eighteenth century France and England set into pins, bracelets, and brooches. In ancient mythology, the radiance of labradorite was considered to have originated from the time when the earth was united with the sun. According to legends attributed to Atlantis, it was believed to awaken the sleeping powers of insight, clairvoyance, creativity and knowledge. Mystics and shamans valued labradorite very highly, employing it in magic, ritual and ceremonies. Labradorite was also frequently associated in the ancient world with myths and deities that pertain to rainbows. For example it was associated with Iris, the ancient Greek Goddess of rainbows; and in Norse Mythology with the “Bifrost Bridge”, a burning rainbow bridge which reached between “Midgard” (the profane world) and “Asgard” (the realm of the gods). There are also references to labradorite being used in the Middle Ages to treat eye and brain disorders, and to help regulate metabolic and digestive processes. An amulet of labradorite was also believed to protect the home from intruders. Throughout the history of the ancient world, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness, possessed of valuable metaphysical properties, and to provide protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B. C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. Gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. In the ancient world it was believed that labradorite brought good luck, and provided relief from anxiety, hopelessness and depression; replacing them with enthusiasm, self-confidence and inspiration. Modern practitioners believed that labradorite enhances inner knowledge of “the mysteries”, intuition, psychic perception; elevating consciousness and amplifying psychic abilities such as psycho-navigation, shape shifting and in communication with spirits. Labradorite is also said to energize the body and enhance productivity, aiding one to work productively for long periods without tiring, stimulating exercise, and to re-energize those who have been overworking. It is also believed to be a powerful sleep aid, to enhance the ability of the wearer’s ability to relate to others, and positively reinforce the wearer’s originality, creativity, and confidence. It is also believed to be useful in combating jealousy, and allegedly will cause negativity to “bounce off” the wearer. Medicinally labradorite is contemporaneously used by healers to help relieve the effects of stress and tension, especially after long and arduous troubles. It is also believed to be an effective aid in losing weight since the gemstone is thought to help balance the metabolism, and is also believed to be useful for the treatment of infertility, disgestive disorders, eye and brain disorders, diseases of the joints and prostate gland. Psychics and spiritualists claims that labradorite can be used to open channels of communication with spiritual beings, especially animal spirits, making the stone useful for anyone seeking a spiritual ally, totem or familiar. They claim it encourages self reliance, independence and magical revelations, and can reveal the wearer’s spiritual destiny. It is believed to strength the wearer’s abilities in astral projection, dream recall, and to form a bridge between the conscious and unconscious mind. The yellow form of labradorite is believed to alleviate oppression and protect spiritual seekers who face discrimination or abuse because of their belief in “crystal power”. Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $15.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $19.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is INCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). We travel to Russia each year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly dismounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. Our interest in the fabulous history of Russian gemstones and the fabulous jewelry of the Czar’s led to further education and contacts in India, Ceylon, and Siam, other ancient centers of gemstone production and finishing. We have a number of “helpers” (family members, friends, and colleagues) in Russia and in India who act as eyes and ears for us year-round, and in reciprocity we donate a portion of our revenues to support educational institutions in Russia and India. Occasionally while in Russia, India, Siam, and Ceylon we will also find such good buys on unique contemporary gemstones and jewelry that we will purchase a few pieces to offer to our customers here in America. These are always offered clearly labeled as contemporary, and not antiques – just to avoid confusion. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Main Stone: Labradorite, Jewelry Type: Earrings, Metal: Sterling Silver

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