Gemstone Puzzle Necklace: "One World"


"One World" Gemstone Wrap Necklace:

This one-of-a-kind necklace is a map of our human world, expressed in an amazing variety of gem materials that span the globe and the ages.
Like the necklace, although we encompass many continents and cultures, we are all held together by one common thread:
Our world is interconnected. We breathe the same air, and drink the same water. The selection of gems is symbolic of the peoples of the world, all joined by this common bond.

The "One World" necklace is 64" long, and depicts four continents: Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. Each has three different stations, representative of the diversity of cultures or climate found within it. The larger, central bead is either based (loosely) on the predominant skin tone of the (original) inhabitants, or is a material unique to or typical of the culture. The other beads in each station help further define unique areas or cultures found there, by their color or composition. Fun fact: when the necklace is tripled, the three stations for each continent line up together.

The stations are separated by tiny beads representing air and water, which we all share. These beads were chosen because although nearly colorless, they have very different textures and sparkle (think fog, the ocean and ice) and so are beautiful and meaningful on their own. It's finished with a handmade 14K gold hook and eye clasp.

So, this necklace is a gemstone puzzle with a positive message- the stones are the clues describing the diverse inhabitants of this planet- united by a common thread. Challenge your knowledge of the world and its cultures, and your knowledge of gemstones!

Here's what you're looking for: (*There's a key and materials list at the end of this description- there are some surprising things in this necklace!)

Asia: #1: East Asia, #2: The Desert and Steppes, #3: The Middle East
Africa: #1: Savanna, #2: Sahara, #3: South Africa
The Americas: #1: The Desert, #2: Fields and Forests, #3: The Tundra
Europe: #1: The Mediterranean, #2: The North,#3: Temperate Forests

About my wrap necklaces:
I started making these 20 years ago, the object being to design a necklace of natural gemstones that was:
Attractive: A pleasing and interesting mixture of colors, sizes and textures.
Practical: Converts to four lengths and a bracelet, so you can wear it with any neckline.
Collectible: No two are alike, and each has a named theme.
Reasonable: Comparable to other original works of fine jewelry.
Different: Colorful and distinctive. Not just "a strand of beads".
And most of all- fun to own!
These proved very popular with my clients (mostly female professionals)- who found wrap necklaces added color, sophistication and originality to business and casual clothing.
They aren't easy to make: they require a huge stockpile of beads and a great deal of time to design, but this variety is what gives them their appeal. My desk is literally covered with gems and pearls as I start to lay one out. "One World" was my most ambitious yet, as each station is unique with no repetition, and the stones had to be chosen to be consistent with the inner meaning of the necklace as well as for harmonious colors and textures.

Here is the key:
The Air and Water use beads, rondelles and briolettes of faceted and frosted quartz, labradorite, moonstone, white and blue topaz, and white zircon (natural); with vermeil accents. For the stations:

Photo A, left to right:
The Americas: Field and Forest: The bronzed skin of the original inhabitants, plus the colors of the summer and winter fields. Depicted by a "Chocolate" Tahitian cultured pearl, phrenite, green onyx (dyed), smoky quartz, vermeil accents. (Note: "Chocolate" Tahitians are Tahitianpearls that are "bleached" to a coppery-brown color- they are not dyed.)
Africa: Savanna: The people and animals of the vast savanna. Depicted by a black lava bead, white coral (ivory lookalike), Botswana banded agate, black onyx, black zircon, vermeil accents.
Asia: The Desert and Steppes: The people and colors of the dusty Asian desert. Depicted by Baltic amber in 3 colors, carnelian, cream Akoya cultured pearls, vermeil accents. (Amber is traditionally used in jewelry in Asia.)
Europe: The Mediterranean: The fresh breezes, the sun, and the sea! Depicted by natural fancy peach color cultured "Edison" freshwater pearl (closest I could come to "suntan"), natural coral, quartz, chalcedony, apatite, vermeil accents.

Photo B: left to right:
Europe: The North: Snow, ice and cold seawater (channeling Vikings here!). Depicted by white beryl (goshenite), labradorite, and quartz; vermeil accents.
The Middle East: Traditional jewelry materials, treasured for millennia. Depicted by an actual ancient Bactrian banded agate bead (ca. 2000 B.C.), lapis lazuli, carnelian, and vermeil accents. (I have no idea what the rough lapis spheres are...they were undrilled. Any ideas?)
Africa: South Africa: The colors of the people and animals that inhabit this large area. Depicted by an antique African glass trade bead, onyx, and tiger eye.
The Americas: The Desert Southwest. Traditional colors and materials of the people and desert landscape. Depicted by sunstone, Botswana agate, brown moonstone, garnet, and turquoise.

Photo C: left to right:
Europe: The Temperate Forests: The people, fields and forests of central Europe. Depicted by pale pink beryl (morganite), green amber, smoky quartz and peridot "leaves".
Asia: East Asia: The classic materials and colors of Asian ornament: Depicted by white Burmese jadeite (untreated) carving of a Pi Xiu (a mythical creature that attracts good luck and wealth), chyrsoprase (for green jade), pink jasper, Chinese freshwater pearl, a white jade flower carving, and vermeil accents.
Africa: The Sahara: The colors of the people and geology of the desert (black, white and red sand and gravel): Depicted by an antique African glass trade bead, black onyx, carnelian, garnet, and vermeil accents.
The Americas: The Tundra: The colors of the people and seasonal landscape: a brief summer, snow, ice and mud! Depicted by carnelian, smoky quartz, green amber, and frosted and faceted clear quartz, with vermeil accents.

Karen N.

Shipping from United States

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1-3 business days

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I gladly accept returns and exchanges

Just contact me within: 14 days of delivery

Ship items back to me within: 30 days of delivery

I don't accept cancellations

But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.

The following items can't be returned or exchanged

Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:

  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Digital downloads

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Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

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For purposes of EU data protection law, I, Karen Nottonson, am the data controller of your personal information as it relates to my business. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact me at Alternately, you may mail me at:
Harper & Faye, Inc.
60 Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer layaway?

Yes, at my discretion (usually for high-ticket items). Please request layaway through Etsy conversations for details.

Do you do custom design?

Yes, once you have purchased a stone; I will be happy to work with you on a custom designed setting for it.

Will the stone I receive look like the photo?

I make every effort to be sure that photographs are accurate- but two things will affect how the stone looks to you:
First, each monitor and screen displays color differently, so the color on your monitor might not represent the actual color of the stone.
Second, the apparent color of many gemstones varies with the type of light (daylight, incandescent, fluorescent, LED) you are viewing it in; and some types are more flattering than others! View the stone under several light sources to see the full color range.

Do you offer certificates with your stones?

If you'd like a formal gemological laboratory report, I can obtain one from the G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America) or A.G.L. (American Gemological Laboratories) on your behalf. We will charge you the actual cost plus shipping, handling and insurance. Please inquire for a price quote and estimated turnaround time; prices vary with the type of report and the size of the stone.

Early History of Paraiba Tourmaline

Paraiba tourmaline is colored an intense "Windex" blue from copper content. First discovered in Paraiba, Brazil it was introduced in the late 1980's in Tucson. I was there, and bought all I could afford! The price was considered outrageous, rising above $1000 a carat. The best of these early crystals were large, clean, and colored a deep ultramarine blue through intense green with a "glow". (Heat was used even then to bring out the blue color.) This material became so valuable that people were literally killed for it! In a few years the original mines were worked out, and supply dried up to a trickle. If one of these gems becomes available, it easily commands six figures. (I know where to find them if you want one!)

What kind of Paraiba am I selling?

Larger deposits of copper-bearing tourmaline were discovered later in Nigeria (now worked out) and Mozambique. Those from Mozambique are more plentiful than the Brazilian stone, less included, and less expensive. The color is pretty; but only rarely has the saturation and "glow" that the Brazilian tourmaline has.
So, what am I selling?
A few people kept and didn't cut the more included Brazilian rough. This is being cut now, and there is still not a lot of it. My stones are from this source; they are Brazilian, and they have inclusions- but they will be as beautiful a blue as I can find. I am trying to offer stones that will allow those who aren't millionaires to actually own a true Brazilian Paraiba tourmaline.

Paraiba Inclusions: A quick gemology lesson.

Paraiba tourmaline is a hydrothermal mineral: The crystals grew in hot liquid, leaving distinctive birthmarks in the stone: "Trichites" are hair-thin nets of cavities; "growth tubes" are hollow tubes that form along the crystal axis, fractures are splits that occur across the crystal. When the crystal changes direction growth planes are visible. Guest minerals are other minerals contained in the crystal. Many fractures "heal" themselves (partially or fully) as solution crystallize within them.
In most stones available today, these inclusions are small, but numerous. When the stone is cut, they are bisected; leaving tiny holes on the surface.
The cleaner the stone is, the more it will cost, but they all will make great jewelry.

Is Paraiba tourmaline treated?

Paraiba tourmaline has with very few exceptions always been routinely heated to improve the blue color (removing purple and gray tones); with the possible exception of highly included material due to the danger of breakage. The heat used is fairly low compared to that used for ruby and sapphire, and can not be detected, even by a gemological lab. Because of this, most labs simply say "Paraiba tourmaline may be routinely heated" to cover all bases. In general if it is that bright neon turquoise color, it can be assumed to be heated.

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