Now that Summer is gone, gone, gone, and the oranges and reds of October have peaked and we will soon be left with browns and golds to remind us that Autumn is really here. I thought I’d visit with the browns and golds in gemstones and metals. I think it’s fun to find out the backstory for some of my favorite materials…come join me.
Peanut Wood is, in fact, a “Petrified Wood”, a tree that has over a period of time turned into stone; The original living matter is normally replaced with a silicate such as Quartz. Peanut Wood however, is not your normal Petrified Wood. Before it became petrified, it was swept into the ocean. The ocean washed and cleaned the wood and turned it into something that would resemble driftwood that you might see on a beach today. In the ocean this driftwood came under attack from shell fish known as Shipworm. Just like wood worms, they created little bore holes and tunnels into the wood. As the wood got heavier and heavier as the attacks increased, it was no longer able to float and sank to the sea bed. Here the bore holes became filled with a lightly-coloured sediment. Over a period of time, the wood became covered with more and more layers of mud and sediment and eventually the petrification process began. Its name Peanut Wood was given to the gemstone as the lightly colored boreholes resemble peanuts trapped in a delicious toffee.
Bronze was significant to any culture that encountered it. It was one of the most innovative alloys of mankind. Tools, weapons, armor, and various building materials like decorative tiles made of bronze were harder and more durable than their stone and copper (“Chalcolithic”) predecessors. Nowadays, you will see the oil-rubbed bronze in many household fixtures, but also in jewelry.
Copper was, according to archeological finds, the first metal to be used by Neolithic mankind to supplement his stone tools over 10,000 years ago. Antique Copper is copper that has a dark patina.
Gold has been known since prehistoric times and was also one of the first metals to be worked, mainly because it was to be found as nuggets or as particles in the beds of streams. Such was the demand that by 2000 BC the Egyptians began mining gold. The death mask of Tutankhamen, who died in 1323 BC, contained 100 kg of the metal. The minting of gold coins began around 640 BC in the Kingdom of Lydia (situated in what is now modern Turkey). The first pure gold coins were minted in the reign of King Croesus, who ruled from 561–547 BC.
So there you have it, a brief history and education on the browns & golds of November. If you see any of the gemstones that you love, please remember that I love doing custom work, so contact me and let’s design your pieces together.
Mid-summer heat makes me want to just spend my days oceanside, splashing in the surf. Alas, the mountains don’t provide many waves to frolic in, and so I must satisfy that urge for the ocean by playing with ocean gemstones.