Moon Pebble Necklace

October 15, 2009

I’ve been collecting round white quartz or chalcedony pebbles for many years, and for a long time I had an ever-changing series of them them arranged on a round “Dark Moon Turtle Shell” mandala in my studio, to represent the 13 moons of the year.  I have been (and still am) drawing the more interesting ones for the “Stones” half of my “Sticks and Stones” oracle.  But I have always wanted to make some of them into a necklace.  It took awhile to find the right beads to go with the stones, but the result was this Moon Pebble Choker.  Holes were carved with small diamond drills.  Pebbles were wrapped with 16-gauge copper wire (silver might seem like a more appropriate choice for a moon necklace, but it needs frequent polishing.  The copper will tarnish gracefully and be a better match for the rough, earthy beads).  The antique African forged iron beads are of two different types:  bicones and simple flat-sided heishi.  There are also two African bronze beads, my forged iron s-hooks (a little thicker than the ones I make for earrings) and 14-gauge copper wire hooks on a 4mm round natural leather cord.

Moon Pebble Necklace

Moon Pebble Necklace

Stones:  (Left to right in photo).  All are unpolished natural pebbles, but #5 has simple carving.  I collected all except #1 and #8.

1.  Beach pebble of hydrated Florida fossil coral agate.  One of several stones that I inherited from a friend. 

2.  Hydrated chalcedony nodule with a uniform network of surface cracks.  Oligocene White River Formation, Pine Bluffs, WY.  “Hydration rinds” are common on chalcedony and chert pebbles that have been exposed to groundwater or weathering at the earth’s surface for a long time.  The weathered part of the stone becomes white, porous, opaque, and relatively soft.  This can be a thin “skin” or rind on the outside of the stone (#3,4), or just one or two spots (#6), or the entire stone (#1,2,7).  Hydration rinds are common on petrified wood and even some flint artifacts.  In chalky or clay-rich rock, chert may acquire a hydration rind while still embedded in the rock, which is what happened to this pebble.  Basically it is “snakeskin agate” (see #8) that is completely hydrated.  

3.  Beach pebble of hydrated brown chert with a natural cuplike hollow, Nags Head, NC.

4.  Pebble of gray flint with white hydration rind, Cretaceous chalk, Salisbury Plain, England.

5.  Creek pebble of vein quartz from metamorphic rock, northern Virginia.  Carved with a crescent moon and two rings.

6.  Chalcedony ventifact (wind-polished pebble) with white hydration spot.  Prairie gravel near Cheyenne, WY.

7.  Lake Michigan shore pebble of hydrated chert from Ordovician limestone, Chicago, IL.

8.  Snakeskin agate with thin reticulated hydration rind, Oligocene, eastern Oregon (purchased at a rock shop).

9.  Chalcedony “button” from volcanic gravel near Tucson, AZ.

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One Response to “Moon Pebble Necklace”

  1. debra said

    What a beauty. I like that you identify each stone as well.

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