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Not many people really closely look at beads. But Shelley did. She enjoyed examining individual beads and appreciated the unique colours and patterns of gemstones. So she kept the designs of the two necklaces she made simple , altering the beads she favoured with neutral and smaller beads.

The necklace on the left was made up of purple fibre optic cat's eye beads. These are always popular because the distinctive vertical stripes are "eye"-catching. The necklace on the right featured round dyed howlite beads and metallic silver cube beads.

Howlite is usually a milky or chalky gemstone with black or brown veining, patterning which caught Shelley's attention. As it is quite porous, it accepts dyes very easily thus simulating the colours of other gemstones such as lapis lazuli in this case.

Did you know howlite was named after a Nova Scotian (Canadian) chemist, geologist and mineralogist Henry How (1828 - 1879)? He received the honour for being the first to describe this gemstone in 1868.

Beader Design #: 236

References
Mindat Organisation : Howlite
Webmineral Data : Howlite
Cally Hall (1994). Gemstones. Dorling Kindersley Ltd., UK
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The Beading Gem's Journal
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