Cathy had a pair of earrings with rainbow colored beads. She liked the idea of many pretty colors mixed in together so she designed this pair at a beading party.

I've made jewelry with multi-colors before and these tend to sell quickly. The bright colors are attractive and many people like them. Who doesn't like rainbows?

Did you know that tourmaline, one of the more popular gemstones, is also known as the "Gemstone of the Rainbow"? It's not just because this remarkable gemstone comes in an enormous array of colors. There is also an old Egyptian legend which said the stone acquired its hues when it passed over a rainbow when it journeyed from the centre of the Earth. I'm not sure I get that but hey, old stories don't always make sense.

The bi-colored tourmaline like the watermelon on the left and the multicolored ones are highly sought after. Flourite is a less expensive alternative. Other gemstones are also called rainbow like rainbow jasper, natural rainbow moonstone and rainbow opal - all because they are infused with color.

We take rainbows, the real ones, for granted. But they were once mysterious with many stories from different cultures. The best known is the Irish leprechaun's pot of gold at the base of a rainbow. Greek mythology deemed the rainbow a pathway between Heaven and Earth. The Chinese attributed the rainbow to a slit in the sky patched up by a goddess with five colored stones.

One can understand why the ancients were so intrigued with rainbows. They are not only beautiful to look at but the unusual ones could have been taken as bad omens. One rare rainbow is the upside down one taken by Cambridge, UK based astronomer, Jacqueline Mitton. The sunlight was refracted through ice crystals high up in the sky. The phenomenon apparently is not usually seen outside polar regions.

The National Geographic also showed a rare fiery rainbow spotted back in 2006 in Idaho. It doesn't have the arc shape and was formed when the sun is very high and "the hexagonal ice crystals must be shaped like thick plates with their faces parallel to the ground."

Brocken spectreImage via Wikipedia

One of my favorite kinds of rainbow is the glory rainbow. This circle rainbow forms when the water droplets are perfectly round. If you are between the sun and mist, a phenomenon called the Brocken spectre occurs as seen in the picture here. You can well imagine how spooky that would be if you encountered one on a hike!

The phenomenon was named after the Brocken peak in a German mountain range where some say was the cause of a climber's fatal fall back in the 17th century.

Beader Design #: 541

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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