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Labradorite necklace

String a labradorite necklace and bracelet, using crystals to highlight the stone’s shimmer
LabradoritenecklaceHero
At first, labradorite (which is named for the Canadian peninsula where it was discovered) looks a humble gray, but it’s one of those rare things that improves with scrutiny. If you look carefully, it reveals an iridescent rainbow of blue, green, violet, and occasionally yellow, orange, and red. The colors (to vastly oversimplify) are produced when light refracts between layers in the mineral. Faceting helps to bring out the stone’s color and sparkle.

SUPPLIES

necklace
All crystals from Fusion Beads, fusionbeads.com.

  • 16-in. (41cm) strand 13mm faceted labradorite rondelles (Fire Mountain Gems, firemountaingems.com)
  • 20–24 6mm Caribbean blue opal crystal rondelles
  • 28–32 3mm light rose AB satin bicone crystals
  • flexible beading wire, .014 or .015
  • 2 crimp beads
  • toggle clasp
  • chainnose or crimping pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

 bracelet

  • 13–15 13mm faceted labradorite rondelles (Fire Mountain Gems)
  • 8–10 6mm Caribbean blue opal crystal rondelles
  • 6–8 3mm light rose AB satin bicone crystals
  • large-hole 5mm silver spacer
  • ribbon elastic
  • glue

INSTRUCTIONS

necklace

Labradoriteneck1
1. Cut a piece of beading wire. (My necklace is 17 in./43cm.) Center: 6mm rondelle, bicone crystal, 13mm rondelle, bicone, 6mm.
Labradoriteneck2
2. On each end, string: 13mm, bicone, 13mm, 6mm, bicone, 6mm.
Labradoriteneck3
3. On each end, string: 13mm, bicone, 13mm, bicone, 13mm, 6mm, bicone, 6mm, bicone, 6mm.
Labradoriteneck4
4. On each end, string: 13mm, bicone, 13mm, bicone, 13mm, bicone, 13mm, 6mm, bicone, 6mm.
Labradoriteneck5
5. On each end, string: 13mm, bicone, 13mm, bicone, 13mm, 6mm, 13mm, bicone, 13mm, 6mm. Repeat until the necklace is within 1 in. (2.5cm) of the finished length.
Labradoriteneck6
6. On each end, string a crimp bead and half of the clasp. Check the fit, and add or remove beads from each end if necessary. Go back through the last few beads strung and tighten the wire. Crimp the crimp bead and trim the excess wire.

bracelet
LabradoriteBrace1
1. Decide how long you want your bracelet to be. Add 3 in. (7.6cm) and cut a piece of ribbon elastic to that length. String a 6mm rondelle.
LabradoriteBrace2
2. String a 13mm rondelle, a 6mm, a 13mm, and a bicone crystal. Repeat until the bracelet is the finished length.
LabradoriteBrace3
3. String a spacer and tie the ends with an overhand knot. Trim the ends as close to the knot as possible, and glue the knot. Cover the knot with the spacer.

Budget option:

 

LabradoritenecklaceBudget
Instead of using labradorite, try beads with a neutral base color and an AB finish, like Czech glass nuggets or seed beads. The glass nuggets and matte root beer AB seed beads are available at Eclectica, eclecticabeads.com.
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