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ornate heartsTwo ornate 'puffy' silver heart beads, hollow in the center with holes at top and bottom for stringing. Each is about 1" wide and lightweight. Sold as a set of two. I will consider selling them separately -- so let me know if you'd like to buy only one for $19.00.

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lava malaLava Rock beads are made from a type of igneous rock. They are literally made from cooled down molten rock (Basalt). In order for rock to melt, it has to reach temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius beneath a volcano. When a volcano erupts, red hot molten rock spills out of the volcano and flows away as lava until it becomes cool, solid, porous and black.

Lava Rock has been around for millions of years, so it has had some interesting uses over time, many of which are still used today. For example, it’s used in gas barbecues (the flames heat the lava rock which in turn cooks the food); in landscaping flower beds and borders; in aquariums and terrariums to provide lightweight texture and color. The obsidian type of lava rock can even be used in surgical tools, as it is sharper than steel and gives a much cleaner cut. Native Americans knew this long ago when they used it to make arrowheads.

Those who subscribe to the idea of metaphysical properties might note that Lava Rock is thought of as a grounding stone, one that can balance the emotions and bring about calmness and strength. It is believed to help keep tempers in check and also help the wearer to work through problems in a logical way. It has a raw type of energy, having been born from the fiery heat underneath the earth’s surface. This energy is said to represent rebirth or renewal, so it is also thought to help promote fertility.

lava braceletIn the realm of jewelry-making, Lava Rock has gotten to be very popular lately, as it provides an interesting and striking element in the design. The stones are deceptively lightweight, so despite their heavy appearance, they are comfortable to wear. While they are most commonly found in natural shades of black and gray, they can also be dyed different colors. (Check out Golden Age Beads for a good selection.)

They work really well when making earrings, necklaces or bracelets – you can get a great chunky look that won’t weigh you down. They are popular in avant-garde, gothic or steampunk styles, and the darker ones also look great in themed jewelry (think Halloween…). Lighter colored Lava Rock beads are incredibly versatile and can be used in a range of styles – such as a single lava bead on a length of chain for some dramatic earrings, or a grouping with gold tone findings for a striking necklace. It often works best to create something with contrasting materials (in terms of finish and color) when working with such beads.

I’ve included just a few examples of some of my favorite Lava Rock designs from jewelry artisans on Etsy. From top to bottom are:

pink lavaFrom ForTheSoulMalaBeads, a protective mala bead necklace hand-knotted with 108 beads of amethyst, black basalt lava rock, black onyx, aurora quartz and iron pyrite.

From quambydesigns, a beaded bracelet for men, with black Lava Rock, Marcasite, Tiger's Eye, Quartz, Wood and Hematite -- paired wtih Pewter beads and skull.

From Sophiasbijoux, a Pink Oval and black Lava Rock necklace, with faceted Rose Quartz.

Do you have experience working with Lava Rock? We hope you’ll take the time to comment and share your thoughts and expertise with us.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:

Rocks to Gems - A Metaphor of Transformation

and

Stoned - My Addiction to Gems, Crystals and Just Plain Homely Rocks

Until Next Time,

Sheila

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