All About Agates! - Beth Millner Jewelry

All About Agates!

January 14, 2017

All About Agates!

"Gemstones" are stones which can be cut and polished to be used as a jewel. All of our gemstones are sourced from the Upper Peninsula and are featured in the dreamscape series, rings, pendants, and custom pieces.

Read on to discover more about the Lake Superior Agates we use!

Over a billion years ago, the continent began to shift and lava spewed from the surface. Iron-rich lava flows poured along the fault lines, creating the volcanic rock we find along the north and south shores of Superior today. These volcanic shorelines can be found along the north and west shores of Presque Isle in Marquette. The locals refer to the most dramatic section as "Black Rocks".

As the tectonic plates pulled apart, a large basin was left behind. This basin was baby Lake Superior and in her, agates began to form. Oxygen and carbon dioxide bubbles became trapped within the lava flows forming vesicles.

Time passed and the flows became permeated with groundwater rich with minerals. Quartz crystalized within the gas vesicles and formed the agates we know today.

Agates come in many variations and colors. These gemstones are found around the world, but Lake Superior agates are known for their rich reds, orange and yellow color bands. The coloration is caused by the high concentration in iron oxides in the area. 

Pattern variations include fortification agates which feature bold, straight bands wrapping around a centerpoint (Below) and the rare eye agates which has perfectly round dot bands that speckle the surface of the stone (middle above).

Imperfections can become the most interesting elements of stones. In agates, composition variations are known as "inclusions". Plume agates have fluffy inclusions which often appear to be soft and have depth, often resembling feathers, plants, or flowers. These inclusions are created when oxide minerals grow within the forming agate.  In the early stages, the agate is a gelatinous substance which provides support for the inclusions to expand. Over time it hardens and the patterns are solidified in the gorgeous gemstones we see today.

Lake Superior agates are the state gemstone of Minnesota. These stones can be found along the shores of Superior, but have also been carried inland by the glacial movements thousands of years ago. To find one yourself, look in exposed gravel near rivers or lake shorelines. The brightly colored bands will often be hidden under a top coat of minerals so other clues will have to be used. Look for translucent parts which indicate chalcedony quartz, the base mineral of agates. Rich red color bands might be visible when the stone is wet. This is often a good indicator of an agate, but the bands can also be pink, yellow, greenish, or even purple. For a more comprehensive guide to agate hunting click here.

Information sourced from:

Superiortrails.com

agateswithinclusions.com

dnr.state.mn.us





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Sizing
Ring Sizing

Purchase this ring sizer to help determine your ring size. This sizing tool is most accurate for double band rings and bands 6mm and under.

Fingers can change size due to many circumstances, the best way to get an accurate size is to check the size a couple of different times to determine your best size. The majority of our rings can be resized, but if the ring has a stone setting other than a diamond, it probably cannot be resized unless otherwise noted in the item listing.

Some of our rings with stones are shown with the stone not set in order for us to size the ring to your specifications and set the stone afterwards. This avoids damage to the stone during sizing. Reference the individual ring listings for more details. Wide Bands 7mm and above have more friction against the finger and will need to be ordered a little larger.

Our double band rings fit like a narrow band, when getting sized for a double band ring, you can get sized for a ring that is narrow.

When getting your finger sized, inform jeweler of the width band you are intending on purchasing and rely on them to determine your ring size.

Look here for more information about resizing items that you have already received.

Engagement Ring Sizing

Purchase this ring sizer to help determine your ring size. This sizing tool is most accurate for double band rings and bands 6mm and under.

There are many sneaky options for getting the size right, but the best way is to have their finger sized by a professional.

You may be able to sneak one of their rings and bring it into a jewelry store and ask to check the size.

Beth Millner Jewelry has wish lists too, so they could come in to the store and fill out a wish list and hopefully they provides their ring size.

Bracelet & Cuff Sizing

Measure wrist circumference. Take your measurement just above the wrist above bone.

Use the chart below to determine the correct size.

The bracelets we make are designed to fit comfortably, but if a looser fit is preferred, the next size up may be suitable.


 

Beth Millner Jewelry Bracelet Sizing Beth Millner Jewelry Bracelet Sizing

 

Size Wrist Measurement (Inches) Wrist Measurement (cm)
Small 5.5-6 14-15
Medium 6-6.5 15-16.5
Large 6.5-7 16.5-18
X-Large 7-7.5 18-19
XX-Large 7.5-8 19-20.5
Bangle Sizing

Bangle Size is determined by hand size, rather than wrist size

Measure hand size by tucking your thumb in, just like when trying on a bangle. Measure around the thickest part of the hand while in this position.

Use the chart below to determine the correct bangle size.

Bangle Bracelet Sizing Beth Millner Jewelry Bangle Bracelet Sizing Beth Millner Jewelry
Size Hand Measurement (inches) Hand Measurement (cm)
Small 7-8 18-20
Medium 8-9 20-23
Large 9-9.5 23-24
Pendant & Earring Sizing

When determining the size of pendant or earrings you would like to purchase, please reference the item description which includes the size of the piece.

Also, there will be an image with a hand in the picture to help visualize the size.

When choosing a piece for another person, we find that our customers choose pieces that are similar to their overall stature.

People that are shorter and small tend to like smaller items, tall slender people tend to like our longer larger pieces.

Chain Length

When picking out a chain, 18 inch is the most common length.

This would cause the pendant to sit between the collar bones.


Beth Millner Jewelry chain length