Pyrite in Quartz Matrix Pendant in Sterling Silver
Pyrite is one of my favorite gemstones. It has an edgy, metallic look, and looks good with gold or silver. This polished cabochon is pyrite as it's found in its natural state - nestled in a matrix of quartz. The stone is set in sterling silver on a double layer of 20 gauge sterling silver sheet. Above it is an interesting "plume" of magnesium. I found several of these specimens at a gem & mineral show. This material is used in making lightweight metal alloys, as well as many other things, including antacids! (See below for an amazing explanation of this element!) I have set the plume in its own custom prong setting; again on a double layer of 20 gauge sterling silver sheet. *NOTE* The plume is somewhat pliable, but take care not to wear anything it can snag on, or the "branches" may tear off. Tiny stamped fern cutouts and a sterling ball adorn the face of the pendant. On the back is the sterling hallmark stamp & my Maker's mark stamp. The entire pendant measures 1 1/2" tall & 1 3/4" wide. 18.5" sterling silver rolo chain with lobster clasp closure. The entire piece is oxidized with liver of sulphur and buffed and polished to bring out the highlights of the metal.
Magnesium is the ninth most abundant element in the universe. It is produced in large, aging stars from the sequential addition of three helium nuclei to a carbon nucleus. When such stars explode as supernovas, much of the magnesium is expelled into the interstellar medium, where it may recycle into new star systems. Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the earth's crust.