These polished stones sat in a box in a drawer for some 17 years, ever since they were given to me by my friend from Calcutta. I happened upon them a month or so ago and decided to twist wire around them. Presto: earrings.
As I twisted, I thought to myself, "Blue minerals. What could they be? Names like apatite and sodalite and malachite came to mind. I wished my dad were here--he would probably know. And if he didn't, he'd have gotten out his hand lens and maybe a field guide; after some study he'd announce a name, and I'd be happy.
I spent some time looking in a guide to rocks and minerals, and on the internet. Sodalite seems the most likely match. But I'm taken with the name of the mineral aventurine, a type of quartz, which comes in many hues including blue. Aventurine, a well-traveled mineral.
I took this photo of my earrings resting on a napkin that my grandmother, Mema, decorated with cross stitch at least 100 years ago. My mother used these napkins when she entertained, saying, "Mema always said, "If you don't use what you make, why bother making it?" My mother would add, "Mother would have hated to see me put these away in a chest, where no one would use them."
I got this one out to take to school for the weaver at our colonial wax museum. I have to confess, I store them in a plastic bin. They're more than 100 years old! And well-traveled.