My Chinese Apothecary Chest: in 1994, it arrived via container to California from Hong Kong, where I discovered beading during my husband’s ex-pat assignment. Serves as the repository for my beads. Handcrafted. It has 52 Drawers, mostly sorted by color.
2017 Challenge: Create a Necklace a Week, using only the Beads from one Drawer at a time. Voila! 52 Necklaces!
Week 49/Drawer 49: December 6, 2017: “Seductive Lure”
It is fitting that the Aventurine drawer is next to the Jade drawer because I used to have a lot of green aventurine which can be close to jade in color, and was my reason for making those drawers neighbors, but there are many other aventurine colors—blue, yellow, orange, and a brownish called red—which I have collected over the years and now outnumber the green.
This necklace features red aventurine which I paired with a bug-eyed koi fish. At first, I chose white jade to fill in the Aventurine and it wasn’t working. A closer look at the fish showed me its underside was the palest of lavenders. I really had to suspend belief in color theory to go with Mother Nature’s combo of lavender and red aventurine. The results charmed me.
Then my research told me why the colors worked: Aventurine is a form of quartz. The koi fish is agate which is one of the most common materials used in the art of hardstone carving and agate is also a quartz. If you are confused, it’s easier to say aventurine and agate have the same parents. Additionally, they both channel abundance in the world of crystal properties.
The Chinese are very fond of Koi or goldfish and keep them in bowls in their homes or in ponds in the temple gardens. The Chinese words “jin yu” meaning goldfish are phonetically identical with the two words meaning “gold in abundance”, thereby making the goldfish/koi symbol a traditional wedding gift.
The necklace measures 18” long plus 2.5” for the goldfish. I just found two more Red Aventurine beads and can make earrings to match. $69 plus $15 if earrings desired.
Guess what else I discovered about quartz? It accounts for 12% of the Earth’s crust.
I found my koi/goldfish cultural interpretations in the same book I referred to last week : A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols by Wolfram Eberhard, first published in 1983.