Quartz Rock Crystal (from the Greek word “Krystallos”) has been used since remote antiquity in jewelry making world-wide. A fine example of an ancient Egyptian Rock Crystal necklace resides in the British Museum, London. This particular necklace of crystal interspersed with carnelian was excavated in 1892 at the ancient site of Daphnae, along the river Nile where other Egyptian and Greek artifacts have been found.
It wasn’t until 1892, when the Swarovski Company first made use of an automated crystal cutting machine that cut crystal was produced in abundance, making beads available in great quantity. By 1920, the popularity of rock crystal was in full swing and lasted throughout the Art Deco period. Many fine examples of vintage rock crystal jewelry can be found today in antique shops or online sites like Ebay, Etsy, or Rubylane. However, with a few basic materials and skill in hand knotting silk, you can re-create these timeless fashions.
An easy way to differentiate between rock crystal/quartz and glass is by temperature, especially to the lips. Quartz will always be cool, while glass is warm or relative to the surrounding temperature.
Deciding to make your own rock crystal necklace can be a little overwhelming at first thought, but it’s actually quite fun and instantly rewarding.
The traditional method of hand knotting beads requires a lot of patience, practice and skill, but the best method for people who are just learning (or not very good at the traditional method) is designer Jane A. Gordon’s super easy hand knotting technique. She discovered a method that is brilliant and foolproof. It uses more thread than the traditional method but the results are amazing. For more information about Jane A. Gordon or to shop her wonderful designs, visit her website at: www.janegordon.com
1. Simply Silk Beading Cord, Size F (ecru)
2. One (1) package of flexible wire beading needles by BeadSmith
3. Two (2) 15″ strands of 8mm faceted rock crystal
4. French Wire (in gold or silver)
5. Pearl Clasps (in gold or silver)
6. Optional: Bead tray for designing and measuring necklace.
7. Optional: Box for storage.