Cinnabar Schminnabar

Yep, I'm pulling the bad post title stunt again because I can't think of a good pun or rhyme for cinnabar. For Glamorinky Friday #11 your clue was, "These beads aren't really made of what their name is". That is because Chinese cinnabar beads are made of wood that is lacquered to resemble the color of the mineral cinnabar, which can't be used for jewelry because it's toxic. This article points out that the mineral cinnabar is the red mercury you see in older thermometers. The cinnabar bead in the photo above is from China, but different styles made from wood or resin are available from other countries, and they are also sold as "cinnabar", or sometimes "faux cinnabar".

One name was drawn from the pool of correct entries, and the winner of Glamorinky Friday #11 is LILI! Congratulations! Your prize is the necklace above - it is 16" long and made of cinnabar, amazonite and red coral with sterling accent beads and clasp. The way I positioned the cinnabar bead it reads sideways, but it is carved with the Chinese symbol for happiness, and the clasp has the symbol for good luck.

This necklace is special to me - it is a copy of the design that jump-started my business. As I told you in this post I was a makeup artist but my husband dared me to get the jewelry I made into stores. Within days I made this piece and asked him to wear it to a party he was attending. I just wanted to see if anyone would notice it, and someone did - the manager of a chi-chi Philly boutique sent word for me to call her about selling my work. She told me to bring her ten different pieces and a week later my jewelry was in the store window. The initial piece was in vintage aqua glass, but that run sold out and I started making a new version every spring; it now comes in amazonite, purple jade, white howlite, and orange sorbet colored coral.

Congratulations again LILI! Send me your address and I'll send your necklace! Anyone else interested in this piece can email me for prices and ordering info.

Thanks everyone for playing, and thank you all for posting so many interesting cinnabar facts! Come back during the week for more jewelry pics and Glamorinky #12 - this one's going to be super-easy!