Carnelian Collar

I’ve always loved the red-orange tones of carnelian: 1) Grew up in northern New Mexico. 2) A kidlet obsession with ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt.

While designing the worldbuilding for the Lonhra Sequence, I somehow got fixated on the idea that the Dana homeworld’s vegetation was primarily red to purple (I blame Barrayar for that, probably). So of course, the stones and gems associated with Dana settlers on Lonhra would be red and purple: red jade, marbles, granites, ruby, amethyst, spinel, garnet, jasper, and carnelian.

I found a gorgeous carnelian bangle bracelet at the Tucson Rock & Gem Show last February. For $10, it was a bargain. And then I made the mistake of starting to source other carnelian components. Because of course I need another necklace.

This happened:

Carnelian collar for blog

From one local bead store, 8 carnelian fan-shaped sets of 13 top-drilled beads. From a great shop in NC, the big 50mm axe-head bead in deep red carnelian. From my personal stash gathered over years: carnelian accent beads, and two big carnelian arrow points with a clean Deco design. Sterling silver findings from include extender chain, crimps, crimp covers, wire guards, a bunch of 3mm closed jump rings, and a big swivel lobster-claw clasp.

The jump rings provide just a whisper of silver between the carnelian stick beads, and make for easier movement and less drag. I may have to remake this piece to add details to the chain and loosen up the beads, but I’m 90% there with a piece I love.

I like the subtle militancy of the axe and arrow points. Especially considering that the Dana on Lonhra have adopted a superficially peaceful reputation, to downplay their role in an almost planet-busting war.

Worldbuilding, meet jewelry.