Men's Jewelry, Everything you need to know

Men's Jewelry, Everything you need to know

Men’s Jewelry, what’s the deal? 

Men’s clothing options are generally limited, especially if you’re dressing up you’re mostly confined to a suit, where the only opportunity for some personal style is with the accessories and details. This is where men’s jewelry gives a unique space for a guy to add some personal flair to their outfits. Jewelry can go a long way to get a look that stands out in the crowd of suits. Not as many men wear jewelry compared to women so when they do, it doesn’t go unnoticed. 

What do men prefer in their jewelry? 

Typically, men will gravitate toward simpler designs. Bands of leather, chains or a metallic cuff. The personalization comes with small details of items, colors or life events that are meaningful to them, or simply colors they like that go with lots of their wardrobe. 

As far as colorways and material earth tones, leather and chain are the biggest winners here. Matte, natural colors and a minimal amount of bling and shine. Men will typically prefer subtle jewelry that accents what their wearing, but is far from being the feature of their outfit. 

A watch has been a long-standing staple for men’s jewelry. If a guy wears a watch there is no reason to not also have a bracelet on that wrist, but lean toward something small that matches the watch and doesn’t take away from it being the party piece in too big of a way. 

Stacking bracelets is common for women and also works great for men’s styles! Stacking 2-3 thinner or generally smaller bracelets is a popular look. The styles of these bracelets can either be a perfect match or just styles and colors that complement each other well. 

Paracord is another material that is pretty popular in men’s designs. Designs incorporating it are especially great for a guy who frequents a tent, canoe or other adventure style activities, since the paracord itself could end up being very useful for some practical purposes in a bind. 

Overall, make it look like you aren’t trying. Effortless appearance in style is what makes it work best. Just like everyone who wears jewelry, wear something that brings you confidence. 

Design, what to look for

Some of this we covered in the section above, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind when designing jewelry for men. When you’re planning your design consider making something durable. Men tend to be less careful with their jewelry than women and will also frequently wear them while doing projects, yardwork or other things around the house that could potentially break something fragile. If you decide on using some type of glass bead, consider trying to protect it a bit with leather on both sides.

Don’t forget to consider designs you’ve used for yourself or friends in the past. Many of those designs work great for Men’s jewelry but, with a few small changes to the materials and/or color way. I personally think almost all of the designs done by Diakonos Designs could be worn by men or women. 

Always keep in mind that everyone’s taste is different, and, these are a general rule of thumb. Some guys will like lots of color and shine, it just depends on their personal taste. Plus, 2021 men’s jewelry trends are saying a dash of bright color will be a popular look in this coming year, so be bold. If you know the person you’re making your jewelry for make what you think they’ll like. But, if you’re designing for men in general these are a good set of ideas to start from. Make sure you don’t forget, rules are made to be broken, let your creativity go wild and make something you love! At the end of the day, enjoying what you’ve made is far more important than following trends. 

My Design 
Metal Bracelet Cuff

This one is pretty easy. Just a simple cuff, all you have to do is put it on. It adds a nice metallic flair while still being understated. 
Chain Bracelet 
Overall these designs are pretty easy to put together. I’m going for an understated simple look that has just enough flair to be noticed but not be the feature of my look. First you want to get the right length of chain. I am using a matte black paperclip chain. If you’re able to measure for the person you’re making it for that’s the best option. But, if you’re not able to do that the average man’s wrist size is around 8 inches. That’s a good size to go with if you’re not making it for a specific person. 

Anyway, on to the assembly of the chain bracelet. All you need to do is cut your length of chain to the appropriate length, then using pliers open the matte black jump rings and put them on the ends of the chain. Keeping the jump rings open add the magnetic clasp into the jump ring then close the jump ring. It’s as simple as that! 

Leather with Gemstone Bracelet 
I’m looking for this piece to be a small touch of color from the flashing blues of the large hole labradorite, which will contrast well with the black and silver we have in the rest of the design. Then, a nice finish with a TierraCast button. 

To make this final piece of our stack you will start by cutting a length of .5mm black round leather. Cut it to twice the length of your chain from the previous bracelet, but you’ll be doubling up the leather. Also, leave an inch or two extra for your knot to finish it. First, tie the button in the middle of your length of leather. I used a simple overhand knot. I then added another knot about an inch further up to provide a stop for the gemstones. Next slide on your large hole labradorite beads. I’m going to be using 7 stones simply because I prefer not feeling the beads wrapping around my wrist and 7 will keep it on top. Of course you can change this and add more beads if you’d like! Once the beads are on you just tie your knot like you did on the other side to hold the beads together. Finally, add a knot to close the leather at the end and give a place for your button to hold it all together, then trim any leftover leather! Then put all of these pieces on one wrist and you’re ready to go!

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The Story of Our North American Turquoise

We are proud to bring you these unique North American Turquoise stones. These stones were all mined and hand cut in North America. North American Turquoise is one of the few stones that never leaves North America from mine to finished bead. North American Turquoise carries the names of the mines from which they are produced. Sleeping Beauty, Kingman, Nevada 8, Campitos and Caballo Campitos are all names of turquoise mines, either in the U.S. or Mexico.

The Sleeping Beauty Mine is one of the most beloved mines in the Southwest. Located in Globe, Arizona. Sleeping Beauty was first mined for copper and gold. The city of Globe was founded in 1875 as a mining camp and today, mining and tourism are the driving force behind the town’s economy. The Sleeping Beauty mine supplied copper and turquoise for 40 years. However, turquoise production was closed in August 2012, when the owners decided to focus solely on copper mining. This mine gets its unique name from its shape. It appears to resemble a sleeping woman with her arms crossed or Princess Aurora “asleep” in her bed.

The Kingman Mine, which began mining in the 1880's, is still exploring and could continue to find new veins. The Campitos turquoise comes from a mine in Sonora, Mexico, that has been in production since the 1980's. There are a few other mines, some still producing, scattered across Arizona, Nevada and into Mexico.

Once a mine is closed, you will only be able to find "old stock" collections of rough, cabs or slabs. Luckily, mine owners, miners and collectors have always kept a nice stash of turquoise from various mines and will usually part with it down the road for the right price.

We have located great sources of natural North American Turquoise. They know the ins and outs of the mining process and the stabilization of each stone. They stand behind their work as 100% genuine and untreated beyond their proprietary stabilization process. They do nothing to alter the color or appearance of the stone. Stabilization is standard in Turquoisebeads today. The stones with both good natural hardness and color are very rare and are incredibly expensive. The Turquoise in mines today may not be hard enough and would break if drilled or shaped without stabilization.

Every stone has a unique story about where its from. The history of our Turquoise is a uniquely North American story. We are proud to offer these rare, limited stones and we are excited to explore how we can bring more beautiful stones with truly unique stories to you.

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Shining a Light on Sunstone

Sunstone is a feldspar material, most often comes in a toasty orange color, and is a relatively new material to the jewelry market. This is perhaps simply for lack of interest, because it has been known to mankind for some time. It has gained popularity for its glittery properties, and the interesting shiller that can be observed in thicker cuts of sunstone. 

The inclusions that give the stone its copper tone are… sometimes actually copper! The inclusions can be hematite or goethite as well. These different inclusions can vary the color of the sunstone, typically red, yellow, green, blue or a copper shiller, though any colors other than oranges and yellows are difficult to come by. Shiller is referred to as aventurescence, because the stone shares properties with aventurine, and is sometimes simply called “aventurescent feldspar.” Sunstone is also one of those rare materials where inclusions actually enhance the gemstone’s worth, as this improves the aventurescence. The Sunstones with copper inclusions tend to be the highest quality, because the metallic specks in the stone refract light. We carry multiple qualities of Sunstone, from A grade Golden Sunstone, to more affordable strands in multiple shapes. 

Sunstone has been known by Oregon Native Americans for some time, and was collected, and traded within certain tribes. This history can be credited for the growing interest in sunstone, as they were some of the first to use it as a precious material. The stone is simple to carve, as it is not too hard, and it provides a unique appearance to works of art. 

Because of the increased popularity surrounding the stone, there has been several attempts to make synthetic alternatives and pass them off as genuine rare coloring of Sunstone. These dupes came in reds and greens, which at the time had not yet been discovered in the area, and was incredibly rare everywhere else. They were quickly debunked as false, but not long after, actually red sunstone was discovered in Tibet and confirmed by gemologists. 

Perhaps the best mines for Sunstone are in the United States, which is where we source our stones. These mines are very well known for producing some very high-quality sunstone, and have a high quantity of sunstone with copper inclusions. Some areas of these mines are open to the public, such as a mine in Lake County and Harney County, Oregon, as the sunstone can sometimes sit on the ground within arms’ reach. There you can search for and collect your very own sunstone. If you are considering this opportunity, we recommend you research the proper safety necessary, and familiarize yourself to the look of the natural stone.
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These stones highlight some of the oldest specimens found on earth! They represent the mysterious past of our planet and the organisms that predated even our earliest genetic ancestors. The oldest materials that can be found on earth don’t actually come from our planet-- they fall from the heavens in the form of meteorites, and the cores can actually be up to  seven billion years old. This matter, now located on our earth, is even older than our sun! 

This does make the supply from meteorites extremely rare. The largest specimens tend to live in museums, or in private collections-- and they’ve been there for decades. Interest in meteorites is not a new concept to human history, either. Iron beads from meteorites have been found in the tombs of the Ancient Egyptians, making some of the oldest ironwork in history being used with metal from space. 

The meteorite we source our beads from is the famous Muonionalusta meteorite, which was found in Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century. This meteorite is estimated to be over one million years old, making it some of the oldest material you can ever hold! We’ve restocked our meteorite bead pairs, as well as added a brand-new set of silver-plated meteorite beads. These new beads do not require the same kind of upkeep that unplated beads do, as they will not oxidize the same way as raw iron will. You can read more about the Muonionalusta meteorite here, as well as the care of meteorite beads here if you prefer the untreated kinds. 

Meteorites rarely actually impact the earth, thanks to the gravitational pull from our moon and our atmosphere. Impact events only happen around twice a century, with the most recent meteorite flying through the Russian skyline in 2013 (which you likely recall, because international media coverage was abundant). The effects of an impact can be devastating, because even meteorites considered relatively “small” (only a yard or two across) can create massive craters on the surface of the earth. You can travel to one particularly well-preserved impact site located in Arizona, off of Route 66. It is thought that such large-scale impact sites like the one in Arizona were a leading cause of planet-wide extinction at the end of the Mesozoic era.  

Fossils and petrified wood have helped us better understand the earth and its inhabitants before the end of the Mesozoic era. Over time, the organic material is replaced with other minerals, but the shape (sometimes even the very cell structure) remains as evidence of life. Jet, and some samples of petrified wood, come from organic material that was put under massive amounts of pressure over millions of years. Jet is a precursor to coal, and the high carbon content gives it its lustrous black tone.

Amber is the fossilized form of tree resin, which is mined heavily and still very useful. It has been used in jewelry sine Neolithic times! It is valued for its preservation qualities in paleontology, because creatures and plant matter trapped in sap can provide very clear clues to ancient life. However inclusions can diminish the value of the amber in the gem market. Like Jet, it is an exceedingly light material, perfect for designs like earrings and rings that won’t get too weighty on the wearer. 

The dinosaur bone sold through Dakota Stones is minimally beneficial for scientific study, which is how it has been made available to the gem market. As the majority of organic material has been replaced by agate and other silica based compounds, crystal-like inclusions can be observed between intricate patterns on the surface of the beads. The cell structure of the bones is still evident as well! Like any creature, each one is incredibly unique, and we offer them in multiple tones.  

Of all these samples, remember the best materials tend to be donated towards research to better understand our solar system. You are not robbing a significant scientific opportunity by purchasing these beads. The samples that make it to be shaped into beads often come from specimens that have been studied thoroughly and now have no use in science today.

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The Difference of Diamond Cut

People have been cutting and shaping stone manually since the fourteenth century. While we have nearly perfected any and all methods we can manage by hand, technology has since grown beyond our capabilities. 

Today, most of our faceted stones are machine cut with industrial-grade diamondsWith the use of new technology, geometry and an understanding of light, which is extremely important for precious stones with strong dispersion, we can now make the facets on each stone cleaner, sharper, and more consistent with minimal or no need for polishing. This means we can manufacture mathematically precise cuts on extremely small surfaces while getting the same luster and shine as we would see on large surfaces. 

What this also means for the stone cutting industry is that, not only can we source precise diamond-cut stones at reasonable cost, we have more time and opportunity to focus on the best cuts from minerals that might require hand-cutting. And, as we know, we cannot program a machine to have taste or skill when making unique or difficult cuts. Most of our pendants and cabochons are still beautifully hand-cut by skilled lapidary artists. 

In the past few years Dakota Stones has been one of the first to offer gemstones in diamond-cut biconescoinsroundsrondelles and cubes. We are also pleased to be the first to showcase our newest double-hearted star cut stones. As diamond-cutting becomes more and more advanced, we are privileged with the ability to source these unique cuts of stones, with almost undetectable facets at first glance. Our double-hearted strands are a twin to our star-cut line, with an extra triangular facet for additional light refraction. 

As diamond-cut stones become increasingly popular we hope to continue innovating new shapes and growing with this incredible technology. 

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Thulite: A Naturally Pink Stone

Thulite is a naturally occurring pink variety of the Zoisite mineral group, sometimes referred to as Roseline, or simply Pink Zoisite. Its colors can range from pale pink to deep rose, depending on the concentration of manganese or proximity to fracture lines.

The stone was first discovered in Norway in the 1830’s. Deposits have been found in Austria and in the US (Oregon, Washington, North Carolina). It was named from the term Latin “Thule” - which has roots in Greco-Roman maps and literature, wherein it referred to ambiguous northernmost regions of their maps that are currently recognized to be Scandinavian countries. Because of the associations with the far-off and unknown stemming from ancient times, this stone could be said to metaphorically represent high goals or exploration. Thulite’s metaphysical properties are similar to Rose Quartz, promoting self-love and a sense of security. It is said to be a great stone for artists and craftspeople seeking support in bringing forth truly authentic and vulnerable work. It was most common within the metaphysical community in the form of tumbled stones.

Dakota Stones strives to select Thulite beads with few inclusions and calcite formations to provide a rare and exceptional hue of saturated and vibrant colors. Black, white and gray inclusions are commonly found in raw Thulite, as fractures of Calcite and other minerals are commonly found within the mineral. The vibrant color of the Dakota Stones beads occurs because of the high concentration of Manganese. Most commercially available stones have significant Calcite inclusions, mottled appearance, rusty or brownish tones, or are extremely pale. The cut of Dakota Stone’s Thulite rounds is also exceptional, as they are typically found in cabochon form, and not in significant beaded strands.

Only recently has the inclusion of tumbled Thulite beads entered the mass market for contemporary designers. Thulite provides a vibrant alternative to Rose Quartz when looking for stones symbolic of self-love and acceptance. Its hardness is appropriate for most jewelry applications. Not just a unique material, but also truly beautiful and versatile. The Dakota Stones hue and saturation is a designer’s dream, as it will work with both pastels and jewel tones. Consider pairing with Carnelian, Turquoise, or White African Opal.

                                                      - Dakota Stones
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Auralite23: Among the Oldest Crystals on Earth

Auralite 23 is a naturally occurring combination of 23 minerals, including Amethyst, Gold, Platinum, and Silver, as well as many minerals rarely found in the form of beads or gemstones like Ajoite or Covellite, or material that commands premium prices in gem-grade material like Sphalerite. Auralite 23 is only known to exist in a mine located in Canada. The unique concentration of metals is believed to be the result of meteoric impact, with the metal from the meteorite eventually becoming part of the crystals as they formed. Auralite 23 is thought to be among the oldest crystals on earth, forming 1.5 billion years ago. Auralite 23 is highly prized and respected in metaphysical circles. It is believed to aid in all types of energy work and is reputed to be so powerful that it should not be handled by an inexperienced practitioner.

Considered a ”Master Healing” crystal Auralite 23 is said to aid in all energy work, including, but not limited to: personal power, energy balance, clearing and opening all chakras.

Incredibly popular in metaphysical communities. Ideal as an accent stone. Be aware that some “serious” metaphysical practitioners believe that Auralite-23 should not be used for merely decorative or ornamental purposes, and should only be handled by those with a deep understanding and respect for energy work and the attributes of the stone.

Auralite 23 may erroneously be called Cacoxenite, Cacoxenite Amethyst, Melody Stone, etc. Auralite 23 contains 23 different minerals, the material that can be correctly identified as Melody Stone or Cacoxenite within the trade has only 7 minerals. Auralite 23 can be visibly differentiated by a greater variety of colors present within stone. True Cacoxenite Amethyst will present primarily with deep purple, rust, and gold tones. Auralite 23 may show shades of green, pink, gray, rose, tan, lilac, and more. Due to the popularity of Auralite 23, communication barriers, and the frequent gap in understanding of mineralogy within the bead community, misidentification is currently widespread. Some vendors are selling Amethyst and Chevron Amethyst inaccurately as Auralite. While Auralite 23 is an Amethyst based material, it is incorrect to call Amethyst “Auralite” without the presence of additional minerals. “Auralite” should not be confused with the popular “Aura” coating which is a CVD (chemical vapor deposit) enhancement used on many gemstones, especially Quartz. Auralite 23 is a naturally occurring substance and the variations in color are due to natural variations in mineral composition.

                                                                                - Dakota Stones

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Vibrant Color | A Forecast of Optimism

fire agate & star cut sardonyx

An upcoming design trend for AUTUMN/WINTER 2020-2021 is embellished with kitsch, optimism, and an unapologetic use of color.

This striking design trend is made up of bold, saturated colors presented in almost manic patterns. It is filled with art and adventure and embodies a sort of futuristic impressionism, what the PANTONE Color Institute calls a “rabble rousing design direction [that] brings together like minds in optimistic rebellion.”

With a few exceptions it is rare that one would find such energetic color and pattern in natural stone, but we are definitely seeing this trend come out in dyed stones like our new fire agate, dyed wood jasper, star cut sardonyx, multi-color impression jasper & lava beads.

So if you’re feeling this vividly optimistic ‘MORE IS MORE’ vibe, you should definitely give yourself the freedom to multi-layer, mismatch, pile-on and play outside the lines of convention for the 2020/21 season!

Love, Dakota Stones

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Whiskey Quartz

Whiskey Quartz is a variety of Smoky Quartz given its name for the unique color found in this stone.This stone goes by other names like Whiskey Citrine, Champagne Quartz or Bourbon Quartz. The metaphysical properties of this stone are a combination of the benefits of smokey quartz and citrine. Citrine is said to have the properties of prosperity or the “merchant's stone” while quartz varieties like smokey quartz are said to transmute negative energy to positive. This stone possesses a unique combination of metaphysical properties while also displaying a hard to find level of craftsmanship.

The lapidary that cut these rounds cuts for some of the most well known names in the world of fashion jewelry such as Cartier. They cut beads with the craftsmanship of a seasoned diamond lapidary and deliver unique pieces of art. These pieces are seldom, if ever, seen on the market.

At Dakota Stones, we work directly with stone cutters to ensure that our beads meet strict standards. That means good color and pattern, perfectly round rounds, consistent size in each bead, and laser-drilled holes. It also means that we know that all our beads are produced by fairly paid workers in safe conditions.
The craftsmanship in these rounds is clear. The differences may be subtle but those subtle differences are what make these stones stand out. Small details like the precision and polish of the holes drilled in a clear bead like this make it unique and very distinct.

At the end of the day, we manufacture products that meet the quality standards of our in-house design and production teams, and the highest ethical standards in the industry. We take pride in making sure Dakota Stones branded products come from a source we trust.

             - Dakota Stones

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