Five Down. September 08 2019, 0 Comments


Five Down. Haven’t a Clue.


Last week my boyfriend and I were doing the crossword puzzle. He is in finance, reads a lot of history and loves art. I am the jewelry designer with a background in science, so we can usually get through the puzzle in a not embarrassing amount of time.

We were moving along at a fast clip. Our strategy is to skip words we can’t answer in a short amount of time and move to the next clue.

Then we got to five down.

The clue was ‘banded black agate’. As there were already two letters filled in, this should have been a no brainer for me. Instead, I punted. Though the answer clearly was Onyx, I was reluctant to admit that i didn’t know that it was a banded stone.

As the word was filled in a timely fashion, my boyfriend didn’t give it a second thought.

I ruminated on this for hours.

This unfortunately led me down the rabbit hole that is Google, to find some more answers and a better description of the banded stone.

Now, it is not news to anyone who has ever done a search that where you start is often a far continent away from where you end up. Without an internal GPS, or the realization that it is well past midnight and you have an early appointment in the morning, you would never pull yourself away form the computer.

But I digress.

I read most of what there was to read about Onyx, which is a form of calcedony, a member of the Quartz family. Which led me to a page about Quartz. Since there are so many more quartzes, and with so much more information, both physical and metaphysical, it led me to wonder about other stones. I soon wondered about how we picked the order of birthstones. Why one stone is for one month, and why my birthstone is a garnet while my friend Eileen gets a diamond.

So back to the search for the origin of birthstones. I came upon a page that stated that they can be traced back to the Bible, originating from the breastplate of Aaron, depicting the Twelve tribes of Israel. Each tribe had a stone, though some of them are lost to the pages of history and we can only hypothesize as to which ones were set in the breastplate. The number twelve, which is so significant in many ways, was the reasoning behind the birthstones.

Though different from the stones on the Breastplate, nonetheless have a certain spiritual significance.

Stones have fascinated me since I was young. As a jewelry designer it was only natural that I include them in my work.

Where this will go from here, I haven’t a clue.