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Behind the Design: Wetmore Landing

Wetmore Landing Mixed Metal Shoreline Pendant

One of the many gorgeous Lake Superior shorelines, Wetmore Landing is a long stretch of sand surrounded by rock formations and hilly terrain perfect for hiking.

Views of notable landmarks are visible from any point along the beach. Out in Lake Superior, Little Presque Isle sits to the left and Partridge Island to the right. Sugarloaf Mtn. looms behind you and with a pair of binoculars you can see little people scurrying about the lookout.

From this site, you can hike in either direction along the North Country Trail and stumble upon some fantastic spots. To the left, up and down the pine needle covered trail brings you to Rum Runner’s Cove, a great swimming hole and awesome rock formation.

Turning right will bring you along a trail which follows the rocky shoreline and becomes increasingly rugged. The end destination is worth the hike though, Hidden Beach. This small stretch of sand is surrounded by 40-60 foot tall sandstone cliffs. Large trees have washed up into the inlet and the imposing walls make for a brilliant off-the-beaten-path spot.

Photo by Greg Kretovic

How to get there: Drive up CR 550 towards Big Bay for approximately 5 miles. Turn right into the first DNR Little Presque Isle Recreation Area, the sign will identify it as “Wetmore Landing”. A dirt parking lot is available and obvious trails lead to the beach and the North Country Trail.

*Michigan Recreation Passport Required for parking.

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Behind the Design: Munising Falls

Today is the first day of Michigan Ice Fest! The ice climbing celebration is held in Munising on February 15th-19th. Click here to find out more!

Part of the River Series, Munising Falls is featured in three pieces:

Munising Falls

Photo by: Roam Wherever.
Easily accessible by a paved trail, this spectacular waterfall has a 50 foot drop before the water cascades down the bowl to the stream below. In the winter a large ice column is formed making this sight an impressive one no matter the season.

How to get there: Located within the city of Munising, follow H-58 east until you reach Washington Street and turn left. Follow until you reach the Munising Memorial Hospital and the falls parking area is across the street.

Other waterfalls are within walking distance if you’re itching to explore. Tannery Falls and Twin Falls are both accessible from H-58 as well. In the winter, you’re likely to find Ice Climbers scaling Twin Falls impressive column. For more information about Ice Climbing check out Munising’s Ice Climbing Festival.

 Our very own Amelia Richards climbing the frozen Twin Falls

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Locket Lore

Be sure to not miss out on Beth’s latest and greatest new creation: Lockets!

Locket mixed metal Beth Millner Jewelry

After several experiments with design, Beth has created a perfect picture locket for your special someone. Secure and easy to use, each metal piece has been specially built to interlock with the other parts and keep the latch tight and your picture safe.

Locket Beth Millner Jewelry Nature mixed metal

Throughout history, locket design has remained fairly consistent with a hinge and latch with a space inside to hold the small keepsake. In the past Beth has played with various locket designs such as a lid or sliding front (See below). Other than mild nuances in interlocking mechanisms though, the purpose of a locket has always been to hold something very small close to it’s wearer.

Locket Beth Millner Jewelry Silver

The original lockets were known as amulets. These pendants were thought to act as sources of protection magic which would channel a the powers into the wearer. While it is usually just blessed or infused with the magic in some way, some amulets were created to actually contain potions, powders, or a small script. Usually leather or occasionally brass these early lockets were nothing like the delicate metal pendants we’re used to today.

In the 16th century Lockets became very popular during the Victorian Era. “Prince Albert gifted his beloved Victoria with a bracelet that had eight lockets, filled with a lock of hair from each of their eight children.” During this time, lockets were used mainly as memorials of loved ones containing bits of hair, tiny paintings, or even ashes. These lockets embodied the filigree ornate style which we generally think of today.

So come in and pick out your favorite design today! Order online or let us know in the store and we can even upgrade you to have your chosen picture printed and prepped before hand!

 Two Hearted River      Sunset on the Chocolay          AuTrain River                Eben Ice Caves

Locket Mixed metal nature Beth Millner Jewelry

Source: http://www.theribboninmyjournal.com/the-secret-life-of-antiques-lockets/

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Copper Banded Agates and Custom Rings

Only formed in the land locked copper veins which run throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula, copper banded agates are a very rare variety of Lake Superior agate. In the “All About Agates!” blogpost, we learned how agates form and varieties of inclusions (additional minerals trapped in the gemstone).

copper agate ring pendant Lake Superior Beth Millner Jewelry

The copper bands seen in these agates are considered inclusions within the agate. Often known as “copper replacement agates” the copper replaces the bands of other oxides within the gemstone.

Here in the shop we love to include these rare gemstones in our pendants and rings.

copper agate ring pendant Lake Superior Beth Millner Jewelry

Generally copper banded agates are light pink or greenish and are quite small. Often, they look like any other agate until they are cut in half to reveal the copper bands within. They are quite rare and little is known about the formation process of these unique little gemstones. While the research is being conducted however, we’ll continue to appreciate them for their beauty and 2 in 1 pieces of our local region (native U.P. copper and a bit of Superior).

copper agate keweenaw UP Jewelry Beth Millner

Love the look of the copper banded agates? Browse through our stock of them to pick your favorite and create your very own, unique, double banded ring! Want even more options than those listed in our choose your own ring page? Swing by the store and chat with us about a custom design featuring one of our other gemstones!

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U.P. Thomsonite Demystified

Demystifying U.P. Thomsonite: what is it? where is it found? how does it differ from “true thomsonite”?
Used in Beth’s new dreamscape series as well as gemstone rings, U.P. Thomsonite has brought some unique color into our store!
thomsonite lake stone Beth Millner Jewelry
“U.P. Thomsonite” is the close cousin of true thomsonite which is only found along the north shore of Lake Superior. U.P. thomsonite features very similar eye patterns and color bands to it’s cousin from the north. Dark eyelets with feathery inclusions create unique patterns commonly sought out for use in jewelry.
thomsonite Lake Superior Jewelry earrings ring Beth Millner Jewelry
U.P. Thomsonite features dark green eyes and variations of pink that are often pastel colors; rarely found in true thomsonite. The pink and green colors in U.P. Thomsonite is actually internal reflections from copper inclusions (additional minerals trapped within the gemstone).
U.P. Thomsonite is formed in a similar process as agates, trapped air pockets within volcanic basalt fill with prehnite (mineral base of U.P. Thomsonite) and microscopic bits of copper. Prehnite is usually pale green in color (Left picture below), but the copper rich area of Lake Superior has created Pink Prehnite (right picture below). The color intensity in the U.P. Thomsonite is due to the grain size of the copper inclusions within the gemstone.
thomsonite prehnite beth millner jewelry
U.P. Thomsonite is difficult to remove from the Balsalt matrix without breaking the gemstone, so most of the stones are from pebbles collected along the beaches. These stones were naturally removed from the basalt by being tumbled in Lake Superior.
thomsonite lake stones Beth Millner Jewelry

Information sourced from:

Agate Lady Blog

Snob Appeal Jewelry Blog Thomsonite and Prehnite

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Valentine’s Day Promotion!

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. Here’s all you need to know to ensure your sweetheart gets the gift she deserves (or to ensure your significant other knows what you really deserve).

The first step is to sign up for our Valentine’s Day promotion! Check out the prompt on our website homepage to receive a special bonus with a Valentine’s Day purchase.

Valentines day Beth Millner Jewelry

Second, be sure that your gift arrives in time! Order by February 10th to be sure that your hand-packaged gift arrives by the 14th.

Beth Milner Jewelry Valentines day

Lastly…

Ladies, be sure to stop in the store and update your wishlist!

Lovers, when visiting the store ask for her wishlist to have a quick guide to the pieces you know she’ll adore!

Personalize any of our pieces with a custom engraving! Anything from a simple “xoxo” to “You are my sunshine”. Kids names, a date, a location… The possibilities are endless!

engraving silver Beth Millner Jewelry custom

Choose “Be Mine”or “Forever Yours” for the classic approach. If you’re a bit more unconventional, go international with Spanish “Te Amo” or French “Je T’aime”. Regardless of the words you choose to express your love, your lady will feel lucky to have such a thoughtful addition.

Be sure to check out our highlighted pieces in the Valentine’s Day section of the website. These epitomize the ideal gift for a nature loving couple.

Fly away together with the Sandhill Cranes pendant.
sandhill crane bird necklace nature Beth Millner Jewelry

These strong and beautiful birds mate for life and make long journeys together as they migrate each year. This piece is perfect for a couple who enjoys traveling, the occasional dance session, and dropping everything for a quick afternoon adventure. Check out the accompanying “Elegant Crane” earrings and small pendant as well.

Be in synchronistic balance with our Knotty Pines pendant.

pine tree valentines day nature Beth Millner Jewelry silver

These cast, recycled sterling silver pine trees feature a symmetrical design with natural flow. Optimal for couples who’s love is strong and steadfast, a bright horizon radiates behind the trees. Deep roots of pines anchor them, much like the couple with strongly entwined core values. A heart is featured on the back with a smooth surface. Perfect for engraving a personalized message to make it even more special.

Spice things up with a Silver Heart Charm!

Heart silver Beth Millner Jewelry Valentines

Already found the perfect pendant, but want to show your love a little more literally? Add on a heart charm! Looking for something small to add to that necklace she always wears? These little guys are a perfect addition to anyone’s pendants. The stacked look is in right now don’t-cha-know?

Heart charm silver Beth Millner Jewelry

Pair it with your initial charms: great alternative to defacing trees! Check out all our other charms for even more ideas!

Charm silver initial Beth Millner Jewelry

Also adorable all on its own, these little hearts just can’t go wrong.

Treasure your love with the NEW Two-Hearted River Locket

river photo locket silver copper trees nature Beth Millner Jewelry

Every lady would love to have a picture of you both always near her heart. Beth has been working hard to create gorgeous yet functional new lockets. Secure and easy to replace the photo, you can’t go wrong with this brand new design. You can even contact us for an upgrade and we’ll take care of the photo printing and placement for you! Be on the look out for even more locally inspired designs such as the Eben Ice Cave Locket. photo locket silver copper Beth Millner Jewelry

Spoil your sweetie with a one-of-a-kind pair of Dreamland Earrings!

gold rose diamonds greenstone silver earrings Beth Millner Jewelry

Part of the new dreamscape series, these naturally luxurious beauties are finished with recycled 14k rose gold, ethically sourced diamonds, and polished Michigan Greenstones. These stunning earrings are perfect for the lady who loves to indulge in art jewelry and have a little sparkle with her natural look. The unique greenstones ensure that these are a one-of-a-kind item, so your lady will never run into someone wearing the same pair. Make this Valentine’s day a special one and treat your flawless lady to a pair of functional yet fashionable earrings. Entitled “Dream Together”, these are sure to be added to the favorites section of her jewelry stand.

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5 Greatest facts about Greenstones!

The Isle Royal Greenstone is featured in many of Beth’s new Dreamscape series.

1) The greenstone is Michigan’s state gemstone. Most people recognize the Petoskey Stone as Michigan’s mineral representative, as it is Michigan’s official state stone. The greenstone got to share the glory in 1972 when it was officially declared the state GEM.

 

2) The Michigan Greenstone is also known as the “Isle Royal Greenstone”. They are most commonly found on as small rounded pebbles along the shores of Lake Superior, though collection of these little gems on Isle Royal is now illegal. The mineral name of the greenstone is Chlorastrolite.
3) Even though greenstone collection is prohibited on Isle Royal, the gems can still be found in the copper waste rock piles of the Keweenaw Peninsula of the UP. These mainland stones are found embedded in Basalt and are often larger and darker than the Island stones. Often possessing large chatoyant cell structures, the patterns are bolder as well. The identification and extraction of these mainland stones are much more difficult, though it is what rock collectors must go through now that the Isle Royal stones are protected.

4) Isle Royal greenstones aren’t necessarily better than mainland stones, they simply are naturally tumbled by Lake Superior thus are much easier to find as they are already somewhat polished. The inferior stones have already been eroded away, leaving the best selection of gems to choose from. Mainland stones however can offer much larger pieces, as well as more complex patterns.

 

5) Often the “island stones” feature pink prehnite reminiscent of the color of Lake Superior Agates. Some stones have some stones have quartz or calcite centers. Others are hollow and the color and pattern tends to change throughout the depth of the stone. All of these factors should be considered when cutting and sanding the gems.

 

The greenstone is an intricate stone certain to catch the eye of any passerby. Set in pendants and rings, there are many greenstones in our shop to choose from!

Greenstone Beth Millner Jewelry
Information sourced from Keweenaw Gem & Gift

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