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


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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All About Agates!

“Gemstones” are stones which can be cut and polished to be used as a jewel. All of our gemstones are sourced from the Upper Peninsula and are featured in the dreamscape series, rings, pendants, and custom pieces.

Read on to discover more about the Lake Superior Agates we use!

Over a billion years ago, the continent began to shift and lava spewed from the surface. Iron-rich lava flows poured along the fault lines, creating the volcanic rock we find along the north and south shores of Superior today. These volcanic shorelines can be found along the north and west shores of Presque Isle in Marquette. The locals refer to the most dramatic section as “Black Rocks”.

As the tectonic plates pulled apart, a large basin was left behind. This basin was baby Lake Superior and in her, agates began to form. Oxygen and carbon dioxide bubbles became trapped within the lava flows forming vesicles.

Time passed and the flows became permeated with groundwater rich with minerals. Quartz crystalized within the gas vesicles and formed the agates we know today.

Agates come in many variations and colors. These gemstones are found around the world, but Lake Superior agates are known for their rich reds, orange and yellow color bands. The coloration is caused by the high concentration in iron oxides in the area.

Pattern variations include fortification agates which feature bold, straight bands wrapping around a centerpoint (Below) and the rare eye agates which has perfectly round dot bands that speckle the surface of the stone (middle above).

Imperfections can become the most interesting elements of stones. In agates, composition variations are known as “inclusions”. Plume agates have fluffy inclusions which often appear to be soft and have depth, often resembling feathers, plants, or flowers. These inclusions are created when oxide minerals grow within the forming agate.  In the early stages, the agate is a gelatinous substance which provides support for the inclusions to expand. Over time it hardens and the patterns are solidified in the gorgeous gemstones we see today.

Lake Superior agates are the state gemstone of Minnesota. These stones can be found along the shores of Superior, but have also been carried inland by the glacial movements thousands of years ago. To find one yourself, look in exposed gravel near rivers or lake shorelines. The brightly colored bands will often be hidden under a top coat of minerals so other clues will have to be used. Look for translucent parts which indicate chalcedony quartz, the base mineral of agates. Rich red color bands might be visible when the stone is wet. This is often a good indicator of an agate, but the bands can also be pink, yellow, greenish, or even purple. For a more comprehensive guide to agate hunting click here.

Information sourced from:




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Weekly Staff Wishlist: Janna’s Picks

Janna’s Picks

Last, but certainly not least, we’re featuring Janna (our shop manager)’s favorite pieces.

Beth Millner Jewelry agate silver copper custom earrings greenstone

Of all the jewelry at the shop, tell us your top 4 choices and what draws you to these pieces?

Evening Twilight Lake Superior Agate Drop

Lake Superior agate Beth Millner Jewelry pendant

I love this particular agate. It’s such a subtlety beautiful stone. It’s a nice size and shape from afar, but up close this stone is just gorgeous. The ombré coloring caught my eye before Beth had even set it in the silver. Once set, the little speckles jumped out at us and we decided it looked like little stars. I often help Beth with naming the pieces and “evening twilight” immediately came to mind. Lake Superior agates are my favorite gemstone that we use because of the connection to the region and their history. It would be so nice to have a piece of the lake with me all the time and looking at a stone while thinking of its lifetime, it’d be like having a little piece of this regions geological history right near my heart.

Upper Peninsula Profile Ring

Upper peninsula ring copper UP Beth Millner Jewelry

I own this ring and wear it every single day. The fact that it’s native U.P. copper is really cool to me. It’s also a really unique shape and I’ve never seen anything like it. As soon as Beth showed me the design I fell in love with it. I really wanted one for Christmas last year and kept showing my husband to try and drop hints to him. As the shop manager, I see every transaction and numbers in inventory so I’d know if Nick got one for me.  As Christmas got closer and closer I kind of gave up on the hope that he was actually getting one. Little did I know, he and Beth were working together to create one that wasn’t listed in inventory so I wouldn’t know! He secretly had it shipped to his office then wrapped it in a bunch of nesting boxes so that the original present was this giant box. When I finally got to the surprise I couldn’t believe it was actually the ring! So, this ring is really special to me, not just because I love the design but because of the story behind it as well.

Twilight Dreamland Earrings

greenstone earrings rose gold diamonds dreamscape Beth Millner Jewelry

Yet another “twilight” named piece, I really love these earrings. The fan shape is rather unique and I’m reminded of an art deco vibe. I love that era of design and focused on it when I was in school studying Human Centered Design at NMU. Beyond being attracted to the overall shape of them, I like that they’re a little fancier and longer than most of Beth’s other earrings. They capture the balance between luxury and rustic which seems to be such a popular style lately. The rose gold is a warmer, calmer tone than the bright yellow gold on some of the other pieces. It contrasts the sparkle of the diamond well, but doesn’t overpower the rustic greenstone either. I also like that they still fit into Beth’s signature style, but it’s obvious that she pushed herself as an artist as well. This was the first series that she and I spent a lot of time consulting on and launched together, so that was a fun being a part of the design and promotional side of things.

 Custom Ladybug Pendant

Custom ladybug copper pendant Beth Millner Jewelry

This is my custom piece Beth made for me in honor of my daughter. It was a ton of fun to collaborate with Beth on design ideas and see it slowly come to life. We called my daughter, Eleanor, “bug” when she was a baby and Beth engraved Eleanor’s name and birthday on the back for me. While I love all my Beth Millner pieces, this one is my favorite because I know it’s completely unique and one of a kind. Beth also made an effort to finish it early over a weekend to surprise me so this particular piece is really wonderful.

Click here to find out how Beth can create a custom piece for you!

What type of occasion do you see yourself wearing these pieces? What type of outfit would you accessorize with the jewelry?

Lake Superior agate Beth Millner Jewelry pendant

I would pair the agate with an 18 inch tiny loopy silver chain. I have 3-4 pendants that are my everyday necklaces and this would definitely get added to the rotation. It works well with pretty much everything since it’s simple and not too large. To dress it up even more, I’d layer it with a small pendant (like the double minimalist wave) on a shorter chain. I would probably wear it with either solid or lightly patterned shirts to let it stand out a little more.

Upper peninsula ring copper UP Beth Millner Jewelry

I wear my profile ring literally everyday; I feel naked without it. The only time I ever really take it off is right before bed. Once in a great while I’ll switch it out for one of my other rings because I really only like to wear two at a time, my wedding ring and one on the middle finger of my right hand. I love to wear the UP ring out of the area since it’s such a unique shape. Most people in the midwest know what it is, so it’s fun to point out where I live, but it’s also fun to explain the area as a whole to people who aren’t familiar with it.

greenstone earrings rose gold diamonds dreamscape Beth Millner Jewelry

I would wear the dreamscape earrings out on special occasions; date nights out on the tow, work parties, to the symphony, or out to Zephyr wine bar.  I could also see myself wearing them on an everyday basis though. I don’t wear earrings often just because I would have to think about putting them on in the morning, but I could easily see myself donning them on an average day if I was feeling particularly artsy or dressed up a bit. Beth designed them to be luxurious and dressy, but also functional for everyday wear. She actually wore a pair of the dreamscape earrings and the large agate pendant when we went trash picking for adopt a highway in the fall. Haha my husband, Nick, did sort of a double take and questioned why Beth was wearing her newest pieces; she shrugged and replied that she always wore new pieces around town for a bit to test them out. So obviously these earrings are super versatile, but I’d probably try to stick to simple colors to not over power their design. I actually have a long sleeved, dark green dress that I’d love to accent with these earrings for Nick’s work party soon.

Custom ladybug copper pendant Beth Millner Jewelry

I don’t wear the ladybug everyday. It’s sort of a special piece that I like to pull out when I’m feeling whimsical or close with my family. It’s one of those jewelry pieces that carries more meaning than my other pieces, so I’ll wear it if I’m needing some good vibes or a reminder of those I love. It goes with most outfits, but it’s also a little quirky so when I wear it, it’s for me. I also like a range of sizes in pendants so some days I feel like wearing really little necklaces and other days I feel like larger pieces. The ladybug is on the larger side of the scale, so definitely a bit of a statement piece.

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Weekly Staff Wishlist: Beth’s Picks

Beth’s Picks

Happy New Year everyone! To kick off 2017 we’re revealing Beth’s favorite pieces.

nature Beth Millner Jewelry water trees greenstone copper silver

Of all the jewelry at the shop, tell us your top choices and what draws you to these pieces?

The Dreamscape Series are my newest work so obviously I’m pretty sweet on those lately. They’re much more elaborate than my other designs. I’ve always stuck with more practical designs, but this series really pushed me as an artist to create visually stunning and complex pieces. I recently invested in several trays of local gemstones and was inspired to highlight them in a line we describe as “naturally luxurious”. Most jewelry featuring gold and diamonds is so traditional. These pieces are for the person who wants that high end look while keeping their creative and natural self.

Dreamscape gold diamond greenstone Beth Millner Jewelry

I wanted to keep the round pendants reflective of my other mixed metal designs, but each piece is truly one of a kind due to the gemstones. In a way, the gold conifers and tree cut outs merge my landscape mixed metals with my recent fall conifer series. While designing the ring and some of the larger pieces, I used concentric and overlapping circles as influence for the fan structure. I’m partial to the “Together in Dreamland” pendant because of the large greenstone. A very earthy gemstone, the structure and pattern of a greenstone really catches my eye and compliments the fine gold finishes really nicely.

My other choices consist of the pieces I wear on a daily basis. I’m attracted to mixed metal because it seems to go with any outfit or other jewelry I choose. I prefer the smaller pendants while working in the studio and almost always keep the same earrings in. Despite being a jewelry artist, I keep my own style fairly minimalist most of the time.

 Mini Chocolay River Pendant

Chocolay mini copper silver river tree nature Beth Millner Jewelry

I usually string the Mini Chocolay on a long, darkened chain. I like all the pieces in the river series of course, but the Chocolay pieces speak to me the most. The design on the mini is detailed but very simple compared to the others. As I was designing the river pieces I tried to incorporate something unique to the actual waterway. I think when peopler first move to the area they hear “chocolate” rather than “Chocolay” so I figured the “chocolate” river should be made from copper!

Silver Wetmore Landing Pendant

winter wetmore waves trees Beth Millner Jewelry

The Wetmore Landing pendant is near and dear to me. Probably my best-loved piece I’ve designed due to what it represents; Wetmore Landing is my favorite place in the Upper Peninsula. I love to go on hikes out there and feel so at home among the pines near the shoreline. I began art school as an painting major and I think that training translates well into capturing a natural landscape with metal. I like the mixed metal version, but currently feeling the wintery silver one. Tis the season!

Little Long Copper Landscape Earrings

copper trees earrings Beth Millner Jewelry

I usually alternate between the little long copper landscape earrings and the solar reflections earrings. Since Amanda chose the solar reflections though, I’ll talk about the little coppers. They’re just the right size and the little tree design is used in a lot of my other pieces so they go with pretty much everything. I like the copper land the best since the copper is so warm and goes with my hair; but the little brass and silver are nice too. The name of the trees is rather literal, but many of the pieces have very unique names as well. Janna, our shop manager, helps me title a lot of them. She came up with “Solar Reflections” for instance; named to describe the wish for a bit of sun while watching Superior’s turbulent waves in wintertime.

What type of occasion do you see yourself wearing these pieces? What type of outfit would you accessorize with the jewelry?

The dreamscape pieces are jewelry I’d wear for a special occasion. Perhaps on a fancy date out with Mike or to an art gallery opening. The greenstone pendant could be worn on a casual day, but the ring is definitely an artistic, slightly extravagant piece. I love the way it looks, but since I work with my hands so much it’s a bit too large for everyday wear in the studio. I’d try to wear a fairly classy, yet simple outfit with any piece from the dreamscape series. The bold patterns I like to wear would compete with the complex designs of the series and stones. I’d wear a solid colored dress or shirt to highlight the stones and gold accents.

Greenstone Dreamscape ring gold silver diamond art Beth Millner Jewelry

gold silver rose gold diamond greenstone ring necklace Beth Millner Jewelry

The other pieces I do actually wear everyday so I’d classify them as causal, everyday wear! Usually I wear a dress with some leggings and a sweater to work. I wear my jewelry all the time. Honestly, the only time I take them off is to switch to the other pendant or earrings. I even sleep in the earrings and with the latching style hook they never come out on their own. I love wearing them out on hikes as well and seeing the the metal designs inspired by nature out in the actual natural environment. I get so used to seeing my pieces on the bench or in the display case, it’s nice to see them out in the world and where they really belong.

Beth Millner Jewelry necklace earrings mixed metal nature river trees

Wearing the Solar Reflections earrings out on a hike along the noquemonon trail. Check out our instagram for more behind the scenes of the jewelry!

Solar reflections earrings nature Marquette Hike copper

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Andrea’s Picks

Spice up your holiday wish list with our staff’s own favorite pieces!

New Beginnings Earrings

silver earrings mixed metals sun Beth Millner Jewelry

These earrings are some of my favorite in the whole store. They are so bright and cheery, slightly luxurious with the gold suns paired well with the rustic hammer texture and patina. Beth appropriately calls them “New Beginnings”. They give off such a positive vibe and wearing them allows you to just radiate alacrity. These earrings have always reminded me of a time in my own life when I had my own new beginning; the sun rises once more and everything is going to be okay.

Silver Framed Greenstone Drop Pendant

greenstone pendant Beth Millner Jewelry Michigan

I really like the rugged stone in a juxtaposition with the fine silver. It reminds me of the delicate balance between the natural and manmade world. The stone itself is rather little, but it is emphasized by the large plate of silver behind it. To me, this stone setting is less traditional than most stone pendants. It’s much more artsy and obviously handcrafted.

Entwined Branches Ring

engagement ring diamond recycled metal Beth Millner Jewelry

Holy wah… this ring is just a dream. It’s perfectly balances while seeming slightly asymmetrical just like a real twig system. When I put this ring on, I feel like a woodland fairy. I feel like it was made out of actual plants and somehow frozen in time to hold that little diamond. With the leaves, I’m reminded of a first snow when everything appears black and white and little ice droplets sparkle in the trees. It seems so ethereal yet very permanent at the same time.

Red Autumn Conifer Pendant

conifer copper mixed metal Beth Millner Jewelry

This conifer pendant really seems to capture my personal connection to the land. I live with the local land and work to preserve and protect the natural world. I studied outdoor recreation and currently I work with the land conservency so my whole life really revolves around playing outside and protecting the land we use. To me, this piece really captures the local conifer shorelines along Superior.  The terrain is often varied and the hammer textures can be interpreted as many different types of landscapes. Once more, like most of Beth’s pieces, this pendant really epitomizes “rugged yet beautiful”.

What type of occasion do you see yourself wearing these pieces? What type of outfit would you accessorize with the jewelry?

New Beginnings Oh goodness, these are my favorite earrings. I wear them in the shop whenever I get a chance to. Realistically I’d wear them everyday, but I would reccomend pairing the new beginnings earrings with simple outfits such as a plain t-shirt and a nice pair of jeans. I wear solid colored button up shirts to work each day, so these would brighten up my outfit in the office as well. These bright cheery earrings deserve to be highlighted and a simple outfit would do just that.

Greenstone Droplet – This little greenstone pendant is another piece I’d love to wear everyday. I work outside most of the summer and I feel that this is a necklace I wouldn’t be afraid to wear out in the woods. I try not to wear too much jewelry out there for fear of losing it, but this little drop pendant is a perfect size to string on an 18 inch chain and tuck under my shirt to keep safe while hiking. Then, when I’m back in the office for a bit, it’s easy to untuck and dress up the plain colored shirts I’m always wearing. The little greenstone is a very earthy gemstone and makes me feel connected to the earth. It’s subtly beautiful without being overly flashy. While I would usually wear it to dress up my work outfit, this drop pendant would look amazing with a little black dress on a night out. A few quick swipes of a polishing pad would result in a delicate, high shine silver piece perfect for a night out.

Entwined Branches Ring– This is such a uniquely gorgeous ring. Yet another piece I’d wear everyday if I could. For days I work in the office, this ring would be ideal. The entwined branches feel so fancy while still preserving my earthy self. It does’t have to be an engagement ring, I love to wear it on my middle finger. The tiny diamond accent it just enough that it can easily be worn on any other finger as a little sparkle added to your day. Though if you were to wear it on your ring finger it’d make the coolest engagement ring ever. It’s comfy yet is absolutely stunning all at once.

Red Conifer Pendant – I would love to wear the Red Autumn Conifer pendant while giving presentations. It acts as a conversation piece, yet isn’t overly distracting. A great way to dress up the khaki pants and solid colored button ups I wear for my job, this pendant would definitely be a staple in my professional wardrobe. The large conifer cutouts are recognizable from further away and the layering of shapes is rather unique. Beyond work, I’d wear this when I wanted to look nice, but still be casual; like on a first date or a night out with the girls.

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