“The angel who talked to me held in his hand a gold measuring stick to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. When he measured it, he found it was a square, as wide as it was long. In fact, its length and width and height were each 1,400 miles. Then he measured the walls and found them to be 216 feet thick (according to the human standard used by the angel).

The wall was made of jasper, and the city was pure gold, as clear as glass. The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones: the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.

The twelve gates were made of pearls—each gate from a single pearl! And the main street was pure gold, as clear as glass.” (Revelation 21:15-21 NLT)


ABOUT THE COLLECTION


Walls of Heaven Jewelry® is a special line of jewelry created to celebrate the Christian faith. Each piece features stones that John described in Revelation 21:15-21 as being the foundational walls of the new Jerusalem. These stones include jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, chrysolite (peridot), beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth (red zircon), amethyst, and pearls.


Wearing a piece from the Walls of Heaven Jewelry® collection is an unique way to celebrate and share your faith.


The history of the Walls of Heaven® collection is rather funny to me. I was raised Catholic but didn’t truly develop a relationship with God until I was born again at the age of 18. I was blessed to grow up in a God loving, Bible believing family but it didn’t make a personal impact until that time. In fact, I never really studied the Bible until I was saved. Sure, I knew the basics and could tell you basic Bible stories but I never really dove into the Word on my own until I was in my early twenties. I began making jewelry at the age of 12 and have always had a deep love and passion for gems and fossils but didn’t really know why until much later.


Even when I began reading the Bible I have to admit that I was afraid of the Book of Revelation. So, when I decided that I was going to read the Bible from cover to cover there was a bit of nervousness that I felt as I got ever closer to that final book. Of course now I see how foolish those fears were! Yes, there are serious things that God revealed to John and yes its pages depict a terrible battle at the End of Times. But, what stands out more to me are all of the incredible descriptions of heaven and the peace we as believers can feel because we know how this story ends. So many people know the line that the streets of heaven are paved in gold but few people know that it comes from the Book of Revelation! I can’t tell you how many people I have met since debuting this collection that have told me that they have read the Book of Revelation after seeing the jewelry because it made them see it in a different light. That is something that touches my heart every time.


I say that the creation of this collection is funny to me because without even knowing it, I was already working with the materials listed by John as being a part of the walls of heaven! I can’t tell you how many times I read those verses over and over again the first time I landed on that page. I just couldn’t believe it! The very materials that I am most drawn to were specifically mentioned in Scripture! I’m a person who is constantly asking God for confirmation so that I can ensure that I am on the right path. Well, that my friends is what I call confirmation!


Every piece of jewelry from the Walls of Heaven® collection is comprised almost entirely (if not completely) with the stones referenced by John. There are times that I will incorporate a fossil, lava, or small accent of another stone for the sake of the design, but I focus on keeping this collection set apart. You will find that the vast majority of my jewelry are a part of this collection. It celebrates what matters most to me - showing the world the beauty of the earth God created for us to enjoy.



THE STONES

So what do these stones look like anyway? Especially the more unusual ones like jacinth (red zircon)? Here is a quick rundown of the stones in the Walls of Heaven® collection:



JASPER

Jasper is my favorite stone. Varieties of jasper can be found around the world and in any color you can imagine. They are so rich with pattern, texture and color. Some are muted and soft and some are vibrant and dramatic, like this morrisonite jasper from Oregon, USA. A form of chalcedony, jaspers are durable and perfect for any kind of jewelry. Jasper is included in the list of stones featured in the breastplate for the High Priests (the Hoshen) in Exodus 28:15-28.



SAPPHIRE

Sapphire, a form of corundum, literally comes in every color of the rainbow (red corundum is known as ruby). The most recognizable and classic form of sapphire is of course, blue. The color of the sapphire is determined by the amount of iron, titanium, or chromium found in the stone. Sapphires are extremely durable and are most commonly found Burma, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Australia, Thailand, India, Tanzania, Kenya and China. In the United States, sapphire can be found in Montana and North Carolina.




CHALCEDONY

Chalcedony is both a stone and a class of stones (agates, jaspers, chrysoprase, sardonyx, and carnelian are varieties of chalcedony). Chalcedony is a durable stone but softer than some of its varieties (jasper, for example). It has a beautiful waxy luster and cuts and polishes beautifully.  The name "chalcedony" comes from the Latin calcedonius, the word used to translate the Greek word khalkedon, found only once, in the Book of Revelation.



EMERALD

Emerald, a variety of beryl, is a gorgeous green stone. I actually prefer it in its opaque form in some ways because you see a milkiness to the green and some of the dark gray “mother stone” (the non-precious stone the emerald grew with) veins through it. But whether it is opaque or gloriously translucent, emerald is stunning. Even the most translucent and ideal emerald will have inclusions. However, there are some emeralds that will not have any inclusions apparent to the naked eye. That would be the most valuable and considered flawless (even though inclusions would be visible under a microscope). During the lapidary process (cutting and polishing) most emeralds are coated in oil to protect them and improve their luster. Often, the level of treatment determines their value. I am dedicated to using natural materials and if an oil coated emerald is ever a part of my collection it will be clearly noted and described. Emeralds are often found in India and Austria (among many other countries). A rare “star emerald” can be found in Colombia. This form of emerald, known as trapiche emerald, features a radial star pattern. In the United States, emerald can be found in Connecticut, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Hiddenite, North Carolina is the most famous American location to find this special gem. Emerald is included in the list of stones featured in the breastplate for the High Priests (the Hoshen) in Exodus 28:15-28.



SARDONYX

Sardonyx is a banded onyx and a variety of chalcedony. Colored bands of sard (shades of red) appear throughout the stone. It has been used throughout history for carvings and adornment and is often turned into cabochons and beads. Sardonyx was extremely popular in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome and was even used to create bowls and other household items. Making signet rings was of the most popular uses for sardonyx in ancient Rome. This rings were used to imprint a seal on letters or important documents. Carnelian is ideal for this use because it can be easily carved with pictures or a person’s initials and wax does not stick to it. Onyx is mentioned throughout the Bible not only as being a part of the foundational walls of Heaven but also being a part of the garments of the high priests and in the description of what was noteworthy about the land of Havilah (Genesis 2:12). Sardonyx is found around the world but typically in Brazil, India, Madagascar and Uruguay.









CARNELIAN

Carnelian, a variety of chalcedony, gets its beautiful color from the amount of iron found in it. Carnelian’s coloring can range from a muted pale peachy-orange all the way to a deep, almost black, red. Carnelian is a relatively durable stone, but is soft enough that it is commonly carved with intricate patterns. Carnelian has been used for decoration and adornment since ancient times. Carnelian is included in the list of stones featured in the breastplate for the High Priests (the Hoshen) in Exodus 28:15-28.



CHRYSOLITE

Peridot (Chrysolite) is one of the few stones in the world that only can be found in one color - that incredible spring green. The intensity of the color depends on how much iron is present in the stone and therefore some will have more of a yellow appearance. The most valuable peridot is that vibrant olive-green depicted to the left. Peridot is a type of olivine and was known as chrysolite in Biblical times. Peridot is very prevalent in the United States and can be found in North Carolina, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming. It is also commonly found in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and several other countries. Peridot was extremely popular with ancient Egyptians and Cleopatra VII famously loved the stone. Chrysolite (peridot) is included in the list of stones featured in the breastplate for the High Priests (the Hoshen) in Exodus 28:15-28.




BERYL

Beryl, of which emerald is a variety, is also well known for its aqua colored variety - aquamarine. However, beryl come in many colors such as golden yellow (heliodor), red, rosy pink (morganite), and can even be found in a colorless form (goshenite). Beryl is a durable stone that polishes beautifully (hence, its name which is derived from the Latin word berillus (shine), the French word brille (shine), the Spanish word brillo (shine), and the English word brilliance). Beryl is found throughout Europe, Russia, Brazil, Colombia, Mozambique, Zambia and several other countries. In the United States it can be found in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah. Beryl is included in the list of stones featured in the breastplate for the High Priests (the Hoshen) in Exodus 28:15-28.



TOPAZ

Pure topaz is colorless and completely transparent but is often tinted by iron, chromium, and titanium found in the stone. Natural topaz can be found in white, yellow, pale gray, red-orange, and a blue-brown. It can also be heated (irradiated) to create bright shades of blue. Natural blue topaz does exist but is very rare. Speciality topaz varieties like “mystic topaz” are chemically treated to create that rainbow effect. Topaz is often found in cavities formed by lava flow and likes to grow with stones like fluorite. Topaz can be found around in the world in countries like Afghanistan, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and many others. In the United States it is commonly found in the Topaz Mountains in western Utah but has also been found in Texas and North Carolina. Topaz is included in the list of stones featured in the breastplate for the High Priests (the Hoshen) in Exodus 28:15-28.



CHRYSOPRASE

Chrysoprase, a variety of chalcedony, is often a bright apple-green color but can also be found with deeper shades of green. Chrysoprase fascinates me because its crystals are formed so uniformly and tightly that they cannot be seen as separate or distinct particles under normal magnification (that is very unusual). This sets it apart and makes it particularly ideal for being turned into cabochons and beads. It is a relatively durable stone and the best known sources for it are Australia (especially Queensland), Brazil Germany, Poland, Russia and the United States (especially Arizona and California).



JACINTH

Jacinth, or red zircon as it is now known, gets its name from the hyacinth flower. Zircon should not be confused with cubic zirconia! Zircon is a precious natural stone that comes in a wide variety of colors such as red, pink, brown, yellow, green and black. It can also be heated (irradiated) to make it colorless, bright blue or canary yellow. Colorless zircon is commonly used as a substitute for diamonds because of its intense fire and brilliance. Natural pink and red zircon are very rare and prized. Jacinth, red zircon, has been treasured since ancient times and is even mentioned throughout history in literature including Richard Francis Burton’s translation of Arabian Nights, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s vision of Excalibur in Idylls of the King and and many others including J.R.R. Tolkien in The Happy Mariners. Zircon is found around the world. In the United States it can be found in Colorado, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. Jacinth is very rare and is most often found Tanzania. Jacinth is included in the list of stones featured in the breastplate for the High Priests (the Hoshen) in Exodus 28:15-28.




AMETHYST

Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz and is much loved around the world. Its purple hue can range from a pink-violet tone to a deep rich violet. Popular since ancient times, amethyst was commonly used by the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. Until recently it is was prized as a very precious stone but because availability plays a role in determining the value of a stone, the large pockets that have been found in Brazil have had an impact on its rarity-based value. However, translucent richly colored amethyst is still prized and quite valuable. “Dog’s Tooth” or “Cape Amethyst” is a favorite of mine because it includes the deep violet translucent amethyst along with the milky white quartz and non-precious dark gray “mother stone” it grew with. The combination of the deep violet glow with the stark contrast of fully opaque white and charcoal is incredible. Amethyst can be found in Brazil, Russia, Zambia and many other countries. Amethyst can be found in many places in the United States including Arizona, Maine,  North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and even in my neck of the woods in the Lake Superior region of Minnesota, Wisconsin (my home state), Michigan and Ontario, Canada. The most famous North American deposit of amethyst is in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Amethyst is included in the list of stones featured in the breastplate for the High Priests (the Hoshen) in Exodus 28:15-28.



PEARLS

Pearls are formed in the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk (oyster). The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth and but they can be often found in other shapes and with patterns and textures. The most valuable pearls occur spontaneously in nature but they are very rare (known as “natural pearls”). Cultured pearls are farmed and make up the majority of the pearl market today. Whether natural and farmed, good pearls always have an iridescence (pearlescence). A pearl gets its unique luster from the light reflecting off the many translucent layers that make up the pearl. Pearls are pretty fragile (only 2.5-4.5 on the Mohs scale) and should be treated with care.






© Alaina Burnett Design, 2012 -2015

 

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