CBC did an eye opening marketplace report on the cheap, imported costume jewelry sold in chains such as Ardene’s and Aldo. You won’t believe what they found!
Last year I set up a table at a flea market type event with my handmade mixed metals jewelry. (I have since learned that those markets are not the place for my work, but nevertheless, that’s where I was.)
The metals I use for most of my work are sterling silver, pure copper, and professional quality brass and bronze from Rio Grande, which are copper/zinc and copper/tin alloys. NO LEAD, and NO CADMIUM. Nickel free as well, which is important for people sensitive to nickel since that is the metal that usually makes people itchy.
I overheard a woman muttering to her friend that they could buy the same rings for five dollars at a table across from us. No, actually… not the same whatsoever. That five dollar bargain ring could very well have been full of toxic chemicals, and if not, it was most likely made by a child in terrible working conditions. Fake “stones” and beads made of glass or plastic are another big difference in product quality.
Yes, my work will cost a little bit more than the imported, mass produced items found in flea markets, but it will be a truly unique and one of a kind piece, made in a state of complete joy.
This past weekend I attended the 3 day Abbotsford Gem Show and brought home a few small treasures each day. One of those finds was this singing bowl.
There were a few to choose from on this vendor’s table in different sizes and with different motifs, this one being the largest and with the most pleasing tone to my ears.
It was made in Nepal out of bronze, has 5 figures inside the bowl in different meditative poses,and six letters or words around the outside. One symbol I recognize as OM, so I believe it may be the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum. It doesn’t translate well into one or two sentences in English but appears to be roughly the “jewel in the lotus” and imply developing character, spiritual growth and the path to enlightenment.
It measures roughly between 495 and 500 hz, making it a B note. This note apparently is for the crown chakra. I am not entirely convinced yet about the existence of these spinning discs that need constant alignment, but it’s interesting reading nonetheless.
After some research I have determined that by playing it I am not invoking any deity or demon, casting spells, worshipping false gods or doing any other potentially dangerous thing even though they have nepalese/tibetan/indian origins and an association with buddhist and hindu religions. In fact, some christian churches use a bowl to signal the beginning and ending of prayer or during periods of quiet reflection.
Copper is the oldest metal ore, mined by prehistoric man and later used by the Egyptians to create alloys. (copper + tin =bronze, copper + zinc = brass) The more copper a person owned, the greater their social status within society. Being a soft and malleable metal, it was used to create jewelry for royalty and high officials and was used for religious ceremonies and medical procedures.
Copper is an Essential Mineral:
Our bodies use copper for proper bone, nervous system, joint, and circulatory system health. Many people are deficient in this mineral because their diet lacks food containing copper such as shellfish, certain nuts, chocolate, liver, or red wine. Oral supplements can overload the body, so some people find it beneficial to wear copper jewelry for the purpose of having a small amount of copper absorbed through the skin. For this enzymatic reaction to occur, the copper must come into contact with the body’s skin oils and acids, so coated copper will not work.
Some wearers of copper jewelry find it relieves the symptoms of arthritis and circulation problems.
Copper has historically been considered a grounding metal for the human body and spirit. (Silver is the metal of the spirit, and gold is the metal of the mind.)
Spiritually, copper is also considered a metal capable of storing healing properties holistically, as well as having protective properties. This is why it was used in ancient times for totems and talismans.