Explore by Heather Benjamin Abalone Shell & Multi Gem Pendant w/ 32" Chain
From your cubicle to your coastal vacation, this pendant flaunts your unique character and chic taste! This wear-everywhere piece flaunts a horn pendant cut from green abalone shell to update your look. The horn is accented by your choice of pear and oval shaped gemstones against a dainty oval chain with an eye-catching, hammered toggle clasp. This piece is so easy to layer over a blouse or a tee to make a stylish statement, and the slim chain can be layered with other necklaces for a cool, custom combo.

  • Choices:
    Pink Drusy
  • Metal: 18K yellow gold plated sterling silver
  • Stone Information:
    Abalone: One flat 35 x 7mm horn
    Variscite Choice: One pear 15 x 12mm variscite cabochon and one flat oval 14 x 10mm green Paua shell
    Amazonite Choice: One pear 14 x 10mm amazonite cabochon and one flat oval 12 x 8mm blue opal
    Pink Drusy: One pear flat 15 x 12mm pink drusy cabochon and one flat oval 14 x 10mm pink Paua shell
    Phosphosiderite Choice: One pear 15 x 12mm phosphosiderite cabochon and one flat oval 14 x 10mm purple-blue Paua shell
    Lapis Choice: One pear 14 x 10mm lapis lazuli cabochon and one flat oval 14 x 10mm purple-blue Paua shell
  • Setting Type: Adhesive and Bezel
  • Measurements:
    Pendant: 3"L x 9/16"W x 1/4"H
    Chain: 32"L
  • Chain Type: Oval Link
  • Clasp: Toggle
  • Collection: Explore by Heather Benjamin
  • Country of Origin: Indonesia

All weights pertaining to gemstones, including diamonds, are minimum weights. Additionally, please note that many gemstones are treated to enhance their beauty. Click here for important information about gemstone enhancements and special care requirements.

GoldoverSilver    Opal    LapisLazuli    Drusy    AbalonePauaShell    

Vermeil Plating:
Pronounced "vermay," vermeil is an electroplating process in which 14K gold or higher is coated over sterling silver. Officially designated by the jewelry industry, items may only be sold as vermeil if they have a minimum thickness of 100 millionths of an inch (2.5 microns) of gold over the silver. Regular gold plating is less than 2.5 microns.

The "vermeil" technique of plating sterling silver with gold originated in France in the 1750s. It differs from "gold filled" or "gold plated" in terms of the thickness or thinness of the microns over sterling silver. "Gold filled" pieces have a much thicker layer, between 15 and 45 microns, which is mechanically bonded to the base metal with heat and pressure. Vermeil is a more expensive version of "gold plated". It does not wear off as quickly as gold plating does. However, over time, vermeil wears off and therefore will require re-plating.

Gold/Platinum Embraced Silver or Bronze:
Our platinum and gold embraced collections feature layers of platinum or gold over sterling silver or bronze for a lustrous, radiant finish everywhere you look and touch.

To care for your plated jewelry items:

  • Remove jewelry before bathing, swimming, washing hands, putting on make-up, lotions, perfumes, and/or working with household chemicals, cleaners, or acidic liquids.
  • Do not clean plated jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner or in silver cleaning solutions, as it could completely remove the plating finish from your item.
  • Ensure your jewelry item is thoroughly dry before storing. Moisture in an enclosed space can increase tarnishing.
  • Store your plated jewelry in a jewelry box lined with felt or anti-tarnish material. Items should not be stacked as this may cause damage to the plating surface.
  • Do not use excessive pressure when cleaning with a polishing cloth or soft brush, as this may cause damage to the plating.
  • Over time your plated items will need to be re-plated. Contact your local jeweler for information on plating services.

    Known for its fiery combination of colors, opal is called the "Cupid stone" because it was said to reflect the complexion of the Greek god of love. The ancient Romans believed the gem was the symbol of hope, good luck and purity. Today, it remains a symbol of hope and inspiration. With a name stemming from the Latin word for "precious stone," opal is considered October's birthstone and is traditionally given as a 14th anniversary gift.

    Opals are luminous and iridescent stones with inclusions of many colors called "fire." It is sometimes called the "queen of gems" because it can flash patterns of color representing every hue of the rainbow. In fact, most stones are usually cut into domed cabochons to enhance the color play. The brilliance and pattern of an opal's fire determines its value. Opals with strong flashes of red fire are generally the most prized, while stones with blue or green flashes are more common and subsequently less valuable. Stone size also helps determine price, since the gem is very rare in larger sizes.

    In order to produce a stone that is less expensive than a solid opal, an opal doublet can be manufactured. It is composed of a thin layer of opal glued on top of another mineral (usually a black onyx or ironstone, which enhances the opal's color). An opal triplet can be made with a thin layer of opal sandwiched between a layer of clear quartz on top and a layer of obsidian or ironstone on the bottom. The clear quartz top layer makes the gem harder and less susceptible to scratches. Since top-quality natural opals are extremely rare and expensive, many are treated with colorless oil, wax or resin to enhance their appearance. Ranking a hardness of 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs Scale, these treatments also fill cracks in the stone to improve durability.

    A species of quartz, opal is one of the few gemstones that are sedimentary in origin. Millions of years ago, after ancient seas receded, silica-laden sediment was deposited around shorelines. Erosion made much of this silica into a solution that filled cracks in rocks, clay and fossils. Layers upon layers of silica jell were added to each other over millions of years and became precious opals. The stones still contain 6 to 10 percent water, a remnant of ancient seas. Because they have high water content, opals should be protected from heat and strong light in order to prevent them from drying out and cracking.

    Opal is found in a range of hues, including white opal (the most common), black opal (the most valuable), boulder opal (black opal with iron oxide), crystal or water opal (which is transparent), and fire opal (which features a bright solid color). The body color determines the variety of opal and has a large impact on the value.

    White opals tend to have more diffused fire due to their light background color. Rare black opals have a black to dark gray body color that allows for the fire to be the most noticeable, making them the most valuable type of opal. Boulder opals are cut with the natural host rock left on the back. They are found with interesting hills and valleys on the surface and inclusions in the foreground, forming odd shapes that make them a designer's delight. Crystal opal is transparent with flashes of rainbow colors, while fire opal only occasionally has this play of color. Fire opal's backdrop color is the main attraction. With bold yellows, oranges or reds, it is usually faceted to add sparkle and enhance the fabulous color.

    The vast majority of the world's opal supply comes from Australia, first discovered there by gold panners in 1863. In addition to a small quantity of opal produced in Kenya and Canada, white opal is mined in Brazil, black opal is found only at Lightning Ridge in Australia, crystal and fire opal can be found in the United States and Mexico, and a blue-green opal is found in the Andes Mountains of Peru.

    Opals have been treasured for thousands of years throughout the world. The gem was loved and highly valued by the Romans, who called it "opalus." In fact, a beautiful opal called the "orphanus" was featured in the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor and was said to guard the regal honor. The Aztecs mined opal in South and Central America and archaeologist Louis Leakey found 6,000-year-old opal artifacts in a cave in Kenya. Napoleon gave Josephine a beautiful opal with brilliant red flashes called "The Burning of Troy," making her his Helen. To this day, opals are still set in the crown jewels of France. Queen Victoria loved opals and often gave them as wedding gifts. She was one of the first to appreciate opals from Australia and, along with her daughters, created a fashion for wearing the gemstone.

    There are also several literary references to the fascinating stone throughout history. Shakespeare regarded opal as a symbol of shifting inconstancy, comparing its play of color to play of mind. In "Twelfth Night" he wrote, "Now the melancholy God protect thee, and the tailor make thy garments of changeable taffeta, for thy mind is opal." In the 19th century, Sir Walter Scott caused a reputation that opals were unlucky. The heroine of his popular novel had her life force caught in the opal she wore in her hair and died when its fire was extinguished.

    For thousands of years, opals have been revered for their supposed mystical powers. Romans thought the stone kept the wearer safe from disease and wore it near the heart on necklaces to ward off evil and protect travelers. Ancient Arabs believed that opals fell from heaven in flashes of lightning, which explained their fiery colors. During the Middle Ages, opal was called "ophthalmios," meaning "eye stone," due to a widespread belief that it was beneficial to eyesight. Some thought its effect on sight could render the wearer invisible, and the stone was even recommended for thieves. In medieval Scandinavia, blonde women wore opals in their hair to prevent it from going grey.

    Today, opals are still believed to hold magical powers. White opals, when used in rituals on a full moon night, are said to bring the moon goddess' powers into full effect within the practitioner. Specially shaped black opals are often worn on gold jewelry to further enhance their magical properties and powers. A fire opal surrounded with 10 or 12 diamonds and worn on a gold necklace is said to have excellent money-drawing power.

    Opals have been said to bring good luck, grant vigor and ideally protect travelers. The stones have long been believed to develop and increase mental capacities and open the unused powers of the mind. The colorful fire in opals is said to develop a more creative imagination and help recall past lives. It is believed that the most magically powerful opals come from Lightning Ridge in Australia and that the gem loses its power once its owner dies.

    Lapis is a strong blue microcrystalline rock composed primarily of the mineral lazurite. Its value decreases with the presence of white patches called calcite, while small veins of golden pyrite inclusions are often prized. Top quality lapis lazuli comes from Afghanistan, but small quantities are also found in Siberia, Chile, the United States, Pakistan and Canada. It is one of the most valuable semi-opaque stones and is a relatively soft gem, ranking 5.0-5.5 on the Mohs Scale.

    First mined in Afghanistan in 6000 B.C., lapis lazuli was used to heal eye maladies and was thought to help one acquire wisdom and serenity. The Romans believed it was a powerful aphrodisiac, while the Egyptians used lapis for cosmetic purposes and often carved it into vases and figurines. The ancient city of Ur had a thriving trade in lapis lazuli as early as the fourth millennium B.C. The name comes from the Latin word “lapis,” meaning stone, and from the Arabic word “azul,” meaning blue.

    In the Middle Ages, lapis was thought to free the soul from error, envy and fear. Used by artists during the Renaissance , ground lapis created a beautiful blue pigment for paintings. The stone was inlaid in the columns of St. Issac's Cathedral and the panels of the Pushkin Palace, both in Petersburg. Today, lapis lazuli is traditionally given as a 9th wedding anniversary gift. It is believed to free the wearer of melancholy and strengthen total awareness, creativity and ESP.

    There are several different spellings, but "druzy," "drusy" and "druse" all refer to minute quartz crystals that form within or on other stones. When ground water carrying dissolved silica is forced into a porous area of rock, rapid cooling often occurs. It causes the formation of tiny crystals on top of previously deposited minerals or gemstones, particularly quartz, chalcedony or agate. The cutting of drusy cabochons begins with a rough agate geode. After removing the outer layers of agate, the inner cavity with the drusy is revealed. These pieces are then cut so that a thin layer is left with the drusy crystals appearing on the top. The agate portion of each piece is then shaped, sanded and polished.

    Paua Shell (Abalone)
    Paua shell features vibrant color variations of blue, green, silver, pink, purple and mother-of-pearl. Although its rough exterior is black, paua's interior is the most colorful type of abalone shell in the world. Its iridescent patterns even change color when viewed from different angles. Because color range and patterns vary from shell to shell, each piece of paua is unique and one-of-a-kind.

    Paua is a species of abalone that is found only in the seas around New Zealand. It has larger cousins located around the world, such as in California and Japan, but those species aren't as colorful. Paua's unique coloring is produced from the rich volcanic sediments found within the unpolluted southern New Zealand waters. They are marine mollusks that eat seaweed and cling to rocks at depths of one to ten meters. The holes in the shells are for breathing and reproduction. Starfish are paua's main predator and can suffocate the shellfish by putting their tentacles over the breathing holes, forcing it to let go of the rock.

    Used for food since ancient times, paua meat is considered a delicacy. The exquisite shells used for ornamentation are simply natural by-products. The New Zealand government strictly controls the harvesting of abalone to ensure the sustainability of this natural resource. It has enforced a quota system for the gathering of paua by both commercial and individual fishermen. Paua fishers must free-dive to pry the mollusks from the rocks, as no compressed air diving is allowed. Moreover, all paua that is gathered must be no smaller than five inches in size. There are stiff penalties for those caught removing undersize shells.

    Pacific Rim cultures have considered paua shell a symbol of good fortune and believe it to have powers as an aphrodisiac. Some believe that wearing paua shell aids in creativity and calming. Folklore identifies paua with beauty, physical strength and power. It is believed to improve self-image and increase personal strength and endurance.

  • About the Collection
    Discover jewelry inspired by coastal cultures around the globe with Explore by Heather Benjamin. Available exclusively at EVINE Live, this unique designer collection combines natural elegance with bohemian and tribal tones for a distinct flavor unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Artisan crafted in Bali using unique natural materials, including gemstones, fossils, and hand-carved bone, Explore by Heather Benjamin is truly one-of-a-kind.

    Heather GoldmanAbout the Guest
    Heather Goldman, Designer and Creative Director for Explore, created her own Santa Monica, California-based jewelry design company in 2002. She has more than a decade of jewelry design experience and gets inspiration for her designs while traveling throughout Bali and the U.S. Pacific Coast. Her passion for the environment, coastal cultures, and jewelry inspired her to follow her career path with Explore.