Explore by Heather Benjamin 1.75" Amethyst & Paua Shell Dangle Earrings

Experience iridescence like no other. This pair of earrings features two hypnotizingly beautiful glowing purple Paua shells, flat cut and set in an 18K yellow gold over sterling silver setting. Dangling below the shells is a single pear cut amethyst, which adds a touch of sparkle to the glowing set. Hammered textured accents with a satin finish surround the featured pieces.

  • Metal: 18K yellow gold over sterling silver
  • Stone Information:
    Dyed and Coated Purple Paua Shell: Four round flat cut 10-12mm
    Amethyst: Two pear cut 8 x 6mm
  • Setting Type: Bezel
  • Approximate Total Weight:
    Amethyst: 2.00ct
  • Measurements: 1-3/4"L x 1/2"W
  • Backing: Butterfly with plastic disk
  • Collection: Explore by Heather Benjamin
  • Country of Origin: Indonesia

Check out the Ring Sizing Guide to find your ring size.

All weights pertaining to gemstones, including diamonds, are minimum weights. Additionally, please note that many gemstones are treated to enhance their beauty. View Gemstone Enhancements and Special Care Requirements for important information.

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.

    Amethyst, the most precious member of the quartz family, exhibits purple shades ranging from pale lilac to deep purple, sometimes exhibiting reddish or rose overtones. Very deep-colored amethysts are the finest and most highly valued . Some stones are so over-saturated with color they have areas that are blacked out, which can negatively impact their value. Paler shades, sometimes called "Rose of France," were common in Victorian jewelry. Banding—darker and lighter zones of color—is also a common occurrence. Occasionally, amethyst is even found combined with its sister quartz, citrine, into a single stone called ametrine.

    The birthstone for February, amethyst is an extremely popular gem for jewelry because of its regal color, variety of sizes and shapes, affordability and wide range of hues. It also is the recommended gem for couples celebrating their 6 th and 17 th wedding anniversaries. With a hardness of 7.0 on the Mohs Scale , a methyst can occur as long prismatic crystals that have six-sided pyramids at either end, or can form as drusies that are crystalline crusts that only show the pointed terminations.

    The ancient Greeks believed that amethyst made one immune to the effects of alcohol. In fact, the name even comes from the Greek word amethystos, which means “not drunken.” Legend has it that the amethyst originated from Bacchus, the god of wine. Bacchus became angry at the mortals and vowed that the next mortal to cross his path would be eaten by tigers. Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden, was on her way to worship the goddess, Diana. Diana turned her into colorless quartz to keep her from being eaten. Bacchus observed the miracle and repented his hasty decision. He poured wine over the young maiden, leaving her feet and legs colorless. This is the reason that amethyst crystals are usually uneven in color and have a colorless base at the bottom. Because amethyst was believed to prevent drunkenness, wine goblets were often carved from it in ancient Greece. Today, the gem still symbolizes sobriety.

    Amethyst has been a part of history throughout the ages. Evidence suggests that prehistoric humans used amethysts for decoration as early as 25,000 B.C. Legends suggest that the Egyptian queen Cleopatra wore an amethyst signet ring, as did Saint Valentine, who bared an amethyst engraved with the figure of Cupid. During medieval times, people used the stone as medication to stay awake and alert. Leonardo Da Vinci claimed that amethyst could dissipate evil thoughts and quicken the intelligence. In some legends, the stone represents piety, celibacy and dignity. In the Middle Ages, for instance, the gem was an important ornamentation for the Catholic Church and other religions. It was considered the stone of bishops, and they still often wear amethyst rings. In Tibet, amethyst is considered sacred to Buddha and rosaries are often made from it. Amethyst has also long been a favorite of kings and queens for its royal purple hues that symbolize wisdom, strength and confidence. Amethysts are even featured in the British Crown Jewels and were worn by Catherine the Great.

    Amethyst’s availability and magical qualities make it the stone of preference in ancient lore and mysticism. As a meditation stone, it is said to quiet the mind, promote contemplation, sharpen psychic powers and uplift the spirit. It is a stone of deep wisdom. Folklore says it can quicken the wit, calm fears and ward off anger. It has a royal purple essence that is said to lend courage to travelers, scare off thieves and protect travelers from harm. Placed under the pillow or worn to bed, there are claims it promotes peaceful sleep and pleasant dreams. Amethyst can also be worn to supposedly make the wearer gentle, amiable and happy.

    The stone is mined in Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Argentina, as well as in Zambia, Namibia and other African nations. Very dark amethyst in small sizes also is mined in Australia. But the ideal for fine quality amethyst was set by a Siberian variety, often called Russian or Uralian amethyst, which is now considered a defunct source. Generally, South American amethyst tends to come in larger sizes than African amethyst, but the African variety has a reputation for having deeper color intensity and is therefore considered more valuable. The African version also is harder to come by than amethyst mined from South America. Most of today's amethyst comes out of Brazil.

    Lune de France is a very special variety of amethyst that rarely comes to market. From the northwest state of Amazon in Brazil, this gemstone comes from the Maraba mine. This lovely lilac gemstone features a unique velvet-like quality that at first observation can be confused for an opal or moonstone. The gemstone's internal structure contains natural, cloud-like veils of microscopic inclusions that are extremely minute, even under high power magnification. These inclusions cause the incoming light to scatter and reflect, thus creating an opalescent effect. While a similar inclusion structure can be expected in rose quartz, it almost never occurs in an amethyst. Lune de France features a natural lilac color and retains excellent transparency allowing it to be faceted for maximum light play.

    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.

    Earring Back Types

    The backing is an important part of an earring, providing a secure closure and comfortable fit. Keep in mind, some earring styles work better with certain back types. Experiment with the different types to find the best fit for you!

    Butterfly Back: A double looped piece resembling a butterfly that fits over a post. Variations on this design are called push back clasps. The basic post and butterfly back are usually used for stud earrings and lighter weight drop earrings.

    Hinged Snap Backs: This clasp features a hinged post that snaps into a groove on the back of the earring. It is commonly found on hoops. Sometimes the hinged post is curved to provide more room to fit around the ear, sometimes called a saddleback.

    Hook Backs: This earring backing is simply a long, bent post that fits through the piercing. Hooks have several variations, most notably the shepherd's hook and the French hook. While thin wire hooks reduce the weight of long earrings, making them more comfortable, they aren't as secure as other clasp styles.

    Lever Back: A hinged lever snaps shut against the curved post to form a closed loop around the ear lobe. This clasp is very secure and good for large or medium sized styles that drop just below the ear.

    Omega: Also called French clips, this clasp has a straight post and a looped lever. The hinged lever closes around the post and is held against the ear with pressure. The omega clasp is the most secure clasp, especially for the larger, heavier earrings.

    Screw back: This backing is a slight variation of the standard post and butterfly nut back. Instead of pushing on the back, the nut twists onto the threaded post. A screw back post design is often preferred for expensive diamond stud earrings that require increased security.

  • 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.