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This Tagliamonte Medusa pendant is one stone-cold stunner. Inspired by myth and legend, this sterling silver pendant prominently features Venetian glass made in the image of that most famous Gorgon, Medusa. 18K gold accenting and a sapphire cabochon add even more sophistication to the look. Slip it onto your favorite chain necklace and stop folks in their tracks with your style.

Pendant Details

  • Metal: Sterling silver with 18K gold accents
  • Stone Information: One round 4mm sapphire cabochon
  • Setting Type: Prong
  • Measurements:
  • Pendant: 3-11/16"L x 1"W x 5/16"H
  • Bail: 8mm
  • Collection: Tagliamonte
  • Country of Origin: Italy

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.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver, also called fine silver, is a beautifully lustrous cool-toned precious metal favored in fine jewelry among other products. The most reflective of all metals (excluding mercury), sterling silver looks stunning by itself and brings out the best hues in an array of colorful gemstones.

Sterling silver can be polished to a higher sheen than platinum. In fact, Ag, the chemical symbol for silver, comes from a word that means “white and shining.” The surface of silver can boast that shiny, polished appearance, or can be brushed, satin, matte, sandblasted, antiqued or oxidized (chemically blackened).

In order to be called sterling silver, a metal must be made up of a minimum of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% alloy (meaning other metals), including but not limited to copper and nickel. The alloy is added to pure silver to make the metal more durable, tougher and harder. Sterling silver is designated a fineness of “925.” Pieces with sterling silver may be marked “sterling.”

Finishes on Sterling Silver
Finishing, or plating, is a common treatment with sterling silver. Popular types of plating are rhodium plating, gold plating and anti-tarnish plating. Plating is used to extend the life and sheen of the jewelry. After sizing or buffing a piece of jewelry with a machine, it must be re-plated to restore the finish.

  • Rhodium Plating: Rhodium plating is a complex and laborious process that enhances the luster and beauty and extends the life of silver. A member of the platinum metal group, rhodium is often used as a finishing touch on silver jewelry. It's a shiny silvery metal with a very white and reflective appearance, much like mercury. It's also very hard, so it withstands much wear and tear, resists natural tarnishing and wonderfully mimics the brilliant finish of freshly polished silver.

    Caring for Sterling Silver
    Sterling silver becomes tarnished as the result of a natural chemical process that occurs when sterling silver is exposed to chemicals in the air, rubber, wool and latex. Humidity also plays a role in accelerating tarnishing. It's easy to keep your sterling silver sparkling, though, by taking a few steps to prevent tarnish and other wear and tear.

  • Avoid exposing sterling silver to direct sunlight and harsh chemicals, including chlorine, ammonia, hair products, perfumes, cosmetics, perspiration and strong jewelry cleaning solutions.
  • Periodically wash sterling silver with mild dish soap and warm water. Rinse well and dry completely with a soft cloth before storing because moisture can cause tarnish.
  • Lightly polish sterling silver frequently with a soft silver-polishing cloth, avoiding abrasive cloths completely.
  • Tarnish is easy to remove when it first forms as a yellowish tint, but becomes more difficult to remove when it becomes brown and black. Remove tarnish with a silver polish cream, avoiding immersing pieces with gemstones in tarnish-removal solutions.
  • Minimize scratches on sterling silver by storing it in its own compartment in your jewelry box or in a cloth pouch. Sterling silver may also be stored in sealed polyethylene bags.

    Sapphire:
    An ancient Persian legend states the Earth rests on a gigantic sapphire that gives its blue reflection to the sky. The most popular colors for sapphires range from light blue to a blue that appears black. Hence, the name was derived from the Latin form of the Greek word for blue, "sapphirus." These blue colors are caused by iron and titanium in the stone. Bright daylight makes most sapphires shine more vividly than the somewhat muted artificial light. So the most highly cherished color for blue sapphires is not the darkest blue, but a deep and satiated blue, which even in dim, artificial light remains to appear blue.

    While sapphires are best known for being velvety blue, it was decided long ago to consider all gemstones of the mineral family corundum to be sapphires. Non-blue sapphires are termed "fancy" and can be nearly any color, including yellow, green, white, pink, orange, brown, purple and even black. Red corundum is the exception, however, and was given the special name of "ruby."

    In lighter-colored sapphires, the shade of color is determined by how the stone is cut. A cutter must take special care with sapphires. Not only do they rank a 9.0 on the Mohs Scale, second only to diamonds in hardness, but they display a different coloring and satiation depending on the perspective. The cutter must align the orientation of the stone in such a way as to bring about the best possible display of color.

    There are a great number of varieties of sapphire, many of which are quite rare and highly sought-after in the gemstone market. A rare orange-pink variety, known as padparadscha, can be even more valuable than blue sapphire. Given the poetic name meaning "lotus blossom," it features a delicate orange color with pink undertones

    Another rare variety of sapphire is known as the color-changing sapphire. This stone exhibits different colors in different light. In natural light, color-changing sapphire is blue, but in artificial light, it is violet. This effect is the same phenomenon seen in alexandrite.

    For experts and connoisseurs, the Kashmir-color is considered the most beautiful and valuable shade. It features a pure and intensive blue, which is enhanced by a fine, silky gloss. Its color does not change in artificial light, but remains intense with a deep, velvety sheen. Setting the standard for the color of top-quality sapphires, Kashmir sapphires were found in 1880 after an avalanche. They were intensely mined for only eight years until the source was depleted. The Burma-color is also considered especially valuable, ranging from rich royal blue to deep cornflower blue. Ceylon sapphires are prized as well for the luminosity and brilliance of their light to medium blue color.

    There is a translucent variety of sapphire, called star sapphire, which displays a six-point star when cut into a smooth domed cabochon. The mineral rutile is embedded in an asterisk-shape within the stone, causing light to reflect in a phenomenon called "asterism." Six- or twelve-ray stars appear to magically glide across the surface of the stones as they are moved. Star sapphires and rubies are expensive rarities and should always display the stars exactly in the center of the gem. The star stone is said to be the home of each person's angel, who lives there in contentment with the sapphire's spirit.

    White sapphires have become a very suitable diamond substitute. With their high light refraction and level of hardness, they provide a less expensive alternative that is still very capable of turning heads with a very convincing sparkle.

    The oldest sapphire mines are situated in Ceylon, where gemstones were mined in ancient times. Most blue sapphires today come from Thailand or Australia, but sapphires from Kashmir and Myanmar are highly prized. A large sapphire occurrence stretches across several miles in Madagascar. There are also two large occurrences in Tanzania, where smaller, yet high-quality sapphires are found. The stone is also mined in many other parts of the world.

    Sapphires are readily available in sizes of up to 2.00ct, but gems weighing 5.00-10.00ct are not unusual. The cushion-cut Logan Sapphire from Sri Lanka weighs an astounding 423.00ct and can be seen at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. There is also a 258.00ct stone set in the Russian crown, which is kept in the Diamond Fund in Moscow.

    Because the gem has long symbolized sincere love and enduring faithfulness, blue sapphires are often given in engagement rings to express commitment and loyalty. Many women throughout the world decide on the blue stone for their engagement rings, as the gem also represents truth, friendship, harmony and consistency. Sapphire blue has become a color related to anything permanent and reliable, making it an ideal stone to symbolize the promise of marriage.

    Often referred to as "Gem of the Heavens," sapphire also symbolizes a noble soul. It is September's birthstone and is traditionally given as 5th and 45th wedding anniversary gifts. Star sapphires are given for the 65th anniversary. The color sapphire-blue is known for representing clarity and competence. In fact, the first computer to ever declare victory over a chess grandmaster and world champion was named "Deep Blue."

    Sapphires have been associated with magical powers throughout the ages. The Greeks identified white sapphires with Apollo and the oracles at Delphi used them to tap into the subconscious and super conscious. In the 13th century, it was said that when worn, sapphires cooled the inner heat of anger. Soldiers wore them to prevent capture by enemies and kings wore the gemstone to defend against harm and put themselves in divine favor. This supposed "divine favor" is why sapphires were often the gemstone of choice for high priests and royalty throughout history. In fact, the British Crown Jewels contain a number of notable sapphires.

    During the Middle Ages, sapphires symbolized the tranquility of the heavens and wearing them was thought to bring peace, happiness and purity of the soul. Medieval priests and monks would wear sapphire jewelry believing it had the ability to quell wicked impulses and impure thoughts. The color blue became the symbol of the union between a priest and the heavens, so sapphires came to be adorned on the rings of bishops.

    Today, sapphires are still believed to hold special powers. It can be considered an aid to psycho kinesis, telepathy and clairvoyance, while providing spiritual enlightenment and inner peace. White sapphires, like diamonds, are considered the guardians of love, enhancing it and ensuring fidelity in marriage. The most powerful type of the gem is said to be the star sapphire. They are believed to protect against negative energy and have a calming effect that allows the mind to experience tranquility, joy and clear thinking.

    Venetian & Murano Glass:
    Handcrafted Venetian and Murano glass is renowned for being colorful, elaborate, and skillfully made. The process of making Murano glass is rather complex and the history is rich. Artisans still use the same time-honored techniques that have been passed down for generations. The handmade process allows the glassmaker to shape uniquely beautiful multi-colored designs.

    Murano glass gets its name from the location in which it is made: The island of Murano off the shore of Venice, Italy. The glass has been produced there for centuries, as Murano was a commercial port as far back as the 7th century and a well-known city of trade by the 10th century. Today, Murano remains a destination for tourists and art and jewelry lovers.

    History
    It is believed that Murano glass actually originated in Rome in the 9th century. But artists were influenced by the Asian and Muslim cultures that were exposed at the major trading port in Venice. They decided to create the glass in the Venetian Republic for convenience, which was the first main location for the glassmaking before a devastating fire ruined most of the city's wood buildings. This event caused the glassmakers to move to the island of Murano in 1291. To this day, the names for Venetian and Murano glass are used nearly interchangeably.

    The glassmakers of Murano were soon the most prominent citizens on the island. Around the 14th century, the talented artisans were allowed to wear swords, enjoyed immunity from prosecution, and married their daughters into wealthy families. Their success did not come without a price, however. Glassmakers were not allowed to leave the Republic, causing a feeling of unrest. Some craftsmen rebelled and set up business as far away as England and the Netherlands. Despite this, most workers did stay on the island and by the end of the 16th century, 3,000 of Murano's 7,000 people were involved in the glassmaking industry in some way.

    Today, Murano artisans are still employing the same age-old techniques, crafting everything from contemporary art and jewelry to chandeliers and wine stoppers. Murano held a monopoly on quality glassmaking for centuries, creating and refining many technologies including crystalline glass, enameled glass, glass with threads of gold, multicolored glass, milk glass, and imitation gemstones made of glass. If you visit Murano, the island is now home to the Museo Vetrario, or Glass Museum, in the Palazzo Giustinian. It displays the history of glassmaking, as well as glass samples ranging from Egyptian times through present day.

    Techniques & Materials
    Most Murano glass art is made using the lampworking technique. The glass includes silica which becomes liquid at high temperatures. As the glass passes from a liquid to a solid state, there is a moment when it is slightly soft before it hardens completely. This is when the craftsman can shape the material. The more sodium oxide present in the glass, the slower it solidifies, which is important for hand-working since it allows for more time to shape the material.

    The colors, techniques and materials glassmakers may use depend upon the look the artist is trying to achieve. The Millefiori technique involves layering sliced canes of glass, or forming tiny glass beads by cutting the canes into sections when cold then rounding when hot. Sommerso, filigree, incalmo, enamel painting, engraving, gold engraving, lattimo, ribbed glass and submersion are just a few of the other techniques a glassmaker can apply.


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