Lake Effect Leland Blue 082


2.4 x 3.3 cm

Sterling silver ear wires

Hand made in Bayfield, WI

1 in stock

1 in stock

The swirls in these beautiful Leland Blue earrings remind me of the lake water as it splashes and swirls around the small rocks on the shore. The colors and small dark specs in these stones are so typical of the most sought after pieces of Leland Blue. The bezel set stones sit on a hand textured sterling back piece that gives the earring an extra sparkle.

Leland slag is not really a true gem, nor is it sea glass. It's is in a category all its own. Truth is, Leland Slag is a byproduct of smelting iron-ore, which tis no longer done. It was waste, tossed aside into Lake Michigan never to be seen again. Until now... 145 years later, it's a beautiful stone that has earned a spot in my lineup. Read the nerdy, yet necessary, natural history below.

This unique “gem” is a byproduct of the short-lived days of smelting iron ore in Northwest Lower Michigan. The ore from the Upper Peninsula’s Mesabi iron range arrived in Leelanau County by schooner. A charcoal made from beech and maple hardwoods plus a local limestone flux were used to refine the ore. The slag byproduct was considered waste and dumped into Lake Michigan.

This material ranges in color from black to green, to blue and purple, with the various shades of water-like blues being the most prized and rare. Under 2% of the slag created was blue, depending on environmental factors. The lucky and determined beachcomber may still find pebbles along the shore.


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