(SOLD) Lovely Long Leland Blue Earrings 083

$385.00

1.5 x 4.4 cm

Sterling Silver Ear Wires

Handmade in Bayfield, WI.

Out of stock

Out of stock

These stunning elongated earrings will be one of your favorite things to wear. The miriad of blues in these stones will go perfectly with any shade of denim in your closet.The horizontal bands of blue remind us of the rare still waters of the Lake.

Leland slag is not really a true gem, nor is it sea glass. It is in a category all its own. Truth is, Leland Slag is byproduct of smelting iron-ore, which is no longer done. It is waste, tossed aside into Lake Michigan never to be seen again 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.

LELAND BLUE (ANTIQUE FOUNDRY GLASS) c. 1875-1900
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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