Saturday, February 13, 2010

Swamp hen breastbone

This is a sterling silver pendant, made from a cast of the breast bone of a swamphen, a flightless Tasmanian rail - almost as it was picked up on the road. It is hardly recognizable as part of a bird - the normal keel that anchors the flight muscles has completely disappeared although they do use their wings while running its only in extremis. The stone is a 7 carat pear- shaped lab ruby, nearly perfect - if it was mined it might have been owned by the Shah of Iran or somesuch. But thanks to Chinese technology and Ebay you can own such a stone for about 5 bucks, and only your crystallographer can know for sure.

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