Making a Fossil Necklace

Last week at one of my favorite Lake Erie beaches, I found this really interesting little dark grey beach stone. It must be a fossil of some sort. Look closely and you can see a tiny texture all over it.

I have done some research and this appears to be a "favosite" fossil. Favosite is an older cousin to the Petoskey Stone found only in Northern Michigan. It is a long extinct coral composed of polygonal to slightly rounded shaped tiny marine animals. When our area was closer to the equator, they grew in the shallow tropical waters some 400-385 million years ago. (The Lower Devonian geologic period, for you geology buffs.) The closely adjoined colonies give the formation a honeycomb-like appearance and are somewhat rare. Might also be called a Charlevoix Stone. So I decided it needed to be the focus of a new necklace. My studio is kind of dark, so I have difficulty photographing my process, but I thought I'd try to show you a few steps along the way as I made this piece today.
First I built a bezel using sterling bezel wire and sterling sheet. The stone fits!
I made a jump ring out of heavy gauge wire and soldered it closed. Constructed a bail out of more of the same wire.
I soldered the bail to the top of the bezel. (Sorry so blurry....too absorbed in my work to dig out the tripod!)
Filed, sanded, buffed to a satin finish. Almost ready for the stone!

Once the stone is in place, I used a burnisher to push the bezel against the stone for a firm grip.
I cut a length of sturdy oxidized silver chain and added my handmade hook clasp and ring.
Soldered, buffed...


To see this necklace on Etsy click here.