Introduction: Galena (rock) Necklace

About: Everything I make is done with love and imperfection.

The Yukon has beautiful rocks and minerals that can be made into interesting jewelry.

Galena is a mineral that used to be extensively mined for its silver content at the end of the "silver highway" in Keno City, Yukon. This is a necklace that I made from galena I gathered in Keno.

Step 1: Gather Materials

On a visit to Keno this summer, we spent a few hours rock-hounding and found some galena. We discovered that some of the oxidized heavy rocks could be split apart to find this glimmering gorgeous mineral - perfect for jewelry, if you can find a way to attach it securely.

Galena is really heavy, so to convert it into a necklace I had to be worried about strength as well as beauty.

I used:

  • Epoxy adhesive
  • Metal jewelry loop
  • Sugru
  • Leather cording

Step 2: Attaching Fastener

Epoxy adhesives can be used to bind wood, metal, glass, stone, and some plastics. Read on the back of the package whether stone is included in the list of things that the epoxy will bind to, as there are many different types of epoxy.

I cleaned up the back of the galena rock as best I could using a steel brush.

Following the instructions on the package, I mixed a small amount of epoxy together for 1 minute, and then applied it to the back of my galena and positioned my jewelry loop inside. I made sure that the metal loop was totally encased by epoxy before allowing it to cure.

The picture also shows a piece of agate that I was trying this method on. The epoxy didn't bind well to this smooth river rock, so I will have to find a different process for it.

Step 3: Adding Strength

As I mentioned, galena is really heavy. I didn't want to rely on the small metal loop and epoxy to hold the rock to the necklace. Plus, the back of the galena was ugly and rough against the skin.

I decided to cover the back with Sugru as its rubber like properties would help to keep the attachments together and make a smooth backing for the necklace.

I applied according to package directions.

Step 4: Necklace Cording

To keep the necklace looking natural, I used a metre of leather as the cord.

I attached the leather to the metal jewelry loop at the half way point. Because I wanted to keep the necklace laying flat, I secured the leather with a loop (drawing the middle of the leather up through the back of the metal loop, and then pulling the ends through the centre leather loop created and tightening).

I left the ends of the leather as they were so that the owner can decide to have the necklace long or short.

Step 5: Giving

The best part of making something is giving it away!

I packaged up the necklace inside a wooden jewelry box that I made using the same method as this instructable, and gave it to a friend.

She loved it!