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!



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    9 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Onyx has been used to make SCALPELS--so, yes, it is sharp indeed.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Be advised that Galena is lead sulfide and may not be too good in contact with skin long term. Should be okay for occasional wear but I wouldn't wear it every day.

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, also drilling/making make sure to wear a respirator and wash up good after as it is a cumulative impact from inhaling/ingestion that is really dangerous.


    3 years ago

    My brother was a Native American Professor, and took a complete census a few years back. He became quite familiar some 'How To's'' with Jim
    Sitting at his desk chair I watched, amazed, as he fashioned a onyx arrowhead with a simple old metal small tool, he handed it to me as a gift , which I treasure as shortly after he passed on. So, I have this black beautiful arrowhead that I would LOVE to have as a N/L of some sort. Does anyo e have any good ideas as to how I could do this? Would this method work, you think? I have seen some like plain stones, randomly wrapped a little with thin wire, then just strung a cord they wire to wear(?) anyone have any ideas on how I could make this look very nice simply as not to take anything away from the arrowhead??? Any thoughts I would really appreciated !:)
    Thank You!!!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    How about this? I have an Obsidian arrow head and I wrapped it with copper wire. You will have to be careful with it. (I broke 2 out of 3 the first time around)


    3 years ago

    Actually, after looking at the finished piece .... And how to'... I think this would be beautiful! Also, he left me with some random natural turquoise round little beads (no holes) 3of them, maybe I could asymmetrically place 2 on one side and one on the other as just a little accent! U all think that would be nice?
    I will have to Google that backing , I have never heard that word before lol.... Ok, any comments ??? I won't be doing this like ASAP so maybe someone knows better than myself as a How To.... It's really something I would like to wear often as its meaning to my heart and real natural beauty! ( and wow! Is it SHARᎵ!!!) OH YES! The onyx as he made it came off in like paper thin layers , it's wow very sharp ! I'll make sure I don't hurt myself with it lol!!!


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I guess that the Sugru backing plays an additional role in this jewelry then... protection from skin contact.


    3 years ago

    Galena can also be used to build crystal radios. And I agree, not a good idea for skin contact jewelry.