We've christened our medium-sized bear, sized to fit between our Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, as Ursa In-the-Middle. To match our In-the-Middle bear to a real constellation would take an imagination even more powerful than that of the ancients, who imagined entire animals around a few stars.
Our bear is molded in sterling silver and filled with gemstone using a technique called 'crushed stone inlay,' in which gemstone is ground into small pieces, packed tightly into the frame, and secured with a chemical bonding agent especially formulated for this use. The stone is then ground smooth and polished to create the finished piece. Our Ursa In-the-Middle is packed with sodalite, amazonite, and amethyst.
Sodalite has its own distinctive dark blue. First mined in Ontario in the 1800's, it became a favorite of Princess Margaret. Though this gemstone is a relative newcomer, stone lore experts see it as a gem that promotes friendliness and camaraderie.
Amazonite, on the other hand, has been used as for centuries. It has long been associated with truth and courage, as well as friendship.
Amethyst is another gemstone with a long history of admiration. In the ancient world, it was one of the five Cardinal gems, seen as both a protector and an enhancer of focus and clarity.
Our Ursa In-the-Middle features three sterling silver trees in the foreground and is 1 1/2 inches from nose to back foot (36mm). It's 3/4 of an inch tall (18mm) and hangs on an 18 inch (46mm) sterling silver chain.
The stone in this necklace has been treated with a clear resin as part of the inlay process. This colourless resin serves to increase the durability of the stone.