Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Aurora Borealis...Double Entendre

Vintage Venita cat eye with AB stones circa 1950's
Aurora Borealis as seen in the night skies of Alaska
Vintage Venita AB stones
Aurora Borealis is the phenomenon of electrically charged atoms that display a spectacular light show in high altitude atmospheres.  The incredible beauty of this spectacular light show can be viewed in the night skies of northern latitudes.  This collision of energetic charged particles of the atoms in the high altitude atmosphere creates spectacular imagery of the diffusion of light. This is aurora borealis.

As a collector of vintage eyewear the term aurora borealis or AB stones refers to the color or hue of the rhinestone as you see in the photo above.  AB stones are a stone that has been coated with thin layers of metal to enhance brilliance and reflective color quality.  The method of coating the stone involves vaporizing metals in a vacuum which create a stone of reddish hues to resemble that of the "aurora borealis"! This technique was developed in the early 1950's by the Swarovski Company. The AB stones in both vintage jewelry as well as vintage eyewear are highly regarded and may authenicate that the eyewear source is from the 1950's.  Swarovski created the "rainbow stone" and this was implemented in many couture collections such as Christian Dior. 

The technique of adding stones to eyeglasses does the same phenomenon as the "aurora borealis" of the night sky. It showcases ones best feature your eyes.

So add some brilliance to your face and let yourself Shine!



  1. Wonderful history lesson! Thanks Dawn!