No, no, this isn't a post about whether or not you can copyright your jewelry designs. It's a post about the mysterious copyrite beads that I bought at the Rings and Things show last month, and am currently using to embellish my coin bra.
Wikipedia and Google gave me no answers, so I decided to ask Dave, the Rings and Things Twitter (and blog and website text and more) guy. He didn't know, so he asked around. No one knew. They could only narrow down what copyrite isn't.
It isn't copralite, aka, petrified dino dung. Dinosaurs were awesome, but they didn't poop out sparkly rocks.
It isn't cuprite, aka ruby copper, because that's far too brittle, and the wrong color.
It could possibly be chalcopyrite, but I'm not sure that's as black as these stones. It does seem like this stone might have pyrite of some sort in it, though, due to the gold flashes.
It doesn't really show in the photos, but the stone has a bit of chatoyancy and flashes of gold sparkle below the surface. It's a very unusual stone, perfectly suited for the fantasy designs I like to create. It seems like the sort of thing a dark wizard or an unseelie faerie would wear.
As Dave asked around at Rings & Things, he did discover that this bead came from some old stock, and was sold to them as Copyrite, but since they had no idea what that was, they put the question mark on the tag. Like most stone beads sold in the US, they were cut and shaped in China, and sometimes the language barrier results in stones labeled with unusual and/or incorrect names.
The next step in the ongoing investigation of this bead mystery is to mail a "copyrite" bead back to Rings and Things for the owner Russ (quite the stone connousieur, I'm told) to have a look at and offer his expert opinion. I'll be sure to blog about what he says!
Speaking of stones, today's Daily Special is Medusa Turning to Stone, which actually doesn't have any stone beads in it, but is awesome nonetheless.