Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Solve air pollution with volcanoes?

This is a portion of an advertisement from M.R.S. Sunshine Enterprises, Inc., that's featured on Page 70 of Dragon magazine #62 (June 1982).

The ad copy touts Helenite, artificial glass that is "fused volcanic rock dust from Mount St. Helens [which erupted two years earlier] and [is] marketed as a gemstone," according to Wikipedia.

The copy itself calls Helenites the "newest gem on Earth," as created by "Earthman." Which is a fancy way of admitting that it's a manmade stone. I found about 500 pieces of Helenite for sale on eBay this morning, with prices ranging from $10 to $460, though the higher-end pieces are set in silver. There was also a 10-pound hunk of Helenite for the Buy It Now price of $1,499.99.

This 1982 advertisement is pitching a special piece of jewelry — a Helenite-studded dragon. The creative but confusing ad copy attempts to tie together volcanoes, dragons, pollution and possibly climate change:
Released by the Volcanic Eruption of Mt. St. Helens, whose GOAL is to burn up the pollution threatening Earth's atmosphere. Cast in Solid Sterling Silver body and wings, and copper fire set with 3 Helenites spewing forth from its mouth!

The jewelry was designed by Monica Roi Saxon and offered by the aforementioned M.R.S. Sunshine Enterprises of Delhi, New York. I can't find much of what became of either the artist or the company. And I wonder how many of these Helenite dragons they sold, given the 1982 price of $110, which would be about $277 today.

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