Friday, March 14, 2014

New Stones- Yum!! Opals and Rubies and Jade... Oh My!

Today, when he returned home from work, my husband asked me how my day was. "I went to the gem show today...." I said, "... so it was a great day!"

I got these juicy jade cabochons, and Madagascar rubies to go with them. Don't they look great together? I have been wanting some pink stones, and these satisfied my craving. There's something about jade- the fact that it's translucent makes it rather mysterious. And the color is so subtle- it's not screaming for attention like an emerald or peridot. It's calm, serene, and just.... there. You gotta love jade. So rich and yet accessible. Like the leaves of a pretty flower... jade is happy to support the brighter color of the ruby, or any other color for that matter. A very generous stone indeed!

But truly what I get excited about are opals. This is a group of faceted Ethiopian opals from my favorite dealer.  Last time the show came around, the dealer was OUT of these. Not happy. He apparently sold his entire stash of these (1500 carats) to a 'guy who makes jewelry and sells it on T.V.' I have no idea who that could be... since I don't watch much t.v., but am happy his new supply is just as nice as his last bunch.

This is the kind of ring I was making with those stones from my prior purchase from the dealer. They sell quite well, as they are GORGEOUS, and surrounded by a luxurious 22k gold bezel. 

They will be back in my shop soon, so if you're interested in purchasing one of these, check my shop in the next week or two, or send me an email and let me know what size I can make for you:

This is a parcel of similar stones- Ethiopian opal. They have a broader area of flash than Australian opal and are a bit different in behavior... this opal likes to stay dry, and if wet, it can temporarily turn clear or turn white. Australian opal doesn't change at all in water. I actually cut these stones myself from a parcel of rough stones. It's cheaper to buy stones in rough form, but time-consuming because I have to cut them! 

However, I like the idea of using stones I've cut myself. I feel more ownership towards the finished piece and feel it's more authentically hand-made, too. Since the process of faceting a stone requires completely different equipment than producing a rounded cabochon (and I don't have that type of equipment!) I tend to buy the faceted-types of stones, and cut the rounded cabochons myself. I actually have a store where you can check out some of the stones I have cut myself:

I sell these to other jewelry-makers because I also love to cut stones.

Here's a ring I made with the stone in the above picture, upper right. It's more than 10 carats, the largest of the above parcel. I feel good about setting stones I've cut myself. I know the stone better, too, and can cut it exactly to my specifications.  Here's a link to it in my shop:

This is a piece I made as part of a collaborative project- creating a 'link' in a huge chain for charity. The center stone is one from the above pic of stones I cut- the center right stone. I feel like a lot of myself is in this piece, and I'm proud of that. Here's a link to more information about this project:

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