Turquoise rose cuts

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I like opaque rose cuts very much indeed – the faceting adds interest and liveliness and it’s just a bit unusual. I’ve been meaning to trial turquoise rose cuts for some time; turquoise is so enduringly popular, I always struggle to keep it stock, so I really hope you all like these. I have them in a 2mm, 3mm, 4mm and 5mm rose cut, nice blue material with excellent polish. There’s the odd bit of matrix on the bottom here and there and on some of the larger stones.

Turquoise is one of the world’s most ancient gems, used in Ancient Egypt and 3000 years ago in China. It’s name derived from the French ‘pierre torques’ which means ‘Turkish stone’, and indeed for many years, the most valued turquoise came from the middle east – from Persia, now modern day Iran. Those mines are mined out now, but ‘Persian turquoise’ persists as a trade name to describe a particular strongly blue-hued colour of turquoise, without the veining and matrix that characterises the majority of commercial grade material. I never mind a bit of recessed sandy matrix, if it’s confined to the bottom of the stone; at least I know it’s real!More recently. of course, as most people will know, large deposits in the US were found and it was used as a ceremonial gem and currency by Native Americans. I can’t really do the ‘Southwestern’ style of jewellery, it’s not my thing. I prefer to see reasonably matrix-free material in a sleek, contemporary setting, but that’s just personal preference. Why not have a go and see what you can make with this? I’d love to see what people do with these. To shop turquoise, click here. These stones are stabilised, as is very common with turquoise these days (it makes for a harder and more durable stone with a better polish)

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Small but perfectly formed: 2mm rose cuts and cabochons

I’ve been promising these for ages and they are finally here! 2mm rose cuts and cabochons in a variety of stones. They really are so tiny I can’t imagine what you are going to do with them, so pictures please! Also probably best not to work with these if you have a heavy cold… I have all the usual suspects; garnets, turquoise, amethyst, peridot, citrine, white topaz, opal and more. Two things about these stones; firstly, because they are small, you’re not going to get the saturation on the transparents, and some of them are quite light; for example the peridot is light green, the amethyst is light to mid purple, the almandine garnet is pink to orangey-red, the rhodolite is pinkish. The other thing is the price. It’s not easy to get these cut and it is rather expensive; most of the rose cuts are around the $2.85 mark per stone, and the cabochons $1.45 (some – the ruby, emerald and turquoise, for example, are still more). Most of the cost of these is in the cutting, but the up-side is that because of this, they are really unusual and not everyone is going to have them. Why not give them a whirl – I can see rings dusted with gemstones, earrings with tiny scattered points of light…and please do send me pictures of your creations! To shop 2mm rose cuts, click here; to shop 2mm cabochons, click here.

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Floating in a turquoise sea

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Just listed I have these gorgeous turquoise rose cut freeforms. There’s something very pleasing about a faceted opaque stone. Maybe because it’s rather unexpected, but I always think that turquoise lends itself so well to this cut. Maybe it’s because it’s not a cheap stone, and you can go to a generous size whilst still maintaining some kind of strangle-hold on the budget strings. And you all must agree with me because it’s one of the stones in this cut that I struggle to keep in stock – whatever I have just goes. So I am assuming the same will be true of this latest lot of new stock. I’ve been a bit brave and gone for some much larger ones than usual. The 12 or so carat one above with the lovely chunk of pyrite on the side – I think that’s gorgeous; I’ve got my eye on that one for my own collection, if someone doesn’t beat me to it. I don’t know how you feel about inclusions; I know not everyone loves them but I rather do, especially the silvery pyrite one often gets on turquoise – I think that’s really special. I also rather love the 2.4 carat one speckled with pyrite and dark matrix – so unusual. But if you’re a purist, then you can’t do better than the 7.6 carat triangle; just clean, clear turquoise, polished to perfection.

This cut lends itself particularly well to rings – big showy affairs that’ll make your fingers think all their Christmasses have come. Below, clockwise from left, I love the fierceness of the Turquoise Rose Cut Cage ring in 14k gold by Lex Luxe. Perfectly illustrating my point about the loveliness of pyrite inclusion is Erin Jane Designs’ Turquoise Ring in Recycled 14k gold. And see how that pyrite picks echoes the metal in the setting? And bottom right is Janish Jewels’ Rose Cut Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Twig Ring. Love the textured metal on the shank.

To shop turquoise rose cut freeforms, click here. Prices start from $17.

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March Newsletter; new additions, great discount!

Banner March 2016

Out now; my March 2016 newsletter with a round-up of new additions, gemstone news and the all-important reader offer – this month a birthstone offer – which I have interpreted very widely, taking in many different birthstone systems and adopting a very loose interpretation, to apply to all aquamarine and agate across my store. That’s cabochons, rose cuts, gemstones, beads and freeforms, all on 15% off for the month of March. Click here to open the newsletter and pick up the discount code, or go to www.joopygems.com to sign up and make sure you never miss out!

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Turquoise cabochons

Joopy Gems 3mm turquoise cabochons

Now back in stock, ever popular 3mm turquoise cabochons! These are one of the (actually many now) stones that I struggle to keep in stock. This material is light greenish-blue with a bit of a colour range going from a bit more green to a bit more blue – do shout if you have a preference. It’s stabilised, as is very common with turquoise, but not dyed. There’s a bit of matrix on the underside of some of the stones, but not across the top and hey, at least you know it’s real! It’s pale tan matrix, so for those of you who are interested, this tells you that the turquoise formed in sandstone. Now, turquoise is quite strongly linked with the ‘southwestern’ style of jewellery, but it also lends itself very well to smaller, sleeker designs, and works equally well with both silver and gold. For inspiration, below are some examples of small-scale, perfectly formed turquoise jewellery. From left: Holly Presley’s turquoise ring features a 3mm turquoise sitting on an organic drop of silver; Rita Moehler’s sterling silver turquoise bangle features six turquoise stones on a solid silver ridged band; Melanie Casey’s set of 5 gold stack rings features 3mm and 4mm turquoise stones (and one green chalcedony!) set in solid 14k gold and Thalassa Jewellery’s silver pod earrings feature 3mm turquoise stones set in oxidised silver pods.

Holly Presley turquoise ringRita Moehler Sterling Silver Turquoise Bangle Bracelet, Handmade Silver and Turquoise MetalworkMelanie Casey 5 gold stacking ringsThalassa Jewellery Tiny Turquoise Earrings

To shop 3mm cabochons, click here; to browse all turquoise cabochons, click here.

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