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)
I had a sample of rose cut opal in stock recently and it just flew out, in the space of a couple of hours. I don’t think I’ve ever stocked anything that sold out so quickly. So I got more in and once again it is selling phenomenally well. This is Ethiopian opal, which ranges from transparent to almost opaque, with a powerful play-of-colour that appears
to hang suspended within the stone. Opal from Ethiopia is a relatively new discovery – the source was only discovered in 1996. I have these in a 3mm, 4mm, 5mm and 6mm rose cut round and I must say, the rose cutting works phenomenally well with this material, highlighting the play-of-colour and making it absolutely pop. This is very eye-catching material, which is going to make stunning jewellery. You can see what I mean right; Louisa Gallery’s opal and 14k gold ring. Stunning, unexpected and rare.
To shop all rose cut opal, click here. Prices start from $2.35 for a 3mm rose cut cabochon.
My April newsletter is out, and I have some really fantastic new stones; rose cut opal, apatite, pink tourmaline, rainbow moonstone ruby and sapphire. All desirable, beautiful and hard-to-find. Plus for those of you who are signed up to my loyalty points scheme, it’s double points all month! And for those of you who are not, why not sign up? You can earn points for introducing a friend, for liking me on Facebook, following on Instagram and Twitter…even for just having a birthday. This month it’s 2 points for every dollar spent; 400 for joining up. And at just 500 points you start to earn money off your future orders.
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!
Otherwise known as the Big 3. The stuff of magic. Ruby, sapphire and emerald. This tends to be material that I have for a while then scrabble around trying to replace because it’s hard to find in nice quality at the right price. But it’s always really popular – and I am really excited to have just listed these – 3mm rose cut ruby, emerald and sapphire. The ruby is a deep pinkish-red and is $24 per stone; and good news, it’s from Mozambique, so can be sold to US customers (unlike Burmese material). The sapphire a deep, cornflower blue, and $13 per stone. Both of these have some inclusions, which I viewed under my microscope; fingerprints tiny included crystals and some evidence of heat treatment, as is very common with corundum, both ruby and sapphire. The sapphire also has some angular colour zoning, not very obvious. Now I know that clarity is the holy grail for many people but for me, I am always glad to see a bit of the included crystals and fingerprints, as well as the angular colour zoning, because it helps me to see that what we have here is natural, as opposed to synthetic material. Most exciting of all, because I’ve never carried it before, is the rose cut emerald. It’s a nice shade of quite light blueish-green, quite strongly bluish. As you tend to expect with emerald, it’s quite included with parallel needles, crystals and liquid inclusions. I’m also seeing some evidence of fracture filling and indeed, I would be very surprised if it were not as some 95% of emerald is fracture filled, either with oil or resin. However, the stones are small and the clarity appears pretty good to the naked eye, with nice lustre. The emerald is $8.75 per stone.Now, I don’t have many of any of these except the emerald, but I will be getting more. To shop the 3mm rose cuts, for sapphire, click here, for ruby, click here and for emerald, click here.
It’s so hard to keep this material in stock. 3mm rainbow moonstone cabochons, clean quality. I also try not to run out of it, and re-order before it’s completely gone, but then someone comes along and buys up the entire stock, and we can’t find the rough and before I know where we are, I’m out for months! Anyway, this is the first of the 3mm and 4mm restock – plain cabochons, now $1.55 per stone. There’s so much of the cloudy, fractured material about, that when you see a clear stone with bright adularescence (or flash) it can take your breath away. In fact, a customer said to me just yesterday, having received her stones ‘is this real?’ Because the extreme, billowing flash can have an almost unreal appearance. It’s truly astonishing. (Answer, by the way, is yes, it is real. As far as I am aware, this is not synthesised at all). Harder and harder – and very expensive – to find in larger sizes, I can still just about put my hands on it for smaller sizes. Now, I’m not a fan of AAA etc grading systems as it is so subjective, and not standardised, but I do use it for moonstone as I carry such a wide range of qualities. This is AAA material, and for that you can expect clean stones with great adularescence. As for what to do with it, below is a lesson in perfect, understated elegance from one of my lovely customers. This sterling silver and rainbow moonstone ring from Brightsmith features a 3mm moonstone on a narrow, hammered silver band, $28.
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.
One of my gemstone books informs me that efforts are being made to come up with a more enticing name for this vibrant and dramatic green stone, but that was written a few years ago and it is still known, somewhat off-puttingingly as chrome diopside. But never mind the fact that it sounds like a brand of car wax! This is a fantastic stone; highly saturated, highly refractive, so that stones appear brilliant, and with a vitreous lustre. The saturation of the stone can mean that larger sizes appear dark and closed, but the good side of this is that it is one of the few stones that retains great saturation in small sizes. At the moment, it is also not enhanced or treated in any way, so it’s a great option for those of you who like their stones natural. I have some new in stock; rose cut 3mm and 4mm chrome diopside, in addition to the 3mm and 4mm cabochons that I generally stock. The 3mm rose cuts are $5.75 per stone and the 4mm rose cuts are $15.50. This pricing reflects the fact that chrome diopside is far more common in small crystal sizes so therefore as you go up in size, the price increases exponentially. The material I have is clean, with great saturation.
You can shop the whole of my chrome diopside range here
August is always a good time for re-stocking and general housekeeping and I will be adding significant amounts of new items as well as replenishing old favourites over the next few weeks. To start with, I have some nice sapphire cabochons in 5mm and new emerald 3mm cabs. Sapphire is a nice, open blue and fairly clean with some colour zoning, most likely heated. The emerald is a light blueish- green and included. It is also fracture filled. I also have some truly beautiful tanzanite 3mm cabochons. Pale blue, but beautifully clean. The sapphire cabochons are $29 each; the emerald $6.50 and the tanzanite $5.75 per stone.
Apparently all words associated with the colour blue, and you can add to that ‘rare’ and ‘desirable’, because what we have here is tanzanite; beautiful, serene, periwinkle blue. New in stock I have plenty of 3mm rose cut cabochons, and a certain number of 4mm rose cut cabochons. This material is sublime; eye clean with superb lustre and the faceting is perfect and precise. Hence the not so many of the 4mm. I think that this is bound to go fast, not wanting to sound like a used car salesman, but it’s not so easy to find clean and reasonably priced tanzanite in these cuts. And these are reasonable; the 3mm rose cuts are $5.50 per stone and the 4mm rose cuts $17.50 per stone, all in USD. Tanzanite is from Tanzania, which contributes to a rather fluctuating supply, and is a relative newcomer to the world of cut stones, not being discovered until the 1960s. It is routinely heat-treated, as unless it has undergone some natural heating at its point of origin (which is rather unusual) it is generally a brownish colour in its natural state, and these stones are indeed heated. Shop now, to get your hands on these beautiful, sparkling gemstones.