Somewhere over the rainbow

I’ve probably used that title before, but it has real poignancy now, as this is the last lot of AAA rainbow moonstone I am going to have for a while, and I may as well look for more at the end of the rainbow, along with the crock of gold. It’s 3mm rose cut round, and when it’s gone, it’s gone, so if this is your thing, grab it now before it runs out. Lovely, clean material with bright blue, green and gold adularescence (flash). I’ve got it in both Hong Kong and US stores: the Hong Kong store has stones with the kite shaped-faceting and the US store has the triangle facets. Why is the AAA so hard to find now (and it is, and if you can find it, it is an arm and a leg jobby)? Well, as usual, it’s a supply and demand thing – people have become more aware of the fine grade moonstone in recent years, and more prepared to pay extra for it. But it’s scarce because of the way moonstone is formed, in many layers. This layered makeup is what gives the stone its classic blue or green flash, as light refracts off the layers and produces that unworldly sheen that appears sometimes suspended within the stone. A layered makeup is obviously going to most commonly produce a very fractured stone; which then interferes with the refraction of light and results in a poor flash. There is absolutely no shortage of this kind of material at all, but the clean material is obviously less common in nature. You can find it here in my Hong Kong store, and here in my US store, $3 per stone each in either store.

joopygems.com

joopygemsusa.com

 

Labradorite and the pot of gold

4mm LAB blue cab round16mm LAB green cab round512mm LAB green cab round112mm LAB blue cab round6

I’ve had such a headache with labradorite over the past year or so. Trying to find nice quality material, with good labradorescence, I’ve seen an awful lot of murky coloured material with little or no colour play, and I’ve sent back lots of the stuff as being no good. After all, labradorite without its famed stunning optical effects is just a dull grey stone. Now, it’s not that difficult to find beautiful individual examples of it, but sourcing a reliable supply that can produce calibrated cabochons in quantity is a different matter. Now I can say, I think I’ve found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; beautiful translucent material with superb flash. This really is stunning material, with minimal cracks.

I always get the same message from customers when they buy labradorite; good flash and no cracks, please. This is quite hard, because it is the layered nature of labradorite, leading to the interference of light at its internal structures, that produces its famous schiller, and quite often these cracks and fractures break through to the polished surface of the stone. So, whilst I will say that this is amongst the cleanest material I have seen, it is not completely free from cracks. But you can see for yourself; it is very beautiful, and when I opened my first packet of samples, I breathed a sigh of pure bliss!!

Currently I have 4mm, 6mm and 12mm cabochons priced at $0.95, $2.25 and $18 per stone, and you can find them here. There is a choice of colours; you can opt for blue/aqua flash or green/gold flash. In time I will be replacing all of my labradorite stock with this wonderful material; look out in the next few weeks for 4mm and 6mm rose cuts.

Welcoming back ‘old friends’

Finally back in stock I have some labradorite in sizes and cuts that customers have been clamouring for. These are labradorite 5mm round cabochons at $1.75 per stone, 5mm honeycomb faceted cabochons at $2 per stone and 6mm honeycomb faceted cabochons at $3.50 per stone. I am not quite sure what the problem has been with re-stocking these; I think it is just quite hard for my suppliers to get hold of nice quality rough. Such a lot of labradorite on the market is not nice; full of cracks with almost none of the highly desirable labradorescence. Since it is my opinion that a labradorite without good flash is like a blunt pencil (pointless) I’ve waited it out until now and finally I have some nice quality stones in large quantities, so I shouldn’t run out for a while! Feel free to buy like crazy!