A billowing blue light

5mm RMST AA RCRD-2
Rainbow moonstone, 5mm rose cut round, AA grade. $11 per stone.

Back in stock I have AA grade 5mm rainbow moonstone. This is one of those products I can’t really get to order; I put in an order that goes ‘well this is how many I’d like, but just give me as many as you can.’ Because it’s becoming increasingly scarce, nice quality rainbow moonstone. This is a bit included, hence the AA but appears generally transparent with a wonderful billowing sheen that flashes from the stones. There’s blue, aqua, green and a few of the more gold tones. This material is from Madagascar and is just the antidote to all that cloudy, fractured sheen-barely-there material, of which there is, of course, no shortage whatsover! These stones are $11 each and you can find there here. To browse my entire range of rainbow moonstone you can click here for AA and AAA grade and click here for AB and A grade.

You can see this material perfectly realised below in Nicki Gluckman from NIXIN’s rainbow moonstone and diamond ring set in 14k gold, $225:

NIXIN rainbow moonstone, diamond and 14k gold ring
NIXIN rainbow moonstone, diamond and 14k gold ring, $225

 

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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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Aquamarine polki polka

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with these freeform rose cuts: love, because they are always individually beautiful and more prosaically, they sell very well. Hate, because they always take such a long time to list; each one must be individually weighed, measured, photographed and listed. And they always sell out so quickly (!) And since I normally buy them in the hundreds, it’s a bit of a daunting task. So I have decided to keep a handle on it by updating on a rolling basis – a few types of stone every couple of months or so. And I’ve just done a new lot. First up are these aquamarine beauties; never stocked before, so I have just a few to see how they go. I think they will go well, because this is gorgeous material, ranging from the clear to the misty, lovely clouds and veils but no cracks or fractures. A range of lovely soft colours too; from sea-green to cool blue. Aquamarine takes a good polish, so these are really nicely finished as well and will look absolutely pukka in, well anything you choose to set them in. Warm in gold; cool in silver. These cuts are great; the shallow cut keeps the weight down so you can go large without either breaking the bank or causing someone to dislocate their wrist (or shoulder), or ripping through an ear lobe. Try them in a window setting, or possibly even a bezel. Perfectly illustrated in the picture below; Hammer and Verse rose cut sterling and 18k gold ring. Love the leaf detail on the shank as well.

Hammer and Verse Aquamarine Rose Cut Sterling and 18k Gold Ring-1
Hammer and Verse rose cut sterling and 18k gold ring, $129.50

To shop my aquamarine freeforms, click here. Prices start at $16.50, which is a fab price for this wonderful material. To shop all freeforms, click here. New in I also have turquoise, black rutilated quartz, labradorite, rainbow moonstone and a few lovely pieces of pink opal; watch out for more information about each of these.  I will also be listing new watermelon slices and watermelon rosecut freeforms, coming soon!

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C is for calm reconciliation…

C is also for Chrysocolla; my most recent love. I adore it for its marvellous and intricate patterns in all shades of blue and green. Found close to large copper deposits, it is intermingled with a combination of some or all of these: turquoise, malachite, azurite, jasper and quartz, and it is this combination of minerals that gives each stone its fascinating and unique patterns. It’s not expensive either; you can go large on these without breaking the bank. I have just listed, for the first time, 8mm and 10mm cabochons, at $3.50 and $5.50 per stone respectively. I’ll stock larger and different shapes too, if there is a demand. If you want to know what it’s good for, it’s supposed to be a stone of reconciliation and reassurance, and has been known as the ‘wise stone’, as those who wore it were believed to be good at the kind of win-win negotiation we’re all supposed to strive, coming up with clever compromises and solutions. I could do with a bit of that. To shop 8mm chrysocolla cabochons, click here; to shop 10mm, click here.

It’s the kind of stone that looks great with silver, and I often see it in quite chunky settings. But below I’ve found a collection of pieces  whose designers have let their imaginations run riot, from the delicate, branch-like construction of Lucie Veilleux’s sterling silver bracelet (bottom left) to the fantastical blooming of Amy Buettner’s Chrysocolla, sterling silver and 18k gold centerpiece (top left) to the openwork on ZYGO Jewelry’s sterling silver ring, that lightens the entire appearance.

1. Amy Buettner: Ray Mine Gem Silica Chrysocolla Centerpiece, $1200
2. ZYGO Jewelry: Chrysocolla Palladium Plated Sterling Silver Ring, $184.65
3. Jenny Reeves: Cuff with Chrysocolla, $2150
4. Sennah47: Chrysocolla Sterling Silver Ring, $145
5. Lucie Veilleux: Botanical Bangle Flower Buds and Chrysocolla Bangle, $162

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Red, Blue, Green

Joopy Gems blue sapphire 3mm rose cutOtherwise 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 crystalJoopy Gems ruby 3mm rose cuts 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 Joopy Gems emerald 3mm rose cutincluded 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.

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Serene Blue Chalcedony

Joopy Gems blue chalcedony rose cut 10mm round

Last week’s post focused on rose quartz; this week I am looking at the second of Pantone’s colours of the year: Serenity. Pantone see these two colours in balance; the warmth of the rose quartz contrasting with the cool beauty of pale icy blue, perfectly realised by blue chalcedony. With its billowing translucency, this stone often glows as if lit from within. There are lots of examples on my Pinterest board; below are just a few that have caught my eye.

FifthHeaven pale blue chalcedony ringPictured left is a pale blue chalcedony ring, set in solid sterling silver and oxidised to a dark, blackened finish. This is by Raphaela and Jenna of Fifth Heaven Designs, a team based in Brisbane, Australia, who love making interesting and quirky designs, and who  specialise in one-off custom designs, hand-forged from silver and gold-fill. I love the edgy, industrial feel this ring has, the stark metal a perfect contrast with the soft blue of the stone.

Ravena Earrings resizeDana Evans of Dana Evans Studio is an architect-turned jeweller, who remains inspired by architectural forms and details; incorporating a love of shape and pattern into her work. Her silver and blue chalcedony Ravena earrings are part of her Etruria collection, part homage to the ancient Etruscans, who were masters of the art of granulation. You can see this technique in these earrings, which blend an ancient and modern aesthetic into a perfect harmony. I love the bold shapes and the contrast between bright silver highlights and oxidised background. Dana incorporates cast and hard-forged pieces into her hand-made work.

Bridget Clark sterling silver and Peruvian chalcedony earringsBridget Clark takes her inspiration from primitive, industrial and organic forms which she simplifies into bold and striking pieces of wearable art. Pictured left are her sterling silver and Peruvian chalcedony long fob earrings; I love the matt silver finish and subtle elegance of these. Bridget states that she aims for a subtle asymmetry in her work, for interest and movement and I think this works perfectly, challenging the eye and the brain. Bridget makes all of her pieces herself and is constantly experimenting with shape and form.

Chris Ploof mokume gane blue chalcedony ringI absolutely love mokume gane, and you don’t see alot of it about. That is most likely because it is a challenging, technical and precise technique, but Chris Ploof Designs specialises in it. It involves the bonding of many metals which can then be bent, twisted, cut, rolled, ground down or shaped with punches and chisels. These are then rolled out, to reveal the intricate, curving patterns. This hollow construction silver, 14 carat gold and white gold ring with blue chalcedony takes my breath away, the white metal acting as a perfect complement to the cool, blue stone.

For more examples of amazing and inspiring blue chalcedony pieces, check out my Pinterest board, including, below from left to right, J Chapa Hernandez Ellensburg blue chalcedony ring set in 18 carat goldDior Gourmande Libellule ring in white gold and blue chalcedony, Bartosz Ciba’s ‘Wennonah’; sterling silver upcycled wire wrapped earrings with blue chalcedony and Leslie Zemeneck Jewelry’s ‘In a Blue Mood’ sterling silver and blue chalcedony pendant.

J Chapa Hernandez Ellensburg blue chalcedony ringDior GOURMANDE LIBELLULE RING IN 18K WHITE GOLD AND BLUE CHALCEDONYBartoszCiba silver and blue chalcedony earringsLeslie Zemeneck In a Blue Mood - Sterling Silver and Blue Chalcedony Pendant

Why not check out our range of blue chalcedony cabochons? We have a range of rose cuts, starting at $1.60 for a 4mm round. Pictured at top are our 10mm rose cut blue chalcedony round cabochons.

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Rose Quartz and Serenity

Quartz and chalcedony composite 2 sml.JPG

Pantone has for the first time this year chosen two shades to be their colours of the year; Rose quartz and Serenity. With this they are striving to demonstrate a balance between the warmth of pink and the cool celestial quality of pale blue reflecting the current preoccupation with mindfulness and well-being. These colours are perfectly represented by the gemstones rose quartz and blue chalcedony. This post is dedicated to the pale beauty of rose quartz; look out next week for blue chalcedony. I’ve been putting together a Pinterest board on this theme with a selection of jewellery that has caught my eye; the bold, the beautiful and the truly unique!

Nicole Scheetz rose quartz ring resizeNicole Scheetz is the inspiration behind Luxuring, based in Alberta, Canada. Specialising in rings, her pieces speak to a feminine, minimalist aesthetic. I love this delicate ring of 14 carat gold set with a rose cut rose quartz cabochon. Nicole uses recycled metals; solid silver and 14k gold in her work and hand-forges all of her pieces. Nicole is a customer of mine and it’s wonderful to see the many amazing ways in which all you talented designers incorporate my stones into your art.

Engelken rose quartz white gold ring resizeChris Engelken is a US designer based in Wisconsin who has been designing and making jewellery for over 20 years. Right is his amazing Rose Quartz White Gold ring. This setting really showcases the beauty of this unique sculpted piece of rose quartz. Rose quartz can be quite pale but this 30 carat chunk really demonstrates a superb density of colour, which with the cool, white gold setting is a match made in heaven!

Ben Proctor rose quartz necklace resizeBen Proctor of Benati jewellery is based in Israel. Inspired by nature and architectural forms, he blends old gold-smithing techniques and modern technology to create fine, individual pieces with an emphasis on quality and perfection. This approach is encapsulated in the rose quartz pendant pictured left; a combination of fine, delicate gold mesh-work and a classic bezel set rose quartz.

For more examples of exciting and inspiring rose quartz pieces, check out my Pinterest board, including, below from left to right, ‘French Kiss’ Lip necklace by cliffandb, Madagascar Rose Quartz and 14k gold earrings by Marie Wu Designs, Winged Rose Quartz ring by Agrigento Designs and Rose Gold and Rose Quartz Sun Necklace by Snowflake Designs

Cliff and B kiss necklacemariewu rose quartz earringsAgrigento winged quartz ringSnowflake Rose Gold & Rose Quartz Sun Necklace

Why not check out our range of rose quartz and blue chalcedony; we have cabochons and rose cuts in a range of sizes. Pictured top are 10mm rose cut rose quartz and blue chalcedony.

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Blue Velvet

Just listed are a selection of beautiful sapphire oval cabochons. These are all a good size, and some of them are really large, offering the potential to create a really fantastic and show-stopping piece of jewellery. The stones are semi-transparent to translucent and have fantastic depth of colour and saturation, as well as a very attractive chatoyancy created by silk in the stones. I have singles, a pair and a quad, so why not pop have a browse and pick up something really special for the new year. Click here to have a look.

Joopy Gems Sapphire Cabochons

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Tourmaline 4mm cabochons

Joopy Gems tourmaline cabochons 4mm round

Finally back in stock, I have 4mm tourmaline cabochons – as I’ve mentioned, the price of tourmaline seems to be finally stabilising and so I can with great excitement announce a price-drop on these! Now only $4.75 USD per cabochon. As usual I have plenty in pink and fewer in the blue-green shades. This is nice quality material, with just a few inclusions here and there, and great saturation and lustre. To shop all 4mm tourmaline, click here.

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Tourmaline is back!

Joopy Gems tourmaline composite sml

Finally I am re-stocking tourmaline! I’ve been low on all sizes for a really long time, and that has reflected the way in which tourmaline has skyrocketed in price over the past few years. It went from affordable to eye-watering in what felt like the twinkle of an eye as the markets went crazy for its astonishing colour range and vibrant tones. In particular the Chinese market went mad for the deep pinks and reds and this drove prices up sharply and fast. Now it finally seems to be slowing and my long hunt for nice, reasonably priced material is temporarily over! I have just restocked 6mm in all colours, and will be following up with 3mm and 4mm over the next few weeks. This is nice quality material, with a few inclusions, but full of lustre and shine. As always, I have relatively few of the blues, blue-greens and chrome greens, so if you are after these, you might want to get in early! Plenty of pinks and grass greens. Price per cabochon has held at $18 per stone, and you can browse the selection here.

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