A Bluer Shade of Pale

Aquamarine is a really great choice of stone; it’s pretty gemmy without being insanely expensive, it cuts well and takes a really high polish. In its transparent form, it’s more pricey but I just love the milky variety; in lovely shades of pale blue to sea-green, it is misty, hazy and dreamy. It’s common to find this material full of fractures and veils, but when it comes clean with a lovely translucency it is a beautiful, glowing stone. It is named after seawater itself: aqua = water and marina = of the sea and it is in fact a form of beryl, the same mineral as emerald. Unlike emerald, it grows in large and frequently clean crystals so it’s relatively easy to find it in large sizes and in fact can be exceptionally clean. Top colour is a moderately strong blue to greenish-blue. It’s a great jewellery stone and versatile as it’s also exceptionally hard – so a good option for a ring stone. The gemstone for March, aquamarine is offer protection in battle and make the wearer unconquerable; what more could you want! Clockwise from left below: CJ Bijoux aquamarine and 18k gold ring, AF Thomas aquamarine, blue topaz and 18k white gold ring, Gemory Design aquamarine and sterling silver ring and Gems Berry aquamarine and sterling silver ring

We sell a variety of really gorgeous, translucent aquamarine in cabochons and rose cuts as well as rose cut freeforms. To check them out, click here

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Breathtaking Beads for March

Joopy Gems March 2018 newsletter

My March 2018 newsletter is out, and this month I’m showcasing a bunch of new beads. I haven’t done a lot with beads in the past, but I am developing a carefully curated collection of contemporary beads with a bit more design in them than you usually see. More unusual shapes, matte finishes, that kind of thing. In addition, I’m also talking about turquoise rose cut freeforms and tanzanite. Plus I’ve got a good newsletter offer this month – which you can see if you click here to read the newsletter

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New in: rhodolite garnet rose cut freeforms

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I love rhodolite garnet, and its beautiful colour range from pinkish red through to purplish raspberry. Even the redder shades lack the rustiness you sometimes find with almandine, and whilst the prices are reasonable, at its best, the colours can rival red tourmaline. Rhodolite, for those interested, is a mixture of pyrope and almandine garnet and it’s the most valuable of all the red garnets. Despite this, it’s not hard to find clean quality stones at a good price. Here, for the first time, I am offering rhodolite garnet as rose cut freeforms, and I’ve got a good representation of the whole colour range. These stones are rose cut on the top and have a shallow, faceted table on the bottom. To shop, click here. This cut is fantastic for one-off creations, such as the ring below by Symmetry Jewelry; a trio of garnets, this contains rhodolite, spessartite and mandarin garnet set in 18k gold bezels on a sterling silver split shank.

Symmetry rhodolite garnet, spessartite garnet and mandarin garnet 18k gold and sterling silver ring
Symmetry Jewelry garnet, gold and silver ring, $1350

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Good things come in packs of 5

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These labradorite freeforms are so popular that I find myself spending literally hours photographing and listing them. So I thought I would just try and see if I could save myself a little work and you a little money by listing them in sets. 5 randomly selected stones in each set, with a discount applied so that each stone works out as less than if you had bought them separately. These are sold ‘as is’ with no swapping in and out!!! You’ll find the total carat weight and the size range marked on each set, but not individual information. It’s a great way to buy these stones and I promise these come from main stock with no seconds, or rejects and there are no ‘mouldy strawberries’ in the packs to pad them out, promise! To shop all labradorite sets, click here; to browse the labradorite singles, click here. Prices for the sets start from $15.20

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Labradorite; a little slice of frozen fire

I was going to do a post about these the last time I had new stock in, but by the time I got down to it, they had mostly sold out. Fantastically popular and it’s easy to see why. Desirable Madagascan labradorite, with the pale, translucent body colour and bright – and in some cases blinding – flash. Labradorite is composed of layers, and it’s the way that the light refracts off these layers that produces the flash, or labradorescence. The Inuit used believe that labradorite fell from the frozen fire of the Aurora Borealis, and it’s easy to see why – the stone has an almost other-worldly quality to it. A dull grey stone transformed to the extraordinary as the light refracts and relects off it. I have just listed lots and lots of new stones; you can find them here. Prices start from just $3.70.

Below is Luttrell Studio’s sublime labradorite and sterling silver ring, priced at $85. Perfectly simple and elegant, the cool silver against the labradorite makes the colour just sing.

Luttrell studio labraodorite and sterling silver ring
Luttrell Studio labradorite and sterling silver ring, $85

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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Venus hair

Joopy Gems gold rutile quartz rose cutJoopy Gems golden rutile quartz rose cut freeformJoopy Gems golden rutilated quartz freeformJoopy Gems gold rutilated quartz rose cutJoopy Gems golden rutilated quartz rose cut freeformJoopy Gems golden rutile quartz rose cut

I love these. Golden rutilated quartz rose cut cabochons. I mean, I really, really love them. I love looking at them, I loved photographing them (and I don’t always love that part) and I love imagining what you’re going to do with them. A customer asked a while back for rutilated quartz or white topaz freeforms, and I thought about photographing 100+ white topaz stones and I confess my heart rather sank into my boots. Not that I don’t like white topaz, far from it, I just couldn’t get all that excited about photographing it. But the gold rutilated quartz; well that’s another matter. It’s all different and it’s all fascinating. I’ve got stones that have thick gold needles that look like straw, stones with fine strands, like angel-hair, some aligned, some in thick masses, some beautifully and artfully arranged into intersecting patterns. It’s fabulous stuff; known also as Cupid’s darts, Venus Hair stone and Fleches d’Amour. Can be hard to get it to look nice, as the quartz host and the gold rutile crystal inclusion have different hardnesses, so you can easily get pits on the surface, but most of these stones have an excellent polish. I think these stones make fabulous one-off contemporary pieces; the kind that get you noticed and get people talking. As with all of my rose cut freeforms, these are rose cut on the domed side and tabled on the reverse so can be set either way up in a bezel, window or prong setting. Why not have a flick through and see if anything grabs you? I have a feeling that these will not hang around for long. Shop now.

http://www.joopygems.com/categories/freeform-rose-cuts-polki-and-cabochons/rutilated-quartz-freeforms-golden.html

Somewhere over the rainbow… is tourmaline

I’m always excited when I have new tourmaline in stock. I think it must be my favourite stone, with its unparalleled variety of colours, from soft pastels to vibrant primaries.

Freeform watermelon tourmalineWatermelon tourmaline
Freeform tourmalineCFRTOUR35 3
CFRTOUR92 1CFRTOUR22 1
CFRTOUR32 2CFRTOUR44 1
CFRTOUR3 3CFRTOUR4 3
CFRTOUR7 2CFRTOUR91 3
CFRTOUR49 2CFRTOUR99 2
CFRTOUR106 2CFRTOUR95 3

Egyptian legend has it that the tourmaline, when travelling up from the centre of the earth, passed over a rainbow, and in so doing assumed all of its colours. Whether or not you believe that, the name tourmaline comes from the Singhalese ‘tura mali’, which translates to something like ‘stone with mixed colours’, referencing the spectrum of colours which this stone displays. Here I have just listed a veritable bouquet of rose cut freeform tourmalines. I have single colours, bi-colours and parti-colours, with quality ranging from included to nearly clean; soft pale pinks, to vibrant bubble-gum shades, sharp apple greens, neon yellows, and deep, dreamy blues. All of them are lovely; every stone with its own special character and each one unique. These would look fabulous on their own, or keeping each other company in spectacular fashion. As with all of my freeforms, these stones are rose cut on one side and tabled on the other, so can be set either way up, in a bezel, window or prong setting. Prices from $7.50 up, click here to shop. http://www.joopygems.com/categories/freeform-rose-cuts-polki-and-cabochons/tourmaline.html

It IS easy being green…

CFRCHRY+5 1I’ve just listed some absolutely sublime high quality chrysoprase; pure apple green and beautifully translucent. I have singles (see left) and a few matched pairs (see right) and the matching is very good indeed. These are rose cut freeforms, also known as ‘polki’; a cut I have been stocking in increasingly large nuCFRCHRYPR1 1mbers as it is just so popular. The name comes from the Greek and means ‘golden apple’, a reference to the slightly yellowish hue these stones have, and the name should be confined to stones that are naturally this colour and not dyed. Needless to say, the chrysoprase I carry is not dyed! These stones are really special and I can see the pairs as earrings in gold window settings. I also have some new standard grade chrysoprase too. TCFRCHRYPR12 1his is not quite as translucent; some stones are more translucent than others, but is still of good colour and quality and additionally I have some pairs in this material as well (see left). Chrysoprase is becoming increasingly popular; it’s a little bit emerald-like, a little bit jade-like, but without the attendant price tag, of course. Prices for the finer chrysoprase start at $21.50 for a single stone and $88 for a pair; for the standard grade, from $7.50 for a single and $35 for a pair. Click here to buy the high grade; click here for the standard grade, and click here for matched pairs.

http://www.joopygems.com/categories/freeform-rose-cuts-polki-and-cabochons/chrysoprase-freeform.html