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.
Ametrine is the trade name for bi-colour amethyst; part amethyst, part citrine – see what they did there! In many ways it’s the panda bear of the gemstone world; it only comes from one mine in Bolivia, and given that citrine is effectively amethyst that has been heated, what you are looking for are amethyst crystals which have been partly heated by processes in the earth and partly not. Then you want to find a nice clean crystal that will co-operate and give you an nice gem with a balance of both colours. In the past, the classic cut was a step-cut rectangle with an ideal proportion of 50/50 amethyst and citrine. These days, however, all kinds of arrangements are common. I’ve seen ones where the cut-off runs diagonally through the stone, and fancy cuts and concave cuts scatter the light and create all kinds of interesting colours and effects. I have for sale just a few of the classic rectangular step cuts, with good proportions and also a few concave cuts. Concave cutting is interesting as it involves cutting conical facets with 3 dimensions, so that each facet has depth as well as length and breadth. This means that more light is refracted and the stone appears more brilliant. In addition, the facets create a fascinating effect. To shop the range, click here.
Sometimes I can’t believe all the stones I have. And sometimes I can’t believe what I don’t have. Like today, listing for the first time plain African amethyst 8mm cabochons. Well, I say plain, but these lovely, velvety-dark purple stones need nothing fancy to set off their beauty and in fact will work equally well in a sleek, clean setting or a something more complex. Some inclusions on these stones, as is common with this material; a bit of colour zoning, wispy veils and some crystals, but the colour is dark enough that it’s not obvious. $11.50 per stone; to check them out, click here. To shop all African amethyst, click here.