Aquamarine, Tourmaline, Emerald

My June newsletter is out and I have a whole bunch of beautiful new stones. The ever-popular Santa Maria aquamarine I now have in an array of sizes and half sizes from 3mm to 8mm, rose cut green tourmaline and emerald, plus there’s free standard shipping for the whole month of June. My newsletter is always the first place to find new stock announcements, offers and sales and sometimes these are newsletter exclusives. You can read this months by clicking here and you can sign up at my website.

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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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That thing you do…

Joopy Gems white topaz rose cut round cabochon
White topaz 8mm rose cut round cabochons, $10 per stone

That thing you do when you look at a big pile of a particular stone and wonder why no-one has bought any for a while and when you check it’s because you haven’t had it up for sale. For months! And it’s one of those stones that people generally want in a fairly steady way. Well, just FYI, I do have it; 8mm rose cut round white topaz. $10 per stone, come and get it here. A real work-horse of a stone; white topaz does not have fire, but it has brilliance and lustre – in fact topaz takes such a good polish that can feel slippery to the touch. It’s a great option for a white stone, and good value for money too.

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Super-special rose cut green tourmaline

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I’m really excited about this, mainly because I’ve never stocked it and in fact never see it. This is rose cut green tourmaline and it’s beautiful. Lovely clean material; really almost eye clean and therefore great lustre. The colour is a slightly bluish green but it’s a bit pleochroic, as tourmaline often is. I was just waxing lyrical a couple of days ago about tourmaline and its rainbow range and this is a perfect example. It’s also entirely the sort of thing you should snap up because I don’t think it’s going to hang around and I do think it is going to make for unique pieces. Prices are $3.50 for a 3mm and $8 for a 4mm, which is also fly-off-the-shelf pricing. Really I just want to sit here babbling ‘it’s lovely, it’s lovely’ whilst running it through my fingers. But I will restrain myself….do you get that I like this?! To shop 3mm click here; to shop 4mm click here. To shop all tourmaline cabochons, click here.

And for a bit of inspiration, how about this absolutely stunning ring from Christopher Taylor Timberlake.

Christopher Taylor Timberlake Mokumé Gane 14K Rose Gold, Shakudo, and Sterling Silver Ring with Green Tourmaline
Mokumé Gane 14K Rose Gold, Shakudo, and Sterling Silver Ring with Green Tourmaline, $1675.00

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Turquoise rose cuts

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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)

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Rose quartz for a summer of love!

Back in stock I have rose quartz in 5mm and 6mm rose cut rounds. Rose quartz itakes its name from its very delicate colour; I have these in 3mm up to 10mm and the colour range goes from very pale ‘white not quite’ in the 3mm to a warm, soft pink in the 10mm. The 5mm and 6mm material is somewhere in between.

Joopy Gems 10mm rose cut rose quartz cabochon
Joopy Gems 10mm rose cut rose quartz cabochon, $17.50

It owes its glowing translucence to small inclusions that give it its classic cloudy appearance, and indeed, it comes in a variety of qualities from highly included and fractured – which ironically might give a deeper colour due to the more opaque nature of such stones – to almost transparent. Larger stones of good colour can have an almost golden cast in the right light. Now, as you all know, I prefer to stick to nicer quality so these stones are pale pink and range from translucent to nearly transparent. The colour rose quartz was picked by Pantone as one of its colours of the year, and despite their (to my view) slightly twee pairing with the lilac-blue ‘Serenity’, I think it would work beautifully with white stones – white topaz maybe, or rock crystal – grey moostone, or for a more surprising pairing, with a pop of colour for summer, peach moonstone. Said to promote love and healing, clearly, you can’t go wrong! To shop 5mm rose cut rose quartz, click here; for 6mm rose cut click here, or for 10mm rose cut click here. To shop the entire range, click here.

 

Rose quartz looks very different depending on what you set it in; gold brings out its warm tones; silver gives it a cool, elegant bloom. Below and clockwise from left: I love the feminine and delicate beauty of Belinda Saville’s 5mm rose quartz and rose gold ring, contrasting so amazingly with Charlotte Burkhart’s rose quartz and sterling silver ‘Coven Ring’. She has given the silver a gunmetal finish and this lends the 13mm stone a fantastic fierce appearance. Below right, the elegant simplicity of William White’s rose quartz and sterling silver ring. This is a 10mm stone set in satin finished silver, echoing the beautiful haziness in the stone.

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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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Somewhere over the (extremely tiny) rainbow

Well, it’s a bit of a gamble, this. I’ve had a few requests lately for very tiny stones; 2mm to be precise, for things like baby jewellery and other tiny things. I hummed and haa-ed a bit: will anyone really buy these? – and then I thought, ‘blow it, only one way to find out’. So here we are. I already have 2mm rose cut white diamond in stock, and now I am introducing 2mm rose cut rainbow moonstone. These are really very wee indeed but even so, they have the same beautifully precise cut with the intricate kite-shaped facets. Whew! Plus lovely, clean AAA material with the classic great flash that I always endeavour to deliver. What are you going to do with these? Please buy some and send me pictures!! These are the first of a line of stones in this size, cabochons and rose cuts. I’m going to have amethyst, turquoise, peridot, aquamarine, opal and more!

To shop 2mm rose cut rainbow moonstone, click here. These are $2.85 per stone, and I know what you’re going to say: whew, that’s a bit steep. A great deal of the cost is in the cutting; very small stones are precision work and finding someone who will agree to cut them, and cut them well is no easy matter.

I normally feature someone’s work on these posts, so you can see the stones I’m talking about ‘in action’ as it were. But I couldn’t find anything for these, so…watch this space!

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Dancing, shimmering colour

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

Louisa Gallery opal and 14k gold ring
Louisa Gallery opal and 14k gold ring

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.

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