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.
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!
I couldn’t think of a fancier title for another popular stone back in stock; crystal clear brilliant white topaz in a 4mm rose cut round. The GIA says that topaz takes such a high polish it’s slightly slippery to the touch, and you can see that clearly in these stones, hard and bright; an excellent, versatile and economical choice for a white stone. This is a useful size; good for grouping or complementing other stones, or for using on its own. These are beautiful, eye clean and perfectly cut with kite-shaped facets that form a rose on top of the stone. You can find them here, at $1.70 per stone.
Below, Cyllene Jewelry’s white topaz and 14k gold earrings illustrate perfectly the simple and elegant beauty of these stones.
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:
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
Talk about cryptic. But those of you in the know will realise I am talking about golden rutilated quartz. And those of you who know me will also know that I absolutely love this stuff. I’ve had it in freeform (polki) rose cuts for a while, but I’m just now offering it in cabochons, 8mm and 10mm round in the first instance. We’ll see how popular it is, and then I might offer it in other sizes or shapes. So rutilated quartz is also known as sagenitic quartz, or sagenite, (although I confess I’ve never come across it being called that, and I’ve been around the ‘gemstone block’ for quite a few years now, so it must be quite rare). What you have is clear to semi-transparent quartz included with rutile which has crystallised into needles. These appear in an amazing variety of forms; really fine, hence the name ‘angel hair’ to really thick, like lengths of straw. They may be sparse or dense; oriented into patterns – hence ‘wheatsheaf’ or randomly criss-crossed, but all are fascinating. The golden colour catches the light and gleams warm and gold. It looks great with silver or gold, and is the perfect stuff for creating something unique, as every piece is unique. I love the elegant simplicity of the pieces below, from left: Moon and Forge Studio’s rutilated quartz ring set in 14k yellow gold and sterling silver, at $315; Nijiko Designs’ rutilated quartz, 18k gold and sterling silver earrings at $175 and Chiara Batelier’s rutilated quartz pendant set in 18k gold
Otherwise 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 crystals 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 included 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.
Now back in stock, ever popular 3mm turquoise cabochons! These are one of the (actually many now) stones that I struggle to keep in stock. This material is light greenish-blue with a bit of a colour range going from a bit more green to a bit more blue – do shout if you have a preference. It’s stabilised, as is very common with turquoise, but not dyed. There’s a bit of matrix on the underside of some of the stones, but not across the top and hey, at least you know it’s real! It’s pale tan matrix, so for those of you who are interested, this tells you that the turquoise formed in sandstone. Now, turquoise is quite strongly linked with the ‘southwestern’ style of jewellery, but it also lends itself very well to smaller, sleeker designs, and works equally well with both silver and gold. For inspiration, below are some examples of small-scale, perfectly formed turquoise jewellery. From left: Holly Presley’s turquoise ring features a 3mm turquoise sitting on an organic drop of silver; Rita Moehler’s sterling silver turquoise bangle features six turquoise stones on a solid silver ridged band; Melanie Casey’s set of 5 gold stack rings features 3mm and 4mm turquoise stones (and one green chalcedony!) set in solid 14k gold and Thalassa Jewellery’s silver pod earrings feature 3mm turquoise stones set in oxidised silver pods.
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.
Inspiring pieces, from left to right, Laura Wilson Gallery one of a kind amethyst sterling silver brooch or pendant, my lovely customer L. Sue Szabo’s hollow form sterling silver and amethyst ring, and Stowe Gems amethyst cabochon 14k stack ring.
…..AAAAnnnd finally the last of the tourmaline! 5mm round cabochons now up for sale, and I’m very excited to announce a price drop from $12.50 USD per cabochon to $10! As I’ve said before, the price of tourmaline finally seems to be stabilising and this is the same or even slightly nicer quality tourmaline as I’ve had before. All colours are back in stock, with as always, more of the pinks and fewer of the greeny-blues. Also, I’ve reduced further the price of less popular colours across all sizes – which are the yellowy-greens and browns. For 5mm, that means that these colours are $8.50 per stone, and you can’t say fairer than that! To browse 5mm tourmaline cabochons, click here