Meet the Gemstones: Chrysoprase

Jade has an almost mythic standing in the jewelry world, much of which has to do with its incredible green variety. But some chrysoprase gemstones can rival the finest jade greens. ABOVE: Candala chrysoprase is from the Marlborough Mine in Australia, which produces some of the finest stones today. Photo by Jim Lawson. Chrysoprase is not […]

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Who knew papery thin layers of graffiti paint could be turned into gemstones? And help a community to flower? At Rebel Nell in Detroit, a team of professionals, trainees, and volunteers transform piles of sloughed off paint into solid, colorful material, then cut and shape it into cabochons. These manmade gemstones are set in jewelry […]

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Meet the Gemstones: Oregon Sunstone

South Central Oregon features high desert and sage as far as you can see. It’s a place populated with jack rabbits, antelopes, horned toads, and the occasional rattlesnake or scorpion. But it’s also a place where sunstone litters the ground everywhere you step and a field-tripping visitor can get hooked on mining gemstones. No one […]

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Are you a fan of beach combing? I sure am. I could walk for miles on the beach and do, every chance I get, picking up whatever catches my eye. Lately, sea glass is my favorite to find, though I’m getting partial to old pieces of metal and pottery as well. I’ve started following the […]

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Summer is here and vacations are in full swing. If you’re tired of your kitschy souvenirs ending up in a shoebox, why not shop for something more lasting? A ruby, opal, or pearl, for example? Or jewelry made locally? Buying Jewelry as “Souvenirs” I love buying jewelry when I travel. I usually spend less than […]

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Two years ago, diamond ball burs gave me the creative kick I needed to grow as a jewelry maker. They allowed me to drill pearls and carve swirling patterns in them. I was also able to epoxy faceted stones into beads, cut seats in disk-shaped pearls for cabochon settings, and make large-hole beads out of […]

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Particolored gemstones are a special gift of the gem world. These are gemstones, such as watermelon and bicolored tourmaline, and ametrines, that are not one but two or more colors. They almost always get a second look. ABOVE: These 30% pinkish, 70% light yellow green bicolored tourmalines are a domestic product from San Diego County. […]

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Who doesn’t love including gorgeous stones in their jewelry designs? Nothing enhances a piece more than a colorful fabulous gem. The first technique that comes to mind when thinking of stone setting is, of course, the traditional bezel. But there are a lot more ways to set stones—and experimenting with those alternative techniques can be […]

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