I have in the past not used what I would call “Natural Stones” or what I would think were called “Semi Precious Stones” mainly because I was only interested in gemstones that glisten and sparkle! However, of late I have been very attracted to Natural semi precious stones, because having taken another look at these stones I find them beautiful and unique in their own right and so I decided to embark on a journey with these stones albeit a little late in the day.
So I purchased some matched pairs and the first pair of earrings I created using Red River Jasper. Jasper being a member of the Chalcedony family. Now I know there are so many different Jasper’s but these I picked these because of deep rust colour but also because of the creamy beige inclusions and dark brown edges. I added in AAA Smoky Quartz rondelles to the middle of each earring to accent the brown edges around the beige inclusions, wire wrapped and coiled up each side of the briolettes using 24k Gold Vermeil wire and formed a bail at the top. To finish I added 24k Gold Vermeil simple shepherds hook earring wires. These earrings sold almost immediately on listing them in my shop.
This next pair of earrings I created using Ocean Jasper. I loved the dark green dots and pale creamy background. I added dark green Tourmaline faceted rondelles to accent with the dark green dots and Sterling Silver domed bead caps that I flattened. I then hand coiled a bail that they hang from. To finish Sterling Silver handcrafted earring wires.
Such a beautiful pair of earrings and again sold very quickly, so it would seem that other people understand the beauty and uniqueness of natural semi precious stones too!
So I continued to buy these natural gemstones and I found these matched pair of Picasso Jasper which reminded me of a Chinese water colour painting! Soft blurred colours and lines in dark greens, dark rusts and beige! So I oxidized some Sterling Silver and Fine Silver wire, polished off the oxidization to give just a hint of the Silver colour underneath and added a beautiful dark rust AAA carnelian rondelle to each of the earrings and to finish oxidized the handcrafted Sterling Silver simple shepherds hook earring wires.
Again these earrings flew out of my store within a couple of days of me listing them! Was I on the right track should I move into Natural stones or was it just a fluke?
By this time I had purchased quite a few natural stones not only for earrings but also for Pendant Necklaces, I have to say I haven’t got around to making a pendant yet but here are a couple of the stones I have purchased just to give you an idea of what is out there.
This is a Natural blue Tiger’s Eye, I was drawn to this because it doesn’t look like your average yellow goldy brown Tiger’s Eye, definitely blue with swirls of yellow and black lines, or perhaps its not Blue Tiger’s Eye at all but some other stone entirely but that is what it said on the label.
It’s a lovely stone and well worth a punt!
The second stone I am going to show you is a Moss Agate now this stone I really like and I have been after one with lots of inclusions inside of the stone. I wanted a clear Agate background, which in fact is not Agate at all but a milky clear Quartz from the Chalcedony family. The inclusions are actually minerals which have the suggestion of Moss but isn’t a plant at all. This particular stone has the usual dark green Mossy filaments but also some paler green and brown filaments and even some pale orange. It is totally fascinating to me that over 1000’s of years, all of these minerals have come together to form such a beautiful stone! You can’t beat Nature for being such a wonderful creator!
So from small beginnings I have gone on to create these last 2 pairs of earrings, which I love because they are totally different, not in style but because of the stones themselves. The next pair of earrings are another matched pair of Picasso Jasper, but the stones are completely different in colour to the last pair and this is what I mean about Jasper! You can buy two pairs of Picasso Jasper and they look completely different. This pair have more distinct colours of rusty red, dark green and beige with hints of brown but the inclusions run across the stones rather than down the stones. I have wire wrapped and hand coiled these using Sterling and Fine Silver wire. Kept the design simple to show of the amazing colours within the stones.
Last but by no means least are my most favourite pair of earrings to date of these natural stones, which I am afraid sold to a customer to wear on her wedding day. These earrings were created from a matched pair of Ochoco Agate. I know very little about Ochoco Agate other than it comes from the Ochoco Mountains in the USA and that good quality Ochoco Agate it will have a clear background with tube like inclusions in cream, beige and pale brown and these stones have it all. Although the very best Ochoco Agate have just creamy white tubes. I have been unable to find another pair of Ochoco Agate as good as these which is a real shame because I absolutely adore this stone. I wire wrapped and hand coiled 24k Gold Vermeil wire, added tiny 24k Gold Vermeil granulated daisy spacers on each side of the Agate and finished the earrings off with a beautiful pale AAA Smoky Quartz rondelle with very crisp faceting. I was sad to see these earrings go because, had I been able to wear earrings which I can’t I would have kept them for sure. I never keep any of the jewellery I design and create but the decision to sell these earrings was a difficult one.
Anyway enough of this rattling on about Natural stones and their beauty, I think you get the idea now that its not always about the sparkle of a stone that gives it’s beauty, it is about its uniqueness and that you really are wearing a one off piece of jewellery that nobody else in the world is going to be wearing! Nature is a genuis in that department!