Seven shades of Opal! What's the difference?

Seven shades of Opal! What's the difference?

Opals come in a vast array of colors, translucence, clarity, and shapes. Opal also happens to be one of my favorite materials to cut. Given the overwhelming variety of opals available for purchase or use in jewelry, where is an opal fan to start? Knowledge is key, and we can start by bucketing opal into 7 different types of stone. What are they? 1. Black opal is the most expensive and the rarest variety. The combination of the intense background color of opaque black to dark grey pops the "play of color" (the splitting of light into the colors of a spectrum...

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Beauty in the Rough: The Hunt for Sapphire

Beauty in the Rough: The Hunt for Sapphire

Have I mentioned I love a good hunt for gemstones? While this photo of a tub full of rocks may look no different to you than rocks you might see on a beach, I can assure you they are quite different and cost a LOT more.  This is a photo of Golden Sheen sapphire rough. The growth patterns are glorious, and to a rockhound and gemologist like me, this bin caught my eye at a recent gem show. I love all types of sapphire and as I've mentioned in previous blog posts, I have tried my hand at mining for Montana...

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Road Trips for American Gems

Road Trips for American Gems

When you think of precious gemstones and where they come from, often we think of exotic places that have a lengthy history of producing one type of material. Opal from Australia, Jade from China, Sapphires and Rubys from Madagascar or Myanmar, and diamonds and tanzanite from Africa.    The United States has a plentiful selection of well known gemstones and rock material commonly found in cabochons used for jewelry. Because the list is long, I will start with a few road trips that I have experienced first hand.   The state gemstone for California is benitoite, a very rare blue...

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Sunny Jewelry Styles for Summer Adventures

Sunny Jewelry Styles for Summer Adventures

One of the hot jewelry trends for this year is multiple ear piercings with mix and match studs. With an endless number of beautiful colors and interesting shapes, these colorful ear pieces are sure to brighten up any look during these hot summer days. Pro tip #1: The secret to a perfect curated-ear look this summer is to pair your traditional gold pieces with more fun and colorful ones. Take a look at this blog post picture to get the creative juices flowing. Layering multiple necklaces such as chains, beads, and charms is a great summer style that can add color and excitement to your easy breezy tees. Check out the Summer Collection for...

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Ring Materials for Everyday Wear

Ring Materials for Everyday Wear

Unconventional, alternative, unique, and one-of-a-kind are all words used when discussing non-traditional engagement and wedding rings. When it comes to choosing a ring you expect to wear as often as these types of rings, there are many details to consider about the materials used. Obviously, you'll want to make sure your ring is well made. And, depending on how active you are with your hands, different types of metal and their finishes need to be factored in. Gemstone hardness and toughness (yes there’s a difference) are both important factors to take into account as well. Gemstone durability is the ability of a stone to withstand daily wear,...

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Recent Posts
Seven shades of Opal! What's the difference? Beauty in the Rough: The Hunt for Sapphire Road Trips for American Gems Sunny Jewelry Styles for Summer Adventures Ring Materials for Everyday Wear