Saturday, October 29, 2011

Agate Gems in Jewellery

     There so many types of Agate, found in many different places in the world, many people have a hard time discerning, and differentiating the different types. In this post I will try to show you just  few, that I have personally run across, and worked in to cabochons for jewellery making.
     Agate is a form of Chalcedony, and can be found across the world in many different colors, and in many places across the globe. Found primarily in a host rock of Volcanic nature, Agates may be found in many other stones as well. They have been used in stone carvings and in jewellery making for many centuries, from the ancient times to the current, and are very popular still today for these and many other uses.

A Mexican agate, showing only a single eye, has received the name of cyclops agate. Included matter of a green, golden, red, black or other color or combinations embedded in the chalcedony and disposed in filaments and other forms suggestive of vegetable growth, gives rise to dendritic or moss agate. Dendritic agates have fern like patterns in them formed due to the presence of manganese and iron oxides. Other types of included matter deposited during agate-building include sagenitic growths (radial mineral crystals) and chunks of entrapped detritus (such as sand, ash, or mud). Occasionally agate fills a void left by decomposed vegetative material such as a tree limb or root and is called limb cast agate due to its appearance.
Turritella agate is formed from silicified fossil Elimia tenera (erroneously considered Turritella) shells. E. tenera are spiral marine gastropods having elongated, spiral shells composed of many whorls. Similarly, coral, petrified wood and other organic remains or porous rocks can also become agatized. Agatized coral is often referred to as Petoskey stone or agate.
Greek agate is a name given to pale white to tan colored agate found in Sicily back to 400 B.C. The Greeks used it for making jewelry and beads. Even though the stone had been around centuries and was known to both the Sumerians and the Egyptians, both who used the gem for decoration and for playing important parts in their religious ceremonies, any agate of this color from Sicily, once an ancient Greek colony, is called Greek agate.
Another type of agate is Brazilian agate, which is found as sizable geodes of layered nodules. These occur in brownish tones interlayered with white and gray. Quartz forms within these nodules, creating a striking specimen when cut opposite the layered growth axis. It is often dyed in various colors for ornamental purposes.
Certain stones, when examined in thin sections by transmitted light, show a diffraction spectrum due to the extreme delicacy of the successive bands, whence they are termed rainbow agates. Often agate coexists with layers or masses of opal, jasper or crystalline quartz due to ambient variations during the formation process.
Other forms of agate include Lake Superior agate, carnelian agate (usually exhibiting reddish hues), Botswana agate, Ellensburg blue agate,

blue lace agate, plume agates, tube agate (with visible flow channels), fortification agate (which exhibit little or no layered structure), fire agate (which seems to glow internally like an opal) and Mexican crazy-lace agate (which exhibits an often brightly colored, complex banded pattern) also called Rodeo Agate and Rosetta Stone depending on who owned the mine at the time.

     Just a handful of the different types of Agate to be found all over the world , but because of their ability to take an extremely high polish, they are one of the most popular stones among rock & gem cutters to work with. Lake Superior Agates are among the hardest of the agate group, taking on a very impressive shine, making gem quality one of the highest available in the agate world. If you are looking for a durable, and very attractive stone, agate is the way to go, no matter what type, or color you choose, these stones are just some of the best available. Some are naturally colored, as in the Laguna agate, which can be found in colors like orange, yellow, red, pink, and purple.....others, like the ever popular Brazillian agate, might be dyed, using a heat process. (DO NOT try this unless you do extensive research in the how to)

ALL agates can be toxic when cutting them,so make sure this is done in water for safety reasons. For more information on cutting and polishing stone, visit .

Monday, August 22, 2011

Latest Wire Wrapped Pendants

     The latest series of wire wrapped pendants being created and listed on Etsy, are known as a groove wrapped pendant. The simple elegance of a groove wrap, allows the stones beauty to shine, without covering it up with a bunch of wire, and "extras". Each gem has it's own story to tell, it's own way of showing beauty, and it's own way of showing what amazing things God left for us all on this planet for us to discover. This style wrap is quickly becoming a popular jewelry trend in my shop.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cabochon Direct Buys

     Are you a jewellery maker, who is struggling to purchase supplies, so you can keep making your beautiful creations? The cost of buying supplies continues to rise in almost every corner, and aspect of today's trying times. The cost of silver and gold is outrageous, and looking for alternatives is a big chore to accomplish, but, there are some saving graces out there for you.
     When I first started making jewelry, I just simply could not afford to buy the expensive cabochons, handmade, beautiful, and I wanted them, I just couldn't do it. So...I bought the el-cheapo stuff, you know, the ones where you get 10 in a package for like 10.00 or something, and, while the stones were pretty, they lacked that....flare, that shine, and the knowledge that they were machine made, not hand made really did not appeal to me either. And, while I now look at them as good "practice" stones, for the brand new wire wrapper, I would not buy them again.
     Recently I have been told that, no other rock cutter will do what I do, and offer it at a price a jewelry maker can afford. Well, while I am not sure that is completely true...there HAS to be someone else out there that does......I am happy to do this. See, I remember what it felt like to see a stone that I just loved, only to see a 20.00 price just could not swing it. There was just no way, even tho I loved the stone...that feeling of disappointment stuck with me. Last year, I started making my own cabs, and while they were not, in the beginning, very good, and it took me a long time to learn many different things about making them, I made it my goal to learn everything I could. The I could have a beautiful stone, with a beautiful shine to work with. Later, as I got better at it, I slowly started selling them, a little here, a little there, until today....where I am selling every cab I make almost! I decided, when they first started selling to offer them at a price that just about anyone can afford, 5.00 each. Yes....just strings, no sign ups, I don't email you, or spam just claim it, and it's yours.
      The stones I cut are just like everyone else' beauties, and they are worth the same amount of money everyone else is charging for them, I just happen to remember that "feeling". I don't do it so I can get rich, I don't do it so I can show off, or brag about what I do....I do it for you, the struggling jewelry maker. I love to cut the rocks, it's one of my most favorite things to do, and...quite frankly, I would be cutting them no matter what, because I do love it that much, so why would I not share them? I don't begrudge anyone what they charge for a cabochon, I believe they are worth every penny, the work, and tools, and supplies's daunting at times.....For instance...right now I need a diamond disc replacement....I am just....I dunno....just cant hit that "pay now" button to buy it, lol.....I will, because I have to, real soon!!  And, I wont regret it one bit when it arrives, it's just hitting that "pay now" button I struggle with. Lot's of costs involved, as there is with anything else! lol

So, if you are looking for Cabochons you can afford to buy, I have no minimum purchase, and no maximum either, you can buy as few, or as many as you like. And, many many pieces of jewelry have been sold using my cabs, so there is a good chance that yours will too. Come and check them out, I just may have what you are looking for! I upload new stones almost every day to Facebook, for you to choose from, and there is never a shortage of more for me to do. It is a race game tho you have to be quick in your choices or someone else just may grab the one you were "thinking" about.

Here are just a few of the stones I have cut the last few days....all of these are sold, but, there will be more today!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Handmade Gems & Gemstones for Wire Wrapping

     Not Just Lake Superior Agates either!! In the last 6 months or so, a full on direct buy for my cabochons has been ongoing on Facebook.....and wow, these ladies keep me busy! I love it, and I love seeing what they do with them, even more!! Everything from earrings, to bracelets, necklaces, pendants...even some sewing projects have had my cabs included in them. I am so honored that they like them that much!!

     Here are just a few of the beautiful pieces being created by beginners, novices, and expert wire wrappers, and silversmiths.....just get a load of all the splender!!

If you are looking for Diamond finish shine, and a handmade cabochon, for prices you can afford, then look now further....come see me on Facebook, and check out how it all works. I save you money, as long as I can save money...simple as that. No strings, no questions, simple...




Sunday, August 7, 2011

Choosing Gem Stone Jewelry

Have you ever thought that you knew exactly what you were looking for, when shopping for jewelry? Maybe you are looking for a special piece, for a special night, or maybe for a spoecial person in your life as a gift....but as you start to look around, you see there are so many more choices than what you originally thought there would be?
That's because the jewlery, specifically the handmade and handcrafted, jewelry market has exploded in to this massive, intrigueing, and inspired market. People all over the world are either making their own jewelry, or making gifts for their families, it's an awe inspiring, unbelieveable shopping mall of variety out there. So, when you start shopping for that special piece, that one thing that you know will be perfect for the occasion, where are you supposed to begin?

Well....I have been thinking about this a bit, and I would have to say, the first thing you should know, is your color. What color do you need for this occasion or gift? When was this person born? maybe a birthstone is in order. When is the occasion, is it a wedding, or birthday, or maybe an anniversary? Do some investigating, maybe the person you are gifting has a favorite stone. All of these things come in to play, and should be something you look for. Start by  searching Google, for the color...just type in something like red gem stones...look at the images, until you find something you like....this is a beginning.

Next you should know your metals, and if the gift will go to someone who has allergies to metals. Are they allergic to nickel? If they are, you should stay away from anything that is made with German Silver. What about copper, or brass? These are wonderful alternative metals, especially in todays economic trying times, when we are all watching our budgets pretty close. Or possibly, you are looking for something in the precious metals market, sterling silver, or maybe gold. Whatever metal you choose, make sure it is something that looks good with the color of stone you are looking for, and that the person you are gifting it to will not be allergic to it against their skin.

Now that you have decided on your stone color, and the metal you think will look good with it, it's time to actually locate the piece you like. There are so many different styles to choose from, so you should have some idea of the available styles, everything from Hippie, to art deco, or even some rennessaince styles...there is just no limit to what is available. The handmade industry is usually the way to go, staying away from the commercially reproduced market is the best way, when giving a gift you want to have meaning. Try adding the word "handmade" or "handcrafted" in your search, and see all of the wonderful images that come up for you.

In the end, the most important thing to remember is to be patient, and do the research, and the searching. Whatever you choose, choose with love, and it will be sure to please.