Thursday, October 15, 2009

Kid in a candy store

I was lucky enough to get the time (and funds) to go to a bead show two weeks ago. Me + a room full of stones + cash = good times! I got some great stuff that I look forward to making into great jewelry. Here is a sampling of these beautiful stones:

Kunzite: This pretty pink stone is a variety of the mineral spodumene, which is a type of naturally occurring crystal. It has a slight chatoyance, which is the name for that light-bending effect in stones like Tigereye. This effect makes them seem like they have a satiny sheen.

Picasso Jasper: Jasper is the most common type of opaque gemstone. It is a semiprecious type of chalcedony. This stone has these wonderful black lines across a gray background, like a lace overlay. The coin shape of these stones really brings out that effect. The thing I like about Jasper, this one especially, is the way you can dress them "up" or "down" depending on what other stones and metals you pair them with.

Gray Agate: Agate is the other common type of semiprecious gemstone, although its usually translucent. This gray agate has the same versatility as the Picasso Jasper, but I think it might look best with some nice coin pearls.

Black Agate with Quartz: These beads are interesting because they were cut from a composite of Black Agate and Quartz. I love the banding and the contrast in these stones

Serpentine Skulls: Skulls are in this year, and I love it! I already have a design laid out for this strand. You'll have to keep checking this blog to see the finished design (hint, hint). Serpentine is often listed as "New Jade", but it is softer then real Nephrite jade, but no less beautiful!

"Soo Chow" Jade: These carved barrels are very cool. Jade, I have learned from buying gemstones, is an over-used term for a variety of green, or sometimes Asian-themed carved stones. These other stones are often a type of Serpentine, in this case bowenite. There is nothing wrong with these stones, its just that wholesalers and jewelry retailers think labeling things "Jade" will raise the perceived value. Personally I find it cooler to know what the stones really are, that way you can find more of them!

Fleur de lis: Of course, sometimes you just buy stones because they are cool. I found this pendant in the pile, without a bag or description, and it was the only one. But, if I had to guess, I think that it's a banded agate, possibly Botswana.

Natural Agate: This key is carved of Natural Agate.

I also picked up some very cute dyed Mother of Pearl rounds in lavenderish-pink, a strand of gray Botswana agate roundels and Fluorite.

Well, I hope this introduction to some of the gemstones I use has inspired you to love them as much as I do. I will be posting new works when I make them, and I hope to fill you in on my beading adventures. Right now I'm working on a necklace for myself for Halloween. I found some really cool two-hole bone-shaped glass beads, cute glass skulls and Halloween-themed buttons. I hope to have the necklace done by the end of the week, because my good friend is taking me to FurFright. It will be a furry Halloween!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, your blog has no comments yet. Let's fix that! Whoo-hoo, first comment!