Monday, May 2, 2011

Stone shopping at gem shows

If I'm not buying directly from a lapidary artist (someone who cuts stones), then I go to a gem show and buy LOTS of stones at once.

Anyone who knows me, knows I have a hard time resisting deeply saturated colors, and especially if they're BIG. Aren't these amethysts beauties? Other than the two round ones in the back, these are too big for anything other than pendants or necklaces, or an occasional focal stone for a bridal tiara.

Here are some Swiss blue topazes:

These are mostly the right size for earrings and rings, and a couple will look spectacular on a neckpiece. Topazes are among my favorite stones because they come in just about any color under the sun, even colorless. In fact, most topazes begin their lives as colorless. To bring out the colors, they can be heated, irradiated or diffusion treated.

Another stone I like are garnets. The come in various tones of red usually. But they also come in a lot of other colors, like a lovely orange. The garnets below are a sample of the most common red tones--Mozambique, pyrope and rhodolite.

These are mostly in sizes people would consider normal.

Later, I'll show some of them in finished jewelry. All of these are just so yummy it's going to be a joy to set them in something lovely!

Copyright 2011 by Katherine Palochak

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