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Mixed Gemstones

I've been on a color binge recently, adding vivid gemstones to everything I make in the studio. And shopping far too much for new stones, much to the dismay of my checking account. In particular, I'm loving rose-cut gems. I prefer the artisan cut free form stones. The imperfection is part of the charm. Even with earrings, the stones are only similar, not perfectly paired. And beyond that, I'm enjoying adding a tiny sparkle of a related color to add a bit of flash. I cut tiny lengths of tubing and drill seats for tiny faceted stones. It's a nice contrast - rustic vs. refined, bright vs. dark, large vs. small.  These bold Spring Greens earrings feature glowing rose cut apple...

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Rose Sapphire Studs

I'm tall, 5'11", and I typically favor long earrings. They seem more in proportion to my body, and as well they give a nice large canvas for design. But I understand that many wearers prefer smaller, more discrete earrings. That doesn't mean boring though.  So I've been trying to make a variety of sizes of earrings recently. These small rose sapphire earrings are at the smaller end of the scale.  Tiny hand-sculpted roses float on a hammered halo ring below glowing rose-cut pink sapphires in these one-of-a-kind stud earrings.  Fabricated in highest quality Argentium sterling silver with fine silver details for low maintenance, hypoallergenic and 100% recycled silver content.  

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Peach Moonstones, Too!

Last time I wrote about my love affair with rainbow moonstones. But there are plenty of other moonstones to love. Another of my favorites is peach moonstone.  The thing that links the two is the shimmer, which is really hard to photograph properly. This photo probably gives the best idea of the sheen when the light hits just right.  I've made quite a few peach moonstone designs in the last year or two, so I'm always shopping for more stones. I can say that quality varies widely, and my husband doesn't call me Picky Vickie for nothing. When I find a great source, I now know to stock up!    

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My current favorite stone is rainbow moonstone. I love the way it catches and refracts the light to give a luminous blue glow, bringing to mind the moonlight for which is is named. After using up some of my favorite rose cut moonstones from my last Tucson Gem Show trip (where I watched a person reach over me and buy the entire remaining tray!), I've been wishing for more.   So I ordered some semi-matched pairs from a new supplier to test. They have gorgeous color, presumably due to the fact that they are quite high domed. That means they weigh more and cost more, but I'm loving the results.  If you're into the spirituality of gemstones, Moonstone has special meanings...

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In the course of working in the studio, suboptimal things happen. Sometimes a delicate stone chips. Sometimes a tool slips. Sometimes the torch is held for a few seconds too long. Many mistakes are recoverable, with enough work. But occasionally, the defects are minimal enough to warrant overlooking. If the damage is not noticeable on casual observation or in common wear, I might choose to offer the piece as a "second" at a high discount.  In these cases, I like to clearly disclose the damage so that a potential owner can decide for themselves if the piece meets their needs. Sometimes that discount can make a lovely piece that would be too expensive suddenly within reach for an admirer. In...

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