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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Holidays

This will be my last posting of the year as I am in the midst of finishing up my year end stuff and getting ready to go on a muchly needed vacation in January. I will be closed until January 18, 2012. I am posting a picture of my last custom job of the year as well. My customer had bought the pair of spectrolite carved moon faces from me last year for Christmas and brought them back this year to have them made up into earrings. I thought they really came out pretty neat. They were designed to be worn with a pin she owns of mine that had a similar moon face in it.

I am hoping to recharge my batteries a bit. I have worked seven day weeks almost all year and I'm pretty much worn out. So some time sitting in a hot tub, looking at the Pacific Ocean, the stars, mountains, and whales and sitting in front of a fire enjoying some of my favorite tequila will be a welcome respite. I hope to come back with some fresh perspective on my work and look forward to producing some new designs this year.

I may write a posting while on vacation but I'may also be too relaxed to deal with it.

As an aside I'd like to mention that my older son got named as one of Forbes top 30 under 30 in the arts at the end of this year. We are very proud of how successful he has been. His name is Ryan Sullivan and if you Google Forbes 30 under 30 on the web you will find him listed there.

So I hope you all have a great New Year and I look forward to seeing you all in the new year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Montana Sapphire Earrings

I made this pair of earrings up over the weekend and they have some unusual gem materials in them. I had the opportunity recently to purchase some Montana sapphires (yes they come from Montana!) from the collection of Henry Shawah, a wonderful local jeweler who passed away about a year ago. Blue Montana sapphires usually have a very different type of blue color than most other sapphires. They tend to be somewhat lighter in color, with slight green overtones and usually accent someone with blue eyes wonderfully, because the tone is closer to that in the eye color. But.....they sold yesterday so if your sweetie has blue eyes we'll have to look at some other stone options........

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Pieces

New moonbeams necklace with all natural, unheated orange sapphires.

Another new picture tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

3 Postings in one day.

Here's one more picture of a new pair of earrings. They have natural color Umba orange sapphires, blue sheen moonstones and are 22k and 18k yellow gold. Please be sure and read all three postings today. I don't understand how the opal one got misplaced (it must have been the computer!!!).

For my new readers here is a link to my blog directory:

This article is a recent one that somehow got a date of September 2010 on it and didn't show up recently.It should have followed the 11/10/11 post.

In my last posting I told you about some boulder opals I had just gotten in and that I was pretty excited about having some new material to make earrings with. I also told you a few postings ago that if you wanted my new designs, you really had to get in here quickly. This week I put out three new pairs of opal earrings. The ones at the top of the page are boulder opal and rubies in 18k and 22k gold. And I'm sorry but you can't have them because I put them out on Wednesday and they sold on Friday.

The pair below this paragraph have the really spicy pair of boulder opals I was talking about in the last post and my assistant Katy got a really pretty amazing picture showing some of the astounding color flash in the stones. This pair will not last long either.
And I also just put out the pair pictured below this paragraph as well this week. This is one of my comet series of earrings (although I have customers who say they are my bug earrings). These stones were not boulder opal splits, but a larger stone that I had cut in half (and that retained its color properly).

The following is a blog post I started quite awhile ago on opals. It talks a bit about opals in general and white opals specifically. I'll get something up soon that discusses black opals.
If you asked me what my favorite colored stone was I would have a really hard time choosing between sapphires and opals. Admittedly they are completely different types of stones but they both move me in a myriad of ways. And opals, without a doubt, have a slight edge simply because they aren't just ONE color but they are MANY colors. Some of them have ALL the colors. I mean, what more can you ask for in a gem material? Well okay, they could be a whole lot more durable and they could hold up better over time, but still they are just so fascinating. And they have so many colors!!!

Well actually the nice opals have so many colors. For many of you opal means those ugly white stones that have some specks of greens, blues or reds in them. But that just means you haven't seen any of my boulder opals or the astronomically priced black opals that show up occasionally. So what the heck are opals anyway you might ask? And I'm glad you asked because I intend to tell you what they are. They are beautiful!!! Ooops sorry I was actually going to get scientific here.

Opal is an amorphous, hydrous form of silica. Basically what that means is that it has some water in it. The amount of water, and the crystallization of it, will effect the opal in a variety of ways. It is believed that the play of color comes about because of the diffraction of light and slight variations of refractive index from a large amount of spherical, regularly arranged particles of silica and from the voids between. Okay enough science. It's great to know this but it doesn't amount to a hill of beans when you want to own an opal!

There are actually a variety of types of opal that are available. The ones most people may be familiar with are white opal, boulder opal, black opal, crystal opal and fire opal. All of these are broken up into even more varieties but it isn't really that important for a non gemologist to know.

White opals, the most common of the opal family, are opals that have a white (sometimes described as milky) body color with flashes of color scattered throughout. There is a huge amount of this material available but much of it is either so milky that there isn't much play of color or there just isn't much color in it to begin with. This is not to say that there isn't some beautiful white opal out there. I have owned, at various times, many fine pieces with strong color flashes throughout the stones, but generally speaking because the background is white the colors simply don't show up that well. Often if you coated the back with black ink (or set them with black behind them) you could see a lot more colors. If this is being done to the opal, however, it must absolutely be disclosed to the customer as it is a misrepresentation of the goods if it isn't revealed. I never did this with stones that I sold, unless it was going into a custom piece for someone and they specifically requested it, but it was always pretty amazing how much of a difference you would see in the play of color when it was done.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's Christmas Time

First of all I love my new iPad. What does this have to do with jewelry? Nothing really but if you don't want to give your loved one a wonderful piece of jewelry than an iPad should be next on your list. Oh, I'm sorry I'm supposed to be talking about jewelry. Well this is a great time to come by my store (especially if you want to pass on a few hints to your significant other) because 80 hour weeks seem to get my creativity running at full speed. I have gone from new lows in stock on pendants and earrings to new (oh okay just recent) highs. I am creating five or six new pieces a week lately. Good thing: fun new pieces! Bad thing: no time to write long blog entries. So on top is a new take on an old design with emeralds and on the bottom is a new take on a new design with South Sea black pearls and diamonds. More pictures coming soon probably with no dialogue. Come in and see them while I still have them. Oh and forget about buying that great nuggety strand of black South Sea Keshi pearls that I showed you here: because they're gone already!

For my new readers here is a link to my blog directory:

And this is a list of some of my favorite articles in the past:

Saturday, December 3, 2011


You know it's really quite amazing the way our society has changed thanks to the computer age. Everything is at our fingertips all the time. If you need to check the weather it's right on your phone, or your Ipad, or your PC. Want to see how the stock market is doing? It's right in front of you on your home page. Want to see when that book you ordered will arrive, just look at the site where you bought it, use the tracking number and hey, it's on the truck right now for delivery! But with all of the good things that we get out of this instant age we live in, a few not so good things tend to creep in.

Let's take for instance your ability to review your credit card charges instantaneously on line. I mean this sounds like a great thing. You can check for fraudulent charges, see if the monthly utility payment has gone through yet, etc. But, if you're married, and you share the cards, and you check your online account all the time, then it becomes just about impossible for your partner to SURPRISE you with a present. And this is the time of year when we all like to give and get presents. And I always thought half the fun of it was that surprise factor. So how about if we all take a break from looking at those accounts on line for a month (at least the shared ones) so that you might really look like the people in some of those television commercials who look surprised when they get that nice little box filled with some wonderful new memories for you!

Why, you might wonder, am I writing this now? Because, sure enough, one of my customers lost the element of surprise when his wife checked the accounts today.

The ring pictured above is 18k gold with a .41 ct. "E" color, VS1 clarity ideal cut Lazare Diamond.