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Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Holidays are Coming and Some General Comments and New Pictures!

Carved moon face in black agate with sparkly drusy
Black Drusy Moon Face
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year.  This is always a fun time of year.  You get to eat a lot and not feel too guilty.  You get to spend a lot and not feel too guilty.  And in my case, I get to work a lot and make up some new things for the cases, which quite honestly is the thing I love to do the most.  I have some assorted comments today and some pictures of some new things out in the cases.

The first comment has to do with the piece pictured above. I was able to get another carved drusy face from my new German source.  It's a black drusy this time and it's a bit larger than the last one.  And don't get your hopes up---it's also already sold.  I think I'll have to start buying more than one at a time but I am fussy about the ones I pick so I'm not sure it's possible.  There definitely won't be any more of them this year unless someone wants to special order one (and even then I'm not sure there's time to get it in and made up before the holidays if that's the intent).

round disc earrings in 22k gold with granular surface texture
22k gold disc earrings
My second comment goes back to an old posting I made that had to do with alexandrites.  For some reason this particular article is the single most viewed article I have ever written. I think, in part, this has something to do with the search engines and that there isn't quite as much information about alexandrites out there as a lot of the other topics I cover. What is interesting however is that I continue to get emails from people who read the article and then want to know if the stone they have in their possession is a real alexandrite.  My latest inquiry even sent me pictures of the stone in question.  So let me restate something I thought I made clear in the original article.  If you have a large stone in your possession and it changes color the odds are extremely, extremely long that it is a natural alexandrite.  Finding alexandrites in sizes over about 3 ct. is nigh on impossible unless you have a vast amount of wealth at your beck and call.  And unless your mother/grandmother/great aunt/great great grandmother was extremely wealthy they didn't have one to pass down either. If it is a large stone you almost certainly have a color change synthetic corundum (sapphire) and, yes, they have been around for a long, long time.  I might also point out that when you attempt to research your stone on the web you are going to get confused because there are both synthetic alexandrites and synthetic corundums that have been misidentified as alexandrite for years.  Synthetic alexandrites have all the properties of natural but they are man made.  Synthetic corundum is an entirely different material.  Synthetic alexandrites have not been around for anywhere near as long as the corundum, which many find confusing because they assume that their grandmother couldn't have bought one because it was so long ago. But that is synthetic alexandrite  not synthetic corundum. And incidentally you really don't need a gem lab most of the time on this.  Any jeweler who has a gemology degree will be able to immediately tell you if your stone is a synthetic corundum.  It is one of the easiest separations to make.  I have one customer who owns a number of alexandrites that I sold her.  If the timing is right the next time she comes in for a cleaning I'll see if I can get some pictures of the pieces so that you can see what the real material looks like.
18k yellow gold pendant with carved moon face and emerald
Labradorite moon face with emerald accent 18k yellow gold

In the next few days I'm going to rerun my favorite holiday blog article about engagement rings as Christmas presents. I'll update it with some new pictures. Pictured immediately above is a new pendant that is out in the cases. I'm running out of these moon faces as my source retired about the same time he ran out of this quality of material. The pair of earrings in the middle of the article are also in the cases.  They are 22k granulated gold.  There was no solder used on the 22k gold disc (although the posts are 18k gold and are soldered onto the back).  I always love the way the granulation technique leaves a nice texture that makes the earrings look really old.

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