Thursday, June 28, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Sugilite

(Sugilite image found on Cochise College)

Sugilite is a pink and purple lovers dream! This vividly coloured gemstone of discovered in 1944 and wasn't recognized as a mineral until 1976.  It is named after its co-discoverer, a Japanese petrologist named Ken-ici Sugi.  Sugilite is a sodium potassium lithium silicate hydrate and tends to contain various amounts of iron, manganese, and aluminum.  Although crystals are possible, it most often forms as massives or granulars and is used en-cabochon in jewelry.  It's colour can be brown-yellow, pink, or purple, the latter two often being very intensely coloured.   It forms in metamorphosed manganese deposits, as well as, as xenoliths in marble. Sugilite may be found in portions of Canada, Japan, South Africa, and Italy.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Chalcanthite

(Lap grown sample of Chalcanthite; image from:
 More images of Chalcanthite

Chalcanthite is a type of copper sulfate and occurs in the oxidized zone of copper deposits.  Its name means "copper flower" and comes from the Greek words khalkos (copper) and anthos (flower).  Chalcanthite is a brilliantly intense peacock-blue and used to be known as blue vitriol.  While it will most often form as veinlets, massives, and stalactite aggregates, Chalcanthite will also form as crystals, although these natural crystals are quite rare.  Chalcanthite commonly forms as crusts or stalactites on the timbers and walls inside of mines having crystallized from the mine waters.  In Chile (and other arid areas), Chalanthiteis mined as a copper ore.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Rhodonite

(Rhodonite image from

For anyone that loves pink, Rhodonite is an excellent gem to get jewellery in!  Rhodonite is often a rose pink with black Manganese oxide veining.  Rhodonite can be pink to rose-red in colour and form as rounded crystals, masses, or as grains. This gem is a manganese silicate and is commonly found in various manganese ores either with Rhodochrosite or as a metamorphic by-product of Rhodochrosite.  While ind India, Rhodonite is often used as a manganese ore, it is most often used in jewelry or other decorative purposes.  In terms of per carat or per stone value, Rhodonite varies greatly ranging from inexpensive opaque stones to very expensive transparent stones.  Rhodonite may be found in Brazil, Canada, England, Russia, Sweden, and the U.S. with Rhodonite crystals being found in Peru, Australia and the state of New Jersey.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Countdown Begins!

52 more days until my first show of the year! This particular show (the Tawas Waterfront Fine Art Show) was my best show last year (in fact, it's the best show I've done to date) so I can't wait to see how it goes this year!  Last year I was First Honourable Mention in the jewelry category, which was super exciting as it was my first time at that show.  Would love to do better this year!!

Packing up after the show was interesting last year as we were trying to beat the incoming thunderstorm.  The minute we had finished packing up and were in the truck the clouds just let loose a flood.  We actually had to find another route home as there was a power line down across the main road and we found out later how exactly it got there.  Had we stayed just a little bit longer at the park after packing up we would have seen an F1 tornado going out across the lake just short way away from us!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Hübnerite

(Hübnerite image found on Wikipedia)

Hübnerite is a Manganese Iron Tungstate.  It was discovered by Adolf Hübner in 1865 and forms as crystals that may be prismatic, tabular, or flattened with striated faces.  Hübnerite also commonly forms as twinned cystals and most often occurs in granitic pegmatites and hydrothermal veins.  In colour, it is generally reddish-brown, but can be so dark as to appear almost black, and is often found with Quartz, Casserite, Topaz, and Lepidolite.  Hübnerite, which used to be known as Wolframite, is a major tungsten ore.  Some of the best specimens come for Peru and the state of Colorado.