Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Romanèchite

(Image of Romanèchite found on miadrops.com)

Romanèchite is an unusual looking mineral.  It has a dull, sub-metalic luster and is the primary mineral of which Psilomelane is composed. Romanèchite maybe either grayish-black or black and has a hardness of 5-6. It's name comes from the locality where it was first found: Romanèche, Saône-et-Loir, France. Romanèchite may be found in: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, Mexico, Namibia, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, England, Scotland, Wales, Ukraine, and the states of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Andalusite

(Image of Andalusite found on gemselect.com)

Andalusite is trimorpheous with of Sillimanite and Kyanite.  This means that the chemical composition of the three gems is the same, but with a different crystal structure. It was discovered in 1789, but not given a name until 1798 when it was named by Jean-Claude Delamétheri.  It was named after the "Andalusia Region" in Spain where it was believed to have been duscovered. However, this assumption that Andalusite was from Andalusia was actually incorrect, the location where it was first discovered (El Cardoso (Guadalajara)) is not in the Andalusia Region.  Not only that, but the Chiastolite variety of Andalusite was already known and been described in a 1754 publication. The Chiastolite variety of Andalusite is opaque gray or brown stone with black inclusions which are symmetrically arranged and generally form an X-shaped cross when cut in a cross section.  The transparent to translucent variety of Andalusite may be pink, red-brown, violet, yellow, green, white, or gray.  It has a hardness of 6.5-7.5 making it great for most any form of jewelry.  It's luster may be vitreous, greasy, or sub-vitreous.  Andalusite is a fairly rare gemstone.  Its per carat value ranges depending on the size, colour, and quality of the stones but there is a value chart for Andalusite on GemVal.  Andalusite may be found in: Andorra, Antarctica, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma (Myanmar), Burundi, Canada (provinces of: British Colombia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Labrador. Ontario, Quebec, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon Territory), Chile, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Mongolia, Namibia, Norway, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, England, Scotland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and the states of Wyoming,Wisconsin, Washington, Virginia, Vermont, Utah, Texas, South Dakota, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Mexico, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Nevada, Montana, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, Indiana, Idaho, Georgia, Florida, Connecticut, Colorado, California, Arizona, Alaska, and Alabama.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


("Breanna" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

An understatedly elegant pair of earrings, these earrings are made from sterling silver, Mother-of Pearl, and Jade. Each setting, ring, and earring hook have been entirely made by hand.  The earrings measure at just over 1.5 inches long.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Hemimorphite

(Hemimorphite image found on gemselect.com)

Hemimorphite is a beautiful gemstone and was given the name "Hemimorphite' in 1853 having previously had other names including 'Calamine' (a name no longer in use in mineralogy).  It's name is an allusion to the hemimphoric form of the crystals. Hemimorphite has a hardness of 4.5-5 with an adamantine, vitreous, pearly, or silky luster.  Crystals may be transparent or translucent and its colour range includes: colourless, white, blue, yellow, green to apple green, purple, pink, bluish-grey, and brown (from impurities). Some iridescent examples have also been found.  Hemimorphite is found in: Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada (provinces of: British Colombia, Newfoundland, Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and the Yukon Territory), Chile, china, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, New Caledonia, North Korea, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Thailand, England, Scotland, Wales, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the states of : Wyoming, Wisconsin, Washington, Virginia, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Nevada, Montana, Missouri, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Idaho, Connecticut, Colorado, California, Arkansas, Arizona, and Alaska.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Scapolite

(Image of Scapolite found on mineralmasterpiece.com)

Scapolite is another one of those gorgeous yet largely unheard of gemstones. It was discovered around 1866 and its name is derived from the Greek words skapos meaning 'rod' or 'shaft' and lithos meaning 'stone'.  This is because Scapolite is most often found as long prismatic crystals.  Scapolite is a hardness 5.5-6 and has a vitreous, resinous, or pearly luster. It may be transparent, translucent, or opaque; some Scapolite even exhibit a cat's-eye. Scapolite may be found in many different colours. It may be: colourless, pink, violet, blue, white, grey, yellow, brown, or orange-brown.   Scapolite may be found in: Afghanistan, Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma (Myanmar), Canada (provinces of: British Colombia, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Nunavut Territory, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon Territory), Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, New Zealand, North Korea, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippians, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, England, Scotland, and the states of: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont,Virgina, Washington, and Wisconsin. Scapolite per carat values vary greatly, but there is a chart on GemVal that lists the current per carat values.

Monday, September 2, 2013


("Jennie" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

A simple pair of earrings, but the fun thing about them is the material.  These earrings are made from the upcycled parts of vintage jewelry.  They measure at nearly 2.5 inches long.


("Lydia" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

A unique pair of earrings made from upcycled vintage jewelry parts. They measure at just over 2.75 inches long.