The Jeweler's Eye
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I am a jewelry designer and gemologist. I love creating beautiful heirloom jewelry for clients all over the world. In this blog, I feature many of my designs and current projects as well as articles about colored gemstones, diamonds and antique jewelry. As a historian and lover of antique and estate jewelry, I am often inspired by jewels from the past.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fresh Off The Jewelers Bench !

Just finished a lovely new 18kt yellow gold wedding band for a client.  The ring features a beautiful blue oval sapphire and round brilliant white diamonds, channel set within an open top.

The 18kt yellow gold ring is brightly polished to a mirror like finish.    The ring has a squarish shape but with slightly rounded corners for a softer look and more comfortable fit.

I love how the sapphire and diamonds appear to be suspended in mid-air within this nice heavy gauge channel setting.  The open ends allow you to see the dramatic line created by the gemstones seemingly suspended.

What shall I call this dramatic ring design?   Hmmmmm.... I wil sleep on it tonight and perhaps come back tomorrow with the perfect name !

Of course if you have a suggestion,  I am all ears !

To see more of my designs and custom creations,  please visit my website Bijoux Extraordinaire - The Jewelry Experts

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Drusy Gemstones - Glistening Wonders

Drusy is a term derived from the ancient Greek word "drossos" meaning "dew" which later evolved to the Bohemian "druza" and was then transformed by the Germans to druse.   Some think of drusy as dew drops atop a mineral but I prefer to think of drusy like fine sugary crystals glistening as if freshly fallen snow on a cold winter morning.

Drusy is basically a layer of micro-crystals (i.e. tiny tiny tiny) that have formed on the surface of a mineral or matrix.
It can be seen on a variety of colors of Quartz (white, orange, yellow, blue, mauve, etc.) found world wide, as well as on vivid green Uvarovite Garnet from Russia, hot pink Cobaltocalcite from the Congo, bright turquoise colored Chrysocolla from the Southwestern United States, Brazilian Rainbow Hematite, deep black Psilomelane from Germany and Irridescent Pyrite from Russia.  

From the side, you can see the undulating depth of this lush drusy chrysocolla and the banded layers of malachite forming the side walls. Chrysocolla and Malachite are both copper based minerals that often occur together in the same matrix. Combine the rich copper generating hues of these two gems with a glittery, sugary layer of drusy and you have a spectacular prize.  


These dynamic earrings feature Drusy Uvarovite Garnets and took home first place in a design competition.
If you look closely, you will see that the surface is encrusted with dodecahedron-shaped crystals in various sizes. This occurs because Garnet crystallizes in the Isometric (Cubic) system which typically presents as dodecahedron external shapes. The intense green is caused by Chromium.

When purchasing uvarovite, look for specimens that have good surface coverage (no bare spots), intense color and well formed crystals.

Surprisingly, almost all of these materials are natural, even the vivid colors seen in Chrysocolla, Uvarovite and Cobaltocalcite. These truly are nature's wonders !

Cobaltocalcite gets its super hot pink coloring from Manganese.

I would call these "hot hot hot ! "

Irridescent Pyrite has a natural metallic shimmer of vibrant hues that remind me of exploding colorful fireworks ! The intensity of the hues is mesmerizing.

This assymetrical tongue with sweeping bands of color would be dazzling as the centerpiece of a custom necklace. I can envision a warm yellow gold frame along the body of the pyrite with a curved line of facetted rainbow gemstones forming a cross-arm at the top, culminated by a round brilliant diamond as if to mark an exclamation !

Of course there are endless possibilities for a custom jewel featuring this exotic gem. I see this irridescent pyrite set in 18kt yellow gold, brightly polished.  But a cool white platinum design with satin finish would be equally striking.  You can easily let your imagination wander with gems like this.

There are also some forms of drusy that are treated.
Titania is drusy on quartz that has been coated with Titanium to create vibrant rainbow colors.  Black onyx drusy is quartz drusy that has been dyed.

And yes, there is even drusy that is coated with 23 karat gold or platinum.

Will wonders never cease ?

One of the reasons I love drusy gemstones is that they are available in such a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors.  I am able to create truly unique jewelry with these glistening wonders ! Here is a gorgeous Titania coated drusy gemstone I used for a striking custom necklace.     This Titania Agate has a metallic blueish border surrounding a pocket of glowing micro-crystals in vibrant purples, blues and yellows.

I designed a pendant for this Titania Agate with a highly polished platinum frame that follows the natural contours of the gem. 

The oversized bail was then accented with a trillium cut neon blue Apatite (yes Windex-like color) and a small diamond for added brilliance.

Even the backside of this necklace is unique !

Of course mixing various drusy colors and gem types is permissible. These fabulous earrings showcase a pair of pie shaped vibrant rainbow hematites atop drusy yellow quartz trilliums. The round facetted rhodolites compliment the pink hues in the rainbow hematite.

These gems and much more are available in our gallery for purchase.  I work with a wonderful assortment of drusy gems that can be incorporated into a custom jewel of your liking.  You can choose from a great number of colors for the combination that best fits your style.

To see more drusy gems and jewels I have created with these glistening wonders,  please visit my website Bijoux Extraordinaire - The Jewelry Experts