Apr 9, 2011

And the Winner is.........!

Thank you all for participating in my recent Giveaway!  I'm happy to announce the winner of the Genuine Amethyst Silver Heart Necklace - Congratulations Ardy22, you Won!

I am also excited to announce the next Giveaway starting April 14th.  Be sure to enter for your chance to win.  I will be featuring jewelry designer Kathy McDonald, who is also a clay potter from Manitoba, Canada.  She will be offering a solid pure silver pendant that she designed using Silver Art Clay as well as a gorgeous hand-thrown pottery  mug!  Followers of my blog will automatically be entered!  More ways to enter will be detailed in my post on April 14th.

Here is the original post for the Giveaway for anyone who would like to read all the great comments on how so many great readers select which colored gemstones to buy and why.
Original Post:

Selecting a gem based on birthstone seems to be a pretty popular way of choosing gemstones, whether it is the buyer's gem or for a loved one.  I love the sentiment of wearing a birthstone of someone close to me!

Another top method to pick gemstones was to select and buy what you loved or what spoke to you.

I really enjoyed the comments and I've added some replies at the end of today's post.

Genuine Gemstone and Marcasite Rings by York Avenue Studio
The photo above is from my Fall 2010 Collection that was very popular.  I've decided to keep a few Marcasite items listed in my Etsy Shop because I love making them!

I usually select which gems to buy based on their initial beauty and WOW factor.  I also am attracted to unusual gems with great stories of how rare they are or how they formed naturally in some remote location of the Earth!

I have amazing sources for my gems that I trust for their quality and expertise and occasionally they happen to offer limited gems that are extraordinary and I just can't resist!  I'm selective and only collect gems with highly rated clarity and cut.  I sometimes come across a gem that has a unique cut that intrigues me on what type of setting to use.  I personally prefer stones with generous depth, not flat.  I'm not too fond of gems drilled with holes, but have found some that I do think are done well and look great.

My favorite gem has always been Ruby, which a few of you also picked.  My preference is more of a pinker red than bright red.  That pinkish red hue always catches my eye for a second look.

I'm not a fan of the glass-filled Ruby, where the natural fissures are filled with glass to make the appearance more clear.  Those should always be disclosed to the customer, so buyer beware!

Rubies are the hardest colored gem.  They are in the Corundum family, as is Sapphire and their hardness is second only to the diamond!  However, a heavily included stone will chip or crack if it is hit hard enough in the wrong spot.  Corundum material that is red is called Ruby, and all the other colors are called Sapphire.  There is some debate on how pinky-red a stone can be to be called Ruby rather than Pink Sapphire.  I've also seen bright orange material labeled Red Sapphire, so there is some personal opinion on what is a true Ruby.

Birthstone gem charts are a great way for dividing up the colored gems into easy to pick categories and may have been "invented" by a jeweler to sell more colored gems, I don't know?!  But it sure does make great gifts.  It shows that the gift was selected specifically for someone and that makes them feel special.  I love that I can offer birthstone gems at the same or less price as fake gems.  Sometimes, the lab gems are more expensive!  Which brings me to the next point.

Blue Topaz Heart Ring by York Avenue Studio

I started my shop on Etsy because I love gemstones and I wanted to see my gems and wear my gems, not keep them in baggies or containers.  The gems I use are real and gorgeous.  The settings are selected to show off the gem and are somewhat simple and that makes the jewelry affordable.  I'd rather have a genuine Blue Topaz Heart that is a nice size and keep the setting simple without borders of tiny diamonds, but that's just me.  I also think about the real-life wearability and whether the ring would get caught up in a sweater or be impossible to clean if I forgot to take it off and made meatloaf!

Tiny Kitty Cat on Magic Wand with Genuine Tanzanite by York Avenue Studio

I designed my Signature Series in Silver so I could show off the gemstones in a pure silver setting that I had complete control over.  Little pond creatures (turtles, snails and dragonflies) and my new favorite Tiny Kittys, I love making these designs for the gems.  I use metal clay, which feels just like clay and create the designs from drawings and my sketches.  Once torched, the clay burns out leaving pure silver and is shiny and gorgeous.  The clay allows for endless creativity for shape, size, texture, words and gemstone settings.

Thanks again for joining me in this Giveaway and sharing your gemstone comments.  The contest may be over, but I would love to hear more comments on your favorite gemstones or how you select which gems to buy.
P.S.  Here are some replies to comments left on gemstones, wish I could reply to all of them, as each one gave me an idea:

Ardy22, you said your favorite color gem was deep green and the cut is important.  I instantly pictured Chrome Diopside when I read that.  Such a clear, colorful, rich green gem.  I'd love to add some to my collection, too!

Aubrey, you said you love anything with great sparkle.  I am just like that, too.  My eye goes right to anything that sparkles.  One day, I saw a glint on the floor of a hotel room, it was a loose diamond!  I turned it into the frontdesk in hopes the owner would come back.

Belinda, you said Aquamarine is not easy to find in a style or setting that appeals to you.  I know what you mean.  That's a challenging stone with the pale blue color, everything seems to distract or overpower it, yet simple settings just don't say WOW enough for me.  Now you got me thinking.....

Betty C, you choose Sapphires and that made me think about the stunning Red Sapphire, which was bright orange, that I recently used in a ring.  I couldn't stop looking at the color and Sapphires have so many colors!

Cody, you choose Sphene.  Not a well known gem, but amazing, like you said!  The dispersion (fire) is higher than diamond, but the material is very weak and super difficult to work with, sensitive to heat, not an easy gem to make into wearable jewelry.  Gorgeous and very collectible!

hbbs55, your story of Fire Opals reminds me of a ring I designed with bright orange Fire Opals as accents to the main stone, a White Opal.  The colors played so nice together!

Janie, you said you look for the uniqueness of a gem.  I also love discovering gemstones that look different and have special features, like colored lines, geometric patterns or colors that are unusual.  It's amazing what Nature makes!  Charoite, for example, is bright purple with shimmers that look like man made eyeshadow, but it's natural, amazing!

Kathy D, your story of your mom's ring was great!

Peg42, your post was so sweet!  I feel the same way about my kids' birthstones, very sentimental about their gemstone because it represents them and that makes the gems special!

Willowtree, you said the design is the main attracting feature and I agree that the setting design can either make it or break it for me.  That's probably why you are such a great jewelry designer!  A great setting for a great gem is irresistible!

1 comment:

  1. Wow you write long posts Kathy!! couldn't find the bottom. Lovely blog, and so interesting re the stones. Do you make the marcasite settings as well, and if so how??