Semi Precious Stones For Beginners



Semi precious stones add great value to your work.  People love to hear that the stones in your handmade jewelry are real.  Immediately the perceived value goes up!


BUT:  you might say, hey!  I don't know anything about them.  How do I know what to buy?


Choose stones and beads that have great markings, good color and clarity, texture and eye appeal.  People love impression jasper (and there are many kinds) because of amazing bits in them that remind of stained glass, as well as lovely blended color created by dyeing.  The fact that a stone is heat-treated or dyed doesn't mean the stone is not legit. 


What it probably means is, it's got a great vibe.  The long strand of stones in the middle toward the bottom of the photo above, are aqua terra jasper---a type of impression jasper.  These are especially fun to work with as they are cross drilled at the top, making them perfect for earrings, or small wire-wrapped pendants.


Usually this shape and type of stone comes in a long strand 15-16 inches at least.  There are MANY stones on the strand, so even though you might pay 30-40.00 for the strand you are getting lots of beads, tons of fun, and cha-ching---if you are making to sell, you will make back many times what you paid for them if you make those pendants or, especially earrings.  Look for two pieces similar and wrap the tops, briolette style.  All you need to do then is put them on earwires!  Easy.



Stones you see in the photo above (lifted from a very recent video) are:  milky-white moonstone, turquoise-dyed howlite, aqua terra jasper, rare grey keshi pearls, amazonite chips, quartz, imitation pink rhodochrosite (dyed quartz), faceted amazonite beads and far, far left, leopardskin jasper.  In my hand is a lovely hunk of labradorite with crazy-good chatoyancy (flash, fire, glow) and it's perfect for wire-wrapping.


The Jaspers and Howlites are generally quite inexpensive.  Amazonite and the imitation (simulated) rhodochrosite cost a bit more.  Labradorite and moonstone cost the most of all the beads in the photo, but these are not super-expensive.  The more chatoyancy (glow) those feldspar-family stones have, the more they cost....along with clarity of color and lack of inclusions (those little dark bits that you see occuring in the beads along the strand of moonstones are inclusions).  The grey cornflake keshi are freshwater pearls and rare, on the expensive side.


I like inclusions; I think they give character to a piece.  In some rare cases, they give value.  For example, if you ever find a piece of amber that's natural amber and has a bug in've found a treasure.  It's a fossil, a remembrance of a day gone by centuries ago---perhaps, millenia--when the bug found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time---embedded in resin as it oozed out of a tree.  Over time, the resin aged and petrified, and became amber.


You'll find a great deal of variation in the way stones are formed, too.  In the photo below, all the 40x30mm cab stones are leopard skin jasper.  But no two are alike, and vary in color from mustard yellow to deep rust to dramatic brown and black markings.


We've carried semi precious stones on and off at B'sue Boutiques for a long time.  Recently I've taken a deeper interest in them and decided to expand the selection at our website.  I do have some basic knowledge, but there is so much more to learn....and there always will be.


Whatever I learn, I'll share with my friends, customers and those who enjoy our YouTube videos on the bsueboutiques channel.


There's a new video today about this very subject!  I hope you'll get a chance to see it--because here in my blog, I've only skimmed the surface of the video discussion. 


Just click on the video, below!



And if you don't mind, how about subscribing to the bsueboutiques channel at YouTube? 


That way you won't miss the next parts of this series about gemstones and how to use them in your design work.  Take the journey with me!  We're gonna have a great time!





August 26, 2023

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