Lapidaries

I have a few favorite lapidaries, but I’m always on the lookout for new ones. I do tend to go for precision cut stones over non-precision cut stones, but so long as a gem is cut well, and sparkly, that’s the most important part. But, if all else is equal, I’ll chose a perfectly cut stone over a non-perfectly stone. Which is where those lapidaries who slave over their laps come in!

For a little bit about some lapidaries I have had experience with….

Barry Bridgestock of Artistic Colored Stones
Barry is fantastic. Barry watches a lot of baseball while he’s cutting stones. He is one of the most personable cutters I have had the pleasure of working with, and an amazing lapidary on top of that. I would tell you to run, don’t walk over to ACS to see what he has in stock – if he cut it, it’s sure to be beautiful. His website is a bit…old fashioned, but his cutting is worth it!
Artistic Colored Stones

Dan Stair of Custom Gemstones
Dan and Cindi are a great pair. Dan used to be a graphic designer, and his photographs are typically more on the artistic side. However, he recently started using videos on his site, and I cannot commend him enough for doing something that so few vendors do. Video is really the best way to see how a gemstone performs. I adore Dan’s step cuts, and he does not cut highly treated material.
Custom Gemstones

Gene Flanigan of Precision Gem
Gene is an engineer by trade, and can be a bit gruff at times. However, his cutting is wonderful, and some people absolutely flock to him and won’t purchase from anyone else. I think his cutting is top-notch and can absolutely see why people are drawn to his stones.
Precision Gem

John Burleyson of GemRite
John has recently been upping his game on the rough, and has been producing some larger rare stones. His cutting is wonderful, he posts videos for some of his stones and he is incredibly nice.
GemRite

Peter Torraca of Torraca Gemcutting
I love Peter. He’s exceptionally kind and posts great blogs himself, plus has an excellent Facebook presence. I loved watching his gradual heating of a red zircon, and always point people to his post about how to open gem boxes. Not to mention his skill at the lap, which is awesome!
Torraca Gemcutting

Gary Braun of Finewater Gems
I have nothing but good things to say about Gary. He’s an absolute doll to work with, and usually has some amazing and rare stones that he found on gem buying trips overseas but refuses to recut for fear of loss of face up size or the risk isn’t worth it. His cutting is absolutely wonderful and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy from him again.
Finewater Gems

Dana Reynolds of Master Cut Gems
I actually have not purchased directly from Dana, but the only reason is because he didn’t have what I wanted at the time, and I always seem to miss out on stuff when I see something I like on his site. He is incredibly knowledgeable, and pleasant to talk to.
Master Cut Gems

Jeff White of White’s Gems
I’ve bought only one stone directly from Jeff, but he is absolutely wonderful and a fantastic cutter. He will bend over backwards to get what you’re looking for, but if he custom cuts for you (and that’s a vast majority of his work) you will have to pay a non-refundable deposit.
White’s Gems

And because I do my best to put photos in every post, some samples of their work. Check out the crown height on this blue spinel from Barry!

Big Blue

A rubellite tourmaline from Gene.

1

Montana sapphire from Dan Stair and a Merelani Mint Garnet from Barry.

1

A asscher spinel from Peter

IMG_5528

Special shout out to Stephanie for the idea for this post!

This will be my last post of 2014! See you all in 2015!

Advertisements

Teal Tourmaline

I always struggle with the point to call something “teal” and I don’t know where that specific point is in the spectrum of blue-green that something is delineated from turquoise to teal. Turquoise, to me, has always been more blue than green, while teal has always been more green than blue. Don’t get me started on aqua and cerulean! Again, I have no idea where this transition occurs, but I feel like it changes depending on the person doing the judging. Regardless, I wanted to take a minute and write a bit about a blue-green tourmaline I have.

3

I wish the resolution of the picture previews was better.

5

Barry Bridgestock
Namibian – Usakos
Tourmaline
2.32 carats
8.5mm
round brilliant
Flawless at 10x
Medium blue green

6

This particular stone is interesting and has a shift between a blue-green and a minty green in certain lights. Of course, depending on the lighting, it can look much darker, or quite a bit lighter. I think it is particularly beautiful in natural daylight conditions.

16

Recently there has been a spike in blue-green tourmaline prices. From what I have heard, it’s partially becoming less plentiful, but also, all of the turmoil overseas has reduced mining both in the Middle East and in Africa. So rough prices for tourmaline in general are going up, and the blue-green prices had been going up already.

Unfortunately gem prices are going up across the board – for pretty much all varieties of stones.

I have another stone that is similar to this one in color that is in my private collection that I have been struggling to come up with particular design elements for. It is a little bit deeper in tone than this one, but the hue is very similar. I keep considering keeping this one over the other one because of the size difference, but the other is a more interesting shape and I think it fits more with the design I have come up with for it. That setting will not be possible for quite a while (I have to come to some decisions about it first!) but it’s a bit whimsical and out of the ordinary. I don’t want to talk about it too much because it’s so far into the future, but I will drop a few hints: yellow gold, Art Deco, New York City.