If you’ve never seen the high grade gem sugilite, here’s your chance. I did a quick search to look for more examples but struggled to find kmany, what I did find was worrying – a lot of fake sugilite, both in polished and rough form, so beware when purchasing. Here’s our lovely piece.
Ok rubies are red, but this ruby from Macedonia has a gorgeous pink tone to it, very special!
Say lapis lazuli and you wouldn’t be alone thinking of a royal blue colour perhaps with golden flecks, you don’t really recall the patches of white calcite but they’re there, most prized are the uniform rich blue colours with minimal calcite and pyrite.
Most of the Lazpis Lazuli available today is from Afghanistan, there’s a series of mines, mostly known by number ie. mine 1, mine 2, mine3
Although fairly rare you do find lapis lazuli crystals
However the range of colours from these mines can vary, (along with the price).
Often you see rough stone for sale that’s wet to give an indication of how the colour will appear with a polish, however if you’re choosing lapis the local miners blow on the stone to see how the moisture in their breath appears on the stone(inside tip!)
This is a rarer form of axinite which is rich in manganese from Merelani Hills, Arusha, Tanzania. The nearby location of the more infamous trademark named mostly treated stone. This axinite has been nicknamed by the industry as ‘tinzanite’
We’ve only one piece but thought it was worth showing you this interesting variety.
Tourmaline is pretty amazing, all colours of the rainbow, many names, a common triangular like formation, but say ‘tourmaline’ and most think of black sticks!
A lot of tourmaline has hidden colours, zoning and and bi colour areas, previously we showed a few from Staknala but these Himalayan crystals have some hidden blue green zoned colours.
Loving this smokey quartz polish point, not only is it great quality crystal it also has phantom and various other inclusions as well as some hematite, the more you study it the more you see and feel. The rough smokey quartz gets hand selected from Madagascar then cut and hand polished by skilled craftsmen.
Have put it away in stock so I don’t get too tempted!
Did you see this stunning geometric dodecahedron carved from clear quartz, on closer examination it has a rainbow inclusion in the shape of a triangle, so potential an imprint of part of a crystal point.
Good picture taking is essential, however they need to be realistic, you don’t want to receive a mineral for it not to look like the image we show. We don’t have a professional photographer or even an amateur one, but we’ve tried to learn techniques that work. Ok so we did buy a big camera lots of lights and a light tent, not sure where they are now!
However we did go back to basics and use a ‘small’ camera that had a custom white balance, white and black backgrounds, painted white wall for larger items and some daylight bulbs. We do experiment, using clear perspex or glass to remove a base etc.
Labradorite has beautiful colours and patterns however the colours only show with light reflecting at certain angles, sometimes different colours with different light angles. So lots of twisting turning and head scratching can be involved, however these papillion certainly don’t disappoint but frustrate a little!