As a teenager I developed an interest in gemstones when my parents took me to Lost River Caverns in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. This cave is very interesting and so are the people who own it. Absolute rock hounds! AND I didn’t need to travel to the great Southwest to find them. Bob Gilman Sr.; the second generation owner; traveled to Mexico and back and brought with him beautiful specimens of crystals, geodes, and agates. He regaled me with stories about his exploits in Mexico. I started to make jewelry with rhodium plated findings by using epoxy and tumbled stones. The colors and patterns fascinated me. I was able to get every thing I needed to make bracelets, earrings, and pendants. Rings were the realm of a jeweler because of setting and sizing. I had boxes and display cards and in the early 60’s I didn’t do too bad for a kid who stayed up late on school nights.
learning names of stones
The first thing that attracts someone to a stone is color and patterns in the stone. If the stone has a size similar to a US 50 cent piece you can really appreciate the beauty. Pendant size. Wear it around your neck. Azurite (blue), Malachite (green), Rhodochrosite (pink), Chrysocolla (blue), Jade (different colors), Lapis Lazuli (blue to purple blue), Larimar (light blue), Chrysoprase (medium green), Agate (different colors and designs), Jasper (great colors and designs), Turquoise (blue with different colors), and Variscite (yellow brown and blueish colors with designs.) I’m certain there are more variations that will inspire you as a collector or jewelry designer. These stones peaked my curiosity and started my interest in gems. AND they are not expensive compared to facet grade gemstones. They will make great fashion accessories.
develop an interest
The last decade has been quite adverse for the stone and jewelry business because of political conflict that led to war and the high price of gold. Many artisans are now working in silver because of its affordability. Silver has and always has been a beautiful metal to work with. You buy a jewelers cloth and clean your silver occasionally. You will enjoy your collection and get good comments from your friends. You didn’t buy these stones as an investment. You bought them because you liked them and because they come from mother earth. They are not man made. Cabochons and tumbled stones started me on a long journey and love affair with gemstones and hopefully you will start.
I will now go look for suitable cabochons that I recommend. Page 2 of this post will be my review on what is out there on the net and for sale. There have been many new finds over the years with exciting colors and designs that will temp you to create. Have fun. Robert.