Sunday, November 15, 2009
Glad that is Over
The weekend is finally over and so is the craft show and the gem and mineral show that we were getting ready for. Now to get my prizes mailed out from the November giveaway and get organized for our Thanksgiving cruise. It will be a much needed week away from the rain. On the plus side, I did get some shopping for gemstones done this week. One of the vendors, Bend Bead, that has been coming to the show for several years has expanded their gemstone offerings to some wonderful quality stones. I did get some basic briolettes such as those pictures, quartz crystal, moonstone, chalcedony, rose quartz and pink amethyst as well as Oregon Sunstones and Holly Blue. I just couldn't resist even though I should have. Both the Sunstones and Holly Blue are from Oregon. I did create a pair of earrings last night out of the Holly Blue with Pink Amethyst, Moonstone, Blue Topaz and Purple Amethyst. They're fun and I even had a lady at the show comment on them and wants a pair for herself. So a new order already. This pair I'll probably list out on my 1000 Markets site for sale. If you don't know about Holly Blue here is a little bit more about this wonderful agate. If you want to check out Bend Beads site here is their web address: http://www.bendbead.com.
What is Holly Blue Agate (Chalcedony)?
Holly Blue Chalcedony is one of the most favored materials from the Northwest of today's jewelers outside of the Ellensburg Blue Chalcedony. Holly Blue was found in the hills around Sweet Home, Oregon till a major timber company bought all the surrounding land where this material was found and made it private property with NO TRESPASSING of any kind for what ever reason. This hurt the rock hound community as this was a material with such vibrant colors that ranged for a light blue to an almost lavender in color. Holly could fetch from $5.00 per pound to $35.00 a pound back in the days when the material was still being dug. Today, it's going from $35.00 per pound and upwards of $400.00 and $500.00 per pound for the choicer grade of this excellent material. As for the cut stones, either faceted or cabed, the stones are sold by the carat and fetch an excellent price for the hobbyist or the professional jeweler. It was not uncommon to attend a gem show at a local west coast city and find pounds of this material on dealers tables for just a couple of bucks. Now days the material is rarely seen in the average gem shows in the rough for sale and if you find any, it has been cut into cabs that have grown very expensive.
The material is of a quartz makeup and is a very hard material and being of the quartz family it takes a mirror polish and the higher domes of the cabs bring the most money. The material is almost always fractured as for the ground movement when this material was being formed. It is the custom that when you got the rough with the outer rhyolite that it was to be tumbled to get the outer crust off and then you were able to see the fracture lines and brake the larger chunks down to smaller ones that would then be free of the fractures. Sometimes the old timers would then go ahead and tumble the pieces to a mirror polish as then the most discrete of cutters could see what they were buying. This was always the case and with some dealers is still being practiced today.
I hope everyone had a fun if not relaxing weekend. I'll catch you later.