It was love for a gemstone set, an unusual gemstone.
Impulsively buying the lily pad patterned Azure Malachite Chrysocolla gemstones opened the door to one of this Santa Barbara Jeweler’s happiest designing projects.
A Joy Shared is a Joy Doubled
Part of the joy of this jewelry designing adventure was picturing exactly who I wanted to show these amazing gems to. My dear friend and client Charla, was as fascinated by them as I was. We’re both over the moon with her new earrings and ring.
The History of the Lily Pad Patterned Pretties
How I came to buy these gemstones involves accidental good timing and an interesting story.
Back in the eighties there was a mine called the Morenci Mine in Arizona. It was a sporadically mined copper mine.
It had opened in 1872 and closed in 1989. The costs of mining copper were higher than the yield could support.
An enterprising gemstone miner worked this mine in the seventies and found an amazing seam of this gorgeous Azure Malachite Chrysocolla. He enthusiastically mined what he could find.
He’d never seen that lily pad pattern before and decided to hoard the best pieces as his retirement plan.
A Miner’s Retirement and an Impulsive Trip to the Tucson Gem Show Cause Happiness
Fast forward to 2005 or so. The miner decided it was time to retire and my gem dealer was the man he called.
I gulped, I drooled, I bought.
In hearing the story of their discovery I also found out that when copper prices rose in 2006, the mine was reopened and is now an open pit mine, using heavy machinery.
Any other delicate beautiful gemstones will never be found.
Happily these were found before the heavy gouging began.
The Fun Part, Designing the Set
Charla chose a freeform bold design for her ring, simple yet gorgeous, to be made for the large undulating beauty.
We went for simple bezel set French clip back, (post and clip) for the earrings. It’s picture is at the end.
Such Beauty Deserves Lavish Attention
In honor of how wonderfully Charla’s amazing ring turned out, I went by my friend Madeleine Vite’s studio.
She owns Madphoto.com and does fabulous photography. I just had to show her the ring and have her capture its essence on film. So this awesome ring got the star treatment which I share with you now.