Saturday, June 2, 2012
I prefer working with 18K yellow gold as it has a richer gold color than 14K and is what I consider a good medium material as it is 75% gold compared to 14k being only about 58%. 14K is stiff and difficult to work by hand thus it is usually a caster's material. My work is hand made and not cast thus I need a more malleable metal. The Thai goldsmiths complain that 18K is stiff to work with and they prefer 22K thus 18K seems to be the middle ground and it is accepted world wide while neither 14K or 22K is accepted world wide.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
I now have an online catalog for folks to use to select a style on their custom made jewelry order. Take a look : http://s710.photobucket.com/albums/ww104/leesgems/Catalog%20of%20Selections%20for%20Custom%20Jewelry/
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
When shopping for a Sapphire of fine quality in a market place there will be many factors to consider but this will only touch on a couple of the factors as complete information could fill a few books.
Usually a fine quality stone will have little or no inclusions visible even when you look with 10x loupe. The first concern when there are no inclusions visible is that it may be a synthetically made Sapphire rather than a Sapphire mined from the ground. Synthetic gems are usually valued much lower than naturals. That is why it is often comforting to find a tiny natural inclusion that we recognize or some color banding that has a 120 degree corner. This type of banding is only seen in a natural Sapphire so if we are sure that there is color banding with this type of corner then we know we are looking at a natural Sapphire, however, look at the picture above.
In this stone we can clearly see the color banding with the 120 degree corner. Many times this banding will be much lighter and harder to see but I selected this stone so that it can be seen in a photograph. Even though we now know we are looking at a natural Sapphire, we must check the girdle of the stone for a seam. This will require at least 10x magnification. On this particular stone there is a seam barely visible under 10x as this stone is an assembled stone, also known as a doublet. The crown is natural Sapphire and the pavilion is a synthetic Sapphire and they were glued together as rough then faceted so that the seam is hidden on the girdle. This type of stone is designed to fool the gem buyer. Often the crown has lighter banding than this as they want us to believe that we are holding a very fine quality natural Sapphire so we will pay them far too much for their assembled product. I would advise to make a close inspection of the girdle of every Sapphire before buying it, even from a trusted local jeweler as this product has made its way into many fine shops without being detected by the gem buyer of the store. Best regards, Lee
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Well, it has been a long time since I posted here, life has been very busy with travel, jewelry making and just enjoying the children as they grow.
I have been focused on improving the grade and complexity of my jewelry. Many varieties and colors of small accent stones really add a lot of flavor to my work. Bead setting, channel setting, prong setting and flush setting the small stones is enjoyable work and gives the large stone additional color contrast or a color companion. I now have over 150 designs that I am working from and each of those has variations as well so my selection is really starting to bloom.
I am immersed in creating new designs, more post to come! All the best, Lee