Why dye gemstones?

 

Why do you dye your hair? Maybe you dye it to enhance your natural hair color. Maybe you dye it a completely different color for excitement or to be fashionable. And then, like me, you might dye your hair to look a few years younger (ie. cover the gray).

Gemstones are frequently dyed, too. Sometimes they are dyed to enhance their natural colors. Sometimes they are dyed to look like another gemstone.

Sometimes they are dyed to give them a very different color for fashion purposes.

Picasso jasper necklace

These Picasso Jasper gemstones were dyed a brilliant turquoise to make a fashion statement.

When buying loose gemstones to make into jewelry, be sure to look for the information indicating that the gem is natural, treated, stabilized, or dyed. These enhancements are not necessarily bad, they simply improve the appearance or stability of the stones. The gemstones are still genuine gemstones, but they are not natural. It’s important to remember that the treatment might have improved their appearance but it does not turn them into a higher quality or more valuable gem.

How are gemstones dyed? The Gemological Institute of America explains it best in their article: An Introduction to Gem Treatment.

Be aware that lab created gemstones should be labeled as simulated or synthetic. They are not genuine gemstones in the same way that a wig is not your real hair.

 

 

 

 

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Is it Lapis or Lapiz?

 

 

Lapis lazuli is one of my favorite gemstones. I love blue and a high quality lapis lazuli will contain gorgeous shades of deep, rich blues. As in the photo above, the lapis gemstones are often flecked with calcite, sodalite, and pyrite.

High quality lapis can be pricey. If you are shopping for stones or beads, you’ll usually find a wide selection of A- to D grade lapis lazuli stones at reasonable prices online from Fire Mountain Gems or ArtBeads or, if you have a business license, you could also search for wholesale vendors.

For the best quality, look for the A (or AA, AAA) graded gemstones. They will be the most expensive but upon close examination, you’ll understand why.

What’s the real difference between an A grade and a D grade? Remember back to elementary school and you’ll get the picture. Or read more about it here. 

I prefer to shop for my lapis lazuli gemstones in person as much as possible. Attending gems and bead shows or visiting rock shops is a must if you want to see, touch, and ask specific questions about the quality of the stones you are about to buy. Although when I shop in person, I invariably fall in love with the most expensive gemstones on the table.

Maybe next time I should take cash and leave my credit card at home.

As for the metaphysical properties of lapis lazuli, it’s energy is believed to enhance intuitive perception and psychic abilities. It opens the Third Eye chakra (Brow chakra). Lapis is also balances the Throat chakra, so wearing it as a necklace can help with truthfulness and communication. Learn more about chakras here.

 

 

Behind the Scenes: In Jularee’s Studio

Minimalist designs are usually small with clean lines. An example is this lime green peridot bar necklace that I made today.

It’s not complicated to make but if you don’t have much experience with the wrapping it will take a bit of practice to get the wraps just right.

 

Here it is from start to finish.

Chips on wire

Peridot chips on the wire bar

 

Chain added to the bar

Chain added to the bar

 

clasp and ending

Lobster clasp and finale.

 

Peridot chip bar necklace

Completed peridot gemstone necklace.

 

A minimalist style with a pop of a summery lime green, this necklace will look great with a summer tee or sundress.

Peridot soothes the emotions, activates the Heart Chakra, and projects joyful energy. It is the birthstone for August and Leo.

 

Do you think this would make a nice Mother’s Day gift?

What changes would you make?

Available at Jularee Handcrafted Jewelry on Etsy.

Free shipping on $100 or more until May 1, 2014.

Coupon code FORMOM.