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Gemstone Information

Many of the gemstones I use in my wire creations are gemstones noted in the Bible.  I like to use these stones because they remind me of His presence in my life.  Gemstones are used in the Bible frequently to describe beauty, strength and God's kingdom.  Following is a list of gemstones noted in the bible, either in reference to heaven (as described in the book of Revelations) or listed as being part of the Ark of the Covenant and the Priests Breastplate in the Old Testament.

Carnelian          Diamond          Amethyst     Topaz or Peridot
                    Chrysolite          Moonstone      Beryl          Chrysoprase or Citrine
Chalcedony          Pearl               Onyx          Jacinth or Amber
Turquoise          Agate               Jasper          Sapphire or Lapis
Ruby               Malachite          Quartz          Emerald or Garnet

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From time to time, I will add information about the various gemstones and metals I use in my jewelry on this page.  As it will take me some time, please come back and visit often.

Victoria Stone
This information compiled on the Victoria Stone is reprinted here with the express permission of it's original authors - Rick and Kristi Stutt- incredibly excellent lapidary artists and wonderful people!  

In the mid to late 1960's an aged Japanese scientist, Dr. S. Iimori (retired from the Institute of Physical & Chemical Research in Tokyo) devoted himself to the creation of gemstones. Although he worked on several types (Meta Jade, Maple Stone, Halo Stone, Meta Amethyst), Victoria Stone was his piece de resistance and a crowning worldwide commercial success.

Victoria Stone was made of natural raw minerals (quartz, feldspar, magnesite, calcite, fluospar, etc). Those minerals were fused together by heating them to intensely high temperatures to form a molten magma (he actually melted the rocks!); they were 'mineralized' to a new mineral by adding special crystallizers and crystal habit regulators to the molten rock. This magma was then poured into boules and placed under 2000 pounds of pressure; the cooling process was in an extremely controlled environment (taking months to cool); during this time the phenomenal chatoyant crystals were formed.

Victoria stone is not considered a synthetic or simulated gemstone. While being mineralogically similar to nephrite jade, the arrangement of the actinolite crystals is not the same. The stone has a Moh's hardness of 5.5 to 6.0; a specific gravity of 3.02; and a refractive index of 1.62.

Production of Victoria Stone ceased sometime in the 1980's, upon or around the time of Dr. Iimori's death. As far as anyone knows or can find out, Dr. Iimori was the only person to ever knew the formula, and it was lost with his passing. Others have spent thousands of dollars and tried in vain to reproduce this spellbinding legendary gemstone. Alas, all that is left to the world is what was purchased and produced 20-35 years ago (that was decompressed properly).  The end result? In your possession will be a portion of lapidary history and legend; an investment with the potential to become priceless--a truly peerless, one-of-it's-kind, awe-inspiring gemstone rarity.

You can see my current Victoria Stone pendants on my Wire Sculpted Pendants Pages.

No part of this description on Victoria Stone may be copied or reproduced (on the Internet or otherwise) without express written permission from the authors.

Agate
Agate is a form of chalcedony that occurs in masses of rocks such as volcanic lavas.  Agate comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns.  Agate was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament, and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations.  Therefore, I use many forms of Agate in my creations and I consider it in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.

Amber
Amber is the fossilized resin of trees.  Most amber is golden yellow to golden orange, but green, red, violet and black amber has been found.  Amber sometimes contains insects (and more rarely frogs, toads and lizards), moss, lichen, or pine needles that were trapped millions of years ago while the resin was still sticky.
 
Amethyst
Crystalline quartz in shades of purple, lilac or mauve is called amethyst.  It is mostly found is faceted cuts, where the coloring is most intense.  Some amethyst is heat-treated to change the color to yellow, producing ametrine.  Crystals that are part citrine and part amethyst is called ametrine. Amethyst was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament, and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations.  Therefore, I consider it to be in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.
 
Ametrine
Ametrine is a bi-colored gemstone - being both yellow and purple.  Ametrine is actually heat-treated amethyst.  The heat treatment causes the purple of the amethyst to turn yellow, thereby causing the two-colored look.
 
Ammonite
Ammonites are fossils, which come from an extinct form of molloscs millions of years ago.  Ammonites flourished in the ancient oceans, near the continents, at all water depths. They were carnivorous, probably very agile, and intelligent, like their modern relative the Nautilus. The smallest ammonite species were less than an inch in size; the larger, coiled species reached more than 9 feet (3 m) across.
The small ammonite fossil shells are fabulous for jewelry creations.

Ammolite
Ammolites are Ammonites (see above) that Mother Nature has transformed into a rare gem layer - which receives the name Ammolite.  Ammolite is the last precious gem to be discovered this century, in 1981.  Ammolite was granted official gemstone status in 1981 by the International Commission of Colored Gemstones.  The Korite Ammolite mine, located in Alberta, Canada, just north of the Montana border, is the only commercial Ammolite mine in the world.  According to experts, the supply of Ammolite could be exhausted within the next 15-20 years.  Ammolite is even more rare than Tanzanite, having increased 250%  in value over the past decade. Ammolites display an incredible brilliance of colors, which add to the beauty and desirability of the gem.

Argentium Sterling Silver
Argentium Sterling Silver is a new type of sterling silver that is highly tarnish resistant.  It is not readily available yet in most products but DeVer Originals will begin to use this product almost exclusively in place of sterling silver.  The benefits of argentium sterling silver are numerous.  Argentium is manufactured with a lower level of copper alloy, and replaced with a germanium alloy.  Copper is what causes tarnish to begin with - so decreasing the amount of copper in silver decreases the possibility of tarnish.  Argentium silver is made to a higher standard than traditional sterling silver and is guaranteed to be not less than 92.5% pure.  Argentium sterling also hardens to a greater degree than traditional sterling, providing an added benefit with your treasured jewelry creations.  If and when your Argentium Sterling treasure DOES tarnish - it can be cleaned using normal methods for traditional sterling.
 
Astrophylite
A rare titanium mineral found in Russia.  It is characterized by luster that can be nearly metallic in needles on a whitish background. Its name translated means “star sheets” and probably is in allusion to the intergrown star-like aggregates that it can form. The needles are usually golden brown in color, but can also occur in greenish brown.

Azurite
Azurite is an azure blue copper mineral, often found intergrown with malachite.

Bloodstone
Bloodstone (also called heliotrope) is opaque, green, spotted variety of chalcedony.   The dark green of bloodstone is spotted with red because of the presence of iron oxides.  These distinctive spots seem to resemble blood, giving the stone its name.  Bloodstone is often said to represent the blood of Christ.

Calcite
Calcite is a common but beautiful stone found worldwide.  It often has a milky white or creamy ivory appearance.  Another form of calcite used by DeVer Originals (when I can find it), is the rarer Honeycomb Calcite, which is named for its likeness to a honey comb. It has a yellow translucence with streaks of white going through it.  The honeycomb Calcite is found in Utah.
 

Carnelian
Also called corneliam, this is a translucent, reddish orange variety of chalcedony.  It comes in a variety of shades of red, due to the presence of iron oxides.  Stones may be uniformly colored or faintly banded.  Carnelian was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament, and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations.  Therefore, I consider it to be in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.
 

Chalcedony
This is a general name given to many different varieties of quartz such as agate, bloodstone, carnelian, chrysoprase, jasper, and onyx.
 

Charoite
Charoite is a rare gemstone found only by the Chary River in Russia, hence its name. It forms beautiful swirls in the full palette of mauves, lavenders and purples.  It is interesting to note this stone was only discovered in 1978, therefore it is a very new stone in the gemstone world.
 
Citrine
Citrine is the yellow or golden variety of quartz.  The yellow coloration, due to the presence of iron, is also responsible for the name, derived from the word citrus.  Natural citrine is usually a pale yellow, but rare; most citrine on the market is heat-treated amethyst.  Citrine was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament, and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations.  Therefore, I consider it to be in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.
 
Chrysocolla
Chrysocolla usually occurs as a bright green or bluish stone.  It is commonly found naturally bonded with other stones such as malachite, turquoise, copper ore and azurite.

 
Dichroic Glass
Dichroic is defined as the property of having more than one color, especially when viewed at different angles.  Dichroic glass is a high-tech spin off of the space industry.  Thin layers of metallic oxides, such as titanium, silicon, and magnesium are deposited upon the surface of the glass at high temperatures.  Dichroic coatings transmit certain waves lengths of light, while reflecting others-thus creating an interference effect similar to the iridescence observed in nature's fire opal, dragonfly wings, and hummingbird feathers.  

 
Drusy
Sometimes tiny quartz crystals form within or on top of an stone when water carrying silica is forced into the stone's bed.  The word "druzy" refers to this fine layer of miniature crystals filling a cavity or coating a matrix.  Many people think of drusy in relation to geodes - but they also form on agates and other stones like brazilian shadow agates, chyrsocolla, ocean jasper, botswana agate, amethyst and rhodochrosite - among many others.  

Emerald
Emerald is a green variety of beryl and derives its color from the presence of chromium and vanadium.  Emeralds are rarely flawless, so stones are often oiled to fill and disguise cracks, hide flaws and enhance color.  Because of this and its high price in its natural form - emerald is a common synthetic stone.  Emerald was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament, and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations.  Therefore, I consider it to be in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.

Flourite
Flourite has limited use as a gemstone because it is relatively soft and therefore easily scratched.  However, the wide range of colors (including yellow, blue, pink, purple, and green),  and the frequent incidence of more than one color in a single stone make it an interesting stone.

Gold Filled (14k)
Gold filled metal and wire is made from solid gold and filled with other alloys. Gold filled jewelry wears like solid gold because the outer surface is solid gold. The process of making gold filled jewelry is quite different from gold plated - there is 100 times more gold in a 14K gold filled piece than in the same piece gold plated.  14K gold filled wire, also referred to as rolled gold or 14/20, is created by permanently bonding a sheet of 14K gold to a core of semiprecious metal, usually brass, carefully controlling extreme heat and pressure for a precise length of time.  Laws regulate a substantial layer of gold surrounding the inner alloy. Gold filled items are strong, durable and resistant to tarnish. The gold will not wear off as in plated jewelry. It is nearly impossible to tell a gold filled piece from the same piece in solid gold. With reasonable care it will last a lifetime.
 
Jasper
Jasper is a fine-grained, opaque variety of chalcedony.  It occurs in many different colors and variations.  Jasper was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament, and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations.  Therefore, I use many forms of Jasper in my creations and I consider it in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.

Kyanite
Gem-quality kyanite crystals are pale to deep blue or white, gray, or green.  It is found in metamorphic rocks.
 
Labradorite
Labradorite is a feldspar which displays a particular type of iridescence on dark background.  The background color is a dark smoke gray, but when light strikes it in a particular direction, it displays striking rainbow-colored reflections known as labradorescence.  The name labradorite is derived from its main source: Labrador, in Canada.  

Lapis Lazuli
Lapis Lazuli is a blue stone made up of several different minerals, including lazurite, sodalite, calcite and pyrite.  The color and composition of lapis varies, but the intense blue with minor patches of white calcite and yellow pyrite are considered to be of best quality.  Good lapis is very difficult to find, and extremely expensive.  It is found in Afghanistan, Argentina, Chile, Russia and the US.  Lapis was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament, and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations.  Therefore, I use Lapis in my creations and I consider it in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.
 
Larimar
Larimar, sometimes referred to as the Jewel of the Carribean,  is another recently discovered stone, found only in the Dominican Republic.  The name Larimar was given to the stone by the discoverer, who combined his daughters names, Larissa and Mar, to come up with the name.  Larimar is the Spanish word for "sea".  Characteristic of this stone is the intense carribean ocean blue coloring.
 
Matrix Opal
Matrix Opal is found in Koroit, Australia.  It is so named because genuine opal becomes enmeshed within boulders of ironstone - creating such patterns and mazes that it is impossible to separate the opal from the ironstone.  This combination of the opal and ironstone create amazing patterns and one of a kind stones - which results in the most uniquely treasured pieces of jewelry.
 
Ocean Jasper
This stone rocked (no pun intended) the gem world in 2000 when this stone was discovered along the northwest shoreline of Madagascar.  The unmistakable orbicular patterns of these stones are undeniably breathtaking.  In 2006, the mine was completely depleted and no other source of Ocean Jasper has been found since.  
 
Opal
The word opal comes from the Greek word "opallos", meaning, to see a change (of colors).Opal is a formation of non-crystalline silica gel, and it has a luminous, lustrous glow.  Opals command high prices because of their beauty and demand.  Australia is by far the largest producer of precious opal in the world, but opal is also mined in other countries, like the USA.  Colour, the most valued property in opal, is present in a large variety of shades and tints. Precious opals (such as the white opal and black opal) are those which show the brilliant play of colours - red, orange, green or blue flashing as waves, flames or bands.  Less expensive, yet still highly prized opals are boulder, peruvian and pink opals.
 
Onyx
Onyx, simple - yet beautiful and loved by all.  Onyx is a form of chalcedony and is most commonly identified as pure black.  However, there are other forms of onyx such as sardonyx which display bands of color, typically black and white with some brown.  Onyx is found worldwide.  It was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament, and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations.  Therefore, I use Onyx in my creations and I consider it in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.

Palladium Sterling Silver
Palladium is a member of the platinum family and 30 times rarer than gold. It's whiter than platinum and does not tarnish. Palladium sterling is a very new alloy of 92.5% pure silver, 4.5% copper and 3% palladium. It's believed that palladium sterling will not tarnish but it's too new to know for sure. Palladium sterling is a little harder and stronger than traditional sterling and it shines more brilliantly, probably because of the finer, harder surface.

 
Pearl
Pearls are formed in shellfish - especially oysters and mussels - as a natural defense against an irritant such as a piece of grit.  I find it humorous that something caused by an irritant is a prized treasure by millions - a classic gemstone loved by all.  Natural pearls vary in color from white, or white with a hint of color, such as pink, brown or black - depending on the type of shellfish and the water.  Many freshwater pearls are dyed and it is not uncommon to find pearls in dozens of different hues.  Pearls are harvested worldwide.  Pearls are mentioned many times in the Old and New Testament.  Therefore, I use Onyx in my creations and I consider it in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.

Picasso Marble
This stone is found in Utah, with striking patterns of black, brown, white and gray colors. It gets its name from the abstract design it exhibits, creating feathery lines and scenic designs.
 
Pietersite
Pietersite is a beautiful brown stone that displays vibrant flashes of color and patterns.  It is considered "Africa's Opal" as it is primarily found in Nambia, Africa.  There is a mine in China but it has been rumored it is now shut down - which will greatly increase the price of this wonderful stone.

Platinum Sterling Silver
Platinum sterling is a very new alloy of 92.5% pure silver, 6.5% copper and 1% platinum. It's believed that platinum sterling will not tarnish but it's too new to know for sure. Platinum sterling is a little bit harder and stronger than palladium sterling and appears to shine still more brilliantly, probably because of the finer, harder surface.

Quartz
Quartz is a general name for many different forms of gemstones.  Quartz is one of the most common minerals found in the earth's crust.  Many recognizable forms of quartz are amethyst, citrine, rose quartz, rutilated quartz, sagenite, smoky quartz and tigers eye.  Quartz comes from the Greek word krustallos, meaning ice, because it was thought that quartz was ice formed by the gods.  Quartz was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament (most likely it was smoky quartz), and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations (which likely was citrine).  Therefore, I use many forms of Quartz in my creations and I consider it in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.

Rainbow Obsidian
Rainbow Obsidian refers to the black variety of the stone that shows lines and circles of various color in rainbow patterns. Obsidian is a volcanic glass formed by rapid cooling of lava.
Rhodonite
Rhodonite has a distinct pink or rose red color, although material containing black veins is more popular than uniform pink.  Rhodonite is found in many countries around the world, but is mostly found in Russia, Sweden and Australia.  The name comes from rhodos, the Greek word for"rose", referring to the distinct color.
 
Rhodochrosite
The pink color of rhodochrosite is caused by the element manganese and it is formed when maganese is dissolved by ground water and combines with a carbonate material and then drops off the ceiling of caves and crevices deep underground.  The name rhodochrosite means rose-colored. It is sometimes referred to as "Inca Rose".  It is found in Argentina, Peru and Montana.  Currently, this stone is becoming more difficult to find and therefore it is becoming a more expensive, sought after stone.

Ruby
Ruby, the name given to red, gem-quality corundum - is a highly desired gemstone for jewelry.  It is also the July birthstone.  Rubies may be any shade of red, from pinkish to purplish or brownish red, depending on the chromium and iron content of the stone.  Due to the high cost of these natural gemstones - it is much more common to see high-quality lab-created rubies - which are often indistinguishable from the real thing.  It was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament, and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations.  Therefore, I use lab-created ruby in my creations and I consider it in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.

Ruby Zoisite
The appearance of this stone is unmistakable with its green and magenta colors.  The primary coloring is typically green (which is the zoisite) and has isolated patches of ruby crystals - creating the magenta-like coloring.  The overall effect is very pleasing and there is nothing else quite like it in the mineral world.

 
Sapphire
All gem-quality corundum that is not red is called sapphire, yet this name is popularly associated with the color blue.  Variations in coloring depends on the iron and titanium content.  This is the birthstone of September.  Due to the high cost of these natural gemstones - it is much more common to see high-quality lab-created sapphires - which are often indistinguishable from the real thing.  It was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament, and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations.  Therefore, I use lab-created sapphire in my creations and I consider it in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.
 

Septarian Nodule
These interesting stones were formed about 100 million years ago when the Gulf of Mexico reached what is now Southern Utah. Tides and waves rolled small sea shells in sticky volcanic mud creating a sort of "snow ball" of goopy gray mud. Some time later, the seas receded and the balls were exposed to the hot sun and atmosphere and they dried, cracked and became hollow. Later, sea level rose, and mineral-rich water deposited the brown aragonite and the yellow calcite crystals in the cracks and cavities in the mud. Since the brown aragonite acts as a dividing wall (septum in Latin) between the gray mud and yellow calcite, the geodes are called "Septarians".

Serpentine
The name serpentine refers to a group of predominantly green minerals that occur in masses of tiny intergrown crystals.  There are often striations of color from many shades of green to milky whites and darker bands.  It is so names because of of its resemblance to the reticulations of a snakeskin.
 
Sterling Silver
Sterling silver is defined as 92.5% pure silver.  It is hardened with another metal alloy of no more than 7.5%, usually copper.  Sterling silver is also referred to as 925, which references the amount of pure silver in the piece.

Tiffany Stone
Tiffany Stones are sometimes known as bertrandite, ice cream opal, and 'Purple Passion', - no matter what you call it, it's incredibly gorgeous stuff! They are found in the Brush-Wellman beryllium mine in western Utah.   These rare opals gets their beautiful coloration from fluorite. Unfortunately for the jewelry world, most of them are ground up in the mining process - so, not only are they rare because of their one location, they're even more rare (and consequently expensive) because so few of them ever "escape". Latest news - the beryllium mine where it's found is no longer allowing it to be collected.  This is a stone that will become more rare and more expensive as time goes on.
 
Tigereye
Tiger eye is a member of the quartz group.  It is one of the chatoyant gemstones.  Chatoyancy exhibits a changeable silky luster as light is reflected within the thin parallel fibrous bands.  This effect is due to the fibrous structure of the material.  The wavy bands often resemble a scenic view.  Tiger Eye is mined in Western Australia, South Africa, USA, Canada, India, and Burma.
 
Topaz
Topaz occurs in igneous rocks, and is found in a variety of colors - yellow, blue, brown (commonly called "smoky"), pink and even colorless.  Many topaz gemstones are heat-treated to create other colors as well.  It was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament, and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations.  Therefore, I use Topaz in my creations and I consider it in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.
 
Turquoise
One of the first gemstones to be mined, turquoise has long been prized for its intense color, which varies from sky blue to green, depending on the quantities of iron and copper within it.  Turquoise is found worldwide.  It was one of the 12 stones in the priest's breastplate in the Old Testament, and is also one of the foundational stones mentioned in Revelations.  Therefore, I use Turquoise in my creations and I consider it in my line of Tabernacle Jewelry.