What do you get when you put ruby and fuchsite together? A striking green stone with reddish pink spots--Ruby in Fuchsite! It’s actually two stones in one. The green fuchsite is a type of mica that is colored by the element chromium and when the conditions are right, red corundum crystals (ruby) are naturally incorporated into the fuchsite stone. Although the inclusions are indeed ruby, they aren’t of the transparent gem quality of fine precious ruby, but rather they are opaque inclusions.
It’s always fun to introduce a new Mine Finds gemstone from Jay. In our May show he will present a couple of necklaces that showcase Diopside. Many of you may be familiar with the stunning emerald green of Chrome Diopside we’ve had in the past, which is just one of several types of Diopside. This time jay is going to present a dark green and a light blue diopside. In his travels, Jay found them in Madagascar and South Africa, respectively.
Welcome back! We thought we’d take the opportunity to write about jade because Jay will be presenting some new designs using this material, specifically Nephrite Jade, in our upcoming shows. But first, a little clarification is necessary when discussing Jade.
We apply the word “Jade” pretty loosely, like when we’re referring to a green stone from China that’s been carved into a figurine. But actually, there isn’t just one type of Jade, but two - Jadeite and Nephrite, each with their own distinct composition. However, in physical appearance, they look very much the same. It takes an expert to be able to see the difference, or a gem laboratory that can perform tests. It’s important to know that Jade can look very similar to chrysoprase, serpentine, aventurine, in addition to a few other stones.
Although in some areas it may not feel like Spring has sprung, but the calendar says it has, so we wanted to reintroduce our old friend phosphosiderite-a perfect fit for the new season. You’ll usually see it in a variety of soft purple and pink hues such as lavender and rose-pink but it can be found in other less common colors like dark blue and moss green. Jay likes the pink and purple tones, and you’ll notice this when he presents his phosphosiderite designs. Although this stone is mined worldwide, Jay’s current stash is from Chile.
Tyrone turquoise is mined outside of Silver City in the southwest area of New Mexico. As with many turquoise mines, its original purpose was for copper mining.Turquoise is considered a secondary mineral of a copper mine. Because the money and scale of operation is for the copper, these companies see turquoise as a waste product and it ends up in the tailings. Rarely, some copper companies will allow people to pick turquoise out of these rock “refuse” piles. In the early 1980s, when the Tyrone mine owner, Phelps Dodge, employed a new extraction method of crushing and acid wash, this process destroyed any turquoise within the copper ore. Because of this, Tyrone turquoise has not been mined since then.