I've always collected stones, but I am collecting with a focus at the moment for some stone setting designs. I prepare for pieces like this by reading about minerals and looking very closely at the cabochons I've purchased. I often photograph them with a macro lens in order to really understand the depth of the imagery, color, and shape of the stone. I feel lucky to be able to connect with lapidary artists all over the world to source unique stones that help to give a voice to my own jewelry. I've been particularly fascinated with agate doublets. A doublet is the lapidary term for a gem assembly that consists of two stones that have been joined together with heat, pressure, or adhesive. Often, an opaque colored stone such as lapis lazuli is paired with a transparent or translucent stone such as quartz or moss agate. Quartz and agate have many commonalities with it comes to composition: in fact, 90% of the mineral makeup of agate is quartz. It is amazing to see the slow path of the minerals that were filtered out of water over time: as silica dripped though the pores in volcanic rock, those inorganic chemicals reacted to heat and pressure, forming beautiful plumes and a window into time. It is rare to see a cross-section of time in a single object, so I am in awe of the gemstones that allow us to witness that slow passage.
There are truly little worlds in that quartz clarity.
Top doublet: lapis lazuli / Marfa, TX plume agate by @r2rockz
Bottom doublet: turquoise / Texas plume agate by @r2rockz