I recently spent the week in French Lick, Indiana. There's not much to do there in the winter, but one of the highlights of my trip was visiting Hinshaw Rocks and Gems. Apparently the Lapidary Journal named them "one of the top ten stone polishers in the nation." I went looking for cabochons and I found plenty. I ended up buying some irregular shaped machine polished cabs rather than the perfectly shaped, hand polished cabs.
There are so many different kinds of agates that I was inspired to do my monthly JCUIN (Jewelry Creators Unite In Numbers) collection of handmade jewelry on agates. I named it The Ubiquitous Agate. So here is a little eye candy from that collection.
|Plume Agate Pendant, Boho Wire Wrapped|
First up is our friend Margaret, from Boho Wire Wrapped. Margaret lost her battle with cancer a couple weeks ago. Her family has her shop open for now to sell her inventory. At left is a stunning blue plume agate and sterling silver pendant. Time is running out to own a piece by this talented artisan. She will be greatly missed on Artfire.
|Drusy Agate Necklace by Adora by Simona|
This necklace, called "Selene", is made by Simona of Adora by Simona. It features a pendant with a titanium coated drusy agate along with a smoky topaz, light peridot and golden citrine. A druzy or druse (pronounced drew-zee) means that the stone has little crystals on it. In this case the agate has a titanium coating that gives it a metallic look. The metal is sterling silver.
|Earth and Sky necklace by Shadow Dog Designs|
This necklace features blue lace agate. When you think of blue lace agate, you normally think of the blue portion of these stones with the lacy darker blue veining. The brown in these definitely adds interest to the stones, and inspired the artist, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs, to name it "Earth and Sky". A very appropriate name in my opinion.
|Blue & Black Druzy Pendant, Jewelry by BeaJae|
I'm not sure what kind of agate this is, but it's also a druzy. I find it interesting for a couple of reasons. First is the different colors of banding that you can plainly see. Less obvious is the vug, or little pit that you can see on on the right, slightly below the center of the picture. There are several ways a cavity can form in a rock, and they often have little crystals in them. You can see that this one has some crystals on the surface, and there may be some in the vug also. (I just learned about vugs during my visit to Hinshaw Rock and Gems!) This pendant is by Jewelry by BeaJae and is wire wrapped in copper.
|Crazy Lace Agate Ring, Lunar Skies|
I am a huge fan of Quentin of Lunar Skies. This handmade, sterling silver ring features a crazy lace agate. Just one more example of the variety of colors and patterns that you can find in agates. The granulated silver balls on the side are a nice compliment to the circular patterns in the agate itself. Quentin also cuts his own stones!
|Brazilian Agate Pendant, Wagoner Wire Works|
This sterling silver wire wrapped pendant is by Wagoner Wire Works. The focal is a Brazilian agate. This one happens to be blue, because they come in other colors also, and it looks similar to a blue lace agate. It is accented with two little leaves made of silver wire and a little glass Swarovski pearl.
|Black Agate Pagoda Earring, Shanghai Tai|
Lastly, here is another color of agate, black agate. These fine silver pagoda earrings with black agate beads are my own design. They are made from silver metal clay. They also have non-slip, Argentium sterling silver twist ear wires. You can find them in my shop, Shanghai Tai.
I hope you enjoyed this tiny sampling of the many faces of the ubiquitous agate!