Tucson Gem Show!

Alright folks. This is going to be a fairly long post, so hold tight.

To give a brief summary, I’m sharing my experience and rock haul from the Tucson Gem Show this year. Anything marked N/A in the photo is not available for custom orders. All other stones are up for grabs and will ONLY be fully reserved once you nail a design down with me and a deposit for said design has been paid. Please be aware that unless you’ve sealed a piece with me, I may be showing the same stones to others.

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So. I started in New England, looking at this:

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Packed up jewels from my personal collection to sport in the sun:

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Took a few planes…

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….and entered a region where aliens are abundant. Aliens. Yes. They are everywhere, in bizarre variations that look inviting yet are secretly hazardous…

And yes. I’m talking about these:

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I swear these are the weirdest, coolest things. I got so many, “Uhm how many photos of cacti is this girl going to take???” stares. I don’t even care.

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Oh yeah. There was also the huge gem show all over the city, that was cool too.

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(^natural rough Sleeping Beauty mine turquoise)

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Now, onto conquests.

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^Broken Arrow mine variscite. natural. straight from the mine owner.

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^Burtis Claim Cripple Creek mine turquoise. natural.

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^Royston turquoise and Royston ribbon cut turquoise. natural.

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^Royston turquoise. natural.

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^White Buffalo turquoise. natural. Straight from the mine owner.

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^Blue Moon mine turquoise. natural.

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^Royston ribbon cut turquoise. natural.

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^ left to right: New Lander mine, Peacock mine, Carico Lake mine, Number 8 mine (!!! truly!), Damele mine.

All natural.

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^the amazingly tight webbing in this one is hard to photograph.

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^this one has a very high dome.

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^ Sleeping Beauty mine turquoise. natural.

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^Fox // Cortez mine turquoise. natural.

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^old stock Number 8 mine turquoise. natural.

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^Royston turquoise. natural. Along with some strays.

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That’s the haul folks! I hunted and enjoyed the skies of the Southwest

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Then I returned home to a series of snow storms. Fantastic.

Keep a look out as I’ll be posting NEW ITEMS to preview here on the blog this coming Sunday before they hit the shops!

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SALE NEWS

From tonight until next Thursday at midnight, enjoy 15% off of your order in the Main Etsy Shop with coupon code:

SNOWVERDOSE

in honour of there being too much snow here and wanting to empty the shelves in the shop a bit for new items! Sale does not apply to custom orders, minimum purchase of $25 required to apply.

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KEEP POSTED FOR SUNDAY.

In the meantime, if you aren’t in a sunny land, stay warm and bundle up!

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xx Stray Arrow

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Giveaway and News!

Well folks, it’s the first of the month. I think it’s time to bring back the Rock Appreciation Days, what about you? Today VARISCITE will be highlighted. See the feature and photo examples of current and past jewelry pieces using variscite at the END of this post.

For now, I’d like to update you all. Studio access has been slightly limited in the recent past due to construction on the building. A big thank you to all who have placed orders for your immense patience during this time! The studio is now at full speed again and any work in my space has finished. Due to the slower production speed I have solely been keeping up with “made to order” items and custom items. I will finally be updating the main Etsy shop with new items next week. To stay posted on exactly when you can follow any of my social media seen at the right side bar.

In more exciting news,

I will be going to the Tucson Gem Show! 

This is a big deal for me, because it is absolutely huge and spanning a month’s time, and I wasn’t able to go last year. I will be gone from February 9-13th. Please note that I will keep both Etsy shops open during this time, but some “made to order’ items may be deactivated. All orders will ship upon my return. As I am shopping for rocks, I’m giving you all an opportunity to weigh in. What kinds of stones would you like me to use more? Have a custom piece in mind with a specific kind of stone you want me to hunt for? If you have a serious hankering, please list your desires in the comment section below. I’ll be adding it to my ‘treasure hunt’ list. When I return all new scores will be photographed and posted here. For the most up to date Gem Show experience you can follow my Instagram: @thestrayarrow.

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GIVEAWAY NEWS

This giveaway will primarily be for Instagram. Any comments below on THIS post will also be included into the giveaway! Comment with stone opinions! Win the Feathered Band with Arrow Vane below, in your size. Winner will be chosen Feb. 14th.

STRAYARROWGIVEAWAY

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On a more serious note…

I want to bring up something that often goes unsaid by most jewelers. It goes unsaid because of backlash. Because of people getting defensive. Because you take something that is “fun” and “aesthetically pleasing” to the general public and shed light on a negative aspect of the industry. That’s right. Industry. This is a trade, not a hobby. I’ve mentioned this before and I want to mention it again. Creative rights are constantly being infringed upon. It is not okay, and should not be supported. It is morally bankrupt. Yes, there are others out there with technical skills, no, they do not have my mind, or the mind of a peer. If you see something that you *immediately associate with my work or think is mine initially* chances are fair that my creative toes are being stepped on. If you see someone using ALL of my main themes I’ve been working hard to curate for years-

(turquoise.wampum.myth.literature.Native American.Nordic.)

then yes. There’s no respect being shown, and my hard work is being stolen. Unfortunately there is little to be done, and speaking with people who clearly have no respect for others OR respect for themselves is most often a dead end. Again. This is a message for you to be aware. Not to dictate whom you should be buying from. When folks purchase my work along with that of my peers I get excited customers enjoy our work all around. There are wonderful, talented, respectful artists out there with some true integrity. They spend years creating work that evolves into a personal aesthetic. I will always fight for my creative rights and the rights of my peers. Please be respectful of the creative rights of other artists. Please be aware of what you’re looking at and who you are supporting. Lastly, please take this message as a celebration of those who know themselves and stay true.

ROCK APPRECIATION DAY

[DISCLAIMER: I am not a lapidary (stone) artist, gemologist, mine owner, or any other kind of authority on gems, stones, or minerals. I am simply an enthusiast who likes to share the information I’ve gathered in my goal to attain the perfect rocks for my jewelry pieces].

VARISCITE.

Broken Arrow Parcel.

Variscite is an aluminum phosphate mineral, ranking about a 3.5-4.5 on the MOH’s hardness scale. It is often confused with turquoise, although more often than not much greener. It is another popular southwestern stone for jewelry use. The most popular can be found in Lucin and Fairfield, Utah, and Esmeralda and Lander counties in Nevada. It also hails from Australia, Brazil, Spain, Poland and Germany. Many kinds of variscite, especially from the USA, can have host rock webbing in them again making it easy to confuse with turquoise.

Below are pieces I’ve made with different varieties of variscite:

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(^from Australia)

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variscite sea ring

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That’s it folks!

Have a good weekend~

xx The Stray Arrow

New Stones, Peer News!

New stones scored yesterday at a gem show!

At the bottom of the post find new goodies by a friend and fellow artist, perfect to pair with crispy Fall weather...

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STONES ARE:

Shattuckite (very high grade), Native silver in Cobaltite (very high grade), rainbow moonstone, porcelain jasper, merlinite dendritic opal, pyrite in clear quartz, kyanite (two gems), green tourmaline, watermelon tourmaline slice, carey plume agate, agua nueva agate with druzy pockets! (collector quality), light pink agua nueva agate.

Any of these can be used for custom orders. The darker native silver piece in the bottom left of the first photo is being held for a piece I’m using in a Winter collection…

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Miss Tory of ToryNova has officially released printed leggings of deliciously soft and stretchy lycra featuring more of her own illustrations. These are great and stylish for staying warm in Fall. I’ve already got the Sea Voyage babies to pair with my new heeled ankle boots!

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Rock Appreciation Day.

For Rock Appreciation Day this month we have King’s Manassa Mine Turquoise. 

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Manassa mine turquoise has also been called King’s Manassa turquoise, King’s turquoise, and was originally called the Lick Skillet mine. It is located in South Central Colorado near Manassa. The Manassa mine is reputed to be the oldest turquoise mining deposit in Colorado, and was speculated to have been mined by the Anasazi Pueblo peoples. The mine was “rediscovered”, or founded, by Israel Perviose King when he was searching for gold in 1894. He filed claim on it the next year. The mine has stayed with the King family and is now with his grandson Bill King.

The turquoise from this mine is some of my favourite. It is known for it’s deep greens with host rock rhyolite golden brown matrix, but can produce turquoise in a range of colours.

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The turquoise can come in solid colour, bi-coloured, or with host rock webbing. It pairs beautifully with gold and some of the most saturated dark greens are among the most collectible. I love that turquoise from this one area has been used for over 1,000 years and is still seen as a prized and treasured finite commodity.

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Below are photos of pieces used with Manassa turquoise that have been sold or claimed.

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Below are photos of Stray Arrow jewels still available!

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In the works is another triple turquoise ring in the “Three Needles” horse shoe style everyone has been asking about! Coming to the shop soon.

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That’s all folks!

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xx Stray Arrow

PREVIEW NIGHT plus Rock Appreciation Day!

Below are some of the jewels that will be going into the shop on Wednesday and Thursday…

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Blood Dagger Arrows

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be sure to enter in the discount code if you make a purchase in the shop from now until Monday the 8th at Midnight!

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ROCK APPRECIATION DAY:

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For this month, I could only chose one stone. I’ll be highlighting Castle Dome Mine Turquoise, as its become a staple for my Mini Cave Lady Rings! I thought about doing black pyrite for a second stone, but don’t have enough jewelry pieces to use as examples. I’ll have to plot and cook up something big for August!

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Castle Dome turquoise is quite rare as it is a closed mine. Depicting bright light blues as it’s signature, it is located near Globe, Arizona. Castle Dome is also referred to as Pinto Valley Mine turquoise, and it is similar to it’s close neighbor the Sleeping Beauty Mine. Natural material of this is hard to get as most of the rough from when the mine was closed was stabilized and/or used for beads. It started, like many other turquoise mines, as a copper mine. Because of the mining methods used initially (aka blasting. yikes), many of the veins and structures of the turquoise later uncovered were extremely fractured. There wasn’t much solid rough available for lapidary artists to cut.

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Personally, I’m not particular to ‘plain blues’ in turquoise. This mine in particular, (and its similarly hued cousin the Blue Moon mine) has grown on me. There are very subtle hues in a lot of the Castle Dome mine turquoise that you don’t find in your standard robin’s egg blue or Sleeping Beauty mine turquoise. It has light “watermark” patterns, that aren’t webbed or water webs. I adore pairing it with darkened silver, as it gives it contrast to highlight the stone. It also makes for a macabre pairing, and always reminds me of the bottom of pools.

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I’ll be using more of this turquoise in fresh designs soon. What’s pictured is all I have left!

xx Stray Arrow

Rock Appreciation Day

For this double Rock Day we have Imperial Jasper, and Lace/Banded Agate. The usual disclaimers apply-

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(Royal) Imperial Jasper

Jasper and agate are two of the most varied stone types out there. Jasper is of the quartz variety, almost always opaque, and reaches a 7 on the MOH’s hardness scale (for reference, diamonds are a 10 on the scale). It is said to be an impure chalcedony. Jasper can come in any colour. Because there are so many different colour and pattern variations, there are beyond dozens of “types” of classified jasper. Some other types besides imperial jasper would be Ocean jasper, Plume jasper, Picture or Landscape jasper, and so on. Jasper is found worldwide, but the majority of the beautiful type known as “Imperial Jasper”, or “Royal Imperial Jasper”, comes from Mexico. A light pastel version of the deeper colours associated with imperial jasper can also come from the Willow Creek Mine in Idaho. The main defining characteristics of imperial jasper are any combo of green hues, warm red/pink hues, and cream/brown hues. Rarely seen are the colder hues like grays and blues. There is a soft creaminess to the colours, and the highest grades show distinct banded patterns of colour. The bands or lines within this jasper can be referred to as “streamers”, when the jasper fractures and is then filled in with more jasper. Colours can swirl and merge from the rock forming process yielding amazing patterns. The most prized of all imperial jasper, are “Royal Imperial Jasper Nodules”. These nodules have a variety of colours in a banded pattern like an orb, stemming from the center of the stone.

 

The imperial jasper below is my own collection. All are up for grabs for custom orders except the small oval with rust and deep green colours of the same value. This is being used in a large ring…

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Imperial Jasper group pic

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Imperial Jasper group no. 2

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Lace and Banded Agate

Lace agate is quite close to jasper. It is also in the quartz family, and another variety of chalcedony. Classified as microcrystalline quartz, it measures a 6.5-7 on the MOH’s hardness scale. It can be opaque or translucent, and any degree in between. Like jasper, there is an inmeasureable amount of different types. Lace agate is close to banded agate and striped agate. Crazy lace agate is a more specific type only found in Mexico. Crazy lace agate can also be known as the “Laughter Stone”, or “Happy Lace”. Agate is said to start as a nodule in volcanic rock and ancient lava. From formation, the insides of agates are often left hollow and can form druzy quartz on the insides. This type will be saved for another Rock Day. The stones below are my collection of lace and banded agates up for grabs. The bottom left is crazy lace agate.

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Below:

Pieces made with lace and banded agate.

An example picture to show the difference between some plume and lace types…

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Agate jewelry group

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Plume & Lace type examples*

In the SHOP now:

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New Cave Lady Ring with agate in the works, and in the shop tomorrow:

Lace agate ring in works

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In other news:

New ITEM PREVIEW on the blog tomorrow morning.

New items in the shop tomorrow night and Monday-

xx Stray Arrow