I’m not even sure where to start with these unique beauties…I guess with the focals! They are “black” moonstone – which I think is properly called gray moonstone that is just very dark. It has a uniform black body color, which looks slightly velvety up close in bright light. These stones are not only high quality specimens of the mineral, but they are also expertly cut and faceted. Truly amazing beads! I went a step further and studded the ear wires with tourmalinated quartz, one of my favorite stones for its uniqueness. These earrings are 14kt rose gold-fill. The ear wires are handmade, as are all the ear wires I use. This pair of earrings is 1.5” long including the ear wires.
About the stones:
The phenomenon that gives moonstone its’ characteristic glow is called adularescence. This light is the result of alternating layers of orthoclase and albite that make up moonstone. Some moonstone has a “chatoyant” effect, creating a cat’s eye-like pattern of light. Rainbow moonstone is a different mineral – it is a variety of plagioclase feldspar, a variety of labradorite. It displays “schiller,” or flashes of colored light. Conventional moonstone may be called “white moonstone” to differentiate it from rainbow moonstone. Other popular varieties of moonstone are peach, gray, and chocolate. Moonstone is not commonly treated.
Rutilated quartz and tourmalinated (or tourmalated) quartz are similar and often confused. Rutilated quartz inclusions are rutile (titanium oxide), while tourmalinated quartz inclusions are tourmaline – just as the names suggest. It is important to distinguish correctly between the two. Rutiles are golden to brown to reddish golden, while tourmaline inclusions are typically black. While inclusions usually lessen the value of a gemstone, in these cases they are treasured.
What does gold-filled mean? Gold-filled components start with a base metal core and have a (usually 14kt) real gold coating, bonded to the core with heat and pressure. The component must be at least 5% gold by weight. This is NOT the same as gold plating. Unlike plated gold, gold-filled items are likely to last a lifetime and the gold will not wear off.