In 2019 our award-winning La Floraliere became a part of a fantastic collection of fabulous gemstones, amazing mineral specimens and award-winning jewelry known as Somewhere In The Rainbow (SITR). A private collection assembled over more than a decade, this treasure trove is now on display at the University of Arizona’s new Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum in Tucson, Arizona.
This February, Jack and I attended the annual Tucson Gem and Mineral show where the highlight for us was visiting the museum. We were met there by the lovely Shelly Sargent, the collection manager of SITR, whose enthusiasm for and knowledge of gem and jewelry artists is amazing. There was the obligatory photo-op of me and La Floraliere, like a proud parent, and a tour of some of the most spectacular works to inspire and awe. The wood fairy is in good company.
The museum is located in downtown Tucson in the historic Pima County Courthouse. It is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Gemandmineralmuseum.arizona.edu
One of my personal favorite stones is moonstone. Specifically blue moonstone. The stones are colorless but have a blue sheen that appears to float and move inside the stone. Often there are other secondary colors present like aqua green and yellow.
There is actually a gemological term for that floating sheen: it’s called Adularescence. The term originated with a city in Switzerland, Mt. Adualr (now St. Gotthard), that was one of the first sources of fine-quality moonstone. In fact, this type of moonstone was once called “adularia”.
Technically, adularescence is an optical phenomenon not a property of the stone itself. It only exists in the presence of light. The internal structure of blue moonstones called lamellae produce light scattering and interference. And it’s magical.
Of course what prompted this post was a necklace I just finished for a wonderful friend who loves moonstone as much I do. It features not only blue moonstone cabochons but a gorgeous strand of graduated blue moonstone beads.
I was sent a photo of a Victorian Revival bracelet along with the note: “rubies & little gold balls you do”. This is how our most recent wedding band design began. It ended adorning the hand of a lovely lady we’ve been lucky enough to know for many years now.
The construction of a granulated ring is all about layers. You can see the different elements and how they come together to create this one of a kind ring.