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Gemstone Jewellery
Ribbonstone CabochonNo doubt ancient man used coloured rocks to adorn his caves or picked one up from a stream as its attractiveness took his/her eye. Later as time progressed these stones were crudely polished, mounted in leather or animal hides as an attempt to make an attractive feature.
Early Egyptians were well known for the use of jewellery as fashion adornments; this is evidenced by discoveries of precious metal objects with gemstones mounted as feature items. Tomb paintings depict many early people using objects of jewellery as fashion adornments.
Ribbon Stone Cabochon with silver wire wrapAgate & Varicite with Silver Wire WrapIn the 21st Century the jewellery making industry is world wide and highly organised. Competition in this industry is fierce. Complete jewellery items of all, varieties, shapes and types with or without gemstones can be bought or custom designed and made to meet personal tastes.
Topaz set in gold necklaceVaricite bead necklace and cabochonSome people get a great deal of satisfaction from purchasing a piece of jewellery that has captured their imagination for whatever the reason. Others like to find their own gemstones and process them into fine jewellery. These people gain the satisfaction of completing the task as all their own work. The Lapidary Hobby has its roots in the processes of converting gemstones into jewellery. Gem Clubs are located throughout Australia and the rest of the world. Gem Clubs provide the equipment to carry out most of the processes involved in making artistic and fine jewellery. They also run classes that teach members the skills required; skills such as cutting gemstones into Cabochons shapes. There are differing styles of Cabochon shapes like the Standard Cabochon, Free Form Cabochon and Double Cabochon shapes. Cabochons' are used extensively as broaches or necklace centre pieces.
Faceting
Garnet necklace and earing setBlue Sapphire set in a Gold RingFaceting is the term used to cut faces of various sizes and shapes to form the gemstone into a particular design and shape that best highlights the natural reflective beauty of the stone. The facets act as mirrors and reflect light through the stones a given number of times depending upon design causing the stone to glow or reflect brightly. Transparent stones are generally used this way; Diamond's and Topaz are the classic example. The process of faceting is carried out on a Faceting Machine, which most Gem Clubs have as part of their equipment..
Gem Clubs also conduct courses for Silverwork, Lost Wax Casting, Enamelling and Carving.
Setting Gemstones into Jewellery Mountings
Rose Quartz NecklaceGemstones can be mounted by various methods; this is largely governed by an individual's taste and to some extent by the shape and the cut of the gemstone. Many standard mountings can be bought directly off the shelf as long as the gemstone to be mounted is cut to standard sizings.
Gem Clubs also conduct courses for Silverwork, Lost Wax Casting, Enamelling and Carving.
Standard Findings
Finding is the name given to commercially produced settings for gemstones. These come in many sizes and designs to suit rings, necklaces, cufflinks, and faceted stones, cabochon cut stones, fancy designs, cast mouldings, the list is endless suffice to say that if you cut your stones to standard sizes you can buy a finding for it.
Making your own settings
Zircon set in a silver cast necklaceBlue Sapphire set in silver cast ringInstruction in Gem Clubs leads to working with Silver or Gold to produce unique settings for Facetted or Cabochon cut stones. By making your own you are not limited to standard sizes or designs. Unique pieces of jewellery are just that, and many artists crave to make that one piece that brings recognition of their skills and artistry. If you're interested in making your own jewellery we have put together a extensive list of Gem Clubs for you on our links page.


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