Wire-Wrapping – My First Attempt (Not My Last)!

Readers of my books (The Gemstone Chronicles) and this blog know I love gemstones! I try to go gemstone hunting about once per month, and my two rock tumblers run continuously turning out polished stones by the 3 lbs. barrel full . In fact, I have gotten quite a nice collection of tumbled stones (as evidenced below)!

Wire-Wrapping Tumbled Stones

So, what to do with all these gorgeous stones? I pondered the question for a short time, and then decided I would try my hand at wire-wrapping them. And, since I received a Dremel and a Dremel workstation as gifts, and had a set of diamond drill to use in the tools, I could drill holes in them, too! In addition, my lovely and adorable bride (Lana) gave me the tools from her experiment in beading a few years ago, and I had everything I needed to give wire-wrapping a shot. Here is my drilling station. The plastic container holds water (keeps the rock and drill bit cool) and a piece of rubber (so I don’t drill through the plastic). Pretty cool!

Wire-Wrapping Dremel Workstation

How did my experiment work? Well, I drilled holes in an amethyst and a piece of jasper I had tumbled and decided to give the jasper a try. Below is what the jasper looked liked after drilling.

Wire-wrapping Jasper


Now for the drilled and wrapped piece!

Wire-wrapping wrapped jasper

I like the way it turned out and I think it will make a great pendant. I still have to do the amethyst and drill more stones, but I think this will be a great way to use the tumbled stones I keep producing. Who knows? Maybe I’ll open an Etsy store in the future!

That’s my first wire-wrapping effort. I know it isn’t great, but I will keep practicing until I get better. What do you think? Is this a good use for my tumbled stones? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Do you wire-wrap? Any tricks or tips you want to share? You can let me know in a comment, email me at bill@williamlstuart.com or connect with me on the socials and tell me there. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest, so  look me up and say hi! I can use all the wire-wrapping help I can get!

My Collection – Gemstones and More Gemstones!!

After digging through a box the other day, I decided I finally needed to organize my collection of rocks garnered from my many trips to the North Georgia Mountains. I was surprised and excited when I went through my plastic bags and grouped the stones together. I didn’t realize all the cool stones I had!

Let’s start with hematite. If you recall a previous post on hematite, this stone looks like a dark gray lump, but, once tumbled, turns into a beautiful silver color. The cool thing about hematite is that when rubbed against sandpaper, it leaves a red streak (hence the name hematite, which comes from the Greek root word for blood). Hematite is one of my favorite stones!

Hematite Collection

Hematite Collection

Quartz is a great stone, too! It comes in many colors and I haven’t found one I didn’t like. In my collection, I have clear, rose, lemon (yellow), smoky, and the cool pencil quartz. I had clear quartz cut into round brilliant cut stones and they are gorgeous!


Round Brilliant Cut 3 Carats


Faceted Gemstones Round Brilliant Cut Quartz

Round Brilliant Cut Quartz Pair

The stones below are quartz as I found them. I will start with the pencil quartz. It is a misleading name, as some of the crystals are much larger than a pencil!


Pencil Quartz Collection

I think some of these would look great just hanging from a chain, but a couple of them are too big for anything except maybe a paperweight! Below is a picture of one of the large crystals.


Large Pencil Quartz


Clear and lemon quartz are beautiful stones, too. I think I might send my gem cutter a couple of the lemon quartz to see what he can do with them. I expect they will be gorgeous! Here are some of each.


Clear Quartz Collection


Lemon Quartz Collection

Lemon Quartz Collection

Aventurine is another quartz stone and usually has bits of mica or other minerals that give it a shimmering appearance. Here is my collection of aventurine.

Aventurine Collection

Aventurine Collection


Amethysts and citrines are other forms of quartz. I have a nice collection of each and I have some large amethysts. Which are your favorites?

Amethyst Collection

Amethyst Collection


The two large amethysts are shown on the scale below. Using the conversion of 5 carats per gram, the first stone is 630 carats and the second is 575 carats!

Collection 630 Carat Amethyst

630 Carat Amethyst


Collection 575 Carat

575 Carat Amethyst

Both of these stones are too fractured to cut into gemstones, but I love the deep purple color of them.

The citrines are a golden version of amethyst. I like the lighter color ones, but the darker ones (second picture) are the ones I might send to the gem cutter to see if he can get anything out of them.

Citrine Collection

Citrine Collection


Collection Citrine Dark Tips

Citrine Dark Tips

I have a large number of emeralds, too. One of my all-time favorite stones, these are rough and ready to tumble. I might have a few that are suitable for gem cutting.

Emerald Collection

Emerald Collection

Collection Emeralds to Facet

Emeralds to Facet?

If you recall from The Gemstone Chronicles Book Two: The Amethyst, Laura used a moonstone to turn her friends and family invisible during a battle. Now, I haven’t tried invisibility with these moonstones, but I like them!

Moonstone Collection

Moonstone Collection

I find lots of garnets. The garnets are a deep red and its hard to show the color in a photo. I did manage to capture one, though. What do you think of them?

Garnet Collection

Garnet Collection


Collection Garnet Red


Lastly, I wanted to share my collection of rubies and sapphires. Now, I don’t believe any of these are gem quality stones, but I like them anyway. I think when I start cabbing (making cabochons) in the near future, I will do a few of these just to see how they turn out. Stay tuned for them!

Rubies and Sapphires Collection

Rubies and Sapphires Collection


Collection Rubies and Sapphires 2

Rubies and Sapphires

Connect with me:

I have more, but these are the favorites of my collection. What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment, subscribe to the blog, email me at bill@williamlstuart.com, or connect with me on social media. I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, or Tumblr!

Thanksgiving 2015 – What a Great Year It’s Been!!

Happy Thanksgiving 2015 from The Gemstone Chronicles!! It’s hard to believe another year has almost passed, but it has! Like many people, I like to take a little time to reflect back on the year and list out wonderful things that happened (in no particular order), milestones and accomplishments, give thanks for all I have, and look forward to what the upcoming year might bring. If you readers will indulge me, here we go!

  • The Atlanta Writers Club is the first writers club I have ever joined. The lovely and adorable Lana presented me with a membership as a Christmas present last year and I was so excited to receive it! And, I have learned much more than I ever expected from attending the monthly meetings. I want to increase my interactions with the other members as I move forward in 2016, and learn even more!


  • The Augusta Literary Festival was my first (and hopefully not my last) visit to Augusta. The Augusta Public Library holds the festival annually. The festival is the home to the Yerby Award and was a lot of fun to attend. I met a number of great people, was a panelist for a discussion about self-publishing, sold a few books, and generally had a great time. The 2016 Augusta Literary Festival is scheduled for Saturday, March 5, so make your plans to attend and discover new books for your own reading pleasure! Below is the picture of Lana and me at the 2015 event!

Thanksgiving 2015 Augusta Literary Festival Lana and Bill

  • In April, I submitted The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian to IndieBRAG for consideration for a BRAG medallion. After about a 5 month wait, I was happily surprised to learn the book had been awarded the BRAG medallion! What an exciting day for me and my books! According to the BRAG medallion website, only about 10% of the books submitted are awarded the medallion, which puts The Carnelian in excellent company!

Thanksgiving 2015 THE-GEMSTONE-CHRONICLES-BRAG-for-Web

  • I was lucky to be included in the Oconee Chamber Fall Festival in Watkinsville, GA in October. A wonderful arts and crafts event held in a beautiful small town not far from Athens, GA (home of my favorite team the Georgia Bulldogs). The weather for the event was spectacular, the venue perfect for the festival, and the festival attendees were great. Books sold quite well, and I met tons of new people. A return for the Fall 2016 event is likely.


  • I saw a post on Facebook one day about the Ambercrest Little Free Library. I did a little research and thought the concept of the little free library was very cool, so I contacted the man who got it started in the Ambercrest subdivision (which is near my house) and donated a couple of my books. As a lifelong reader, I hope to help spread the love of reading to a new generation. If you look closely at the picture, you will see one of my book marks and, on the lower shelf of the library, The Gemstone Chronicles Book Two: The Amethyst!

Thanksgiving 2015 Ambercrest-Little-Free-Library-Web

  • Lana and I took a weekend trip to Wilmington, NC. We had the opportunity to wander through the city, take a boat tour up the Cape Fear River, and visited the USS North Carolina (BB-55), a World War II battleship. For a submarine sailor, visiting the ship was an interesting experience. I was impressed by the amount of space (something at a premium on a boat), and the 16 inch guns were awesome!

Thanksgiving 2015 USS North Carolina (BB-55)

  • We didn’t take our usual spring or summer trip with Aidan and Maggie this year as Lana had back surgery. That didn’t stop me from building Maggie’s fort, though. Maggie wanted me to transform her play set in the backyard, so I did. What do you think of the finished product?

Thanksgiving 2015 Maggie's Fort Finished

  • There are so many more things for which I am thankful and there were some tough spots, too. Lana’s back surgery has been a resounding success and for that, I am forever thankful to the wonderful doctors and staff of Emory Healthcare. Lana’s grandmother (yes, we have 5 generations alive on Lana’s side of the family), Polly,  turned 100 this past April. What a blessing!
  • On a sad note, though, Lana’s Uncle Bud passed away as did her Aunt Virginia. Both were great influences in Lana’s life and we miss them every day.

There are so many other things I could discuss, like my continuing education in the ways of book marketing, the growth in my social media connections, or my WIP (an adult thriller). However, I won’t take up any more of your time for now. After all, there are turkeys to eat, presents to buy, and family and friends to enjoy! Do take some time, though, to be thankful for all that you have and for the family and friends who surround you. I know I’m truly blessed by Lana, Laura, Mike, Aidan, Maggie, and the rest of my family and friends too numerous to name here!

I also want thank all of the readers who have purchased the books this past year, those who have left reviews, and to my future readers, too! You have no idea how much it means to me when someone reads the books and leaves reviews or comments! Thank you!!!

Connect with me:

If you want to connect with me on social media, I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Goodreads, Tumblr, or you can email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. If you don’t want to miss a post, you can also subscribe to the blog! Drop me a note and let me know what you are thankful for this year!

Happy Thanksgiving 2015!!


Oconee County Fall Festival – Book Signing Fun!!

The Gemstone Chronicles is headed to Watkinsville, GA on Oct. 17th for the Oconee County Fall Festival! I will be there (with the lovely and adorable Lana) signing books, meeting new friends, fans, and hopefully celebrating a UGA win over Missouri later that night. Below is a picture of an older UGA mascot, UGA VI!

Oconee County Fall Festival UGA


Where is Watkinsville, GA you might ask? It is about 10 miles south of Athens, GA (home of the UGA Bulldogs) and the county seat of Oconee County. This year’s Fall Festival is expected to draw a crowd of more than 20,000 visitors, with over 200 vendors in attendance (including me)! This makes it the largest arts and crafts event in the area!

I will be there with all 4 books in The Gemstone Chronicles series and will have some swag to go along with the books. As I usually do at signings, I will you give a gemstone when you buy a book. So, if you buy the IndieBRAG Medallion honored book,  The Carnelian, I will give you a tumbled carnelian.



Here is an example of the carnelians I will be handing out with each book sold.

Carnelians-for-Oconee County -Web


The Amethyst will get you a tumbled amethyst.


Oconee County The Gemstone Chronicles The Amethyst Cover

Here are the amethysts I plan on handing out with each purchase.


Amethysts for Oconee County

The rubies and emeralds are in the tumbler. They won’t be smooth and shiny like the stones above. In fact, they will be in their natural rough stage. I put them in the tumbler to clean them up a little bit. After that, hey will be recognizable for what they are.

Plan on coming over to Watkinsville, GA for the Oconee County Fall Festival and enjoy the food, arts and crafts, and pick up your copies of The Gemstone Chronicles. Then, go cheer on the Dawgs as they play the Missouri Tigers between the hedges! I promise to try to send some pictures out via Instagram (which is new to me)!

Connect with me:

If you would like to connect with me, I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, or just email me at bill@williamlstuart.com.

See you on October 17th!


Calhoun Mine – One of Georgia’s Richest Gold Mines

In a couple of earlier posts, I mentioned the Georgia Gold Rush and named a few of the better known gold mines. Three of the more well-known gold mines were the Loud Mine, the Consolidated Mine, and the Calhoun Mine. Today’s post will be more about the Calhoun Mine.

According to Wikipedia, the land the Calhoun Mine is located on 239 acres originally owned by Robert Ober. After a couple of intermediary sales, John C. Calhoun, South Carolina senator and the 7th Vice President of the United States, purchased the land. Below is John C.’s picture and he is an intense looking kind of guy!

Calhoun Mine John C Calhoun

Calhoun purchased the land for $6000 dollars (approximately $167,000 in today’s dollars).  He began working the mine and it yielded much gold. Calhoun sent his son-in-law, Thomas Clemson, to run the mine. The deposit was rich and, according to an 1856 letter from Thomas Clemson to his brother-in-law, was still yielding significant quantities 30 year after the initial discovery.  Part of the money used to found Clemson University came from the Calhoun Mine and specimens from the mine are on display in the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta.

Calhoun Mine Thomas Clemson

Thomas Clemson

The Calhoun Mine passed from the Calhoun family in 1879 and, in 1939, a vein was found by Graham Dugas – one of the more colorful characters in Dahlonega’s Gold Rush history. The vein played out and the Calhoun Mine ceased operations. It is now privately owned and listed on the National Register of Historical Places and became a National Historic Landmark in 1973.

Calhoun Mine Historical Marker

Calhoun Gold Mine Historical Marker

I plan on taking a drive up to the area of the Calhoun Mine very soon and taking some pictures. If I can find out who owns the land now, I’ll see if they will let me go on the property and take a look around! It would be awesome to see where the gold came out of the ground!

In my books, The Gemstone Chronicles, Beebop owned land in the North Georgia Mountains. His land included an old mine and he prospected more for gemstones than gold, but who knows, maybe Beebop was on to something. Maybe there still is gold in those hills!! John C Calhoun certainly found some at the Calhoun Mine!

Connect with me:

Are there any gold mines where you live? If so, let me know about them! As always, feedback and shares are welcome. You can also connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google +! I enjoy meeting new friends!

Back in the Creek!! Gemstone Hunting June 29, 2014

I finally got back in the creek and went gemstone hunting today! I recently visited the Hogg Mountain Mine in LaGrange, GA and had a great time, but I truly enjoy putting my camp chair in the creek, and sifting through trays of dirt!

For those who don’t know, our favorite gem hunting spot is in Cleveland, GA, at Gold ‘n Gems Grubbin’. Besides being a fun place to hunt for gemstones at the creek, this was also the place that led me to write The Gemstone Chronicles.

Today, though, it was just brother John and me and we had a great time and had a pretty good haul of gemstones.

Total haul from Back in the Creek!

I know you can’t see the details in the picture above, so I will tell you that there are citrine, quartz crystal, hematite, garnets, emeralds, topaz, a couple of sapphires, one ruby, and one really purple amethyst! I have some better pictures of some of the stones.

Citrines from Back in the Creek!

Citrines from the trip! I wish I could have gotten a closer picture to show the points on the stones, but they were very well defined.

Garnets and topaz from Back in the Creek!

In this picture, there are a few garnets (note the deep red on the tip of one of the garnets), a couple of topaz, and a small emerald.

Clear quartz crystal from Back in the Creek

I think this is one of the best finds of the day! It is a clear quartz crystal that has a few surface flaws, but the interior looks pretty clean. I might have to take this one to my friend who cuts facets for me and let him see what he can do with it. Maybe Lana gets a new pair of earrings!! Below is another picture of the same crystal.

Second view of the clear quartz crystal from Back in the Creek

Lastly, I have a picture of a deep purple amethyst. This was the only deep colored amethyst I found. I found another one, but it was very pale, more of a blush of amethyst than the deep purple that I like, so I didn’t include a photo of that stone.

Amethyst from Back in the CreekSo that’s it. The results of four hours of sifting through tray after tray of dirt in the creek. Pretty good day to be back in the creek!!

Have you done any collecting recently? Antiques, stamps, coins, or anything other collectible (like maybe the four books of The Gemstone Chronicles)? If you have, please leave me a comment and let me know what treasure you found! I’d like to see it!



Adamantine – The Indestructible Metal!!

Adamantine is an indestructible mythical metal. In The Gemstone Chronicles, the Elven Sword and the armor that Maggie discovers were both crafted from adamantine. But, what exactly is adamantine and where did the legendary metal originate? Read on and discover what I found out!

First, the word adamantine, according to Dictionary.com, means unyielding, firm, or too hard to cut, break, or pierce. The word is from the Greek root word adamas, which means, perhaps, unconquerable or invincible. Fitting that the metal, then, would become synonymous with indestructible!

Surprisingly,I found adamantine (or adamant) mentioned in many different literary works. Our friends over at Wikipedia gave us a number of examples. Here are a few of my favorites:

In the epic Medieval poem The Faerie Queene, Sir Artegal’s sword is adamantine.

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings, Nenya, one of the Three Rings of Power is described as a Ring Of Adamant. There are other mentions throughout the books!

In Greek mythology, Perseus uses an adamantine sword to decapitate Medusa.

Perseus and the Adamantine Sword


John Milton’s Paradise Lost mentions adamantine numerous times. The first reference is where Satan is hurled into “bottomless perdition, there to dwell in adamantine chains and penal fire” (lines 47-48).

I could go on and on, but I think you get the drift. Adamantine, in the context I use it in my books, is a metal that creates indestructible weapons and armor. The Elven Sword, for instance, takes the power from its four gemstones and channels that power to The Diamond . In conjunction with the Elven Bow and its four gemstones, the power maintains the barrier between Celahir and the human world and the balance between good and evil. Maggie uses the armor made from the metal, forged by Valandil Lissesul, to fight the cockatrice. And Aidan finds a use for the Elven Sword, though I won’t tell you what it is! For that, you have to read Book Four: The Ruby!!

Adamantine, real or imagined is still a fascinating metal. Imbued with inherent magical powers, indestructible, and suitable for the weapons of the gods, I think it’s a great addition to The Gemstone Chronicles!!

If you’re a fantasy writer, what kind of awesome weapons do your characters wield? If you’re a reader, what do you think of the weapons in The Gemstone Chronicles? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Connect with me:

Find me on social media and let’s connect. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. Please feel free to reach out and say hello! I enjoy meeting new friends! We can discuss books, reviews, indestructible swords or just about anything else.




Lapis Lazuli – Beautiful Blue Gemstone

Lapis Lazuli!

One of the most beautiful semi-precious stones I discovered while writing The Gemstone Chronicles is the lapis lazuli – a beautiful blue gemstone!! I haven’t found one, but I’d certainly like to!!

One of the interesting characteristics of the lapis lazuli is the golden flecks that are found within the structure of the stone. According to Wikipedia, the stone has been mined since at least the 7th century BC! It has long been highly prized due to its intense deep blue color. The main mineral is lazurite and the golden flecks are pyrite. Below is a picture of the gemstone rough.

Lapis Rough

Wikipedia also tells us that lapis was used in the eyebrows of King Tutankhamen’s death mask!

In The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian, I used the lapis lazuli as a stone to detect truth. In the book, Alatariel, one of the Elven Scouts, tried to determine if Beebop and Nana were enemies of Celahir by using the stone. For whatever reason, both surpassed the stone’s ability to detect their intentions. But, it isn’t a stretch from one of its most commonly believed attributes. Truth and wisdom are two of the lapis lazuli’s characteristics. Perhaps that is why the stone decorated many priestly garments in ancient times.

Other uses:

The stone, once it is ground into a fine powder, is used to create the color ultramarine, an intensely blue color that artists the world over have used – including Michelangelo!

Jewelry from lapis is gorgeous! Below are a few pictures of lapis lazuli stones. The first is a lapis cabochon.

Lapis lazuli cabochon

I couldn’t resist adding a picture of a of an Egyptian style necklace!


Lapis lazuli necklace

I was glad to come across the lapis lazuli gemstone! Brilliantly blue and a stone of truth and wisdom, it played its part extremely well in Book One: The Carnelian!

What unique gemstones do you have in your collection? Do you have a lapis? If so, share a picture with me or just leave me a comment and let me know what you think! If you have read any of The Gemstone Chronicles books, leave me a comment, too, or, even better, write a review! I love to know what you think!!

Gemstone Hunting – Back in the Creek Again!!

If you recall, I wrote a post a few weeks ago about how I was ready to go gemstone hunting again after a long wait. Despite an iffy weather forecast, brother John and I made it to our favorite spot today! Yep, gemstone hunting – back in the creek again!

We were very fortunate today as the hunting was good! The dirt piles we filled our buckets from was fairly fresh, and were lots of nice stones. Emeralds, rubies, sapphires, topaz, amethysts, and many more were dug out during our visit.

Readers of The Gemstone Chronicles will recognize many of the stones listed above, since they played such a big part in the series. The only stone I didn’t find today was a carnelian (the stone from the first book).

The second book has an amethyst as a key component. Here are some of the amethysts I found today!

Amethysts Back in the Creek



Not a bad haul for four hours of work! Below are the pictures of my two favorite amethysts of the day.

Large Amethyst Creek


Although it may not show up very well in the picture, the purple tip is very dark and has some great faces!

Small Amethyst Creek


I love this little stone. The color is only a spot and if you rotate the stone, you can see exactly where the purple begins, Very cool!

To celebrate Book Three: The Emerald, I found a few emeralds today. I don’t think any of them are faceting quality, so I will either try to make cabochons with them, or tumble them in my rock tumblers.

Emeralds Creek


It was not a great day for rubies, but I did find a couple. Rough rubies aren’t faceted like the one in Book Four: The Ruby that we all love, but I like the way the look when I find them.

Rubies Creek


Finally, my absolute favorite stone of the day is a double-terminated quartz! Aidan used that type of stone often in the books to enhance the powers he drew from the gemstones. I often find pencil quartz, but this is my first double-terminated stone. Simply awesome!!

Double-terminated QuartzCreek


I did find a lot of other stones today and John found a large sapphire among his many gemstones. We will be going back to the creek again soon, so stay tuned for more! I also am going to be trying my hand at making cabochons, so I will post about that, too.

Of all the stones I showed today, what is your favorite? Leave me a comment and let me know. If you haven’t read The Gemstone Chronicles, why not pick up the first one and give it a try. I would love to know what you think!!



The Gemstone Chronicles Book Four: The Ruby

I’m very happy to say that The Gemstone Chronicles Book Four: The Ruby has been published!! The series is now complete!! Below is the cover!


Book Four: The Ruby follows the adventures of Aidan, Maggie, Nana, and Beebop as they return to Celahir on the backs of the Arien- huge falcon-like birds that have roused to the defense of the magical world as the Drow march to the Spider Queen’s drumbeat. Bent on dominion over Celahir, the Spider Queen finally makes her move to crush the Light Elves and become Queen of the Elves!

Against that backdrop, Maggie is held captive by Enelya and Elerosse – the Dark Elves that imprisoned Findecano in the fairy cross. To save her, Aidan, Nana, Beebop, and Siobhan (the red-haired girl who Aidan has a serious crush on) have to battle the cherufe lava monster and recover the last of the gemstones stolen from the Elven Bow. And that is just the beginning of their adventures!

* * *

The series ends:

I can’t believe the series is ending, though. It has taken almost three years to write the books and get to this point. I have met so many wonderful authors, readers, and bloggers during the journey, and each has helped me in their own way. From encouraging words, reviews, tweets, posts, and helpful hints, those people mean more to me than I can express.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the real Aidan and Maggie, who were the inspiration to write the stories. I owe so much to the lovely and adorable Lana (Nana) who urged me to take a chance on self-publishing the books for others to read. Mere words don’t suffice, but thank you from the bottom of my heart! I love you!

Of course, wrapping up the series means that I have to find something new to write about. I have a number of ideas simmering in my head, so I will just have to start writing and see which one bubbles to the top. Until then, enjoy reading all of The Gemstone Chronicles. Find the links for Books 1-3 below!!!

The Carnelian

The Amethyst

The Emerald