Gemstones and Wire-Wrapping – or What I’ve I Been Up To Lately!!!

I’ve been reading, doing a little writing (revisions on The Gemstone Chronicles and a new work-in-progress) and I haven’t done a post about gemstones in quite a while. So, I wanted to share some of what I’ve been up to with my gemstone collection (which keeps growing!). Because I have so many rocks now, I decided to take up wire-wrapping. Before I get to that, though, I wanted to share pictures of a few tumbled stones that I really like. I believe three of the rocks shown below are obsidian, but the fourth one is a smoky quartz. I would love to show you the light shining through it, but the picture just wouldn’t work.

Round Tumbled Obsidian Wire

Round Tumbled Obsidian

Rectangular Tumbled Obsidian Wire

Rectangular Tumbled Obsidian

Tumbled Obsidian and Smoky Quartz Wire

Tumbled Obsidian and Smoky Quartz

In the picture above, the smoky quartz is in the upper right and looks similar to the other stones. However, when the light shines on it, you can see through the stone.

Those are just a few of the stones from my tumblers (which run 24/7). Having all these tumbled stones led me to try my hand at wire-wrapping as I mentioned above. It’s a lot more difficult than I thought it would be and I watch a lot of videos about different types of wrapping. I try to keep mine fairly simple, since I am still learning. Below are a few examples of my efforts.

Onyx Gemstones Wire

Drilled and Wrapped Onyx

Quartz Pendant Gemstones Wire

Drilled and Wrapped Pencil Quartz Pendant

The quartz stone below were drilled using my Dremel drill press stand. It did a great job and made a clean smooth hole in the center of the stone. Perfect for wire wrapping! Here is a picture of my setup

Dremel Gemstones Wire

Dremel Drill press

Drilled and Wrapped Quartz Gemstones Wire

Center Drilled and Wrapped Quartz

Aventurine Gemstones Wire

Wrapped Aventurine

I know I have a lot of work to do and much more practice to go before the techniques are learned and the results acceptable, but I’m having fun!

Because I need some thinner pieces (and you can’t count on finding those in a natural state), I’m going to start using my tile saw to slab some of my larger rocks. I’ll do a post on that soon. After cutting the slabs, I’ll use my templates to get rough shapes and then throw the stones in the tumbler to polish them and get them ready to  wire wrap. I won’t make perfect shapes, but that’s fine by me. I prefer a more organic look anyway!

So, there you have what I’ve been up to with my gemstones. Like them? Leave me a comment and let me know or drop me an email at bill@williamlstuart.com. And, if you don’t want to miss any of my posts, consider subscribing to the blog. Lastly, if you are on the socials and want to connect, find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. I’m always looking to meet new friends!

 

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-3-Carats-Web

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-Jan-2016

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-Jan-2016

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-Jan-2016

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

Garnet

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!

Inspirations and Ideas for My Books (or What Do I Write About)!

One of the more interesting questions I get asked when someone discovers I have written 4 novels is where I got the inspirations or the ideas. For The Gemstone Chronicles, it’s a very easy answer, but for my latest WIP, the inspirations and the ideas came from an entirely different source. I will talk about them separately below.

I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, although I can’t remember the first book I read. Money earned from my paper route in Lakewood, Colorado bought every single Hardy Boy book available at the time (early to mid-70s). I bought Nancy Drew books, Alfred Hitchcock and the 3 Investigators, and a myriad of others. The Science Fiction Book Club got a lot of my money. I read Tolkien, Piers Anthony, Roger Zelazny, Isaac Asimov, Terry Brooks, Stephen Donaldson, Ursula K. LeGuin, and the list goes on and on.

Why do I mention that? Well, as many of you know, I developed a fascination with gemstones after moving to North Georgia in 2007. While out hunting gemstones one summer afternoon, my grandson, Aidan, and I were discussing the “magical” and “mystical” properties of gems. Aidan, who loves playing World of Warcraft and similar games, told me I should write a book about gemstones, elves, and magic. Though I hadn’t aspired to be a writer, I agreed I would write a book. I knew a few things about world building from my reading of the authors mentioned above, I love to read fantasy, and I already had a plan on what to write. Thus, I had my ideas and my inspirations and the series was born! I even incorporated the gemstones on the covers of the books.

Inspirations and Ideas The Carnelian Cover

On the cover is the carnelian (first gem in the Elven Bow) along with the stones in the hilt of the Elven Sword, which include a sapphire, a garnet, and aquamarine, and a topaz. You can read all about the gemstones on the cover here.

It did take some time to research which gems would be integral to the story and which would have minor roles. I wanted to have gems with unique properties and I wanted the gems to tie to the personalities of the characters. This meant, of course, that I could draw inspirations and ideas from them. A win-win!

For my current WIP, I used to watch a program on History Channel called Brad Meltzer’s Decoded. One of the episodes was about the Georgia Guidestones. Lana, my lovely and adorable bride, and I visited the Guidestones one sunny afternoon and I came away with new inspirations and ideas for my next book. The Guidestones are mysterious. and have a fascinating history behind them. The stones are the subject of conspiracy theories and have been almost since the day they were erected. They lend themselves very nicely to what I have in mind. The book will be unlike The Gemstone Chronicles. It is a thriller (or at least it is now…who knows how things will change during the writing process).

This got me wondering what other writers use for inspirations and ideas? Do they get ideas from listening to the news? Do they have hobbies or interests that lead them down a certain literary path? Is it a current event? Something they witnessed or lived through? Ideas raised by other writers? All of the above? If you are a writer, please tell me what gave you the inspirations and ideas for your own works. I would love to hear about them!

Connect with me:

As always, I enjoy connecting with readers, writers, and anyone else who wants to leave me a comment. I can be found on Twitter, Google +, Facebook, and I can be emailed at bill@williamlstuart.com!

If you’ve read any of The Gemstone Chronicles, leave me a comment and let me know how you liked the books. If you want to let the world know what you thought, leave me a review on Amazon , Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, BookLikes, or Shelfari! I look forward to hearing from you!

Gemstone Hunting Secrets – The Process Revealed!!

Gemstone hunting! One of my absolute favorite pastimes and one that led to the writing of The Gemstone Chronicles. I have talked about it in previous posts and even posted some pictures from the trips. Today, though, I want to walk you through the steps I go through when I pursue this hobby of mine! Yes, my gemstone hunting secrets revealed!

All of the pictures were taken by me on Sunday, March 15 at my favorite spot, Gold n’ Gem Grubbin’ in Cleveland, GA. If you have read any of my previous posts on this topic, you already know some of this, but let me summarize for new readers. Gold n’ Gem Grubbin’ is part of a commercial gold mine in the North Georgia Mountains. The property was part of the Loud Mine and continues to produce gold today.

For gold prospectors and gem enthusiasts, it is a great place to go for a fun (and sometimes profitable) visit. The site offers buckets and a covered sluice for sifting through the dirt to uncover treasures. They also offer mining at the creek – which is my favorite part. Gold n’ Gem Grubbin’ puts dirt dug from the mine pit next to the creek that runs through the property. Diggers can then fill buckets with dirt from the pile, take it to the creek, and sift through it. Whatever you find, you get to take home!

When we arrived (we being my brother John, his daughter Simone, and me) on Sunday morning, we had a fresh pile of dirt to dig through. However, it was wet and heavy dirt from recent rains, and it made for some heavy buckets!

Gemstone Hunting Secrets Dirt Pile

Our process is to fill 5 gallon buckets with dirt from the pile and lug the buckets down to the creek. Trust me when I say that after 4 hours of toting buckets of dirt, you will be pretty tired! Here are my 4 buckets ready to be screened.

Gemstone Hunting Secrets Buckets of Dirt

I like to stack my screening boxes on top of one of the buckets and fill from another bucket. Why? Because I can let the dirt sift through the screens and sift out larger rocks. This way, by the time I get to the last bucket, I have some sifted dirt I can put into my sluice box. More on that in a minute. First, I wanted to show how the boxes look when full of dirt and placed in the creek to begin the washing process.

Gemstone Hunting Secrets Screening boxes

I try to let the creek do most of the work in the process. I tilt the boxes up on each other to get good water flow through the dirt. Most of the dirt simply washes away and leaves a box full of rocks. In the box below, I found a pretty sizable ruby. It’s always a bonus to find something so easily!

 

Gemstone Hunting Secrets Screen Box with Ruby Outlined

As I mentioned above, I like to work through all the buckets and then dump the sifted dirt into my sluice box. It isn’t necessary to sift it first, but with the sluice box, it makes it easier to run dirt through. Below is a picture of the sluice box in the creek. If there is any gold in the dirt, it will either catch on the black mat or get caught in the green carpet.

Gemstone Hunting Secrets Sluice Box

Once the dirt is run through the sluice, I rinse the carpet off in a bucket and then dump the contents of the bucket into my gold pan. I didn’t find any gold on this day, but I have found a few flakes before. It’s a bonus when you find the gold!

So, what did I find during my first gemstone hunting trip of the year? I found a few nice rocks, but the take wasn’t as good as some trips. Nevertheless, any day of gemstone hunting is a great day! Here are the results. The first picture is some of the gemstones I found.

Gemstone Hunting Secrets March 15 gemstones

From the upper left moving clockwise, we have rubies, garnets, quartz, citrine, and aventurine. Remember the ruby in the picture above, well, here is another view. The scale is set for grams, so doing the conversion, the stone is about 35 carats. Unfortunately, I don’t think this one would be a candidate for faceting, so it isn’t worth much. I still like it, though.

Gemstone Hunting Secrets Big Ruby

There you have the process we use to hunt for gemstones. I did find a smaller ruby (about 20 carats) that I plan on sending to my gem cutter to see if it is a good stone. When a stone is cut, you lose about 75% in the cutting process, but, if the stone is a good one, I could end up with a 5 carat ruby. Not bad for $15 visit!

What do you think about our process? It really isn’t secret, but it is tons of fun! Any suggestions on making it more efficient? If you hunt gemstones, what do you do and where do you go? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Connect with me:

You can also connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google +.  can also be reached by email at bill@williamlstuart.com. I look forward to meeting you!

 

The Augusta Literary Festival – Postscript!!

On March 7, 2015, I had the privilege to attend the 4th Annual Augusta Literary Festival in Augusta, Georgia. Before I talk about the Festival, I want to talk about Augusta itself. According to Wikipedia, Augusta is the second oldest city in Georgia (only Savannah is older) and was established at the direction of James Oglethorpe, the founder of the British colony Georgia. Oglethorpe sent troops to build at the head of the navigable section of the Savannah River and named to town Augusta (after the wife of the Frederick, Prince of Wales).

Other interesting facts about Augusta:

  • Augusta served as the capital of Georgia twice during the American Revolution
  • Prior to the Civil War, Augusta was a leader in the production of textiles, gunpowder, and paper
  • in 1845, Augusta was the site of the founding of the Southern Baptist Convention
  • Augusta is the home of the Medical College of Georgia
  • Georgia Pacific was founded in Augusta
  • James Brown (the Godfather of Soul) grew up in Augusta in the 1930’s and 40’s
  • The Savannah River Site is located near Augusta (and is the source for tritium for nuclear weapons)
  • EZ – Go and Club Car (the world’s largest golf cart manufacturers) are located in Augusta
  • The Masters Golf Tournament held annually at Augusta National Golf Club

There you have a quick list of facts about Augusta. Interesting place and one I am going to have to take some time to learn more about. But, now on to the Augusta Literary Festival and my experiences there!

We (the lovely and adorable Lana accompanied me – see the picture below), arrived Friday afternoon for the Festival. We wanted to attend the Author’s Reception at the Library and see who won the Yerby Award (Amanda Kyle Williams won for her book Don’t Talk to Strangers) and be ready for Saturday’s events!

Augusta Literary Festival Lana and Bill

The event started at 10 am and there were visitors aplenty! One of the giveaways we did was to include a tumbled and polished gemstone with each book purchased. For Book One: The Carnelian, we gave away carnelians and for Book Two: The Amethyst, we gave away amethysts. Not a bad bonus for buying a book!

Augusta Literary Festival Carnelians

Carnelians

 

Augusta Literary Festival Amethysts

Amethysts

 

I also had the chance to participate as a panelist for a discussion about self publishing. My fellow panelists were Alicia Michaels, a writer of fantasy, and Hasheem Francis, a bestselling author and businessman. We spoke about the self publishing process and our own lessons learned during our independent author journey. About 40 people attended our session, so I hope we gave some useful advice! Who knows, we might have spoken to a future Yerby Award winner!

By the end of the day, we sold some books, met some really great people and some outstanding authors, and generally had a wonderful experience. I’ll Look for my invitation to next year’s Augusta Literary Festival!

Did you attend the Augusta Literary Festival? What about book festivals in your area (if you don’t live in or near Augusta)? Do you enjoy interacting with the authors and finding new books? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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If you want to connect with me, I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or just drop me a line at bill@williamlstuart.com! Stop by and say hi!

Faceted Gemstones – Newest Additions!!

Regular readers of my blog (or my books) know that I’m a big fan of gemstones. I love faceted gemstones, cabochons, and tumbled stones. My books, The Gemstone Chronicles series, use the magical and mystical properties of gemstones as the basis of the magic the characters discover. I frequently go gemstone hunting at my favorite spot in the North Georgia Mountains, Gold n’ Gem Grubbin’, in Cleveland, GA. My two rock tumblers run almost all of the time, smoothing out the rough edges and polishing the stones I’ve found to a brilliant luster. Occasionally, though, I find a special stone that can be cut and faceted. Shown below is the first stone I ever had cut (an emerald)!

 

Faceted Gemstones Lana's emerald

Lana’s emerald

 

A 2.25 carat stone, it appraised nicely, and is still loose. Lana hasn’t decided on a setting yet. The stone is gorgeous, and since it was my first find, it is extra special!

My brother John found the peridot shown in the photo below. I had it cut for Lana. It weighed in at about 2.5 carats and I had it set in a sterling silver ring for her birthday. Beautiful!!

 

Faceted Gemstones

Lana’s peridot ring

 

Now, I have two new additions to the faceted gemstones family! I was hunting and found this rough ruby and sent it over to my faceting friend and he worked his magic. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the rough.

After cutting and polishing, here is the final faceted stone. Not huge by any means, but still weighing in at 1.3 carats, it is a great little stone!

 

Faceted Gemstones Ruby

Faceted Ruby

 

Note the description in the picture says sapphire, which is true. Recall that red sapphires are rubies! Gene cut the stone in a Cushion Cut, and it turned out beautifully!

I also sent over a piece of clear quartz that was stunning as a rough piece. Gene cut me two round brilliant cut stones about 1.25 carats each. I wanted to see how the quartz would turn out in a traditional diamond cut. I think they turned out great! What do you think?

 

Faceted Gemstones Round Brilliant Cut Quartz

Round Brilliant Cut Quartz

 

What do you think about my faceted gemstones! I have some garnets that might facet well, but I have to get them cleaned up and see what they look like. A nice sapphire (blue not red) or a piece of aquamarine to have cut might be nice, but no such luck yet. I guess I just have to keep on looking!

Which of my faceted gemstones is your favorite? What setting would you use for the emerald or the ruby? Do you think the quartz brilliant cuts look like diamonds? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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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!

 

 

Hogg Mountain Mine – The Hunt for Aquamarines!!

A couple of weeks ago, my brother John and I ventured over to LaGrange, Georgia to check out the Hogg Mountain Mine and hunt for aquamarines. Despite the fact that we didn’t find any of the blue-green gemstones, we had a great time, met some interesting people, and are planning a return trip when it is a bit cooler!

This isn’t hard rock mining, but we were certainly working in the pit! This first picture is the entrance to the mine pit.

Hogg Mountain Mine Pit

We moved a little deeper into the mine and made it to the main pit. As you can see from the bright blue skies, it was a sunny day, and it got hot later in the afternoon!

Hogg Mountain Mine Main Pit Wall

I know you are probably wondering what the picture above is. Well, it’s part of the wall of the main pit. The white is almost like talc – very soft and easy to dig in. The dark splotches are tourmaline. Tourmaline is a very brittle stone and breaks away easily. The idea is to dig into the wall and try to find aquamarine that may be hidden in the wall. Of course, there are other stones to dig around and to find. Lots of clear quartz crystals (with very sharp edges, so wear gloves!), and some beautiful rose quartz.

The picture below is another view of the wall. Note the rusty-red streak going down the wall. Lots of iron in the soil, so you do get rust!

Hogg Mountain Mine main Pit 2

You’ve seen the mine and the wall we dug in, so what did we find?

Partial haul from Hogg Mountain Mine

This is a small sampling of what I brought home. There are clear and rose quartz crystals, a chunk of darker quartz at the bottom right of the picture, three pieces of black tourmaline, and my purchased aquamarine on the left. Not bad for a day’s work. I can see the rock tumbler will be busy!!

Black Tourmaline from hogg Mountain Mine

The tourmaline (shown above) is in the walls of the pit. Luckily, there was another section of the mine where it was simply on the ground for easy pickup.

What we went to try to find, though, was aquamarine. We dug for the entire day and didn’t find any. That’s the nature of the gem hunting game, though. You never know what you might find and you might not find anything. The owner of the mine, though, had some specimens available for purchase, so I bought myself a small aquamarine rough stone. I like it and will tumble it soon to see how it turns out!

Hogg Mountain Mine Aquamarine

I love the blue-green color and it’s my birthstone. If you remember from The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian, Beebop used his aquamarine to help defeat the kelpie, and the stone is one of the gemstones in the Elven Sword, so this stone has a lot of meaning for me!

I hope you will go out exploring the area in which you live and see what kind of gemstones you can find! if you do, drop me a note and let me know what you find. Who knows, I might have to make a trip to see if I can find something cool in your area, too!!

 

 

 

 

MOONSTONE – AND I’M INVISIBLE!?!?!?!

In The Gemstone Chronicles Book Two: The Amethyst, Aidan and Maggie’s mother, Laura joins them for the return to Celahir. Keeper presents Laura with a gift of moonstone – the ancient birthstone for June. Among moonstone’s many magical properties is one that Laura and her friends and family found lifesaving – invisibility!!

Before we talk about the invisibility, let’s explore what moonstone is. According to our oft-cited friends at Wikipedia, there are two varieties. The first and most common is the adularia. The second type is a feldspar with a pearly and opalescent luster.

Because two feldspar species compose moonstone, the stone forms in layers. This makes the stone a great candidate for cabochons and for tumbling. Below is a picture of moonstone rough that I found during one of my many trips to Gold ‘n Gems Grubbin’. You can clearly see the layers of the stone.

Moonstone rough

Here is a great picture of tumbled stone. Again, you can clearly see the layers within the stones.

Tumbled moonstone

Moonstone also makes gorgeous jewelry! I added a couple of pictures of cabochons. the first is from Africa and has an amazing color.

African Moonstone

The last photo is of a cabochon ring. I think it’s beautiful!

Moonstone ring

I know you must be wondering where the invisibility comes into the picture. Moonstone has many properties associated with it. The Romans believed that the stone was made from solidified rays of the moon. The stone was believed to keep travelers safe, provide protection to swimmers, and make the wearer invisible!

In The Amethyst, thugs attack Laura and our intrepid group of adventurers on a pier. As the attack commenced, Laura wished for her group to just disappear – and they did! She drew upon the power of the moonstone and poof – invisibility! This turned the tide of the battle and they escaped to face Brendon the Giant!

Moonstone played a small but crucial part in The Gemstone Chronicles! Beautiful, lustrous, and full of legendary magical properties, it’s a favorite stone of mine and one that will be in tumbler soon. And who know, maybe I can turn invisible, too!

Do you think that gemstones have magical properties? Do you use moonstone for protection while traveling? What about other gemstones? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Connect with me on social media, too! I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. You can also email me at bill@williamlstuart.com or subscribe to the blog!

 

 

 

The Diamond – Power Stone of The Gemstone Chronicles

Diamonds!

When you think of diamonds, what is your first thought? Beautiful, sparkling, stones set in wedding rings? Glittering crown jewels from around the world? The Hope Diamond?A massive stone that channels power from other gemstones to maintain the balance between good and evil and the powers the barrier between Celahir and the human world? I think of the last (after the one in Lana’s wedding ring)!! Yes, I think of The Diamond – the Power Stone of The Gemstone Chronicles!!

In the books, The Diamond is a very large flawless stone. In reality, diamonds are not usually large like the one I envisioned for the power stone, but there certainly have been some huge stones found. The largest faceted diamond (545.67 carats) is called The Golden Jubilee, which was presented to the King of Thailand for his Golden Jubilee – the 50th anniversary of his coronation! See how beautiful it is!

Golden Jubilee Diamond

Wikipedia tells us that the largest gem quality stone ever found is the Cullinan Diamond. The Cullinan stone weighed in at a whopping 3106.75 carats (1.37 pounds!). It was cut into 9 major stones (and 96 smaller stones), the largest of which is Cullinan I or The Star of Africa. Cullinan I was the largest faceted diamond until the discovery of the Golden Jubilee. Weighing in at a hefty 530.4 carats, it is part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. Below is a picture of this incredible stone set in the Sceptre with the Cross!!

Cullinan 1 Diamond

The Diamond in The Gemstone Chronicles:

In Book Four: The Ruby, The Spider Queen has delved deep into the bowels of Celahir and found a black twin of The Diamond that controls the barrier. As I researched diamonds for this post, I found that one of the largest faceted stones is a black diamond! The Spirit of de Grisogono, weighing in at 312.24 carats,is a beautiful stone. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any pictures that I could use here, but do a quick search for it. Its beauty is stunning!

One of the things I want to do soon is visit Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. As you might have seen on the news recently, a visitor found a 6.19 carat stone. Since I love to hunt for gemstones, this sounds like an ideal weekend trip for me! I am mentally planning the road trip even as I work on this post.

The reason I chose diamond to be the power stone of The Gemstone Chronicles is due to its reputation as the strongest and most powerful of gemstones. The Ancient Greeks called it “adamas” meaning invincible or indestructible. Those properties made it the ideal stone to channel the powers from the Elven Bow and the Elven Sword!

What is your favorite diamond? The Hope Diamond? One of the stones mentioned in the article? Or maybe, the diamond in your wedding ring?? Leave me a comment and let me know!