Joie de Vivre jewelry
••  c o p p e r  o r e

Copper Ore refers to carbonate and phosphate group stones forming in copper-rich environments. Carbonates have CO3 as the basic structural unit, and phosphates have PO4 as the unit. Malachite and turquoise were some of the earliest minerals mined from copper ore, used to adorn Egyptian and Persian royalty. Azurite is a deep blue copper carbonate that often forms along with malachite. Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate found near hydrothermal ore veins and owes its deep rose-pink color to manganese and magnesium. Turquoise is part of the phosphate group and its color varies from sky-blue to green depending on ratios of iron and copper. Variscite is a phosphate that commonly occurs with apatite. Gem quality apatite most often forms in pegmatites along with other gemstones. Fluorite is neither a carbonate or phosphate; it is a halide comprised of calcium fluoride and often associated with lead and silver ores and gem-laden pegmatite cavities. Like other stones in this category, it is relatively soft and cleaves easily.

•• a p a t i t e

Tethy's Bounty
Apatite's name is derived from the Greek apate, meaning "deceit" because it is often mistaken for other minerals like aquamarine or blue tourmaline. It is the most common phosphate mineral and generally used as a source of phosphorus. Because of its brittleness, it is not often cut as a faceted gemstone but the deep blue-green colors make beautiful smaller stones. Apatite is generally untreated.

•• a z u r i t e

Azurite is one of two basic copper carbonate minerals (the other being malachite) and due to its softness and perfect cleavage, it is rarely found in jewelry component form. It may be assembled with malachite and stabilized with resin. It has a lovely deep blue color and was used as a source of pigment in European art from the 15th through 17th centuries.

•• f l u o r i t e

Fluorite No. 3 Bovary
Bovary Lite
Gem Drops (GE2)
Fluorite has the widest color range of any mineral and can be colorless, white, purple, green, blue, yellow or pink. Color variations are determined by proportions of trace elements substituting in the CaF2 structure. Banded fluorite showing purple, yellow or white is known as "Blue John" and it was first mined in Roman times in areas of England. The old Roman mines were rediscovered in the 18th century and are still in use today. Because of its easy cleavage, it is often bonded with resin for greater stability. Despite this limitation, fluorite is a good party gem: it fluoresces in ultraviolet light. How's that for a party trick?

•• m a l a c i t e

Malachite No. 5 Cather
Queen Tiy
Gem Drops (S2)
Gem Drops (G2)
Malachite is the other principal copper carbonate and its brilliant green color is often an indicator that copper deposits are nearby. Huge deposits were found in the Ural mountains of Russia, leading to extragavant columns and furnishings throughout Russian palaces and churches. Like azurite, it has been ground and used as pigment. It's been found in Egyptian wall paintings and known to an eye paint. Today, some of the finest specimens originate from mines in the Congo.

•• r h o d o c h r o s i t e

Rhodochrosite Sample
Note: the tile of Brilliant shows dyed crazy lace agate, but the design contains rhodochrosite like in the tile of Lovelies.

Rhodochrosite is a rose-pink member of the carbonate group and a relatively new addition to gemstone jewelry, being introduced to the market around 1940. It is commonly found in hydrothermal veins near silver and copper. Transparent crystals are rare, and most samples are found in aggregrate form with alternating bands of dark and light. It is found in Argentina and the famous Sweet Home Mine in Colorado; in fact, the prevalence of rare large red crystals lead to the stone being named state mineral in 2002.

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City Country
Four Corners
Earth Sky
Blue Skies
Pieces of Eight
The C & C
Casual Friday
The Grand Canyon State
Desert Rock Garden
We have a long history with turquoise! Turquoise beads have been found with early Mesopotamians and extracted from mines on the Sinai Peninsula for Egyptians. It is esteemed like jade in Iran, and the turquoise found in Iran tends to be harder and a more uniform blue color than North American turquoise. In North America, Pueblo Indians used turquoise for jewelry and decoration, creating fantastic mosaics. Mexican metalsmiths introduced silver-working to the Navajo in the mid 1800s and stunning jewelry has resulted since. Even the name has become synonymous with the color itself. Southwestern turquoise is generally known by the name of the mine and varies in color and degree of matrix. In Arizona, the Sleeping Beauty mine long produced lovely uniform deep blue turquoise. Since the closure of turquoise mining in 2012, the prices commanded for Sleeping Beauty turquoise have steeply risen. Though turquoise is soft and porous, it polishes beautifully. It is often stabilized with resin to help prevent breakage, and this is a common well-accepted treatment as long as it is disclosed.

•• v a r i s c i t e

Rougher Stuff
Variscite is a lesser known member of the phosphate group and often mistaken for turquoise. Like turquoise, it is porous and primarily forms in veins, nodules or crusts. It tends to be more green in color than turquoise and contains more aluminum. The most highly prized samples come from Utah and Nevada for their deep emerald color and black spider webbing.

••  m a t e r i a l  t y p e  l i n k s

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