Desert Rain Earrings

July 27, 2010

A few years ago at the Tucson gem show, I bought several Indian moonstone cabochons, translucent pale greenish-gray and very high-domed.  I made one into a pendant with silver and red gold, and noticed that it changed color in humid weather, becoming greener and more opaque-looking.  I assumed it was a trick of the light, since many stones look different in the sun than they do under a cloudy sky, but my friend who bought the pendant also said that it was a distinctly different color in rainy weather.  So we nicknamed them “rain stones” and I made (and sold) a couple more pendants.  A few weeks ago, I realized that I still had a couple of stones left, including a warm yellowish green one that reminded me of pondwater.  It doesn’t change color as much as the others, but does seem to get a bit darker on rainy days like today.  These Desert Rain Earrings are backed with rather thin sterling silver so they are quite light in weight, but they are stiffened with the addition of a red gold crescent and a half moon in reticulated bronze (made from melting a scrap from a broken Tibetan singing bowl and splashing the molten metal onto a cold cast iron pan, creating a small thin disc with a wrinkled, radiating “freeze” texture).  The bezels are fine silver.  The faceted stone is Brazilian rutilated quartz, with some of the thinnest, tiniest rutile needles I’ve ever seen.  It’s from the teaching collection that I inherited from my gemology professor after his death in 1995.  He bought the stones in the 1970s.

The earrings are one inch long, not including the sterling silver wires.   Both have round cutouts in the back, to let light shine through the stones.  These earrings are rather rough and unrefined-looking but they do have a nice bit of summer sparkle in soft, neutral colors.

Desert Rain Earrings

Faceted Rutilated Quartz


One Response to “Desert Rain Earrings”

  1. Debbie said

    Wow, Lorena, these are totally stunning. Amazing contrast betweent the two stones and makes me think of seeing into two worlds at once…

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