Mined and Refined: Amethyst Rings

July 17, 2011

Amethyst Ring Set

Amethyst Ring Set

Mined and Refined:  Amethyst is a set of two rings that can be worn together or separately.  The larger one is made from a piece of iron pipe that was hot-forged to the proper size, then drilled, carved, and polished.  The silver bezel cup is riveted to the iron ring.  It is set with a very pale natural amethyst crystal from a small “Keokuk-type” geode that I collected on the North Rolling Fork River in central Kentucky many years ago.  I’ve seen hundreds of these geodes but only one with amethyst crystals and a couple with smoky quartz.  Most sedimentary geodes of this type have colorless or white quartz crystals.

The companion ring is hammered sterling silver 14-gauge wire, set with a 6mm faceted light purple smoky amethyst.  The point on the underside of the stone had a small but noticeable chip (this is a common flaw in round faceted stones, and is why “brilliant cut” diamonds have a culet, which is a tiny facet that blunts the point).  I polished a tiny dome on the point.  It removed the chip and gives the stone a visual “hole” in the center, like the pupil in an eye, which looks unusual and adds a bit of interest.  Although this is considered a low quality stone (high-grade amethysts are darker and more intense purple), I thought its subtle moody color made it a perfect match for the pale, slightly milky crystal in the iron ring.

These are small rings (size 5) that I made to fit my pinkie.  Both stones have sentimental value for me but are not worth much by traditional gem-grading standards.   One reason that I don’t make more rings is that I do not feel (at least in my own work) that the end result justifies the amount of time involved.  The iron ring in particular was a lot more work than it looks.  But it was an interesting project and should be fun to wear.

Iron Ring with Amethyst Crystal in Silver

Iron Ring with Amethyst Crystal in Silver

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