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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday's Gem - Feldspar

Feldspar is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of gems and minerals but wonderful pieces of jewelry can and have been made from it.  Feldspar is a very common mineral that makes up more than 60% of the Earth's upper crust.   The group of minerals that Feldspar is categorized with have a high content, over 65%, of silicate material.  Just like most minerals there are large variances within the group that lends to a variety of colors and transparencies which in turn will determine if the piece will work well in jewelry making or not.

Since Feldspar is such a common part of the earth's crust it is not surprising that it is most often associated as a component in granite. So often it can be dismissed as just a rock, but when found in  massive columnar, prismatic or tabular crystals Feldspar can be quite striking. These pieces are what make for great jewelry and depending on what other minerals were available during its creation the colors can vary quite a bit; Orthoclase is often found in white to a pinkish color, Microline can be a yellowish color and Amazonite is a beautiful green.  These crystals are also what attracts gem and mineral enthusiasts, like myself, to Feldspar.
This piece is from my personal collection showing some great columnar crystals.
The nice thing about Feldspar being so common is that the pieces of jewelry made from it are fairly inexpensive but still very beautiful.  Basically most of the cost is how much time it took to make the piece not the material itself.  There are many artist that can turn this common stone into a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Here are some examples of lovely jewelry pieces, beads and specimens found on Etsy:

1 comment:

Beads and Honey said...

So glad I stopped by your blog. I didn't realize you had two beautiful treasuries containing feldspar! It's unfortunate that some of the feldspars are often overlooked. The patterns found in them can be so beautiful!