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- Fun, Fast Fold Forming DVD Series
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Daily Wire Tip: Identifying Stones and Gems
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
I have just started to incorporate cabochons and other larger stones into my wire work, but I’m having trouble identifying certain stones. I have a copy of Firefly Guide to Gems, but as a rookie, I would hate to give someone an incorrect ID on a stone. Do you have any tips on reference materials for beginners? Thanks.
-Matthew in Stuart, Florida
Matthew, when any of my friends in the WS Faculty or I purchase a stone or cabochon, we always make sure to label the stone when we buy it (if buying in person at a gem show) or when we open an order received in the mail, and we keep the label with the stone. (See some storage and labeling ideas in this helpful video Storing Small Supplies for Travel).
If you are sorting through items you have not labeled, my personal favorite identification books are: Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Gems and Precious Stones (ISBN 0-671-60430-9), Minerals of the World by Walter Schumann (ISBN 0-8069-8570-4), and Gemstones of the World, also by Walter Schumann (ISBN 0-8069-3088-8).
Each of these books contains great, colored photos of both faceted and cabbed examples of most precious and semi precious stones we use in our wire jewelry designs, as well as detailed information about each rock and mineral. To locate and purchase copies, you can either do an Internet search using the ISBN numbers provided, or order them at your favorite bookstore.
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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