About Our Rocks
Our specialty is jewelry featuring rare, unusual, and unique stones. We do not manufacture jewelry that you find in local jewelry stores. The material that I use is generally uncommon, and from this unusual material I cut totally unique gemstones.
We love working with many of Michigan’s native rocks, minerals, and gems.
- Petoskey stone (Michigan’s state stone)
- Favosite and other Devonian fossils
- Lake Superior Agates
- Isle Royale Greenstone
(chlorastrolite, our state gem)
- Native copper
- Other Upper Peninsula material
Our favorite way to add to our collection is to collect them ourselves. We also buy rock collections, estates, and individual rocks, or barter with fellow rock hounds around the world. Special rocks are also purchased at major trade shows or on the web. I cut all my own cabochons allowing wide artistic choice in selection and cut. Only the best pieces are wire wrapped and offered for sale.
I use facetted gemstones for enhancements in some instances. I purchase beads at trade shows or cut and polish beads from my own material. Many of our beads are created in my shop, and some are purchased. Our stones are never dyed, but in some cases may be stabilized or enhanced to make them more durable and attractive. If a stone is stabilized, enhanced, a doublet or triplet, we let you know.
About Our Website Photos
Our photos are not altered in any way. The light reflections are generally brighter on the real jewelry than represented in our website photos. We have eliminated the light reflections to allow for detail in the pictures.
TYPES OF WIRE WE USE
ARGENTIUM® STERLING WIRE
Agentium® Sterling Silver wire is a highly tarnish resistant sterling silver that keeps its shine for years without polishing. Adding the rare earth mineral Germanium to replace 1.2% of the copper, Argentium® inhibits Oxygen from entering through the surface of the silver making it almost tarnish free.
Argentium® is at least .930 silver versus .925 for standard Sterling. The cost of Argentium® is generally 15-20% greater than that of normal Sterling, but we believe our customers deserve the highest quality of products, including the wire we use. We have exclusively used Argentium® for several years.
STERLING SILVER (.925) WIRE
Pure silver is too soft to be used in wire-wrapped jewelry, so we use Sterling Silver which is .75% Copper. Sterling silver is the industry standard for use in fine jewelry. One of the best ways to prevent tarnishing on your Sterling is to wear it. Contact with chlorinated water and common household chemicals such as ammonia or bleach should be avoided with Sterling. Sterling is quite easy to take care of under normal use.
14/20 GOLD-FILLED WIRE (ROLLED GOLD)
14/20 Gold-filled wire is made by pressure bonding a thin layer of 14 kt gold over tarnish-free brass. It is the finest wire available to wire jewelry. Fourteen kt gold is too soft to hold a cabochon properly, so tarnish-free brass is used on the inside of the wire for strength.
14/20 refers to the total gold content of the wire. Our wire is made up of 1/20th (or 5%) 14 kt gold. There is 100 times more gold on 14/20 wire than on gold plated jewelry. This wire will last a lifetime under normal use. Those that wear 14/20 generally experience no allergies. Our wire contains no Nickel (Nickel is the culprit in most metal allergies). If you can wear 14 kt gold, you should be able to wear 14/20 gold filled wire.