the beauty of natural crystal specimens


As incredible as the cut gemstone is, the natural mineral crystal specimen can be equally, if not more, breathtaking. The featured image is an emerald from Columbia. They are famous for their distinct hue: green with a light touch of blue and they are easily distinguishable from most other emeralds.

This ruby specimen comes from Afghanistan and is nestled in calcite.

Photo courtesy of Edwards Minerals
Photo courtesy of Edwards Minerals

Below, you will see an incredible aquamarine from Pakistan. Look at how clean the faces are and how sharp the termination of each side is! Can you believe they come out of the ground this way?

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Lastly, an intriguing smithsonite(name for James Smithson, also the founding donor of the Smithsonian Museum) from Mexico seems to bubble-up from anglesite. Small datolite crystals are also present.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Here is another smithsonite, this time from New Mexico:

Photo courtesy of Chip Clark.
Photo courtesy of Chip Clark.

Ode to Zinnias (and a precious cat)

The zinnia is an old fashioned flower that is a symbol of summer to me. No garden is complete without these vivid, heat-tolerant blooms that are plentiful and easy to grow. Growing them is a source of deep satisfaction and I cut them, along with cosmos and marigolds, for small flower arrangements all season long. It is not unusual for me to have five or six vases-full at a time.

flowers flowers2 flowers in mirror

Paintings of Kurt Pio

A painted image of the brilliant facets of a diamond is almost just as lovely as the real thing. These large-scale representations of diamonds by artist Kurt Pio please me to no end. He has truely captured the scintillation(the flash of light and darkness) of a fashioned diamond. Fascinated by the splendor of a cut diamond, I tried this a few years back but lacked the patience and skill to pull it off! Darn…I will just need to get my hands on one of these…


Check out artist Kurt Pio’s website for more.

Quote from “KAFKA ON THE SHORE” by Haruki Murakami

Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That’s part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads – at least that’s where I imagine it – there’s a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in awhile, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you’ll live forever in your own private library.” 
-Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
-Drawing by Artist Micah Lidberg.

LITO Brooch

Photo courtesy of Crest & Co.
Photo courtesy of Crest & Co.

I love the shape and pose of  LITO’s Enoplotrupes Sharpi Brooch in 18kt rose gold. Beautiful Greek craftsmanship highlights the ancient beetle motif with a modern edged design. The delicate and precise line of diamonds adds brightness. It would be lovely positioned up near the shoulder or even pinned onto a grosgrain or velvet ribbon to be worn as a belt or headband.

The Jewelry of Emily Miranda

Inspired by nature and whimsically executed, Emily Miranda’s jewelry is show-stopping. She was working as a creative cake-maker when she transitioned into jewelry. (Many designers have other areas of expertise, creative and not, that led them to jewelry through unconventional paths.) From baking custom creative cakes to icing the ears and wrists and necks of women, Emily’s work is  an INSPIRATION to me.


folded-ring tangled-earrings tangled-brooch barnacle-cuff  seaweed-bib6 encrusted

All photos courtesy of Emily Miranda.


Photocourtesy of Charles Merguerien.
Photocourtesy of Charles Merguerien.

Art? A primitive map showing a mountain range? High-precision laser inscribing? Nope! Just one of the many natural beauty marks of rough diamonds. These close-ups are as beautiful as the pictures in my “Opals in October” post. I would fill my walls with large-scale reproductions of these, they are so fabulous!


Trigons are triangular growth patterns that appear on diamond rough. Oriented in the opposite direction of the gemstone’s octahedral face, these marks were etched into the diamonds as they formed by extremely hot fluids, far below the earth’s surface.


RoughPic copy