Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Victoria Stone

I recently had the pleasure of designing these two pendants for Mary Ann and Ralph of Stones That Rock. It is absolutely mesmerizing to look at, and by far the most chatoyant stone I have ever seen in person. They cut these stones and have them in their private collection. Designing with these stones was a wonderful experience.Until I saw the stones on their website, I had never encountered this stone before.
cabochon by Stones That Rock
Naturally, I wanted to know more about the stone so I researched it. The most comprehensive information I found on the stone was provided on Daniel Lopaki's website in an article for ROCKCOLLECTOR, the newsletter for the Rochester Lapidary Society, written by Greg Weisbrod, September, 2005.

cabochon by Danial Lopacki Co.
Late in the 60's Iimori Laboratory Ltd. of Tokyo Japan began to market a variety of imitation gem materials. Dr. S. Iimori produced some paste (lead glass) in different colors for faceting, also a cat's eye, "jade," and finally his masterpiece:

The chatoyant Victoria stone in 16 different colors. 
 cabochon by Danial Lopacki Co.
This material was advertised to be a melt of various natural minerals that had reconstructed into a new mineral and cooled for months under 2000 pounds pressure. The melt mass then partially devitrified forming chatoyant fan-like sprays of crystal fibers.
cabochon by Danial Lopacki Co.
 Ideally the fibers would interlock, similar to those that give nephrite jade its toughness. Unfortunately, this did not occur. The glass matrix of the "boules" developed severe internal strains much similar to unannealed glass.

The mass looked like a fat carrot, weighed about five pounds and sold for $20.00/lb. Instructions cautioned you to carefully grind the white rind from the "boule" so as to relieve the strain. You must also take extreme care not to overheat the material in cutting, doping, or polishing. You could also purchase a ready-made cabochon from the company.

cabochon by Danial Lopacki Co.
 To protect his market, the 84-year-old Dr. Iimori did not patent his process, instead preferring to keep it a secret even from his family. When he passed away they did not continue the operation and the company went bankrupt in 1985.


RockMeGently said...

Dawn, I haven't been very active with blogging as of late, but when I saw you comment on Gerard Scott Designs on fb, had to see what you've been up to! These wraps are stunning! Blessings, Sheree

Tania said...

That is a gorgeous stone, and some beautiful wire work! I adore the left hand one, those spirals are mesmerising but it looks over all so simple!


OMG, I just adore your work! I was blog hopping and came upon yours. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!!! No other words to describe it!

MyrtleHernandez said...

i love the pendant for mary ann and Ralph the stoned of rock..

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CharmN Jewelry said...

Stones can look very gorgeous when properly used in jewelry.I love the colors and the combination of silver or gold along with them.

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Jean said...

Your work is fabulous, just happened to land on your blog and had to comment how wonderful your wraps are!

Eline S. said...

What a beautifull work!!

Healthtec Software said...

The stone and wiring creating a novel combination and the pieces unique.The sterling silver is helping the color of the stone to get a lift.beautiful designs.Gold Charm