Introducing our luxurious collection of gemstone jewelry, where each piece is meticulously crafted to showcase the natural beauty and vibrant colors of our exquisite gemstones. From dazzling gemstone cocktail rings and elegant gemstone rings to statement-making large faceted gemstone rings, our unique designs are perfect for those seeking a touch of sophistication and glamour. Adorn yourself with our exquisite beaded gemstone necklaces, featuring carefully selected beads that complement the vibrant hues of the gemstones. Complete your look with our enchanting gemstone pendants, designed to captivate and inspire with their intricate details and alluring charm.
Experience the enchanting world of our gemstone jewelry, where elegance meets allure, and color meets radiance. Adorn yourself with sophistication and sparkle, and find the perfect piece to express your unique style and enhance your natural beauty. Unleash your inner radiance and let our jewelry illuminate your path.
November 21, 2018 1 Comment
October 08, 2018
Ruby, sapphire, garnet, moonstone, cat’s eye-beryl, quartz, chrysoberyl, eye tourmaline, eastatite, diopside, even opal in rare instances — they all share that magic irony of turning dense rutile impurities into blazing asterism. Yet despite the fact that a dozen or so such materials occur around the world, that the price of good rough varies from a few pennies per gram to over a thousand dollars a gram, few lapidaries know how to cut asteriated materials and fewer still make a specialty of it.
Cutting and polishing asteriated gems are a challenge. Besides that, it’s sort of a way to bring home a touch of India to the folks who may never get to the Asea. You don’t find many star rubies and sapphires in the Midwest. However, anyone trained in the basics of lapidary can start cutting star stones right away, since the only real change is knowing how to choose and orient your rough stone.
Bad material won’t star for all your labor, and even the best material can’t star is oriented improperly. Patience is key. Don’t hesitate to spend a lot of time in between steps. Recheck your orientation. Rewash your hands and your stones and your dopstick. Your rough stone is eons old and your finished gem will last for eons more, so take your time with it.
The first step is selecting good material. To do that, you should go to a good importer or a lapidary supply that specializes in asteriated materials. Most lapidary supply houses only handle mine run material, for the best grades can cost a king’s ransom. Nevertheless, you don’t have to cut rubies like a pro. Star garnet is inexpensive in the four- ray variety, at least, and even the six-ray garnet is nowhere near as expensive as other materials. Even some quartz will star, though often so faintly that such stones are actually backed with mirror to reflect more light up through the stone and make the star more visible.
To select material, you need a refractive liquid such as Refractol, which is a heavy oil about like Motor Honey or STP. Such motor products would also work, but refractive liquids are more colorless. Be sure that you examine your rough under strong sunlight or under clear, unfrosted light bulbs. Frosted bulbs or florescent lighting tends to wash out the star and make it impossible to judge tough. Strong sunlight is by far the best. Even in a finished stone, a star that looks bright and distinct under unfrosted light will gain new brightness and sharpness when viewed in sunlight. The rays narrow in sunlight, concentrating to their full brilliance.
So take the rough into the sun and go star hunting amid the crystal axis. To do this, you have to understand how the crystal is made, so just imagine that Corundum is aluminum oxide that grows like a six-sides tree, up and out at the same time, so that if you slice across it, you expose growth rings inside, like the growth rings inside a tree, except of course, that the “rings” aren’t circles. They are hexagons, radiating out from the center like a six-sided target. There is your star, radiating out of that center with six rays that go to the middle of each side. Each of those rays continues straight down one side.
Now if you cut this crystal like a sphere, you would have two stars, on opposite sides, and the rays would extend down like lines of longitude on a globe, radiating from the poles and touching at the equator. Slice along the equator and you have two star cabochons. Slice each one of these in the same direction, regrind, and you would have more star cabochons. But suppose you cut the other way, taking a slice down the side of the crystal, pole to pole. Then, of course, you would have no star, but only the ray that came down that side of the crystal. Cut it so the ray comes straight down the center of the cabochon, and that is how eat’s eye is made, which looks stunning set in a handmade ring setting.
So now you know how to imagine the orientation of a corundum crystal. If you have a nice six-sided crystal, all you have to do is turn it so that you are looking down on a hexagon and you know that you are looking at one of the ends of the crystal, not at one of the six sides. There in the center of each end will be the center of each star, so it’s there that you’ll put your refractive fluid. That is, if you had a nice six-sided crystal.
But suppose that you’re holding a lump of mine run or massive material that’s so broken or rounded that it doesn’t look like any kind of crystal. This is what you are likely to have, but you can orient it easy enough. First, let’s look at outward appearances.
You have a lump of corundum. If it is any shade of red, it is ruby, and if it is any other color from blue to green or yellow or combinations of those colors, then it is sapphire. They are all the same crystal and star the same, so you begin by trying to figure out where the stars lie. If there are any.
Asterism starring is caused by the density of rutile impurities in the stone. The same impurities that spoil clear rubies and sapphires and turn them into ugly junkite useful only as industrial abrasive, those same impurities can become so concentrated that the optics — and the price — of the stone takes a sudden about face. Enough rutile impurities make stars.
So don’t be surprised if your lump of corundum looks foggy and streaked with rutile, for that’s the stuff that stars are made of. Your problem at this point is trying to determine what part of this lump is the end of the crystal. Here’s how you tell.
As you turn your specimen in the sunshine, you see a faint sheen no more impressive than you might see on a piece of roughed up calcite. On ruby, this satiny sheen will be silver on the sides of the crystal, but more golden on either end of the crystal, where the stars lie. On sapphire, the sheen will be black on sides of the crystal, turning to a lighter silver on the ends. Find an “end” and you find the star.
But sometimes color can’t guide you as neatly as that, so just pick the cleanest surface and try your refractive fluid there. And if that isn’t possible, you may have to grind a little window — anyplace, just pick a place, but remember that you’re grinding away carat weight. Grind a window where you won’t lose much and try the refractive fluid.
The fluid comes out thick like ice cream and it will take a second for the nipple on top of the droplet to settle down into a lens. That lens lasts only for an instant, however, because it continues to flatten, so you only get a glimpse of the star or leg. But fluid is cheaper than rough, so just wipe it off and try it again, and again, and again, if you have to.
If you’re lucky, you may see a star right there. If not, you’ll find only one “leg” or ray of a star, but that’s all right. Just mark the directions of that leg, tracing over it with an aluminum pencil (aluminum welding rod ground to a point makes an excellent instrument for this). Once you know the direction of one leg, you can turn the specimen, following the leg in either direction, and grind another window. In this way you can find where the rays intersect and there is your star. Like the roads around Rome, all rays lead to a star.
It is possible to have a crystal broken in such a way that the star occurs only at the edge, so that into cab can be ground with the star in the center — or you may have to grind a very small cab in order to center the star, but that’s bad luck and there’s nothing you can do about that. Except buy another piece instead. Usually you will have the choice of cutting one very deep cab, or of slicing the crystal so that you get two shallower cabs. And here you have to consider the material. For some reason, ruby seems to star more faintly than sapphire, so rubies should be cut deeper in order to allow the extra stone depth to concentrate the asterism. (By contrast, the star in synthetic stones does not shine up from the stone’s depth, but rather moves only across the surface of the gem. This difference is difficult to see at first unless you have a natural and a Linde stone to compare side by side.)
It is also possible to cut a dome that is too deep to aid a star. If the dome is too high, you can actually cut off the rays of the star and reduce it to a shiny spotlight or irregular patch called a “girasol.” Some rough won’t do anything but girasol no matter how it’s cut, so you have to be careful in your choice.
Now it’s time to dop the stone. If you have a small piece and are going to cut only one cab from it, then pick one of the two crystal ends and grind it flat to use as a base on the dopstick. If you have a longer crystal and want two cabs, you’ll have to slice it in two (remember the equator) and each of those sawed surfaces can then be dopped.
The very best way of dopping these stones is to use a brass dopstick and Epoxy. This makes the strongest bond possible, insures that you won’t have to chase your rough around the room, and is very easy to remove. Just heat the dopstick in a small flame and your stone will fall off. Easy. So dop your stone with Epoxy and you’re ready to start.
December 15, 2015
If you're looking to build a beautiful jewelry collection and have something for every occasion, you simply must have a stylish gemstone necklace at the ready. The word "gem-drenched necklace" might have you thinking of sparkling rubies and sapphires, but semiprecious gem necklaces are often more versatile, as you can wear them for dressy or casual occasions. We have many gemstone necklaces in the John S. Brana Jewelry Collection, and you can find the perfect one for your jewelry box in four simple steps:
1. Choose the Colors. With gemstones, it's always best to start your search by thinking about the color that you want. Start by considering what you're planning to pair with your necklace. Are you looking for something that will go with just about anything? A piece in black like our Freshwater Pearl Onyx Necklace is a great choice. If you're looking for a necklace to add color to pieces, think about what color family you prefer. Do you want bold jewel tones like our Carnelian Necklace? Pastels like our Pink Coral Garnet Necklace? Earthy colors like our Baltic and Dominican Amber Necklace? By thinking about what colors you wear most often, you can easily find the right gemstone necklace to bring color to your favorite outfits.
2. Select the shape. After you determine what colors you like, you should think about the shape of the necklace. A V-shaped necklace like our 14K Gold-filled Garnet Chain Maille Necklace will suit plunging necklines like halters and V-necks. Rounder necklaces like our Keishi Cornflake Pearl Necklace are better for round necklines like scoops and crewnecks. An asymmetrical necklace like our Faceted Garnets and Citrine Flower Necklace will look perfect with an off-the shoulder or strapless look. Because you want to be able to wear your necklace with many wardrobe pieces, take some time to look at the necklines of some of your tops and dresses when selecting a shape.
3. Determine the Length. Once you have made decisions about color and shape, you need to figure out just how long of a necklace you need. You may want to use string or yarn to see how necklaces of different lengths will fit. Another option is to pick a necklace that allows you to adjust the length like our Apatite Wire Wrapped Fine Silver Necklace or our Blue Chalcedony White Coral Necklace. This will give you the flexibility to alter the length to match the necklines of whatever you're wearing.
4. Picking Your Style. Now that you've made decisions about the color, shape and length, you'll find that your gemstone necklace options have been narrowed to just a few styles. This leaves you free to select the one that best suits your individual tastes.
There you have it--four simple steps to finding the perfect gem-drenched necklace to add to your jewelry box. Now, you're ready to explore all of the gemstone necklaces in the John S. Brana Handmade Jewelry Collection to find your favorite.
August 01, 2014
Peridot is a lime green gem recognized as the traditional birthstone for the month of August. Giving someone a piece of jewelry containing this birthstone is thought to bring the wearer protection and good luck. Peridot is associated with faithfulness, love, truth, and loyalty. It is also thought to have healing properties, especially to illnesses relating to the lymph, lungs, sinuses, and breast. The name Peridot originates from the Arabic term “faridat”, meaning gem. It was believed that the Peridot continued to glow with light even as the darkness fell. This may be the reason that the Peridot is often referred to as the “evening emerald”. Learn about August’s birthstone – the Peridot.
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March 10, 2014 1 Comment
For those who love a statement piece, the Barbary Coast collection is perfect for those who choose to build an ensemble around their jewelry. Catch the light and also plenty of admiring glances with this Amber, Citrine, and Crystal Quartz necklace. Round smooth Crystal Quartz and Citrine gemstone beads are mixed throughout with a selection of Amber and Gold Freshwater Pearls. Fine Silver beads accent the necklace with a touch of sparkling shine.
Nature is already a work of art, so using it as an inspiration to create alluring jewelry is an easy trend to get behind. Celebrating the rich colors and textures of the forest, Handmade Jewelry by John S. Brana brings you this amazing hand crafted necklace. Citrine, the most common color of quartz, is best known in the world of crystals and alternative medicine as a gem containing the solar energy of the sun, and many believe it has special healing qualities. Amber is known for its rich color and warm tones. Made from fossilized tree resin, this historic gem has been around since the first caveman gave a pretty stone to his beloved. Quartz is the second most abundant mineral on Earth and is able to catch the light brilliantly.
These three gems combined make a unique and relaxing combination of cascading stones that will compliment any outfit. If you’re hoping to give this necklace as a gift we do ship in a super cute gift box. This popular collection has been known to inspire brilliance, relaxation and warm feelings of zen. Maybe it’s the deeply vibrant colors or perhaps the tumbling string of gems. Either way, you’ll be happy to have this piece in your jewelry box!
February 18, 2014
Amazonite is a colorful gemstone often used in jewelry, ranging from green, blue-green, to yellow-green. As a green variety of microcline feldspar, amazonite can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes, and hues. Its name comes from the Amazon River found in Brazil, from which green stones were originally obtained. The name may also refer to the green shades of the rainforest along the river that were reflected in the gemstones. Due to its desirable bright green color, amazonite is commonly cut and used as gemstones in jewelry. It is generally cut en cabochon, featuring a convex and rounded polished surface. For many years, the source of amazonite’s unique colour was a mystery. Many people believed that amazonite contained copper, as copper compounds are often found with green and blue colors. Modern studies suggest that the blue-green color of amazonite results from lead found in the feldspar.
Amazonite can vary in color, but is most often see in green, blue-green, or yellow-green varieties. Some pieces of amazonite gemstone can also be seen with fine white streaks. The overall color of the stone will ultimately depend in the variety. Traditional amazonite, also referred to as amazon-stone, is typically seen in a pale blue-green colour. Sometimes the color sways more towards a richer sky blue. Russian amazonite is a deeper blue-green color with streaks of white. While rarer, Russian amazonite is primarily collected in areas throughout Colorado (US) and Russia.
February 13, 2014
Take the powerful imagery of the ocean with you wherever you go! This necklace is nothing less than a wearable work of art. Handcrafted, each piece is totally unique! You’ll be sure to spark a conversation and total strangers will be enticed to ask you where you found this rare beauty!
Dazzle your senses with shimmering cool shades of ocean blue Chalcedony with Stick Coral. Handmade Aqua Venetian Glass beads, Clear Crystal Quartz, and Aqua Freshwater Pearls are accented by glistening Fine Silver Wire accent beads, creating a necklace with eye-catching bursts of color.
Part of John S. Brana’s signature Sea Cliff collection, this necklace perfectly displays Brana’s flair for naturalistic inspiration. Both the ocean and forestry are strong themes through his popular jewelry line. You won’t find anything like it in stores; this item is one of a kind. Chalcedony has a waxy luster and is commonly white, grey and brilliant shades of blue in color. It has been used in jewelry making and for decoration since ancient times. The color goes perfectly with ocean themed designs and lends itself well to this mixture of gem, coral and beads.
This necklace truly captures the ebb and flow of ocean waves with the chalcedony, glass beads and coral all cascading and tumbling together. A dream for any ocean or nature enthusiast, this makes the perfect gift to remember the perfect trip you took together for all times. These semi-translucent shades of blue and white look fantastic on blondes with cool skin tones but can easily be worn by almost enough because of their multicolored nature. You can’t go wrong with this charming handcrafted necklace that is perfect for dressing up, casual wear or the ultimate accessory for drinks and dancing on an island excursion.
November 10, 2013
May 01, 2013
Popular, trendy and artistic; the beaded gemstone necklace is a handcrafted thing of beauty which can be made to fit with many styles and color pallets. In fact, the beaded gemstone necklaces you will find here on this website are made from hand-selected semi-precious stones. Textures and colors are combined to create vibrant and fully expressive accessories.
Some of the exquisite stones include; African Opal, Amazonite, Apatite, Carnelian, Chalk Turquoise, Citrine, Garnet, Onyx, and Prehnite.
The practice of wearing beads and gems as jewelry can be traced back 70,000 years ago when the gems were discovered and admired for their beauty. Back then people didn’t have pockets to keep their possessions in so these gems were attached to leather straps and worn around the neck or wrist. Beads, gems and shells have all been used directly as currency for trade in the past as well.
You can find something to fit any style or taste. Use one of these signature pieces to complete your signature look.
Brilliant natural colors and a multi-textured design make this necklace a favorite of many. This tri-colored necklace is made from Prehnite, Amethyst, and Carnelian. Freshwater pearls help create the illusion of an underwater adventure.
Get swept away with this stunning Moss Green Freshwater Pearl and Onyx Necklace. Black Lava, hand-carved Onyx Flowers, Swarovski Crystals, and Fine Silver beads carry the natural theme to its fullest potential.
Get into the “pink of things” with this princess-worthy beaded gemstone necklace. Garnet and Pink Coral Tear-drop beads clamor over each other, creating a string of alluring beauty. This necklace makes a perfect gift for those who dream in shades of pink. Just a small sampling of the amazing handcrafted necklaces shows you the potential this style holds. This type of jewelry lends itself well to nature inspired designs that can flatter any woman’s appearance.
April 04, 2013
June 11, 2012
People who celebrate June birthdays have the option of choosing between several beautiful June birthstones, including pearls and moonstones. Known for their unique luster, pearls can be creativity mounted into pins, earrings, necklaces, and rings. Moonstones maintain an elegant iridescence and can be polished, carved, or set into nearly any piece of jewelry. Both of these gems provide a one-of-a-kind look when used in combination with June birthstone jewelry.
Moonstones have a very unique appearance and are a form of feldspar. They were given their name from Pliny, a Roman natural historian who wrote that the stones appearance altered with the phrases of the moon. Layers of feldspar and albrite give the moonstone its textured appearance. They are generally blue with layers of white, and have a similar resemblance to that of scratched blue glass. Jewelry that features moonstones is an ideal choice for people who love fantasy, as well as those who prefer the bluish-greyish hues of winter. Considered a sacred gemstone in India, the moonstone is often displayed on a background of yellow which is a sacred color. They are believed to encapsulate a spirit within the stone whose purpose is to exude good fortune, making it a great choice for June birthstones .
May 01, 2012
Birthstone jewelry is a reflection of individuality and can promote a sense of style. The birthstone for the month of May is emerald and this traditional green gem has a rich history. From the Egyptians to the Irish, emeralds have been treasured by many ancient and modern societies. Gold and silver necklaces, pendants, rings, bracelets, and earrings encrusted with a May gemstone are the perfect way to accessorize while wearing a piece of jewelry that symbolizes yourself, your family, and people important in your life.