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Daily Wire Tip Jan. 19: Wire Wrapping Andalusite
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
January 19, 2011
There is an abundance of Andalusite in my area. I’ve tried to work with it with little luck, as far as achieving a water shine, so I need to come up with a way as to use wire to bring out the beauty. Using silver, I find that the silver dominates the beauty and leaves the Andalusite with a non-attractive look. How can I wire this as to produce the high quality pendant that I want?
-Steven in Fresno, California
You don’t mention if the stones you have are gemmy (transparent to translucent, usually faceted) or if this Andalusite is basic (pink and white with black cross, usually cabbed). I gather it is the latter, so I would recommend just making a regular frame pendant for it. If the stones are of the gemmy type, then any of the prong designs offered in our DVDs or in my book would work beautifully, because using prongs along the edges of the stone will not cover the top much at all.
Gemmy Andalusite is not often found in larger sizes and is also known as "poor man’s alexandrite" due to the fact that this natural stone contains several colors (red, yellow and green, sometimes in brownish tones). Unlike Alexandrite, Andalusite does not need lighting changes to see the many colors. As a June baby whose birthstone is the extremely rare-but-gorgeous red/green Alexandrite, less-expensive Andalusite is one of my favorite stones!
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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