Gems

Out of the Ashes

Found in the ruins of Pompeii, this beautifully intricate and broad necklace of gold wire was intertwined with alternating mother-of-pearl and green plasma stones. The ancient jewel will be on display at The Field Museum in Chicago as part of an exhibit titled “Pompeii: Stories From an Eruption.” Among the exhibit’s 450 other artifacts are casts of Mount Vesuvius’s victims, room-size frescoes, and precious statues. The exhibit will run from Oct. 22, 2005, through March 26, 2006. For more information, call (312) 922-9410.

Super Nova Gem Carving

Carved by gem artist Dalan Hargrave, Super Nova, a 62.5 ct. Oregon sunstone from the Dust Devil Mine, combines concave lenses with Hargrave’s signature spirographic cutting to give the gem its explosive optical activity. “The rough was dug up by Jerry and Mary Wickstrom, who were fee-digging at the Dust Devil last year,” says Hargrave. “Fee-diggers regularly visit the location near Plush, Oregon, sifting through dirt and chiseling into the hard basalt, hoping to find a few gems. Sort of like winning the lottery, ain’t it?”

Don Buford, one of the mine owners, instantly recognized it as an exceptional stone. The original weight was 155 cts. of facet-grade, bicolor, dichroic, with a trace of schiller. “The stone was then sent to me—one of the many carvers that work on top-grade stones coming out of the mine.” Immediately after sending JCK the image of Super Nova, Hargrave was digging in the dirt at the Dust Devil Mine, hoping he might get so lucky.