There’s more to gemstones than color and birthstone information. At the major gem and jewelry shows, for example, many jewelry designers are focused on price and size. They know that by using less popular gem materials, they can make both big and relatively inexpensive jewelry.
Consider chalcedony. It’s the ornamental translucent-to-opaque quartz that retailers see most often as black onyx, sardonyx, agate (banded chalcedony) bloodstone, sard, carnelian, and chrysoprase. Matching inexpensive chalcedonies with beaders can result in big jewelry at affordable prices.
Gem artists have discovered chalcedony, too. They can get big chunks of it and carve away without breaking the bank.
Here are two important facts about chalcedony: First, designers and carvers can get chalcedony from almost anywhere in the world. Second, chalcedonies, including agates, have long been heated and dyed. That’s an important consideration for anyone about to buy large quantities of it, so just because it’s inexpensive, don’t forget to ask disclosure questions.