Gems and Minerals – Baryte #21

About– The mineral Baryte, or barite, (BaSO4) consists of barium sulfate. It is often associated with the minerals Anglesite and Celestine. It has also been identified in meteorites. Baryte is generally colorless however it may take on the color of the host mineral. Most baryte is ground to a small, uniform size and used as a filler or extender, before adding to industrial products or as a weighting agent in the mud used in petroleum drilling. Baryte commonly occurs in limestones lead-zinc veins in hot spring deposits with hematite ore.

History – Baryte has a radiating form referred to as Bologna Stone. The alchemists in the 17th century found phosphorescent specimens near Bologna by Vincenzo Casciarolo. The name baryte comes from the Greek word βαρύς meaning “heavy”. The American spelling of barite was adopted in 1959 by the International Mineralogical Association. It was later recommended by the Mineralogical Society of America to return to the former spelling of Baryte in 1978.

Location- Baryte has been found worldwide in conjunction with other minerals. Large barite crystals have been found in Nevada in the US, in Perthshire, Scotland; and in many of the following locations: Brazil, Nigeria, Canada, Chile, China, India, Greece, Guatemala, Iran, Ireland, Liberia, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Romania, Turkey, South Africa, Thailand, UK. It is also mined stateside in Arkansas, Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Nevada and Missouri. Baryte with Cerussite is found in Morocco deep in the ocean.  Baryte has oxygen in its sediments and has been used to help maintain paleotemperatures in the oceanic crust.

Folklore -Folklore – Metaphysically it is believed that barite helps to heal the Earth. It is said to aide in dreamwork eliminating restraint, enhances friendship, harmony, and love.  and Barite is mined extensively as the only source of barium metal and barium compounds.  A native American legend states that Oklahoma rose rocks were formed from the blood of the Indians on the Trail of Tears. In fact, Baryte Rose Rocks date back 250 million years to the Permian Period. At that time western and central Oklahoma was covered by a shallow sea. Barite precipitated out of the water and crystallized around grains of quartz sand as the sea retreated.  Large formations of reddish sandstone were left behind which contained deposits of rose rock.” (From Wikipedia: Desert Rose).  Barite roses are also said to be used to establish a connection to the spiritual realms and in ancestor work.

Care & Uses-Historically Baryte was used to produce barium hydroxide for sugar refining, and pigment for textiles, paper, and paint. Baryte is not considered to be toxic but is a “heavy” metal. It may flake or chip and is often fragile and threadlike. Clean by brushing gently with a soft toothbrush. Do not use cleansers as it may damage the crystals. It should be stored in a jewelry bag to avoid scratches, chipping, and general damage to the crystals. It is very sensitive to heat and prolonged exposure to the sun.


Favorite Books –The Lampworked, fused, and Carved Dichroic Beads of Carol Fonda and Monty Clark

I was across the aisle from Carol and Monty at a show in California where they introduced me to their amazing beads and glass. Monty has taught lampwork at the American River College where he met Carol. They each have their own style and have amazing glass and beads as well.  I have made necklaces with their central flowers and one with a Lola bead.

This is an excellent book that gives step-by-step instructions for a variety of lampwork beads that were specially designed by the authors. They also include acid etching, bead stock fusing, and even a piece on developing your own style. I would highly recommend this book created by Jim Kervin, © 2007   ISBN -10 0-9742621-6-1 ISBN -13 978-0-9742621-6-1

Favorite Books – Practical Casting

A wonderful book which covers many different types of casting from Lost Wax Technique, Sand Casting, Molds, and even Foundry Casting. It starts with mold making and tools needed for the casting process. Torch melting or kilns are discussed. Vacuum Casting is also discussed as well as curing, pouring, and various materials available for making molds. It was very informational and had a great number of pictures which aided in understanding. I would highly recommend this book by Tim Mc Creight ©1994 ISBN 0-9615984-5-X

Current Shows for Absolutely Unique LLC


May 25-28, 2017 10:00-7:00    Phoenix Comicon
May 2017 to October 2017 El Pedregal Gallery is displaying my Jewelry
El Pedregal Gallery  34505 N. Scottsdale Road, 2nd Floor, Scottsdale,                        AZ   85266  480-575-6658
El Pedregal displays rotating one-of-a-kind juried works by Sonoran Art                 League Artists.  The Gallery is open from 11:00 to 6:00 daily with                     Friday Art Walks, and Saturday Art Parties on the 3rd of each                           month.
July-21 & 28-2017   Friday Art Walks every Friday 4-7:00
July-16-2017 El Pedregal Gallery Reception 4-6:00 meet the new artists   August 4 & 11 & 18 & 25, 2017 Friday Art Walks every Friday 4-7:00   August-18-2017  3rd Saturday Art Party 1-4:00 with catered food & galleries October-21 to 22, 2017 – Arizona Opera Hercules vs Vampires       November-17 to 19, 2017 – Arizona Opera – Tosca
November-17 to 19, 2017 – Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour                                 November-24 to 26, 2017 – Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour                            December 9 or 16, 2017 – Vermillion Promotions – Christmas Art in the Park February 2 to 4, 2018 – Arizona Opera – Candide                                               March 9 to 11, 2018 – Arizona Opera – Barbara of Seville
April 6 to 8, 2018 – Arizona Opera – Das Rheingold

Newest Jewelry Additions-Religious Collection

Hallowed Lilac


This is amazing piece within my Religious Collection has a Fabrége Souvenir Egg. The golden egg has a pretty white crystal cross and a lovely enameled lavender hue. The Cross case opens to reveal a golden angel which dangles down. It is complemented by dyed button pearls, hand crafted Lampwork Beads, faceted Rock Crystal, and exquisite Ametrine beads. The Gold-filled clasp and 3mm round GF beads complete this truly remarkable necklace.

This lovely piece will be presented and displayed at the Arizona Opera and at the Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour in November 2017 until sold. The length of Hallowed Lilac is 21″. My website or Etsy store sell it at a retail  price of $836.00 and it is offered for Wholesale Price of $418.00 at the current shows listed above.

Newest Jewelry Additions-Religious Collection

Celtic Connemara


This amazing necklace from my Religious Collection is made of Connemara Marble with matching etched Bone beads and Swarovski Crystals. The Connemara Marble in this necklace was mined in Ireland.  The magnificently hand tooled and etched Sterling Silver Cross and bail are signed and stamped. Sterling Silver abounds with 3mm rounds, Daisy Spacers, as well as, amazing Bali and Thai Hill beads and flowered Sterling Clasp. The lovely matching seed beads complement the olive theme. Earrings are included with each of my pieces.

This lovely piece is presently being displayed at the El Pedregal Gallery at the Boulders in Cave Creek, Arizona.  This amazing and little known gallery is associated with the Sonoran Arts League.  The length of Celtic Connemarra is 18″. My website and Etsy store sell it at a retail  price of $740.00 and it is offered for Wholesale Price of $370.00 in the gallery, at shows, and at the Arizona Opera. Pieces like it will also be offered at Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour in November 2017.

Gemstones & Minerals-AzurMalachite


About-It has a hardness of 3.0-4.0 and is a blue copper mineral. Azurite is often found intergrown with Malachite forming this amazing stone. The dark blue is from oxidized copper ore and as it absorbs water it changes into the mineral Malachite. It often occurs with Crysocolla and Turquoise as well

History- For thousands of years Azurite and Malachite have been used in jewelry and ornamental objects. In the Russian Palaces man-sized carved vases were created from both. Catherine’s Palace displays both as gallery objects d’art. Both were often used in the Middle Ages as pigments by Renaissance painters.

Location-It is found mainly in copper mining areas and has been found worldwide. The most outstanding samples of Azurmalachite have been discovered in Australia, Chile, France, Mexico, Morocco, Nambia, Zaire, and the Southwestern USA especially within the states of Arizona and New Mexico.

Folklore-It is believed to help in the reduction of anger, promote wisdom, and is purported to have been successful in reducing the pain of rheumatism.

Care-It is a very low hardness and in most cases is coated to protect it. Heat destroys Azumalachite turning the Azure into a copper oxide. It will scratch easily and should be stored separately or in a jewelry bag. Clean and buff with a soft cloth to return it’s original luster.

Gemstones and Minerals — Azurite


About-It has a hardness of 3.4-4.0 and is a blue copper mineral. The dark blue Azurite is formed from the oxidation of copper ores.  Azurite can form fine crystals.

History- The name is derived from the Persian (Arabic) word for blue (lajward). It was often used in the Middle Ages as a pigment and dye and was a favorite blue pigment used by Renaissance painters

Location-It is found mainly in copper mining areas and has been found worldwide. The most outstanding samples have been discovered in La Sal, Utah; Bisbee Arizona; and new Mexico in the USA. It has also been found in Mexico, Tsumeb, Nambia, Shaba, Congo, Toussit, Morocco, Australia, and many locations in Europe.

Folklore-Azurite is often called the “Stone of Heaven” It is believed to unite the subconscious with the conscious mind expanding the limits of our minds like a lantern in the darkness.

Care-It is a very low hardness and in most cases is coated to protect it. It will scratch easily and should be stored separately or in a jewelry bag. Heat destroys Azurite, turning it into black copper oxide. Clean with a soft cloth, and buff with a soft cloth to return it’s original luster.

Forecast, Fabulous: Le Vian’s 2018 Jewelry Trend Predictions

On June 7, invited guests gathered in the Lagoon Ballroom of Mandalay Bay to experience a long-standing favorite event at JCK Las Vegas: Le Vian’s Red Carpet Revue. The annual fashion show, which played host to celebrities including television personality Ross Matthews and award-winning actress Jane Krakowski, was in its 18th edition and was broadcast live on Facebook. Members of the current and next generation of the LeVian family took part in the event, with a generous donation by Le Vian collection’s Cecil Pruitt going towards Jewelers for Children.

In addition to the runway show, which was kicked off by Continental Buying Group’s Andie Weinman (in thigh high boots and Le Vian jewels, no less, as pictured above), Le Vian released its annual jewelry and fashion trend forecast, which will likely affect what you see (or stock) in stores later this year. Here are the brand’s trends for 2018 as announced by Le Vian’s own Eddie LeVian at the event.

2018 Gems of the Year

Bracelet in 18k Vanilla Gold with 20.2 cts. t.w. Blueberry Sapphires and 12.23 cts. t.w. Vanilla Diamonds, $58,248

Cornflower Ceylon Sapphire and Blueberry Sapphire. Le Vian’s signature Cornflower Ceylon Sapphire—in addition to gemstones in a similar hue—is definitely the shade of sapphire shoppers will be racing to in 2018, if not much sooner. Le Vian has also added its Blueberry Sapphire, which is a deeper, slightly more electric hue, to the list of 2018 gems.

Ring in 14k Strawberry Gold with 1.21 ct. Passion Ruby and 0.64 ct. t.w. Vanilla Diamonds, $5,248

2018 Category of the Year: Precious

Passion Ruby and Strawberry Sapphire. Le Vian’s pink and red gemstones are standouts of a category the brand has named Precious, which is a “nod to Le Vian’s storied past, representing the historical early period of Le Vian in the U.S. where color was defined in precious gems.” Though the aforementioned stones represent a current demand for warmly hued gems, Le Vian’s Cornflower Ceylon Sapphire, Blueberry Sapphire, and Costa Smeralda Emeralds also fall under the category.

Pendant in 14k Vanilla Gold with 0.33 ct. t.w. Cornflower Ceylon Sapphire, 0.35 ct. t.w. Passion Passion Ruby, and 0.1 ct. t.w. Vanilla Diamonds, $1,948

Color Trend of the Year: Red, White & Blue

Le Vian’s Red, White & Blue collection speaks to a longing for unity in a year of extreme political divisiveness, blending the rich colors of America’s flag into designs all can appreciate. Using the brand’s signature Passion Ruby, Blueberry Sapphire, and Vanilla Diamonds, the collection boasts a variety of pendants and rings—some even featuring stars and stripes.

Ring in 18k Vanilla Gold with 4.2 ct. Cornflower Ceylon Sapphire and 1.49 cts. t.w. Vanilla Diamonds, $51,798

2018 Fall Color of the Year: Denim

Who doesn’t love denim? A staple in any closet, Le Vian echos its necessity with a collection featuring its jean-hued gemstones: Deep Sea Blue Topaz, Cornflower Ceylon Sapphire, and Santa Maria Aquamarine. Some of the collection’s designs are even cleverly detailed with “stitching,” done up in the brand’s signature Chocolate Diamonds.

Ring in 14k Honey Gold with 0.65 ct. t.w. Crème Brulee Diamonds, $2,798

2018 Spring Color of the Year: Nude

If Le Vian is right, this spring will be all about getting naked (just kidding, sort of). With a collection dedicated to providing “monochromatic sparkle that is complementary to both fashion and beauty trends,” the brand is launching Nude Diamonds, as well as featuring its Peach Morganite and Neopolitan Opal in an array of designs.

Ring in 18k two-tone with 1.7 ct. Sunny Yellow Diamond, 0.28 ct. t.w. Strawberry Diamonds, and 0.25 ct. t.w. Vanilla Diamonds, $51,498

2018 Bridal Trend of the Year: Color Bridal

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that colored gemstones in bridal are on the uptick—more brides want seemingly unique, highly customized options in their engagement rings, and colored gems are a variation of that. Le Vian is answering the call for individuality with its new bridal collection, with gemstones from its Precious line in addition to its Sunny Yellow Diamonds and Strawberry Diamonds, too.

Ring in 18k Vanilla Gold with 3.94 ct. Neon Blue Paraiba Tourmaline and 1.11 cts. t.w. Vanilla Diamonds, $31,498

Pantone Color of the Year: Greenery

In response to Pantone’s Color of the Year, the energetic, full-of-life Greenery, Le Vian is spotlighting its grassy gemstone palette: Pistachio Diopside, Hunters Green Tourmaline, and the blue-green of Neon Blue Paraiba Tourmaline.

Earrings in 14k Vanilla Gold with 0.64 ct. t.w. Cornflower Ceylon Sapphire and 0.45 ct. t.w. Vanilla Diamonds, $5,048

2018 Design Trend of the Year: Extraterrestrials

Otherworldly elements are a mainstay in the jewelry world—stars, moons, and the like—so Le Vian explores that with its Extraterrestrials line, featuring “orbiting bands of gold, diamonds, and gems in dimensional patterns, as well as stars and galaxies.”

Ring in 14k Strawberry Gold with 0.55 ct. t.w. Chocolate Diamonds and 0.43 ct. t.w. Vanilla Diamonds, $4,398

2018 Setting of the Year: Bezel

This is the first year that Le Vian has opted to forecast a setting, with the bezel taking the top spot for 2018. As one of the brand’s most successful design features, it’s a look that “is redefining fine jewelry today and changing the look of the pieces for a more modern effect.”

Bracelets in 14k Vanilla Gold with Santa Maria Aquamarine, london blue topaz, and Blueberry Tanzanite, $6,848–$10,698

Fashion Trend of the Year: Stacking and Layering

Stacking rings, layered necklaces, and earring groups have had a stronghold on the jewelry industry for the last couple of years, and, according to Le Vian, don’t expect that to dissipate anytime soon. The brand has plenty of mix-and-match pieces to offer, letting the customer create their own look that’s as individual as they are.

Ring in 14k Strawberry Gold with 0.3 ct. t.w. Vanilla Diamonds and 0.21 ct. t.w. Chocolate Diamonds, $4,398

2018 Item Trend of the Year: Boyfriend Rings

As Le Vian experienced more demand for men’s fashion bands and signet rings, it seemed only natural to offer similar styles for all sexes. With Boyfriend Rings, the stylish designs for men are available in a variety of sizes to fit anyone’s finger.

For more information on these trends and product availability, visit, and see a recording of the show here.

(Pictured at top: Le Vian president Moossa LeVian, Elizabeth LeVian, chairman Larry LeVian, Angela LeVian, Jane Krakowski, Miranda LeVian, and CEO Eddie LeVian)

Articles of Interest

Jewelry On-Line Fraud Rises article JCK



Jewelry Online Fraud Rises

June 22, 2017 by ROB BATES

Jewelry is one of the most vulnerable sectors for online fraud, says a new report from Signifyd, an e-commerce fraud-prevention platform.

The report, which measures how often e-tailers are victimized by scams involving stolen credit cards and taken-over accounts, says the fraud rate has risen for “jewelry and metals,” even if it has fallen for most other categories.

After analyzing data from 5,000 merchants in different sectors, the company’s Global Fraud Index found that the fraud rate for jewelry rose in the first quarter of the year, from 11.72 percent to 13.27 percent. The overall online fraud rate came in at 3.59 percent, down from 5.51 percent the year before.

This is partly due to the high value and fungible nature of jewelry, says Sourabh Kothari, Signifyd’s director of merchant advocacy.

“When you are talking about international syndicates or larger syndicates, jewelry has universal appeal,” says Kothari. “With the other industries we are tracking, like auto parts, if you steal something, it might not be popular everywhere. When you steal jewelry, you can sell it anywhere.”

Another problem: Jewelry e-tailers are traditionally guarded about their data, making information sharing difficult.

He added that jewelry sites tend to overrely on traditional fraud-fighting tools like blacklisting, as opposed to newer methods that use machine learning. The older “static rules” sometimes cause e-tailers to miss possible sales, Kothari says.

Jewelers that sell online should start to use behavior data to detect fraud, he adds.

“If someone is spending less than 2.5 minutes on your site, you might want to call them before you ship,” says Kothari. “It’s pretty logical: Why would someone make a decision to buy diamond jewelry after 2.5 minutes?”