I don’t usually work with stones when making jewellery but have a
few ideas I want to experiment with for some designs involving
setting stones. I am looking for recommendations for semi-precious
stones that don’t crack, chip or scratch easily. I am especially
looking for translucent stones in the colours deep/dark red, black,
dark blue and purple.
I know one of the jewellery manufacturers I worked for briefly, set
saphires and rubies into waxes for casting - I know that these stones
can withstand high temperatures but what are the limitations? Will
there be some stones that have natural deformities which cause them
to crack when heated? How slowly do they need to be brought up to
heat and back down to room temperature so as not to stress them to
the point of cracking. Also, do rubies and saphires crack, chip or
scratch easily - in general?
Although I don’t often work with stones I have been wanting to get a
comprehensive book about precious and semi-precious stones so that
on the occassions that I do need to set stones I have a reference
guide at hand that will tell me all I could want to know about a
stone before working with it. Basically, I am looking for some sort
of stones bible - has anyone got any recommendations?