Red Desert Quartzite Earrings

Red Desert Quartzite Earrings

This is an all natural colored red and beige striped quartzite stone. I found this stone in the sagebrush desert of Wyoming and sliced and carved it as thin as I could to keep the strength but be thin enough for earrings. I sculpted an angular shape because I was inspired by the interior microscopic crystalline structure that makes up quartz and other minerals.

Quartzite is a quartz based metamorphic stone with other minerals such as iron mixed in that make the various colors.

I started polishing my own gemstones a few years ago and have been trying to include regional stones in my jewelry that I either find or purchase from rockhounds. To get to this final look I begin by slicing the rock in a large diamond bladed "slab saw", then I rough out the shape with a "trim saw", then I sculpt the stone using 6 different diamond lapidary wheels and finally a final polish wheel. And when I want the stone to have a hole, I use a diamond drill bit to slowly and carefully drill that hole. For this pair of earrings I then created a tiny rivet with silver wire to go through the stone and attach to the hammered hanging pieces.

Earrings are about 2 1/4" long including the hammered silver circle and earring wire. Stone is about 1 1/2" long.

Quartzite, sterling silver