I call this a new stone, but we know it isn't real new. It has been around in cabochon form as well as bead and pendant bead form for awhile now, but in lapidary terms, it is fairly new. For me, though, it is very new.
I just finished my first cab. I thought I would give you my impression of it. First of all, I'm a sucker for color and pattern, so I really liked this from the start. I also really like the cut, but that has nothing to do with the stone except that I suspect that it is easy to cut. The color is a very intense blue/green. It has a dyed look to it. Against this nicely saturated background are splashes of bright, brick red- the dragon's blood. It seems very hard and takes a nice polish. It isn't pitted. It felt very hard when I was working it. It didn't make me feel like I needed to treat it carefully- it felt like a rock. :) Versus some stones, like calcite, that feel fragile.
I didn't get this stone from a high end dealer. I'm sure it was native cut. Have you heard that term before? It literally means, cut in the country where it is found. I am going to assume that is somewhere in China, judging by all the Asian distributors. If I find that it is indeed mined in Australia, I'll correct myself.
I'm no expert on rocks, by any means, and I'm not a lapidary. But, I'm pretty experienced. Sometimes, when I have a stone I haven't worked with before, I get the idea that putting it in the tumbler all night will tell me a lot. That's just what I did. I had suspected that this was dyed, but when I pulled it out after about 12 hours, it looked the way it did going in. The polish was still there and so was the color. So, if it is dyed, it is a stable dye. But, I think it isn't. That is my unscientific way of telling dyed from not dyed- or, rather, stable dye from temporary dye. Have you ever thrown dyed beads in a tumbler and have them come out pastel and frosted looking? That's what I call a temporary dye. Don't take my word as the gospel truth. Do your own tests, use your own intuition and tumble wisely. This stone was inexpensive enough that I was willing to risk disaster. You may not be willing to risk yours.
I'm quite pleased with Dragon Blood Jasper. If it is a jasper, I can't say. Marketing has a way of misnaming stones to get them to sell. But, that's another blog post. I can't tell you if 20 years ago this went by a different name, but it is a very real possibility. Dragon blood seems plentiful and inexpensive, so it may have been around for awhile under a different name.
So, enough of my meandering... here's a couple pictures. I ran out of LOS. The first picture is bare copper, the second is with the boiled egg patina technique.
|Clicking this image will open the image in my shop in a new tab.|