Gem News International Gems & Gemology, Spring 2014, Vol. 50, No. 1

Innovative Optical Effects, Unique Rings with Raw Crystals – Tucson 2014

Quartz disk jewelry
"Wheels of light" are innovative quartz disks with sealed inserts of colored gems or minerals, creating multiple reflections to lend color to otherwise transparent rock crystal. Inside these examples are Paraíba tourmaline (left) and realgar (right). Photos by Eric Welch; courtesy of Nature’s Geometry.
At GJX, Brian and Kendra Cook (Nature’s Geometry, Graton, California) showed an innovative series of clear quartz disks they call “wheels of light.” These disks are mounted in work-hardened 24K yellow gold for use as pendants or earrings. The center of each disk contains a tube where an insert of colored gem material can be placed. The tube is subsequently sealed with clear quartz. When the disk is viewed face up, the insert’s color reflects and suffuses the disk with bright color (figure 1).

Brian and Kendra Cook
Nature's Geometry
Husband-and-wife team Brian and Kendra Cook reveal the design philosophy behind their unique gemstone products, which use ‘raw’ gem crystals, clever optical effects, or carry aromatic oils in tiny wells to tantalize the senses in a combination of texture, color, and scent.
For red, Brian Cook uses ruby or even realgar (also known as “ruby sulfur,” a very soft arsenic sulfide mineral), and Paraíba tourmaline or haüyne (a brittle sodium calcium sulfate) for rich blues. As the insert is completely enclosed within the quartz, the materials are protected from wear.

Ring set with euhedral ruby crystal
Figure 2. This ring’s centerpiece is a euhedral 2.76 ct ruby crystal from Winza, Tanzania, flanked by a pair of Canadian rough diamonds. Two green diamonds from Venezuela complete the piece. Photo by Eric Welch; courtesy of Nature’s Geometry.
Ring set with cat’s-eye spessartine garnet
Figure 3. This ring features cat’s-eye spessartine garnet with Paraíba tourmaline shoulder stones in a 24K work-hardened gold mounting. Photo by Eric Welch; courtesy of Nature’s Geometry.
Brian Cook displayed several intriguing rings with rough crystals, including ruby (figure 2), alexandrite, and diamond, also in work-hardened gold. Another standout featured a cat’s-eye spessartine garnet with Paraíba tourmaline cabochons in a similar mounting (figure 3).

In the accompanying video, Kendra Cook answers the rhetorical question, “What could be better than jewelry that affects your emotions pleasantly?” with her innovative aroma jewels. She places essential oils that calm or energize the wearer within tiny wells in gemstones that are left open to evaporation. She also coordinates color with scent, using warm scents for gems like sunstone and cool scents for gems like aquamarine.

The result is “a mélange of color,” a combination of design, gem crystals, and color that work in synergy with aromatherapy like a wearable potpourri. Brian Cook helps source for unusual gem crystals, such as a clear oligoclase, for fashioning into sliding gem beads where essential oils nestle to comfort and revive the wearer.

Duncan Pay is editor-in-chief of Gems & Gemology.