I decided last week that I was going to start making rings to sell. I've made a few for myself but so far have shied away from making them because of the possible size problem. By that I mean sending a ring off only for the buyer to contact me to say it's great but it's a bit too big/too small can you resize it? Making to order in the size the buyer asks for should hopefully make this a fairly rare occurance (I hope!)
I'm going to start with stacking rings - plain and with gemstone cabochons as they seem very popular. I do have a lot of smooth cabs but after closer inspection I found a lot of them are a bit rough in places or even scratched. The saying "you get what you pay for" definitely rings true with cabochons! I've decided for my own sake and the sake of my jewellery it's worth spending more on stones to get the quality I would expect if I was buying handmade jewellery myself. There's nothing wrong with buying cabs in bulk for low prices but if half of them aren't useable it doesn't make much sense really.
After a bit of research I fell in love with rose cut cabochons so the next step was to find a supplier. Rose cuts are cabs that are flat on the bottom and faceted on the top. As usual finding something a bit different is virtually impossible in the UK at the mo, Kernowcraft sell a limited selection but one of the best sources I've found is Joopy Gems. You can also find them on Etsy.
Joopy Gems is run by Brit Julia Aufenast. Based in Hong Kong Julia specialises in rose cut and faceted cabochons as well as smooth cabochons, faceted gemstones and a large range of pearls. What's nice to know is that Julia sources and selects all of the stones herself, seeing the stones in the rough before they are cut. The quality is high and the prices are reasonable. All the photos here are from the website and as you can see the cabs look lovely! I asked Julia if it was ok to do a blog post about her website and she was very happy for me to do so. She told me she has family in West Sussex and also here in Eastbourne so it really is a very small world!
I spent quite a long time deciding what I was going to buy as there is a lot to choose from. The prices are more than I've paid for cabs previously but the quality and choice make it worth it in my opinion. In the end I went for 6mm rose cut cabs in labradorite, prehnite, almandite garnet, amethyst, carnelian and blue chalcedony. A nice rang of colours but there were so many other stones I loved which will have to wait for next time! I did get 10% off my first order which helped too. I'll probably get clobbered for VAT by customs (about £14 according to their online calculator) but it will still make the total cost for each cab reasonable. The postage from Hong Kong was under £4 too which was a pleasant surprise.
I'm eagerly awaiting my first order and as soon as I've made some rings using the cabs I will write a post. I'm so keen for the cabs to arrive I've already made the ring bands!
And here just for the sake of it some more lovely gemstone and pearl photos.......