Gemstones – Rhyolite

I like colored stones!  Sometimes the more color the better!  I have a variety of stones in my collection (yes, it’s grown to be a collection) waiting to be used in a piece of jewellery.

Most people know at least the basics about diamonds, and surprisingly (to me anyway) there are some people out there who know A LOT about diamonds.  But I’m not a diamond type of girl – unless you would like to give me a diamond to make you something with!!!  Then I could be swayed!

For stones other than diamonds though, there is not as much general knowledge floating around amongst the jewellery buyer.  So, I thought I would give you some basic information and different stones that I have and like.

I thought I’d start with rhyolite.

This is such a beautiful stone! I love the colors and patterns in it!

Rhyolite is an extrusive igneous rock, which means it is formed when lava cools and solidifies on the surface (of the earth).  Rhyolite comes from felsic magma which can be erupted explosively from volcanos.  The good news is that, relatively speaking, it is a low temperature lava and very slow moving.  Felsic magma, and subsequent rocks, are composed of silicate minerals and lighter elements like oxygen.

side view of rhyolite cabachon
This is a nice cabochon as you can see from the side view - good height on the dome and it's even.

Fun Fact:       Because rhyolite is a high silica content volcanic rock it used to referred to, in the 19th century, as acid rock!   How funny is that!  Although, just as in music, that term isn’t used any more.

another top view of the cabachon
One last look at this lovely cabochon - until I make it into something wearable!

Once rhyolite has cooled, it is a fine grained rock.  It can be hard to identify in the field, and some outcrops of rhyolite resemble granite.  The interesting patterns you can see in cut cabochons is dependant on how slowly the lava cooled.

three small rhyolite cabachons
Look at the triplets! Aren't they cute. I really want to design a piece that uses all three of them.

Rhyolite was named by German geologist Ferdinand von Richthofen, who spent time in the Rocky Mountains in the 1860s.

I have used one of my cabochons for a ring – it seemed perfect for the etched wood grain band:

face on view of the stone
This is the top view of the rhyolite cabochon set in it's bezel. The color and patterns in this stone really are beautiful!
side view showing etched pattern
A side view showing the etched pattern on the ring shank - hand drawn, by moi!!
the underside of the bezel
The hidden surprise at the back- a leaf.
a close up of the etching
A closer view of the etched band.

Hope your day is going well!

If you have any bright design ideas for the homeless cabochons I’d like to hear!!!

Leave a reply