Thursday, July 21, 2011

In Which Jaggy Gets Her Sunstone

I admit I'm a bit of a nerd. I'm also a geek.  Okay, all right, I'm a huge nerdy geek.  I appreciate rocks for more than just their sparkle and worth.  My dad was an amateur rock hound before he had kids, so knowing what a geode and a thunderegg and amethyst and agate are comes naturally to me.  When I was a little girl, I heard about this amazing gem that grows in Oregon.  It's called sunstone, and it can be mined by the general public on BLM land on the way southern edge of my home state.  I promised myself that whenever I met my own handsome prince, I'd send him off to the bowels of Oregon (that's like from Eugene south as a Beaver fan) to dig me up some sunstone to wear on my finger instead of boring ol' diamonds.

As most of you know, The Man did not dig my wedding ring out of anything.  He was more of a "buy it on the internet and have it shipped here" kind of guy.  We did get conflict-free stones set in gold, so that's good, but they're all diamonds.  Oh darn, woe is me, right? :)

This weekend was an adventure.  After our all-day family event on Saturday, we sought to get away from people on Sunday at the coast.  The Man and I drove to Newport and Depoe Bay where we wandered in and out of shops.  Most of the shops cater to the froofy women or tourists laden with money to burn.  I'm neither froofy or have money burning holes in my pockets, so we mostly just looked and left each store.  On a total whim, we walked into one place that was more gallery than jewelry store.  Platinum-covered driftwood, fancy bowls, foreign metal sculptures, all very fancy.  Tucked on one side, though, was a nice little display of sunstone jewelry.  Remember that nerdy geek part of me?  Well it sort of started drooling.  A lot.

Sunstone comes in many colors, the darker reds and greens being the most valuable.  I prefer the ambers and lightish peach colors as the schiller is more pronounced.  Schiller is the layer of reflective copper particles that make sunstone glow from the inside.  Sunstone doesn't refract light quite like a diamond, but the copper bits reflect light (re: that whole nerdy bit again).

Apparently I made my desire known to The Man (again, huge piles of drool), so when I tried on a beautiful sunstone ring that *gasp* perfectly fit my right ring finger, it was like fate or karma or something.  Angels sang.  Aaaaaaaand then I looked at the price tag and about died.  I gave the ring back to the nice storekeeper, a little part of me breaking inside.  Sunstone! and no funds with which to purchase my pretties.  We walked off and did some talking.  No way we could afford something that nice, but The Man wanted to know how much some earrings were.  Hope lifted!  The options for earrings were as varied as prices can be. Everything from a whopping four-digit stunning set crusted with other stones down to a very reasonable $40.  Hey, that's less than a pair of shoes.  We can do this.  We can really do this.

These ones are mine.
Color is slightly lighter than shown.
The Man and I agreed to a super tasteful $65 pair of faceted oval studs.  They are slightly pinkypeach with full schiller and fit my little ears perfectly.  The sunstone did come out of the earth right here in Oregon, and they're set in sterling silver.  With my very light complexion and freckles, the pinkypeach color gives a delightful "pop" to my face.  I practically wore those earrings right out of the shop.

YAY!  I got my sunstone at last!


Lockwood said...

Okay, I'm nearly ready to welcome you to the geoblogosphere for this one! That photo is truly stunning at full-size! I've been out to the sunstone area quite a number of times; it is VERY remote, the last 10 or so miles of gravel road are not well-marked, and they're a little confusing. That said, it's a beautiful spot in a minimalist sort of way, and the sunstones- at least the non-gemmy ones- are thick on the ground. I could give you a film canister full if you'd like. I spend most of my days at Interzone Coffee shop, corner of 16th and Monroe- just warn me a couple of days ahead of time, so I know to bring some with me.

Jules said...

I learned about geodes, agates, thundereggs, as a child too, but somehow missed the sunstone. It IS pretty! And I think I know the shop you mean - if it is on the bayfront. It is an amazing store!

MissKris said...

Very pretty! I love rocks, too, especially agates. My biggest regret of leaving Portland was having to leave all the big rocks in my flower gardens behind. Each one had been collected all over Oregon as reminders of various adventures Dear Hubby and I had gone on thru the years. But I left them behind for whoever gets our house now. Hope they love them as much as I did.