The freedom of less (rocks)

I was going through my gem and jewellery collection (it’s a hobby of mine) and I was working out exactly what I wanted for myself. As it turned out, not much at all. I want for myself a nice pair of cufflinks, and I have just the perfect pair of stones for that: a beautiful pair of square-cut rubies, not heated, not coloured, not treated. They’re not top quality (they’re quite cloudy and included, and there’s even big chunks of rutile at the back) but I really don’t care: I just want that pop of colour that only rubies really provide. If I get married (and that’s a really big if) then I’ll get a plain wedding band, probably platinum because I like it and it’s damn near indestructible.

But I digress. As I said, I was going through my gem collection, and I have an awful lot of rocks that I’m not interested in working with. When I was a beginner, I grabbed pretty much everything I could for practice, and there were many generous souls willing to give me free material. Now that I’ve moved on a bit, I’m now rather selective in what I work with. I notice a lot of the material I used early on were in dark, heavy colours; although they tend to suit me, I’m now not making jewellery for me, with the exception of the ruby cuff links I was talking about.

So I’m giving away the stones that a) I don’t want for myself and b) I don’t think are good as gifts for friends and family. I have a ridiculous amount of tiger iron that I can’t imagine will make pretty jewellery, but juniors at the lapidary club I go to can practice with the material. Our juniors at Nunawading Lapidary Club do really well in terms of prizes and awards, I want to support that.

Now I’m free to make gifts for people. I have a friend whose birth stone is sapphire, and a family member who loves blue: they’re both getting a faceted (synthetic) sapphire next year. (Shhh… don’t tell anyone!) And it means that as all of the people I’m planning to give jewellery to are women, I can use prettier, lighter coloured stones. My peach-coloured sapphire is a case in point. I may even get some chrysoprase and make something with it.

Which means this afternoon I’m going through my rock collection and giving stuff away. And that means when I move (again!) in just over a week, I won’t be carrying a whole lot of rocks with me, and all of the rocks that I have I will list so I can keep track of them. That’s in line with my goal of having everything I own listed, named, and in their correct place.

And that feels like freedom to me.

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