The Beautiful Cabochon

by Rebecca Brooks.
(California, USA)

I wanted to share my copper wire story.
A dear friend gave me a large amount of stones to kickstart my jewelry business, and among them were these incredible turquoise cabochons.

Copper hand made chain and turquoise cabochon.

Copper hand made chain and turquoise cabochon.

I have been so intimidated by their mesmerizing beauty and reputation I have put off doing anything with them for well over two years.

Front of pendant pre oxidation.

Front of pendant pre oxidation.

I know the traditional way to display turquoise is in silver, but for me it’s all about color play. My first thought was, the pink and oranges of copper would really bounce off the blues in turquoise. I asked several professional turquoise jewelers about the value and origin of my cabochons and they all said the same thing, “turquoise is too valuable a stone to set in copper.”

Back of pendant pre oxidation.

Back of pendant pre oxidation.

I really appreciated all the knowledge they shared with me about my stones, where they came from and their relative value. But I just couldn’t agree with setting them in silver.

Clasp and chain detail pre oxidation.

Clasp and chain detail pre oxidation.

I guess I am being stubborn, but the way coppers vivid hues of fiery orange and rosy pink vibrate against the summer blue stone mesmerize me. So I came up with a super simple wire wrap to showcase the back of the cab as well as the front. I wanted the pendant wrap to be as plain as possible so that the stone tells the story.

I wanted to share the design with you all, hope you enjoy it.
Rebecca

Rebecca Brooks
Jasmine and Violets

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  • Rebecca, Sterling is beautiful but copper is useful, vibrant, and fun to work with. Your design fits the stone, the copper brings out and enhances the colors. Better than all of that, you listened to your creative voice.

    Thanks for sharing, Teri

  • Hi Teri!

    Heehee thank you, my creative voice never shuts up lol “^.^”

    I really appreciate your kind words. By the way I love the copper necklace with green glass pearlized beads on your Etsy Creatively Hatched! I’ve seen your store before I remember really liking the book cuttings idea!

  • Thanks for the feedback, artist should help artist refine and create a better product. That set you like was inspired by a print I purchased to replace another one that the dogs ate! Read all about it below.

    https://jewelrymakingjournal.com/new-and-improved-summer-jewelry-backdrops/

  • Ellen says:

    Rebecca,
    I love copper and turquoise together (but I like copper with pretty much everything). Arizona has copper mines and produces turquoise, so to me it seems like a natural combination.

    You’ve created a beautiful pendant. I agree with Teri – I’m glad you listened to your inner voice and went ahead with the turquoise/copper combination.

  • Gorgeous cab – and stunning wirework that truly does justice to the stone! I agree that copper was an excellent choice for this piece. In addition to being a complementary color for turquoise, copper also has a certain earthiness that silver doesn’t quite possess – and that earthiness is a beautiful companion for this special cab. Thanks so much for sharing this piece and the story with us, Rebecca!

  • Hi Rena and Ellen,

    Thank you thank you for your vote of confidence in my design. I always appreciate that ;^)

    Ellen, I really want to visit the turquoise mines and dig for stones. Or any gemstone really lol.

    Rena, I agree, copper has a unique luster you really can’t get with any other metal. Brass and bronze come in a close second. Fine silver and sterling are in a totally different ball game with the super white glowing finish. I really love the way silver looks fresh out of a pickle lol. When all the particles are standing up making it look like peach fuzz in a way. Copper has always drawn me since I was a child. I just love it. It’s so versatile.

    Thanks again for publishing my little articles, I really love contributing to your site since you are so generous with us sharing your know how.

    Sincerely,
    Rebecca Brooks

  • Hi Rebecca,
    I find myself being a foil to the fact that the color turquoise does go great with copper! Have measures been taken to seal the copper? Moisture, sweat, oils, & the like, can alter the copper to a green that will no longer enhance the turquoise. I was also wondering if any changes in the copper can break down turquoise stone in the places where they connect.

  • Hi Susan,

    The copper was triple sealed with renaissance wax. I don’t know if copper can break down turquoise? But I was wondering about that myself.

    Thanks,
    Rebecca

  • Susan,

    I did find this: “Naturally occurring pure copper is called “native copper.” Copper is also found in nature mixed with other elements in a number of compounds, many distinguished by their blue-green color. Turquoise, malachite, and azurite are three brilliantly colored copper compounds used as gemstones. ”
    dartmouth.edu/~toxmetal/toxic-metals/more-metals/copper-faq.html

    Sounds to me that if turquoise has a lot of copper in it it may not react poorly???

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