Please  come visit us at the St. Gregory the Great Craft Show in Hamilton NJ!  We will have loads of custom designs and one of a kind pieces for you to see and a whole line of Cape May Jewelry that is new for this year!

 

Saturday November 10th, 2012

9AM – 3PM

St. Gregory the Great Parish Community Center

4680 Nottingham Way

Hamilton, NJ 08690

 

Recently I made a custom necklace and earring set for The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science – New Jersey (ASCLS-NJ) that they presented during their annual national ASCLS meeting in Los Angeles, CA.

Amazonite and Cape May Diamond Wire Wrapped Necklace and Earring Set

Amazonite and Cape May Diamond Wire Wrapped Necklace and Earring Set

 

This set was made using amazonite and Cape May Diamonds that were found on the beach and polished by us.  The Cape May Diamonds were then wire wrapped in sterling silver.  The necklace was completed with a hand forged sterling silver clasp to match the wire wrapped stones.

A little about ASCLS-NJ: The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), as the preeminent organization for clinical laboratory science practitioners, provides dynamic leadership and vigorously promotes all aspects of clinical laboratory science practice, education and management to ensure excellent, accessible cost-effective laboratory services for the consumers of health care. If you would like to learn more about ASCLS-NJ, please visit their website at www.ascls-nj.org.

 

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in NJ but it was COLD!  I do not believe it went above freezing yesterday and if it did, it was brief and only a few degrees.  We decided to take a drive down to the shore to check up on things and see the beaches and if there were any treasures waiting to be found.  We were quite surprised to see a bunch of folks walking on the  beaches as the wind just went right through you.  First we started at the bay side:

Ice that looed like broken glass from a distance

The wind whipped right through you if you walked the wrong way and at the waters edge looked like there was a ton of sea glass.  After closer inspection, I found that it was little pieces of ice that were forming as the waves hit the cold sand.  I decided to continue to walk down the beach as it was pebbled covered, to see if there was anything worth while.  The first thing I saw was a piece of green beach glass just waiting to be picked up:

Green Beach Glass on The Bay Beaches in Cape May County

My ears started to feel like they were about to fall off from the wind, so I have to remember next time to bring a hat or ear muffs when it is that cold out.  Sometimes even in the spring the wind is so chilling that you need something to cover your ears, so imagine below freezing weather with a nice strong wind hitting you in the face!  Before I turned around to go back, I saw something sparkling in the sun:

Cape May Diamond Shining in the Sun

Hard to see in this picture but there was a nice clear Cape May Diamond in the center of the picture next to another semi-translucent Cape May Diamond.  When they are dry, they look slightly frosted but still let the sun light through as they are transparent and it catches your eye!  Sometimes at sunset you can see them better because they look like glowing stones.  After this nice find I headed back to a warmer place but not before noticing that further down the beach the foam I thought was the foam from the waves was actually all ice:

Ice Foam on the Bay in Cape May County

That was all I needed to see to head back home to warmth!  Spring cannot come come soon enough!

 

Every summer we embark on a trip to see who can find the best Cape May Diamond that would be perfect for a piece of jewelry.  Last year, we found a bunch of Cape May Diamonds and they were very clear and perfect for jewelry.  So now that the weather is getting warmer and nicer, we are back on track looking for that perfect Cape May Diamond!  These pieces of quartz make a long journey from the top of the Delaware River and takes years upon years to make their way to the beaches in Cape May County.  Most of the time you find perfectly oval pieces of quartz as they have been tumbled over time and time again..rolling down the river.  So it becomes very easy to polish these beauties up and put them into jewelry.  Over the weekend, my husband spotted this beauty:

Cape May Diamond "in the rough"

Cape May Diamond "in the rough"

Now we cannot wait to get this beautiful stone into the tumbler to see how nice it comes out.  It looks white here, but when it is wet, the stone is perfectly transparent so with a bit of polish we should have a beautiful stone!  In the meantime, check out our Cape May Jewelry line to see what we have in store!

 

I am so excited about this one – we have combed and combed the Cape May Point  beaches over the years and it seems like nice Cape May Diamonds have been very difficult to find.  If you found any, they were likely small and its hard to wire wrap when they are so teeny tiny.  I have been experimenting over the months and trying to drill these teeny tiny diamonds to string for a bracelet, but I have not had any luck as they are tiny, seem to move around a lot while trying to get a straight hole and drilling them makes them lose their prettiness.  I was disappointed that I have almost exhausted my large Cape may diamonds but I found new beaches to comb!  These beaches are yielding beautiful examples of Cape May Diamonds and large enough for me to wire wrap and otherwise.  I am so excited to get these beauties polished up and ready for the show in Cape May on August 13 – 14th on the Promenade!!!

Check out these pre-polished beauties!

Cape May Stones

 

It took a while, but the beginning of the Cape May jewelry line is starting to be updated. We just added a bunch of pendant necklaces from clam shells, sea glass and stones. Check it out here!

 

My 3 year old keeps playing with all the stones we collected from Cape May Point but have yet to tumble, I decided that it was about time to start a new batch. Now with the lapidary machine, we can cut some of the bigger stones we find however, there are still some absolutely beautiful pieces that get tumbled and shaped naturally from the ocean that just need a great polish. There are also a bunch of Cape May Diamonds that need to be polished up so we can use them as we ran out of nice sized ones to wire wrap.

With my 3 year olds help loading the tumbler and mixing in the water, we loaded the new tumbler with our found treasures and started the 3 week process of tumbling. I haven’t used this tumbler for a while so I hope I put enough grit for the first round of fine polish! Check back in 3 weeks to see if its worked!

 

I received my commerical tumbler a few weeks back and decided to finish up some of the barrels I had running on the old Chicago Electric tumblers that were moving at a snails pace. I broke down and bought a commerical tumbler because it was not worth all the time and agrevation of replacing the belts constantly on the Chicago Electric tumblers. Not to mention, the parts that actually turn the rods in the tumbler keep breaking to the point I needed to buy a new tumbler. So I purchased this commerical tumbler and I was impressed. I combined a bunch of stones that needed the final polish as my Cape May Diamonds came out with a frosty coating on them and were not clear. It was only a weeks time and the stones came out shiner than I expected. There are stones that I have never seen take a polish that have shined up and are absolutely stunning. I combined some bigger rocks and there was some damage to a bunch of rocks, but all in all the batch has to be one of the nicest that I have done. The rocks that are damaged will just go back into the tumbler and go the full cycle with the other rocks. I think the reason for the damage is that I combined 3 of the Chicago Electric barrels into this one gallon barrel and these rocks never were tumbled together before.

In this batch I have a handful of gorgeous Cape May Diamonds that will be made into pendants in the weeks to come…hoping in time for Christmas!

 

I feel like this has been an ongoing saga I kept to myself all summer long. In the beginning of the summer I bought another tumbler and more grit/polish to tumble the stones. I have been caught in the constant battle trying to get a high shine on the stones and no matter what I tried, every time I opened the barrel to look to see if the stones where shined, they were still matte and just that much smaller. I soaked the stones in hot water and used ivory soap. I scrubbed out the barrels and even removed any stone that had a crack or crevice in it that could have trapped the previous stages grit. No matter what I did, these stones just would not polish and I was going out of my mind as I tried two different bags of polish that I had purchased earlier this summer. I emailed the person I bought the polish from and was told that I must have been doing something wrong and he gave me some steps to try which I did, to no avail. I decided to stop trying to polish two barrels of stones as I did not want them to grind away to nothing and kept trying different tactics with one batch. I finally decided that maybe it was the polish I was using that was giving me the trouble. I ordered Lusterite polish which I could only find on EBay and used it on one barrel of stones. Today I was pleasantly surprised to see that it actually worked and the stones are beautifully polished.

New Polished Beach Stones

Although I am a little upset because many of the Cape May diamonds are now way too small for me to do anything with, they at least polished up and maybe I can figure out what to do with some of them. I am waiting for the next batch of stones to be completed to see if I can find any stones that match for a nice pair of earrings. I also have a bunch of nice flat stones that will be perfect for bezel setting and I got one great looking Cape May Diamond that will look beautiful in a nice wire wrapped pendant.

Hoping to get more stones next week and I can finally start making the jewelry out of them that I have been envisioning all summer, but haven’t been able to do because the stones wouldn’t polish!

By the way, if anyone is interested in the polish I initially bought, it seemed to be aluminum oxide or some type of mix of that and it did NOT work on these beach stones. I bought it off of EBay, so lesson learned was to know where and who you are buying from and getting a good “deal” doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting what you pay for. I know that that Lusterite works because that is what I was using all along (also off of EBay) but saw another packaged deal cheap we, but it certainly was not better!

© 2012 Exquisite Handcrafted Jewelry by Vael Designs Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha