We Are Making The Change to Argentium Silver

by laynefreedline on May 12, 2011



In today’s review, we will take a slight turn away from discussing gemstones and minerals, to bring to you some exciting news from the realm of metals! After all, metal’s do come from Ore, so that means it qualifies for a rock review, right?


We have been busy researching a type of silver that is growing in popularity, Argentium Silver. This new alloy of silver has metal smiths everywhere excited get their hands on some and try it out because of the great advantages it provides for artists and customers alike. Argentium Silver is an alloy of silver that combines silver, copper and germanium to produce a result that has many benefits over traditional Sterling Silver. Currently, it is being mined exclusively in North America. It’s name was taken from silver’s original name, which was Argentium (Ag on the periodic table). It is brighter in color than white gold or platinum, almost taking a white tone rather than gray, and is purer than sterling at 93% fine silver. One of the distinct advantages it provides to metal workers is that it has little to no risk of fire scale or scaring left by flames on traditional Sterling Silver. Jewelry lovers are equally excited that it’s a low maintenance tarnish resistant metal. It can even be cleaned with “around the house” items such as cotton towels, tap water and dish soap. It also can achieve double hardness through additional firing, making it a durable material that will last for many years. Because it is more difficult to cast, Argentium is being used via fabrication most commonly through family jewelers and artisan shops rather than large jewelry manufacturing operations.


From a business perspective, the unique qualities of Argentium Silver allow those in the handmade industry to reduce labor, processing costs, and environmental impact created by working with traditional Sterling Silver. This is accomplished through eliminating extra processing work and chemicals that are needed specifically in Sterling Silver metal working. Altogether, this means that artisans are able to offer a superior quality silver without raising the overall cost of jewelry for customers. The best news about Argentium Silver for our readers and customers is that Layne Designs is going to begin producing pieces in this new and exciting alloy so that others are able to enjoy the wonderful benefits this metal has offer as well. Please come visit the Layne Designs Etsy site in the near future to view some new pieces in Argentium Silver!

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laynefreedline

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Trend Watch: Druzy, Druzy Everywhere

by laynefreedline on May 9, 2011

By: Erica Delp

As creators of wearable art, Layne and I love to keep our fingers on the pulse of the fashion world as Layne designs and presents her one of a kind work each season. In that spirit, we are going to begin to occasionally bring a “Trend Watch” segment to the blog to feature popular looks and some unique pieces by Layne Designs that you can incorporate into your look.


In today’s segment, we’ll examine Druzy! It seems like it’s been popping up everywhere lately. And why not? It’s a great way to add some shimmer to your summer outfits, whether you are stepping out in the day or night time. Since it often has an asymmetrical shape and of course a raw crystal surface it easily lends itself to bohemian and airy looks that define a summer wardrobe for most women. What a perfect way to bring some uniqueness and personality to your favorite outfits.


But what is a Druzy? Are all Druzy’s created equal? How can you make sure that you’re purchasing a quality piece of jewelry that will last? A deposit of Druzy crystals can occur on a great variety of already developed gemstones as geologic activity forces rocks to the earth’s surface where they can come into contact with other minerals and water. This mineral laden water flowing over the surface of the gemstones leaves beautiful unique deposits of crystals over time that can be extracted and fashioned into beautiful jewelry. Since Druzy is a crystal deposit that can occur on a wide variety of stones, it therefore can greatly differ in value depending on the worth of the base gemstone and the quality of the crystals. Druzy is commonly found in Quartz and Agate. It also can be found in Garnet, Hematite and Pyrite just to name a few others. Although Druzy crystals are hard, it is important to remember also that they are vulnerable to abrasion. Therefore, when selecting a piece of jewelry, a pendant or set of earrings will tend to have greater longevity than bracelets and rings. Unless of course, the later pieces have additional sheltering through their setting or will be worn delicately or infrequently.


Knowing these simple guidelines will help you to choose a piece of jewelry that will be so much more than a summer fling as you fall in love with it again and again each time you wear it! Check out some great Druzy creations for purchase from Layne Designs below.






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Layne Designs 2011-05-05 11:46:00

May 5, 2011

Just in time for spring and new beginnings, today’s rock review features the vibrant, yet soothing Amazonite, known as the hope stone. This pretty translucent gem comes from the Feldspar family and ranges in color from aqua to light green and can oft…

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A Journey of Making: How I fell in Love with the Handmade

April 29, 2011

Dear friends, I would like to introduce to you my friend and shop assistant Erica Delp, who has joined the blog writing team for Layne Designs. She will be sharing lots of fun stuff both technical and creative. -LFby Erica Delp Even before I began de…

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Rock Review: Uvarovite

April 28, 2011

In today’s rock review, we shine the spotlight on one of the rarer members of the Garnet family, the sparkling Uvarovite. Uvarovite has been known to the world since 1832 when it was discovered by Germain Henry Hess, a doctor and chemist who also p…

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Rock Review: Aquamarine

March 7, 2011

From the Latin, aqua (water) and mare (sea) This gem is named for it’s water-like color. The gem appears in a range of colors, from just slightly blue to a brilliant sky blue. They are relatively tough gems, measuring an 8 out of 10 on the Moh’s scale …

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Rock Review: Pietersite

February 17, 2011

Pietersite was discovered by Sid Pieters in 1962 while he was prospecting farmland in Africa. After discovering this gemstone, he registered his find in the mineral records of Britain. There are only two known sources of Pietersite: Africa & China. The China form of pietersite came to market in 1997. This China pietersite exhibits slightly different color variations from Mr. Pieter’s original mineral, but both are stunning and are now universally recognized as one-in-the-same.

Chinese pietersite has striking combinations of gold, red and blue color segments, which sometimes also includes a deep golden brown color. Blue is the rarest color, followed by red. The blues range from a baby blue to dark midnight hue. Golds can be light to very deep and rich, sometimes having a reddish hue. All fibrous color variations will have a superb and striking chatoyancy (NERD ALERT: chatoyancy means the bright and subtly changing shimmer of color that moves along the surface of a gemstone as it is viewed from varying angles.)

The fibrous structure in pietersite has been folded, stressed, even fractured and/or broken apart via the Earth’s geologic processes. The fibrous materials have then been reformed and naturally recemented together by quartz. Stones and crystals that go through this process are referred to as brecciated, creating a finished product with multiple colors and hues.

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Rock Review: Pietersite

February 17, 2011

http://www.etsy.com/listing/38919638/cosmos-pendant-in-petersite-and-sterling Pietersite was discovered by Sid Pieters in 1962 while he was prospecting farmland in Africa. After discovering this gemstone, he registered his find in the mineral records of Britain. There are only two known sources of Pietersite: Africa & China. The China form of pietersite came to market in 1997. This China pietersite exhibits […]

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ROCK REVIEW: Amethyst

February 10, 2011


February already?!? Time for a new BIRTHSTONE Rock Review. This month’s birthstone is a beautiful stone ranging in hue from a nearly transparent lilac to deep purple – the lovely amethyst.

Amethyst is a type of rock belonging to the quartz family. Derived from the Greek word meaning “not drunken,” historians believe that the name came from the reddish purple shades of amethyst popular in the Greek states. Most of the amethyst used today comes from areas or regions of Mexico, Brazil, Africa and Uruguay.


According to legend, amethyst originated with Bacchus, the God of Wine. It was believed that drinking wine from a cup made of amethyst would prevent drunkenness and that wearing amethyst would prevent the wearer from becoming drunk being poisoned.


Amethyst is used as faceted stones or polished cabochons (a highly polished rounded unfaceted gem) and is carved in various shapes. Amethyst beads are used in necklaces, earrings and other jewelry in both rough unpolished forms, smooth glossy shapes, faceted beads and briolettes (a gem cut in the shape of a teardrop or oval.) One of the largest cut amethysts in the world is 343 carats and is housed at the National History Museum in London.


For another example of a gorgeous amethyst, please visit my Etsy shop:


http://www.etsy.com/listing/48511508/queen-amethyst-pendant



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Rock Review: Amethyst

February 10, 2011

February already?!? Time for a new BIRTHSTONE Rock Review. This month’s birthstone is a beautiful stone ranging in hue from a nearly transparent lilac to deep purple – the lovely amethyst. Amethyst is a type of rock belonging to the quartz family. Derived from the Greek word meaning “not drunken,” historians believe that the name […]

Read the full article →

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