Rustic Beauty Gemstone Studios

Idaho!  The Gem State – rich with mineral deposits and GEMS of all kinds.   It is a beautiful state and a mecca for gem seekers and outdoor lovers.  Nestled along the Payette River is a little hamlet called, Horseshoe Bend.  It is just 20 miles north of the state capitol on HWY 55, and home to a quaint little shop we cannot seem to pass by whenever we are in the area…

…Rustic Beauty Gemstone Studios.


Sue Olson is the shop’s artist and owner and a life long gem seeker.

2012-10-03 17.41.15

She was born and raised in Idaho and grew up rock hounding along the Selway River.

Sue has a BS in Art and Business from Idaho State and is realizing a life long dream in creating jewelry…


…she so beautifully displays in her shop.



Sue specializes in designer handcrafted jewelry from Idaho.  You can visit with her about any of the state’s stones and she will gladly work with you on special orders.  If you are a rock hound, you are going to love her as she can direct you to successful areas to “go dig.” 

I found her shop to offer an incredible variety of stones, designs, and techniques that were affordable, stylish and fun…

Idaho"old mine" Graveyard Point Regency Rose agate necklace and earring set

~Graveyard Point Regency Rose Agate~

Jewelry...your way.  A large, wavy Agate pendant with copper bail/wrap.  Finish it yourself and save.

~Wire wrapped Agate~

img12~Rhodonite necklace and earring set~


~Copper wire wrapped Campo Del Cielo meteorite, which fell in Argentina during the 1500’s~
Being a native Idahoan, Sue is also quite knowledgeable of the area’s history.  She has managed to locate authentic Idaho Mining certificates from the famed, Coeur D’ Alene Mining District in Kellogg, Idaho, which are currently available at the shop. What a rare and interesting keepsake to have from Idaho…

Historic 1946 Idaho mining certificate

So, if you are in Idaho, enjoying its many offerings, be sure to take the time and visit one of the TRUE LOCAL GEMS at, Rustic Beauty Gemstone Studios. You will ENJOY!!!!!

You can also see Sue’s designer jewelry on her Etsy shop, Rustic Beauty Gemstone,

Cheers for now,


On a side note:  Be sure to stop for a cup of coffee at, Wired Bean’s Coffee River – 438 Hwy 55.  It is just up the street from the, Rustic Beauty Gemstone Studio, and offers the best cup of coffee this side of…you name it!!!  Added bonus… the owner, Rindy Jo.  You will love her…

…Rindy Jo Quijas owner of, Wired Bean’s Coffee River~



Oregon Fire Opal – Artwork!

Oregon Fire Opal is one of the, “To Die For”, gemstones available from the Pacific Northwest.

If you go to a map and find Southern Oregon, you will be in the general area where this Fire Opal is mined. Now, find the Oregon Cascades and climb about 6000 feet and you are pretty much there. The mountain air is crisp and clean and the digging hard and dirty…but oh so worth it!  Oregon Fire Opal is the most stable opal we have had the pleasure to work with and is the primary reason we choose to make it available in our gallery.  It is pure and clear, with colors ranging from an inviting amber yellow to a distinctly rich cognac.  It’s quality is worthy of many forms of artwork, by artist from all over the world…

…110 carats of gorgeous Oregon Fire Opal…


…510 carats of  “drop dead beauty” set with 18K gold and platinum…


…carvings by Dalan Hargrave (Texas).

Oregon Fire Opal can also be used for,



Longest about 6″.  From the collection of Chuck Newnham – Juniper Ridge Mine Owner  (Oregon).

Or, it can be carved into jewelry…

…by Dalan Hargrave (Texas).

Oregon Fire Opal can also be faceted into …

…113.4 carats of pure “JOY”… 

… by Douglas George (Oregon).

Or, this mesmerizing cut…

Oregon Fire-Opal 10.01cts.

by Uli Zeisberg (Germany).

It can also be made into…

…lustrous beads.

Oregon Fire Opal Necklace

When the word “fire” is used to describe a gemstone, it is actually speaking about how light reflects from a stone. However, a fire opal is named so because of its actual colors. To look at fire opal, it can appear to be glowing, which may help to understand the long term fascination behind this gorgeous stone. 

Oregon Fire Opal is colorful, stable, versatile and is a prime example of …..Gems From the Northwest.




Gemstones and Color

Gemstones and Color – what a wide open topic of conversation.  I work with gemstones all day long and never tire of the vast range of color available.  Since at, Gems of the Northwest, we focus on focal beads made from, guess what….gems of the Pacific Northwest, we have a very broad palette of color choices.  One of our most popular groups of stones is the Northwest Jaspers.  These Jaspers are a mecca for the artist looking for colorful stones.  It has SO many choices…

…Willow Creek Jasper…


Matching Pair of Round Gemstones Made From Willow Creek Jasper

…is rich with lavender, greens, cream, and brown.

If you are tantalized by reds and yellows, you may find …

Designer Focal Bead Made From Owyhee Mountain Dendritic Jasper

…Owyhee Mountain Dendritic a great choice.

Or perhaps you would like to focus on some tantalizing blues –

… found in this Owyhee Jasper …

Freeform Owyhee Jasper Cabochon

…. and Big Horn Jasper.

Large Heart Focal Bead Made From Big Horn Jasper

Big bold dark browns and black…

Huge Circular Focal Bead Made From Biggs Jasper

…. are dominant in Deschutes Jasper.

A mosaic of color is nice…

Rocky Butte Jasper Focal Bead

… in Rocky Butte.


Like Green?….

Large Oval Morrisonite Focal Bead

 …Check out Morrisonite.

So let’s see… green, brown, black, cream, blue, yellow, red, lavender….I could go on but, hopefully, I have made my point.  Jasper truly is a gemstone rich with colors.

On a side note:

If you are looking for colored stones to compliment your jasper piece,  check out the, American Gem Trade Association’s site, Add More Color to Your Life,  This is a truly a “gem” of a site and is a great referral source.   If you are not familiar with, The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), it is a not-for-profit association of United States and Canadian trade professionals dedicated to promoting the long-term stability and integrity of the natural colored gemstone and Cultured Pearl industries.   There are many reasons to look at this site but, I think you will find their Gem Palette a quick reminder of gem choices by color.  You can always just refer to a good ol’ color wheel,, if you don’t need help remembering stones and just want color combinations.  Anyway, between these two sites, you have an easy assist in planning color around your choice of Jasper and your next jewelry project.  Too much fun!

Ciao for now,


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