Trends in Jewelry – Statement Pieces

“The term ‘statement jewellery’ is drawn from the popularly used phrase ‘to make a statement’, which is what the average fashion conscious woman aims for.

It’s time to trade in the delicate baubles and co-ordinated jewellery sets for one chunky piece that draws all the attention and holds it – it’s time for the statement piece. Whether it’s a chunky necklace, a pair of bold earrings, a larger-than-life cocktail ring or a wide cuff, the focus now is on a single dramatic piece that needs no back up.”**

After I read through this article I began looking up trending jewelry and could see that fashion truly does dictate.   What I decided is the gemstones and jewelry we offer at, Gems of the Northwest,  align perfectly with the article’s description of the current  jewelry trends.  We offer Big and Bold stones and jewelry that are perfect statement pieces…

…Chunky necklaces…

blog opal and bighornjasper

…Oregon Fire Opal and Big Horn Jasper…


…Rocky Butte and Oregon Fire Opal…


…Graveyard Point Plume Agate and Oregon Fire Opal…

…”Bold earrings….”

blog agate earrings

…Laguna Agate and Oregon Fire Opal with Sterling Silver…

blog leopardearrings

…Oregon Fire Opal and Leopard Jasper…

blog carrasite earrings

…Carrasite Jasper and  Pearls…


The opportunity to design and make your own statement pieces …


…Maybe a choker using a spirographic cut cabochon in Oregon Fire Opal…


blog petrified wood

…Hells Canyon Petrified Wood.

Or  maybe you would prefer ….

blog freeform owyhee…an Owyhee Jasper Necklace or Pendant…

You could also make your own “Bold Earrings.”

These Large Dangle Rocky Butte Beads….blog - rockybuttecabs-earrings

…would be PERFECT!!!!!

So, whether you want to buy a fashion statement or make your own,  and if  you are seeking to be part of the bold and beautiful fashion trend, Gems of the Northwest, can offer you a FUN and Fashionable Statement Solution!

**From: The Hindu*Business Line, “Set in Stone” by Elizabeth Mathews


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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Transforming Gemstones

I thought I should share some back ground.  I am a Rock Enthusiast.  I am in constant disbelief of the opportunity rocks present.  All the different colors, sizes, shapes, and patterns all just waiting to made into gorgeous gems and jewelry.   Stones are the artist’s ultimate canvas with endless possibilities to display their creative talents. Whether they are carving or faceting, making earrings or necklaces…whatever the game,  the bottom line is the same…you just gotta love rocks!

To discover a stone…

…take the necessary steps to transform it into a focal bead, piece of jewelry,

or other work of art is


                                                                    …Transformed Gemstone carved by Doug…

From my perspective, being a Rock Enthusiast has everything to do with discovery. Discovering gemstones, new friends, new websites, new jewelry, time together, time alone,…..discovery in all its forms.

So here I am….as of March 7, 2012, I began working full-time managing, “Gems of the Northwest.”   “Gems of the Northwest” is our store on Etsy and the selling outlet for our company, “Cascade Gems.”  Our primary focus is transforming Oregon Fire Opal, Oregon Sunstone and Northwest Jaspers into LARGE focal beads.   My husband, Doug, oversees “Cascade Gems” which has more to do with the lapidary side of things.  I think Doug wanted me to take over the store because, let’s face it, shopping is not one of his favorite things to do.  I, on the other hand, have numerous hours of…shall we say, shopping experience.  Now, that is not to say I am not out there right beside him mining and digging rocks. While Doug pounds and claws through the earth, I am the rock disbursement department or, as I like to refer to as,

…a highly specialized fitness program…

…I haul out the buckets of rocks…

…There has got to be a better way…

Working for, “Gems of the Northwest,” has been part of a big change in my life. If I think about it, my life has changed considerably. After fifteen years in banking and sales, five years as an elementary school teacher and twelve years as a full time mom, I guess I should admit…things have changed. The life I lived with Doug and our children, has evolved into a whole new place. The kids have grown, graduated from college and are living their lives. We have watched as our only daughter married the man of her dreams and applauded as our only son became an independent man.

…As they say in the rock world, nothing is written in stone…

SO…Working for “Gems of the Northwest” is the beginning of a new adventure. I will get to work with Doug based on something we are both passionate about. It will be giving us an opportunity to discover, create, travel, learn, and meet exciting new people. Yes, I am a rock enthusiast and life is changing. I might even say it is…transforming.