How to Pick Out a Stone

How to Pick Out a Stone

From my decades of rock collecting experience, I know that sometimes it is difficult to pick just the right stone.  Or only one!   

So here are some guidelines for you to pick a stone to make into jewelry:

  • Choose a stone that you like or that a special someone gave to you.  You may be attracted to a stone that sparkles in the sun or has beautiful colors when it is wet.  The colors of wet stones can give an indication of what the stone will look like after it is polished.
  • Sometimes, you may just find the stone interesting.  However, if you receive a stone from a special someone, the memory of that gifted stone may be the primary reason that you want us to polish and set the stone.  In that instance the stone’s appearance may be of secondary importance.  
  • The stone should fit comfortably in the palm of your hand.  A larger “adult fist sized” stone is preferable.  We’ll do another post soon about rock sizing. 
  • Pick a stone that seems solid.  If a stone crumbles as you touch it, the stone may not hold up to our polishing process. We do have ways to stabilize stones, so don’t totally rule out a stone because it crumbles. 

    This stone is not suited for the process we use to make Waystone jewelry.

    This stone, although pieces come off when you rub it, may be a good candidate for our process.

  • If you find a geode (they look like a rocky baseball), be aware that not all are solid, some have a hole in the middle of the rock.  We (and you) will only find that out when we cut the stone in half.  When there’s a cavity, it will limit the size of the jewelry that we can make.  

    This is a geode!

    Solid interior

    Cavity inside

  • Fossils are awesome!  If the fossils are embedded in another rock, or are solid, like dinosaur bone, petrified wood or coprolite, they will produce a spectacular polished stone.  However, if the rock is of a cast/mold nature and resembles a formerly living organism, we cannot produce a cabochon.  If you would like to incorporate that fossil into a piece of jewelry, contact our partner at GeoArt Studio by email:

    This is an example of a cast fossil.

    This is an example of a stone with fossils embedded

  • Generally, when rocks have fine particles, the resulting piece will have a high polish and be very shiny. 
  • In some cases, the above may not be true as the resulting polish may be determined by how tightly the particles are glued together rather than by the size of the particles. For example, sandstone has small particles when compared to granite. However, sandstone will normally result in a matte appearance since the particles are not very tightly consolidated. Whereas, granite, which has large particles that are more tightly consolidated will polish up to a high shine. See the images below for examples of these rocks:

    This stone is made up of very small particles

    This is sandstone

    This is granite

I hope you find these tips helpful. This intro will aid in your stone selection for Waystone jewelry. Happy hunting and feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.

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