Andrew Stone is always on the move. Whether working in one of his offices in the US, Canada, Nepal or India - he is always on the hunt for a new stone or a new technique to introduce to his Himalayan Gems collectors.
Andrew's November collection has over 24 new designs featuring an assortment of rare gems and designs. He tells us he is especially excited about three new limited edition collectors pieces in Larimar, Rainbow Moonstone and Mookaite - be still my heart!
We caught up with our globe trotting gem hunter recently, to get a sneak peek at what he's been working on...First top, India!
Here Andrew is preparing the silver for the silversmiths.
Weighing out the silver is a a calculated and meticulous process.
Andrew works side by side with the artisans as they create our Limited Edition Pieces
Andrew working with the quality assurance team checking out each piece of jewelry.
We asked Andrew for a little history lesson on 3 of our favorite stones in the collection: Here's a closer look at these rare beauties...
Larimar: The Healing Stone
This dreamy blue "single source" stone is found only in the Dominican Republic and has quickly become one of the most sought after gemstones for both its eternal beauty and reputed metaphysical and healing properties. Widely believed to be amongst the most powerful and effective of healing gemstones it is also known as the Atlantis Stone. The legend stem from the work of Edgar Cayce, the famous American psychic who believed that the lost continent of Atlantic was situated in the Caribbean and that a blue healing stone would be found there!
Himalayan Gems sources their own Larimar rough and cuts the finest pieces for Designer Gallery. No two Larimar stones are exactly the same so they spend days picking out the best pieces for their color and visual "texture." Himalayan Gems end up using less than 1% of the material that they purchase, so our HSN collectors receive the cream of the crop!
Mookaite: The Stone of Strength
Mookaite is another single source gemstone and is only found near Mooka Creek in Western Australia. The word Mooka apparently is related to the Aboriginal word for running waters - a reference to the streams that feed Mooka Creek.
Mookaite is an exceptionally difficult gem to work with - hence the relative scarcity of good specimens. Himalayan Gems need to hand pick each piece as the beauty is created by the "crazed" patterns that run across the surface. It is formed in a sedimentary rock called "Windalia Radiolarite" after the local mountain range, and the Radiolria (fossilized remains of very ancient sea creatures) that creat the pattern. Mookaite is also known as "Brecciated Jasper".
Renowned in metaphysical circles as a stone of strength, stability and decision making, Mookaite is said to shield the wearer from difficult situations. Psychic healers believe that it ground the wearer in the present and aids with problem assessment and decision making.
We work with prime gemstone sources to find the most beautiful pieces of Mookaite for Designer Gallery. Each piece is totally unique so we need to start with excellent rough material and then, after it is cut, choose the finest pieces to bring to HSN. It is our many years of experience working with gemstones and in the Jaipur gem markets that allow us access to the best specimens at affordable prices.
Rainbow Moonstone: The Stone of Love
One of the most interesting and fascinating of all gems is Rainbow Moonstone. This is a gemstone that has been used for 1000's of years in both Europe and Asia. Also known as “Àdularia” (after one of the tallest peaks in the Swiss Alps) has long been praised for its many metaphysical and healing qualities.
Since ancient times it has been known as the Traveler's Stone" for the protection it provided to those who travel by night or on the seas.
Traditionally though to possess a close connection to the Moon Goddess (just like the noble metal, silver), the ancient Romans believed that this gem captured and held the rays of the moon and that this light was a blessing that one carried along with the gem. Similar beliefs to this are held by some in India to this day!
Moonstone is most often considered a stone of love and feminine energy and it's for these reasons Moonstone has gained its mystical reputation. The ancient Greeks used the term, Aphroselene to refer to this shimmering gem. This combined the names of the goddess Aphrodite (goddess of love) and Selene (goddess of the moon). They believed that it could be used to enhance fertility and also associated it with love and fidelity.
All of the myths aside, Rainbow Moonstone is one of nature's true miracles. Another single source gemstone, it is an ever changing wonder. Depending on the ambient light and colors (and some believe the cycles of the moon) Rainbow Moonstone is a never needing source of wonder and beauty. The gemological term "adularescence" (used to describe the effect in a gemstones whereby a glow seems to originate from inside the gemstone) stems from the ancient name “Àdularia”- another hint as to the antiquity and importance of this gemstone.
We go right into the mines in northern India to make sure that we are getting the best material available for our Designer Gallery shows. This is a gemstone that is in great demand accress the globe and is only through our long established connections that we are able to get pieces of this quality while still offering an excellent value.
After close to 40 years of traveling to India, Andrew still loves the thrill of the hunt - exporting the markets and uncovering hidden treasure to share with all of us!
Hope you will join us for a gem discovery on Tuesday at 3 and 7 PM ET - See you there!