Posted on Leave a comment

Jewel School 2- Oregon Sunstone

Oregon Sunstone is a unique and often underrated stone when it comes to jewellery. Since being used by high end jewellery brands such as BVLA, it has become a favourite amongst piercers and piercing enthusiasts alike. So where does this stone originate, what is it’s history and what makes it so beautiful? I’m sure you can answer at least one of those questions!

This BVLA Mini Kandy really shows off the “champagne bubble” effect that copper inclusions can give to Oregon Sunstone. Shop here!

Oregon sunstone is a feldspar, or crystal-forming mineral, that is found in Oregon, USA. In fact, it was declared the official state stone of Oregon in 1987. It is produced from shallow mines in two counties and is hard enough to be carved, polished and faceted for jewellery. Historically, the local Native American Tribes have a legend describing its origins. In the legend, the blood of a great warrior –who is wounded by an arrow – spatters onto pieces of sunstone. The blood carried his warrior spirit into the stones, coloring them with shades of red and giving them sacred power. Native American tribes traded this stone across most of Western America and it can be found in many museum collections as a result.

This BVLA Beaded Pear in Yellow Gold really demonstrates the potential that this gem holds when it comes to statement jewellery.

Oregon Sunstone originally formed in Basalt lava flows in aggregations called “Phenocrysts,” which are large collections of a crystal surrounded by glassy igneous rock. It is in the same ‘family’ as Labradorite and is fast becoming a highly popular stone with jewellers. The Oregon Sunstone found in body jewellery is often transparent and can be cut into a multitude of different facet styles. Oregon Sunstone can be shades of pink, tan, orange, yellow, green, blue-green, red, and clear as well as bi-colors. This colour is caused by unique inclusions of copper within the crystal structure, which causes a visual effect called “Schiller,” which gives the stone an almost champagne bubble-like appearance. These copper inclusions are flat, plate-shaped, highly reflective, and precisely aligned along the crystallographic axis of the stone. The “shimmer” seen in Oregon Sunstone is called aventurescence by gemologists and jewellery experts. Traditionally in body jewellery, Oregon sunstone is selected in pink to tan-orange shades which complement Yellow and Rose Gold.

This bead of Oregon Sunstone displays highly visible copper inclusions.

At Rogue we currently have two pieces containing Oregon Sunstone as shown in the photos included in this article. Currently the only high-end body jewellery brand using this stone is BVLA, which is renowned for its highly customisable bespoke jewellery. If you have any ideas for how you would like to use this gem in a piece of jewellery, do get in contact with us and we would be happy to help you get your ideas set into gold.

Remember to follow us on facebook and instagram for more information on piercing and the jewellery we have available! Don’t hesitate to message us any questions you may have.

Posted on Leave a comment

Jewel School 1- Cubic Zirconia vs Diamonds?

At Rogue we offer jewellery adorned with real Diamonds, and also pieces set with Cubic Zirconia. So what is Cubic Zirconia, and what is the difference between the two?

Cubic Zirconia, or CZ, is a man-made crystal structure that was first produced in 1976 as a more affordable alternative to Diamonds. CZ is not to be confused with Zirconium- This is a silvery metal used in the production of Cubic Zirconia. CZ is made from a specialist mixture of Zirconium and Zirconium Dioxide which is heated to 2750 celsius. Cubic Zirconia of varying colours are created by adding different coloured oxides to the molten CZ mixture during its firing process. Once the molten mixture begins to cool, crystals will form that are then cut and polished in the same way that Diamonds are. Diamonds are often naturally formed from Carbon deposits by intense heat and pressure in the Earth’s crust. They can also be formed synthetically in labs. There is almost no difference between naturally formed and synthetically made Diamonds.

This BVLA Snowflake is an example of a Diamond-set piece which is available on our website! How handy. Shop Here!

How does Cubic Zirconia differ from Diamonds? 

Well, because it is completely man-made, it can be made absolutely perfectly with no inclusions or imperfections. Almost all Diamonds will have minute inclusions in them. Hardly any Diamonds are completely perfect as they are naturally formed in imperfect conditions. Even professional Diamond jewellers may never see a completely perfect Diamond in their entire career.

Cubic Zirconia are slightly less hard than Diamonds- They are an 8.5 on the Mohs Hardness scale whereas Diamonds are a 10. One notable difference is that since CZ are slightly less hard than Diamonds, the facets of their cut are slightly softer and more rounded than a Diamond. Diamonds, being incredibly hard, can hold a significantly sharper facet. However to the naked eye looking at a CZ gem and Diamond of similar size and cut, it is often impossible to tell the two apart. CZ gems are also slightly heavier than Diamonds, being 1.7 times more dense. 

This Marquise Fan from BVLA is set with three Swarovski Cubic Zirconia gems. If you look closely at the far right gem, you can see the Swarovski logo laser-cut into the gem. Shop Here

How are CZ similar to Diamonds?

Cubic Zirconia can be coloured any colour a diamond can, and more. Diamonds can be steel gray, white, blue, yellow, orange, red, green, pink to purple, brown, or black. Cubic Zirconia offers a more affordable yet still visually impactful option. CZ shouldn’t be considered a “poor man’s Diamond” as it can offer intense colours and variety. 

This BVLA Marquise Fan is set with three Cubic Zirconia gems, but they have been created with an Aurora Borealis finish that simply cannot be recreated with genuine Diamonds.

To conclude, both Diamonds and Cubic Zirconia have their own merits. Diamonds are, of course, highly sought after and expensive for a reason. They can become family heirlooms and are often treasured for generations. Cubic Zirconia is often more perfected than Diamond simply due to its manufacturing process and can give a gorgeous sparkle without as much of a large price tag. Some people say that CZ is lower quality because it is placed into cheaper, less well-made settings and jewellery than Diamonds. This is simply untrue for any jewellery sold as Rogue. All of our jewellery is produced by brands at the forefront of jewellery quality. We simply do not sell low-quality jewellery so you can be confident that whichever gem you chose, you will be very happy with the results!

If you have enjoyed the photography shown off in this post, make sure to follow our Instagram for more stunning photos and more!

Posted on Leave a comment

Top 5 Pieces from the Restock (According to Kat)

You may have heard about the massive restock that Rogue has done! We’ve spent the last month or so updating the website so now you can have a look at all the new shinies we have. I thought I’d talk about my five favourite pieces. I might do this kind of post biannually to give you all a snapshot of what new stock we have come through our doors.

The first piece I’ve fallen in love with is this Green Paua Shell nipple bar from Industrial Strength. I just think it’s such a unique piece! Green Paua is a natural material collected from sea snails native to the ocean surrounding New Zealand. Since I used to live in NZ I feel a bit of a personal connection to this piece as I spent plenty of time as a kid picking up these shells from the beach near my house. I just think it would look gorgeous on deeper skin tones because of the contrast. Anodising the implant-grade Titanium to gold would also make the shell pop. Shop here.

The second piece that has my heart is this 18k yellow gold Mini Kandy set with a brilliant-cut Amethyst. Gold and purple are classic regal colours. Did you know that purple was reserved for royalty in the ancient world because it originated from a rare sea snail in the Phoenician empire? Bringing it back to mollusks again. I just think the Amethyst has such a gorgeous rich colour. Shop here.

These are interesting ones! These purple glass plugs from Gorilla Glass are such a gorgeous colour! I’m stretching my ears and if nobody takes them before I reach 6mm then they’re mine! These would look lovely in large gauge piercings such as a conch punch or large gauge lobe piercings. They look lovely and dark until the sun shines through them, when they light up a gorgeous ribena colour. Shop here.

This might just be my favourite Anatometal piece. If you look at the size of the thread (the post thing that the actual gem is connected to), you can see how tiny and delicate this piece actually is! We have two, and I think they’d look amazing in second lobe piercings. I love the symmetry that that would give. This lilac gem is like a pastel version of the Amethyst that I love so much in the Mini Kandy! Shop here.

These big and bold brass hangers from Buddha are genuinely so stunning. I love the modernistic texture on the plates; they remind me of sunshine! I like that they’re quite sizable yet still minimalistic. If I were to bring this post back to snails again, I might say that these hangers come in two sizes that roughly emulate the size of a normal snail and a slightly larger snail. Jokes aside, these brass hangers are absolutely gorgeous and in the coming months you might see me with a pair of my very own. Shop here.