Australian opal inlay jewelry is our specialty!

Australian opal inlay pendant with blue topaz and diamondsWe spend a lot time and effort promoting our sterling silver jewelry and sometimes neglect giving our gold jewelry equal time in the spot light.  Actually, it is our incredible Australian opal inlay jewelry designs that the Hileman name is known for in the jewelry industry.   Hileman jewelry is recognized for the unsurpassed quality of the Australian opal and the superior craftsmanship used in creating our bold inlay jewelry designs.  Our opal inlay jewelry can be found in the jewelry boxes of celebrities, CEO’s and opal jewelry collectors around the world.

This remarkable opal pendant is a great example of our top of the line opal and outstanding workmanship.  This handmade pendant is inlaid with the finest crystal opal Australia has to offer. The pendant’s opal inlay alternates between bright blue green opal sections and red multicolor sections of opal. Opal of this quality is quite rare and is becoming harder to obtain at any price, making this pendant a real collector’s piece. The center stone is a spectacular 13.25 carat shell fantasy cut Swiss blue topaz. The faceting on the topaz is very unique. The top is slightly domed with only one facet with the bottom has all the facets and notches to create the pattern viewed from the top. The opal inlay and topaz are accented by 28 pave` set diamonds. The diamonds are VS clarity and G/H color and have a total weight of .60 carats.

Take a closer look at this amazing opal pendant at http://www.etsy.com/listing/58803270/australian-opal-inlay-pendant-with-topaz or visit our opal jewelry website at TheHilemanCollection.com .

Thank you for supporting handmade jewelry artists!

Hileman Silver Jewelry is now on Bonanza.com!

Amethyst sterling silver ring with sugilite and nambulite inlay.On September 21, 2010, 1000 Markets was acquired by Bonanza.  Bonanza  is an online marketplace with more than 2 million visitors per month and 3.5 million products listed for sale.  We will be transferring our shop and all of our jewelry listings at 1000 Markets over to our new Bonanza shop as quickly as possible. Our new Bonanza “booth” will have some interesting new features, including the ability for shoppers to have real time chat with the the artist, rate an item and post the item to most social sites.   We currently have about 75 pieces of jewelry on the site and will be adding more every day.  Come by and check out our new booth and add us to your favorites. http://www.bonanza.com/booths/hilemansilverjewelry

Interested in making some extra income?

Bonanza also offers an affiliate program where you are paid for every sale you refer from your blog or website.  Hileman Silver Jewelry is paying a 4% commission on all sales generated by our affiliate program.  To be eligible you have to go to Bonanza.com and register so you receive credit and payment for all referrals to our jewelry page.  To find out more go to the Bonanza Affiliates Program page and read all the details.

John Hileman

www.HilemanSilverJewelry.com

www.TheHilemanCollection.com

Fossilized Red Horn Coral Jewelry

A few weeks ago we purchased some fossilized red horn coral from a local gem dealer.  He had acquired a nice quantity of the coral and thought it would be perfect for our inlay jewelry.  We had never heard of red horn coral, but the nice range of red to pink colors and the dealer’s assurance that it would take a nice polish persuaded us to give it a try.  Here is our first piece of jewelry utilizing the fossilized red horn coral.  The coral we inlaid in this silver ring is a nice red-orange color with great depth.  Fossilized horn coral is fairly hard and does indeed take a great polish.  Check out the ring!   http://www.shop.hilemansilverjewelry.com/Red-horn-fossil-coral-inlay-sterling-silver-ring-W106ssRedHornCoralOnyx.htm

Red fossilized horn coral ring in sterling silver

Red fossilized horn coral and black onyx inlay ring in sterling silver

This red horn coral is from Utah and is about 390 million years old.  A great inland sea once covered Utah and much of the western United States.  As the earth evolved, the inland sea receded and sediments covered the coral reefs.  Over time the structure of the ancient horn coral was fossilized and replaced by agate.  The fossilized red horn coral is also known as rugosa coral.   I will spare you the details but if you would like to read a more detailed description of  horn coral go to http://www.palaeos.org/Rugosa.

Red fossilized horn coral rough

Red fossilized horn coral rough

Here is a photo of some of the fossilized red horn coral rough we purchased.  It is an interesting stone to cut and work with.  It requires some thought and patience in cutting to maximize the yield and retain the beautiful pattern, but I think the resulting piece is worth it.  Look for more red horn coral jewelry coming soon!

http://www.hilemansilverjewelry.com

Note:  This is not living coral from our current coral reefs in our oceans.  This coral died hundreds of millions of years ago and is found in the Utah desert.

New Australian opal inlay pendant design by Hileman sure to be a collector favorite

Attention all opalholics! Mark Hileman has just completed an outrageous new Australian opal pendant available for immediate purchase on Etsy.com. If you love Australian opal jewelry, then this new opal inlay pendant will not disappoint. This stunning handmade 14 karat gold pendant features a blue topaz and incredible Australian opal inlay. A huge 7.3 carat blue topaz appears to be floating in the center of this eye catching pendant. The topaz harmonizes nicely with the 16 pieces of inlaid Australian opal. Each inlay section of the body of the pendant contains two pieces of inlaid blue green opal with one red piece of opal inlay in the middle. The hinged bale is also inlaid with four pieces of outstanding blue green and red firing Australian opal. The remarkable opal will mesmerize you as it flashes different colors of blues, greens, and reds. The .30 carats of G color VS clarity brilliant round diamonds provide additional sparkle to this statement piece. The pendant is stamped 14k gold on the back and is hand signed “MMH” by Mark McBride Hileman for authenticity and collector value.   Purchase the pendant at http://www.etsy.com/listing/48127165/gold-and-topaz-pendant-with-diamonds-and or get more information about The Hileman Collection and Australian opal at www.TheHilemanCollection.com .

Dinosaur Bone Jewelry

If you are anything like me, you probably are not familiar with gem dinosaur bone or dinosaur bone jewelry .  My experience with dinosaur bone began last year when I discovered it on Ebay.  We decided to try inlaying dinosaur bone in our sterling silver jewelry and it was a big hit.  The dinosaur bone we use in our jewelry is usually referred to as “gembone”.  It is actually not bone but is a combination of minerals that replaced the dinosaur bone over time.  Dinosaur bone is found in a rainbow of colors with the webbing color and cell size varying greatly from piece to piece.  The varying cell size and colors create some truly unique patterns and virtually one of a kind pieces of jewelry.  The fossilized dinosaur bone can be composed of many different minerals including agate, jasper and calcite.  The dinosaur bone color is determined by the combination of minerals present when the fossilized bone formed.  Some colors are more rare than others with multicolor cells  in a nice pattern being the most sought after.  High quality dinosaur bone has a hardness of 6-7 on the Moh’s scale and takes a great polish for jewelry.  Top grade gem dinosaur bone is eventually going to become impossible to get because, as you might have guessed, they aren’t making it any more.  Now would be a great time to start your collection of dinosaur bone jewelry.  We have many ring and pendant designs that feature dinosaur bone in several different color combinations.  Visit our website and enter dinosaur bone in the quick search box and check out the jewelry available.  http://www.shop.hilemansilverjewelry.com/main.sc   

I also have posted a collection of photos of some of our pendants, rings and wedding ring sets inlaid with dinosaur bone on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/hilemanjewelry/sets/72157624623420277/ . 

Gilson created opal makes for a stunning pendant

Sterling silver pendant inlaid with Gilson created opal and onyx

Sterling silver pendant inlaid with Gilson created opal and onyx

Last week we were trying to decide what inlay materials to use to create a unique contemporary pendant for a special customer.  After some thought Mark decided to break out some Gilson created opal that he purchased thirty years ago and had only used a few times since then.  The result was a very striking pendant with Gilson opal so bright you would think that there had to be a bulb in it.  Because Australian opal inlay is our specialty, we rarely use man-made opal.  In this case, natural opal of this quality would be far too costly to inlay in a sterling silver pendant, so Gilson opal was a logical choice.  We were so pleased at how this pendant came out, you might be seeing more pieces with the Gilson created opal inlay in the future.  There are differences in the quality of other lab grown opal and Gilson created opal.  The Gilson created opal was invented by Pierre Gilson of France in 1974 and is considered by many gemologists to be the world’s finest laboratory grown opal. The growth process takes from 14 to 18 months, and the colors are natural with no treatment or enhancements. Its unique properties and brilliance set Gilson opal apart from all other man-made opal. Unlike natural opal which contains 3 to 21% water, Gilson opal contains no water. Gilson created opal is much tougher than natural opal and is not prone to breaking or cracking. 

If you would like more information about this Gilson opal pendant or if you want to order one go to  http://www.shop.hilemansilverjewelry.com/Silver-pendant-inlaid-with-red-Gilson-opal-and-onyx-P400ssGilOpalOnyx.htm

-John Hileman

Get your inlay jewelry repaired ASAP!

   

Repaired Australian opal ring.

After repairs

Before
Before restoration

 

Eventually everyone will need repairs done to their jewelry, whether the damage is from everyday wear and tear or from a one time accident. The important thing is to get your jewelry repaired as soon as possible. Wearing your jewelry in a damaged state, especially inlaid jewelry, will only lead to bigger and more expensive repairs or stone loss. Once an inlaid stone has a crack in it, water or other liquids can seep through the crack to the epoxy. The epoxy is the only thing holding the stones securely in the mounting. Water or other chemicals may affect the bond between the stone and the mounting, allowing some or all of the stones to fall out.  Prongs  should be checked yearly to make sure they are not worn or bent, possibly resulting in stones coming loose.
Closely inspect your jewelry on a regular basis. If your eyesight is not what it used to be, buy a magnifying glass or take it in to a local jeweler and have them take a look at it under magnification. If your inlay needs repair, we suggest returning it to Hileman Jewelry for repairs. We have the materials to match your piece and the lapidary expertise to make your repaired piece of jewelry look like new again. We refinish all Hileman Jewelry at no charge other than shipping and insurance costs and replace cracked or missing pieces at a very reasonable price.  Contact us about getting your jewelry repaired today!