Bunny Bedi, owner and designer of Made in Earth, is always on a quest to find stones with personality that our clients can connect with and therefore are worthy of adding to one’s permanent gemstone jewellery collection. Bunny tells us about his discovery of K2 Jasper and Preselite. “Both have their own unique eccentricities and tales to tell, they are the conversational gems that will pique the interest of those they meet. I was drawn by their mysterious beginnings and knew they would be an interesting addition to our collection.”
In northern Pakistan near the Chinese border, you’ll find the second highest mountain on earth, K2, with an elevation of a whopping 8,611m. Dusted with snow and edged with rocky cliffs, this region is home to some extreme and challenging terrain. At the base of this mountainous beast is a curious gem material called K2 Jasper (also known as K2 stone or Raindrop Azurite). Mined with simple hand tools and transported by foot or pack animals to the nearest road, this unusual stone is quite spectacular, and has made a splash on the market.
K2 Jasper is not a jasper at all – the white to grey granular rock with black flecks is granite, a combination of plagioclase, quartz and muscovite. Within this freckled material are vivid blue polka dots of azurite in varying sizes usually between 3-10mm. At first glance the stone looks almost unbelievable and unlike anything else available on the market. There are still debates surrounding the identification of the blue mineral spots, although the initial investigation was some years back it has been tested and found to be Azurite. Due to its high Feldspar content K2 cuts and polishes almost effortlessly into cabochons making for interesting gemstone jewellery for the collector or gem enthusiast.
Another stone which is more than meets the eye is Preselite, also known as Preseli stone. To understand the origins of this gem material we need to go back in time. Let’s go back, way back to 5,000 years ago when the mega stone monuments of Stonehenge were put into their place.
Symbolising mystery, power and endurance. Stonehenge’s original purpose is unclear. Whether it was a place of worship or mourning, the great stone circle spanning the Salisbury Plain is a sacred enigma that will challenge what we know for centuries to come.
The smaller stones of the inner circle (weighing up to 4 ton each) are our origin of interest. Called ‘bluestones’ they are believed to be rocks sourced from the Preseli Mountains in Wales. What’s unusual about this? Well apart from the mystery surrounding the who, what and why of this mega structure itself, the excavation site of the bluestone in Wales is over 300km from the Stonehenge site in Wiltshire, England. Recent research has been undertaken investigating closer sites that are also home to this bluestone-type material, but the debate still continues.
A volcanic rock, the Preseli bluestones are dolerite, a medium grained rock dominated by plagioclase and pyroxene. This deep forest green material contains white splotches throughout creating earthy toned cabochons when polished. Utilised for its hardness by our ancestors, this durable material was perfect for creating axes and cutting tools.
While the glitz and glamour of faceted gemstone jewellery can quickly captivate and lure a buyer, sometimes it’s the wallflowers with great personality, interesting life journeys and tales of past experiences that leave the everlasting impressions in our minds. K2 and Preselite are certainly two very interesting stones with fascinating beginnings, making the rings and pendants we have in our collection great conversation starters!