My family has always had a passing interest in rocks, geology and minerals. I bought myself loose stones long before I ever learned to silversmith, with the vague idea that one day I would do something with them and in the meantime they don’t take up much space.
Now my family occasionally buy stones and get me to set them…
The one above is a star ruby my father bought for my mother for their ruby wedding anniversary and then promptly lost in the bottom of a purse for several years. I made the band of silver because gold prices have been ridiculous since the recession and did the ring around the bezel in gold because the stone wanted to be near gold. It’s not perfect but then I like a slightly rustic look for a slightly rustic stone!
This one is a citrine my brother bought himself (set against a chunk of something volcanic from Iceland). Again the setting is hammered silver.