One of my students is so hard up just now that he is selling off his gemstones. Normally, I love buying gemstones, but this felt like I was doing something wrong. Still, I gave the (fair) prices asked, so nobody lost out. It is just sad that it has come to this. Hardly surprising as precious metal prices rocket, though I was amazed to see that silver was actually higher in 1980 than it is now, something I only just remember. It was 1980 when the Hunt Brothers tried to corner the market. Alas! this current price hike appears to be directly related to the price of gold and is unlikely to come crashing down again as it did last time. Adjusted for inflation, silver is still MUCH cheaper than it was then but that is little consolation.
Anyway, I am not an economist. The stones I bought were these two. First of all, a slightly-scuffed Zircon of a beautiful bright, blue-green colour, about 10 x 8 mm:
The scuffs are barely visible with the naked eye and there is a slight bi-colour effect on the stone, which is lovely. The second is this gigantic roughish emerald, about 20 x 16mm:
Again, the pits on the surface - this time a "feature" of the stone - are not visible to the naked eye.
Got a bit of work done on Fashion:Victim, starting in earnest on one of the two hanging elements for the bangle, this one The Illusion of Freedom Buys The Power of Destruction. Soldering these is a nightmare!