Many of the jewelry items here are made using bismuth crystals. Bismuth is a metal very much like lead but without the poisonous qualities. In fact many times through the ages it has been called white lead. Some think it may be part of the origin of the alchemist legend of changing base metals to gold. Although the material has been around for years, most people have never heard of it and certainly never seen the crystals.
Through a process of melting and then slowly cooling the metal crystals form which are, for the most part, a square shape technically called rhombohedral. At the same time, an oxide forms on the surface which gives the crystals changing hues of blue, violet and gold.
Many bismuth crystals are created during a melting session. JR judges them for size and color so she can use the prettiest ones for use in her jewelry. The crystals usually weigh from just under half an ounce up to around a full ounce. Any that don’t make the cut are saved to be remelted the next time.
To mount the crystal, a porcelain paint is used which is heated at a low temperature that causes it to bond with the crystal and the mounting fixture.
This process results in each piece of jewelry being a unique, one-of-a-kind, gift.