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Gem Selection for Casa Catalina Jewelry

Each bezel-set cabochon gemstone has been hand-selected to create a painterly like feel to the design. I draw from my experience with oil painting to blend and compliment gemstone colors to create a rich color harmony within each piece. I work with gemstone suppliers in New Mexico and acquire knowledge from their decades of expertise to better understand quality, color, and geologic process.

I'm naturally attracted to translucent gems and work with a wide spectrum of colors. The choice of colors are directly inspired by the time of year. I am highly influenced by the summer and winter lights and my color choices will range from airy pastels to a dark mossy feel.

While I use aquamarines, natural blue chalcedony, citrines, garnets and a variety of opals, below is a list of my personal favorites and are staples in most of my designs.

Blue Moonstone

When I found a local supplier who was selling the most clear blue moonstones I had ever seen, my jaw actually dropped. Breathtaking. Now I don’t use any other moonstone as these are some of the best quality and clarity I have seen on the market. They add a touch of elegance to any design and compliment the silver in an almost calming way.


This deep bluish purple gemstone adds a nice bold dramatic color to the palette without being overly purply. As much as I love amethyst, I feel like iolite has a more refined presence. The color is unpredictable and slightly mysterious. I have been using this gemstone for years and can’t get enough of it.


For anyone who loves rainbows, tourmalines are one of the most playful and surprising gemstones to work with. I especially love the olive green tourmalines but am constantly on the hunt for rich hues in any of the colors that this gem comes in. It is the one that allows me to truly tap into the ‘painting with gemstones’ concept that comes through my pieces.


This gemstone is one of the few opaque gemstones in Casa Catalina Jewelry. It’s a cousin to turquoise but is clearly different with its pastel green hues. The webbing within the gem is remarkable and finding natural, untreated variations of it is rare. The supplier I work with only sells natural, untreated variscite and that is why I use this gem for very special designs.

The selection process is what makes certain pieces one-of-a-kind. Finding a gemstone to replicate a previous design is nearly impossible, and therefore the designs that use them are not repeatable and truly unique. If you’ve been wanting to update your everyday jewelry with a one-of-a-kind piece, send me an email. I’d love to help you find the right statement pieces to add to your collection that will be enjoyed for years to come.



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