This month's featured gem. The Spiny Oyster.
The spiny oyster, otherwise known as spondylus, is a large family of mollusks. They are sometimes also known as thorny oysters or spondylids. Despite its name, these creatures are not true oysters and are more closely related to scallops. Of all the many varieties that are found in the seas of the world, two significant variations are found off the Pacific coast. Both are harvested for their shells for use in jewelry and lapidary purposes and are typically used in Native American Jewelry. In this ring I have bezel set a brilliant red spiny oyster cabochon into 22kt gold. This piece was completely hand fabricated in a combination of sterling silver and gold. The ring shank was treated with special hammers to create a heavily textured surface. 1mm faceted yellow sapphires were then pave set around the cabochon. After completion all was oxidized black.