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Oregon Sunstone from Custom Gem Cutter Matt A. Dunkle

Hi, Sweet Friends!

Today we are pleased to have Matt A. Dunkle here from Custom Gem Cutter to talk to us about these beautiful Oregon Sunstones!

CJ: Hi, Matt. You cut so many gemstones, what makes Oregon Sunstone any different from, say a piece of quartz?

Matt: Quartz is "tougher", but Sunstone is finickier. What I mean is that Sunstone, as a feldspar, has a cleavage problem that often crops up while cutting and polishing the stone that presents certain problems. It can be a bear.
CJ: Does Oregon Sunstone come from only one mine in Oregon?

Matt: Sunstone, from Oregon, comes from many mines in Oregon, but specifically it is found in Harney County, Oregon and in eastern Lake County, north of Plush, Oregon.
CJ: What are the colors these stones can be found in?

Matt: Oregon Sunstone is basically a clear (white) to straw yellow colored stone. It also may sometimes contain small platelets of copper "inclusions" that give the stone a "sheen" often seen in cabbed stones.  Red Sunstones has copper "coloring" spots (an infusion of copper ions into the crystal lattice of the stone) that can give the stone a red coloration.  Reddish orange, salmon-pink, and even green are all colors found in Oregon Sunstone.
CJ: How long have they found Sunstone in Oregon?

Matt: Actual mining has been occuring at least from the 1960's.
CJ: If I were to make a piece of jewelry, what would be the piece to do it in? What is the hardness?

Matt: Ideally, pendants and earrings are the best. To a lesser degree, rings, but becareful because the hardness is midrange, stones set into rings are more prone to being scratched.
The hardness of Sunstone is 6.5-7.2 .
CJ: I like the multi colors that the Sunstone is in. What do you like about it?

Matt: My preference in color is reds and greens, although some of the salmon-pink colors are nice too. What I try to avoid is any occurrence of the copper "shiller" inclusions
CJ: Is there anything else that we should know about Sunstone from Oregon?

Matt: Red Sunstone also occurs in bi-colors of red and green. Oregon Red Sunstone prices can vary from $20/ct. upwards of $2500/ct., depending on the colors, and size, and quality of the stone.
CJ:Thank you Matt A. Dunkle for dropping in to do this quick interview. We love your cut stones and jewelry. What is the next project you have lined up for your customers?
Matt: I'm actually working on Sapphires and would be more than happy to chat with you again soon on these beautiful beauties!

Again, it is a pleasure to have you here with us today!
I hope you all learned a little bit about Oregon Sunstone that you didn't already know!

 Our Sponsor: Matt A. Dunkle of Custom Gem Cutter

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