Playing Music With Gemstones Guitar Picks

by Rockinpicks

Jasper is a semiprecious gemstone found all over the world. From carved statues, jewelry and now guitar picks it's versatility knows no end at prices that are affordable to most.

The use of Jasper, a chalcedony, can be traced back before biblical times. As a softer gemstone that is rich in color it's been used for everything from religious artifacts to modern day jewelry. Silica is the main component in Jasper and depending on what other minerals are found gives the stone it's variation in patterns and color such as you see with Desert Jaspers or Polychrome jasper.

Playing Music With Gemstones

A Set Of Jasper Tripick Guitar Picks Photo credit  It wasn't until the 1920's that guitars were played with plastic. Developed to replace the tortoise shell pick new more modern material was developed in the form of nylon. Before this discovery man would use shell, rock or anything he could to pick at the strings of a musical instrument. The sounds produced were unique to each material. Tortoise shell from sea turtles were among the most popular material but, with the endangerment of these creatures the development of these picks had to stop. 

  Gemstones are harder to create because there is no way to mass produce them. Highly prized for both their gemstone value and their ability to produce pure sound today's gemstone plectrums are only made in lapidaries and sold by specialty vendors. 

  Sound passes though stone and is not absorbed. This produces tones that are both warmer and brighter depending on the size, thickness and type of gemstone used. The most common stones to be used are the Jaspers and Agates due to their durability and hardness. They are also affordable compared to precious gemstones. Other stones commonly used are obsidian, tigers eye, and turquoise. The most expensive gemstone guitar pick was created out of a meteorite and fetched into the thousands of dollars.


Modern Jewelry

Gorgeous Austrian Crystal Glass Gemstone on Sterling Silver Necklace Color Pink

Treat yourself to something special by checking out our new fashion jewelry items. This fine jewelry item in particular features gorgeous imported Austrian crystal diamond gem s...

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Verbena Damon Guardian Ring Vampire Jewelry Silver Lapis Lazuli Gemstone Size 7

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2 Pounds Brazilian Tumbled Polished Natural Stones Assorted Mix

Two full pounds (approx:60 stones) of quality natural stones that have been tumbled and polished. Each stone is around 1 inch in size. Perfect for jewelry , crafts, or home deco...

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2 POUNDS OF A 12 Stone Mix from Madagascar rough gemstones labradorite, rose quartz, septarian, g...

this is a mix of 12 quality gemstones from Madagascar of the coast of Africa. They are all great for tumbling, etc. it is a mix of labradorite, rose quartz, septarian, green opa...

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50 Black Gem Jars in Glass Top Display Case

SV77 NEW GLASS TOP JEWELRY DISPLAY CASE + 50 GEM JARS Glass Top Display Case * Black leatherette finish * Glass top * Hinged Lid * Clasp closure 50 Gem Jars in Black Foam Liner ...

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Polychrome Jasper
Polychrome Jasper

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How Gemstones Are Carved

Lapidary Grinding Wheels

  Modern gemstones are carved on lapidary grinders using water as lubrication. Diamond dust is embedded into both rubber and metal wheels and spun at high speeds. Diamonds being the hardest mineral on the planet puts friction on any material that is softer.

  Lapidary Grinders have a series of 6-7 wheels  depending on the artist's choice. I use 7 wheels. The higher the number grit the more highly polished the stone becomes. I start with 60 grit and end with 14,000 grit.  Once you create a high shine a buffing wheel can be used with different types of pastes. Aluminum Oxide past is very popular with harder stone. Tin Oxide can also be used but, it is much more expensive.



Gemstone Guides

Smithsonian Handbooks: Gemstones

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Gemstones of the World: Newly Revised & Expanded Fourth Edition

Gemstones of the World is the single, cornerstone volume that every hobbyist, jeweler, jewelry maker, and rockhound needs. And this updated edition contains a new chapter on the...

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Rock Tumblers

Fun and Easy Way Of Carving Gemstones Rock TumblerGemstone Guitar Picks are not tumbled but, tumbling is a great way to start in the lapidary arts.

Like the waves on the shore rock tumblers are an inexpensive way to carve gemstones without the expense of professional lapidary equipment. It is a great way to introduce children to the lapidary arts as well. 

  Using a series of diamond grit powders much like the diamond grit embedded in the wheels, water, stone and the grit are added to rubber barrels and turned constantly until the edges are smooth, round and highly polished. These stones can be used in crafts, jewelry making and as crystal healing stones. 

  The traditional tumbler takes about a month to complete a set of stone. Daily monitoring in order to make sure the powders are not dry and the stones are turning properly is necessary. Changing the grit to different sizes is what turns a rough stone into a work of art. It's easy and fun for everyone in the family 


Model T Kit Rock       Tumbler

Thumler's Tumbler Ultra-Vibe 10 Vibrating Rock Tumbler

Lortone Rock Tumbler 4- Step Grit Kit

Gemstone Rock Tumblers

Rough Gemstone Refill Kit for Rock Tumbler by National Geographic

Stock Up with National Geographic’s Raw Gemstone Refill Kit This Gemstone Refill Kit Includes: 9 types of raw gemstones (1 lb in total), 4 courses of polishing grit, 6 jewelry f...

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National Geographic Rock Tumbler Starter Kit (2016 Release)

Great way to start a rock collection!Learn about the exciting hobby of rock tumbling with National Geographic. This set has a new and improved tumbling barrel and includes all t...

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Discover with Dr. Cool Rock Tumbler Set - Turn Rocks Into Stunning Gemstones

Imagine taking dull, ordinary rocks and magically transforming them into sparkling gems…now you can!With this tumbling set from Discover with Dr. Cool, making beautiful gemstone...

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Updated: 11/04/2012, Rockinpicks
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Rose on 01/17/2014

Those gemstone picks look fabulous!

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