Marsala is the color of rich red wine and rosy cheeks. It’s the hue of dusty dessert sunsets and deep, earthy gemstones. It’s the color of the year and the color of February!
Beginning with garnet, this pendant with the Apache rhyolite (on the left and right) is the epitome of a marsala-toned piece. Apache rhyolite is named “streaming rock” from the unique way it is formed. At the foot of volcanoes, crystal-rich layers of rock form bubbles and bands from lava flowing across the stone’s surface. In the wake of deadly heat, beautiful, organic shapes are contrived in abstract patterns of reds, purples and whites. The tiny, faceted garnet beads, reminiscent of pomegranate seeds in their rich luster, adorn the base of the Apache rhyolite to enhance the elegance of the pendant. With the radiance of the garnet, coupled with the rich tones in the rhyolite, this pendant has earned its place as a prime example of the sophistication and beauty of marsala.
Not to be outdone, however, is the sponge coral. It is too bright to be defined as marsala in the strictest definition of the color, but its deepness and delicate pattern have secured its place on the list. In the photos are several examples of the sponge coral in my collection. The myriad of shapes are, not only fun to work with, but also make for beautiful, unique pieces of jewelry. Sponge coral, despite its name, have nothing to do with sponges. Instead, this coral, found in South China seas, has a spong-like appearance that inspired its name. The detailing might not be clear in the photograph on the right, but each piece has a pattern. These markings might not be obvious at all, but the small color variations and lacework pattern give sponge coral a deepness that is beyond compare. The really deep reds are the result of “color enhancement”.
Finally, red mountain jade is the epitome of beauty. This is actually dolomite that has been dyed (since nature doesn’t produce this vivid red). Like the sponge coral, it lacks purple tones that would make it true marsala; nonetheless, it is an earthy, ancient stone that brightens and warms the more serious merlot. It is a featureless stone-unless carved-whose beauty is found in its vibrant color and polished surface. In ancient times, red mountain jade was a gemstone of nobility, power, and royalty, especially in the East. Even now it still maintains those properties of wisdom, confidence and power in its simplicity. Colored like a cranberry fresh off its bush, the heart of red mountain jade reflects the inner strength of its wearer! It is also one of my more affordable gemstones.
The honorable mentions in this post are red cinnabar and sonoran sunset! Both are gorgeous red stones that make up a large portion of my collection of gemstones. You can read more about cinnabar here and sonoran sunset here! If you are interested in purchasing these pieces, you can find the majority on Etsy; however, a few are at Kress Emporium and the other galleries that carry my things. Contact me for more information! Don’t forget, I’m always open to creating custom pieces just for you! Whether you have a gemstone in your collection or if you would like to browse my collection for a stone that you simply cannot put down, I can help! Go to my custom jewelry page to contact me!