Glenn Lehrer is internationally recognised as a living legend in the art of gemstone carving and cutting. He has pioneered some of the world’s largest gemstone sculptures and has been awarded a US patent for his revolutionary TorusRing cut. Here, we're taking a look at just a handful of Glenn Lehrer's unique and bespoke gemstone carvings.
The Fantasia series, one of several gemstone collections Glenn has created over the many decades, was first developed in the 1980s. The series is defined by miniature impressionist carvings of phenomenal gemstones, which can magically appear as though they are alive and moving. It’s truly fascinating to see how each viewer will interpret the same carving in different ways, and where one may see a dancer in motion, another will see a stylised flower in a garden. The pieces on display in this feature showcase a wonderful collection with roots spreading back over 30 years. The phenomenal skill on display in these pieces transcends the changing of fashions, and the collection is now being embraced by a new 21st century audience.
With enough moisture in the air, colourful rainbows appear with brilliant transparency as our sun shines through them. When light from the sun shines through Iris Agate, a full range of rainbow colours are shown. Iris Agate occurs when the distance between the clear banding of the Chalcedony is just right, with a precise thickness of Agate allowing for transmitted light to shine through, creating an iridescent rainbow. Only one in a thousand Agate geodes will create this Iris phenomenon.
Attracted to the light, the nocturnal Luna Moth dances to the full moon. Her magical eyes of Indicolite Tourmaline move with every flutter of her wings. Chrysoprase Chalcedony, from West Queensland, Australia is a nickel rich, naturally stained Chalcedony Quartz. The very finest specimens in the world come from Australia. Set into the Chrysoprase are very rare Brazilian Indicolite Tourmaline cat’s eye cabochons, set in 18k yellow gold and riveted through the Chalcedony.
Chrysocolla Sea Dragon
Sea Dragons appear alien-like in their environment in the oceans of Earth. They magically blend into their local environment and appear almost invisible – a clever way to camouflage from those that prey on them. This piece is carved from gem silica Chrysocolla and clear Chalcedony that has a natural botryoidal surface. Gem silica is a rare, copper-stained Chalcedony. The finest in the world comes from Arizona, USA. Botryoidal means that the mineral forms with a natural, grape-like appearance.
Chrysocolla Water Walker
One who can walk on water appears to gracefully and elegantly float just inches above the surface. A dance in tune with their element. This grade of gem silica Chrysocolla Chalcedony is found only in the southwest desert of Arizona, USA. The colour in the Chalcedony is from copper staining. These fine gems were actually mined as a secondary mineral during copper extraction. Very rare as it is no longer being mined to the extent that produces material of this translucency and richness of colour.
Rutile is like a lightning flash of electricity through space, a golden flash of colour in a place you might not expect to see it. At its core, under extreme temperatures, the iron rich Haematite forms along with the mineral Rutile, two different minerals with different crystal systems growing from the same angle. Later, under cooler conditions, silica rich magma comes along, entombing the Haematite and Rutile wings that could not stand daily wear and tear without this vital Quartz crystal protection.
Lightning Ridge, Australia, is world renowned for its Black Fire Opal. Just as fine is translucent White Fire Opal, often naturally backed with either grey or black matrix (host rock) giving the flash and twinkle of the play-of-light a dark field to play on. This Lightning Ridge White Fire Opal shimmers with delicate pin flashes of blue-green, along with orange-yellow flashes that cascade gently across its face. It brings to mind a vibrant, translucent rainbow in front of a dark, rolling storm cloud.
Waves Of Iridescence
As swells on the ocean travel under the bright light of the full moon, the water’s surface almost twinkles and glows with a rainbow of iridescent colours. This is a fine Lightning Ridge White Fire Opal with broad flashes of green and blue, interspersed with hints of golden yellow and dashes of orange. The dark grey base matrix of this Opal gives the swirling colours an almost otherworldly appearance and really highlights the sheer quality of Opal sourced from Lightning Ridge in Australia.
Ancient Sea Treasure
The oceans of long ago are gone, but left behind are her treasures. The perfect turquoise colour of these ancient oceans has been immortalised in this shell design, as if it washed up on a beach aeons ago. This idea is captured in this rare, very translucent gem silica Chrysocolla. This gem is hydrophane, meaning it absorbs moisture into its spacious cryptocrystalline Quartz structure. The more it absorbs, the more transparent it looks, and conversely if it dries out it will be much more translucent.
View Glenn Lehrer's jewellery collections here, and click here to see his loose gemstone creations.
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