When the conversation turns to drusy stones, most people have the same reaction: “Excuse me. What?” “Drusy” is not a term that’s found in most everyday vocabulary, but it is a term that is crazy popular in jewelry circles. Whether you’re thinking of buying a necklace, bracelet, or ring that showcases drusy crystals, or you’re planning to design your own jewelry, you can’t go wrong with drusy beads.
What is this drusy of which you speak?
Drusy (also spelled druzy or druse) is a thin layer of crystals covering the surface of stone. The best example of a drusy stone would be the crystals that fill the inside of a geode cavity. These tiny crystals grow slowly, taking millions of years to form. They can be found as the last growth layer on agate or some other colorful base stone. Ground water carries dissolved silica, and when this water is pushed into a porous area of rock under pressure, it cools rapidly. This causes the formation of tiny crystals. These crusts of tiny, sparkling crystals fill the cavities of the rock to form drusy.
The term doesn’t always refer to quartz crystals; drusy can be any kind of mineral that’s found in a sheet-like form over a base stone, such as malachite, garnet, calcite, or dolomite. Common colors for drusy are yellow, red, orange, brown, and white. Drusy crystals look delicate, but are actually fairly durable.
Drusy is great for jewelry.
Drusy stones are simply stunning when used in making jewelry. Unlike big faceted gemstones, one of the positives of drusy stones is that they are not as expensive, yet they have the sparkle and amazing color that we all love to see in our jewelry. Drusy can also be cut into various shapes fairly easily.
Drusy gemstones have a naturally textured surface, much like a fine coating of sugar crystals. This textured surface was formed over millions of years. Drusy crystals have only recently gained the attention of the fashion jewelry industry. They began to show up in custom jewelry from known jewelry designers, and the trend has escalated.
Drusy is a fun, easy stone to work with. Whether you’re using it as a central focal bead or a string of beads, the color and flash the crystals produce make it a certain hit. Drusy crystals in jewelry provide eye-catching beauty and singular uniqueness. The edges are usually bezel-set in gold, titanium, or silver to prevent chipping when the piece is worn.
Drusy beads are most common in pendant-style shapes. They are most commonly used in necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings, and as focal pendants.
Natural vs. Treated Stones
The popularity of drusy is easy to understand, with the flashes of color that the multitude of crystals provide. Most non-quartz types of drusy gems are natural. Examples would be the vivid hot pinks of calcite, the gentle greens of uvarovite, or the multicolored rainbow effects of rainbow pyrite.
The most common drusy is quartz – generally agate or chalcedony based. Natural quartz drusy is usually found in soft colors such as white, gray, tan, and cream. Quartz pieces may be dyed to give them fantastic colors that are more commercially appealing. Many are dyed black, while others are tinted with such vivid colors as purple, red, green, and blue. Some may be coated with a titanium or other metallic vapor to create an iridescent finish.
Take care of your drusy jewelry and stones.
When you get drusy jewelry, or you design and make your own, you’ll need to be aware of a few guidelines to make sure your new treasure is properly cared for. One of the most important tips is to be careful with your gemstones; knocking or dropping the drusy can easily crack or break the stone.
Be careful what your drusy jewelry is exposed to. Take care not to immerse your stone in harsh chemicals or use ultrasonic cleaners. Bleach can cause gold bezel or other metal alloys to corrode, so this should be avoided. Denatured alcohol, turpentine, ammonia, and acetone can also damage your drusy and bezel. These chemicals may dull the sparkle of the crystals or pit the surface of the stone.
Take the jewelry off before swimming, showering, or relaxing in the hot tub. You should avoid exposing your jewelry to shampoo and other beauty care products. Be sure to remove your jewelry before using hair spray or hair dyes, before applying spray tans or lotions, and before using perfumes.
Store your drusy jewelry in a pouch or lined jewelry box. A little care goes a long way, and your natural gemstone jewelry will last a lifetime when given proper care.