Sometimes I buy cabochons because they call to me, even if I don't know what on earth I'll do with them. I also know when I don't have the skills to set something, but I find myself reaching for the "Buy Now" button on eBay anyway. Such was the case with this lovely dendritic quartz. Dendrites are the wavy bits of minerals that look like tree branches or kelp or something.
I hung onto this, wondering if I'd ever figure out who deserved such a pretty, other-worldly gem. I didn't want to risk creating an expensive piece and then failing to sell it on Etsy or eBay. Those costs add up, and so does the aggravation and time lost. So it waited in my little box for just the right person. Then I realized my wonderful Aunt Sandie was turning 80. She and I have grown much closer over the years, particularly when I lived in California and she'd come to visit my cousin Mitch in LA.
My skills also finally caught up with this stone. I sawed away the back to the setting to let the light shine through. The effect is translucent and ethereal. But it's also still very elegant, and a little Art Deco flower at the top makes it a perfect piece for a lifelong New Yorker. She got it in time for her birthday party, which for me is nothing short of a minor miracle.
Happy (belated) Birthday, Aunt Sandie!