Jefanite™ is a whole new ball game. It’s a material we have developed specifically for creating beautiful features for jewellery that produce amazing colour patterns and variation, and amazing brilliance at an affordable price.
Why make it?
No, it’s not ‘natural’, it is man made, but it’s in good company along with other man made materials like opal, ruby, sapphire, garnet, spinel, diamond, agate and so on and on.
It’s made for a purpose and is not intended to simulate natural opal. It is obviously different. That purpose is to provide a beautiful alternative that will take pride of place in any piece of jewellery and as an affordable material for Lapidarists and Glasssmiths to work with that still gives amazing results.
How is it made?
It contains familiar materials as well as some materials a little less familiar. Sorry, I can’t divulge what they are or how exactly I make it. Trade secret and all that stuff. 😁 I can say it is created in a kiln and that’s why the final polish can be performed in a kiln.
Who is it Intended for?
It’s really intended for anyone wanting to create features for jewellery, that has basic equipment for working the material. As mentioned, this includes Lapidarists and Glasssmiths.
We work it using a diamond saw, diamond laps and wheels, and then polish it in the kiln. Glasssmiths will likely have a diamond saw, possibly flat laps and a belt sander. So they could work it using this equipment, or use wet and dry sandpaper, if you have patience, for finishing before using a kiln to fire polish.
Jefanite versus Opal
Jefanite™ is silica based and contains silica dioxide just like opal, but creates its amazing patterns through a different structure.
Opal is a hydrated form of silica dioxide that contains anywhere from 3 to 21% water. It’s a sedimentary material that contains layers of small spheres of silica that are deposited in a close packed lattice. It is these layers that diffract the light to produce those beautiful patterns of colour.
Jefanit™ is a non-hydrated form of silica dioxide. It is, of course, not natural and is created through a special process we have developed. The amazing brilliance and colours are created by the diffraction of light through layers of crystallised metals, such as gold and silver, and oxides such as titanium and zirconium.
How is it Cut and Polished?
Just like opal, Jefanite™ can be worked using traditional lapidary equipment and techniques. Using equipment such as a diamond saw, hard and soft diamond wheels, diamond laps, wet and dry sandpaper and polishing pads, Jefanite can be shaped and sanded through to a finish that can then be polished with a medium such as cerium oxide.
Additionally, it can be worked in a kiln, especially for producing a final polish, using a common method called ‘fire polishing’. It can be melted in a kiln to form a different shape, but the internal structure will be completely changed and the patterns and original colours altered. This is not recommended if you want to retain the original pattern and colours of the rough material.
How can I Acquire the Rough?
We will be selling the rough material here in our shop.
Please have patience while I prepare and list the material.
I Want to Learn More?
If you are interested in learning more about Jefanite™, we suggest you subscribe to the Rocket Rose Art YouTube channel and watch our new ongoing series of videos about working with Jefantite™. It these videos I will talk freely about many things and show you how I work the material. I will also answer any questions you post in the video comments.
In summary, this is a material I hope you will embrace and try working with. The final result from the rough is far more predictable and the final pieces are absolutely beautiful.
And when it comes down to cost, it is hugely more affordable than a natural quality rough material such as opal. Mistakes won’t cost you a fortune