This handcarved ladybug began with a magnificent piece of ametrine, so called because it fades in uninterrupted transition from genuine amethyst (purple gem quartz) to genuine citrine (yellow gem quartz) in the same stone. Many color combinations show up as lighting and positions change. The artist used gemcutting wheels, then water-cooled diamond bits in a high-speed handpiece, to handcraft the 13.70 carat ametrine gem. He handcrafted an Argentium (TM) sterling silver setting and bail, then added a conventional sterling silver neckchain 18” long. The chain is “unseamed”; snake style, not pieced together at the factory. Delightful, winsome, a top clarity masterpiece.
Argentium™ Sterling Silver is highly tarnish-resistant, and is fairly new (a few years on the market to jewelry artists). The alloy replaces most of the 7.50% copper in conventional Sterling with the element germanium, which extensively retards the oxidation that shows as black on most Sterling. The makers of the alloy and its fabricated products guarantee that Argentium™ Sterling Silver contains at least the 92.5% Silver found in conventional Sterling. You just don't have to keep polishing it.