Since my days as a jewellery maker I've been a passionate stone collector.

The fascination for me is what nature has created. I don't care much for enhanced or manipulated materials. The only exception being coloured Fresh Water Pearls of good quality and a few heat treatments like on Topaz and Citrine.

What I do like is both inexpensive, unpolished finds as well as expertly crafted, multifaceted precious stones of excellent quality - gemstones!

Precious metals are another favourite as well as coral and pearls.

In the following I'll introduce you to my collection.

A warning! having worked with stones for almost a decade I have never felt any "vibes" from them or noticed any "aura" around them. Therefore I can't give you advice on such matter, and I don't have any sort of opinion on the subject :-)

Kaffesoesters Agate collection
 This is a very common stone, and used for all sorts of decorative objects. In my collection you see beads of White Agate, Crazy Lace Agate and Botswana Agate. These are just a few of the many varieties. Under the name Blue Lace Agate on my list you can see yet another beautiful type.

Around the beads are some of my stone table ware - a coaster, an ashtray, a small vase and a candle holder for tea lights.

Kaffesoesters Amazonite collection
Named after the river Amazon (and not the online shop :-D) where it was first discovered, this incredible stone comes in colours ranging from light duck egg blue to strong teal. The pendant also has little flecks of pyrite that makes it sparkle.

It is mined in Russia, USA, Madagascar and Brazil

Kaffesoesters Amber collection
This is not a stone! It is fossilised tree resin. Sometimes you see specimens containing insects (remember Jurassic Park?) that were caught in the sticky stuff back then. The colour can vary from opaque, nearly white to very dark brown - but mostly the colour is a warm orange to golden yellow or reddish caramel. The best Quality is completely transparent, and the lighter colours are very sought after. Also green which is rare. Amber is mainly found along the Baltic coast (in Denmark too!)

Kaffesoesters Amethyst collection
This lovely purple stone is a member of the Quartz family. But with it's popularity I have given it it's own spot here on my list.

It is a common gemstone, and comes in colours from pinkish light purple to very dark grape purple. The more opaque the stone is the lower the quality is considered. Top quality stones are seen among the crown jewels in several European Royal collections.

Kaffesoesters Andalusite collection
Again a stone named after the place of first discovery, Andalusia in Southern Spain. It has earthy brown colouring, but with a special effect! When moved it gives flashes of red, green and yellow, called Pleochroism. The stronger the flashes the better!

Nowadays it is mined in Brazil and Sri Lanka.

Kaffesoesters Apatite collection
This rather soft gemstone comes in colours such as soft, aqua green, tropical aqua blue and vivid electric blue.

The best quality is transparent, with strong colouring.

Since it's not a very hard stone, drilling can be tricky. It can also be scratched by the harder stones. Therefore this is a stone you should be extra careful with.

Kaffesoesters Aquamarine collection
This is one of the most popular gemstones. It comes in lovely aqua colours, from almost clear to stronger watery blue, yellow and green. It can be both opaque and clear. The opaque variety that has great colouring is very sought after and can be quite pricey. Top quality has nice colouring and are completely transparent.

Aquamarine is part of the Beryl family, as is Emerald. You can see another version of this stone under Beryl

Kaffesoesters Aventurine collection
Aventurine is a special member of the Quartz family. It is translucent but has a shimmering effect from mineral inclusions.

The most common colour is a strong mid green, but it can also be found in orange, yellow and blue.

It is primarily mined in India.

Kaffesoesters Beryl collection
Beryl is really a family name, that also covers Morganite (the pink version), Emerald (the very strong gorgeous green!) and Aquamarine (which comes in less strong colouring in blue, green and yellow).

It is a rather hard stone only surpassed by Diamond and Corundum (Ruby and Sapphire). On the photo you see Beryl in a raw version, but still with fantastic colour and shine!

Blue Lace Agate:
Kaffesoesters Blue Lace Agate collection
The baby blue Agate with white lace is very popular. The colour reminds one of summer skies with streaks of white clouds. You can only smile when you see this stone!

Of the many types af Agate this is not as common as the others. But I think it's so gorgeous that it deserves it's own entry here!

Kaffesoesters Carnelian collection
Carnelian is really a variety of Chalcedony. It tends to have the same qualities of semi-translucency and a shiny or waxy surface, but is also commonly seen opaque and included which is reflected in a lower price.

The colour ranges from juicy orange to dark, reddish brown. Carnelian has been used for decorative purposes since Minoan Bronze Age in Greece.

Kaffesoesters Chalcedony collection
In books and on-line articles Chalcedony is described as having a waxy lustre. I think the beads look like jelly! These are quite translucent, but this can vary. The most common colour offered in the shops is a lovely soft blue. However, there are other very strongly coloured  types out there. The artificially coloured. The result can be seductively beautiful, but my experience is that the colour doesn't last. So I go with the natural version :-)

Kaffesoesters Chrysocolla collection
Due to the colour this stone can easily be confused with turquoise. It is often darker than my version, with stronger colouring.

It is mined in The US in several states, and in Indonesia, Israel and the UK among others.

Like Carnelian and Chalcedony this is also a Silicate mineral which means they're all part of the same family.

Kaffesoesters Chrysoprase collection
Again a variety of Chalcedony, this time green. This stone is a personal favourite! The colour determines the price of this stone, as well as inclusions. The most sought after colour is called Apple green. You can see it in the small drops in the picture.

Main deposits are found in Australia and Poland.

Kaffesoesters Citrine collection
A member of the Quartz family. The best quality is transparent and not included. The colour can vary from lemon yellow to light orange-tinged yellow, brownish yellow to light greenish yellow.

The reddish and brownish tinged versions are most likely heat treated Amethyst or Smoky Quartz. I have never experienced any change in the colour, so it seems to be a lasting result. See the difference in the photo?

Kaffesoesters Coral collection
With the amount and variety of my Coral collection you can tell it's an absolute favourite :-) White, pink and red, as beads or polished branches, it's beautiful! I prefer the precious Coral, mainly found in the Mediterranean. It is very hard so fine for jewellery. In later years protection has been established, after years with diminishing colonies. At the top of the photo you can see large red discs. That is Bamboo Coral, found in the Pacific. It is dyed red, which causes a warning - the dye is known to rub off on the cheaper versions!

Kaffesoesters Diamond collection
The hardest of all stones, pricey and famous. It can be found in many colours, pink, blue, yellow, brown - and the classic white (or colourless). The quality depends on clarity, carat (the size), colour and cut. Even if the colour is just slightly off the price drops dramatically. The same goes for clarity. A bit of cloud, and you may be able to afford it :-)On the photo you see cheap, raw diamonds and the classic version in the smallest possible size in the ring!

Kaffesoesters Flourite collection
This is one of the most colourful stones. It comes in green, purple and yellow, and less commonly in pink, brown, black and clear. As you can see in the photo every color can be present in the same stone giving a rainbow effect.

Flourite is one of the softer gemstones so do take care not to scratch it, with other jewellery or during cleaning.

Kaffesoesters Garnet collection
A classic gemstone, and one that comes in many different colours. The deep red variety is the one traditionally used. The cooler and lighter red is sold under the name Rhodolite Garnet. Green Garnet is called Grossular Garnet and comes in gooseberry green shades. Mine are rather included and opaque. The third type in the photo is Hessonite Garnet which is a lovely caramel brown. As with many gemstones, the more transparent the better! The best ones that I own are now mounted in a few necklaces, that may appear in a blog post - so be sure to "Follow" if you wan tot see them :-D

Kaffesoesters Iolite collection
This is another stones that shows Pleochroism. It can be Sapphire blue from one angle and light grey from another. It's hard to believe until you see it for yourself!

It has been nicknamed Water Sapphire because of the colour and Viking's Compass because of it's polarisation qualities that helped the Vikings locate the sun on a cloudy day. Isn't it beautiful?

Kaffesoesters Jade collection
This stone has been popular for centuries, and across the globe. Both as a gemstone and for decorative purposes, such as my sculpture in the photo. Jade comes in many colours and with many names, such as Olive Jade, Butter Jade and Ching Hai Jade. It covers a couple of varieties of Jade, one being Nephrite. But as long as you get the untreated versions you can just enjoy the individual qualities. However, no other stone comes in so many artificial colours, and I've seen lots of examples of the colour disappearing in a year - so be warned!

Kaffesoesters Jasper collection
Like with Jade, Jasper is more like a family name: There are so many varieties, each with their own name, that it makes a very long list. The name comes from the old French word jaspre that meant speckled or spottet stone - and it often is: The red stones are the most common type, but next to it is Ocean Jasper, with lots of colours and pattern, on the side and "in chains" is Sesame Jasper, quite speckled. And finally Dalmatian Jasper with lots of characteristic spots! These are my Jasper types, but there's many more out there!

Kaffesoesters blue Kyanite collection
Kaffesoesters green Kyanite collectionThis stone comes in both green and blue, although the blue is the most common. Mine are a very pale blue. The most desirable is the royal blue without inclusions, also the more expensive! However, it is worth the price since it's incredibly beautiful!

Kaffesoesters Labradorite collection
Again a stone that I never get tired of. It is grey but with an optical iridescent effect called Schiller effect that actually shows well in the photo. It is flashes of yellow or blue, sometimes even orange, depending on the angle. It was first discovered in Labrador in Canada, hence the name.

With this stone it is worth buying good quality to get a fair amount of Schiller effect, since it really is it's main attraction.

Lapis Lazuli:
Kaffesoesters Lapis Lazuli collection
This well known stone is what painters would use to make ultramarine paint from - the most expensive colour. It was also used for eyebrows on Tutankhamon's funeral mask.

The best quality comes from Afghanistan, and is out of my reach! As with many stones you should look out for enhancements. Much of today's Lapis Lazuli is colour enhanced, often in a very dark blue! Specks of pyrite are very common, and pretty I think :-)

Kaffesoesters Malachite collection
I'm quite obsessed with Malachite! I love the colours and the pattern that you see on the better qualities. It can be used as a gemstone and for decorative purposes, like Agate and Jade.

Like many types of stone is it very sensitive to acids. That means be careful when cleaning, and put perfume on before you put your jewellery on :-)

Kaffesoesters Moonstone collection
This stone comes in many colours, but is most commonly seen in white, peach and grey. It has a cat's eye effect, called Schiller effect. The polished surface has a pearly lustre that shimmers when moved. It became very popular during the Art Nouveau period with artists like Rene Lalique using it for jewellery.

A very popular variety is Rainbow Moonstone which shows strong blue flashes like Labradorite. My large, heart shaped pendant is from Bali. Isn't it gorgeous?

Kaffesoesters Opal collection
When you say opal most people think of those precious and expensive ones from Australia. But there are many other types! What you see in the photo is called common opals. The come in colours such as pink, yellow, blue and green. Many are mined in Peru that also has some of the best qualities. Common opals do not have the opalescence effect and are often milky or opaque like on the photo. What I'm missing in my collection is a batch of Mexican Fire Opals that are translucent with lots fire in them, in burning hot orange, red and yellow!

Kaffesoesters natural coloured Fresh Water Pearl collection
On this photo you see natural coloured Fresh Water Pearls.

These have a nice lustre and come in a light grey, pink and peach colouring. They are cultured like almost every pearl on sale today.

The majority of Fresh Water Pearls come from China. The price depends on the lustre, size and shape.

Kaffesoesters artificially coloured Fresh Water Pearl collection
Here's a few of my artificially coloured Fresh Water Pearls.

The artificial colour is not very stable. Therefore you should take precautions like keeping them out of sunlight, not get perfume or make-up on them and be gentle when cleaning them. I have seen my friends pearls, like the large green ones, turning all white after being sprayed with perfume every day. A dirty white I might add!
Besides that I think they're very beautiful.

Kaffesoesters white Fresh Water Pearl collection
These white Fresh Water Pearls are all stark white. But take care! If you want to make jewellery yourself. There are so many whites out there! When they're all the same colour, any difference in lustre will also show immediately.

Apart from the mentioned details, white pearls are so classic that they go with almost any dress code, any style and any age!

These are my all time favourites! The extra shiny surface and the larger size make me weak every time I see them. The Tahitian Pearls are cultured in salt water. They do cost more than the average Fresh Water Pearl, but you also get so much more. They are heavier than other pearls, are the only naturally black pearls and they show overtones and undertones of other colours. See the smaller, single pearl in the front? It has a dark red overtone.

Kaffesoesters Peridot collection
This stone only comes in one colour - green. It can be lighter and darker, but green. Mine are a lovely, clear spring green. It is not the most common stone, especially not in larger specimens. But if green is your colour it's certainly worth getting a Peridot as it's still much, much cheaper than Emeralds!

The more transparent and inclusion free specimens are also the more expensive!

Kaffesoesters Pyrite collection
Here's another favourite :-)  I do love everything shiny. Pyrite used to be called Fool's Gold. It looks so much like gold so no wonder you felt a fool when you tried to sell it :-(

On the photo you can see a large, egg-shaped nugget, a raw crystal covered nugget and 68 carats! of excellent cut Pyrite drops, plus three oval beads of slightly lesser quality. I just can't get enough!

Kaffesoesters Prehnite collection
This light green stone has a lovely shine to it's surface. It is translucent, only rarely transparent but often included.

It isn't very hard so Quartz, Topaz, Rubies other precious stones will scratch it if you're not careful.

It was first found in South Africa and named after the head of the  Dutch colonial forces, Hendrik von Prehn in 1788.

Kaffesoesters Rhodochrosite collection
This pink and white striped stone hasn't been on the market for long. It often appears in silver mines, and common practise was to dump it nearby. That was until some fantastic specimens were discovered in Romania. Later findings in Argentina has produced spectacular "Strawberry with cream" specimens that are highly priced. As it is very soft it is rarely cut into facets.

Kaffesoesters Rhodonite collection
This beautiful red-pink stone is actually one of the more affordable. I do like how the black manganese oxide criss-crosses through the red part, creating a spiderweb pattern.

Earlier Rhodonite was used for decorative objects, for example at the palaces of the Russian Tsars'.

Kaffesoesters Ruby collection
A classic precious stone, and expensive. It is said that a top quality Ruby costs more than Diamonds! The ideal is transparent and blood red. At the moment there's a discussion going on wether or not the pink varieties are Rubies or Sapphires. Both stones are really the same, Corundum, only in different colours!

Most cheap Rubies today are heat treated to improve the colour. This can be seen in a microscope where the treated stone will be missing the "silk", little rutile needle inclusions.

Kaffesoesters Sapphire collection
So, here's Ruby's sister! As mentioned above, some argue that every Corundum not red is a Sapphire. It doesn't matter to me - they're all fantastic stones.

My little beauties are a mix of colours, but even in this tiny version the colour shines! These are a very decent quality, but the really great gemstone quality is almost never, ever cut into beads! Even so, these sparkly little gems are still fabulous!

Kaffesoesters Schalenblende collection
This has got to be one of the strangest stones that I own.

The name is German and means shell ore which is evident in the pattern of the stone. The metallic surface is the mineral Galena. Three other minerals make up the yellow and brown parts.

It isn't used for jewellery, but sometimes for decorative objects like vases and bowls. My specimen is mined in Poland and I keep it at my desk so I can enjoy every day :-)

Kaffesoesters Sodalite collection
A denim blue, affordable stone. The blue colour isn't ultramarine like Lapis Lazuli, but more like a rich royal blue. It was first discovered in 1811 in Greenland, but it wasn't until a massive find of good quality material in Canada in 1891 that it was mined and used for jewellery and decorative objects.

The cheapest versions have a lot of white in them, the pricier are more blue. With the somewhat busy pattern I prefer a smooth polish to facets. But that's just me!

Kaffesoesters Spinel collection
This is Diamonds cheap substitute! Spinel comes in many colours. Top quality red Spinel was believed to be Rubies until modern day science determined the difference. Among those ex-Rubies is The Black Prince's Ruby and The Timur Ruby, both in the English crown jewels. It's still magnificent stones - I saw them in 1979 when I visited London the first time.

I have used black diamonds and black spinel in my work, and find the Spinel a beautiful substitute.

Kaffesoesters Sunstone collection
The main attraction in this stone is the Schiller effect. It gives a sparkling shimmer depending on the angle or if it is moved. Just like sunshine!

The best quality is found in Oregon, USA

Kaffesoesters Tanzanite collection
Tanzanite was first discovered in 1967 - in Tanzania!

At first it was named blue Zoisite. However, when Tiffany's was going to introduce it to the market, the possibility of someone pronouncing it blue suicide caused a name change :-D

It is now a valued gemstone. Top quality is transparent and shows blue and violet colour that changes, the so-called Pleochroism.

Tiger's Eye:
Kaffesoesters Tiger's eye collection
It's hard to guess, but this stone is actually a member of the quartz family. It is chatoyant, which means it shows cat's eye effect. This is absolutely enchanting when it is moved and light hits it in different spots. The chatoyance is best displayed in a smooth surface, either in a cabochon cut or as beads.

My polished nuggets are from South Africa, brought home by a friend in 1990 - that's how old my passion is!

Kaffesoesters Tourmaline collection
Tourmaline comes in many colours and qualities. Even within the same crystal. Most well known is the pink Tourmaline with green edge - called Watermelon Tourmaline.

In the photo I'm showing you the cheapest, raw black Tourmaline that always fascinates me with the geometric shape, and almost equally cheap, tumble-polished beads as well as 3 mm well crafted, facetted beads of excellent clarity. I my opinion they're all fantastic!

Kaffesoesters Turquoise collection
There's something about Turquoise that I just can't resist! It comes in a range of blue to green colours, can be with or without black or brown veins. I love all of them. Turquoise has been a favourite gemstone for thousands of years. On Tutankhamon's funeral mask, on the Dome of Rock in Jerusalem and on the mosaic mask of Xiutecuhtli, the Aztec god of fire, all are decorated with Turquoise. But beware, all the cheap stuff is either enhanced or down-right artificial! Also, it's a sensitive stone.

Kaffesoesters Unakite collection
This is one of the stones that I find quite hard to work with. The mix of warm pink and dark olive green makes it difficult to mix with other stones without a messy result.

It is one of the cheaper gemstones, maybe for the reasons I listed above?

Kaffesoesters Uvarovite collection
Now this is really a collector's item. This stone is actually a member of the Garnet family, but since it's so special I thought I'd give it it's own slot. The main part of the stone in the photo is the "mother stone" - only the top layer is Uvarovite, emerald green garnet. The crystals are tiny, but boy, do they sparkle! The effect when it moves is a tonne of green flashes that no-one can overlook!

My specimen comes from Russia, the Ural mountains.

I know - I'm nuts!