By Jill Soens
A gentleman called our gallery to ask where he might purchase the roserita stone that jewelry artist Gloria Sawin so beautifully sets in her earrings, pendants and rings. The sage advice “always ask an expert” is absolutely true and a telephone call to Gloria was revealing.
Gloria and her husband, John, were driving around an older neighborhood in Albuquerque, NM when, in awe, they saw boulders of roserita used as yard decorations in one of the front yards. After knocking on the door and meeting the gentleman who owned the boulders, it took a few years of chatting, cajoling and yes, Gloria says, a little flirting, until he finally allowed Gloria to buy the boulders. She loaded up her Subaru and barely made it back to Santa Fe.
Gloria doesn’t know any place that sells roserita and she had looked hard and long until finding the boulders. It was well worth the strain on the Subaru!
In the early 1940’s Gold Prices spiked. As a result of the new high prices some Prospectors revisited the old gold mine areas in places such as Colorado, California, Alaska, etc.
These crusty codgers would build brick kilns over open pits and super-heat that gold-bearing ore that still litters the sites. The return was small and the practice only lasted about 5 years. The gold would sink to the bottom and the beautiful red gold slag would run off down the mountains, and solidify into boulders of Brilliant Red and Orange, much like Obsidian is formed in a volcanic reaction.
It is very rare, but we are lucky enough to have a nice collection. The material is durable and readily polishes to a beautiful shine. So far we have found no other information on it. We feel very blessed to have such a lovely earth element to work with. Roserita is the only material available in such a true red color. Some pieces have swirls of orange and these are even more rare.
Roserita was named after a beach in Mexico because of the brilliant color. (A geologist who assayed the material confirmed this.)