Incan Sun Ornament ($0)
Our nephew's girlfriend is a charming young lady whose heritage is Peruvian. On a recent visit, knowing I like rocks and gemstones, she brought me a lump of Iron Pyrite - one of Peru's exports, used, among others, in the manufacture sulfuric acid. I promised her I would find a way to incorporate her shiny rock into an ornament. My design, featuring the trimmed down pyrite in the center, was inspired by the Incan civilization, which figures prominently in the Peruvian history and culture. The "sun" is fashion from brass and copper, with a braided nickel silver umbra. The custom stained maple base has a mirror-polished brass back, and the decorative holes in the sun's rays align with holes in the base, allowing light reflected from the back to shine through. I trimmed the pyrite lump using a diamond cutoff blade on my Dremel tool, and then ground the sides to fit the opening in the center. This allowed me to preserve the striking crystalline structure on the Fool's Gold surface.
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