Nuances In Displaying Stones:

First a caveat.  Of the many people that will read this section, some (and very possibly most) will believe it a bit of overkill for me to give a tutorial on how to display a stone.  It is a small thing and I will admit to that at this beginning point.  If you don't want to proceed here is your quickest way to the last page.   But, as a matter of fact, in our retail store I have noticed that most people enjoy considering the options that I will describe below and I believe that they have been better able to make certain important elections after considering these points.  

There are a number of ways that we process stone items to give them the most excellent qualities when they are displayed whether on a desk, shelf or table or in a garden setting.  

One of the treatments to give a stone a wet look is to apply a clear high gloss lacquer as in the case of the stone with the very famous Albert Einstein quotation.  Not only does the lacquer give the piece a high gloss shine but more importantly it darkens the stone thus highlighting the text in greater contrast with the background surface . 

Compare this appearance with the stone just below.

This stone has not lacquered and it's appearance is natural, just as it is found in the wild.  Some would say it is dull.  And you will also notice that the contrast between the text and the background stone is more subtle, much less dramatic.

Which is better?  Well, to some extent it is a matter of taste.  I know people that just love natural things, the more natural the better. Other people are not happy at all unless the item is coated in some color or lacquered.  

But there is also the question of whether the stone will be displayed in an indoor environment or outside in the garden.

My rule of thumb is that if the stone is going to be an indoor display it should have a nice coat of lacquer.

But outdoor stones are quite another matter.  Generally should be left au natural. This picture illustrates the reasoning.  Notice how on the two foreground stones that after rain or sprinkling the moisture remains in the area of the text.  It actually appears in that area just like it has been lacquered. 

This is a close up that demonstrates the phenomenon.  What happens is that the moisture seeps down into the engraved out letters and it stays there after the stone begins the drying process.  The moisture keeps the rock in that area moist and therefore darker and with more contrast.  This is done while still leaving the stones in their natural state, something that is very desirable in a garden.  The dark stone on the right demonstrates the exact opposite.  The text is black and when the stone is dry there is excellent contrast making the text very readable but when it is wet the engraved text nearly disappears until it dries out.  I have found that these natural processes of moisture and dryness and the changing appearance of the engraved stones is a delightful variable in the garden.  I would liken it to a natural blinking light that is constantly cycling to provide additional garden surprises.  

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