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Hot Rocks

Rocks are all the rage these days. With black popular too, itís not surprising that designers are discovering the appeal of lava. Lava has a dramatic black color and a bubble-filled texture that makes it more organic-looking than black onyx. Its fiery origin makes it the perfect foil for diamonds. The most popular source is the Canary Islands, which supplies consistent black colors of lava that carve well.

Lavaís naturally dimpled surface and matte finish give it a modern feel that works best in contrast with other materials. For example, lava with high-karat gold is a union of opposites: light/dark, shiny/matte, heavy/light, and refined/raw. Mark Maxwell combines carved lava shapes with colorful enamel on gold in a fire-meets-fire pairing. Lava beads in strict geometric shapes like spheres play platonic form against organic texture. Unlike other natural surface gems, lava offers the designer control: Any shape can be carved and still have that natural look thanks to the unique signature of its surface pattern.
ó Cheryl Kremkow

LIKA BEHAR 24k gold and lava necklace, suggested retail $3,600, (212) 382-0702,

FREDERIC DUCLOS earrings in rhodium-plated sterling silver with a ball of lava from Bali, suggested retail $98, (866) 898-3636,

HORIZONTE SWITZERLAND Canary Island lava collection ring with citrine in 18k yellow gold, suggested retail $700, (213) 985-1210,

MARK MAXWELL Canary Islands lava collection pendant featuring hand engraving and red vitreous enamel, suggested retail $2,052, (760) 917-1647,