Emeralds are one the most sought after gemstones and have been mined all over the world for thousands of years. While some mines are now depleted new fines have been unearthed. Columbia is currently the largest producers of Emeralds.
The emerald gemstone (green) represents the renewal of Spring and is the traditional birthstone for the month of May. Many gemstones have the richness of Emerald green and we at Touchstone Gallery offer an extensive variety set in both jewelry and rough form mineral specimens.
Scientific Information - Herkimer diamonds are formed in sedimentary rock. Pockets in the sedimentary rock fill up with gas produced by decomposing creatures several layers below and air pressure would increase. The air pressure combined with the increasing heat create the Herkimer diamonds. It can take between 1 billion and 3.3 billion years for a diamond to form!
Discovered By Man - Herkimer diamonds were first discovered in large quantities in the Mohawk River Valley in the late 18th century. Herkimer diamonds can be found in the Middle East, New York, and parts of Asia. Payson diamonds were found at Payson, Arizona in the late 1900s at Diamond Point.
Legend and Lore - Herkimer diamonds are said to strengthen ones mind. Additionally, they are also thought to promote energy and focus as well as purify spaces and yourself. Payson diamonds bring good energy and are said to amplify spiritual energy and intelligence.
It's time to celebrate the culture of Ireland and the patron saint who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the fifth century. We remember Saint Patrick’s success in establishing monasteries, churches, and schools in Ireland. He would teach the children about the Holy Trinity using shamrocks! This March, let touchstone help you honor Saint Patrick with beautiful jewelry in all shades of green!
Touchstone has a large selection of fossils from the Green River formation in Wyoming. The Green River is an Eocene geologic formation, meaning it is around 45 million years old! The green river formation is home to some of the most well preserved and abundant deposits of fossils in the entire world. We have a wide range of sizes and species of fish to choose from, including predators (Diplo) and their prey (Knightia)! In addition to fish, we also have a selection of breathtaking palm plates. With the coming of Spring, allow these fossils to remind you of the majesty of nature!
Scientific Information - Aquamarine is a sub-gemstone of the mineral Beryl. Aquamarine forms in magma as the magma cools. Beryl comes in many different colors, however, when there is iron present as the magma cools, the mineral takes on a blue-green color becoming Aquamarine.
Discovered by Man - The first documented discovery of aquamarine took place in 1723 in the Adun-Chalon mountains in Siberia. Deposits found at this site were rather abundant and it quickly became the primary site for mining it. The peak of production took place in 1796. Aquamarine is most often found in Russia, Brazil, the United States, Africa, Pakistan, and Siberia.
Legend and Lore - Many believe the soft and sometimes electrifying color of aquamarine is reminiscent of the ocean. The ancient Greeks thought that aquamarine could protect sailors from the unpredictable seas. March’s birthstone was also thought to enhance the happiness of marriages.
This month, take the time to extend your gratitude to your loved ones! Our precious gemstones can be perfect gifts to your sweetheart this holiday. We have a multitude of ways to show your affection! Come to a gallery or view our beautiful pieces online.
Scientific Information - Amethyst is one of many forms of quartz. It's bright colors can be attributed to irradiation that the stone is exposed to during its development. The extreme hardness of quartz allows for amethyst to be used in various different kinds of jewelry.
Discovered by Man - Amethyst has been used in royal and religious jewelry for ages. Early Greeks associated the stone with Bacchus, the God of wine, due to it's color. The gemstone has been an integral symbol of many different cultures throughout history. Until the 19th century, Amethyst was on of the most rare and hard to find minerals, until a large deposit was discovered in South America.
Legend and Lore - The Greeks believed that Amethyst could prevent intoxication, while many Europeans thought that the gem would protect and heal. The gem is thought to bring prosperity and longevity into your home.
Touchstone has just received a large variety of different petrified wood pieces from Arizona. We have tables perfect for the centerpiece in your house, bookends that will bring life to your shelves, a wonderful selection of jewelry in different colors, and small, yet gorgeous, pieces for the children. The vibrant petrified wood shows the beautiful colors that Arizona is known for. Come to one of our galleries to see these beautiful works of art.
Touchstone has just received a beautiful shipment of Turquoise from the Tyrone Mine in southwestern New Mexico. Prior to 1860, the mine was used by Native Americans to mine turquoise for jewelry. The area was home to deep blue turquoise and pale green turquoise. The mine was lost for an extended period of time until John Coleman found remnants of mining equipment while hunting. It is said that WJ Foley and Nicholas Ransome were told about the mine by Native traders. An expedition to find the mines resulted in the discovery of ancient excavations. In 1909 the Phelps Dodge Corporation acquired mining claims to construct a large scale underground copper mine. The mine was completed in 1916 and was in use until 1921. The mine was reopened as an open pit in 1967 and closed again in 1992. The mine hasn’t produced any turquoise since the 80s, when the Phelps Dodge Corporation switched their method of copper mining. The new method crushes and acid washes the stone which destroys the turquoise. That makes the turquoise from this area extremely rare!
Scientific Information - Garnet comes in many colors, but red is the most recognized and one of the most common. It can be found in metamorphic rocks as garnet forms in conditions with incredibly high temperature and pressure. This mineral can be found on every continent on the planet.
Discovered by Man - Garnet can be found in jewelry dating back to 3000 B.C. and has been a prevalent gemstone in almost every major civilization. Garnet availability skyrocketed with the discovery of Bohemian garnet deposits in central Europe around the year 1500.
Legend and Lore - Garnet is not only the birthstone for the month of January, but is also the stone that celebrates the second anniversary of marriage. The word garnet comes from the Latin word “garanatus” which means seed like, referring to the similarities between the stone and pomegranate seeds. During medieval times, garnets were thought to cure depression and during the time of Greeks, it was thought garnets would keep you from drowning. Garnets were a symbol of style and wealth in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Learn more about minerals & fossils.