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.
Scientific Information - Zircon comes in various different colors and transparencies. Often, Zircon contains bits of radioactive material which causes is to become unstable. The brown and black coloration on the mineral is caused by iron oxide impurities. The most common color of Zircon is dark brown.
Discovered by Man - Zircon is often recognized as the world's oldest gemstone. The mineral is even referenced in the Bible, being worn by the high priests of Israel. Today, Zircon is widely available. The largest deposits of Zircon can be found in Tanzania. There has been 4.4 billion year old deposits of Zircon found in Australia, which means they are from the creation of our planet!
Legend and Lore - Zircon is said to have been used in the hilt of Excalibur for decoration. It is widely believed that owning Zircon makes you less susceptible to lightning strikes. Additionally, it is believed to be a sleep aide, drive away evil spirits, and promote riches, honor, and wisdom.
Thanksgiving is the best time to say thank you. Touchstone would like to thank all of our valued customers for their support throughout the past year. Spend this time with your friends and loved ones. Touchstone also has a diverse selection of autumn colored gems and minerals that make perfect gifts for the family. Make sure to look for our Black Friday deals both in store and online!
Scientific Information - Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminum and fluorine and is the one of the hardest naturally occurring minerals. Its beautiful transparency and its wide variety of color makes Topaz perfect for jewelry. There are many different types of Topaz from many different places on Earth.
Discovered by Man - Topaz has been popular in almost every major civilization since the Roman empire. It was used by Egyptians to symbolize royalty. Topaz was recently found in Brazil and other parts of South America.
Legend and Lore - Topaz is the birthstone of November as well as the 4th and 19th anniversaries of marriage. It is known to symbolize love and affection. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that Topaz brought great strength to those who wore it.
Scientific Information - Citrine is a red or orange version of quartz. It is created when amethyst is exposed to immense heat. Citrine is named after the French word for lemon due to its yellowish appearance when formed naturally. Additionally, it is one of the most popular gemstones on the planet.
Discovered by Man - Deposits of citrine can be found all over the globe and because of this, it is wildly evident in a lot of civilizations throughout history. Its beautiful colors led the stone to be used as decorative gems in both the Hellenistic Era and the ancient Greek Empire.
Legend and Lore - Citrine is the second birthstone of November. It is believed to bring great health to the heart, kidney, digestive tract, liver and muscles. It is said to eliminate self destructive habits and promote creativity.
Learn more about minerals & fossils.