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.
The Balloon Fiesta has just begun in Albuquerque. It stretches from Sat. October 5th to Sun. October 13th. In the spirit of the season, Touchstone has selected a beautiful assortment of turquoise pieces that resemble the gorgeous New Mexico sunrise. Why not celebrate the Balloon Fiesta with a piece like no other. Our jewelry is sure to turn heads and be as stunning as the array of balloons in the fiesta. Visit one of our galleries to see our entire selection of breathtaking Turquoise.
Touchstone has created an assortment of heartfelt jewelry for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The beautiful shades of pink are specifically chosen to be a supportive and commemorative gesture to those who have had struggles with cancer in the past. Our hearts go out to the families that are currently fighting their own battle with cancer. We hope that these pieces of jewelry can show tenderness, love, and hope in the face of adversity.
Scientific Information - Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica. This substance is actually not considered a mineral! It is considered a mineraloid. Opal gives off a beautiful iridescence that looks like flashes of colors. Opal varies in opacity depending on the condition in which it was formed. It can appear translucent, transparent, or opaque.
Revealed by Man - Opal has been a prized gem in Europe for ages and has commonly been associated with royalty. Until the 19th century, there was only 1 source of Opal, a Roman frontier in Slovakia. Since, a massive deposited has been found in Australia.
Legend and Lore - Opal is October's Birthstone as well as the stone to commemorate a couple's 14th year of marriage. The Greeks referred to Opal as "Opallios", meaning you can watch it "change color". Opal has long been associated with love and passion.
Scientific Information - Tourmaline is one of the most vibrant gemstones in existence. It is a makeup of multiple different minerals, not a singular gem. The mineral can be found with multiple colors, such as the watermelon Tourmaline above, and it can also come in singular colors.
Discovered by Man - Tourmaline is believed to have been first discovered by conquistadors in Brazil sometime during the 16th century. There is large deposits in Maine and California. Tourmaline was very popular in China, where some of the largest deposits are.
Legend and Lore - Tourmaline was originally named by a group of Dutch traders off the coast of Italy during the 1600's. It was also used by Russian royalty throughout history as a symbol of strength. The mineral is also thought to be beneficial to artists, authors, and actors, bringing creativity.
Touchstone Galleries has just received a beautiful collection of Yogo Sapphires from Montana. These Sapphires come in a rainbow of colors ranging from blue and green to a hot pink. This jewelry was handcrafted by a Montana artist with over 25 years of experience. These gorgeous pieces are durable and are sure to last you years. The gems retain vibrant colors in both artificial and natural light. The Yogo Sapphire is most commonly found in cornflower blue, which is a result of high levels of titanium and iron. Come visit our Sedona gallery to see these brilliant gems and witness their stunning colors in person!
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