Friday, December 30, 2016

January's Birthstone: Glimmering Garnet

Garnet in Jewelry and Décor:

            Garnet comes in a variety of colors, making it an interesting and beautiful stone to use in jewelry. The red and most common variety of garnet is called almandine. Spessartite garnet refers to garnet that is yellow, rose, orange, or deep brown colors, rich and dazzling. The most rare and prized color of garnet is the emerald and bright green variety, called demantoid. Touchstone Gallery has a wide variety of garnet jewelry, in many different colors, perfect for January babies and jewelry lovers alike.

Scientific Information:
            Garnet is the name of a group of minerals that comes in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red of the Pyrope garnet to the vibrant green of tsavorites. Some rare garnets are even blue, colorless, or—most rare of all—change colors in different lights. But the most common color is a beautiful range of reds, from rust colored to deep violet-red. Red garnet is one of the most common and widespread of gems, found in metamorphic rocks (which are rocks altered by heat and pressure) on every continent. But not all garnets are as abundant as the red ones. A green garnet, tsavorite, also occurs in metamorphic rocks, but it’s rarer because it needs unusual rock chemistries and special conditions to form.

Revealed by Man:
            The garnet is so durable, that remnants of garnet jewelry can be found as far back as the Bronze Age. Other references go back to 3100 BC when the Egyptians used garnet as inlays in their jewelry and carvings. The Egyptians even said it was the symbol of life. The garnet was very popular with the Romans in the 3rd and 4th Century.

Legend and Lore:
            Garnet was used as a talisman for protection both by warriors going into battle and to those who wanted to ward off pestilence and plague. Some ancient healers and wise men even placed garnets in wounds and praised its healing powers. Garnet jewelry has been a fixture throughout the ages. Garnets were often used as signet rings in ancient Rome, and the nobility favored garnets in the Middle Ages. In metaphysical use, garnet is thought to reduce body toxins, purify vital organs and blood, and assists in assimilation of vitamins and minerals. Emotionally it provides a protective and calming influence during use and is thought to heal melancholy and depression, strengthening the survival instinct, and bringing courage and hope into critical situations.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

It's Holiday Season at Touchstone!

Touchstone Gallery is the place to go if you want an elegant and unique gift for a loved one. You can see the stunning work of Mark Hines on the was of the Santa Fe gallery (pictured above). We also offer many types of jewelry inlaid with lustrous minerals. Our unusual fossil collection is sure to amaze the receiver of such a gift!

Light your way through the Holidays with these handcrafted oil lamps!

We invite you to take a look at what we have to offer for your home and office. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December's Birthstone : Zealous Zircon!

Zircon in Jewelry:        

          Zircon comes in many natural colors, making this gem a versatile one for its use in jewelry. Its range of colors include completely colorless (white), yellow, orange, red, green, blue, violet, brown and combinations in between. Yellow-brown to orange and red zircon are the most common. Blue is the most popular, but its color is obtained through the heating of brown zircon. Zircon is very vibrant, making it a sought-out item in earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets and more!

Mineral Formation:
          The formation of Zircon itself is a tetragonal crystal system. Zircon crystals grow in a wide variety of rocks, and have many different physical and optical properties. Geologists typically classify Zircon in three ways: high, immediate, and low. These classifications have to do with the effects these crystals have due to radioactivity. “Low Zircons” have to do with the intense breakdown that radioactivity has had on the Zircon. They have severe crystal structure breakdown, with no clear crystal order. If you heat a low zircon gem at high temperatures, sometime reduce the damage. “Immediate Zircons” have had some structural damage due to radioactivity, but not nearly as severe as low Zircons. “High Zircons” have little to no impurities due to radioactive destruction. These Zircons are the one with the typical optical and physical properties. 

Legend and Lore:
          Zircon’s name is derived from Persian word “zargun” meaning golden-colored. This word is at some point transformed into "jargoon", a term applied to lighter zircons. The English version of the word "zircon" is derived from "Zircon," which is the German adaptation of this word. One shade of Zircon, that being Red zircon, is called “hyacinth”, from the flower Hyacinthus, whose name is of Ancient Greek origin.

          Throughout the years, many have wondered if Zircon is a dangerous crystal due to its radioactivity. A few occurrences throughout history have seemed to stunt the sales and distribution, however it has since been proven that there is very little to no danger when it comes to these crystals. Especially when Zircon is in jewelry or on a small scale, there is truly no need to worry about health risks whatsoever. 

Revealed by Man:
          Zircon is the known oldest mineral on the planet, dating back 4.5 billion years. That’s older than the moon! It is unclear when the very first piece was discovered, however there are many known deposits worldwide. Australia is where the oldest piece has been found, but Myanmar, Cambodia, and Brazil are also notable sources.

Touchstone Gallery invites you to view our current offerings of zircon and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at  

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November: Tantalizing Topaz

Topaz in Jewelry:

Topaz is commonly thought of as shades of blue and the birthstone for November babies. However, Topaz can be a range of colors such as London (dark) blue to Swiss blue, burnt orange, clear (white topaz), and mystic topaz (a collage of color). Touchstone Gallery currently has blue topaz, mystic topaz, and white topaz in an array of jewelry. These exquisite pieces are wonderful gift giving purchases that can be found online at

Legend and Lore:

            The ancient Hebrew High Priests, mentioned in the Book of Exodus, had a breastplate filled with 12 stones to protect the gate to heaven. Topaz was one of these stones used to protect these Priests. Topaz helps in establishing a practical point of view when it comes to life in general. It is thought to be able to point in the direction of the most practical solution to any problem or situation.  As a healing stone, it is said to help with blood disorders, promotes rejuvenation, and helps in curing endocrine problems, thrombosis and asthma.

Science of Mineral Formation:
            Topaz occurs in pegmatites, which is a type of rock that contains feldspars, quartz, and mica that has a similar composition to granite. Topaz is also found in high temperature quartz veins and sometimes in granite and rhyolites. The element chromium causes natural pink, red, and violet-to-purple colors in topaz. Imperfections at the atomic level in topaz crystal structure can cause yellow, brown, and blue color. Brown is a common topaz color, and the gem is sometimes mistakenly called “smoky quartz.

Revealed by Man:
Topaz was first found on the island or Topaoas in the Red Sea, from where it got its name. Topaz has been found and mined in the United States, Russia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Australia, Germany, Norway, and many other countries across the globe.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone

We invite you to view our current offerings of topaz and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at   

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

November's Birthstone: Citrine!

Citrine in Jewelry and Home Décor:

            The glamorous golden amber tones presented in citrine makes home and office décor stand out in your home or office building. The warm glow of orange encases a cozy feeling in any room you may place a citrine geode or table. In jewelry, the colors of citrine would match with any of the typical autumn tones of red, brown, black, and orange. Alternatively, they would also contrast aesthetically with shades of green and blue.
SKU # GMIG-124
This intricate faceted and rough citrine necklace is just one of the citrine jewelry pieces Touchstone Gallery offers. In addition, a root beer shade of citrine geode table would be a fascinating and robust extension of any room.
 SKU # JIN-7501
Legend and Lore:
            In ancient times, citrine was always carried with warriors in protection against snake venom and evil thoughts. The current metaphysical benefits are thought to calm any anxiety brewing in your life. By releasing this feeling of being out of control, you can accept the future on your own personal terms. The shining gemstone is said to be a welcoming gift from the sun. If you keep some citrine in your business or office, you’re said to have future prosperity. Remember- Citrine is the birthstone of November, wouldn’t you want to add all of these benefits to your life?

 Scientific Information on Citrine:
            Citrine is a type of quartz mineral with a cryptocrystalline structure. This means that the crystals are visible to the naked eye. There are two types of citrine- natural citrine and heat-treated amethyst or smokey crystal. Natural citrine is extremely rare and when it is in the natural form, it is found in small qualities.The natural citrine coloring ranges from a pale yellow to pale orange. Natural citrine The heat-treated amethyst typically has a red tint to the mineral, and the color range includes yellow-brown, dark orange-brown, copper red, brown and dark orange.
Revealed by Man:
            Most citrine comes from Brazil, and you can find natural citrine in Russia, France and Madagascar. Citrine is found in quartz veins and most pieces are only a few carats in size.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of citrine and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at

Monday, October 3, 2016

Like Autumn Leaves, Welcome the Many Shades of Amber

The leaves are changing and the autumn air is wafting around all of us. As we enjoy the delicacy of the leaves jumping and dancing around through the fall breeze, there is a colorful resemblance to the many shades of amber. Touchstone Gallery invites you to celebrate the season of warmth with our amber products.

Amber resin is warming by nature, considering it will heat to the body temperature instead of always having a cold sensation to the touch. The metaphysical benefits are astounding as well. Amber is said to heal the user and give them the reassuring feeling of health and healing. 

Most commonly, natural amber colors range from a golden honey hue, yellow, green, dark cherry, amber brown and surprisingly blue hues as well. It can be both transparent and opaque but are all equally as dazzling. Amber is a fossilized resin, but don’t be mistaken by its resemblance to sap. Resin is what protects a tree by blocking any gaps or cracks in the bark. As it seeps from the tree, bugs tend to get caught in its stickiness. The resin eventually drops to the ground and over millions of years it is fossilized into the beautiful amber we have today.

Amber is found all across the globe, but larger deposits tend to be localized in parts of the Baltic region, Dominican Republic and Mexico. Amber can also be found in Canada, China, France, Romania, Russia and the USA (Alaska, Arkansas and New Jersey), many other locations including the Touchstone Gallery. We welcome you to visit any of our three gallery locations and/or our online store to view our beautiful collection of fossilized jewelry and specimens. You just might find an insect or two inside! 

Nicholas Cage visited our Sedona Gallery and purchased an original Sumatra Blue amber necklace, you could too!

In Addition: Another absolutely remarkable autumn-colored item Touchstone Gallery has to offer is our custom limited Tiger Iron/ Tiger Eye inlay table. The ravishing table is based off of a 22" bronze tone metal base, and is topped of by a beveled glass top. The 30" overall diameter allows you to enjoy and realistically use the multi-toned table swatches with navy and light blue, gold, amber and oak tones.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of amber and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Inlaid Megalodon Teeth

We are very excited to announce our new arrivals of framed, inlaid megalodon teeth. The new treasures are exquisite megalodon teeth inlaid with striking gemstones. Two of the teeth display the green-blue colors of chrysocolla, and another tooth is dark blue sodalite. The amazing feature, alongside these dazzling fossils, are the handmade shadowboxes that are encompassing the teeth. Uniquely displayed, you are able to open the box and take out your natural wonder to show your megalodon tooth off.

To learn more, head over to: