Friday, December 27, 2013

Woolly Mammoth Fossils: Prehistoric Beasts Frozen in Time


Decors Factors and Suggestions – These molars and leg bones are a fun and fascinating way to put natural décor on display in your home or office. The unique and intriguing shapes of woolly mammoth molars make them eye catching and memorizing. The deep and rich browns to black colors show the age and grand preservation of these fossil teeth. Woolly mammoth leg bones are considered some of the rarest fossils. This is due to the fact that many are not found complete, but rather in pieces. When a complete leg bone is found, it is a real gem.




Imagine having one of these massive leg bones or intricate molars on display in your home or office! The history represented in these pieces will make for interesting conversations over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. These natural art pieces are not only stunning, they are especially interesting. They will stand out, not only because of its size and shape, but because of their special historical stories.
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – Woolly Mammoths are one of the most celebrated prehistoric animals, right up there with dinosaurs. Wooly mammoths coexisted with humans for thousands of years. It is estimated that the last woolly mammoth died around 4,000 years ago. Woolly mammoths were able to handle very cold arctic temperatures. The ears and tail of wooly mammoths were small compared to the rest of their bodies in order to conserve heat and avoid frost bite. Their ears were shaped similar to human ears and were about 15 inches long and 7 inches wide.
The Science of Woolly Mammoth Fossils – Fully grown woolly mammoths reached nine to eleven feet in height, while weighing around six tonnes. The massive size of these creatures means that they had strong bones. The ice that the bones were preserved in froze the bones. Because they were frozen in ice, the bones remained fully intact, unlike dinosaur fossils which were bones that turned into stone over time. Woolly mammoth’s molars were replaced six times over their life. The more times the wooly mammoth lost their molars, the larger they were. Woolly mammoths would have four molars at a time, two on the top jaw and two on the bottom.
Revealed by Man – Many woolly mammoths have been discovered in the permafrost of Northern Siberia and Alaska. These fossils have been found above the Arctic Circle, north of 60 degrees latitude. The ground is frozen to the depth of 1,500 feet in this area. Only in the summer do the top five feet of ice melt a little.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of woolly mammoth fossils and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mosasaur – The T-Rex of the Ocean


Decor Factors and Suggestions – Mosasaur fossils are an exciting way to incorporate natural art pieces into your décor. These elaborate and enchanting fossils are incredibly fascinating to look at; they have so much depth and complexity. One could look at them for hours. The soft color of these fossils makes it easy to integrate them into your décor. The many different elements that make up these fossils make them absolutely exquisite.


Mosasaur fossils would lend themselves well to rooms in need of an attention grabbing piece. These fossils represent power and dominance, making them fitting for offices and board rooms. These fossils would look spectacular in a room where they are the center piece, showing off all the detail and beauty they have to offer. Show off a cool mosasaurus fossil in your home or office!
 
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – Much like the T-Rex dominated the land, the mosasaur dominated the sea. These creatures are classified as marine reptiles and they were very ferocious and terrifying. This animal was at the top of the ocean food chain. Ocean animals that are considered fierce today like sharks were commonly devoured by this ocean reptile. An average adult mosasaur was the size of a school bus! Tyleosaurus, the largest known variety of mosasaur, could reach 80 feet in length.
The Science of Mosasaur – Mosasaur were considered polydental organisms, meaning they continuously grew teeth. They rapidly replaced teeth on a regular basis. Some teeth were pulled out while the reptile was feeding, and others were pushed out in order for other teeth to come in. Unfortunately, mosasaur teeth were very fragile, and as a result, decayed very quickly after they had fallen out. Well preserved teeth are a rare and fun find.

 
Revealed by Man – The first mosasaur fossil was first found in 1764. Mosasaur lived around the all around the world. During the Cretaceous time period, there was an ocean that ran across the middle of North America. Mosasaur lived in this ocean, and their fossils have been found in places that were once covered by the ocean like South Dakota, Kansas, and Texas. Outcroppings of mosasaur fossils have been found on both the east and west coasts as well. A lot of mosasaur fossils are also found in North Africa.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of mosasaur and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com. 

 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Azurite- Beautiful, Blue, and Beaming

 
Decor Factors and Suggestions – This beautiful blue mineral is eye catching. The blue of azurite is deep, rich, and incredibly clear. The powerful color ranges from indigo to light and gentle blues. When azurite is mixed with the vibrant green of malachite, the minerals really stands out and looks similar to the earth when viewed from space. The two bright and extravagant colors complement each other wonderfully.

 
Azurite would make a gorgeous addition to your home or office. The bright and deep blue would really shine in many décor settings. Azurite should not be displayed outside because it weathers very easily, but can be displayed in many different ways indoors. Azurite would complement rooms that have blue accents or that need a splash of colors.
 

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – Azurite has been a popular mineral since ancient times. It was mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History under its Greek name, kuanos, which means deep blue, and the Latin name, caeruleum. The modern English name, azurite, is derived from the Persian word lazhward, which is an area known for its deposits of lapis lazuli, which is another deep blue stone. In ancient China, azurite was called the stone of heaven because it was believed to open celestial gateways. Native Americans use azurite to connect with their spirit guides and to interpret their messages.
 
The Science of Azurite Creation – Azurite is formed by the oxidation of copper ores. As azurite absorbs water, it turns slowly into a new mineral, malachite. The crystal structure of azurite is quite rare. The crystals can be tabular, meaning broad and flat like a table, and prismatic. Azurite is an indicator of the presence of copper ores.  
 
Revealed by Man – Azurite has been found in Nambia, Morocco, France, China, and the US. The lighter blue piece pictured above was mined in Cuba, New Mexico. Arizona is famous for their azurite crystals. Azurite is a popular mineral to collect and the blue pigment is also very popular. Azurite has been used for beads, jewelry, and as an ornamental stone.
 
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of azurite and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Native Copper – Oldest Known Metal


Decor Factors and Suggestions – Native copper is simply stunning. This metal glimmers beautifully, shining ever so slightly, but just enough. In a décor setting, native copper will stand out because of its simplicity and elegance. Seeing copper in its native form, such as in the examples pictured below, is fascinating. These pieces are incredibly interesting because copper is the source of so many of the things we use.


 
 


Native copper is easy to incorporate into most décor settings and can really enhance the depth and quality of your décor. Native copper specimens are perfect pieces to put on display in your home or office. These pieces would look marvelous placed where light hits it, so that all that view it can experience the wonderful gleam of the metal. Placed on a book shelf or as a centerpiece on a table, native copper would really compliment your décor. 

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore – Copper is one of the oldest metals known by man. The name copper comes from the Greek word kyprios, which was the location of prehistoric copper mines on the island of Cyprus. Native copper was an important metal in history and has been used for a very long time by people. Native copper has been mined for centuries, and even the Native Americans mined native copper on a small scale. There were copper trading routes throughout North America among the Native Americans. The biggest applications of copper are in wiring, roofing, and plumbing, but they also fit very well into décor settings.
The Science of Copper Formation – Native copper deposits are formed when fluids containing metal work their way into channels and cracks in the earth. It is often found near volcanic zones. It is estimated that eighty percent of the world’s copper is still in circulation today. Copper can be recycled many times without it having any effects on its properties.
Revealed by Man – Native copper has been mined for many centuries. The deposits in Michigan are the biggest native copper deposits in the world and have been copper producers for hundreds of years. Native copper is a byproduct of commercial copper ore mines. This includes mines in our home states of Arizona and New Mexico. Arizona has produced 90 billion pounds copper in its history, making Arizona the leader in copper production since 1910.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of native copper and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sand Pictures – Entertaining Art


Decor Factors and Suggestions – These colorful creations are dazzling and fun. Tip them over to reveal a new landscapes, glittering mountains, lively rivers, and striking lakes. The ever changing scene will keep you entertained and amazed. Coming in three different color schemes, sunset orange, ocean blue, and summer turquoise, these sand pictures are very pleasing to the eye. The finished alder wood really gives these extraordinary pictures the finishing touch. The soothing pictures are astatically pleasing and calming.



These pictures are very versatile, working in both homes and offices. Entertain you guest or clients with all the different things to see. These sand pictures would make wonderful gifts, truly enchanting, stimulating their imaginations. Give the gift of endless captivating entertainment. The magnificent colors present in these sand pictures will stand out in many décor settings, making a fascinating statement.
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – Forensic scientists can determine where particular sand originates from. During World War II, the Japanese sent thousands of balloon bombs to drift over the Pacific Ocean. These bombs were determined to be Japanese by the sandbags attached to the bombs. Because the sand did not contain and granite or quartz crystals, they knew that the sand had come from an island. The sand also contained coral from that region and it contained a mineral only found in the ocean by Tokyo.
The Science of Sand Creation – The mineral composition of sand depends on location and the rock sources available. Weathering processes like wind, rain, and snow break down minerals and rocks into small pieces, eventually making sand. There are two main kinds of sand. The first, quartz sand, which, as the name states comes from quartz, is found mostly inland and continental areas. The second most common type of sand is calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate sand is created over millions of years, coral and shellfish particles often being found in this type of sand. This type of sand is found where reefs are present and a large part of the ecosystem, such as the Caribbean.
Revealed by Man – It is estimated that there are 4,800,000,000,000,000,000,000 grains of sand in the world. These sand pictures are sealed tightly so that the liquid will not leak out.  The sand in these pictures comes from all over the world. The black sand comes from the African coast, white from Caribbean beaches and New Mexico, and coral pink from Utah.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of sand pictures and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Orthoceras – Crazy Cone Shell

Decors Factors and Suggestions – These fossils are fascinating and functional, perfect for your home or office. Orthoceras fossils are definitely statement pieces and they are perfect to talk about over coffee or a cocktail with your friends or clients. The dark colors contrast with light rooms beautifully. Their long straight shells have a gem like quality when polished. These fossils are remarkably beautiful.
               



Orthoceras fossils would make intriguing and magnificent focal points in your home or office. Orthoceras fossils are sometimes brown and tan and other time black and gray, so finding one to fit into your color scheme is easy. Touchstone Gallery offers orthoceras table tops, statues, and slabs, both pictured above. The complexity and detail in these fossils makes them fun additions to many décor settings.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore – The name orthoceras means straight horn, which refers to the long and straight cone shape shell. These creatures lived more than 400 million years ago. They typically grew to six inches, but some have been found as long as fourteen feet. The body of orthoceras was soft and they lived in open-ended segments at the larger end of a conical shell. As the body of the orthoceras grew, certain housing sections of the shell became too small. A dividing wall would grow to separate the old living section from the new living section. These dividing walls were called septas. Living relatives to the orthoceras are squids, octopus, and cuttlefish.

The Science of Orthoceras Fossils – Orthoceras fossils are incredibly important to the fossil record. Orthoceras fossils are often found in dense assemblages, dense enough to be rock forming. Some scientists believe that the large amount of shells found represent a mass death after mating. Mass death was common among other types of mollusks, however, other scientist believe these mass deaths may have occurred for other reasons.

Revealed by Man – Orthoceras fossils are found globally and occur in marine rock, like limestone. Many orthoceras fossils have been found in Morocco, Scandinavia, the Alps, Sweden, and Iowa. These fossils are removed from the ground where oceans used to be present. Then, they are stabilized and polished. Finally, they are packed and shipped to be put on display.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone


We invite you to view our current offerings of orthoceras and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Priscacara: Freshwater Friends

Décor Factors and Settings – The simple, yet tasteful appearance of these fossils allows for endless décor opportunities. All fossils are different, so owning a Priscacara fossil is like owning your own piece of history. The delicate and detailed aspects of these fossils may make one want to study each and every groove and mark, they are just that fascinating! When hung on a wall, Priscacara fossils look stunning and will really stand out among your other décor.
 

                                          
The Priscacara fossils offered at Touchstone Gallery are beautifully preserved. Certain specimens are framed, giving this ancient work of art a finished look. The natural earth colors that are present in these fossils make these pieces incredibly versatile and perfect to put on display in your home your office.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore – Priscacara is an extinct relative of perch and bass from the Eocene period, 50 million years ago. From what scientist can tell Priscacara most likely lived in freshwater streams and lakes, feeding on small crustaceans and creatures like snails, crabs, prawns, and tadpoles. These ancient fish were most commonly 4 to 5 inches in size and weighed only a few ounces. Priscacara is Greek for “primitive head” and this can be seen in the triangular shape of the Priscacara’s head.

Science of Priscacara Fossil Formation – Fossils of this fish are commonly found in the Green River Formation of Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. The fossils from this formation are almost perfectly preserved due to the conditions present. The fish sank to the bottom of a very deep lake in this formation, called Fossil Lake. The depth of the lake is one of the many reason these fossils are preserved so well.

Revealed by Man –The Green River Formation consists of many layers of sediment. There are a few major types of sediment found in this formation called oolitic grindstones, mudstones, pack stones, and oil shale. These different sediments occur at certain depths from the surface of the Earth. These fossils are carefully removed from the layers of sediment, and then packed and shipped for costumers to enjoy.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone

We invite you to view our current offerings of Priscacara fish fossils and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (11 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.   

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cave Bears – Perfect For a “Man Cave”

Decors Factors and Suggestions – Cave bear fossils are fascinating and fabulous, making perfect additions to your décor. This prehistoric animal’s fossils are rich with character. Cave bear fossils are conversation pieces; every piece has a story to tell.  The deep tan color of these fossils show the age and authenticity of these captivating pieces, not to mention how well they fit into most décor settings. 
                


         
Touchstone Gallery has cave bear paws, skulls, and even a whole skeleton! These astonishing fossils would stand out in many décor settings. Cave bear fossils would look exquisite on display in your home or office. Cave bear fossils would make gorgeous center pieces, drawing attention. These fossils would stand out and make an impact in any décor setting.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore – Cave bears ranged in size, the females being much smaller than the males. Male cave bears weighed between 880 to 1100 pounds. These large bears ate mostly a vegetarian diet, but did dine on meat from time to time.  Cave bears are thought to have lived into their twenties .The bones of cave bears show that they were prone to many ailments. Cave bear bones indicate that they suffered from bone tumors, cavities, kidney stones, and many other conditions.

The Science of Cave Bears – These bears lived in low and mountainous areas, especially areas that had many limestone caves. Both the name cave bear and its scientific name came from the fact that most of the fossils of this species were found in caves. Cave bears avoided open plains and preferred forested and wooded areas or forest-edged terrain.

Revealed by Man – Assessment of fossils have indicated that cave bears probably died out 27,800 years ago. Although the reason they died out is disputed, it is likely that it was caused by habitat loss due to climate change. Although excavating fossils is not incredibly difficult, it is must be done extremely carefully. The process of collecting fossils is called field jacking. This process has not changed for hundreds of years. Tools like paintbrushes, knives, and rock picks make the process much easier. Cave bears lived in much of Europe. Large concentration of cave bear fossils have been found in Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Hungary, and Romania.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone

We invite you to view our current offerings of cave bears and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Amber – Window to the Sticky Past

Decors Factors and Suggestions – Amber specimens are an example of how beautiful fossils can be. The range of colors alone makes amber incredibly beautiful and desirable. Although amber is usually only associated with a yellow, brown color, it is also found in off white, vibrant yellow, cherry red, blue, brown, and as dark as black. All of these rich colors compliment décor settings nicely. The colors present in amber are reminiscent of fall leaves, changing colors from green to red, brown, yellow, and orange.

 
 
 Amber specimens look great when used as an accent item, complimenting all that surrounds it. The deep colors would look wonderful placed in a room with similar colors. The amber pictured above is considered blue amber because it reflects a navy color. Amber specimens bring millions of years of history into your home or office.
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – Amber has been well documented in literature and mythology since pre-Christian times. It is often referred as northern gold. Amber has been found in ancient burial grounds and Stone Age archeological sites. There are many different myths regarding that origin of Amber, but the Greek myth is one of the most interesting. Phaethon, the child of the sun god Helios, convinced his father to let him ride his chariot across the sky for a day. Unfortunately, he drove to close to the earth, and it caught fire. In order to save the Earth, Zeus struck Phaethon out of the sky with his thunderbolts, which then plunged him into the sea. Phaethon’s sister, Heliades, was so upset that her tears were turned into poplar trees. The trees then began to cry and there tears were amber. Amber is often referred to as a window to the past because it sometimes contains plant and animal particles.
The Science of Amber Creation – Amber is fossilized tree resin and because amber is originally tree resin, plant material and sometimes animal material is found in it. Amber is formed when resin oozes out of cracks in a tree’s bark. The resin hardens to a substance called copal before it becomes amber. The copal is then left to harden and is usually buried under layers of sediment. Over millions of years, the copal hardens to form amber.
Revealed by Man – The majority of amber seen today is found in the Baltic Region of Poland and Russia and the Dominican Republic. Amber has also been found in England, Norway, and Denmark, Mexico, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Canada and the USA. Amber is often found washed up on beaches, but it also mined.
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.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pyrite – Much More Than “Fool’s Gold”

Decors Factors and Suggestions – This mineral, commonly dubbed “fools gold”, is much more than its name makes it out to be. This mineral is stunningly beautiful, with its metallic luster and luxurious color. Pyrite forms in the most interesting and marvelous ways, from geometric cubes to cool egg displays. The shiny luster reflects light, putting on a wonderful show for all those who view it. Although pyrite is often confused with gold because they have similar appearances, the similarities stop there.


 
 
Pyrite would lend itself well to a room that is well lit, so that the light reflects off its glossy surface. These golden specimens step up any décor setting needing a glittery or polished element. The color of pyrite would fit in well with rooms that have many earth tones like brown and tan, adding another dimension and layer to your color scheme. The beauty of this mineral is not fooling anyone.
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – The name comes from the Greek word “pry”, which literally means fire rock. When pyrite is struck against iron, it sparks, so the name is fitting. During the gold rush era, many people thought they had found gold when, instead they had found pyrite. This is when pyrite received its nickname “fools’ gold”. Pyrite is commonly used to make sulfuric acid and sulfur dioxide because of its high sulfur content.
The Science of Pyrite Creation – Pyrite is the most common of the sulfide minerals. Pyrite is sometimes an agent for fossilization. It can create beautiful fossils like ammonites and brachiopods. Sometimes pyrite is found in a formation called an egg or a sun, which looks like a flat disc. It is unclear how suns form, but there are two theories. The first is that they are fossils of an unknown animal that have been pyritized. The other theory is that the pyrite crystals spread out to fill thin seams in slate. Either way, sun formations are interesting and magnificent.
Revealed by Man – Pyrite has been found in Spain, Peru, Canada, Italy, Bolivia, and in many US states, including Colorado and Utah. Pyrite is commonly found in quartz veins with other minerals, sulfides, and oxides. It is mined in underground mines, which can sometimes be dangerous. Once the pyrite is mined, it is heated to remove the iron and sulfur.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of pyrite and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Meteorites – Mystical Space Rocks


Decors Factors and Suggestions – These extraterrestrial stones are literally out of this world. The metallic texture of meteorites make them intriguing additions to many a décor setting. Each meteorite has a shape of its own, making these incredibly unique pieces. A one of a kind meteorite would look stunning as an accent piece; bringing dynamic shapes and colors into your décor setting. Meteorites are what many would consider conversation pieces. Each one has an interesting story to tell over coffee or tea.


 
Placing a meteorite specimen in a room with calm and neutral colors will really make this piece stand out. The metallic surface would glimmer wonderfully under complimenting light. The rough surface shows the distance and time these specimens travelled in order to be on display in your home or office.
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – Meteorite falls have been known to damage property and sometimes hurt livestock, and even people. Native Americans treated meteorites as ceremonial objects and meteorites were thought to have been the origin of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The first person to claim that meteorites came from space was German physicist Ernst Florens Chladni in 1794. His book titled "On the Origin of the Pallas Iron and Others Similar to it, and on Some Associated Natural Phenomena" was thought to be hoax and scientific community mocked the physicist. It took more than ten years for Chladni’s idea to catch on. 
The Science of Meteorite Creation – There are many kinds of meteorites. The most common, stony meteorites, which fall to the earth most frequently, are made of silicate minerals. Another popular type, iron meteorites, only make up about eight percent of the meteorites that fall to the earth. This type is a blend of different rocks and minerals. Classification of meteorites is complicated because there are so many variations in these space rocks.
Revealed by Man – Meteorites have fallen from space and landed all over the place. Meteorites have been discovered in the United States, Antarctica, Australia, the Sahara Desert, and the Arabian Peninsula. Meteorites are by far the oldest substance present on the surface of earth. About 3,000 meteorites fall to earth every year. Unfortunately, meteorites are very vulnerable. Things like salt, oxygen, and water attack the meteorite once it reaches the ground and cause weathering on the stone.   
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of meteorites and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stingray Fossils: A Rare and Beautiful Display


Decors Factors and Suggestions – These rare fossils are a unique and exciting, perfect to put on display in your home or office. The superb detail in these fossils makes them mesmerizing and fascinating to look at. Some, like the one pictured below, are accompanied by a small fish fossils, making these great fossils even more interesting. These fossils will fit into any décor setting due to the neutrality of the colors. The tan, brown, and beige colors make these fossils easy to incorporate into your décor. The captivating and deep colors of these fossils make them that much more exquisite.
 
Stingray fossils would look magnificent hung on a wall, as a focal point. The subdued colors would look wonderful placed in a room painted a bright color, bringing an earthy and mellow feeling into the room. These pieces are subtle in color, yet they make a statement through their detail and complexity.
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – The scientific name for this type of stingray is Heliobatis. The average stingray measured from 13 to 15 inches in length. Heliobatis had backward facing teeth that were adapted to eat small fish, as well as snails and crustaceans. Similar to modern day stingrays, this species had a whip like tail that was used as defense. The sex of a Heliobatis stingray can be determined by the presence of pelvic fin appendages. Males had these appendages, called claspers, and females did not. Female stingrays hatch their eggs inside their bodies and the young are born alive.
The Science of Stingray Fossils – These stingray fossils were found in the Green River Formation. Extraordinary preservation is displayed in Green River Formation fossils for a few reasons. First, there was a cold period during the Eocene and during that time, dead fish sank faster due to less deflated swim bladders. Second, the lack of oxygen at the bottom for the lakes slowed decay and kept scavengers away. Third, lakes in the Green River Formation were full of calcium carbonate. Creatures would get caked in this substance, which eventually, preserved them as the calcium carbonate formed limestone. All of these factors contribute to the beautiful fossils we see today. Stingrays have inner skeletons made of cartilage. Because cartilage decays very rapidly, fossils of stingrays are very rare and sought after.
Revealed by Man – It is quite a lengthy process to remove and prepare stingray fossils. First, layer of sediment must be chipped away until a fossil is revealed. Then, the fossil is carefully removed from the sediment and stabilized. Finally, the fossils is carefully packed and shipped to be put on display.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of stingray fossils and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Peacock Marble: Remarkable Color, Unique Elegance


Décor Factors and Suggestions – Peacock marble is both elegant and stunning. From the striking green, to the golden browns and brilliant whites and purples, peacock marble is a statement piece, making any room look more upscale and professional. Peacock marble comes in various forms; showy platters, fruit bowls, carvings and many different vase shapes.

 
Each piece of peacock marble is completely unique, with different color bands and variations. With a dried flower arrangement, peacock marble vases can command a large presence, but they also work well as colorful and shapely accents. Peacock marble pieces are sure to complement your décor design, where ever they are placed. Bring beauty and elegance into your home or office.  
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – Marble was very popular material in ancient Greece. The Parthenon and other famous building are constructed of marble. Many sculptures were made of marble because it is durable and easy to form.  The most well-known marble sculpture is the sculpture of David, done by Michelangelo.
The Science of Marble Creation – This rock is formed from recrystallized limestone, which a sedimentary rock that consists of primarily calcium carbonate that came from ancient marine animals. The wide variety of colors present in peacock marble is due to a variety of other minerals that were deposited at the same time as the marine animals. Silica, iron oxide, and magnesium are all lend different tints to peacock marble.
The swirling pattern present in the peacock marble is the result of the metamorphic process that changed the limestone into marble. During this process heat and pressure mixed up the limestone and the minerals and then crystallized together to form the beautiful peacock marble.
Revealed by Man – Peacock marble is found only in a small province in remote in Southwest China. Elsewhere, the color range on marble deposits are far more mundane. A lathe is used to form the marble into vases, containers, and other objects. Then, the marble is polished to create a final product, which is carefully packaged and shipped to Touch Stone Gallery.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of peacock marble and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Amethyst: A Royal Décor Addition


Decors Factors and Suggestions – Purple is often regarded as the color of royalty, and amethyst has helped establish this reputation. This lavish gemstone is beautiful and radiant, perfect for anyone who wouldn’t mind feeling a little like royalty. Amethyst varies in color, from deep and dark purples to lighter violet colors. The variation in colors can be seen in each amethyst specimen, each piece of amethyst having a different distribution of color. The bright purple of amethyst lends its self well to other powerful colors, such as green, brown, and coral.


 
Amethyst geodes make stunning additions to any décor setting. Large geodes can be used as a table with a glass cover. Imagine looking at the intriguing crystal of an amethyst geode while having a drink with friends. Smaller geodes would look pleasing as an accent item. Touchstone Galleries offers many different amethyst pieces, from jewelry to geodes, one is sure to fit your liking. All ways of displaying amethyst are truly amazing; this vibrant gem is truly one of a kind.
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – French poet, Remy Belleau, invented a myth about amethyst in one of his poems. He wrote that the Greek god of wine, Bacchus, had a love interest who was a maiden named Amethyste. The maiden denied Bacchus affection and prayed to remain chaste. Diana, the goddess of birthing, heard Amethyste’s prayer. Diana transformed her into a white stone, showing how pure she was. Bacchus was humbled by the maiden’s desire to remain chaste, so he poured red wine all over the white stone as an offering, dying the crystals purple and creating the amethyst we know and love today.
The Science of Amethyst Creation – Amethyst is a violet/purple variety of quartz. It is made up of oxygen and silicon with very tiny amounts of iron impurities that help give the crystal its purple color.  Amethyst is often found with thumb markings, meaning there are small fractures in the crystal. The color of this variety of quartz comes from impurities in a part of the crystal structure. Geodes are formed in two steps. First, a cavity is formed in the rock. Second, the cavity is filled with crystal, making the exquisite geodes we see today.
Revealed by Man – Today most amethyst comes from Brazil and Uruguay. Amethyst is often found in volcanic rock formations,  where it is removed from the basalt deposits with large amounts of hand labor, cleaned, and often coating the outside of the geode with a tiny protective layer of cement and then carefully packed and shipped to the US so customers can enjoy its elegant beauty.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of amethyst and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Knightia: A Small Fish with a Big Past


Décor Factors and Suggestions – Knightia fish fossils would add so much to the décor of your home or office. The rich colors that are present in these fossils not only bring attention to these stunning pieces, but will remind one of the true history that is contained in these beautiful creations. The definition in these fossils is absolutely stunning. The detail makes these fossils that much more interesting.



The natural colors present in these fossils would look great with in most décor settings. Framed knightia fossils look captivating hung a wall and smaller ones make great additions on book shelves or on coffee tables. Not only do these fossils have many décor possibilities, these fossils would also be a great gift for the fisherman or fisherwoman in your life, opening their eyes to the exciting past of an interesting and different species of fish.
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – Knightia is a type of fish that went extinct over 50 million years ago. This small fish lived in fresh water lakes all around North America. Knightia is the most commonly excavated fish fossil in the world and is the state fossil of Wyoming. These bony fish are related to herrings and sardines. Knightia were also very small in size, usually no larger than 6 inches in length. Knightia were considered a schooling fish, meaning all of the fish stayed together. Knightia were on the bottom of the food chain, an easy snack for larger fish due to their small size. Fossils have been excavated that show larger fish preying upon Knightia. Although these fish were small and common prey, their preservations are very interesting. 
Science of Knightia Fossil Formation – This fish fossil is found in the Green River Formation in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. The remarkable preservation of the Green River Formation fish fossils is accredited the conditions in the lakes. Dead fish would sink to the bottom and then be covered by a layer of calcium carbonate. The layer of calcium carbonate preserved the fish in limestone, making the wonderful fossils we see today.
Revealed by Man – Knightia fossils are found and then carefully removed from the layer of sediment they are found in. This is done through a very grueling process where layers of sediment are chipped away until fossils are revealed. Once the fossils are found, they are cleaned. Next, they are stabilized so that the rock does not crack. Then, these fascinating fossils are carefully packed and shipped for consumers to enjoy as unique décor pieces.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of knighta fish fossils and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (11 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.  


Monday, October 21, 2013

Calcite Lamps: Bands of Crystal and Color


Decors Factors and Suggestions – Calcite lamps are a simple, attractive way incorporate natural art into your décor. When you light up these lamps, the wonderful beauty of the stone is revealed through the translucent parts. One can see many layers of crystals and different formations, illuminating a whole other dimension of this piece. The colorful bands of the calcite crystals beautifully contrast from the pale backdrop, making these lamps stunning.


 
Incredibly functional, these lamps will fit well in many décor settings. Touchstone Galleries offers smaller lamps, perfect for a corner table or a bed side stand, and larger floor lamps that look lovely standing alone. These lamps provide a soft light, making them calming and relaxing. The soft light given off by the lamps would lend well to sitting rooms or bedrooms, providing a relaxed glow and exquisite beauty.
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – Calcite is the primary mineral component in cave formation. Stalagmites, stalactites, and all the other cool formations found in caves are made up of mostly calcite. Caverns and cave are formed by water dissolving calcite rick rock. The calcite enriched water then precipitates in the caves and caverns, resulting in the amazing cave formations. Also, many animals use calcite to form their shells and other hard parts.
The Science of Calcite Creation – Calcite is common and found in all three kinds of rock, sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. Limestone and marble is largely made up of calcite. Calcite forms in a range of settings, from hot springs and underground caverns to growing coral reefs and seashells. This mineral forms in both crystal forms and massive forms.
Revealed by Man – Calcite is considered one of the most useful minerals in the world. Calcite is used in construction materials, soil, pigments, and even in pharmaceuticals. Calcite is mined using quarrying or underground mining. Calcite is found in many states in the US as well as many countries across the world. Carved, polished, and finished into colorful décor items including hearts, spheres, animals, and in this case lamps.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of banded calcite lamps and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ammolite: A Colorful and Rare Find


Décor Factors and Suggestions – This truly amazing gemstone captures the eye of whoever views it. A large array of colors can be seen in ammolite, including vibrant red, calming blue, radiant green, and marvelous hints of blue and purple. The colors shift from brighter, to lighter when you view the gemstone from different angles, making this gemstone even more mystical. Not only do the colors change at different angles, the brightness of the colors varies as well.

 

 
This amazing creation would lend its self well to calm surroundings, so that the colors present in the gemstone are dominate. Ammolite will truly shine when placed in a well-lit place, so you can truly enjoy all of the colors this gemstone has to offer. This gemstone will attract attention no matter where it is placed!
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – Ammolite has a very interesting backstory. The legend of ammolite comes from the Blackfoot tribe of Montana. The story goes that during a very harsh winter, the tribe was on the verge of starvation. One Blackfoot woman was out looking for firewood when she heard a voice singing. She followed this vocie and found ammolite in a cave. The voice that came from the gemstone told the woman to take the gem back to the tribe and they would be supplied with all of the buffalo they need. She listened and the next morning, there was a herd of buffalo for  the tribe. The ammolite brought the tribe buffalo and saved the their lives.
Science of Ammolite Creation – Ammolite is a gemstone that is made from fossilized ammonite shells. Ammonites were a squid-like sea creatures that existed 65 million years ago. They became extinct around the same time as the dinosaurs.  These shells are made primarily of aragonite, which is also found in mother of pearl, another beautiful gemstone. Each layer of color in ammolite represents a different layer of the gemstone. Depending on how many layers of gem material there is, one or many colors can be present.
Revealed by Man – Ammolite is one of only three gemstones that has been introduced in the last 50 years. It is also only one of three orangic gemstones, the other two being amber and pearl. Ammolite is only found in two deposits, one in the region of Southern Alberta, Canada and the other, in southern Montana. Because this gemstone is only found in two places on earth, the supply is very limited. To put it into perspetive, it takes moving two times more material then mining a diamond. Ammolite is one of Earth’s most beautiful and most rare gems. 
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of ammolite and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.  
 

 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ammonite: History and Elegance in Every Chamber


Decors Factors and Suggestions – Ammonite fossils are beautiful creations. The different chambers and colors tell the history of the ammonite, each ammonite fossil possessing unique qualities.  The exceptional details and intriguing history make these fossils dynamic pieces, perfect to put on display in your home or office. These elegant shells would fit nicely in a library or study, the historical value on display. The rich colors that are represented in these fossils stand out, making these fossils even more remarkable. The colors and shape of these fossils would look wonderful in a wide variety of décor settings.


 

These ancient shell fish not only look beautiful, they have a fascinating past. These interesting fossils will shine in any place you put them because of their beauty and uniqueness. Ammonite can be found in a wide variety of color, from neutral tans and browns, to lively yellow, and sometimes even powerful golds. These intriguing fossils truly stand out, making them a great center-piece. Smaller ammonite fossils would look striking set on the center of table, acting not only as a center piece for your table, but also for your conversation, while larger ammonite fossils can standalone due to their elegance. These unique pieces are the perfect thing to discuss over coffee or a drink with you clients or friends.
Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore – Ammonite is an extinct shell fish. These squid-like creatures lived 65 to 240 million years ago! Some people believe that ammonite fossils look like ram horns. Interestingly enough, ammonites are named after the Egyptian god Ammon, who was often pictured with ram horns on his head. In feng shui, ammonite and wooly mammoth tusks are often placed together. It is believed that tusks put out good energy and ammonite take in that good energy.
The Science of Ammonite – Ammonites are among the most abundant fossils found today. They went extinct, along with the dinosaurs, about 65 million years ago. Scientists use the different shapes and sizes of ammonite shell fossils that appeared and vanished through the ages to date other fossils. Ammonites were thought to have been good swimmers. They lived in the open water, rather than the ocean floor. Because ammonites and their relatives are extinct, only a little is known about the lifestyle of these creatures, but the fossils do provide us with an interesting look into the life of these ancient sea creatures. 
Revealed by Man – Ammonite fossils have been found worldwide with notable deposits in the United States, Canada, Russia, and Madagascar. The fossils are extracted by chipping away layers of sediment and stone. Then they are polished and carefully packed and shipped to the United States to be for consumers to enjoy.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of ammonite fossils and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (11 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.