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.