Monday, March 31, 2014

Did You Know?


Marble is metamorphic rock that is composed of minerals that have been recrystallized. Marble has been a popular medium for sculptors for centuries and is considered very traditional and exquisite because of that. They are many different varieties of marble, from pure white marble to peacock marble, displayed in the vase above. The swirls and veins present in peacock marble are due to mineral impurities such as clay, sand, silt, and iron.  The wonderful variety of colors in peacock marble make this vase a stunning décor addition. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

New Addition: Stepp Bison Skull

Decors Factors and Suggestions – This ancient stepp bison skull would make an impressive décor addition. Weighing 48 pounds and the horns spanning 37 inches, this bison was very large and hefty. This skull is a very cool way of displaying nature’s art in your décor setting. The rich browns and tans make it easy to incorporate into many décor settings. 



Placed on a stand, this extinct bison skull is ready to be displayed in your home or office. Its massive size will make it stand out, no matter what décor setting it is placed in. In an office, this bison skull would show power and strength and in a home it would demand attention. This skull would look stunning placed on a desk or table, showing it off and letting people appreciate it’s fascinating features.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore – This bison went extinct around 20,000 to 30,000 years ago. They roamed Northern Hemisphere including the US grazing in the Great Plains. These bison were herbivores, meaning they ate foliage and other plant material. It is estimated that these animals weighed over 4,000 pounds and stood around 8 feet tall! They also had massive horns that were from 3 to 5 feet from tip to tip. Their horns were most likely used to scare of other animals like the saber tooth cat and short faced bear. These bison lived in small family groups.

The Science of Fossil Formation – These fossils formed through a somewhat complicated process. First, the bison died, most likely in an area that had a lot of sediment. This sediment quickly buried the bison and its soft parts (tendons and cartilage) decomposed, while bones still remained. The sediment reduced the bones exposure to oxygen, allowing the bones and horn cores to survive tens of thousands of years intact.

Revealed by Man – Bison fossils have been found as far as San Diego, California, although they were thought to have mainly lived in the Midwestern United States. This bison fossil was found in the Ukraine and other bison fossils have been found all around the world, including the US, Russia, Poland, Belarus, Denmark, and many other European countries.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of bison 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. 


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Citrine: Quartz With a Flare

Decors Factors and Suggestions – The beautiful yellow present in citrine makes this gemstone warm and welcoming, perfect for your home or office. Citrine yellow glow will work well in most décor settings. Citrine is commonly used in jewelry, but it also seen in different formations, like geodes.




Large geodes are sometimes used as tables, allowing for many to enjoy the beauty of the piece. Smaller geodes would look spectacular as a center piece on a coffee table or as something to place on a shelf in your office. This mineral would be a fascinating and elegant addition to any room or décor setting.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore – Citrine is the birthstone for the month of November. This gemstone gained popularity during the Art Deco period in-between World War I and World War II. A lot of citrine jewelry was made during this period and it was worn by some of the most famous people. Hollywood stars like Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo sported citrine jewelry frequently. Today, citrine is known as the merchant’s stone because of its affordability and is often associated with success and prosperity.

The Science of Citrine Creation – Citrine is a type of quartz mineral with a cryptocrystalline structure. This means that the crystals are visible to the naked eye. Citrine is very similar to amethyst. The two stones are the same except they are at different oxidation states. Citrine can form as one crystal, or in a geode, with many crystals.

Revealed by Man – Citrine is found in quartz veins and most pieces are only a few carats in size. Citrine is rare in its natural state is usually only found and mined in Brazil. Small quantities are mined in the Malagasy Republic, Colorado, Spain and Russia.

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.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Did You Know?



Apophyllite is a popular collector’s mineral. The pearly luster of this mineral is beautiful and eye-catching. Although apophyllite is not well known to the public, it is a relatively common mineral. This mineral has been found in North American, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Apophyllite is a secondary mineral and comes in many different colors, including pink, white, green, yellow, and violet. When light refracted by apophyllite it is a rainbow. This piece of apophyllite comes with a copper stand, ready to be displayed in your home or office. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Megalodon: One Big Tooth

Decors Factors and Suggestions – Megalodon teeth are both intriguing and gorgeous pieces of natural décor. These pieces are different, but mesmerizing. The different colors present in these teeth make these pieces even more diverse and stunning. The unique size and shape of these teeth make them an interesting addition to any décor setting.



Megalodon teeth would be striking in many décor settings. These remarkable fossils would lend themselves well to most décor settings, but would really stand out if they were placed as a small center piece, on display in your home or office. Megalodon teeth will not only add to your décor, they will make you décor unlike the rest. 

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore – Megalodon are considered one of the largest, fiercest predators of all time, and likely to have interrupted the ocean food chain quite drastically. Megalodon sharks are popular in works of fiction, including novels and film. Commonly regarded as a sea monster in works of fiction, megalodons are very popular subjects. Megalodons have been featured in many different programs, most notably on the ever popular Discovery Chanel annual series, Shark Week. The name megalodon means big teeth in ancient Greek, a very fitting name, to say the least.

The Science of Megalodon Teeth – Fossilized teeth are the only thing that remains of megalodon sharks because sharks do not have bones. Instead, their skeletons are made of cartilage, the same thing that makes up human ears and noses. Unfortunately, cartilage does not fossilize well. The teeth of Megalodons are special and give us insight into these giant shark’s lives.

Revealed by Man – There is a long and extensive process in order to prepare megaldon teeth for sale. First, the teeth must be found and removed from the debris surrounding it. Then, the teeth are tumbled for 3 days and polished with a special lapidary machine. Six different grits are used to polish the teeth, making them shiny and presentable. The final luster on the teeth is achieved using a buffing wheel. Some of the teeth are accented with minerals like pyrite, like the one pictured above. Megalodon teeth are characterized as being triangular and very large, the average size being around seven inches. They have the largest teeth of any species of shark.

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

We invite you to view our current offerings of megalodon teeth 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, March 19, 2014

Did You Know?


Jasper is a form of chalcedony. When jasper breaks, it creates a smooth surface, making it a great mineral to use in jewelry. The name jasper means “spotted or speckled stone” and comes from Old French. Jasper can come in virtually every color and is the traditional birthstone for the month of March. Jasper was one of the most precious gems during ancient times and is still appreciated for it beauty and exquisiteness today. An especially gorgeous variety of jasper is used in this necklace, cherry creek jasper. Cherry creek jasper, also known as red creek jasper, is a blend of reds, yellows, and greens that, when combined, create a fall look. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Additions – Delightful Décor Tables

Here at Touchstone Gallery, we are always adding new products to our four galleries. One of our most exciting new additions are the gorgeous mineral and fossil tables. These tables showcase a variety of fun and fascinating styles that will work well in many different décor settings. Nature is captured in these tables and transformed into something that is both functional and stylish. With many styles and looks, Touchstone Gallery is sure to have a striking mineral or fossil table for your unique décor setting.




Pictured above are two of Touchstone Galleries fascinating and stunning petrified wood tables. These tables capture the beauty that is nature’s art etched in stone. The petrified wood table tops are rich with color and history, displaying the many different colors of jasper and chalendony replaced the wood that was once present. The wood bases make these tables that much more interesting. If you are looking for a southwestern addition to your décor, look no further!




Touchstone Gallery also has a variety of tables made with different minerals. Pictured above is a beautiful amethyst table, with thousands of shining and glimmering crystals. This table would really stand out in any décor settings. Similar to this table, Touchstone Gallery also has a citrine table, with yellow and orange radiant crystals and a glass top. Much different from these two, the selenite table is an icy décor addition, spacy and eccentric, also pictured above. These tables are a fun way of incorporating minerals into your décor!
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of mineral and fossil tables 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, March 14, 2014

Did You Know?




The evolution of the horse took 50 million years. Early horses were small and looked similar to dogs. The modern horse’s lineage is the most documented in lineage of any animal. Early ancestors to the modern horse had many toes to walk on, which accommodated their environment of soft and squishy ground. Interestingly enough, these toed horses only walked on their third and outside toes. Touchstone Gallery has the great honor of processing this horse fossil, the best known of this species. Found in Fossil Lake, Wyoming, this horse fossil is around 52 million years old and approximately two feet long and one foot tall. This fossil went through 200 hours of preparation work, and now it is ready to be displayed in your home or office.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Get To Know Your Gallery- Scottsdale

Welcome to the Touchstone Gallery of Scottsdale, where nature’s art is etched in stone. Located on the outskirts of the thriving metropolis of Phoenix, Touchstone Gallery of Scottsdale embodies the southwestern spirit. Scottsdale, known as one of the country’s premier art markets, is home to an incredible concentration of galleries and museums. Touchstone offers natural treasures millions of years old alongside its signature woolly rhino skull, petrified wood tables, and majestic amethyst specimens. Our Scottsdale gallery is full of fossils, minerals, home décor additions, and unique jewelry pieces that evoke the stunning Sonoran Desert vistas all around it.


        In the 1880’s Scottsdale was settled by pioneers interested in growing citrus fruit, peanuts, potatoes, and later Pima cotton, because the soil was perfect for these crops. During the Great Depression, many artists moved to Scottsdale, including renowed artist and architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In the 1960’s and 1970’s the population of Scottsdale boomed and many business moved to the area as well. Scottsdale is the sixth largest city in Arizona and is well known for its golf courses and luxury  resorts. Located in the “Valley of the Sun”, it is an ideal place for winter visitors and for any who enjoy warm, relaxing weather.


           Touchstone Gallery of Scottsdale is located in Scottsdale’s Marshall Way Arts District, a part of the city’s flourishing art market, matched only by New York City and Santa Fe. Every Thursday night, Touchstone Gallery of Scottsdale participates in the city’s 39 year ArtWalk tradition where over 70 galleries open their doors to the public.  Our clean and airy gallery is full of fascinating and fun pieces. Next time you visit the 48th state, be sure to stop by our Scottsdale gallery to pick up a southwest souvenir. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Did You Know?



Wulfenite is a secondary mineral, meaning that it was formed by altering a preexisting mineral. This mineral is a favorite among mineral collectors and was named after an Austrian mineralogist Franz Xavier von Wulfen. Wulfenite occurs in tabular crystals, meaning the crystals are book like and elongated. This wulfenite specimen came from the Red Cloud Mine in La Paz county, Arizona.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Leaf Fossil Plates- Preserved Plants

Décor Factors and Suggestions – Leaf fossils are fascinating pieces of history and wonderful décor additions.  The deep browns and tans complement each other well, making these fossils subtle yet stunning. These fossils bring a sense of timelessness with them, and will bring this quality into whatever décor setting it is put into.



These fossils are framed and ready to be displayed in your home or office. The soft earth tones make these fossils easy to incorporate into any décor settings. These fossils would nicely complement a rustic style of décor. Leaf fossils would also look striking when placed in a room with bright colored paint, adding a mellow and toned down feeling to the décor setting.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore – When most people think of fossils, they think of animal fossils. Although animal fossils are very interesting, plant fossils are considered rarer than animal fossils. When these leaves lived, the plant life on Earth was much different than it is today. The forest that had once covered most of North America started to die off, creating lots of open space. This area that was once forest was replaced with grass in the plains of North America, while savannas covered the middle of the continent.

Science of Leaf Fossil Formation – These fossils are found in the Green River Formation. The Green River Formation spans across Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. It is well known for its vast collection of fish fossils, but leaf fossils are often found among the fish fossils. Leaves are rarely preserved because the leaf’s soft tissues do not usually survive bacteria trying to feed on it. Leaves were submerged in sediment and preserved. These fossils are estimated to be around 50 million years old.

Revealed by Man – These fossils are revealed after many steps. First, someone must remove layers of sediment from the ground. Once the layers of sediment are removed, then layers are slowly and carefully chipped away until a fossil is revealed. When a fossil is found, it is cut out of the sediment. Then, the fossil is stabilized to prevent chipping and tarnishing. Finally, the fossil is either framed or made ready 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 leaf fossil plates 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, March 3, 2014

March: Alluring Aquamarine


Aquamarine in Jewelry- Aquamarine’s soft and brilliant blue color makes it a gorgeous stone to use in jewelry. Touchstone Gallery offers aquamarine necklaces, earrings, and pendants. Often set in sterling silver, aquamarine jewelry is subtle, but it also makes a bold statement. Touchstone Gallery also offers a variety of different shaped stones. From rough aquamarine, like in the necklace and pendant pictured below, and smooth or polished aquamarine, like in the two earring sets, Touchstone Gallery is sure to have an aquamarine piece that will suit your liking.



Legend and Lore- Many believe the blue color of aquamarine is reminiscent of the ocean. The ancient Greeks thought that aquamarine could protect sailors from the unpredictable seas. The Greeks were not the only ones who had interesting beliefs about aquamarine, though. In Thailand, it was thought that aquamarine, if worn, would prevent people from becoming seasick as well as protect them from drowning. These interesting myths just make aquamarine that much more interesting.



Science of Aquamarine Formation- Aquamarine is formed in volcanic rocks. After the volcanic rocks cooled, gemstones, including aquamarine, crystalize out of hot fluids. Large crystals are formed when cooling takes place over a long period of time. Additionally, over the past million years or so, erosion and weathering has released many of these beautiful blue gems from the volcanic rock, allowing the occasional lucky person to find a gem floating in a stream or on the beach.


 Revealed by Man- Many gems including aquamarine are mined by men. Aquamarine is most often found in Russia, Brazil, the United States, Africa, Pakistan, and Siberia. Aquamarine is carefully mined and extracted from the ground. Then it is polished into the gemstone we know and love, and finally it is made into jewelry or put on display in places such as Touchstone Gallery.


Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of aquamarine 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.