Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Vanadinite – A Scarlet Secondary Mineral


Decor Factors and Suggestions – This uncommon mineral is a bright and brilliant way to incorporate minerals into your décor. The ruby red color is the most common color, but clear, orange, brown, grey, and yellow vanadinite has been found. Vanadinite is famous for its beautiful crystals, the ones pictured below being very small prisms. 

The bold red color of vanadinite makes it popular among collectors. Vanadinite’s rich red crystals would look intriguing when placed in a room with fascinating and intricate textiles or rugs, drawing out and exemplifying the rich qualities of them. The beauty contained in this mineral is unexplainable.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore – Vanadinite was discovered in Mexico in 1801 by Andres Manuel Del Rio. He called the mineral “brown lead” when he first discovered it, thinking it possibly contained a new element. In 1830, Nils Gabriel Sefstrom, discovered what he thought was also a new element, naming it vanadium. It was later found out that Del Rio and Sefstrom found the exact same mineral. In 1883, this mineral was officially named vanadinite.

The Science of Vanadinite Formation – This uncommon mineral occurs because of chemical alterations to pre-existing materials, technically referred to as a secondary mineral. Vanadinite is formed predominately by oxidation in arid climates. It is often associated with sulfide, galena, wulfenite, barite, and limonite. Vanadinite is 73 percent lead, 11 percent vanadium, 13.5 percent oxygen, and 2.5 percent chlorine. The crystals of vanadinite form in a hexagonal system of symmetry and this is often reflected in the internal hexagon shape of the crystals.
Revealed by Man – Vanadinite can be found in 400 different mines across the world. Notable mines include ones in Morocco, Namibia, Argentina, and several in the United States. Vanadinite is a main industrial ore of the element vanadium, which is extracted by roasting or smelting, and is occasionally a source of lead.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of vanadinite 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, July 25, 2014

Turquoise: One of July’s Brilliant Birthstones

Turquoise in Jewelry- Turquoise has been valued by many for centuries and is a beautiful stone that is very frequently used in jewelry. Turquoise jewelry is exquisite for many reasons, but mostly because of its deep and rich color. Turquoise is unparalleled by any other color.


 Touchstone Gallery offers turquoise necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, perfect for a July baby, seeing that it is one of the birthstones for that month. Turquoise would also look lovely on someone with blue eyes, really making the color of their eyes pop.

Legend and Lore- Turquoise was valued highly by the Aztecs, Ancient Egyptians, and many other cultures. The Aztecs inlaid turquoise with gold, quartz, malachite, coral, shells, and other minerals and gems. Other tribes value turquoise as highly as the Aztecs, including the Navajo, Apache, and Pueblo peoples. Many cultures see turquoise as a bringer of good fortune and in Persia, turquoise was the national stone for a millennium.

Science of Mineral Formation- Turquoise is a secondary mineral, meaning it is produced by the altering of an existing mineral, and in the case of turquoise, that mineral is cooper. In the United States, turquoise is often formed in veins and comes out in nuggets that are small sized. Turquoise has no definite external shape, so each piece of turquoise has its own unique shape and character.
Revealed by Man- Most commonly, turquoise occurs in Iran, Egypt, and the southwestern United States. Most all of the turquoise at Touchstone Gallery is from the southwest United States, specifically from Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado.

Revealed by M Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of vertebrate 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, July 23, 2014

Did You Know?


Smoky quartz is a brown or grey variety of quartz that varies from dark brown/grey to lighter tan colors, named for its smoky color. This coloring is caused by gamma rays and metal ions. This piece of smoky quartz came from Minas Gerais, Brazil, which is a state that is well known for its quality mines and mineral specimens. Smoky quartz has also been found in the United States, Australia, and China. Although it has only recently become popular in décor and jewelry, smoky quartz is historically significant and important. This specimen has a water bubble that was caught between the layers of silica while it was being formed. Smoky quartz is very gorgeous and fascinating.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tiger’s Eye: The Eye That Sees All

Tiger’s Eye in Jewelry: Tiger’s Eye is beautiful in jewelry and has a unique shimmer of blacks, oranges, yellows, gold, and browns. This gemstone is generally carved into beads and cabochons. Touchstone Gallery has many jewelry pieces of tiger’s eye to offer that are sure to suit your liking. 

 


Legend and Lore: The traditional brown-orange and black color of the stone exactly resembles to that of a tiger’s eye, hence, the name. Roman soldiers wore the stone believing it was an eye that sees all. Most ancient cultures thought this stone was the protector against the evil eye and was a protection for travelers on their journey abroad.

Science of Stone Formation: Tiger’s eye is a metamorphic rock that is usually a golden to brown color with a silky luster and shimmer. This gemstone is classified as a member of the quartz group and is rare. Tiger iron has deposits of red jasper, tiger’s eye, and black hematite. This type of tiger’s eye is commonly used in jewelry and for ornamental use.

Revealed by Man: This unique gem was first discovered in South Africa during the 1800’s. German mineralogist, Wilbel, first came up with theories of how tiger eye was formed in 1873. Today, tiger’s eye is mined in Australia, Burma, Canada, India, Namibia, United States, and South Africa. Tiger’s eye is used for jewelry and is popularly worn today.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of tiger’s eye 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, July 18, 2014

Jasper: An Ancient World Gem

Jasper in Jewelry:  Jasper has been used since ancient times. For ages it has been an ornamental stone used in bowls and jewelry. Today, Jasper is often used in creating jewelry. Jasper is attractive and popular because of the many different varieties it forms. Each variety of jasper is unique! Here at Touchstone Gallery we offer picture jasper, ocean jasper, and bumblebee jasper jewelry pieces that are sure to suit your liking!


Bumble Bee Jasper
Picture Jasper
Legend and Lore: Jasper is derived from the old French term Jaspre. Jaspre is spotted or speckled stone. The term is referenced in Greek, Hebrew, Assyrian, and Latin literature. Jasper is known as the favorite gem of the ancient world. Ancient legend was that jasper would drive away evil spirits and be the protector from snake and spider bites. During the fourth century, jasper was believed to bring about the rain.
Ocean Jasper
Science of Stone Formation: Jasper is an opaque rock. This neat stone projects the colors of the sediment minerals and volcanic ash it was created from. The patterns and designs found in the jasper form during the solidification of the silica sediment and volcanic ash. Jasper is formed within the earth’s crust from the circulation of heat and consolidation of the elements and minerals.
Revealed by Man: It is uncertain when and where Jasper was first discovered because of how long Homo sapiens have been using this stone. Jasper is found throughout the world which is why many ancient people knew about this stone and used it. There is evidence of prehistoric men using jasper as tools in Ethiopia, Greece.
 
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of jasper 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, July 16, 2014

Did You Know?


Plant fossils can be persevered in a number of ways. Compressions and impressions, are the most commonly found. This helps paleobotanists, scientists that specialize in plant fossils, learn more about the structure of the plant, especially if the plant preserved is a leaf. This fossil, which is from the Green River Formation, is over 50 million years old! This fossil is very remarkable because plant life often decomposes before it can be fossilized, not to mention the little fish swimming around. Both the fish and the palm leaf fossils are very well defined, giving us a glimpse of what it was like 50 million years ago.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Onyx: July’s Blissful Birthstone

Onyx in Jewelry- Onyx is a dazzling gemstone that is commonly used in jewelry. Touchstone Gallery carries the brilliant black variety of onyx jewelry. The intense color in these pieces is sure to make a statement. With earrings, bracelets, and necklaces, Touchstone Gallery has the onyx jewelry you are looking for.

Onyx and Décor- This beautiful onyx wall sconce is a great way of incorporating nature’s art etched in stone into your décor. The bands of soft and gorgeous colors would look well in many different décor settings. The second picture shows the wonder soft glow this sconce gives of, creating a pleasant feeling where ever it is placed.

Legend and Lore- The name onyx comes from the Latin word for claw or fingernail because the flesh color of onyx often resembles a fingernail. For hundreds of years, onyx has been carved into beads, hard stone carvings, and other pieces for jewelry. Onyx was used in ancient Egypt during the second dynasty to make bowls and other pottery items. Onyx is also mentioned in the Bible several times, most notably in Genesis 2:12, “and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone." 
Science of Mineral Formation- Onyx is a variety of chalcedony quartz that is often black or banded. Banded onyx has color variations that are parallel to one another, while black onyx is one solid color. Onyx is often confused with banded calcite, but the two are very different. There are only a few gemstones in the world that occur in black naturally, and onyx is one of them. Onyx is the most common of all black gemstones.


Revealed by Man- Onyx is most commonly found in Brazil, but is also found in Uruguay, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Hawaii, and Madagascar. Originally, all brown, white, and black chalcedony were referred to as onyx, but today onyx is primarily used to describe black chalcedony.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of onyx 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, July 9, 2014

Did You Know?

These fun carvings are made of many different minerals. The beautiful butterfly wings are carved of rainbow fluorite, while the butterfly is perched on a specimen of fluorite. These regal roadrunners are carved of jasper and they run across a bed of crystals quartz. This sea turtle, carved of averturine, swim across a piece of colorful tourmaline. Peter Muller carves these creatures. Check out his other creations on our website!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dyrosaurus: Ancestral Crocodile

Décor factors and suggestions: An engaging piece like this is very distinctive and is a perfect addition to your home. This fossilized marine dinosaur resembles a modern day crocodile and is known as a ancient ancestor of the crocodile. What a great piece to add to your bathroom or office!

Legend and Lore: This carnivorous crocodile was a marine predator during the Cretaceous period. Around 14 million years ago this large animal reached 6 meters in size with slender jaws and curved teeth indicating a fish diet. Fast moving fish were easily caught by the long and sharp teeth this predator possessed! This crocodilian creature swam as fast as it walked indicated by its large leg bones and overall size with a lightly built skull.

Formation of Fossil: This marine reptile species slowly went extinct after the food chain had collapsed. The above skull being found in Morocco and was formed around 6 million years ago after the Cretaceous period ended. This crocodile’s skull was replaced over time with minerals. Today, the skull is preserved and is used as natural home décor.

Revealed by Man: The ancestral crocodile was discovered in 1893. French paleontologist, Auguste Pomel discovered and named the genus of this previously unknown species. Fossil vertebrae was found in a phosphate mine in the mountain, Djebel Dyr, near Tebessa, Algeria. The type species became Crocodylus Phosphaticus in 1893 and later became Dyrosaurus Phosphaticus in 1894.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of 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, July 2, 2014

July: Ruby Red


The Ruby in Jewelry: This beautiful gemstone can be found in distinguishing from a light pink to a blood red color! The ruby color most commonly used in jewelry is fiery crimson color. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History holds one of the largest and finest ruby gemstones throughout the world! A philanthropist, Peter Buck, donated the 23.1 carat Burmese ruby. Touchstone Gallery offers a wide variety of ruby jewelry pieces.

 Legend and Lore: Around 3,000 years ago rubies were in high demand! Rubies were believed to prevent poisoning and darken as a warning when you were in danger. During the Middle Ages, the ruby was also believed to restore vitality and youth when rubbed against the skin! This beautiful gem is the traditional birthstone for the month of July. This gem was also known as the stone of prophecy.
Science of Ruby Formation: This gemstone is so unique and significant because geologists are still unsure of the details of formation of the ruby! Rubies are only created with the perfect combination of minerals. The mineral, Corundum, is the most necessary in the formation of the Ruby. It is believed that Corundum and these minerals were heated and melted deep within the earth crystalizing into this magnificent gem as the mineral cooled.

 
Revealed by Man: This remarkable gemstone was first discovered among the Mogok valley. Found on June 30, 1919; just two days after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles (the peace document ending WWI.) The ruby was named the “Peace Ruby” perpetuating the memory of this major event and introduced a hopeful new era of peace and prosperity throughout the world.

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