Monday, September 29, 2014

Meteorite Month: The Gibeon Meteorite

The Meteorite in Jewelry and Décor Suggestions: The Gibeon Meteorite is traditionally used in jewelry because of its unique pattern and shine. Rings, cuffs, watches, and more are offered at Touchstone gallery. The meteorite in its more natural form is traditionally used as home décor. Touchstone gallery has many jewelry pieces and natural form meteorites to offer! 


Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore:  It is said that the Kalahari Desert tribesmen picked up meteorites that lay on the ground's surface. The tribesmen made arrowheads, assegai-heads, and a javelin type weapon made of long, thin pointed iron rods with sharp edges. The meteorite is believed to be a symbol of aptitude and strength.


Science of Meteor Formation: The Gibeon Meteorite was believed to have fallen in pre-historic times. This meteorite is 4 billion years old! Although scientists are still in conclusive of how meteorites form they believe that they form from rocks and metals clumping together forming a larger rock (meteorite) in space. The lines and patterns in the rock are the result of cooling in space for over a billion of years. These patterns are known as “Widmanstatten lines” 90% of the meteorite is iron. Watch out for magnets!

Revealed by Man: The Gibeon Meteorite was first discovered by the native people to Namibia, Africa. They used the metal alloys as tools and named the meteorite after the nearest town it was found in, Gibeon, Namibia. Gibeon Meteorite was reported in 1838 by Captain J.E. Alexander. Captain Alexander took in samples for analysis and was not the first one to discover the meteorite.


 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.   

Friday, September 26, 2014

Marta Howell’s Black Lip Oyster Jewelry

Black Lip Oyster in Jewelry: Black Lip Oysters are known around the world for the production of their beautiful black pearls. The shells of the oyster are made into jewelry. Here at Touchstone Gallery we have a wonderful collection of Marta Howell’s black lip oyster jewelry. Marta Howell also has jewelry made of abalone shells and mother of pearl shells. This beautiful jewelry is a perfect gift to someone who is a lover of the sea! 



Legend and Lore: Oysters were rich in recognition in history. Ancient Romans and Greeks had a large consumption of sea animals including oysters. Oysters were highly prized and served to their emperors. The early civilizations of the Chinese and European cultures also held oysters in high regard. They were the first early civilizations to transport wild oysters to various waterways so they could grow and be harvested.


Formation of Oyster Shell: The shell of an oyster is made of calcium carbonate (lime.) Oysters extract the lime from the water they live in. Oysters are filter feeders so they draw in water through their gills and form a protective shell over the mantle (their skin.) Once an oyster grows its shell it can’t move anymore. The iridescent colors of the shell depend on the diet of that certain oyster. Every shell is unique. How interesting!

Revealed by Man: The black lip oyster has the widest geographical range of all living pearl oysters. The most common place the oyster is hunted for is in French Polynesia and other areas around the tropical Pacific Ocean. After these shells are found they are cleaned, cut, polished and made into beautiful jewelry pieces found in galleries 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 shells 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, September 24, 2014

Volume 4 (September 17, 2014- September 24, 2014)


This rare world class slab of petrified wood was sold this week and is going to be specially delivered to its new Idaho vacation home. This rare slab was petrified in Arizona. Known as Arizona’s “Rainbow” wood because this piece contains every color that is found naturally in Arizona. The purchase was made by a repeat customer from California. Sedona Gallery Manager, Heather Hakola says “Another touchstone gallery museum quality fossil finds its place within an extensive private collection, of fine art and world renowned architecture, but no other treasure housed therein, will outlast this timeless work of nature’s art etched in stone.” A happy trails good-bye to California! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Chrysocolla: A Mineral Filled With Enchantment


Décor Factors and Suggestions: Chrysocolla is truly a mineral filled with enchantment! Viewing this mineral is like an earth view from above. Chrysocolla protrudes a blue that pops, with greens, blacks, and browns. This is the perfect décor accent to contrast any wall and room in your home. Here at Touchstone Gallery we offer polished chrysocolla and rough chrysocolla with hints of blue drusy in the rock. 

This beautiful mineral is often confused with Turquoise because of its blue and green color combination. Chrysocolla pictured below has beautiful blue quartz drusy and the one pictured above is similar to the overview of Earth.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: This beautiful blue mineral was first used by the Greek Philosopher Theophrastus in 315 BCE. The name of chrysocolla comes from the Greek words chrysos “gold” and kola “glue.” This blue mineral was an ingredient in solder. Solder is “glue” that welds gold together. During a time of negotiation this stone was used to encourage one’s mind. Therefore this stone was known as the “wise stone.”


Science of Mineral Formation: Chrysocolla is considered a mineraloid and not a mineral because it does not have a true crystalline structure. This mineraloid is formed when copper is introduced to oxygen (oxidized.) 

Revealed by Man: Chrysocolla is found throughout many places of the world. Some notable places are Czech Republic, Israel, Cornwall England, Congo, and in certain states in the United States including Utah, Arizona, Pennsylvania and New Mexico. Chrysocolla is mined with other minerals such as quartz, azurite, and limonite. 

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of chrysocolla 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, September 19, 2014

Did You Know?



The word petrified comes from the Greek word, petros, meaning stone. In the Stone Age, early civilizations used petrified wood to make tools and weapons. In medieval times, amulets made of petrified wood were thought to impart longevity on who ever wore it. Arizona petrified wood has an interesting story behind its formation. Trees that grew in Colorado and New Mexico would be knocked over by flooding rains and would float down river. The tree would then be covered in mud and preserved in a different location then where they originated. This petrified wood accent table would make a lovely décor addition! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy Trails: Volume 3 (September 10, 2014-September 17, 2014)


Touchstone Gallery customers Karen and Rick Johnston from West Virginia came all the way to the Sedona gallery to do their shopping and hand-select anniversary presents. Mrs. Johnston chose the above necklace and Mr. Johnston brought home an impressive pair of fossil eggs. This beautiful necklace is a designer piece by Vinay Singh. The necklace features vanadinite, citrine, copper, fire agate, garnet, and fire ammonite. The colors of the necklace are the popular colors of the South West. This lovely couple also purchased other fossil and mineral treasures to add to their outstanding collection of minerals and fossils. A happy trails good-bye to the beautiful pieces sold this week to a great husband and wife!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Lapis Lazuli: The Ancient Sapphire

Lapis Lazuli in Jewelry- This beautiful stone is known for its vibrant blue color. During the Renaissance lapis was commonly used for oil paintings such as the painting Girl with a Pearl Earring. Today, lapis is worn throughout the world. Lapis is commonly shaped into beads and is made into jewelry. Touchstone Gallery has many extravagant jewelry pieces of lapis lazuli to offer!


 Legend and Lore- In ancient Egypt, lapis was a favorite stone for amulets and ornaments. The wood carvings of Thutmose III (sixth pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty) in Karnak, Egypt show fragments and barrel-shaped pieces of lapis being brought to him as honor and gratitude. Cleopatra used powdered lapis as her eye shadow. During the middle ages, the blue stone was often called sapphire. The traditional birthstones for September are lapis lazuli and sapphire.

Science of Lapis Formation- Lapis, the crystalline marble, is the result of temperature increase from the intrusion of magma into cooler country rock. Lapis is often mistaken for sapphire because of its strong blue. Lapis sometimes has a hint of violet and its value increases with the presence of small veins of pyrite.

Revealed by Man- Lapis Lazuli is traditionally mined in Afghanistan, but can also be found in the Andes (near Ovalle, Chile), Angola, Argentina, Burma, Pakistan, Canada, Italy, India and in the United States in California and Colorado.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of lapis lazuli 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, September 12, 2014

Did You Know?


Woolly mammoths used their tusks to manipulate objects, fight, and forage. Male woolly mammoths had larger tusks than female woolly mammoths. Woolly mammoth tusks were curved more than modern day elephant tusks and the largest male woolly mammoth tusk ever found was 14 feet long. The tusks of woolly mammoths continuously grew threw out their lives. Many Eskimo and indigenous people collected and sold woolly mammoth tusks in the ivory trade. The last woolly mammoths disappeared from most of the world some 11,500 years ago with the last remaining mammoths dying off on a small Siberian island around 4,000 years ago. These woolly mammoth tusks are fantastic décor additions, adding drama and history to any décor setting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Happy Trails: Volume 2 (September 3, 2014- September 10, 2014)


This week a skull of a woolly rhino was united with a new owner! This skull was found in the Ural Mountains of Russia and has been dated back to the Pleistocene Era. The woolly rhino is an extinct species of rhinoceros that lived during the last glacial period. Adult woolly rhinos were about 10 feet long and weighed from 6,000 to 7,000 pounds! The purpose of the horn of the woolly rhino is twofold: first, to attract mates and second, to defend the creature.  This beautiful chocolate brown skull is on its way to Dallas, Texas! Happy trails to this cool fossil!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Orthoclase: Simple but Exquisite

Décor Factors and Suggestions: Orthoclase is a mineral made from silicates that form igneous rock. Orthoclase comes in many different colors, including off-white, yellow, orange, red, and brown. Some intergrowths of orthoclase hold a silk luster that is used in jewelry. Orthoclase is a marvelous addition to your home. Put this enticing mineral on display near a window or in a hallway to show off the colors and luster of the intergrowths.
 
 
 Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore: Orthoclase has a hardness of 6 on Mohs scale. The Mohs scale determines if minerals can scratch other minerals a diamond being 10 and talc being 1. This neat mineral is often used for the manufacturing of glasses, ceramics, and porcelain.

Formation of Mineral: Orthoclase is a common crystal that forms in numerous mineral environments. Orthoclase forms at low temperatures and cools very slowly. The orthoclase forms orderly monoclinic crystals from the slow cooling.

Revealed by Man: Orthoclase is a common mineral and is found throughout the world! In the United States enormous crystals of Orthoclase were found in the Sandia Mountains, Bernalillo CO, New Mexico. Some of the best quality crystals come from Baveno, Piedmont, Italy. They are also found and mined in Czech Republic, Madagascar, Spain, and Switzerland.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of orthoclase 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, September 5, 2014

Woolly Mammoth Tusk: A Prized Possession

Décor Factors and Suggestions: Not only is the woolly mammoth tusk a view into the past but they quickly became a prized possession. Woolly mammoth tusks are one of the most popular large display fossils. Their colors range from light brown to beautiful oranges to fascinating golds. 



Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: Mammoth tusks are often used for the decorative pieces of Feng Shui. Feng Shui is about balance and Chi energy movements through the body and all over the universe. Feng Shui carvings of zodiacs, Chinese dragons, etc. are deeply rooted in the objects that the artists use for their carvings such as mammoth tusks.

The Science of Woolly Mammoth Tusks: This ancestral elephant adapted well into the Ice Age. The mammoth was covered in fur with a short undercoat and long guard hairs as its overcoat. These mammals weigh about the same size as an African elephant. Early humans who coexisted with the woolly mammoth hunted them. The humans prized the tusks of the mammoth as they used them for tools. Tusks of a mammoth are long and they curve.  Also, inside of the tusk it features growth rings. The growth rings determine the age of that mammoth, similar to how a tree’s age is determined. An average male mammoth tusk weighs about 100 pounds and a female’s weighs about 20 pounds. Mammoths used their tusks for manipulating objects, fighting, and foraging.

Revealed by Man: Woolly Mammoth Tusks are found all over the world. Most tusks are found frozen or deposits are found in a river current. Teeth and tusks discovered in Siberia were the first woolly mammoth remains discovered. They were then examined and studied by Hans Sloane in 1728.


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

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Colorful Calcite!

Décor Factors and Suggestions: Calcite is a carbonate mineral that has colors that range from grays to pink to yellow. Calcite is commonly used for ornamental use because of its wide range of colors. A natural piece of calcite like the one below would look divine in a home living room with shades of browns to accent the rare honey color on the calcite. Calcite is also fashioned in beautiful art carvings.
                                       
                                                         Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore: During the Ordovician and Jurassic era there were so called Calcite Sea’s. Calcite seas were seas with bits of calcite in them. To be specific the seas contained low-magnesium calcite precipitate which was in other words, dissolved calcite. Later on the calcite hardened and crystallized with shells and marine creatures inside of the calcite. Calcite is also formed in caves such as the Glenwood caverns in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.


Formation of Mineral: The formation of calcite is a slow process and forms in several ways. One of the ways calcite forms is a chemical reaction between oversaturated water and calcium with carbon ions. Another way is biogenic. This means calcite is formed by living organisms. Calcite is the mineral that sea shells create.

Revealed by Man: Italy is known to hold a great source of calcite. There are many locations around Italy such as, Carrara, where stunning translucent calcite crystals are found. A variety of colorful calcite is also found in Cumberland, England, Germany, Mexico, Namibia, Romania, and the United States.

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