Friday, October 31, 2014

Septarian: The Dragon Stone

Décor Factors and Suggestions: This stone has a mixture of yellows, grays, browns, and blacks that would accommodate an elegant office with a deep brown desk. Touchstone Gallery currently has beautiful Septarian geodes or Septarian carvings of buffalo in which show the unique concretions of the mineral.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: The Septarian concretions are angular cavities or cracks that is Latin for "septaria." The process in which the concretions occur and characterize the fascinating stone is still a mystery. Many people believe that Septarian is the stone to prepare one for the twists and turn of life. Septarian is a breathtaking gemstone that is commonly called the 'dragon stone' for its unique and mysterious concretions similar to the scales of the mystical creature, the dragon.


Science of Formation: Septarian is a unique geode that is a mixture of numerous minerals. This fascinating stone is a combination of yellow calcite, brown aragonite, grey limestone, and white sometimes clear barite. This stone is so unique because it holds the properties of each of its component minerals in the stone.

Revealed by Man: Septarian geodes are commonly found in Utah and in Madagascar. When they were formed during the Cretaceous Period, around 65 to 70 million years ago, the cretaceous seas were raised 100 meters higher covering a majority of our land masses today. The formations of the stone happened around the two areas of Utah and Madagascar. These are the two places where the stone is found and shipped off to consumers to use as beautiful decorative pieces.

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

We invite you to view our current offerings of Septarian 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 29, 2014

Happy Trails: Volume 6 (October 2014)

Here at Touchstone Gallery, October is our meteorite month and we would like to share with you a couple of interesting meteorite pieces that have been sold throughout the month! At the Scottsdale gallery we made great sales.



              Beautiful pairs of these earrings featuring the meteorite Seymchan and accompanied by the green variety of amethyst, prasiolite, were recently sent on their happy trail home. At our Scottsdale gallery we had a group of ladies visiting from Boston. These lovely ladies, Maria, Lisa and Cori each clung to a pair of these nice dangled earrings to wear home and to show off. They were all so pleased  that the Scottsdale gallery was open later than the gallery next to them. These Boston women wanted to shop around in Arizona before returning home early the following day.

Mother and daughter, Joanne and Jan came to the gallery later on in the month. Joanne and Jan had a girls day. They took home to Tampa, Florida the wonderful Seymchan Meteorite pendant that is faceted in a sterling silver coin bezel on a rolo chain. 


A couple of months ago, Chris proposed to his beautiful fiance Taylor in our Scottsdale gallery. The lovely young couple revisited the gallery to attend the ArtWalk. At the 40th annual ArtWalk, Chris added to his collection with a Mars Micro Rock. The lovely couple also brought the gallery a beautiful bronze chrysanthemum plant, to thank the wonderful staff for helping Chris pull off such an enjoyable proposal!

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, October 24, 2014

Malachite: A Cultural Treasure

Decors Factors and Suggestions – Malachite had been sought after because of its rich, but simple colors by cultures for thousands of years. Adding malachite to your home or office décor will be like having a piece of history and culture on display. The dark colors present in malachite are mysterious, acting as accents to the mineral as a whole. The hints of color would nicely compliment color schemes of blue and green, the small traces really pulling the color scheme together beautifully.

The specimen above is fibrous malachite. The variety of colors makes this specimen one of a kind. From light blue to deep greens and blues, malachite will fit into many different décor settings.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore – Malachite has been used since ancient Egyptian times, as early as 4000 BC, and has appeared throughout history ever since. Malachite was very popular with the Romans and the Greeks. They used the mineral in jewelry, ornaments, and even ground it up and used it as eye shadow. In the middle ages, malachite was worn to protect people from sorcery and black magic. In Russian folk lore, it is said the when someone drinks from a vessel made of malachite, they are able to speak and understand the language of the animals. 


The Science of Malachite Creation – Malachite is technically considered a secondary mineral because it is created by a chemical reaction between minerals that are already formed. Malachite is formed in a couple different ways. The first way it forms is when water containing carbon dioxide or dissolved carbonate materials comes into contact with rocks containing cooper. The second way it forms is when a solution containing copper minerals interacts with a rock containing carbonate materials. 

Revealed by Man – Most malachite comes from The Democratic Republic of Congo, Chile, and Australia. This mineral forms in masses, lumps, or on the crust of other rocks. Malachite is a soft mineral so it is easy to carve, shape, and polish. Because of this, it has many decorative uses.


Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of malachite 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 22, 2014

Did You Know?



Amber is a fossilized tree resin. The resin or sap releases when the tree has a present injury, such as a torn branch. The tree resin takes millions of years to fossilize into amber. Amber is mostly found in rocks where it has been dated back to 30 to 90 million years ago. Most amber made into jewelry is from a species of pine trees that is extinct. Amber that contains insects or specimens fossilized inside of the amber is highly valued. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Kyanite: Two Strengths

Decors Factors and Suggestions – Kyanite is a gorgeous mineral, occurring in many different colors. Most commonly, kyanite is blue, but has also occurred in gray, white, green, pink, yellow, and black. Color often varies by crystal, making kyanite specimens incredibly beautiful. This mineral has a wonderfully stunning pearly luster, making this piece really shine. Kyanite would be a unique addition to your home or office!



Kyanite is often found alongside other minerals. The specimen pictured above is kyanite with quartz, making this mineral that much more interesting. This piece, like other blue specimens of kyanite, would really bring out blue and silver in décor settings. This fascinating mineral comes with a story to tell and demands attention. The unusual formation of kyanite crystals will make them stand no matter where they are placed.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore – The name Kyanite comes from the Greek word Kyanos, meaning blue. Kyanite is an interesting mineral because it has different hardness over the length of the crystal. On the Moh’s scale of hardness the parallel length of the minerals measures at 4 to 5, but if the hardness is measured one the side of the crystal with the shorter dimension the hardness is around 7.  The Moh’s scale compares relative hardness of minerals by seeing which mineral can scratch others. The scale is from one to ten, with diamonds at ten, talc at one and orthoclase at six. The mineral is also referred to as disthene, which means "two strengths”.

The Science of Kyanite Formation – Kyanite is mainly formed in metamorphic rock. It is formed when sedimentary rock goes through metamorphism. Metamorphism is the process in which the structure of a rock is altered by heat, pressure, or other naturally occurring factors. In this instance, the sedimentary rock is transformed through a high pressure alteration. Kyanite is often associated with minerals such as garnet, staurolite and corundum. When Kyanite is found in metamorphic rock that indicates that the pressure levels during metamorphism reached above 58 pounds.

Revealed by Man – Kyanite can be found all over the world. Countries that produce Kyanite include India, Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Kenya, and the United States. The most notable deposits in the United States are in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Although kyanite has many commercial uses, it is a very desired and sought after collector’s mineral.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of kyanite 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 17, 2014

Happy Trails: Volume 5 (October 2014)

Here at Touchstone Gallery, October is our meteorite month and we would like to share with you a couple of interesting meteorite pieces that have been sold throughout the month! At the Scottsdale gallery we made great sales. The first piece that was sold was a beautiful Muonionalusta meteorite slice pendant with faceted Iolite and blue topaz gemstones to accent the meteorite slice. Touchstone Gallery’s customer, Fran, went home happily to North Carolina wearing her new pendant!


 A wonderful meteorite slice was sold to a happy grandfather and grandson. Grandfather, Bert, came into the Scottsdale gallery with his grandson Trevor. Bert and Trevor picked out a very out-of-this- world chrondite slice that was found in Morocco. How cool! A few Mars micro rocks were sold to the gallery’s favorite window washer, Loughlin. Mr. Loughlin intends to take these spectacular mars rocks back home to Ireland and give them to his family.  


A few other neat pieces were sold to wonderful and happy customers as well! A brecciated Chrondite (NWA 7450) was sold to one of the gallery’s photographer neighbors, Airi. Airi purchased the fascinating meteorite for her boyfriend!


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, October 15, 2014

Did You Know?


Slumping is the process of shaping glass at very high temperatures. This technique had been perfected by Mark Hines, the creator of these gorgeous clocks. This process is very technically and hard to do. Different ways of slumping glass have been used since the Romans, who made bowls and plates out of glass that had rough surfaces. Mark Hines beautiful creations can be found in all four of our galleries. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sumatran Amber: A True Blue Gem

Décor Factors and Suggestions: Sumatran amber is a unique fossil gem with a beautiful hue of blue. Sumatran amber is a no ordinary specimen of amber. This particular amber can range from dark brown to maroon to a true blue. With direct sunlight, this amber is almost see through with a shining tint of blue on its glassy smooth texture. Sumatran amber is perfect stunning natural décor especially when placed near a window.


 Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore: Amber has been appreciated for its beauty since the New Stone Age around 5,000 years ago.  Amber has been highly valued since antiquity for its good looks and is used for a variety of decorative objects. This gem is popularly decorated in jewelry pieces and has also been used in perfumes and folk medicine. The ancient common name of amber used to be electrum. Electrum meaning the “beaming sun” was connected to the myth of Phaeton, Phaeton the son of Helios (the sun) was killed when his chariot crashed from the sky. His weeping sisters were transformed into poplars (trees) and their tears mourning his death became amber.


Science of Amber Formation: Amber is a fossilized tree resin. The tree resin hardens over the period of millions of years turning the resin into a durable and organic gem! Amber is commonly formed and washed up in the Baltic Sea. This material has been admired and used for thousands of years.

Revealed by Man: Amber has been used since 600 B.C. and had numerous uses! Blue Amber used to be found only in the Dominican Republic and some places in Mexico. Today, Amber is found in the Baltic Sea and is also mined near Indonesia. Before the blue amber was mined villagers would discover the amber washed up on the shore.

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

Monday, October 6, 2014

October: Fragments of the Rainbow

Tourmaline in Jewelry: Tourmaline is traditionally used into jewelry. This gemstone was named after the Sinhalese (Sri Lanka) word tura mali. Tura mali means the stone of mixed colors. These varieties of multicolored stones are the traditional birthstone for the month of October.


Legend and Lore: An ancient legend states that tourmaline is in such a wide variety of colors because it is said that this gemstone traveled along a rainbow and collected the colors of the rainbow. An empress who ruled China from 1860 to 1908 was said to be the main admirer of tourmaline. The empress, Tzu Hsi, admired the stone so much she bought a vast amount of the stone from tourmaline mines. She used the stones for carving and fashion purposes. The body of this last empress of the Ch’ing Dynasty now rests eternally on a tourmaline pillow.

Science of Gem Formation: Tourmaline is a crystal silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. This beautiful gemstone is classified as a semi-precious stone because of the wide variety of colors it has! Often tourmaline can be confused by other gemstones, such as rubies. Tourmaline with green and pinkish colors is known as the watermelon tourmaline.


Revealed by Man: Tourmaline is mined in Afghanistan, Brazil, and the United States. This gem is bought by jewelers and made into beautiful jewelry pieces that Touchstone Gallery offers! The largest owned tourmaline is owned by Billionaire Business Enterprises. The gemstone is a bluish-green color and oval shaped cut. This stone was presented in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on 14 October 2009.


Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of tourmaline 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 3, 2014

Galena – A Mineral of Many Uses

Decors Factors and Suggestions – Galena’s metallic luster is both intriguing and remarkable, glimmering beautifully. The grey metal color of galena should not be considered dull, but rather subtle yet elegant and striking. When galena is paired with other minerals, the beauty just increases, creating many different décor opportunities. Bring the splendor of this mineral into your home or office’s décor setting!



The sample above is galena with fluorite, a common pairing, and the picture below is of galena with barite and pyrite. This incredible mineral would look spectacular placed in a well lit room, so that it can really dazzle all those who see it. When galena is paired with different minerals, like those pictured, it creates a radiant center piece, full of sparkle and wonder. Galena specimens should be handled with care due to their delicate nature. 

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story


Legend and Lore – Galena was used in ancient Egyptian times as kohl, which was applied around people’s eyes to deflect sunlight and to keep away flies. Galena is the primary ore mineral in lead and has been worked into lead since 3000 B.C. Because galena is an ore mineral of lead, it can be found in bullets, gasoline, batteries, and paint. This mineral is also a semiconductor, so it is often used in wireless communication systems.

The Science of Galena Formation – Galena contains a considerable amount of silver and is considered a silver sulfide mineral. Some specimens are up twenty percent silver! Galena crystals make many different shapes and are quite interesting to look at. It is a primary mineral, meaning that the mineral has not been altered chemically since its crystallization. Galena is commonly associated with quartz, pyrite, calcite, and fluorite.

Revealed by Man – The Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Montana have significant galena deposits. Galena can also be found in throughout the United States, in the Mississippi Valley, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Galena is the state mineral in two different states, Missouri and Wisconsin.

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