Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Terrific Topaz with Sovereign Touch

Topaz in Jewelry: Topaz naturally occurs in a variety of colors! There are many names such as mystic topaz, imperial topaz, and precious topaz. Orange topaz is the traditional birthstone for the month of November while blue topaz is the traditional birthstone for December. Blue topaz is the state gem for Texas in the United States. Natural blue topaz is considered rare. Topaz is the perfect present for the months of November and December!



 Legend and Lore:  The name topaz, meaning fire, comes in a range of colors. Pink and red topaz were used in the 18th and 19th century (Russian Czarinas Century) which is why this variety is known as imperial topaz. During the middle ages people thought that topaz could prevent death. The Egyptians wore topaz in amulets as a form of protection from injuries. This mystical stone was used to increase strength to the Greeks. What a mighty gem this is!

Gemstone Formation: Topaz is such a beautiful gem that is known for its different varieties. Topaz is heated and cooled in the cavities of volcanoes. Topaz colors vary based on the amount of heat the gem undergoes. This precious gem is a silicate mineral of aluminum and fluorine.


Revealed by Man: This diverse gemstone is found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Russia. The gem is mined and then packaged and shipped off to jewelers that turn this gem to a true beauty that anyone and everyone can wear!

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of topaz 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 24, 2014

Happy Trails: Volume 7 (November 2014)

This month has been a spectacular and busy month for our Sedona gallery! A few great meteorite pieces have been taken home on the journey of their happy trails for meteorite month in the Sedona gallery. These unique meteorite pieces are perfect for the holiday season! Find your perfect meteorite piece at the Sedona gallery!


A pair of rings that were created from the Gibeon meteorite made by Sedona’s local artist Arne Christopherson was adopted this week! A gentleman from San Francisco, California was blown away by the beauty of these rings! He felt that the rings would be perfect as wedding bands to his spouse. Then it was meant to be when the two rings that he admired the most were only available in the two sizes that would fit his partner and fit him perfectly.

On a Thursday afternoon, a lovely couple found an “out of this world” watch with the Gibeon meteorite faceted in the watch. This watch was made by the same local artist that was mentioned above. The wife gifted the handsome watch to her husband. Now he can wear this lovely time piece to any upcoming holiday celebration. A happy trail to the meteorite wrist watch and the happy couple.


Last week, Dustin Dickens came to speak at the Sedona Gallery! This meteorite month presentation at the Sedona gallery sure was 'out of this world.' We were visited by the Sedona Red Rock News and two more area photographers, as well as Sedona Experience Magazine (annual chamber of commerce publication) and Arizona Vacation Magazine. Touchstone Gallery is looking forward to a nice article and feature about the Sedona gallery. Many locals, visitors and staff alike were mesmerized by Dustin's amazing presentations on meteorics. A lawyer from Wyoming happily went home with her new meteorite necklace and matching bracelet! These two jewelry pieces were the most impressive at the meteorite event!

Another wonderful piece went home to a lovely couple! New Sedona area residents, Tom and Kathleen just could not resist adding this glorious, almost eight pound Canyon Diablo meteorite to their highly prized possessions! As a geologist, Tom has always been interested in Northern Arizona and is fascinated by the historic significance of the Canyon Diablo impact site. A ‘Happy Trail’ to Tom and Kathleen’s wonderful meteorite piece! Welcome to Sedona and enjoy the many conversations your meteorite will start in the future.

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.   



Monday, November 17, 2014

The Serpent’s Stone

Serpentine in Jewelry: Serpentine is a spotted brownish, green mineral that is found among serpentinite rocks. The olive color and smooth or scaly appearance is the basis of the name of the gem. The gem was named after the Latin word, serpentinus, meaning “serpent rock.” The ring pictured below facets the mystic gem. This particular stone appears to have a rich light green color mixed with a darker shade of green. The colors mixed portray a scaly texture similar to the textures of snakes and is popularly used for ornamental use.


Legend and Lore: To the Assyrians, serpentine was an important gemstone used in seals and cylinders and was called Za-tu-mush-gir and has been traced back to around 4000 B.C. It is said that the 30th chapter of the Egyptian Book of the Dead was carved from a tablet of serpentine. The Aztecs also prized this green stone highly and valued its beauty. In the medieval times Italian peasants carried around serpentine pebbles in hopes the stone would protect them from the venom of poisonous creatures such as snakes.

Science of Gem: Serpentine is a semi-precious gemstone and is a magnesium silicate mineral. This mineral forms when water metamorphoses with igneous or sedimentary rocks during its cooling period. The water comes from within the magma. The water is then released when the eruption of a volcano occurs. This whole process then produces a mesmerizing serpentine gem.


Revealed by Man: Occurrences of serpentine are worldwide. Notable places this gem is mined in is Afghanistan, Austria, Canada (Quebec), China, France, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Norway, and Russia. Serpentine is also mined in Northern California. In 1965 the California Legislature designated the mineral as “the official state rock and lithological emblem.”

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

Did You Know?

Peridot is one of a few minerals and gemstones that only occur in one color. Peridot occurs in only an olive green color. The tint and intensity of the green color varies. Peridot crystals have been found in meteorites and are the birthstone for the month of August. The largest Peridot crystal found is 310 carat specimen that is now on display in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. This Peridot necklace, bracelet, and earring set is a Touchstone Gallery limited addition set and is truly one of a kind. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Moonstone: Droplets of the Moon

The Moonstone in Jewelry: This precious gemstone is a symbol for romance. Moonstone is traditionally decorated in jewelry pieces and is perfect for a marriage anniversary or a gift to your significant other. Touchstone Gallery has many beautiful jewelry pieces of moonstone to offer! 



Legend and Lore: The moonstone was believed to be created from the beams of the moon. According to the Hindu Legend, if you put a moonstone in your mouth during a full moon you would be able to see into your future. Similar to the Hindus, the Romans also believed the stone was droplets of the moon. The sacred gemstone represented intuition, romance, emotions, and dreams.

Science of Gemstone Formation: Moonstone is formed from a variety of albite feldspar, known as adularia. The variety of feldspar forms with potassium at low temperatures. The stone then crystallizes and creates an iridescent effect. This beautiful gemstone shimmers in the light! The shimmer effect is caused by the different types of feldspar that form in layers. The different layers are shown when put under the light.


Revealed by Man: The moonstone has been dated back to many centuries. The moonstone has been used in jewelry within ancient civilizations. This iridescent gemstone became popular during the Art Nouveau period when French goldsmith, Rene Lalique, and others created large quantities of jewelry using moonstone. Today, the precious moonstone is the gemstone of Florida and large deposits can be found in the United States, Australia, Mexico, the Austrian Alps, Madagascar, and India.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of moonstone pieces 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 7, 2014

Dugway Geodes: Celestial Blue Minerals

Home Décor Factors and Suggestions: These beautiful geodes have fascinating colors that all blend well together. Featuring blues, purples, greys, and white these geodes are sure to accompany the colors of the walls in an office or living room. The celestial blues and purples of these rocks would also work well as great book ends, while at the same time decorating your book shelf.

 Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story


The geodes pictured have been discovered in the Dugway Geode Beds and contain large cavities filled with beautiful quartz drusy. The geode pictured below resembles the design of a hurricane. The geode above contains larger crystals inside the cavities and is a smaller rock perfect for beginner rock collectors.


Legend and Lore: Around 32,000 to 14,000 years ago, a large body of water known as Lake Bonneville covered a majority of western Utah. The wave activity of the lake then eroded the geode-bearing rhyolite and redistributed the geodes several miles away. This place is now known as the Dugway Geode Beds. The lake sediments are the distributed geodes. The name “Dug Way” is derived from an old technique. The technique was to build a trench along a hill to prevent a wagon from falling to its side.

Science of Formation: During the Miocene epoch period, 6 to 8 million years ago, in western Utah volcanic activity occurred. The volcanic activity deposited a large amount of igneous rock, known as rhyolite. The cavities are formed from the trapped gasses inside the rhyolite and the millions of years of ground-water circulation allowed minerals, especially quartz to parade into the cavities. This creates the beautiful drusy cavities and swirl designs of other minerals surrounding the cavities, similar to a bird-view of a hurricane.

Revealed by Man: These geodes can now be unburied by tourists or geologists coming to Utah. The Dugway Geode Beds include areas of public access on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The “geode area” allows active mining and in other areas you must be allowed permission.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of dug way geodes 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 5, 2014

Citrine: The Brazilian Topaz

Citrine in Jewelry: Citrine is a variety of quartz with sometimes deep colors of orange and yellows or other times light colors of orange and yellows. Citrine is a popular gem used in jewelry and home décor and has a similar color to the stone amber making the stone perfect to wear in the season of Autumn. 


The pendant below facets a teardrop gem of citrine with a freshwater pearl and above the two gems is a piece of rutilated quartz. This pendant is made to wear at a Thanksgiving dinner. The dangly earrings below facet rough citrine and show what citrine looks like in its natural structure. The earrings to the left show an elegant appearance and looks good when accompanying the pendant on the left.





Legend and Lore: Citrine is commonly known as the traditional birthstone for the month of November. Citrine is often mistaken for topaz and shares the same title for the month of November, because of the similarities citrine was nicknamed the Brazilian topaz. This yellowish orange gem was named after the French word, citrin, meaning lemon. Citrine was a highly valued gem to the Romans. The ancient Romans used the gem for intaglio art work and decorated themselves in jewelry with the gem.

Science of Formation: Most citrine is formed from heat treating the purple quartz of Amethyst; this produces the darker and redder stone of citrine. Citrine is also heat treated smoky quartz.  Natural citrine, which is rare, is yellow to orange-yellow and is highly valued for its light lemon color. On the market it is often called the “Lemon Quartz.”

Revealed by Man: A notable place that natural citrine is mined is in the Ural Mountains of Russia, in Dauphine, France, and in Madagascar. In Brazil, Amethyst is heat treated producing the orange, reddish colored citrine. Natural dark colored citrine and medium golden orange is highly valued.


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.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pyrite: The Fool’s Gold

Décor Factors and Suggestions: In the 19th century conmen would trade you pyrite instead of actual gold! Pyrite is a mineral that truly glistens! A glistening that is similar to the mineral gold. Hence, the nick name Fool’s Gold. A metallic mineral like this would accent any office desk or room!



The pyrite pictured to the left features a large natural cubic structure. The larger pyrite cubes are in gray marl.  The one pictured below has many small pyrite cubes in gray marl. These stunning decorative pieces would go lovely with a deep colored curtain next to a window, where the lights would reflect off of this stunning mineral.



Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: The Incas of Peru and the Aztecs of Mexico would polish large slabs of pyrite crystals to use as mirrors. One side of the mirror was polished and the other side was carved with special symbolic markings. Pyrite crystals were known as stones of power and great magic by North American Indians. The medicine men of the tribes would wear amulets of pyrite during healing ceremonies and incantations. Pyrite has also been used as a source of ignition in the 16th and 17th century’s firearms. 

Science of Formation: Pyrite has the same chemical formula as the rare mineral Marcasite, but crystallizes differently classifying pyrite and Marcasite as different minerals. Pyrite crystals usually form in a cubic structure or an octahedron (8 sided solid.)

Revealed by Man: Pyrite is a common mineral that occurs through numerous places in the world. The most abundant pyrite mines are located in Peru. Peruvian mines include Huaron, La Libertad, Huanzala, and Huánuco. There are also mines in the United States in Utah, Colorado, and Illinois.

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.