Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December: Tasteful Topaz

Topaz in Jewelry- Topaz comes in many different colors and varieties. Touchstone Gallery offers many different kind of topaz, including champagne topaz, white topaz, mystic topaz, and blue topaz. At Touchstone Gallery, we have topaz earrings, necklaces, and bracelets that are sure to please. Topaz jewelry would be the perfect gift for someone special that was born in December, seeing that it is one of the birthstones for that month.


Champagne topaz has a light brown color and when paired with white topaz, like in the earring above, it looks spectacular. The mystic topaz has an exciting display of colors, from purple to green to yellow. Blue topaz is a simple yet elegant variety of topaz that is so very stunning.

Legend and Lore- In the Middle Ages, topaz was used to refer to any yellow stone, but the name is more specific now. Blue topaz is the birthstone for the month of December and yellow topaz is the birthstone for the month of November. The name topaz comes from the Sanskrit word for fire. Topaz is sometimes referred to as Imperial Topaz because it was found in the royal jewels of the 18th and 19th century Russian Czarinas. The Greeks believed that topaz was able to make a person stronger and possibly make the wearer invisible as well. 

Science of Mineral Formation- Topaz occurs in pegmatites, which is a type of rock that contains feldspars, quartz, and mica that has a similar composition to granite. Topaz is also found in high temperature quartz veins and sometimes in granite and rhyolites.

Revealed by Man- Topaz was first found on the island or Topaoas in the Red Sea, from where it got its name. Topaz has been found and mined in the United States, Russia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Australia, Germany, Norway, and many other countries across the globe.

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, December 14, 2015

Chalcedony: Futuristic Freeform Décor

Décor Factors and Suggestions: The mineral pictured below is a variety of quartz that has an interesting crystalline structure. This is an elegant mineral that has many aesthetic qualities. This home décor piece was made to create the theme of the room it is placed in. This freeform chalcedony piece has a stalactite crystal structure that creates a futuristic ambiance and theme when placed in an urban room.  

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: The name of the mineral derived from the name of the ancient Greek town, Chalkedon in Asia Minor. Native Americans believed that Chalcedony was a sacred stone and used this stone in many of the religious ceremonies in order to stabilize and strengthen the bonds between tribes. Chalcedony has also been discovered as tools, jewelry, and seals dating back to early 1800 BC.

Mineral Formation: Chalcedony is a categorized gemstone variety which belongs to the quartz group of minerals. Technically, chalcedony is the gemological term that places any variety of quartz in cryptocrystalline form under the ‘chalcedony’ variety.

Revealed by Man: Chalcedony is an abundant mineral that has been located all around the word and commonly comes from sedimentary or volcanic environments. Almost all of the United States is known to produce chalcedony.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of chalcedony 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 30, 2015

Coquina Fossil Jasper: A Collection of Ancient Sea Shells!

Home Décor Factors and Suggestions: This fossil is such a mesmerizing art piece that Mother Nature created herself! Add some natural beauty with a mysterious background story to your home! Use this fossil as a plate to hold your earrings and rings, or place this piece on the shelf with your collection of other fossils and minerals. This décor piece would look spectacular framed and placed on any wall in your home!


Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: There are several names for this fossil! Coquina is the most common and accurate name but other names are known as well, such as script stone, cobra jasper, elephant jasper and palm jasper. Coquina is Spanish for shells, which is where one of the names comes from.  Geologists are still unsure what this stone is made of. There are many beliefs as to what it is exactly composed of and whether it is a fossil or a mineral.

Fossil Formation: This fossil is tiny bits of coral and sea shells that were washed to shore millions of years ago and were layered layer upon layer into a consolidated sedimentary rock. This fossil jasper is mainly composed of the minerals calcite and phosphate that are in the shape of the shells and bits of coral.

Revealed by Man: This stone is known as the India Script stone because of where it is found. This stone is mined in India and is popularly commercialized as cabochons and other pieces of jewelry.

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

Friday, October 23, 2015

Crinoid: The Living Fossil

Décor Factors and Suggestions: The crinoid fossil pictured below adds a nice ambience to any room and can certainly keep guests intrigued and curious. This fossil was specifically trimmed to be the focal point of a decorated home, office, etc. Place this piece on the living room mantle to add a subtle, nautical touch and spruce up the décor surrounding this center of attention!


Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: Past certainly meets the present! Crinoids are alive and living well in an ocean near you, but they are also some of the oldest fossils on Earth. The earliest of the fossils come from the Ordovician period and they dominated the ocean floor, making the ocean floor a forest of crinoids! The fossil of crinoids is the state fossil of Missouri and are the ocean’s water lilies that have lived a long amount of time. 

Fossil Formation: Crinoids fossilize readily, so there is an abundance of them to be found and most are stalk fragments. Crinoids form into really nice, distinct fossils because the ocean floor is a good environment for fossilization to occur because of the calcite deposits and crinoid skeletons are made of calcareous plates; a rock like material.

Revealed by Man: Crinoids are diverse and have adapted to every ocean on Earth! Since crinoids are still alive and well and fossilized crinoids are abundant, crinoids are located all over the ocean floors.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of crinoid 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 12, 2015

Cavansite: Translucent Leaves of Blue!

Décor Factors and Suggestions: Cavansite is a striking mineral because of its deep, rich shade of blue. This gem is the heart of the room and adds a stylish focal point. Place this mineral as your coffee table centerpiece to add a nice harmony with its surroundings. You can even use this mineral at the base of a lamp and spruce up your bedside table!


Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: This is a rare mineral that had been discovered recently and we do not know any ancient legend or lore on the mineral. Cavansite has a unique name because the name derived from an acronym of the first syllables of the mineral’s three essential elemental components. How neat is that! The award of best scientific name definitely goes to this unique gem.


Mineral Formation: Cavansite is made of calcium, vanadium, and silicon. Cavansite is a phyllosilicate, a term derived from the Greek phyllon, meaning “leaf,” a reference to its micaceous or leaf-like crystal structure of thin sheets.

Revealed By Man: This mineral is rare and is only found in just four countries: India, the United States, Brazil, and New Zealand. Cavansite was discovered in 1960, when mineral collectors found the bright blue gem in a road cut near Owyhee Dam in Malheur County in east-central Oregon. The blue mineral was then discovered later in in India, Brazil, and then New Zealand. 

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of Cavansite 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 2, 2015

Irish Elk: A Striking and Exotic Fossil

Décor Factors and Suggestions: Touchstone is excited to present the Irish elk! At our galleries and on our website we offer an Iris elk jaw fragment or a full head with famously large antlers. Hang the large head piece in your living room right above the fireplace where you can flaunt its fascinating features as well as spark a story telling setting. The jaw fragment is focal point on your bookshelf that will share some rich history just by its appearance!


                                             Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: Irish elk were not even elk but large deer and have been discovered in cave paintings throughout European caves. Irish elk were handsome creatures known to have the largest antlers, spanning from tip to tip at up to 12 feet. These deer were large and stood 7 feet tall. In a 12th century manuscript called Tales of the Elders, it mentions that Diarmuid, an Irish mythological figure had killed a Fiadh Mór (‘great deer’ in Irish). This deer was said to be large because the Irish legend has it that when he rested one of its antlers on his foot, it extended way above his head, even though Diarmuid was exceptionally tall.

Fossil Formation: This striking deer has been said to have gone extinct around the time when more humans had begun hunting the deer, but paleontologists are still unsure. Scientists think humans hunted the deer because of their large antlers that would be used for weapons and beads and their meat that would be preserved and later eaten. Many of the fossil pieces of this exotic specimen have been well preserved in wetlands.

Revealed by Man: Even though the name of the deer is Irish elk, these creatures have been found all over Eurasia. Excellent examples of Irish elk remains are found prominently in Ireland’s wetlands where the skeletal remains have been well preserved since extinction.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of Irish elk 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, September 23, 2015

Did You Know?


At Touchstone, turquoise is often sold as jewelry pieces. At touchstone we also offer small pieces that can be used for about anything! Use the small pieces for your home made jewelry, create a turquoise collage or back splash for your kitchen sink, or decorate plants with the complimentary tone that turquoise adds. Did you know that 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. Legend has it that when the Native Americans sang and danced rejoicing for the rain, this blue gem was created with the tears of joy mixed with the raindrops. Turquoise is known as the fallen-sky stone because of this legend. Turquoise is often found in the Southwestern states of the United States and is still highly prized. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Crinoid: The Living Fossil!

Décor Factors and Suggestions: The crinoid fossil pictured below adds a nice ambience to any room and can certainly keep guests intrigued and curious. This fossil was specifically trimmed to be the focal point of a decorated home, office, etc. Place this piece on the living room mantle to add a subtle, nautical touch and spruce up the décor surrounding this center of attention!


Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: Past certainly meets the present! Crinoids are alive and living well in an ocean near you, but they are also some of the oldest fossils on Earth. The earliest of the fossils come from the Ordovician period and they dominated the ocean floor, making the ocean floor a forest of crinoids! The fossil of crinoids is the state fossil of Missouri and are the ocean’s water lilies that have lived a long amount of time. 

Fossil Formation: Crinoids fossilize readily, so there is an abundance of them to be found and most are stalk fragments. Crinoids form into really nice, distinct fossils because the ocean floor is a good environment for fossilization to occur because of the calcite deposits and crinoid skeletons are made of calcareous plates; a rock like material.

Revealed by Man: Crinoids are diverse and have adapted to every ocean on Earth! Since crinoids are still alive and well and fossilized crinoids are abundant, crinoids are located all over the ocean floors.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of crinoid 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 4, 2015

Did You Know?


Did you know that this exotic combination of minerals was discovered in 2006 near Sonora, Mexico? The name comes from the bright colored sunsets that cover the Sonora sky.  This stone is a distinctive blend of chrysocolla, cuprite, and tenorite. The cuprite is the bright orange to red that resembles the sun and the illuminating tone it puts off into the sky. The chrysocolla is the bluish green that reflects the color of the pure Río Sonora, the river of Sonora. The tenorite is the black part of the stone that mimics the clouds in the sky. This is a beautiful stone that has unique colors and tones that would add a Southwestern décor theme.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Hemimorphite: A Bit of Glamorous Décor!

Home Décor Factors and Suggestions: Hemimorphite is the type of intriguing mineral that looks great when placed near colorful selenite lamps, hanging plants, or even by an entrance to serve as a sparkling welcome! Hemimorphite has really extravagant characteristics! In every hemimorphite gem, there are no crystal structures alike! Take this mineral home to spruce up the décor in your house!


                                                Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: Hemimorphite is a unique stone whose name derives from the Greek meaning of half shape (hemi-half, morph-shape) because of this mineral’s uneven formation of crystals. The Ancient Romans used this mineral for several uses and knew the mineral as Galmei or Cadmia.

Gem Formation: This gem can be quite colorful because of the wide range of colors it naturally forms. Hemimorphite can be white, gray, yellow or brown, but its most common color is blue to green because of the copper that is present in the mineral. The crystals in hemimorphite form randomly. One end can be round and blunt, while the other end of the mineral can be shaped like a pyramid.

Revealed by Man: Notable localities of this home décor gem is in Germany and Belgium, right along the border. This mineral is ground up and used in the solution of Calamine lotion; a lotion used for irritated skin.
Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of coprolite 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, August 10, 2015

Ametrine: A Beautiful Blend of Color!


Décor Factors and Suggestions: Ametrine is a colorful combination of the two popular varieties of quartz; amethyst and citrine. Ametrine is a lighter shade of purple with yellow orange inclusions. Ametrine forms in different crystal structures, it can form in large smooth crystals or cactus like crystals. This gem is a picturesque piece that would look fantastic placed near a window or mirror! Place these cacti like Ametrine near your vanity mirror and see their beauty sparkle every day.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: The gem Ametrine is said to symbolize the Princess Anahi’s heart. Legend has it that Spanish conquistadores visited the Bolivian Ayoreo tribe. The princess of this tribe, Anahi, fell in love with a Spanish explorer, known as Don Felipe Urriola y Goitia. They then married and although she was torn between her love for him and her love for the tribe, she planned to go to Spain for her husband. The tribesmen were enraged and planned to kill Don Felipe. Instead, Anahi sacrificed herself and the tribesmen injured her.  As she was dying in her husband’s arms, she placed a stone in his hands as a token of her eternal love. He opened his hands and noticed that the blended purple and honey gem represented Anahi’s love for her husband and the love for her people.

Science behind Ametrine: Ametrine occurs when in quartz, amethyst and citrine reside in the same crystal. The color of the zones visible within Ametrine is due to differing ion states of iron within the crystal. The different ion states occur because of the fluctuating temperatures across the crystal during its formation.
Revealed by Man: Ametrine is such a unique and rare gem, that it is primarily mined in the Anahi mine located about 150 kilometers North of Puerto Suárez, Bolivia. The mine was named after the Ayoreo princess and covers about 6,250 acres.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of azurite 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 29, 2015

Technical Problems

Hello! Touchstone is having some troubles with the blog and you may find that some articles do not have pictures. We are working on that and we hope to fix the problem by the end of the month! Thank you.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Did You Know?



Did you know the origin of the word fluorite came from Fluere? Fluere is the Latin verb for to flow. Ancient Romans believed that if you drank alcoholic beverages in a drinking vessel made from fluorite it would prevent drunkenness. Powdered fluorite in water was used to treat kidney disease in the 18th century. This is believed to be derived from the Roman myth! The ancient Egyptians used fluorite to carve statues and scarabs while the Chinese have also used it in carvings for over 300 years.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Compelling Coprolite: Prehistoric Feces!

Home Décor Factors and Suggestions: Here at Touchstone Coprolite is one of our popular fossils and has an interesting background story! These are the perfect first fossil for someone who is starting a collection! They are the intriguing little knick-knacks that you can place anywhere!


Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: Coprolites are classified as trace fossils. Coprolite was first known as fossil fir cones and bezoar stones. Today, these fossils serve a valuable purpose in paleontology! Coprolites provide direct evidence of the predation and diet of extinct organisms.

Fossil Formation: These knick-knacks were formed like any other fossil! A majority of the coprolite’s composition has been replaced by mineral deposits such as silicates and calcium carbonates.

Revealed by Man: The initial discovery of coprolites was made after fossil hunter, Mary Anning had noticed that the “bezoar stones” were often found in the abdominal region of ichthyosaur skeletons (Jurassic reptilians). The observations made by Anning led geologist William Buckland to propose that the stones were fossilized feces and named them coprolites.

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

We invite you to view our current offerings of coprolite 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 8, 2015

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 copper ore. 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 1, 2015

Azurite: A True Blue Mineral

Décor Suggestions and Factors: Azurite is a beautiful deep, royal blue mineral! Azurite was used for pigments of paint and is now popularly created into beads for jewelry design as well as home décor.  The shade of blue in azurite complements many other colors, making the mineral a perfect home décor piece! 



Pictured above is azurite in its natural form. This home décor piece would look well with grey colored walls. Just imagine this azurite décor as a centerpiece for your wooden coffee table. Gorgeous! The necklace pictured below is granite with azurite inclusions. The blue accents to this necklace are sure to strike up a conversation!


Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story



Legend and Lore: For thousands of years azurite was used as ornamental use. Azurite is a beautiful blue gem that was used as pigments and eyeshadows for many people in the Middle Ages and during the times of the Renaissance. The name of azurite comes from many dirivitive of words. The Persian word, lazward and the Arabic word, azul both mean blue.


Mineral Formation: Azurite commonly occurs with Malachite, chrysocolla or turquoise. This blue gem is one of the two basic copper carbonate minerals (the other being malachite) and is a 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale of hardness.

Revealed by Man: Notable localities of this mineral are Namibia, Germany, Morocco, Germany and Australia.  Large, blue crystals are mined in Namibia and sometimes large crystals can also be found in Morocco.


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

We invite you to view our current offerings of azurite 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, June 24, 2015

Malachite: A Pure Royal Gem

Decors Factors and Suggestions:  Malachite is a beautiful mineral that serves as exquisite home décor as well as stunning jewelry. Malachite is known for its stunning, royal green color! Malachite often occurs with Azurite and they make a beautiful pair.



The jewelry piece above is so enchanting! Can’t you just picture a young queen wearing this gem or Cleopatra dictating with these grand earrings? Any jewelry piece featuring malachite can make you feel royal! Read more below to get the history of this spectacular mineral.


Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
Legend and Lore: Malachite had several uses in the ancient world! Malachite was believed to foretell disasters if the piece was shattered into pieces. Many travelers adorned themselves in malachite in order to protect them on their journey. Even babies were decorated in malachite beads to ward off evil while they slept. 

The Science of Malachite Creation: Malachite commonly occurs with Azurite and even calcite. Malachite forms and changes its color to a green when copper ores become weathered. Malachite is one of the copper carbonate minerals (the other main one being azurite).


Revealed by Man: Malachite used to be mined in Urals, Russia. Now, Malachite is mined in Zambia, Mexico, France and the Southern United States. . The most notable place in the United States that Malachite is found in is Arizona!

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.  


x

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June- Amazing Agate

Agate in Jewelry- Touchstone Gallery offers a variety of agate jewelry. Pictured below are two of our agate pieces, both containing a unique kind of agate, crazy lace. Crazy lace agate exhibits complex and brightly colored shapes and patterns, making each piece of it one of a kind. Crazy lace agate is part of the larger group of agates called the Lake Superior Agates. The radiant reds, youthful yellows, and blissful browns in crazy lace agate make it a good mineral to pair with garnets, citrine, and smoky quartz.


Agate in Décor- Agate is a wonderful mineral to use in décor settings. Its earthy colors and dramatic stripes make it a fun and fascinating décor addition. Touchstone Gallery offers agate bookends, which are an exciting way to incorporate minerals into your décor. Touchstone Gallery also has a gorgeous agate slab that is held up on a stand and can be displayed in many different ways.

Legend and Lore- Agate was commonly used for hard stone carvings and has been found at many ancient archeological sites all around the world. This shows that is stone was important during the Bronze Age. The name agate was given to the stone by Greek Philosopher and naturalist Theophrastus who discovered it on the shore of the river.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of agate 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, June 12, 2015

Sigilmassaurus: The Mysterious Dinosaur!

Home Décor Factors and Suggestions- Sigilmassaurus are still one of the mysterious dinosaurs that do not have too much information known about them. Although there is not much known about them, they still provide an interesting background story. Touchstone is offering magnificent Sigilmassaurus fossils!



The fossil pictured above is the ideal gift to a collector of antiquities or simply just a touch that will create a home décor that is uniquely yours.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore- This dinosaur roamed the most Northern part of Africa during the Cretaceous period. About 66 million years ago, this therapod dinosaur fed on smaller dinosaurs and other creatures that provided a hearty meal. The Sigilmassaurus had larger legs that made this dinosaur undefeatable at races!

Fossil Formation- The fossil remains were discovered in Morocco where they are strewn in between various rocks, such as the continental red beds and lower kem kem beds. This sedimentary rock has been dated back to the late Cretaceous period.

Revealed by Man- This fierce carnivore was discovered by Canadian paleontologist, Dale Russell in 1996. Dale Russell found fossil remains in the Tafilalt Oasis region of Morocco, near the site of the ancient city of Sijilmassa. Russell then named the creature after the Moroccan ancient city and the Greek word sauros (lizard).

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of Sigilmassaurus 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, June 10, 2015

New Arrivals! (June 2015)

Touchstone has announced new summer additions! They are all beautiful pieces that will be going out to different galleries so everyone can enjoy a different and unique piece to look at! All of these minerals are the ideal décor for your summer home! The first piece that Touchstone received is a dazzling prasiolite table that is 38” x 25”, Touchstone also got in another similar prasiolite table that is a little larger in measurement (46” x 29”). These are all beautiful home décor pieces ranging from amethyst wings to citrine tables and hearts to smoky quartz! Touchstone is definitely having an exciting and fun summer!
This piece will be in Sedona!

This piece will be in Santa Fe!

Not quite sure where this piece will go yet! A mystery! 

This piece will be in Sedona!

This piece will be in Santa Fe!

This piece will be in Santa Fe!

This piece will be in Santa Fe!

This piece will be in Taos!

This piece will be in Sedona!

This piece will be in Taos!

Monday, June 8, 2015

2015 Summer Treasure Safari Hunt

Hello, everyone! If you are following Touchstone on any social media site then you have probably heard about our summer treasure safari. If not, this is why we are blogging now because we want everyone to come out and have some adventurous fun in the galleries! The safari is currently going on in our two Arizona galleries (Scottsdale and Sedona) and will soon be happening in one of our New Mexico galleries (Taos). The scavenger hunt started on the 1st of June and is going on until the beginning of September!


 Walk into any of the three galleries and pick up a flyer and answer the questions listed about the wondrous minerals and fossils and then fill out your contact information to automatically be entered into the giveaway contest. In September we will announce the lucky winners that will win either a pendant or a treasure chest!Scottsdale gives away the Amethyst pendant and Sedona will give away the Topaz pendant. What are you waiting for? Go to the gallery today and have some adventurous fun and a chance to win!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Happy Trails: Volume 10 (May 2015-June 2015)


This week has been extremely exciting for Touchstone! An East Coast customer has purchased twenty-two pyrite crystal cube specimens like this one as gifts for co-workers. Every single pyrite cube is different and unique because of its sizes and many other factors. These pyrite cubes are the perfect gift! Touchstone was not only happy to send out these pyrite pieces but as well as accompany them with pamphlets about pyrite and where they were mined. We say a farewell and a happy trail to all the beautiful fool’s gold that are being taken to Florida!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Gemini and June Birthstone: Pearl

Pearls in Jewelry- Pearls are beautiful gemstones for jewelry. Pearls come in a variety of color, including pink, brown, and black.  When paired with other stones such as garnet and amethyst, like in the necklace below, pearls really stand out. These gorgeous gemstones are perfect gifts for people born in June and under the Gemini astrological sign.


The off white color that is most common in pearls makes them neutral and easy to wear with many other colors. They are the perfect gemstone to wear to professional event, but are also versatile enough to wear on a night out. Pearls are sure to please.

Legend and Lore- Pearls have been a symbol of wealth for thousands of years! The oldest written mention of natural pearls in was 2206 BC. Many cultures associate pearls with the moon because of their shape and color. In China, pearls were believed to protect people from dragons. In Europe, pearls symbolized purity and modesty.


Science of Pearl Formation- Pearls are organic gemstones that form inside mollusks, oysters, and mussels. Pearls are formed when a bit of sand seeps into the creature’s shell. A shiny substance, called nacre, is secreted around the object in the shell in order to protect the soft insides of the animal, giving the pearl is luster. The nacre layers over time a forms a pearl. This process can take up to seven or eight years.

Revealed by Man- Natural pearls are found in the Persian Gulf, the South Pacific, the Gulf of Mannar, the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico. Freshwater pearls occur in the rivers of Scotland, Ireland, France, Austria, Germany, and the USA. They are also found in the Pacific coast of Mexico Europe, Japan, and Australia. Before the 20th century, pearl hunting was the most common way of finding pearls. Now, many pearls are grown on what are called oyster or pearl farms.

         Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone        
We invite you to view our current offerings of pearl 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, May 27, 2015

Ocean Jasper: Jewelry Pieces of the Ocean!

Ocean Jasper in Jewelry: Ocean jasper is also known as sea jasper or orbicular jasper and is a beautiful gem that looks stunning when designed into jewelry pieces. This type of jasper is known for its green and blue orbicular particles in the mineral. This gem’s color is a dark to light green and compliments gold or a smoky stone. Touchstone Gallery has beautiful jewelry pieces of ocean jasper that are a lovely addition to your jewelry box!


Legend and Lore: Ocean jasper also known as orbicular jasper has unique characteristics that set this gem apart from other varieties of jasper. Ocean jasper closely resembles the characteristics of the sea which is why it is the stone that represents Electra. Electra is the Greek goddess of the sea and of the storm clouds. The natives of Asia believed this gem was a magical rain stone and would bring 
rain to their land.


Formation of Gem: Scientists believe that this gem forms as a rhyolitic igneous rock with a large concentrate in silica. As the mineral was cooling, the silica precipitated out of the igneous rock forming orbicular shapes in the mineral. The origin of the orbs in this unique mineral is unknown and research is being conducted at the University of California at Berkley to try to reveal the mystery.

Revealed by Man: This mysterious gem is rare and is found only along the Northwest coast of Madagascar at the edge of the ocean. The deposits can only be mined at low tide and then are taken back to shore by boat.

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

Monday, May 18, 2015

May: The Ancient Birthstone of Agate

Agate in Jewelry: Agate is such an exquisite gem and mineral with fascinating bands of colors! Agate is frequently designed into cabochons that are then place into jewelry pieces. The two necklaces below feature agate cabochons and are meant to be shown off! Agate comes in a variety of colors and they range from red to black to blue. The bands of color in the stone are what make the mineral so pronounced and unique. Agate makes glamorous pieces that are the perfect fit for those born in May!


Legend and Lore: Agate was the mystical birthstone of May in the 14th century and represents the 14th year of marriage. This stone has had a widespread use that has been dated back to the Neolithic time period when artifacts of agate were discovered in that time period. Agate was used as an ornamental and healing amulet in the Babylon period. These medicinal uses of Agate spread to Greek and Egypt civilizations to the Middle East through Africa. This beautifully unique and ancient stone!

Formation of Agate: Agate is a banded form of chalcedony, quartz. Agates are found in various types of rock but are commonly associated with volcanic rocks and certain metamorphic rocks. Silica fills volcanic crevices, cracks and cavities and the silica begins to layer with other inclusions, creating banded agate.


Revealed by Man: Agate was named after the Achates River, where it was found. A Greek philosopher and naturalist, Theophrastus discovered the stone along the shore of the river between the 3rd and 4th centuries BC.  Agate is now found throughout the world in Africa, Germany, Italy 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 agate 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.