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.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Fossil Black Coral: Tiny Sea Creatures That Make Beautiful Jewelry Pieces

Fossil Black Coral in Jewelry:  Fossil black coral is an interesting sea creature that has tiny spines found on the surface of the skeleton and is often seen in jewelry. There are 150 black coral species and living tissue may be black, red, orange, brown, green, yellow or white. The necklace and bracelet below are jewelry pieces that contain faceted fossil black coral cabochons as a beautiful focal point in the creations.



Legend and Lore: Black coral has been used for centuries as a charm and as medicine. Early Hawaiians ground black coral branches into a powder and used the ground coral for medicinal uses. Hawaiians also believed that black coral held the power to ward off evil spirits and any injuries. In 1987, Hawaii designated the fossilized black coral as the official state gem!


Science of Black Coral: More than 150 species of black corals have been described. Some black coral are identified by their single, spiral coil, while others have been identified with a shape of a fan and some even have tree like branches. These creatures are carnivores that are firmly attached to the seafloor that feed on animal plankton that are swept by ocean currents.

Revealed by Man: Fossil black coral has been used for centuries and has been discovered and harvested in all oceans of the world! 14 fossilized black coral species have been harvested in Hawaii and have been used to create medicinal powder and lovely jewelry designs.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of Black Coral 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, May 1, 2015

Did You Know?


Did you know that the steppe bison have appeared in cave art? The most common caves they appear in the Cave of Altamira and the Cave of Lascaux. There was a mummified 36,000 year old male steppe bison that was discovered around Fairbanks, Alaska in July of 1979. The mummy was noticed by a gold miner and he named the mummy Blue Babe after Paul Bunyan’s mythical ox, Babe. He named the bison blue because of the coating of blue iron phosphate that had covered most of the specimen.  This bison is no ordinary bison! How intriguing.