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Stones and Techniques

Native American Indian jewelry is the heart of our passion, here at the The Turquoise Mine. Over the years, we have also collected high-quality, unique gemstones not often found in the marketplace. This collection includes rare American turquoise, gem-grade aquamarine, peridot & tourmaline, as well as richly blue lapis lazuli, fossilized dinosaur bone and a nice assortment of other semi-precious U.S. mined gemstones. We intend to begin rolling out jewelry pieces using these materials, so please check in with us periodically to see what flows out of the studio. Our aim is to offer truly one-of-a-kind pieces which you'll enjoy owning and wearing for a lifetime.

Our Gemstone and techniques page is intended to give you additional information about turquoise and gemstones. We try to add information that we feel might be intersting to you, our friends...

Turquoise Mines

Gemstones

Techniques

Fetishes

 

Turquoise Mines:

 Carico Lake Turquoise:

Carico Lake Turquoise has been around for a long time and was once one of the mines that produced a large amount of the Turquoise for the Native American Indian Jewelry business. The Carico Lake Turquoise mine Produces Lime Green Turquoise as well as blue Turquoise. This Nevada Turquoise mine is most famous for it's Lime Turquoise with light golden brown spider webbing.

Candelaria Turquoise:

Candelaria turquoise is known for its translucent color of both blue and green hues with a lovely  black or brown non-webbed matrix. It has a luminous radiant quality, and makes for a lovely jewelry treasure. The high-grade Candelaria is a translucent dark blue with a reddish brown spider web matrix. Candelaria turquoise happens to be one of our favorites here at The Turquoise Mine. Candelaria also produces some very attractive Varascite, which comes in a wide variety of colors. This Candelaria mine is located in Neveda and is currently considered closed, therefore, Candelaria turquoise is not frequently available and is considered collectible.

Sleeping Beauty:

Located in Globe, Arizona, the Sleeping Beauty Mountain was originally mined for copper and gold. Today, it is one of the larger active American turquoise mines, well-known for producing uniform bright blue turquoise with little to no matrix.  Because of this, the Zuni use it in much of their inlay and needlepoint jewelry pieces. The mountain has been named Sleeping Beauty because its outline resembles a maiden lying down, at rest.

Kingman

The Kingman mine is located in the Mineral Park Mining District in northwestern Arizona and is one of the largest turquoise mines in the southwest. The mining district around Kingman, Arizona has always been a large producer of turquoise, at one time the worlds largest. Kingman blue has become a color standard in the industry, running light blue to dark blue with a white matrix that is usually dyed black. It can be flecked with pyrite and sometimes quartz, and in its gem-quality form is considered to be among the top turquoise available, and is therefore, highly collectible. This high-grade was found in an area called Ithaca Peak, which yielded the hardest Kingman turquoise. This vein has long been exhausted. The mine became famous for its rounded bright blue nuggets with black matrix. Few turquoise mines produced nuggets, especially of this high grade.

Bisbee

Bisbee turquoise is a by-product of a large copper mine located near Bisbee, Arizona. Bisbee turquoise is well-known as being a hard, strikingly brilliant blue stone of a high quality. It has an unusual “smoky” matrix of  browns, reds and blacks, which gives it a mystical appeal. Usually found at less then 100 feet, high-quality Bisbee was discovered as far down as 2,000 feet, at Lavender Pit. Because of its striking beauty, gem-quality and rarity, Bisbee turquoise has become one of the most valued turquoises in the world today.

Unfortunately, the Bisbee turquoise mine is no longer in operation, however, turquoise from the Mexican side of this region is being mined today.

King’s Manassa

King’s Manassa turquoise mine is located in Manassa, Colorado, and was mined for centuries by ancient pueblo peoples. It is thought to be the oldest turquoise mine in Colorado. The name is derived from I.P. King, a gold miner who rediscovered this vein of turquoise (while prospecting for gold) in 1890, and his descendants still mine the site. King’s Manassa turquoise is characteristically a deep, rich green color with a beautiful golden matrix. The golden matrix comes from the host rock, rhyolite, and is still fairly available today.

Lime Green Turquoise 

This beatiful lime greencolor in turquoise forms when there is less copper and presence of zinc content. Lime turquoise deposits can be found in Nevada in such mines as Damele, Carico Lake, and Orville as well as across the seas. Lime Green turquoise with spiderweb matrix is more rare in which case can be deemed as more desirable.See our beautiful Happy Piasso lime green turquoise link bracelet or our lovely lime green turquoise large stone ring.

The Fox mine is located in Nevada and was once Nevada’s largest producer of turquoise.  It was mined by ancient indigenous peoples and was known by the Indians of the region before a claim was filed in early 1900. Fox turquoise is quite hard and is usually aqua-green to aqua-blue in color, found as nuggets as well as vein material. Collectively, the area surrounding Fox Mine produced a huge quantity of good-quality green or blue-green stone with a distinctive matrix, often with flecks of pyrite.

Royston

The Royston mine is located within the Royston District in southwestern Nevada, and comes from a group of over twenty individual mines. Royston turquoise can be a stunningly beautiful turquoise, with color ranging from a deep captivating blues, to various rich shades of green, to combinations of green-blue in the same stone – often with complex brown stormy matrix. The Royston turquoise mine is still in operation today, however, to a very limited capacity.

 Number 8

The No. 8 turquoise mine in located in Eureka County, Nevada. The mine is no longer active and is considered depleted, however, it is still fairly common to see in Indian jewelry today.   Number Eight turquoise is characteristically bright blue in color containing a golden brown spiderweb matrix. The mine also produced some of the largest nuggets ever found. Number 8 turquoise is considered highly collectible and is certainly one of Nevada’s best.

Chinese

It is estimated that approximately 70% of the turquoise sold in the United States was mined in China, most notably in the Hubei Province to the north. It typically has a greenish hue to it, but Chinese turquoise ranges tremendously in both color and value. Much of it contains a beautiful spiderweb matrix throughout the stone, and there are specimens of this turquoise which are considered to be on par with turquoise found in the classical mines of the American southwest.

Tibetan

The people of Tibet revere turquoise and believe it possesses powers and brings good fortune, similar to many Native American Indian tribes. It is typically a deep green in color with a prominent black matrix throughout. It is said that today’s Tibetan turquoise comes mainly from antique collections, with its rich green hues a result of natural oils penetrating the stone over the course of many years - serving to change its original color away from more blueish hues. Tibetan turquoise beads and cabochons can be quite expensive and collectible, which corresponds directly with its beauty.

 Indian Tribes

Navajo:

In the 1880s Navajo silversmiths were creating handmade jewelry including bracelets and necklaces, beautiful silver earrings, buckles, bolos, hair ornaments, pins and squash blossom necklaces for tribal use, and to sell to tourists.  The Navajo's hallmark jewelry piece is called the "squash blossom".  The Navajo silversmiths use the "naja" symbol to shape the crescent silver pendant that hangs from the "squash blossom" necklace.  The Navajo had the great ability to combine it with other elements into a beautiful piece of jewelry.  Originally referred to as a "najah", it became symbolic with various ceremonials, the term "naja" was associated with crop fertility.

Santo Domingo:

The Santo Domingo are known for their skill creating fine heishi and shell. They started the mosaic style inlay work prehistorically. The use of silver came in to place about the mid 1800's when they got hold of some Mexican coin to use, they used copper and brass bullet casings in their work before that.

 

Gemstones:

Amethyst:

Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz. The color can vary from a pale lilac to a deep reddish purple. The color in amethyst is caused by iron impurities. Amethyst is known to promote spiritual insight, a sense of good judgment, and provokes honesty.  Amethyst also encourages a quiet and calm mind and aids in meditation to find deep inner peace. It is also known as a healing stone especially for arthritis, pain relief and circlatory relief.

Black Tourmaline

Black Tourmaline a healing crystal is one of the most popular crystals to be used for metaphysical purposes. The Black Tourmaline crystal is known to be a powerful stone. Black Tourmaline is used for protection against negative energy and is a a strong spiritual grounding stone. It provides protection, deflects negative energies and is highly useful in purifying/ neutralizing one’s own negative thoughts/ conflicts and turning them into positive useful energy.

Chalcedony:

Scientifically, the term "Chalcedony" refers to any type of microcrystalline Quartz. However, in the gem trade it describes a common white or lightly colored nodular or massive type. Chalcedony comes in a variety of colors. It is said that chalcedony was used as a sacred stone by the Native Americans. It is said to promote stability within the ceremonial activities of the tribe. Chalcedony is said to augment emotional balance, vitality, stamina, endurance, kindness, charity and friendliness. It is supposed to alleviate hostility, irritability and melancholy.  

Coral:

Coral is a "sea gemston"growing on the ocean floor. There are many different sizes, color and shapes.Grown in a wide range of colors from red, brown, pink to white,blue and black. The most popular are the red hues such as pale pink, salmon, to a deep rich red. 
With a hardness of only 3.5 a considerably soft material therefore, coral must be enjoyed with care. Clean with a soft, slightly damp towel.
 

Clam Shell:

A bivalve mollusc. Clams live in water,  lie and move near the bottom or swim. Clams can vary in color, shapes and sizes. Many times used by the Santo Domingo Indians in jewelry design.

Pipestone:

A deep brownish reddish clay / mudstone also known as Catlinite. Pipestone is quarried by Native Americans for use as sacred pipes in religious ceremonies. Pipestone mines are located in Minnesota, South Dakota, and also Canada.

Phosphosiderite:

Phosphsiderite is sourced in Chile and Argentina. It ranges in various hues of light purples and pinks. We call it purple passion as "the purple color is supposed to aid in reducing anger and brings about a feeling of relaxed peacefulness." It aids in emotional and spiritual healing.

Turitella fossils:

Turitella is an agate, a variety of Chalcedony of the quartz family.  Most commonly recognized by the sea creature and fossilized snail patterns within the deep brown /black stone.

Turritella Agate is a spiritual crystal, connected to the earth and home, personal roots and ancestry, and even the events of one's past. It is a survival stone, one of strength and protection. The ancient life held within its form lends the power of healing and wisdom.

 

Techniques:

Silver

Repousse:

The name repousse is derived from the French pousser, "to push forward." Reposse -The ancient art of embossing or pressing shapes into metal. This technique uses a malleable metal which is then shaped by hammering from the reverse side to create a design on the front. There is no loss of metal as it is stretched locally and the surface remains continuous. Details can then be added from the front by chasing or engraving. This ancient technique, which has been used extensively throughout the history of metalworking.

Navajo Pearls:

What exactly is a Navajo Pearl? Navajo pearl is another name for the lovely sterling silver beads used in Native American jewelry treasures. You find Navajo pearls in Squash Blossoms, used in necklaces and bracelets and strung and used as a chain- many times to adorn a pendant made by the Navajo Indians. These sterling beads are formed in a labor intensive process of soldering 2 hemispheres together, creating a round bead. They are formed, sanded, polished and many times burnished to create the brushed satin sheen finish. Navajo pearls come in many shapes and sizes, some with various finishes.

We have many Navajo Pearl necklaces available in different lengths with different size beads.


Carved Fetishes:

Owl: The owl is known to be the protector of the home and being a night dweller the keeper of the night. Owls are thought to have true wisdom and patience. They also are known to control the dark side of nature.They are known to be very observant and perceptive therefore the ability to see things others cannot see.

Eagle: As the eagle soars through the sky he is known as the guardian of the Upper regions. The Eagle is the messenger to the gods and represents power, healing, balance, dignity, vision, higher truth and grace.The Eagle carries the power of intuition and creativeness. The Eagle spirit transcends personal problems and symbolizes becoming one with the Greater Spirit.

Horse: The Horse galloping across the plains offers a power to the people. The horse Spirit carries us far and fast. The horse gives us mobility which gives us freedom, independence, power and enables us run freely and move beyond our limitations. Medicine Horses guide, heal, and protect.