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(The Head of the turtle) The Sleeping Beauty Mine, located in Globe, Arizona, is no longer an active mine. For many years it produced a wide range of turquoise that is now even more highly prized for its solid soft blue color, with little or no matrix. The color of the turquoise ranges from a deep royal blue to a light sky blue. The mine originally was worked for copper and gold but during the last five decades or so it has produced gemstone quality turquoise in quantities to satisfy the commercial market. In general, the miners lease portions of the “dumps” and sort turquoise from there.
There is a small town in south central Italy, near Naples, famous for its cameos. Their needs for huge quantities of this material over the years have always kept the supply down and demand high. The clear blue is reminiscent of old Persian turquoise and is without doubt the most preferred and prized by Europeans, both for cameos as well as in bead or jewelry form.
There is a sister mine nearby, called the Bluebird, that produces some of the world’s most beautiful azurite. This material is a copper oxide and also contains malachite, chrysocolla as well as a mineralized copper or cuprite. This is a rare and undervalued gemstone that has all but disappeared from the marketplace.
( The eyes of the turtle) Jet is a product of high-pressure decomposition of wood from millions of years ago, commonly the wood of trees. Jet is found in two forms, hard and soft. Hard jet is the result of carbon compression and salt water; soft jet is the result of carbon compression and fresh water. Native American Navajo and Pueblo tribes of New Mexico were using regionally mined jet for jewelry and the ornamentation of weapons when early Spanish explorers reached the area in the 1500’s.Today these jet deposits are known as Acoma jet, for the Acoma Pueblo.
(The body of the turtle) Pen Shell The Pinnidae are a taxonomic family of large saltwater clams sometimes known as pen shells. They are marine bivalve molluscs in the order Pteriida.