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VINTAGE 1960’S ZUNI RAINBOW MAN PENDANT WITH CHAIN
White Mother of Pearl
The provenance story of the White Mother of Pearl shell begins in the remote crystal clear turquoise waters of Northern Australia, nurturing and growing the sought after White South Sea Pearls.The lustrous pearly white color of the shells reflect the pristine natural environment in which they are formed and shells from this area are renowned to have the purest white coloring.
Nacre also known as mother of pearl, is an organic–inorganic composite material produced by some molluscss as an inner shell layer; it is also the material of which pearls are composed. It is strong, resilient, and iridescent.
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
SPINY OYSTER SHELL
Living Spondylus shells are, indeed, very spiny, but the polished product looks very smooth, with some of its color variation strongly resembling that of the Blood Oyster. The resemblance is strong enough that it’s important to ask, when purchasing these materials, if they’re from Blood Oyster or Spiny Oyster. Artists often use Spiny Oyster as a substitute for Blood Coral. Although not nearly as rare as the Blood Coral or Rose Coral, divers collect Spiny Oyster by hand, making the work laborious and relatively expensive, with some risks.N18
The most commonly used Spondylid Bivalve shell colors include orange, reds, and purples and may include distinct striations and color variations. One also finds pink, red, brown, yellow, orange, and white on the market. The Yellow Spiny Oyster’s especially rare.
In the American Oceans, the Spondylids occur along the North American coasts, as far north as North Carolina, on the Atlantic Coast, and northwestern Mexico, on the Pacific Coast. It develops in waters to South America. The Orange Spiny Oyster occurs in shallow to moderately deep waters, where snorkelers and scuba divers readily harvest them. Purple Spiny Oysters grow in deeper water, making them more difficult to find and harvest.
|Blue Gem Turquoise
The Blue Gem Turquoise Mine was located in the Copper Basin area southwest of Battle Mountain, Nevada, USA. Production of this turquoise mine started about 1934 and continued until the 1970’s. Blue Gem Turquoise is still some of the finest turquoise ever found, and unlike most turquoise mines, (in which the majority mined is chalky and only usable if stabilized) most of the turquoise found there was of gem-quality. There is a distinctive aqua color that some people associate with Blue Gem turquoise, although it produced a great variety of colors, especially when intense blue was combined with deep green in one stone.
The mine no longer exists due to the extensive copper (and gold) mining operations of the Copper Canyon Mining Company (all of the copper was extracted by 1968). Doc Wilson owned the Blue Gem Turquoise Mine from 1938 – 1981 when he leased it to Lee Hand. Lee Hand owned and operated the mine until 1970 when he sold his interest to the Elquist family of Battle Mountain, Nevada.
|While the Blue Gem Turquoise mine was very prolific at one time, today it is considered extremely rare, valuable and collectible turquoise. Most of the “finished” Blue Gem turquoise today is in private collections and museums, rarely offered for sale.
The Blue Gem Turquoise mine was located deep underground, accessed by tunnels as deep as 800 feet. This is of interest because the Blue Gem Turquoise Mine and the Bisbee Turquoise Mine in Bisbee, Arizona are the only two Turquoise mines (that we know of) where turquoise was found that deep in the earth. Another interesting fact about both Blue Gem Turquoise and Bisbee Turquoise being found so deep underground as that both deposits produced some of the hardest and truest blue Turquoise ever found.
There’s just something about Blue Gem Turquoise. It is a treasure: a rare, valuable and historic American turquoise. When we think of Blue Gem Turquoise, we think of translucence, depth, watery, what we mean by “non-opaque, silicated” jewels. This turquoise is hard and often won’t change color, takes a high polish and will be beautiful one hundred years from now. The character and beauty of these stones are impossible to fully capture in images, since this turquoise has a unique character that’s hard to describe. It is like pools of glassy water captured in solid form. We believe this may be some of the greatest turquoise ever mined and once you own a piece you will be addicted to Blue Gem Turquoise.