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Turquoise, Coral & Amber
Sleeping Beauty turquoise is one of the most well known kinds of turquoise mined in the US.
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise comes from the mine that bares the same named and is located right outside of Globe, Arizona. This stone is prefered by the Zuni people for it's sky blue color and lack of matrix.
Most of these Nacozari turquoise beads lack major matrix, letting the natural blue color shine through.
Nacozari Turquoise is found in Sonora, Mexico south of the Bisbee, Arizona in the same mountian range. Like the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, this turquoise is desired for it's beautiful blue color and no matrix. Some beads contain tiny pyrite inclusions and white spots due to the stone's aluminum content.
Coming from one of the most productive mines in Nevada, these Fox turquoise beads have a beautiful blue green color with minimal matrix.
The Fox Turquoise mine is located in Northern Nevada near Lander County and is known for having been one of the largest producers of turquoise in the state. Other kinds of turquoise found in the Fox turquoise mine are called White Horse, Green Tree and Smith. Even though they all come from the same mine, they all have different names to differentiate among the different colors. The Fox turquoise beads that we carry are a blue green color with distinctive matrix.
Chinese turquoise can occur in a variety of color and matrix combinations.
Chinese Turquoise is currently the most common type of turquoise found in both jewelry and beads. In fact, one statistic claims that turquoise from Chinese mines make up about 80% of turquoise used in the United States. Chinese turquoise can naturally occur in a variety of light to dark blue and green hues with both black and brown matrix. Be aware that since not all Chinese turquoise is prime material it is commonly enhanced with resin (referred to as stabilized) and dyes and can even be reconstituted. We're picky about the turquoise we carry, so you won't find dyed and you'll never find reconstituted (ground chalk stone mixed with resin, dyed and formed into a brick and later cut into beads). Occasionally, we'll receive stabilized turquoise beads. When turquoise rough is too soft, the material is "stabilized" by infusing the stone with a clear epoxy resin that will harden the turquoise and deepen it's color. This allows a stone that wasn't previously strong enough for wear to be able to hold up to everyday wear. Unfortunately, it is also common to see dyed Howlite or white Magnesite referred to and sold as turquoise, and neither of those stone contain ANY turquoise. Imitation and reconstituted turquoise can cost as much as natural turquoise, so it is always best to buy from a reputable dealer that you trust to ensure that you always get what you paid for.
These turquoise nuggets, simply polished and top drilled, retain their naturally organic nugget shape.
Chinese turquoise is popularly cut into different sizes of teardrop shapes, perfect for earrings!
These donuts show how dramatic the color difference can be in Chinese turquoise beads.
Corals are small anemone-like, ocean dwelling polyps that exist together in large colonies called calices. The material that we refer to as coral is actually just their hard exoskeletons. Most of these exoskeletons are made up of calcium carbonate, but can also include a substance called conchiolin. With a hardness of only 3.5 coral has been used in carvings, jewelry and decoration for thousands of years. Ancient Greek mythology claimed that coral originally formed from the blood of the newly slain Medusa, while Romans used coral as protection for children and to diagnose diseases. Due to over harvesting and ocean protection laws natural colored coral has become very rare. Most commercial coral is now bleached and dyed to replicate the most shades of coral (most commonly red and pink). Just like with turquoise, if you are more interested in purchasing the natural coral make sure you buy from a reputable seller so you get what you paid for.
Baltic amber beads in various shades and sizes.
Amber is fossilized tree resin (not sap) that formed millions of years ago. Since it is made of organic material, amber is not considered a mineral but instead an "organic gem" (same as jet, shell and coral). It's very, very soft with a hardness of 2-2.5 and because of that it's been used in jewelry and ornaments for thousands of years. Amber deposits can be found all over the world (from Austria to New Zealand) but the finest quality amber comes from the Baltic. The colors of amber can vary from buttery yellow, to clear "amber" color, to brown, to red (refered to as cherry amber) and in rare cases even blue! Unfortunatly, blue amber (found in the Dominican Republic) is so rare that most of the materal now exsists in private collections. In Greek mythology it was believed that when Phaeton (the son of the sun god Helios) was killed his sisters grieved so deeply that it turned them into trees and their tears became amber.
Amber can be clear or opaque and can vary in shades of yellow, gold and red.
Opaque, yellow amber is known specifically as "butterscotch amber".
Baltic amber in the typical golden hue.
Prices mentioned in Lost Cities' emails, blogs, handouts, websites, etc. are effective the date of publication. They are subject to market conditions and availability and may be modified as necessary at Lost Cities' discretion. Lost Cities Beads 2802 Juan St. #14 San Diego, CA 92110 (619) 692-1114 Monday-Saturday 10am - 6pm Sunday 10am - 5pm Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day Questions, comments? Contact us either by phone during business hours, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright Lost Cities 2009