Friday, March 24, 2017

Tucson 2017 - Turquoise (other)

Though my big love is the Royston / ribbon turquoise, there are certainly plenty of marvelous turquoises available on the gem market. This year, I stumbled on to some lovely examples of some of these "other" turquoises.

This year I found some Number 8 turquoise. The Number 8 mine, in Nevada, is one of the best known American turquoise mines. Its turquoise has long been prized for its spiderweb-y patterning (best seen in the top stone in the photo below).

Number 8 has been depleted of turquoise since the 1960s or 1970s, depending on which source(s) you believe. Either way, the only Number 8 turquoise on the market today seems to be from decreasing stores of the old rough that has been hoarded for many years. Sometimes, the owner of the rough sells it to pay the bills, sometimes old hoarders die and the family sells their stock...but whatever the circumstances, Number 8 is hard to come by and because demand is high and supply low, it's not inexpensive. I am thrilled to have added a few pieces of it to my own stash.

The other turquoise find from this year's trip is Campitos turquoise. Campitos is Mexican turquoise, mined since the 1980s in Sonora. It's sometimes compared to Sleeping Beauty because it will have bits of that soaring, pure-blue-sky color that defines Sleeping Beauty (known for its beautiful blue hue and almost no matrix in the stone).

Here's an example of Sleeping Beauty:

This a necklace made of Sleeping Beauty nuggets that I bought in the 1990s (for a song, compared to what I'd pay today, if I could even get my hands on any). I held on to the strand of nuggets for about ten years and then finally made them into a necklace. That mine is closed (as of 2012) and there's a limited supply of Sleeping Beauty on the market today.

But I digress. Back to the Campitos:

Lovely organically shaped cabochons with a lot of bold contrasts! These are so beautiful, with that lovely teal color just bursting against the brown host rock. I am eager to play with these!

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