Friday, July 13, 2012

Trendy Colors for Fall 2012

The new Pantone color palette has been announced!! For me, waiting on the announcement is tough. I love seeing the upcoming designer color selections.

Fall 2012 Designer Colors

Fantasy and illusion are inspiring designers this fall season. With an unexpected mix of darks, brights and neutrals, the colors are meant to transport consumers to an enchanting place, free from the stresses of everyday life.
“By playing to consumers’ practical side with versatile neutrals, and boosting their confidence with bold, spirited hues, this skillfully balanced palette has something for everyone,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®

Chartreuse Pearl and French Roast Chalcedony Necklace

As the season transitions from the heat of summer, Bright Chartreuse, a vital yellow-green, reates a bridge into the cooling days of fall. Reminiscent of bright green foliage, it provides a perfect accent to every color in the palette.  

Rhapsody & Rose Smoke Necklace with Sugilite and Rose Quartz

Rhapsody is a grayed-down purple that also encourages comfort and serenity with its quiet, muted tone

Pink Flambe Biwa Pearl Bracelet

Like the nameimplies, 
Pink FlambĂ© is a delicious, vibrant pink with  a bit of heat to it. Pair it with vivacious and enticing Tangerine Tango for an ongoing retro feeling. Or, to bring a calming element to the mix, combine these vibrant warm tones with Ultramarine Green, a deep, cooling blue-green
Ultramarine Calsilica Jasper & Tangerine Tango Coral Necklace

Honey Gold and Titanium Graduated Gemstone Necklace

Honey Gold, a mellow, burnished yellow, 
suggests the soft-muted tones of sunlight to brighten a fall day. Pair it with sensible and strong Olympian Blue, a patriotic blue that will surely make its way into fall and winter athletic apparel.  

Rich and robust, French Roast is a sophisticated hue that is a great alternative to the black and charcoal basics typically worn in the fall and winter. Other staple neutrals include elegant and versatile Titanium, a cool gray, and Rose Smoke, a veiled rose tone that pairs well with Rhapsody and Titanium.

For nearly 20 years, Pantone, the global authority on color, has surveyed the designers of New York Fashion Week and beyond to bring you the season’s most important color trends. This report previews the most prominent hues for fall 2012.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

More Truth About Turquoise

There are so many misconceptions about Turquoise, I felt it was necessary to recap some of my previous posts.

In review, let's take a look.................

This is a sample of genuine Turquoise, mined in the United States. Turquoise can come in many colors, depending on the mine. I have provided images of Turquoise from mines in Nevada here:
A-CD-N, and O-Z.
There are also images of Turquoise from Arizona and Colorado.


White Turquoise

I have offered as much information as possible regarding White Turquoise, which remains controversial....I'll let you decide what to believe about this stone. All I know for sure; it's a gorgeous stone!!


Chinese turquoise is a mined stone, however, this form of Turquoise has usually been stabilized, meaning a clear epoxy has been applied to the surface to harden the stone. A side effect of the process is that stabilized stone is less likely to absorb lotions and body oils, which may change the color of the stone over time. 

Now we get to a stone that may be more difficult to identify:

Iranian, or Persian Turquoise comes from a number of mines in modern day Iran. Throughout the centuries, the intense sky-blue Iranian turquoise, known as “Persian turquoise,” has been the most sought after. This is a clear, even blue color with no evidence of green, nor any signs of black veins.    

Because of its exotic blend of base color and dark matrix, this material is sold as African "turquoise," although it's really a jasper. This is NOT turquoise! 

Nacozari Turquoise mined in Mexico may also be difficult to identify, as it resembles Chinese Turquoise to an untrained eye. Mexican Turquoise is a high quality, higher priced stone.
Nacozari Turquoise   

Chalk Turquoise is lower grade Turquoise ground up, mixed with epoxy and dye. Chalk Turquoise, in my opinion, is FAKE turquoise.

Finally, we come to another stone that is NOT Turquoise. Many suppliers and vendors will label Mosaic Magnesite as Turquoise. I guess the fact that this variety of Magnesite may contain tiny scraps of Turquoise, they feel the name is justified. I don't agree.

Mosaic Magnesite Skull Necklace by epicetera

I hope you find these articles helpful. Generally, genuine Turquoise is becoming increasingly rare. Only 25% of the mines located in the United States are producing Turquoise. Currently, I have a source for genuine Turquoise that I use in my jewelry designs. These stones are from a supply that, once exhausted, will no longer be available. Visit my shop for more information.

Although both are gemstones, Howlite (right) and Magnesite (below) are not Turquoise. Very high quality Magnesite is available, and is often much more expensive than chalk turquoise.

Colorado Turquoise Mines

Colorado Turquoise Mines:
*Note that many mines are closed, meaning once the stone supply is exhausted, they will no longer be available.Stones may still be available from a particular mine, making them highly collectible.*

Cripple Creek

Leadville(closed mine) 


Villa Grove 

Villa Grove 

Arizona Turquoise Mines

Arizona Turquoise Mines:

*Note that many mines are closed, meaning once the stone supply is exhausted, they will no longer be available. Stones may still be available from a particular mine, making them highly collectible.*

Bisbee Turquoise
(closed mine) 

         Blue Bird Mine

(closed mine)

Castle Dome
(closed mine)

Ithaca Peak
(closed mine)

          Cave Creek (new!)

(back in production!)

(mine depleted)

Sleeping Beauty 

Turquoise Mountain and "Birdseye"(closed mine) 

Friday, March 16, 2012

White Turquoise, White Buffalo Stone????

When people call these "controversial stones", they aren't kidding! It is extremely difficult to find facts about these stones, and the demand for them is increasing. It is never my intention to mislead my customers, and since some of my designs were created using these stones, I needed to investigate them.

I purchased these white stones from someone I trust. They are clearly not Magnesite, and they were much more expensive than Magnesite. They were sold to me as "White Buffal Turquoise". I bought every strand the vendor had, realizing they would not be available once the supply he had was exhausted.

The white stones in this necklace were sold to me as "White Buffalo Stone". The inclusions are not gray (as in Howlite), but rather a light brownish copper. When photographed next to the Turquoise stones, the "White Buffalo" seems to have an identical matrix. The turquoise stones in this necklace are from the Blue Gem Turquoise Mine in Nevada (a highly collectible turquoise that is no longer produced). 

Dry Creek 
According to turquoise-museum, "The Dry Creek mine, which has also been known as the Godber and Burnham mine, is located in northeast Nevada. The mine has yielded both a pale blue and a cream white turquoise. The unusual white to light blue turquoise is very hard. The color is due to a preponderance of aluminum rather than copper in the stone's chemistry. The matrix is typically light golden or brown-gray to gray-black."

  White Creek Turquoise

According to durangosilver, "The White Creek Turquoise Mine Produces a beautiful white turquoise, and yes it is actually turquoise, not Calcite or Magnesite. A lot of This material has a slight blue tint to it, and it looks a lot like Dry Creek turquoise from the Godber mine. 

White Creek 

White Owl 

         White Stallion 
"White Owl is mined somewhere north of Austin, Nevada. The mine owner is being very closed mouthed about it. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the "white" Turquoises that are being offered these days. Some people say it's NOT Turquoise, others say it is. All we know is that when we bought the rough, we were told it was definitely Turquoise. Roger showed some of the material to a geologist who affirmed that Turquoise can come in a white form."

           White Owl

        White Stallion

The White Stallion mine was lost for several decades, but recently rediscovered with the recent popularity of white turquoise This is a very hard stone that takes a mirror shine. This mine is a small producer and the material is very limited, and will run pure white with just a touch of green or blue with beautiful matrix patterns. 

       White Buffalo Mine

     White Buffalo Mine

White Buffalo Turquoise (actually Opalized Calcite) is a beautiful white stone with fine black spider web or kind of a blotchy matrix that is mined out of Nevada, north of Tonopah. The White Buffalo Mine also produces a stark white material on occasion with little to no matrix, but this is rare.  

According to Durango Silver, White Turquoise is actually turquoise that is now in high demand. Since miners in the past were trained to search for colored stones known as Turquoise, they often discarded the white stones. The stones were always considered sacred by many Native Americans.

For more information, Durango Silver has written this article on white turquoise, including many nice photos. 

Nevada Turquoise Mines, O-Z

Nevada Turquoise Mines, O-Z:

*Note that many mines are closed, meaning once the stone supply is exhausted, they will no longer be available. Stones may still be available from a particular mine, making them highly collectible.* I have NOT included the following mines in this list: White Creek, White Stallion, White Buffalo, or White Owl. The stones produced from these mines are still considered controversial and deserve more research and discussion than what I'm offering in this article. 

Orvil Jack 

(closed mine)

Pirate #3 


Pilot Mountain 

Prince Mine 

Red Mountain 


Smith Black Matrix Mine
(closed mine)

Smoky Valley
(closed mine)

Stormy Mountain
(closed mine)

Stone Mountain

Timberline(closed mine) 
Tina Gem
(closed mine)



Troy Springs 

Turquoise Bonanza 

Valley Blue 
Verde Blue 

Windy Ridge 

(closed mine)

Zuni Turquoise Necklace by epicetera