b l u e s k i e s
One of the benefits of low humidity is intense brightly blue skies, so it's fitting that the turquoise featured in this necklace is from the Castle Dome mine near Miami, Arizona. Like many Arizonan mines, Castle Dome was first a copper mine that is now used for turquoise. It's still operational under an individual leasing rights to the turquoise, and Castle Dome turquoise remains popular for its vivid blue and blue green color. The bright blue in these beads is natural, and the beads have been stabilized to improve their hardness. Stabilization is a process of injecting resin under heat and pressure to turquoise, which is generally too soft and crumbly in its natural state (Moh's hardness of 2-3) to survive normal wear and tear as jewelry. Prices for turquoise, particularly from the American southwest and northern Mexico, have increased steadily; it's not possible today to buy these stones for the relatively inexpensive price I paid years ago. Cost: $141.00 USD
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