Eye Candy.

No. This isn’t a post about rocks.

There will be one down the line, but not today!

I’ve been spending some time going over old photos, admittedly clearing space on my computer. I thought I would share some old and new that may not have made it to item listings, social media posts, or just been swept under the carpet of time…

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QUIVER

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I hope everyone has had a lovely Holiday Season, whichever you choose to celebrate!

For future notice on a packaging change:

I used to send all bangle bracelets and bracelets in general in plain sweet little muslin bags. They’ll now be going out a bit more spruced up, as such:

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BANGLEPACKAGING

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That’s it folks!

NEW ITEMS will be hitting the shop throughout tomorrow, including two Chained in Turquoise rings, and two unique stacking ring types. 

xx The Stray Arrow

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Rock Appreciation Day.

For Rock Appreciation Day this month we have King’s Manassa Mine Turquoise. 

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Manassa mine turquoise has also been called King’s Manassa turquoise, King’s turquoise, and was originally called the Lick Skillet mine. It is located in South Central Colorado near Manassa. The Manassa mine is reputed to be the oldest turquoise mining deposit in Colorado, and was speculated to have been mined by the Anasazi Pueblo peoples. The mine was “rediscovered”, or founded, by Israel Perviose King when he was searching for gold in 1894. He filed claim on it the next year. The mine has stayed with the King family and is now with his grandson Bill King.

The turquoise from this mine is some of my favourite. It is known for it’s deep greens with host rock rhyolite golden brown matrix, but can produce turquoise in a range of colours.

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The turquoise can come in solid colour, bi-coloured, or with host rock webbing. It pairs beautifully with gold and some of the most saturated dark greens are among the most collectible. I love that turquoise from this one area has been used for over 1,000 years and is still seen as a prized and treasured finite commodity.

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Below are photos of pieces used with Manassa turquoise that have been sold or claimed.

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Picture 20

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Below are photos of Stray Arrow jewels still available!

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In the works is another triple turquoise ring in the “Three Needles” horse shoe style everyone has been asking about! Coming to the shop soon.

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That’s all folks!

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xx Stray Arrow

New Items, New Thoughts.

This post may be a bit longer, as I feel text has been slightly dwindling from this blog. Firstly, new items! These will be hitting the shop later tonight and tomorrow.

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Stone rings in natural old stock Royston and Manassa mine turquoise, and a luscious pink rhodochrosite.

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Other newer pieces include mini “Sweet Sayings” rings. These sterling bands feature delightful short quotes by yours truly. Each ring features a different quote, but they can be made to your size upon inquiry. Currently made are: “We are the brazen bold“, and “A darling day for rain” (for the English). These sterling bands are patina darkened and then  polished to a steel like finish, with the darkened quotes hidden on the inside of the ring band. On the outside is my jeweler’s mark. These also make great knuckle rings.

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A wampum necklace with mini wampum beads, old stock cut of green Manassa mine turquoise, wild horse magnesite Crossed Arrows dangles, and silver & rose gold stackers will be joining them.

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It’s also been pretty evident that I’ve been somewhat neglectful of the Stretched Ears Jewelry shop. The Arrow Vanes, signature Stray Arrow wear, will soon be available in multiple gauge sizes in the shop. I’ll also be making more plugs featuring rare turquoise (Blue Moon mine), and other designs quite soon.

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Now for my favourite new addition. Awhile ago I made a necklace for myself that, along with The Stray Arrow necklace, has become a signature daily piece. Out of bronze and silver sheet metal I made a 5 string banjo. Completed with a wrap around quote on the body, and sawed out arrow in the back. I’ll be offering these in the shop as of tonight as a *CUSTOM* piece. The quotes and backing design can be customized. Four string banjos are also available. They’ll put a little folk mountain life in you. No templates, all hand forged.

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That’s it for new items for the next few days. I’ve also been working on some custom orders that’ll be shown here and the usual outlets (Tumblr, Instagram @thestrayarrow, Facebook), once finished.

A Note-

I’ve been noticing people imitating my work. While this is a touchy subject that seems taboo to talk about, this is getting unavoidable. Artisan one of a kind jewelry design is a difficult art to protect when compared to other art fields. Copies will happen. “One offs” are tolerated and occasionally flattering if the artist is *given credit* as being behind the inspiration. This is unfortunately not the case. I have been seeing people not only imitate my very specific signature materials (not that one can ever claim to own such a thing), but my writing descriptions, photography style, work title style and themes, and my overall aesthetic entirely. A continual ‘paraphrasing’, if you will. Most people have the grace to come up with their own designs, for those that don’t they bring down the work of others. I want to reiterate and remind everyone that if there is space to stamp my half inch “STRAY ARROW” logo onto an original piece, and it is not there, it is not made by me. This means that it is not backed by my quality guarantee, nor my 6 years of turquoise study experience. Just because a piece of turquoise is claimed from a mine does not equal good quality. I am an artist with eccentric interests, and my jewelry work is an extension of that. I try to be respectful of everyone’s creative and intellectual property, and truly wish the same in return.

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In other news, I’ve been in the process of taking some jewelry group shots of pieces for things like packaging, cards, and promos (hint hint *soon*). Below are some of those shots, as well as some really great folks wearing my jewels. Click on their photos for their respective work links and check them out!

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^lady Arlie, of Urban Revisions in 14k yellow gold and dark silver faceted sapphire gem ring. Paired with her new white glass jewels!

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^the extremely talented Rachel (photographer), in Royston turquoise and dark silver necklace.

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^Dominique of Couture Vulture wearing Stray Arrow No-see-’ems, and mini crystal rings by Concrete Polish.

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Cave Ladies, Shooting in The Dark,

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still a favourite.

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That’s all folks! I leave you with an illustration from one of my favourites, the Pink Fairy Book~

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xx The Stray Arrow

Changes, New Item Preview, Commissions…

Well after spending several hours cropping photos and finishing new items last night, I did something I haven’t done since college. I LITERALLY fell asleep on my computer. Sorry all! 

This year has had a rocky start to say the least, but I won’t be getting into personal details. I’ve been making a series of required family trips, as well as planned trips (for sanity and all that). We all know how I love to drive! Now that things have settled down again I’m turning my full focus on the shop AND the Brand itself…

Changes. My Process.

Many jewelers, shop owners…business folks in general…never really talk about the inside details. I’m going to do a little sharing, so I’m sorry if this bit is boring! Photography wise, I use a simple SLR that I focus, point, and shoot. It’s all natural daylight. No tripod, no lighting, none of the fancy stuff. Unfortunately in these winter months, the sun yields a blue tinged light here in New England to everything no matter the time of day. I feel completely frustrated when trying to shoot work, even trying to keep it in focus with this old busted camera seems tough. SO. I have officially bought some more legitimate equipment to shoot in…and by legitimate, I mean real little lamps with daylight bulbs. Hopefully I’ll be reshooting *most* of my items with this to better represent the jewelry. The daylight bulbs allow me to shoot anytime, which also adds appeal. In addition I’ll be considering a new camera a few months down the line. Digital is a whole new world to me, and I’m pretty shameless about that. Up until needing a camera to shoot my jewelry I just used a 35mm manual Pentax in a darkroom. In summation, any good SLR camera any of y’all could recommend would be helpful! I’ll also be shooting my pieces in less cluttered set ups. Don’t worry. The leather, leaves, flowers, feathers, and all around Earth Essence will still be present. I couldn’t pull it out of me or the jewelry itself if I tried.

Commissions.

This year, I did something new. I told folks I was filled up on commissions to not overload myself and keep a steady pace. I put some proposed commissions on hold as well. Why did I do this? Without going into complicated details about the metal smithing process in general, there is some wait time in between technical steps. I’m one of those folks that truly just love to physically work, so I always have an extra 5-10 projects going on the side while working on everything else to keep beyond busy. Because of this, dozens of lovely ideas get made up to a point, but I never end up having true time to dedicate to finishing them. By only taking a certain number of commissions the past two months, I’ve been able to finish several projects that have been mer whispers of metal in the studio. All new items posted today have either been in progress, abandoned for the past few months, or stones I’ve been hankering to use for what feels like ages. For everyone wanting to get something specific done and waiting for it, THANK YOU.

I currently have some pending commissions that are still being worked on, but I’m completely open for more now! I’ll be contacting folks who’ve been waiting patiently-and yes. You’ll all get little extras for being amazing.

Rock Appreciation Day.

Was missed. I had Royal Imperial Jasper on the menu…and realized I’ve never made a piece with it! It’ll be done for March First in ADDITION to another stone type. Any requests are welcome!

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Feb Group Photo

New Items.

A brief description of the goodies below, which will be hitting the main Etsy shop this Sunday. I’ve been working on more pieces veering towards a “Stray Arrow” mindset. What exactly IS that? The entire concept behind The Stray Arrow, which has always been difficult for me to word, is in essence individuality. The Stray Arrow is alone from, or ahead of the pack. The Stray Arrow can be the one arrow in the quiver that makes the bulls eye shot. It’s me and you.

These pieces have a more rustic, Cave Time feel. Little arrow vane chevrons, individually sawed/sanded/stamped by hand, adorn each piece enthusiastically.

The Stray Arrow Necklace-

Made of pure molten silver with a beautiful weight to it. Little arrow vanes fan out, deciding which direction your path will eventually lead. These huge, low swinging necklaces will be made to order upon purchase. They are true Stray Arrow Wear, reminding you never to get boggled down. You always have options.

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Stray Arrow Necklace.

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Stray Arrow Necklace with rings

*pairs perfectly with Arrow Vane Stackers & Studs, Feathered Bands, and Crossed Arrows.

Stray Arrow Necklace...

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The Archer Earrings.

Made literally on a whim in the studio the other night, these will be “made to order” upon purchase. I had a thick arrow sawed out on the bench for another Robin Hood necklace. While listening to Paganini’s 6th Caprice, somehow the shapes of violins, cellos, and violas entered my mind. All those lovely curves while staring at the arrow immediately brought my mind back to bows. I’ve been craving to make some kind of arrow earring for awhile now. Over the past couple months arrows seem to have BOOMED in the world of popular shapes. Thinly walled base metal castings of basic arrow designs are everywhere. It’s time for something of quality and substance, don’t you think? These earrings are completely hand sawed, and stamped with tiny details reminiscent of obsidian stone arrow heads. When everything used to be made by hand, and it was necessity. All sterling silver, these are totally darkened. Thick arrows rest on bows, with their sterling silver chain “strings” pulled back. This is a simple, unique design. A companion necklace will also be in the shop Sunday.

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The Archer..

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Cave Lady Rings.

Close friends always have a handful of nicknames for each other. One of my favourites given to me is “Cave Lady”. My hair is fluffy and curly, made up of separate tendrils/tentacles that jut out in spools of crazy. Over the years (and through much trial and error) I’ve found a couple products that “tame the tentacles”, but I’ve come to terms with this nickname in all it’s appropriateness. Cave Lady for me also ties back to the primitive (note: I am NOT using this term in a derogative fashion as it so often is when applied to tribes or nations). When I was little I was obsessed with cave paintings (Lascaux), and trying to find arrowheads. Just the idea of putting that much time into the making of such a small object was fascinating. Fast forward into the future and I am now the creator of small things. I truly adore sawing and making these little arrow vane shapes, and thought…why not COVER something in it? So, in homage to the nickname, the old ancestry that ties us all together, and of course my obsessive love of rocks, I give you Cave Lady Rings. Two are currently made, one using a beautiful White Buffalo Turquoise stone and one a unique Koroit Opal stone. These rings feature little dangling Arrow Vanes, that also give them a Gypsy feel (another obsession, as a chunk of my family are from the Carpathian Mountains). Each ring has a wide band with “Cave Lady” stamped on the inside. These can be custom made with your stone choice in your size. The two current rings will fit a US size 5.5-5.75 (Buffalo), and US size 8 (Koroit).

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Cave Lady White Buff

Cave Lady White Buff Back

Cave Lady White Buff ring

Cave Lady Koroit Opal ring

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Three Needles. Bracelet.

This piece is pretty substantial. The Three Needles (as in Pine tree needles), features three different kinds of old stock, natural, rare and collectible kinds of American Southwest Turquoise. I obtained these three stones from a man who deals directly with the mine owners, so these are from old stock collections of the owners themselves! Each mine name is stamped on the back of it’s respective stone. Each stone has a different bezel type, with a different etched in textural design around the bezel. The horse shoe shape that two of the turquoise stones rest on is also filled with dangling hand sawed arrow vanes. These make a fantastic light noise when in motion, and add a little movement to the piece. It will fit a small to medium wrist. This is a serious unique statement piece.

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Three Needles Bangle

Three Needles Back

Three Needles in Ice

Three Needles Bangle Close Up

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Zig Zag Steerer. Necklace.

This necklace has been on the work bench half finished for a long, long, time. It ties back to my Romantics Line, featuring quotes of poetry or literature. The quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s, “The Humble Bee“.  Featuring three nicely coloured old stock natural Royston Mine turquoise stones, wampum, and chalcedony gems, this is a massive piece. The wampum is an amazingly coloured chunk that my mother actually found on the beach last year. For anyone out there who knows about wampum, you know what an impossible feat that is! I set the wampum in pure silver bezel on a sterling backing just as it was found. The wampum dangles from the massive three turquoise stone pendant. The great quote from Emerson’s poem, “Zig Zag Steerer, Desert Cheerer“, is stamped on the back of the turquoise and wampum. Little oceanic flowers of faceted sea foam chalcedony gemstones join the pendant on the blackened silver chains a ways up. The necklace length is adjustable by using the tiny amethyst gem clasp, or the plainer silver clasp at the end. This piece oozes feelings of royalty, beach colours, bookworm appeal, the Southwest, and even latches on to my “Along The Dark Shore” themed pieces that combine turquoise and wampum. There’s something in it for everyone, and it has an amazing weight and presence to it.

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Zig Zag Steerer Necklace

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Sunday.

All of these fresh lovelies, PLUS MORE, will be in the main shop on Sunday. Any new pieces joining those that have been previewed here may make an appearance on my FaceBook Page or Instagram (username: TheStrayArrow). Anything can be reserved ahead of time if you have your heart set.

I have been neglecting the shop for those with stretched ears, and will be pouring my efforts into breathing back some life into it in the coming week. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, it looks like we’re expecting ANOTHER snow storm here in New England this weekend. For those in it’s path, stay warm.

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Archers Crossed.

xx Stray Arrow.

Turquoise Guide.

Time to crack open the Treasure Chest…

Turquoise Treasure Chest

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A COMPREHENSIVE TURQUOISE GUIDE FOR CUSTOMERS AND OTHER ENTHUSIASTS

       A DISCLAIMER: I am an enthusiast. I have gathered all of the information here by myself over years spent drooling over and collecting rocks. I have not been trained, schooled, or educated beyond my own research. I am not a lapidary artist, mineralogist, gemologist, mine owner, or any other kind of authority on gems, stones, or minerals. I am simply sharing information I have gathered through reading and observation, and my opinions. If you see something mislabeled please –kindly- let me know.

       For this Turquoise Guide, the main aim is to educate anyone and everyone who would like to know how to identify the quality of what they’re buying (many of these factors can be applied to all stones, not just turquoise). A three star grading system will be used solely within my shop for my own jewelry pieces, and will be explained with examples towards the bottom of this post.

 I will be using select terms in repetition for describing aspects of stone quality. These are also just handy in general. Here is a list of some terms that may prove useful with a few example pictures:

Rough/Nugget: when a stone is in a nugget or chunk rock form straight from the earth.

Slab: After the rough/nugget stage rocks are cut into working slabs (from what I’ve seen around ¼” thick), that a lapidary artist will trace in pencil where to cut cabochons.

Preform: The shape of a cabochon cut from a slab and roughly started.

Rough examples

(click picture to enlarge)

Cabochon (cab for short): Stones used in jewelry, mainly for bezel setting. Cabochons are flat on the bottom and polish domed on the top for easy setting.

Doublet: When a stone or gem has some kind of backing. This can been seen in “opal doublets” or triplets-which is done to save money. In the case of turquoise, however, it is often done in the lapidary process to work with the stone when shaping and polishing. Turquoise is very soft compared to other mineral types, so many natural turquoise stones will more often than not have a resin backing. This can actually be handy when buying turquoise because stabilized, or enhanced turquoise won’t have any resin backing.

Enhanced: When natural stones are treated to improve colour, finish, strength, or other characteristics. This lessens quality as “natural” is more desirable. Enhancement methods can include surface coating, filling cracks, oiling (usually done to emeralds to hide fracturing), waxing, dyes etc.

Stabilized: A form of stone enhancement where plastic resins are forced into the pores of a stone to harden and brighten colour. The only way I know of to test this is to take a heated pin to the stone and see if you smell plastic.

Fracture: A crack or break in the rock. Fractures can also be teeny tiny river shaped cracks in the surface of a stone, which is common among older stock pieces, natural pieces, or especially soft pieces. A stone can often still be used with fractures as long as there is no chipping, but they are not desired.

Porous: A stone with tiny holes in the surface. While these can still be beautiful, things like water and oils from skin can get into the rock and change it’s colouring over time.

Value: Spectrum of light to dark.

Hue: Essentially colour.

Saturation: The intensity, depth, and vividness of colour.

 Chroma: Purity or intensity of colour.

Luster: State or quality of shine.

Water Web: When a stone features a webbing pattern of two different tones/values of turquoise without a host rock.

Spider and Water Webs

(click on picture to enlarge)

TURQUOISE & QUALITY.

LOCATION:

All of the turquoise I collect comes from the American Southwest. Other turquoise hubs that I know of are China and Persia. Persia produces a lot of great quality blue turquoise that can also sometimes be seen in Native American Indian jewelry. China produces a lot of enhanced or stabilized turquoise, as well as quality turquoise like that of the Hubei Mine. I’m sure there are other “hubs” that produce turquoise, but these are the prominent three I’ve been exposed to constantly while rock roaming.

 In theory, a mine owner or their employees will sell rough to lapidary artists who then create cabochons or other stone styles from the rough. Sometimes a mine will produce turquoise in several stages for sale (rough, slabs, cabs). Essentially what it comes down to is it is on the mine owners, operators, employees, buyers, lapidary artists, and any other middle folks between digging the rock out of the earth to the hands of a jeweler to keep the Mine location of the turquoise properly labeled. This is a very hopeful practice. Many people say you can never really know where a stone comes from. I met a man once who could tell you the exact Mine or Mine pit a stone was from just by looking at it. It really depends on how much exposure you have to turquoise, and how close you are to the source. Sometimes a stone origin can be evident if a mine has signature characteristics that NO OTHER MINE HAS. Damele and Lander Blue come to my mind (watch out though! Highly prized Lander Blue is often poorly faked. Anything that isn’t sold for hundreds a carat ain’t real folks). Mines that are really close in location and colour qualities are harder. For instance Crow Springs, Ajax, Royston, and Pilot Mountain mines can be confused very easily. While most stones are only graded in quality based on the condition of the stone, turquoise also factors in location and colour.

COLOUR/PATTERN:

Colour is always subjective. Back in the day deep saturated blues were considered prized. Solid colours were considered higher quality. Nowadays pale blues, deep greens, and everything in between has become collectible. Patterns make for more unique stones, and unique stones are always more sought after. No matter what, a mainstay in quality is spider-webbed turquoise. A clear webbing pattern is always the highest quality. What I look for in colour is uniqueness and chroma/saturation. The deeper colour of the stone the better in my book. Different hues, like mixed blues and greens, are also a hit. I veer towards the collectible “military greens” often seen in Manassa, Blue Gem, and Royston turquoise. Rare hues are also what I cherish, as I’m a bit of a colour nerd. Anything topographical or “earthy” I’ll jump on. Pale blues can also be beautiful, especially the “white turquoise” of mines like Dry Creek. Any kind of webbing, boulder cut, or water web is always special and a bit harder to come by. If a colour looks “chalky”, or less saturated, I’ll personally consider it lower quality. An example of this is two different rings I made in the same “Green Grasses” theme. Both cabs were natural from the Crow Springs Mine. One is a deeper green and I considered that to be more prized.

Crow Springs Green Grasses ringGreen Grasses No. 2 better

TREATMENT:

The highest quality stones are natural. Always. Natural stones are often, but not always backed or mounted. If a stone is too soft it is often stabilized or enhanced in some way. High Grade natural turquoise is a small percentage of turquoise produced from a mine that is hard and can take a good polish. There are always exceptions based on location. For example a webbed Damele turquoise with one or two chips may be prized more than a hard, high polished Kingman mine stone. There is always subjective compromise based on location, pattern, and colouring. The general consensus is natural>treated every time. The difficult part for many is being able to tell when a stone is enhanced in any way. For me, I think stabilized stones look dulled out and more plastic like. While it is done to strengthen and brighten colour, the overall appearance is waxy and too high polished to be believable. Then again, there really is no way of knowing unless you know and trust the source or get it professionally tested.

OTHER FACTORS:

The highest grades of turquoise will be either the perfect hue (robin’s egg blue), spider-webbed, water-webbed, birds eye, include pyrite, fossils, dendrites, or be extremely rare based on mine location. Few are able to obtain and use turquoise of this grade and it is what I would consider to be “museum” or top quality. Any of these types of turquoise that aren’t extremely hard, cut well, and polished I would consider to be “good/decent” quality. Natural turquoise that is a jewelry standard usually features one solid colour or decent matrix. I prize turquoise with pyrite, tight spider and water webs, and rare mines.

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TURQUOISE GRADING SYSTEM FOR THE TURQUOISE STONES I USE IN MY OWN JEWELRY:

A three star (***) system will be seen displayed with each piece of jewelry I create involving turquoise. A single star will encompass the majority of turquoise used. To the best of my knowledge, this will always be natural turquoise. One star will stand for wholesale to decent grade turquoise. Two stars will stand for higher grade turquoise or rarer mines. Three stars will rarely be seen and reserved solely for my best top-notch turquoise stones collected and used.

       These stars will appear at the bottom left corner of the first photo for every Etsy turquoise listing from now on. The star shown is how I will be grading the stone in the jewelry piece.

If you see a stone and fall in love, but it is low quality-it doesn’t matter! Anything has the potential for beauty. This guide is merely to inspire confidence in any customer, to establish price points, and for sharing information. I care about what I use, produce, and offer to people. There’s nothing better than someone enjoying something I’ve created. I love turquoise, and I want you to love it as well. Sometimes I also use rough, uncut, or unpolished turquoise. These stones will also be graded with one star. I use these because of either where they come from, the colour, or just because they are really, really cool rocks. I love the thought of the process they go through coming out of the earth, and capturing it in an early stage for jewelry use is exciting.

 WHEN BUYING JEWELRY:

Sometimes I will actually snag and use a turquoise stone when I do not know, or am not sure of the mine. This may be because the stone is obviously of amazing quality, or because I just think it’s darn nifty. A stone is a stone, after all. When you buy jewelry, from me or any other jeweler or place out there, make sure people tell you what you’re getting! If the “main stone” of a piece is listed as Sleeping Beauty mine, do NOT assume this covers any other turquoise stones in that piece that are not identified. I’ve seen this a lot where someone will use one nice stone, and surround it by cheap stabilized Chinese turquoise. If they don’t know where it’s from, they should tell you. It may or may not lessen the personal value you project towards that jewelry piece, but you should have all the facts. Most people do not know the mines of the stones they use, and it should not take away from the piece unless you’re aiming to collect a mine.

Secondly, all sides of what you are planning to buy should be seen. Sometimes there is a limit to how many photos of each item a seller can post depending on the selling platform. If I do not post a picture of the back of an item, it is usually because of this reason or lack of detailing on the back. Never hesitate to ask for more photos from anyone to see all views.

*PRICING*

If the price is too good to be true, it usually is. Rare turquoise is RARE, and thus expensive. Once a mine is depleted, all that is left is uncut rough or old stock cab collections on the market to be used. If someone is selling “natural”, “rare” turquoise, or anything from a specific mine, at a low cost, they are either not making any money or being dishonest. My particular prices are extremely fair for what the turquoise stones themselves alone retail for, or cost for collectors. I have worked for several years to search out reputable and trustworthy sources. If you have a questions about a stone used in my jewelry, feel free to ask.

If you have any questions about any of my work, never hesitate to ask me. Be nice though, and remember we’re all human.

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BELOW:

TURQUOISE EXAMPLES &  TURQUOISE IN JEWELRY EXAMPLES.

RoughCrowSprings

^these are rough cabs from the Crow Springs mine. I would not use them in my jewelry but collect them because I like rocks and think they’re nifty.

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Pilot Mtn Tight Web stone

Morenci with Pyrite

Lander Group Ex.

^These four all look similar but are from different mines.

(L to R: New Lander, Lander County, Apache, Widow Maker)

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Damele Group ex.

Crow Springs Quality Group

^Crow Springs Mine.

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BISBEEgrouping^an indicating mark of Bisbee Blue is the warm deep chocolate brown host rock/matrix

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~*FOR JEWELRY EXAMPLES CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO SEE THE ITEM*~

Apache Mine Lisa's ring

#8 mine webbed plugs

Cripple Creek Ring

Damele&Candelaria Lin's rings

Kingman Murky Skies ring

Lisa's Murky Skies Apache

Manassa studs on feather

^these little Manassa post earrings are of decent quality and have a lot of beautiful teeny patterning, hue, and chroma variations.

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Steph's Manassa Plugs

^custom 1″ Manassa Mine plugs with solid and ribbon cut turquoise.

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Tory's Damele Bangle

Unknown gold ring stone

^while the Mine is unknown, this is natural, webbed, Southwestern turquoise.

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Kingman Bangle

^certain Mines, like a lot of Kingman Ithaca Peak, are actually popular in this more “nugget like” form. They are collected this way and still prove of great quality.

Spider to Fly ring

Unknown Nugget Turq Ring^this last one is unknown, Kingman mine is usually more blue as seen in the two previous.

White Buff my ring

^lower quality White Buffalo- this ring is one of my personal pieces i made for myself.

Buffalo and Crow Custom Bracelet

^custom Buffalo&Crow cuff, with White Buffalo ribbon cut. Ribbon cut and boulder turquoise is automatically considered a little lower in quality simply because there is less turquoise involved and more host rock. These types have become collectible in their own right for contrast between the turquoise and host rock, and patterning.

Sotmr Caller White Buff ex

^high quality White Buffalo, with smooth even polish, hard surface, and clarity between the white and black chert host rock matrix.

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THAT’S IT FOLKS.

As always, feel free to message me with any questions, concerns, etc.

Thanks for reading!

xx Stray Arrow.

*these are my own notes from years of study and research. Copyrighted by Stasia Salvucci 2013. Please do not quote or use without permission.

Giveaway Results, New Item Preview, New Rocks…

LET’S GET RIGHT TO IT, SHALL WE?

For both giveaways I made a list of the names entered with numbers next to the names. The drawing for the Koroit Dirt Drop Necklace was out of 24 names, the Buffalo out of 64. I used a random number generator to choose the winners:

Picture 5

WINNER of Koroit Necklace:

Picture 6

SARAH HAYWARD.

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Picture 10

WINNER of Buffalo:

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LAUREN PROPER.

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Congrats to Lauren & Sarah! You’ll be contacted to confirm shipping info. Thank you so much to everyone who participated! Grazie Mille for the comments, compliments, shard stories, quotes, lyrics, and little diddys. We’ll have to see what I come up with next December!

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If you all didn’t notice, both shops are currently on VACATION. I had some panic last time that folks couldn’t “find” my shop on Etsy and thought I had been lost forever, so DON’T PANIC. They’ll reopen next week! Meanwhile I’m out on the road to see some good ol’Bluegrass banjo music. Speaking of banjos…..

*NEW ITEM PREVIEW*

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JewelryGrouping

I’ve always liked some nice twang. While I listen to many, many different “genres” of music, I adore old Appalachian Folk, Bluegrass, Delta Blues, and old Country. Banjos in general are just neat. So, I’ve been bangin’ out some 5 string banjo-shaped pieces for keychains and little necklaces. They are out of thick copper and bronze in two different sizes. Each has my maker’s mark on the back, and a CUSTOM song quote or tittle on the front. There will also be a standard set of quotes to choose from. The key chains will be great for guys and gals alike, the necklaces shall veer slightly towards a steampunk fashion with antique watch faces for the banjo body, reading, “BANJO TIME”, on the back. These will be up in the shop for sale next week as a “first draft”at this new concept.

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BANJOS.

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These new goodies will also be in the shop next week:

Icarus.modeled

Icarus.side.

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KingmanGoldPosts

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KoroitBacchusnecklace

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ManassaStacker

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LittleLeafStacker

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miniRoystonPendant

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WinterWindsmodeled

WinterWindsside.

WinterWinds.size.

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Olive Arrowring

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Also new will be one of a kind stacking ring sets, “The Cave Stack”. Each will feature two pieces of natural turquoise from a collectable mine. Each will have 4 rings in the stack total, often spur of the moment made stackers. These may be one shot items. They’ll all be patina rustic, echoing your inner cave dweller. The Cave Stack below features Castle Dome turquoise from the Southwest in a size 7.5. A set featuring Damele mine turquoise is also made up in a size 6, and a #8 Mine Cave Stack is currently in production in a size 8.5. These can also be custom made!

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CastleCaveStack

CastleDomeCaveStack

CastleDomeStackModeled

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NOW ON TO ROCKS.

Some sad news is I *WON’T* be heading to the fun and fruitful Tucson Gem Show this coming year. After getting slightly more organized this year, I’ve realized that I do have an extensive rock inventory that really does need to be used up before I buy oodles more. Because of this, I just snagged a HUGE, MASSIVE amount of natural old stock turquoise stones from a secret source of mine. In addition I’ve formed a couple of other selective sources for primo quality natural turquoise. A few days before I picked these out, the man I acquired them from had just had a mini summit of sorts with 5-7 different Mine *owners*, so this is pretty great stuff straight from their respective sources. Most are currently up for grabs for any custom orders (great for Cave stacking sets!). Feel free to inquire about any sizes, or custom ideas!

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BISBEEgrouping

BlueGemGrouping

CasleDomeCabgroup2

CastleDomecabgroup1

CastleDomeCabGroup3

FoxMinegrouping

ManassaTurqgrouping

NumberEightMineturqgrouping

TurqGroup1

^ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: rough Manassa, rough Damele, Skyline Mine, Snowville Variscite from Utah.

SmokeyBisbeecab

SleepingBeautycabs

Roystonminegrouping

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That’s it! Hope everyone has had a Happy Holiday season, whether you’re celebrating Channukah, Christmas, Yule/Solstice, or what have you. See you all January First for Rock Appreciation Day!

xx Stray Arrow

Preview Day

The Giveaway necklace has been decided upon and finished! For the lucky winner chosen December 26th, the Koroit Opal Dirt Drop:

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Koroit Dirt Drop

Dirt Drop Back

Dir Drop

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NEW ITEMS:

These goodies will be added to both Etsy shops tonight and tomorrow.

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Head In The Clouds

Head In Clouds Modeled

Fool's Traingle 4gs

Fool's Triangle Plugs

X Marks Spot Ring

X Marks Spot Modeled

X Marks Spot Kingman

Bronze Buffalo Hoops

Bronze Buffalo Hoop Backs

Damele plugs

Arrow Vane Stackers

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And now, a new favourite.

Quality White Buffalo Turquoise, old Kings Manassa Turquoise, peridot gemstone, and a little poetry bring:

The Storm Caller

quote from William Cullen Bryant’s, “To The Fringed Gentian”

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Storm Caller Main

Storm Caller Inside

Storm Caller

Storm Caller Side View

Storm Caller Back

Storm Caller Modeled

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That’s it folks! Check out the shops later on~Don’t forget Holiday shopping deadlines!

xx Stray Arrow

Mini New Item Preview

These lovelies will be in the main shop and in the plugs shop later this evening. Another item preview will be next Sunday~

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Flower&ArrowStackers

FoxMineBrzDanglesforTunnels

WhiteOakBlog

WhiteOakBack

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xx Stray Arrow

Holiday Frenzy

This post will feature new pieces and new stones. With all the Holiday shopping frenzy going on, the studio has been busier than ever. This month in particular has been quite tumultuous, between the hurricane, losing power, having the near-lack of a car or transportation of any kind, constant guests, and gearing up for the Holiday season. I want to thank you ALL for bearing with me if I’ve been at all disorderly. Regular Preview posts will now resume before new items hit either shop (instead of listing one new item every few days unannounced). Rock Appreciation Day will be posted once again on the First of December, along with secret special details. I hope you all enjoy the new lovelies I’ve been hammering away at. Other pieces in the near future will include an Icarus Ring, Storm Earrings, ornate dangles for tunnels, more of the To Make Much of Time and Towards Mountains series, and more! During the Holiday season, its best to take a few breathers. Remember what and who are important, take time to do what you love most, and support handmade small business-or make something yourself!

All of these will be in the shop today or tomorrow for the Cyber Monday Sale.

~*ENJOY*~

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NEW CABS~

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^*TOP ROW, left to right: beautiful quality high grade Bisbee Arizona district Azurite Malachite, premium fossilized Dinosaur Bone, Royal Imperial Nodule Jasper.

BOTTOM ROW: 16mm chrysocolla, Russian serpentine.

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^*the ever popular high grade Australian Koroit Opal from Queensland.

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^*a new absolute FAVOURITE stone. This is Pietersite, from Namibia. This stone actually glints like labradorite, spectrolite, or larvakite. They remind me of a study painting for Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa. Pietersite is the perfect stormy mood stone. For those that follow my INSTAGRAM (username TheStrayArrow), you’ll know that I’ve been working on a pair of pietersite earrings since last weekend, posted a few days ago. These large loves will feature moons, morning stars, chevrons, among other dangling elements.  Follow me there for the freshest previews, inside studio pics and stone finds.

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All of these new stones are up for grabs for custom orders. Check back to the blog DECEMBER FIRST for Rock Appreciation Day, a special announcement, and more. I’ll be working longer hours in the studio from now until the end of next month so production times for items do not slow down for gifting! See the results on Instagram and my Facebook Page.

Better start snagging the plugs you want and gifts while the sale is still up folks! Don’t forget to put in the coupon code: BLACKCYBER!

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xx Stray Arrow

Rock Appreciation Day + Preview Night

ROCK APPRECIATION DAY:

DAMELE MINE TURQUOISE.

*To repeat the disclaimer from the first Rock Appreciation Day: I AM NO LAPIDARY ARTIST OR GEOLOGIST/GEMOLOGIST. All of my information comes from research and experience working with these stones, not mining or cutting them.

The Damele Mine is located in east central Nevada near the Godber-Burnham Mine and Carico Lake Mine. It is also known as Damale, or Damaile. The mine itself is quite small, and also produces popular kinds of variscite and faustite (similar minerals to turquoise). The high zinc content makes all three stones types the bright, collectible green and yellow colours the Damele Mine is especially known for. This also increases the hardness of the stone, although the most yellows of the turquoise can be fairly soft. The stones from the Damele Mine that are more bright green or lime in colour are more often than not faustite or variscite. The mine doesn’t produce much turquoise anymore. Most new turquoise on the market is cut from old stock rough. As with most turquoise, high colour saturation and tight webbing determine quality. Webbing can be grey, black, or deep brown in colour. Because of the rare colour intensity, Damele is very collectible and highly prized.

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The picture above is my current Damele collection, all those goodies are available for custom orders. Below are new Damele pieces coming to both Etsy shops over the weekend…

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Also coming to the shop this weekend are pieces with koroit opal, high grade Crow Springs Mine turquoise, and rare and collectible Indian Mountain Mine turquoise. The more rare turquoise is set in 14k yellow gold bezels on sterling patterned leaf bands…find them in the shop this weekend!

http://www.TheStrayArrow.Etsy.com

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xx Stray Arrow