Southwestern Chic for Your Wardrobe with Turquoise Nuggets, Lapis Lazuli and Sterling Silver (BLGR-006)
Miriam used gorgeous Turquoise Nuggets to create another “Southwestern Chic” chunky necklace—with a touch of Lapis Lazuli that shows all the distinguishing characteristics of the beautiful stones. The carved Sterling Silver beads provide just the right accents to set off the unique appeal of this striking necklace. The bright blue Turquoise Miriam used was mined in Arizona, a state known for its fine Turquoise. Based on its matrix, the Turquoise is probably from the Kingman Mines.
- Full length of the necklace is 19.25 inches (including the textured Sterling Silver clasp).
- Turquoise Nuggets and Matte Lapis accents are center drilled. They vary from 10-20 plus mm.
- Sterling Silver carved rectangles beads are 9x13mm.
- Sterling Silver 2.5mm beads separate the nuggets.
- The necklace is strung on a strong, but flexible, 0.024-in 49-strand, nylon covered stainless steel beading wire.
Turquoise is mined in the Southwestern United States, as well as China, Chile, Egypt, Iran, and Mexico. Arizona Turquoise is well-known for its various colors and types of matrices, depending on the mine. For example, most of the Turquoise that comes from the Southeast part of Arizona has an unusual matrix of black Pyrite that often looks like silver or gold when polished. There are other minerals associated with mined Turquoise nuggets. Faustite is Turquoise with the addition of zinc and sulfates, which gives it a yellow to lime green color. In fact, some people call Faustite “Lime Green Turquoise,” “Lime Turquoise,” or “Yellow Turquoise.” The same is true for stones that have both Turquoise and Variscite, or Turquoise and Chalcociderite within the same nugget. Characteristic color and appearance also depend on the specific mine. For example, the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona is known for its light blue turquoise without a matrix - a rarity that makes it very costly and hard to find! Much of the Turquoise from the Kingman Mine is bright blue with a spider web matrix. The Morenci Mine produces a darker blue turquoise with pyrite in the matrix. The Bisbee mine (now closed) produced turquoise with a bright blue color and a chocolate brown matrix.
Lapis Lazuli (“blue stone"), which is most often referred to as “Lapis,” has been used as a gemstone for thousands of years, mined in Afghanistan since the early 7th millennium BC.Today, Lapis is mined in northeast Afghanistan and Pakistan, from mines west of Lake Baikal in Russia, and the Andes mountains in Chile. Smaller quantities are mined in Italy, Mongolia, the United States, and Canada. It is primarily composed of Lazurite (a deep blue), with the remaining composition made up of Sodalite (a lighter blue), its host rock (White Calcite), Pyrite, and other various minor constituents. Pyrite can have a gold or silver metallic sheen when polished and is often referred to as "Fool's Gold." Lapis stones are not typically treated. They are sometimes left in a rough-cut nugget form, cut and lightly polished, matted, or smoothed and highly polished - as often seen in the cabochons used for rings, earrings, and pendants. Miriam’s Designer Collection includes both polished and matte Lapis.The process to matte finish a stone starts with putting it through all the normal steps of a polished bead. It is cut, drilled and polished, then goes back into a tumbler with a fine grit powder of tiny stones and water and additional tiny stones. Depending on the stone’s hardness and characteristics, it can take up to 2 hours in the tumbler—and may require multiple tumbles with various sized grit powder.