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by Skylar Glandon
November 22, 2019
If you remember back in May of 2019, I wrote about what some of our most popular jewelry items had been in the first part of the year. I want to make this an interesting reoccurring series in order to keep you updated on what is currently really hot at Stagecoach as well as in the entire Native American jewelry community. I especially want to discuss this if there has been some significant change since the previous post. As far as our selection goes, I do not recall seeing such dramatic shifts in popularity as I have seen in 2019. Many of the Native American artists that we purchase from do a good job of keeping their jewelry fresh and innovative. That being said, Native American jewelry doesn’t typically tend to change super fast. This year seems to be an exception to that, all be it in a very positive way. Therefore, I think it warrants another look at some of our most popular items. You will find some of the items on this list that were previously discussed in the article that I wrote back in May. Others will be new additions that saw a big surge over the summer. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
Let us begin by talking about one that I previously discussed in my earlier article. This is the Sonoran Gold Turquoise that has exploded onto the Native American jewelry scene this year. When I saw the first pictures of this beautiful stone in November of 2018 I was really excited. We have always done really well with Royston Turquoise because it has such a lovely transition between blue and green. The Sonoran Gold Turquoise takes this blue/green combination to even further. The colors are bright, intense, and almost made for those that want their jewelry to stand out. In fact, in the last year, the Sonoran Turquoise is often what people notice first in our jewelry cases. People really enjoy this stone because it is so different than what is typically thought of as turquoise. Further, each stone can look completely unique. I have seen no two that looked the same and it is always exciting when new pieces arrive. We have just recently received some new pieces of Sonoran Gold Turquoise jewelry that I think are really stunning. You can see our entire online collection at that link.
The more traditional turquoise is something that is always popular at the Stagecoach. I’m pretty sure if I had written a version of this article every year for the last ten years, our traditional turquoise would have been mentioned in every single one. We are known for a lot of different things at the Stagecoach, including Halloween costumes, Nebraska souvenirs, and Minnetonka Moccasins. However, I like to think that our Native American turquoise jewelry is what we are most known for. So because turquoise is always popular, it becomes redundant to include it on our most popular list every single time. Instead, allow me to get a little more specific.
Kingman Turquoise is probably our most sold type right now, though that is more due to the overall volume being mined. In the United States, the Kingman mine produces by far the most material. In fact, it is the only large-scale mine that is still currently in operation in the US. If you compare the Royston Turquoise mine (one of our favorites) with Kingman, you will see a vast difference. At a mine like Royston, you will see individual miners going in and pulling whatever material they need to fulfill their small-scale needs. On the other hand, at the Kingman mine, you will see a vast mining operation spanning many miles of territory. This operation has large construction equipment capable of unearthing a lot of turquoise material.
The difference in production quantity is the main reason that Kingman turquoise is our most sold at the moment. We are just able to get so much more of it than other types. That’s not to say that Kingman isn’t a beautiful, high-quality stone. It can have many different looks, including flat blue with zero matrices, light blue with a wide matrix, and even dark blue with a black matrix that resembles Lander Blue Turquoise, the most expensive in the world. Kingman has a great variety and is sometimes a bit more affordable than others. This again depends on the quality of the stone. Gary has a few natural Kingman Turquoise stones that have a gold matrix and these, in particular, are quite high-quality and rare. Come down to Stagecoach to see our entire collection of Kingman Turquoise jewelry.
At the beginning of this article, I alluded to some major shifts in Native American jewelry trends that have happened this year. It’s finally time to talk about something that wasn’t really on my radar when I wrote my first popularity article this spring. Since that time there was the popular television show Turquoise Fever on INSP. I have discussed the show quite a bit on here, but if you are unfamiliar it showcases Tony, Trenton, and the rest of the Otteson family as they mine turquoise in remote parts of Nevada. It was a show that was especially interesting for us because we have actually met Tony and Trenton Otteson before while purchasing stones.
While the Otteson family mines are mostly turquoise, it was actually a different stone that exploded in popularity from the Turquoise Fever television show. During the first episode, they showed the less-known White Buffalo stone. This is has a look similar to turquoise, only in white and black. At the Stagecoach, we have carried White Buffalo for a number of years and it has always sold fairly well, though never rivaling our traditional turquoise jewelry. Ever since that first episode of Turquoise Fever, however, it has been tremendously popular, so much so that we were on a waiting list for a while because our Native American jewelry artists couldn’t make enough to meet demand. There just isn’t enough White Buffalo out there or enough artists to make these pieces quickly enough.
Even though we had some trouble getting enough, it was really neat to see White Buffalo jewelry become so popular all of a sudden. When considering the amazing amount of artistry involved, I have always thought that Native American jewelry is somewhat underappreciated outside of the American southwest. It is one of the only jewelry types that is completely original to the United States. This jewelry is popular around the world as a true American art form. Seeing so much positive feedback from this television show was fantastic for the entire community. I think we are all hoping they continue the series with a second season.
That is a brief overview of the most popular items for the fall of 2019. This only applies to our handmade jewelry lines. We have a lot of other items that are always popular for Christmas, such as Black Hills Gold and Minnetonka Moccasins. I will try to update this again sometime early next year. Until then, be on the lookout for all of the new items dropping for Christmas.
by Skylar Glandon
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