August 25, 2020
If you read my previous post, you will have seen the White Buffalo and turquoise jewelry that Gary recently finished for us. I don’t usually write a new blog post this soon, but Gary has not slowed down making jewelry. At the end of my last post, I teased a couple of new pieces that he had begun. These have been available on our website for a few days now, but I am excited to tell you a little more about them today. All of this new jewelry is super unique and quite unlike anything we have shown you before.
About a year ago, we met with Kenneth Otteson, a cousin of Trenton and Tony Otteson, who was featured on the INSP television show Turquoise Fever. At the time, we were most interested in finding White Buffalo stones because Turquoise Fever had vaulted the popularity of White Buffalo jewelry so drastically. During this meeting, we were introduced to the brand new White Lightning stones that I spoke about in my previous post. At the same time, the Otteson’s had something else that piqued our interest.
The Otteson’s had a collection of variscite, from both Nevada and Australia. From my understanding, variscite was first discovered in Nevada quite a few years ago. It was not until the early 2000’s that it was found in Australia. As a side note, I find it interesting that a particular stone such as this can be found in two separate countries on opposite sides of the globe. Variscite is also found in a few other U.S. states and other countries.
You can read our previous article from when we first obtained these stones, New White Buffalo and Variscite Stones.
When comparing variscite to turquoise, you will notice some differences. While there are many different “looks” when it comes to turquoise, it usually is much bluer than variscite. Even green turquoise has a different look than what you see here. The best way that I can describe variscite is that the color reminds me of shallow tropical waters from the Caribbean Sea. This emerald-green is soft and relaxing and has some pleasant shifts throughout its color. When I describe its tone as soft, do not mistake that for dull. The variscite stones that we were able to get had an intense color that could almost be labeled as majestic. I think you will agree that these stones are incredibly beautiful, and we were excited to find them.
I mentioned previously that the Otteson’s had both Nevada and Australian variscite. These differed somewhat in their appearance, and both Gary and I preferred the Australian variety. These seemed to be brighter and more alluring than their Nevada counterparts. That is not to say that all Australian Variscite is prettier than that found in Nevada, only that what was available to us on that particular day was nicer, in our opinion. All in all, these stones captivated us, and we have been excited to show them to you.
This Australian Variscite bracelet has a deep green coloring. The cuff has a contemporary design that was handmade here at Stagecoach.
Gary made a full pendant, earring, bracelet, and ring set using this variscite. Each is sold individually, but they would make a magnificent set. While all four of these pieces of jewelry are unique, I think two especially deserve a closer look. First, the bracelet has some excellent silverwork to go along with the gorgeous green stone. The cuff has a texture that Gary applied using a unique jeweler’s hammer. Hammering this over the surface area that you see on this bracelet undoubtedly took some time and effort. He also engraved the lines along the outer sides of this textured area. This design creates a contemporary look that is quite striking. Gary has been using this sort of modern look lately, and customers seem to be enjoying it.
The variscite earrings are the other piece that needs special mention. The reason is simply that the stones are so beautiful, even more so than the others. They have a green coloring with a level of intensity that nears that of malachite. They also have a brown matrix that runs straight through the middle of the stones and is surrounded by a white glow. This mixture creates some fantastic contrast that is very appealing. If you hold these earrings up next to each other, you can see that the stones are a perfect pair and were sliced right down the middle. While I love all four of these pieces of variscite jewelry, these earrings are the star of the show, in my opinion. Even Gary, who made all of this jewelry, mentioned that these are his favorite as well.
These Australian Variscite earrings have amazing color that almost glows. You can see how the stones would have fit together before they were cut.
If you are not yet able to tell, we are thrilled with this Australian Variscite jewelry. The stones are all so pretty with an allure that is difficult to describe. Turquoise jewelry will always be our main attraction at Stagecoach, but this variscite is different and even more exclusive. It is not something that you see often, and it will almost certainly draw questions and comments from passersby. Gary has a few more of these stones, possibly enough for one more set. After that, we may or may not be able to get more of this gorgeous material. If this set of variscite jewelry is something that you are interested in, I would suggest not waiting!
In my previous post, I mentioned that Gary and I were working together on a couple of pieces of jewelry. Now that these are finished you can see them in our shop. They are two turquoise cross pendants with gothic styling. The short story behind these goes like this: we have lacked cross jewelry lately, a fact that a few customers have brought to our attention. To rectify this, Gary came to me with an idea for a shape and asked if I could design something along these lines. He told me that this is a style of a cross that he has always liked. I got to work drawing it out on a computer program until we had a model that we both liked. Next, I cut out two of these crosses, one larger and one smaller. After the initial shape was cut-out, Gary took over to finish the pendants. He engraved a border and added a textured finish. He also cut and soldered a bezel for each stone to sit.
This Kingman Turquoise cross pendant is the larger of the two. Its gothic style is striking for either a man or a woman.
The finished products are two turquoise crosses with a gothic or victorian style. The more extensive cross has a pretty blue Kingman Turquoise stone while the smaller one has Sonoran Gold Turquoise. The matrix in the Kingman stone helps set off the blue color quite nicely. These are both beautiful stones that draw your attention to these pendants.
Are you unfamiliar with Sonoran Gold Turquoise? It is a beautiful new type of turquoise that has recently been discovered in Mexico. You can read all about it here in our article Sonoran Gold Turquoise Jewelry.
Despite being smaller, the Sonoran Turquoise cross pendant is still quite large. It is more than 2 ½” long and 1 ¾” wide. These are not meant to be a casual accessory. These pendants are meant to be seen! It will be the centerpiece of your entire outfit and could be further spruced up with some smaller silver or turquoise jewelry. Although these pendants are quite large, the decorative cutouts make them very lightweight. The largest of the two is still only .6 of one ounce (yes, I weighed it just for you). The lightweight means that you can enjoy wearing one of these large cross pendants comfortably all day.
The Sonoran Gold Turquoise looks wonderful in this cross pendant. The mixture of green and blue colors make this one of our most popular types of turquoise.
Of course, you will need some sort of necklace to wear this on. Gary thoughtfully handmade generous bails so that these crosses will fit a variety of necklaces. Each bail has the same texture that you find on the crosses themselves. We have these displayed on some lovely turquoise beads, but you could also wear them on silver beads or a heavy chain. Do not be afraid to experiment with these turquoise cross pendants to see what you like best!
Both Gary and I are happy with how these turquoise cross pendants turned out. If they seem to be popular amongst customers, we will make more of these. Be on the lookout for different versions in the future!
That just about covers our new jewelry for the time being. I hope you have enjoyed reading about these new items as much as I have enjoyed writing about them. At Stagecoach, we are passionate about all of our jewelry but especially the pieces that we make ourselves. When I write these articles, my hope is that you will see something different than you have seen anywhere else. I believe that this unique handmade jewelry is something that separates us from almost any other store in the country. I may be biased but I believe my father deserves a spot among some of the industry greats. As long as he is making new pieces, I will continue to give you occasional updates. I suspect that Gary is already thinking up his next work of art! Thank you for reading, and please let us know if you have any questions by emailing or posting in the comment section below.
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