Western & English Today

Fall 2017

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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FALL 2017 28 Western & English Today MINES WORTH MENTIONING CARICO LAKE Known for green-hued stones BISBEE An old mine that is no longer producing, but with very valuable stones usually deep blue with a smoky black matrix SLEEPING BEAUTY Bright robin's egg blue stones with little matrix CERILLOS A very old mine near Santa Fe with more than 75 known colors that have been identified DAMELE Yellow-green turquoise DRY CREEK A newer mine with creamy white to pale-blue turquoise KINGMAN Large Arizona mine with large supply of intense blue stones MORENCI A depleted mine that produced bright blue stones with pyrite or "fool's gold" matrix NUMBER 8 A mine in operation from the 1930s to 1950s; black and golden-brown spider web matrix on blue stones ROYSTON Deep green to light blue stones with heavy brown matrix from three mines in the Nevada area that are still operating AT TEND THE TR ADE SHOWS "For a new buyer," says Ernie Montoya, who has more than 44 years in the business, "it is smart to attend a large trade show such as the International Tucson Gem Show, or visit dealers at their stores so you can get an idea of the variety of stones and artists they work with as well as the different styles of silverwork." UNDERSTAND THE PRICE Unlike diamonds — where cut, clarity, and weight determine value across the board — turquoise is valued by the quality and size of the stone, as well as the amount of matrix, the unique character of the stone, and the mine it came from. For jewelry pricing, there are several considerations, ranging from the silver work and intricacy of the design to the popularity of the artist and rarity of the stones. For example, Angela Montoya, Ernie Montoya's daughter and the office manager at Sunwest Silver, explains that "the original turquoise blue stones of the Sleeping Beauty mine were always popular, but now that the mine is closed, the pricing is higher." "Green is popular in fashion and home paint colors right now, so the green hues [of Carico Lake turquoise] go with those trends." — Mar tin Siedel, Golden Fleece Trading Co. "It is smar t to at tend a large trade show such as the International Tuc son Gem Show, or visit dealers at their stores ... ." — Ernie Montoya, Sunwest Silver CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Golden Fleece Trading Co., Brit West, Double D Ranch, Brit West, Double D Ranch.

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